Quantcast
Jump to content


Geek With Attitude - OK... drop the attitude buddy


Gonzo

Recommended Posts

Geek With Attitude
 
tp.gifNow I realize I'm only a mechanic, and not an 
Ivy League scholar, and I may not qualify as the 
next inductee into MENSA, but I’m still a pretty 
smart guy.  Oh, I may not know all there is to know 
about every single make and model out there, but 
I have enough background and technical ability to 
solve just about anything that goes wrong with the 
modern car.  But, for some people the mere 
thought that a mechanic might actually have a 
few brain cells just baffles them to no end.  
 
tp.gifA few weeks ago I got a call from a guy, who 
(to the best of my dim witted abilities could tell), 
was having a problem with his truck.  He told me 
that he pulled all the fuses, and was still having a 
battery drain issue he couldn't find.  He even took 
it to another shop and wasn't happy with their 
results, so he was going to give me a chance at it based on a friend’s recommendation.
 
tp.gif“Bring it in tomorrow, and I'll get it checked out for you,” I told him.
 
tp.gifThe next day a 98 Nissan pickup with 150,000 miles on the odometer was waiting for me.  After getting the owner’s information, I went over what he wanted me to do.  Little did I know this guy had all the answers already.  Not only the answers, but several ideas as to what was causing his problem.  This particular guy was a full-fledged computer geek with more than a little attitude to go along with it. Not only did he think he was dead right about everything, but that every mechanic out there was nothing more than a knuckle dragging grease monkey with the IQ of a walnut.  The more he told me about the problem the more I knew I was in for a long afternoon.  Seems everything that was ever wrong with the car from the day he bought it was leading up to the moment the battery went dead.  But, of course, it's not dead now... that takes a month before it would happen.
tp.gif“A month?” I asked.
tp.gifOh, he had an answer for that too.  It all started with the front crankshaft seal. The seal was leaking, and it leaked all over the alternator, so he had the seal changed along with a new alternator and battery.  (Both the alternator and the battery came from one of those cheapo depot places; imagine where the seal came from.)  A month went by before the car wouldn't start again.  The seal was leaking too, but not nearly as bad.
tp.gif“Hmm,” I said, sitting at the service counter thinking this whole thing through, “You say it takes a month before it won't start?  Are you driving it much?”
tp.gif“Yes,” he said, “Every day.”
tp.gifThis didn't add up, something else is wrong with the car.  As I tried to explain to him that if a car is driven every day, and starts perfectly fine, but then all of a sudden it goes “click-click” it tells me there is something else wrong, and it's probably not a battery drain issue.
tp.gif“Leave it with me, and I'll check it out,” I told him,
tp.gifApparently, Mr. Geekdumb doesn't have a clue how a car works, other than where to put the gas and which way the key turns.  Not that I’d hold that against him, a lot of people don't know a thing about their transportation.  It's just that most people don't try to sound like they do, especially while standing in front of somebody that just might.
tp.gif   Once I had the truck in the shop it turned out to be a classic problem; the battery bolts were tightened down as far as they could go, but I could easily pull the cables off the battery without any effort at all.  The charge output and parasitic draw tests showed no signs of any problems. As for the seal leak. Well, if you've been around cars with high miles and poor maintenance you've probably seen this before.  The PCV valve was clogged.  Without that, no ventilation for the lower end, and of course, a back pressure builds up and that pressure has to go somewhere... usually out a seal, and the front seal is one of the usual places for it to go.
tp.gifExplaining all this to the computer nerd turned out to be a whole lot tougher than I thought possible.  How one person can act and think that they are so smart, but can't see the logic behind the explanation is beyond me.   The more I tried to explain, the more this guy asked even more bizarre questions.
tp.gifI gave him the run down on the battery clamp issues, “Yes, a loose battery clamp can make the car not start.  Sometimes you'll get one quick turn of the starter then nothing, not even a dome light. Other times you'll get a “click” which is what your car sounds like.  This can also stop or restrict the alternator charge output from entering the battery.” 
tp.gif“So, that’s why my dash lights don’t work?” he asked.
tp.gif“There's no relationship between the charge output and the dash lights.  That's a separate problem. Most likely the rheostat,” I said.
tp.gif“Well, what about the switch on my dome light, it doesn't work. I’m positive that is due to the front seal and the PVC you mentioned.”
tp.gif“Sir, it's a PCV not PVC, “Positive Crankcase Ventilation” is what it stands for, and no, it has nothing to do with your dome light.”
tp.gif“So I have two PCV’s in the car?”
tp.gif“No, just one.”
tp.gif“So where's the PVC?”
tp.gif“That would be in your house most likely. Most homes have PVC plastic piping.”
tp.gif“So, now you're telling me I don't have two PCV’s?”
tp.gif“I never said you had two.” 
tp.gifThis went on, and on.  My frustration level was getting to my MAX level, and I'm about to tell this guy just where he can put his PCV and his PVC.  But, after lengthy deliberations he eventually decided to have me at least fix something...one thing…change the battery clamps.  He had the solution for the dash lights, dome light, PCV, and the front seal. I apparently don't understand, or fail to comprehend how all his other problems are related to the dead battery.
tp.gifHe showed up later that day to pay for the clamp replacement, and it wasn't hard to tell this guy had an ego driven “micro” chip on his shoulder. He wasn't about to have some lowlife mechanic explain the physics of the internal combustion engine to such an astute individual as himself. 
 
       His parting comments as he walked out the door said it all.
tp.gif“I work on highly technical and advanced systems on home and business computers that are far above the complexities of anything you’ll ever see.  I'm better off fixing my own car, because I have a degree, and my intelligence level is far superior than any mechanic.”
tp.gifReally? That's the best you got? 
Better luck insulting me next time, fella…leaving is probably the smartest thing you’ve done so far… don’t let the door hit ya on the way out.   
 

View full article

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Water Proof And Self Adhesive

I find the real harm is in customer/repair shop relationships.   If you start your relationship at the repair shop with, "I already know what's wrong, and I know how to fix it... you just do what I tell you to." Is not a good way to begin.  This guy, well, he was probably the worst I had to deal with over the years.... because... he made it a point to tell me... straight to my face.... that I was subordinate to his refined education level.  If I was any less of a gentleman, and not an upstanding business owner... I would have reached across the counter and showed this guy the alternative uses for my extra large box end wrench.  

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

very true,  but now you see even more of the ones you would not expect like the older women with a emissions fail in hand with the code on it or the parts store print out , saying they know what is wrong and hand you the paper and ask how much to fix it, when I tell them there will be a diagnostic charge, then I can tell them how much, they get angry and start saying things like " fine you don't want my business I will go somewhere else " or " your trying to rip me off I already know the problem it is here on the print out " I can go on and on but I won't LOL..  I am getting to the point where I tell them what the diagnostic will be and if they want me to look at it drop it off and at that point I have said my peace and go back to work..  Of course you always get the ones that " I have a tiny problem " and " let me show you something " ... I always tell them I have done this a long time and you aren't going to show me something I haven't seen before. So .......... " if you want me to look at it drop it off "

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Available Subscriptions

  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         0 comments
      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
  • Similar Topics

    • By Joe Marconi

      Premium Member Content 

      This content is hidden to guests, one of the benefits of a paid membership. Please login or register to view this content.

    • By Changing The Industry
      NOW is the time to register!
    • By carmcapriotto
      Thanks to our partners, NAPA TRACS and Promotive
      Did you know that NAPA TRACS has onsite training plus six days a week support?
      It all starts when a local representative meets with you to learn about your business and how you run it.  After all, it's your shop, so it's your choice.
      Let us prove to you that Tracs is the single best shop management system in the business.  Find NAPA TRACS on the Web at NAPATRACS.com
      It’s time to hire a superstar for your business; what a grind you have in front of you. Great news, you don’t have to go it alone. Introducing Promotive, a full-service staffing solution for your shop. Promotive has over 40 years of recruiting and automotive experience. If you need qualified technicians and service advisors and want to offload the heavy lifting, visit www.gopromotive.com.
       
      Paar Melis and Associates – Accountants Specializing in Automotive Repair
      Visit us Online: www.paarmelis.com
      Email Hunt: [email protected]
      Get a copy of my Book: Download Here
      Aftermarket Radio Network
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By carmcapriotto
      In this week’s episode, Hunt gets into the financial intricacies faced by auto repair shop owners, from refinancing debts and selling shops to securing new mortgages in today’s unpredictable market. He explores the strategies and tips to steer through the banking hurdles and optimize your financial operations.
      • Market Update & Interest Rates: Starting with a quick market update, Hunt discusses the current state of interest rates and how they're affecting both personal and commercial loans. Despite the unchanged rates by the Federal Reserve, the historical highs are impacting mortgage affordability and commercial borrowing costs.
      • Loan Acquisition Challenges: The episode sheds light on the complexities of acquiring loans in the current financial climate. Hunt discusses the often opaque criteria banks use to approve loans, offering some tips for what shop owners can do to increase their chances of securing financing.
      • Listener Q&A and Acknowledgments: A special thanks to listeners for their engaging questions in the previous mailbox episode. Your curiosity fuels our content, and we’re here to address your concerns, guiding you toward informed financial decisions for your auto repair shop.
      • Rapid Fire Tips for Financial Management: Closing the episode, Hunt offers some rapid-fire advice for managing your finances better, from understanding the nuances of loan interest rates to practical tips for ensuring your business stays liquid and prepared for any financial challenges ahead.
      Thanks to our partners, NAPA TRACS and Promotive
      Did you know that NAPA TRACS has onsite training plus six days a week support?
      It all starts when a local representative meets with you to learn about your business and how you run it.  After all, it's your shop, so it's your choice.
      Let us prove to you that Tracs is the single best shop management system in the business.  Find NAPA TRACS on the Web at NAPATRACS.com
      It’s time to hire a superstar for your business; what a grind you have in front of you. Great news, you don’t have to go it alone. Introducing Promotive, a full-service staffing solution for your shop. Promotive has over 40 years of recruiting and automotive experience. If you need qualified technicians and service advisors and want to offload the heavy lifting, visit www.gopromotive.com.
      Paar Melis and Associates – Accountants Specializing in Automotive Repair
      Visit us Online: www.paarmelis.com
      Email Hunt: [email protected]
      Get a copy of my Book: Download Here
      Aftermarket Radio Network
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • Water Proof And Self Adhesive
    • By Joe Marconi

      Premium Member Content 

      This content is hidden to guests, one of the benefits of a paid membership. Please login or register to view this content.



  • Our Sponsors



×
×
  • Create New...