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JimO last won the day on March 25

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About JimO

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    Experienced Poster

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  • Business Name
    Don's Sunoco
  • Business Address
    375 Chestnut Ridge Road, Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, 07677
  • Type of Business
    Auto Repair
  • Your Current Position
    Shop Owner
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  1. JimO


  2. Up until about two to three years ago I exclusively used OEM pads for all vehicles because of past noise issues when using aftermarket pads years ago. OEM pads were trouble free, perfect fit and never a problem with noise. The one problem I did encounter using OEM pads is that dealers in our area rarely carried shims and hardware which we always replace when equipped. older comments in this thread made me consider aftermarket pads then my CarQuest sales rep convinced me to try his pads and they have worked out great for domestic and Asian. They are more convenient and in most cases priced more attractively for the customer and more profitable for me. The shims and hardware are included with the platinum line so that problem was also eliminated. I still offer OEM for domestic, Asian and European and some customers opt to go that route but about 85-90% of our brake jobs are now completed with aftermarket. For domestic and Asian vehicles I use CarQuest Platinum pads. Metallic for vehicles that were “born” with metallic and ceramic for those that were “born” with ceramic. We resurface rotors when possible but when new are required I use CarQuest Premium coated rotors. For European I use Textar pads and Zimmerman or Textar rotors all sourced from WorldPac. They have been trouble free, convenient and profitable. We never resurface European rotors, only replace.
  3. I am also a longtime BayMaster user and I think you should give them a call since they already offer digital inspections. I copy and pasted the information below from their web site. Digital Inspection Forms (FREE WITH CUSTOM JOBS!) Completely Customizable inspections for your shops individual needs Full Tablet and mobile device support Prints alongside jobs on invoices Show recommended inspection and repair alongside a quote for the repair Save with the ticket in history to be able to reference in the future Can be as short or as long as needed with no limits USE WITH A TABLET TO SPEED UP INSPECTIONS AND SHOW CUSTOMERS!
  4. Am I understanding your post correctly? You indicate that you ordered “the same style of sensors that were in the OEM rims/tires”. Does this mean that you ordered and received OEM sensors from Subaru? Are you trying to clone OEM sensors using your Autel tool? OEM will not clone. Are you trying to initialize with four new OEM sensors in place? Is your Autel Tool updated with latest software and does it have the ability to communicate with a 2018 Subaru? Is there a reason why you did not use Autel sensors and clone the OEM sensors? If I misunderstood your post and you cloned Autel sensors with original sensors where are the other four tires, rims and sensors while you are trying to reset system?
  5. JimO

    Hi all

    Welcome aboard and I wish you the best in your new venture as an owner.
  6. After sending invoices and calling fails to yield positive results I have been known to go to the customer’s house at 6:00 am with our tow truck and park in the street blocking their driveway. First you will notice curtains or shades are moved with quick glimpses of inhabitants trying to see what your plans are. Then the front or side door opens and they step out briefly, acknowledging your presence with a half hearted wave and then they return into the safety of their house. Eventually they sheepishly walk out to the truck and ask what you want. At that time you calmly say “I just want to get paid for the repairs that were performed on your vehicle and when that has been settled I need to go back to work”. Do I have a legal right to do this? I don’t know and so far I don’t care because it works. I have also taken local customers to small claims court with equally favorably results but more time is spent representing yourself in court than an hour or two in front of a dead beats driveway. Do not worry about what people of that class and caliber might say to other people because it is useless anxiety. Never feel embarrassed to demand payment for work that was completed properly and at a fair price. The people who owe you money should be the ones that are embarrassed and worried that everyone in your small town will view them as a dead beat. Unfortunately people like that have no pride and/or don’t care and that is why they ignored your previous attempts at obtaining payment. When they owe you money they will never come in so don’t worry about losing them as a customer, they are already lost. Once they pay up they may resurface in the future and request help, then it is up to you whether to forgive and forget. If you choose “forgive” just make sure you don’t “forget”. I have had to remind people (they needed no reminding but I do it as a formality to let them know where I stand) and I explain that I have no time or patience to chase them like the last time and full payment is expected at completion or the vehicle does not leave the property. Good luck.
  7. I allow the radio to be on but it has to be a music station. Music, when played at a respectable volume does not hinder productivity as far as I can tell. Talk radio on the other hand reduces productivity since a tech or worse yet multiple techs will pause and limit noisy activity to be able to hear the discussion on the talk show. Additional time is then wasted when the techs render their opinion on the subject at hand, all work stops for a verbal review, not good. Another problem is that some talk radio station topics or hosts can be rather questionable and often step over the line considering anyone could be listening. On nice days with all of the doors open this questionable content can be a problem since customers, in particular women and young children, are within ear shot. Everyone in the shop is similar in age so the music station selected is never an issue. My one tech started changing the station to classical music after all the jobs are done and the shop is shut down and quiet. I have never liked classical music but when played in the background at the end of a busy day it seems to have a subtle calming effect. I never thought I would say that.
  8. Maybe it is possible to succeed as you have planned. After 47 years in buisiness I am sure that I could not succeed if my time investment was 2-3 hours a week. Some people can possibly pull that off, I am not one of them.
  9. I agree with bstewart, unfortunate cost of doing business. Everyone makes a mistake occasionally hence erasers on pencils. Most people learn from their mistakes but some do not. If a tech is constantly making mistakes that is a sign of being careless. I would then be worried about the mistakes that go under the radar and are not noticed, sooner or later they will surface. I don’t know if requiring payment for something like this is legal so I would investigate that further if you choose to go that route. Documenting the mistakes, private meetings with the employee with eventual termination for chronic offenders would be my route.
  10. I agree with bantar, our Interstate warranties are handled the same way. I have been stocking Interstate on consignment for about ten years and we have never had issues with pro-rating defects. Failure rate is no better and no worse than other batteries and our cost price has always been very competitive. We sell quite a few batteries to people who are not customers but they found us on the Interstate web site. Odd how so many people responded with such negative comments. I do think Interstate is behind times in not having the ability to interface with any shop management program. Life is easier selling a NAPA or CarQuest battery for that reason. As bantar indicated, hot-shot delivery is poor so that is when I elect to go the CarQuest or NAPA route with a reduced profit margin.
  11. Mount $14.00 per tire Balance $14.00 per tire Valve stems $2.50 each (German, not from China) Disposal $3.00 each Rotation (No TPMS initialization required & with no other tire work) $30.00 Rotation (With TPMS initialization post rotation & with no other tire work) $34.00 Tire repair (puncture) - Locate leak, approved plug/patch from inside, re-mount, re-balance, install on vehicle, check air all around, reset TPMS (if needed) and secure spare (if needed) - $42.00 I am in North East New Jersey, last exit on GSP going North.
  12. Scott, I think you identify a valid point that if we adopt a zero tolerance, best tires on rear approach, tire rotations are basically eliminated. New cars presented for the first service will often have a measurable difference between front and rear tires, should they not be rotated? Different publications and articles that I have read in the past will often refer to tread depth differentials as a determining factor when deciding rotate or not to rotate. That being said it is unclear to me where these tread depth differential specs come from. Most of the specs that I have seen indicate a 2/32” to 3/32” tread depth differential cut point. Meaning if the front tires are at 7/32” and the rear tires are at 9/32” the tread depth differential would be 2/32” and rotating would be acceptable. But if the front tires were at 5/32” and the rear tires were at 9/32” then the differential is 4/32” which is excessive and the tires should not be rotated. In a previous post I suggested that the RMA should provide us with written guidance concerning tire rotations that include definitive differential tread depth measurement cut points. If they determine best tires on rear regardless of tread depth differentials then so be it, but put it in writing.
  13. Junior, I think you need to open a few more owners manuals and try to find something concerning tire rotations besides recommended rotation intervals and rotation patterns. I have opened thousands of manuals over the years looking for a variety of information. Sometimes the manuals have useful information and sometimes I am disappointed. Lack of written information in these manuals and other reference information concerning tread depth differentials front to back and when NOT to rotate is what caused me to post a comment on this subject. Let’s be realistic, the owners manual states how to operate and generally maintain the vehicle but in most cases it lacks the technical information that we require. The owner should read and reference the manual for their vehicle and when practical the technician can do the same and in doing so may get lucky and find a solution to a problem. Sorry to bore you with what you refer to as “tech 101 stuff” but I personally think Tyrguy is correct in keeping any reference material at hand to show a customer that questions him. I always strive to give each and every customer “the right answer” and I would never perform a task improperly because a customer thinks it should be done that way. If you elect to refuse jobs because someone questions you that is your prerogative but I would rather take the time to explain my reasoning and if needed back up my statements with written information from a reputable source. Hopefully your customers accept your “my way or the highway” mentality. I would never perform improper “wrong” repairs to “appease a customer” and I find it odd that you somehow read my post and came to that conclusion. Although your post indicates otherwise I beg to differ, you did your best to call me out but unfortunately it was not good enough. You missed the point.
  14. I agree with tyrguy but I think it is a shame that we, all of us, need to resort to keeping copies of car magazines on hand in order to provide proof to our customers that we are doing the right thing. The RMA sets guidelines in writing for tire service and repair, they need to supply us with written tire rotation guidelines. When to rotate and when not to rotate with specific tread depth differential cut points to be used as opposed to old magazines. My comment is not criticizing tyrguy’s use of the magazines, it is all we presently have but we do have organizations in place to set required rules and specs for these things. To anyone representing RMA: The time has come, get going and supply us with something in writing.

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