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
To follow will be some information on how to deal with frozen windshield washers. In a perfect world washer fluid would never freeze even on the coldest days in the coldest regions. This is why they have the blue colored windshield washer fluid that contains an anti-freeze to prevent this from happening. As a professional car mechanic I can tell you that even though your windshield washer fluid may look blue sitting in the bottle there could be a fair amount of water mixed in with it.
First of all many windshield washer fluids only protect to a few degrees below freezing. Often this is the $.99 cheap stuff that you might find at your local big-box retailer. Heavy duty fluids can cost a few dollars more but if you live in a cold environment this could be money well spent. When you take your vehicle in for an oil change and the shop is responsible for topping off the fluids all too often they stretch the cheap and weak windshield washer anti freeze by adding water to it. It still looks blue but doesn’t have the protection from freezing like when it was full strength. Continue reading
Auto repair for dummies book
Remember when you could go to the most popular search engine and just type in the term auto repair manuals and right before your eyes there would be high quality results to browse through (like magic). Well with the latest algorithm ranking update (meant to reduce spam) the results are not what they use to be. I have submitted several requests for someone to look at the results. No changes as of today so I’m posting this.
The number one result for the last several weeks since the update is this page. It is from Haynes auto repair manuals that I have the utmost respect for. Unfortunately this page that now ranks at the top of those search results is of extremely poor quality. It looks like a page from 1996 and there is only two sentences of real content on the whole page. The term automotive repair manuals which would be considered the key words are repeated about five times in two sentences.
This is known in the Webmaster business as “keyword stuffing”. Ironically it is exactly what this last update was supposed to address. But when it comes to searching for an auto repair manual this latest update has made it more difficult to find truly good content on the subject in my opinion. Continue reading
AC Delco timing belt kit
Why do you need to find a timing belt kit instead of just buying the belt by itself? I’m glad you asked because the very important answers will affect people that are getting the operation performed by professional mechanics as well as people that plan on doing the repairs in the driveway at home.
The first thing to cover is what is the difference between a timing belt and a complete kit. On some vehicles there is a huge difference between the two. This is mainly because on some models the water pump is driven via the timing belt.
Since maintenance is usually recommended somewhere between 60,000 and 100 thousand miles it only makes sense to replace this water pump at the same time as replacing its drive belt. Because we don’t want coolant dripping on the new rubber parts a week later! Some timing belt kits come with a lot of other stuff besides a water pump and belt. Continue reading
Sometimes the car mechanics physical condition can have a direct relationship with how long he is able to physically do the job. This does not mean that you have to be an athlete to be an auto mechanic but if you have a strong core and at least average physical conditioning you could probably turn wrenches for 30 or 40 years if the force is with you.
Noise canceling protection
For me after 26 years of doing it I have developed some aches and pains that may have been avoided if I paid more attention to my physical condition. Now that I am older and continue to do the job I have to be smarter about the way I do it. This means actually thinking through the mechanical operation I’m about to perform and incorporate a plan to take care of my body at the same time.
This could be something like standing on a rubberized mat or in the case of leaning over into an engine compartment sometimes getting a step stool will put me at a better angle so my aching back will be able to stay in the position required for maybe even several hours. My two biggest problems at this point in my professional career would be chronic back pain and damaged hearing. I have written extensively about my hearing issue on the you fix cars website where I discuss how easy it is to wear ear protection.
Car mechanics save your back
Windshield Washer Pump
Information about some common windshield washer problems on cars and light trucks. We all know that windshield washers spray cleaning fluid onto the windshield that works with the wiper blades to remove dirt from the front windshield. In some cases the same windshield washer pump is used to spray fluid on headlights and in some cases on the rear glass of an SUV or station wagon.
Some manufacturers will use one pump to service all of these surfaces. Other manufacturers will have separate pumps and reservoirs for the rear glass or headlight washer system. Your owner’s manual can give you a few clues about the kind of system that is equipped on your vehicle by showing you the filling locations and therefore where the reservoirs are located.
In most cases vehicle manufacturers will install a washer pump in the fluid reservoir. Although a few vehicles will use a pulse type pumps that gets its power from the wiper motor. Just about all windshield washer systems or activated by pushing and holding a washer switch. A slick feature on many vehicles is that when the washers are operated the windshield wipers are activated at the same time. You may need a car repair manual to diagnose malfunctions in these kinds of systems.
Problems with windshield washer systems Continue reading