Auto Repair Estimator
Auto Repair: HOW DO They Screw Up An Oil Change?
"It's all about beating the clock." This offer originates from a wise old service supervisor, advising me about how to increase my income as a flat-rate technician. If you have ever wondered why your car doesn't get set correctly, or all your concerns weren't addressed, you can blame, in part, the flat-rate pay structure.
Flat-rate simply means that your mechanic is paid a flat fee for a specific repair, regardless of how long the repair actually takes. In other words, if your vehicle needs a water pump, which pays off two time of labor, and the mechanic completes the job in a single hour, he gets paid for two.
In theory, this may work in your favor. If the work takes longer, you still only pay the "predetermined" labor amount. In THEORY, not reality!
The flat-rate pay composition is designed to drive productivity. It is rather effective. The flat-rate pay system stimulates technicians to work hard and fast, but it does not promote quality.
In terms of getting your car fixed appropriately, the flat-rate pay structure has disastrous results. Flat-rate technicians are constantly looking for shortcuts to beat the clock to be able to maximize the number of hours they expenses. Experienced flat-rate technicians can costs from 16 to 50 time in an 8 hour day.
It's these shortcuts and the breakneck rate at which level rate technicians work that cause some of the most idiotic mistakes. Within the rapid-fire pace of a shop I've observed technicians start motors with no oil. I've seen transmissions slipped, smashing into little bits onto the shop floor. And I've seen cars driven 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 associated with an 6-foot-long 2-by-4, that was positioned under the engine motor for support while a electric motor support was removed. It made employment predetermined to take 1.5 hours achievable in twenty minutes. A win-win, right? The tech makes extra cash; you get your car back faster.
Actually, oftentimes the placement of this 2-by-4 broken the oil skillet. Moreover, it induced the car, your vehicle, to balance precariously 6 feet in the air, while the technician manipulated the automobile lift to access your engine support.
This plan was abruptly discontinued when a technician's 2-by-4 snapped causing the automobile to crash nose area down onto the concrete floor.
Sometimes the shortcuts create very delicate disturbances, which create problems overtime. An instant example: a vehicle had its transmitting serviced with a new filtration system, gasket, and fluid. During the treatment, the technician could save time by bending the transmission dipstick tube marginally, in order to find the transmission skillet out faster. The automobile was reassembled, and the technician re-bent the tube back into place and off it went--no concerns....
Six months later, the vehicle came back with an intermittent misfire. The engine motor wasn't jogging on all cylinders. After intensive diagnostics, it was discovered that the transmitting dipstick tube possessed chaffed through the engine funnel, intermittently grounding out an injector. Hmm, that's unusual. Don't usually observe that.
The high-speed environment and the subsequent shortcuts demonstrate the devastating ramifications of the flat-rate, sales-driven pay structure on the quality of car repairs.
No think about even an engine oil change gets screwed up!
The poor quality of work urged by the toned rate pay framework is disconcerting enough. Alas, it generally does not stop here. The negative effects of flat-rate get exponentially more serious, as it starts "wide" the door to rip you off!