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Posted: 2/23/2007 4:14:28 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/24/2007 7:16:01 AM EST by Colt_SBR]


I little about myself before I start my rant.

I learned automotive repair after graduating high school. Also took machine shop for the experience with machining metal into parts. I machined some of my own specialized Harley tools to work on bikes. I worked as a professional mechanic and worked on friends vehicles in my garage. I also worked in a few automotive parts houses from wholesale to retail. I know a little about cars, trucks and motorcycles.

I repaired Harley style, and Japanese motorcycles on my own and for my friends. I have modified a lot of bikes, American and Japanese. I have built many custom Harleys and Harley style motorcycles from the ground up.

I no longer work on my cars or trucks do to a bad back and getting a little older. Cars and trucks are a lot more difficult to work on without specialized tools.

I still work on my motorcycles but have stopped building the custom bikes.

I have been taking my truck to the dealer for warranty work or automotive repair shops for major and minor repairs, including lube, oil and filters. I just don’t want the hassle of disposing of the oil and filter.

The start of my day at the shop.

Today I took my truck into a large national auto repair shop for a lube, oil and filter service. $13.95 plus tax and disposal fee. This included a tire rotation. You just about can’t do that on your own for that price.

I get there with my coupon in hand. It also had a radiator flush on the coupon for $29.00 including one gallon of antifreeze. My truck has 57,000 miles and figured, a radiator service wouldn’t hurt. The service adviser said it would take about one hour.

Well, I left the truck at the shop for the service and walked to a small shopping plaza that was within four blocks.

I shopped for some junk and walked back to the shop. My truck was on the lift being worked on. The service tech ( they don’t like the word mechanic anymore) had a pair of rubber gloves on. I thought that was great because he could take them off after working on the truck and have clean hands.

Well, he found a couple of other things that needed attention in the near future. They were covered by the extended warrantee so I passed on them. The radiator cap was funky so I had them install another. I know I could have bought one for half the price and put it on myself but I figured, I’d get it done with while I was there.

So far, no problems.

When the truck was done, the bill was $77.51. I was happy to get out under $100.00 and paid the bill with a smile on my face.

“Rant on”.

I walked to my truck and saw it.

Oily and greasy, finger prints all over my white truck. WTF. The Ass, that worked on my truck was still wearing the rubber gloves, covered head to toe with oil and grease. He had a shaved head and even had grease on his forehead.

When I worked at repair shops or in my garage, I washed my hands before touching anything, that I wasn’t going to work on. Specially doors, steering wheels and seats. It’s always nice to keep clean parts, clean.

This isn’t the first time this happened to me. Almost every time I get my vehicles worked on, the repair guy doesn’t know what soap is made for.

Yes, I have complained and it doesn’t do much good.

One time, I took a truck into a transmission shop for a yearly check up after a total rebuild. The repair Ass, took my truck for the test drive and came back. He said, everything was OK.

I got into my truck and noticed liquid all over the front seat, dashboard and floor. The Ass, stopped at the local Shop and Rob and got a drink during my test ride. He was driving with his head up his ass and didn’t notice a car in front of him had stopped. He hi the brakes and spilled a full Big Gulp in my truck. You think he would say something to me before I got into my truck, HELL NO. I guess he thought I wouldn’t notice. Again, WTF.

To all the Automotive Techs here on AR15.com, please wash your hands before toughing stuff that are suppose to stay clean.



Sorry this was so long but believe me, I shortened the story.


Link Posted: 2/23/2007 4:17:55 PM EST
My co-workers have been bitched at and sent home for getting grease in customer's vehicles. If someone else was working on my truck, I'd want it back in the exact same condition that I gave it to them in. That kinda shit is unacceptable and makes the good guys look bad.
Link Posted: 2/23/2007 4:22:17 PM EST
Well what do expect shopping at the bottom rung? $14!!!! The last dealer I was at was $125/hr. Really, the best thing to do is find a mechanic you like and only go to him. Treat him like a professional and give him a tip. You'll end up a lot happier. Most of my customers will leave and come back later if I'm not there. I take care of my customers that take care of me.
Link Posted: 2/23/2007 4:26:52 PM EST

Originally Posted By madmathew:
Well what do expect shopping at the bottom rung? $14!!!! The last dealer I was at was $125/hr. Really, the best thing to do is find a mechanic you like and only go to him. Treat him like a professional and give him a tip. You'll end up a lot happier. Most of my customers will leave and come back later if I'm not there. I take care of my customers that take care of me.


I have done business with the bottom and top rung of the repair shops. Most of them don't know anything about washing their hands.

Link Posted: 2/23/2007 4:27:27 PM EST
When I work in the passenger compartment of a train, I always clean up after myself. I can always visualize some lady or kid with a nice white dress on sitting in some grease left over from a door gearbox change or something and having her clothes ruined by me.


The mechanic who worked on your truck gives the rest a bad name, most places have fender guards that they can put on the vehicle to stop that kind of shit. Most good shops also put a cardboard floor mat protector or a seat guard on so if the mechanic has grease or oil on his clothes, he won't get it on your carpet or upholstery.
Link Posted: 2/23/2007 5:30:03 PM EST
You guys are right about it being wrong though, you'd be fired the second time at just about any of the shops I've worked for.
Link Posted: 2/23/2007 5:32:41 PM EST
Hey Colt I like the On/Off Rant button smiley!

I agree with you though.

Everytime my family takes vehicles places, they're left as clean as they're found.
Link Posted: 2/23/2007 5:41:25 PM EST

Originally Posted By madmathew:
You guys are right about it being wrong though, you'd be fired the second time at just about any of the shops I've worked for.


+1 - At my family's shop, our tech's are told to leave the vehicle better than they found it in all aspects. On big jobs we even hand wash the vehicles when we're done. Paper floor mats & fender covers are mandatory.
Link Posted: 2/24/2007 7:19:54 AM EST

I got up this morning to run some errands. I noticed, one of the lug nut covers is missing.

I went to the dealer and bought one for $3.57. I bought the cover because, I didn't want the hassle of going back to see the service adviser. I will be emailing the corporate office ref. my experience.

I won't be going back to that shop.

Link Posted: 2/24/2007 7:22:36 AM EST
Follow the advice I gave in my first post and you won't have to post these rants
Link Posted: 2/24/2007 7:25:52 AM EST

Originally Posted By madmathew:
Follow the advice I gave in my first post and you won't have to post these rants


I have done business with the more expensive "better" shops. No difference.

Link Posted: 2/24/2007 8:32:09 AM EST
While I am by no means excusing shitty work habits, most of the retailers hire people right off the street with minimal training & minimal pay. The old saw about getting what one pays for should appy here, IMO.

After my last fiasco/goat screw at a Sears auto shop, I refuse to leave the garage waiting room for ANY reason until my Jeep is finished.
Link Posted: 2/24/2007 2:25:52 PM EST

Originally Posted By BobCole:
After my last fiasco/goat screw at a Sears auto shop, I refuse to leave the garage waiting room for ANY reason until my Jeep is finished.

[Ron White]I promised Sears I'd tell this story every night until the lawsuit settled...I pay 'em $580 of my hard earned money, I take a right hand turn out of the mall and the left rear wheel falls off, it falls off, it falls the fuck off, turnin' my van into a tripod, spinning me into a dimension of pissed off I have never been in before in my life.[/Ron White]
Link Posted: 2/24/2007 2:29:48 PM EST
Jiffy Lube in Bellevue, WA left a huge splooge of oil on the front bumper of my Acura last time I went there, so I'll never go back. I shoulda known too, couple of "homeys" doing the servicing. I tried to keep an eye on them the whole time. Drove my car back to work and just had a funny feeling, decided to look all around it after parking and found the oil splooge. Fudgers.
Link Posted: 2/24/2007 5:28:45 PM EST
Find a reputable privateer - preferably a family business. We don't have corporate policies that pressure techs to make X amount of dollars per week in their bays or be replaced, and we're approachable. You can walk right up to the counter and talk to the owner if you're not satisfied. We have a VERY low turnover rate, but when I do interview when we have openings I make it clear to candidates that at any given time one of my customers may have a child that goes to school with one of my kids, and I don not EVER want one of my kids to come home and say another child said "Your daddy ripped my daddy off." We haven't advertised in years, and we stay busy, by word of mouth alone.
Link Posted: 2/24/2007 6:20:02 PM EST
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Originally Posted By GR8TWYT:
Find a reputable privateer - preferably a family business. We don't have corporate policies that pressure techs to make X amount of dollars per week in their bays or be replaced, and we're approachable. You can walk right up to the counter and talk to the owner if you're not satisfied. We have a VERY low turnover rate, but when I do interview when we have openings I make it clear to candidates that at any given time one of my customers may have a child that goes to school with one of my kids, and I don not EVER want one of my kids to come home and say another child said "Your daddy ripped my daddy off." We haven't advertised in years, and we stay busy, by word of mouth alone.


+1000 on this one. I'm a technician at a reputable private shop (recently quit a big dealer for the above mentioned policies) and ALL of our customers leave in a good mood knowing the job was done right and we didn't screw them/screw up their car. interior protection is mandatory on every car every time, and even so much as a single fingerprint is removed before the customer takes their vehicle, doesn't matter if it's an oil change or a transmission replacement. It is too often that the "rackem and stackem" policy of large establishments, quick lube joints , etc. affect the quality of work recieved by car owners.
Link Posted: 2/24/2007 6:25:21 PM EST
I didn't mean go to an expensive place, find a mechanic that you trust and does good work and only go to him. That and take care of the guy, it pays in the long run. Like I said I take of the people that take care of me.
Link Posted: 2/24/2007 7:46:44 PM EST
I worked at Sears automotive for 2 years while I was going to school (electronics) in Phoenix.

They would hire these guys going to automotive tech schools to be installers, tires, batteries, shocks and LOF's. After hiring these guys they assume that they knew something and give them some shop uniforms and turn'em loose. No training on anything, not how to rack a car, change tires, nothing.

In 2 years I seen 2 cars fall off racks. More than a few seized motors because of loose drain plugs, loose oil filters, etc.

The service advisors had a quota per hour for sales and they would make it no matter how many lies they had to tell to sell tie rods, ball joints and lifetime alignments. Most of the mechanics were good mechanics. But would always be bitchin about changing good parts, rightly so.

The most fucked up thing I saw while I was there was one sunday night we were closing and some guy came in for a battery. He parked next to the line of fixed/waiting cars. We were trying to close but wanted to help him so one of the guys hauled out the marine battery we used to jump cars to get them in the bay to work on them.
The voltage regulator was bad and overcharging this guys battery so it was full of them nice explosive gasses and when they hooked up the jumper battery the battery blew. This was the loudest boom I have ever heard to this day. Gun shots included.
When the battery blew it covered all the cars parked around it with battery acid.

Fortunately nobody was seriously hurt. One of the installers was told to wash off the cars and only did a quick rinse. The next day Sears bought many paint jobs.

I try to do my own work. Mainly because I am cheap but mostly because I seen what the choices are.

YMMV
Link Posted: 2/24/2007 7:59:01 PM EST
I know what you mean Colt_SBR. I really hate it when you grab a handfull of greasy stearing wheel after picking the car up from a shop.

Today I replaced the radiator, A/C condensor, belts and hoses on my '94 Dodge Intrepid. 200,000 miles and while the engine bay is mostly clean it was still nasty in those deep down spots. Daughter helped me. I don't know how many times I washed my hands, with GoJo, especially while putting it back together. Daughter got elbow deep in helping and laughed one time saying "I don't think I've ever washed my hands this often in one day."

I don't think you'll find greasy fingerprints anywhere on the car. Not even under the hood.

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