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Thread: What every car buyer or owner needs to know about getting service work done Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
09-20-2013 09:04 PM
iminhell bump
12-16-2011 01:52 AM
st falcon Great post, so often the driving public only gets to see the service bay door, and then a bill at the end of it all (or a warranty receipt i guess) Well written too. BUT, there are now 80 mph speed limits on interstates in rural TX lol! :)
11-16-2011 12:51 PM
Grinder
Quote:
Originally Posted by turborich View Post
I will agree with this overall. However in my experience I can out perform just about anyone of these so called mechanics that I have run across. It's not that they don't know what they are doing, it's simply that they take little or no pride in their workmanship. This is the biggest issue for me. A vehicle should be returned to the customer in the same condition (except for the repair) I'm just tired of seeing scratches, grease on the interior, bolts not properly torqued (which happens all of the time) and so on.

Sure, there are guys that can diagnose & repair a vehicle so fast it's unreal but at the same time they mess a bunch of other stuff up! This is why customers are upset & bad mouth them. Perhaps this happens more often in the region that I live in? There have been several reports on the local news about these mechanics and shops who rip folks off left & right.
Shocking. There certainly can't be any shady business going on in...........wait for it.....................waiiiit for it......................LAS VEGAS
11-16-2011 12:45 PM
coldbear My service writer at the nearest Ford dealership is a lady that knows more about the current autos than any men. She's 50 yrs. young and has been in the buisness for 30 yrs. She has saved me hundreds of dollars on parts that were not needed. Also the labor for installations. This is the reason I prefer this dealership because of their honesty. Buy most everything through thir parts dept. too.
11-15-2011 09:20 AM
turborich I will agree with this overall. However in my experience I can out perform just about anyone of these so called mechanics that I have run across. It's not that they don't know what they are doing, it's simply that they take little or no pride in their workmanship. This is the biggest issue for me. A vehicle should be returned to the customer in the same condition (except for the repair) I'm just tired of seeing scratches, grease on the interior, bolts not properly torqued (which happens all of the time) and so on.

Sure, there are guys that can diagnose & repair a vehicle so fast it's unreal but at the same time they mess a bunch of other stuff up! This is why customers are upset & bad mouth them. Perhaps this happens more often in the region that I live in? There have been several reports on the local news about these mechanics and shops who rip folks off left & right.
11-15-2011 09:01 AM
Grinder
Quote:
Originally Posted by turborich View Post
Problem is that *many* repair shops & techs have absolutely no pride in their workmanship! It's all about getting it in, getting it out & seeing the $$$.

I have always done my own repairs, I am good at what I do because I do things right. I don't rig things up or make questionable repairs.

There has been a couple of times when I had a few extra bucks in my pocket & just didn't want to mess with it myself. WHAT A MISTAKE! Each time I had to fix their mistakes or damage. I'll go further & say that even if you're a tech at a dealership that doesn't mean you are any better than the guy at the jiffy lube. There are great techs and there are crappy ones, where you work has no outcome IMO. It all comes down to the individuals ethics & honesty.

There can be a tech with 20 certifications hanging on the wall, He could be great at what he does or just book smart but clueless in actual hands on work. It happens!

I worked at a auto accessory store as a installer/mechanic. They just wanted to get the customers in & out without any quality. I refused to do this & the customers always thanked me for being honest & doing things correctly. For me it's hard to sleep at night knowing that you are screwing somebody over.

There is nothing wrong with a customer expecting a job well done. They paid big money for their vehicle & I don't blame them one bit. Shouldn't matter if it's a new 60,000 truck or a 10 year old vehicle that's worth $3,000, The same quality of workmanship should be given to both.
I'll agree that your employment by a dealer does not guarantee you take pride in your work... but there is certainly more general competency in a dealership technician than a lube tech at an oil change chain. Sure, dealers have low skilled employees, but guess what? They generally don't do maintenance or repair work. They do oil changes, just like the low skilled workers at Jiffy Lube.

I'm not against people working on their own cars. But in my years I've seen a very consistent trend of folks that *THINK* they know how to work on cars but really don't. It's an American male thing perhaps. But there is absolutely no way one can make a blanket statement and say "you are better off doing your own work" or "there is no difference in the competency or quality of dealer work versus Pep Boys". Frankly, if I were the dictator of the People's Republic of America I'd require a certification to get your licence (display ability to change tire on the side of the road, check/add all fluids and regain control in a low traction scenario) and a similar certification to perform any light repairs.

Nothing makes me more comfortable than to know the yahoo next to me who doesn't know how a turn signal works did his own brake job. It probably took him 6 hours and a Haynes manual to do it....god knows what he didn't do properly.... but our lives now depend on his mechanical prowess. Especially considering how willing that same guy would be to sue if he paid a shop to do his brakes and they ever failed...

I may be able to grill a steak but I'm certainly not a chef.
11-14-2011 12:19 AM
turborich Problem is that *many* repair shops & techs have absolutely no pride in their workmanship! It's all about getting it in, getting it out & seeing the $$$.

I have always done my own repairs, I am good at what I do because I do things right. I don't rig things up or make questionable repairs.

There has been a couple of times when I had a few extra bucks in my pocket & just didn't want to mess with it myself. WHAT A MISTAKE! Each time I had to fix their mistakes or damage. I'll go further & say that even if you're a tech at a dealership that doesn't mean you are any better than the guy at the jiffy lube. There are great techs and there are crappy ones, where you work has no outcome IMO. It all comes down to the individuals ethics & honesty.

There can be a tech with 20 certifications hanging on the wall, He could be great at what he does or just book smart but clueless in actual hands on work. It happens!

I worked at a auto accessory store as a installer/mechanic. They just wanted to get the customers in & out without any quality. I refused to do this & the customers always thanked me for being honest & doing things correctly. For me it's hard to sleep at night knowing that you are screwing somebody over.

There is nothing wrong with a customer expecting a job well done. They paid big money for their vehicle & I don't blame them one bit. Shouldn't matter if it's a new 60,000 truck or a 10 year old vehicle that's worth $3,000, The same quality of workmanship should be given to both.
11-05-2011 01:25 AM
Kenword I'd like to put my two cents worth into this discussion. While I have not worked as an auto mechanic, I have worked as a small engine and RV service tech. I also have worked on my own cars and had work done at several local shops both good and bad. Based on my experience on both sides of the repair business I offer the following advice:
1. Remember all,or at least most,repair shops are independant businesses. As such,they will vary as to pricing and the quality of personnell. For the best experience, start by asking friends, neighbors, or even the salesmen at parts stores who they would reccommend.
2. Wherever you go provide the best information you can. It will help tremedously if you can explain exactly what a problem sounds, feels. or looks like and when or how it happens. For example does it happen when the engine is warm, cold, or always ? Even weather conditions may be important such as weather it was it rainy, humid, dry or sunny.
3. All shops are run by humans, and all humans make mistakes. In my experience, any reputable shop will gladly fix a mistake if given the chance.
4. Keep your cool. Things will go much better for everyone if you can explain your problems calmly and rationally no matter how frustrated you are. No service writer or tech will give their best service to an angry, irate customer who blows up right in their face.
5. Be careful about diagnosing a problem yourself. A problem could have multiple causes, so even if your neighbor or friend or someone on the Internet needed a certain part replaced doesn't neccessarily mean it needs replacing on your car. While it's OK to suggest the mechanic check a certain part don't demand they replace it unless you are absolutley certain it's bad and are willing to accept the results of the repair whatever they are.
6. Finally, if you have a good experience by all means let the business know. Everyone appreciates a thank you once in a while.
09-27-2011 10:47 PM
sailor Excellent Post, and a "worthy" new "stickie" - since it covers most of the issues addressed here often...

Couple of things to consider adding in the "Warranty" section:

1. Many, if not most, of the extended warranties offered at a HIGH markup to new car buyers (and these days used car buyers as well) are just insurance policies NOT backed by the manufacturer OR the dealer.... SO, do NOT buy one unless you know the reputation and likely longevity of the company actually selling it!

2. On the other hand, an extended warranty sold by the MANUFACTURER, may be well worth the price, if peace of mind is worth a few extra bucks to you. Not only is the company you are buying from known to you, but in my dealership experience anyone who had purchased the manufacturers extended plan got extra consideration for ANY warranty claims, even if ALL warranties had expired....

One caveat to the last, ALSO from dealership experience, is that any customer who demanded & got "special consideration" for a repair that was DEFINITELY NOT a "warranty" item (like "I shouldn't have been able to break it so easily") often goes on a list for NO future special consideration. eg. if it's even ONE day out of warranty, you're out of luck - when in usual circumstances any REAL defect will be covered even IF the warranty "ran out" recently....

As to "Independents", earlier posters hit it on the head - their stock in trade is Customer Service - AND the ability to repair almost anything NOT needing "factory" tools & information. The skills needed to REPAIR instead of replace are used more often by the independents as well, as mentioned by Mike. And "backyard engineering" can often solve issues that show up on older cars that DON'T have a "factory fix" for them - only occasionally do manufacturers get involved in issues that don't turn up 'till after many years of ownership. ( Porsche, SAAB, BMW etc. are exceptions to this rule...)

Thanks again for an excellent write-up!

Sailor
09-27-2011 02:08 AM
mikebontoft Quality thread, definitely needs to be a sticky.

Just thought I would give a small bit of input too.

I'm still going to school for this but it is my last year. I've worked at an independent shop for about two years now. Some of the guys I work with on projects in class work at the local GM dealership. Now working with them I see the difference between how we do things. For example, we recently did a fuel pump on an Expedition. They were frustrated because they had to install a pump rebuild kit. I didn't understand what the problem was considering I did those several times a week. I also worked around removing some things by modifying them but it had no impact on functionality. Try doing that on a new car and you probably wouldn't last long. Anyway, I realized what the issue was. Here we are working on a 15 year old car; obviously out of warranty. Granted, I know dealers get old cars sometimes but generally they are new models under warranty with problems they need to fix by using factory parts to retain the warranty (see? no aftermarket).I don't see cars newer than 2008 usually, and if I do, its for an oil change or something small. Not to say I couldn't fix them, but usually if a part fails it is because it is defective. If its worn out on a new car, you bet Ill see it if they're good customers and its not under warranty.

In the end, my thoughts are if the job can get diagnosed correctly and fixed honestly, people are coming back; dealer or independent shop.
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