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Bad car, MAD customer


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Need advice on how to handle this situation and I am open to any idea before I tell the guy to take a hike.

customer bought a 94 honda accord 3 months ago which is a wrecked rebuild P.O.S. Brought it to me last week to check out a/c not cooling. For starter the temp control cable was binding and the pressures were all over the place. We replaced the heater valve (which was internally melted) and cable. Then the expansion valve and rec/dryer. The air was cool but not cold. While trying to further diagnose the a/c the car shuts off. Bad electrical on ignition switch and PGM relay was showing signs of failure (no fuel pump power when hot). We sold him on the parts even though he thought "well it ran when I brought it here".

After we installed parts car ran ok, a/c still no good. Advised him to have the radiator moved closer to condenser (previous wreck damage). when he came to get the car the SRS light was on (I cant remember if it was or not). Now thats apparently my fault. I assured him if we broke it we fix it. Tried to flash out SRS codes but nothing but a steady light. SRS unit is probably shot. Took a look at it and it isn't even bolted down, came from JUNK Yard as did the air bags. Aftermarket alarm is wired to some of the SRS wires. So much wrong. not our fault. SRS light on. A/C sucks, mangled up parts and aftermarket wiring. I don't care if he is mad I just want him and the car gone but I don't feel a refund is in order.

Any Advice?

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Need advice on how to handle this situation and I am open to any idea before I tell the guy to take a hike.

customer bought a 94 honda accord 3 months ago which is a wrecked rebuild P.O.S. Brought it to me last week to check out a/c not cooling. For starter the temp control cable was binding and the pressures were all over the place. We replaced the heater valve (which was internally melted) and cable. Then the expansion valve and rec/dryer. The air was cool but not cold. While trying to further diagnose the a/c the car shuts off. Bad electrical on ignition switch and PGM relay was showing signs of failure (no fuel pump power when hot). We sold him on the parts even though he thought "well it ran when I brought it here".

After we installed parts car ran ok, a/c still no good. Advised him to have the radiator moved closer to condenser (previous wreck damage). when he came to get the car the SRS light was on (I cant remember if it was or not). Now thats apparently my fault. I assured him if we broke it we fix it. Tried to flash out SRS codes but nothing but a steady light. SRS unit is probably shot. Took a look at it and it isn't even bolted down, came from JUNK Yard as did the air bags. Aftermarket alarm is wired to some of the SRS wires. So much wrong. not our fault. SRS light on. A/C sucks, mangled up parts and aftermarket wiring. I don't care if he is mad I just want him and the car gone but I don't feel a refund is in order.

Any Advice?

 

Seen these before ssauto, sorry to hear it's your turn to get one. The first thing I will tell you is that this IS a learning experience in the automotive repair biz... class is over now... what to do. With out a doubt the next time you see one of the POS's show up... DONT DO ANYTHING... send it down the road. I know it's hard sometimes when your staring at an empty shop and this is the only thing there... but believe me... you're better off with the empty shop.

 

To get a free "GET OUT OF THE POS" card. You're going to have to hand walk this character thru each and every part of the car and it's problems... right now, right away. Before you touch one more thing on the car... you have the owner and yourself do a complete point to point inspection. Usually that will get the owner aware of how bad their junk yard reject is. I tell them, "If this was your horse I would have shot it dead already."

 

Sorry for your POS... we've all been there... Gonzo Remember it all runs down hill....just learn to get out of the way....

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Gonzo, you stole my thunder again!

 

All kidding aside, I agree. This is a learning experience and you need to "learn" from this. Don't be everything to everyone. You need to look at the car in its entirety before you commit yourself. I know it's easy for me to say this, but I have been down this road before.

 

I also agree with xrac, have a legitimate sit-down with this customer and explain the facts. Stand by your convictions. No refund!

 

One more word of advice: create a checklist to pre-check cars before you work on them. You need to indentify things like: check engine light on, SRS light on, TPMS light on, broken lenses, etc. This will save a lot of grief. I can't tell how many times we had people tell us, "That ABS light was not before you worked on it".

 

I feel for you, we have all been down this road and will travel down tough roads in the future.

 

Look at it like this: It will only make you stronger and wiser.

 

Joe, I think we both studied out of the same tool box. Sorry about the thunder stealin' my bad... LOL

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

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      I recently spoke with a friend of mine who owns a large general repair shop in the Midwest. His father founded the business in 1975. He was telling me that although he’s busy, he’s also very frustrated. When I probed him more about his frustrations, he said that it’s hard to find qualified technicians. My friend employs four technicians and is looking to hire two more. I then asked him, “How long does a technician last working for you.” He looked puzzled and replied, “I never really thought about that, but I can tell that except for one tech, most technicians don’t last working for me longer than a few years.”
      Judging from personal experience as a shop owner and from what I know about the auto repair industry, I can tell you that other than a few exceptions, the turnover rate for technicians in our industry is too high. This makes me think, do we have a technician shortage or a retention problem? Have we done the best we can over the decades to provide great pay plans, benefits packages, great work environments, and the right culture to ensure that the techs we have stay with us?
      Finding and hiring qualified automotive technicians is not a new phenomenon. This problem has been around for as long as I can remember. While we do need to attract people to our industry and provide the necessary training and mentorship, we also need to focus on retention. Having a revolving door and needing to hire techs every few years or so costs your company money. Big money! And that revolving door may be a sign of an even bigger issue: poor leadership, and poor employee management skills.
      Here’s one more thing to consider, for the most part, technicians don’t leave one job to start a new career, they leave one shop as a technician to become a technician at another shop. The reasons why they leave can be debated, but there is one fact that we cannot deny, people don’t quit the company they work for, they usually leave because of the boss or manager they work for.
      Put yourselves in the shoes of your employees. Do you have a workplace that communicates, “We appreciate you and want you to stay!”
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