Questions and Misconceptions amongst the Motoring Public

Andrew Technician Commack, New York Posted   Latest  

When I've talked to outsiders about our industry there are some things that commonly come up:

Why should I pay for diagnostic time?

What's the difference between getting a job done at Shop A and getting it done at Shop B for $200 less?

Is my mechanic taking advantage of me?

My car is closer to a tractor than it is to a computer.

The scan tool diagnoses the car, the mechanic just changes the parts out.

Mechanics are not very well educated people.

And so on, and so on. We should run a public relations campaign! I'd love to take the entire vehicle wiring harness out of a car complete with every module and even every component and lay it out just to demonstrate in visual terms the complexity of the modern vehicle. Maybe side by side with one from five years ago, and ten years ago.

We need less of the 20/20 and 60 minutes Expose and more of the grass roots youtubing.

+5
Chris Diagnostician
Bryans Road, Maryland
Chris Default
 

That would be a great visual to see of all the modules.

+1 Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Bob Engineer
Auburn Hills, Michigan
Bob Default
 

While I agree that outsiders have many misconceptions (believe me, I’ve had literally thousands of these conversations), I’m not sure that such a campaign would help. The only misconception that this might dispel is the “My car is closer to a tractor than it is to a computer.” I am not shying away from performing the explanation, I’m just providing some grounding that the average car-driving…

+1 Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Billy Mechanic
Deming, New Mexico
Billy Default
 

Until the auto repair industry as a whole starts really (bad word warning for the faint of heart) regulating itself its gona go on. Per reviewed licensing, national registry for complaints, volunteer arbitration boards comprised of ASE techs. ETC. Until then the majority of you tubes are going to be "I saved thousands in auto repair by getting my car scanned and replacing every sensor on it"…

+2 Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Vinney Owner/Technician
Congers, New York
Vinney Default
 

I think it has to start with us by not bad mouthing each other. when a new customer come in to our shop and start to blame the last guy who worked on the car we should not bad mouth the guy also, we should turn the discussion in a different direction, by leaving the other guy out of the discussion and just talk about the problem with the car. doctors will not bad mouth each other we should not…

+9 Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Dean Owner
Albany, New York
Dean Default
 

Vinney, You could not be more correct. We eat our own. I've never seen an industry more adversarial among it's peers. We create our own drama. I don't understand why. My father told me when I was young, the less drama you have, the better off you are.

+2 Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Noah Technician
Methuen, Massachusetts
Noah Default
 

When a potential customer starts telling me about "the idiot who worked on it last", I refuse the job. I explain to them very plainly that I will not give them the opportunity to refer to me as "the last idiot who worked on it" when their unrealistic expectations are not met. "The last idiot who tried to install these LOADED mirrors on my BASE MODEL pick up couldn't get the signal lights and…

+3 Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Michael Mobile Technician
Clinton, Utah
Michael Default
 

Andrew, The Automotive industry is far from the days of horseless carriages. Although sometimes we wish we had a Blacksmith to make some of the crazy parts we have to come up with, we live in a different world. On a daily basis I see shop technicians use the magic dice or a dartboard to diagnose vehicles. Quite honestly it is scary. It is always the computer that is bad, right? Well OK, if it…

+4 Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Sam Mobile Technician
Flint, Michigan
Sam Default
 

The scan tool diagnoses the car, the mechanic just changes the parts out. This analogy can be blamed 100% on our friends at the big box parts stores. They take a $50 dollar code reader to a vehicle and suggest parts. This to me is the reason the motoring public thinks so little of our industry. If the parts store can recommend parts based on a tool why does the garage charge me for a diagnosis…

+1 Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Chris Diagnostician
Bryans Road, Maryland
Chris Default
 

And then they print them out this nice 10 page document of what most techs recommend for this code and what that part does and how it is causing that customers issue. Make it even easier to sell that part that the code reader said was bad. I am not sure what the fix to this issue is because I think there are a lot of flaws. I think the guys on craigslist doing brake jobs and check engine lights…

+1 Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Bruce Manager
Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Bruce Default
 

"The scan tool diagnoses the car" is one of the most misleading conceptions out there. Our business deals with many many VAG enthusiasts who think they are buying the magic Genie in a box.. "The tool will tell me what parts to replace - right?" Our reply, "WRONG! The tool provides information from the computers in the car that may lead someone with the knowledge of the system to a conclusion as…

+4 Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Jim Curriculum Developer
Frederick, Maryland
Jim Default
   

Andrew, I think these are good questions. I have observations as well. We have viewed advertisements from AC equipment manufacturers with a picture of a RRR machine in front of a vehicle. That's all. The caption was "Can you identify the technician in this picture?" and an explanation that machine was set and forget. What? There are too many instances of shops with $15K diagnostic tools being…

+2 Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Agree
Michael Mobile Technician
Clinton, Utah
Michael Default
 

Jim, Giving a thorough report with symptoms, actions and conclusions would be the ultimate. Until we demonstrate to the technicians we are going to pay them for a detailed report, we are not going to get one.

0 Default Ð Bounty Awarded
Jim Curriculum Developer
Frederick, Maryland
Jim Default
 

Give me a raise and I'll do better. Give me a good crop, and next year I'll plant. Give me an hour and I'll get you a code and the top "fix" on the list. There are many reasons for the views of auto repair.

0 Default Ð Bounty Awarded