The way it used to be,the way it is now.
Some of the recent posts remind me of my early years in this trade. Everyone thought that being a mechanic was mindless work. If the car did "this" the fix was "that". That approach was correct just often enough to be assumed to be the right way. On any occasion where the car was doing "this", and "that" didn't fix it like it normally did we would be accosted with the "Don't you know what you are doing? " line. This shell game has made for a very frustrating career at times. If you read the responses through the last few threads you'll notice at one point one poster actually criticizes the effort for working to be better trained. That's where the bad memories really come back to me. People with that attitude, both inside, and outside of the trade spoke loudly but were in fact clueless. Sure it makes good press to claim something should be done for free but like the yellow pages representative I dealt with earlier this year there isn't an easier way to see if someone genuinely understands auto repair as both a trade and a business than to listen to what they think the effort is worth.
The yellow pages rep when he learned that I was adding a towing heading to my shop, and in the middle of pressuring me to get an ever larger add, with a website through them was trying to get me into the $350.00 a month range. ( Yellow pages adds are paid monthly) He wanted to add an extra phone line that could be tracked, and was telling me how I had to tow to my shop for free to get activity.
Yes he told me the best way to build my business was to tow for free.
Now sure, that would probably make the phone ring more often, but that's not because of running a top gun shop. That would be because of an idiot setting up unrealistic advertising. Being stupid with advertising that forgets we have to be profitable to survive and re-invest in order to continue to succeed is just that, being stupid. In short, his advice told me that he has no idea how business works, especially how today's auto service center has to work in order to keep pace with the technology that is being applied to the cars.
I dropped my yellow pages add over that.
If you see "free diagnostics" understand there is no such thing as free. It might appear up front to be "free to me" at that second, but there is a cost for it somewhere. Facilities that try to do free diagnostics often do not have the money to send their techs to schools to continue the techs education. They don't have the same factory scan tools that the dealers have. They set themselves up for the customer to have to come back when the check engine light comes back on and they deserve to be accosted with "Don't you know what you are doing?"