DIY weekend mechanic: some rules - Unofficial Honda FIT Forums

Other Car Related Discussions Discuss all other cars here.

DIY weekend mechanic: some rules

  #1  
Old 11-02-2017, 02:32 PM
doctor J's Avatar
Member
5 Year Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Orange, CA, USA
Posts: 1,083
DIY weekend mechanic: some rules

DIY weekend mechanic: opportunities and challenges.
As a former junior automotive repair tech (with ASE certificate in electrical/electronic repair) who is no longer fixes cars for a living, I joined a group of advance level DIY/ shade tree/weekend “mechanics” who are performing repairs on their own cars and occasionally helping their relatives, friends, co-workers and neighbors with car repairs. In this article I would like to cover some issues which I’ve experienced in this field, so it will help others who are doing the same.
Customers:
Be aware of customers who are:
• Complaining about being ripped off by repair service stations in general , not by particular shop/technician
• Repeatedly using the phrase “I’ll pay you!”
• Making claims that someone fixed something for them for free
While this will be no way inclusive, you will have hard time getting reasonable compensation for your work after dealing with such customers, so send them elsewhere. Usually these customers are driving top end older models (often luxury editions) with a lot of cheap aftermarket parts (Valucraft brake pads on Lexus vehicle, for example)
Repairs:
Please take to consideration that:
• Some cars do not have lifting points for a floor jack and require shop lift to be working on (especially Chrysler and BMW vehicles)
• Many repair procedures outlined in factory manuals are not accurate or require additional preparation steps (this is why I suggest practicing this repair before head in a wrecking yard if possible)
• Remember about hidden dangers (attempted unsuccessful repair done previously, such as partially removed stuck spark plugs or lug nuts); notify customer that you are seeing the problem; if customer denies, refuse the repair
• The procedure may change depending upon the access to the repair site (from “under hood” or under car
Parts:
Parts appearance and fit and function may be deceiving! Therefore:
• No aftermarket parts for German imports! You will spend significant amount of time fitting parts together due to minor difference (hole misalignment or hose fitting diameter)
• If possible, get aftermarket parts form professional supply warehouse
• Parts purchased on line may have expired shelf life or being a “copy “of a genuine part
• If planning to use genuine part ask your customer to purchase it for you (tell “It’s for warranty purpose") and check the manufacturing date on the part.
• Used parts from wrecking yard is a good choice for accidentally damaged or non-wear parts or for the car running on its last legs
Emergency repair of the older car should be done as cheap as possible as a temporary solution (always inform your customer)

Hopefully these basic rules will keep you from annoyance and let you enjoy your hobby
 
  #2  
Old 11-02-2017, 06:18 PM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Portland Or
Posts: 1,367
Good comments. Mine in red.

Originally Posted by doctor J View Post
DIY weekend mechanic: opportunities and challenges.
As a former junior automotive repair tech (with ASE certificate in electrical/electronic repair) who is no longer fixes cars for a living, I joined a group of advance level DIY/ shade tree/weekend “mechanics” who are performing repairs on their own cars and occasionally helping their relatives, friends, co-workers and neighbors with car repairs. In this article I would like to cover some issues which I’ve experienced in this field, so it will help others who are doing the same.

Customers:
Be aware of customers who are:
• Complaining about being ripped off by repair service stations in general , not by particular shop/technician Yep Big red flag.
• Repeatedly using the phrase “I’ll pay you!”
• Making claims that someone fixed something for them for free
While this will be no way inclusive, you will have hard time getting reasonable compensation for your work after dealing with such customers, so send them elsewhere. Usually these customers are driving top end older models (often luxury editions) with a lot of cheap aftermarket parts (Valucraft brake pads on Lexus vehicle, for example) Written quotes are good for both sides, never leave home without one.

Repairs:
Please take to consideration that:
• Some cars do not have lifting points for a floor jack and require shop lift to be working on (especially Chrysler and BMW vehicles) I've owned several BMWS, they all have 4 perimeter lift points for jacks, if you want to be nice use jack pads :) they sell ones that lock in to the cars lift pads and allow you to jack them up easily.
• Many repair procedures outlined in factory manuals are not accurate or require additional preparation steps (this is why I suggest practicing this repair before head in a wrecking yard if possible) Watch out for 1 year wonders that deviate from the model the manual was distilled from.
• Remember about hidden dangers (attempted unsuccessful repair done previously, such as partially removed stuck spark plugs or lug nuts); notify customer that you are seeing the problem; if customer denies, refuse the repair. The old adage,,, 75 bucks an hour is my labor rate, 100 if you or someone else has dinked with it..
• The procedure may change depending upon the access to the repair site (from “under hood” or under car

Parts:
Parts appearance and fit and function may be deceiving! Therefore:
• No aftermarket parts for German imports! You will spend significant amount of time fitting parts together due to minor difference (hole misalignment or hose fitting diameter) YES!!!
• If possible, get aftermarket parts form professional supply warehouse Open an account with a professional supplier well worth the small service fee per year while your new they will do a cash account usually that gets you the jobber rate and builds up your business rating with them. .
• Parts purchased on line may have expired shelf life or being a “copy “of a genuine part About 90% of the parts in the system come from Motorstates/or a couple other houses. The online guys just drop ship from them.
• If planning to use genuine part ask your customer to purchase it for you (tell “It’s for warranty purpose") and check the manufacturing date on the part. If your in business a lot of your profit comes from parts..Just sayin.. :D
• Used parts from wrecking yard is a good choice for accidentally damaged or non-wear parts or for the car running on its last legs
Emergency repair of the older car should be done as cheap as possible as a temporary solution (always inform your customer) I personally would stay away from rescue jobs for folks that cant afford to maintain the car, it always seems to go wrong we used to call them boomarang cars.

Hopefully these basic rules will keep you from annoyance and let you enjoy your hobby
 
  #3  
Old 11-03-2017, 12:26 PM
kenchan's Avatar
Official Fit Blogger of FitFreak
5 Year Member
iTrader: (4)
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: OG Club
Posts: 20,283
work at subaru?
 
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
doctor J
Other Car Related Discussions
2
02-20-2017 08:22 PM
Karmafit
Fit DIY: Repair & Maintenance
1
01-10-2017 05:34 PM
justdriving
1st Generation (GD 01-08)
13
09-24-2016 12:32 PM
Best Deception
3rd Generation (2015+)
9
08-31-2016 03:47 PM


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: DIY weekend mechanic: some rules


Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.