Some Asheville auto owners wonder why The Organic Mechanic and other Asheville auto repair shops charge a fee for diagnostic services.
Think about it: When you hire a local Hendersonville HVAC technician to check out a problem with your air conditioner you’ll probably pay a diagnostic fee. When you visit your Biltmore doctor for a health problem, you pay the physician to diagnose the ailment and of course for the tests that go along with it.
So receiving a diagnostic charge at The Organic Mechanic for a tricky automotive problem shouldn’t be a surprise. In the Hendersonville area, automotive diagnostics can cover quite a range. If you hear a noise in your car brakes when you slow down in rush-hour traffic on a busy North Carolina expressway, you pull off the next off-ramp and take a quick visual check. That is usually enough to know what needs to be done. If you’re having an intermittent problem with your car engine, however, The Organic Mechanic diagnosis may be much more involved.
Much of the Hendersonville auto owners’s confusion comes when the problem involves the check engine light. The check engine light comes on when the engine management computer has sensed a problem.
There’s a common misconception among Biltmore, Weaverville, and Arden/Fletcher drivers that the trouble code tells the The Organic Mechanic technician exactly what’s wrong. They wonder why there is a diagnostic charge - because the scanner quickly gave the diagnosis.
In reality, it is not that easy and straightforward. The computer monitors many sensors throughout the vehicle. When one of these sensors has a reading that’s out of parameters, the computer will record a trouble code and turn on the check engine light.
The car computer's trouble code just tells the The Organic Mechanic technician what engine parameter is out of range – not what’s causing it. The technician needs to determine the underlying problem that’s causing the malfunction.
There are many problems that could cause a troublesome sensor reading for The Organic Mechanic customers. The The Organic Mechanic service advisor makes a list of the most likely causes and begins tracking down the source of the problem. This takes time.
Hendersonville service centers subscribe to databases that document possible causes for all the possible trouble codes. The databases outline procedures for confirming a diagnosis and provide the documented repair. These databases are specific to each vehicle and engine combination.
Some diagnoses are quick and easy. Others are more involved, time-consuming, and difficult. Of course The Organic Mechanic wants to figure out what’s wrong with your car and get you back on the road as quickly as possible.
Posted in the Service Standards category
Service Center Standard and Procedures
Posted February 7, 2013 11:04 AM
All pilots have checklists for every aspect of flying. They always use their checklists even if they only have two steps on them. They do this simply because a checklist is a great way to not forget important steps. It is also how you can assure a predictable outcome.
That is why Biltmore and Weaverville automotive service centers have procedural standards for each service they perform. Technicians are trained step by step. And they perform the procedures step by step, the same way each time. By training to procedural standards, centers can assure a quality outcome. The job is done right every time and you are happy with how your car performs.
Each company trains its technicians to standards. The industry as a whole is very committed to standards of excellence and encourages individual service center operators to apply them to every vehicle they service.
An example is how service technicians grade problems and communicate their recommendations. If a technician tells you that a repair or replacement is required it must meet the following criteria:
The part no longer performs its intended purpose
The part does not meet a design specification
The part is missing
The technician may suggest repair or replacement if:
The part is close to the end of its useful life - just above discard specifications or likely to fail soon
To address a customer need or request - like for better ride or increased performance
To comply with maintenance recommended by the vehicle's manufacturer
Based on the technician's informed experience
Here are some examples:
An exhaust pipe has rusted through and is leaking. Replacement is required because the part has failed. If the pipe were rusted, corroded or weak, but not leaking, the technician may suggest it be replaced because it is near the end of its useful life and replacing it now may be more convenient for the customer.
Suppose a customer wants to improve his car's handling, but his shocks haven't failed. The technician may suggest replacement of the shocks to satisfy the customer's wishes.
Under these guidelines the service center must refuse partial service of a required repair if the repair creates or continues an unsafe condition. Let's say a customer has a cracked brake rotor. This is a dangerous condition that must be repaired. If the customer does not want to replace the rotor, but instead just wants new brake pads installed, the shop must ethically refuse the partial repair. That can be an upsetting conversation, but understanding that service centers operate under service standards and procedures is comforting. You want your service to be done right and to have confidence in your technician's recommendations.
The automotive service industry and The Organic Mechanic want the best for you and for you to keep coming back. AutoNetTV is committed to providing automotive maintenance information to help you be confident in your service decisions.
Posted in the Service Standards category
Asheville Customer Detective Work
Posted January 8, 2013 10:50 AM
One might say the most challenging part of being an automotive service technician at The Organic Mechanic in Asheville North Carolina is diagnosing a problem before it can be fixed.
Cars are made up of a bunch of complex systems. There usually could be a number of reasons for any given symptom. So it's challenging to track down the actual cause of the problem. And it can be frustrating for the vehicle owner because it can take time and money to get to the bottom of a problem. If it's not something obvious, it's easy for the customer to focus on the fixing and not the diagnosing.
Let us introduce you to something we'll call Customer Detective Work – that is helping your Asheville North Carolina technician find clues to what's wrong.
We start with the detective basics: What, Where and When. Play along with me. You come in to The Organic Mechanic and your car is making a funny sound.
Q: Where's the sound?
A: Around the right front wheel.
Q: What kind of sound?
A: Kind of a clunk, clunk sound.
Q: When do you hear the sound?
A: When I turn and accelerate.
Q: Right and left? Forwards and back?…
Do you see where we're going? You're gathering additional information to help your Asheville North Carolina technician know where to start. Based on your car and the tech's experience, he'll know where to look and can start with the obvious suspects.
You can see how that would be more helpful than dropping the car off with a note that says "making a funny noise".
When you think you need to bring a vehicle in, make some notes about the problem. Rather than just saying "it's leaking", tell the tech the color of the fluid, and approximately where under the car you see the puddle.
Things like 'the car is stalling or sputtering' are often very hard to diagnose because they're intermittent. They may not happen every time you drive and usually aren't happening when you actually bring the car in. So, it is a big help for you to describe what's happening in as much detail as possible.
Your Asheville North Carolina technician at The Organic Mechanic will need to be able to duplicate the problem if possible so he needs to know details, like 'it stalls after it's been driven for about 20 minutes and I go over 50 miles an hour'.
If the tech can experience the problem personally, he's better able to make a diagnosis and repair. And, then test to see if the repair solved the problem.
Posted in the Service Standards category
What Asheville Automotive Service Consumers Should Know
Posted July 19, 2012 2:46 PM
There are some things Hendersonville consumers should know about Asheville automotive service and repair. First and foremost, The Organic Mechanic cares about you and your family’s safety. And we really appreciate your business. The Organic Mechanic in Asheville wants to build a trusting relationship that becomes the foundation for a mutually beneficial experience for years to come.
Building on that foundation, there are some things that would help you understand the auto service and repair business better. First, it can be really hard to fix cars. The days of shade tree mechanics are long gone. The majority of automotive systems are computerized. It takes a lot of training and very expensive equipment to diagnose and repair modern vehicles. The technicians that work for The Organic Mechanic need extensive computer training – not just how to run the diagnostic systems, but also searching for the right parts, networking with other technicians to help them with a difficult problem and pulling together a job order that makes sure that each step of the process is addressed.
The threshold for getting started as a technician gets higher all the time and there is a huge commitment to on-going training every year. This training takes time and money. It contributes to business overhead. The average Biltmore or Weaverville driver may not realize the business and environmental regulations The Organic Mechanic must comply with. Of course that costs money too. Like any business, overhead is a big factor.
When you go into a Hendersonville restaurant you don’t value the meal by what the food would cost at the grocery store. The restaurant has rent, wages, insurance, taxes, utilities, professional fees, equipment, supplies – you get the picture. The restaurant has to charge enough to not only pay for the ingredients, but for all these other things as well while making enough profit to remain in business. If you value the meal and are satisfied with your dining experience, you’ll come back and tell your friends.
It’s the same for The Organic Mechanic. The value of its service is not the cost of the parts they replace, but in your satisfaction with the results. If they deliver a good product at a fair price, Asheville customers are happy to see them succeed as a North Carolina automotive business.
Contact The Organic Mechanic to learn more about our extensive auto service training. You can find us at: 568 Haywood Rd Asheville, North Carolina 28806 Or call us at 828-255-2628
Your Asheville service center loves to see its customers whenever they come in, but they would much rather see them three or four times a year for routine maintenance than once a year on a tow truck. They want to work together with you to avoid breakdowns. Tell your Hendersonville area friends and family to go in for their scheduled maintenance too. That lowers the service center’s marketing costs and helps keep its labor rates down. That’s good for everyone.
The Organic Mechanic appreciates this great review of automotive service from AutoNetTV.
Posted in the Service Standards category
Your Well Trained Technician At The Organic Mechanic
Posted June 12, 2012 1:50 PM
When your car breaks down, or just needs some routine service, you might get a little nervous. Your car’s so important to your life in Weaverville, you need to back on the road as soon as possible – with the problem fixed right the first time.
If you’ve ever checked into some of the technician training The Organic Mechanic professionals receive, you may be surprised at how much knowledge and skill goes into diagnosing and repairing a modern car. Let me give you some perspective. Today there are four cylinder engines that make more power than the V-8’s in luxury cars twenty years ago. I mean a new V-6 Toyota Camry could beat Sonny Crocket’s Ferrari in a race to sixty.
Our engines are more and more powerful and at the same time their fuel economy keeps inching up – even with steep Weaverville gas prices. And they’re so reliable. This is all due to engineering. But the advances come at the price of simplicity. The modern cars driving around Weaverville roads are so much more complex from a mechanical standpoint that it makes your head spin – not to mention the electronics.
Some cars have several networked computers controlling most of the engine functions and many other vehicle functions as well. Weaverville motorists take all of this sophistication for granted – but somebody has to fix it when it breaks. It’s a real challenge for The Organic Mechanic technicians to keep up, but we work hard to stay ahead of the technology. It requires a high level of commitment on the part of the technician and the Weaverville service center as well.
In addition to the training, there’s the financial commitment to purchase the diagnostic and repair tools. The Organic Mechanic technicians receive training through a combination of formal classroom training, training provided at The Organic Mechanic by parts and equipment manufacturers, on-line courses and home study courses.
There are many independent certifications available at The Organic Mechanic all the way up to Master Technician. The ability to repair your car requires a strong combination of training and resources. No one can know everything, so Weaverville auto service centers subscribe to data services, technical libraries and even on-line communities that can help them when they run into a difficult problem.
It’s like those medical diagnosis shows on TV. Here are the symptoms – what’s the diagnosis and treatment? Diagnosis is every bit as much an art as a science. At The Organic Mechanic, we want everything to be simple, straightforward and cheap – but sometimes it just isn’t.
So try to be more relaxed next time you bring us your car. You’re in good hands.
Located in the Asheville area, we service the following communities: Swannanoa, Black Mountain, Weaverville, Mars Hill, Marshall, Biltmore Forest, Fairview, Bent Creek, Avery Creek, Canton and surrounding areas.