Auto Service Professional

OCT 2018

Magazine for the auto service professional

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S t r a i g h t T a l k 4 A S P O c t o b e r 2 018 I Mike Mavrigian, Editor I wish all of your customers would have the opportunity to tour a modern-day auto parts manufacturing facil- ity. If they did, they would gain a much greater appreciation of what's involved in making high- quality replacement parts. is may also result in just a little bit less haggling over "Why do these widgets cost so much?" But, again, that may just be wishful thinking on my part. I recently had the opportu- nity (actually I'd refer to it as an honor) to visit the Fel-Pro Gasket factory in Skokie, Ill., (a scant few, although traffic-con- gested, miles north of Chicago) during the firm's 100th anniver- sary commemoration. During the factory tour, I was exposed to a first-hand view of the manufacture of all of the firm's gasket products. Taking MLS (multi-layer steel) cylin- der head gaskets as an example, I was able to see the multitude of steps involved, from laser- cutting cores, stamp pressing, layer embossing, application of specialty coatings and assembly. Needless to say, I was very im- pressed with the sheer amount of technology to produce just this one product. is isn't meant to sing the praises of only one manu- facturer. If everyone had the chance to see what's involved in the manufacturing, packaging and shipping of any automotive part, they'd gain a better under- standing and appreciation of what they're buying. For those consumers in your shop who are under the assump- tion that "corporate America" is out to gouge them, being able to see exactly what's involved in producing the part that they need to keep their vehicle on the road would certainly open their eyes. I know it did for me. GREAT ANALOGY In my June editorial, I discussed dealing with customers who claim that "you broke my car." If you recall, I ranted about the clas- sic issue of a customer blaming you for an unrelated issue arising aer you performed a needed re- pair on another part of the car. One of our loyal readers pro- vided an easy solution to this issue. She said that you should describe a scenario that the cus- tomer can relate to and easily understand. Let's say that your shop per- formed a brake job (replacing rotors, calipers, pads and hard- ware, flushing and bleeding the system). ree days later, the customer returns, claiming that "ever since you did my brakes, my wipers don't work." Your reply: "OK... let's say that you replaced a light bulb in your hallway ceiling light. ree days later, your oven stops working. Did you cause the oven to fail? Of course not. e two problems were completely un- related, and it wasn't your fault that the oven died. Coincidenc- es happen, and things eventu- ally wear out or fail through no fault of anyone. e same logic applies to your vehicle." ■ Seeing is believing – and appreciating In honor of Fel-Pro's 100th anniversary, the Fel-Pro engineering team designed a special MLS head gasket as a symbol of the firm's milestone. Not satisfied with simply making something that looks like a head gasket, the crafty designers went above and beyond, challenging themselves to make a gasket that, while not actually usable on an engine due to the unique shape, was made with all of the materials and construction features found in a real MLS gasket. Shown here is TV celebrity Mike Rowe holding a laser-cut core for the unique anniversary icon. COURTESY OF FEL-PRO GASKETS, A BRAND OF FEDERAL-MOGUL MOTORPARTS.

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