Quantcast
Jump to content


Gonzo

Article: Abbreviations - OMG cars are bad enough... now texting?

Recommended Posts

Abbreviations

One of the techs came into the office some time ago to explain some crazy readings he was getting after hooking up to the DLC with the NGS. As he was explaining the problem, a very inquisitive customer was sitting at the counter waiting for an LOF. The mechanic and I discussed the test results and worked out a way to narrow down the problem even further. The whole time the customer was intently listening to every word of the conversation about MAF’s, TPS’s, MAP’s, ACT’s, PCM’s, and CTS’s. Nothing out of the ordinary for two CMT’s to discuss, but it did get a bit on the “techy” side.
When the tech went back out to the service bay to tackle the problem the customer asked me, “Were you guys talking about a car? I swear I didn’t understand a word you were saying. Sounded like some foreign language to me.”

I guess it would sound like a foreign language to someone who didn’t understand the abbreviations and terms we were using to describe the various sensors and components. These days the whole world is full of abbreviations, acronyms, and slang words that weren’t part of our culture in years past. Growing up, about the only people who talked in abbreviations a lot were the police, the military, and doctors. Now, it’s everywhere. Abbreviations have crept into every facet of modern life. We seem to thrive on chopping up words and phrases into short staccato blips of the English language. For me, it’s especially noticeable in the various automotive components and procedures I deal with every day.

Prior to the time when computers entered into the automotive world there were just a handful of shortened phrases or abbreviations I can recall that were common place in the automotive world, such as SS for “Super Sport”, or the name of a car was an acronym for something else. Like the 442 (Four on the floor, Four barrel, Dual exhaust). For the most part, a starter was called a starter, and an alternator was called an alternator. (Generator for you really old guys.) There were no abbreviations needed. But, now with all these various sensors and components in today’s cars, abbreviated phrases and acronyms have become a part of the modern mechanic’s vocabulary.

Some of these shortened phrases have become such a common part of our normal conversation that their non-abbreviated form sounds more out of place than their abbreviated version. Take LED’s for example, who calls them “Light Emitting Diodes” these days? In fact, since LED is capitalized you probably read it as L-E-D and I doubt very seriously anyone said “led” by mistake. Pretty amazing, isn’t? There are a few abbreviations that haven’t quite taken on a life of their own like the LED’s have and still have a few variations to them. TPMS – TPS, or the SEL – CEL, or the ALDL - DLC are a few that come to mind. Even though the terms are understood, there is no “universally” accepted abbreviation for them. Sometimes it really comes down to which manufacturer you’re dealing with as far as which abbreviation is appropriate.

These days it’s not hard to have a complete conversation with nothing more than a few abbreviations. It truly has become a language all to its own. Before texting and smart phones, writing a letter with these cryptic abbreviations just wasn’t the norm. “LOL” for example, wasn’t a word back then, and now, it’s so common place that it’s not only understood by everyone it’s also in the dictionary. Good old “Ma-Bell” still works, but having that smart phone in your pocket sure changes the concept of personal communication. There’s no doubt, the computer has changed our world forever.

Something I’ve noticed is that a lot of my younger generation customers use the internet and texting as a great way to set up appointments or discuss their car problems with me. I do get an occasional one from the older crowd too, but those emails and texts I don’t have to sort through a lot of those abbreviated text gibberish to figure out what they wanted to tell me.

Some of these “text savvy texter’s” they leave me scratching my head as to what they mean. Automotive abbreviations, now that I understand, but some of these text messages, well… let’s just say I’m a bit lost for words. Here’s one that came in the other day.

“2morrow I’m sending my car 2 U. My car is 7K, AFAIK it’s the pwr strng pump, but IDK 4sure. My BF told my GF that you would know how to fix it. I will drop the keys off 2night. JIC it costs a bunch PCM or TMB with an estimate and LMK what you find. 10X L8R.”

And I thought car abbreviations were getting out of hand. It took me a while to figure this one out, but I eventually did. So, I answered with what I thought was an “age appropriate” response.
“XLNT, CID, TTYL”

Cars are complicated enough; now communicating with the customer is getting complicated, too. All this new abbreviated texting stuff… IDK a lot of it. But, I am slowly learning more each day. It’s my latest challenge to tackle. I’m just wondering what the next generation’s communication media is going to be like… Message videos? Gifs? Holograms? Your guess is as good as mine. TIAD, TTYL8R - TTFN



Click here to view the article

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites



  • Similar Forum Topics

    • Customer's buying their own parts

      Hey guys. I'm new to the forum and was looking for this subject but couldn't find it. Sorry If I'm posted something that's already been discussed. I own a brake shop in Austin, TX. We do anywhere from 10-20 brake jobs a day. We only do brakes so I don't know how much full service auto shops deal with this problem but... Customers are constantly calling in claiming they've bought the best parts or they want to provide their own parts because they've done research and know what is best. This drives me crazy. First of all they don't know whats best. Then after being told no they get offended and act like tons of shops allow this. What is the best way to handle these customers? Just send them away? I'll quote them a price using our parts and they act as though its a rip off. What shops are doing this for their customers? I feel like I'm letting jobs get away from me. Any experience with this?

      By Jonathan Ganther, in General Automotive Discussion

      • 78 replies
      • 3,823 views
    • Article: Identifying the Problem with Your Shop

      I have never met a shop owner who didn’t have the desire to be successful. People go into business with dreams of changing the world and to make a positive influence in the industry to which they have dedicated their lives. They’re devoted, sacrifice time away from family and, at times, drive themselves to exhaustion—all in an effort to become the best they can be and make their mark. However, all too often, something happens along the way and the business begins to suffer. While shops owners may start their business with passion and vision, they tend to create a world in which everything revolves around them. When the business is small, the owner pays careful attention to every detail. Every car is repaired with the highest degree of excellence. Quality time is spent with each customer and a bond is created, which gets stronger and stronger as the years pass. As the business begins to grow, the owner realizes that the amount of work to be accomplished each day is overwhelming and hires more employees. Everyone is working, but not necessarily with the same culture the owner has. They do their job, but they are not really aligned with the goals and vision of the owner. The shop owner continues to work on his or her skills, learning everything that is needed to run a successful business. After a number of years, the shop owner becomes skilled at running a shop and proficient in nearly every aspect of business, except one: the area of people. And that is when the downward slide begins. The owner recognizes that, in spite of the dedication to excellence, things are not right. The shop owner has established the goals of the company and put everything in place. Everything is attainable. But it’s not working. Frustration sets in, and it’s not long before the owner begins to complain about the lack of performance and drive from the employees, which is the perceived root of the problem. Well, the root of the problem is the owner. We all know that running a business is not a walk in the park, but if your business is struggling, you, personally, are struggling. If your people are not performing the way they should, then you are not performing the way you should. Granted, there are employees that are a problem, and if that’s the case, they need to go. But even superstar employees will turn sour under poor leadership. There are endless issues and problems you encounter each and every day, and some of those problems are out of your control. But, excluding a cataclysmic event, you can trace most of your problems back to you. You are the shop owner, you are the leader. The strength of your business begins and ends with you. Given two equally talented ball teams, the difference between winning and losing is usually leadership. Employees need to know you care about them. The people you employ have vision and goals, too. Not the same as yours, but real nonetheless. One of your jobs, as leader, is to align their goals with yours. We throw this leadership term around a lot these days, and for good reason. It’s the most powerful skill you have in terms of getting the results for which you are looking. The horrible truth is there are too many bosses and not enough leaders. Anyone can be a boss. Bosses order people around. And people will follow, but not for the long term. A leader motivates others by understanding what drives the individual. A leader gives credit to others, never seeking gain at the expense of others. Next time you walk through your shop, pay attention to the mood of your employees. Are your employees laughing and talking to each other? You know, having a little fun at work. Do your employees look to engage in conversation with you, or are their heads buried under the hood of a car as you pass them by? Even worse, does everyone stop talking when you are around? These are signs that your employees are not engaged, which means they are not aligned with the goals and vision of the business, and you are not aligned with theirs. A leader finds out what’s important to others, and works to help them achieve it. Aligning the goals of the individual with the goals of the company will achieve great things. When employees are respected as people, they become motivated and perform at their best; not because they are told to, but because they want to. This is the highest form of team spirit and becomes your driving force toward success. This story was originally published by Joe Marconi in Ratchet+Wrench on October 1st, 2018
      View full article

      By Joe Marconi, in AutoShopOwner Articles

        
      • 0 replies
      • 78 views
    • Where to find mid-level techs?

      I'm trying to hire, and literally cannot find anybody. Ideally I'm looking for a full time parts hanger. Somebody that has little or no diag experience or isn't comfortable with electrical work, but can do the basics on their own. Where do I even try to look?  I've tried CL and Facebook to no avail. I've called both of the local community colleges with automotive programs, and it's just crickets. I don't even want to pay them flat rate, I'll more than happily pay them hourly.    And PLEASE, for the love of god, I don't want to hear the lecture on 'you need to hire nothing but master techs'. That doesn't help me, nor fix my current problems. I know what I need. I just need help trying to figure out how to find it. Nobody becomes a mastertech without doing basics first anyways.

      By OTPAuto, in Human Resources, Payroll and Training

      • 7 replies
      • 644 views
    • Article: Defining Your Ideal Customer

      We all have our favorite customers. You know who there are. They’re the ones that throw their keys on the service counter in the morning and say, “Do what you need to do and I’ll see you at 5 p.m.” They never question your price, they trust you and they keep coming back. But does that person define your true profile customer? The answer is probably yes. But it’s not the only criteria. It’s a little more complicated than that. Defining your true profile customer starts with you. It starts with who you are, why you are in business and the culture of your company. By the way, determining your true profile customer has nothing to do with excluding certain people due to their income level. The young 23-year-old college graduate who sets aside part of her paycheck to shop at Whole Foods does so because she believes in the company and for what they stand. It’s not about what she “supposedly” can or cannot afford. She is Whole Foods’ profile customer because she aligns herself with that brand. And Whole Foods welcomes her with open arms. Many of my profile customers endured tough economic times during the Great Recession of 2008. They lost their ability to pay for some of the things they previously could afford. What they didn’t lose was their loyalty to my company. So, what did we do? We helped them through that difficult time. We helped them manage their car care needs better, offering services that would save on fuel, reduce repair costs, and reduce breakdowns. We showed them how to squeeze every mile out of their tires and brakes. We took care of them and we still do to this day. We consider them family and we don’t turn our backs on family. One thing we didn’t do, and will never do, is compromise on price to get a job. That would not be fair to all my customers, my employees or the company. With regard to pricing your services and repairs, it’s a delicate balance between being profitable and competitive. But I don’t know of any shop that prefers a customer walk away or sends someone to another shop because he or she cannot afford a particular price. A smart service advisor will give options, prioritize the work needed, and offer finance options. If you’re a startup company, your doors are wide open to everyone. You need customers and car counts, and you need them right away. But as your business matures, you begin to realize that not everyone is your customer. And there’s nothing wrong with this realization. As you build your customer base, you begin to see that there are customers that respect the work you do, align themselves with your culture and appreciate what you do for them and for the community. They become your profile customers. Let’s say you sponsor a youth baseball team in your area, help out at community events and involved with local fundraisers. You will become known as the business person that cares about the community and children. That’s making your business stand out among the rest. As you define who you are, you also attract those that want to do business with you and support your brand. While I do recommend treating everyone the same, I don’t recommend trying to be everything to everyone. That’s not a sound marketing strategy—that’s a recipe for failure. Defining your customer and targeting your market does not isolate consumers. It actually increases market share. Here’s an important fact: In your geographical area, automotive shops basically do the same thing; they repair and service automobiles. So, how is a consumer going to choose you over another? You need to stand out. You need to be different. You need to build a brand culture and establish a marketing position that will make people take notice. By the way, every successful company, large and small, understands its true profile customer and creates a marketing plan on attracting them. One last thing: When you build a business around your culture, you put the focus on your brand and the value you provide. This strategy is one of your pathways to success. When you combine value with culture, you will have an enduring and profitable company. If you want to build a great company, ask yourself these questions: Why are you in business? What’s your life’s purpose? Your culture? Build a marketing strategy and a brand message around the answers to these questions. Not all people will take notice, but your profile customers will.    This story was originally published by Joe Marconi in Ratchet+Wrench on August 3, 2018
      View full article

      By Joe Marconi, in AutoShopOwner Articles

        
      • 0 replies
      • 113 views
    • Customer Financing

      We want to start offering finance options to our customers. Can anyone recommend some companies that you use? I've heard good things about One Road Lending. GE Capital is now Synchrony and they have horrible reviews. Appreciate your help! Thanks, Pam

      By pam, in General Automotive Discussion

        
      • 17 replies
      • 1,144 views
  • AutoShopOwner Sponsors



×