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  • Similar Forum Topics

    • Article: It's Doing The Same Thing --- Is it really????

      It’s Doing the Same Thing             Being on the mechanic's side of the counter, I've  often wondered what does "the same thing" really mean?        Nearly every time a customer comes up to the service  counter, who has no background in automotive repair, or  any idea at all on how repairs are made and what's all  involved, but tells me, “It’s doing the same thing”,  I have  to ask myself… “How do they know?”  Is it really doing exactly  the same thing?  Funny, how it turns out (99.9% of the time),  that it’s NOT doing the same thing.            I hear this rhetoric from customers now and then, but when my wife starts in on me with the good ol' 'It's doing the same thing', now I'm more than a little curious.  Here's an example.        We were about to head on our vacation when the bulb warning light on the dash came on indicating one of the rear lights was out.  It was a side marker light on the driver’s side of the car. Easily changed and taken care of, and with all the commotion and last minute preparations, the warning light problem became a distant memory. So off we went on our little adventure.       Several states and hundreds of miles later while the wife was driving, and I was taking a nap, she nudges me and says, “It’s doing the same thing”.           Now I understand there is always the possibility that it really is doing the same thing, but really my dear … you’re married to a mechanic. Can we at least re-think how to inform me of such things?  Yes, the light on the dash is “doing the same thing”, but let’s try rephrasing it to the guy just waking up from a pleasant-no-stress-day-off.  How about: “The warning light is back on, dear.”  At least that way I won’t feel like I’m back at the shop trying to decipher the latest “doing the same thing” dilemma. I’m on vacation for heaven’s sake!            At the next stop I performed the usual "walk around" and noticed the passenger side marker light that was out this time.   Not to be outwitted by a little warning light, I gave the lens a little tap. Low and behold, the filament lit up, and off we went.           As we traveled down the road I had plenty of time to ponder how many times I’ve heard the phrase, “Doing the same thing”.  Over the years I’ve seen this escalate into complete madness at the front counter or end up with a tap on a bulb lens.  As in my wife’s case, the dash warning light could only indicate that a bulb was out and which end of the car it was.  However, when a customer lays down a chunk of their hard earned cash their interpretation doesn’t include the possibility of multiple issues controlled by the same warning light. From their perspective, it's doing the same thing.                  A few weeks ago I had a 1995 Saturn in the shop that had been all over town, as well as to every relative who owned a tool box.  No one seemed able to get the air conditioning to cool.  Part after part was changed, but still no cold air.  When I finally had a crack at it I was surprised at what I found.  The connector for the A/C compressor was exactly the same style and type as the low coolant level sensor mounted in the over-flow bottle.  Somebody had flip-flopped the connectors.  Once I found the problem the cure was simple… just reverse the connectors and “Ta-Da” cold air.  All the functions were working, cooling fan, line pressure, vent temperature, everything was great.  Even the “low coolant” light was operating correctly.                  But where would this story be without a 'It's doing the same thing' scenario.           A few weeks later I get a call, you guessed it… “Doing the same thing”.  Now, I’m no dummy, I know what they meant.  They're actually telling me that it's not making cold air again.  I informed them it was probably leaking refrigerant or something like that, but I seriously doubt somebody switched the connectors again.  They weren’t buying that, they kept insisting that it’s doing exactly the same thing as before. Even after reading the description of the repair on the invoice, and telling me they totally understood it… they still can't break away from the common reply... it's “Doing the same thing”.               This follows right along with the typical scenario right after changing out a blower motor for a customer and a week later they're back because their air conditioning isn’t cold. I’ll ask, “When did you notice the air wasn’t cold?”   The usual answer, “Right after you changed the blower motor.”           I should have a guy in the background with a drum set patiently waiting for me to ask, "So when did you notice the problem?" and when the customer delivers the inevitable punch line, the drummer could bang out the classic drum roll-rim tap and cymbal crash.  A priceless moment for every counter person.                  The way I see it, the consumer brought their car into a repair shop for a professional evaluation of a problem, and expect to never see a related or similar problem ever again.  But, as soon as the work is done and some other problem creeps up that seems to be more than a little bit like what they just had repaired, the mechanic is soon to have the same thing happen again.                  The fact that there are other things that can go wrong can be a huge mountain to climb. But, with some diplomacy, and tact, a good counterman can get through these situations.  One thing for sure, as the mechanic, you've got to get in there and solve the problem no matter if it's the same thing or not.  Generally, (from my past experiences) the same thing is hardly ever the 'same thing'.  The Saturn, was a faulty compressor due to the fact the last shop didn't add enough oil to the compressor, the replaced blower motor problem, was a faulty low pressure switch, and the wife's car, well... she hasn't had to tap on the bulb lens ever since.                     But to me.... it's all the same thing.  
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      By Gonzo, in AutoShopOwner Articles

      • 3 replies
      • 193 views
    • Profitability "sweet spot", is there such a thing?

      Looking forward and thinking about business goals for the future, I'm wondering if there is such a thing as a sales volume, personnel, or facility sweet spot for profitability. I'm in a semi-retirement mode already, so having profits to spend is a priority over simply growing the business for growths sake. I really enjoy being in business and planning and reaching for goals, but wondering about what those goals for the business should be. I've reviewed some industry financial data without any clear conclusions, but I'm wondering what folks here think or have seen or experienced. A little about where I'm at currently. I started this business from scratch 7 years ago. We currently have 8 employees and did 1.3 in 2017. Any wisdom from you who have been doing this longer?  

      By gandgautorepair, in General Automotive Discussion

      • 21 replies
      • 1,361 views
    • Let's talk advertising

      Hey Everyone, Curious what everyone is doing for marketing and advertising. What have you found to be the best return for your money and where are you located?? Looking for some ideas for my auto body shop . I have tried radio, yelp and yellow pages (never again).

      By autobodyguys, in Marketing, Advertising, & Promoting

        
      • 4 replies
      • 644 views
    • A healthy repair shop business starts with a healthy mind and the right people

      The day to day operations of running a business can take its toll on anyone.  To be a business owner means to address problem after problem and finding the right solutions. Sometimes the decisions we make will be the right ones, sometimes not.  If we are not careful, this emotional roller coaster we call being in business, can make us focus too much on the negative, and not the positive things that happen in our lives. With nearly 4 decades as a business owner, I can say with certainty that one of the basic building blocks of being successful in business is having the right team of people around you and getting yourself in the right frame of mind.  You need to find and hire great people. But once you have them, you need to do all you can to take care of them, train them and make them successful in order for you to be successful. Is it easy? No. But it is essential. Most important; you need to treat each day as if it were a gift from the heavens and base your entire perspective from a position of strength and remaining positive.  I know it’s not easy, but I can tell you, it works.  

      By Joe Marconi, in Joe’s Business Tips For Shop Owners

        
      • 12 replies
      • 1,204 views
    • MEN ARE JUST HAPPY PEOPLE

      MEN ARE JUST HAPPY PEOPLE This needs no explanation - and is a fun read, no matter your gender. Men Are Just Happier People! What do you expect from such simple creatures? Your last name stays put. The garage is all yours. Wedding plans take care of themselves. Chocolate is just another snack. You can never be pregnant. You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park. You can wear NO shirt to a water park. Car mechanics tell you the truth. The world is your urinal. You never have to drive to another gas station restroom because this one is just too icky. You don't have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt. Wrinkles add character. Wedding dress - $5,000. Tux rental - $100. People never stare at your chest when you're talking to them. New shoes don't cut, blister, or mangle your feet. One mood all the time. Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat. You know stuff about tanks.  A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase. You can open all your own jars. You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness. If someone forgets to invite you, he or she can still be your friend. Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack. Two pairs of shoes are more than enough. You almost never have strap problems in public. You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes. Everything on your face stays its original color The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe decades. You only have to shave your face and neck.  You can play with toys all your life. One wallet and one pair of shoes - one color for all seasons. You can wear shorts no matter how your legs look. You can 'do' your nails with a pocket knife. You have freedom of choice concerning growing a mustache. You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives on December 24 in 25 minutes.  No wonder men are happier! NICKNAMES If Laura, Kate and Sarah go out for lunch, they will call each other Laura, Kate and Sarah.  If Mike, Dave and John go out, they will affectionately refer to each other as Fat Boy, Bubba and Wildman.  EATING OUT  When the bill arrives, Mike, Dave and John will each throw in $20, even though it's only for $32.50. None of them will have anything smaller and none will actually admit they want change back.  When the girls get their bill, outcome the pocket calculators. MONEY  A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs.  A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she doesn't need but it's on sale. BATHROOMS  A man has six items in his bathroom: toothbrush and toothpaste, shaving cream, razor, a bar of soap, and a towel.  The average number of items in the typical woman's bathroom is 337. A man would not be able to identify more than 20 of these items. ARGUMENTS  A woman has the last word in any argument.  Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument. FUTURE  Awoman worries about the future until she gets a husband.  A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife. MARRIAGE  A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn't.  A man marries a woman expecting that she won't change, but she does. DRESSING UP  A woman will dress up to go shopping, water the plants, empty the trash, answer the phone, read a book, or get the mail.  A man will dress up for weddings and funerals. NATURAL  Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed.  Women somehow deteriorate during the night. OFFSPRING Ah, children. A woman knows all about her children. She knows about dentist appointments and romances, best friends, favorite foods, secret fears and hopes and dreams.  A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house. THOUGHT FOR THE DAY  A married man should forget his mistakes. There's no use in two people remembering the same thing!              

      By xrac, in Non-Automotive Discussions

      • 3 replies
      • 699 views
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