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Unsettling Repairpal Consumer Survey


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I don't blame them at all. Just had a new customer bring in a 2002 pt cruiser he bought from a dealership. He has had it for 2 weeks and it spent a week at the dealer putting a new PCM in at his cost! Best part is that it didn't fix his tcm to pcm code.

 

So te guy brings it me for a timing belt and water pump and I quoted him $800. When he brought it in for the service he kept asking if I was using Chrysler parts. After explaining the differences and the fact that we warranty out repairs he tells me that he got a quote from the dealer for 1400 and they said its because they don't use garbage parts...

 

This is the same dealer that has to call and I've their work because they are not qualified to do it...

 

 

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What's a fair price for them may not be anything fair for your shop. They think that if the defective part only takes five minutes to change they should not have to pay for any for your capital expense that you have invested to become a competent shop.

 

Oh, your shop needs a new alignment machine, what? That will be $22,000.00 Oh, you need a new lift too to use that fancy machine? Ah, that will be another $14,000.00

 

What? You need a labscope to trouble shoot? No worries, that will be another $3,600.00 for the scope and basic accessories. What, don't tell me you didn't get a pressure transducer kit with that, that will be another $1,700.00

 

Oh, you don't say you will need training and proper environmental procedures. That will be another $4,500.00.

 

New models coming out with additional accessories other than basic OBDII troubleshooting? That scanner will be $8,000.00 for the kit...

 

$$$ $$$ $$$

 

Customer: WHAT?! $85 an hour! You are ripping people off! Thief!

 

Shop owner: Just paid $5,800 for that ac machine so I can service your car, and $1,200 in technician training and certification, plus his $28.00 hourly rate. Hmm, what, you don't wanna hear it, that is not your problem you say?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here again I will say it. Until we have a unified system of being PROFESSIONALLY CERTIFIED that is recognizable by the public we will continue to fight this stigma. I recently debated the real worth of ASE certs in another forum. I was Master certified. When they expired I was struggling to pay bills and recerts were not top on my list. Now if the ASE people were to push certification nationally in places where the motoring public would learn of it I would be more encouraged to recert. But where do they promote certification? In the trades that are targeted to the auto industry. WE ALREADY UNDERSTAND!!! Take that money and put ads in Ladies journal, Field and Stream, Bicycling Weekly, etc and explain to those people the importance of finding and using an ASE certified mechanic. When I explain to someone the ASE process it goes in one ear and out the other. Now if they read that same explanation in a rag they read regularly and whose content they take interest in, and articles they will use in their daily life, then the real benefits of ASE Certs would be realized. In Florida and schmo can buy a tool box, hang out a shingle. advertise the cheapest rates in town, and call theorems a mechanic. And in my area there is little to no investigation into "under the radar" shops. These guys will plunder till the well is dry and move on to another warehouse, change their name and start over! There is currently an ad running on TV here now that promotes a self service AC recharge. Can get your air cold again in 10 minutes. I have to have an AC recovery machine, account for every ounce of 134, and the consumer can go to the DIY stores and buy this set up and if it blows off to atmosphere or leaks out again in a week its OK!!

There is not enough value put on the training and experience it takes to repair the modern car. Until that changes we will continueto face these cahllenges!

Thank you, I agree 100%. But just today I have read two other threads ranting about government intrusion. Well we as an industry want to whine and cry about how we are not respected, but we don't respect ourselves enough to impose regulations upon ourselves, and we don't want "nanny government" involved. Well guess what, we can't have it both ways. It is not working. Yeah ASE is a great idea, but until we allow ourselves to be "regulated" ASE is only a piece of paper. Maybe it's because I live and own my shop in Michigan and Michigan is one of only a couple states that requires licensing of mechanics I have a different viewpoint. And even at that repair shops whine and cry about taxes and facility licensing fees that could go to investigating and cracking down on "Craigslisters" operating under the radar. We, a collective "we", won't pay to support the government services we want to complain about others not adhering to. Well if we won't police ourselves and demand accountability within our industry, then it falls to government to protect the consumer from the very same crooks we complain about. We have met the enemy, and it is us. As for the ASE certifications, I refuse to renew mine until they stop treating test takers as criminals. Near strip searches before you can enter the testing room. BS is the only way to explain it. Perhaps if I heard more interest from the motoring public regarding ASE certification it would be more incentive to subject myself to ASE's abuses but I don't need it. i cna go to the Secretary of State's office and take my state licensing recert test just fine and simply have a proctor watch me to make sure I don't use my cellphone. I don't need ultra-level security clearance to see the "Technician A says" questions.

 

Sadly until we are willing to agree to live up to the higher standards we want all shops to meet, and we are willing to be held accountable to those standards, and we are willing to pay for enforcement of those standards, there will always be distrust, abuse and crooks in our midst.

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Thank you, I agree 100%. But just today I have read two other threads ranting about government intrusion. Well we as an industry want to whine and cry about how we are not respected, but we don't respect ourselves enough to impose regulations upon ourselves, and we don't want "nanny government" involved. Well guess what, we can't have it both ways. It is not working. Yeah ASE is a great idea, but until we allow ourselves to be "regulated" ASE is only a piece of paper. Maybe it's because I live and own my shop in Michigan and Michigan is one of only a couple states that requires licensing of mechanics I have a different viewpoint. And even at that repair shops whine and cry about taxes and facility licensing fees that could go to investigating and cracking down on "Craigslisters" operating under the radar. We, a collective "we", won't pay to support the government services we want to complain about others not adhering to. Well if we won't police ourselves and demand accountability within our industry, then it falls to government to protect the consumer from the very same crooks we complain about. We have met the enemy, and it is us. As for the ASE certifications, I refuse to renew mine until they stop treating test takers as criminals. Near strip searches before you can enter the testing room. BS is the only way to explain it. Perhaps if I heard more interest from the motoring public regarding ASE certification it would be more incentive to subject myself to ASE's abuses but I don't need it. i cna go to the Secretary of State's office and take my state licensing recert test just fine and simply have a proctor watch me to make sure I don't use my cellphone. I don't need ultra-level security clearance to see the "Technician A says" questions.

 

Sadly until we are willing to agree to live up to the higher standards we want all shops to meet, and we are willing to be held accountable to those standards, and we are willing to pay for enforcement of those standards, there will always be distrust, abuse and crooks in our midst.

If you think government will help you are truly clueless. They have not helped any industry grow. Laws only affect law abiding citizens so if you think 10 more laws will make those non licensed shops give up.... You are clueless

 

 

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When I complained to the local authorities about the illegal shops I was told I was a disgruntled owner and they didnt have time to investigate the issue. Hows that for govt intervention!

Jeff why not talk to a larger establishment and as them to go with you? No offense but you a business consisting of only one person. Politicians never care about only one person, it's sad but true.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         5 comments
      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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