Auto Repair Insurance
Auto Repair: HOW DO They Screw Up An Petrol Change?
"It's all about beating the clock." This offer originates from a smart old service manager, advising me how to maximize my income as a flat-rate tech. If you have ever wondered why your vehicle doesn't get fixed correctly, or all your concerns weren't attended to, you can blame, in part, the flat-rate pay composition.
Flat-rate simply means that your auto technician is paid a set fee for a particular repair, it doesn't matter how long the repair actually will take. In other words, if your vehicle needs a water pump, which gives two hours of labor, and the auto mechanic completes the work in one hour, he gets payed for two.
In theory, this may work to your advantage. If the work takes longer, you'll still only pay the "predetermined" labor amount. In THEORY, not reality!
The flat-rate pay composition was created to drive productivity. It's very effective. The flat-rate pay system motivates technicians to work solid, but it generally does not promote quality.
In terms to getting your car fixed correctly, the flat-rate pay structure has disastrous results. Flat-rate technicians are constantly looking for shortcuts to beat the clock in order to maximize the amount of hours they invoice. Experienced flat-rate technicians can bill anywhere from 16 to 50 hours in an 8 hour day.
It's these shortcuts and the breakneck quickness at which toned rate technicians work that bring about some of the most idiotic mistakes. In the rapid-fire pace of the shop I've witnessed technicians start engines with no petrol. I've seen transmissions fallen, smashing into little bits onto the shop floor. And I've seen cars driven right through bay doors--all in the name of "beating the time clock."
Flat-rate technicians can get quite intricate with shortcuts. The best was the implementation of the 6-foot-long 2-by-4, which was put under the engine for support while a engine mount was removed. It made employment predetermined for taking 1.5 time achievable in twenty minutes. A win-win, right? The specialist makes extra cash; you get your vehicle back faster.
Actually, oftentimes the placement of this 2-by-4 destroyed the oil skillet. Moreover, it triggered the car, your car, to balance precariously 6 ft in the air, while the technician manipulated the automobile lift to gain access to your engine mount.
This plan was abruptly discontinued whenever a technician's 2-by-4 snapped triggering the car to crash nose down onto the concrete floor.
Sometimes the shortcuts create very understated disruptions, which create problems overtime. A quick example: a vehicle had its transmitting serviced with a new filter, gasket, and smooth. During the treatment, the technician could save time by bending the transmission dipstick tube just a bit, in order to have the transmission pan out faster. The automobile was reassembled, and the specialist re-bent the pipe back into place and off it went--no problems....
Six months later, the automobile came back with an intermittent misfire. The engine unit wasn't operating on all cylinders. After comprehensive diagnostics, it was found out that the transmission dipstick tube possessed chaffed through the engine unit funnel, intermittently grounding out an injector. Hmm, that's bizarre. Don't usually notice that.
The high-speed environment and the subsequent shortcuts illustrate the devastating effects of the flat-rate, sales-driven pay composition on the quality of car repairs.
No question even an oil change gets screwed up!
The indegent quality of work urged by the toned rate pay composition is disconcerting enough. Sadly, it generally does not stop here. The negative effects of flat-rate get exponentially even worse, as it starts "wide" the door to rip you off!