Quantcast
Jump to content
    • You can post now and register later. Already registered? sign in now to post with your account.
    • ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

        Only 75 emoji are allowed.

      ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

      ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

      ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


      Once you submit your question, a new topic will be created for you in our forums. Our moderators may move your topic to a more suitable forum category if one exists. Members will see your topic and be able to respond to your question.

    • This will not be shown to other users.
Gonzo

Article: Advantages of Being the Older Mechanic - - hmmm, are there any?

Recommended Posts

Advantages of Being an Older Mechanic

Age, the longer you’re around the older you’ll get. Doesn’t seem fair sometimes. As they say, “Youth is wasted on the young." The older cars get, the more things seem to go wrong with them, and the same goes for the aging mechanic. It’s the eyes that don’t focus as well when you’re staring at a wiring diagram, or the old back has a few twinges after lifting the crankshaft into place; then it’s the arthritis that works its devious little magic when you’re in a tight spot flipping an open end wrench over and over, on and on go the aliments.

Now, some customers prefer to deal with the older mechanic at the service desk. Maybe it’s because they represent a fatherly figure to them, or maybe they feel the older guy might have a lot more experience with their sort of problem. Whatever the reason, as an old guy in the shop myself, it’s kind of nice to chat about a car problem with a customer rather than trying to get up off of a creeper with bad knees.

When computers first came out they were a little intimidating to the older guy, but it didn’t take long before he got the hang of it. That is until one of those young socket rockets comes along, reaches over the old tech’s shoulder, flips a few keys and finds the information for him a whole lot faster than the way he was doing it. (I still don’t know all those short cut keys.) But it’s still fun to watch the “X” generation try to figure out a stalling or rough running problem without a laptop.

They’d freak out if they saw how we use to find air conditioning leaks with a bottle of propane and an open flame, or using a growler to check a generator. Yea, things were different back then. Nothing like the electronic world we live in today. In those days, mechanics used the procedures that were available, even if they seemed a bit crude. We didn’t have all these fancy, schmassy sensors to deal with. A piece of heater hose held to ones ear was all you needed to find a loose rocker.

One thing is for sure, an older tech has been around the block a few times. Just the other day a 79 Bronco came in and the owner wanted to get the A/C working again. Just a bad expansion valve was all. This thing was jacked a mile high with huge knobby tires. The younger guys didn’t want any part of it (no computer), so … I got handed the keys. Now for a guy my age to climb up there, it did take a bit of an effort. I ain’t no spring chicken, you know. First off I had to stand on an upside down milk crate just to get one foot on the bumper. Then climb up and do the old superman spread over the fender so I could reach all the way back to the firewall where the expansion valve was, and then… not to make it even more difficult, I had to get my head in just the right position so I could look through my bifocals. I’ve got the wrenches, the flashlight, and a couple of shop rags… and me “planking" this old truck trying to get this #[email protected]% expansion valve off. So where’s the advantage in all of this? I don’t know…but there must be one somewhere.

Getting down was no picnic either. Those bifocals work two ways you know. If you’re looking down through your glasses that concrete floor looks a bit fuzzy and appears to be a lot closer than it really is. Of course as ya slide back down from this behemoth your belt has to get snagged on something and now you’re flopping around like a fish out of water trying to get unstuck. At least I made it back to terra-firma without having to call over one of the younger guys to guide me back onto the milk crate.

Really, there are advantages of being older; it’s just that some things aren’t so noticeable. Like, veteran mechanics probably have all the tools and then some. And, if a car comes in with a floor dimmer switch they know what it is for. In fact most of them will know what the second floor switch was for too. Yea, I know what you’re thinking; most of that stuff is museum pieces these days. Oh don’t worry, all you young wrenches out there, your turn to call today’s cars museum pieces is just a few decades away.

These days it takes some training in trade schools to learn this job, and you certainly will learn even more once you’re on the job. But, by far, you learn even more after several years of turning wrenches. From dealing with the technical changes and procedures, customers, the guy in the next bay, your boss, and of course the aches and pains of it all.

It’s the old horse shoe story that comes to mind. As one old timer explained it to me, when the farrier is shoeing a horse and he shows you the freshly heated horse shoe he has just fitted, don’t be a fool and pick it up. Like the old timer said to me, “I know better now, it don’t take me long to look at a horse shoe in a different light anymore!”

That’s experience talking. Experience is something that only comes with time. I can’t tell you when you’ll have it, but believe me, you’ll know when you’ve got it. Then again, if you’re the type of person who has to pick up that horse shoe a second time… well, you’re either a bit brain dead, or you need a touch more experience.

Most mechanics who have been around for 30 or 40 years (or more) have seen the changes from 6 volts to 12, generators to alternators, points and condensers, electronic ignition, and then onto today’s systems of sensors controlling it all. And, yes, the older mechanic has probably worked on every bit of them. Not to say that’s an advantage, but it sure is a lot of experience to say the least. But, as time passes along the old body isn’t what it used to be, and while those younger guys can thrash apart cars a whole lot faster, there’s still one advantage the older mechanic has: retirement isn’t that far away. No more learning all this new stuff, no more trying figure out the latest software, and no more of all this back breaking work.

History has proven that change is inevitable, and the old mechanic can now pat the younger techs on the back and tell them, “Have at it fellas. You young guns can take over from here.” Us old wrenches can take advantage of all the senior citizen discounts now, and a few spare parts from the doctor too! Let’s see, a couple of new knees, maybe a hip, oh and some laser surgery for the old eyes. Getting older does have a few advantages after all.

 

Click here to view the article

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We allow visitors to read the first post of each topic. To read this post, please login or register for a membership. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We allow visitors to read the first post of each topic. To read this post, please login or register for a membership. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Topics

    • By Joe Marconi
      In my 40 years as a shop owner, I have battled the age old dilemma: Is it my car count, my customer count or some other reason why some weeks I find it hard to hit my sales goal.  
      It always comes down to production.  Now that's really simplifying it, I know.   But, when you look at the numbers, with the right jobs and a balanced schedule, the ARO goes way up and car counts become not as important as we thought. 
      Another thing to consider, this is not 1995. Cars do not come in 5 to 6 times a year for an Oil Change Service.   You are lucky to see some customers every 10,000 miles as they wait for that Oil Change Percentage light on their dashboard to tell them...NOW IT"S OK TO GO TO YOUR REPAIR SHOP. Isn't it funny how so many people will listen to the dash board light, and not you!
      Anyway, what are your thoughts.  How do you reach your weekly sales goals and what KPI's are important to you? 
    • By Mark Johnson
      To refresh, a business meal includes: meals in your area of business WITH a business colleague, or meals by yourself when you travel out of town for business.

      The key to making sure any deduction holds up in an audit is DOCUMENTATION.

      For meals specifically, there are five items you need on a receipt:
      1. The name of the restaurant
      2. The date of the meal
      3. The amount you paid
      4. Who you met with and their business relationship
      5. What business items you discussed

      The first three items are already on the receipt so you’re covered there.

      The last two, a best practice is to jot them down on the receipt right when you make a purchase and then snap a picture of that receipt so you have it!

      Remember, you want to pay as little tax as possible and also have those deductions HOLD UP if you get audited!

      Please take the proper steps to document your meals guys.
      To learn more about this and other tax saving strategies please call 1954-324-0803 or book an appointment at 
      https://calendly.com/markjohnsontaxplanner/45min

      View full article
    • By CAR_AutoReports
      Our experience with ADAS has been a truly amazing learning journey. Our learning journey is making us wonder what the direction of the industry is with ADAS and more importantly... how service center goals for growth and profit align with maintaining customer satisfaction while performing precise services with a skilled workforce that is in decline. If you're thinking about ADAS... you should read this first.
      Another acronym being thrown around is ADAS, short for Advanced Driver Assist Systems. I think everyone is stuck staring at those four letters without understanding the liability that those 4 letters represent for the future of the automotive industry, regardless of how much safer they make vehicles on the road. As one of the first facilities in NJ to purchase and utilize the ADAS calibration system from Autel, we have some really unique experience with it and want to pass on some information you should be aware of when considering whether or not you want to jump in.
      Facility Is Too Small - Size matters, A LOT with ADAS calibrations and if you have less than 2500 sf of space with a booming business... chances are you don't have the room to perform calibrations. Your exact business configuration will help determine this, but you ideally need a location where you can pick up 10 feet of open space all around a vehicle for most calibrations, but some calibrations may require 20 feet or more. Floor Isn't Level - If your floor is uneven, you can't perform ADAS calibrations, period. Can't Program? - If you are not experienced with programming modules or updating vehicle modules, you will not be able to perform a fair amount ADAS calibrations. Can't Diagnose? - If you don't have a team that can efficiently and accurately troubleshoot the vehicles already coming into your shop, ADAS isn't going to be any easier, it's going to be significantly harder. Who Needs OE Information, I have "X"! - Replace X with All Data or Mitchell or even the instructions in your scan tool. What happens when the manufacturer updated the information on the procedures yesterday and they didn't share that information with anyone yet? We've already encountered steps missing from the Autel scan tool... Minimum Insurance Policy Is More Than Enough - We have more than double the minimum and we are worried it's not enough. With lawsuits that settle into the tens of millions of dollars, we're not sure what enough is anymore. Don't Document Your Process? - This is where a lot of people will scoff. Who has the time? Save pictures and files, where am I supposed to do that? Who's gonna pay for this? We've figured this out and more importantly... we get paid for documenting. Do you? Mobile Calibrations? - Besides the fact that you're trying to transport $20,000 of equipment needed for calibrations in a van, this one is so serious... we couldn't give you a 2 sentence paragraph, read below. How are mobile glass services, like Safelite, performing calibrations on the go? We don't know, but we have A LOT of questions surrounding this. A recent calibration of a 2019 Toyota C-HR, after a windshield replacement, has some really interesting requirements. Requirements which we are used to, but we want to know... how is a mobile tech handling this? These are the requirements that must be met prior to starting a calibration:
      It is our experience that once a windshield has been replaced, the vehicle should not be moved for a period of at least 2 hours (weather dependent) in order to allow the glue to harden properly. So, what's going on? Is the mobile glass tech filling up the vehicle prior to replacing the windshield? How many of you had a windshield replaced and a vehicle calibrated with a fuel tank that was not full? We don't know how many corners are being cut and where they are being cut... but what we do know is that the above requirements have been there in every vehicle we have calibrated at this facility thus far. Lastly, pay particular attention to this requirement in this photo...
      *Calibration should be performed in a window-less environment with no bright lights or reflective materials. Ensure no other black and white patterns similar to the calibration pattern should be behind the calibration pattern. In a world where reducing liability is at the forefront of most public discussions, there are sure a lot of companies undermining their insurance policy in the field.

      View full article
    • By bantar
      Ever have one of those days???   That really odd problem that you don't know how to solve.   There is a site that you can turn to for help....   https://www.reddit.com/r/AskAShittyMechanic/   Check it out and profit!
    • By Gonzo
      Twas the Night before Christmas (Mechanic style)   Twas the night before Christmas,  and all through the service bay, Not an engine was stirring,  just old Santa’s sleigh.     All the air hoses were hung,  by the compressor with care, The mechanics had the day off,  I’m the only one there.   I was just an apprentice, but wanted to show St. Nick just what I knew, My boss was all for it, said it was OK if I turned a few screws.   With visions of being a full time mechanic, dancing in my head I was going to give it my best shot; I’ll fix this old sled.    I gave the key a twist,and listened in dismay, That little red hot rod needed service, in such a bad way   Then from under the hood there arose such a clatter, That even St. Nick had to ask, “So, what’s the matter?”   I flew from the driver’s seat and raised the hood in a flash, Nearly stumbling off my feet, from my quick little dash.   The under hood light, glimmered onto the engine below, The fan belt had broken, and a spark plug blew out a hole.   It’s something I can handle; I learned this stuff in school, I’ll have this fixed up in no time; it only takes a few tools,   I started it up and all eight cylinders were firing away Just a few minor adjustments and he could be on his way   That’s when I noticed, his sled was packed full of all sorts of toys… He hadn’t finished his deliveries, to all the girls… and boys.   He was dressed all in red, from his head to his foot, And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot   Anxious he was, to finish his trip as soon as he could, With my wrenches a flyin’, he knew that he would.   It was up to me, to get it fixed this very night, He still had a long way to go, before it was daylight.   His eyes, how they twinkled, his dimples, how merry His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry.   And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow. I knew it was Christmas Eve, so I couldn’t say no,   He had a broad face and a round little belly That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.   He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.   His sled was like new, after the job was all done, Now that it’s fixed, he could get back to his run.   He reached into his huge bag, and pulled a box out with a jerk, Said he knew just how to thank me, for all of my hard work,   I ripped open the present, and Oh, what a sight! Snap On wrenches and sockets!  Boy was he right!   As he pulled from the parking lot, he held the throttle to the floor, Just to show off, he passed by the shop, once more,   This guy Santa, he’s a little strange, at any rate, He had a name for every cylinder, in his little V8.   I could hear him shout, so loud and clear,  Naming off each cylinder, as if they could hear.   "Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, Donner and Blitzen!   I heard the tires screech, as he caught second gear, Off to deliver those presents, some far, some near.   Then, I heard him exclaim, just before he drove out of sight, “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”  
      View full article


  • AutoShopOwner Sponsors

Tire Rack: Revolutionizing tire buying since 1979.
Fast Free Shipping on All Orders Over $50

Fast Free Shipping on All Orders Over $50
×
×
  • Create New...