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JimO last won the day on June 10 2018

JimO had the most liked content!

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About JimO

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    Posting Member

Business Information

  • Business Address
    375 Chestnut Ridge Road, Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, 07677
  • Type of Business
    Auto Repair
  • Your Current Position
    Shop Owner
  • Automotive Franchise
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. JimO

    Broken Parts

    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.
  4. 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.
  5. JimO

    Tires - are we competitive or low?

    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.
  6. JimO


    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.
  7. JimO


    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.
  8. JimO


    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.
  9. JimO

    Need some advice

    I guess your final message illustrates the variety of talents you need to have when you are self employed. 1- You started being a mechanic, buisiness owner. 2- You then became a detective gathering information from your peers and the crime scene. 3- You then became a judge and made a decision who should bear the cost of restoration. 4- You then became an arbitrator by calling the customer, explain the situation and arriving at a fair point of liability for both involved parties. 5- You then became an accountant and carefully weighed the financial pros and cons by involving the insurance company. 6- During the entire ordeal you became a student, attended the School of Hard Knocks and graduated with honors. Good job!
  10. JimO

    Need some advice

    Not a good position to be in. As “Old & Tired” asked- Did you replace the hose? If you did, was it the correct hose? Did it match the original hose? Did the tech have any issues with proper fit? Was the hose supposed to be “cut to fit” and that step was overlooked causing a mis-routing of the hose and a possible contact issue? Was there fitmet issues with the radiator which may have caused a hose routing issue? Did the new radiator match up to the old radiator? Most fan shrouds do a pretty good job at keeping hands, hoses and other components away from contacting 'the fan, was the shroud damaged? With 200K miles on the vehicle an engine mount or mounts may be worn/broken and allowed the engine to lift out of position thereby allowing the fan to contact the hose. How can the dealer come to the conclusion that whoever replaced the radiator is at fault but they are unable to identify how the fan contacted the hose? Could dealer check Freeze Frame information for an over temp code, miles driven since code set, coolant temp when code set?
  11. JimO


    I understand that many of you responding feel that you need to perform labor tasks for free because someone else in your surrounding area offers it for free. Where does that end? Free brake inspections? Free tire repairs? Free code scans? Free battery installs? And it seems that all of the free services are happily given away with the thought or excuse that it affords us the opportunity to inspect the vehicle and find other work. Routinely I read posts concerning anger that Advance or Auto Zone offers free services such as code scans or battery replacement. Why would we want to walk down that same path that they are on? As soon as a labor function is offered for free it degrades it’s true value. We are professionals and as professionals we deserve to be compensated appropriately for whatever labor is expended or we risk degrading our labor efforts to valueless. My ability to inspect brakes during a tire rotation is not hampered by the fact that the customer is paying for the rotation. Understandably by giving away free rotations it may (or it should) put you in a position of being able to inspect more brakes. What is the tipping point? In an era with fewer and fewer labor tasks being required on the newer vehicles we may be left with doing free rotations. When does giving away labor equate to a financial gain? Leave that to be figured out by the accountants, until then we will continue to charge for services rendered. Presently our charge for tire rotation is $30.00 except when we have to interact with TPMS post rotation then the charge is $35.00. Concerning the original question of best tires on front or rear. We put best on rear unless tread depth differentials are 2/32” or less. As an industry we should demand that the RMA establish written guidelines for us to use and be able to show to our customers.
  12. JimO


    I was a member in the early 70’s for about 5 or 6 years. Never saw the benefit and the cost failed to justify the expense so it was terminated. I doubt if today’s generation is even aware of the BBB which really makes it pointless.
  13. Problems such a seized nuts/bolts/sensors can often be anticipated on a job based on past experience and then be explained to the customer up front. When it comes as a surprise I always call the customer and explain the situation that the anticipated labor charge will increase due to unforeseen complications. I find that keeping the customer in the loop and informed prevents trouble. I feel that if I fail to inform the customer then I don’t deserve compensation for the added labor but if I take the time to inform the customer and allow him or her to be part of the decision making process then there are no surprises, no hard feelings and the CUSTOMER pays for the additional labor repairing his or her vehicle. A seized, rusted or broken bolt is not my problem unless I allow it to be.
  14. JimO

    Mental Health/Depression

    I think SPG356 wrote a great reply to your post and I hope that you do have a close friend or family member that you can draw strength from. If not then you always have us and we all know the trials and tribulations of this vocation. We work all day “fixing” things and then when we have a problem it is hard to accept that we are unable to fix it. You need time, patience, understanding and prayer and I am sure you will be OK.