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A Mechanic's Life - Tales From Under the Hood

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  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,305
    The HTHS (High Temperature High Shear) specifications are tested at 150C (302f).

    SAE 10W40 is a low HTHS and only has to be over 2.9 cS. That is the same specification for 10W30. An ACEA A3/B3 or A3/B4 (BMW's LL-01 for example) has to be greater than 3.5cS

    This is SAE's specs.
    http://www.kewengineering.co.uk/Auto_oils/oil_viscosity_explained.htm

    Now go back and compare the ACEA linked above.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Here's an interesting court case involving CARFAX
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,305
    edited January 2017
    Did you happen to see the link about the tech shortage for the body shops on that page?

    http://www.bodyshopbusiness.com/asa-survey-tech-shortage-insurer-issues-continue-to-be-nagging-issues-for-body-shops/

    As far as the Carfax lawsuit the article seems to suggest that one of the body shop's employee's might be generating the reports which Carfax pays them for. It's also a little disturbing that consumers would turn around and frown on the shop if they were making proper reports to Carfax. I remember when they contacted me and wanted me tp sign up with them. It really didn't seem to be worth my time to get involved for what they wanted to pay, but if someone wanted to generate dozens of reports it would start to add up.
  • guitarzanguitarzan OhioPosts: 834
    Thanks for educating me Cardoc. Wow HTHS is SAE and goes back to 1999. I had no idea!
  • guitarzanguitarzan OhioPosts: 834

    Here's an interesting court case involving CARFAX

    In the same vein Fortune companies data mine, gathering information on potential employees. They aggregate disparate data and link it to identify the people. They use this criteria in addition to any resume provided, purposefully to discriminate for whatever criteria they are looking for, usually illegal criteria such as age.

    This is an extension of the tenet that has developed due to the easy of transferring information: "If it is easy to do, it is acceptable to do." Just like people think stealing music is acceptable, and they think that only because of the ease of doing it.

    All of the schools should be teaching ethics and morals, and such would never happen on a widespread basis.

    One cannot stay off the grid because as soon as they go in a store and give the business personal information, it is immediateley stored in a database. We used to think of paying cash as staying off the grid as credit was the first big aggregate database, but not anymore.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 160,151
    I give the lawsuit ZERO chance of success.

    Many of the items listed as "facts" by the repair shop owner, due to his investigation, could have been sourced elsewhere. He just doesn't know. He doesn't even know if his customer has given him complete and accurate information.

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    You may be right in this case, but I've long been annoyed at CARFAX's ability to destroy a car's value without really having to justify or prove the accuracy of the information.

    In my own case, I bought a car with a "clean" CARFAX only to have an "ACCIDENT!" to show up 3 years after I bought it--an accident that occurred 2 years BEFORE I bought the car!

    CARFAX basically told me to pound sand, even after I told them no evidence of accident was on the car.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,305
    Do you think they are starting to get ready to listen to what techs have been saying about their careers?

    http://www.autonews.com/article/20170128/RETAIL06/301299985/1147

    Carlisle surveyed more than 22,000 technicians in September to get their take on the business. In short, many of them are unhappy.
    Hollenberg said service technicians' biggest concern is their compensation structure, followed by work/family balance and feeling valued. He said many technicians feel unimportant.
    Implementing four-day workweeks with 10- or 11-hour days would help build morale, but few dealerships have done so. Technicians, especially millennial techs, want flexible hours.
    Meanwhile, Hollenberg said only 15 percent of technicians would recommend their careers to others, while 65 percent are "strongly against" recommending it.
  • guitarzanguitarzan OhioPosts: 834
    edited January 2017
    "When your service department has a record month, do you go back and hug the technicians?" (I think that was Smith, of the Principle Auto Group.)

    Sales people like rah-rah events but technical people eschew them like the Bubonic plague. If you hug the technician they most likely will get perturbed. This is a problem, these CEOs only think like sales people. Why does he not talk to his techs and ask them how they would like to participate in a rah-rah event? The looks on the techs' faces will tell all.

    Technical people get their jollies from solving problems and getting paid for solving problems. Give them both, then give them hug-free space to do what they enjoy.

    A 4-day work week would be good from the aspect of allowing young techs to work a second job to build up the much needed capital. Call me a conspiracy theorist but this is the exact reason why the 4-day work week will not become widespread in this case.

    Cars that cannot be fixed are a boon to the sales chain. So no I do not think these people have any reason to be serious about this issue.

    You have described the life of a tech Doc, and it does not have to be a poor one, with the perpetual struggle to purchase the next needed tool. Despite poor wages problems can be overcome from the spending side. I would suggest that techs read "The Millionaire Next Door", and immediately implement all of the habits contained within.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490

    Do you think they are starting to get ready to listen to what techs have been saying about their careers?

    http://www.autonews.com/article/20170128/RETAIL06/301299985/1147

    Carlisle surveyed more than 22,000 technicians in September to get their take on the business. In short, many of them are unhappy.
    Hollenberg said service technicians' biggest concern is their compensation structure, followed by work/family balance and feeling valued. He said many technicians feel unimportant.
    Implementing four-day workweeks with 10- or 11-hour days would help build morale, but few dealerships have done so. Technicians, especially millennial techs, want flexible hours.
    Meanwhile, Hollenberg said only 15 percent of technicians would recommend their careers to others, while 65 percent are "strongly against" recommending it.

    Bottom line, they don't train them well enough and don't pay them well enough. They should all be up to the standards of the best independent shops, who do well and pay well.
  • guitarzanguitarzan OhioPosts: 834
    edited January 2017

    Bottom line, they don't train them well enough and don't pay them well enough. They should all be up to the standards of the best independent shops, who do well and pay well.

    How much experience does a tech typically require in order to get into an independent shop?
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,305
    Minimal at best.  Shops that want to add help are often forced to take anyone that walks in the door and they have to hope that they can survive while the new employee struggles to find his/her way. 
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    It's not always about the training--the two Indy shops I know that specialize generally train the new tech to their way of doing things. So the new tech could be fully trained by Porsche and still bomb out, or he could be a relative skilled newbie who developed into the type of tech they want. In a way, it's not unlike a short term (one year) apprentice program. They don't expect the new tech to be making them money right out of the gate, but they do expect him to progress rapidly.

    From my experience over the years with these shops, the best techs have obviously come from Europe--not that they "knew everything" (they didn't), but their relationship to cars, to tools and to procedure was markedly superior.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,305
    Europe has a strong apprenticeship program and being a mechanic there is a highly valued craft. Here the trade is upside down. If you want to be seen as successful your career path leads you to stop being a tech.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Even in the specialty shops, where there is a certain amount of prestige in being a tech, and a decent wage---still, with all that, you had better be loving what you do.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,305
    guitarzan said:


    Cars that cannot be fixed are a boon to the sales chain. So no I do not think these people have any reason to be serious about this issue.

    Exactly. It's cheaper to buy back a few cars than it is to have trained and capable technicians.
    guitarzan said:


    You have described the life of a tech Doc, and it does not have to be a poor one, with the perpetual struggle to purchase the next needed tool. Despite poor wages problems can be overcome from the spending side. I would suggest that techs read "The Millionaire Next Door", and immediately implement all of the habits contained within.

    According to the formula a 50 yr old tech would be an over achiever with a net worth of around 150K figuring a lifetime average of 30K a year.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Sure if you stay put and just run with the pack.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,305
    Which brings us right back to if you want to be successful, stop being a tech.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,305
    So did you happen to see this?
    http://www.capegazette.com/article/neighbors-sue-stop-auto-repairs-harbeson-home/114001

    This one includes a video.
    http://www.realtor.com/news/trends/neighbors-sue-man-for-working-on-cars-in-his-own-garage/?cid=syn_taboola_0526_desk_trend-06&pid=tab:msn-msn

    It won't be long and I'll be fully retired from wrenching. Just this week we officially started building a pole garage that will house all of my tools and someday maybe be just like what this fellow has. Lucky for us our zoning is AG-7 which permits a home based business, but no employees which is fine with me since I have never had any desire to be someone else's boss. However I simply cannot continue working on cars much because of how the physical demands for producing labor hours is simply getting to be too much for me. For now I can still do enough to keep my skills sharp which ultimately pays dividends towards the teaching gig. But, to that end, I don't need to keep spending over 2K a month just to continue to run a part time garage in town. (Accountant says I've been losing about 15K a year for the last two years, I'd like to stick that little detail in a few people's faces who went out of their way over the years to try and shame us for trying to earn a living) Heck the credit card processing fees cost us more then the credit card charges that we ran through the business a couple times this past year so there is nothing but good to come from making this change and closing the shop.

    But then I see this video. I've heard it said that "the truth" is always somewhere in the middle. Is he trying to run a full repair shop in violation of the zoning? Are the neighbors just being bad neighbors, or are they right?

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490

    So did you happen to see this?
    http://www.capegazette.com/article/neighbors-sue-stop-auto-repairs-harbeson-home/114001

    This one includes a video.
    http://www.realtor.com/news/trends/neighbors-sue-man-for-working-on-cars-in-his-own-garage/?cid=syn_taboola_0526_desk_trend-06&pid=tab:msn-msn

    It won't be long and I'll be fully retired from wrenching. Just this week we officially started building a pole garage that will house all of my tools and someday maybe be just like what this fellow has. Lucky for us our zoning is AG-7 which permits a home based business, but no employees which is fine with me since I have never had any desire to be someone else's boss. However I simply cannot continue working on cars much because of how the physical demands for producing labor hours is simply getting to be too much for me. For now I can still do enough to keep my skills sharp which ultimately pays dividends towards the teaching gig. But, to that end, I don't need to keep spending over 2K a month just to continue to run a part time garage in town. (Accountant says I've been losing about 15K a year for the last two years, I'd like to stick that little detail in a few people's faces who went out of their way over the years to try and shame us for trying to earn a living) Heck the credit card processing fees cost us more then the credit card charges that we ran through the business a couple times this past year so there is nothing but good to come from making this change and closing the shop.

    But then I see this video. I've heard it said that "the truth" is always somewhere in the middle. Is he trying to run a full repair shop in violation of the zoning? Are the neighbors just being bad neighbors, or are they right?

    Call me crazy, but when one set of neighbors is calling upon God to smite the other neighbor, we are dealing with something that is not going to be easily resolved --LOL!

    My position is that unless he and his buddies are really obnoxious, with burn-outs, air hammers going night and day, hot rods speeding up and down the road, fires burning in oil barrels, Harleys zooming around, loud music, late night barbies----that can be annoying and ruin the peace---but unless that's going on, I kind of agree with the judge---what harm it is doing to YOU---let it be, try to get along.

  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,305


    Call me crazy, but when one set of neighbors is calling upon God to smite the other neighbor, we are dealing with something that is not going to be easily resolved --LOL!

    Not going to do that. :)


    My position is that unless he and his buddies are really obnoxious, with burn-outs, air hammers going night and day, hot rods speeding up and down the road, fires burning in oil barrels, Harleys zooming around, loud music, late night barbies----that can be annoying and ruin the peace---but unless that's going on, I kind of agree with the judge---what harm it is doing to YOU---let it be, try to get along.

    What he has spent in legal fees would have buried us. They would win simply because we couldn't afford to try to fight.

  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,305
    http://www.autonews.com/article/20170220/RETAIL05/170219891/1147

    Don't you just love research like this?

    A shortage of technicians is curbing dealerships’ service department growth, a survey of dealers principal, general managers and fixed ops managers shows. But is enough attention being paid to recruiting? The survey was conducted in late 2016 by Carlisle & Co., of Concord, Mass., in conjunction with Fixed Ops Journal. Some findings

    It's going to take more than just recruiting to encourage the next generation to consider becoming an automotive mechanic/technician. We could do a very straightforward poll right here.

    Who would consider a career change right now to try and become one of the 2.7 technicians that most dealers are looking for?
    Who would encourage your kids/grandkids to become a technician?
    Who would advise against such a choice?

    I read with interest reports from a former technician who went into management quite a few years back, who now finds himself back in the bays and while he hasn't come straight out and said it, he is realizing that he wouldn't be employable by his own expectations. Since he owns the place and lost the technician that was working for him he doesn't have much choice but the things that are taking him to task wouldn't even get noticed as requiring any knowledge/talent when being performed by skilled hands.

    While you are there... Another article talks about a mass production concept for doing oil changes. Akin to the quick lube concepts these ideas can be great for consumer convenience and even pricing up to a point, but they pay no attention to the need to have a viable apprenticeship program for future technicians. How long do you think it will be before they finally realize what the long term implications are to the trade because of these quick revenue and traffic fixes?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    There is only one solution here, far as I can see. Car owners are going to have to get used to paying a much higher labor rate to get their cars fixed.

    Ever try to get your used laptop computer fixed? Usually it costs more than the unit is even worth. That day is coming for cars, too.
  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 154,387
    @thecardoc3 - my stepson's best friend works as a diesel mechanic for a road striping company here in CO. Not the same pressure that dealership techs have to deal with, but I get your point.

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  • There is only one solution here, far as I can see. Car owners are going to have to get used to paying a much higher labor rate to get their cars fixed.

    Ever try to get your used laptop computer fixed? Usually it costs more than the unit is even worth. That day is coming for cars, too.

    It's here now. The cost of say, a transmission overhaul can easily exceed the value of a ten year old, otherwise nice car. These aren't Powerglides that a 200.00 bill would make like new! Heck, I remember a shop that would overhaul any Powerglide or Fordomatic for 99.00 plus fluid and tax!


  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,305
    Remember the times where the only conversations surrounding service and repair were about competence, pricing and honesty and they were not written by people who usually hand much if any first hand experience? It sure looks a lot different now that more people are coming to grips with the idea that those stories were causing problems that are really coming back to haunt consumers as businesses with the serious shortage of talent that we see today. 
  • It is, indeed a serious shortage. Techs who are retiring and getting ready to leave the business are STRONGLY suggesting to would be young techs to NOT enter the business under any circumstances.

    I still wonder how the VoTech school are doing enrollment wise?
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,305
    Next time you see your stepson's friend, ask him if he would recommend the career as a lifelong choice. 
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,305
    Laptop repair. Fwiw. There is nothing that can go wrong with a laptop or PC that I cannot figure out and repair with what amounts to a small fraction of the overall education and experience that I needed to have in order to be ready to work on todays cars. But I also still have to be the mechanic that can handle the physical requiments that come with being able to take things apart and put them correctly back together again. 

    But then we have the little problem that a new laptop can be purchased for about  $400-$800 depending on what exactly you need in a new computer and a new pick-up truck or car costs?????
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Well you just scale it up then. The screen for the laptop costs, in proportion, to the 10 speed automatic on the 5 year old car that has depreciated 75%.

    I'm sure that if you had to pull the dashboard out of a 2017 car someday you are going to charge a boatload of money to do that.

  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,305

    Well you just scale it up then. The screen for the laptop costs,

    I replaced the screen in my Toshiba,15.6" in January. It cost less than $60 with the shipping. The really fun part was modifying/replacing the power adapter connection. That computer was a $700 one when it was new and you can find them between $200-$300. Not fixing it wasn't a consideration. Software that is on it that would require all new subscriptions and that would cost more than $20K....


    in proportion, to the 10 speed automatic on the 5 year old car that has depreciated 75%.

    So a $60,000 truck is going to depreciate some $12,000 a year? Why would anybody buy (basically rent) something like that?


    I'm sure that if you had to pull the dashboard out of a 2017 car someday you are going to charge a boatload of money to do that.

    We don't charge a boat load of money for the cars that are out there right now with some notable exceptions like Camaro's that require the windshield be removed to access and remove of the bolts that hold the dash cross support member in place. With everything already paid for and no plans to continue spending any more than exactly what has to be invested, a qualified shop can tread water for the next ten to fifteen years and hold pricing at current levels. Of course that works to make it almost impossible for someone else to plan for the future but that has always been praised and rewarded in the past.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    We shouldn't really be talking about DIY people here. Most people are not going to fix their laptops or their cars.

  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,305
    Remember this?

    This topic is for professional (or retired) techs who would like to share their experiences "in the trenches"-- the challenges of repairing modern automobiles, of running a shop, of interactions with the general public. Dedicated amateur mechanics might also want to jump in and discuss what it's like for the talented DIYer, and how they relate to both professionals and the aftermarket. Last of all, we'd like to invite any forums member who would like to know more about how technicians "think", how they run their businesses, and how to make having a car repaired easier and more cost effective.


  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    edited February 2017
    Yeah sure, and the number of "talented DIYers" in proportion to the general population? Can you even carry a decimal that far? :p

    I was just thinking about this yesterday.

    My Dodge 4X4 needs ball joints and a CV axle shaft. I know how to do this. I know exactly how to do this.

    A shop would charge me about $1000 for all that work---so why not DIY?

    OK---I'll need:

    A floor jack
    jackstands
    ball joint press
    pickle fork
    heavy hammer
    torque wrench
    air wrench (optional but oh so handy)
    air chisel or grinding tool
    breaker bar
    swivel extension
    socket set, 1/2"
    penetrating lube
    anti-seize compound
    4 new ball joints
    one rebuilt axle shaft
    new brake pads (I mean, why not, I'm in there)
    bungee cord
    rags
    gloves

  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,305
    edited February 2017

    Yeah sure, and the number of "talented DIYers" in proportion to the general population? Can you even carry a decimal that far? :p

    Want to have some real fun with that? How many ASE certified technicians are there? How many Certified Master Technicians? Let's just say it. How many full time technicians have the training, experience, education and tooling that allows them to perform diagnostics at the level that I have demonstrated a little of here?



    I was just thinking about this yesterday.

    My Dodge 4X4 needs ball joints and a CV axle shaft. I know how to do this. I know exactly how to do this.

    Nice gravy ticket. Depending on the model the flat rate labor would come in around five to six hours. Warranty time would pay around 2.5 hours and I would have no problem beating even that.


    A shop would charge me about $1000 for all that work---so why not DIY?

    OK---I'll need:
    A floor jack
    jackstands

    Ewww. Thank heavens for hoists.


    ball joint press

    For me that alone is three different kits that cost a combined total of some $900.


    pickle fork

    They make pullers for that. Almost never use a pickle fork anymore.


    heavy hammer
    torque wrench
    air wrench (optional but oh so handy)

    Maybe on the hammer, the other two are absolute requirements.


    air chisel or grinding tool
    breaker bar
    swivel extension
    socket set, 1/2"

    Can't beat impact flex sockets for tight to reach fasteners, until you look at what they cost that is. (Average about $40 a piece and usually come in sets of 10 sizes)


    penetrating lube
    anti-seize compound
    4 new ball joints

    Bottom joints, very likely. The uppers are probably serviced as control arm assemblies depending on make, model, year.



  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    edited February 2017
    On my truck the uppers are riveted on--hence the grinder.

    Point is---to gear up, the DIYer is better off just paying someone. Some jobs are not worth doing--like oil changes.

    If there was ever a bargain in the auto repair industry, it's paying someone to change your oil. (and no, I don't mean one of those quik-lube places...I'd never go there).

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 13,474
    edited February 2017
    I still perform oil changes on the cars still at home(except for the 2er, which still has free maintenance until 6/18). On the ti, X3, and Wrangler I don't even need to put them on ramps, and the BMWs have top-mounted cartridge filters which are a breeze to change.
    The smartest thing I did was simplify my oil inventory; now all of the BMWs get BMW 5W-30 while the Jeep and the two ZTR mowers use 10W-30 Mobil 1.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I like to have the car lifted and inspected at oil change time, so I consider paying someone to do that as well just a bonus. I have them check all the fluids, inspect for torn boots, any leaks, loose parts---you name it. It's like getting a pre-purchase inspection for $79 bucks. I've nipped a few problems in the bud this way.



  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 13,474
    The Jeep usually sees my indie shop once per year for other scheduled maintenance, so I let them change the oil if it falls in the mileage/time window. The X3 gets an oil change at 7,500 miles(the factory OCI is 15,000 miles) so the car gets thoroughly inspected at every other oil change). The ti gets an annual oil change and rarely is driven more than 2000 miles per year- but it sees the dealer at least every two years for a brake fluid and/or coolant change.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    BMW designed the stupidest oil filter system for the Mini Cooper---a cartridge filter built on a slant. Oh, perfect. A total mess every time.

  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,305
    Saw this on TV this morning in Connecticut.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    (slapping forehead)......and what do they show?---guys changing tires and changing oil.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,305
    Funny how being PC probably playing a role there. If they showed someone in the middle of a major repair, it wouldn't suggest to some viewers that the techs were talented and capable, it would be taken as the cars break and need major repairs.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Well sure you might not want to see a Subaru transmission in parts on the floor, but they could have shown the technician working his scanner or scope to good effect. But what do we see---a guy shining a flashlight on a brake rotor (how exciting!) or opening a hood.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,305
    Then again, they might not really be techs, just actors playing roles.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    oh, like in real life? :p
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,305
    http://www.autonews.com/article/20170220/RETAIL05/302209975/1147

    Ohio: New fronts in dealer-factory war over warranty reimbursement


    Jim Appleton, president of the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers, says retail reimbursement benefits consumers. Because automakers "chisel" dealers on warranty work to keep reimbursement at a minimum, dealerships must raise prices for other repair work, he says.

    When they start talking about what warranty rates do to how the technicians are compensated and not just from the perspective of making even greater profits for the dealer then they will start making some progress.

    "If OEMs have to pay the retail rate, it should be the true retail rate," Gage said. "In the end, costs go up for all consumers."
    Warranties aren't free, they are included in the price of the car.

  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,305
    Here is a topic floating around some technician forums.
    http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/business/technology/sd-fi-wrench-sd-20170302-story.html

    "“I'm not a car guy. You’re not going to find me in the driveway, head under the hood, rebuilding an old car on Saturdays,” said Ed Petersen, the chief executive of Wrench"

    That statement explains a lot.....

    "A standard diagnostics visit costs $75, for instance, but that fee is waived if the resulting maintenance is booked through Wrench."

    That makes me wonder what a "standard diagnostics" visit is.

    As one tech pointed out in one of the forums picture yourself getting directed to a client and driving half an hour to get to the vehicle. Now spend the time required to analyze the vehicle problem which means you would have a significant expense in your own diagnostic equipment akin to what you have seen demonstrated in some of the other posts. Let's say that it is relatively simple and takes a half an hour. Now imagine the repair also takes half an hour to do without even considering any delay for the parts to be acquired. Then there is the time to travel either onto the next job or back home if there isn't another one on the schedule.

    That's at least two hours (probably more) of the day for one vehicle that generated a half an hour paid time and fits this statement.

    "It’s still early days for the company. In San Diego, for instance, Wrench employs just two mechanics who complete around three jobs per day"

    https://getwrench.com/press

    Check out the press releases, or are they really paid advertisements?

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I don't see this as a viable business model. There's way too much that can go wrong on a job site--from objections of the neighbors, to environmental and noise issues, to "simple" jobs turning more complex in a hurry (the mobile mechanic can't follow through). The possibilities for customer dissatisfaction outweigh the possibilities of the consumer getting what he needs, IMO.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 13,800
    Yeah, no doubt, Shifty. If this group can make it work for them, then wow. That's a great convenience for customers (some of them.... ?). I just don't see it as viable due to too many variables.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
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