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    • Chatbots — website, social media

      Does your shop use a chatbot on your website, or do you have a chatbot on your Facebook page? 

      If so, what has your experience been like? 

      By ratchetandwrench, in General Automotive Discussion

      • 0 replies
      • 113 views
    • SOCIAL MEDIA ATTACK SNOWBALL

      I NEED HELP.  I have been in business 48 years.  We had our best year ever, finally over 1 million in our small shop. I have always prided myself on our reputation.  We recently had a vehicle that had a drain plug not put back in and in return the engine went bad.  We replaced it with an engine with fewer miles. Both engines her old one and the replacement needed a timing belt.  The customer originally agreed to pay $650.00 for a new timing belt reduced price, when we put the engine in.  Finished the job and then she didn’t want to pay. We eventually said fine just pick up the car. We had asked her to sign a confidentially agreement because she had her son, sister, ex-husband and uncle  come in yelling.   She has turned us into the BBB which we have  A plus rating.  We responded with she could pick up the car anytime for Zero dollars.   We are being pounded in social media website NEXT DOOR.  It is like a snowball going downhill getting bigger and bigger.  Can’t get it to stop.  I responded on the site.  I didn’t do a he said she said.  I just laid out the facts.  I know people read what I had to say and appreciated it.  I even had a person stop in and say it took a lot of guts to respond like I did.  But he couldn’t say anything because he is a business owner and didn’t want to be attacked for it.  With all that being said we have many wonderful customers.  We have 667 five start reviews with only 8- 1 star reviews.  I know I am not the first person to be attacked like this on social media.  Any ideas would be much appreciated. If interested attached is my reply that went on the neighborhood site.   You can even call me.  503 646 2940  randi gant.docx

      By DUFRESNES, in Marketing, Advertising, & Promoting

      • 22 replies
      • 1,398 views
    • 2017 GM 3.6 oil filter issue causing internal engine damage

      The following are posts I made on the AOCA website outlining an issue(potential nightmare) we had on 2017 Chevrolet Colorado:   Randy_Lucyk
      Joined: Dec 21, 2011
      Total Posts: 83  Feb 8, 2018 3:03 PM Unfortunately, I believe this is exactly what this may turn into for shops and consumers. We recently had a report of an oil filter failure on a 2017 Chevrolet Colorado with 13304 miles on the truck and the issue occurred 400 miles after our oil change. Customer had a check engine light come on so he headed right off to the dealer to have it checked under warranty. It had a VVT code stored and the dealer started looking into the issue. They found the filter failure and sent a picture of the image off to the customer. We used a Performax P0171 filter. The customer sent me the attached image of the obviously failed filter. I am immediately highly concerned, but the dealer is being unusually understanding of the failure. We spend some time with the service manager and find out that their appears to be an issue starting to show up on these vehicles, where the stand pipe in the filter housing is coming off with the old filter and being disposed of without the techs knowledge. We had great video of the oil change and their was nothing visible with the old filter as it was removed. The premises is that without the standpipes restricting/diverting functionality in place, full oil flow is blowing out the filter and the everything flows right down the filter housing port into the cylinder heads and remainder of the motor and plugs up components and passages. We asked for a picture of the filter housing and received image 2 attached. This appears that it may be a problem starting in 17 model year, but i can't be sure of that yet. I am digging for additional info now and will update as more information becomes available.  Randy_Lucyk
      Joined: Dec 21, 2011
      Total Posts: 83  Feb 9, 2018 7:59 AM This appears to be both a GM issue and a in-shop issue. 

      Now that I see the notification GM released last week, i believe this issue occurred at the original oil change prior to the one we did. As I said, we had great video of the open end of the old filter as we removed it from the vehicle and I don't believe this stand pipe could have possibly been inside. Their is also no evidence of the tech struggling with anything "down in there" other then the normal A/C line interference issue. . 

      Looking at the design and the A/C line interference, I suspect that the stand pipe is being knocked loose as the filter is being "angled" around the A/C lines to get the old one out. I suspect the oring on the stand pipe is the only thing holding it in the oil filter housing. Once the standpipe is disposed of, the housing has to be replaced, as the stand pipe is not available separately. The housings are in short supply with only three left in the country on dealers shelves and none in Gm distribution centers. Their is a new part number for the housing and those are not available yet. Original pt# 12675707 and new pt# 12682014. 

      Looking at the attached illustrations and notice, it would not be easy to completely miss the fact that a problem was evident. The stand pipe looks too big to me to be easily missed. I suspect it is plastic and the words "housing cracked" was mentioned in the conversation with the service manager. I wonder if the stand pipe is actually cracking during removal of the filter, making it difficult/impossible to reinstall. If we did not do it, then why the old filter had not failed yet ours did, comes into question. Cold weather "full oil flow" was also mentioned in the conversation with the service manager, and those were the conditions at the time of the failure. 

      The images also create some questions for me. The new housing does not appear to be identical to the OE installed housing, so is it an already redesigned housing? The filter bulletin in the Napa/Wix box talks about an update to the filter to include a check valve in the top of the filter. Our old filter does not appear to have this check valve, the Napa/Wix does and our new stock P0171 filters also have it. Looking at the design of the stand pipe in the new housing, it would almost appear that the small nipple on the end of the stand pipe might make more sense if it fit into the open hole of the old filter. The stand pipe design almost seems wrong for the filter with the check valve, unless it is shorter than it looks and never reaches the upper end of the filter. Would be great if the next shop to have one of these off would post some additional pics to try and help reduce confusion. 

      Based on the notice from Gm, this does indeed look like it could get ugly. Although, this dealer covered all the extensive engine repairs under warranty(heads pulled, all new timing components, cleaning passages), i am not convinced all dealers will take that approach. In my case, it was nice(incredible?) to see GM step up and take responsibility. It helped that my customer (owner of the Colorado) retired from a GM primary supplier dealing with issues exactly like this for the later half of his career. He knew the right people to call to get the info needed to drill down to the root cause. 


      Randy Lucyk 
      Midas Kalkaska

      By rpllib, in Technician Corner - Discussions

      • 0 replies
      • 660 views
    • Article: Diversity Of The Mechanic - - Mechanics knowledge background has evolved just like the cars ... Now if the rest of the population would. . .

      Diversity in Mechanics The days when nearly every driver was aware of what was going on under the hood of their car has faded into the history books. Not only has the driver lost touch with the inner workings of their automobile, the car itself has become more “user-friendly”. There’s no hand crank to twist, no choke lever to pull out, no manual brakes, and anymore, hardly no one rolls a window down by hand or uses a clutch to shift the transmission.   Less and less effort is required by the driver to operate the vehicle.  What was once a series of steps you had to accomplish to start a car has now become automated to the point all you have to do is push a button and the car starts.  Gone are the cold morning starts where you had to pump the gas pedal, crank the engine, then listen to the motor to see if the fast idle had set or not. But, you always had to be careful that you didn’t flood the cold engine, and if you did… that brought on a whole other set of tasks the driver had to accomplish correctly. It’s not just starting the vehicle that needs less driver influence, even parallel parking has become a hands free procedure. Now, with all the cameras and radar systems attached to the car there’s hardly anything to do except be a passenger.  Even then, you’re basked in a climate controlled cocoon with atmospheric controls such as lighting, massage chairs, heated seats, and soothing background music all the while computers and sensors are controlling every movement.           Growing up around car repair shops might have made a difference as to how I look at these complicated thing-a-ma-jigs they refer to as the modern car. They’re not just a ‘car’ anymore.  In my youth it was nothing to see a gang of dads leaning over a hood when something went wrong.  Today, there’s not a whole lot to see.  It’s all plastic covers with various caps and knobs for adding fluids and if you’re lucky there might even still be a dipstick under there too.          Diagnosing and repairing the modern car isn’t quite the same as it was back in the day all the dad’s would gather around the fenders.  Even though the operation of the vehicle has been somewhat automated the repair side of things has gone other way.  Parts swapping, guess until ya get it, and the old ask your uncle Bob what’s wrong with your car is as out of date as the crank start.  But, I still find it rather amazing how the engineers and designers managed to “dummy-down” all the possible problems that possibly could happen to a little check engine light on the dash.  Can you imagine what it would be like if they didn’t? Service lights, warning indicators, and digital messages inform the driver of the severity or condition of the vehicle.  Although, most of the information that appears on the digital screen is more of a generic message or sometimes even displayed as a short message telling the driver of the condition of the vehicle without actually telling them precisely what’s wrong.  Even if it did, who would understand it?  Surely not the driver (in most cases), that’s left up to the service technician.  You know ‘that’ guy.  The one that overcharges you for those repairs you don’t understand or even care to know because you’re far above the educational requirements of a certified mechanic. Of course, anyone who’s been around the business for any length of time will tell you that the days of the grease jockey recharging your air conditioner by slappin’ a can of Freon in your car so you can whiz off to work are about as far gone as 2 ply tires. That’s where diversity between mechanics and the technical advances start to show through.          The technical training for a good mechanic with advanced skill levels can exceed the requirements of most 4 year college degrees. The big difference between the academic degree and the technical school degree is still greatly debated. To me, the requirements of the educational programs differ only in the fact that in an academic setting you’re required a certain level of English, math, and the other various ‘general’ skills for graduation. The trade schools generally don’t have those academic requirements for graduation. The big problem is the non-car aficionados (general public) don’t want to admit that the family car requires a college degree to keep them in tip top shape.  So why would the guy changing the oil need to have a degree?            There’s a very good possibility that a shortage of technicians qualified to work on the modern car is drastically going to increase in the next decade or so.  Of course, ask anyone in the business now and they’ll tell you the average age of the professional mechanic has slowly been increasing to well over 50 years of age.  That might have a lot do with the startup requirements put on the new technicians coming into the field.  To many times a young mechanic gets into the business with those wild eyed ideas that they can fix anything that rolls into their service bay, only to find out their skills sets lack a lot of the required knowledge in understanding the complexities of the modern types of problems their facing.           That brings us back to that college grad again.  They’ve spent a ton of money on their education, and some may never pay those loans off for years, if not decades.  Technical college fees remain low in comparison, and with luck, the average educated technician will have their tuition fees taken care of long before the college grad has theirs paid off.  Here’s something else to think about, while a lot of college grads take on temporary jobs like a waiter while their waiting for their big break into that six figure job they’ve been trained for, most grads of the tech schools are out working in the very field they’ve been trained for.  They might be the college grad on the lube rack, but he’s there, in his field of choice getting his hands dirty and working towards his ultimate goals. Chances are, the mechanic will be at that very restaurant having lunch while wearing their rental uniform covered in the days grease and grime and the waiter…. well, they’re still working for tips.           The real issue for the mechanic’s world is the acceptance of the educational level required and the respect that the mechanic deserves as well as being compensated for said education and skills needed.  I do believe, in time, the shortage of trained-qualified technicians will turn into an increase in wages across the board. Which is just what the industry needs to draw in those new faces to the service bays.  All this can start back in high school.  Somebody needs to tell the school guidance counselors that being an automotive mechanic is a trade with high expectations and compensation, not a last resort job for those undesirable individuals that didn’t pass their SAT’s.               View full article  

      By Gonzo, in AutoShopOwner Articles

      • 3 replies
      • 266 views
    • Icahn Acquires 19 Independent U.S. Service Locations

      Icahn Automotive Group has purchased 19 independently owned service locations across the U.S. The acquisitions include: Elliott Tire and Service, a 10-shop center with locations throughout Washington including Everett, Kent, Kirkland, Mt. Vernon, Woodinville, Yakima and four in Seattle. S&S Service in Hamburg, N.Y. Jack’s Service Center in Miami, Fla. Blanchette’s Auto Center in Dracut, Mass. Quality Automotive in Napa, Calif. Honest Auto Service in Seattle, Wash. Two WS Haynes Tire & Service locations in Memphis, Tenn. RL&F Auto Inc. in Morrisville, N.C. Plainfield Tire Center in Plainfield, Ind. The group also recently purchased BS&F Auto Parts, an aftermarket auto parts distributor in New York City. Its owner and CEO, Joseph Ferrer, is now regional vice president for commercial operations over eight locations in three New York City districts. “We continue to aggressively expand our national automotive service network, strengthen our full-service capabilities and invest in our most important asset, our people,” said Daniel A. Ninivaggi, CEO of Icahn Automotive Group. “We are excited to welcome new team members to the Icahn Automotive family and provide them, like our 25,000+ existing team members, the opportunity to be part of a dynamic and successful company.” Icahn, which also owns auto parts chain Pep Boys, operates nearly 2,000 owned and franchised service locations in 49 states plus Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and Canada. It most recently acquired American Driveline Systems with approximately 680 locations in October. The company also added 320 corporate-owned and franchised Precision Tune service locations in July. Source: Tire Review

      By AutoShopOwner, in General Automotive Discussion

        
      • 2 replies
      • 577 views
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