There are so many questions that need answered. Some can be
answered with a little background in engineering or technical
information. Some can be answered after a few visits with your
local shrink. Other questions are just left in limbo for eternity.
I thought I’d put together a few of those perplexing questions
a mechanic might have about his daily life with cars, people and
all the other nuts … and bolts of the business. It ain’t all about
ratchets and wrenches, you know. Sometimes ya just have to
ask “WHY?”, even if the answer doesn’t matter.
Here’s a few to ponder.
Why is it - Some OEM parts come in fast food tater tot trays?
Why is it - That some people can’t tell you what’s wrong with their
car, or the reason they’re at the repair shop, without starting
their explanation from the day they bought the car?
Why is it - When I hear, “All the fuses are good”, without fail,
the problem turns out to be a fuse? Usually the missing one.
Why is it – An intermittent problem won’t act up (at all), you’ve been waiting all day(s) for it to fail, and just when the customer decides to bring it back, and you’re just about to pull it out of the service bay…then it starts acting up?!
Why is it - Friday is just two days before the next Monday. However, Mondays can last all week. That makes Friday the new Monday, which makes Saturday Tuesday. Now you’ve got a whole new week ahead of you, and you haven’t even left the shop for the weekend. I know… it gets confusing.
Why is it - A bad day always starts right after a good day?
Why is it - An appointment only means “maybe I’ll make it”, while “I’ll be right there” means tomorrow or next Tuesday?
Why is it - The car stops acting up for the customer as soon as it’s at the shop?
Why is it - Diagnosing a problem with the customer hovering over your shoulder always takes longer?
Why is it – Those special ordered parts that you’ve been waiting for all day, perhaps even a week, show up really late in the afternoon (as usual), and are either bad out of the box or the wrong part all together? But, the correct part has been on the shelf at the dealership the whole time. (Probably in a tater tot tray)
Why is it - On most cars with a single exhaust pipe, the exhaust is always on the opposite side of the fuel filler door?
Why is it - The manufacturer’s scanner that you’ve had for years, which has worked great on every car that has come in, but won’t work on the model you now have in the service bay? This one requires the use of the “new” manufacturer’s scanner and not the “old” factory scanner.
Why is it - As soon as you (or the shop) can afford to spring for the latest greatest factory scan tool to handle those models not covered on the original factory scan tool… not a single car has come in for the past 6 months that needs the newer scanner?
Why is it - A watched pot never boils, but a watched mechanic will?
Why is it – On those really slow days the only phone calls you get are from one of those long winded solicitors?
Why is it – You can tell the new guy isn’t going to work out when he spins the fake lug nuts off the hub caps?
Why is it – Nobody will admit to blowing the fuse in the shop’s multimeter or clogging the shop toilet?… same difference.
Why is it – That everyone assumes you make a zillion dollars a day fixing cars, but we all know that ain’t true. The proof? … You wear rented work clothes.
Why is it - No matter how many wrenches you grab out of your tool box… you never seem to have the right one?
Why is it – Just as soon as a technician has successfully mastered the latest greatest system in a car… they change it all up again?
Why is it – The kid at the parts store with his little generic code reader has as much influence on the outcome of a repair (as far as the customer is concerned), as the seasoned tech does at a professional repair shop with the latest and greatest diagnostic equipment?
Why is it – Some people think price is the only consideration when it comes to car repair? I wonder what those same people would do if they could price check their doctors the way they price check their mechanic?
I could go on. But, it’s time for you to think of some of your own “Why is it?” I’m sure you have a few you’d like to share. It doesn’t take much for a mechanic with today’s sophisticated car technology to ask why they do the things they do. And yes, there are answers to some of these questions… just not all of them. That’s why ya have to ask… “Why is it?”
Now, I think I’ll go grab some grub and a cup o’Joe, and ponder a while. Hmm…tator tots sound good for some reason.