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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"!


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      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
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