Mechanic's "Ten Commandments" And Tips

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    Mechanic's "Ten Commandments" And Tips

    I put lots of thought into bettering my craft as an auto mechanic and have come up with my own “ten commandments” of sorts to both help myself and the other guys in the field.

    1. NEVER LIE OR BE DISHONEST WITH CUSTOMERS. There’s too much legitimate work on vehicles out there to EVER lie to a customer or feed them a line of BS. This is the biggest plague on the automotive industry. Guy’s will call a leaking oil pan and clean up the leak with brake cleaner, or only change one bank when doing a tune up because “the back ones are a PITA” If that’s your attitude, GTFO of this business.

    2. Always make things easier for the next guy. Whether that’s spraying down tie rods and cam bolts to free them up before doing an alignment, putting anti seize (I’m starting to like Fluid Film for this application better) on hubs to prevent brake rotors from rusting on, or inside knuckles before replacing hub assemblies,etc. For instance, if I replace an outer tie rod, I will wire wheel the threads of the inner tie rod, run the jam nut back and forth to free it up for when an alignment is done. No sense in fighting with rusty, crusty stuff. Anti-seize goes on bolts that are known to either seize and snap off, such as Jeep Wrangler rear shock bolts, or seize in place, such as Chevy truck upper control arm cam bolts or Ram 1500 lower strut bolts.

    3. Use the right tool for the job. Your hands are not hammers, don’t use your hands or legs to break things loose (kicking stick on wheels, hitting the ratchet/wrench/prybar with your hand to break a bolt loose,etc.). Your ratchet, wrench, impact, etc. are also not hammers. Don’t use SAE sockets on metric because it’s “close enough” (there are exceptions to this, such as 5/16 and 8mm). Don’t use a 1/2 impact and 2 reducers on a 7mm bolt. I’m so lazy I’ve gotten to the point to where I’ll rarely use an actual hammer, I prefer using the air hammer with a flat chisel bit to remove rotors, a pointed tip to get hub assemblies to spin in the knuckle and come right out. Saves wear and tear on your body too.

    4. Torque wrenches exist for a reason, use them! With most things, once you get an experienced “feel” for how tight things should be, you can get pretty close with your hands or air/electric tools, but I still break out the the torque wrench for EVERY wheel I put on. Too many guys go gung-ho with the impact and make things WAY too tight. Even things as simple as oil filters. Bottom it out and give it 3/4 to 1 turn. I should NOT need a 1/2 breaker bar with a cheater pipe to take out an oil drain plug or oil filter, but I’ve been there.

    5. Take care of your body. I wear safety glasses whenever I’m working on a vehicle, can’t risk screwing up my eyes, which seem to be magnets for dirt and oil/coolant/brake cleaner/brake fluid/transmission fluid. Been there, done that, no thanks. Won’t see me kneeling directly on concrete unless I downright have to. I have thick pieces of foam I’ve cut down and made a kneeling pad for when I’m racking up a vehicle on the lift. Didn’t for the first several years of doing mechanic work and my knees are already paying for it. Same with wearing gloves. I know the old timers will make fun of you and say you’re wearing “bitch mittens”, but I don’t know how they’ve done it all these years after seeing what their hands look like. Didn’t wear gloves either for the first few years but I quickly learned the advantage they provide.

    6. Always be learning, never be content. Always be looking for the faster/easier way of doing something. Never do things the “hard” way if you can help it. Won’t see me breaking out an old school combination wrench or ratchet if I can help it. It’s all cordless/pneumatic whenever possible. Same goes for things like wire brush vs wire wheel. Once I wire brushed something a few times I’m like “fuck this” and break out the die grinder with a wire wheel.

    7. Stay organized. Digging through a drawer full of sockets/wrenches/pliers or whatever is a waste of time. Keep your toolbox organized with everything in a designated spot. Socket rails and other organizers like that greatly aid in finding tools easily.

    8. Don’t be a parts changer. Test, don’t guess. When you tell a customer that their car needs x part or x repair, let that be because you’ve gone through the steps to verify not only the problem, but have gone through all the diagnostic process needed to verify the actual cause of the problem. Too many guys just get a trouble code, look up the most common part replaced for that code and shotgun a part at the car. And yes that’ll work roughly 75% of the time. It’s that other 25 that gets you.

    9. Take pride in your work. This goes with anything, but if something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right. Do it right or don’t do it at all. Too many guys out there, when doing a brake job, don’t replace rattle clips, don’t lube caliper slides, don’t clean hubs before installing new rotors, etc. Putting “whatever” oil you have close by instead of the proper grade because “It doesn’t matter”. There’s many other examples of poor workmanship I can cite.

    10. Have the right attitude towards your work. If you’re one of the guys in this field that whines and complains when you have to do something out of your comfort zone, or you find yourself saying “X is stupid, why do you need that” or any such sentiment, GET OUT OF THIS BUSINESS. If you’re not prepared to learn and grow your skills each and every day, as well as keep up with the tools needed to do proper work, you’re in the wrong business. Figuring out new things and new systems I’ve never worked on before gives me the “warm fuzzies” like nothing else in life can, and I look forward to the challenges that lie ahead, even though I might get frustrated while working on it. If you’re a guy that only aspires to do low level work or never venture outside your comfort zone, you’ll likely get frustrated with the business due to “low pay” or “crap work”. When really if that’s all you aspire to, that’s all you’re going to get. Too many guys are happy to put out mediocre work and almost take pride in their ignorance of not being able to understand this “new shit”. It takes lots of effort to learn ad keep growing as a tech, and few of them are willing to do it.

    This are just some of the observations I’ve had in my 6 or so years of working as a professional auto tech.

    What others can you guys think of?

    #2
    Hi jimmy blah blah
    The shithead formerly known as cn'tafordit & Brocko2

    Comment


      #3
      Well said!
      Click image for larger version
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      83, 22re,w56,ultimate duals,4:10 \31" arbs.
      hopes to grow up someday

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        #4
        I'm sure there's going to be a pile of haters in this thread in short order...

        but not me, I wish that the rare times I need to bring a vehicle in for service (usually warranty work but w/e) the people working on it had your attitude and approach to it. Not being in the trade but doing a ton of work myself, I always do things "right" no matter the time/cost up front, it's cheaper in the long run.

        Comment


          #5
          Whatsamatter? Didn't get enough traction with this thread on pirate?


          "If she'll wink, she'll fuck"

          GO MINING

          Comment


            #6
            No commandment about flat rate work?

            PLEASE BUY AMERICAN SO WE DON'T HAVE TO LEARN CHINESE
            The 4th little pig made his house of reinforced concrete, with wolfskin rugs in every room

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              #7
              Originally posted by ExWrench View Post
              No commandment about flat rate work?
              On flat rate, I have no problems with it as long as the shop is willing to bill customers extra to deal with rust, most won’t, however. It’s fair to charge the customer for things not in the scope of normal work, such as broken fasteners, seized parts, etc. My position on it has changed since I originally posted my flat rate threads on pirate.

              Oh, and warranty times are still BS. There should be one book time for every job, regardless of warranty or customer pay, and bill the customers extra for having to deal with rust and other complications. That’s partly why I try and make things easier on the next guy, but I also do it selfishly because the next guy might be me, and I don’t want to fight with it anymore than they do. Still aim to always put out quality work and do it as quickly and efficently as possible, as I'm quite lazy and want to accomplish the task at hand as easily and with the least effort as possible. Essentially I have the flat rate mindset of always looking for shortcuts and ways to make the job easier.


              Far as shops go, I won't work flat rate without some kind of hour guarantee (30-35 hours a week) so shops have incentive to not over hire. Don't have to deal with that because I currently work in an hourly shop.

              I'm looking for any and all mechanic tips, tricks and ways to make life easier, as well as your general outlook and how you approach fixing cars.
              Last edited by jimmy123456789; 07-16-2020, 08:26 PM.

              Comment


                #8
                Oh fuck, not again.

                Why did you bring up flat rate?

                I’ll bet a dollar you poke at hornet’s nests.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Clb View Post
                  Well said!
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                  Man there is so much truth in this. I always wonder what the neighbors down the holler think when I yell, "Mother fucking piece of shit, mother fucker, fuck!" with all the doors and windows open in the shop. Ha-ha!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by jimmy123456789 View Post

                    On flat rate, I have no problems with it as long as the shop is willing to bill customers extra to deal with rust, most won’t, however. It’s fair to charge the customer for things not in the scope of normal work, such as broken fasteners, seized parts, etc. My position on it has changed since I originally posted my flat rate threads on pirate.

                    Oh, and warranty times are still BS. There should be one book time for every job, regardless of warranty or customer pay, and bill the customers extra for having to deal with rust and other complications. That’s partly why I try and make things easier on the next guy, but I also do it selfishly because the next guy might be me, and I don’t want to fight with it anymore than they do. Still aim to always put out quality work and do it as quickly and efficently as possible, as I'm quite lazy and want to accomplish the task at hand as easily and with the least effort as possible. Essentially I have the flat rate mindset of always looking for shortcuts and ways to make the job easier.


                    Far as shops go, I won't work flat rate without some kind of hour guarantee (30-35 hours a week) so shops have incentive to not over hire. Don't have to deal with that because I currently work in an hourly shop.

                    I'm looking for any and all mechanic tips, tricks and ways to make life easier, as well as your general outlook and how you approach fixing cars.
                    The mechanic who stickers my car for inspection knows his shit. I don't know about the guy working with him, but the guy that owns the business has built a lot of cool custom stuff. He literally has a sign on his wall that says "We will not work on any cars older than 2004" or something like that, because they're rusted out shit boxes. He also charges people $75 an hour if he has to look for insurance and registration for inspections.

                    If you own your own shop, this works...he isn't hurting for work, at all. Sometimes I think I'm in the wrong line of work.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Etyler2 View Post
                      Oh fuck, not again.

                      Why did you bring up flat rate?

                      I’ll bet a dollar you poke at hornet’s nests.
                      Fine, let's keep this Shat thread civil.






                      So, new subject: abortion - annnd . . . go!

                      PLEASE BUY AMERICAN SO WE DON'T HAVE TO LEARN CHINESE
                      The 4th little pig made his house of reinforced concrete, with wolfskin rugs in every room

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Antiseize blends in and looks invisible on the lip of a can of Barq’s root beer if one of your fellow mechanics happens to drink the stuff.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Rule 11. If it doesn’t work, look at the last thing you (or someone) fucked with.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by jimmy123456789 View Post
                            blah, blah, blah fucking blah

                            Well this new place has officially gone to shit!

                            Jimmy, we didn't want or need your "advice" at the old place. We certainly don't want or need it here. Run along now. I think I hear your mommy calling.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by jimmy123456789 View Post

                              This are just some of the observations I’ve had in my 6 or so years of working as a professional auto tech.

                              What others can you guys think of?
                              Never let anyone who proudly states they're ASE certified to even look at my vehicle.

                              Comment

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