The quality of mechanics that work on your vehicles and the quality of their work is a crapshoot now days.

Joined
May 7, 2004
Messages
12,210
Location
Nokesville, VA
They already are, though.....the garage rate is usually over $200/hr.

That garage rate varies depending on the area, just as the cost of living does. No garage around here charges anywhere near $200 an hour, but you can still buy a single-family home for under $500k here.....
 
Joined
Aug 3, 2017
Messages
2,012
Location
MN
First, as a mechanic, let me apologize for all of us regarding the lug nuts. That's a sticking point of mine. However, I can't believe you willingly allowed a shop to service your vehicle knowing full well they didn't have the proper equipment. That's like calling a plumber knowing you'll have to provide him with the drain snake...

A little background: I've worked for the same family-owned indy for 10+ years. My sister and I went to school with the owner's kids, his wife was my lunch lady growing up, etc. He recently retired, and his nephew (who's my age) took over the business. Nothing changed, it's business as usual.

As others have said, mine is an industry which demands a large amount of sacrifice in return for marginal compensation and a lifetime of physical damage. I'm 33 and I've been wrenching in some capacity since I was 11ish. I went to school, I slaved along making $10-$11 an hour, doing what I had to because I loved the work. All this while paying off student loans AND living on my own. It's taken years of dedication and cost tens of thousands of dollars to get where I am today.

Personally, I've long accepted all the "cons" of my career. I love what I do, and it often requires sacrifice. That being said, there's a darker issue which I've always felt is under appreciated in regard to those in my field: lack of recognition. As a mechanic, I've more or less accepted the fact that I'm viewed more or less as a lawyer with a wrench. Always out to screw someone, while over charging for the privilege. I've always taken that hard and have made it a point to do whatever I can to change that stigma.

Continuing on the recognition theme: the pandemic really opened my eyes as to how my field is viewed by the general public. All the talk of essential workers, yet not once were mechanics mentioned. How would all those first responders, nurses, doctors, etc. been able to perform their duties if not for the people that kept them moving?
 

BlueOvalFitter

Site Donor 2022
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
11,620
Location
Cajun Country, La.
There's an indy shop in town that has an ASE owner and an ASE mechanic, only. When my cousin or son can't work on my truck, I take it to the indy shop. They are the BEST around. ;)
 
Joined
Jul 19, 2017
Messages
1,633
Location
Southwest CA, USA
F150 supercrew, I just had my fuel pump replaced because I didn’t feel like dropping the tank. They changed the filter for free but installed it backwards 🤦‍♂️. Can’t really complain but come on. They made a point of how bad the old one was, that’s why I crawled under to check.
 
Joined
Jan 10, 2017
Messages
748
Location
Michigan
Like every other aspect of society they arent all gems. There isnt a profession or industry anywhere that doesnt have some folks phoning it in.
The problem is humans, they are sketchy and unreliable, the history books are full of their failures.
 
Joined
Apr 18, 2013
Messages
1,140
Location
Kevil,Ky
There is a general feeling of "Can't See It From My House" anymore when you get someone to do work for you. I still try to do all my vehicle work but I am now 75 and had hernia surgery 3 times already. Lifting tires is not easy for me and I am going to have to get a device to help with that. Even changing a battery requires help and my 5 gallon gas cans can only be filled to half for me anymore. I used to wrestle 200lb xray tubes. Can't do that anymore. In our day there were schools that had a course in "Auto Shop". That was a great learning experience.
 
Joined
May 7, 2020
Messages
443
Location
Ames, IA
Am I the only one willing to admit to doing it as well to my own car? I drove 150 miles before feeling a vibration and discovering I had not tourqued the lug nuts after snugging them up.

We all have bad days. Some more than others!!!
 
Joined
Aug 28, 2012
Messages
610
Location
NC
First, as a mechanic, let me apologize for all of us regarding the lug nuts. That's a sticking point of mine. However, I can't believe you willingly allowed a shop to service your vehicle knowing full well they didn't have the proper equipment. That's like calling a plumber knowing you'll have to provide him with the drain snake...

A little background: I've worked for the same family-owned indy for 10+ years. My sister and I went to school with the owner's kids, his wife was my lunch lady growing up, etc. He recently retired, and his nephew (who's my age) took over the business. Nothing changed, it's business as usual.

As others have said, mine is an industry which demands a large amount of sacrifice in return for marginal compensation and a lifetime of physical damage. I'm 33 and I've been wrenching in some capacity since I was 11ish. I went to school, I slaved along making $10-$11 an hour, doing what I had to because I loved the work. All this while paying off student loans AND living on my own. It's taken years of dedication and cost tens of thousands of dollars to get where I am today.

Personally, I've long accepted all the "cons" of my career. I love what I do, and it often requires sacrifice. That being said, there's a darker issue which I've always felt is under appreciated in regard to those in my field: lack of recognition. As a mechanic, I've more or less accepted the fact that I'm viewed more or less as a lawyer with a wrench. Always out to screw someone, while over charging for the privilege. I've always taken that hard and have made it a point to do whatever I can to change that stigma.

Continuing on the recognition theme: the pandemic really opened my eyes as to how my field is viewed by the general public. All the talk of essential workers, yet not once were mechanics mentioned. How would all those first responders, nurses, doctors, etc. been able to perform their duties if not for the people that kept them moving?
Totally agree as the 'essential' B.S. has long played out. The healthcare system continues to be put on pedestals and usually end up complaining about their line of work, wanting higher pay, walking out, etc. IMBHO they kinda know what they're signing up for with that line of work anyway. One day it could be sipping coffee and eating donuts and the next day/week/months it can be catastrophic, so take the bad with all the good/easy days of the past.
 
Joined
Jan 24, 2013
Messages
1,134
Location
Upstate NY
Great mechanics, bad mechanics, and average mechanics. General reputation of all is that they constantly try and screw people, which is sad. Absolutely under appreciated by society because of our countries lack of technical skills and understanding.

I wrench on my vehicles and equipment, and I'm pretty decent. When someone is capable of performing a task that I cannot because of lack of technical knowledge I respect the hell out of them. If you work on one of my vehicles or equipment, you will get a handshake, a thank you, and my respect (and of course my money too!).

Nothing can frustrate me more than lacking the proper equipment to complete a task.
 
Joined
Aug 3, 2017
Messages
2,012
Location
MN
Ooooh ASE another company that prints certificates for money

I couldn't agree more. I'll be completely honest: the few ASE certs I have are, as far as I know, expired. I have no interest in re-certifying. My shop is a AAA "Top Shop", and as such all of it's technicians SHOULD be ASE certified. However, I see absolutely no reason why I need to prove my knowledge on a game show.

The way I see it, on any given repair I either know what I'm doing or I don't. If I do, great! I'll beat flat rate and make a profit. If I don't, I LEARN! This business requires us to learn ALL period THE period TIME period. I view ASE tests much the same as the SAT's or ACT's. It's nothing more than an arbitrary number meant to further classify the public.

Full disclosure: I was a HORRIBLE student growing up. Grade school, middle school, high school and finally trade school. Solid C- student AT BEST. When I took the ACT, I showed up 8 in the morning hung over and a little bit stoned. Not only did I score a 26, that score included the optional writing test. Now, is a 26 "genius" level? Not by a long shot. However, a 26 is in the 80th percentile, meaning this test "decided" that I was smart. I still recall opening my results and thinking "Wow.... these guys don't know SQUAT!"

Not only that, I don't actually hold a college degree. I never finished my gen-ed classes required. I was presented the opportunity to start my career at a shop and took it. Here I sit, 15 years on, making an amazing living for myself with NO DEGREE and BARELY an ASE "certification". Remind me again why one must possess an "education" to be successful? Ridiculous.
 
Joined
Jan 20, 2013
Messages
2,768
Location
Ontario, Canada
Continuing on the recognition theme: the pandemic really opened my eyes as to how my field is viewed by the general public. All the talk of essential workers, yet not once were mechanics mentioned. How would all those first responders, nurses, doctors, etc. been able to perform their duties if not for the people that kept them moving?
Absolutely! Additionally, all the resources that needed to now be delivered instead of being picked up. The ENTIRE transportation industry is so heavily relied on and under appreciated. During the pandemic, in my spare time, I was volunteering at a local shop to help get cars and trucks back on the road all while wearing a mask.
 
Joined
Feb 6, 2021
Messages
1,005
Location
Massachusetts
Am I the only one willing to admit to doing it as well to my own car? I drove 150 miles before feeling a vibration and discovering I had not tourqued the lug nuts after snugging them up.

We all have bad days. Some more than others!!!
This is why I always use a torque limiting extension on an impact prior to hand torquing wheels and never snug up lugnuts by hand, only thread them on just enough to keep the wheel from falling off so it very obvious it's not right if I happen to put the car down without tightening them.
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2015
Messages
7,706
Location
New England
Absolutely! Additionally, all the resources that needed to now be delivered instead of being picked up. The ENTIRE transportation industry is so heavily relied on and under appreciated. During the pandemic, in my spare time, I was volunteering at a local shop to help get cars and trucks back on the road all while wearing a mask.
Not degrading your role as mechanic however front line workers had direct exposure and difficult working conditions with really sick people.

Mechanics job by nature did not change except wearing a mask and some distancing in a job already with built in distancing.
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2004
Messages
12,542
Location
Cincinnati, OH, USA
This is why I always use a torque limiting extension on an impact prior to hand torquing wheels and never snug up lugnuts by hand, only thread them on just enough to keep the wheel from falling off so it very obvious it's not right if I happen to put the car down without tightening them.
Torque sticks-and there are very reasonably priced ones available at HF, they'll stop you from busting off studs with a too-powerful impact. Always followed up with a torque wrench! Most alloy wheels need to be retorqued at 50-60 miles/~100 KM anyway. And they can still loosen themselves occasionally.
 
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
715
Location
California
My Jaguar has free oil changes as part of the 5 year/60,000 mile warranty and you have to bring it in for the changes and inspection in order to keep the warranty valid.

So I took it in to the dealer yesterday for an oil & filter change. I had been warned on the Jaguar Forum to watch out for the dealers over filling the engine on an oil change. There is no dipstick on the car. The way you check the oil level is through a dashboard menu. Before I drove away I checked it and sure enough I got a warning message that the oil was over filled. I made the mechanic suck some oil out (oil changes are done with a fluid extractor through the fill hole on top of the engine) before I made the 50 mile drive home.

They use bulk oil from a 55 gallon drum so I suppose they don't have a very effective way of measuring exactly how much oil they are adding which is a procedural flaw. And without a conventional dipstick for a quick check, this is how mistakes happen.

This is also why I do my own maintenance on my vehicles. When I drained the factory fill I used a Mityvac which has graduations on the side of the canister and I replaced exactly the amount that was removed plus an extra 8 oz. to cover what was in the filter and did not get an over filled warning when I checked the level after I was finished.
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2010
Messages
4,626
Location
Northeast


Flakes! Flakes!
Flakes! Flakes!

They don't do no good
They never be workin'
When they oughta should
They waste your time
They're wastin' mine
California's got the most of them
Boy, they got a host of them
Swear t'God they got the most
At every business on the coast
Swear t'God they got the most
At every business on the coast
They got the Flakes

Flakes! Flakes!

They can't fix yer brakes
You ask 'em, "Where's my motor?"
"Well it was eaten by snakes..."
You can stab 'n' shoot 'n' spit
But they won't be fixin' it
They're lyin' an' lazy
They can be drivin' you crazy
Swear t'God they got the most
At every business on the coast
Swear t'God they got the most
At every business on the coast
(Take it away, Bob...)

I asked as nice as I could
If my job would
Somehow be finished by Friday
Well, the whole **** weekend
Came 'n' went, Frankie
(Wanna buy some mandies, Bob?)
'N'they didn't do nothin'
But they charged me double for Sunday
You know, no matter what you do
They gonna cheat 'n' rob you
Then they'll send you a bill
That'll get your senses reelin'
And if you do not pay
They got computer collectors
That'll get you so crazy
'Til your head'll go through th' ceilin'
Yes it will!

I'm a moron 'n' this is my wife
She's frosting a cake
With a paper knife
All what we got here's
American made
It's a little bit cheesey,
But it's nicely displayed
Well we don't get excited when it
Crumbles 'n' breaks
We just get on the phone
And call up some Flakes
They rush on over
'N' wreck it some more
'N' we are so dumb
They're linin' up at our door
Well, the toilet went crazy
Yesterday afternoon
The plumber he says
"Never flush a tampoon!"
This great information
Cost me half a week's pay
And the toilet blew up
Later on the next day ay-eee-ay
Blew up the next day WOO-OOO

We are millions 'n' millions
We're coming to get you
We're protected by unions
So don't let it upset you
Can't escape the conclusion
It's probably God's Will
That civilization
Will grind to a standstill
And we are the people
Who will make it all happen
While yer children is sleepin',
Yer puppy is crappin'
You might call us Flakes
Or something else you might coin us
But we know you're so greedy
That you'll probably join us
We're comin' to get you, we're comin' to get you
We're comin' to get you, we're comin' to get you
We're comin' to get you, we're comin' to get you
We're comin' to get you, we're comin' to get you
 
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