July 7, 2016

When I take it to the mechanic it doesn't act up!

Those of you who are parents, you have taken your 5 year old to the doctor and when you get there, there is nothing wrong with him, and he says nothing hurts!

So it seems to be with vehicles as well.  The car stalls at a stop sign several times a day, but when you take it in to the shop, the technicians can't seem to get the car to stall no matter how many times they test drive the vehicle.

You feel your car is acting like your five-year-old.

Intermittent problems not only frustrate you, they frustrate us as well.  We can hardly charge you for time spent producing no results, and it takes us away from a job that pays the bills.  But those troubles are a fact of the repair business, and we have to deal with them.

First and foremost, find a mechanic who asks you lots of questions about how the vehicle acts, and what happens when the problem shows itself.  He is looking for clues and his wheels are turning over his past experience with this model vehicle.  He is also making a decision when, and when not to test drive the vehicle.  He knows you know your car better than he does so he asks you, the driver, what happens when it acts up.

Second, a good mechanic will use resources beyond the scope of his own knowledge; other shops in the area including the local dealer of the make of your car, if you are traveling, he will call your trusted mechanic at home, he will use more than one diagnostic monitor if available, and use out-of-shop diagnostic services that have a nation-wide library of fault patterns stored in their memory banks.

Third, a good mechanic keeps in mind your pocket book and the hours he is working on the project.  Many times, we techs will just keep going at it until we find the problem, and end up knocking off lots of hours, because for you it is cost prohibitive to charge you all those seemingly countless hours locating the trouble.  Too many times, when the problem is found and repaired, we all just scratch our heads and never see anything like it again.  Such is the way of electrical woes.  We end up charging a base rate for diagnostic work, the regular hours required to remove and replace the part, and just chalk up all the extra hours to find the problem as good will towards the customer.  So it goes with electrical, intermittent, troubles.

Kinda like your five-year-old.

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