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skm last won the day on October 15

skm had the most liked content!

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About skm

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    0000 broken car road, service bay , Maryland, 20017
  • Automotive Franchise
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  • Certifications
    ase certified master tech, L1 , state inspection license, master emission repair license

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  1. 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!
  2. ugggg ! Yes here and there you will need a specialty tool, but that is after all other attempts have been made and you chalk it up as a lesson learned. I do have a "FEW" specialty tools, and you know what they get used less and less as time goes by. Usually it all ends up being if there is a will there is a way.. Now some cars are coming back with stretch belts.. You don't need all the special tools for them sure I came across a BMW that yes it was needed, but if you have a pulley in the set up with holes in it a couple of zip ties work awesome and cost a fraction of what the tool would. Dive in give it a try if all else fails either buy the specialty tool if not to costly and may get used more than once every 6 months, or explain to the customer after all else failed that you don't have the correct tool and not worth buying it for the amount of that type of work you see, and say sorry but we look forward to helping you with any other needs you have in the future. if you look everything up you will find that just about every job has a specialty tool, and all nuts and bolts have torque specs.. can you imagine how long a job would take if you torqued every bolt to oe specs. when was the last time you torqued battery cables , or hold downs, or steering column covers LOL you would work on one car a week.. Common sense , experience and a feel for what you are doing in "MOST" cases is all you need. You mention Parts hangers, well that is the breed of today by the looks of it, I don't know if it is due to the lack of education, laziness, or pay maybe all of the above. You get young guys or gals just out of school that think they should be paid what the well seasoned guy gets, they don't seem to understand you have to work you way up pay your dues, and that is a very long road with a steep learning curve. Now the "INFORMATION AGE" is to blame for this as well .. Especially the younger ones think you can find anything on the internet. Well youtube being the most popular , but you take two people with the identical limp examine them you may find one has a ingrown toenail the other has an artificial hip , same limp two very different reasons for the limp.. Now it isn't all just the internet stuff we are also being pushed down the road of parts hangers by programs some may use, which I won't and actually hate.. Ones like identifix, pathfinder, etc... what are they doing but teaching a tech to be lazy and not learn things. Just pull up a common code like p0171 (lean bank 1) now an educated person would automatically start going through their head what may cause this and start testing and eliminating things until we find the problem, others that use these programs will.. see that out of say 200 techs 83 replaced "x part", 17 replaced "xx part", 10 replaced "xxx part", and so on and so on, so what do they do well most replaced "x part" so they try that part if that doesn't do it the move down the list.. uggggg ! So the programs and in some cases scanners are to blame as well.. If that is going to be the case we might as well save our money get rid of our scanners and just send our customers down to the local major parts store that does the free "diagnostics" and let them bring the parts to us and have us install them till the problem is hopefully fixed if it is not a wiring or programming problem. We can just work of off what the parts store generated for them what I have dubbed the "BUY and TRY" list. There is a lot that needs to be fixed in this industry to make it a viable industry that excites people to be in, but that will take a long time if it even ever happens till then try keep your head up and keep pluggin away.
  3. I agree with both statements, but there is one thing that I think now a days even for a somewhat seasoned guy like myself is .. Being a mechanic is not a very desirable job anymore.. It's a very hard job that can be very stressful for a multitude of reasons, and the pay is not so great for what we do, and if on a commission base can actually start to go down as we get older and slower not up.. Not to mention the tens of thousands of dollars we pay for tools to perform our job. i actually read a great article the other night that was about just this and how it is not a very fair career to be in . With low pay for what we do , high stress, and low appreciation from the general public. Also where service writers making more money than the actual mechanic who is the "brains of the operation", I don't care how great your service writer is without a good mechanic it is like having a title to a lamborghini but no car , it is worthless .
  4. 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..
  5. Very good video! Sad part is even people that have been in business for a while still don't get it.. I argue with the owner often about lowering prices.. He is scared they will walk away , well let them go someone else will come along.. Now I am saying this from a mechanics standpoint , but I have been doing this for a pretty long time now .. I had a customer the other week start to haggle me on price I saw the owner coming and I stepped in his way and told him hold on I got this.. After a short talk with the customer and me explaining why we charge what we do and giving the customer a scenario of how would you like it if you boss asked you to work for half you hourly wage for half the day what would you say . Of course you get the, I wouldn't do it, so I say well why are you asking me to do that?? Then I always say you are welcome to go somewhere else and usually they give in just as this guy did.. The owner still doesn't understand the importance of standing firm.. He tells me he just doesn't have the gift of speech .. B.S. everyone does use it be fair but firm... I once apon a time was very interested in opening my own shop, but now not so much... There is just so much that goes along with it not to mention I have spent the last 26 years honing my skills, and I like turning wrenches.. In this business now a days I am think it is way to hard to be both a shop owner and a mechanic you need to choose one or the other right now I like to go home after work , I like to if affordable take a vacation or just a week off and not have to think about the business. I think this forum and doing research lead me to the not so much opinion on opening a shop, but I am grateful for that . I wouldn't want to of jumped in head first and not been aware of what was coming at me or what I was in for.. although I had some idea. I may of spent a lot of money and decided this is not for me. Instead I stayed my course , may not be the most lucrative course but for now It pays the bills and keeps peace in the household.
  6. 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.
  7. Diagnostics vs parts ... hmmmm sounds like a game played by a lot of mechanics and youtubers LOL... unfortunately parts seems to win out in most shops.. I don't know how many times people look way too deep for the problem.. I guess it is something that we learn as we get better that the basics need to be checked first.. sometimes the problem is right in front of your face but you can't imagine that being the problem so you look deep or in some cases throw more parts.. It must happen in all business or the saying "if it was a snake it would of bit ya" wouldn't of come about. All in all I think we all will be watching or playing in the game of Diagnostics vs Parts, who will win well who knows, but I think we all need to strive to play for the diagnostic team I hard those players seem to last longer and get paid a bit better , and have more loyal fans.
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. Employees

    Awesome ! I am sure that is one of the main points of this forum to help others.. From many different point of views.. as some may think I am full of crap, because of my position in this business, but I have been in the business for a good while now, seen a lot of changes and have what a think is a pretty good grasp on what works and what doesn't in most cases but not all..
  11. Employees

    yes sir ! and remember that demographics also play a role in things 😁
  12. Employees

    very good point.. I think that also with some brains working for you it makes it a lot easier.. Then there is more of a comfort in being able to charge what you should be charging for repairs. Guts, well yes you do need the guts to be able to raise your prices to an appropriate level when other shops around keep theirs low, another reason to have some good brains working for you , One of the most important things in this business more so than car count "REPUTATION" AND "QUALITY" work !
  13. Employees

    Im game if someone wants to take a chance on me LOL 😂
  14. Employees

    I would love to make that... sign me up 😜
  15. Employees

    One thing I have noticed is work expectations, you get the young one's out of UTI or LTI they come get a job and think they should be getting top pay like the guy that is fully certified and has many many years of experience under his or her belt.. They don't seem to understand that what they learned is the basis for getting their foot in the door. Once they see how much more there is to learn and how little they make compared to the seasoned ones they get discouraged. I have seen many guys come through the shop and quit after a very short time because of pay that the thought they would make.. I always tell them it is like building a house on a concrete slab.. what you learned in school, was that concrete slab being laid with the roughed in plumbing. NOW you have to build that house on that slab. Sure you sell that slab by it's self you can get some money for it but if you sell the completed house you will get a lot more. I also don't think there is a good focus on the cars of today in school ( I could be wrong) . Not enough knowledge is given on diagnostics (electrical) things, which we all know is what our cars are now a days .. a bunch of rolling modules all communicating with one another to make things work. Just as cars now a days talk along two lines of communication take it all in, filter what they need and discard the rest as junk, unfortunately that is also what it has come to as far as hiring mechanics (techs)