I know there are many more of you out there, but I can only get so many in the headline!

I’ve been stewing on this article idea for the past couple of days, and would like some input.

While I like & respect his work, Steve Lehto’s clickbait-y post about mechanics ripping people off has predictably brought out the pitchforks, because obviously all shops are populated with criminals. AMGTech did a good little piece (which I can’t seem to find right now) on ways customers perceive things awhile back, but I’d like to write a detailed piece covering the myriad ways in which our industry is misunderstood. So far, the following points have come to mind: the challenges we face (individual and industry), the changes we’ve made, the ways customers’ perception can differ from fact, the realities of customer service, supply chains, technician pay, the costs of doing business, ethics, the future of the industry, and so on.

It won’t be the work of a moment, but I enjoy writing and it’s something I’d like to work on, so I’m asking for your help. If you have ever worked in the automotive repair industry, be it parts, service, shop management, or in some other capacity, I’d appreciate your input. I don’t want the piece to be one man’s rant. It needs to be balanced and well considered, and that means using multiple sources.

There are defective personalities in every industry, but people seem awfully fond of bashing the automotive service sector. It’s admittedly low hanging fruit, but the level of misinformation out there has to be addressed somehow. It’ll probably get buried in vitriol, but it’s worth a shot.

As if to punctuate this, a guy just walked earlier this week asking for a free scan and diagnosis of his E46 325i (that seems like it needs a throttle), and stated, “I don’t want anything fixed, I can fix it for free myself.” Well sure, sir, let me just fire up my $12,000 + $1500 updates specialty diagnostic platform and drop my work for paying customers to whom I’ve already made time commitments so that I can use my 19 years of experience, meaningless Master certs, $60k in tools, and thousands of dollars/hours of training for free! I scanned it OBD Generic and ran down the list of possibilities as politely as possible, but come on, man, you can’t just sit in a nice restaurant if you don’t order anything.

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Thanks in advance to any and all who contribute, I appreciate the input.