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Going to far in a Diagnostic?


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Seem to be having a problem with our mechanics in going beyond the alloted diagnostic time we are charging.

 

For example, customer brought in vehicle complaining of engine noise. Charged 1 hr diagnostic time upfront. Told mechanic to start off with basics . Mechanic returned an 1hr later and requested to remove cover to look at timing components (Much more labor & parts involved than initially anticipated) and look at other systems of the vehicle.

 

How would you handle this situtation? Seems to be a reptitive problem, and I feel we are investing too much time in a diagnostic and might scare away customers with diagnostic time, and ultimately not getting the job.

 

Thanks for your thoughts and opinions in advance.

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Sure, let's say a customer comes in for a engine miss fire.  After verifying the misfire, we will sell a package of tests like this:

 

- Visual inspection of under hood and related components

- Condition of air filter and fluids? Fuel filter (if applicable)?

- Battery and charging system test

- Scan on board computer, obtain error codes and other key information

- Perform component and system checks, determined by error codes

- Check for factory bulletins and known problems

- Test ignition components, fuel system tests (condition of fuel), cylinder balance, vacuum and back pressure tests

- Isolate engine misfire

- Perform enrichment to rule out lean miss

- take into account miles on engine, age/condition of spark plugs, fuel filter and other service items

- Determine cause for misfire and needed repair

 

All above for $ XX.XX

 

(Mr. Customer) If the above reveals that the problem is engine mechanical, we will need to perform the following...

 

- Perform all above tests and determine engine misfire is a mechanical issue

- Compression test, running compression test, if needed.

- Combustion chamber leak down test, if needed

- Check for internal cylinder head problem

- Check for valve train problem

- Insure engine valve timing is correct

 

Review all data, report to customer and discuss needed repair

 

Additional $XX.XX

I think this is the absolute best plan for this industry that's ever been. I have a hard time implementing it but we're working towards it. We've all got to start setting expectations for our customers, of more shops would do this we might see things (in regards to customer relations) would improve!

 

Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk 2

 

 

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We have used the diagnostic trees on All Data or Identifix as a sales tool. When we pull the code(for free like the parts stores) we will then print out the tree. We will then show the customer the"tests" we will be performing and letting them know the cost associated with that test. Once we have the results of that test we may have the cause and the repair needed, or we may need to move on to additional testing. The customers may not quite understand what we are doing, but it at least gives them an idea of how the process works to diagnose a car.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         3 comments
      Got your attention? Good. The truth is, there is no such thing as the perfect technician pay plan. There are countless ways to create any pay plan. I’ve heard all the claims and opinions, and to be honest, it’s getting a little frustrating. Claims that an hourly paid pay plan cannot motivate. That flat rate is the only way to truly get the most production from your technicians. And then there’s the hybrid performance-based pay plan that many claim is the best.
      At a recent industry event, a shop owner from the Midwest boasted about his flat-rate techs and insisted that this pay plan should be adopted by all shops across the country. When I informed him that in states like New York, you cannot pay flat-rate, he was shocked. “Then how do you motivate your techs” he asked me.
      I remember the day in 1986 when I hired the best technician who ever worked for me in my 41 years as an automotive shop owner. We’ll call him Hal. When Hal reviewed my pay plan for him, and the incentive bonus document, he stared at it for a minute, looked up, and said, “Joe, this looks good, but here’s what I want.” He then wrote on top of the document the weekly salary he wanted. It was a BIG number. He went on to say, “Joe, I need to take home a certain amount of money. I have a home, a wife, two kids, and my Harly Davidson. I will work hard and produce for you. I don’t need an incentive bonus to do my work.” And he did, for the next 30 years, until the day he retired.
      Everyone is entitled to their opinion. So, here’s mine. Money is a motivator, but not the only motivator, and not the best motivator either. We have all heard this scenario, “She quit ABC Auto Center, to get a job at XYZ Auto Repair, and she’s making less money now at XYZ!” We all know that people don’t leave companies, they leave the people they work for or work with.
      With all this said, I do believe that an incentive-based pay plan can work. However, I also believe that a technician must be paid a very good base wage that is commensurate with their ability, experience, and certifications. I also believe that in addition to money, there needs to be a great benefits package. But the icing on the cake in any pay plan is the culture, mission, and vision of the company, which takes strong leadership. And let’s not forget that motivation also comes from praise, recognition, respect, and when technicians know that their work matters.
      Rather than looking for that elusive perfect pay plan, sit down with your technician. Find out what motivates them. What their goals are. Why do they get out of bed in the morning? When you tie their goals with your goals, you will have one powerful pay plan.
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