Auto Mechanics & Economy
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Auto Mechanics & Economy (by GKARL [PA]) Feb 7, 2024 2:32 PM
       Auto Mechanics & Economy (by plenty [MI]) Feb 7, 2024 2:49 PM
       Auto Mechanics & Economy (by Richard [MI]) Feb 7, 2024 3:48 PM
       Auto Mechanics & Economy (by Ken [NY]) Feb 7, 2024 3:48 PM
       Auto Mechanics & Economy (by Larry [MN]) Feb 7, 2024 4:18 PM
       Auto Mechanics & Economy (by Sisco [MO]) Feb 7, 2024 6:00 PM
       Auto Mechanics & Economy (by 6x6 [TN]) Feb 7, 2024 7:22 PM
       Auto Mechanics & Economy (by Hoosier [IN]) Feb 7, 2024 8:10 PM
       Auto Mechanics & Economy (by GKARL [PA]) Feb 7, 2024 8:47 PM
       Auto Mechanics & Economy (by don [PA]) Feb 7, 2024 9:39 PM
       Auto Mechanics & Economy (by Hoosier [IN]) Feb 7, 2024 9:55 PM
       Auto Mechanics & Economy (by Small potatoes [NY]) Feb 7, 2024 10:49 PM
       Auto Mechanics & Economy (by Robert,OntarioCanada [ON]) Feb 7, 2024 10:52 PM
       Auto Mechanics & Economy (by Jason [VA]) Feb 8, 2024 6:48 AM
       Auto Mechanics & Economy (by NE [PA]) Feb 8, 2024 6:57 AM
       Auto Mechanics & Economy (by Hoosier [IN]) Feb 8, 2024 8:22 AM
       Auto Mechanics & Economy (by GKARL [PA]) Feb 8, 2024 9:36 AM
       Auto Mechanics & Economy (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Feb 8, 2024 11:19 AM
       Auto Mechanics & Economy (by 6x6 [TN]) Feb 8, 2024 5:22 PM

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Auto Mechanics & Economy (by GKARL [PA]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2024 2:32 PM

This is anecdotal for what it's worth. I needed some work done on the cars and the usual mechanic (Mechanic # 1) I go to is normally a week out. When I called fully expecting to be scheduled a week from now, I was told the schedule was open and I can come now, so I dropped my SUV off. My truck needed some brake work. I called around to get prices and was going to drop it off at Jiffy Lube, but I was going to have to wait on it. In the meantime, another mechanic (mechanic # 3) had an opening where I could drop it off today after initially telling me that I'd wait until tomorrow, so I decided to go with them to avoid the wait. Jiffy Lube calls me when I don't show saying they had a bay all ready for me and please come. The place I dropped it off to called to say I needed one caliper as well and quoted me a price which I balked at. He then countered with a lower price so he didn't lose the sale. This is work on two cars split between three different mechanics all whom seemed to be desperate for the business with open schedules.

I'm thinking remote work has cut into their business and may partially explain at least some of this. People aren't driving like they used to, so a lot less maintenance is needed. But I'm also thinking there may be something going on in the underlying economic situation.

Auto Mechanics & Economy (by plenty [MI]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2024 2:49 PM

I would agree with you. Drycleaners are drying up too.

Auto Mechanics & Economy (by Richard [MI]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2024 3:48 PM

I'm seeing the same thing.2 different mechanics here said they could get me in immediately and one place I went by that usually has 6+ card waiting had no cars at all.

I'm thinking that a lot of people are short of money and putting off repairs unless the car is just not running. --75.7.xx.xx

Auto Mechanics & Economy (by Ken [NY]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2024 3:48 PM

I bet people dont have the money to work on cars so they are just sitting in driveways till they can afford it or they are attempting to fix it themselves --74.77.xx.xx

Auto Mechanics & Economy (by Larry [MN]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2024 4:18 PM

I'm noticing more people on Nextdoor looking for handy man work, painting, tree and shrub removal, junk hauling, etc.

It could be people who normally get by doing snow removal. We are having record warmth in Minnesota this winter and zero snow.

Auto Mechanics & Economy (by Sisco [MO]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2024 6:00 PM

New car dealerships have gotten back into the auto repair/service /tire business in a much bigger way. The small independent auto repair shop is often unable to keep up with buying the new tools and education of technicians.

Auto Mechanics & Economy (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2024 7:22 PM

A few thoughts:

1) During the pandemic a lot of people were driving around in new cars. Cars are looking older today though.

2) The cost to take your vehicle in for repair have skyrocketed like everything else.

3) The price of parts has also skyrocketed.

4) I agree with Richard in that a lot of people are running short of money, and I will add, possibly running short of credit.

5) You may have well gotten that price lowered for that caliper, but there is a good possibility that the quality of that caliper got lowered as well. Just as a side note, I don't really like aftermarket parts. They really don't fit exactly right and aren't usually the correct specs, nor are they made of good quality. They are cheaper though, in more ways than one.

6) During my short life on this planet earth, I haven't really noticed too many people that take proper care of their cars. For that matter, they don't houses either.

7) I don't usually like other people touching my truck. Vehicles become junkyard vehicles for 3 main reasons.

A) They are truly worn out or wrecked and aren't worth the cost to repair anymore.

B) Most likely, too many wrong people have had their hands on it.

C) Second most likely, they get packed full of aftermarket parts, that don't fit or function properly and don't last as long as OEM. And they were installed by the most likely wrong people. Now they sit in a junk yard.

Auto Mechanics & Economy (by Hoosier [IN]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2024 8:10 PM

Good think I left the auto mechanic field in the '80s lol.

Seriously though...I enjoyed being a mechanic because it was a way to help people while working with my hands. They would come in "sad" that their car was broken, and leave "happy" as it was fixed.

However, there were a lot of customers that would complain about prices being too high or saying "I know you said my brakes are leaking fluid...but all I asked you to do was wire my stereo so it works...quit trying to upsell me!"

That type of attitude rubbed me the wrong way...tried to save a guy's life and all he cares about is his music.

The company I worked for also expected us not only to buy all our own tools, but also to insure them even though they were left on the company's property and relied upon the security of the company.

Let me tell a story...

I used to work at a front end and brake shop. There were three mechanics including me. I did strut replacements...lots of them. At first they took me about 2.5 hours including the alignment afterwards. But then I found a tool that would significantly cut the time and was much safer than the other method (springs can kill you if not safely handled when compressed). The tool was about $300 and this was in the late '80s when I was making about $7 an hour. I went to my boss and asked if the company could buy the tool and we could all share it...he said no. So I bought the tool myself and used it. My jobs were then cut in half, and the other two mechanics could not keep up. My boss told me to let them use the tool so the shop could make more money. I said "no". LOL

In the end, the boss agreed to buy the tool from me and then we all shared it, but the attitude of my boss really ticked me off and we were never on good terms after that. I think good mechanics deserve a lot more respect than they get.

Auto Mechanics & Economy (by GKARL [PA]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2024 8:47 PM

Hoosier, you must have bought a spring compressor. Several years ago, I had two old Bimmers and the only way to cost effectively own them was to do my own work. I just don't have that sort of time anymore and was never crazy about getting in underneath while it was up on jack stands. Of course , brake jobs don't require getting underneath. I could have done most of this work myself as I still have all the tools, but don't have the time.

Auto Mechanics & Economy (by don [PA]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2024 9:39 PM

auto repairs are actually what is known as an "inferior" product in the context of economics. An inferior product is one that does well when the economy is bad. Typical example is potatoes; when people feel that they are short on money they buy more potatoes and less meat. Likewise, when people have economic uncertainty they do not take on the debt of buying a new car, they fix what they have.

Auto Mechanics & Economy (by Hoosier [IN]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2024 9:55 PM

Yes Karl…it was a snap-on alligator spring compressor….i still have it lol

Auto Mechanics & Economy (by Small potatoes [NY]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2024 10:49 PM

I wouldn't trust jiffy lube w my ride. Never heard good things about them from acquaintances, same for midas. Locally Mavis is boycotted because of the limo crash where that franchise said break work was done when it wasn't. --67.240.xx.xx

Auto Mechanics & Economy (by Robert,OntarioCanada [ON]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2024 10:52 PM

When driving a lot of people race to red light then hit the brakes where nothing is gained other then wearing out brake pads and brake shoes. Slow down to a red light then most of time light goes to green where gently apply the gas pedal where will save gasoline along less and tear on brakes. A brake job is a very straight forward job where replacing brake pads, brake discs, brake shoes and brake drums. Unless have one those European vehicles which require programing. I drove a Volvo EV where never had to use brakes as just take foot off accelerator pedal then the regenerative braking takes effect. If had the funds would consider buying a Tesla where liter of gasoline here is around $1.50 per liter which goes up in April as the Fiberals are going to increase the carbon tax again.

Auto Mechanics & Economy (by Jason [VA]) Posted on: Feb 8, 2024 6:48 AM

As electric vehicles become more popular, the small bay mechanic shops are going to get more and more sparse. No oil changes, nowhere near as many parts to break, and brakes that last over 150k miles. I’m 60k miles into mine and have spent $6 in maintenance for windshield wiper fluid thus far. --71.63.xx.xx

Auto Mechanics & Economy (by NE [PA]) Posted on: Feb 8, 2024 6:57 AM

DIY, when and where you can. That’s the American way.

Auto Mechanics & Economy (by Hoosier [IN]) Posted on: Feb 8, 2024 8:22 AM

Go to YouTube and watch the “Just Rolled In” series and see how many people make things WORSE by DIYing their cars. Not everyone can work on their own car. Not everyone can become a mechanic, electrician, plumber, carpenter, hair stylist, doctor, appliance repair tech, and so on. Everyone needs to learn their limits and do what they can without making things worse. --172.225.xx.xx

Auto Mechanics & Economy (by GKARL [PA]) Posted on: Feb 8, 2024 9:36 AM

Then there's also the matter of time. By the to time I run back and forth for tools and parts, the job could be done. There are simply some problems best solved with a check. Unlike handymen, there's plenty of mechanics. --172.56.xx.xx

Auto Mechanics & Economy (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Posted on: Feb 8, 2024 11:19 AM

It would be intere4sting to know if the same no shows landlords have are also the no shows for auto appointments

Auto Mechanics & Economy (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Feb 8, 2024 5:22 PM

Ray, GKARL was the no show to Jiffy Lube.

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