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Not fixed...after repairs..


mccannable

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Not being a mechanic I need some help. What happened when you fix a problem but it doesn't fix the customers concern?

 

Had a friends truck in wih blown head gasket and was ran till it stopped. We quoted him on head gasket and resurface heads and possibly replace heads if cracked. It's all. Back together but really idling rough....

 

I'm kind of lost with what to do between keep throwing parts or back track.

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It is never a good idea to throw parts at a car. Step one should be to properly diagnose why it is running rough. Ignition, fuel, exhaust, compression issue?

It is difficult to advise you on how to proceed without a proper diagnosis.

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I always tell the customer before we do the repair the possible outcome of it needing more work then we can tell from a diagnostic without actually opening up the part at question for visual inspection (more $$$).

 

Example today we had a F150 4x4 with ABS Brakes that were kicking on early. Scanned it, no codes. Viewed the live data, the LF was dropping off at the end of the stopping process (2-3 mph before the truck came to a standstill) and the ABS would kick on. Told the customer it needs a LF Wheel Bearing Assembly (sensor and ring included). It could be both hub units if the other is worn as well. Did the LF, fixed the problem, but he was prepared to pay double if it needed the RF as well.

 

 

I would go back and see why the vehicle is idling rough. Vacuum leak? Misfiring? It needs more diagnostic. Whatever it needs to fix it, it needs to fix it. Its not your truck, I wouldn't put any of your money/shops money into making it run for the customer. You diagnosed a non-running vehicle, it runs now, but needs a little more work.

 

If this scenario is what I am invisioning it to be, the customer is now trying to pass the burden to make it 100% onto you? Its happened here before, many try it, nobody has any shame lol. It why when things come in non-running and its internal damage, I really try to sell a used/reman engine or trans with a parts & labor warranty from the supplier just to avoid the headache.

Edited by Mario
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And yes new plugs and wires

This is always tough. We're on a vw tdi job that we spent way to long waiting for aftermarket parts and now we've installed in and found the machine shop surfaced a warp into the head.

The customer has been understanding but some won't be. As said before some may look for free work, some just look to place the blame anyway possible. The reality is, in this line of work its going to happen. Things won't get fixed the first time, won't get fixed fast enough, cost more than expected and the list goes on and on.

Honestly if you ever find the answer you will have shop owners beating the door down to hear it. I'm not sure there is one right answer but I have found what works for us. 1: Be honest, open and positive. 2:Never accept liability until your positive you or your staff are truly responsible. 3: Explain from the very beginning known charges and that during said type of job it's possible for more items to be required. 4: Don't get caught up in trying to fully please the customer, in these situations sometimes it just won't happen. In other cases you might stress yourself out to the point your more worried about pleasing than they are about being pleased!

5: Charge fairly, don't work for free under any circumstances (unless your the cause of the problem). If you feel obligated to offer a deal in a situation like this have a discount policy that locks it at 10-20%. This will prevent you from unnecessarily discounting your profits away. I find if I already have struggled with a job and then take a loss I end up being upset with myself, the car and the customer lol. I might even cringe next time they call, and believe it or not they can hear it in your voice lol.

 

I'm not sure if this will work for you, it's just what I remind myself when similar situations occur.

For instance today a customer came in from out of town. We had worked on his vehicle (lots of aftermarket go fast parts) a couple weeks back and found he had a cracked injector nozzle causing a misfire, low power and smoke. We pulled them and had them sent to the company that built them (2 years ago), they found a cracked nozzle as suspected. They priced repairing 1 for $500, which included setting the other 5. Or $900.00 for all new nozzles, a complete rebuild job. Now I don't necessarily agree with the companies warranty policy but that was the deal from the get go. A 1 year warranty. They knocked off $100.00 on the repair service. He chose to fix the damaged injector not all 6. If you guessed he came back with the same problem you'd be right. Don't know if it was the repaired injector or another one but I explained if it was one of the others he'd of course be responsible for charges similar to the last bill. He wasn't happy, but I can't work for free! We have a sign in the shop that states no warranty on performance parts or labor when using performance parts. Is it fair? Probably not but life's not fair lol. If I've done something wrong and it's our fault I'll foot the bill for the labor out of kindness, but otherwise the owner is paying.

I may not handle things the best way, and of course I'm open to any advice possible. If nothing else I hope my story will let you know your not alone!

 

Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk 2

 

 

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This is always tough. We're on a vw tdi job that we spent way to long waiting for aftermarket parts and now we've installed in and found the machine shop surfaced a warp into the head.

The customer has been understanding but some won't be. As said before some may look for free work, some just look to place the blame anyway possible. The reality is, in this line of work its going to happen. Things won't get fixed the first time, won't get fixed fast enough, cost more than expected and the list goes on and on.

Honestly if you ever find the answer you will have shop owners beating the door down to hear it. I'm not sure there is one right answer but I have found what works for us. 1: Be honest, open and positive. 2:Never accept liability until your positive you or your staff are truly responsible. 3: Explain from the very beginning known charges and that during said type of job it's possible for more items to be required. 4: Don't get caught up in trying to fully please the customer, in these situations sometimes it just won't happen. In other cases you might stress yourself out to the point your more worried about pleasing than they are about being pleased!

5: Charge fairly, don't work for free under any circumstances (unless your the cause of the problem). If you feel obligated to offer a deal in a situation like this have a discount policy that locks it at 10-20%. This will prevent you from unnecessarily discounting your profits away. I find if I already have struggled with a job and then take a loss I end up being upset with myself, the car and the customer lol. I might even cringe next time they call, and believe it or not they can hear it in your voice lol.

 

I'm not sure if this will work for you, it's just what I remind myself when similar situations occur.

For instance today a customer came in from out of town. We had worked on his vehicle (lots of aftermarket go fast parts) a couple weeks back and found he had a cracked injector nozzle causing a misfire, low power and smoke. We pulled them and had them sent to the company that built them (2 years ago), they found a cracked nozzle as suspected. They priced repairing 1 for $500, which included setting the other 5. Or $900.00 for all new nozzles, a complete rebuild job. Now I don't necessarily agree with the companies warranty policy but that was the deal from the get go. A 1 year warranty. They knocked off $100.00 on the repair service. He chose to fix the damaged injector not all 6. If you guessed he came back with the same problem you'd be right. Don't know if it was the repaired injector or another one but I explained if it was one of the others he'd of course be responsible for charges similar to the last bill. He wasn't happy, but I can't work for free! We have a sign in the shop that states no warranty on performance parts or labor when using performance parts. Is it fair? Probably not but life's not fair lol. If I've done something wrong and it's our fault I'll foot the bill for the labor out of kindness, but otherwise the owner is paying.

I may not handle things the best way, and of course I'm open to any advice possible. If nothing else I hope my story will let you know your not alone!

 

Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk 2

You've got the best answer to this type of problem that I follow as well. The first thing I've learned in my long career of working on cars is to expect the unexpected and at the same time inform the customer of those unforseen expectations. Without a doubt the number one thing that screws things up is the customer who decides on the repair with their wallet and NOT what the technician/shop recommends. Too many people feel they've been ripped off at another shop that their trust of you is somewhat jaded.

 

I'd rather lose a job than do it halfass. It always, always, always comes back to haunt you. They might be mad, tell you their never coming back, call you the worst mechanic that they have ever been to and sometimes worse. But, you can't please everyone. I've given up trying... I'll inform, note on their ticket...etc... but, I ain't doing it for nothing (unless it IS my fault)

 

Money drives every repair, sometimes it drives it right out of the shop. Life ain't fair. Well expained mc.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Don't do head gaskets. That's my advice. Antifreeze will ruin an oxygen sensor and catalytic converter quick, water in the oil will ruin all moving parts. God forbid if the head is cracked, a new head with new valves will pull oil past the old worn out rings once your done, head jobs have been losers for us every time so we gave up.

 

Cars that get towed in as no starts or not drive able we deal with the problem that caused it to be an INOP, anything else we find I let the customer know . They already know but sometimes they get Alzheimer's but we don't let them bully us. Since-ya's we call those people. "Ever since ya did my fuel pump my brakes vibrate" yup

Edited by alfredauto
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In response to some other points brought up, we always double check our work if a complaint is made. Mistakes happen. If we are sure we didn't cause the problem then customer pays or goes somewhere else. Period. If we did cause the problem we fix it for free . That includes misdiagnosis. If a vehicle has multiple issues and the customer only wants to fix some of them, then it's on them when it comes back. We had an older 90's truck last year that gave us fits, came in running like crap and leaking so the tech did a tune up and valve cover gasket. Got all done and it started knocking on the test drive. Ouch. We ended up buying the vehicle and I scrapped it, don't ask how much $$$ I lost on that deal it was too much. The customer was understanding but still not too happy. Did we break it ? Probably not. The problem is the thing ran when it came in and wasn't able to drive out. In retrospect I probably would have done things exactly the same. Sometimes you get the short straw.

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In response to some other points brought up, we always double check our work if a complaint is made. Mistakes happen. If we are sure we didn't cause the problem then customer pays or goes somewhere else. Period. If we did cause the problem we fix it for free . That includes misdiagnosis. If a vehicle has multiple issues and the customer only wants to fix some of them, then it's on them when it comes back. We had an older 90's truck last year that gave us fits, came in running like crap and leaking so the tech did a tune up and valve cover gasket. Got all done and it started knocking on the test drive. Ouch. We ended up buying the vehicle and I scrapped it, don't ask how much $$$ I lost on that deal it was too much. The customer was understanding but still not too happy. Did we break it ? Probably not. The problem is the thing ran when it came in and wasn't able to drive out. In retrospect I probably would have done things exactly the same. Sometimes you get the short straw.

I had one that one of my guys accidently forgot the test drive last week and it came back with a misfire. We ate the diagnosis and labor to replace the coil pack and customer covered the coil pack. Are you saying if they misdiagnosed the issue you cover the entire repair?

 

Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk 2

 

 

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Some crazy posts here. "Don't do head gaskets"...? Why don't you send them to the machine shop to have them resurfaced and pressure checked?

 

We just had a cars timing belt snap as we started it up to pull it in. This is not our fault and we did not eat the job. I don't understand why you'd have to buy a vehicle that blew up on a test drive.

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Some crazy posts here. "Don't do head gaskets"...? Why don't you send them to the machine shop to have them resurfaced and pressure checked?

 

We just had a cars timing belt snap as we started it up to pull it in. This is not our fault and we did not eat the job. I don't understand why you'd have to buy a vehicle that blew up on a test drive.

We do lots of head gaskets with zero problems. Of course we have heads planed and pressure tested. We had a transmission fail on a test drive once and I did buy it from the owner. Bought it for $200 and fixed it up. Drove it for three years and sold it. I made $3,000 on that deal.

X3. I make a good bit of my income from head gasket jobs. Especially on diesels.

 

Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk 2

 

 

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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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