Quantcast
Jump to content


PM Importance - - - Cars need to have a PM schedule... so does the mechanic


Recommended Posts

 PM Importance

         The mere idea of an intermittent problem that can’t be reproduced is a diagnostic situation that comes up way too often for mechanics.  Another is the car that comes in that has had absolutely no preventative maintenance performed, and we all know how that’s going to end up.  After decades of being behind the service counter, as well as under the hood, I do get a bit frustrated that people won’t do any preventive maintenance, or neglect to tell me about an intermittent problem they’ve had forever, because they feel it has obviously nothing to do with the reason they’re here today.  

         I can only do so much, and without some prior history of any symptoms or what work that has been done, it makes it rather difficult to do my job as a mechanic to the best of my abilities.  Information is the key when it comes to just about any subject, and preventive maintenance can lead to a lot of information, which is by far the cheapest and best way to prevent even larger problems.

      I found out the hard way a PM doesn’t just apply to the family car. Your internal engine needs some maintenance once in a while, too. Neglecting the early signs of an intermittent problem with a car may not have as devastating effect as neglecting your body’s own advanced warnings. Let’s face it, a car drops a valve or burns out a PCM, all your friends and family don’t send flowers or come visit you in the service bay. This is one of those times when the sure footed mechanic with all of his snarky comments about people who don’t listen to their car and won’t relay the pertinent information to their mechanic is now the patient, not the repair guy.

         Hardly a car will make it for its entire life without clogging the EGR passages, blocking the VVT ports, or have the occasional reduced air flow from of a dirty air filter. It’s inevitable that some sort of maintenance procedure will need to be performed to maintain that “as new” drivability. Me, the mechanic, well… I don’t have a check engine light to forewarn my impending doom.  If I’m feeling a bit down, maybe a bit slow, or a slight tightness in the chest I’m likely to shrug it off and get back to work. Until the pain literally throws me to the floor, while clenching my favorite ratchet to the chest, this stubborn old guy won’t realize I’m about to cash in on that life time warranty I thought I had. You know the type: the “A” personality, all knowing, self-assured, and can take care of any problem on my own mechanic guy.”  Well, age and time, diet, stress, and my family medical history have done me in.  You’ve met your match, Buster. You’re about to throw a rod.   

         The mechanic with “A” personality traits, and the “I’m the guy with the answers, and I’m right so often it’s a shock when I’m not”, as well as the, “Large and in charge” attitude usually means they’re (I’m talking about myself of course) not likely to listen to anyone else. They tell themselves those chest pains felt off and on are from some bad pastrami, but it’s a heart attack and it’s only going to get worse. And, it did.  I can still hear all the times my wife and kids harped at me as I was being wheeled down the hospital hallways on the gurney, watching the neon lights zip by as I was rushed into Triage. 

 I hate to say it, but that’s me to a “T”.  I often wondered why the surgeons were held to such high esteems, and why they all seemed to have an air of confidence about them. I believe it’s a result of the years of training, the years of answering questions, and the years of listening to halfwit, poorly conceived ideas of what ails a person from people who have no idea what they’re talking about. Which is not that different than what the trained mechanic goes through on a daily basis.  People ask questions and expect educated answers.

         Basically, if you’re one of those guys who pushes himself all day and night, works from sun up to sun down, or tells the wife that my job comes first and we’ll go on that big vacation when I retire, are fooling themselves and their families.  Most of the time you’re so busy you forget to PM yourself.  You overlook the obvious signs of an impending failure from those intermittent chest pains or backaches, etc.  Life’s too short to say, “I’ll wait until later to get checked out.” 

         Imagine what the surgeon is thinking when he props your chest open, looks in there and sees obvious lack of PM.  Don’t be the mechanic in every situation.  Don’t assume that you can fix everything. There are other people out there who are just as professional in their field as you are in yours. Hopefully you’ll get a second chance as I’ve been given.  Don’t waste it on working until you die. The customer cars will wait.   Follow your body’s PM schedule, and you’ll get to live a little more.


View full article

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites



5 hours ago, HarrytheCarGeek said:

Great article, Gonzo! I have been in that same situation, and the things that crosses your mind are all about the kids and loved ones. I hope you help to save many lives with your writing, because your words of wisdom are priceless!

I'm sure they'll be more than one story about this.  So much of it is related to what we do every day. Thanx for reading my stories and yes, I sincerely hope I can help others with these stories.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great article.. I am that guy with my health, If I had followed up with my sinus issues I wouldn't of had to have such a big surgery to remove the tumor and most of my sinus on one side.. but even that has not pushed me enough to get my PM done.. It is funny that after what you went through I decided to get my annual PM done , well the funny part is it should of been done 2.5 years ago I have been putting it off, ahhh I feel okay etc.... so July 5th I have my annual PM visit.. I don't know why guys are so pig headed with this stuff we just are guess we need to change that.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Gonzo posting this article.  Most of all, thank God you are able to speak about your situation. 

I have been preaching for years the need to slow down and smell the roses.  We are not machines, and working as one will eventually catch up with us. 

I have heard too many horror stories about shop owners who pushed themselves to exhaustion. 

Business should enrich your life, not overtake it. 

Thanks Gonzo...a lesson for us all! 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

    • By Joe Marconi in Joe's Blog
         4
      Typically, when productivity suffers, the shop owner or manager directs their attention to the technicians. Are they doing all they can do to maintain high billable hours? Are they as efficient as they can be?  Is there time being wasted throughout the technician’s day? 
      All these reasons factor into production problems, but before we point fingers at the technicians, let’s consider a few other factors.
      Are estimates being written properly? Are labor testing and inspections being billed out correctly? Are you charging enough for testing and inspecting, especially for highly specialized electrical, on-board computer issues, and other complex drivability work?  Is there a clear workflow process everyone follows that details every step from the write-up to vehicle delivery? Do you track comebacks, and is that affecting production?  Is the shop layout not conducive to high production? For example, is it unorganized, where shop tools, technical information, and equipment are not easily accessible to every technician?  Are you charging the correct labor rate and allowing for variables such as rust, vehicle age, and the fact that most labor guides are wrong? Also, is there effective communication between the tech and the service advisor to ensure that extra labor time is accounted for and billed to the customer? These are a few of the top reasons for low productivity problems. There are others, but the main point is to look at the entire operation. Productivity is a team effort.  Blaming the techs or other staff members does not get to the root cause in most cases.
      Maintaining adequate production levels is the responsibility of management to create the processes that will lead to high production while holding everyone accountable. 
  • Similar Topics

    • By carmcapriotto
      On Record with Greg Buckley. Greg discusses extended car warranties. You must educate your customer!
      Greg Buckley, owner of Buckley’s Auto Care in Wilmington, and Millsboro DE.  Greg’s previous episodes HERE.
      Show Notes:  
      Extended warranty- used car market has been hot over the last few years. People want a ‘protection’ What types of companies underwrite policies?  You must educate the customer on what they already purchased for their vehicle- most contracts are limited  Ask for a copy of the contract, review it, look for ‘what’s not covered,’ and explain to customer. Additional testing time? Labor? Rust?  “Do your own warranty” before you fall into the marketing funnel of extended warranties  Are these customers one and done? Only repairing what is covered and not doing proper maintenance.  Better margins with OE for warranty claims You must have oil change records- regular service receipts  
      Connect with the Podcast:
       
      Aftermarket Radio Network
      Subscribe on YouTube
      Visit us on the Web
      Follow on Facebook
      Become an Insider
      Buy me a coffee
      Important Books
      Check out today's partner:
       
      Dorman gives people greater freedom to fix vehicles by constantly developing new repair solutions that put owners and technicians first. Take the Dorman Virtual Tour at www.DormanProducts.com/Tour
       


      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By ASOG Podcast
      The Problem With Bootstrapping A Business
    • By carmcapriotto
      On Record with Lauren Fix as she discusses the used car market and the importance of car maintenance.
      Lauren Fix, Car Coach Reports,  Total Car Score Podcast, is an automotive expert and analyst based in Buffalo, NY. She has written three books on automobiles. She has appeared on CNN, Fox News, Newsmax TV, CNBC, and USA Radio’s Daybreak USA show. Lauren's previous episodes HERE
      Show Notes:  
      Car Coach Reports Prior to covid selling cars: 17.5 million vs 13.7 million now. Average car profit to manufacturer: 10K...4 million sales lost People are buying out their car lease now Dealerships have 30% retention for car repair Repossessions are increasing- people bought cars during COVID, inflation and recession “Doing maintenance now will save you money down the road” Which cars can last 300K miles? Iseecars.com  “Never invest more in a car than it’s worth” USAmotorjobs  
      Connect with the Podcast:
       
      Aftermarket Radio Network
      Subscribe on YouTube
      Visit us on the Web
      Follow on Facebook
      Become an Insider
      Buy me a coffee
      Important Books
      Check out today's partner:
       
      Dorman gives people greater freedom to fix vehicles by constantly developing new repair solutions that put owners and technicians first. Take the Dorman Virtual Tour at www.DormanProducts.com/Tour
       


      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By ASOG Podcast
      $2 Million Auto Repair Shop With One Huge Problem
    • By Joe Marconi
      I don't think there is anyone that does not appreciate time off, especially during the holidays. However, balancing staff hours and time off does present a problem during the Christmas and New Years holidays. 
      Some shops close down the entire shop from Christmas to New Year, other shops have extended days off, and some rotate staff. 
      What has worked for you OR NOT worked for you? 
       


  • By nptrb, in Automotive Industry,

    By nptrb, in Automotive Industry,

  • Our Sponsors



×
×
  • Create New...