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It's part of the job?


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I am looking for some input as to "it's part of the job"!

 

Does your shop charge extra for the following services:?

When performing an alignment and you have to heat frozen tie rods or other adjusting bolts.

 

When mounting tires and the rims are corroded and you have to get the wire wheel grinder out to clean the bead.

 

When the customer looses the lug nut key and we have to remove it with a turbo socket.

 

Stick on weight tire balance.

 

I do allot of work for the financially challenged so I sell allot of single tires. This week I sold as many single tires as I did pairs. Would you charge more to mount and balance 1 tire? It is the same amount of phone time, paper work and it takes the same amount of time to set up and inspect the vehicle.

 

I would like to know how the additional service are handled by your shop.

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Living far up north I deal with rust everyday. It's part of my work and I don't make much of a deal over it or I'd probably go nuts. A day doesn't go by that I don't bust out the torch, air chisel or what have you to break something loose. It's a rare occasion that I can crack a bleeder screw open without a little heat. Dealing with it is kind of worked into my cost, I mean on average I know how much time is spent on "unseizing" stuff. Sometimes it takes longer and sometimes it's quicker and every now and then I get a southern rust free car in, man you guys down there have no idea how much easier you got it!

 

I know that doesn't relate much to your line of work, but I think consistency in pricing is important. My son is a front end alignment tech at a local GM dealer and their rate is the same regardless if everything's seized up or not. I don't think it's good to vary your rate, even if some jobs are going to take a little more effort. Franchises succeed because of consistency in product, pricing and systems. All the tire shops I know have a rate for tire on/off, balance, patch etc and may discount that if 4 new tires are purchased, but no difference between mounting and balancing 1 tire or 4. If you're constantly varying your prices people are going to wonder why, and you have to explain how everything was rusted and then you get into this big discussion and waste more time and they probably won't feel good about being charged more either way. Just work it into your price and don't make a big deal out of it. That's my opinion anyways.

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This is a touchy subject. The pros will tell you that you have to most certainly be compensated for your extra time which I whole heartedly agree. The problem happens when you menu price jobs such as alignments and tires. In the case of tires I would increase the price of your menu to compensate for the BS. In the case of alignments I would charge appropriately and make it absolutely clear that the cost of the alignment may increase due to seized components. The pros will tell you how profitable alignments can be. So very true if you have consistency when it comes to easy to loosen tie rods and adjustment points. In the northeast as well as anywhere that sees lots of moisture, rain, snow, etc it becomes hell when you get that 1 car that is now stuck on your rack because you have a seized tie rod.

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xrac says it best, your time is worth something if you spend time above the normal alignment time you should be getting paid for it. We have customers and Body Shops come in for an alignment and after we set the vehicle up we find bent part that need to be ordered and they are charged a setup fee.

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"Normal" heating of the tie rod is included. Within reason we charge an extra "Torch Fee" if it gets complicated. If it is a big ticker job it may not show on the bill but if it is a single line job, yea you have to cover costs.

 

We clean ALL wheels with a power wire brush outside the back door and that is built into the tire install job. NY cars are always corroded.

 

I would charge a one tire install at a higher rate but seldom do one tire.

 

We never sell used tires due to liability concerns. See this: http://www.safetyresearch.net/Library/Used_Tires.htm

 

Steering angle resets are charged out in addition to the alignment.

 

Any broken bolts are shown to the customer, maybe with a photo, and billed accordingly. Same with lost locking keys.

 

ALL customers are "financially challenged" but I don't want to be! When they say I don't want to spend much on this car I say "I have never yet had a customer come in the door and say spend as much as I can on the car"!

Dave

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         13 comments
      Most shop owners would agree that the independent auto repair industry has been too cheap for too long regarding its pricing and labor rates. However, can we keep raising our labor rates and prices until we achieve the profit we desire and need? Is it that simple?
      The first step in achieving your required gross and net profit is understanding your numbers and establishing the correct labor and part margins. The next step is to find your business's inefficiencies that impact high production levels.
      Here are a few things to consider. First, do you have the workflow processes in place that is conducive to high production? What about your shop layout? Do you have all the right tools and equipment? Do you have a continuous training program in place? Are technicians waiting to use a particular scanner or waiting to access information from the shop's workstation computer?
      And lastly, are all the estimates written correctly? Is the labor correct for each job? Are you allowing extra time for rust, older vehicles, labor jobs with no parts included, and the fact that many published labor times are wrong? Let's not forget that perhaps the most significant labor loss is not charging enough labor time for testing, electrical work, and other complicated repairs.  
      Once you have determined the correct labor rate and pricing, review your entire operation. Then, tighten up on all those labor leaks and inefficiencies. Improving production and paying close attention to the labor on each job will add much-needed dollars to your bottom line.
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