Monthly Archives: April 2012

DEAR CUSTOMER

Before I begine let me say I know that it’s been a while since my last update and I apologize for that. There’s been a lot going on. That being said, let me be the first to welcome you to http://www.CINELLIthoughts.com, the only place where you can find out the truth about the automotive industry. My name is Federico Cinelli and I’ve been in the industry for the past ten years. While I can’t say I’ve “seen it all,” I have worked at both dealerships and independent shops across the country and can say with confidence that I’ve seen enough to know that it’s time for change. That’s why I’m choosing to speak up. -Federico Cinelli

The one question no mechanic wants to hear? “If I buy my own parts, can you just put them in?” The fact of the matter is, it’s ridiculous for a customer to go out of his or her way to Google search a cheaper part because all you’re really finding is every bullshit after-market part “made for your car,” instead of the part that is supposed to go into the car. That those same customers will still want me to warranty their job with that in mind is absurd. That’s not how it works. Have you ever gone to a restaurant with your own piece of meat and asked the cook to prepare that for you instead of the food they have on hand? Or to a hair salon with your own water, shampoo, or scissors to use it for the sake of taking money off the bill? Of course not. So why would you expect a mechanic to bend his or her standards, or get mad at them when they refuse to? Because that’s what your question is essentially asking them to do…

Some mechanics still stand by their work, still use quality parts, and still expect the same courtesy to be extended back to them. While I grant that a lot of mechanics shouldn’t even be allowed to even sit in a car, let alone fix them, it’s up to the consumer to find one that he/she can trust, especially in a marketplace where no one is holding mechanics/shops/dealerships accountable for the work. Will there always be a cheaper option somewhere? Of course. But you have to understand: the parts that you find on the internet aren’t the quality of the OEM parts that are estimated. No matter what anyone tells you, the parts are cheaper for a reason. Try to think of it as having a professional body shop paint your car as opposed to you sanding it down with a brick and then painting it with a brush. There’s a difference.

Kind of like the difference between a professional mechanic diagnosing a car and a customer walking into a garage and declaring, “It needs a ; I read it on a forum,” and then demanding an estimate. How in the world can you trust some kid on a forum who has never seen or driven your car? How the hell could he possibly know what set your check engine light off? He can’t. Which makes it all the more infuriating when the part that the customer originally brought doesn’t fix the car, and the customer comes back demanding the car be fixed for free. After all, I’m the asshole that replaced the wrong part. That customer always seems to forget that all I did was replace what he wanted replaced using the instructions that he brought me from the web forum, all so he could insist on not having to pay a diagnostic fee. Maybe XxMechanicMETALxX666 from carfixers.com should pay for it the second time around? Because I sure as hell am not.

What I’m trying to say is this: please, for the love of all that is holy, don’t disrespect your mechanic unless he/she deserves it. Some of us work hard at what we do, and we’ve spent a lot of time with our heads in the books, studying up in classrooms while developing our skills in real-life garages under real-life cars.