Auto Repair Financing
Auto Repair: How Can They Screw Up An Oil Change?
"It's all about beating the time." This estimate originates from a wise old service administrator, advising me how to maximize my income as a flat-rate specialist. If you've ever wondered why your car doesn't get fixed correctly, or your entire concerns weren't addressed, you can blame, in part, the flat-rate pay framework.
Flat-rate simply means that your auto mechanic is paid a set fee for a particular repair, regardless of how long the repair actually calls for. Quite simply, if your vehicle needs a water pump, which pays off two time of labor, and the auto mechanic completes the work in a single hour, he gets payed 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 structure is designed to drive productivity. It's very 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 framework has disastrous results. Flat-rate technicians are constantly looking for shortcuts to conquer the clock in order to maximize the number of hours they expenses. Experienced flat-rate technicians can expenses anywhere from 16 to 50 hours within an 8 hour day.
It's these shortcuts and the breakneck speed at which smooth rate technicians work that result in some of the most idiotic mistakes. In the rapid-fire pace of a shop I've observed technicians start motors with no petrol. I've seen transmissions lowered, smashing into little parts onto the shop floor. And I've seen vehicles driven right through bay doors--all in the name of "beating the time."
Flat-rate technicians can get quite intricate with shortcuts. My favorite was the implementation of an 6-foot-long 2-by-4, that was positioned under the engine for support while a electric motor mount was removed. It made a job predetermined to use 1.5 time achievable in twenty minutes. A win-win, right? The technician makes extra cash; you get your car back faster.
Actually, oftentimes the placement of this 2-by-4 damaged the oil skillet. Moreover, it triggered the car, your vehicle, to balance precariously 6 foot 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 car to crash nose down onto the concrete floor.
Sometimes the shortcuts create very simple disturbances, which create problems overtime. An instant example: a vehicle had its transmission serviced with a fresh filter, gasket, and substance. During the process, the technician could save time by bending the transmission dipstick tube just a little, in order to receive the transmission pan out faster. The vehicle was reassembled, and the tech re-bent the pipe back into place and off it went--no concerns....
Half a year later, the vehicle came back with an intermittent misfire. The engine unit wasn't jogging on all cylinders. After considerable diagnostics, it was uncovered that the transmitting dipstick tube experienced chaffed through the engine motor funnel, intermittently grounding out an injector. Hmm, that's strange. Don't usually note that.
The high-speed environment and the subsequent shortcuts demonstrate the devastating ramifications of the flat-rate, sales-driven pay composition on the quality of car repairs.
No question even an petrol change gets screwed up!
The indegent quality of work encouraged by the smooth rate pay framework is disconcerting enough. However, it generally does not stop here. The unwanted effects of flat-rate get exponentially more serious, as it starts "wide" the entranceway to rip you off!