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Mario

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Mario last won the day on April 7

Mario had the most liked content!

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44 Excellent

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About Mario

  • Rank
    Advanced Member

Business Information

  • Business Address
    735 Main Avenue West, Massillon, Ohio, 44647
  • Type of Business
    Auto Repair
  • Your Current Position
    Shop Owner
  • Automotive Franchise
    None
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  1. We are trying to make a buck, customers are trying to save a buck. Can't really blame anybody. I laugh at "part quality" that some mention here. Lets face it, there are a few major part manufactures around, everything else is just a label stuck on a different color box. All part quality is sketchy. Some praise the dealer parts, and while I agree they generally are better, there are still plenty of dealer parts that are garbage. I just try to buy the best part I can for the best price with the best warranty, That is the best I can do. On a side note, I think it is funny that "business minded" people are in big support of Trump, who touts negotiating as being one his strong points. Unfortunately, in the 2017 America, negotiating is lost trait. We are accustomed to just paying what somebody is asking, because that is how we have been doing it forever. I still negotiate part prices, insurance and even some utilities. I have been paying $34.95 a month for my shop internet for 6 years. Business plans start over $100 a month around here. I negotiated to get on a residential plan because I know I am not using anywhere near the data as somebody streaming netflix 24/7. Does saving $780.00 a year in internet fees make me rich? No, but it sure helps and is a start. Then you have those who get sour grapes over a customer asking why something is costing so much... I hope anybody spending several hundred dollars on a service question why it is costing what you are charging. I never get upset, I just explain, sell, repair, and move on.
  2. Quote it high always. If your tech blows the time out of the water then comp the next oil change to make up for the increase of price with th customer. Never told them you quoted high or they will think you quote everything high, just coupon a oil change and everybody is happy
  3. Mario

    smoke machine

    I have the cheaper snapon, it was $1300 or so. Before that I had a DIY machine for about 2 years. Before that I would fill the evap systems with 1.5psi of air and use soapy water to find leaks. Both worked, but the snapon is much easier.
  4. Warning: Rant alert. Being a proficient technician is a very challenging job that does not receive the recognition or compensation it requires. A proficient general technician, which is required in most independent shops (at least in my area), requires being good at diagnosing and repairing internal engine issues, engine accessory issues, air conditioning, cooling systems, exhaust systems, engine management, wiring, interior components such as windows - sunroofs - door locks - touch screen units - communication systems, engine electrical, suspension, tires, brakes, transmissions... You basically need to be a mechanic, understand electrical wiring, be a electronic technician, a welder, a plumber, and a LEARNER because everything changes. In addition your tool and equipment cost never stops as you are always collecting for your arsenal to fix vehicles. In Northeast Ohio there is not a demand for specialty shops. Shops that specialize in certain makes and models do what everybody else does: work on everything. You have to or the bills won't get paid. In addition the job requires you fit your full grown body into tight and cramped areas, deal with grease, grim, scrapped knuckles, stress and pressure from customers, management, and ones self for $15-$20 an hour. Not to mention the pay scale is broke. Labor guides are written for new vehicles, that don't have rust, rats, and problems causing other problems on 10-20 year old cars which is common in an independent in this area. They are probably 70% of what you are going to work on. MOST professional jobs pay a salary, pay per hour, the OWNER or COMPANY takes the risk of quoting services, not the employee which is the norm in the auto industry. The struggles in finding good help is true, it exists. But who in their right mind would want to jump in this industry to make such a small wage with all the risks and stress that come with being a technician? I know bank tellers making $45k and they have no risk, no stress. I know plumbers and electricians working for various companies making $60k and not having to stress over flagging hours on a piece of rusty junk, they are paid salary. They have expectations set by their bosses, but they aren't financially penalized for a customers piece of junk house that was underquoted to get the sale. How many mechanics are making $60k in Northeast Ohio? Some, not many. Most barely make $35k. I graduated from college with a teaching degree before I opened up my shop. The stress in dealing with old rusty cars, the public, and not being able to pay my employees correctly was hurting my morale. I found a teaching job, teach monday-friday, and have two employees at my business working. We now just buy and sell cars. I am able to pay my mechanic a fair wage on a salary. We don't have to deal with the public and their rusty cars which have a dozen problems, some of them interconnected and effecting multiple systems. I am happy being a semi absentee owner and teaching. Who on the forum would sign up for a job that doesn't pay near what other trades of similar skill require (and lets be honest, what trade requires this level of skill) to be paid on an outdated pay platform that puts employee compensation at risk? If an employee is under performing, part ways with them. Don't terrorize them with flag hour pay when they don't control the estimate, the pricing, or the hours that are recommended from labor guides. The labor guides pull hours from factory recommendation, do you think Ford, GM, Chrysler or BMW are going to publish fair times vs times that benefit them? The lower the time they publish, the more they can shave off for "warranty" time (which is lower), which means less they have to pay a dealership to repair their new vehicles.
  5. Get it closed and be done with it. I understand rolling windows down on test drive, I do it. Probably opened a sunroof or two as well.
  6. In the shop no. Outside the shop and they are not your customers? Will this is a capitalist country, I say have at it to the tech.
  7. You just tell the customer those are business files. Ask him to go to Wal*Mart and request their invoice on a 50" Television. I have had customers ask those for "warranty reasons". The only thing I give customers are the warranty terms & conditions from used/reman engine/trans I buy and I staple them to the invoice. I tell them if they need a warranty claim we ARE the warranty claim, not the distributor.
  8. Had a company in pittsburgh rebuilding engines & trans, prices were great, warranty was good, quality was good, and then they got a contract with FoMoCo to only do Ford Engines and sell through the dealers. Still looking for a good place to buy remans after that happened. Most cars around here that need engines are about 10 years old or more, most customers won't put $4500 into just to purchase the reman. After labor and misc. parts the bill can push $7k on a car barely worth that, which is why I hardly even call Jasper for a price.
  9. Mario

    Shock/Strut Estimates

    If you are getting undercut because of part pricing that is a conversation you need to have with parts supplier. I am never embarrassed to negotiate pricing with my suppliers on anything (parts, insurance, supplies, heck just got $22 knocked off our monthly trash bill). It keeps my total operating cost minimal and my stress cost minimal as well. If the competition is using economy grade struts and you are installing top level struts make sure the customer knows. I'll install the economy monroes if it means winning the job, but the warranty is not the same. But I also only install quick struts if they are available and have no problem letting a customer walk out the door if they don't want quick struts. I have had on two occasions rusty Ohio springs crack in the compressor. No job is worth a hurt employee so I only do jobs on the compressor when quick struts cannot be sourced.
  10. If it has a jasper anything in it unfortunately it is unknown if the quality of a rebuild. Id would see what the shop thinks on the overall condition of motor before going forward.
  11. I had a corolla a few years ago that would intermittently lose brakes. Don't remember if it was while parked but definitely happened at speed. I replaced mc no go. Por valve had no moving parts and no leaks so I skipped that. Ran it with vac booster hooked up and off, didn't matter would still lose brakes. Eventually just replaced calipers and problem went away. I can't think of a test to verify problem was caliper because I watched them work when peddle was pressed. I just did it and it was the solution
  12. Everything is at your finger tips with Google
  13. I have a 80 Gallon westinghouse from 1955, everything is original. It is one of the slower rpm pumps, takes longer to fill up the tank in the morning but with battery tools it doens't get the use that it did before. Hope to never have to replace it, its been dependable and only cost me $100 :-) Friends I have that own shops have had issues with the IRs and Snap-On compressors. They are also very loud compared to my westinghouse. I have my compressor in a backroom and its very quiet. I can't stand working in areas with loud compressors.
  14. Mario

    Battery Impact Guns

    Battery impacts are very strong these days, 18v Fuel impact is stronger than most 1/2 air impacts. That said I have heard they don't work well with torque sticks (not sure why). And with that said, all wheels should be torqued with a torque wrench to make sure they are not under tightened (although they may be over tightened). Myself if I have a 100 ft-lbs wheel nut, I tighten it with a 80ft-lbs Torque Stick then finish it off with a torque wrench. But I don't stress speed over being accurate.
  15. I remember the summer after college doing property maintenance for one of the largest builders in northeast Ohio. The owners son was my supervisor (he ran the operation, his 82 yr old father was only the boss in title). The fall was coming to an end, I was at his 6 million dollar home cleaning gutters and getting equipment ready for the winter. He verbally gave me an offer to stay onboard. I told him thanks but no thanks. I explained to him I was opening an auto repair shop. His face looked like it was in pain. He said: Mario there are easier ways to make a lot of money, auto repair isn't one of them. The money is in construction and property management. I opened up my shop that January, my old boss was right, there are a lot of easier ways to make money. I am currently looking for a partner or somebody to lease my building while I go back into my field of study; teaching. Ideally I would like a motivated partner to take over operations and I could be involved during weekends and summers


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