Quantcast
Jump to content


Myths and Rumors There's rumors, and then there are those myths of auto repair.


Gonzo

Recommended Posts

Myths and Rumors

 

 

 

Rumor has it that all mechanics are alike. That's a myth, an all-out rumor started by uneducated, misinformed, and quick to judge vehicle owners. Information and the ability to interpret that information is what separates rumors from facts. A lot of it depends on where the information is coming from. There's the manufacturers websites or the many independent companies that offer the same quality information either on the internet or in book form. There's also some really great information found in the automotive trade magazines with some of the top pros in the business. Of course, there are manuals that offer less accurate information to the consumer, and if that's still not in the budget there's always "he said – she said", rumor central as I like to call it. (For as long as I can remember there has always been cheap repair manuals out there...and as it always is… cheap sells first and often, quality sells… … after all the cheap stuff has been tried. Nothing has changed since the first production cars rolled off the assembly line, and I doubt it will ever change.)

 

 

 

There are plenty of myths and rumors for all kinds of car problems. From how to remove tie rod ends, ball joints, and steering wheels, to diagnosing an electrical short with a potato... (No kidding...) (Ridiculous, to say the least.) Some of these home remedies really do work, (Never tried the potato myself.) but, most are just the type of thing that makes most decent techs just shake their heads. Now, I don't want to leave out some of those crazy apparatuses people will create just to take care of a problem without repairing it correctly. From screw drivers jammed in the steering column for a turn signal handle to bathroom faucet handles for radio knobs. It's the ingenuity of some of these wacky folks that just makes me laugh out loud. I just can't imagine how or what possesses some of these creative minds to do the things they do. It comes down to the rumors that are started that some repairs are going to be so expensive that they will try to find a way around it. Even though, they probably have never had it tested correctly in the first place.

 

 

 

Some of these "weekend bumper jack operators" think it's a myth that you don't need a whole lot of training to work on cars these days. They'll get a cheap car repair manual or watch a video on how to install brake pads and then head out to their car and attempt the job themselves. Only to end up bringing the car into the repair shop because of a horrible grinding noise coming from one of the wheels. And, of course, their cheap manual will be neatly left on the passenger seat opened to the appropriate page for the tech to see. (Rumor has it the owner found their book tossed in the backseat like a rag doll. Hmm, I wonder how that happened. My bad...)

 

 

 

So is it a myth that car repair is easy? It's a myth all right, but the answer is actually complicated. My hats off to anyone that can come home from the office and tackle a car repair without any background in automotive diagnostics or previous mechanical experience. (Those are few and far between I might add). But if they fail, I'll get the typical questions asked at the service counter, "Is this something I could do myself? Or "Is this fairly easy for me to fix?" Well, yes... and no. First off, "Is it easy", well, yes...it's probably easy for me... but then I've got years of hands on experience. Secondly, "Can you do it yourself", sure you can... and if you had the years of hands on experience to go along with it you could probably get it done quickly and efficiently without any mistakes. Honestly, how would I know if it's easy for you? You brought the car to the shop to have it fixed not to have your mechanical aptitude analyzed.

 

 

 

Generally, it really doesn't matter what I say, if they want to try it themselves, they're going to try it themselves. The next usual question is; "Ok, can ya show me how to do it?" My answer to that is, "Does the baker at your local bakery teach you how to bake a cake? Does the guy who sells you your lawnmower teach you how to mow the lawn?" I don't think so. I'm probably not going to give you a detail by detail instructional lecture on how to fix your car. So if your neighbor or the shop down the street told you that I would be ever so happy to help you out... ah, that's a myth too.... ain't happenin'. But, my all-time favorite myth, When a customer says to me, "You do have that machine that tells you exaclty what's wrong with the car, don't you"? Right, that machine... sure I do... I keep it next to the muffler bearings and turn signal fluid.

 

 

 

 

Let's face it, the skills each and every one of us have acquired is part of our earning capacity. Not to say there are not times when a little extra help given to someone isn't appropriate it's just not the kind of thing that keeps my shop in the black. I've heard rumors that in order to have a profitable shop you need to charge for your services. (Dah, ya think?!)

 

There are so many cars out there and so many people with different ideas and opinions as to what it takes, that it's no wonder so many rumors and myths get started. Along with all the half-truths and false information floating around it doesn't take long before one of those rumors gets to be part of our everyday culture.

 

 

 

There have even been entire cars and manufacturers of cars that have gotten a bad rap because of some of those rumors. There's no doubt that public conceptions about some cars has a lot to do with the total sales and or longevity of certain models. The Edsel and the Corvair are two examples of bad publicity and poor acceptance that are forever more associated with rumors and exaggerated stories. Sure, they had problems, but honestly some of the stories I've heard over the years are just too hard to believe. (Then again, a lot of it could have been brought on by poor maintenance practices too.)

 

 

 

I've worked on both and it may be true that some of the technology developed for them might have needed a bit more improvement, but what car doesn't have a bug or two in it. If you take a hard look into the history of the automotive world you'll find examples of cars that had either the same flaws or even more faults than these two examples. I wouldn't call them bad cars... I'd say they were unique cars… but then, if I started telling people that ... I'd be starting another rumor wouldn't I? Best leave it be, and just take care of the cars in the best way possible. Rumors and myths are great for the arm chair mechanic. Makes for great conversation with the other gear heads, but as a professional... I'll stick to the facts.

 

 

 


View full article

Link to comment
Share on other sites



Dang it... forgot that one... Oh well, I'll fit it into another story. LOL

 

 

 

My all-time favorite myth? When a customer says to me, "You do have that machine that tells you exaclty what's wrong with the car, don't you"?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Available Subscriptions

  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         0 comments
      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
  • Similar Topics

    • By Joe Marconi

      Premium Member Content 

      This content is hidden to guests, one of the benefits of a paid membership. Please login or register to view this content.

    • By carmcapriotto
      Thanks to our Partner, NAPA Auto Care Murray Voth, owner of RPM Training, discusses the importance of language in the automotive industry, advocating for a shift from "labor rate" to "service rate" to better reflect the value provided. He also dives into financial strategies for shops, emphasizing the significance of setting the right service rate and understanding gross profit to ensure business profitability. Murray Voth, RPM Training. Listen to Murray’s previous episodes HERE. [email protected] Show Notes
      The breaks for breasts initiative (00:00:13) Discussion about the initiative started by two shop owners to raise funds for breast cancer research. https://brakesforbreasts.com The rise of the mechanical and technology specialist (00:02:28) A language shift in the industry and the importance of recognizing the rise of mechanical and technology specialists. https://remarkableresults.biz/rise Transitioning from diagnostics to testing (00:03:04) Discussion about the shift in terminology from diagnostics to testing to improve customer perception and willingness to pay. Changing terminology from labor rate to service rate (00:04:09) The importance of changing the terminology from labor rate to service rate and its impact on customer perception. Professionalism and perception in the industry (00:05:26) Discussion about the importance of professionalism and perception in the industry and its impact on customer behavior. Showing the value of service rates (00:13:24) Strategies for showing the value of service rates to customers, beyond just raising prices. Analogies for service rate and cost (00:14:25) Using analogies of fast food restaurants and steakhouses to explain the concept of service rate and cost. NAPA Auto Care Apprentice Program (00:17:05) Information about the NAPA Auto Care apprentice program as a solution to the technician shortage. Financial calculations and analysis (00:19:26) Murray Voth shares calculations and analysis of a shop's financial data, including occupancy costs, labor rates, and profit margins. Determining the right service rate (00:22:05) Discussion on adjusting service rates, parts margin, and other expenses to optimize profitability while considering market competition. Challenges and mindset shift (00:30:14) Exploration of the emotional and intellectual barriers shop owners face when making financial decisions and setting service rates. Wages and effective proficiency (00:33:40) Analysis of technician wages and the impact of selling work properly on the effective service rate, setting goals for improvement. Coaching Gross Profit (00:34:52) Murray discusses coaching gross profit, creating net profit, and making changes to increase revenue. Back-End Sales Impact (00:35:48) The impact of service improvements on parts purchases, revenue, and margin. Behavior Coaching (00:37:09) Murray talks about coaching to behavior, raising inspections, and the 100% rule for vehicle inspections. Facility Service Rate Calculator (00:39:02) Murray offers a facility service rate calculator and discusses how to obtain it. Odd Numbers and Service Rates (00:40:52) Murray explains the significance of odd numbers in service rates and how to use the calculator effectively. Profit in the Estimate (00:44:39) Murray emphasizes the importance of the estimate in generating gross profit and providing value to clients.
      Thanks to our Partner, NAPA Auto Care Learn more about NAPA Auto Care and the benefits of being part of the NAPA family by visiting https://www.napaonline.com/en/auto-care Connect with the Podcast: -Follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RemarkableResultsRadioPodcast/ -Join Our Private Facebook Community: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1734687266778976 -Subscribe on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/carmcapriotto -Follow on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carmcapriotto/ -Follow on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/remarkableresultsradiopodcast/ -Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RResultsBiz -Visit the Website: https://remarkableresults.biz/ -Join our Insider List: https://remarkableresults.biz/insider -All books mentioned on our podcasts: https://remarkableresults.biz/books -Our Classroom page for personal or team learning: https://remarkableresults.biz/classroom -Buy Me a Coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/carm -The Aftermarket Radio Network: https://aftermarketradionetwork.com -Special episode collections: https://remarkableresults.biz/collections
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By carmcapriotto
      The Weekly Blitz is brought to you by our friends over at Shop Marketing Pros. If you want to take your shop to the next level, you need great marketing. Shop Marketing Pros does top-tier marketing for top-tier shops.
      Click here to learn more about Top Tier Marketing by Shop Marketing Pros and schedule a demo:https://shopmarketingpros.com/chris/
      Check out their podcast here: https://autorepairmarketing.captivate.fm/
      If you would like to join their private Facebook group go here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/autorepairmarketingmastermind
      In this podcast episode, Coach Chris Cotton from Auto Fix Auto Shop Coaching addresses the negative impact of pride in the auto repair industry. He offers strategies for shop owners to overcome pride, such as staying open to learning, seeking feedback, and embracing change. Cotton stresses the importance of building a strong team, networking, and setting realistic goals. He advocates for a balance between pride in one's work and humility, underlining its significance for business success, personal well-being, and family relationships. Shop Marketing Pros is also featured, promoting their marketing solutions for auto repair businesses.
      The Introduction (00:00:00) Introduction to the podcast episode and a brief overview of what to expect. The Impact of Pride on Auto Repair Business (00:01:43) Discussion on the detrimental effects of pride on business decisions in the auto repair industry. Manifestations of Pride in Business (00:02:53) Eight ways pride can manifest and cause problems in auto repair business, including resisting change, ignoring feedback, and refusing help. Strategies to Overcome Pride (00:09:51) Strategies to keep pride in check, such as staying open to learning, seeking feedback, and hiring a coach or consultant. Conclusion and Sponsor Acknowledgment (00:13:19) Closing remarks, encouragement for growth, and acknowledgment of the sponsor, Shop Marketing Pros.  
      Connect with Chris:
       
      [email protected]
      Phone: 940.400.1008
      www.autoshopcoaching.com
      Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/
      AutoFixAutoShopCoachingYoutube: https://bit.ly/3ClX0ae
       
      #autofixautoshopcoaching #autofixbeautofixing #autoshopprofits #autoshopprofit #autoshopprofitsfirst #autoshopleadership #autoshopmanagement #autorepairshopcoaching #autorepairshopconsulting #autorepairshoptraining #autorepairshop #autorepair #serviceadvisor #serviceadvisorefficiency #autorepairshopmarketing #theweeklyblitz #autofix #shopmarketingpros #autofixautoshopcoachingbook
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By Changing The Industry
      Has Certification Testing Been Dumbed Down? #podcast #automotivebusiness #carrepair
    • By carmcapriotto
      The Weekly Blitz is brought to you by our friends over at Shop Marketing Pros. If you want to take your shop to the next level, you need great marketing. Shop Marketing Pros does top-tier marketing for top-tier shops.
      Click here to learn more about Top Tier Marketing by Shop Marketing Pros and schedule a demo:https://shopmarketingpros.com/chris/
      Check out their podcast here: https://autorepairmarketing.captivate.fm/
      If you would like to join their private Facebook group go here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/autorepairmarketingmastermind
      In this podcast episode, Chris Cotton, an auto repair business coach, emphasizes the significance of building relationships with stakeholders in the auto repair industry. His spouse, Kimberly, is highlighted as a key stakeholder, illustrating the personal connections involved in the business. The episode also features a mention of Brian and Kim from Shop Marketing Pros, acknowledging their sponsorship and likely contribution to the industry through marketing expertise.
      The importance of connecting with stakeholders (00:01:18) Discussing the crucial aspect of connecting with stakeholders in an auto repair business, including defining stakeholders and the reasons for engaging with them. Benefits of holding meetings outside the shop (00:03:47) Exploring the advantages of conducting stakeholder meetings outside the auto repair shop, such as minimizing distractions, creating a neutral ground, and sparking creativity. Ideal locations for stakeholder meetings (00:04:57) Suggesting various locations for holding stakeholder meetings, including coffee shops, conference room rentals, restaurants, and co-working spaces. Structuring effective stakeholder meetings (00:06:54) Outlining the importance of having a clear structure and agenda for stakeholder meetings, including setting objectives, prioritizing topics, and assigning time slots. The impact of regular stakeholder meetings on business success (00:10:15) Highlighting the significance of holding regular stakeholder meetings based on research findings, such as achieving business goals and improving satisfaction and performance levels.  
      Connect with Chris:
       
      [email protected]
      Phone: 940.400.1008
      www.autoshopcoaching.com
      Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/
      AutoFixAutoShopCoachingYoutube: https://bit.ly/3ClX0ae
       
      #autofixautoshopcoaching #autofixbeautofixing #autoshopprofits #autoshopprofit #autoshopprofitsfirst #autoshopleadership #autoshopmanagement #autorepairshopcoaching #autorepairshopconsulting #autorepairshoptraining #autorepairshop #autorepair #serviceadvisor #serviceadvisorefficiency #autorepairshopmarketing #theweeklyblitz #autofix #shopmarketingpros #autofixautoshopcoachingbook
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio


  • Our Sponsors



×
×
  • Create New...