Trade Secrets GIVEN Away for FREE thus Devaluing and Demonizing "Us"

Matt Diagnostician Red Wing, Minnesota Posted   Latest   Edited  

Sometime back we encountered a 2010 Nissan Sentra. The client's complaint was that the HVAC blower fan no longer functioned. Verification was made that the blower motor had failed and on its way out it took the blower motor resistor/control-module with it.

We put together an estimate based on this.

4.7 hours. We bumped it to 5.0 hours because, according to Nissan service information we were required to remove the dash.

The estimate was created and presented to the client who, feeling they had little choice, authorized the repair and we ordered the appropriate replacement parts.

Less than an hour later, we received a very....how should I put it...."spirited" phone call from the Nissan client. She was under the impression; no, scratch that, very much CONVINCED we were taking advantage of her. Mostly because she was a woman. We were overcharging her and there was no reason for use to need to remove the dash to replace that blower motor.

I was put on the phone with her. I had the evidence, from Nissan, that stated plain-as-day that the dash would require removal to access and replace the failed blower motor.

She told me that she told her boyfriend what was required and after a short internet search and YouTube video viewing, it was very much "plain-as-day" that the dash need not be removed and that the blower motor could easily be replaced in less than half the time we quoted her.

I took a look myself. youtube​.​com/watch?v=p_5Uan…

So, there I sat. Nissan procedure flat-out states to pull the dash. This video shows a reasonable, at least in my estimation, shortcut.

Luckily, after I convinced the client to stop down and sit with me as we poured over procedures and our information resources, she was comfortable that we were indeed not taking advantage of her. We ended up using the YouTube procedure and saved her over half the labor cost. It really was pretty easy after removing the accelerator pedal assembly.

Here's the rub, I think: What if I had access to this on a professional forum or information resource. Fairly readily available.

This is just one example. There are many. Many of you probably have better and more cringe-worthy examples of being very honest in your procedures, yet demonized by trade secrets given away to anyone and everyone.

The tech who figured out this professional shortcut, and I feel it was professional, should be rewarded either by recognition and reverence by fellow tradesmen or even monetary compensation from applicability and popularity.

I don't feel that venue is YouTube...

How are these "professionals", giving away information and trade secrets to the accolades of an extremely small segment of the motoring public, blind to their contribution to the devaluation and demonization of fellow professionals?

+12
Douglas Mobile Technician
Nocona, Texas
Douglas
 

Been there on a Nissan also. Same deal. Although the one I had was a Versa. Exact same situation.

+3 Ð Bounty Awarded
Keith Diagnostician
Collinsville, Oklahoma
Keith
 

Matt, this is an interesting outlook. To answer you closing question, the answer is yes. But most likely unintentionally. As many here know I have a relatively small Youtube channel myself, but somewhere in the 4300 subscribed individuals, 590k views of my 93 videos, I have surely released some countless "secrets" albeit with no ill intent. I think I would approach it differently with the

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Phillip Diagnostician
Anchorage, Alaska
Phillip
 

I will tell you the same thing I tell my family and friends when they feel they are getting ripped off and ask for my opinion. If you go to the doctor and they tell you it will cost you $300.00 to look at you and then you need a $100.00 test. It doesn't matter if it takes him 10 minutes or an hour to look at you and do the test. You are still paying $400.00. And then if you are not better you

+9 Ð Bounty Awarded
Donny Owner/Technician
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Donny
 

Why don‘t we submit it as an SIR and have Nissan update their procedure. Sorry. I couldn’t resist. Well said Matt. It is a real challenge when you have to second guess the information you are using. BTW the NASTF SIR application was broken and is fixed now.

+9 Ð Bounty Awarded
Scott Owner/Technician
Brantford, Ontario
Scott
   

There is to much information availiable today to customers via the internet​. ​Ever see a doctor post a bypass short cut to save an hour , i don’t think so. Someday this may be a profession if I live that long to see it. So because there is a short cut on a particular job you can make some decent money on now you have to negotiate your services. Ridiculous! What about the jobs we lose on , we

+3 Ð Bounty Awarded
Anthony Technical Support Specialist
Kirkwood, Pennsylvania
Anthony
 

Hi Scott: While I agree with the bulk of your post, I have to disagree with the beginning. Doctors, lawyers, accountants, etc. do post bypass shortcuts. Papers are written all of the time. The difference is that the general public usually doesn't have access to them. HTH, Guido

+5 Ð Bounty Awarded
Bob Mobile Technician
West Chicago, Illinois
Bob
 

But I want to be an internet super hero. We have many problems in this trade devaluing us. Heck I was talking to a guy that programmed a vehicle outside in something like -5 weather, didn't even upcharge for that pain.

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Matt Diagnostician
Red Wing, Minnesota
Matt
   

"Heck I was talking to a guy that programmed a vehicle outside in something like -5 weather, didn't even upcharge for that pain." OMG! What an idiot! Wait...

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Matt Diagnostician
Red Wing, Minnesota
Matt
 

Guilty...

+6 Ð Bounty Awarded
Keith Diagnostician
Collinsville, Oklahoma
Keith
 

In all seriousness though Matt, i hope my response didn't come off brash, I am trying to respectfully articulate my view of the situation.

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Matt Diagnostician
Red Wing, Minnesota
Matt
 

Oh please, not at all. Plus, I know you.

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Keith Diagnostician
Collinsville, Oklahoma
Keith
 

#Truth

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John Owner
Medford, New York
John
 

Matt, The short answer is everyone is an Internet hero. I agree with all your sentiments. We devalue ourselves everyday unfortunately as an industry as Bob commented. I also agree with others that have commented about the medical profession. My day is littered with "Can you just scan this" or "Can I pick your brain on this"' or "I saw it on YouTube". My favorite is "They" "They said it

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Bob Owner/Technician
East Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Bob
 

John, I think what you're describing is crossing a line. If someone is using your info as if they created it themselves it's basically plagiarizing. I think there is a right way and a wrong way to use all the information available online. Unfortunately there is no shortage of people who will abuse everything.

0 Ð Bounty Awarded
Bob Owner
Baldwinsville, New York
Bob
   

We had the same vehicle in recently with the dreaded blower motor replacement. The client was one of our “A” ones, very nice woman, the kind of person that you would go out of your way to help. She didn‘t flinch about the price, “it is was it is” IIRC, but my tech assigned to the job wasn’t convinced the dash had to come out. His hunch was correct, as he found the You Tube video, and he had the

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Matt Diagnostician
Red Wing, Minnesota
Matt
 

Yep, but the resource is...YouTube. And not a section that is for professionals only. I would like to see a better way. @scott brown???

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Michael Mobile Technician
Clinton, Utah
Michael
 

Hi Bob, From your comment it is hard to know which you charged. Flat rate or actual time? I hope that you charged flat rate. Where most technicians are paid on flat rate, the only way to make more money is to beat it. So if we discount labor because it took less time, what does that do to our technicians?

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Bob Owner/Technician
East Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Bob
 

Matt your example is a situation we could all find ourselves in at some point. I think you handled it as well as possible with the customer. The thing is, this is the new reality in the information/internet age and there will be no stopping it. That being said, we may as well make it work for us instead . Anytime I look up labor on something and it says to remove dash first or r&r intake

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Bob Owner
Baldwinsville, New York
Bob
 

Agree 100%! I remember a long time ago that you were outcasted on IATN to suggest using Google or You Tube. You have to use ALL of your resources IMHO to do your due diligence, and there’s a big distinction between silver bullets and knowledge. Yes, you have to weed through some BS at times, but the horrible SI that’s out there for some brands makes the internet a viable alternative. You would

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Bob Owner/Technician
East Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Bob
 

Bob, I agree about silver bullets. I don't search for silver bullets, I'm searching for better or easier methods or a different way of testing things. Sometimes just hearing a different point of view or looking at something in a different way turns the light bulb on in my head. As far as diagnostic info goes, what I'm looking for is how can I test and prove out the problem for myself. I don't

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Scott Owner/Technician
Brantford, Ontario
Scott
 

Bobs got the right idea , there is not enough time to study all thsee technological advancements. Unfortunately it has come to this .I believe service Information can not be written to keep up with the rapid change in technology. There is just too much out there today ,

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Scott Owner
Moreno Valley, California
Scott
 

Hi Matt, I feel your pain, but with the money that can be made by posting youtube videos (if you get enough subscribers and have enough views) I doubt this is stopping, and if anything is going to get worse. I heard about this story through our local news - youtube​.​com/watch?v=3mHunT… They reported that woman made over a million dollars off that channel. Google/youtube did

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Bob Owner/Technician
East Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Bob
 

As I mentioned in another reply, it's unfortunate that there is no shortage of people who will use and abuse whatever they touch.

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Christopher Technician
San Antonio, Texas
Christopher
 

It's pretty simple; "I want to be famous" trumps everything else. That being said, those shortcut videos may not do the industry any favors, but IMO their impact will pale in comparison to a viral video on the difference between warranty time & "standard" time.

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Matthew Mobile Technician
Bartlett, Illinois
Matthew
 

Love or hate YouTube... nothing we do will ever stop it. It can also illustrate the many issues we face though too. I have had countless customers bring in vehicles after watching a "how to" video. They state that they are handy, but after watching a video they realized quickly the repair was too complex for them. Your example reinforces the need for better labor guides. One that I use offers

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Andrew Technician
De Motte, Indiana
Andrew
 

Hey I am making plans to tell everyone I love "goodbye" web m.d. has me dead in a week or 2! In all seriousness... this is a huge issue. I am sure Matt, you as an instructor see this all the time. A student's father and I just had a huge disagreement about a repair because youtube said it could be done faster and cheaper. See are our own worst enemy. Wish I had solutions to all the problems...

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Bob Mobile Technician
West Chicago, Illinois
Bob
 

Web MD is not showing people how to set a broken arm, remove an appendix, perform bi-pass surgery etc...

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Bob Owner/Technician
East Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Bob
 

Not everyone has a doctor's office or an operating room, but everyone has a car.

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Chris Technical Support Specialist
Commack, New York
Chris
 

If you perform the factory procedure, charge the factory procedure time. If you perform a "YouTube shortcut" adjust the labor. If you are performing the shortcut and charging the factory labor time you are stealing from your customers, loosing their trust, and dishonoring yourself. One of my mentor techs once told me: Tell the customer the truth, they may be mad, but they will still trust

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Michael Mobile Technician
Clinton, Utah
Michael
 

Hi Chris, If that is where we are then we need to compensate technicians differently. It is those gravy jobs that came along that helps build hours. If the book calls for 2 hours to replace rotors and pads and the tech takes 30 minutes, do we charge the customer for 1/2 hour? How often do we hear of top technicians flagging 60 hours a week working 40 hours? This is not done by discounting their

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Chris Technical Support Specialist
Commack, New York
Chris
 

Factory labor time is only accurate if you follow the factory procedure. I am completely aware of Flat rate as I was a Flat rate tech in the dealer world for 17 years before my current job. For standard mounted rotors (no bearing or hub removal) the labor time for a brake repair is not 2 hours on any model I know of. There are a lot of issue with technician pay, but the pay of the technician is

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Michael Owner/Technician
Montague, New Jersey
Michael
 

So we can't make anything Chris, only break even?

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Chris Technical Support Specialist
Commack, New York
Chris
 

That is not at all what I said. Transparency is what I am promoting. If you justify labor to a customer by letting them know you need to pull a dash board and then find another way to perform the service can you still justify the charge at the end of the repair? What if the customer is smart enough to look at the fasteners that hold the dash and sees no witness marks on any of the attaching bolts?

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Michael Owner/Technician
Montague, New Jersey
Michael
 

Sorry Chris but I think you may be missing something here. As a business owner, I often pick up/drop off customers, don't charge a extra percentage for someone using a credit card, offer complementary coffee and snacks as well as other beverages and charge a far lower labor rate than a dealership while performing higher quality work. These perks while part of the service more than justify making

+2 Ð Bounty Awarded
Chris Technical Support Specialist
Commack, New York
Chris
   

This specific issue was related to the original poster's removal of the dash justifying the labor amount. When Matt was presented with the information of the alternate procedure he charged the amount reflected by the alternate procedure. The DRASTIC difference in labor between the two procedures is cause to reevaluate the estimate. Being transparent in this situation prevents the loss of his

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Michael Owner/Technician
Montague, New Jersey
Michael
 

Sorry Chris, I disagree. It's pretty plain to me from this: "Trade Secrets GIVEN Away for FREE thus Devaluing and Demonizing "Us", that Matt was complaining about the tech/company that posted the alternate procedure for all to see. Being "transparent" is fine but you also need to make money. In her reply to him she was accusatory and at least somewhat nasty, hence the "spirited" comment. My

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Chris Technical Support Specialist
Commack, New York
Chris
 

I respect your position, but I will not charge for things I am not performing. I have worked in dealerships for close to 20 years. Starting from washing cars to master technician, I have been an advisor and worked in parts as well. I know how the industry works and the poison of flat rate. I live as a part this industry, even though an injury has led to my full time wrenching's demise, and have

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Eric Owner/Technician
Edgerton, Wisconsin
Eric
   

Chris, if you read Michael's posts he says they charge a far lower labor rate than the dealer but do a better job. They also offer perks that increase their costs. So in order for his shop to be profitable he has to add hours to the job. Instead of increasing his labor rate to a sustainable amount which would bring it closer to the area's dealer rate he is doing the same thing by increasing the

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Chris Technical Support Specialist
Commack, New York
Chris
 

A customer’s perception is their reality.

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Michael Owner/Technician
Montague, New Jersey
Michael
 

1 quick question then we're done as I give up. Do you understand the domino effect? If my shop isn't profitable because I price things too low and always capitulate to customer, that means I can't purchase that equipment I need which means that guys like you don't sell it which means we both go under.

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Chris Technical Support Specialist
Commack, New York
Chris
   

Would you not have turned a profit at the reduced labor time this customer was given? Most likely yes, just not as much. I understand your position, but I do not agree.

0 Ð Bounty Awarded
Michael Owner/Technician
Montague, New Jersey
Michael
 

You were never an owner so you really have no idea of the hidden costs and overhead. Until you sit in the owners chair you can't possibly know. I certainly didn't. I also do not appreciate you questioning my ethics. It has certainly put a bad taste in my mouth for your company and products. Like I said I give up.

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Chris Technical Support Specialist
Commack, New York
Chris
 

My personal views on transparency and ethics have nothing to do with Autologic.

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Rudy Technician
Montebello, California
Rudy
 

While I dont agree with Michaels views about you and your employer(or its relevancy),I do agree that you are not looking at this from an owners/business mangers/financiers point of view. You are counting hours,like a technician would, and thats not what this is about. Try this explanation: A customer wants their transmission replaced. You look up the labor guide and it is 10 hours. The whole

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Michael Owner/Technician
Montague, New Jersey
Michael
 

"Chris, if you read Michael's posts he says they charge a far lower labor rate than the dealer but do a better job. They also offer perks that increase their costs. So in order for his shop to be profitable he has to add hours to the job. Instead of increasing his labor rate to a sustainable amount which would bring it closer to the area's dealer rate he is doing the same thing by increasing the

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Rudy Technician
Montebello, California
Rudy
 

The answer is simple. Dont sell "labor time". Sell a service. How long that service takes is irrelevant, the cost is what it is. How a shop determines that cost is up to them,all that matters is whether or not the customer agrees to the cost. There are many,many costs that go into a job besides the actual labor. The job is what subsidizes the business, not the other way around.....

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Nick Manager
Culver City, California
Nick
 

Well said Rudy.

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Michael Owner/Technician
Montague, New Jersey
Michael
 

Exactly what I have been saying.

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Geoff Diagnostician
Lahaina, Hawaii
Geoff
 

"Factory labor time is only accurate if you follow the factory procedure. " Exactly!

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Christopher Technician
San Antonio, Texas
Christopher
 

I don't know about other manufacturers, but Toyota/Lexus only provides warranty times. Are you saying shops should only be using those and not marking them up to "standard" time?

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Michael Owner/Technician
Montague, New Jersey
Michael
 

When I was at the dealership-Toyota mostly, we used either a Mitchell or Motor labor guide for customer pay.

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Chris Technical Support Specialist
Commack, New York
Chris
 

CP labor times are based from warranty times. Warranty times are based on the factory procedures. All I am saying is if there is a discrepancy you need to have a discussion with the customer and you may have to adjust the charges if the procedure is different. CP or warranty times were not my point, but the time is based on a procedure. If a major part of the procedure is changed, such as not

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Christopher Technician
San Antonio, Texas
Christopher
 

CP vs warranty may not be your point, but it's at the core of your argument. The factory procedure timeis warranty time - standard time is just the warranty time plus a mark-up (usually 50%), which means the majority of jobs include more time than is required. Factor in the specialty tools offered by vendors that can drastically reduce repair times and the gap between time taken vs time charged

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Chris Technical Support Specialist
Commack, New York
Chris
 

I may be too optimistic for this forum. Shops are going to do what they are going to do. I only hope that my opinion will help someone in this type of situation. If there is an IMPRESSION that a shop is trying to overcharge the customer, it will affect the reputation of the industry. Communication with customers about the cost of the repair and the parts and processes needed will help limit the

+1 Ð Bounty Awarded
Michael Owner/Technician
Montague, New Jersey
Michael
 

Chris, I see you work for a scan tool provider. I have a question. Have you ever owned a shop? If not I can understand what your thinking is. I spoke to a friend of mine this morning who runs a successful business as a fastener distributor to get an opinion out of the industry. I asked him his thoughts. He said this: you need to place a value on your time and your job as an owner is to maximize

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Nick Manager
Culver City, California
Nick
 

That's a tough situation to be in. Our shop has been there a few times and it seems to be getting more frequent. We've received 1 star reviews, stop payments on charges and have been called crooks for charging a reasonable labor time for a procedure that the manufacturer explains inadequately or incorrectly. I think the key point in your post, a teachable moment for all of us if you will, is

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Michael Owner/Technician
Montague, New Jersey
Michael
 

The answer is to lose the bottom feeders.

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Michael Owner/Technician
Montague, New Jersey
Michael
   

Matt, this is another reason why people aren't getting into this field. They look at you tube and figure it's so easy people will just go ahead and do it themselves, therefore no techs will be needed in the future. It also tends to render the diagnostic time charge moot. People believe what they read or see. They don't believe us.

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Chris Technician
Bryans Road, Maryland
Chris
 

That's also how some customers look at parts also. They think they are getting ripped off because they can go on amazon and find the part for a 1/3 of the cost.

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Michael Owner/Technician
Montague, New Jersey
Michael
 

Agreed. What it boils down to is that we're never allowed to make anything on parts or labor because our value as technicians is low. That also doesn't account for the fact that in many cases these parts amazon sells are the bottom of the barrel in terms of quality. After all, we're just a bunch of stupid grease monkeys correct? We don't deserve to make a decent wage. A few years ago, I decided

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Chris Diagnostician
Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Chris
   

I want to play Devil's advocate a bit here. People fear or distrust what they don't understand. In the modern day people turn to the internet for information and advice. There is definitely merit to that. One can access most of humanity's knowledge, as well as cat videos, through a bit of searching. I personally do a lot of my research online to get a basic idea of a new concept and follow up

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Cliff Diagnostician
Santa Maria, California
Cliff
 

This is a great topic of discussion. I typically have my hands full with doing other real life things than develop a YouTube channel. I admit I have used videos to make the job easier in the last 4 to 5 years. I agree with some of what has been said regarding charges to the customer. I do get those who say well the video I saw it only took the guy "X" amount of time to perform the job. I then

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Brian Owner
Parma, Ohio
Brian
 

Excellent discussion everyone. I agree that there is no stopping the internet. I do not know how the demographics play out in other areas, but in Northeast Ohio it seems that there are the customers that will always be searching for the discounts / shortcuts, and there are clients that trust us to do the job correctly. If we can not prove or justify our time to our clients with our time from SI

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Mario Diagnostician
Weston, Florida
Mario
   

A resource is a resource. Whether YouTube is worthy of our professional insight, doesn't change the fact that customers are getting more curious. Should these secrets be exclusive to other professionals? It's too late for that. Imho. Things are being exposed whether good or bad whether we like it or not. As you know, I have a YouTube channel, and have a real time video on how to change a

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Keith Diagnostician
Staten Island, New York
Keith
 

Isn't that exactly what DN is? Another source of great information outside of OEM service info? Or even better, another way to shorten a path to a proper diagnosis?

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Chris Diagnostician
Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Chris
   

That's how I view it Keith. It comes down to the timeless debate about the democratization of information. There are those who wish only a select few to have access to information, which we have fought against with Right to Repair legislation and democratized that same info to any citizen. YouTube and other resources are exactly that, they are resources. Anyone can go to ATG, AESwave, OEM

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Bob Owner/Technician
East Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Bob
 

Mario, You make some good points. This is a Genie that can't be put back in the bottle, so whether or not anyone thinks it's good or bad won't change the reality of it. It is just something we have to learn to deal with, or use as the case may be. Sharing of information is how the human race has made technological progress over time. The main difference now is that the ability to share

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Matt Diagnostician
Red Wing, Minnesota
Matt
 

To be clear, and a bit of a devil's advocate, you are completely okay with knowing, or finding out, that the doctor, dentist, plumber, electrician, pilot, psychologist, etc ,etc, is referencing YouTube or another publicly available resource for procedures, theory, or diagnostic decisions? One may find this is an attribute of the internet. I find it a sign that our trade has few to no standards

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Chris Diagnostician
Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Chris
   

Matt, EDIT: Just realized you weren't replying to me. First off I hope you don't take my comments as an attack, I hold you in high regard and understand the painfulness of the situation you were in, I've been there as well. I don't see yours as anything other than trying to find a way for us to all improve our lot and try to prevent bad situations like you found yourself in. This is an

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Matt Diagnostician
Red Wing, Minnesota
Matt
 

I've been thinking about this. I don't know that I have a total handle on my perspective or opinion, yet. I feel there is a difference between (and I'm making these designations up and I lack creativity so I hope you can bear with me) "educationally aimed" content and "how-to aimed" content. I know, there's a grey area there because they both would technically be educational. I have viewed

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Chris Diagnostician
Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Chris
   

There is most definitely a difference between educationally aimed or concept based content and how-to/hands on content. MIT's OpenCourseWare classes generally lend themselves to a high level of abstraction and by default become a more concept based education as well as assuming a base level of competency that is usually higher than the level of the general population. The videos of either type

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Mario Diagnostician
Weston, Florida
Mario
 

Great questions, I have some as well. I might sound rude but it's not my intent. Does this profession require a doctorates degree to do these procedures? Are we in any way regulated? I personally won't pay for anything that I can research and do myself, unless I require expertise. That's the beauty of this profession, we learn so many areas that we are pretty much the biggest DIY's out

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Bob Owner/Technician
East Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Bob
 

If you replaced the blower motor according to the factory procedure you performed a professional repair. If you used an alternative procedure that accomplished the same outcome in less time, you still performed a professional repair but with the benefit of less time spent. Let me ask you a question, if a fellow technician told you about the shortcut would you be more accepting of it or would

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Samantha Manager
Claremont, California
Samantha
 

I love this part of your devil's advocate because, while I have ZERO automotive experience (except now working with Scott, of course), I do have a lot of medical field experience. I was a pharmacy tech for quite a while and did a bit of work as a resp. therapist. I've also interned in forensic labs and other science-y places. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, in these fields uses Google or YouTube…

+6 Ð Bounty Awarded
Chris Diagnostician
Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Chris
 

Well said Samantha. I appreciate another viewpoint. It's a good reminder that at the end of the day our end goal is to get the job done correctly, efficiently, and charge fairly. We are in this industry to help our customers and we need to keep working to overcome that legacy of dishonesty that some have left our industry. At the end of the day, honest and transparent communication with the

+5 Ð Bounty Awarded
Bob Owner/Technician
East Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Bob
 

Samantha, I appreciate your comments and it's nice to hear a point of view from another professional industry. Perception of mechanics or auto technicians has never risen to the level of other professions. Hard to say exactly why, I'm sure there are many things that one could point to. That being said, maybe the answer is for all of us techs to start wearing white lab coats. It's worth a

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Samantha Manager
Claremont, California
Samantha
 

Bob, 10/10 would definitely take my vehicle to the CarER! Might be on to something there. While white lab coats may not be the answer, I think that it does speak volumes when companies present themselves professionally (which is hard to do when working with liquids and car sludge - those are the technical terms, right?!). And from what I have seen, many shops have latched on to this. Many

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Chris Diagnostician
Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Chris
   

Bob, I've broken out the lab coat many a time when the situation called for it (though it's in need of a wash right now). Samantha, Thanks for the kind words. I think some type of demonstration of the level of logic and critical thinking that is applied to a given diagnosis is important. I spend alot of time when I'm on the road explaining to the customers why I'm doing what I'm doing. It's

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Samantha Manager
Claremont, California
Samantha
 

Chris, I actually have that poster saved from the last time it was posted! I thought it was a great descriptor, and I think it would do well to be postered/framed in shops. It allows people to have a small bit of insight in to what is actually required of technicians.

+1 Ð Bounty Awarded
Anthony Technical Support Specialist
Kirkwood, Pennsylvania
Anthony
 

Hi Bob: In the '70s, the S/As at the VW dealerships wore white smocks for just that reason. Guido

+2 Ð Bounty Awarded
Matt Diagnostician
Red Wing, Minnesota
Matt
 

Thank you for the response, Samantha. "I assume that if you are working in the shop then you ARE a professional and you have certain legal standards that protect me as a consumer." That's the assumption, it just unfortunately isn't the truth. I risked really stepping in it, and look to have succeeded in doing so, listing off other trades and professions. What makes auto repair so difficult to

0 Ð Bounty Awarded
Samantha Manager
Claremont, California
Samantha
 

Matt, That's almost discouraging as a consumer to hear, lol. I was thinking along the lines of the BBB, but even I am not sure if they would handle that. I was thinking (albeit incorrectly) that since dealers have some laws (the only one coming to mind right now is the Lemon Law), mechanics would too. Now I will certainly use more scrutiny as I need car repairs. I do agree with the idea that

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Matt Diagnostician
Red Wing, Minnesota
Matt
 

Legally, I think you are well protected. Maybe, arguably, overly protected. There are many on here that have some horror stories about what they've been saddled with for liability that no sane, reasonable and informed individual could ever pin on them. Other entities outside of the justice system, like AAA or Good Sam, offer mediation between unsatisfied clients and the auto repair

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Chris Diagnostician
Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Chris
   

Samantha, I'll take a stab at your questions. -The internet is helping automotive techs more than hurting in my opinion and experience. If it wasn't for the internet I wouldn't be here nor would I have such access to the information that's made me who I am as a tech. I believe the same holds true for alot of us. I didn't even know what I did had a name until I saw a YouTube video named

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Matt Diagnostician
Red Wing, Minnesota
Matt
   

I was going to toss this out there, for consideration, and not knowing where else to place it I'll just respond to myself. How much of this is a repercussion of being independent? And even more so, all makes/all models independent? Meaning, what are the chances a specialist, namely a manufacturer specific specialist, would consult Google and YouTube regularly; heck, even rarely? I'm not

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Keith Diagnostician
Collinsville, Oklahoma
Keith
   

100% agree, I don't think car line specialist consult the open interwebs often at all. We are responsible for knowing far more than any single or geographic (domestic, Asian, euro) specialist there is. I specialize as a diag, programming, immo specialist only now, I do not change many parts at all. And I rarely google, mainly due to the lack of information on my specialization. To address

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Andrew Technician
De Motte, Indiana
Andrew
 

I disagree on this... I've worked dealer and indy. The dealer guys I worked with would research google and youtube before looking @ SI. But, I did not work with very many other professionals. Most guys want to find/correct the issue as quickly as possible for the highest amount of pay time that they can possibly get. And truthfully in my opinion, the indy guys have it a little easier at times…

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Matt Diagnostician
Red Wing, Minnesota
Matt
 

Thanks for the response and dealer tech perspective, Andrew. Would you say that some of that is due to the lack of information on the systems nowadays? Meaning, and I could be wrong (again) that description and operations used to seem to be very detailed where as now there is little in the way of description and operation of systems/circuits? I've had to dive into training information quite a

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Mario Diagnostician
Weston, Florida
Mario
   

Can't say that I can speak as a specialist or as a dealer tech. I've only ever been an Indy tech. Do I Google or YouTube something for silver bullets? No way! And there are some things that are just not spoken about in SI. Let's face it, SI is getting scrawny, year by year. I'm doing some testing on the effects a Schrader valve(just one example) has on in cylinder transducer captures(yes, for

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Anthony Technical Support Specialist
Kirkwood, Pennsylvania
Anthony
 

Hi Matt: I can't recall whether it was a response to an NASTF SIR or a reply to a GM tech in a TechLink article but GM stated that they were removing some (a lot of?) information from eSI that was covered in their training. I'm guessing this was about 5-7 years ago. I probably have it on one of my external hard drives. Finding it though may be a bit of a bear, especially if it is on a backup

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Andrew Technician
De Motte, Indiana
Andrew
 

Yes... and laziness at times too. Most dealer techs are flat rate. They want that silver bullet. I think there are those times we all do. I pride myself in putting forward the extra effort. I think all of us here do, or why would we be on Diag​.​net Guys like you Matt... they are few in far between. I've read and listened to what you say here and in other places for years. I love

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Anthony Technical Support Specialist
Kirkwood, Pennsylvania
Anthony
 

Hi Andrew: I'm curious if this has helped or hindered. Let's face it. The whole idea is to lower warranty costs. Nothing personal but you are a warranty cost. gm-techlink​.​com/?p=9968 TIA, Guido

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Martin Diagnostician
Burleson, Texas
Martin
   

As an independent flat rate tech, I don't have any shame in finding anyway to make my job faster. Recently I needed to put a prius in service mode and couldn't remember how. I've done it before, just had escaped my mind that's filled to the brim. Yeah, the info is available in our info system, but I'm sitting in the car, the shop pc is a few bays away, and I don't get paid to walk. So, I Google

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Rudy Technician
Montebello, California
Rudy
 

There are no "secrets". They are tricks and short cuts that are learned or self taught, due to ingenuity or experience. It is not unique to the automotive industry nor is it unique to working professionals. A DIYer can and often times do come up with many of these "secrets" on their own. Information is a wonderful thing. There is no putting a cap on it. The internet is here to stay and

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Mario Diagnostician
Weston, Florida
Mario
   

Value comes from professionalism, and putting the customer first. Not from the "keeping the knowledge to ourselves" mentality. This is just one of the viewers that shared their experience with me. She wanted to drive to me to do this job, the same one I mentioned up above(44 minute real time video). It wasn't safe for her to drive so I gave her options. She found a local shop that has never

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Matt Diagnostician
Red Wing, Minnesota
Matt
 

I am sorry, but that simply is not, and cannot, be true. Value is a large umbrella term. Having a Keurig in the waiting room creates value over a facility that does not have one. One could easily, and I would say correctly, argue that hierarchies create value. Just because someone is free to share whatever they like doesn't mean it makes sense to over the long term. Bringing down the

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Mario Diagnostician
Weston, Florida
Mario
 

Monopolizing information and knowledge is not the same as creating value. Two techs are at an interview, they both know the same exact things, have the same level of knowledge. One is very professional, honest, courteous, and personable. The other is crude, feels the need to keep everything to himself, has the "I'm always right" mentality, and hates interaction with people. Who's getting the

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Matt Diagnostician
Red Wing, Minnesota
Matt
 

Flip your question, how does it play out? Is it easier to earn the knowledge or act professionally?

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Mario Diagnostician
Weston, Florida
Mario
   

Within our industry, it seems that it's very difficult for great techs to be professional, And not have problems interacting with people. So it's harder than it looks to be a pro. The knowledge can be attained, the resources are available. but there are some things you can't teach. We can't deny that most great techs just can't stand people, and have poor communication skills, and can be hot

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Christopher Technician
San Antonio, Texas
Christopher
 

A skilled tech with those qualities is hard to come by because they either get promoted out of the shop or move on to something easier and more lucrative because they have those qualities.

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