With the average age of vehicles on the road hitting an all-time high of 11.4 years, I continue to revise my path of diagnostic “what ifs?” The preponderance of age-related issues creates the need for me to consider alternative pathways to identify the root cause, especially when diagnosing intermittent concerns.
From the TASC Force we reprint a series of in-depth test instructions for checking the serviceability of valve bodies.
Unless you’re a one-man or -woman business, there are multiple people, touchpoints and experiences that connect your customers to your business. Any single mistake – which may not seem like that big of a deal at first – could just be the straw that breaks that customer’s back and sends that person running to your competition.
Negotiating price on a repair job you’ve already quoted is never a good idea. It will always leave you with a lower figure than what you started from. After all, you can never go up, only down. So if you had priced a job to make the least amount of profit you could live with (as many shops do) and the customer gets you to drop your price, you’ll have made nothing or maybe even lost money. As we know, it also sends the message that you’re easy to undercut. Customers put that in their memory banks and will use it against you whenever possible in the future, so it’s a bad trend to start.
One of the keys to being successful in any repair is to do a thorough root-cause failure analysis on every unit you work on. Many seemingly unexplainable failures occur due to problems that are outside of the area you are looking at. By now every tech should know that components outside of the unit can create a failure. Failures recurring inside the unit mean that the part or parts that failed were influenced by other parts that were missed during the teardown and inspection of the unit. These are expensive mistakes as a problem that comes back under warranty is on the shop and undermines your customer’s faith in the organization. The examples we will look at in this article will highlight the importance of a careful total vehicle inspection before providing the customer an estimate. Once the customer hears what they believe to be the final number, that number becomes carved in stone, and it’s almost impossible to overcome if there are additional parts or labor required.
One typical Tuesday a customer brought his 09G-equipped 2004 VW Beetle into our shop early in the morning. He stated that his 6 speed automatic transmission “… jerks on downshifts when warm, and the engine revs up on upshifts while driving on the highway. It also slams into gear on occasion.” Sounds like a fun one, so I prepared to duplicate, verify, and diagnose the issue.
Have you ever noticed that no matter how well you plan, there is always something that goes wrong and blows up your plan that you did not see coming? I hate that when it happens. Let me tell you what just happened to me. It might help me blow off a little steam. On Friday, I had my first shop-owner sign up for the new Wholesale Club at my website. He signed up both of his shops. I was pretty excited because this launch had been a long time coming.
In This Issue
BMW Driveline Noise Issue
6L80 Component Upgrades (It May Involve More Than One)
Filter Design Changes
Beyond the issues of handheld tester capabilities relating to mechatronics is the current status of dynos and valve-body testers. On a dyno, the complete transmission is tested using the required software, as it is with a valve-body tester. The VB tester, however, has the additional challenge of a base plate that the valve-body bolts to.