Auto Repair

We are Converting this Site to a Podcast

This site has been a low activity blog site for years. I’m converting it to a podcast site with a new theme. It will retain the blog and the existing posts. I will add a podcast episode for each of the existing posts, add a podcast trailer and then get started with regular episodes.

This site will share what I’m currently working on now and what’s to come.

Unprofessional Service

How to Overcome Unethical Auto Repair Practices

The best way to avoid unethical auto repair shops

If the title of this article caught your eye, you’ve probably gone through an experience with an unethical auto repair shop or know someone who has. Most of us want to believe that there are repair shop owners and employees in our community committed to ethical business practices, but the dishonesty of one “bad apple” can spoil the whole bunch. And if the bad apple is a shop owner or a lead technician in the company, the perception can be that the entire company is flawed, from the top down.

The cars and trucks of today are filled with complex electronic controls and gadgetry that will eventually fail, if not sooner, then later. It takes a trained automotive diagnostic technician to diagnose and correct the electrical or electronic problems that turn on your car’s dash warning lights like a check engine light.

When problems happen, you’ll need an auto repair professional with the skill and equipment to make the necessary repairs, and you’ll want that person to be someone you can trust. So how do you avoid the unpleasantness of having to deal with an unethical auto repair shop? Listed below you’ll find some basic information that can help:

  • Finding an honest shop
  • Asking for written estimates
  • What essential maintenance items does a car need
  • Navigating the warranty on repairs
  • What to ask when a service advisor recommends repair or maintenance

Probably the most important way to avoid ending up at unprofessional or unethical repair shops is to find an auto repair shop you “know, like, and trust”. If you’re new to an area, ask co-workers or neighbors if they have a reliable and professional repair shop they use. Take time to read reviews from the recommendations you were given, and then interview the one or ones that sound the best before you need their services.

Once you make a selection, work to establish a mutually beneficial professional relationship by using them for all your auto maintenance and repair needs. Ask them to help you set a reasonable and workable budget for vehicle maintenance. Have them educate you about your vehicle(s). Then support them with reviews and referrals.

Subaru Crosstrek

In a recent post, I shared a story about a 2014 Subaru with a check engine light on. While the auto owner wasn’t technically ripped off or subjected to unethical business practices, his encounter did end up being another unsatisfactory auto repair experience he’ll remember and likely share with friends when the opportunity presents.

In seeking a second opinion from another repair professional, this Subaru owner told me that he was unimpressed by the service he received and felt the dealership’s primary interest was limited to what they could sell him. He shared that the service advisor failed to clearly explain the technician’s initial diagnosis or discuss interim options that could be tried to confirm the diagnosis before proceeding with the recommended repair. These options might have successfully addressed the problem and cost the owner a fraction of the estimated cost of the repair that had been recommended. While this wasn’t a clear case of dishonesty or misrepresentation, the dealership personnel failed to communicate that they were looking out for this owner’s best interests.

Unfortunately, there are plenty of stories about unsatisfying auto repair experiences that also include unethical elements. A case in point was featured in a recent article written by, How Jiffy Lube Got a Reputation for Ripping Off People. It’s another example of disreputable practices darkening the name of the entire auto repair industry. The article is well written and includes links to legal documents filed in California by the BAR and an NBC affiliate conducting operations to catch Jiffy Lube scammers.

Specific examples outlined unprofessional service and unethical sales practices that resulted in auto owners being charged for parts and services that were unnecessary. It cited ten scams customers and investigators experienced.

Having worked my entire career in the auto repair industry, I’ve seen situations like this first hand. And while reports like these serve the interests of the public in exposing the shoddy and substandard practices of unethical repair shops, they also sully the reputation of repair shops in general, even those who work hard to provide excellent service with integrity.

Woman Checking Her Car

Personal experiences of auto repair incompetence and dishonesty

During the 15 years I worked as an automotive equipment and software rep, I had hundreds of repair shops as customers. On occasion, shop owners would share stories about vehicles coming in with printed repair estimates from another shop that included $1000 to $2000 in repair work beyond what was necessary. Many of these estimates came from franchise shops like tire stores that also do general vehicle repair. To make matters worse, these stories often featured vehicles owned by women.

Another scenario I encountered was while doing extended warranty inspections on vehicles with recent intake manifold gasket replacement, many of which were on GM v8 engines. Flat rate technicians had started using a new technique to speed up the gasket replacement but frequently demonstrated incompetence, laziness, or both in the process.

Installing a new gasket meant the old leaking gasket had to be removed from bottom surface of the v-shaped intake manifold. That surface mates to the cylinder heads with a gasket in between. Because the old gaskets were strongly adhered to the surface, technicians often used a high-speed sander to remove all traces of the gasket material. When nothing was placed in the v-shaped valley to catch the gasket pieces and sandpaper abrasives, these materials would end up being washed down into the engine’s oil pan. Unless the technician cleaned the oil pan to remove this material, it would circulate in the engine oil as a contaminant. Once the engine’s oil filter was clogged with this debris, it could no longer “filter” the remaining abrasive material from the oil. A by-pass valve opens to allow oil to continue circulating. Because the oil is contained by remnants of abrasive material, the crankshaft and bearings would be worn away until the engine ultimately fails.

Chevrolet Engine

Engine failure is common after sloppy intake gasket replacement

Approximately 3 to 6 months after having a gasket job, some of these vehicles ended up back in shop with engine failure asking their extended warranty company pay for a new engine. Inspection revealed crankshaft bearing journals appeared rough and eroded, as if someone had put sand in the engine oil.

Was this done intentionally to rip customers off? Probably not, but carelessness and incompetence were definitely factors in the poor workmanship these vehicles were subjected to. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to rule out unethical behavior on the part of some mechanics hoping for a possible engine replacement job in the future.

When the extended warranty claim was denied, many repair shops absorbed a portion of the engine replacement cost in an effort to retain loyal customers. And while the customer didn’t have to pay the total cost of the engine replacement, they were inconvenienced by the loss of their vehicle during the repair.

First hand experiences of unethical auto repair mechanics

While at a dealership to inspect a vehicle for a covered extended warranty issue, I remember a technician asking me to look at a “leaking” front differential axle seal. I could see the oil around the seal and also a six-inch long line of fresh oil near the front differential that looked like an accidental trail from an oil can used to “place” oil on the seal.

Suspicious of misrepresentation, I acknowledged the oil’s presence and promptly asked the service manager to look at the complaint and offer suggestions as to what I should do. After looking, he told the tech to lower the hoist and get the truck out of the shop, shaking his head as he told me to forget it. He confirmed my suspicions that the tech had put the oil on the seal in an attempt to get more work.

In this situation, the unethical deed was discovered, but many times dishonest practices go undetected. The result is expense and inconvenience for the customer charged, dishonest gain for the technician, and this example to justify your fear that you might be “fleeced” the next time you have to visit an auto repair facility.

As a dealership Service Manager, I am sad to relate a situation where I had no choice but to fire an engine mechanic. After he left, new parts in un-opened packages were found under his workbench, evidence that he had been charging customers for parts that never got installed while getting paid for work he didn’t do.

Is the problem dishonesty or incompetence?

While attending college, I researched and wrote a paper on the topic of how people viewed auto repair shops, and dealership service departments, in particular. My research led me to conclude that many complaints were not the result of dishonesty, but rather a lack of training and poor communication skills.

Many customers reported a preference for small independent repair shops because they could talk directly to the owner or mechanic who would work on their vehicle. Dealership service departments, in contrast, felt less personal because of their size, and service advisors who seemed either untrained or unmotivated to communicate clearly. While some dealerships have worked hard to overcome the stigma of being impersonal, it will take more work if public perception is to change for dealership service departments as a whole.

Service Advisor Helping a Woman

Communication is the key

It is my belief that the industry’s reputation suffers primarily as a result of poor communication and inadequate training for technicians. There is no doubt in my mind that efforts to improve communication and technical skills would go a long way toward improving the auto repair experience and changing public perception from more negative to positive.

Consider, for example, that today’s auto mechanic needs to know electricity, electronics, hydraulics, diagnostics, computer networking, and logic. They must have hands on mechanical experience with engines, brakes, steering, cooling, transmissions, drivetrain components, air bags, and much more. This experience and knowledge is required on hundreds of different models from the various manufacturers. To accomplish this to a high degree of quality and accuracy would seem almost impossible.

This would explain the growth of independent shops that specialize in repair and service of one manufacturer. It’s a reasonable and attainable goal to gain a thorough knowledge of one vehicle make, rather than trying to become proficient on all makes.

In defense of the auto repair industry, many of the shop owners I know are honest, hard-working individuals who are committed to providing quality service and repair. They are as concerned about the negative reputation created by unethical repair shops as the general public.

When mistakes happen during a repair job, shop owners with integrity acknowledge the error and absorb the cost of fixing the mistake at no cost to their customer. This can end up being far more than the cost of doing the repair over. Here’s how:

Some shop owners will compensate the technician with his regular wage while working to correct a repair mistake he made. However, even when he is required to work without pay while correcting his mistake, it still costs the shop owner because while “redoing” a job, the technician is unable to produce billable work for the shop.

In addition, there is the cost of duplicate parts the shop owners absorb when a repair must be redone. And consider the loss to the business in terms of overall customer satisfaction when they are inconvenienced by loss of their vehicle during the repeat repair.

As you can see, mistakes are expensive for a reputable shop owner whose goal is to take care of customers and employees. Still, these owners understand the value of a satisfied customer and are committed to making sure their customers feel valued.

Most people accept that problems can’t always be avoided. With the increasing complexity of today’s cars, it’s increasingly important for auto owners to do all they can to protect themselves from encountering repair shops with unethical policies or personnel.

Improve Auto Repair Perception

Working to repair the public perception of auto repair

Improving perception of auto repair is the mission of this auto repair blog and its companion website the Auto Shop Connection Podcast Show. Involving repair shops and customers in sharing stories to educate, facilitate communication, and encourage development of mutually beneficial relationships is our main objective.

And the hope is that with improved consumer education, the number of unethical auto repair shops will diminish as educated auto owners take their vehicles elsewhere.

Wouldn’t it be something if repair shops and dealerships adopted a “Miracle on 34th Street” philosophy for doing business by putting the customer’s needs ahead of the almighty dollar? It might sound silly, but here’s my point: If repair shops worked conscientiously to save customers money, a situation of reciprocity might develop. Customers would feel valued and respond with loyalty. It could be something as simple as a service advisor pointing out possible repair alternatives, when they exist, that might correct the vehicle’s problem while minimizing expense to the customer. The shop that does business this way might end up with a customer for life.

Ongoing education and training will be critical to enhance communication and technical skills of industry employees. This will involve expenditure of time and money by industry members.

Social media and mobile connection to unlimited information and reviews are being utilized to help businesses improve the way they provide services. Communicating change and improvement helps, but actual in-shop improvements that positively impact the customer’s auto repair experienced will be required to overcome the negative impact unethical auto repair shop practices have had.


The negative stories in this post have been included to substantiate why auto repair consumers perceive the repair industry in negative ways. If you haven’t had a negative experience with an unethical auto repair shop, you know of someone who has. And while auto repair still places on the BBB’s list of top 10 industries most complained about, don’t forget there are nine other industries on that list. Just like the automotive industry, these industries are comprised of businesses owned and run by people, some of whom are honest and provide good service.

To be fair, there are probably many more shops that provide honest and professional auto repair services than those that don’t. Valuable reviews and podcasts sharing of stories by reputable auto shop owners and their employees offer hope that communication and trust can improve. The best way you can protect your second highest investment, your vehicle(s), from the dishonest practices of unethical repair shops is by identifying the great shops in your community. Do your research by going online to read their reviews. Ask the ones that get the highest reviews to do a complimentary inspection of your car. Then ask them to prioritize a list of maintenance and repair services that fits in your budget.

Give them a chance to earn your business. Once you become a satisfied customer, support them with your loyalty and with positive reviews and referrals.

In closing, consider listening to and participating in the Auto Shop Connection auto repair podcast. You can develop your automotive knowledge, hear helpful tips from shop owners and employees, and contribute by being interviewed or sharing feedback about your auto repair experiences to sharpen repair shops understanding of the customers perspective. If we all work together we can improve the auto repair industry.

If you have any comments please share them below. If you are interested in sharing a story on the Auto Shop Connection podcast you can also leave a comment to that effect or contact me directly by email at

Auto Owner Stories

2014 Subaru Crosstrek Owner Story

As one of the first auto owner stories I’m sharing on this blog, my purpose for posting it is not to get down on repair shops, but rather to encourage and help them provide better service as they consider constructive feedback offered by auto owners about the service they’ve received. Auto repair has consistently been included on lists that rank industries with excessive consumer complaints. A 2013 article that illustrates this, a sample compiled by the St. Louis BBB, places auto repair on the list of top 10 industries with the highest number of consumer complaints.

If you are the owner of a business in an industry with a tarnished reputation, how can stories shared by car owners have value for you? To answer that question, let me begin by telling the following story about a car repair experience I was part of. It features a 2014 Subaru that displays a check engine light and a repair estimate for a camshaft valve-timing problem.

Keys to Auto Repair improvement

Auto owner stories give valuable feedback

This story begins when the vehicle is taken to a body shop after a being in involved in a rear-end collision with damage on the right rear fender. There was no prior history of check engine light warnings, but this vehicle was past due for a maintenance oil change. On inspection, the oil was dirty and low by about three-fourths of a quart.

After being in the body shop for 2 weeks, the repair was completed. The owner picked up the car and drove down the road a short distance when the check engine light came on. The engine had a rough idle with the light on. The cruise light flashed and cruise control didn’t work. The traction control dash warning light also displayed. With follow-up research, I discovered that when an engine fault code sets on this car, its computer disables cruise control and traction control as a safety measure to avoid a possible problem.

The owner’s concern was that the body shop had caused this problem during some part of their repair work. When the owner returned the car to the body shop, they checked the vehicle and claimed the problem was not related to any work they had done. They recommended taking the car to the dealership to have the problem diagnosed.

Service Advisor Helping Woman

Dealership Service Advisor Communication Improvement

The service advisor at the dealership interviewed the owner for information pertinent to the history of the vehicle’s current check engine light problem. When the owner asked what the procedure would involve to have the car checked, he was told there would be a $60 diagnostic fee to determine the cause of this problem, after which a quote for the repair work would be provided. The owner was later contacted by phone and provided a quote of $375 to replace a failed part and $65 for an engine oil change with synthetic oil. The explanation given was that dirty engine oil had shorted the camshaft timing valve component, which would require replacement.

As a side note, I’d like to point out that a repair shop can often choose to advocate for the auto owner by presenting any less expensive options that may also correct the problem. In doing this, the vehicle owner’s perception of the repair shop can sometimes be improved, especially when the options suggested represent a cost savings to the owner and a decreased profit for the shop.

I also need to point out the importance of clear communication and documentation to protect the interests of both customer and repair shop. The auto repair professional discussing options must make sure the customer understands the pros and cons of each option well enough to make an informed decision.

The story continues when the owner picked up his car, and the dealership didn’t collect the $60 diagnostics fee. An omission like this, while appearing to save the car owner money, could actually lead the owner to wonder whether or not the shop’s technician had spent diagnostic time testing the component to determine that it was shorted as indicated by the quote.

2014 Subaru Crosstrek Engine


The vehicle owner consulted with me and shared details of the estimate as well as the explanation provided by the dealership. Based on my experience with how automotive electronics systems work, I was concerned about the accuracy of dirty oil causing a component to short. After some digging, one reference indicated that dirty or low engine oil might contribute this code being set. In light of my research, I talked with the owner, and we decided to see if cleaning the engine oil and crankcase could correct this check engine light problem.

After replacing the oil filter, SeaFoam was added to the crankcase and the engine oil topped off with half a quart of synthetic oil. The vehicle was then driven approximately twenty miles when the check engine light went off and stayed off. After driving for another 50 miles, the owner had a full oil and filter change service. The plan is for the vehicle to be driven 3000 more miles, followed by another oil change service.

This vehicle owner had been scheduling oil changes for around 5,000 to 6,000 miles. Even thought full synthetic oil typically runs longer than non-synthetic, this interval may have been too long in light of newer vehicle design changes that have reduced the size of fluid passages and openings making them more susceptible to becoming clogged by dirty oil.

Time will tell if the check engine light remains off after the measures taken to remove the dirty oil, but the hope is that another oil change service after 3,000 more miles will see this problem resolved. In this case, a savings of around $300 would be realized by the vehicle owner in not replacing the supposedly “shorted” component.

Did the component really “short out” as a result of dirty oil? I would be inclined to say no, since the vehicle is currently operating as designed without the component being replaced. Did the repair professional at the dealership skip diagnosing the symptom and instead assume a failure shared by other cars presenting with a similar symptom also caused this vehicle’s problem? Since no diagnostic fee was charged when the owner picked up the vehicle, it is probable that no diagnostic test was actually done.

In making the recommendation to replace a single camshaft-timing component, did the service advisor present possible repair options, pointing out that these Subaru models have a total of 4 camshafts in the dual overhead cam engines. This means each shaft has a component that electronically controls valve timing and makes the recommendation to replace one camshaft-timing component and change the oil unwise without addressing the issue of a dirty crankcase and oil passages. This shortsighted repair could easily end in failure of one or more of the timing components in the 3 remaining camshafts. The additional parts and labor costs to the customer could have run as high as $1200.

Auto owner interview reveals less than satisfactory experience

I interviewed the vehicle owner after he had received the dealership’s estimate for their recommended repair. He commented that the service advisor came across as less than friendly during face-to-face and phone encounters. He shared that his overall feeling about this auto repair experience was less than satisfactory. Unfortunately, this is characteristic of too many customer service experiences in the dealership setting. It’s easy to see why many dealership repair customers opt to go elsewhere for their vehicle service and repair needs.

While there are many dealerships that provide satisfying customer service to their repair customers, scenarios like the one above are all too common. In sharing this story, my objective is bring to light situations that cause the problem of poor public perception. The burden is on all car dealerships to work harder if public perception about how dealers operate is to improve. An excellent place to start would be to work at improving communication with customers.


A reputation is built by standing behind exceptional customer service and providing superior quality repair and maintenance work. When customers sense that a repair shop is honest, helpful, cooperative, and cares more about them than the dollar amount at the bottom of the repair or service order, those satisfied customers will spread the word.

Independent and dealership auto repair shops alike can be profitable and still provide auto owners with significant savings in auto repair costs. It requires a decision to value the customer more than the bottom line because customer loyalty has value that is measured beyond the bottom line. Put another way, when a shop’s business model focuses on saving customers money, profitability increases as people are naturally drawn to a business that values people over profit.


Auto Repair . . . A New Perspective

This website is where auto repair consumers and shop owners will find introductory information about my mission to facilitate improvements in the auto repair industry. Its focus is to give readers access to new perspectives, concepts and helpful tips.

I’ve identified it as a “new perspective” because, in my opinion, the industry is long overdue for an introspective look at its policies, practices, and the attitudes that drive them. While I’m not saying I have all the answers to fix the industry, I do have the experience of a 40-year long career in the industry. Over the years, I’ve worked with many exceptional people in the auto repair industry. Many of them have a wealth of knowledge and keen insight into ways repair shops can improve the services they provide.

I’d like to take a minute to clarify my reasoning behind use of the phrase “new perspective.” By definition, the word perspective can mean – a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view that sees all the relevant data in meaningful relationship; a true understanding of the relative importance of things; a sense of proportion.

Auto Repair New Perspective

My perspective, or point of view, is such that I believe the automotive service and repair industry has room to adjust and adapt to a different way of doing business. Changes in technology and the way our society functions on a daily basis means that a repair shop doing business “the way” it’s been done since the 1960’s is out of sync with today. Auto repair consumers would be better served by a repair professional willing to build a relationship with them based not only on the customer’s needs, but the customer’s wishes and desires.

Don’t misunderstand this to suggest there are no repair shops in operation who have good relationships with their customers. I’ve seen exceptional shops whose loyal customers regularly return for vehicle service and repair because of a longstanding relationship of trust in the care they and their vehicle(s) receive.

What I am suggesting is that the percentage of trusting and mutually beneficial relationships between shops and their customers is decidedly small. In other words, a much larger percentage of auto owners and shops could be building trusting relationships based on clear communication, cooperation and flexibility as well as delivery of quality repair services that meet customers needs and exceed their expectations.

I believe repair shops would benefit by surveying vehicle owners to discover what they need and want from the vehicle repair or maintenance experience. This involves evaluating and adjusting their business practices in ways that demonstrate willingness to provide extra value to their customers by working with them, not just for them.

There have been significant changes in the world in the past ten years. These changes have affected the automotive industry and its customers in very specific ways:

• Vehicles are radically enhanced with electronic advances
• Social media has facilitated virtually limitless information sharing as well as provided a venue for consumers to post positive and negative views
• The economy is vastly different than it was ten years ago

In spite of these changes, auto repair shops continue to operate in much the same way as they have for over 50 years.

Bringing the industry up to speed with these changes is a very large undertaking that many individuals and organizations that have been working on. While I acknowledge I don’t have all the answers, the focus of this website and blog is what my experience and perspective can contribute to facilitate changing the auto repair and service industry for the better.

My Mission

As an auto repair advocate, I’m on a mission to facilitate improved delivery of auto repair services by the auto repair industry. This mission includes helping auto owners learn how to find and work with the best automotive service and repair shops in their communities.

Automotive Repair Podcast

When accomplished, the result for repair shop owners and employees will be a more pleasant and prosperous work experience, while auto owners will experience exceptional automotive repair and service. The process will involve three-steps:

1. Interviewing automotive repair shop professionals who are providing exceptional service and helping them share their story.
2. Interviewing auto owners willing to share some specifics about what they want and need from a repair shop as well as the chance to tell an entertaining auto story from their life.
3. Making interviews from both groups accessible to interested listeners via the Auto Shop Connection podcast and website.

The result will be engaging and helpful information for today’s connected community members made available in audio, video, text, and social media platforms.

Connect Great Auto Shops

The goal for auto owners is the possibility of a more cost effective and less frustrating experience with the auto repair and service process. The objective for repair shops is to become a workplace environment where employees feel satisfied, are rewarded, and want to stay.

Do you have any thoughts about industry improvement? Would you be willing to participate in an interview? Do you know of someone you think would be a good resource to have on an episode? Please leave answers or comments below.


Dave Eastman Website Introduction

Website and Blog Platform: New Auto Repair Perspective

This is a blog platform website where auto repair consumers and shop owners will find introductory information about my perspective on auto repair, helpful tips and other information. This platform correlates with my related websites, podcasts, and social media channels.

One correlated website, Auto Shop Connection, is for auto consumers and auto repair shop owners. It provides both groups with a podcast platform where auto repair shop stories and helpful tips and information are shared. It offers shops and auto owners a mutually beneficial and engaging way to connect, learn, share feedback, and recommendations. Auto Shop Success is another correlated website specifically for auto shop owners to discover ways they can improve and grow their business.

Sign Social Media Blog Forums PodcastThis blog platform is a window into my business where I outline my plans, goals, and recommendations as well as refer to valuable information contributed by outside resources. I will be asking consumers and shop owners to participate with me in bringing much needed improvements that can reshape the auto repair industry.

When talking about the industry, there are many elements to consider. The proliferation of electronics on today’s new vehicles is an example when you consider the skill level required by technicians who repair them when they break. As technology has become increasingly more complex, the automotive industry isn’t alone in having to deal with a shortage of skilled workers. Auto owners are likely to see a dramatic increase in repair shop labor rates as shops are required to pay increasingly higher wages to employ and retain skilled workers.

Another element is the changing way people view auto ownership. Millennials are said to be moving away from ownership. They embrace ride share services like Uber and Lyft and more contemporary rental car formats where an individual rents a vehicle by the hour, to run errands, rather than for an entire day. Vehicle manufacturers now must question who will purchase the largest percentage of their new cars, trucks or SUVs? Will businesses and corporations become the primary purchasers as individuals move away from owning vehicles?

Millennials Connected Car

And what will become of the small independent auto repair shops unable to afford state-of-the-art equipment and technicians with the education and skill required to repair the technologically advanced systems on today’s cars? Will they become a thing of the past as more and more individuals opt to rent instead of purchase vehicles?

While many speculate about what the future holds for the auto industry, the things mentioned in the previous paragraphs are but a few of the factors that will shape its future. These shifts are already starting to send out ripples affecting the auto repair industry. Individual auto owners will likely begin to see and feel these effects in the next three to five years.

Facilitating interaction with car owners and auto repair professionals alike will be the backbone of this blog platform and the connections with my other sites where topics are discussed, interviews hosted, entertaining conversations shared, and informative courses presented. Available on the Internet and through social media, the podcast episodes and video presentations can be accessed by interested followers.

Shop Owners Building Platform

What is a Platform Website and How can it Help My Business?

For auto shops, being connected is important and having their own platform is a vital tool for doing so. If you are a shop owner who is unfamiliar with the function of a platform and how it can apply to your auto repair business, below is a brief description.

In his book, Platform – Get Noticed in a Noisy World, author Michael Hyatt gives one of the best descriptions of a platform and its function that I’ve found so far. He makes this statement, “In order to be successful in today’s business environment, you need two things: a compelling product and a significant platform.”

Having a platform property that you control, just like your company website, is vital to the success of any business in today’s economy. A platform enables a business owner to be more connected to their customers and establishes a location where they can be found by online searchers. A platform is a stable location that no one else can change.

Social media is another good way for someone to find you or your business, but since someone else controls the media location, it’s not the same as having control of your own site. You want the ability to bring all of your social connections back to your platform.

Car Phone Podcast

Author David Meerman Scott also agrees with the concept presented in Michael Hyatt’s book. During an interview on the Duct Tape Marketing podcast, he discusses the importance of having a platform website for yourself as a business owner.

A platform will act as a foundation for a business. That is what this website is for my business. It will not have a lot of in-depth content, but it will function to introduce all products and services I offer. When searching online, this platform is where someone can find me or find out about me.

Think about a platform for yourself or your business. To get a clear picture of what it can do for your business, I encourage you to read Michael’s book. And you may want to watch this site and use it as a model for your own platform.

Auto Owner Car Service Advisor

Retail and Fleet Consumer Auto Repair Information

As my passion is that auto repair customers have access to helpful information and tips about ways they can save money and reduce inconvenience and frustration when having auto repairs or maintenance performed. While all of the helpful content will not be located on this platform site, it will direct searchers to specific locations where detailed help is available in the form of written posts, audio recordings, and videos.

Some of the information presented will be in podcast episode interviews with technicians, service advisors and shop managers or owners on a variety of topics such as:
• How to find honest repair shops that deal fairly and perform quality repairs
• Tips for working with shops and knowing what to look for to save money
• Finding a shop that helps you budget vehicle maintenance and repair needs

Helpful information made available by auto repair professionals can save auto owners money. For example, I became aware of a 2014 Subaru with a check engine light on for a camshaft valve-timing problem. The car hadn’t received timely engine oil changes, suggesting this $300 to $400 auto repair was likely the result of a delayed maintenance issue. In situations like this, a repair shop actively working as an advocate for the auto owner would educate them about timely maintenance that could save them money in the long run.

Platform Business Plan

Auto Shop Owner Introduction to Helpful Websites

On this platform, repair shop owners will be introduced to my auto shop manifesto and its purpose of presenting new ways to run an auto repair business. I will share where to find helpful information on how to make your business more successful. For example, the “shop culture” phenomenon is a trending topic many successful shop owners describe when interviewed by Carm Capriotto on the Remarkable Results Radio Podcast. This podcast, easily accessible and quickly becoming one of the best resources where successful shop owners tell what they are doing to improve their customer’s experience, shop profitability, and many other facets of running an auto repair shop.

There are many things to consider when looking for ways to improve your shop. In this present age of information, so much knowledge is available to us within seconds of an online search. While it is still important to consider the source, there is a wealth of information to be found.

The function of this platform is to identify and share quality information in ways that are easy to understand. On the Auto Shop Connection and Auto Shop Success sites, detailed topical information will range from:

• Marketing and Podcasting
• Hiring, recruiting and retaining employees
• Training and supporting employees in economical ways
• Finding and retaining good customers
• Promoting loyalty that keeps customers coming back
• Interviews with accounting, human resource, legal, coaching and other professionals
• Membership and Loyalty programs

Automotive Repair Shop Podcast

By actively contributing to the Auto Shop Connection website and podcast, you can increase your company’s community and online presence. Participation includes telling your story and sharing information that helps auto owners have great auto repair experiences. One of the best and fastest ways to grow brand recognition of your company, podcasts help prospective customers come to “know, like, and trust” you before they step foot in your shop.


It doesn’t matter if you’re a consumer or shop owner, this platform will provide introductory information or guide you to detailed resources for managing your auto repairs or your business.

As a platform, this blog resource allows me to share concepts I’m passionate about on my mission to facilitate improvement in the auto repair industry. With your help, we can shape the kind of change that is balanced and beneficial for all parties.

Start by sharing feedback or suggesting topics of interest to you that pertain to cars or repair shops. Are you willing to participate by being interviewed for the Auto Shop Connection podcast?

Please use the comments section below to share your interest in participating or offer feedback on topics of interest to you as an auto owner or repair professional.