Quantcast
Jump to content


3 Gallons of Trouble


Recommended Posts

 

3 GALLONS OF TROUBLE

 

One of my regular customers brought his son into the shop the other day. It was right at opening time and good old dad made it a point to tell his son, "Gonzo, probably hasn't had his coffee yet so go easy on the old guy."

 

He was right about the coffee, but that still didn't prepare me for the story I was about to hear.

 

The story started sometime earlier … apparently after I changed the fuel pump two years ago; his gas mileage had dropped considerably. To the point that he was concerned and very upset that there was obviously something that I had done wrong to cause it.

 

He insisted that I was to blame because he always tracked his mileage by way of his trip odometer. Before the new fuel pump he would get close to 400 miles per tank. His accuracy was noted on his little log book and showed how much gas he would refill his tank with. It was always around 23 gallons and never a drop more than 23 gallons. But now his tank was holding 26 gallons. His question, "So, where is the other 3 gallons going?" I had to laugh, I've changed a lot of fuel pumps but I never have had anyone come in and tell me that it holds more fuel than before.

My guess was that his original gas tank sending unit was probably inaccurate and that was where his discrepancy was at.

 

"I'm pretty sure your gas tank hasn't increased in volume since a fuel pump has been changed. I would imagine you're probably mistaken as to how much your tank actually holds," I told him as I reached for my coffee.

 

Nope, he wasn't buying that answer. He knew how much his gas tank has always held and he knew I was the cause of his 3 missing gallons… what he wanted was for me to find out why his gas mileage has decreased so much.

 

I tried to explain it to him, but he was very… very sure he was correct and I wasn't listening to what he was saying and he was getting quite loud and belligerent over the whole matter. Poor old dad just sat there with a smirk on his face. I kinda figured dad had already had enough of his boy's attitude and figured old Gonzo was going to straighten him out. (This is going to take a lot more coffee…)

 

The aggravated son then began to tell me how good a mechanic he was, because he had rebuilt a few motors in the past so… he knew what he was doing under a hood. (Note: putting parts together is not a mechanic… that's solving puzzles… not a mechanic.)

 

Then he added to his story with the usual… "I went to one of those parts stores that will read codes for you… they said the reason for the check engine light was because of a bad gas cap."

 

He was grasping at possible reasons why his gas mileage had dropped so much. What gets me is how something as important as the involvement of the service light isn't brought up into the conversation until after you have told me how good a tech you are and that you have already made the incompetent decision that I was to blame. (I'm going to need more coffee.)

 

So at this point, we have a service light on, we have a supposed loss of fuel economy (sort of), and I'm sure there is more… there is always more… I had to ask, "Anything else?"

 

On occasions the ABS light comes on… he had that checked too. This time he consulted the ever faithful internet. He tells me in a loud forceful voice… as if I couldn't hear anything he was saying, "That always means it's time to rebuild the ABS controller."

 

Oh yea, I do that every day… I take the controllers apart and remove the epoxy sealer over the circuit boards and remove the effected components on the board and then reseal the whole thing back together. All this before a full cup of coffee??? It's really too early for this kind of technical information….

 

After dad and son dropped the truck off, I went straight to the glove box. I checked the owner's manual as to how much capacity the fuel tank held. It had it in big bold letters… 26 gallon capacity… not 23 as he was so sure of.

 

While I had it in the shop I checked the tune up parts and the filters… all looked great. The next thing was to tackle the check engine light. Yes there was a code, well a code that might lower gas mileage… sort of… but not by 3 gallons. It was the evap solenoid valve code… p0449… after doing the test on the valve it turned out the valve wasn't responding to the PCM commands. A new evap solenoid valve solved the problem. As far as the ABS… nothing, not a thing, no codes, no history codes, and the system was working normally. A drive test showed no problems and I gave him the benefit of doubt that he may have an intermittent ABS controller problem… however when I gave him the option of leaving it alone or changing it… he left it alone.

 

After all the phone calls were made and arrived to pick up his truck there was never any mention of the so called missing 3 gallons or the fact that it was merely the original fuel sender that was reading improperly all this time. Or the fact that the loose gas cap had nothing to do with the service light this time around.

 

I guess when you're wrong you don't have to admit it…that is when you're the customer… but you can be darn sure if the mechanic is wrong… everyone will know about it, and somebody is going to have to apologies.

 

Oh, and I apologies for being the mechanic in this story, and I guess I should apologies for one more thing….. Writing in BIG letters on his invoice… YOUR TANK HOLDS 26 GALLONS! !

Edited by Gonzo
Link to comment
Share on other sites










I'm going to need 3 gallons of coffee after this one....

Thanx for the comments guys.... love to hear from each and everyone of ya...

 

It's one thing to write these stories... it's another to keep my sanity while experiencing them.... Gonzo

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Similar Topics

    • By Joe Marconi
      We are almost into the 4th quarter of 2022, which means that you need to consider your 2022 tax return. Many shops are having a very good year, which means there may be more taxable income at your bottom line.
      What do you do to plan for and minimize paying taxes, while still maintaining a cash reserve? 
       
    • By carmcapriotto
      As one of the top 10 industries in America, we need to advocate consumer choice in a competitive market, and if we don’t do what is pro-consumer and pro-aftermarket, the dealers will get all the business. I’m with Bill Hanvey, CEO of the AutoCare Association, Paul McCarthy, CEO of the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), and Ryan and Andrea Goff, shop owners that went to Washington to speak to their representative and to show support for the Right To Repair initiative.  Have you signed the petition? Go to RepairAct.com so easy to tell your congressperson you support the Right to Repair.  Stay tuned for an important episode that affects ALL OF US.
      Bill Hanvey, President and CEO of the Auto Care Association. Find Bill’s other episodes HERE. Paul McCarthy, AASA President. Find Paul’s other episodes HERE. Ryan and Andrea Goff, Rogers Tire Pros and Auto Care Key Talking Points
      Massachusetts helped set the tone two years ago, but it is embroiled in a fight between the OEs and the voters and a judge who has yet to make a ruling. There are recent discussions that 75% to 25% of voters approved overwhelmingly “The right to repair is alluring in its simplicity. In theory, it seems obvious that if you do buy something, you own it, and you should have the freedom to do what you want with it,” said U.S. Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.), ranking member of the subcommittee. “The right to repair, if properly designed, can create a world of consumer choice, competitive pricing, and potential cost savings. “However, when this issue is examined in full depth, it becomes substantially less black and white,” she said. “Today, many machines are essentially sophisticated supercomputers… they perform seemingly miraculous feats thanks to delicate and complex electronic components integrated with highly specialized, proprietary software. Even with all the possible tools and resources at one’s disposal, attempting to sell, fix, or modify products with electronic components could lead to disastrous results, such as product failure or, even worse, serious injury to the consumer. In addition, these alterations can put the privacy and security of the user at risk.” To industry: Do not abandon your interest in this initiative. Access to data is critical for the survival of our industry. This is anti-consumer because there isn’t enough bays or technicians in the dealer network to service the repair and maintenance of our car park. It is also pro-consumer as it creates competition. What can we do? Right to repair needs to be on 20 and networking group agendas. We must speak to our legislators If you own a shop, you must make an appointment with your local congressperson's office and see your congressperson in person. Don’t be nervous to share with your customers- we are at the tip of the iceberg By 2020- 4% had advanced connectivity that allowed for remote diagnostics. By 2025 almost every new vehicle will have that advanced connectivity Right to Repair Info Graphic download https://bit.ly/3BOotBI Right to Repair Media Kit for Graphics and postcards. https://bit.ly/3eZOi8Z  
      Connect with the Podcast
       
      Aftermarket Radio Network
      Subscribe on YouTube
      Visit us on the Web
      Follow on Facebook
      Become an Insider
      Buy me a coffee
      Important Books
      Check out today's partners: Shop-Ware: More Time. More Profit. Shop-Ware Shop Management getshopware.com       Delphi Technologies: Keeping current on the latest vehicle systems and how to repair them is a must for today’s technicians. DelphiAftermarket.com
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By Joe Marconi
      There seems to be a lot of mixed reactions since COVID on customers waiting for service.  For many shops across the country, most customers drop off their cars for service these days.  
      What's your strategy? Does it depend on your business model?  
    • By carmcapriotto
      Guest Host and Shop Tour with Todd Cole, TC Auto Service, Corpus Christi, TX. Four years ago Todd left his medical sales job and became the new owner of TC Auto Service.
      Todd Cole, TC Auto Service, Corpus Christi, TX.
      Key Talking Points
      Was in medical device sales but looking to make a change. His great grandfather, grandfather, and father were all in the automotive business Was a customer of the business and bought the business from the owner (who was 80 years old) Senior tech has been with the business for over 30 years- loves to teach and help others, maintains quality. He is a mentor for apprentices.  ‘Running out of concrete' as they started growing- purchased satellite location  7 lifts total Look at productivity by technician weekly- scoreboard with names listed, fun competition Drive through lanes with vehicles- 3 lanes  
      Connect with the Podcast:
      Aftermarket Radio Network
       
      Subscribe on YouTube
      Visit us on the Web
      Follow on Facebook
      Become an Insider
      Buy me a coffee
      Important Books
      Check out today's partner:
      Dorman gives people greater freedom to fix vehicles by constantly developing new repair solutions that put owners and technicians first. Take the Dorman Virtual Tour at www.DormanProducts.com/Tour
       

      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • Advertise your services or products to passers-by attracting them towards your business
    • By Joe Marconi
      We all know that techs and service advisors have two distinctly different roles. And both get different training.  Service advisors are on the front lines every day taking care of customers, selling work, organizing work, and a lot more.  
      While most customers don't engage with the technician, is there a time when we should allow the customer to speak to the technician? 


  • Our Sponsors


Start LLC for $0 at IncFile


Start LLC for $0 at IncFile


Start LLC for $0 at IncFile

×
×
  • Create New...