Auto Repair Open Sunday
Auto Repair: HOW DO They Screw Up An Engine oil Change?
"It's about beating the clock." This quote originates from a smart old service manager, advising me about how to increase my income as a flat-rate specialist. If you have ever wondered why your vehicle doesn't get fixed correctly, or all of your concerns weren't addressed, you can blame, partly, the flat-rate pay structure.
Flat-rate simply means that your auto mechanic is paid a flat fee for a specific repair, regardless of how long the repair actually calls for. In other words, if your car needs a water pump, which pays two time of labor, and the mechanic completes the job in a single hour, he gets paid for two.
In theory, this can work to your advantage. If the work takes longer, you still only pay the "predetermined" labor amount. In THEORY, not reality!
The flat-rate pay composition is designed to drive productivity. It is rather effective. The flat-rate pay system promotes technicians to work solid, but it does not promote quality.
In terms of getting your car fixed correctly, the flat-rate pay framework has disastrous results. Flat-rate technicians are constantly looking for shortcuts to overcome the clock in order to maximize the number of hours they expenses. Experienced flat-rate technicians can costs from 16 to 50 time within an 8 hour day.
It's these shortcuts and the breakneck rate at which chiseled rate technicians work that lead to a few of the most idiotic mistakes. Inside the rapid-fire pace of the shop I've witnessed technicians start motors with no petrol. I've seen transmissions fell, smashing into little pieces onto the shop floor. And I've seen cars driven right through bay doors--all in the name of "beating the clock."
Flat-rate technicians can get quite elaborate with shortcuts. My favorite was the implementation of an 6-foot-long 2-by-4, which was placed under the engine unit for support while a motor unit support was removed. It made employment predetermined to adopt 1.5 time achievable in twenty minutes. A win-win, right? The specialist makes extra money; you get your vehicle back faster.
Actually, oftentimes the placement of this 2-by-4 broken the oil pan. Moreover, it induced the car, your vehicle, to balance precariously 6 foot in the air, while the technician manipulated the car lift to access your engine mount.
This tactic was abruptly discontinued when a technician's 2-by-4 snapped creating the car to crash nasal down onto the concrete floor.
Sometimes the shortcuts create very understated disruptions, which create problems overtime. A quick example: a car had its transmitting serviced with a new filtration, gasket, and liquid. During the procedure, the technician could save time by bending the transmitting dipstick tube marginally, to be able to find the transmission skillet out faster. The vehicle was reassembled, and the specialist re-bent the tube back to place and off it went--no worries....
Six months later, the automobile came back with an intermittent misfire. The engine wasn't working on all cylinders. After extensive diagnostics, it was uncovered that the transmitting dipstick tube got chaffed through the engine unit harness, intermittently grounding out an injector. Hmm, that's peculiar. Don't usually observe that.
The high-speed environment and the subsequent shortcuts illustrate the devastating ramifications of the flat-rate, sales-driven pay structure on the quality of car repairs.
No marvel even an essential oil change gets screwed up!
The indegent quality of work inspired by the toned rate pay composition is disconcerting enough. Unfortunately, it doesn't stop here. The negative effects of flat-rate get exponentially more serious, as it starts "wide" the entranceway to rip you off!