You'd be singing a totally different tune if YOU were the mechanic getting screamed at. We are accused of selling you unneeded parts, then when we try to save you a few bucks, it always comes back to bite us. Most get even angrier when they have to put off their golf game to bring the car back a second time. Why do you hold us to much higher standards than you do your doctor? We have to relearn new systems and repair procedures for hundreds of models at least every year, and sometimes twice per year. Doctors only have to learn two models in varying sizes for their entire careers.
YOU are the one who bought a car with all kinds of computers and technology that were never needed before. It's not my fault that the vibration, moisture, salt, and dirt are the worst possible environment for electronics to live in, and you insist on your new car having all that ridiculous entertainment and toys. It's a miracle the dozens of computer modules and electrical connectors hold up as well as they do.
We know from experience what is likely to cause more problems for you in the future when we recommend parts or services that you think aren't needed. In my extended community of well over 100,000 people, we have dozens of new-car dealers, and about 70 independent repair shops. Of all of them, only the Chevy dealer is a well-known crook. People who insist on owning a Chevy drive 15 or 30 miles to a different dealer. We also used to have one independent shop owner who was a rip-off artist. He is out-of-business now because he ran out of customers. Of all the rest of the shops, I got to know them from years of being an Automotive instructor at my community college. I have never heard a former student say they heard a boss or coworker say, "how can we rip someone off today?" What is really on our mind is "how can we avoid a lawsuit today?" And I'm not referring to simple disagreements over charges. I'm referring to the things car owners do to their cars that can make US a party to a lawsuit we had nothing to with. You know doctors order more tests than necessary to cover their butts. We have to weigh the impact on your wallet against the chance your car will be coming back on a tow truck in a few months.
I was also a tv / vcr repairman for over 35 years. One shop owner was so uncommonly honest and reputable that he kept three people employed in a tiny community of 2,000 people. I also helped out a few times for a guy in my city who had all kinds of tricks to rip people off. I learned a lot to look out for and warn people about. Some people thought he was so helpful and honest because he put on a good show, but he too ran out of customers thanks to word-of-mouth advertising.
So you see, you're accusing an entire industry based on a very limited set of experiences. Every profession has its people who ruin the reputation for their entire industry. You would have a very different opinion if you had worked for the very nice family-owned Chrysler dealership I worked at. Every week we had grateful customers stop in to bring us donuts and cookies. If you don't leave your repair shop with the same gratitude, look at the attitude you walked in with. I have to wonder why some of the service writers behind the desk even bother to show up each morning. We didn't design the car. We didn't build the car. I didn't sell you the car, and I didn't break the car, yet it's me you're angry with.
By the way, my daily driver is a rusty trusty '88 Dodge Grand Caravan with only a single Engine Computer. I have all the same power windows, power locks, power mirrors, rear heater and AC, rear wiper, radio, and automatic transmission, and NONE of those needs a computer. I'll buy another new car when I can replace parts on it that don't have to be programmed by the dealer. We don't like the over-use of unneeded technology either. We often reminisce about the older cars, and how wonderful it would be if we could repair those models with the knowledge we have today. That would equate to a retired heart surgeon being asked to remove splinters.
"DRL" is "daytime running lamps". That's another "feature" the engineers decided we must have, for the people too stupid or lazy to turn on a light switch themselves.
Wednesday, April 5th, 2017 AT 6:48 PM