We recently had a customer come into our shop with a 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee. He was very frustrated because he had taken his Jeep to a couple of repair shops as well as a local dealership but they hadn’t been able to correct the problem. The Jeep had a binding condition (described as “grinding” by the customer) in tight turns when it was cold.
In This Issue
GM 2ML70 Idle Bump
VW Eurovan Repair Gets Real
Allison 1000 Erratic Shifting/Lockup
Our industry has morphed into an extremely complex diagnostic and troubleshooting environment. The current design and operation of modern vehicles has become as technical as rocket science. The relationship between the systems that interact to make the vehicle function correctly has grown to a point where even a road test can be very time consuming. Is the problem in the transmission, transfer case or rear? Are there multiple problems that affect inter connected systems or is the problem outside the transmission? To get a proper solution to a complex problem, we need to use a diagnostic routine that follows a set of protocols in a proper order that are structured to be consistent, every time without variation. Working from a consistent structure will prepare you for success without multiple phone calls and wasted time.
As much as we get used to what we are doing on a daily basis, sometimes the way we do it needs to change as conditions around us do or when we realize that what we’ve been doing just doesn’t get the job done anymore.
Marketing is one area in which this might hold true above all others. It’s just too easy to fall into the trap that “the way we’re doing it must be alright because it’s the way we’ve always done it.” Look around you. Nothing is the way it used to be–especially not the way you receive or convey information–and isn’t that what marketing and advertising are all about? Your message may not have changed very much because you still want to offer your excellent services to the public, but the way you deliver the message certainly has, and the types of offerings you put out need to make sense to your potential customers. Customers have to see your offer and immediately say to themselves, “I need that.”–not “I want it”, but “I need it.”
A customer with a 2010 Ford Fusion was experiencing erratic harsh upshifts into 5th and sometimes 6th gear. The vehicle was equipped with a 3.0L engine, 6F35 transmission and had 58,000 miles on it. There were no trouble codes; however, the problem was getting progressively worse. The other gear ranges seemed okay and the fluid was in fairly good condition.
Bearing noises can be difficult to track down even in familiar transmissions which we work on daily. The advantage of the familiar is that we know how to take these units apart and have a general idea of power flow and overall operation–plus, we typically have plenty of extra pieces on the shelf should we need them. Bearing noises in the CVT transmission are much harder to deal with, because we’re not as familiar with it as the units rolling in the door on a daily basis and spare CVT pieces are pretty much non-existent. This has created some minor paranoia when it comes to taking on a CVT repair. Hopefully this article will dispel a bit of the apprehension regarding these units and prove that–with the right tools and a little know-how–CVTs can be repaired and become decent money makers for a shop.
In a service and repair world filled with CAN/BUS systems, scan tool diagnoses and iATN archives, I found a recent repair interesting due to its lack of these technical needs.
My customer arrived with a 1971 Chevy C10 long-bed pickup truck and a concern that his dash lights did not function. I was excited to accept this repair because I hadn’t had my hands on one of these in quite a while! Besides, how hard could it be to find out why his dash lights weren’t working?
Transmission shop owners throw away thousands of dollars every year on advertising that does not work. Why ? I have been a shop owner and visited with a lot of transmission shop owners over the years and I am convinced that they just don’t have time (or haven’t taken the time) to figure out exactly how they should be spending their marketing dollars.
Every time you answer the phone, you have an opportunity and a choice.
The opportunity: Somebody is calling you because they need or want something.
The choice: You can give them information or you can give them a reason to buy from you.
Before you answer that next call, think “What’s my goal?” Hint: If your goal is to give them prompt, courteous information, you’re only a fraction of the way there.