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  1. 4 points
  2. 4 points
    I’ll never forget the day when Mrs. Obrien brought her car back for me to look at. She was furious. I stayed late the night before, well into the night, to finish her car so she could have it for work the next day. I even did a few little things on the house because I felt she may be a little inconvenienced picking the car up so late. Why did she bring the car back? A comeback? Well, not in the conventional way. It was the greasy smudge on her seat that she was angry about. But what about me staying late? Or giving away a few minor services? Doesn’t that count? She is upset about a grease smudge? Oh yes, and she has every right to be. The fact is, you can do the best repair, using the best parts, performed by the best technician on the planet. But what the customer sees is not necessarily your hard work, it’s that little greasy smudge that you are judged by. Unfortunate and unfair? Yes. But it’s a reality. Perform the best repairs and provide world-class customer service; and never forget; it’s the little things the customer sees. And that’s what important to them.
  3. 4 points
    Employees make or break your business. I am the king of the mis-hire. I have babysat through temper tantrums. NEVER AGAIN. I moved from hell to heaven by finally not being desperate and waiting for the special one instead of a warm body. My father owned a repair shop and the employees always complained about my father. My father would complain about the employees. The animosity between employers and employees seems to be common. I vowed I would not have that in my business. I found that if signing their check makes me sick it’s time for them to go and they usually know it but need a push. Otherwise they will hurt your business. If I do not take a regular break from the business I become ornery. I was lucky enough to be told by a good customer of mine that I had a bad attitude. Trade seminars recharge and invigorate me. I try to attend as many as possible. My attitude is the attitude of the business. I set the tone. You can’t take criticism personally. “Don’t worry be happy”
  4. 4 points
    I changed my hours back in Sept. 2012 8-5:30 M-F to 7a -7p 6 days a week. Full crew and full hours every day. Best single thing I've ever done. It was also one of the hardest transitions I've had to make. While I didn't lose any employees for it, I have lost the opportunity to hire a few great people because Saturdays are not possible for them. My techs work 7:30-6:30 and advisors go from bell to bell. The switch was good for an almost instant 20% increase in sales. 3 weeks after changing hours, Saturday revenue was indistinguishable from any other day. The ARO on Saturday is slightly lower, and the car count slightly higher. 2013 was our first full year of it, and we finished the year up 34% over 2012. The key seems to have been having full crew and regular hours. Half crew and half days gets you less than half results. Parts can be a challenge, but you quickly learn who you can count on for Saturday parts, which we then reward with more purchases from them during the week. The beauty of having a full crew and full hours is that we can identify problems during an oil change inspection, and actually get the work done without putting the customer out of their car during the week. I've found that people who generally get their oil change done on a Saturday are the same people who have a hard time giving up their ride during the week. They appreciate being able to get things done on their day off and are very likely to leave the car for the day for other repairs as long as it can be done same day. The way it works is that everyone is on a rotating schedule. The shop is closed on Sunday of course, but in addition to Sunday, everyone gets 2 days off during the week, and the 2 days off rotates every week. Week 1 has Monday & Tuesday off. Week 2 has Wednesday & Thursday off, and week 3 has Friday & Saturday off. I have 3 advisors and 6 techs. 1 advisor and 2 techs are paired up on each rotation, so I always have 2 advisors and 4 techs in the building. The schedule allows the guys some pretty good time off, and allows me to attract good talent while also working Saturday. Every 3 weeks when week 3 wraps around to meet week 1, the guys get Friday Saturday Sunday Monday and Tuesday off. I tell my people they could go on a cruise and I wouldn't miss them. Combining their 5 day weekend with vacation is not only allowed, it's encouraged. Lube dudes are hourly and work 5 days a week, and both of them work every Saturday. The difficulty in implementing this program was that when I started it I had one advisor, one assistant advisor, and 3 techs. I had a lot of hours of operation I had to cover at the front desk and not enough people to do it. I also didn't have the sales or car count to justify 3 advisors. I made the assistant advisor an advisor even though I knew he wasn't the right guy and would have to replace him, and I filled in the other advisor spot. On the 2 days a week that I wasn't playing advisor, I was playing shop owner/manager. I worked 7-7 six days a week for a year. The new hours and lots of marketing got us in a position to add staff, and after 18 months of this program I was at 3 good advisors and 6 techs. The other difficulty was learning how to handle/avoid having to pass a partially completed job from one tech to another and from one advisor to another without dropping the ball. We bought quite a few rental cars as we figured this out, but now problems with it rarely arise. I didn't really implement any specific strategy to fix it. After the advisors and techs got burned enough times they figured it out all on their own. Now if a big job walks in the door on a Thursday, the advisor who's getting ready for his 5 day break will instinctively pass it to the other advisor. Same for the techs. If they find a big job on an inspection, they'll tell the advisor to give it to another tech. In some instances if there's just too much gravy on the ticket to give away, the advisor or the tech might come in on their day off and sell/finish the job. It all works with almost no input from me.
  5. 4 points
    What those guys said. Remember, 500 cars is a lot of cars. Concentrate on figuring out exactly how many vehicles your shop can handle, and do an exceptional job with those vehicles. One metric that I used to measure, and I really should get back into, is the number of jobs found per RO. We all work on pretty much the same vehicles, 10 years old with 120-150k on the clock. Things are broken on most of those cars. Your job is to find what's broken, and tell the customer every single time. When we were measuring jobs found per RO, we were looking for about 5 to 5.5 jobs found per RO. Some cars need nothing, some cars need 13 things, but in the end we looked for the average. If a tech could only find 2.5 items per car, we knew he wasn't doing a good inspection. We also tracked the sales closing ratio by the SA, and broke it down by technician. If I have 3 advisors and 2 of them sell everything a particular tech gives them, and one advisor doesn't sell anything for him, we have a personality conflict that I need to get involved in. If I have 3 advisors and 6 techs, and all my techs are finding 5 items per car, but all the advisor closing ratios on one of those techs is complete crap, I know I have a tech who's pencil whipping his inspection and the advisors don't believe him. Lots of interesting things you can find out when you track that stuff. When we do an inspection, I have the techs give the advisor the list in a specific order. 1. What the car came in for. 2. Safety items. Actual safety like metal to metal brakes and ball joints that are about to fail. 3. Things that will become a safety items in the near future. 4. Things that won't become safety items, but get more expensive if you wait. 5. Needs fixed but won't get more expensive. 6. Maintenance.
  6. 3 points
    Nothing Beats a Full House There’s days, even weeks (depending on the time of year) when a pair is pretty good. Then there are days when three of a kind ain’t bad. But in my book nothing beats a full house. I’ll bet you thought I was talking about poker, didn’t ya? Nope, I’m talking about the automotive repair business. When the shop is humming, and the jobs are flowing, and business is brisk, that’s when I know I’ve been dealt a winning hand. It might mean coming into work really early or staying late, but at the end of the week it’s a pretty good feeling to know you’ve played your cards right. There’s been many a day that closing down the shop early is better than being dealt jokers or cards that won’t play. The phone isn’t ringing, the shop is empty, all the tools and service bays have been cleaned, and all the shelves are stocked, but not a single car in the service bays. Those are the days that even a pair sounds good. I’d even settle for pulling one decent card out of the deck on those days. “It’s feast or famine,” a good friend of mine told me. He’s a realtor, and his business is the same way. One day everybody is calling, and the next day you have to pick up the phone just to see if there’s still a dial tone. (Boy, do I know it, I certainly can relate to that.) There is a pattern to all of this chaos though. It took me years of running a shop to figure it out, and I’m sure the same thing happens in every part of the country, just like it does here in the southern part where I live. Take the holidays… no, seriously… take them. There a joyous time to be with family and friends, but it’s not that great if you’re making a living servicing cars. It never fails when a holiday is on the calendar you can bet it’s slow. But, the day or so before a long weekend holiday you can guarantee it’s going to be packed at the repair shop. Seems everybody waits to the last minute to get the car ready for a trip and everybody wants their car done… RIGHT NOW! I pretty much know those are the days I’m coming in early and staying late. Then there’s when school starts… listen close…can ya hear the crickets out in the shop? I know I can. Usually the week or two before school starts everything slows to a crawl. Oh you might get a couple of pair, maybe three of a kind but it’s doubtful you’ll get a full house. As soon as school is in session the cards start to fall in the right place again. It’s a sure bet the shop is going to be full for the next couple of weeks. Of course there’s Fair week. Don’t get me wrong, I like the Fair, I think it’s pretty cool, but not from a business stand point that’s for sure… it’s the week to fold your hand. Nothing ever happens Fair week. In my early years there was one Fair week that I’ll never forget. I had one car for the whole entire week… yes… one and only one car. However, it was a super huge job that nearly took the whole week to finish. (Funny how things work out that way.) Temperature and the weather have a lot to do with what cards you’re dealt in this crazy world of auto repair. Heavy snow or monsoon rain means… stay home, fold em’. Now a light rain, one of those steady down pours that doesn’t seem to end has a different affect. The shop slows, but the phone rings constantly. The usual caller will tell me something like this; “Yes, I’m having a problem with my wipers can you fix them?” I’ll answer, “Why yes, we could get you in right now.” “Oh it’s raining, but as soon as it lets up I’ll bring it in.” I know better than to assume they’ll be in on the next sunny day. As soon as the sun comes out they forget all about their wiper troubles. I guess it’s one of those “out of sight, out of mind” things. Although, I’ve learned to get their phone number, and call them the next day and remind them of their previous call and set an appointment to get it in the shop. Surprisingly enough, it works. Now the temperature, that’s a real fickle issue. Too hot or too cold does some strange things to cars. Usually means it’s going to be busy. Then again if it’s a “room temperature” sort of day… it’s probably not going to be that busy. There are the calls of course, there’s the “stop by the shop and chat about it” kind, and then there are the ones that just want to pick your brain and price check everything. When it comes to creature comforts in the car, it’s a safe bet on those high or low temperature days those systems are on the top of the repair priority list. Wouldn’t be the first time someone has come in the shop with their brakes metal to metal, but they’re not worried about that… that A/C is a must. Now in the winter months it’s the heater, or the defroster, or the wiper blades that froze to the windshield the night before and they didn’t bother to clean them off… they just turned them on, and now... oops… they don’t work at all. The one ace in the hole that does take the edge off of the ups and downs of the seasonal changes is to have a back burner job sitting in the corner of the shop. Maybe a restoration project or some personal toy you can pull out of moth balls for the guys to fiddle around with when it’s slow. All in all, doing this job is a great reward; it’s a great career choice. You meet some really interesting people from all walks of life in this business. A lot of them become regulars, and stop by no matter what the temperature is or whether or not the Fair is in town. Ya just got to play your cards right, know when to fold them and know when to hold them. When it’s slow you might tend to dwell on things and think you’ve done something wrong, but then things pick back up and you forget all about those thoughts. You’re taking a gamble in just about any career choice you make, automotive repair is no different, and when someone asks, “How’s it going?” I always answer with, “It’s slowly getting busy or busy getting slow.” A couple of cars in the morning, maybe three of a kind later that afternoon, whatever there is that’s the hand you’ve been dealt for the day. But, in this game of auto repair… nothing beats a full house. View full article
  7. 3 points
    Individual shop and personal goals are a big part of why we do certain things. For me, I had two goals. First, I wanted to quickly grow the shop to have enough personal that I didn't have to work in the shop. I started from scratch 7 years ago, and I haven't worked in daily operations for over two years. The second goal is to get my customers in the habit of coming to us for everything, not just when something doesn't work. The inexpensive oil change has been an element for us reaching both of those goals. We also reduced the cost of an oil change, which helps. And, we do a complete digital inspection on every car and regularly do alignment checks. It has to be part of an overall strategy.
  8. 3 points
    Thanks for all the comments and advice. We decided to give him two days off for the insubordination and told him if he wanted to continue to be apart of our team come back Monday with a new attitude ready to follow our policies and procedures. We also told him with the fresh start he would need to take a drug test to return. He quit on the spot after telling him that. Guess everything happens for a reason.
  9. 3 points
    Saw this posted on bolt-ons facebook page today... I've got have a mind to get a professional plague made up or at least have it framed for our lobby 😂
  10. 3 points
    Water Cooler Diagnostics We’ve all heard the phrase, “codes don’t fix cars, good diagnostics does”. Codes are merely a direction or path, not the answer as some might think. Those “codes fix it all” believers are usually at the bottom of the diagnostic chain. You know the type; those Neanderthals with little wrenches and big cheater bars, or the ones that follow the old adage, “When in doubt-rip it out” method of diagnosing a problem. It’s seems to me that car repair for a certain demographic of people has always been something related to hand-me-down repair information, not diagnostic skills. I believe it’s all because of the availability of cheaply made parts and bad information. Some of it is hearsay, but a lot of it comes from two guys chatting next to the water cooler at work, and neither one of them have any automotive diagnostics background at all. This latest case study is a perfect example of why swapping parts and paying attention to those water cooler experts isn’t always a good idea. A trained technician with diagnostic background and less time at the water cooler may be what you need. A 2007 Dodge 4.7L pickup came into the shop with a stalling problem. The owner had already stopped by the water cooler and made a trip to the code fairy. Since no codes were stored, there wasn’t much for him to do except follow the water cooler genius’ advice. He swapped out every sensor and computer part he was told about and a few more he could barely reach, just to be safe. All of which didn’t change a thing. Before writing up the work order, I had to listen to his story, which ended like most of them do, "I've already spent too much on this truck, and I don't want to spend a penny more." (I wonder what kind of commission the water cooler guy got from the part store for helping this guy spend all his cash.) The stalling was pretty predictable, usually every 15 minutes. Just as it would stall, the check engine light would rapidly flash, then the truck would sit silent. If you turned the key off and back on, the truck would run perfectly as if nothing happened, right up to the very moment the whole scenario repeated itself. Since the only odd thing was this momentary flashing of the MIL, I decided to hook up a scanner and wait to see if this odd failure would show up on the screen. Sure enough, code P0688 popped up momentarily, just as the truck stalled “ASD signal low”. Out of habit I reached up and cycled the key. Dang it, the code never stored and the truck is back to running correctly again. I’ll have to wait one more time and see if I actually had the right code number. Since it only occurred as it went through its death roll, catching this failure was going to be tricky. It was the correct code alright, but no signs of dropped voltage or weak connections anywhere to be found. It’s time to pull out the big guns. Break out the scope boys! With the scope hooked up to two different injector leads and the remaining channels on a couple of coils, I spent the afternoon watching the ASD voltage like a nervous hen watching her chicks. As if on cue, the truck died. Not a bit of change on the scope. I’m definitely going at this the wrong way. Something is dropping off, or at least I assumed it was. Instead of looking at the ASD signal, how about checking the injection signal and coil signals from the PCM? This time the scope did have a weird response. Just as it stalled there was a little extra squiggly line that didn’t belong in the pattern on the coil input leads. Very subtle difference, but enough of a difference that it needed closer attention. The voltage signal spiked a bit higher than normal just as the truck would stall, and then the voltage would drop to zero. It must be the PCM or a coil. Since the signal was only there for a brief blip on the scope, it wasn’t exactly something I could put my finger on just yet. Time for some old school tricks. Since the PCM was new, I could at least (with some trepidation) rule it out for now. I could test further, or I could try to create a problem that might mimic what I was seeing on the scope pattern, or with luck, if it was a spike that was coming from a coil, disconnecting it could show the problem. I decided to give this truck a miss of my very own and see if I could increase that little squiggle into a bigger one. I'll unplug one coil and watch the scope pattern. If I’m lucky, the truck will either stay running longer than it normally did, or it might show me a larger voltage spike. Sure enough, I found it on the third coil. As long as that particular coil was left unplugged, the truck ran well past the usual stall time. To verify it, I plugged the coil back in and watched the scope readings directly at that coil. A millisecond before the stall the coil spiked to the top of the screen as the truck shut off. Just as I suspected, if it was on the coil that was causing the problem the spiked voltage would show higher there than on the adjacent coils. The big question for me was why did it not set a code? The reason was the coil lead led straight to the PCM. The extra high voltage going back into the circuit simply turned the PCM off as if the key was turned off. There’s no codes for shutting the truck off, only codes for failures that make it shut off. The solution...replace the coil. Now and then there are problems that don’t follow the diagnostic steps laid out by the engineers. Even though you’d think every aspect and every type of condition has been tried and tested, or at least talked about around the water cooler. There are times when you’ve got to look past the “assumed” problem and dig a little deeper to find the cause. There's no doubt this repair is going to be another one of those conversations around the water cooler, but I seriously doubt anywhere in this story will the novice know-it-all admit that it took an experienced technician to locate his problem, not his water cooler buddy. Oh, and I don’t expect to hear him say as he leans on the cooler, “Codes don’t fix cars, mechanics do” even when there isn't a code.
  11. 2 points
    Complimentary alignment inspection with the purchase of tires... Has so much more value..... Free= Bad word Check=means its free Look= means its free JMHO
  12. 2 points
    First you need to understand where you want to compete and why. My belief window I want to do things that will bring in clients and lock them in. I stated in recent post we presell different packages. Our oil synthetic / Dexos compatible in bulk is under $2.00 per Quart. Oil filters if Wix protect average $1.80 Napa Gold we charge extra over and above package price. My goal has been keeping clients from shopping around for oil changes / if I can hit my goal of 600 packages sold this year x 5 visits that is 3,000 cars . This will drastically change my cost of marketing, which savings can be put to the loss of the oil change.
  13. 2 points
    Very true statement Joe. When I was teaching in a classroom setting I would ask my entire class. " Raise your hand if you were told that you weren't smart enough for college and you would have a better chance in a trade school" It was sad but 90% of the hands went up every time. We as an industry have to change that mindset and schools need to screen better. This is a major issue as most not all, only care about the money they get per student, and not the product they are turning out.. You have to show up or I can't teach and you can't learn. You have got to know how it works or you will never be able to repair it. Out of 30 students in a class only about 5 or so students I would recommend for a entry level tech. There attendance, good attitude, how they worked with there tools, and if they could follow instructions. If they could do that, they had a shot.
  14. 2 points
    From what I see and have heard finding the right people is becoming harder and harder.. Why is this? Is there a true shortage of good people, is there an over saturation of shops, are there programs out there creating "lazy mechanics ie parts throwers" ? Is it just decades of schooling pushing people to go to college and become a doctor, dentist, lawyer, or accountant and not enough put on the trade industry? Is it the cost of tools and schooling that does not appeal to the younger generation? It seems building that family for a successful business is getting as hard as diagnosing today's cars..
  15. 2 points
    When I entered this industry I began working at my fathers shop seven days a week. I was young (18) really loved the work. At 25 my father decided to close Sundays. I worked Saturdays until I became 56 years old. I am amazed at all of the fun things there are to do on Saturdays. Two consecutive days off are wonderful. The workers today do not want to work Saturdays. I really can’t blame them. There are so many reasons I hated Saturdays I can’t get into them now. I have three master techs that are compensated better than they could get anywhere else and I know they would walk if I wanted them to work Saturdays. As it is they do 1.25 million in sales without my involvement. They can have Saturday off. And four day weekends whenever possible.
  16. 2 points
    You made me smile reading your article. Here is my 0.02 cent story: 2005 Mercedes Benz E500 comes in from the local MB dealer, the complaint is that it has all kinds of intermittent electrical problems, it has new batteries, alternator, gateway and other modules, etc. On the preliminary inspection I find two ground straps broken, fix that and I hook up the picoscope to look at my current flow, see odd ripple, take a look at the serpentine tensioner and it's worn out with a new pulley installed. Changed it, car runs like a dream. Customer: "Are you sure that was it?! We spend over five grand in parts trying to fix it."
  17. 2 points
    I had an Expedition in the other week that had been at a shop, no start. They put a fuel pump in it and still couldn't get it to start.. So I took a look , bad central junction block. Now if they had done some basic simple checks they would of seen they had no power going to the fuel pump.
  18. 2 points
    First, The basics Let’s talk diagnostics. Do you follow any kind of diagnostic procedure, or do you just throw darts on a wall, or play “pick-a-part” and hope you fix it before you or the customer runs out of cash. I hope you don’t do that. That might work some of the time, but it’s not a good way to get to the source of problems quickly or accurately. One of the tire shops that I do business with dropped off a 2003 F450 with a 7.3 diesel for me to look at. It’s one of their service trucks that died on the highway. These guys are super, I’ve known them for years, and they’ve got a great reputation and excellent work force. In fact, I buy all my tires there, and they do all my alignments. They try to fix their own trucks “in-house” and sometimes, well……the repair/diagnostics are a little out of their comfort zone. This was one of those times. Now, they don’t try to keep up with the scanning or diagnostics on most cars and trucks. It’s a tire shop that specializes in tires. They stick to what they do best, tires, wheels, and undercarriage stuff. The only “techy” stuff they get into is with the TPM systems. Most generally, when it comes to their vehicles they’ll go with the tried and true…”throw a dart and whatever it hits we’ll change.” Of course they’ll ask around first, but you know, second hand information hardly ever gets the job done these days. They had it at one of their stores in another town for about 3 weeks trying to solve the problem. When that didn’t work they decided to tow it up to another one of their stores, and see if the guys there had a better dart. Another couple of weeks and several darts later, all they had were holes in the wall and no truck running. Then my phone rang. “Can you program a PCM on a F450?” the shop asked. “No, sorry I don’t do those, but I know who does. I’ll call him and see if he can come over and do that for you,” I told them. A day or two went by and the phone rang again. “Hey, this thing still doesn’t start. The guy that programmed it said it sounded like an electrical problem”. Ok, somehow, I’m getting involved now. “Sure, bring it over,” I told them. Well, they towed it over with a strap pulled by an F250 diesel truck. The F250 looked like a toy truck compared to this behemoth. With a push and a shove from the F250 the guys got it lined up and into one of my service bays. The big concern was the IDM relay, it kept chattering like a machine gun. Instead of checking codes I thought it best just to start with a complete wire to wire check to determine if there was some lost signal that was causing the problem, or a wire that was scraped and grounding out. Removing the inner fender on the driver side I could gain access to the Injector module (IDM) and the PCM (Power control module). Seemed easier to start here than any place else. It didn’t take long before I tracked down a problem. On pin #71 of the (new) PCM there should have been 12 volts from the ignition. No voltage at the terminal. Tracing the wiring diagram thru its maze it led back to the in-car fuse box on fuse #22. I grabbed my test light and checked the fuse… (Rolling my eyes about now) the fuse,… oh man… the fuse is blown. Good grief… all this for a blown fuse. Well, I better change the fuse, and see if it starts. Sure enough; it fired right up… sounded great, good throttle response, and no service lights. Now the big challenge, what blew the fuse in the first place? Following the wiring diagram again…. I traced out all the components on the fuse circuit. There was one that caught my eye as the likely culprit. The brake cut-off switch mounted on the master cylinder. (It’s the one that had the big recall a few years ago.) The updated replacement piece was in place but somebody forgot to secure the wires. The replacement piece has a newer style connector and an adapter connector to allow you to attach it to the original style fastener. Which makes it a little longer than it originally was from the factory. It was hard to tell where the new wire and connector started, and the old one ended, because the whole thing was lying on the exhaust manifold, and had melted down to a glob of wire and plastic. Looking around under the hood there were all kinds of new parts installed. The nicest part……they were all installed correctly. There were no other wires out of place, or any signs of scraps or melted wiring. The important thing is that it runs, and the truck can go back to doing what it needs to do. I think the biggest thing that threw everyone on this job was the chattering relay. It sounded bad, sounded expensive… but, all it turned out to be was a loss of proper voltage to the PCM, because a fuse blew from a lead that grounded out. This was due to the improper installation of one small component. The PCM couldn’t spread enough voltage and ground signals to all the necessary systems when it was missing the voltage it needed. As the relay would engage, the voltage drop was too much to keep the relay engaged. The IDM would pull more signal voltage as the relay would come to life. Then the PCM would have to drop the ground signal to the IDM relay to compensate for the loss of voltage. All this was going on very rapidly … on and off, on and off… making the machine gun sound coming from the IDM relay. The guys at the tire store were extremely grateful that I got the job done, so they could use the truck again. For me, it’s another day at the shop. I’ve got nothing but good things to say about the guys at the tire shop. Hey they tried, I’ll give them that. But one thing I wish they would do next time --- CHECK THE BASICS—BEFORE BUYING PARTS! It’s cheaper that way… View full article
  19. 2 points
    How many fuel pumps were condemned due to empty fuel tanks? Back to basics.
  20. 2 points
    I really enjoyed reading your post, you echo many of my own sentiments. Regarding marketing, I agree with you that is an effort in frustration. I have taken the long hard road and have learned many things, some that have worked really well and others that have failed miserably. Regarding this forum, like you, I came here looking for others with similar like experience and to see if we could share experiences and ideas, suddenly it became obvious to me that none of us with a lot of experience and financial success could share anything substantive without putting our interests in jeopardy, that's why I think you will not find anything deeper than a casual or superficial treatment of any topic by the most senior people. That's why a 20 group may be a better fit for someone that is looking for a deeper perspective on the subjects than the forum. Going back to the marketing topic, logically we think that marketing should increase car count. But would you believe that I spent $20,000 on a EDDM campaign that did not produce a single lead? I can't tell you why it failed, except the suspicion that the postal service never delivered my pieces. I have no proof, but that is my suspicion simply because I had 5,000 pieces re-printed and had them delivered by my own team over a weekend, with the results being a 2.6% response rate(over 130 leads on 5K flyers). On the other end of the spectrum, I have run campaigns that have had response rates closer to 30%! These have been customers that have been profiled and their pieces and offers carefully crafted and targeted for their particular vehicles. It is very important for you to know your customers financial profile in order to get the best return on your marketing dollar, there is no point in making offers to customers that cannot afford your services no matter how much they like you and are willing to use you except that they cannot afford to use your services. As for the consultants here looking for gigs, well, my opinion is that if you know that you need help then hire someone that can provide the help you need, and here is a logical place to find people that may be struggling with their shop. So what a better place to find a consultant than here? For if they are lousy and don't know what they are doing, their reputation would soon come to light.
  21. 2 points
    We've launched a new section here at AutoShopOwner called Groups. You'll see the section link in our main menu. We've had some requests in the past to have the ability to start specific forum sections and group sections within our forums and this not only addresses that, but also gives you the ability to start your own "mini" AutoShopOwner based on basically whatever you want. Our Premium, Platinum, and Sponsor members can all be group creators. All FREE members can join groups, but it's up to the Group creator on who is allowed in, who is invited, etc. Group creators can also assign moderators and control aspects of the group. Our Platinum and Sponsor members have the added ability of creating closed/private groups as well. This can be a great way to start your own network. At any time, you can upgrade your membership here. Once you create a group, you can add a topics section (just like our main forum), chat section (same as regular chat), blogs, downloads, gallery, etc. It's really up to the group creator on how to lay it out and it's simple to do. Once you create a group, it will be approved by us within 24 hours and you'll be ready to go. I'm going to leave it at that for now and encourage anyone that is interested in this, to go ahead and try to start a group. You'll see how easy it is. In the very near future I am going to be starting a blog around AutoShopOwner features, as we have a lot of them...😎
  22. 2 points
    Great feature. Don't know if it will be utilized but it is a great idea.
  23. 2 points
    ahh yes, lol the code tells you what is wrong guys. Unfortunately I work with those guys LOL.. I have seen them go round and round with a car, I come over and in a short time find the problem for them. Then when the customer comes to get the car they wear the crown proudly , trying to BS their way through any questions the customer asks taking full credit for the diagnostics . Sometimes I will step in and give the explanation of the problem making them wonder if the guy they are talking too really did the job, but I do not come out and out them completely . These guys are really no better than the customer who thinks the code tells all . I always tell them think of a code as a number on a door, open that door and there is a long hallway lined with doors on both sides up and down, behind one of those doors is the problem, you can guess and open every door for a fee or just diagnose the problem and open just the one door . I think that one door is going to cost less than opening several till you find the problem. These guys you will find, are also the Youtuber's for repair. I had a customer come to me yesterday with a 2017 jeep he slammed the door and knocked the glass off track. I gave him the estimate to put it back.. "That's okay I can figure it out on Youtube." off he went. about three hours later I see him pull up , I am thinking great look at this guy coming to gloat in his glory. Nope he had four band-aids on his fingers and a now broken regulator and door handle.. As he agreed to my estimate he stated " See the difference between the average guy and the mechanic is the average guy can take it apart they just can't put it back together where as the mechanic can put it back together" I just looked at him laughed and said "Really that is what you think" I said "the difference is we figure out what is wrong and make the repair without breaking tons of other parts, not to mention we don't wear as many band-aids !" Also remember one thing, who told you what was wrong with your window.
  24. 2 points
    In addition to Stevens points I would add.... Inspect every vehicle, the more consistent you can be the better. Identify all needs. Estimate all needs, present all needs to customer in order of importance, along with estimates to correct. Watch average ticket grow. To improve results add in Stevens points: Dont market to bottom feeders. Market to value. Treat people well, serve them and consistently deliver. Hire the best you can find and help them be as efficient as possible. Also, get sales training. While you need (IMO) to be genuine knowing the tools and how to use them will assist in closing some of the more difficult sales and close more of the easy ones.
  25. 1 point
    Great story ! Sorry you had to go through it but glad you came out on this side.. I admire that you can put humor in the worst of situations. Although I have not personally been the one in the life changing situation, my wife was and it was a life changer for me as well, so I may be one of the lucky ones not to have personally gone through something so scary and I hope I don't have too. They say it sometimes takes rock bottom or a terrible thing to happen for us to wake up . Live life and be as healthy as you can!
  26. 1 point
    Definitely irritating, I've tried my luck lately with Indeed.com but unfortunately I keep getting guys that want to look up customer complaints and possible causes. What happened to the real old school guys that automatically know what's going on with a vehicle from the symptoms described
  27. 1 point
    It all boils down to ambition and attitude. Have the attitude to show up and the ambition to learn.
  28. 1 point
    Great discussion! I have been debating my self, on which marketing strategy to adopt. Like AndersonAuto, we only use synthetic (Name Brand) at $4.38 Qt cost and the average price on Oil Filters of $4.55 each ( Price to stock 1 of each is $236.95/52 part numbers =$4.55 ), lube Tech cost $15.00 an hour and we pay 0.5 for Oil Change and Digital inspection. That been said, my Oil Change cost is $33.95 (5 qt) not including any other cost. Been a small shop with 2 bays + an alignment rack, and seen an average of 5.6 cars a day. I CAN'T SEEM TO FIND A BALANCED APPROACH.
  29. 1 point
    While it's true that we are in a shortage of techs, it's also true that all the trades are having a hard time finding good people. It's a hard question to answer. I think you are right with your comment about decades of pushing people to college. Even today, it's blasted on the media and by politicians that getting an education is a must for all. But "education" is defined by a career other than a trade. We have it backwards. One other thing I want to point out. When I started my business in 1980 there were a lot of people that called themselves mechanics. And you could put these people to work doing mechanical work that they learned working with their father or uncle growing up. Complicated diagnostic work did not exist. And the boss, the shop owner, back then, checked the car out, did the diag and then dispatched the work to the mechanic. A lot simpler process. Today, we look for a seasoned pro with diagnostic skills. Plus cars are light-years ahead of what they were back then. It's always been about attracting the best people to our industry. We still have a long way to go as an industry and a nation to make the trades attractive to young people and increase the profits for the shops so they can pay people really good wages.
  30. 1 point
    I have added a 2nd weekly event for Wednesday night chats, open to any members. I'll get on to see if anyone joins and we'll see if it start something and then hopefully pass it off. I'll also send a note out to everyone this week for both Sunday and Wednesday group chat sessions. 😁
  31. 1 point
    Assuming you guys mean video, because the chat we have is the same as most chats out there currently in terms of speed, functions, and usability....I'm not sure we can effectively do video without some third party integration. Something to think about down the road. As far as promoting, we can try and send a different message out regarding chat and put something up to advertise it better.
  32. 1 point
    My initial thought is this guy is not a keeper. He will cost lost business and reputation.
  33. 1 point
    Hi Joe! You said... I'm not speaking to whether or not it's fair - but the reality is it's the economy we're living in - and that drives peoples viewpoint - and THAT makes this a big deal. In reality, we live in a "Review Economy", don't we? Let me ask you a question. What was the last thing you purchased for over $100? Did you check reviews BEFORE you bought?? I know I buy a lot of camera gear and lenses - and I always check reviews online - and even follow pro photographers that do reviews - and I do that ALL before I buy. The world has changed. I don't have to sit in a classroom and listen to some Phd, MBA or XYZ to learn something. All we need to do is find people who are already where we want to be and then follow and connect with them. So I am not saying she was right or wrong. What I am saying is that the slightest little "mess up" can become a bad review real quickly. In fact, in the story you spoke of, you're probably real lucky that she told YOU FIRST - and had a chance to make it good. Otherwise it could have cost you a lot more in the long run. Hope this helps! Matthew Lee "The Car Count Fixer" Get "The Official Guide to Auto Service Marketing" Got an hour? Join me on this Training Webinar Get on the Early Bird List for my new book!
  34. 1 point
    Today we added a new option to view the main page of the forum in a fluid view. This view will list out the latest topics (similar to the sidebar latest topics). If you click on the "Showing topics from all forums" link (highlighted in yellow below), you can filter which forums you would like to see topics from. You can easily switch back to the classic table forum view at any time. The 2 buttons are right next to the start new topic button. Filter your view by forums:
  35. 1 point
    A course at the local community college would have alleviated much of the heart ache. Plus a new wife and "friends."
  36. 1 point
    SOOOO TRUE! My guys are stuck on a misfire, # 3 cylinder was the code. Can't figure the problem out. I walked over and said, put the scanner away and diagnose the car from the basics. Verify what cylinder, not what the scanner says. Turned out it was #4 cylinder, not # 3 misfire - the harness chewed thru by a mouse. Back to basics.
  37. 1 point
    First The Basics - Diagnostics starts with powers and grounds NOT with parts and labor. That statement should be posted on a banner and hung up in every shop. A car diagnosed (actually not diagnosed but purported to have been) with a bad transmission by another shop was found to simply have a voltage problem caused by a bad battery and alternator.
  38. 1 point
    After 15 years of working in the non-profit world I went to work in the environmental remediation/consulting/engineering world. The non profits spend weeks talking about spending $500. The average job in this new business was probably $10k-$20k with jobs up to $1,000,000. It took me a while to adjust to the kind of numbers I was quoting. However, it was the best training I could have ever had for starting my own business. Even with that experience charging enough has always been more of an issue for me rather than charging too much. I think that is an issue for the majority of owners.
  39. 1 point
    First, The basics Let’s talk diagnostics. Do you follow any kind of diagnostic procedure, or do you just throw darts on a wall, or play “pick-a-part” and hope you fix it before you or the customer runs out of cash. I hope you don’t do that. That might work some of the time, but it’s not a good way to get to the source of problems quickly or accurately. One of the tire shops that I do business with dropped off a 2003 F450 with a 7.3 diesel for me to look at. It’s one of their service trucks that died on the highway. These guys are super, I’ve known them for years, and they’ve got a great reputation and excellent work force. In fact, I buy all my tires there, and they do all my alignments. They try to fix their own trucks “in-house” and sometimes, well……the repair/diagnostics are a little out of their comfort zone. This was one of those times. Now, they don’t try to keep up with the scanning or diagnostics on most cars and trucks. It’s a tire shop that specializes in tires. They stick to what they do best, tires, wheels, and undercarriage stuff. The only “techy” stuff they get into is with the TPM systems. Most generally, when it comes to their vehicles they’ll go with the tried and true…”throw a dart and whatever it hits we’ll change.” Of course they’ll ask around first, but you know, second hand information hardly ever gets the job done these days. They had it at one of their stores in another town for about 3 weeks trying to solve the problem. When that didn’t work they decided to tow it up to another one of their stores, and see if the guys there had a better dart. Another couple of weeks and several darts later, all they had were holes in the wall and no truck running. Then my phone rang. “Can you program a PCM on a F450?” the shop asked. “No, sorry I don’t do those, but I know who does. I’ll call him and see if he can come over and do that for you,” I told them. A day or two went by and the phone rang again. “Hey, this thing still doesn’t start. The guy that programmed it said it sounded like an electrical problem”. Ok, somehow, I’m getting involved now. “Sure, bring it over,” I told them. Well, they towed it over with a strap pulled by an F250 diesel truck. The F250 looked like a toy truck compared to this behemoth. With a push and a shove from the F250 the guys got it lined up and into one of my service bays. The big concern was the IDM relay, it kept chattering like a machine gun. Instead of checking codes I thought it best just to start with a complete wire to wire check to determine if there was some lost signal that was causing the problem, or a wire that was scraped and grounding out. Removing the inner fender on the driver side I could gain access to the Injector module (IDM) and the PCM (Power control module). Seemed easier to start here than any place else. It didn’t take long before I tracked down a problem. On pin #71 of the (new) PCM there should have been 12 volts from the ignition. No voltage at the terminal. Tracing the wiring diagram thru its maze it led back to the in-car fuse box on fuse #22. I grabbed my test light and checked the fuse… (Rolling my eyes about now) the fuse,… oh man… the fuse is blown. Good grief… all this for a blown fuse. Well, I better change the fuse, and see if it starts. Sure enough; it fired right up… sounded great, good throttle response, and no service lights. Now the big challenge, what blew the fuse in the first place? Following the wiring diagram again…. I traced out all the components on the fuse circuit. There was one that caught my eye as the likely culprit. The brake cut-off switch mounted on the master cylinder. (It’s the one that had the big recall a few years ago.) The updated replacement piece was in place but somebody forgot to secure the wires. The replacement piece has a newer style connector and an adapter connector to allow you to attach it to the original style fastener. Which makes it a little longer than it originally was from the factory. It was hard to tell where the new wire and connector started, and the old one ended, because the whole thing was lying on the exhaust manifold, and had melted down to a glob of wire and plastic. Looking around under the hood there were all kinds of new parts installed. The nicest part……they were all installed correctly. There were no other wires out of place, or any signs of scraps or melted wiring. The important thing is that it runs, and the truck can go back to doing what it needs to do. I think the biggest thing that threw everyone on this job was the chattering relay. It sounded bad, sounded expensive… but, all it turned out to be was a loss of proper voltage to the PCM, because a fuse blew from a lead that grounded out. This was due to the improper installation of one small component. The PCM couldn’t spread enough voltage and ground signals to all the necessary systems when it was missing the voltage it needed. As the relay would engage, the voltage drop was too much to keep the relay engaged. The IDM would pull more signal voltage as the relay would come to life. Then the PCM would have to drop the ground signal to the IDM relay to compensate for the loss of voltage. All this was going on very rapidly … on and off, on and off… making the machine gun sound coming from the IDM relay. The guys at the tire store were extremely grateful that I got the job done, so they could use the truck again. For me, it’s another day at the shop. I’ve got nothing but good things to say about the guys at the tire shop. Hey they tried, I’ll give them that. But one thing I wish they would do next time --- CHECK THE BASICS—BEFORE BUYING PARTS! It’s cheaper that way…
  40. 1 point
    It's funny, when I first saw the post saying "what I'm seeing more and more of is consultants looking for gigs", the first person that came to my mind is Ron, now he back on this thread, not realizing he is on top of the list. Scott
  41. 1 point
    Although I laid out my history of Saturday hours, I failed to give a conclusion stating my opinion on what is best. Would being open on Sat result in more sales? Absolutely. But there is a trade off. As I have stated in other forum topics, I haven't had to hire a tech in 23 years. Besides a generous pay and benefits plan I truly believe the reason for the longevity of employment I'm experiencing is due to giving the lads a full weekend away from the shop. Lastly, I dusted of the archives and looked back at our numbers from 1994 to 1995 when we made the switch. Our numbers went down 1.3%.
  42. 1 point
    No, not right or wrong, but like with everything, it depends. You could choose to run my business model in a two bay shop with one tech, one lube dude, and one advisor. Could it work? yes, depending on your expense structure. If you're in a high rent area, then I would guess probably not. I'm happy to be proven wrong of course. Choosing which business model you want to run is not to be taken lightly. You have to analyze where your bottlenecks are, and whether you can do anything about them. Your math is right, but not all of the story. If a guy is running 160 cars/month at $600 ARO and getting a 20% net, I wouldn't want to move him to 200 cars/month at a $425 ARO and a 20% net. Not only less sales, and less net on those sales, but the advisor doesn't have time to do a good job consistently. And, if a guy is doing 20% net on $96K/mo, I'd bet anything he'll be at 10% net or less on $85K sales. Sales fixes a lot of evils, but it's hard to get around a bottleneck like limited shop space/advisors. I'm obviously a firm believer in oil change marketing, but I'm also realistic about the ARO it will generate. ScottSpec runs a good operation and gets a higher ARO than cheap oil change marketing will likely get him. Is it possible that his advisor is such a rock star that he could prove me wrong and maintain that ARO? Possible, but I don't like the odds. If a shop is running 100 cars/month, and a $200 ARO, then very likely a discounted oil change and proper inspection/sales process would dramatically improve the business and the bottom line. Like I said, it depends. Everyone is surprised when they find out what their customer attrition rate is. The absolute lowest customer attrition rate I've seen is 35%, from a shop in a small town with limited options for auto repair, and an owner that the entire community knows and loves. There's absolutely more room for the bottom to fall out in a small shop. If my car count goes down 35 cars in a month I might notice, but I'm certainly not worried. The shop that's doing 160 cars a month and drops 35 RO's just went into a loss for the month. It's a big problem for any shop to lose 50% of it's customers a year. In fact, it might be a bigger problem for the bigger shop. I literally have to come up with 1000 new customers every year. Can you say that about a shop that runs 160 RO's per month? In either case, if you don't replace those customers who are lost, you will perish 100% of the time. Marketing is critical, I don't care who you are. It's just that I think the marketing needs to be well thought out to produce the car count/ARO/repeat business that you need to be profitable, not simply car count. Oil change marketing certainly does that for me, but I'm not about to say one size fits all.
  43. 1 point
    Just had a car in here from a new customer. Complaint was grinding noise. We assume brakes and look the car over. He's got high mileage, two broken springs and blown struts, a bad RF wheel bearing. Manager asks me what to do. He's thinking we just lead with the wheel bearing. I tell him to let the customer know all that it needs because that's what we're here for and broken springs may result in other issues that if we don't tell him and something happens how is that not on us? I follow MAP standard of communication - a broken or failed part is a 'required' fix and other worn parts are a 'suggested' fix. On this case - the RF wheel bearing and two springs/struts are a required fix and the other two springs/struts are suggested since both broken springs were on the driver side. Customer declined all repairs. My Manager is upset we let the wheel bearing walk out the door. We didn't let him walk out the door unless we purposely omit the other issues on the car to simply get a $275 wheel bearing ticket. The customer applied for financing, was declined, and didn't do anything with us. My Manager thinks someone else will get the bearing work and we lost a sale. I like he's fighting for the business but if a customer has multiple things that need attention now and they pass with us because they can only afford one thing so be it. I can live with that rejection knowing I did what was right. Customer may go to another shop, ask for a bearing R&R, and that shop may take his money and then mention the things I hope they find. Any thoughts on how we could have done better? A little off topic but in the vein of inspecting cars and presenting findings...
  44. 1 point
    Most shop owners have learned a lot from their mentors, including the importance of listening to their customers, fixing cars right the first time, and never putting money ahead of people. Unfortunately, in far too many cases their mentors pass on some information that actually shouldn’t be followed. The most common example, which we see on a daily basis at Elite, is misinformation on how a shop owner should properly advertise. I am not suggesting that their mentors didn’t have good intentions when they passed their advertising guidance along, but it is safe to say that in most cases their advertising knowledge was obtained through their own trial and error, rather than marketing research. At Elite we know there are a lot of people outside of our industry that we can learn from, so reach out to the top universities in America in order to discover what they have learn from world-class companies like Starbucks and Apple when it comes to marketing. While the insights from these experts are usually reserved for our coaching clients, I wanted to pass along one discovery that I feel every shop owner needs to be aware of, as it may very well change the way you market your shop. In the most general sense, in the world of marketing there are two forms of advertising: Brand awareness, and CTA (Call to Action). Examples of brand awareness advertising include key chains, glove box folders, outdoor signs and sponsoring community events, while CTA campaigns like direct mailings, online coupons, etc. encourage immediate action (offering a special price or service package, for example). As I am sure you are aware, the overwhelming majority of shop owners invest almost all of their advertising budgets into CTA campaigns for one simple reason: they will predictably see immediate results in the form of phone calls and new customers. However, most shop owners are unaware that study after study done by leading universities has consistently drawn the same conclusion – You will get a better return on your investment with brand awareness than with CTA ads. The mistake we see most shop owners make is they will start a brand awareness campaign (such as signs at sporting events in their community), but then they’ll pull those signs in a few months because they feel that few, if any, customers have come into the shop because of the signs. What they overlook is how many people saw those signs, and the impact it will have on those potential customers when they are in need of service. While you will not see the results as quickly with brand awareness advertising as you will with CTA campaigns, you will not only see a better ROI in the long run, but the added benefit of brand awareness campaigns is that they put the focus of your potential customer on your brand… rather than on a price. At Elite we encourage all of our clients to embrace brand awareness campaigns, and to wean themselves off of their dependency on costly CTA campaigns. Is there a place for CTA campaigns in the auto repair business? You bet! But please don’t make the mistake that so many shop owners make, and rely solely on CTA ads. So do this: Identify your ideal customer, put together a well-designed brand awareness strategy that will reach your targeted customer, and stick with it. If you do, you will be thrilled with the results. Since 1990, Bob Cooper has been the president of Elite, a company that strives to help shop owners reach their goals and live happier lives, while elevating the industry at the same time. The company offers coaching and training from the industry’s top shop owners, service advisor training, peer groups, along with sales, marketing and shop management courses. You can learn more about Elite by visiting www.EliteWorldwide.com.
  45. 1 point
    This article is really based on the lack of preparedness of the students leaving the college program at the college I'm teaching at. Their theory is that they'll learn that on the job. My thinking is....learn it now, get good at it later. Gonzo, I think we touched on this in one of the chats.. I Graduated from LTI at the end of 1990 , it seems as if the schooling is the same then it was now as far as what they teach. Of course back then it was okay since the "electrical age" was just getting started. Now we are deep in the "electrical age" and it seems to me to be where the majority of the focus needs to be period! Is it lack of good teachers, good equipment, being lazy or a monetary thing as far as the school is concerned ? Are people really scared of change?? if we don't communicate the right message to the consumer, how in the world can they comprehend the costs associated with repairing and servicing their hi-tech vehicles? Joe, I can't count how many times I say this every single day at work. Of course saying something is one thing implementing it is another, but when you tell a customer this, they seem to roll their eyes and sometimes just walk off "trying to rip me off, a diagnostic charge" I just let those guys go , I feel sorry for them because the will probable end up at some hack shop who ends up charging them more than I would on a total bill since they will probably have several parts and possible many trips back to that shop before the problem is solved. That being said how do you get the customer aware of these things? I think it may have to come from someone rather than the tech or the shop, but who???? ps I don't know what happened to the quote thing, I had to copy and paste that is why I attached the names to the end of the quote
  46. 1 point
    Ok, I looked up bowing Rock NC....you cant find techs because you're in the middle of nowhere...BUT You have a 5 week backlog!!!!!! Charge more.....if the shops that charged 45-55 were worth anything you would not have 5 weeks of backlog.
  47. 1 point
    Very interesting read. I also have been doing inexpensive oil changes, and I consider it to be successful. My shop is in it's 6th year (brand new shop), and we have grown in gross sales an average of 30% a year for the last 4 years. We currently do a semi-synthetic oil change for 29.99, which is 5 qts and filter, including inspection and battery test. Full synthetic is 59.99, 5 qts with a premium filter. Most European is a separate price on an individual basis. Our car count is 250-300, and we've been averaging 100-120 oil changes a month. We average 15% of oil changes are new customers. So far this year we average 17 new customers a week, and the ARO on new customers is higher than the ARO on existing customers. Overall ARO for the last quarter is $454. We have struggled with ARO and GP% but with training, solid goals, and pay plans we seem to have gotten over the hump. I've had interesting discussions about this subject, and seem to be going somewhat against the grain, but I haven't been able to convince myself to change strategy. My goal was to get my existing customers to come to us for routine service, not just try to remember us if they have a problem. Since only 15% of oil changes are new customers I think we've accomplished what was intended. The low oil change price has also attracted new customers, but since most of our new customers come for more than that, it isn't currently a big new acquisition strategy. One thing the oil change price is a part of, and that is developing a good value reputation. We watch closely those things we consider comparables, like oil change, brake job, trans service, and make sure our prices are at or below market average in our area, then charge a good price for everything else. I know we're one of the highest priced shops in town, yet we regularly get good reviews about how reasonable our prices are. Still open to ideas about this, but I'm not currently convinced to change, and it's encouraging to read Anderson's experience.
  48. 1 point
    Remember and Use the Customer’s Name Dale Carnegie once said, “Nothing is sweeter to someone than the sound of their name”. Part of providing the very best in customer service is to remember the customer’s name. You also need to use the customer's name during your conversation with them, whether booking an appointment on the phone, at customer write-up or explaining a particular repair. For first time customers, this is vital. Once the customer tells you their name, make sure you say their name a few times during the conversation. This will help ease any tensions the customer may have meeting you for the first time and will help make a connection between you and the customer.
  49. 1 point
    I usually handle it like this: "oh ok so just tell me which parts you want me to replace and ill give you a price. If you want me to replace everything in that system then lets start with $1000 tab and go from there. Or pay me $85/hour to narrow your list down from 100 parts to maybe only 3 or less. Im game either way :-)" ive been pretty successful with convincing customers to pay me to diagnose because many mechanics in my area just throw parts and success rate isnt that great..so when customer gets tired of throwing money out the window they give in and are usually happy they did...especially when AUTO ZONE told them they needed a fuel pump because their car wouldn't start and i found a bad fuse from where they straight wired their fan and caused fuses to blow not allowing power to fuel pump. So $450 fuel pump job not needed...$85 diagnosis and $35 electrical repair (my time isnt free) and they are back riding. I love it! Ill make a believer out of them...bring that lil printout to me all day long...I'm easy to get a long with ;-)
  50. 1 point
    I don't see consumers depending upon our website much for repairs. I think they rely more on reviews from search engines and sites like Google, Yahoo, Yelp, RepairPal, AutoMD, Angie's List, etc. They use our web pages for location, hours, phone numbers, and coupons. My $0.02 is that as far as driving traffic more interest may be generated from social media than websites.


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