This post and a two minute video at the bottom will cover a factory issued technical service bulletin that was brought to my attention when I went to the Cadillac dealer to pick up an oil filter for an 09 Cadillac SRX with a 3.6 L V-6. The parts counter person pointed over to the wall where he had hung a notification for dealer employees to remind them about the bulletin.
I asked for a copy or at least a catalog number of the notification from the factory so I could write about it. The Parts manager stated he couldn’t do that, but he did say I could take the notification off-the-wall as everybody in the dealership had already seen it and were ignoring it at this point. Continue reading
I own a first-generation Cadillac SRX. In fact, it’s a 09 the last year of the old body style. Being in the automotive business for the last 30 years, I have found that vehicle manufacturers often make their best car at the end of the line run. This is why I decided to buy a 09 instead of a 2010, which began the next generation.
Although my plan had merit, I wouldn’t call my experience with this SRX trouble-free. I have written extensively about individual problems with the car on this website and wanted to craft a post that brought some of the common problems together so that these articles can be easily found. When I started putting it together I realized one wouldn’t be enough. Last month I wrote about common Cadillac SRX issues, but decided to break it into two posts, as I still have four items to cover. Continue reading
Automotive Reference Materials
One of the big differences between someone that dabbles in at-home car repair and a professional that earns a living at it is access to professional automotive reference materials. Mechanics that have been fixing cars for any length of time know the factory provides the best information for specific cars. These technicians also know where to find this information and are glad to pay for it because of the fast and accurate results it brings.
Having exclusive access to factory written materials is what provided the retail auto repair industry with the advantage it needed to offer a level of service that couldn’t be achieved at home. The Internet age has leveled the playing field between the professional technician and the weekend warrior. In the past people wishing to fix their cars at home had limited access to this information. One of the only remaining obstacles is the general public is not aware of the extremely high quality repair diagrams available to them today. Continue reading
The following article is just my opinion on the flat rate system. After being involved with automobiles for just shy of 30 years I have seen a lot of things change in the retail auto repair business. As a matter of fact I have seen huge changes in the world that surrounds this ecosystem.
I could write an entire article on just how the automobile has changed in the last 30 years and maybe I will in the near future. But not only has the car changed but so has the people who drive them and the tools used to fix them. The economy has changed as well. The way that businesses conduct themselves has also changed over the years. But one thing has not changed since I’ve been in the business of auto repair and that is the flat rate system.
Sure a few shops pay mechanics by the hour but by and large dealerships and aftermarket repair centers are still sticking to some type of flat rate system to compensate mechanics. What I don’t understand is in this modern environment of adapting and changing to better service customers why this antiquated system still remains. In my opinion it’s stopping this business from evolving into a customer focused and value driven service that people could embrace instead of loath. Continue reading