Auto Repair: The Top Ten Mistakes CREATED BY Your Mechanic
Auto Repair Manuals
Auto Repair: HOW DO They Screw Up An Oil Change?
"It's about beating the time clock." This quotation originates from a smart old service supervisor, advising me how to increase my income as a flat-rate technician. If you've ever wondered why your car doesn't get set correctly, or all of your concerns weren't addressed, you can blame, partly, the flat-rate pay structure.
Flat-rate simply means that your auto mechanic is paid a flat fee for a specific repair, regardless of how long the repair actually calls for. In other words, if your vehicle needs a normal water pump, which pays off two time of labor, and the auto technician completes the work in one hour, he gets paid for two.
In theory, this can work in your favor. If the job takes longer, you still pay just the "predetermined" labor amount. In THEORY, not reality!
The flat-rate pay framework was created to drive productivity. It is rather effective. The flat-rate pay system stimulates technicians to work solid, but it generally does not promote quality.
In terms of getting your car fixed accurately, the flat-rate pay structure has disastrous effects. Flat-rate technicians are constantly looking for shortcuts to conquer the clock to be able to maximize the amount of hours they bill. Experienced flat-rate technicians can expenses from 16 to 50 hours within an 8 hour day.
It's these shortcuts and the breakneck speed at which toned rate technicians work that bring about some of the most idiotic mistakes. In the rapid-fire pace of the shop I've witnessed technicians start motors with no petrol. I've seen transmissions fell, smashing into little pieces onto the shop floor. And I've seen cars driven right through bay doors--all in the name of "beating the clock."
Flat-rate technicians can get quite elaborate with shortcuts. My favorite was the implementation of the 6-foot-long 2-by-4, which was placed under the engine unit for support while a motor unit support was removed. It made employment predetermined to have 1.5 time achievable in twenty minutes. A win-win, right? The specialist makes extra money; 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 nose down onto the concrete floor.
Sometimes the shortcuts create very subtle disruptions, which create problems overtime. A quick example: a car had its transmitting 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 problems....
Six months later, the automobile returned with an intermittent misfire. The engine motor wasn't running on all cylinders. After intensive diagnostics, it was discovered that the transmitting dipstick tube had chaffed through the engine motor funnel, intermittently grounding out an injector. Hmm, that's odd. Don't usually observe that.
The high-speed environment and the next shortcuts demonstrate the devastating effects of the flat-rate, sales-driven pay framework on the grade of car repairs.
No question even an petrol change gets screwed up!
The poor quality of work urged by the chiseled rate pay structure is disconcerting enough. However, it generally does not stop here. The negative effects of flat-rate get exponentially worse, as it opens "wide" the entranceway to rip you off!