An old adage aptly sums up automotive diagnosis: The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Contrary to what some bosses believe, justifying test time and thorough diagnosis have been decades-long issues for automotive service facilities.
The need to sell and perform diagnosis should not be an epiphany for owners and managers at any auto repair facility.
Some bosses should broaden their perspectives by recognizing a few facts. For instance, selling and performing diagnosis were timely topics years before many Tire Business readers were born.
Furthermore, these tasks challenged service personnel back when cars had drum brakes, bias-ply tires and breaker points.
Those simplistic vehicles arguably were a breeze to fix until their symptoms eluded the old pattern-failure approach that’s been commonplace in service bays for years.
Regardless of the automotive era we’re discussing, selling and performing diagnosis may be the biggest daily challenge inside an auto repair business. If these tasks were so easy, all service personnel would do them well — but they do not.
The proverbial old days also mirrored modern times because a percentage of auto repair shops consistently fixed cars correctly the first time.
But others suffered whenever the work that fixed the last car failed to fix the next one that rolled into the bays.
Regularly reading old automotive trade journals and interviewing old-time techs taught me that these failed repairs were as familiar in grandad’s day as they are today.
Hopefully these points spur some owners and managers to avoid missteps of the past: Instead of repeating mistakes, allocate adequate test time, troubleshoot methodically and charge appropriately for these procedures.