By the time that the owner brought the vehicle to the shop, the chatter while on a turn was pretty consistent, especially when hot. The Subaru was a 2004 Forester AWD equipped with a 2.5L non-turbo engine and four-speed automatic transmission. The vehicle had 97,000 miles on it and was in great condition. The engine ran well and the transmission functioned fairly well considering the mileage, except of course for the chatter. It didn’t appear that anything was ever done to the transmission.
Anthony Nuzzo, the owner of Accord Transmission & Differential, originally gave us a call on a 2003 Saab 9-3 2.0L Turbo, using the AW50-40LE transmission that was experiencing a harsh engagement into reverse when hot. His tech Pete Morreale was out on vacation so Anthony was handling the diagnostics, making him quite a busy man.
If you are in the repair business you issue warrantees for the work you perform, and you also receive warrantees for the products you buy to perform your work. Warranty is defined in the dictionary as “a written guarantee of the integrity of a product and of the maker’s responsibility for the repair or replacement of defective parts.” Simple enough as a description, but in the real world you are governed by federal, state and local laws that have been written by nameless, faceless bureaucrats. These laws are the basis for all litigation that can arise from any set of circumstances.
A while back I had a truck that came into our shop for a noise concern. The customer stated that he heard a loud clunk or repeated popping noise when he would accelerate with the truck in automatic 4×4 mode, as well as in 4×4 high and 4×4 low. He also stated that he didn’t notice the noise under light acceleration in these modes, and that the noise was not present when he was in 2WD under any type of acceleration. The truck was a 2009 K1500 Silverado with a little over 83,000 miles on it. Upon reading the description, it sure seemed like I had a transfer case problem to look into.
By definition: Management is the skill of being able to plan, lead, communicate, control, and execute by using a group of people to successfully achieve the objectives of the company or organization. A manager is the person who guides, coaches, and controls another person or group of people focused on common goals or outcomes.
The car was a 2008 Chrysler Sebring with a 2.4-liter engine. She complained that there were times when she stepped on the gas and the car would just idle along. Lately, she told me, the idling had been accompanied by a blinking icon showing two bars and a lightning bolt between them. She said that when the car wouldn’t accelerate, she could turn it off, restart it, and it would be OK for an undetermined amount of time.
In the world of vehicle repair, independent shops also are competing at a disadvantage. In this case, the odds are stacked not in favor of a blackjack dealer, but rather a new-car dealer. Franchised new-car dealerships have ready access to proprietary technical information, equipment and capabilities that are not available to the aftermarket. However, unlike casino games, fixing cars is much more important than a bit of entertainment; it is the lifeblood for many thousands of people, and affects millions of drivers.
Explains RPM founder Rodney Massengale, “We’ve been in this facility for about 5 years. The building originally housed a theater for live performances. It had a wooden stage and theater seats. We worked on renovations, like putting in overhead doors and all, for about six months and then moved in. It seemed like a lot of space at the time, but we’re out of room again. Beyond what’s here we have storage facilities – all of them full – including a building outside that was originally supposed to be single-purposed for a chassis dyno. Now we use if for storage too.”
“We are constantly adapting or adopting procedures that will improve our productivity, hold the line on cost, and by application of those procedures we increase the overall value to the customer.”
Shooting down ideas and projects won’t make you popular, but it’s a necessary evil. As one of the guardians for how we do things and who we are, I’ve learned that there’s a right way and a wrong way for keeping on track.