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Re: Expectations.

 -=> Quoting Audidudi <=-

 >I disagree ... it's the flat-rate labor charge that causes it.  I know of a
 >mechanic who'd happily spend hours troubleshooting a problem but doesn't do
 >it because he only gets paid for X number of hours regardless.  Since it is
 >not hard for them to double their flat-rate hours (and good ones can triple
 >them on occasion!), they take it in the shorts financially for spending any
 >more time than absolutely necessary to get a car out of their bay under its
 >own power.  Factor in the fact that the Service Manager and Service Writers
 >are paid on commission and can steer the choice jobs to their favorites and
 >you can further see why no one wants to buck the system... 

    Absolutely correct, and our esteemed AUDI gives very low hours
    on difficult jobs compared to other manufacturers. A friend who
    works at a Porsche/Audi/Mercyless Benz dealership is a
    100% Porsche factory tech.  Since many days there aren't
    enough jobs to go around (this dealership has 2 other
    Porsche techs) he also has to do Audi's and an occasional
    Benz. (Here too they have more Benz techs than jobs sometimes.)
    Although he owns an Audi and likes them, he HATES
    having to do book time on Audi's, the times suck. As an
    example, he can do 3 928 timing belts in the time it takes to
    do one Audi V8 (very true,  BTDT) yet they both book out
    about the same time. When the V6 Audi's come in for their
    oil leak repairs mechanics are harder to find than civil
    servants on a Friday. They duck, quick. The dealership
    makes up the hours by charging the obscene list price for
    parts (ie the V8Q timing belt, $160 list, $40 aftermarket.)
 -=> Quoting Dewitt Harrison to Audidudi <=-

 DH> Here is were the good independent shops are at some advantage. They
 DH> lack the sort of management pressure that you decry and the political
 DH> climate it creates. Yet they still feel the heavy presence of the
 DH> clock. I suppose they have been confronted by enough clients shocked

     A good independent will balance "gravy" jobs with the difficult
     ones to come up with a happy medium that will keep his
     customers coming back.  It's a definite tight rope act

 DH> For whatever reasons, a key point is that technicians tend to develop
 DH> a mindset in which they attack problems unsystematically and
 DH> start by throwing a best guess at the problem rather than actually
 DH> demonstrating a component is defective before replacing it. Works
 DH> more than half the time. Mechanics I know and hold in high esteem
 DH> find it virtually impossible to avoid this kind mental trap.

     Right, but is it REALLY feasable to go through and diagnose
     a problem that you know is XYZ part 90% of the time?  A GOOD
     shop/tech will have a good unit or two on the shelf so he can
     swap the components on the spot, or he'll borrow it from
     another similar car at the shop for a quick test. This isn't
     a "mind set" this is experience at work. After doing one or
     two 5K series with air coming out the defrost vents do you
     really have to diagnose the problem at $50-$80 an hour or
     do you just "dig in" and chase the most likely suspect?


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