Do you want to move to Oregon @ok4450? The place I work now is well aware that an oil change service is a losing proposition for the business but refuses to put that burden on the mechanics. We have a couple of hourly guys that we have do oil changes, but when one of my flat rate guys gets an oil change he flags .5 for the job. If we add a tire rotation to it he flags an additional .3. We do service work on a number of med duty trucks (F550, etc.) and the occasional motor home that are too large to lift. If you have to “flatback” an oil change we flag you .7.
I think it’s a loss leader to get them in the door. I always pay myself at least one hour for the job but the hourly rate is deplorable. Usually the wife doesn’t even say thank you, unless she’s in a hurry to get the car back.
When I worked at the Dodge dealer retail oil changes paid .3, warranty oil changes paid .2. I think diesels paid .3, it takes at least 10 minutes to inflate all 7 neglected tires to 50-80 PSI.
Where I’m at now pays .4, this includes measuring the brake pads, tread depth, inspecting the filters, lights, wipers etc. An oil change on a car takes 25 minutes.
I have no desire to move to OR asemaster but your facility sounds like it’s doing things the way they should be done.A half hour + .3 for a tire rotation would be fantastic IMO.
You’ve no doubt heard of Ford’s Fast Lane service. They advertise it here for 30 bucks. That not only includes the oil, filter, and labor but also includes a 41 point inspection and a tire rotation. I would strongly suspect the guys doing this are pencil whipping them or they’re hourly and being strongly encouraged to upsell everything including the kitchen sink. Upsell X each week or you’re gone…
The dealer put up a separate facility across the street for the Fast Lane services and even put a cafe in there. They advertise “fresh baked cinnamon rolls” and “biscuits and gravy”; apparently for people who can’t go more than an hour or so without eating.
Maybe they’re doing it to “lube” the customers; much like alcohol sales to bidders at auctions.
On a side note, my daughter is about to move to Seattle due to a job offer she couldn’t refuse.
How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?
Frankly I had no desire to move to OR either, but my wife had a job offer that was too good to turn down. I had my own little place but the lease was up in 2017 and the landlord did not intend to renew. So the timing was right to try something different. We left Seattle/Tacoma but still miss it. Let me know where your daughter lands, I may be able to refer her to a reputable garage. I hope she won’t be startled by paying $2000/month for an apartment.
We too have a “courtesy inspection” we do with every car, but I have actually whittled it down to something that can be done in 6 minutes, .1 hour. I was able to convince ownership that performing a lengthy inspection for free was fair to neither the tech nor the customer.
I agree completely and that was the norm when I went to school. We had shop and home-economics (boys and girls) in 7th and 8th grades and one class of shop that rotated through 4 disciplines the first year in High School.
One grandfather was always pretty handy and the other, my father’s father was not. My father, an engineer, liked to do projects around the house but wouldn’t touch the car. But I learned through them, watching This Old House and reading car books to learn to do a lot of my own work. Since I worked in the test labs right out of engineering school, I learned even more manual skills. It was fun for me.
When we bought our first house, it needed a lot of repairs inside. I learned to finish plaster, repair walls, the works. My car skills grew since I raced cars and the only way to afford it was to do my own wrenching. The end result is my list of skills grew pretty wide. I love to watch metal fabricators English Wheel out a panel or welders lay down a stack of dimes. It is pure art. I can’t do it myself but I admire those that can.
When I think back on those experiences, I consider how much money I saved over the years by doing it myself. For me to pay for any repair, I have to earn enough money after taxes to pay for a job marked up 2-3 times to pay for the workers costs and taxes over their take-home. There are a lot of hands-out beyond the guy doing the work. I’ll just use my hands and eliminate all those middlemen. Rather than take a second job, like many folks, I’ll pay myself.
Car Talk had 3 halves.
Are we destined to have a world in which people don’t grow their own food?
I fratelli Magliozzi used to say, ‘Friends don’t let friends use Jiffy Lube.’ So that’s my advice: go to Jiffy Lube.
(I change my own, of course, because I’m a poor person whose time is worth less than the guy at the garage.)
Well if at a coin operated car wash, ‘how many quarters are left?’ Is a legitimate question.
As a hiring manager I hire fresh-outs with degrees in Computer Science with a heavy Math component of the major. If the colleges I interviewed students from were just test takers, then I never would have hired them. There are some colleges I do stay away from…University of Phoenix for one.
@asemaster, thanks for the tip on a shop referral for my daughter. She’s already leased a 2 story, 3 car garage home but I don’t have the address yet. I’m sure the lease payments are a groaner…
The company that hired her flew her to Seattle just for an interview and they’re starting her out in the 6 figures and footing the entire bill for her move so I guess she can afford it. I’d still cringe even if I could afford it…
I will post or mail the address when I get it. I fully trust any recommendation you make because she will definitely need someone to service her cars. She has an '05 Mustang and a '15 Challenger R/T.
I’ll help as I can, Seattle is a big place. That Challenger is going to be struggling to stretch its legs up there. When the sign on the freeway says “60mph” that’s not the speed limit, it’s the speed goal.
I think she’ll find that that 6-figure salary doesn’t mean as much there as it would in OK. I think I read somewhere that the average home in Seattle now costs upward of $600,000. I’m not surprised that she was given relocation expenses, that’s kind of the norm these days. My wife was given a very generous package as part of her offer to move here, and they flew her down for interviews as well.
It’s a beautiful area though and I imagine we’ll return one day.
@asemaster, she said the address was in the 223 SW part of Bothell and may be on the edge of Bothell. She’s on her way up there now. Any recommendations for service in that area is greatly appreciated.
She used to do a lot of her own service work but career has taken over so she just farms it out. When she was 16 and got her first car (a Mitsubish Eclipse) she had me explain how various things on it worked and how to do various service procedures…
She even did the first front brake job (rotors. pads, and slide servicing) all on her own with me just sitting back and throwing a hint her way now and then. Filters, spark plugs, oil changes, she does it all.
She’s very petite anyway and it’s unusual to see a young woman who wants to learn mechanical things and who doesn’t mind getting grease under her nails. She even wanted to learn how an internal combustion engine works and how the fuel injection system operates. A lot of adult men don’t even go that far…
Some adult men don’t even venture into any of the mechanical aspects of their cars!
When I and my friends were graduating college and–obviously–would soon be commuting to full-time jobs that required punctuality, I offered a close friend some help regarding how to check his fluids, and how to change a tire. Not really technical stuff, but surely necessary, IMHO.
Believe it or not, he (politely) rejected my offer. He said that he would continue to rely on gas station employees to check his fluids. I asked him what he would do if he had a flat tire and his answer was, “I’ll wait for some kind person to come along and change it for me”.
Well, a few months later–sure enough–he had a flat tire. Fortunately for him, it was on a non-work day.
In the aftermath, I asked him, “So… what did you do Charlie?”.
His response was, “I waited for someone to come along to change the tire for me”.
“Oh”, I asked, “How long did you have to wait”.
“Four 1/2 hours”, said Charlie.
@ok4450, Ok, Bothell is 20 miles NW of Seattle proper, I was 30 miles south in the Tacoma area. If she had moved south I could give you a number of recommendations. As it is, only one shop comes to mind. F&F Auto Clinic. I have not had any dealings with them directly but they have a good reputation and the person I know that has dealt with them has always been happy with the service. If your daughter ever decides to buy an import or a hybrid I’ll know w where to send her.
The Puget Sound region is a beautiful area and I hope she enjoys it there. I hope she likes driving on floating bridges!