Episode 101: POS

On this week’s episode of Grease the Wheels, we are doing a case study of the single worst service advisor that Uncle Jimmy has ever had. A bad service advisor won’t try to sell the customer on the recommended repairs that a technician finds in a multipoint inspection. A worse service advisor will assume that a customer might not have money based on the way they’re dressed or some other prejudicial factor. A terrible service advisor thinks they are brilliant when they are clearly not. A horrendous service advisor would actually take the customers that came to his shop for diag and send them to other shops that have a lower labor rate for the repair. This one guy did all of these things and many, many more! Bonus points, it is all on tape and HE KNEW HE WAS BEING RECORDED! Finally, we go over what makes a good one, how to train them, and how to keep them working in relative harmony with your service department – just make sure they never say that, “the technicians are making too much money” or you might have a crime scene on your hands.

Also Uncle Jimmy talks human resources in the mob, CRM software that helps break down the barrier between customer, service advisor, and technicians, and bounces it off the limiter 81 times before editing (I did my best folks).

This episode is distributed by The Wrenching Network. Whether you’re a technician, a mechanic, or someone who just loves the car scene, The Wrenching Network is a place that you have to check out. They have all sorts of great content, gear, and snacks to keep you turning wrenches in whatever capacity you do it. Also if you see us over there, make sure you say hi and leave a comment with what you think about the episode!

Episode 100: For Those About to Wrench, We Salute You!

On this week’s Grease the Wheels, we wanted to take a minute to thank everyone on planet earth who fixes things. You all are the reason that we keep doing this podcast, but more importantly you are the reason that this world continues to move. We take a look at some of the favorite topics, themes, and mantras of the first hundred episodes as we pop in a new clip and set our sites on the next hundred, with more episodes of “The Makes”, “The Models”, and introducing some filmed segments of the show. We also salute to all of you in the indy shop’s who have to fix absolutely everything that gets driven, dragged, or pushed into your shops. Finally, we revisit the topic of opening your own shop. We completely screwed up the tone of that episode: we think it’s an awesome idea to open your own shop, especially if you have really plateaued at your current job. It keeps more money in local economies employing local people to fix local cars and then the techs, who should be paid fairly if you want to enjoy success, spend that money locally.

Also Uncle Jimmy recounts arguing with Erik the Producer(it didn’t come to blows or anything, we still have all of our teeth and limbs) over having too many “Service Advisor” episodes and writes the ultimate script for Service Advisors to be able to sell just about anything. And Uncle Jimmy gives a serious PSA about getting a colonoscopy after turning 40 or earlier if you have a family history of it.

This episode is distributed by The Wrenching Network. Whether you’re a technician, a mechanic, or someone who just loves the car scene, The Wrenching Network is a place that you have to check out. They have all sorts of great content, gear, and snacks to keep you turning wrenches in whatever capacity you do it. Also if you see us over there, make sure you say hi and leave a comment with what you think about the episode!

Episode 99: Shop Translations

On this week’s episode we take a crack at the Rosetta stone of the trades by translating some of our favorite shop talk terms for non-technicians. Right off the bat, every single shop’s internal language is a little bit different based on the people who create that inter shop language. Sometimes that language comes in the form of thinly veiled sarcasm or acronyms, while other times it can be as brutal and explicit as your Uncle Jimmy. If you’re a new guy pay attention to the context, maybe ask what movies that was from if it sounds familiar, and you will be fluent in your new shops vernacular before you know it. One other important thing is to be able to keep that second language between you, the technicians in the shop, because it will allow you to speak more freely in the presence of managers. Every shop has this, and every shop creates their own and we want to know, what is some of your shop’s particular language. Finally, we dive into the dreaded technician-customer interaction when the service advisor can’t close.

Also Uncle Jimmy has to explain an engine swap and why he needs gaskets and hoses for a customer who, “looks like he just smoked a dump truck load of meth!”

This episode is distributed by The Wrenching Network. Whether you’re a technician, a mechanic, or someone who just loves the car scene, The Wrenching Network is a place that you have to check out. They have all sorts of great content, gear, and snacks to keep you turning wrenches in whatever capacity you do it. Also if you see us over there, make sure you say hi and leave a comment with what you think about the episode!

Episode 98: Car TV Shows

On this week’s episode of Grease the Wheels we are starting out with a question: do car TV shows give people unrealistic expectations as to what we do for a living? Most of these shows condense an entire frame-off restoration and hundreds of hours of absolutely meticulous body, paint, and fabrication work into a nice and neat 48 minute package. This makes them really pretty cool to watch for the most part, as long as they are not also fabricating human drama that is completely unnecessary. But the broader question is, does this make our jobs look a lot easier than it usually is, and is there any room for programming that is a little less polished, and a little more real? Judging by the following this podcast has attracted over the last almost-2 years, we’d say yes. Also we ask you, our listeners what you would want a GTW TV show to look like: what would you want us to do?

Also Uncle Jimmy talks about his 3 favorite things to watch: Car shows, assembly videos, and Sweet Home Alabama with Reese Witherspoon.

This episode is distributed by The Wrenching Network. Whether you’re a technician, a mechanic, or someone who just loves the car scene, The Wrenching Network is a place that you have to check out. They have all sorts of great content, gear, and snacks to keep you turning wrenches in whatever capacity you do it. Also if you see us over there, make sure you say hi and leave a comment with what you think about the episode!

Episode 97: PG Boondoggle

On this week’s episode of Grease the Wheels, Uncle Jimmy attempts to do an entire episode under the “PG” rating- while maneuvering some of the problems that arise when technicians have to talk to customers. Firstly, when we have to talk to customers we only should ever have to talk about what is wrong with their car and how we are going to fix it, everything else has its own department! Although, if you actually are good with people and a good technician we go over the potential post-tech move of becoming a service advisor, and shutting off the part of our brains that want to say something that’s really only hilarious to us and could potentially upset the customer. When the shoe is on the other foot and a customer is yelling obscenities at you things can really get interesting. For most of us, our natural reaction is to go full-send on a string of insults that would make the entire Mercantile Marine blush. Our advice: just hang up, whatever your job is in the shop they aren’t paying you to take that abuse. If they keep doing it, be just rude enough so that they don’t make you deal with that customer, but not so rude that you just greased your own wheels (even when they deserve it).

Finally we have a short but serious chat about race, gender, religion, and why if you are charging customers more based on these factors you should probably leave this industry immediately before the universe does it for you.

This episode is distributed by The Wrenching Network. Whether you’re a technician, a mechanic, or someone who just loves the car scene, The Wrenching Network is a place that you have to check out. They have all sorts of great content, gear, and snacks to keep you turning wrenches in whatever capacity you do it. Also if you see us over there, make sure you say hi and leave a comment with what you think about the episode!

Episode 96: More New Guy Stuff

On this week’s episode of Grease the Wheels, we are going back to the new guys, but specifically in relation to the old guys in the shop. Obviously a lot of us have noticed that the number of new guys coming in the door isn’t as high as it used to be at the time when a lot of us entered the industry, and what is the quality of these new to the industry techs? In our experience, it’s a completely mixed bag. Every new guy really is different. There is no way that the factories can train someone on every single car that comes in our dealership’s door, so instead they give them the basics and fill them in on some of the things they really do need to know. It then falls to us, the more experienced techs in the shop, to sort of finish their training. Finally, we propose a sort of “new guy mentorship and tool loaning” program, because someday those new guys are going to be the old guys in the shop, so it’s up to us to impart the crazy tips and tricks to repairs now rather than later.

Also, Uncle Jimmy talks about his preferred method of getting on the “No Fly” list.

This episode is distributed by The Wrenching Network. Whether you’re a technician, a mechanic, or someone who just loves the car scene, The Wrenching Network is a place that you have to check out. They have all sorts of great content, gear, and snacks to keep you turning wrenches in whatever capacity you do it. Also if you see us over there, make sure you say hi and leave a comment with what you think about the episode!

Episode 95: Make Them Pay

On this week’s episode we are talking about those times when you just want to go absolutely medieval on customers because they’re being unreasonable. Now we know that any time that your car is broken is the worst time for your car to be broken, but for some people this inconvenience of modern life is just too much. This leads them to do things like say you, the technician, broke their car. This has and will happen again to every single technician on planet earth, and it comes in the universal language of, “ever since you…” fill in the blank. Finally, we take another stab at explaining karma when it comes to messing with people’s cars, and those moments when we have to be agents of the universe and dole out a bit of karma in the form of massive repair estimates by documenting EVERYTHING that their car needs.

Also, Uncle Jimmy talks about things that are worse than having your car break.

This episode was distributed by The Wrenching Network. Whether you’re a technician, a mechanic, or someone who just loves the car scene, The Wrenching Network is a place that you have to check out. They have all sorts of great content, gear, and snacks to keep you turning wrenches in whatever capacity you do it. Also if you see us over there, make sure you say hi and leave a comment with what you think about the episode!

Episode 94: Less Talk, More Work

On this week’s episode of Grease the Wheels we are talking about one of the main things that costs us money, that we’re not really willing to change: getting along with one another and talking about stuff. We prefer it when shops get along and can talk about stuff because a lot of the time it can streamlining the solving of problems and the maintenance of good morale. But sometimes it can end up costing us a lot of time, which can translate into costing us a good bit of money. However, absolutely nothing compares to the inconvenience of those part time friends that only show up when their car needs work!

Uncle Jimmy claims to be a friendly person despite 94 episodes of evidence to the contrary and describes his natural state: sweaty and angry.

This episode was distributed by The Wrenching Network. Whether you’re a technician, a mechanic, or someone who just loves the car scene, The Wrenching Network is a place that you have to check out. They have all sorts of great content, gear, and snacks to keep you turning wrenches in whatever capacity you do it. Also if you see us over there, make sure you say hi and leave a comment with what you think about the episode!

Episode 93: Technicians Vs Mechanics

On this week’s episode of Grease the Wheels we are going deep into the debate between what we actually do for a living; are we technicians or mechanics? This is one of those things that comes down to two things: money and optics. According to Google, the difference lies in how we diagnose problems with cars: if you use a scan tool and then fix the problem, you’re a technician. If you don’t use a scan tool and fix the problem, you’re a mechanic. But what if you have a scan tool and can’t fix the problem, like the most people at chain auto parts stores? Moreover, is the term “mechanic,” when used by management, a tool to keep wages low? We go deep into all of this including a more comprehensive classification system for technicians because of the rapidly increasing level of insanity involved with modern cars quickly eroding the mechanic v. technician debate.

Also Uncle Jimmy describes his perfect Friday night watching new cars being put together, and evicts a mouse that ate roughly five times its body weight in wiring harness causing 26 faults.

This episode was distributed by The Wrenching Network. Whether you’re a technician, a mechanic, or someone who just loves the car scene, The Wrenching Network is a place that you have to check out. They have all sorts of great content, gear, and snacks to keep you turning wrenches in whatever capacity you do it. Also if you see us over there, make sure you say hi and leave a comment with what you think about the episode!

Episode 92: How To Be A Service Advisor

On this week’s episode of Grease the Wheels, we are going over some of the core elements of what made this show popular: beating the snot out of service advisors! As you can probably guess, the revolving door is turning at Uncle Jimmy’s shop for service advisors and that is bringing all sorts of havoc, so buckle in. We go over in detail the job description of a service advisor, the lack of training, and the need for almost a farm system of sorts for service advisors to be able to get experience. Uncle Jimmy lays out all of the things that service advisors need to know to be successful in a high end shop such as his; including selling the value of the technicians in the building and knowing that once a customer brings their car to your shop that they have already waved the white flag on fixing it themselves. If you have a service advisor that could be selling more and helping you make more money, lock them in their office and turn this episode on full blast under the door. Then take the extra money you make and give a few bucks of it to our Patreon: patreon.com/greasethewheels

Also Uncle Jimmy channels the Lord God Almighty and Erik covers all of the shoutouts that we haven’t been doing a good job keeping up on at the end of the episode. This episode was distributed by TheWrenchingNetwork.com. Make sure you go over there and check out some of the awesome mechanics gear that they have over on their new website and when you see our posts over on the wrenching network, mechanics memes, or any of those great content spots- make sure you stop and comment!