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Showing content with the highest reputation since 08/25/2018 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    Just got my e-mail on the latest forum topics. Out of 20 topics 7 are marketing ads from the same person. Also under popular forum topics of 5, 3 are ads also by same person of which no discussion took place. So how are these popular. I get a ton of advertising e-mail. Just didn't expect this from ASO. I do look into some ASO sponsor ads. But this is not necessary.
  2. 3 points
    Well said Frank! " but can't you just plug that thing in under the dash that tells you what is wrong?"
  3. 2 points
    HillBilly HoeDown “Time for an old fashion sing-a-long. You know the tune, now sing it like you know you do when you’re in the shower!" Come on now… you can do it! First a little Banjo pickin’ … ya got it… OK Here we go…. --------------------------------------------------------- Come listen to my story about a man named Jess A do it yerself guy who kept his car a mess Then one day while in a tinkerin’ mood . . . Out from the engine came a bubblin' crude . . . Oil that is, . . . black gold, . . .Texas tea The next thing ya know Ol’ Jess ain’t thinkin’ clear Kin folk said, Jess move that car out a here! Said a mechanic place is where you ought to be So he hauled the ol’ car to the facil-i-ty Repair shop that is, spinnin’ tools, movin’ tires Now with all the repairs done, Ol' Jess can get back He's pritnear giddy not having to be towed… Ol’ Jess says he ain't workin' on his own car no more! He reckons it'd be easier just to come thru the lobby door…. Front door of the repair shop that is, no tow trucks, no home repairs. Ol' Jess yelled out, "Car repair ain't the place fer me!" “Workin' on ur own jalopy ain't like it used to be.” Said, “These here cars, are too complex for me these days” “It takes a heap of schoolin’ just to fix em’ anyways.” Trainin’ that is, conventions, classes, and OJT. Ol’ Jess refers our shop to all his family and his friends, They're so glad that he ain't fixin' cars no more and mention it time and time again. But, now it’s time say goodbye, to Jess and all his kin. We’d like to thank you folk fer kindly droppin in. You're all invited back again to this here locality To have a heapin helpin of our wrenchin’ abilities Auto repair that is. Engines, Transmissions, Brakes, and more… Y'all come back now, ya'hear? A little more Banjo and repeat the first verse. Alright! Ya done well Y’all! ! !
  4. 2 points
    Shade tree mechanics and the Autozones of the world have made this difficult. Technology has outstripped the public's knowledge and created a gap between what they think we do and what actually has to be done
  5. 2 points
  6. 2 points
    Poking it with a Sharp Stick It's not so much that I work with the general public in my daily business, it's more of what kind of 'public' gives me the business. I'm not talking about people who can think and reason like most educated, knowledgeable people. It's that ever present cave man mentality. You know the type, the guy who's elevator doesn't go to the top floor, or the couple who can't seem to keep both oars in the water. The all seem to lack one simple characteristic, common sense. The very quality that every halfwit adventure I've either seen, (or been a part of) have in common. (I can't leave myself out of this one... guilty as charged) It stands to reason if some of these mental giants were among the intrepid pioneers who crossed the great divide in a Conestoga wagon, they probably would be the ones that never made it. But, with so many modern conveniences like diet, clean water, and modern medical care, these half-wit trail blazers roam freely throughout every part of the countryside. There was a comedian some years ago who told a story about his ancestors from the Stone Age. He commented on how some people felt it necessary to leave the safety of the cave to take on some huge beast with nothing more than a sharpened stick, only to be trampled to death by the same prehistoric behemoth. He went on to say, “My relatives were the ones who stayed in the cave... how else can explain my being here?! If my ancestors were the ones who got killed off, how would it be possible for me to be standing here telling you all about them? My relatives had the good sense to stay out of harm’s way. Were my ancestors brave? Sure they’re brave, they’re just not stupid.” “Oh look, large man eating beast outside the cave, I’ll stay here… you can go out there. I’ve gotta sharpen my stick, and while you’re gone I'll paint your picture on these cave walls. Our ancestors will think you’re great hunters that way.” (“Right, when in fact they’re running for your lives…!”) Funny, yes, true... I guess so, and in similar ways, it’s how some people tackle car repair. In most states there’s no regulation to keep someone from poking their pointed stick under the hood of their car, or hanging a shingle on a shop door and call themselves a “mechanic”. The unsuspecting consumer is at the mercy of the phone book (and other sources) to find a shop that can actually make the appropriate repairs on their car. It's like the car has turned into a huge mammoth, and the person attempting the repair is just taking stabs at it with a sharp stick. No training, no experience, and more than likely no clue what they are doing. This is but one of the many reasons why the automotive field gets such low marks in the consumers’ eyes. As one of my customers told me, “It's getting harder and harder to find a good mechanic these days”. And, from what I can tell, it hasn’t been much better in previous decades either. A typical example of this was last week. An older gentleman came into the shop with an air conditioning problem on his 1967 Thunderbird. Sweet ride, entirely original... just the way he liked it. He had been to several shops trying to get the air conditioning working. This car was factory equipped with the old style compressor and A/C lines that didn't use a Schrader valve, but instead had the hand shut off valves that you moved (in the correct direction) to recharge or change the compressor. The owner’s story was that every place he went to, no one knew how to use the hand valves correctly to refill the system. They were all good at replacing parts, but had no clue as to how the system worked. I'm old enough to have worked on these when they were very common. All the previous shops could have figured out how they operated, if they would have just put down their pointy stick, and did a little research. (FYI - There's only 3 positions to be concerned about: Front seated blocks off the compressor, Mid-position is used to allow flow between entire system, compressor, and the gauge port, and the most important one, back seated, which allows the entire system to work normally.) Turned into an easy job for me; all in all, the A/C system was blowing cold air in no time. All it took was a little basic knowledge rather than guessing at it. (No telling what parts actually needed replaced, by the time I saw the car everything was new, oiled, and mounted correctly.) Too bad for the owner though, he paid each and every one of them to do what I just did... make cold air. The T-bird owner was overjoyed to finally have his air conditioning back in working order. (He did tell me he wasn't about to use those other guys ever again.) I guess after so many pokes with that sharp stick the T-Bird owner had had enough. Then there’s the DIY'r trying to repair the car in the family cave. First it’s a jab with the pointed end of their stick, then two, then another, until they either figure it out, or they find the information they need to make the repairs. There's been a lot of talk lately about the factory information not being available... really?? What Neanderthal told you that? I've been working professionally in the car repair business for a long time and I've never had any problem obtaining factory information. The hard part is getting the right scanners (at reasonable prices) and education these days. It's out there; it just may take a little poking around to find it. (Pun intended) The big thing is, it’s not free, never has been. Poking the sharp end of your stick at the manufacturer and expecting him to roll over like a wounded mammoth and hand you the information for free … just ain't happening… ever. I have this mental image of a DIY'r and their protégé the “untrained mechanic” as the cave men portrayed in the painting with the great mammoth in center. The cave men are throwing their spears into the beast, but the huge behemoth of prehistoric times still isn't quite finished off. It's not a futile effort, if they keep stabbing at it they’ll eventually get the job done. Gee, doesn’t that sound just like a couple of guys trying to figure out what’s wrong with the car by throwing part after part at it? It does to me. Poking around with that Stone Age sharpened stick method of diagnostics is a slow and unproductive way of making any kind of automotive repair. But, I still see the same kind of poor workmanship even today. Working on modern cars, and even one from a few decades ago requires the right tools, the right information, and some good old fashion common sense. If you’ve got all that, you’ve got half the battle won. That common sense and good repair practices goes a long way. One thing’s for sure… it beats poking it with a sharp stick.
  7. 2 points
    We have been ATI clients for about seven years off and on. We were on the brink of financial disaster about three years into shop ownership, primarily because we didn't know what we were doing from a business perspective. I always thought that hard work and common sense would bring success, but there are so many forces working on you that you can't achieve real success without expert help. We joined ATI seven years ago and spent two years being C students and learned enough to dig ourselves out of the hole we had dug. Then I decided I could use that money elsewhere. Big mistake. After about a year, we found ourselves still struggling and missing the help we had been getting, so we joined back up and we won't go without some form of tutoring and business coaching again. Even the best athletes have coaches to keep them focused and to sharpen their game. We have had different coaches at ATI, but the gentleman we have been working with for the past few years is amazing. He guides you, but makes you do the decision making and he holds us accountable for the things we commit to. A couple of years ago, we joined an ATI twenty group composed of shops similar to ours. We actually look at each other's numbers and we have all found that shops have similar problems. The group sets group goals and as a member, you have to commit to work on achieving them. ATI has allied themselves with companies who are experts at every aspect of competing in this business. If I sound like an advertisement, it's because I credit these guys with saving my butt. We now have two shops with great car count, great margins, but we struggle every day with ARO - but we're not struggling alone. It may seem expensive, but if you put aside ego and take advantage of what they have to offer, it's free. Go to the one day class.
  8. 1 point
    Geek With Attitude Now I realize I'm only a mechanic, and not an Ivy League scholar, and I may not qualify as the next inductee into MENSA, but I’m still a pretty smart guy. Oh, I may not know all there is to know about every single make and model out there, but I have enough background and technical ability to solve just about anything that goes wrong with the modern car. But, for some people the mere thought that a mechanic might actually have a few brain cells just baffles them to no end. A few weeks ago I got a call from a guy, who (to the best of my dim witted abilities could tell), was having a problem with his truck. He told me that he pulled all the fuses, and was still having a battery drain issue he couldn't find. He even took it to another shop and wasn't happy with their results, so he was going to give me a chance at it based on a friend’s recommendation. “Bring it in tomorrow, and I'll get it checked out for you,” I told him. The next day a 98 Nissan pickup with 150,000 miles on the odometer was waiting for me. After getting the owner’s information, I went over what he wanted me to do. Little did I know this guy had all the answers already. Not only the answers, but several ideas as to what was causing his problem. This particular guy was a full-fledged computer geek with more than a little attitude to go along with it. Not only did he think he was dead right about everything, but that every mechanic out there was nothing more than a knuckle dragging grease monkey with the IQ of a walnut. The more he told me about the problem the more I knew I was in for a long afternoon. Seems everything that was ever wrong with the car from the day he bought it was leading up to the moment the battery went dead. But, of course, it's not dead now... that takes a month before it would happen. “A month?” I asked. Oh, he had an answer for that too. It all started with the front crankshaft seal. The seal was leaking, and it leaked all over the alternator, so he had the seal changed along with a new alternator and battery. (Both the alternator and the battery came from one of those cheapo depot places; imagine where the seal came from.) A month went by before the car wouldn't start again. The seal was leaking too, but not nearly as bad. “Hmm,” I said, sitting at the service counter thinking this whole thing through, “You say it takes a month before it won't start? Are you driving it much?” “Yes,” he said, “Every day.” This didn't add up, something else is wrong with the car. As I tried to explain to him that if a car is driven every day, and starts perfectly fine, but then all of a sudden it goes “click-click” it tells me there is something else wrong, and it's probably not a battery drain issue. “Leave it with me, and I'll check it out,” I told him, Apparently, Mr. Geekdumb doesn't have a clue how a car works, other than where to put the gas and which way the key turns. Not that I’d hold that against him, a lot of people don't know a thing about their transportation. It's just that most people don't try to sound like they do, especially while standing in front of somebody that just might. Once I had the truck in the shop it turned out to be a classic problem; the battery bolts were tightened down as far as they could go, but I could easily pull the cables off the battery without any effort at all. The charge output and parasitic draw tests showed no signs of any problems. As for the seal leak. Well, if you've been around cars with high miles and poor maintenance you've probably seen this before. The PCV valve was clogged. Without that, no ventilation for the lower end, and of course, a back pressure builds up and that pressure has to go somewhere... usually out a seal, and the front seal is one of the usual places for it to go. Explaining all this to the computer nerd turned out to be a whole lot tougher than I thought possible. How one person can act and think that they are so smart, but can't see the logic behind the explanation is beyond me. The more I tried to explain, the more this guy asked even more bizarre questions. I gave him the run down on the battery clamp issues, “Yes, a loose battery clamp can make the car not start. Sometimes you'll get one quick turn of the starter then nothing, not even a dome light. Other times you'll get a “click” which is what your car sounds like. This can also stop or restrict the alternator charge output from entering the battery.” “So, that’s why my dash lights don’t work?” he asked. “There's no relationship between the charge output and the dash lights. That's a separate problem. Most likely the rheostat,” I said. “Well, what about the switch on my dome light, it doesn't work. I’m positive that is due to the front seal and the PVC you mentioned.” “Sir, it's a PCV not PVC, “Positive Crankcase Ventilation” is what it stands for, and no, it has nothing to do with your dome light.” “So I have two PCV’s in the car?” “No, just one.” “So where's the PVC?” “That would be in your house most likely. Most homes have PVC plastic piping.” “So, now you're telling me I don't have two PCV’s?” “I never said you had two.” This went on, and on. My frustration level was getting to my MAX level, and I'm about to tell this guy just where he can put his PCV and his PVC. But, after lengthy deliberations he eventually decided to have me at least fix something...one thing…change the battery clamps. He had the solution for the dash lights, dome light, PCV, and the front seal. I apparently don't understand, or fail to comprehend how all his other problems are related to the dead battery. He showed up later that day to pay for the clamp replacement, and it wasn't hard to tell this guy had an ego driven “micro” chip on his shoulder. He wasn't about to have some lowlife mechanic explain the physics of the internal combustion engine to such an astute individual as himself. His parting comments as he walked out the door said it all. “I work on highly technical and advanced systems on home and business computers that are far above the complexities of anything you’ll ever see. I'm better off fixing my own car, because I have a degree, and my intelligence level is far superior than any mechanic.” Really? That's the best you got? Better luck insulting me next time, fella…leaving is probably the smartest thing you’ve done so far… don’t let the door hit ya on the way out.
  9. 1 point
    Well, that's all ya gotta do to fix it anyway... Sent from my SM-J727V using Tapatalk
  10. 1 point
    I would add that while you have beautiful photographs I find the print too small and too light colored. This could make it hard to read for some people. There is no place on the opening page to click to find your services or to book an appointment. I think it is hard to get a customer beyond your front page and they need something fast and easy to move forward. If we take them to too many pages to do anything we will lose them. I think a customer should be able to book an appointment or call us from the front page. Just my two cents that is worth one cent.
  11. 1 point
    HAha, this thread will continue on and on.. Easy said 110% a diagnostic charge needs to be charged, the diagnostics is the hard part of the job a set price to start is how we do it. Customers are told there is a set charge and it will be adjusted depending on what is found more added if more time is needed and some taken off if it is a simple easy find such as something left unplugged etc. If you have to question it next time you go to the doctor ask him or her if you can just pay for the medication given and not the x rays, bloodwork, ct scan or any other tests done, see the answer you get .
  12. 1 point
    For anyone looking for web based, this topic is a good read,. there is a comparison the last post
  13. 1 point
    Yes diagnostic time is a must. It costs money to have equipment, scan tools and updates to those scan tools and software. Customer don't always understand that.
  14. 1 point
    It seems to me that the forums have been much quieter. I'm not sure if that is correct or not, but I know when I get that email every week, and I see the topic list, I get turned off pretty quickly. Then I stop looking at them all together when they come. Scott
  15. 1 point
    Scott, Here's what I meant about the forum making money off the guy posting the webinars about webinars. He's a paid member, you and I are free, Victor
  16. 1 point
    We have it and like it. We still don’t do a ton of flashes but it’s always available and I’m not relying on someone else’s schedule. We’ll charge $25 over cost (of course that doesn’t include diagnosis). Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  17. 1 point
    I imagine the marketing ads help pay for maintaining the forum, so I don't mind too much. What I don't like is the catchy title that links to a 3 minute pitch for a link to a "GREAT" webinar that ends up to be a 20 minute pitch (with no content) for a live seminar.
  18. 1 point
    Slowtech, I'm glad you posted this. I was just going down the list of topics in the weekly email thinking to myself that it looks like the forum is turning into more of an advertising platform. So I started going down the list and came across your post. So you are definitely not alone in your thinking. Scott
  19. 1 point
  20. 1 point
    Automotive Management Network has one of the better SMS system comparisons that I've seen. Check this out: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1lRLSF-4f5VBaXMv4m_fAs4Vj0J5mzqg82Dk0bMTlRwE/edit#gid=350300638 Hope it helps!
  21. 1 point
    I just took over a shop which was totally in the stone ages and running on an 11 yo laptop using QB only Looking at Shop Boss and shop ware as well as Omnique it would be nice if there was a feature comp list anyone see one out there ?? Any other comments welcome please need to decide soon
  22. 1 point
    SUPERSEX A little old lady who had lost her marbles was running up and down the halls in a nursing home. As she ran, she would flip up the hem of her nightgown and say "Supersex." She ran up to an elderly man in a wheelchair, flipping her gown at him, she said, "Supersex." He sat silently for a moment or two and finally answered, "I'll take the soup."
  23. 1 point
    Nick, We've used Groupon pretty consistently since 2011. Back when it was a daily deal site via email, we had great success. Bringing in 30 to 50 new people a month. We offered low priced oil changes. It cost us about $10 per oil change, after our cut from Groupon. We thought, Where else could spend $300 to $500 per month to be introduced to 30 to 50 new prospects per month? We sold about 20% of the people something additional. Today Groupon is a shopping site. We find people go to their site looking for a deal when they have a need vs. purchasing a limited time offer. We met a lot of people who became customers early on. Today we meet very few people who are looking for a home. Mostly they are looking for a deal. Good luck, Gary M. Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  24. 1 point
    I have gone to one if Ati's boot camp classes but I just cat seem to pull the trigger on the system.
  25. 1 point
    ATI client here as well. At least go to the one day class, its a great motivation to work hard on your business and they give some great tips and advice.