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 Mail Shark
      In today’s hustle and bustle world, consumers want to work with companies that make doing business easy & convenient.
      If your auto repair shop offers online appointment scheduling, you most certainly want to include content that conveys that message on your direct mail and other marketing. It can help position you as the local repair shop that makes doing business easy by giving customers another convenient way to schedule their repair or maintenance services.
      As a standard, I suggest my clients add the following verbiage or a variation of, positioned above their phone number and website
      “Call Today or Conveniently Schedule Online”
      484-202-3960
      TheMailShark.com
      In addition, I recommend utilizing a QR code, that when scanned takes your customers directly to your online appointment scheduling web page. Customers that are apt to schedule their appointments online will no doubt appreciate the convenience, making it even easier for them to book their appointment from their smart phones or tablet by simply scanning your QR code as opposed to having to type out a long URL such as:
      advancedautorepairream.com/appointments
      Attached is an example showing one side of a 5.5x10.5 Direct Mail Postcard:
      Now, I know what many of you may be thinking, “Do people still use QR Codes?” I’m not using my psychic abilities; I’ve simply been asked countless times by auto repair shop owners. Many shop owners seem to think QR codes are a thing of the past, however, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
      The QR code market is on a steep rise. According to Juniper Research, by 2022, 5.3 billion QR code coupons will be redeemed by smartphones and 1 billion smartphones will access QR codes.
      In my opinion there is no reason you should not be using this technology. Utilizing a QR code can’t have any negative affect on your business and there is only upside potential to add more convenience and make your shop easier to schedule an appointment with.
      A few final thoughts:
      It’s important to note, after creating countless QR codes for auto repair shops, I have noticed that when clicking on the online appointment scheduling link on many shop websites, it does not take you to a different URL when accessing the online appointment page. Instead, it keeps you on the same page you are on with an online appointment scheduling pop up. If this is the case on your shop’s website, you will not be able to link a QR code direct to your specific online appointment scheduling page. You can still utilize it to drive your prospects to your website and then from there they will have to navigate to this page as compared to them scanning the QR code and landing directly on your online scheduling page.
      If your shop doesn’t offer online appointment scheduling, you can still utilize QR Codes for many different things. Below is a short list to give you some ideas of what QR codes can easily link your customers to.

      ·    Any Website URL
      ·    Google Maps Location
      ·    Facebook
      ·    YouTube Video
      ·    Contact Details
      ·    Image File
      ·    Etc. etc.
      Finally, we have some PRO Tips to help you get the most out of the use of your QR code.
      PRO Tip #1: Basic QR codes should be FREE from your direct mail partner and many QR code services give you the ability to create a special QR codes that allow you to track the number of times your QR code is scanned. You can then test the use of your QR code and have transparency as to whether your QR code is being scanned by consumers.
      PRO Tip #2: Never Use a QR Code without labeling it with what its purpose is. You will most likely get zero scans or far less using a QR code without a label.
      PRO Tip #3: I don’t recommend using more than one QR code on your direct mail marketing piece. Use the link you feel customers will find the most convenience in and stick with a that one.
      PRO Tip #4: You can also create custom QR code images to further enhance the appeal of your QR code. This is typically with paid QR code services. Attached is an example of how Mail Shark created a custom QR code to make it seamless for our prospective auto repair shop clients to get a quote and samples.
      Josh Davis
      Mail Shark
      Executive Vice President of Sales
      Direct: 484-948-1611
      Email: [email protected]
      www.themailshark.com/AutoDirectMail
       

    • By JustTheBest
      USA Today article (Friday September 27, 2019 by Nathan Borney - USA Today) shows that “the average age of cars and light trucks on U.S. roads reached an all time high of 11.8 years in 2018.”

      The article goes on to claim... “By 2023, there will be about 84 million vehicles on the road that are at least 16 years old, reflecting a 240% increase from 35 million in 2002, according to IHS.”

      Are you getting your share?
      There’s only 90 days left in 2019 and the market is changing. Sorry, it HAS changed. Are you ready? Do you have your plans laid out for marketing your shop in 2020? 
      Auto Service Marketing - Fix Your Car Count FAST!
      Hope this helps!
      Matthew
      "The Car Count FIxer"
      P.S.: Join me on YouTube at Car Count Hackers! FREE Help to grow your Car Count, Income and Profit! 
      P.P.S.: Like and Follow Car Count Hackers on Facebook
      P.P.P.S.: Have you registered in my FREE Training? "How to Double Your Car Count in 89 Days"
    • By Mail Shark
      It’s critical that you understand the pain points of your targeted prospects in relation to the products and services you offer in order to be able to strategically choose the marketing content that will be most compelling for them.  This will enable your client to react and consider you for their next repair or maintenance service.  

      For example, in a 2017 Survey from AAA, the findings show that one-third of drivers in the US could not afford a repair bill that was unexpected. 33.33% is a pretty significant number of vehicle owners that have tight budgets.
      With that in mind, if you offer any type of financing options for repairs, it’s important that your marketing message contains content that informs your prospects that you have options.   These options will help them get financing for their repairs or maintenance and get them back on the road fast.
      Depending upon how much content and space you have available on your marketing, there are a few different ways to promote your financing.
      Below are a few ideas to promote financing options on your direct mail marketing.
      1.    Create a burst or some other type of call out that promotes your financing option.
      2.    If you are listing other benefits your shop offers, you can include financing info here.
      · Financing Options Available
      · Quick & Easy Financing Available
      · NO Credit Check Financing
      3.    Utilize your financing company’s info, logo, etc. to create a larger impact.
      Below is an example of a new project that just came by my desk demonstrating one of the many ways to promote your shop's financing. This example shows one side of a Jumbo 8.5x10.5 postcard.
      Included is a bullet point calling out “Quick & Easy Financing Options” under the: Why Choose Auto Clinic? section.  Since this is a critical message, we placed it first in our bulleted list based on the Primacy/Recency Effect, in order to drive home to the consumer . In other words, people tend to recall information provided at the beginning of a list (Primacy), and end of a list(Recency) better than information presented in the middle of the list.
      We then reinforced this with another message addressing their customers' potential problem: “Unexpected Repair”, & our Solution “Fix it Today! $0 Down”.  In addition, we incorporated the EASYPAY FINANCE branding. 
       

       
      Finally, knowing that 33% of drivers may be struggling financially is also a compelling reason to have a strategic coupon offering. Giving prospects the ability to save on repairs, in conjunction with providing them financing options, can help position you as the best option for their repairs.
       
      Josh Davis
      Mail Shark
      Executive Vice President of Sales
      Direct: 484-948-1611
      Email: [email protected]
      www.themailshark.com/AutoDirectMail
    • By Mail Shark
      There’s an old adage in marketing: “features tell and benefits sell.” This is critical to keep in mind when you’re promoting your auto repair shop. If your prospective customers don’t understand the features your shop offers, how they’ll benefit from these features, and why they should consider your shop for their next repair or maintenance service, you may lose them to your competition.
      The main constraint you’ll encounter when emphasizing benefits on your direct mail is usually space. There are a lot of important elements an effective direct mail advertisement should contain, all of which are fighting for valuable space. Furthermore, putting too much information on an ad can make it cluttered and hard to read, which could diminish your return. A great solution to this problem is to provide a clear, concise, and organized list of your shop’s features that can easily be scanned by your prospects.
      Depending on the available space, there are two ways you can do this. If you have limited space, you can simply list your benefits out in a bulleted list. If you have extra space, you can list them out in conjunction with an icon to help illustrate the benefit and call additional attention to them.
      Here’s a starting point to help you develop and build a list of your shop’s features and benefits.
      Quality
      -Are your technicians ASE certified?
      -Do you offer a warranty on your work?
      -Do you offer a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee?
      Affordability
      -Do you offer any financing options?
      Comfort
      -Do you offer any amenities in your waiting room?
      Convenience
      -Do you offer any type of shuttle service or loaner car service?
      -Do you offer same day service on most repairs?
      -Do you offer early drop-off and/or after-hours pick-up?
      -Do you offer roadside assistance?
      -Do you offer online appointment scheduling?
      Trust
      -Are all repairs approved by your customer before any work is done?
       
      Pro Tip: Make sure you give your list of benefits a header. Something like: “Why Choose XYZ Auto” or “Our Benefits For You.” or “10 Reasons to Choose XYZ”
       
       
      Josh Davis
      Mail Shark
      Executive Vice President of Sales
      Direct: 484-948-1611
      Email: [email protected]
      www.themailshark.com/Auto-Direct-Mail
    • By AutoShopOwner
      The average age of light vehicles in operation in the U.S. has risen again as consumers continue to hold onto cars and light trucks longer.
      Driven by technology and quality gains, the average age of light vehicles on U.S. roads is 11.8 years, based on a snapshot of vehicles in operation Jan. 1, an analysis by IHS Markit found. That's up from a light-vehicle population that was, on average,11.7 years old in 2018.
      The number of registered light vehicles in operation in the U.S. hit a record of more than 278 million this year, an increase of more than 5.9 million, or 2.2 percent.
      IHS Markit began tracking the age of vehicles in 2002, when the average age was 9.6 years.
      "The average age of a vehicle has continued to grow ever since cars started coming out from Henry Ford's production line, if you will," said Mark Seng, director of the global automotive aftermarket practice at IHS Markit. "People are hanging onto them longer because they're lasting longer."
      From 2002 to 2007, the average age of light vehicles in the U.S. increased 3.5 percent, he said, but from 2008 to 2013, the average age rose12.2 percent.
      "We're kind of back to that same pace that we saw from 2002 to 2007," Seng said. "The average age of light vehicles in the U.S. accelerated so much because we were coming out of the Great Recession back in 2008 to 2009 and new light-vehicle sales fell like 40 percent over a two-year period. Even during the recovery years there were fewer vehicles being sold, so that just accelerated the average age of the fleets in the U.S."
       

       
      For the first time, the analysis included a review of various regions around the country. The oldest light vehicles are in the West, at 12.4 years, an increase of 1.5 percent from a year earlier. The Northeast had the youngest light vehicles at 10.9 years, which increased 1.1 percent from a year earlier. Weather and road conditions, driving habits and household finances and affluence can have a major impact on the average age of vehicles in a state and region, IHS said.
      Repair opportunities
      IHS Markit found that the number of older cars and light trucks is growing fast, with vehicles 16 years and older expected to grow 22 percent to 74 million from 2018 to 2023.
      In contrast, there were less than 35 million vehicles 16 years or older on the road in 2002, according to the analysis.
      Seng said the growing number of older vehicles on the road provides more repair opportunities for dealers and aftermarket parts providers that focus on automotive service repair beyond warranty coverage.
      "There's many more older vehicles on the road than there was in 2002, which means there's going to be all different kinds of repairs -- oil changes, brake jobs and new wiper blades -- that's going to be done to that vehicle cycle," he said. "That's more revenue opportunities for aftermarket repair people."
       
      Source: https://www.autonews.com/automakers-suppliers/average-age-vehicles-us-roads-hits-118-years


  • AutoShopOwner Sponsors



×
×
  • Create New...