I would like to touch on a problem that a
lot of people have in dealing with their Mechanic's and that
is LACK OF INFORMATION.
I don't know how many times I have got to
the shop in the morning and there is a key and a note in the
drop box for a vehicle parked on the lot. But things get interesting
when the note reads something like this: "I am getting some
kind of funny noise from the vehicle, can you have it ready
by noon?" Signed Jim Smith and no phone number. I hop into the
vehicle, take it for a test drive and I don't hear anything
unusual. Ok, now is where the guessing game begins. Where is
this noise heard from, inside, outside, underneath, or under
the hood? When does it occur, slow speed, high speed, hot, cold,
rough road, hitting light bumps or whatever.
If you really what to save yourself time and
money, don't just drop off your vehicle and think that the Mechanic
can just figure it out. Remember that we charge by the hours
we work and the more time you spend explaining as much as possible
about your problem, the better the chance of a quicker repair.
I have already told you about the Woman that brought me a car
that she said was making a noise like ice cubes in a blended.
Don't be embarrassed by what you think it takes to explain a
problem because it will help a lot. Noises are always the worst
so before leaving your vehicle for repair, spend as much time
as it takes driving with the Mechanic until they can hear the
noise that you are hearing. Until they hear the noise, they
don't know what you are hearing. Many years ago I had a fellow
come into my shop with a problem that he had become totally
exasperated with and he said that three Dealers and Four private
shops had looked at it and couldn't find anything wrong. I started
asking questions and he told me that he only heard this noise
after driving for awhile and then turning a corner. He also
said that one of the shop managers had driven the car for five
days but could not get it to make this noise he was hearing.
So, I asked him when was the last time he had heard this noise.
He told me that he was heading for Edmonton, pulled into a Restaurant
for coffee and that is when he heard the noise. I said OK, what
did you have planned for this morning? He looked a little puzzled
and I told him that I wanted to redo the same drive but that
I wanted him to go with me because I needed to be sure that
I was hearing the same noise that he was concerned with. It
took a couple of phone calls to reprogram his day but we were
soon ready to leave.
We had a very nice drive and in a little over
an hour and a half, we were approaching the same restaurant
he had visited before. I started to pay attention and as soon
as he pulled into the parking lot, there came his growling noise
that he was referring to and as he had said, it was a terrible
noise. He immediately asked if I knew what would make that kind
of noise and if I could fix it, to which I replied "NO PROBLEM".
After we drove back to town and the shop, the vehicle was repaired
in less time than we had spent going for the three-hour drive.
Because I wanted him to be sure the vehicle had been repaired,
I told him that I was not going to make him a invoice until
he had driven the car for a month. He came back a month later
and was happy to pay his bill, with a big tip. He was more than
happy to pay for my time spent because it was a lot less than
what he had already spent, without getting it fixed. Nobody
can fix what they can't find and the owner must spend as much
time as possible making sure that the Mechanic that is trying
to fix it, hears the noise in question. If one of the other
shops had taken the time to do what I did, they could have fixed
it too. It was a relatively easy fix and drop me an E-mail if
you really what to know what it was.
"TOOT" Rick "The Wrench" - July 25th,1999
Copyright of Rick The Wrench, 1999