Mechanic won’t use oil I’ve chosen

Joined
Jan 10, 2017
Messages
654
Location
Michigan
While I think you got your money out of those air filters I will say that we had a group of E450's with the dreaded 6.0 that would trash a filter that bad in around 10k miles (with lots of idling)

I am sure the trucks are thanking you for the breath of fresh air.
 

wtd

Joined
Jun 25, 2002
Messages
3,005
Location
southwest Mo.
Quite the interesting thread. I would tell him he is going to maintain the vehicles in accordance with how your company wants them maintained. They are the company's vehicle's, and they own them and he should have no decision in that. He should be at least maintaining them according to the manufacturer's recommendations under the use they are used in.

Keeping maintenance records is very important and he should start doing that immediately. I personally wouldn't put up with half of the stuff this guy seems to do but I get that you need him at the moment. It's definitely a hard spot to be in.
 
Joined
Jan 24, 2013
Messages
1,000
Location
Upstate NY
Yeah, that guy needs a young kid to follow him around. Maybe the son or nephew of one of the administrative staff? Put that kid in with him for a week. When he complains tell him you'll fire the kid, if he can adhere to your requests. (make sure the kid knows his job here). Fire kid, motivate old shop bastard. He will feel "empowered and important". Have everyone involved keep their **** mouths shut!!!

I've seen something like this done at a tent factory, and it worked. Eventually the cat came out of the bag, and it was the funniest **** thing I'd ever heard of!
 
Joined
Mar 31, 2019
Messages
27
Location
South Dakota
Sounds like you have a bigger problem than what oil to use. Time to start documenting. Pick your battles and make sure you are being reasonable.

Make your requirements clear - be specific, ideally in writing. [Can the employee read? Illiteracy is said to be very common.] If/When your requirements are not met, meet with the employee and note the problems. After a few of these meetings, provide a verbal warning that things have to change or there will be consequences (keep a record of the date and content), then a written warning including a reminder of the verbal warning and the caution that there will be further consequences unless things improve - up to and including loss of job, then (possibly) days off without pay, and finally termination.

An important rule of thumb is that an employee should never be surprised that they're being fired. Most people will be horrified and smarten up with a verbal warning. If they don't understand that a written warning is serious (and I've seen it) they're pretty dense.

Assuming the mechanic has enough time to do the work, you should be able to reasonably expect record keeping for all vehicles under his care, oil and filters changed at the manufacturers/oil monitor's recommended interval, air filters changed at reasonable intervals, periodic safety checks, etc. I would either provide him the oil and other parts or specify his budget ($2.50/quart or whatever is reasonable at that location).

Give positive feedback too. Employee management is not just pointing out negatives. If he's doing a good job in some area say so.

If you do your job things will improve. Either the work will become satisfactory (probably never great, but at least satisfactory), or he'll quit or be fired.

In my experience other employees will be annoyed that "nothing is ever done about XXX" but when you do something about it, they'll be shocked. But over time employees will notice that the problem areas are getting cleaned up and morale will actually improve. Been there, done that.
This is the correct answer! I am a maintenance supervisor for 18 mechanics in an industrial manufacturing plant and have managed production lines with as many as 60 direct reports at one point. I agree with everything here especially documentation. If a conversation isn't documented, it didn't happen.

Your job has to be to provide your employees the tools and resources to be successful. If they choose not to use those tools, you need to follow a structured corrective action plan with them. If they're successful, you're successful.
 
Joined
Jul 31, 2010
Messages
350
Location
Innisfil, Ontario, Canada
I’m a fleet manager for a delivery company. Recently we expanded into another state and in this purchase came a mechanic and his apprentice.
He is a old school kind of guy, he uses what he’s been using forever, and it is not working. The equipment that came with this purchase is in rough shape.
A Ford V-10 with 85k on it is sludged up For example.
He has been buying the oil as needed at the most expensive place around. The oil he’s been buying is Mag1 which is a Warren Distributing dino oil and he’s paying $6/qt.
For the diesels he’s using Rotella or Delvac.
He is way over paying for the oil.

So I brought him a syn blend 15w-40 diesel oil and told him to use it in everything, he refuses to use it in the gas engines because, according to him, it will mess up the cam phasers and hydraulic timing chain tensioners.
He also claims it will sludge up the engines and that “they are rated for 5w-20 for a reason“

Now I’ve been using this oil in my gasoline engines for almost a year with zero problems. I have one truck closing in on 50k quickly and I am going to do a oil sample at that oil change.
The very first oil change there was oil consumption. 1 qt in 10k on the factory fill.
Now there is zero oil consumption. In the hottest dog days of summer the trucks used less than a quart in 10k.

The cam phasers are electronic.
I have zero timing/run issues. MPG is good for what we do (~8mpg)

Do I need to put my foot down and say use this or else?
Do I need to switch motor oil?

Also he does not go by miles for oil changes, he goes by “I have a system”

Any help would be appreciated.
You have no clue what you are talking about, he is correct. That oil is too thick for the cam phasers, it will harm the engine. Many diesel oils have higher ZDDP content, this will harm catalytic converters.

 
Joined
Jun 15, 2003
Messages
37,682
Location
ME
OMG just found this thread.

You need to reinvent this situation from the ground up.

The building is convenient. Your drivers are already familiar with its layout etc. Lease it to a good mechanic for a cash price with a caveat that he gets to/ must do 90%+ of your work. I'd go about 20% cheaper than retail on rent. Then pay this mechanic for services rendered. He'd be a fool to refuse a cash cow like consistent fleet work.

Get some flat rate estimating/ paying/ parts tracking software. There are turnkey solutions out there. Any work done gets a job order. This job order triggers oil, filters, whatever. They are purchased through an approved vendor and the purchases are reconciled by management against the JO. Mechanic makes his flat rate hours off the software. Software tracks vehicles and maintenance by VIN or car number.

Existing mechanic doesn't sound bad, just misguided and poorly managed. He might know the filters are coming out black but never had guidance/ approval to change them on any sort of schedule. Work with him to draw up a revised maint. schedule if there are environmental reasons to deviate from factory recommendations.

Don't fire your existing mechanic until you have a new one lined up and broken in. Don't let great get in the way of good.
 

OVERKILL

$100 Site Donor 2021
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
50,161
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Ontario, Canada
You have no clue what you are talking about, he is correct. That oil is too thick for the cam phasers, it will harm the engine. Many diesel oils have higher ZDDP content, this will harm catalytic converters.



I doubt it would harm the phasers, temperature has a far greater effect on viscosity than the grade on the bottle. It could however result in the system working sub-optimally depending on how it functions.

On the HDEO's having higher levels of ZDDP, they've been reduced in recent years, but even then, an engine would have to be quite an oil burner for this to become an issue.
 
Joined
May 7, 2007
Messages
359
Location
Oregon from England
The phasers in that engine are pressure based and not the greatest design. The next gen engines moved to a non-oil pressure based mechanism from Borg Warner.
 
Joined
Mar 28, 2017
Messages
210
Location
Alameda, Ca.
I’m a fleet manager for a delivery company. Recently we expanded into another state and in this purchase came a mechanic and his apprentice.
He is a old school kind of guy, he uses what he’s been using forever, and it is not working. The equipment that came with this purchase is in rough shape.
A Ford V-10 with 85k on it is sludged up For example.
He has been buying the oil as needed at the most expensive place around. The oil he’s been buying is Mag1 which is a Warren Distributing dino oil and he’s paying $6/qt.
For the diesels he’s using Rotella or Delvac.
He is way over paying for the oil.

So I brought him a syn blend 15w-40 diesel oil and told him to use it in everything, he refuses to use it in the gas engines because, according to him, it will mess up the cam phasers and hydraulic timing chain tensioners.
He also claims it will sludge up the engines and that “they are rated for 5w-20 for a reason“

Now I’ve been using this oil in my gasoline engines for almost a year with zero problems. I have one truck closing in on 50k quickly and I am going to do a oil sample at that oil change.
The very first oil change there was oil consumption. 1 qt in 10k on the factory fill.
Now there is zero oil consumption. In the hottest dog days of summer the trucks used less than a quart in 10k.

The cam phasers are electronic.
I have zero timing/run issues. MPG is good for what we do (~8mpg)

Do I need to put my foot down and say use this or else?
Do I need to switch motor oil?

Also he does not go by miles for oil changes, he goes by “I have a system”

Any help would be appreciated.
Your wrong, he's right. Stop being an Ego Maniac. Also, if the valve timing is designed for 5w20, why would you want 15w40 diesel oil?

You sound like a power hungry fool.
 
Joined
May 30, 2010
Messages
14,663
Location
North Carolina
Your wrong, he's right. Stop being an Ego Maniac. Also, if the valve timing is designed for 5w20, why would you want 15w40 diesel oil?

You sound like a power hungry fool.
There is more in the thread than oil weight. Cameras not installed as instructed, filters not changed, etc.

Its a truck, it will run fine on the 15w40. Granted in Michigan i would run a 0w or 5w 40, but i don't run a 20wt in anything.
 
Joined
Jan 24, 2013
Messages
1,000
Location
Upstate NY
Your wrong, he's right. Stop being an Ego Maniac. Also, if the valve timing is designed for 5w20, why would you want 15w40 diesel oil?

You sound like a power hungry fool.
In this case, the person who pays the bills make the decisions. Mechanic should voice his opinion, maybe have them sign a piece of paper stating its against his advice, and then do it.
 

SammyChevelleTypeS3

$60 site donor 2022
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Oct 7, 2021
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1,240
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South East USA
" I can’t even get him to write down when he does what."

Strike 3, your out.

Documentation is a cornerstone of any real maintenance program.
I had a boss who did not have a clue what my job was. He asked our small (4) man crew to each write down what we did in our 10 day shift. The other guys were mad as hell. I was happy to do that. When he reviewed it his mouth fell open and he was shocked at what I did all day. He ended up providing me with a helper. Those other guys got none. One was so angry at the thought he transfered to another crew! LOL Nothing wrong with a Supervisor needing to know his men's responsibilities. My best Foreman , if he saw me over loaded would grab tools and jump right in. I would look over and he would be on the other side of the machine helping me. Great foreman who left me (retired) way too soon.
 
Joined
Oct 23, 2005
Messages
7,969
Location
North America
WillB, OVERKILL and spasm3 are right for several reasons including these:

1) The million mile Ford van, with the 5.4L V8 specified for 5w-20, used Schaeffer 15w-40 its entire life. There's a Youtube video on the teardown.

2) Overseas, vehicles are specified for up to 20w-50, and they're the same vehicles that here in the US that are specified for 0w-20.


CB22, I don't care how many posts you have as there can be a lot of experience with zero posts...so apologies HankHill but you're a little out of line.

But CB you are even further out of line throwing insults. Don't be a dick.
 
Joined
May 7, 2007
Messages
359
Location
Oregon from England
It's clear that some of the posters from the last couple of days have not read all the replies here.

Also iirc, it was mentioned that these engines didn't not have cam phasing on their specific model options.
 
Joined
Dec 24, 2013
Messages
137
Location
Dingmans Ferry, PA
I’m a fleet manager for a delivery company. Recently we expanded into another state and in this purchase came a mechanic and his apprentice.
He is a old school kind of guy, he uses what he’s been using forever, and it is not working. The equipment that came with this purchase is in rough shape.
A Ford V-10 with 85k on it is sludged up For example.
He has been buying the oil as needed at the most expensive place around. The oil he’s been buying is Mag1 which is a Warren Distributing dino oil and he’s paying $6/qt.
For the diesels he’s using Rotella or Delvac.
He is way over paying for the oil.

So I brought him a syn blend 15w-40 diesel oil and told him to use it in everything, he refuses to use it in the gas engines because, according to him, it will mess up the cam phasers and hydraulic timing chain tensioners.
He also claims it will sludge up the engines and that “they are rated for 5w-20 for a reason“

Now I’ve been using this oil in my gasoline engines for almost a year with zero problems. I have one truck closing in on 50k quickly and I am going to do a oil sample at that oil change.
The very first oil change there was oil consumption. 1 qt in 10k on the factory fill.
Now there is zero oil consumption. In the hottest dog days of summer the trucks used less than a quart in 10k.

The cam phasers are electronic.
I have zero timing/run issues. MPG is good for what we do (~8mpg)

Do I need to put my foot down and say use this or else?
Do I need to switch motor oil?

Also he does not go by miles for oil changes, he goes by “I have a system”

Any help would be appreciated.
Sounds like your company needs another fleet manager.
;)
Seriously, though - do an evaluation on every vehicle and implement a basic documentation requirement for all fleet vehicles maintained by this guy immediately. Failure to do so is YOUR failure, not his.

Mike B
 
Joined
Mar 28, 2017
Messages
210
Location
Alameda, Ca.
14 posts and you're busting dudes balls?
Post count means nothing, funny how the most ignorant folk bring up post count.

FYI, I've had 4 accounts on this forum. But I travel for years at a time, and forget/lose passwords.

My first account was in 2005 with a bit over 1k post.
 
Joined
Dec 15, 2018
Messages
8
Location
Clearwater Florida
I can't believe that the mechanic was not fired the first month. Companies can ALWAYS fire an employee who doesn't do as he is told and refuses to get on board with the new management. Fire him NOW! My gosh, you have been put through the wringer all because he wasn't fired. I will come and fire him for you. I have always worked at jobs where they would fire you pretty quick if you did HALF of with this jerk has done. FIRE HIM NOW! Crap, I want to fire him myself. What a real piece of crap employee.
 
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