Jump to content

Second Hand Lyin' - - - Second hand information ain't nothing like First Hand knowledge


Recommended Posts

Second Hand Lyin'




Second hand information can be misleading, even totally wrong. There's always a chance it might be correct, but I wouldn't count on it. It depends on where that information came from to start with. In the automotive repair business if a car was checked out with any degree of accuracy, the information is probably good… But if the person giving that info to the next person can't explain it in a way they both understand, then the results are not going to be as truthful as they could be.




Do you remember when we were kids in school we would form a line, and you said something to the first person, who then passes it on to the next person, so on and so on? Only to have the original information be completely different by the time it gets to the other end? The same thing can happen with a car problem when more than one person is involved in getting the information to the person at the end of the line… and who's usually on the end of the line?… the mechanic.




Just the other day a driver tell his company dispatcher his truck wasn't getting any heat out of the driver's side vents. By the time it got to the shop the entire story was reversed to, "There's no cold air coming out of the passenger side". Really had me wondering what was actually wrong, until I talked to the driver myself.



Take the information given when buying a used car. Occasionally there's a little white lie about the condition of the car,maybe not on purpose, but rather from the grape vine of information being passed along. Of course, selling the car is the goal and informing the prospective buyer of any faults is important, but the car may have problems,and the explanation of those problems might have been twisted around to the point it's not even close to the truth anymore.




By the time the buyer has their chance to take the car to their mechanic, nine chances out of ten there will be some discrepancies between the two explanations. Now the issue becomes "who's right". The owner of the vehicle will almost always side with their mechanic,while the buyer will lean towards their own. All this information gets passed back and forth from mechanic to owner,buyer to mechanic, mechanic back to buyer, and buyer back to owner. This only leads to even more misunderstandings. To avoid any further confusion, the best bet is to have the last guy tell the first guy and everyone else in between.



A few weeks ago I had a problem come up regarding the condition of a car that was up for sale. It was a '97 Buick with low mileage, and had been sitting for nearly 8 years without much attention in a garage. The owner's father-in-law bought the car new before he passed away, and as far as the son-in-law was told by the rest of the family, everything was in tiptop shape. It definitely was clean, dent free,great paint and not a blemish to the interior. As with any of these "moth balled" cars, the first thing that was an issue was the battery. Leaving a battery sit for that long it's natural to have the battery sulfated by now. (Sulfating happens when the lead active material reacts with the sulfate from the electrolyte forming a hard leadsulfate surface on the plates. When there is no active lead material left, and no sulfate in the electrolyte the battery becomes completely discharged. Keeping a battery charged will reduce the amount of hardened material on the plates.)




The owner had it towed to a garage to have the battery replaced. After the new battery was installed, it took a few cranks for the engine to start. After a few coughs and shudders the engine purred like new, however the service light was on. (Which seemed to be the major concern for both seller and the buyer). But, by the time the car arrived at my shop the engine codes had been cleared from the PCM by the mechanic who installed the battery. All I had to go on was the second hand information that the owner over heard from the mechanic who worked on the car.




"The mechanic told me it might need a tune-up, or something," the owner proudly tells me.




It's that "something" that bothered me. A tune-up, maybe… I'm thinking old gas myself, but what's a "something"? It really doesn't matter at this point as the buyer jumps into the conversation and says, "Do a complete checkup for me,and let me know if it's worth what they want for it."



There were numerous small problems to deal with, and a few major issues as well. Everything from an ABS light staying on (which neither party mentioned)to a very poorly repaired alternator main positive lead. With the car in the service bay you could hear the alternator whine grow louder and louder the longer the car ran, but at the battery terminals there was hardly anything in the way of a noticeable alternator output. Between the alternator and the battery was a large homemade connection that was hot enough to fry an egg on. This was causing a rather large voltage drop between the alternator and the battery. In fact the electrical tape surrounding it was almost completely melted off.



After explaining the ABS problem, air conditioning, wiring issues, and all the other problems I found while checking it out, it was clear to me they were not going to purchase the car. (Just too many problems to deal with for them.) The owner, on the other hand, once he finds out what I found wrong with his "tiptop" shape car he's going to blow a gasket, and I'm sure I'll be on the receiving end of his frustration at the service counter.




Needless to say, before I could show the owner any of the results I had a very upset individual at the service counter.


"I was told everything was in perfect working order," the buyer shouts at me.


"Do you want to see what I found out? It would be a lot easier to show you," I told him.


As I showed him the actual conditions, his doubts about what he was told regarding the condition of the car came into question. It was only then that he knew he should have had a mechanic check it out, rather than relying on the second hand information he was told by the family.



Digging through the maze of hearsay information is what a professional technician does every day. Explaining firsthand can reduce the chances of the information being skewed by someone else's explanations. But you know, people are still going to interpret what anyone says into what they thought they heard.




So, the next time someone tells you something, and it just doesn't sound right, find out for yourself first hand, just to be on the safe side. That secondhand information may not be as truthful as you think.

View full article

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had one last week that had a leaking A/C compressor. Be it, a slight leak but a leak for sure. I told the guy it would work great until enough refrigerant and oil leaked out of the compressor seals.


This guy then calls his wife (in the lobby) and tells her, "The compressor is fine, he just checked it out... that last guy didn't know what he was talking about. It doesn't need changed, it's fine."


and ya wonder where I get the ideas for the next articlescool.gif.... geee... just go to work, they will come. LOL cool.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Available Subscriptions

  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

      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 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 from Auto Fix Auto Shop Coaching shares his expertise on team development within the auto repair industry. He advises against being the best person on your team, as it can hinder growth and lead to burnout. Instead, he offers strategies for building a capable team, such as hiring top talent, training, delegating, and fostering leadership. Chris emphasizes the benefits of collaboration, clear expectations, feedback, and a positive work environment. He also discusses transitioning to a team-focused approach and succession planning. The episode wraps up with Chris offering personalized advice and thanking the audience and sponsor, Shop Marketing Pros.
      The importance of not being the best person on your team (00:01:15) Chris discusses the negative impact of being the best person on your team and its limitations on business growth. The drawbacks of being the best person on your team (00:02:25) Chris outlines the negative consequences of being the best person on your team, including burnout, dependency, and stifled innovation. Building a stronger team (00:06:05) Chris provides practical tips for building a stronger team, including hiring the best, investing in training, and fostering leadership. Transitioning from being the best to building the best team (00:09:41) Chris offers steps to transition from being the best person on your team to building the best team, emphasizing the need for assessment, training, and succession planning.  
      Connect with Chris:
      [email protected]
      Phone: 940.400.1008
      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
      The Power Behind Automotive Associations #podcast #automotivebusiness #carrepair
    • By Changing The Industry
      Episode 166 - Automotive Training Failures With Dominick Marquez
    • By carmcapriotto
      Thanks to our Partners, AAPEX, NAPA TRACS, and Automotive Management Network Explore the importance of adhering to safety regulations, the role of common sense in maintaining a safe work environment, and practical tips for small businesses to comply with OSHA standards. Discussions include the significance of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), how OSHA inspections are triggered, and examples of common safety oversights in the workplace. The conversation also covers the precautions necessary for handling electric vehicles (EVs), the necessity of monthly safety inspections, and the critical role of safety in retaining qualified technicians. Tom Herrmann, Small Business Safety & Compliance Company, LLC. [email protected] Show Notes
      A Real World Perspective on Safety [RR 916]: https://remarkableresults.biz/remarkable-results-radio-podcast/e916/ OSHA regulations and enforcement (00:02:22) Discussion about OSHA regulations, enforcement, and the consequences of non-compliance. Common sense safety measures (00:03:50) The importance of common sense safety measures and examples of common sense safety practices. Safety violations and fines (00:04:22) Examples of safety violations and the associated fines for non-compliance with safety regulations. Creating a safe work environment (00:06:15) The importance of creating a safe and healthy work environment and the impact on employees and the community. Personal protective equipment (PPE) (00:09:02) The importance of providing and wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) in the workplace. Compliance with state and federal regulations (00:12:59) Discussion about the requirements for displaying state and federal posters in the workplace and the importance of compliance. Promoting safety culture in the workplace (00:17:22) The importance of promoting a safety culture in the workplace and engaging employees in safety practices. Ear Protection and Noise Concerns (00:17:47) Discussion on proper ear protection and the impact of noise on hearing, including the use of earbuds in a shop environment. Safety Measures for EV Repair (00:22:25) Importance of personal protective equipment (PPE) and safety measures for working on electric vehicles (EVs), including testing gloves and monthly inspection. Monthly Safety Inspections (00:25:55) The necessity of monthly safety inspections for building and equipment, covering various aspects such as exit lights, electrical boxes, and fire extinguishers. Power Strip Safety (00:30:29) Safety precautions related to power strips, including the types of devices that should not be plugged into them and the potential risks involved. Commitment to Safety (00:33:09) Emphasizing the importance of embracing safety in the workplace and promoting a commitment to safety measures. Thanks to our Partners, AAPEX, NAPA TRACS, and Automotive Management Network Set your sights on Las Vegas in 2024. Mark your calendar now … November 5th-7th, 2024. AAPEX - Now more than ever. And don’t miss the next free AAPEX webinar. Register now at http://AAPEXSHOW.COM/WEBINAR NAPA TRACS will move your shop into the SMS fast lane with onsite training and six days a week of support and local representation. Find NAPA TRACS on the Web at http://napatracs.com/ Get ready to grow your business with the Automotive Management Network: Find on the Web at http://AftermarketManagementNetwork.com for information that can help you move your business ahead and for the free and informative http://LaborRateTracker.com 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
    • Water Proof And Self Adhesive
    • By Changing The Industry
      Can You Have Heart In A Business? #podcast #automotivebusiness #carrepair #autorepairbusiness

  • Our Sponsors

  • Create New...