Quantcast
Jump to content


    • You can post now and register later. Already registered? sign in now to post with your account.
    • ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

        Only 75 emoji are allowed.

      ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

      ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

      ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


      Once you submit your question, a new topic will be created for you in our forums. Our moderators may move your topic to a more suitable forum category if one exists. Members will see your topic and be able to respond to your question.

    • This will not be shown to other users.
Sign in to follow this  
Gonzo

Article: Breaker-Breaker--- back in the day of the CB... things were a bit different

Recommended Posts

Breaker, Breaker…                           
 
   In my many years of repairing cars I’ve helped out a 
countless number of other shops with their electrical 
problems.  Some shops I would see a few times a month,
 and others only once in awhile. This was years before the 
internet was around, and cell phones were only a fad
and way to expensive to have.  So, most everything was 
done by a land line or over the CB radio. 
 
     Back in the mid 80’s and 90’s I had one shop that I talked with nearly every day.  Great guys, but not so great as mechanics.  The owners name was Joe.  His shop was small and seemed to be a place for wayward towed vehicles and obscure customers looking for dirt cheap repairs.  His main business was his tow service, and the repair shop seemed to be there just to fill in the gaps on those slow days.
 
  One afternoon I got a call from Joe about a car his crew had given up on.  They threw the parts cannon at it, but couldn’t get this car to come back to life.  Joe was with tows, and needed the mechanics he had to drive the other tow trucks. This particular car had been in his shop for quite some time and I don't think the customer was too happy about it.  So, to speed things up a bit, he dropped it off at my shop.  
 
    “I’ll be on the road all day.  I've got to get back out there.  I've got tows lined up all day.  If you get it going, could ya run it back to my shop,” Joe said, as he made a dash for his tow truck.
 
    “No problem Joe, I’ll get right on it,” I said, just as he drove off.
 
    The car was an 80’s GM. I could see all kinds of shiny new components under the hood, and could tell they put a lot of effort into swapping parts to find out what was going on.   The symptom was; if you flipped the key to the crank position it would immediately start, but die just as quickly.    
 
    The parts they changed were the predictable parts cannon fodder that the typical parts slapper would try.  Tune-up parts, an IAC, TPS, MAP, ECM, etc… etc… all of which might, could, should’ve, probably, maybe, and of course, eventually with enough darts thrown at it, could have hit the target and fixed it.  But it didn’t.   I wasn’t about to go that route.  Time for some real diagnostics and not just shoot from the hip.  Why not start with the basics- fuel, air, and fire.   
 
    Spark was good, timing looked good, and the intake had a good air pull.  I gave it a shot of carb. cleaner, and as long as I kept spraying… it kept running.  Ok, time to check the fuel pressure.  Interesting... there was pressure.  Hmmm, now what to do? The next obvious thing (to me) was to check fuel volume.   
 
     I disconnected a fuel line and gave the key a flick into start.  The fuel shot out into the drainage bucket, but then trickled to a stop. I did it a second time.  Not as much fuel made it out this time, but the scenario was basically the same.  It was always a quick burst followed by a trickle.  Maybe I should look at that gas gauge. Well, wouldn’t ya know it, the gauge is ready E. It had just enough in the tank to pressurize the fuel lines but not enough to keep it going.
 
    Might as well grab a gas can, and put some in the tank.  I’ll try it again… vroom, vroom, vroom, alright! It’s running great!  Looks to me as if the entire problem was that it was out of gas.  However, with all the new parts they installed, I couldn’t be sure if this was the 'only' problem or an after affect of having the car in the shop so long while trying to solve another problem.  It could have been any one of the other components (within reason) they changed that really 'did' need to be changed.    
 
    Later that day I drove the car back to Joe’s shop.  He wasn’t there, but his dispatcher was in the office sorting out tow tickets and monitoring the CB with the volume up full blast.  In the background you could hear the CB chatter from all the area’s tow companies.  
 
    About then I heard Joe’s voice over the CB, “Did Gonzo call yet? Need to check in on him, we need to get that car back to the owner.”
 
    “He just walked in Joe, over,” the dispatcher told him.
 
    “So what was wrong with it,” Joe asked between the squelch of the CB radio and all the other chatter from the other tow companies.
 
    The dispatcher turned to me and pointed at the mic.  So, I told him . The dispatcher, with a stunned look on his face, said, “I can’t tell him that.  He is going to be so pissed.”
 
    “I don’t think you should either.  At least not until he gets back,” I said, while breaking into an ear to ear smile.
 
    The CB comes back to life with Joe’s voice again; “So what did he find out, over,” Joe's frustration was showing through as his voice barked out of the CB speaker.  The dispatcher said to me, " Old Joe sounds pretty pissed."
 
   I don’t know whether it was the way his day was going or how much time and money he's spent on this car.  Either way, he’s not going to like this answer. 
 
    “Go ahead… tell him,” I said to the dispatcher, still sitting there hold the mic button, “He wants the answer, so let him have it.”
 
    “Alright, Joe, are ya ready for this, over?" the dispatcher said, then waited for a response from Joe.
 
"Yea, go ahead, over."
 
"It was out of gas.”
 
    A dead silence came over the CB. No chatter, nothing, not another sound for what seemed to be an eternity.  Then, all hell broke loose.  Tow drivers from all over the city were razing poor Joe.  The CB was full of laughter and goof ball comments, but not a word from Joe. Poor Joe, you asked for it, and now you got it.  
 
   “Tell Joe to stop by the shop, he can settle up with me then,” I said, while trying to hold back the laughter.
 
    As I walked out the door, the CB chatter could be heard all the way to the parking lot, and the comments were still flying.  It was one of the funniest moments I’ve ever had for doing nothing more than putting gas in a car.  
 
    When Joe came up to pay the bill I told him I had a little something for him.  I handed him a little tiny gas can on a key chain.  I figured it might be a good reminder for him to always check the basics before loading up the parts cannon again.     
 
    After all these years I’m sure he hasn’t forgotten about it, and I’ll bet he doesn’t tell too many people where he got that little gas can key chain from… but now, it wouldn't be so much on the CB, but over the internet. 

View full article

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Sign in to follow this  

  • Similar Topics

    • By Joe Marconi
      In my 40 years as a shop owner, I have battled the age old dilemma: Is it my car count, my customer count or some other reason why some weeks I find it hard to hit my sales goal.  
      It always comes down to production.  Now that's really simplifying it, I know.   But, when you look at the numbers, with the right jobs and a balanced schedule, the ARO goes way up and car counts become not as important as we thought. 
      Another thing to consider, this is not 1995. Cars do not come in 5 to 6 times a year for an Oil Change Service.   You are lucky to see some customers every 10,000 miles as they wait for that Oil Change Percentage light on their dashboard to tell them...NOW IT"S OK TO GO TO YOUR REPAIR SHOP. Isn't it funny how so many people will listen to the dash board light, and not you!
      Anyway, what are your thoughts.  How do you reach your weekly sales goals and what KPI's are important to you? 
    • By Joe Marconi
      Sometimes I feel like I’m alone on a deserted island. I charge for diagnostic analysis. Why? Because I know what cost is to buy the tools, equipment, information systems, training and pay a technician to professionally and accurately diagnosis a check engine light, air bag, ABS or any other complicated problem. But, I feel a lot of shops are willing to give this up in hopes to get the work. In my opinion all they are doing is digging themselves in a hole.
       
      And, I have heard all the reasons:
      “If the customer gives me the job, I waive the analysis”.
      “I package the analysis into the repair, so the customer does not see the diag charges”
      “I will lose customers if I charge analysis”
      And the best yet: “It only took me 10 minutes to diag the O2 sensor, so I can’t charge diag labor”.
       
      Waiving the analysis is the same as a doctor waiving the x-rays and blood tests. They don’t do it, we should not either. I will also challenge those who “package” the analysis into the repair. You mean to tell me that after taking 1 hour to find a faulty mass air sensor, you will add the 1 hour to the 5 minutes it takes to install a new mass air? Come on, we all know the truth.
       
      And let’s address the 10 minutes it took to find the failed O2 sensor. Did it really take 10 minutes? NO, it took years of training, years of experience, the investment in the right equipment and the investment in the right information systems. Why we sometimes diminish what we are truly worth is amazing. No other profession does that.
       
      Sorry for being so tough on this topic, but business is hard enough these days and people question everything. If shops don’t realize what they are giving up, it makes it bad for all of us.
       
      Please tell me what you think. Agree? Disagree? Or any other thoughts....
    • By Elite Worldwide Inc.
      By Bob Cooper
      We all know that these incredibly challenging times are impacting businesses and people all around the world. To help maximize your shop's sales and profits in the face of these difficulties, here are 3 simple and cost-free tips that you and your service advisors can start implementing today. 
      1. Pick up the phone and call your customers. However, this is not a sales call and shouldn't involve discussion about the customer's vehicle. Rather, this is a chance for you to check in on your customers and their families, let them know you are thinking about them, and offer to help in any way you can. By giving them a call and speaking from your heart, you are showing your customer that you not only care about their well-being, but that your company truly values people over profit. 
      2. Set up call forwarding during your commute to and from work. By having incoming calls forwarded to your cell phone rather than to the shop's voicemail during your drive to and from the shop, you are essentially extending your hours and allowing more customers to reach you if they are in need. There may only be a couple of calls that come in during these times, but it can make a world of difference for those calling customers. 
      3.  Adjust your 2020 sales and car count goals so that they are broken down to daily targets, and track these daily goals in a descending manner. Instead of feeling discouraged if your shop is far from reaching a monthly or weekly goal, having daily sales and car count goals will allow you and your advisors to look at each morning as a brand new opportunity to accomplish the goals for the day. 
      Tracking these daily goals using a descending method helps your team focus on what they still have left to accomplish, and motivates them to reach the targeted numbers. For example, if your daily car count goal is 10 cars, and 7 cars have come in, a descending method of tracking will have your advisors saying, "We only have 3 cars left to meet our goal!" rather than, "We've had 7 cars come in so far." When I first began coaching, my average client saw a 15% increase in sales just by making this simple switch from an ascending to a descending method of tracking goals, so this tip is sure to help! 
      For additional help increasing your shop’s sales, learn more about Elite’s Online Masters Service Advisor Sales Training, or give us a call at 800-204-3548. 

      View full article
    • By JustTheBest
      We're in strange times. 
      I've published this video in hopes to help shop owners in these difficult times

      Matthew
      "The Car Count Fixer:
       
    • By Elite Worldwide Inc.
      We're eager to do whatever we can to help shop owners sort through the challenges that have come along with the Coronavirus, so have decided to host a complimentary webinar this Thursday (3/19) from 10:00 AM - 10:45 AM Pacific Time.

      During this special session industry leaders Bob Cooper and Kevin Vaught will be sharing some tips on what you can do to protect your employees, your customers and your business.

      Join us and you will learn...

      - What to tell your customers and why
      - How to better protect your employees and your customers
      - How to maintain your car counts & sales during these difficult times
      - How to better control your expenses
      - How to ensure you are able to weather any financial storm

      Seating is limited, so click on the following registration link to reserve your spot today: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6233489164748174347  


  • AutoShopOwner Sponsors



×
×
  • Create New...