Auto Repair: How Can They Screw Up An Olive oil Change?

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Auto Repair: How Can They Screw Up An Olive oil Change?

"It's all about beating the time." This price comes from a wise old service director, advising me about how to increase my income as a flat-rate specialist. If you have ever wondered why your vehicle doesn't get fixed correctly, or your entire concerns weren't tackled, you can blame, partly, the flat-rate pay framework.

Flat-rate simply means that your mechanic is paid a flat fee for a specific repair, regardless of how long the repair actually takes. Quite simply, if your vehicle needs a drinking water pump, which gives two hours of labor, and the auto technician completes the work in one hour, he gets payed for two.

In theory, this may work to your advantage. If the work takes longer, you'll still only pay the "predetermined" labor amount. In THEORY, not reality!

The flat-rate pay structure is designed to drive productivity. It is rather effective. The flat-rate pay system stimulates technicians to work solid, but it does not promote quality.

In terms of getting your car set properly, the flat-rate pay framework has disastrous results. Flat-rate technicians are constantly looking for shortcuts to beat the clock in order to maximize the number of hours they costs. Experienced flat-rate technicians can invoice from 16 to 50 hours in an 8 hour day.

It's these shortcuts and the breakneck acceleration at which flat rate technicians work that result in some of the most idiotic mistakes. Inside the rapid-fire pace of an shop I've observed technicians start machines with no oil. I've seen transmissions fallen, smashing into little bits onto the shop floor. And I've seen automobiles driven through bay doors--all in the name of "beating the time clock."

Flat-rate technicians can get quite intricate with shortcuts. The best was the execution associated with an 6-foot-long 2-by-4, that was put under the engine motor for support while a engine mount was removed. It made a job predetermined to consider 1.5 hours achievable in twenty minutes. A win-win, right? The tech makes extra cash; you get your vehicle back faster.

Actually, oftentimes the keeping this 2-by-4 ruined the oil pan. Moreover, it caused the car, your vehicle, to balance precariously 6 toes in the air, while the technician manipulated the car lift to gain access to your engine support.

This tactic was abruptly discontinued whenever a technician's 2-by-4 snapped creating the car to crash nasal area down onto the concrete floor.

Sometimes the shortcuts create very subtle disruptions, which create problems overtime. A quick example: a car had its transmission serviced with a new filtration, gasket, and liquid. During the procedure, the technician could save time by bending the transmitting dipstick tube marginally, in order to receive the transmission pan out faster. The automobile was reassembled, and the technician re-bent the pipe back into place and off it went--no concerns....

Six months later, the vehicle went back with an intermittent misfire. The engine motor wasn't jogging on all cylinders. After intensive diagnostics, it was discovered that the transmission dipstick tube possessed chaffed through the engine motor funnel, intermittently grounding out an injector. Hmm, that's unusual. Don't usually observe that.

The high-speed environment and the subsequent shortcuts illustrate the devastating ramifications of the flat-rate, sales-driven pay structure on the quality of car repairs.

No surprise even an essential oil change gets screwed up!

The indegent quality of work inspired by the toned rate pay composition is disconcerting enough. Unfortunately, it doesn't stop here. The unwanted effects of flat-rate get exponentially worse, as it starts "wide" the door to rip you off!

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