Continued from last week....
OK lets break this thing down.
We bring a guy's vehicle into the shop because
he had requested a brake job and we put the vehicle up on a
hoist and pull off all four wheels and tires. We must remove
the rear brake drums and one of them is seized on, requiring
a fair bit of effort to get the drum off. My Technician does
a very thorough inspection and cannot find anything wrong, so
he puts the vehicle all back together in order to go for a test
The test drive does not show ANY problem so
I take the vehicle for a drive myself and still cannot find
any problem with the braking system. I try to get a hold of
the fellow through the only work number I have for him, but
he cannot be reached. By this time we have spent two and a half
hours trying to find out what this customer wants repaired.
After we get swore at on the phone, we bring the vehicle back
in again and spend more time putting it up on the hoist again
and we wait for the customer to arrive. When the customer sees
that there is nothing wrong with the brakes, we put it all back
together and go for a test drive with the customer. After driving
a short distance the customer "Stomps" on the brakes hard enough
to nearly stand the vehicle on its nose and sure enough we hear
a funny little noise.
The customer looks at me and says., "Did you
hear that?" "Does that not sound like noise in the brakes?"
and I tell him that it is NOT brake noise and ask him to drive
back into the shop. We put the vehicle back up on the hoist
but this time I ask the customer to stay inside the vehicle
and with it running on hoist, I go underneath with a long pry
bar and with a good pry in the right location I have created
the noise that he was hearing. He yells to me that he heard
the noise and asks me what I did and I explain to him that his
vehicle has a broken Transmission mount and when he was hitting
the brakes really hard, the whole engine and transmission would
tip forward allowing the cooling fan to hit the fan shroud,
causing his noise.
It is now nearly seven o'clock and I just
catch a Salesman at a Parts store where I can pick up a new
mount. After a quick trip for parts and a few minutes with a
properly place Transmission Jack, the vehicle is repaired but
it is now 8:30 P.M. and both myself and my Technician have worked
two and one half hours over time. Between us both, we have spent
a total of nine hours repairing this fellow's problem because
he sent us off in the wrong direction.
What do you think we should charge him?
But, before you answer that question, let
me ask you how many hours a day you work that you don't get
paid for? I'll bet that you start collecting pay as soon as
you punch the clock when you start and get paid right until
you punch out when you are finished, right? How come so many
people think that Mechanic's should only charge for what the
FIX and they should NOT charge for any time spent FINDING what
needs to be fixed?????
"TOOT" Rick "The Wrench" - May 21,1999
Copyright of Rick The Wrench, 1999