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Old 11-21-2016, 06:35 PM   #1
Aqua Puttana
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Default Why do we do our own Sprinter work?

Clipped from a sticky thread to keep that on topic.

Noblemercedes warning: Change Turbo Inlet Seal every time disturbed
http://www.sprinter-source.com/forum...ad.php?t=48673


Quote:
Originally Posted by BobLLL View Post
...

That tech was the only person to have touched anything under the hood before this happened (other than me checking the oil), so he must not have installed or tightened the seal correctly after the filter change. So, if a tech didn't get it right, it seems like we all need to be careful.

vnvet;
The PRIME reason I try to do EVERYTHING I possibly can to maintain all my vehicles. I can hardly think of a time when I did take them in to stealership or an independent shop and not get it back without something missing, done wrong or incomplete, marred, knee dented, cooling fins mashed, grease on headliner, sabotage YES, I said that, and the list goes on and on.

smiller;
+10

I don't know about sabotage but in the rare cases where I am forced to let someone else work on my vehicles(s) I always have to budget time to go back in and fix sloppy assembly work, etc. Makes me wonder about what I can't see. As someone else on the forum once said, lemons are not built at the factory, they are created after the fact.


.

lindenengineering;
That is a poor indictment of the US auto repair industry.
I begs me to mention that there are people (maybe a few) whO do take care of customers' vehicles
Dennis

lindenengineering;
So what do you suggest is the cause of the problem?
An open question perhaps because I have often heard that Americans are a careless nation, and don't care, so its a microcosm of society in general.
Or is it the level of education prevalent in the industry; a training matter or lack of it! Maybe there too many You Tube graduates posing as real mechanics in employment in the industry.

I am not saying you are wrong in any way! I am always interested in a positive way in what are the customer feed backs about this business! Those of WHICH I might ask are not always truthfully OR Objectively forthcoming!
Dennis

*******************8

Carry on.

vic
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Last edited by Aqua Puttana; 11-21-2016 at 06:47 PM. Reason: took away some quote boxes
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Old 11-21-2016, 06:39 PM   #2
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Default Re: Why do we do our own Sprinter work?

I was too slow deleting.

****************

smiller;

I think there are many causes. One is your oft-noted lack of training and/or difficulty in getting technicians adequately trained to work on today's very complex drivetrains. I've many times received an 'explanation' from a shop that indicated a total lack of understanding about how a certain system actually works (although this is admittedly usually from a service writer and not the actual tech since you usually don't get to talk to those.) That's kind of scary, if they can't even explain how it should work how are they going to diagnose a complex problem? Another issue is simply the 'give a damn' attitude of the tech, some do and some don't and you just don't get to know in advance. Or there is the case of the tech that wants to do a proper job but is under constant time pressure from his supervisor, and quickly learns that quantity of work is valued more than quality.

I do realize the realities from the business owner's perspective in that cost matters to both the business and the customer, and service prices are right in a customer's face while many of them never even open the hood after a service so there is pressure from the business end to keep prices down over 'white glove' service. Also while it is a good idea to take some time and do inspections while you are in there for other work (I almost always find some other unrelated issue that should be attended to when I do my own work, sometimes even something with the potential to cause real problems later if it hadn't been noticed) I realize that time is money and this may not be practical in a commercial operation.

I want to be reasonable and I'd really just be happy if, for instance, I didn't have to go in and check the installation/integrity of the turbo inlet seal anytime anyone else has removed the intake plumbing, but I do. You know I do :)
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Last edited by Aqua Puttana; 11-21-2016 at 06:49 PM. Reason: took away the quote box.
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Old 11-21-2016, 06:48 PM   #3
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Default Re: Why do we do our own Sprinter work?

Here's my take on the source of poor work in the repair industry. Look at the total parts count on a vehicle manufactured in 1960 and then today in 2016. Vehicle repair has gone from being a moderately skilled blue-collar profession to a highly skilled technical profession. The Industry and the people working in general are 5-10 years behind the curve. Adding to that the general wage depression in blue-collar professions and you'll find a recipe for mediocre work. To make it worse people have been keeping vehicles for longer and longer periods. Imagine a car from the 1950s going to 200k+ miles.
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Old 11-21-2016, 07:29 PM   #4
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Default Re: Why do we do our own Sprinter work?

Like vnvet above, I ALWAYS find something not quite right, or hands down just sloppy or wrong the few times I've let "pro" shops touch my vehicles. My most recent example: I take my NCV in for the passenger airbag recall. I get in the truck and notice my odometer is rest to zero, and the clock/date hasn't been reset. Battery disconnected for the airbag, I get it, but certainly not right.

Then I'm pulling out of the dealer and make a right turn and hear something go sliding across my dash. Turns out it's the tech's trim panel removal tool. On one level I'm glad he used the right tool, instead of a screwdriver to pry the trim off. On the other hand, when you're either so sloppy or in such a big hurry you forget tools in a customer rig, I have to wonder what else was missed I can't see?

The service advisor was worthless when I brought this to his attention after turning around to bring the tool back. He kind of chuckled and went back to the phone conversation he was having. A guy not valuing accurate feedback from a customer is a certain recipe for failure.

I wonder what a customer with a $150,000 AMG black would think about a guys' greasy trim tool sliding across his leather wrapped dashboard? Or spending 10 minutes deciphering how to reset his clock and date?

So using this example, this service was of no cost to me, so I guess the workmanship was worth it technically, but will I ever spend $.10 to let them work on it in the future? A resounding NO! I have visions of letting them do an oil change and the tech forgetting to put the new oil filter in, or oil for that matter.

I worked in the industry turning wrenches for a long time, and have first hand witnessed the incompetencey of many "techs".
It's simply luck of the draw if you get one worth his salt.

So that is a small example of why I work on my own vehicles period. The only exceptions are tires and alignment only because the equipment takes up too much space to justify buying it for personal use.

Potential fix for all this? In my opinion, do away with flat rate. Give guys time to do the job correctly instead of being up against the clock. Every Monday morning, a guy starts with zero hours for the week. It's part skill, part luck, and part good support from the desk to make his hours for the week. The way it's set up, spend 2-3 hours diagnosing a problem thoroughly, the factory may allow .5 hour period. It doesn't take too many of these beatings for even the best intentioned tech to start looking for ways to make up time wherever he can.
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Old 11-21-2016, 08:47 PM   #5
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Default Re: Why do we do our own Sprinter work?

Other than the inconvenience of taking it in and being without the van (Sprinter withdrawl) only minor issues like above in the 12 dealer trips 8 for A/B service. I got a question to those that always do their own work. What do you do for computer updates or are they really necessary? In the 12 trips to the dealer I would guess 1/2 or more included computer updates. I could never tell a difference in performance but I would think they do them for some reason.
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Old 11-21-2016, 09:44 PM   #6
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Default Re: Why do we do our own Sprinter work?

Warranty work is what it is . Free or considered factory problem ( A. C. issue for me ) . Got it back & looked , fuse box still open , & 1/2 hour later I get a call , the Tech. is looking for his flashlight ? . He thinks it's still in van ? .This is why I prefer to do my own maintenance . Thanks for Aqua Puttana for starting this thread .
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Old 11-21-2016, 10:03 PM   #7
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Default Re: Why do we do our own Sprinter work?

well.. for some of us, it goes along the lines of:
not wanting to pay some: 'yeah, we can work on your sprinter' shop 100bux+/hour to train their 'technicians'

vs the old-school and much preferred term 'mechanic'
since it seems like the designation of 'technician' is very easily conferred upon even 'tire changers' these daze

just .02 from an 'electro-mechanical technician'
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Old 11-22-2016, 07:16 AM   #8
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Default Re: Why do we do our own Sprinter work?

I do my own work because Rumpelstiltskin wants my first born plus cash to do the job.
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Old 11-22-2016, 07:53 AM   #9
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Default Re: Why do we do our own Sprinter work?

Eh, What Vic's avatar says...mixed with a bit of ownership pride in mastering the Mercedes van. The first time ever popping the bonnet, I didn't know what I was looking at...that's all changed for the better thanks to the forum.
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Old 11-22-2016, 09:35 AM   #10
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Default Re: Why do we do our own Sprinter work?

All of the above....but I suppose the main reason is quality of work I've seen when work was done by someone who didn't have the same stake in the vehicle that I have. As everyone else has, I've seen some amazingly crappy work done on vehicles, and have probably have just as many horror stories as you all do.

This is the first vehicle I've had that is so complex, with so much computer control; my 2005 VW Jetta TDI seems quite simple in comparison, though I do have (and use) the Ross-Tech software package. Sorry to say, with the Sprinter, I believe I'm at the mercy of folks who know a lot more than I do. I still look over work done very carefully, but I'm afraid my days of doing all work myself have come to an end.

I was scared witless to have to take mine to a dealer recently! Fortunately, both the service writer and the tech performing the work were both very forthcoming, and I was "allowed" to speak at length with the tech, a young man who seemed to take his work seriously -- and actually took pride in it! It was this forum that enabled me to talk somewhat intelligently with him, and all turned out OK. I didn't realize until later how anxious I was about the whole experience.

So, other than fairly straightforward mechanical issues, I think for the first time in my life I'm going to have to rely on others to go deeply into this amazingly complex machine and hope for the best.... but I'll continue to learn all I can from sources like this forum, and all on it who know WAY more than I ever will; this is a fantastic resource!
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