Monthly Car Care Blog

October 15, 2018

A side road for the moment

Let's take a divergence from our current discussion, because of what has happened in our nation as a result of the Supreme Court hearings, is so applicable to automotive diagnostic repair.

A married couple comes into the office.  He says one thing, she says another.  He says there is nothing wrong with the car, she says she can hear something.  He says he can't hear anything, she blames him for causing the problem with the car because he didn't take it in when she first started to notice the problem.

He said, she said.  Now what do I do?

They brought it to me to solve the problem with the vehicle.  He want's to show her that nothing is wrong. But remember what we have been talking about, she wants "piece-of-mind".  He is not giving that to her so she has convinced him to come to the "marriage" counselor to settle it.

She drives the car the most so she knows something is not quite as it used to be.  I ask her the questions first.  I know that women operate on intuition.  I listen carefully to her about what she is experiencing and write it all down.  If you want to understand what is going on with the vehicle, listen to the person who drives the vehicle the most. e.i. Listen to Dr. Ford's testimony first.  She knows what is going on in her life more than anyone else.  At this point in the procedure, she might be right, she might be wrong.

Then I ask him what he thinks.  Men operate on logical facts. He also tells me things that are very important to finding the solution because he has already heard her story many times and he has checked into things for himself.  I write it all down.  He lives with her.  He knows her.  He is frustrated because she keeps coming to him with the problem and he can't find one. e.i. Justice Kavanaugh kept a meticulous record of his life and he has examined these accusations with meticulous logic going over the records of his past life.  At this point in the procedure, he might be right, he might be wrong.

Now.  I've taken my statements from the accuser, and the accused.  Time to find some witnesses.
I take them both out to the car and I look at "witnesses" what both of them talked about.  I also find "witnesses" they had not even considered.  Because both of their stories trigger things that only a mechanic who has been in the business 30 years will understand.  That was the role of the prosecutor.  She was asking questions that were getting to the root of the problem.  She had the expertise.  She had the experience for this particular problem.  I recognized that right off the bat.  Why?  Because day after day I work with the same diagnostic method.

What is that method?  Hear what both have to say.  Look at the facts regarding those statements.  Then, look at things both of them never thought of(from our experience).  Then do the proper diagnostic test.  Then do it again.  Then.....do it again.  And if you are still not confident with the results...... do it again.

Another name for the method is, cross examination of the witnesses.

In my case, it could be cross examination of the electrical circuits related to the ground connections for the car's computer.  If it is worked at long enough, and hard enough, the problem eventually is found.  However, if they just come into the office and tell me their stories, then maybe let me hook up a computer monitor and see what it says, but don't let me actually work on the vehicle, no one will really ever know what really is going on. I just get a snapshot, and make a quick diagnoses for them to think about.

That is what happened in the hearings.  We all heard their stories, we got, one, brief cross examination, then an initial FBI investigation, but none of us, or them, or anyone else in the country, were satisfied with "piece-of-mind" because the diagnostic process was not allowed to complete itself.  There was no cross examination of the witnesses.

Remember this next time you take your vehicle to your mechanic and ask him to hook up his monitor to tell you what is wrong with it.  The computer monitor won't tell him for sure.  You have to let him cross examine the "witnesses", "under-the-hood", and that costs you money, and him, time.

The Supreme Court hearings were not a venue for complete diagnosis of the problem.  There were a hearing to see if someone was qualified to a position.  The accuser's statements had brief diagnostic procedure applied to them to see if they were worth looking into.

I will do the same for you(have an automotive hearing). If you want a brief diagnostic procedure applied to your vehicle, I will do it.  I can tell you if you need to pursue it, or if it can wait to be repaired.  But remember, at that point in the diagnostic process it is my professional opinion.  It is not a for-sure diagnosis.   The man might get "piece-of-mind" with this quick method, but I think the woman never does.  It's always there.  Her car is speaking to her.

So it seems to be with this hearing business with those I've talked to. Those siding with now Justice Kavanaugh are "somewhat" satisfied with the brief diagnostic procedure applied.  Those siding with Dr. Ford appear to be left without their piece-of-mind.

What are the results I have found over the years with this type of situation?  50/50.  Sometimes he is right, sometimes she is right, but I honor both of them because I know that both of them cannot be right. I just do not know which one. You see, God created men and women equal.  They have different roles, jobs, strengths, weaknesses.  They compliment each other if they so choose to work as equals, created differently to help each other.

I respect and honor Dr. Ford for telling a very difficult story in such a public setting.  A story that many women wish they could tell.  And there is much injustice with this story that stirs emotions from both men and women.  For there to be closure here, it will have to be found out, who is was, that did this horrible deed to her.  It is to her honor that she was brave enough to tell this story.

I respect and honor Justice Kavanaugh for treating Dr. Ford with kindness and gentleness, and not disputing her story of hardship.  He could have filed for slander, or liable, but he did not.  He had every right to do so, but instead he took the high road and did not return her accusations with a law suit.  That was honorable of him.(be kind to your wife)

If you come into my shop and if you allow me to complete the diagnostic repair and fix the problem, and if one of you says to your spouse, "See, I told you so."  I will deflect that comment, and interject that what your spouse said is valid as well.  Because a lot of things can happen under that hood, and sometimes they are not so easily found out.  Keep talking to, and respecting, what your spouse says about the car.  It is good for your marriage.  Neither of you can be right all the time.  You need each other to solve life's complex problems.

July 6, 2018

To answer the question

So then, the question remains, how does a young lady find a new mechanic that is going to give her "peace of mind"?

She is going to do it like she does all the time, word-of-mouth.  Many years ago I was told by one of my mentors in the business, "The repair business is all word-of-mouth.  Don't spend lots of money on advertizing.  Just keep doing a good job and it will grow."

If the mechanic shop operates mostly on word-of-mouth, then take the same approach in finding a good mechanic.  Ask you friends.  If you don't have any friends in the place you just moved, ask your neighbors.  If you don't have any neighbors, ask your co-workers.
 
Then try out who they suggest.  Don't get worried about if they are going to "take" you or not.  Just do it.  When you arrive at the mechanic shop, or call them on the phone, tell them, "My friend(friend's name) suggested you because you do good work and you are honest."  Give them permission to be honest, and to do good work for you right off the bat.  Give them the opprotunity to be trusted by you.  If they truely are, who your friend says they are, they will appriciate what you just said.
 
When a new customer says that to me, I find myself working extra hard to do a good job.  A former pastor of ours always reminded us to, "Speak words of life to each other."  Speaking words-of-life to a mechanic you just found, is a win-win, for you, and for him.  Any relationship changes for the positive when words-of-life are used.

So, to my female customer that asked me how to find a good mechanic, there's my take on it. 

Next time I will talk about when a mechanic doesn't do the job you asked him to do.  How do you communicate then, when things can be tense?