Episode 136: See Me

On this week’s episode of Grease the Wheels, we talk about some of the things we have seen as mechanics. From the way that customers treat their cars like rolling dumpster fires to some of the terrible previous “repairs” we have seen literally everything. When it comes to the senses, we can tell a lot about a car by the way it looks. As technicians we have seen cars broken in every which way humanly possible, and it never ceases to amaze! We also talk about some useful tips for finding cars on a crowded lot, some of our favorite trunk and glovebox finds, the rate of decay on cars due to pure neglect, and whether or not clutches and brake pads still have asbestos in them (they do). It’s a well loaded episode, so let us know what you see out there!

Also Uncle Jimmy channels Carlin in a single-sentence destruction of golf.

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 135: Service Managers

On this week’s Grease the Wheels, we are going back to our meat and potatoes of doing angry diatribes about service managers. As a disclaimer, if you have a good one thank them because this is a bit like finding a virgin on a maternity ward. Or if you have one that has potential to be good, please help to steer them into doing things the right way. We run through the job description of your service manager in depth and want you to gauge how well your’s does their job. We also go into the technician hiring process from the point of view of someone who has no idea what constitutes a good technician. Either way this is one of the worst chokepoints in the automotive industry where customer service and handling a service department meet their apex, so no wonder why it is so hard to find a good Service Manager.

Also Uncle Jimmy describes the phenomenon where the worst employees never leave and theorizes that some of them could possibly have cost their company more money than they have earned 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 132: Exploitation

On this week’s episode of Grease the Wheels, you get to hear a podcast from a host who hasn’t had power or running water for 7 days prior to recording! We’re not going to get into it this week (it’ll probably have to be a two parter), but these few upcoming episode’s are going to be a special brand of insane that only your beloved Uncle Jimmy can provide. This week’s dive is on the definition of exploitation and its prevalence in the automotive industry. We crunch some numbers and figure out what a good team of technicians can actually make a shop, and what percentage of that gets paid out to the technicians of that shop just in the labor that they produce. We aren’t knocking capitalism, we love it (it’s listed as Erik the Producer’s religion on his marriage certificate). We are just pitching a more Adam Smith minded version of it where profits are a little bit better distributed and the market rates are competitive with the level of knowledge that we need to function in this occupation. This isn’t even factoring in the actual investment that is needed to do the job. So no wonder why shops can’t find anyone to work for them and why fixed ops managers whine about the tech shortage on LinkedIn all day long. In the automotive field exploitation often comes down to a simple question: “Are you being paid what you are worth?”

Also Uncle Jimmy gives some fairly decent accounting advice to anyone looking to start a shop.

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 126: Evolution

On this week’s Grease the Wheels, we are talking about evolution: both as technicians individually and in regards to the cars we work on. When it comes to the cars, the amount of technological change from the first cars Uncle Jimmy was working on as a lad to where we are now is staggering and because of this, we have all had to learn a lot of things and hone some extra skills to be able to stay effective at what we do. We also talk about the incredible strides that cars have made in terms of safety, unfortunately you can’t engineer better drivers. Finally, Uncle Jimmy buys a 335 with 24 bent valves from a dude who tried fixing it with his PhD in Philosophy and Cam Position Sensors!

Erik the Producer’s sidenote: I witnessed this transaction, he 100% said he could fix this thing with reasoning… It was hilarious.

Also Uncle Jimmy hits on one of the interesting cross-shop touchstones that we can all relate to: “what car got you into working on cars, and what did it teach 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 114: Dangers

On this week’s episode of Grease the Wheels we admit this world is kinda f***ing dangerous! As mechanics this is compounded on a daily basis just because of the sheer number of things that you work with that can seriously mess you up. Some of this stuff can mess you up instantly: wires from a wire wheel turning into shrapnel, presses turning things into projectiles, cars falling, and the good ole harbor freight jack stands (which are still better than just a jack, if you have nothing else). Some of these might take a long time to mess you up, like the dusts that come off of brakes and other metal shavings, or the sort of in between silicosis from sandblasting without proper masks and hoods. It’s extra dangerous if you happen to be a bit clumsy. It’s a lot more dangerous for the dumbasses. Also we seamlessly fold in a “Grim Sleeper” reference and let you know that this is really just because we don’t want anyone who listens to this show to get hurt: because it happens- we’ve seen the posts. But we know by starting a conversation about it, we’re making you a little bit more aware of things that might be able to seriously f*** you up!

Also Uncle Jimmy had something in common with Lady Macbeth and reviews the various fluids in your car by taste!

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 107: Lunch With My Boys

On this week’s episode of Grease the Wheels, Uncle Jimmy gives Erik the Producer an aneurysm by sitting down and eating his lunch while recording the podcast in a show of solidarity. That’s right, Uncle Jimmy is now banned by some shops (or at least that’s what the data leads us to believe) but more than likely is if he isn’t banned in your shop yet this will probably be the episode to do it! We talk at length about the first amendment, Multi-Point Inspections, and well as doing videos of these inspections. On the point of videoing the multipoint inspection, we have seen several jobs approved when they were unlikely to because it takes a level of salesmanship out of the equation for the service advisor- which is almost always a good thing. The better we are at explaining the problem and showing the customer the problem and often its magnitude, we are able to really help sell that particular repair. Finally, we provide the entire internet with a convenient soundbite for asking for a raise: but be warned it could also definitely get you fired. Use at your own risk.

Also, Uncle Jimmy revisits the theory (and practice) of what would happen if a single technician came in while advocating and illustrating the shift from passive-aggressive to active-aggressive.

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 102: Flat Rate and the Free Stuff

On this week’s episode of Grease the Wheels, we are taking a deep dive into the methods by which most of us get paid: flat rate. First off, someone at the manufacturer’s factory does a specific job to a car using hand tools to determine how long that job is going to take, which refers to the “book time” of a job. However, there are often many jobs that we can “make time” on, where the book time is significantly higher than the actual amount of time it takes to do that job. Whether it be because you’ve done that job a million times, or it’s just that much easier with power tools- there are many circumstances where we can turn 20 hours in an 8 hour workday. However, this system hinges on the ability of service advisors to sell the job, because when the shop is busy it is a win-win situation for both shop ownership and the technicians who are turning the hours. When there is a pandemic or there are poor service advisors the shop still wins because they are not out anything- but the tech loses, because they are not turning hours. Also, we take a deep dive into how the manufacturers would like us to get paid because believe it or not, they want to pay you a salary because it keeps their products in better shape.

Also, Uncle Jimmy teases a paradigm shift, weighs the pro’s and cons of the flat rate system, and quotes Fat Boy Slim.

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 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!