Monthly Archives: September 2011

TECHNICIAN // MECHANIC

Some people say “I’m an automotive technician.” Others just stick to the basics and refer to themselves as “mechanics.” For some reason, the two are looked at as being on opposite ends of a spectrum, like one is better than the other, is more intelligent, or has better hands. Here are the facts:

According to technicians, mechanics are the guys who get greasy: the guys with the beat up hands, the dirt under the nails, mouths like sailors. Mechanics are the assholes. And according to mechanics, technicians are the guys that love to talk all kinds of shit about being good but can’t diagnose his way out of a paper bag. They’re the pussies. The truth is, any technician/mechanic can have an over-inflated sense of self, and neither title really means sweet fuck-all.

A squid (or rookie mechanic) will walk into a garage with his “starter kit” and his chest puffed out, talking that inflated talk about how he built a nine-thousand horse power Camaro engine out of an Erector Set and empty beer cans and put a turbo on his buddy’s Honda blindfolded. According to them, they know how to work on EVERYTHING and how they can diagnose ANYTHING.

Talk is shit and usually they last a week. Six months at the most.

Technicians get their bullshit early, too. It all starts with those pieces of shit thieves that run technical institutions. They fill these kids’ heads with stories of how they’re going to learn everything they need to know in 2 years and come out a Certified Automotive Dealership Technician in six to eight months, as if that really meant anything anyway.

It takes a time to grasp the understanding of how the systems operating within an automobile and how they communicate with one another. And you have to internalize the logic behind it all to be able to accurately diagnose anything. This shit’s chess sometimes, it ain’t checkers. And the Institutions couldn’t give a shit less if you really learn anything. I’ve know firsthand that in order for T.I.’s to receive their government grants, at least ninety percent of the applicants have to pass the program. Of course they’re going to push kids through who aren’t ready when their funding is on the line. Theoretically, you could just stand around with your hands in your pockets, dutifully go through the motions, and get you’re Certificate of Achievement.

 /*This floods the industry with ignorant fucks that think they know 
     something because some twenty thousand dollar piece of toilet paper tells them so.*/

Most frustrating is that these kids always get into the business because they had nothing else to do. Working on cars was the last way out. There the ones you can pin-point just by asking them a simple question, “So do you and your kid work on cars together?”. And nine out of ten respond,”Fuck no. My kid will NEVER be a fucking Mechanic.“.

Mechanics at least have the passion for it. Most have participated or at least watched racing, and plenty have competed in engine-building events. They frequent car shows, swap meets, and club events, and get pissed when they can’t solve a problem or understand a system. They eat the same bullshit lunch every day —Brakes ‘n Burgers because the grease adds flavor—and do their homework after-hours. These guys have been spinning wrenches since they were little. And if you know these cats, you’ll notice a tiny ball-peen hammer with a wooden handle about seven-to-eight inches long inside their toolbox’s hammer drawer (and yes, I own one). They know where everything in their box is, no matter how clean or unorganized. They’d rather make-out with their own grandmothers than lose a tool.

These men are the backbone of the industry. These are the guys who no one ever really appreciates because their hands are dirty. While the guys running the show, who think they know everything, try to tell them (and you, the customer) how to fix a car “because they’ve been working at the dealership for twenty three years,” except they’ve been sitting behind a desk.

For mechanics,, this isn’t a job. It’s a lifestyle.

———-

Either way, the two will never get along on a professional level, which is probably a shame.
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WARRANTY GAMES

I think maybe I should just stop looking at peoples reviews that they put up on the Internet concerning how they feel about the vehicle that they had purchased new. No one really seems to understand what’s really going on and I really don’t fucking know how it can be just ignored as a possible senario and everyone just points the finger to the manufacturer. 


Here’s the game

Lets take Mercedes-Benz as the company to talk about since thats where my most in dept training at a dealership level lies. 

You purchase your new Mercedes and get the factory bumper to bumper warranty of 4 years / 50,000 miles. You get it serviced regularly at the dealership that you bought it from. Nothing ever seems to be wrong and then the second it’s out of that warranty your slapped upside the head with a five to ten thousand dollar bill and say “They design these cars to just fall apart the second it’s out of warranty, what bullshit, those fucking thieves.” If that was possible and mechanics could put a pinpointed failure on a component I’d be a billionaire. 

The truth really is that under the vehicle there are these big plastic panels covering the bottom-side of the engine and transmission called encapsulation panels. There put in place for “added protection”. A  1/4 inch piece of plastic really isn’t going to do much protecting in my opinion. Well, The panels are actually put in place to catch any oil that may leak so when you bring the vehicle into service and the panels all come off the and the technician sees an oil leak and calls over the shop foreman / manager to add a line to the repair order to fix the failed gasket or component the person in charge declines authorization. Yup, 100% true. Believe it or not, even if there’s oil pouring onto the exhaust manifolds and could cause a fire there all told by their superiors If the customer isn’t complaining about it then clean it all off and ship it.” 

So, if the vehicle was regularly serviced and your intervals are 10,000 miles between requested maintenance then we can safely say if it was leaking before that and that dealer is the only place you’ll bring the vehicle to,  then the previous technician did the same thing. As long as they remember to top off the oil level you’ll never even know that there was a leak. Now, it took roughly 10,000 miles to get it back to the point that it’s at now. And your next service you’re vehicle will be out of warranty and what would have been a warranty repair will be brought to your attention and aggressively sold to you by the Service Advisor. And he’ll mention all the safety issues and harm it could possibly do to other components. This get you to do one of two things. Pay the money to fix the vehicle or just trade it in for a penny [since it can’t be worth shit if it’s got all these problems now] and get into another vehicle where the whole game starts over.

Dealers across the country do this with all types of repairs not just the one spoken about above. I’ve been forced to let worn ball-joints, leaking transmissions, failing engine pulley’s, etc, all go so they could save their numbers. It’s completely disheartening to a mechanic that wants to better things and fix cars.

This is the dealership way all the way across the board. It’s done to keep warranty repair numbers down and customer pay number up. Dealers with the lowest warranty repairs are usually rewarded with some sort of bonus [at least the managers are]. So next time you see that big estimate at the end of your car’s warranty period. Know, that you just got fucked and it’s not just a coincidence because the car has been falling apart the entire time little by little, they just neglected to bring it to your attention to make themselves a little extra. 

Still not convinced? Next time you go to get your vehicle service at your lovely dealership and you know you have a leak and are positive it’s going to be covered under your factory warranty, don’t bring it to their attention and see if it’s handeled



# Federico Cinelli

# 09/09/11
# This is in no way directed to the company’s and / or persons spoken about.