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View Full Version : The "clueless shop" vs S-10 deal.......



J Tiers
10-24-2011, 08:50 AM
The shop in question has proven to be clue-less..... utterly, unredeemably and apparently permanently clue-less.

This is irritating, since they are the most convenient shop, and had good recommendations. The second nearest shop is getting to be universally hated, for their bad attitude. And the next nearest after them was really good, but the owner supervises more than working now, and some of his guys are not so good. Plus he is Indian, and his accent is really hard to understand. I like him personally (his brother is a neighbor) but his place isn't what it was.......

Anyway....

The clutch problem was easily solved by the dealer, the master cylinder was bad, which I assumed was the issue since tehre didn't seem to be any leaks..... no doubt "dumb and his brother dumber" fouled it up somehow, since it worked great with never a sign of trouble until they touched the works.

The original "squeaking" was cured by the new clutch.

Big dumps on Chevy for putting in a special "inside the bell" doughnut shaped slave cylinder.... if it had not been for that idiotic decision, the old, good hydraulic parts would still be in there working fine.

The brake issue seems to have been fixed by bleeding the brakes.

I STILL get a "brake failure" and "ABS failure" light..... It occurs every second or third time I start the vehicle..... If I drive it 10 miles, park for a while, drive it again, park for a while, then the third time, it usually comes up with those lights, right away when vehicle starts moving (no brakes applied).

The dealer's only idea is to replace the ABS controller, at a price of a grand...... They say there is a "relay failure" code coming out of the ABS, which is odd since it seems to work fine, and NEVER shows a failure if the lights don't come on when starting out.

Anyhow, yes, the shop is apparently so clueless that I am surprised that they can manage to unlock the doors every day.

madwilliamflint
10-24-2011, 09:46 AM
Are you sure they lock them to begin with?

Willy
10-24-2011, 09:46 AM
Finding a good shop is like finding a good doctor.
When you are lucky enough to find one, remember convenience should not be a deciding factor.

How convenient was your experience with the last shop?
How convenient is a wrong diagnosis.
Convenience should never be a prerequisite to looking for any professional service. Just consider yourself truly blessed if it does happen.

It's unfortunate that the learning curve is sometimes steep...at least you've weeded out a few candidates.

Rustybolt
10-24-2011, 09:50 AM
J.
I don't know about chevys, but with my dodge, if the resevoir is completely drained you're supposed to bleed the ABS module as well.A huge PIA since there are no bleed screws.

saltmine
10-24-2011, 10:31 AM
Welcome to my world, JT. Nobody wants to pay for quality work on cars & trucks anymore. It's a similar attitude that has invaded almost every aspect of our modern society. Not only do people refuse to take responsibility for their own actions, they expect everybody to "owe them a living".

I've been retired for over six years, and still see problems like this almost on a daily basis.

To quote my ex-boss,: "You make too much money....I could replace you with two ordinary guys off the street, for less than you make, to do the same job."
And he did, after I retired. The two guys, with no experience or tools, soon turned into three guys, then five. The shop has to "farm out" most of the repair work, because nobody working in the shop knows how to do it. Of course, the burden falls on the taxpayer, as usual, it's a County fleet shop.

We fixed things. We didn't spend our days guessing, and swapping parts.
We didn't waste time stripping used parts off of wrecks to repair in-service vehicles (most of the time, that's like playing Russian roulette with four chambers loaded). We saved the County millions of dollars.....What can I say? It's happening in almost every repair shop and dealer in the USA.
The owner/managers are looking at "the bottom line" and can't see beyond the end of their pointy noses. Quality technicians are getting as scarce as "hen's teeth". It's all about money, my friend, money. Who cares if that guy ever comes back...we got his money....this time.

Well, if enough guys don't come back, that thriving business becomes a vacant lot...and it don't take long.

Were I in your shoes, JT, I'd report this establishment to the Better Business Bureau, maybe even the enforcement division of the Bureau of Automobile Repair. They'll investigate, trust me.

Find another shop. Don't continue dragging your truck in there, expecting their level of competence to improve, just because you keep coming back....it won't.

The problem with your warning lights coming on at odd times probably goes back to an improperly bled ABS system, and incorrectly reset brake bias/warning valve. I've followed the thread, and even though the system itself is quite simple, many well meaning people have suggested the whole thing into a big complicated fur-ball.
You misunderstand the "relay failure" code on your ABS...BTW. ABS brake systems don't perform any different than ordinary brakes until the controller detects a larger-than-normal difference in wheel speed, front-to-rear or side-to-side. Then it selectively releases the offending brake very rapidly. I've heard many people say the same thing, the ABS light is on, but the brakes work OK....Well, that's why. ABS sits in the background, and doesn't do anything until it's needed. It's quite possible somebody had the relay unplugged (which would set a code) or the relay could have failed (unlikely).
But, remember, all things made by man are prone to failure...it's our nature.
If all else fails, buy a Toyota. Of course you'll be offered almost nothing for your truck, and you can enjoy nature taking it's course as the oxidation we call rust eats away the rear of the truck's frame, or that four-cam "high tech" Toyota engine seizes up a camshaft, and you have to walk while they pack your engine up and ship it to Japan so their engineers can figure out who to blame for the failure.

In my personal experience, the S-10 is a pretty good truck. My last one had over 200K on the clock when I traded it in. Never had a clutch or brake problem the whole time I owned it. A friend has another S-10 that is approaching 250K miles. His "big outlay" for repairs was to replace the valve guide seals, because it puffed a little cloud of smoke when it was cold. The job took all of four hours, and cost barely $25 in parts. Another fellow we know bought an abused S-10 from a doper, for $300, overhauled the engine, and gave it to his son. His son loves it. And has been doing all of the body work and upholstery himself, learning as he goes.

Most of the S-10's I've come into contact with have all been almost criminally reliable, long lived, and economical. It's sad to see your's getting abused by incompetent technicians and poor diagnosis.

garagemark
10-24-2011, 10:36 AM
You don't state the year of the vehicle, but there is (was) usually a switch located just off the ABS unit. When bleeding the brakes, there was a special tool that held down a little pin in the center of the brake block. If you didn't hold the pin down the light would come on incessantly after a bleed job. I made one from a little bit of sheet metal and a C-clamp. This was for 88-94 I think.

If not your year model then disregard this whole post :rolleyes:

gary350
10-24-2011, 11:19 AM
[QUOTE=saltmine]Welcome to my world, JT. Nobody wants to pay for quality work on cars & trucks anymore.
QUOTE]


I think you mean, Nobody wants to get screwed for quality work. I don't make $100 per hr so why should the dealer.

The Chevy dealer here charges $100 per hour. I wanted my power steering fixed on the other vehicle the priority part only the dealer sells is $400 and the special 17 point special wrench needed to do the job only the dealer has they want $375 labor $775 total.

The automatic choke quit working on the Toyota I use to own same problem priority part only the deal sells was $375 and they refuse to sell it to me, the only way I can get the part is pay them $350 labor $725 total.

Other places are not very smart they spend the whole day doing a 2 hour job and want to be paid for 8 hours work.

Several years ago I took my vehicle to have it worked on the exhaust manifold was getting RED hot it was so hot it looked like the metal was about to melt. They swapped out parts for 2 days before they found the real problem then they wanted $1000 for labor plus the cost of all those parts they replaced that I don't need.

My cousin bought a new vehicle it was nothing but trouble from day one. He couldn't keep it running and when the warrenty ran out he parked it in a bad part of town with the keys in it then when it dissappeared he reported it stolen. Insurance paid for it.

I have a police officer friend that had a Saturn car the computer went out every 30 days when his warrenty ran out the burned remains of the car was found about 15 miles from town. Insurance paid for that too.

I have gotten so I refuse to be robbed. If I can't fix it myself for a reasonable price I trade it off. The dealer can fix it before they sells it, its not going to cost the dealer $100 per hr to fix it. Remove the battery cable for 24 hours all the code warning lights go off.

Joe Rogers
10-24-2011, 12:46 PM
Meanwhile the insurance rates continue to go up helped along by the insurance fraud your friends and local law enforcement officers promote...
Birds of a feather. Karma is a bee-atch Gary. Your piling up a huge payback some day.:eek:
Joe

Black_Moons
10-24-2011, 01:01 PM
Meanwhile the insurance rates continue to go up helped along by the insurance fraud your friends and local law enforcement officers promote...
Birds of a feather. Karma is a bee-atch Gary. Your piling up a huge payback some day.:eek:
Joe

Insurance rates here are such that without any points on my lisence, and never had a claim, it will cost me so much for fire/theft/collision insurance that the cost of insurance will be more then my truck cost in 4 years. 5 years if I pick a $1000 deductable insted of $300. (The truck is valued at $4000)

Thats not including the $100/month mandatory insurance that only covers the damage I do to *someone else*

jrude
10-24-2011, 01:45 PM
My dad's Ranger had a similar problem with the brake light and ABS light coming on randomly. What it turned out to be was, one of the wires in the wiring harness had come in contact with the exhaust pipe from the manifold, and the insulation melted through, but the wire itself was still functional. When the wire would contact the exhaust, the circuit would short, and the lights would come on. Some electrical tape and cable ties fixed it.

Willy
10-24-2011, 02:02 PM
I don't make $100 per hr so why should the dealer.



Gary, you have said in the past that you went to college, it's hard to believe that anyone let alone a college graduate, cannot understand the concept of overhead .

Who has to build and maintain the shop with all of it's specialized equipment? Who has to pay for the property taxes, worker's benefits, insurance, just to name a few.
After all of this with any luck at all he'll make a profit so that he can either reinvest it into his business or perhaps another venture.
That's how the system works.

Basically you do the same, but on a much smaller scale. This is why you don't earn $100/hr. and the dealer does.
Put up a brick and mortar business yourself then being the kind soul that you are, charge your customers $25/hr.
We'll see how long that lasts.

saltmine
10-24-2011, 02:23 PM
That's a common mis-conception, Gary. The dealership makes $100 an hour, not the mechanics.

As far as I know, the highest paid mechanic (or technician) I've ever heard of makes about $33 an hour. And that's not $33 an hour, eight hours a day, five days a week....It's "piecework" (Henry Ford's name for it) Which means if a guy gets a job that pays one hour, that's what he gets...even if it took him a week to do it. Mechanics used to make a decent wage, before the "time & motion" accountants decided we could violate the laws of time & space. Now, most garages claim they need a bigger cut of the "door rate" to keep the lights on, and pay for ever increasing equipment costs and training.

"Back in the day" when I first started, if the owner of a shop charged a customer $10, the mechanic got $5 (50%) for the job. Today, mechanics are making as little as 12% of the "door rate"....some make even less.
It's pretty hard to make a living that way, especially when you have to own (yes own) about $20,000 worth of tools just to be able to do most of the work that comes into the shop, and that doesn't count the hundreds of hours spent in training center classes. Also, being a mechanic means your workplace is hazardous, so having a monthly medical insurance premium of $400 or better is not unusual. Unfortunately, most of the experienced guys (like myself) have been forced into retirement due to age or physical injuries which make it nearly impossible to even make a living. The young guys, fresh out of any of several professional trade schools, have no idea of what they're getting into. The schools built up their hopes claiming they will be able to make $100,000 the first year out of the chute. The majority of them can barely earn minimum wage. Poorly trained, woefully under equipped, and over confident from the BS the schools have been spoon feeding them, they open the hood on your $80,000 car or SUV and the fun begins.

we used to try helping the "kids" through their first years, but garage owners and dealer service managers felt we were too old and slow to meet their "bottom line". So they went out of their way to drive the experienced guys off......After all, why pay a guy with 45 years of experience $30 an hour when you can get three "young bucks" to destroy customers' cars for the same price. They don't fix the car correctly? Too bad, that's not my problem.....Bottom line, Gary...it's all about money.

Highpower
10-24-2011, 03:28 PM
Which means if a guy gets a job that pays one hour, that's what he gets...even if it took him a week to do it.
It also means he gets paid for one hour if he does the job in 5 minutes. Labor is based on a "flat rate".

Every single shop I have worked in had one or two guys that consistently pulled in 100+ hours a week on their paycheck. That's for a 40 hour "work week". You can use your imagination on how they accomplish that. Owners and managers turn a blind eye to it because THEY are making a bundle as well. Those guys are the golden child's to the bottom line. The honest techs/mechanics are shown the door for lack of "performance". I wonder how the industry got a bad name? :rolleyes:

saltmine speaks the truth. Believe it.

The last place I worked at closed the doors and sold out to another company. They of course brought in a truckload of kids to replace the experienced guys and payed them minimum wages. The first day they opened their new employees wrecked 2 brand new cars and 2 customer's cars that came in for service. Yep -- Karma. :D

DICKEYBIRD
10-24-2011, 03:39 PM
Jerry, if your battery has much age on it, do a on test to see if its sulfated. I'm not a GM experienced man but many times ABS warning lights soon after startup are caused by a sulfated battery on the brands I'm familiar with.

If the voltage drops too far during startup/ABS self test the system shuts itself off leaving the warning light on. On the other hand, if the sulfated battery's voltage gets too high while you're driving soon after starting; guess what, the system shuts down & the light comes on! It's a long shot but easy to test.

saltmine
10-24-2011, 05:41 PM
Yes, that's true, Highpower. But, since the "bean counters" and the time study clowns got around to rewriting the books, very little, if any, labor charge is consistent with what it takes to do the job in the shop.

A lot of times it takes the average guy an hour to do a job that pays 3/4 of an hour, and the way they have been cutting labor times, even that starts looking good to a flat-rate technician. Yes, there is a bunch of unscrupulous techs out there, who will cut corners in order to make more money, but it usually comes back and bites them in the arse.

I also post on a mechanic's web-site and most of the guys who are "worth their salt" have been complaining bitterly about not being able to flag more than a couple of hours a week. Greedy owners/managers have all but wrecked the industry.

The majority of the guys in the business, unless they work for a really good shop or dealership, seldom even make minimum wage.
Many good mechanics are leaving the profession. And going with them is an extraordinary amount of hard-earned experience. As mentioned previously, the new "kids" coming out of tech schools are little more than warm bodies to fill the empty stalls and lifts once used by good, experienced, honest mechanics.

A.K. Boomer
10-24-2011, 06:32 PM
I use flat rate's as a rough guide - I then see how long it takes me and usually never charge over and cut people slack if I can effectively do a good job and end up way under.

Things like getting a car from back east (rust) and having all the fasteners break or gall warrants a re-adjustment to the flat rate.

on the flip side I once pulled an A/C temp probe by drilling a simple hole into the heater/ac box plastic and saved something like 11 hours flat rate --- I charged the customer about 1/4 the flat rate time (even though it took me less than an hour) and my hourly wage was off the charts - the customer was ecstatic and I was very happy - I got paid extra for my ingenuity and all he ended up with that was different was a little rubber plug where the sun don't even shine:)

Highpower
10-24-2011, 06:45 PM
I agree 100% saltmine. What is especially bad are the warranty times handed down from the factories. And they keep getting cut more and more.

Job pays .3 hrs (7 minutes) to replace a knock sensor according to "the book". (V-6)

The tech gets -zero- for the hour spent tearing the interior apart to access the ECM, hooking up the scope, and test driving the vehicle until the failure occurs to diagnose the problem. (Factory only pays to fix the problem - not to figure out what's wrong with it in the first place.)

Drain the coolant system, disconnect the wire harnesses, disconnect the fuel supply, remove half a dozen misc hoses and brackets, remove the intake plenum, and remove the intake manifold. Now you can actually get to the part to replace it. :cool:

Reassemble in reverse order after scraping off all of the old gasket material and cleaning the surfaces and searching for the torque specs for all the fasteners in the shop manual. Refill all the fluids that were drained, and test drive the vehicle again to verify the problem was resolved.

Seven freaking minutes is what the bean counters say that job should be done in, and that's all you are going to get paid for.

I can't imagine why it's so hard to find good mechanics these days? :rolleyes:

jrude
10-24-2011, 07:43 PM
Job pays .3 hrs (7 minutes) to replace a knock sensor according to "the book". (V-6)


I always thought .3 hours was 18 minutes, but maybe flat rate math is different.

:)

Bob Fisher
10-24-2011, 07:44 PM
And yet, another totally unrelated topic to clutter the site, who cares about repair shops? We all have to deal with those problems. This is just not the right place to do it. Not trying to start a fight, but I visit this place for machining content. Apologies to those that think this stuff interesting, and have taken me to task in the past. Bob.

Highpower
10-24-2011, 09:06 PM
I always thought .3 hours was 18 minutes, but maybe flat rate math is different.

:)Seven - Seventeen..... whatever it takes. :o :o
At least somebody is paying attention. :D

J Tiers
10-24-2011, 09:06 PM
Find another shop. Don't continue dragging your truck in there, expecting their level of competence to improve, just because you keep coming back....it won't.



No s**t Sherlock....... What on earth would lead you to suppose I would be going back there for anything but a "Gary350" revenge mission? (which, BTW, is not happening, in case you wondered.....)

When I left there the last time (and it IS the last) I said to them "NEVER AGAIN", and I intend that to be true.



The problem with your warning lights coming on at odd times probably goes back to an improperly bled ABS system, and incorrectly reset brake bias/warning valve. I've followed the thread, and even though the system itself is quite simple, many well meaning people have suggested the whole thing into a big complicated fur-ball.


Pretty much what I expect also..... unless the "proportioning valve" can mess up the works..... it was not replaced, just the M/C.



You misunderstand the "relay failure" code on your ABS...BTW. ABS brake systems don't perform any different than ordinary brakes until the controller detects a larger-than-normal difference in wheel speed, front-to-rear or side-to-side. Then it selectively releases the offending brake very rapidly. I've heard many people say the same thing, the ABS light is on, but the brakes work OK....Well, that's why. ABS sits in the background, and doesn't do anything until it's needed. It's quite possible somebody had the relay unplugged (which would set a code) or the relay could have failed (unlikely).


I do NOT misunderstand..... when the light is not on, the ^%$#@! ABS does fire off OK...... hence my comment that it appears to be working.

I ALSO cannot locate any reason for a "brake failure"......... I am not sure who is the chicken and who the egg here.... either, as I understand, will trigger the other warning.



In my personal experience, the S-10 is a pretty good truck.

I like it..... but the 5 speed tranny is and always has been defective, rebuilt once under warranty, again on my dime, and will need it a third time in the forseeable future (in 136000 miles total), if the noises I hear are again predictive of troubles..... I think this one has a misalignment machined into it (see there really IS machining content here)

Bill736
10-24-2011, 09:34 PM
While I do try to do most of my own repair work, I did admit defeat once and took my lady friend's car to a local dealer for repair. They kept the car for 3 days, test drove it numerous times, and declared that they could find nothing wrong with it. I picked the car up after hours, and it ran for about a quarter mile before it stalled , and would not restart. I called a tow truck, and took it back home. Intermittent electrical problems can be tough ! I do feel sorry for modern day mechanics, however, who have to deal with multiple car lines at most dealers. I recently bought a factory shop manual for my 2000 model year pickup truck. It came in 5 volumes, with over 2,000 pages total ! Multiply that by several model years, and several brand vehicles, and I think you'd need a crystal ball to diagnosis every problem that comes through the door.

Cheeseking
10-24-2011, 11:10 PM
I have to agree with Bob F.

C'mon Gary350 throw us another bone....without your pearls of wisdom this thread is making my eyes bleed.

saltmine
10-24-2011, 11:50 PM
Unfortunately, Bill, all of those unit repair manuals and specific item related manuals are safely stored on DVD's or CD's, now. I sure wish I had all of the manuals they threw away, though.

Yep, 18 minutes.

Too bad my crystal ball burned out five years ago.


http://i643.photobucket.com/albums/uu155/saltmine_album/crystalball.jpg

J Tiers
10-25-2011, 12:28 AM
Well, don't read it if yuh don't wanna see it... (standard forum answer to the topic police)


I actually had a REQUEST from a member to post an update, or I probably would not have bothered.


No worse than

* What airplane someone saw

* down hole well pumps

* sweepstakes scams

* Jokes and stories

*quantum levitation

* what racer got killed whenever

* possibly self-inflicted trouble with the neighbors.

* camera for (non-machining) microscope

* some television show

And that's only on the first couple pages or so. the truck is used to get machinery, so it at least has a connection....... ;)

J Tiers
03-08-2012, 11:58 PM
Just for funzies.....

The brakes did it gain..... recently. almost 6 mos no problem, and they started it up.

Brake fluid was dirty, dark, and was over-full appearing. Dealer commented on both factors, which I had already seen.

First solution was to flush out the system..... no dice.

Then, the dealer parts warrantied the master cylinder, and comped me the labor as well. Zero cost to me.

This suggests that there may have been an issue, either with the part, or the workmanship.... I didn't ask questions.

So far so good, it's been most of a month and again, master cylinder replacement 100% cured problem instantly. Dunno if it will happen again, but I'm not looking for it.

No ABS light all winter.... either a connector, or a part on the control board that is heat sensitive..... that's my preliminary diagnosis from the cold weather good behavior

vpt
03-09-2012, 07:46 AM
Chevys are weird. :D

J Tiers
03-09-2012, 08:24 AM
Chevys are weird. :D

So are toyotas, Chryslers, Fords, and Trabants.......

(in no particular order, of course)

mechanical things seem to like to be annoying..... they take after the people who created them. or fix them.

I am assuming that the dealer discovered a pretty good reason why the clutch M/C went bad THIS time...... perhaps someone managed to use some oil in where teh DOT fluid was supposed to go..... who knows? (They do, I'd suspect)

vpt
03-09-2012, 08:35 AM
What do you mean, power steering fluid is the same as brake fluid isn't it? :D

EVguru
03-09-2012, 08:48 AM
What do you mean, power steering fluid is the same as brake fluid isn't it? :D

It is on a Citroen with the hydro-pneumatic suspension system.

A friend of mine was given a 2 year old Citroen BX 16 valve because the owner had topped up the hydraulic resevoir with brake fluid in an emergency (engine oil would have been OK). The estimated repair bill from the dealer meant that the car was a wright off. Two doses of the expensive and difficult to obtain Citroen flushing oil got it working fine and he drove it for 30,000 miles untill the engine was destroyed by driving through more than 6" of water (hydraulic lock).

justanengineer
03-09-2012, 09:22 AM
Being that your M/C was "squeaking," I hope you have found the hidden lil grease fitting that makes them last forever J...my immediate family has four S10s, all manuals, and my brother proved on his the hard way that not greasing them leads to a lil squeak followed by replacing the M/C shortly.

Weston Bye
03-09-2012, 12:13 PM
Now that you got it fixed, or when you are sure it's fixed, take it around to the clueless shop and tell them somebody else knew how to fix it and fixed it. But don't them how.:rolleyes:

J Tiers
03-09-2012, 08:27 PM
Being that your M/C was "squeaking,"

It was not squeaking........


Chevys are weird.

One thing about the S10 is it has no timing belt... it has a chain instead. :D


Now that you got it fixed, or when you are sure it's fixed, take it around to the clueless shop and tell them somebody else knew how to fix it and fixed it. But don't them how.

Oh, they WANTED to know, assuming I did get it fixed, what it was.....

No, I don't even buy gas there anymore.... (it's a neighborhood independent gas station and several bay repair joint). But it is the next closest shop... and lots of folks get good work from them. But anyone who cannot fix a Chevy right.... dey got problemz. No matter, they are still busy... I notice that tends to happen....

One otehr local place I can't get service, but I don't really care.... I took it in once and said it needed an alternator (which it did, and I had no time to do), they didn't want the job...but any woman who has no idea what's under the hood can get them to fix a car. I suspect they might possibly not be on the level. Too bad they are the closest.

Another guy is REALLY good, but the shop is too big now, and if he doesn't watch the job, it isn't as good as it should be. he's from India, and trained as a lawyer... go figure.... Three strikes against him having ANY mechanical background and he is the best.... but he's too far away, usually too busy, and some of his guys aren't as good as they should be.

TRX
03-10-2012, 05:35 AM
Nobody wants to pay for quality work on cars & trucks anymore.

"That wasn't the quality you were looking for..." I got lots of the "poor" kind early on, which is why I bought a service manual and some tools, and wound up with a shop full of machine tools some years later.