No, Oddly I have not. However for many years I was on the the receiving
end of of customers complaining about their new cars and that was only if my
service advisors could not reassure him or her that all of these models make
that noise, or fit that way, or not blow out that vent, or..... Its a small
wonder why Detroit is loosing ground.
No dirrect fault of yours of course and it was not a Ford product.
I think the reason Detroit is loosing ground is the service. I own a
Japaneese car and the wife owns a Ford. Both have had issues and are at
about the same mileage. JD Powers ranks the durability of GM and Ford
within Toyota, Honda, and Nissan (IIRC They are about 5 points difference)
The service difference is:
1) I take my car in for an issue and it's fixed. Or if they can't find
the problem, they say "we can't find it, but we tried this - if it
doesn't work, let us know". I had one No Problem Found with this car.
Next time I brought it in, it was "We'll replace xxx as a precaution".
2) She takes her car in (with me making the appointment and letting them
know exactly how to duplicate the problem), it's NO PROBLEM FOUND.
Well, that's nice, but I don't take time out of our days to call you
guys up, make an appointment, miss some work and be inconvenienced if
there's nothing wrong with my car. At least do something to try to fix
it. Don't just tell me that there's nothing you can do. You can
replace something, adjust something, or take a guess. If nothing else,
it makes us feel better that, yes, it's a tough issue, but you are doing
something about it.
Case in point - her car has a pretty regular issue on hot starts - most
of the time you really have to crank it to get it to start. And then it
stumbles before it catches. I know it's a tough one, but their answer
is: No codes from the computer, and we couldn't duplicate. Well, you
mean to tell me there's nothing else to check (fuel pressure/pump,
coils, temperature sensors, MAF, MAS Sensors, battery, starter, etc.)?
Something's not working properly and it's your JOB to fix it and know
what to check, not to dismiss our concerns as "we can't find it".
It's not just me - the wife's fed up - her next car Will NOT Be another
American. I don't blame her - mine probably won't either.
Addressing the JD Powers reports, keep in mind that no one likes to admit
that they have bought a car that is a problem and often small problems are
overlooked to maintain the feeling that his purchase was a good one. He
probably had 3 to 6 years left to pay for the car. Additionally many like
to validate their purchase by answering a questionnaire with answers that
may be a bit biased in favor of the automobile that he chose to purchase.
Few people like to admit that they again passed up buying the 30 years
running dependability of a Japanese vehicle to get the more flashy Detroit
model. Additional brand loyal American car buyers are seeing improvements
in their vehicles and feel that the American automakers deserve extra credit
on the survey.
What is apparent to the customer as being poor service is but not
necessarily all of the dealers fault. Let me explain some of the reasons
below each of your numbered comments below. I know things have changed but
most likely not that much since I was in the automotive business. I was the
Service sales manager and a Parts Department manager for a large Oldsmobile
dealer and a GM for an AC/Delco whole distributor that only sold to GM
dealers in the Houston and SE Texas area in the late 70's through 1995.
When I worked for the Oldsmobile dealer in the mid 80's we had a Toyota
dealership 1/4 mile away and both facilities were relocations from the down
town area of Houston. Our dealership on average replaced parts under
warranty about 40 times a day. We held on to these parts for the Olds
service rep to review, approve or disapprove and scrap. The Toyota dealer
had about 2 parts per day. The bulk of his business was Customer Pay. Our
biggest single customer was Oldsmobile. Our Customer Pay to warranty repair
ratio was about 60/40 respectively. It was not unusual to write up 100
customers before noon on a Monday morning and we had a weeks worth of work
by Wednesday noon. This is a little known fact but the factory does not
reimburse a dealer for every warranty repair and the dealer foots the
warranty repair bill until the factory issues credit. Toyota and other
better Japanese auto builders simply don't have the number of defects as the
Oldsmobile's did. Oldsmobile was probably in the middle of the pack as far
as Detroit quality was concerned. Not having so much warranty work to do
and having a majority of work being Customer Pay is a direct result of
selling and servicing a quality product. Warranty problems are typically
harder to diagnose than the average run of the mill normal maintenance. A
dealer that has little warranty work and money tied up waiting for credit
from the factory can more easily afford to take a guess and write off the
occasional part to satisfy a customer. Back in the 80's Oldsmobile
determined how many warranty claims to refuse the dealer by how that dealer
compared in number of repairs to the other 4 dealers in the metro area. If
we used 25% more of the same parts than the average of the other dealers
for a particular complaint the rep would find a reason to reject some
claims. Walking into the dealership to review warranty parts he knew up
front how many would be approved.
Unfortunately and including the reasons stated above, Oldsmobile kept close
track of which repairs that were being done under warranty on each
automobile. They paid for a particular repair "1" time, correctly diagnosed
or not. If the technician found no problem but went ahead and made a guess
to solve the complaint Oldsmobile would pay for that repair under ideal
repair ratio conditions. If that car came back with the same complaint and
warranty repairs were again made for the same complaint, the factory would
flag that repair for additional authorization and the first repair would
be charged back to the dealer, parts and labor.
That is the #1 reason parts or adjustments were/are simply not done for the
sake of hoping that the problem will be resolved.
Unfortunately that does not help the person that should be of the most
primary concern, the customer.
Unfortunately and again because of the above stated reasons and because
Oldsmobile did not pay to check each and every part, that procedure of
checking each and every possible cause on every vehicle that come in for a
warranty repair was not authorized or approved by the factory. Oldsmobile
had a strict order in which to diagnose and if the computer had no codes,
repairs past that point were most often on the dealers time and money.
Remember, if the technician came up with a code on his own to warrant
replacement of a part or make an adjustment, that repair had better be the
final solution or risk the factory charging back that repair, parts and
Basically, when a company is building a quality product and warranty
problems are few and far in between when compared to the competition the
service department breaths easier, can afford, and gladly goes the extra
mile to please the customer. If the warranty repairs are 40% of your
service business, life in the service department it quite touchy concerning
warranty repairs and trying to insure a minimum of factory charge backs.
Fewer chances are taken by the dealers with Detroit built vehicles.
Keep in mind also that not every technician is great, many are almost genius
but a large percentage of technicians flow from one dealer ship to another
including moving from a foreign car dealer to an American car dealer quite
Why are American car manufacturers so stingy with their warranty
authorizations? IIRC the latest reports are that GM pays, and again IIRC,
about 80% of the profit on every car for employee benefits.
I dono - Mercedes, Audi, and VW are pretty low on that list. BMW was
and has moved up tremendously. And even Hyundai is pretty low, although
they have improved TREMENDOUSLY over the past years to make a decent car.
I know that - it comes from the top (car manufacturer)
That's the problem right there. I don't think it's necessarily a
difference in quality - I had the same # of issues with my car and they
have all been minor. But the dealer's attitude is what makes them OK by
me - they take a proactive role in fixing them and addressing the
concerns rather than a "we can't find it" attitude.
And when there are defects in the car, they seem willing to back them
up. There were brake wear issues on my model. The manufacturer
extended the warranty on the brakes to 36k. Saved me $500 on a brake
job (pads and rotors all around). And when I took it in, the service
guy's response was "Fronts are worn down, rears are OK, but we'll do the
whole car so you don't have to come back for a while." That's what I
want to hear as a customer. Not "At 32k, we did the front, rear was
OK." at 40k the rears are shot, sorry about your luck.
As a result, I use the dealer for the most part regarding my maintenance
and service needs.
I guess that's the problem - the Japaneese would rather have a system
that builds loyalty long term (I'm most likely to return to this brand
again for my next car.) rather than the quick buck of the American
EXACTLY. It should not be my job to wait until the car leaves us
stranded to get things fixed. I'd doubt most (if not all) customers
like taking their cars to the dealer for work, so any concerns should be
addressed properly. If it takes 10 parts to fix the problem, then
that's GM/Ford/Toyota's problem - the customer buys a car that has a
warranty, something goes wrong, it doesn't matter how much it costs the
mfg, as long as it's fixed.
If it takes more tech training, then that's what it takes. Promote a
good working environment and your employees will stay. Promote a bad
one and they will leave.
That's a shame. It's going to be their downfall. I think they build
fine cars for the most part, it's the service that SUCKS. And if this
is the way it's run, they deserve to go bankrupt.
They have to realize there's 100 different cars I could buy - I chose
them and they need to ensure I have a good experience so I come back.
That's true. I work in IT, have for 12 years now. Have no certs or
anything like that. Yet I'm constantly explaining things to our MCSE,
MCSA, CCNA, etc. people how things work. It's a shame really - they
have the paper but cannot think outside the box.
The shame is it's not because of the quality of the car, it's because of
the quality of the service.....
On Sun, 05 Mar 2006 09:00:46 -0500, Newsgroup User
No, IMO, the problem is quality. You personally had the same
number of issues with a non-USA car that you had with a USA car.
Overall, though, USA cars have far more problems. The dealers
of a car from the USA has no time to have the same attitude as
the dealer of a well built car.
Wasn't GM the first to use torx drives in large quantitites on
I would suppose that torx dirves could be easily automated and
would carry more torque (hence the name) than Phillips or
Robertsons. Is that so?
If I remember correctly from the Modern Marvels episode on "The
Hardware Store", Phillips, himself, didn't invent the screw named for
him. He was just a business guy who bought the rights.
That version sounds plausible too.
But try to find an auto-feed square drive screw system.
It is not suitable for rapid insertion as the driver and screw can find
themselves at exactly 45 degrees, stopping the driver bit from insertion.
The other reason is that the bit and hole are almost the same size, ..
with Phillips or Posidriv, the tip is much smaller than the opening at
the head of the screw making insertion inevitable without risk of a jam.
I'm talking about automation screw drivers which can screw several per
second. (Usually stationary equipment on an assembly line.)
I wouldn't be a bit surprised if Mr. Robertson got 'Avro-Arrowed'.
Hell yes! No comparison.
Then, when you find out that you can get square drive bits with just a
hint of taper on the tip, installing cabinets just became whole lot
easier, especially when you use an impact driver.
You actually have to pull the driver off the screw.
No falling off, no wobble. Almost orgasmic.
Then again.. a brass slotted screw..just flush in a piece of well
finished dark wood, looks pretty tasty.
Hey you are preaching to the choir. I have been using square drive "with a
taper" in South East Texas, a long long way from Canada,;~) since the early
80's. I recall when they were simply not to be had locally. And yes the
taper is the cream de la cream, but some times it is annoying when you have
to jerk the driver to get the bit out of the screw head. On the other hand
when reaching from the top end of a 20' ladder to put up a light fixture
that feature is very nice.
On my last kitchen redo the former owners were a bit AR. They put hard
putty in all the heads of the mounting screws inside the cabinets and of
course they screws were Phillips dry wall screws. My Phillips bit in my
drill was simply caming out. But then that light came on and I put the
Phillips bit in my impact driver. The screws came right out.
A Phillips is in the shape of a four pointed star. So is the posidriv,
but it has small lines running at 45 degrees from the centre of the
star... so it looks like two Phillips stars... one of them too shallow
to take a driver.
On 2 Mar 2006 12:16:44 -0800, email@example.com wrote:
A Pozi driver will not fit in a Philips screw. A Philips driver will
fit very loose in a Pozi screw. A Pozi driver will have PZ and a
number on it, such as PZ2. I think Pozi screws are getting a bad
rap here. For some applications they are fine, such as for Euro
hardware and the hi-lo screws for Melamine.
I hate Posidriv heads. I usually find out AFTER camming one out. Grrrrr.
Ok, so I'm on a job site, I have ONE spare screw in the hardware pack (gotta
love the overcount), a short deadline, and NO posidriv bits available
anywhere. Grab the spare #2 phillips bit, off to the grinder and CAREFULLY
take the point down so most of the bit now engages the slots. CAREFULLY
install all the bits, and write off that #2 Xcelite.
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