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  1. 3 points
    I took a different approach. I RAISED the price of my tires. My service advisors quote the price and let the customer know we will be more expensive than Tirerack etc but that we can have them on the car and ready to go at the time we promised all the other work to be done. We promote the convenience of it. Our tire volume is down and overall profit on tires is up. Headaches on tires are now nearly nonexistent. It was a risky move but has worked out for us well.
  2. 2 points
    Our labor guide marks up the standard labor by 30%, so a starters that pays 1 hour becomes 1.3. Some jobs take longer some less but it all pretty much works out. Some jobs like a starter on a 5.3 trailblazer require bending the tranny lines out of the way. We quote new lines on a job like this because you just aren't bending them without a leak. Remember an estimate is just that, as soon as you realize your going to lose stop and call the customer. It's a balance between too many conversations and just getting the job done, so by starting out with a bit of a cushion your life gets easier.
  3. 2 points
    reality and the magic of TV, got to love it. All this plays into our customers as well. TV, internet all have a slightly negative effect on our customers. Like the guy that brings his car in that needs a simple starter installed. You quote him book time and he or she replies " how much ?! " I saw a video on the internet took the guy like 5 minutes it is easy " my reply is them is, why are you here then? Some of those reality shows are good some not so much. I get the feeling that if you were to put a majority of those guys out in the field they would fail big time. A lot of " Master mechanic" or " Master builder" self proclaimed and the later one, is there really such a title? LOL
  4. 2 points
    There's a generational difference today between many of us and the new candidate pool. I challenge myself to remember Joe Marconi's words - look at the positive, get in the right frame of mind, and we will get to our destination. Finding the money to pay a Tech a good living is hard but possible. Wish I had answers that could help us but I don't. I will add that I buy the guys lunch on Saturdays and coffee/donuts once a week. I probably spend about $200 to $300 a month on them and it helps. I also pay for training and have an online University available for them for all the CBT they can stomach.
  5. 2 points
    I don’t see their current move with TireHub as causing any problems for me. As for distribution they only are looking at the large city’s like Chicago, New York , LA, Indy and such. They are using the old wharehousing systems they still have in place. Smaller markets will still be supplied by regional distributers. ATD is one of the largest distributors in these large cities and therefore were in direct completion with TireHub. This is just a continuation of what Goodyear started 3 years ago when they moved to sell Tires online, ship them to us, and have us install them. We only get aa minimal delivery fee (about $5) and have to install at the price Goodyear sets. We have to buy the tires, do the work and we get a credit back from Goodyear. Any problems the customer has they have to back to goodyear as they have charged their credit card. But the ustomer blames us for wrong size to type that they ordered. They have stolen all our profits on the sale and do not even pay the spiffs they do if we sell them. This is just a continuation of their greed. Now they are cutting out their distributors so they can take their profit also. All of the upper management of goodyear are ex PepsiCo or Hewlett-Packard and are only concerned about getting their 10% per year increase for the stock holders. They even have the nerve to ask us to warranty Walmart tires as walmart will not warranty a tire unless customer buys roadhazard. As for purchase price Goodyear sets that on thei web site with what they call MAP pricing. If we sell for higher than MAP, we look like crooks gouging the customer. So we have to sell for MAP which is about an 8% profit. I have been in the tire business for almost 35 years and as I have told Goodyear several times we have been a Tire shop selling full service and wil some day become a full service shop selling a few tires.
  6. 2 points
    Re "My customers expect me to match prices so I guess this week it was just the cost of doing buisness." I HOPE you meant your customers would like you to match prices. I tell my customers I can't match Walmart's buying power. I say it with a finality and move on to something else. Everybody knows you have to make a profit. If they still want/hope you to do it for free, do you really want that type of customer? Or, are you being too nice and helpful, at your expense?
  7. 2 points
  8. 2 points
    The Ghost Mechanic Creepier things have happened, but rarely do things go without an explanation. This time around it’s the mystery mechanic who seems to have been working on this guy’s car, or maybe not. Maybe it’s that ghostly mechanic who haunts people’s cars on quiet neighborhood streets in the middle of the night. You know, that guy who leaves nothing but telltale greasy finger prints or unattached wire harnesses, or even loose bolts where loose bolts shouldn’t be. This job was no exception to the antics of the invisible mechanic’s handy work. It’s a mystery worth solving. A Chevy HHR was towed in for a no start condition. It wasn’t exactly a no start; it was more like a poor starting/running condition. When it would run, the poor thing sounded like it was on its last trip to the garage and its first trip to the salvage yard. Trying to beat it to its last ride on the tow truck, I hooked up the scanner to see what inner mysteries were present. Code P1682 (Ignition 1 switch circuit 2), but I wasn’t done yet. Time to do a complete health check on all the modules. Sure enough, the ‘U’ codes were off the charts. Seems we have a lot of low voltage codes causing a problem. A quick check of the wiring diagram showed the power led to a voltage input lead for the PCM, TCM, and several other circuits that would definitely lead to a rough, hard to start, non-cooperating HHR. This may turn out to be a simple problem after all. Could be wiring, a component, or perhaps a fuse box problem. A quick glance at the fuse box didn’t reveal much, but I should probably take a closer look at that fuse box. Maybe go as far as physically checking the actual fuse circuit. Hmm, something is amiss here. The fuse is good, but the fuse is in the wrong slot. The slot that it’s in should be an empty slot. Seems somebody was fooling around under the hood and didn’t put the fuse back correctly. Might as well try moving the fuse back to the proper location. Well, imagine that, this old HHR starts right up! OK, it’s not running the best . . . yet. Do a little throttle relearn and it runs as good as new. After rechecking the related circuits for any damage, or out of place items I gave the HHR the once around the block test. Runs great, sounds great, no warning lights, no unusual noises, seems fine to me. I guess I’ll write up an invoice on this job and call the customer. As I closed the hood, the telltale greasy hand prints from the last guy who was under the hood were everywhere. I think I spent as much time cleaning this guy’s hood as I spent diagnosing the problem. I gave him a call and explained to him, as best I could, what I had found. Although, I did have that one nagging question regarding who had worked on the car previously. I really wanted an answer to that question. "NOBODY" … are you serious? That’s when I explained the entire repair all over again. Between the greasy finger marks on the hood and fenders, and the fuse in the wrong place, I’m afraid I’m not going to buy the story that the mysterious ghost mechanic has struck again. His only explanation came down to the whole thing must have been a poltergeist or something. Or ‘someone’ not ‘something’ is a better way to put it. I’m not buying the ghost mechanic theory. At this point, he seemed to be more intent on finding out the final bill, and not so much on solving the mystery of how the fuse mysteriously moved into a different slot. But, before I gave him the total, I recommended he perform an exorcism on his car, since ‘NOBODY’ has been touching it. His response, "How much more will that cost me?” Seriously? Now, I’ve been asked to do all sorts of things to a car, like put a helicopter landing pad on the roof, remove a varmint from behind the dash, or turn a Prius into a tow truck, but I don’t think I’ve ever been explicitly asked to do an exorcism on the family truckster. Actually, I’m starting to put this whole thing together. The mystery mechanic is none other than this guy himself. His answers to certain questions, and how he told his story were a dead giveaway as to who the ghost mechanic was. I swear some people just can’t be honest and admit when they’re beyond their learning curve. We both might have had a good laugh over the whole thing, but instead this guy wants me to drop the price in half, since it was such an ‘easy’ repair and all, and ignore the whereabouts of this seemingly ghostly apparition with the mindless ability to screw up the family car. But, since this guy wouldn’t own up to it, even with the evidence of his very own greasy paw prints, he’s in for a lesson of honesty, awareness of his own abilities, and how to pay for a professional diagnosis. It’s just another case of the mechanic solving the mystery of the proverbial ghost mechanic. Debunking wives’A tales about the modern automobile, supernatural occurrences under the hood, and apparitions that seem to move fuses around is just another duty of the modern mechanic. Oh, and don’t think you’re the first person who’s tried the ghost mechanic as your method of passing the blame… you’re not. Every good mechanic has performed their fair share of exorcisms in the past and have seen the results of the mystery mechanic and his endeavors. We know who you really are. View full article
  9. 2 points
    Sorry about the double post but I wanted to fix a few spelling errors and I couldn't find the edit button on my first post. The industry has been recommending best on the rear for probably 15 years or more. If a customer requests otherwise we will do it with a big disclaimer on the invoice. Plus, I keep a lot of articles under the counter from Road and Track, etc that stress the point. I did a track day in Texas with Continental where they had us go thru water in a turn with 1/2 worn tires on the front and then the back. With the 1/2 worn tires on the front you would feel the car start to understeer causing you to get off the throttle, this would cause a weight transfer to the front helping you regain control. With the half worn tires on the rear, the car would go into oversteer causing you to get off the throttle, which would transfer weight to the front making the oversteer worse and causing a spin. This happened to everybody even though they knew to expect it. Understeer is much safer for the average driver than oversteer. That's why car manufacturers build understeer in most cars. Also why most oval track race cars dial a bit of understeer in.
  10. 1 point
    I make an invoice for the parts at cost and pay it plus tax. ny is pretty funny about their sales tax so I'm paranoid. I could just buy the parts and pay sales tax on the spot and not write a r.o. But it's easier this way. My techs are hourly so they don't care or I just do it myself.
  11. 1 point
    There is a little-known free service that companies charge for. Some reputation management companies are built entirely around this service. The service is that they let you know, via E-mail, if your shop gets a review, or any time your shop’s name is mentioned online. Google offers this service for free and it’s called Alerts. Google Alerts allows you to enter any name, website, company, or whatever you want to stay on top of. For example, I listed my name, my shop’s name, my shop’s website, and my main suppliers into Google Alerts. Google Alerts watches the entire internet including social media. If you do a YouTube search for Google Alerts, there’s a lot of videos showing how you can may $100/day or more with Google Alerts. I can go on about it, but it’s easier to simply go to https://www.google.com/alerts Now you know!
  12. 1 point
    t's reality all right, when you find out it's not as easy as it looks on tv!, not to mention higher costs and time consuming.
  13. 1 point
    Real or Reality TV Have ya noticed all the reality programs on TV these days? There’s a reality show for every subject you can think of... and probably a few you never would have thought of. From high society in the big city to the suburbs, and even some from way … way back in the woods. They can be quite entertaining, funny, and sometimes pretty strange. Now, I’m not much on which rich neighbor is doing what with which rich neighbor or who makes the best moonshine, but what I do know is a few things about the automotive repair world. I've been to check a few of those shows out. Although, from my side of the wrench, as a professional mechanic, I take a completely different view of them. In my opinion, some of these reality shows are far from 'real' reality, and I’ve certainly watched a few that I didn’t even make it past the first commercial break before I flipped the channel to something else. It’s not so much the cars; it’s how they go about restoring them that gets to me. They’ll start off with somebody flashing a wad of cash, and then they buy some old relic, tow it to their garage and present it to the crew. The crew will have this shocked look as to what was just dropped off or they’ll have their own ideas about how nuts their boss is for even thinking about taking on this relic as a project. That's about the time the boss gives them the lowdown on what his/her vision is of the latest acquisition. Which, usually consists of a full tear down and rebuild, but they only have a few weeks to do it all in. By the end of the show there's a gleaming fully restored work of art that (for the sake of reality TV) there is already a buyer or two ready to shell out some ridiculous amount of money for it. But the shows that really irk me are the ones that use the “all-nighter” approach to car repair. They’ll completely dismantle a car down to the last nut and bolt and in the length of one long commercial break they'll have all the mechanical, electrical, vacuum systems, interior, instrument panel, brakes, transmission, rear-end, engine, cooling system, heating systems, glass, and a full paint and body mod completed in less than 72 hours. (I can't find a lot of those parts in less than 72 hours) And, the best part, (or biggest guffaw on these shows) is during the final reveal. They drag the new or previous owner into a warehouse and surprise them with their refurbished car. Off to the side, just out of the primary camera view, is the entire crew that has spent the last three days with no sleep looking as fresh as a daisy. I'm in awe of the crew to say the least, not one of them is covered in grease, has half of their shirt untucked, no fresh cuts or scraps, not a single bandaid in view, and not one of them showing any effects from sleep deprivation. Simply amazing… gotta love it... must be some of that TV magic. I’ve done my share of all night marathon repairs before and quite frankly, by the time the sun comes up I’m not the most coherent guy with a lug wrench in his hand. Hey, they call it “Reality TV” but, as this arm chair quarterback sees it……. it doesn’t seem all that realistic to me. I’m sure the entire staff are some of the finest mechanics, bodyman, electrical gurus of the automotive world, but I highly doubt you can turn out a truly professionally restored vehicle in that short amount of time. There has to be a huge number of short cuts that are taken to meet the TV deadlines. On the other hand, there are a lot of great automotive reality programs on the television that go to great lengths to show how a modification is installed and go through the process of explaining those mods to the “nth” degree. Any show that portrays the reality of doing the job I do every day in a professional manner I'll sit down and watch it from beginning to end. You want to show me how you install some super cool new rear tail light lenses or wild looking front grill... awesome!!! Or, pulling an engine out of a classic and doing the necessary rebuild on it... super!!! Love that stuff. But, when you try to convince me that you're going to take some car that has been sitting for ten years in the back of some family garage totally neglected and raise it from the dead overnight... ya lost me. Come on, I do resto's all the time and the biggest hassle with any of them is and always been the parts availability. A job comes in the shop, y put it up on the lift and spin the drive shaft only to find out the differential or bearings are shot. It’s not like you're going to run down to the local parts store and pick up a set of bearings for a thirty year old low production car just like that. But, somehow, someway, some of these shows pull it off... (That's TV for ya.) Aside from all the mechanical woes, ya have to consider what the original reason was for the car to be parked for so long in the first place. Nine chances out of ten it's because something was worn out and the replacement part was hard to find, or really expensive to repair. Not every car in the back of the garage is there because someone was collecting it or saving it for a reality show to come by and restore it. In some ways it gives the novice car enthusiast the wrong impression of what it takes to restore a car. Lately I've been doing a lot more restoration projects than I've done in the past and I do believe it's a result of all these reality shows being aired. For that, I thank you. But, at the same time... shame on you! I can't live up to the overnight expectations that seem so possible on the big screen. Even though the customer doesn't mention they have been watching a reality show, you know... they're thinking … “This shouldn’t take that long. It didn't take that long for that guy on TV.” The idea that you're going to resurrect a dilapidated hunk of iron into a show stopper in a short span of time just ain't real reality. And, let's not forget the real big issue.... cost. Now there's some reality for ya! When the customer starts to see the costs, WOW!!! Then the reality of doing a restoration project starts to set in. Makes ya wonder if putting that old rust bucket back in the corner of the garage might be a far better idea than fixing it up. I'm certainly grateful for the few shows that have that “sit-down-with-the-customer” session explaining the cost of the restoration. It does add to the realism and makes it more believable. I’ve got a big “Thank You” to the guys and gals on these shows that portray the automotive world in its true form. It's a pleasure for me as a professional mechanic to see the artistry and talent of another professional on screen. Watching them dealing with a stuck bolt, rusty bodywork, or dodging the fumes from the soldering gun is all part of the real reality. But, I do have to give credit to all the other shows too, they are entertaining, and in some small way add to the resurgence in restorations projects across the country…. The only thing I ask is… keep it real. View full article
  14. 1 point
    Real or Reality TV Have ya noticed all the reality programs on TV these days? There’s a reality show for every subject you can think of... and probably a few you never would have thought of. From high society in the big city to the suburbs, and even some from way … way back in the woods. They can be quite entertaining, funny, and sometimes pretty strange. Now, I’m not much on which rich neighbor is doing what with which rich neighbor or who makes the best moonshine, but what I do know is a few things about the automotive repair world. I've been to check a few of those shows out. Although, from my side of the wrench, as a professional mechanic, I take a completely different view of them. In my opinion, some of these reality shows are far from 'real' reality, and I’ve certainly watched a few that I didn’t even make it past the first commercial break before I flipped the channel to something else. It’s not so much the cars; it’s how they go about restoring them that gets to me. They’ll start off with somebody flashing a wad of cash, and then they buy some old relic, tow it to their garage and present it to the crew. The crew will have this shocked look as to what was just dropped off or they’ll have their own ideas about how nuts their boss is for even thinking about taking on this relic as a project. That's about the time the boss gives them the lowdown on what his/her vision is of the latest acquisition. Which, usually consists of a full tear down and rebuild, but they only have a few weeks to do it all in. By the end of the show there's a gleaming fully restored work of art that (for the sake of reality TV) there is already a buyer or two ready to shell out some ridiculous amount of money for it. But the shows that really irk me are the ones that use the “all-nighter” approach to car repair. They’ll completely dismantle a car down to the last nut and bolt and in the length of one long commercial break they'll have all the mechanical, electrical, vacuum systems, interior, instrument panel, brakes, transmission, rear-end, engine, cooling system, heating systems, glass, and a full paint and body mod completed in less than 72 hours. (I can't find a lot of those parts in less than 72 hours) And, the best part, (or biggest guffaw on these shows) is during the final reveal. They drag the new or previous owner into a warehouse and surprise them with their refurbished car. Off to the side, just out of the primary camera view, is the entire crew that has spent the last three days with no sleep looking as fresh as a daisy. I'm in awe of the crew to say the least, not one of them is covered in grease, has half of their shirt untucked, no fresh cuts or scraps, not a single bandaid in view, and not one of them showing any effects from sleep deprivation. Simply amazing… gotta love it... must be some of that TV magic. I’ve done my share of all night marathon repairs before and quite frankly, by the time the sun comes up I’m not the most coherent guy with a lug wrench in his hand. Hey, they call it “Reality TV” but, as this arm chair quarterback sees it……. it doesn’t seem all that realistic to me. I’m sure the entire staff are some of the finest mechanics, bodyman, electrical gurus of the automotive world, but I highly doubt you can turn out a truly professionally restored vehicle in that short amount of time. There has to be a huge number of short cuts that are taken to meet the TV deadlines. On the other hand, there are a lot of great automotive reality programs on the television that go to great lengths to show how a modification is installed and go through the process of explaining those mods to the “nth” degree. Any show that portrays the reality of doing the job I do every day in a professional manner I'll sit down and watch it from beginning to end. You want to show me how you install some super cool new rear tail light lenses or wild looking front grill... awesome!!! Or, pulling an engine out of a classic and doing the necessary rebuild on it... super!!! Love that stuff. But, when you try to convince me that you're going to take some car that has been sitting for ten years in the back of some family garage totally neglected and raise it from the dead overnight... ya lost me. Come on, I do resto's all the time and the biggest hassle with any of them is and always been the parts availability. A job comes in the shop, y put it up on the lift and spin the drive shaft only to find out the differential or bearings are shot. It’s not like you're going to run down to the local parts store and pick up a set of bearings for a thirty year old low production car just like that. But, somehow, someway, some of these shows pull it off... (That's TV for ya.) Aside from all the mechanical woes, ya have to consider what the original reason was for the car to be parked for so long in the first place. Nine chances out of ten it's because something was worn out and the replacement part was hard to find, or really expensive to repair. Not every car in the back of the garage is there because someone was collecting it or saving it for a reality show to come by and restore it. In some ways it gives the novice car enthusiast the wrong impression of what it takes to restore a car. Lately I've been doing a lot more restoration projects than I've done in the past and I do believe it's a result of all these reality shows being aired. For that, I thank you. But, at the same time... shame on you! I can't live up to the overnight expectations that seem so possible on the big screen. Even though the customer doesn't mention they have been watching a reality show, you know... they're thinking … “This shouldn’t take that long. It didn't take that long for that guy on TV.” The idea that you're going to resurrect a dilapidated hunk of iron into a show stopper in a short span of time just ain't real reality. And, let's not forget the real big issue.... cost. Now there's some reality for ya! When the customer starts to see the costs, WOW!!! Then the reality of doing a restoration project starts to set in. Makes ya wonder if putting that old rust bucket back in the corner of the garage might be a far better idea than fixing it up. I'm certainly grateful for the few shows that have that “sit-down-with-the-customer” session explaining the cost of the restoration. It does add to the realism and makes it more believable. I’ve got a big “Thank You” to the guys and gals on these shows that portray the automotive world in its true form. It's a pleasure for me as a professional mechanic to see the artistry and talent of another professional on screen. Watching them dealing with a stuck bolt, rusty bodywork, or dodging the fumes from the soldering gun is all part of the real reality. But, I do have to give credit to all the other shows too, they are entertaining, and in some small way add to the resurgence in restorations projects across the country…. The only thing I ask is… keep it real.
  15. 1 point
    I'm interested in the "cheese" job. Where can I apply?
  16. 1 point
    I understand that many of you responding feel that you need to perform labor tasks for free because someone else in your surrounding area offers it for free. Where does that end? Free brake inspections? Free tire repairs? Free code scans? Free battery installs? And it seems that all of the free services are happily given away with the thought or excuse that it affords us the opportunity to inspect the vehicle and find other work. Routinely I read posts concerning anger that Advance or Auto Zone offers free services such as code scans or battery replacement. Why would we want to walk down that same path that they are on? As soon as a labor function is offered for free it degrades it’s true value. We are professionals and as professionals we deserve to be compensated appropriately for whatever labor is expended or we risk degrading our labor efforts to valueless. My ability to inspect brakes during a tire rotation is not hampered by the fact that the customer is paying for the rotation. Understandably by giving away free rotations it may (or it should) put you in a position of being able to inspect more brakes. What is the tipping point? In an era with fewer and fewer labor tasks being required on the newer vehicles we may be left with doing free rotations. When does giving away labor equate to a financial gain? Leave that to be figured out by the accountants, until then we will continue to charge for services rendered. Presently our charge for tire rotation is $30.00 except when we have to interact with TPMS post rotation then the charge is $35.00. Concerning the original question of best tires on front or rear. We put best on rear unless tread depth differentials are 2/32” or less. As an industry we should demand that the RMA establish written guidelines for us to use and be able to show to our customers.
  17. 1 point
    It is also worth mentioning that Google seems to reward businesses that are active with Google posts under GMB. I usually try to post once or twice per week, seems to help.
  18. 1 point
    In my experience it's been Hankook and Goodyear with massive discounts at big box stores. Are there any tire manufacturers that try and stay away from this type of thing? I'd rather be pushing a tire for a company that doesn't allow this to happen as they're the only one that can prevent this.
  19. 1 point
    Losing a sale to the big box store is not as bad as losing a sale to the tire store up the street. The big box store won't tell them they need brakes or that they have a bad ball joint and they can't do an alignment. The big box store can't even replace a broken wheel stud. Those places are only for a certain type of customer and as a general rule I do not think that customer does the best job of keeping up with vehicle maintenance.
  20. 1 point
    No Rick, you did not lose a customer (unless you are a tire store only). You lost a money losing job to a big box, but that big box cannot do the other jobs you can. Concentrate on filling your bays with what you can make money on, not with what you wish you could make money on. Sounds oversimplified, I know, but I have many regulars who buy tires at the big places and do the rest of their service with us and I am fine with that. When I do sell tires they are at a profit because I am the convenient shop for tires, not the cheap one.
  21. 1 point
    Life is short. I take long vacations and expect my employees to also take time off. When questioned years ago by an old timer why I was open on Saturdays I replied that I didn't want to lose the business. His answer was " how can you lose something you didn't have in the first place"? He also said if I can't make it on 5 days then I was doing something wrong. That was 15 years ago and I have not been open on Saturdays since then. As a very specialized shop I can get away with this easier than most shops. We also take advantage of 3-4 day weekends during any holidays and pay all the employees their full pay. They also get 3 weeks paid vacation time per year although only 1 week at a time can be taken during a 30 day period. I let them use my condo on Lake Michigan free of charge whenever they want. I do not pay sick days and expect them to stay late if needed which only happens 3-5 times per year. Needless to say, most of my employees have been with me 10 years and 2 of them over 20 years. I had always said to myself that if I ever had a shop of my own that I would treat my employees the way I wanted to be treated.
  22. 1 point
    Let me share a great story. The year was 1820 and Peter Richley was a grateful man. He had survived one of the strangest and most harrowing events known to mankind. The ship which he had been traveling on sank. He was rescued. By some strange twist of circumstance, however, this ship sank. He was rescued again. But, this third ship sank likewise. He was rescued for a third time. Yet, his fourth ship of passage soon sank. And unbelievably, he was rescued for a fourth time, but this fifth ship sank as well. It would have been laughable had it not been so serious. On the high seas, however, he floated with the serene confidence that somehow God did not want him to die. And sure enough, as if on cue, another ship came by and answered his call for help. This ocean liner, The City of Leeds, was named after it’s British city of orgin. It was bound from England to Australia and traveled the same sea lane as Peter Richley’s downed ships. The crew of The City of Leeds hoisted Peter aboard. Dry clothing was provided to Peter. The ship’s doctor gave him a cursory exam, pronounced him fit, and then asked an unusual favor. “There’s a lady on board who booked passage to Australia,” the doctor explained. “She’s looking for her son who disappeared years ago. She’s dying and she’s asking to see her son. She knows everybody on board and since you’re the only newcomer, would you pretend to be her son?” Peter agreed. After all, his life had now been saved for the fifth time. He followed the doctor below deck and entered into a cabin. There on a small bed lay a frail woman with silvered-hair. She was obviously suffering from a very high fever. Deliriously, she was crying out. “Please God. Let me see my son before I die. I must see my son!” The ship’s doctor gently pushed the young man toward the bed. Soon, however, Peter Richley began sobbing. For lying there on that bed was the reason that he couldn’t seem to die. Here was the lifeline that had kept him from drowning five times. For lying on that bed was none other than Sarah Richley—who had prayed for ten years to reconciled to her son, Peter. The ship’s doctor stood in amazement as the young man fell down by the bed and embraced the sick woman. “I’m here mom! I’m here. It’s me!” Within days the fever had subsided and his mother awakened to find an answered prayer seated on the edge of her bed. (This story was told by western writer Louis L’Amour in an interview he gave. This story bears out the saying, “truth is stranger than fiction.” In researching the Louis L’Amour website there were additional references that bear out this story to be a true story.)
  23. 1 point
    you see a lot because the battery is one of the most replaced components in a vehicle!
  24. 1 point
    Clamps and Batteries (Some of the ways I've seen battery clamps installed on cars over the years... there are some positive and some negative aspects to them... ) The first time I saw a hose clamp holding the positive cable onto the battery I just couldn’t believe it. Nobody prepared me for things like this. It’s not the kind of thing covered in tech schools, or in one of those “how-to-fix-your-car” manuals. It’s something that will surprise you the first time you see it… but then it happens again. A few months later, I open the hood on another car, and low and behold… it’s a pair of grip pliers attached the terminal. This time I took the pliers up to the customer and told him what I found. He didn’t want the pliers back… OK, then… I’ll clean them up, and put them in my tool box. Now I’ve got a collection of these crazy battery clamp contraptions. They’ve kept showing up over the years without fail; from screws and nails tightening a worn out clamp to some foreign object taking the place of the original clamps. Ya just never know. I think the grip pliers are probably the most popular form of substitution. Not much use as pliers anymore, the teeth are usually worn or something else is wrong with them. But, I don’t want to just throw them away… I always think I’ll find some use for them later… never do of course. Wouldn’t it make more sense to replace the clamp when it’s time with an appropriate type of replacement clamp? And, it’s not like some of these “wiz-bang” contraptions were just put on yesterday, oh no… some of these creations have huge amounts of corrosion and “fuzz” built up on the terminals. There must be a misconception about how a battery clamp does its job? Has to be, why else would I see this so often, and it’s not always on the good old hunting truck or the farm truck that hardly ever makes it out of the fields. It’s the everyday soccer mom’s car or the exotic odd-shape-battery-style cars, either. Something else to think about… some thought has gone into these “home engineered” clamps. It took a lot of time and effort to accomplish these inventive forms of electrical fasteners. I’ve even had a car that someone had taken strips of a soda can and used them as spacers between the clamp and the post. This wasn’t just a quick little effort mind you. Somebody had to think about it, conjure up a plan… get a pair of tin snips, cut out strips from a soda can at just the right height to match the clamp and then carefully place a few of them into the gap. Before ya knew it, the clamp was tight again… a genius at work I tell you…a genius!… maybe not MENSA material, but a genius for sure. One time I had a car in where somebody used a high voltage connector for a battery clamp. The kind you would find on high voltage overhead electrical lines. It was a splice clamp used to hold two lines together. Apparently it was the only thing handy, and it did work; in fact must have worked for quite some time… I couldn’t tell what it was until I removed the almost two inches of corrosion build up. I don’t know what kind of material this clamp was made out of, but battery acid sure liked it a lot. Then there was this rocket scientist attempt at improving on the old battery clamp… he used a hacksaw blade and cut the post down the middle. Then put the clamp back on with a small steel wedge down into the crack he made with the hacksaw. From the pounding the top of the battery had taken it looked like the guy used a sledge hammer to knock the little wedge in place. Of course, it wasn’t long before the battery started to leak acid out of the post. What a mess… A real favorite of mine are the ones that tighten, and tighten, and tighten the bolt clamp until that little bolt won’t go one thread tighter. Then bring the car in thinking they have a major electrical problem, because at times the starter will click, or they’ll lose all power to the vehicle. The place I’ll always look at first are the clamps. 99% of time it’s a simple clamp problem, especially when I can remove the battery clamp off the post without turning the bolt. (Yo’ dude… that clamp is made of lead… it will stretch and deform out of shape. You can tighten all you want but it ain’t going to get any better.) Now let’s talk battery size… really… is this all that hard to figure out? If the battery in the car had the positive post on the right, and you put a battery in that had the positive post on the left… uhmmm… do ya think ya might have a problem? Ya gotta put the right size back in… just ‘cause it fit… doesn’t mean it “fits”. The old air cooled VW is one that comes to mind. I’ve lost count of how many of those I’ve rewired after a too tall battery was installed and burnt the whole back end of the car. It never ceases to amaze me how a simple thing like a battery or a clamp can become such a traumatic fiasco in a car. Just boggles the mind at all the variations of craziness I’ve seen over the years with battery installations and repairs. Many years ago a customer brought in a 75’ MBenz that his grandson had put the battery in backwards. The car was ruined, but not completely… it could be rewired and repaired, but the cost was more than he wanted to deal with. I bought the car off of him as is, and tore it down and rewired it. I drove it for several years, and then later gave it to my daughter to use. Battery replacement should be a basic simple repair; however, after seeing some of the creative ways people create their own connections or how they install them, looks like a complete loss of common sense to me. I’d like to think simple is the word to explain it, but simple doesn’t even begin to describe it all. These days I just laugh at the marvels of these back yard engineering feats. It’s hard to keep a straight face when you get back to the front counter to explain to the customer that a paperclip and two bread twist ties aren’t strong enough to keep the cable attached to the battery. It’s some of the best entertainment at the shop. Gotta love em’. Just to let ya know, I’ve already got enough grip pliers, old hose clamps, coat hangers, screws, wire nuts, small bench vices, ratcheting wood clamps, fence pliers, clothes pins, meat skewers, and c-clamps to last me a lifetime, so if you would please, come up with a few new ones for me… I’ve got room in my collection for more…Oh, and I could use a few more laughs too.
  25. 1 point
    Clamps and Batteries (Some of the ways I've seen battery clamps installed on cars over the years... there are some positive and some negative aspects to them... ) The first time I saw a hose clamp holding the positive cable onto the battery I just couldn’t believe it. Nobody prepared me for things like this. It’s not the kind of thing covered in tech schools, or in one of those “how-to-fix-your-car” manuals. It’s something that will surprise you the first time you see it… but then it happens again. A few months later, I open the hood on another car, and low and behold… it’s a pair of grip pliers attached the terminal. This time I took the pliers up to the customer and told him what I found. He didn’t want the pliers back… OK, then… I’ll clean them up, and put them in my tool box. Now I’ve got a collection of these crazy battery clamp contraptions. They’ve kept showing up over the years without fail; from screws and nails tightening a worn out clamp to some foreign object taking the place of the original clamps. Ya just never know. I think the grip pliers are probably the most popular form of substitution. Not much use as pliers anymore, the teeth are usually worn or something else is wrong with them. But, I don’t want to just throw them away… I always think I’ll find some use for them later… never do of course. Wouldn’t it make more sense to replace the clamp when it’s time with an appropriate type of replacement clamp? And, it’s not like some of these “wiz-bang” contraptions were just put on yesterday, oh no… some of these creations have huge amounts of corrosion and “fuzz” built up on the terminals. There must be a misconception about how a battery clamp does its job? Has to be, why else would I see this so often, and it’s not always on the good old hunting truck or the farm truck that hardly ever makes it out of the fields. It’s the everyday soccer mom’s car or the exotic odd-shape-battery-style cars, either. Something else to think about… some thought has gone into these “home engineered” clamps. It took a lot of time and effort to accomplish these inventive forms of electrical fasteners. I’ve even had a car that someone had taken strips of a soda can and used them as spacers between the clamp and the post. This wasn’t just a quick little effort mind you. Somebody had to think about it, conjure up a plan… get a pair of tin snips, cut out strips from a soda can at just the right height to match the clamp and then carefully place a few of them into the gap. Before ya knew it, the clamp was tight again… a genius at work I tell you…a genius!… maybe not MENSA material, but a genius for sure. One time I had a car in where somebody used a high voltage connector for a battery clamp. The kind you would find on high voltage overhead electrical lines. It was a splice clamp used to hold two lines together. Apparently it was the only thing handy, and it did work; in fact must have worked for quite some time… I couldn’t tell what it was until I removed the almost two inches of corrosion build up. I don’t know what kind of material this clamp was made out of, but battery acid sure liked it a lot. Then there was this rocket scientist attempt at improving on the old battery clamp… he used a hacksaw blade and cut the post down the middle. Then put the clamp back on with a small steel wedge down into the crack he made with the hacksaw. From the pounding the top of the battery had taken it looked like the guy used a sledge hammer to knock the little wedge in place. Of course, it wasn’t long before the battery started to leak acid out of the post. What a mess… A real favorite of mine are the ones that tighten, and tighten, and tighten the bolt clamp until that little bolt won’t go one thread tighter. Then bring the car in thinking they have a major electrical problem, because at times the starter will click, or they’ll lose all power to the vehicle. The place I’ll always look at first are the clamps. 99% of time it’s a simple clamp problem, especially when I can remove the battery clamp off the post without turning the bolt. (Yo’ dude… that clamp is made of lead… it will stretch and deform out of shape. You can tighten all you want but it ain’t going to get any better.) Now let’s talk battery size… really… is this all that hard to figure out? If the battery in the car had the positive post on the right, and you put a battery in that had the positive post on the left… uhmmm… do ya think ya might have a problem? Ya gotta put the right size back in… just ‘cause it fit… doesn’t mean it “fits”. The old air cooled VW is one that comes to mind. I’ve lost count of how many of those I’ve rewired after a too tall battery was installed and burnt the whole back end of the car. It never ceases to amaze me how a simple thing like a battery or a clamp can become such a traumatic fiasco in a car. Just boggles the mind at all the variations of craziness I’ve seen over the years with battery installations and repairs. Many years ago a customer brought in a 75’ MBenz that his grandson had put the battery in backwards. The car was ruined, but not completely… it could be rewired and repaired, but the cost was more than he wanted to deal with. I bought the car off of him as is, and tore it down and rewired it. I drove it for several years, and then later gave it to my daughter to use. Battery replacement should be a basic simple repair; however, after seeing some of the creative ways people create their own connections or how they install them, looks like a complete loss of common sense to me. I’d like to think simple is the word to explain it, but simple doesn’t even begin to describe it all. These days I just laugh at the marvels of these back yard engineering feats. It’s hard to keep a straight face when you get back to the front counter to explain to the customer that a paperclip and two bread twist ties aren’t strong enough to keep the cable attached to the battery. It’s some of the best entertainment at the shop. Gotta love em’. Just to let ya know, I’ve already got enough grip pliers, old hose clamps, coat hangers, screws, wire nuts, small bench vices, ratcheting wood clamps, fence pliers, clothes pins, meat skewers, and c-clamps to last me a lifetime, so if you would please, come up with a few new ones for me… I’ve got room in my collection for more…Oh, and I could use a few more laughs too. View full article
  26. 1 point
    At one time they did. They had tires made to their specs by major tire company’s. Usually retired molds. Now they just sell the same tires. Walmart still has a few of their own such as the Goodyear Viva 3. As a goodyear dealer I can not even order that tire.
  27. 1 point
    To each their own 3Putt. The tire sales industry and the automotive repair industry are really two different types of business and they each require different approaches. I have been in the retail tire business my entire adult life and have seen/tried different methods for purchasing, marketing, pricing, and warehousing tires. This method has been far superior to any other. It is definitely more difficult and requires large amounts of time, effort, and capital. This strategy is the best way to grow tire sales for those owners/managers out there that wish to do so and are willing to invest the required time and effort to educate themselves about the products themselves and the consumer psychology that drives tire purchasing decisions. Yes, we do have marketing campaigns in place, but I never have to hope someone is going to come in needing the tires I have.
  28. 1 point
    I run my own Google ad words and I work my butt off to make sure I have good reviews. I run Yelp ads and again work off butt to make sure Yelp reviews are too notch. Beyond that community events, Facebook posts, and boots to the pavement introducing yourself should cover the bases these days. If you have a larger shop more then 4 lifts I think you have to run some coupon shoppers to keep the bats filled. Just keep in mind coupon customers need to be hand held through the process of you want any chance of converting them. Local radio shows have also helped us fill the gaps.
  29. 1 point
    Always respond to the negative review. It shows other potential customers that you care and acknowledge the complaint. Just remember when commenting you are not responding to the customer, you are responding to everyone reading.
  30. 1 point
    we sell tires at 30.00 over cost to remain somewhat competitive , it works well , convenience is a big thing to , the customer can just have all done here at one time instead of bouncing all over town looking for a "deal" we sell more than we lose. Jeff
  31. 1 point
    This is a very good topic. Though I am not the owner but have managed multiple shops I always run into the question. Can I work on my vehicle during shop hours if we have an open bay and we are slow? Do we mark up the parts if they want to purchase them through the shop account? Do we open a repair order for insurance purposes? If the tech is paid salary do you charge him for the hours needed for the repair say like a valve cover replacement? I've been with many different independent shops and each owner does things differently. What do you all think is the right way to do it?
  32. 1 point
    We raised our synthetic blend oil change price to $52 just because it isn't worth less to me. Now of course, we're doing more of them than we used to. Go figure. One person wrote a review that he would rather pay a real mechanic an honest price than go to a quickie place and fight off $150 of upsells from a teenager every time.
  33. 1 point
    This is the most recent add that we put up on a number of locations. It was effective for me: Regards, Mike Import repair Technician well versed in diagnostics. Company Type: Independent Repair Service Start Date: Immediate Posted by: Michael Moench Technician would be responsible for inspecting, diagnosing and estimating repairs while working with a top notch service manager. Technician would be trained on all shop diagnostic equipment. Training and continuing education from multiple sources is available and is paid for by employer. $18 to $30 per hour plus benefits. Vacation pay plus shared health care. We believe in hiring the right talent and letting them make their money! Tired of working someplace where you're just a number? We are a family owned and operated shop that's looking for you! We are looking for an experienced Technician who wants an environment where they can be the professional that they are. Pay is based on experience and ability. Great opportunities for all Techs and we are e$pecially interested if YOU have European and Asian import experience. Why else consider J B Import Automotive Repair? How about: 5 day work week NO Saturdays or Sundays; our Techs make great pay without cutting into family or personal time Modern shop Well-maintained equipment Plenty of room and lifts for our Techs Bright well maintained work areas All the latest software and computer terminals in our shop Professional Service Advisors who respect our Techs Our customers trust our shop so we always have plenty of good business for our Techs year-round *Even if YOU have never worked in an independent shop, we invite you to talk to us to find out more about our shop, our work and our area! *Techs, retail warranty work here. Get paid fairly on EVERY job! *Submit YOUR resume with confidence that all contacts with us are completely confidential. Do it TODAY! Our benefits include: Health Insurance Disability Coverage Paid Vacation Paid Holidays Provided Uniforms Continued Paid Training
  34. 1 point
    A tool that works really great for seized bolts and nuts is an induction heater. They are faster and there’s no open flame. Of course they don’t fit every situation but they really work super. I use mine a lot. I believe mine is the “Bolt Buster “
  35. 1 point
    My first thought...
  36. 1 point
    yes I also pay my guys hourly. The bonus program is pretty simple. I’ve been paying them $1 for every billed hour. After every month, we have a lunch meeting and go over numbers, I give them their folder with all the jobs they billed out that month. They can make around $150 (or more) if they have a decent month. I used to give them 100 bucks if we surpassed a certain gross sales per month. However this seems be working pretty well and the guys get a kick out of watching their numbers. It’s also help because I let them recommend their own labor times per job (so there extra mindful now if they think something is going to take longer)
  37. 1 point
    It is like I said. It is time to fight fire with fire. Depending on how nasty you want to be you can withdraw your previous offers and demand payment for what is due you. You are actually now in control of this situation because you have their car. If you have your lawyer send a letter it would scare the socks off them. Hiring a lawyer to defend themselves would cost them a couple of grand. People are naive and watch too much TV. They are overplaying their hand. In regards to the BBB they are just a joke, a paper tiger. They never give a business a bad rating unless that business is bankrupt or being pursued by the law. If you respond to them they will always wind up closing the case whether anything is resolved or not. BBB is too afraid of being sued to give a business that is functioning a bad rating. All BBB is a money scam. When people threaten to call the BBB I offer to give them the number.
  38. 1 point
    A full synthetic oil change for under $30 is a heck of a value. 😉 There are a lot of different business models that can work. Your method is effective for you, and mine is effective for me. Nothing wrong with either. A lot of it depends on your demographic. I happen to have a really good demographic that most shops would envy. The local demo has money, but not so much that they buy new cars on a whim. There are a lot of stay at home moms that actively look for bargains so they can make a single income stretch a little further, but at the same time they know that they can't trust their vehicle to just anyone. This is where being super competitive on the commodities like an oil change come in. Lure them in with the oil change, then impress them with the great facility and staff. Steady car count and good ARO have been the result. Because of my demographics and the kind of operation we run, we get very few of the "problem" customers that most people associate with bargain hunters. Like I said in another thread, who cares if you get rich by serving people looking for a discount oil change? You're still rich, right?
  39. 1 point
    The Refrigerator Light Did ya ever find yourself at the service counter trying to explain to a customer how you diagnose an intermittent problem? I know I have. Intermittent problems can vary and the explanations of these problems are just as diverse as the problems. Typically, I’ll ask the standard questions: When does it seem to happen most often, how often does it occur, is it more likely in the morning or afternoon, and does it happen when the engine is cold or hot? Those type of questions. The usual answer in most cases is, “I don’t know”. The big issue is that a lot of people don’t understand that even though they have seen a failure, and the fact that it doesn’t occur very often, doesn’t mean the mechanic is going to be able to find it without some background or investigative research. Take for instance this guy who came in and told me his car doesn’t start. I asked, “Where’s the car? I’ll have a tow truck pick it up?” His answer, “I don’t need one, I drove it here.” Then, of course, I’m back to the questions again, “So, when does it not start?” I’m confronted with the typical answer, “I don’t know”. The more I tried to dig into the history of this “no start” condition the more “I don’t know” seemed to come up. At best the only clear cut answer I got was that it did it once last summer. (This is no help at all nearly a year later.) Apparently this guy (along with many others) was informed there is this magical diagnostic tool that can not only tell the date and time of a past failure, but can also predict the future demise of any component in the car. So, now my “intermittent” explanation is side tracked with explaining that there is no magical machine. Eventually, I went through the normal “intermittent” spiel, and how duplicating the failure was the most appropriate method beyond looking at the numbers and PID’s on the scanner. I could use a travel recorder that will record pertinent information and give it to the customer to drive around with it hooked up to the car for a bit, but since the last failure was the previous summer I don’t think leaving the recorder in his car would do any good. Since that’s not really an option, I did my best to explain how I diagnose intermittent problems with something that most people could relate to -the refrigerator light. “Let’s say your refrigerator light is the intermittent problem. It’s working now, and should work every time you open the door, but at some point it’s not. The bulb could burn out, or it may get jarred loose and intermittently come on. But, the very next time you open the door the light may come back on, even though it didn’t come on the last time. So, if you stand in front of the refrigerator and can tell me when it’s going to fail, or know precisely when the next swing of the door in which the light isn’t going to work, then it’s no longer intermittent, but predictable,” I told him, “So, before you swing that door open for that midnight snack, ask yourself this, “Is the light going to be on, or is this the day it burns out?” Keep in mind those light bulbs last a long time, and even if you are the type of person who calculates the exact hours of use that the bulb is predicted to last, I doubt you could ascertain the appropriate day and time it will actually occur. Without a pattern, or being able to duplicate the problem, a lot of intermittent problems are just plain impossible to solve. You need facts, figures, and a good diagnostic background to tackle them. And yes, with the right information they can be solved. Everything has a fail point; everything has a lifespan. The problem is I can’t predict a failure any more than the man on the moon can. Oh sure, I can take a few “SWAG’s” at it, and I might even have some insight on which parts will fail more often than the next, but that doesn’t mean I can find the reason your car failed to start nearly a year ago. This guy seemed to understand and was happy to keep track of his car under the conditions it failed to start. In the meantime, we did an overall checkup of his car just to be on the safe side. But, I did warn him even with the best checkup out there, it doesn’t mean you’re free from a failure. It could be something that was totally unexpected and wasn’t seen during the checkup, or it could be something that is internal in a computer that you can’t see at all. A few days later he was back. He had this grin on his face a mile wide. There was something he was dying to tell me. “Did it finally not start for ya?” I asked. “Nope, car is fine,” he said. “So what brings you here today?” I asked. He jokingly told me, “My refrigerator light burnt out last night. I thought of you when it happened. I was standing in front of the refrigerator, and before I opened the door I would make a bet with myself whether or not the light was going to be on or off.” Peculiar to say the least, someone actually drove across town to tell me about their refrigerator light, but now I was curious. I wanted to know the outcome. “So, did ya win your bet or not?” “I lost,” he said, “but the car has been running fine since you did the check out. In fact, I’ve got the wife and kids playing the “Guess if the refrigerator light is going to be on game” too!” Apparently, I’m a big hit around his house. Who would of thought explaining intermittent diagnostics would be fun for the whole family. This just proves that it really does take all kinds to make the world go around. I’m just glad I chose the refrigerator light as the example and not some other common household fixture or appliance. Now, I’m wondering, has this ever happened before, and how often? Maybe it happens more in the morning or late in the afternoon? My best diagnostic answer, “I don’t know.”
  40. 1 point
    Very nice website. Looks to be search engine optimized well. When I type "ken's auto service" in Google, it comes up. Does it come up for your area? I see your keywords are good, and zip code targeted: auto repair, car repair, automotive service, auto garage, mechanic, brake repair, engine repair, shocks, struts, suspension work, air conditioning, tune-up, akron, canton, springfield, cut-rate, mufflers, exhaust, 44312, 44310, 44305, 44301, 44308, ohio, brakes, tune ups, diagnosis, towing, radiators, computer diagnosis, fleet repairs, starters, guarantee, warranty, certified, ASE. Looks good, nice layout. I don't have a site up currently, but do have some expericence with them.


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