Posts

Is it better to wait with your car, or should you drop it off for repair?This is a really big point of contention in the shop. From the service advisors to the technicians, everyone has an opinion, and they are all right, just ask them. 😉

Like anything, there are pros and cons to each. From a mechanic’s point of view, dropping it off is best. It takes any time pressure off of us and lets us be thorough. It also keeps a service advisor from bothering a mechanic while they are trying to work. I will save my opinion for the end. 🙂

Let’s take a look at some pros and cons a customer might experience,

Pros to waiting at the dealer

  • You will generally get done faster if you are there waiting
  • Most dealer have free snacks
  • I can’t imagine a dealer not having WIFI, at least you can get work done
  • It is a great place to meet folks. I talked to a customer that met his girlfriend in our waiting room. How cool is that!
  • There will be no back and forth on the phone if the mechanic finds something wrong with your car.
  • If they do find something wrong with your can, you have an easy out if you DON’T want to fix your car. “Sorry I can’t wait that long”.
  • If something is wrong, you can see it yourself. Even if you don’t know what you are looking at, it will help to see something the problem, and prevent unneeded services
  • You can test drive the newest coolest cars
  • You have leverage to getting a better deal. Asking for a coupon or a loaner car so needed repairs can get completed. You won’t have that if you drop your car off.

Cons to waiting at the dealer

  • You are stuck waiting at the dealer.
  • It can get boring waiting, if the waiting room is lame
  • There is a chance that a salesman will try to sell you a new car~only a con if you don’t want a new car
  • You might get stuck longer if your car needs further repairs
  • Again, YOU ARE STUCK there.
  • You might have better things to do than wait
  • Mechanics might rush through the job

Like I said there are some good and some bad about waiting. What about your other choice, leaving your car? Pros and Cons~~~GO!

Pros to dropping your car off

  • You are not stuck at the dealer in a boring waiting room
  • This will give the mechanics more time to do their job as thorough as they can.
  • If the mechanic needs to contact a “help line” for assistance, they are free to do so.
  • You just might get a car wash(no promise)
  • If gives the mechanic a chance to earn the money you are paying. It keeps most of us from getting fussy.

Cons to dropping your car off

  • You have to make arrangements for a ride twice
  • You can rent a car, but that adds to the bill
  • There will be multiple phone calls, emails, texts no matter what
  • There will be even more phone calls if the mechanic finds something wrong
  • You have to get your car by the time they close, or “No Car For You”(are soup Nazi joke lame)
  • They might take their sweet time, and push your car until the end of the day.
  • You BETTER trust your mechanic, you can’t see a problem like you could if you were there.(If you have been following my advise, that is not an issue) 😉

When I wrote that out, I really did make a strong case for waiting on your car didn’t I. To me, it doesn’t really matter. Yep, I not mind either way. If you want to drop your car off awesome! If you want to come and hang out while I work on your car, that is cool too. I strive to do the same job either way.

Just remember, it is YOUR choice. If you wait, do not get mad when it takes a little longer then you thought. 🙂

What do you guys think? Do you prefer to wait for your car at the dealer? What is your main reason? How can dealers make the waiting room better? Hit me with what you got!

If you want to make sure you NEVER miss a post(Why would you miss a post?) get updates 1st, get insider information, sign up for the email list. I wont sell your email or spam you, just give you awesome content, SPAM SUCKS!

Its only a tab for a valve, but it will get fixed

Yesterday my serivce manager asked me for some help. He said that the Service Express guysIts only a tab for a valve, but it will get fixed needed some practice, and wanted to know if they could use my Passat. I was not really due for an oil change, but my car is a tricky oil change to do the right way. Oh, just so everyone knows, I drive a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon, that my friends named “The Danger Wagon”

I work across the shop from the Service Express lane. Seeing my car on another lift made me very tense. I am the only one that has worked on that car in about 70,000 miles. The last guy that worked on it is one of the team leads in the shop, and the BEST mechanic we have! Now guys that are as rookie as it gets are working on my car.

The whole idea behind S.E. is to be fast. When the program is in full swing, it will take about 20 minutes from start to finish. Since the boys are still learning, it took about an hour and a half. The oil change on a 1.8t Passat is not the easiest oil change. If you don’t do it just right, it makes a HUGE mess.

After they finished the service, I thought it would be a good idea to do a little quality check. Turns out they didn’t do such a great job. The checks they perform(lights, tires) were perfect. The oil change, not so much. There belly pan was covered in oil, a clip was installed wrong, and they broke the air box. The oil and clip were a really easy fix. Just some clean up. The airbox however, will need to be replaced. It was nothing that would effect performance, but I get OCD so I need to fix it.

I don’t want to sound like I am giving these guys a hard time. This was actually a really great teachable moment. I showed them what they did, and how to do it properly for next time. I am pretty sure they got what I was saying, they might have been a little scared ;). It is also a good thing that it was my car(not really for me). I would much rather them be able to make a mistake, and see the result right away. This worked out great because we did not make a customer unhappy.

I will be sure to keep everyone posted about their progress. It will be fun to follow along while they learn the ropes!

Your inside look into the world of car repair and Volkswagen Dealer service

Next week my dealership will be adding a “Quick Lube” team. The team will actually be called our Service Express team. The idea behind the Service Express team will be to provide another option for customers to get their cars serviced.

The way my dealership works now is, 90% by appointment. Basically, you would call and talk to a service advisor, schedule a time and date to bring your car in for whatever it needs. They do leave some open times for a limited amount of walk-ins, or emergencies.

The Service Express team will be another option. Customers will be able to walk-in and get an oil change, a bulb replaced, or wipers changed. They will be a dedicated team that will ONLY do that type of stuff. The team will have 2 service advisors, and 4 or 5 mechanics(not sure if that is what they will be called but they work on cars, so I am cool with it).  VW has a full training program for this team. They will have a strict routine to follow to be sure every car is done the right way in around 30 minutes.

I think it will be a good thing overall for our customers. It will give a lot more flexibility for customers to get their cars serviced. It will also help us compete with the Jiffy Service type places. Our prices are better, now the service can be more convenient.

The talk around the shop however is on the negative side. When you tell mechanics that the dealer is adding more people, most see only 1 thing. They see work being taken from them and given to someone else. Our pay plan is similar to a commission based plan(post about that coming soon). So more mechanics means the work is spread out between more guys. To be honest, they are right. Even doing an oil change pays more that not doing anything.

My thinking is slightly different. It is not that I breathe the “corporate air” that comes along with programs like this, it is more about the bigger picture. The advisors have a habit of not taking walk-in customers(side note, there is not many things that piss me off more than that). Any work that the Service Express team sells, other than bulbs ect, will be divided out to the shop. More cars in the shop will equal more work for everyone. I also think the advisors will not want to give work up to the Service Express team. They will find a way to help customers that they “could not” find before.

If the quality of their work is as good as ours, I think it will be a great thing. What do you guys think?

  • Does having a “Quick Lube” style option work better for you?
  • Would you feel like the service would not be as good as a certified VW mechanic?
  • Do you think the price should be the same VW mechanic VS non VW mechanic?

Post your thoughts in the comments, I am really curious to see what everyone thinks