Finding Quality Automotive Service
Everything we do involves a process. Every task we perform, every activity we engage in and every decision we make involves some sort of a process. Almost everything we do can be broken down into individual steps, arranged in the proper sequence and documented. Finding quality automotive service is just another process.
Human activities are sometimes carried out intuitively, other times they’re carried out by trial and error, but the most efficient way people to carry out their activities is by following a process. There are processes for operating a restaurant, processes for flying an airplane, processes for learning and processes for problem solving. Technicians that follow a logical troubleshooting process when diagnosing a car problem typically experience much greater productivity and happier car owners.
Six Steps to Automotive Service Excellence
At our Horsepower Performance Division we employ a 6-Step logical troubleshooting process:
1. Verify the concern
2. Replicate the concern
3. Analyze the symptom
4. Diagnose the concern
5. Perform the repair
6. Verify the repair
Troubleshooting is the process of investigating, determining and solving problems. Understanding and following a systematic troubleshooting process minimizes the time required to identify and isolate almost any problem, even in the most complex systems.
Quite simply, troubleshooting is the act of problem solving, however troubleshooting isn’t only for locating problems with poorly running cars. Troubleshooting can be used to locate problems with anything, including interactions with potential repair shops or technicians.
Horsepower for an Hour Radio Broadcast
On our weekly “Horsepower for an Hour” radio broadcast, we continually emphasize the fact that everyone seeking automotive repair should insist on speaking to the technician that will be servicing their vehicle. There are a number of reasons for this recommendation, some should be obvious, others maybe not so much. By speaking to the technician you will immediately gain an understanding of his/her character just by the way you are greeted. If you are disrespected or made to feel like you are a bother, chances are good your car will be treated the same way. If the technician speaks to you in such a way that does not communicate professionalism or product knowledge, there’s little chance he or she is properly trained. (The age old adage “Your conversation will always find you out” is alive and well in this circumstance). Conversely, if the technician greets you warmly and respectfully, speaks professionally and knowledgeably about your vehicle, chances are your car will be serviced correctly the first time.
One Listener Writes In About His Experience
One example of a bad repair situation involves a very common problem with 2001 through 2006 Chevrolet half-ton pickup trucks. This story comes to us from a listener in the state of Delaware:
The complaint is a slide-bump sort of feel between 1st and 2nd gears. The truck feels like the transmission is slipping when the shift begins then suddenly completes the shift with a harsh bang. Our listener visited a local repair shop and described the concern to the technician. The technician told him “all Chevy truck transmissions are garbage” and the only way to fix the problem was to replace the whole transmission, and even then there was no real guarantee the problem would be resolved.
Hopefully you can immediately see and recognize this is the type of repair shop you’ll want to stay far away from. The truth is not all Chevy truck transmissions are garbage, in fact the fix for this type of complaint is simple and reasonably inexpensive and certainly does not require a replacement transmission. This type of a response comes from a technician that is not experienced or properly trained. Unfortunately, this type of thing happens far too often in the service and repair industry (Incidentally, the shop our listener visited was a Chevrolet dealership) and consequently many motorists have a cynical opinion of repair shops.
Insist On Speaking To The Technician That Will Be Servicing Your Car
Please don’t despair as there is hope, there are many quality repair facilities out there coast to coast. AAA has a fantastic network of service providers, the ATRA (Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Association) is the largest transmission network in the world and have some of the finest transmission service providers anywhere. ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) is another way you can be assured the technician has passed stringent tests to become certified in a particular area of repair but ultimately it’s you, the vehicle owner that has to be assured you’ve left your vehicle in competent hands. As we mentioned earlier, the best first step is to insist on speaking to the technician that will be putting his hands on your vehicle.
Please message us here if you are struggling to find a quality, competent repair facility. Every week we field dozens of emails and requests from folks searching to find quality automotive service. Tune in to our weekly “Horsepower for an Hour” national radio broadcast for the latest in automotive news and headlines, we are your “Ultimate Stop in Automotive Radio”