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Jay Huh

Anyone had a bad day?

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I was actually going to post something else but Autoshopowner saved this post that I was going to post a couple weeks ago..... guess I forgot to post it lol.

 

Has anyone had a bad day? I knocked down 3 beers after work and finally getting to a point where I'm not pissed. I am usually a really positive and upbeat and let things slide.

Had a tech do a oil pan gasket. Car came back, got it on a lift and saw within 3 seconds it was missing an oil pan bolt. Careless error- really out of the way for the customer to have to come back.

Same tech allowed master cylinder to run dry on a Ford. I literally spent the day bleeding that thing- from taking the master cylinder off to bench bleed to removing the lines to the HCU. I went through 2.5 gallons of brake fluid in all. I typically don't work on cars anymore, if I do, then either we are really busy or we have a problem. 

 

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Yesterday I ordered a TPMS sensor at 3:15.  This dealer can usually deliver in 30-60 minutes.  They called at 5:42pm to say that their driver didn't show up for work.  Ended up putting a rubber valve stem in temporarily to get customer on their way.  At least the customer was understanding.

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1 hour ago, jfuhrmad said:

Yesterday I ordered a TPMS sensor at 3:15.  This dealer can usually deliver in 30-60 minutes.  They called at 5:42pm to say that their driver didn't show up for work.  Ended up putting a rubber valve stem in temporarily to get customer on their way.  At least the customer was understanding.

That is a pretty amazing customer

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Not a fantastic day today. I was supposed to be working on my boat, but we had a problem child. Ford E-350 we put a transmission in, the supplier said we had to install the latest flash on the PCM. We recently started using the Drewtech remote programming service and it's been pretty seemless so far. Not today. The truck has a few aftermarket items installed and Drewtech thinks one of them (gps tracking unit or magnet operated antitheft system) may be interfering with the CAN bus. Anyway, after screwing with it all day long, they bricked the computer. Ford dealer says 7-10 days. Ordered a reman, wasn't even close to the right part. Found another reman that will be here in the morning. May or may not be the right one.

This is my most profitable fleet customer's box van. I need this thing to go down the road and soon.

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That sounds terrible!  Have you thought about a boneyard PCM?  Then you can experiment with flashing on a disposable one instead of burning up a new one.

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15 hours ago, AndersonAuto said:

Not a fantastic day today. I was supposed to be working on my boat, but we had a problem child. Ford E-350 we put a transmission in, the supplier said we had to install the latest flash on the PCM. We recently started using the Drewtech remote programming service and it's been pretty seemless so far. Not today. The truck has a few aftermarket items installed and Drewtech thinks one of them (gps tracking unit or magnet operated antitheft system) may be interfering with the CAN bus. Anyway, after screwing with it all day long, they bricked the computer. Ford dealer says 7-10 days. Ordered a reman, wasn't even close to the right part. Found another reman that will be here in the morning. May or may not be the right one.

This is my most profitable fleet customer's box van. I need this thing to go down the road and soon.

Anderson, sorry to hear about the bad day. There are too many of those. Not to rain on the bad day but this opens up a discussion that needs to be had IMO. From what I have been told, this Drew tech thing is subscription based, does not have full coverage (lines) and does not have full operation (only does ECM's). I think there are 2 problems created by using this resource. First off, it could limit a techs ability to understand the entire workings of the network by plugging in a unit and letting someone else deal with it. If the tech gets to the point of knowing it needs to be reprogrammed and then plugs in the unit and it works (or not in your case) limits the desire/ability to do it all in shop. (I hope that thought makes sense). Kind of like a shop that does brakes but has no idea how ABS functions.

Second, why limit the ability of the shop by using a generic tool like that as opposed to the factory unit. A IDS only costs 1k or so to purchase and a years subscription to Fords tech site is only $850. By doing it all in house it requires tech ability and knowledge and there is less room for error. I would think in a shop your size you would already be equipping it with factory stuff as opposed to the generic.

I would think as shops grow in size and revenues (or specialize if smaller) they would seek out OE solutions to the technological problems we are being faced with. The further behind we fall the more outdated our abilities will become.

Edited by Wheelingauto

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9 hours ago, Wheelingauto said:

Anderson, sorry to hear about the bad day. There are too many of those. Not to rain on the bad day but this opens up a discussion that needs to be had IMO. From what I have been told, this Drew tech thing is subscription based, does not have full coverage (lines) and does not have full operation (only does ECM's). I think there are 2 problems created by using this resource. First off, it could limit a techs ability to understand the entire workings of the network by plugging in a unit and letting someone else deal with it. If the tech gets to the point of knowing it needs to be reprogrammed and then plugs in the unit and it works (or not in your case) limits the desire/ability to do it all in shop. (I hope that thought makes sense). Kind of like a shop that does brakes but has no idea how ABS functions.

Second, why limit the ability of the shop by using a generic tool like that as opposed to the factory unit. A IDS only costs 1k or so to purchase and a years subscription to Fords tech site is only $850. By doing it all in house it requires tech ability and knowledge and there is less room for error. I would think in a shop your size you would already be equipping it with factory stuff as opposed to the generic.

I would think as shops grow in size and revenues (or specialize if smaller) they would seek out OE solutions to the technological problems we are being faced with. The further behind we fall the more outdated our abilities will become.

The Drew Tech box is not a subscription, but a per use fee. They gave me the box for free, and if I decide I don't like it, then I simply send it back.

The main reason for getting it was that while I can program just about anything with my PassThru Pro, it's a big time consumer. Seems like every time we flash a vehicle, there's some sort of update that needs to be done, consuming lots of tech time doing it. Then there's the matter of us not doing enough flash jobs for any of them to get good at it. While we're a big shop, we still only do 4-5 flash jobs a month. Now spread those 4-5 jobs among 6 techs, and all the different makes and models, and there's no way for a tech to really get good at any of them. So they burn a lot of time updating software before it will allow them to flash the car, then they have to remember how to actually get the flash software from that particular manufacturer, then remember our user name and password to that manufacturers web site. Seems like every manufacturer has different rules for user names and passwords, so none of them are the same and most make you change it regularly. Then start flashing the vehicle. In all, my techs were spending a couple hours jumping through all the hoops to get a simple flash done.

Then there's the economics of it aside from my tech's time. I have a new WiTech that I bought 1 year ago. I have to purchase an annual license just to own the WiTech, then I have to purchase a subscription for the flash software. In all, a couple grand a year, plus the tool which was not cheap. I flash maybe 10 chryslers a year. There's absolutely no ROI in it. The Drew Tech box doesn't do chrysler yet, but when it does, and assuming it does them well, you can bet I won't renew my WiTech license.

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I guess the point I am making is I think it is our best interest to fully understand the technology we are faced with. Generic tools only allow partial understanding like using a snap on scanner VS that witech. Huge difference. I know ROI is weak if not non existent, but I have always believed in having the knowledge within my business. I would think it would benefit you to have one or two techs take the time (paid of course) to maintain the tools and passwords, understand the technology and be leaders in the shop when it comes to this.

I could be wrong but I feel there is a difference in using the generic tool vs the oe. And I want that for the top car lines I serve.

Not every tech needs to be proficient at BMW but if you're going to work on them at least one must be familiar with them.

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