Incompetent service these days !!
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    Default Incompetent service these days !!

    Hi
    Today I made a friend for life. I fixed a persons auto transmission. Actually it was his wife's runaround. They have had it for a lot of years but recently it has been a bit reluctant to drive for a while, and getting worse. He took it to three, yes three, auto transmission shops to be look at. None wanted to work on it and all have changed hands in recent years ?? All three were reputable shops I would have recommended and one was an NRMA preferred repairer. One guy sold him a gasket and filter and told him to change that. After the owner and the "expert" next door did that and refilled with Penrite correct oil, it would not drive either way.

    Ringing around further he was told only that he could get a reconditioned unit at about $3000 plus fitting. But he came across me by accident and told me the story. Now what exotic fancy car and transmission is this unit. A 1995 diesel Toyota ute !! With only 160000Ks on the clock and good condition ! I thought it must have a newer electronic transmission that people do not want to fix but when I looked at the car it was just the old fashioned A43D that they must have fitted to millions of vehicles and have no electronics or even a wire to them.

    So I looked at the shift linkage- OK, the throttle valve cable- OK, started the engine ran it through the gears and checked the dip stick- a drip on the end only. So put in the last liter and a half still in the bottle, still not enough but it did move a bit, put another liter in and at last it was up a bit high. This time on starting it and running through the gears it moved ok. So out to the road and drives OK. Round the block a few times, back up a bit and deemed fixed. The expert next door had slunk off too. It transpired the oil had always been checked without the engine running and eventually it lost enough to cause the problems. No real leaks or stains where it is parked. PS none in the radiator either.

    So a happy couple. Geese how easy was that. Been to three auto shops with an old style transmission with a dip stick and none of them even looked at the oil level before suggesting it needed a reconditioned transmission for $3k++. In fact never even look at the car at all. They could have got a service out of it at least. I find it hard to believe the incompetence of the current owners of these old well regarded businesses.
    Jaahn
    PS the french car connection is this !! All hydraulic auto transmission oil levels are checked with the engine running. Even the new fancy (sealed for life) ones with overflow tubes ie all AL4 and AM6 transmissions in Renaults Citroens and Peugeots. DO NOT FORGET THAT.

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    1000+ Posts dmccurtayne's Avatar
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    Common sense ainít that common


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    COL
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    Sounds very familiar.

    My 1995 Laguna V6 was sometimes going into limp mode when the auto got hot. Took it to a reputable local auto trans service to get the auto trans oil changed.

    Took the XR25 (Renault's factory diagnostic computer) so that they could get the oil level correct.

    Left it there for a few hours and came back and they had not even touched it and said it was all to hard for them.

    The auto box is an AD8 and is similar to what VW use.

    Anyway after getting some info off of Jo on here I did it myself for the cost of the trans fluid.

    Its not just auto transmissions in cars its tyres, wheel alignments, auto electrics just to mention a few.

    All I can say is i'm glad that i'm able to service my own cars and don't have to rely on some of these muppets out there.

    I know there are some very good service people out there but they are getting harder to find.
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    Hi all, After reading all the misery on AL4 transmissions on these different threads, I had great doubts about changing the transmission oil on my wifes fairly recently bought 2001 306 cab peugeot auto. Its got 66000 odd km on clock and was eastern subs sydney low use car. all city driving. I followed the instruction on this sight re lower and upper plugs and carefully measured the 3.5 l in and out of the box . I am amazed at the filthy oil that came out at the first drop. Like old engine oil. Refilled with correct Penrite oil and took car for a 20 km run to the pub and on way back run it in reverse for say km on lowlands farm road, and when home dropped that load of oil. Wow . That was nearly as dirty. Ps. Car felt much smoother in its changes, although there was never anything wrong. When my local motor factor has restocked with more fluid I will repeat the exercise another twice as recommended. Cost $200 fluid . $75 square 8 mm socket only in kit. Still way cheaper than auto co possibly doing 4 changes . I doubt. If a transmission has a dipstick every instuction book says have engine running, young appretices/ old gear I guess
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    In my days of running a service department , if a car arrived with an auto problem the first thing I did was pull the dipstick and smell the oil , wipe the stick and check oil level.
    If the oil had a burnt caramel smell and the level was low then the onwer was in for a big shock.
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    G'day,

    Quote Originally Posted by COL View Post
    .........Its not just auto transmissions in cars its tyres, wheel alignments, auto electrics just to mention a few.

    All I can say is i'm glad that i'm able to service my own cars and don't have to rely on some of these muppets out there.

    I know there are some very good service people out there but they are getting harder to find.
    yes, I'm a bit suspect of our last tyre change. A new set of Continentals and "correction of gross misalignment" has resulted in noticeable degradation in fuel economy....

    I also note that whilst the wheel positions are clearly marked on the B pillar info sticker, this doesn't agree with where the wheels are. Why is it that it's left to the mug owner to find and sort this stuff.....

    cheers,
    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by COL View Post
    Its not just auto transmissions in cars its tyres, wheel alignments, auto electrics just to mention a few.
    Yes, most modern cars should have a steering angle sensor reset after a wheel alignment ( Why do I need to reset the steering angle sensor after an alignment? ) but does the tyre fitter ever mention it? After a transmission service, the oil counter and adaptives should be reset, but does the transmission specialist ever do or mention it?

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    Thanks for the reminder! The better diagnostic tools e.g. Launch x431 have that feature.
    "The enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it's the illusion of knowledge"
    Stephen Hawking

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    I knew nothing about automatic transmissions when I bought my first Peugeot 505. I had owned a 504 manual (and other manual cars) prior to that.

    I got it cheap because the transmission was slipping. Asked my local Pug guy about it and he said to check the level with the engine running. I had not heard of doing this.

    It had done 180,000 Ks and I did another 200,000 Ks in it till I sold it....still running perfectly.
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    For people with cars with th ZF 4HP14 automatic gearbox (BXs and Xantias plus Peugeot equivalents), I would just drain the gearbox every 10,000 kms and fill with 2.4 litres of Dexron II (now it will be Dexron III). I never bother to check the level in between.

    I change the engine oil/filter every 5,000 km, so the automatic transmission gets changed every send time. Again I rarely check the engine oil level between changes. I do regularly check for external oil leaks and the ground where the car is parked. I also measure the sump oil after draining to make sure it is close enough to the amount I fill.

    It is a lazy way but the engine and automatic seem to survive. I gave up long ago taking the automatic to a specialist to service. I really don't believe they do anything more than change the oil and rob me blind.

    John

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    yep,got two mature age first year apprentices(mid 20,s) at work trying to get them to recheck fluid levels on auto transmissions (mostly zf ecoloife in scanias) with engine running in neutral is a pain as they say the scania manual says fill to stop mark on dipstick (approx 30mm above max hot mark) and level will be ok.trying to explain that there are variables as to draining auto trans such as torque converter drain off depending how long it has sat since engine switch off,rechecked level when running and required another four litres (usually approx 45 litres for trans drain) and explained that for the extra time to recheck level saves a lot of angst and cost(approx $17,000 ) if trans fails after servicing.so glad I,m retiring in two months.........jim p.s. both apprentices have spent time at university ,which is a challenge as to their perceived knowledge.
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    Ooops should be 15 litres for trans service........jim

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    dvr
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    The motor trade pays mechanics very poorly. (If you pay peanuts you get monkeys.)

    Compared to other trades, mechanics need to be more knowledgeable about what they're working on. There's also the constant need to upskill and learn the ever changing technologies being introduced by the manufacturers.

    The complexities of so many different models and systems let alone the spannering skills involved, results in many questioning why they bother for the lowest pay in the trades. Many leave and a lot of those that stay can't be bothered.

    I've heard that in the US the typical wage for a competent mechanic is over US$100k pa. Doubt any mechanic employed here would ever get the same.

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    The us model is very different to ours almost full commission wages you pay off your apprenticeship/ tafe / training at a greater cost than a hex dept and scan tools etc are the mechanics responsibility. And from personal experience I can tell you those wages are available to techs that can diag and get through a above average amount of work. Itís a good thing that we had no unions involved because people who have talent and a motor can get paid well whereas filter spinners get the minimum wage they deserve.


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    [QUOTE= ... $75 square 8 mm socket only in kit. Still way cheaper than auto co possibly doing 4 changes.... [/QUOTE]


    8mm drain plug...


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    Quote Originally Posted by dvr View Post
    The motor trade pays mechanics very poorly. (If you pay peanuts you get monkeys.)

    Compared to other trades, mechanics need to be more knowledgeable about what they're working on. There's also the constant need to upskill and learn the ever changing technologies being introduced by the manufacturers.

    The complexities of so many different models and systems let alone the spannering skills involved, results in many questioning why they bother for the lowest pay in the trades. Many leave and a lot of those that stay can't be bothered.

    I've heard that in the US the typical wage for a competent mechanic is over US$100k pa. Doubt any mechanic employed here would ever get the same.
    The trade would pay more if customers were prepared to.
    If you get a tradie to your house most charge up to $100 per hour and his overheads are a van, fuel and an ad in the local paper but a mechanic has rent, electricity, ads, latest tech equipment and most people (especially on Aussiefrogs) complain at $100 per hour just to undo a drain plug and fill with oil.
    Like you say, pay peanuts get monkeys.
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    Spot on Dave,when I had my workshop (between 20 and 35 years ago) I had two mechanics,super to pay,rent,electricity,insurances would phone my wife at 7.00pm to let her know whether I was going to be home early or late.latest I worked was 2am to finish a vehicle the customer urgently needed by 9.00am the next day,back at 7.30am and then the customer doesn,t show up until 5.00pm.i had customers drop cars off at 5.00pm the day of booking and expect to pick up car at 8.00am next morning.i had two customers rip me off not paying one cent,each owing around $2500 each and then take me to small claims tribunal expecting me to pay them the repair costs.both repairs were done to the customers requests and properly repaired,my only fault was that I trusted these peoples word and let them take the vehicles and pay later which they said they would.On speaking to another Renault/Peugeot specialists in the area at the time about these customers he said the woman customer with the Renault 25 had been doing the rounds of service centres and he had been ripped off by her as well.needless to say there claims were thrown out,but left me well out of pocket and never saw a cent from these thieves.I can still remember losing four or five customers because I had increased my labour rate from $30.00 per hour to $32.50 and trying to explain to them that my overheads had increased and I had not raised my labour rate for two years or more which fell on deaf ears.Funny how six months later I start to get them phoning up and wanting to book their cars in,unfortunately I was booked out for them.One of those customers I would pick his car up leave my car for him to use,drop his car off when finished,find he would never top up fuel used in my car,(his house was 20km from my workshop,10km from my house) and then when complaing about $2.50 labour increase had the nerve to complain about bad service.........just a couple of lifes experiences dealing with general public,luckily 95% of my customers were honest and realistic.............jim
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    Early December last year I get a call from a person who,s wife has an rcz which had been to the dealership of purchase for rough running and dash warning lights on.Two weeks and $2000 later car is picked up and noticing fuel is low is fuelled up at servo near dealer,on start up backfires and runs even worse,owner limps back to dealer,mechanic says intake hose turbo to intake has blown off,service manager interrupts and says it,s going to be another$1600.Now owner is uni lecturer and reasonably clued up on car basics so with that she informs manager that she is taking her car and will never return to dealership.I check out car,one faulty ign coil,crackers(spark plugs) are old/worn,air itake air filter to turbo been cracked/silicone up,hose turbo to intake off,intake ports carboned up heaps (shown to owner with inspection camera by me).owner says dealer told her they put injector cleaner in fuel tank and fuel system should be dead clean.? she questions the knowledge of these dealership people....what can I say? eight hours roughly in labour and clear fault codes and car is running like a clock...........jim
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    Default Incompetent service these days !!

    What dealer a psa one come on name and shame


    Garage C5 X7 3008 XTE
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    Quote Originally Posted by dacia4x4 View Post
    Spot on Dave,when I had my workshop (between 20 and 35 years ago) I had two mechanics,super to pay,rent,electricity,insurances would phone my wife at 7.00pm to let her know whether I was going to be home early or late.latest I worked was 2am to finish a vehicle the customer urgently needed by 9.00am the next day,back at 7.30am and then the customer doesn,t show up until 5.00pm.i had customers drop cars off at 5.00pm the day of booking and expect to pick up car at 8.00am next morning.i had two customers rip me off not paying one cent,each owing around $2500 each and then take me to small claims tribunal expecting me to pay them the repair costs.both repairs were done to the customers requests and properly repaired,my only fault was that I trusted these peoples word and let them take the vehicles and pay later which they said they would.On speaking to another Renault/Peugeot specialists in the area at the time about these customers he said the woman customer with the Renault 25 had been doing the rounds of service centres and he had been ripped off by her as well.needless to say there claims were thrown out,but left me well out of pocket and never saw a cent from these thieves.I can still remember losing four or five customers because I had increased my labour rate from $30.00 per hour to $32.50 and trying to explain to them that my overheads had increased and I had not raised my labour rate for two years or more which fell on deaf ears.Funny how six months later I start to get them phoning up and wanting to book their cars in,unfortunately I was booked out for them.One of those customers I would pick his car up leave my car for him to use,drop his car off when finished,find he would never top up fuel used in my car,(his house was 20km from my workshop,10km from my house) and then when complaing about $2.50 labour increase had the nerve to complain about bad service.........just a couple of lifes experiences dealing with general public,luckily 95% of my customers were honest and realistic.............jim
    This is why after 20 years running a workshop we now just wreck them.
    The lady with the 25. Yes I remember her.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dacia4x4 View Post
    Early December last year I get a call from a person who,s wife has an rcz which had been to the dealership of purchase for rough running and dash warning lights on.Two weeks and $2000 later car is picked up and noticing fuel is low is fuelled up at servo near dealer,on start up backfires and runs even worse,owner limps back to dealer,mechanic says intake hose turbo to intake has blown off,service manager interrupts and says it,s going to be another$1600.Now owner is uni lecturer and reasonably clued up on car basics so with that she informs manager that she is taking her car and will never return to dealership.I check out car,one faulty ign coil,crackers(spark plugs) are old/worn,air itake air filter to turbo been cracked/silicone up,hose turbo to intake off,intake ports carboned up heaps (shown to owner with inspection camera by me).owner says dealer told her they put injector cleaner in fuel tank and fuel system should be dead clean.? she questions the knowledge of these dealership people....what can I say? eight hours roughly in labour and clear fault codes and car is running like a clock...........jim
    We get that all the time and often end up buying the car because "the dealer is always right" and often have it fixed within 5 minutes of it arriving.
    We've even rang the customer and told them there's nothing wrong with it but their a dealer and we're just a wrecker.
    Because of incompetent dealers I bet they never but a French car again.
    David Cavanagh

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    Poor workshop service often translates to "this brand is unreliable". I knew a woman who made 3 trips to the selling dealer in Sydney and never had an overheating problem fixed. It was a thermostat when I looked at it. She vowed to never buy a Peugeot again, and she hasn't. Other makes will have the same problem.

    I have heard other such stories about the same workshop. It rubs off on the brand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dvr View Post
    I've heard that in the US the typical wage for a competent mechanic is over US$100k pa. Doubt any mechanic employed here would ever get the same.
    About 10 years ago I was Superintendent of a US mid west City's 3 workshops servicing over 1000 vehicles with around 80 odd so called mechanics, when I started.

    There were closer to 50, & I fired no one but most fired themselves, when I left 18 months after [death threats & intimidation] & there would have been 2 or 3 who were good @ what they did.

    None were all round mechanics, by any stretch of the imagination.
    The workshops were transitioned into just doing servicing & PM's & all real mechanical repairs were sent out to contracted specialty shops. eg. Allison transmissions, Cummins & Detroit engines, Radiators, auto elec & alternators, panel/paint, trim etc.

    Saved the City's other paying Departments around $3m over 18 months which was what they employed me to do, initially.
    When the Public Works Director got less pay due to the savings he was not the supporter, I originally had on side!

    So that was not my US experience about 10 years ago & it was even worse with their Military trained wonders in Vietnam, training was poor to non existent & what was diagnosis?

    The US is primarily composed of extremely specialized parts changers/guessers & rarely was a competent mechanic ever encountered.
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    I've heard stories of Australians making big money in the construction industry in NW USA, doing work that should have been learned by an apprentice, but wasn't. One bloke told me that on a large project no carpenter had completed an apprenticeship, or knew how to do the geometrical work involved with cutting hip roof rafters. So he became an extremely well paid specialist in those states. He also got framing work in nearby Canada as a specialist.

    Is this sort of thing to be found with mechanics there?

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    Isn't roof carpentry a specialist trade here as well? So maybe the US project guys had simply employed the wrong type of carpenters.


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