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Gripe about wannabe and shade tree mechanics

beerftw

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Yep I have to gripe about them, Day after day my shop does a free initial checkout, and people come in get the diagnostic and the codes then never come back. No this is not my big gripe that they used the free diagnostic to go somewhere cheaper, but that them going somewhere cheaper made my job harder. Too often they take it to their brothers uncles cousins wifes brother who swears they are a master mechanic, butchers the car, then they end up back at me with a mess to fix. Often times they come back so bad I have to tell them to junk the vehicle and start over.

Let me start with the basics.

One the mechanic should have at least a proper scan tool, a code reader does not count or work beyond basic stuff and older vehicles, most vehicles in the last decade use adaptive learning and bidirectional controls, and need professional tools costing from 1600-10k in price to actually repair a modern vehicle. Modern scanners include high end otc, snapon, launch, autel, bosch etc.

Two- any decent mechanic requires tech references, these incluse all data, mitchel, motor etc, too often I see the master mechanic claim with no tech data, I had a chevy 5.7 cortec with the claim the rocker arms were torqued to spec, however there is no torque spec on those, they are adjusted for backlash, the end result was the pushrods were a z shape and the valves bent when trying to crank it.

Three- they lack tools, Seriously they do not need a 100k snapon setup to be a mechanic, but if they are offering to do high end work with a harbor freight discount set and no specialty tools, it is a safe bet you are going to be paying full price and then some to correct what they broke.

Four- lack of electrical test equipment, cars today are more electric than they are mechanical, not know electricity may have flown with a 72 chevy pickup but not with modern cars, if you leave a shop and go somewhere that does not have a multimeter or says they will not work on something too modern, time to walk away.

five- diagnostic skills, this goes back to the scanner argument, too many pull a code for something like a mass airflow sensor and change it, but never diagnose the problem, the code could be caused by a plugged air filter or even a faulty 5 volt reference from the pcm, if someone pulls a code and tries to sell you parts without verifying wiring or even doing basic tests this is a bad sign.



I can go on and on, but the premise is clear, if you do not know what you are doing do not do it, if you try to cut costs you will pay for it, and if you take it to shade tree jack who took your money and made your car more broke than when you brought it to him, I will not only charge extra to what he broke ontop of the original problem, I will charge an idiot tax for wasting my time with problems that never would have been there in the first place had a reputable shop worked on it.
 

The Mark

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So what is your take on using the dealership where I bought my car for all maintenance/repairs?
 

beerftw

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So what is your take on using the dealership where I bought my car for all maintenance/repairs?

The dealerships often use poorly trained mechanics, but I will say as far as tech advice and diagnostic tools dealerships have them, plus even if they get idiots straight out of tech school who mess the car up, the dealership has to cover it plus has the finds to do it, shade tree jack on the other hand may run under a shady llc and dissolve the corp to absolve liability.
 

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The dealerships often use poorly trained mechanics, but I will say as far as tech advice and diagnostic tools dealerships have them, plus even if they get idiots straight out of tech school who mess the car up, the dealership has to cover it plus has the finds to do it, shade tree jack on the other hand may run under a shady llc and dissolve the corp to absolve liability.
The dealership in question is always busy, and so far as I am aware gets good reviews.

It may be an exception rather than the rule.
 

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Yep I have to gripe about them, Day after day my shop does a free initial checkout, and people come in get the diagnostic and the codes then never come back. No this is not my big gripe that they used the free diagnostic to go somewhere cheaper, but that them going somewhere cheaper made my job harder. Too often they take it to their brothers uncles cousins wifes brother who swears they are a master mechanic, butchers the car, then they end up back at me with a mess to fix. Often times they come back so bad I have to tell them to junk the vehicle and start over.

Let me start with the basics.

One the mechanic should have at least a proper scan tool, a code reader does not count or work beyond basic stuff and older vehicles, most vehicles in the last decade use adaptive learning and bidirectional controls, and need professional tools costing from 1600-10k in price to actually repair a modern vehicle. Modern scanners include high end otc, snapon, launch, autel, bosch etc.

Two- any decent mechanic requires tech references, these incluse all data, mitchel, motor etc, too often I see the master mechanic claim with no tech data, I had a chevy 5.7 cortec with the claim the rocker arms were torqued to spec, however there is no torque spec on those, they are adjusted for backlash, the end result was the pushrods were a z shape and the valves bent when trying to crank it.

Three- they lack tools, Seriously they do not need a 100k snapon setup to be a mechanic, but if they are offering to do high end work with a harbor freight discount set and no specialty tools, it is a safe bet you are going to be paying full price and then some to correct what they broke.

Four- lack of electrical test equipment, cars today are more electric than they are mechanical, not know electricity may have flown with a 72 chevy pickup but not with modern cars, if you leave a shop and go somewhere that does not have a multimeter or says they will not work on something too modern, time to walk away.

five- diagnostic skills, this goes back to the scanner argument, too many pull a code for something like a mass airflow sensor and change it, but never diagnose the problem, the code could be caused by a plugged air filter or even a faulty 5 volt reference from the pcm, if someone pulls a code and tries to sell you parts without verifying wiring or even doing basic tests this is a bad sign.



I can go on and on, but the premise is clear, if you do not know what you are doing do not do it, if you try to cut costs you will pay for it, and if you take it to shade tree jack who took your money and made your car more broke than when you brought it to him, I will not only charge extra to what he broke ontop of the original problem, I will charge an idiot tax for wasting my time with problems that never would have been there in the first place had a reputable shop worked on it.

....Um, you shoulda thought about what you wanted to say and/or just not "griped"....Your central thesis is preposterous.

Blue:
You are a mechanic and the organization for which you work (be it your own firm or someone else's) bills customers for the work you perform.
  • By your own assertion, you charge more if the work you perform takes more effort/resources than you charge if the work you must perform takes less effort/resources.
  • Yet you consider it as wasting your time when customers bring to you their ineptly maintained/repaired vehicles that, to repair/maintain, you can charge more.
Let me suggest to you that as a business owner, the best customers are the ones who have "hard-to-solve" problems for which I could charge premium-plus fees.

Based on your "blue" remarks, there appears to be a deleterious dichotomy between the market space you apparently want to occupy and the one in which you've allowed yourself to occupy.


Red:
What? I'm not sure what there is to complain about if the only thing for them to do is discard ("junk") the vehicle, convert it into a lawn sculpture, or otherwise cease to use it as a means of transportation. I mean, really. Surely it doesn't take long for a highly skilled and highly experienced expert, such as yourself, to know that a car is so "effed up," FUBAR'd, etc. that it's only good as a stationary piece of art.
 

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Yep I have to gripe about them, Day after day my shop does a free initial checkout, and people come in get the diagnostic and the codes then never come back. No this is not my big gripe that they used the free diagnostic to go somewhere cheaper, but that them going somewhere cheaper made my job harder. Too often they take it to their brothers uncles cousins wifes brother who swears they are a master mechanic, butchers the car, then they end up back at me with a mess to fix. Often times they come back so bad I have to tell them to junk the vehicle and start over.

Welcome to what it feels like to be an editor that works on prosumer/consumer projects.
Yes, I get the glamorous gigs from time to time, or used to, but the bulk of my bread and butter was always more a mix of corporate and Yellow Pages type customers as well.
I'm semi-retired now but when my phone used to ring all day long, it could be anyone from Mercury Records to some guy that just shot his sister's wedding and got frustrated trying to put it together with iMovie or Windows Movie Maker, or worse yet in the old days, two VCR's together on a kitchen table.

In case you think things are better now with digital, wait till someone comes to you with four hours of vertical video that they shot with their iPhone because someone told them that the iPhone can do anything.
 

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So what is your take on using the dealership where I bought my car for all maintenance/repairs?

Get to know a reputable independent professional mechanic and establish a relationship with them.
Why pay a dealer twice the going rate?
And I do mean PROFESSIONAL.
 

Xelor

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Welcome to what it feels like to be an editor that works on prosumer/consumer projects.
Yes, I get the glamorous gigs from time to time, or used to, but the bulk of my bread and butter was always more a mix of corporate and Yellow Pages type customers as well.
I'm semi-retired now but when my phone used to ring all day long, it could be anyone from Mercury Records to some guy that just shot his sister's wedding and got frustrated trying to put it together with iMovie or Windows Movie Maker, or worse yet in the old days, two VCR's together on a kitchen table.

In case you think things are better now with digital, wait till someone comes to you with four hours of vertical video that they shot with their iPhone because someone told them that the iPhone can do anything.
Red:
To me, that sounds like "YAMMO" -- Yet Another Money-Making Opportunity.

For myself and my partners, the more complex the client's needs, the more we liked it. After all, a long project that bills at the highest rates is a damn fine project that's well worth doing.
 

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Red:
To me, that sounds like "YAMMO" -- Yet Another Money-Making Opportunity.

For myself and my partners, the more complex the client's needs, the more we liked it. After all, a long project that bills at the highest rates is a damn fine project that's well worth doing.

Vertical video can't be "fixed" no matter what your abilities.
It's very simple, our eyes are positioned in a horizontal orientation, and television and computer screens are horizontally oriented.
Vertical phone video looks terrible when blown up to fit a horizontal screen, not to mention the framing is often equally bad because it was framed for vertical.

So, it's not YAMMO, it's putting lipstick on a pig.


 

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Vertical video can't be "fixed" no matter what your abilities.
It's very simple, our eyes are positioned in a horizontal orientation, and television and computer screens are horizontally oriented.
Vertical phone video looks terrible when blown up to fit a horizontal screen, not to mention the framing is often equally bad because it was framed for vertical.

So, it's not YAMMO, it's putting lipstick on a pig.



Okay...TY for the explanation. I sit corrected; as well I should for talking about something I didn't fully understand. (I've never used the video functionality on my phone. I'm not sure I even know how to initiate it.)

That's not "YAMMO." That's definitely "Sorry, Charlie."




Note:
I presume this -- How To -- is what you're talking about not working effectively, or effectively enough?
 
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ttwtt78640

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Yep, as a self-employed handyman I spend much of my time fixing prior "repairs" or "improvements". Too often the customer wants the symptom fixed (sometimes again) and balks when I explain why doing (only) that is not addressing what is causing the problem. When the job description was "just repairing some minor ceiling/wall damage" but the required repair involves fixing major roof damage first then we are often not on the same page.
 

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Okay...TY for the explanation. I sit corrected; as well I should for talking about something I didn't fully understand. (I've never used the video functionality on my phone. I'm not sure I even know how to initiate it.)

That's not "YAMMO." That's definitely "Sorry, Charlie."




Note:
I presume this -- How To -- is what you're talking about not working effectively, or effectively enough?

That's good for fixing SIDEWAYS videos, accidentally shot videos where the framing was done in landscape, but the video is playing sideways on the phone.
That's where it shows landscape going sideways but if you turn the phone sideways, suddenly the video goes "landscape inside of portrait" and is as small as a postage stamp, or where it plays on a TV or internet browser sideways.

It will fix a video that was intentionally shot vertically also, I imagine, but you will get whatever framing you get, which means in most cases a person's head is cut off because you framed vertically, in portrait mode.
You also take a massive quality hit, too.

It's just a matter of shooting video with your phone turned sideways to begin with. Orient your phone in your hands the way a TV screen looks and shoot that way if you're shooting video that you want to share on TV or on the internet.
People watching on phones can watch with their phones turned sideways, like if they're watching a movie....which they are...YOUR "movie".

The phone industry could fix this easily if they wanted to, by making all video shoot in landscape by default unless the user opts to change it to vertical on purpose. Then users could shoot in landscape while holding their phones vertically, and power users could set up their phones so that they have to hold the phone horizontally in order to shoot video. Phones have sensors that tell it which way it is being held.
 

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Yep I have to gripe about them, Day after day my shop does a free initial checkout, and people come in get the diagnostic and the codes then never come back. No this is not my big gripe that they used the free diagnostic to go somewhere cheaper, but that them going somewhere cheaper made my job harder. Too often they take it to their brothers uncles cousins wifes brother who swears they are a master mechanic, butchers the car, then they end up back at me with a mess to fix. Often times they come back so bad I have to tell them to junk the vehicle and start over.

Any mechanic who has THIS SIGN in their shop automatically has my initial respect :lamo
Because it so goddamn true.

1eb97bc21b595a88c6117e9079bf6caa.jpg
 

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That's good for fixing SIDEWAYS videos, accidentally shot videos where the framing was done in landscape, but the video is playing sideways on the phone.
That's where it shows landscape going sideways but if you turn the phone sideways, suddenly the video goes "landscape inside of portrait" and is as small as a postage stamp, or where it plays on a TV or internet browser sideways.

It will fix a video that was intentionally shot vertically also, I imagine, but you will get whatever framing you get, which means in most cases a person's head is cut off because you framed vertically, in portrait mode.
You also take a massive quality hit, too.

It's just a matter of shooting video with your phone turned sideways to begin with. Orient your phone in your hands the way a TV screen looks and shoot that way if you're shooting video that you want to share on TV or on the internet.
People watching on phones can watch with their phones turned sideways, like if they're watching a movie....which they are...YOUR "movie".

The phone industry could fix this easily if they wanted to, by making all video shoot in landscape by default unless the user opts to change it to vertical on purpose. Then users could shoot in landscape while holding their phones vertically, and power users could set up their phones so that they have to hold the phone horizontally in order to shoot video. Phones have sensors that tell it which way it is being held.

TY for the clarification.
 

beerftw

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Any mechanic who has THIS SIGN in their shop automatically has my initial respect :lamo
Because it so goddamn true.

1eb97bc21b595a88c6117e9079bf6caa.jpg

I have one of those but it cut off aftter the if you help price. I still get the whole well you wanted 1700 for a timing belt job on xyz exotic car and this shop down the street said they would do it for 600, then it leads to a porrly done job where tensioners are not replaced and timing being off because they did not have the alignment tools. Of course they would come back often with a blown engine expecting the timing belt job price. I got a good laugh over the past week because a long time customer decided when his transmission went out he would go the discount route, 4 rebuilds in one month and he decided to come back after it spent more time in shop than on the road, after he was given the price and realizing he basically had to pay for two rebuilds instead of one he decided it was time to trade the truck in.
 

beerftw

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Yep, as a self-employed handyman I spend much of my time fixing prior "repairs" or "improvements". Too often the customer wants the symptom fixed (sometimes again) and balks when I explain why doing (only) that is not addressing what is causing the problem. When the job description was "just repairing some minor ceiling/wall damage" but the required repair involves fixing major roof damage first then we are often not on the same page.

I deal too often with the fix the issue not the cause people. People often never think everything fails for a reason, and people doing proper repairs look to find why something failed and not just patch up what failed. Where I am at in texas too often foundation shift is what causes issues in houses, and people cry when they need things fixed multiple times yearly but will still refuse to get their foundation fixed, meaning the same issues will happen again and again.
 

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I deal too often with the fix the issue not the cause people. People often never think everything fails for a reason, and people doing proper repairs look to find why something failed and not just patch up what failed. Where I am at in texas too often foundation shift is what causes issues in houses, and people cry when they need things fixed multiple times yearly but will still refuse to get their foundation fixed, meaning the same issues will happen again and again.

Question: Do thirteen year old control arms on a Ford Focus owe the owner ANYTHING?
I remember a prolonged discussion with another member who was convinced Ford should be sued because thirteen year old control arms had corroded.
 

beerftw

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Question: Do thirteen year old control arms on a Ford Focus owe the owner ANYTHING?
I remember a prolonged discussion with another member who was convinced Ford should be sued because thirteen year old control arms had corroded.

Those control arms are junk but good luck getting ford to pay anything on it, ford focus taurus fusion etc use nearly non existent rust protection while their trucks use plenty. I remember far too many for tauruses being scrapped because they were so rusted that taking anything apart meant they could not go back together.
 

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I deal too often with the fix the issue not the cause people. People often never think everything fails for a reason, and people doing proper repairs look to find why something failed and not just patch up what failed. Where I am at in texas too often foundation shift is what causes issues in houses, and people cry when they need things fixed multiple times yearly but will still refuse to get their foundation fixed, meaning the same issues will happen again and again.

I don't have the equipment to handle slab foundation shift but frequently do pier and beam foundation 'tune-ups' (often called leveling) and replacement of the foundation skirting while adding proper vetilation. Many think that running the skirting a few inches into the ground and not having any voids in it keeps water out but it actually keeps (traps?) moisture under the building causing all sorts of problems.
 
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