Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Did you get a great deal? Let us know in the Values & Prices Paid section!
Meet your fellow owners in our Owners Clubs

A Mechanic's Life - Tales From Under the Hood

1275276278280281289

Comments

  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,094

    Being a real human being is incompetent?

    All you have to do is add a wrench and have the guess not work.

    BTW did you read this? http://fortune.com/2018/10/02/harley-davidson-motorcycle-sales/

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Interesting....certainly a bit of a turnaround for a company whose bikes were pretty awful not all that long ago.

    Never wanted one myself. Too big, too heavy, too clumsy, too loud. I defy the demographic I guess. I've always ridden BMW and Triumph. That's it.

    As for guessing, it strikes me (correct me if I'm wrong) that you think life is far more orderly and predictable than my observations seem to imply.

    There will always be a time when you have to guess, because you cannot always quantify a thing.

    Another problem is that "data" can make you blind--I'm sure that's something that you actually teach.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,094
    edited October 2018

    As for guessing, it strikes me (correct me if I'm wrong) that you think life is far more orderly and predictable than my observations seem to imply.

    There is a difference between what life brings and doing technical work.
    Diagnosing and repairing machines is very orderly and predictable when done correctly. If that isn't your perspective you are doing something wrong.....


    There will always be a time when you have to guess, because you cannot always quantify a thing.

    If you have to guess then you have exceeded the limits of your competence. Just because you have to guess that does not mean that someone else doesn't have the skills and knowledge to methodically work through the problem without guessing.


    Another problem is that "data" can make you blind--I'm sure that's something that you actually teach.

    Losing your way during a diagnostic routine happens. Learning how to use critical thinking skills to constantly re-evalute what you know and what you need to know so that you get back on track is a necessity for today's technicians and it is learned by experience, both good and bad ones.

    Which brings us back to that Harley article. How many times have I said in our world, they don't want techs that can keep the cars running for hundreds of thousands of miles and a few decades. The Harley problem is there are too many older bikes simply not dying and getting scrapped. That's because they can be repaired and it's relatively easy to have a competent group of mechanics to do so. That isnt the case with cars, its getting worse and that isn't an accident.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Motorcycle repair is a lot more appealing to young people, I think.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,094
    Why does it take a tragedy to get to make a point about vehicle safety?

    By now everyone is likely well aware of the limo accident that resulted in twenty fatalities. Did you see this article? https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/08/us/new-york-limo-crash/index.html

    No doubt as this goes forward the main focus will be in finding someone to blame and little will be said about how the New York state inspection program is a joke. As described in the article, this vehicle failed and ended up back out on the road. A vehicle failing an inspection and subsequently being repaired to the point that it can then pass the inspection when the process is a weak is New York's is doesn't mean that it is truly safe.
    http://www.gwizz.com/inspections/state-inspections.php

    https://dmv.ny.gov/inspection/inspection-requirements

    https://dmv.ny.gov/forms/vs77.pdf

    The efforts to try and make it "consumer friendly" because of the never ending pressure to make sure that garages don't make money is where the blame truly belongs.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I don't think so. The idiots who ran the limo business are to blame--a clapped out vehicle and an incorrectly licensed driver. Besides that, there are any number of corrupt inspection stations. I think you are pointing the finger in the wrong place here by singling out NY as the culprit. The only point I agree with is that not enough $$$ is charged for the inspections.

    I presume that you would do a thorough inspection, even for the chintzy fee.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,094

    I think you are pointing the finger in the wrong place here by singling out NY as the culprit. The only point I agree with is that not enough $$$ is charged for the inspections.

    I presume that you would do a thorough inspection, even for the chintzy fee.

    The surest way to fail in business is to not charge what the services you provide are worth. The state takes the majority of those chintzy fee's the shops doing the inspections lose money for trying and that leads to a program where the vehicles aren't genuinely inspected. On top of that, you should see what they can and cannot actually fail.

  • guitarzanguitarzan OhioPosts: 817
    Thanks Doc for that limo story update. I could not figure out how every last passenger in a limo was killed. In a standard vehicle, the odds just defy that, even in the worst wrecks.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 128,430
    A 2001 Expedition is basically a pickup truck with seats. Given the "limo experience", it's doubtful anyone had a seat belt on. They might as well have been cargo in an Econoline work van.

    But, I agree, it's surprising that no one survived.

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 26,119
    Sorry to have to be the one to say it, but the passengers aren't completely innocent here, either. It is unfortunate, and certainly the limo company with the unlicensed driver and failed vehicle carry the bulk of the blame. But I also am left shaking my head that not one person directly involved in the situation thought "this isn't safe." Kind of like getting on a rusty creaking carnival ride. You have to realize you are taking your safety into your own hands.

    '10 Equinox LS; '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 49-car history and counting!

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    edited October 2018
    In accident investigation, there's usually the rule of "who was the last one who could have prevented this", and I guess Q has a point here. While the driver is the obvious culprit, some of the passengers could have conceivably saved themselves. I would expect head trauma and internal injuries were pretty severe. I mean, imagine going from 60 mph to 0 mph in ten feet. Geez, maybe death was merciful. A survivor would have been in very bad shape indeed.

    As for underpaid shop owners---if you don't like the pay, don't be an inspection station. But if you choose to be one, DO YOUR JOB!

    Besides, we know why a shop wants to be an inspection station--so that they can bring in more work.

  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,094

    As for underpaid shop owners---if you don't like the pay, don't be an inspection station. But if you choose to be one, DO YOUR JOB!

    And when you do in New York states program and actually find vehicle problems that confirm it to be in an unsafe condition, you will lose that inspection license if the vehicle owner complains and they investigate it. The few things they can actually fail aren't the most significant defects that can occur on a vehicle. Meanwhile they cannot fail rusted brake lines. They cannot fail ball joints. I could write out a whole list for you but I'll just repeat myself and tell you the way the program is administered makes it a joke.


    Besides, we know why a shop wants to be an inspection station--so that they can bring in more work.

    In fact the only reason the better shops do them is to simply provide the service so that their customers don't have to go somewhere else for it. The only teeth in the program are set against the shops for your reason above, it does little to nothing to ensure safe vehicles are on the road.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Better than nothing, which is what most states have. The problem is largely political. If you cracked down on junk heap cars, then you ground the poorest people. No car, often no work. The problem is not so easily solved.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,094

    Better than nothing, which is what most states have.

    The states that have nothing often site a lack of evidence that a proper vehicle inspection and repair program reduces accidents and saves lives. Meanwhile accident reports simply don't specify mechanical failures as the potential cause of an accident unless a tractor trailier is involved.


    The problem is largely political. If you cracked down on junk heap cars, then you ground the poorest people. No car, often no work. The problem is not so easily solved.

    No argument there, it is political. Just look at your state with regards to emissions testing and repairs. They set up funding (the CAP program) for low income families to have their cars repaired. https://www.bar.ca.gov/Consumer/Consumer_Assistance_Program/CAP_Repair_Assistance_Program.html

    The car doesn't have to be safe to be on the road, they just have to try to keep it from polluting the air.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Lucky for NY and California that I'm not King; otherwise mandatory inspections would be necessary. I wouldn't even mind setting up micro-grants to get some people's cars up to snuff--if they had excellent driving records and if repairs aren't too extensive (like a set of tires, or brake pads or broken tail light, etc).

    I think you have to treat state inspections like EMTs treat patients in a disaster zone. You focus on the most serious cases.

    Problem is, it's difficult to gather good data on when mechanical failure actually caused an accident. It might be that it's fairly rare.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,094

    Lucky for NY and California that I'm not King; otherwise mandatory inspections would be necessary. I wouldn't even mind setting up micro-grants to get some people's cars up to snuff--if they had excellent driving records and if repairs aren't too extensive (like a set of tires, or brake pads or broken tail light, etc).

    Before I went semi-tired, I used to get calls all the time from the welfare office to take in a vehicle, inspect it and give them an estimate for what would be needed to make it road worthy so someone could get a job and be able to support themselves and get off of the welfare roles. We didn't get to fix all of them, but know that we made a difference for a lot of owners.


    I think you have to treat state inspections like EMTs treat patients in a disaster zone. You focus on the most serious cases.

    C-A-B and the three P's


    Problem is, it's difficult to gather good data on when mechanical failure actually caused an accident. It might be that it's fairly rare.

    It makes it even more rare when it isn't documented.

  • pensfan83pensfan83 PennsylvaniaPosts: 1,428
    Well seeing as I just purchased a car from NY that's certainly a little unsettling...
    1997 Honda Prelude Base - 2018 Acura TLX A-Spec SH-AWD - 2014 Nissan Altima 3.5SL - 2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off Road Double Cab
  • henrynhenryn Houston, TXPosts: 2,575


    I think you have to treat state inspections like EMTs treat patients in a disaster zone. You focus on the most serious cases.

    Not exactly true. You focus on the most serious cases that can be saved.

    2018 Ford F150 XLT Crew Cab, 2016 Chrysler Town & Country Touring
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    That's very true for people, so maybe my analogy wasn't a good one. With "car triage" you might want to actually focus on the helpless cases.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    edited October 2018
    Looks like the son of the owner of that limo business has been arrested. The owner is out of the country, and likely to remain so, I'd bet. State police say that limo was taken off the road by state inspectors. I guess not.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,094
    Do you know why dealers are advertising for techs this way?

  • guitarzanguitarzan OhioPosts: 817

    Do you know why dealers are advertising for techs this way?

    I suppose the dealer is trying to steal the tech who is currently working on the car. This advertising reaches the target audience 100% of the time.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Shops out here in California are very brazen about trying to steal techs from other businesses. The problem is, it's hard to evaluate them. Sometimes they can be good techs with bad personalities, and they create problems in the shop; othertimes, they have work habits that fit fine in one type of shop but are a no-go in another.

    Basically you have to try them out. Their paper credentials don't tell the whole story.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,094
    The same can be said for the shops.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Well the shop IS the techs--what would be be without them?
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,094

    Well the shop IS the techs--what would be be without them?

    A dealership.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Well...PART of a dealership. Like Tesla. Salesroom only. To service the car you go somewhere else, and sometimes far away.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Yeah, well good luck with that. And who is going to pay for all that? Only one group---the consumer. And they'll howl, too.

    I've been saying for years that the only solution is to pay a technician the same wage scale as a plumber or electrician. That would boost average auto mechanics' wages by anywhere from 25% to 75%.

  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,094
    Probably should start a dedicated thread on this topic.

    https://newsroom.aaa.com/2018/10/new-vehicle-technologies-double-repair-bills-minor-collisions/

    Over the last two months I have been studying well over 1000 pages of information for the ADAS (Advanced Drivers Assistance Systems) on today's cars. A lot of that has to do with understanding just what kind of assistance a given system actually gives a driver and it's safe to say that it varies a lot from car to car and that alone is primed to create some confusion for drivers over the next decade or so. What I am referring to is one car might only warn of an issue but be unable to actually assist the driver by braking or steering out of harms way. Another might be able to partially brake, but not actually bring the car to a complete stop without the drivers input. While a third can actually bring the car to a complete stop all by itself and even steer to a clear lane if possible.

    The real nightmare of this technology is how it reminds us of pre OBDII engine controls. Everybody was doing their own thing and there was no standardization at all. Tooling up to be able to retrain even just a few manufacturers can have price tags that vary by over $8000 per manufacturer. Some require very little, others way, way too much to justify the expense. One of the Audi systems takes eight hours to retrain, and that's not even thinking about what it takes to do diagnostics and repair if something on that system is broken.

    For the most part a seasoned technician with solid diagnostic skills can handle the diagnostic and repair side of the equation with relatively little classroom time for specific training on the components and the systems. Learning how to set up and use some of the targets and tools can easily take a lot more time and from there figuring out any problems that arise will be something that will have to be learned on the fly.
Sign In or Register to comment.