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Anybody have educational or informational brochures or flyers that they use to explain to customers the issues involving repairing leaks in systems especially coolant and oil leaks? We run into issues for instance when fixing a valve cover gasket leak in a BMW and the customer returns a couple weeks later stating car is still leaking. Now the oil filter housing is leaking and the customer is ticked because we didn't fix his leak. Now we explained to the customer before we did the valve cover gaskets that there was potentially additional leaks we couldn't see due to the amount of oil all over the motor and/or after the leak was fixed, there was the chance that the since we sealed the system if there was a "weak" spot somewhere else it would probably cause a another leak at that other location. After several, "you never told me that" scenarios we include a disclaimer on the invoices.

We were thinking a FYI flyer or brochure would be a help. Something that we gave to customers when they pick up their vehicles after one of these repairs - sort of like a "What to expect after a leak repair". Does anyone use this type of handout at their shops? it would be great to have more of this stuff in the download section.

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I verbally inform before the repair, then include it on the invoice. And I always add dye after a visible leak repair. This shows the customer we are proactive and it helps to show a different leak (or an incorrect repair :blink: ). Many times I will pick up an additional leak after the road test. This lets us inform the customer of additional needed repairs before there issues at delivery. A perfect example...had a 7 series BMW that had a monster leak on the right valve cover. Performed repair and advised customer we added dye. Nothing had shown up on the road test. Week later owner calls to say there were leaks showing in the drive again. Returned top find a leak on the right front timing cover. By adding the dye I was able to show them that the leak was not the same as the prior repair.


For a couple bucks worth of dye on every leak repair (which would be billable of course, "we used dye to confirm that the leak is gone"), you've removed all the risk of comebacks for repairing a new leak that popped up in the same vicinity!


Anyone know long will dye last before breaking down or loses its fluorescence in an engine?

Edited by bstewart
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The dye idea is great!!


When we speak to customers on oil leaks, I explain to them that we fix oil leaks from top to bottom. Since gravity will do its thing, it hard to determine with 100% certainty sometimes. I never usually have problems with oil leaks, coolant leaks on the other hand are INSIDIOUS. Many a time we have fixed a leak, pressure tested, bled, test drove and everything was gravy. Customer takes the car, ends up getting another leak or some other component in the cooling system went bad. This happens a lot when customers either overheat their vehicles or went a loooonnnngggggg time without servicing their cooling systems. On BMWs especially, we recommend to PREVENTATIVELY replace certain components such as water pumps, t-stats, hoses, radiators, expansion tanks. Most people don't take the advice though or they have thousands of dollars in other repairs that take precedent.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

      Auto shop owners are always looking for ways to improve production levels. They focus their attention on their technicians and require certain expectations of performance in billable labor hours. While technicians must know what is expected of them, they have a limited amount of control over production levels. When all factors are considered, the only thing a well-trained technician has control over is his or her actual efficiency.
      As a review, technician efficiency is the amount of labor time it takes a technician to complete a job compared to the labor time being billed to the customer. Productivity is the time the technician is billing labor hours compared to the time the technician is physically at the shop. The reality is that a technician can be very efficient, but not productive if the technician has a lot of downtime waiting for parts, waiting too long between jobs, or poor workflow systems.
      But let’s go deeper into what affects production in the typical auto repair shop. As a business coach, one of the biggest reasons for low shop production is not charging the correct labor time. Labor for extensive jobs is often not being billed accurately. Rust, seized bolts, and wrong published labor times are just a few reasons for lost labor dollars.
      Another common problem is not understanding how to bill for jobs that require extensive diagnostic testing, and complicated procedures to arrive at the root cause for an onboard computer problem, electrical issue, or drivability issue. These jobs usually take time to analyze, using sophisticated tools, and by the shop’s top technician. Typically, these jobs are billed at a standard menu labor charge, instead of at a higher labor rate. This results in less billed labor hours than the actual labor time spent. The amount of lost labor hours here can cripple a shop’s overall profit.
      Many shop owners do a great job at calculating their labor rate but may not understand what their true effective labor is, which is their labor sales divided by the total labor hours sold. In many cases, I have seen a shop that has a shop labor rate of over $150.00 per hour, but the actual effective labor rate is around $100. Not good.
      Lastly, technician production can suffer when the service advisors are too busy or not motivated to build relationships with customers, which results in a low sales closing ratio. And let’s not forget that to be productive, a shop needs to have the right systems, the right tools and equipment, an extensive information system, and of course, great leadership.
      The bottom line is this; many factors need to be considered when looking to increase production levels. While it does start with the technician, it doesn’t end there. Consider all the factors above when looking for ways to improve your shop’s labor production.
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