Service advisors/Shop owners. Help us help you!!

Chris Diagnostician Commack, New York Posted   Latest   Edited  

I'm going to start this by warning you that this will be a rant.

As a technician, I make it my personal mission to be the absolute best I can be. I do not shotgun parts. I do not lie to cover up my mistakes. If something breaks and I did it, I'll own up to it. Trust and honesty is the only way to build a healthy relationship between tech and service advisor/owner.

I always tell an employer in an interview that I have one speed: get the job done. When you rush, things get screwed up. Period. I set myself up to work as EFFICIENTLY as possible. With efficiency comes true speed. If you have to do the job twice because you left something loose, it takes twice the time. 

When I make a diagnosis, you can bet your life that I have done all the proper steps and verified it to the best of my ability. If there is/are any maybe's involved, they will be documented at the time of the recommendation. I abhor come backs and misdiagnosis.

All this is explained at the beginning, during interviews and whenever a new service advisor comes aboard.

So why is it that diag time is given away?

Why is it that recommendations are questioned?

Why are jobs promised before the book time?

Why are inferior parts used when quality ones are recommended?

Why do you assume that a returning vehicle is a come back instead of a different issue?

Why are you diagnosing a vehicle over the phone, ordering parts, ordering us to install them, and then holding us accountable when it doesn't fix the vehicle?

Service advisors/shop owners need to understand that we are a valuable resource. We deserve to be compensated for all the work we do on and off the clock for them. We also deserve the respect we have EARNED.

I keep on hearing about the technician shortage. Let me just say this, Great technicians will find a deserving shop, and that deserving shop will be able to keep them. If your repair shop seems to have a revolving door, maybe the fault isn't with the "horrible" mechanics or "tech shortage". Maybe it's you. Yes sometimes the truth is hard to hear, doesn't change the facts. 

I'm 100% sure that I don't speak for everybody. But I can guarantee you that I speak for enough. 

In closing, I will repeat the title to this rant: Help us help you!!

Rant over, you can yell at me in the comments

Brady Owner/Technician
Yakima, Washington
Brady Default

I feel like I could write a book on this subject, but I'm just going to hit a few points. I'm not disagreeing with your post at all, just some thoughts on the matter. First, if the majority of the stuff you questioned is going on, then you;re at the wrong place. There are a lot of bad shops out there and I'm sure these things happen often, but I think there are plenty of shops that have a

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Chris Diagnostician
Commack, New York
Chris Default

As I stated in the post. I make it clear that I have one speed, get the job done. Most of the time it is much faster than book. (I apologize for not making that crystal clear) Sometimes, however, you get your ass handed to you. If this hasn't happened to you, you are God, or lying. Yes, a tech should be able to produce over 40 hrs of mechanical per week. It's not fair to ask the same of your

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Brady Owner/Technician
Yakima, Washington
Brady Default

Again, not disagreeing with you at all, and I didn't mean to suggest you or anybody else isn't producing what they should. Just throwing some thoughts out there. I often wonder why some shops operate the way they operate, I agree with you in thinking that they are wrong but that isn't going to make them go away. There will always be someone out there that will do something worse for less, it's

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Ossie Owner
Bohemia, New York
Ossie Default

After 40 years in this industry and being a tech for a good part of it I feel where your coming from. All I really want to say is if there are techs out there having the issues you listed at their job they are working in the wrong place. Find a shop that works with you there are many mine included. I valve and appreciate what it takes to fix today's cars. And also the skills, training and

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William Diagnostician
Ashland, Virginia
William Default

Sadly you are correct in 70+% of the shops. Possibly higher percentage in many areas. I have taught techs from independents, national chain stores, dealers, tire stores, undercar shops, etc. All have the same stories to tell and the same issues. Yes, there are good shops, but they are few and far between. Many techs will never get the opportunity to work for them because the spots are few, and

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Vince Technical Support Specialist
Commack, New York
Vince Default

Chris, Sometimes there are great techs that end up in bad places and bad techs that end up in great places. This trade can be a revolving door where techs go from shop to shop or dealer to dealer. I truly feel that there is a place for everyone. By what you have said, it seems you may have had some resistance from some shop owners you have worked for and some service writers/managers you worked

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Vince Technical Support Specialist
Commack, New York
Vince Default

Chris, One more thing. As far as I am concerned, sometimes shop owners end up with the wrong guys for the wrong reasons. Similarly techs end up with wrong shop owners. When I interview a tech, I get my basic info and then I let him interview me and my staff as well as see my operation(s) in full swing to see if its the right fit for them. Guys like you are so valued in this field and I hope we

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Bruce Technician
Spring Hill, Tennessee
Bruce Default

I worked at a shop that fits your description very well. I worked there for far too long, 8 years, because my Dad worked there. I got paid flatrate, $29/hr when I left, but I had to work my ass off to average 30 hours per week. We didn't get paid diag time for noises, leaks, etc. We only got 1 hour diag time for electrical/warning light type diag. I didn't do any electrical/warning light diag

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Andres Diagnostician
North Lauderdale, Florida
Andres Default

I’ve been to several shops in Broward county(Like 30 Or at least somewhere close) I’m gonna say 90% of the shops that took me (I have a bad record which is like a curse if you’re looking for a good job)are hole in walls doing things as cheap as possible and expect perfection. Alignment with loose front ends. Making grocery list on cars that have 20k miles on it. I’ve had a shop owner run me over

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Jaxon Technical Support Specialist
Stafford Heights, Australia
Jaxon Default

Chris, I hear you.

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Cliff Diagnostician
Santa Maria, California
Cliff Default

Chris in my 27 years of experience in this industry I have almost always seen the “revolving door“ shops typically being a management issue. It also amazes me how so many give diagnosis work away.

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Bill Technician
Rosetown, Saskatchewan
Bill Default

Hello Chris, I am going to try and answer your questions from my experiences. The answers will not be my viewpoint of the way it should be, just an off the cuff response. If you could humor me and answer back with solutions. So why is it that diag time is given away? Customers expect us to know what the problem is and will not pay for diagnosis. Testing is perceived as something that is done

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