: Are good, reliable, independent Cadillac serivceshops a thing of the past?



orconn
04-06-13, 05:22 PM
For years now there have been fewer and fewer young people wanting to became car mechanics (or auto technicians in the current terminology) and it seems that this has led to fewer and fewer independent auto repair shops. I know here in Richmond, VA I can't seem to find an independent garage specializing in Cadillac repair and service.

Jesda
04-06-13, 06:43 PM
I noticed the total lack of Cadillac specialists when I owned my Sevilles. I just had to find a decent independent shop and trust that they selected the right parts and did a decent job. There's guys out there who do Northstar stuff, but few actual shops that focus on Cadillac.

Perhaps its because they became Olds knockoffs during the 1980s.


Meanwhile Subaru, German, and Swedish car specialists are in every town.

Cadillac Kid03
04-06-13, 07:44 PM
For years now there have been fewer and fewer young people wanting to became car mechanics (or auto technicians in the current terminology) and it seems that this has led to fewer and fewer independent auto repair shops. I know here in Richmond, VA I can't seem to find an independent garage specializing in Cadillac repair and service.I know a kid that i worked with that became a auto technician (ASE) and never found a job or pay was to low. So now he tells all his friends don't become one because 1. No jobs 2. Low pay. Just saying... :)

cadillac kevin
04-06-13, 09:09 PM
I know a kid that i worked with that became a auto technician (ASE) and never found a job or pay was to low. So now he tells all his friends don't become one because 1. No jobs 2. Low pay. Just saying... :)

Thats the same thing I heard from my mechanic when I asked him about becoming one back when I was in high school.

orconn
04-06-13, 09:27 PM
What would you young guys consider a worthwhile wage in order to be an auto technician?

Ranger
04-06-13, 09:38 PM
Judging from what I've read here over the years, I think there are two different answers. One is the wage we want to PAY for work performed and the other would be the wage we want to BE PAYED for work performed.

orconn
04-06-13, 10:01 PM
^^^ Without question, what I am interested in is the wage that a young person of today would make a an auto tech job attractive.

Jesda
04-06-13, 10:04 PM
What would you young guys consider a worthwhile wage in order to be an auto technician?

I expect someone who owns a reasonably successful shop to take home $70k-$100k.

For a technician, $25k-$40k.

ryannel2003
04-06-13, 11:02 PM
When I owned my Cadillac the dealership here was so great that I never felt the reason to bother with indy shops. I always had a loaner car and the prices were reasonable for what I considered excellent service.

Jesda
04-07-13, 06:33 AM
I'm spoiled by having a Saab specialist. $25/hr for precision and expertise makes it hard for me to want to own another brand.

The norm these days is $110/hr.

drewsdeville
04-07-13, 10:01 AM
I don't think the wage is the problem - I think it's the work itself. No one wants to do it, and you can't pay them enough to do it. The turnover rate is high, and there are lots of people leaving the industry after quitting, sometimes even taking a pay cut in the process, rather than hopping job to job within the industry for more money. No one likes working on other people's garbage for 10+ hours a day, including weekends.

It's kind of like truck drivers - it really doesn't pay all that bad, but even that's not enough to attract new employees or retain the ones they have. No one wants to do it.

Submariner409
04-07-13, 11:35 AM
Truth there ^^^. I have spent a LOT of oddball time as a paid grease monkey, gas pumper, engine mechanic/builder and general vehicle "tech" - part time and full time, high school weekends, college breaks, Navy inport time, retired time........... For me it was not for a living - yes, I liked the money but the experience and parts discounts was primary. I can honestly say that I would NOT want to be a 40-hour "mechanic".

You know how you can tell if you've found a good independent (or even dealer) shop ??? When you get the car back everything looks EXACTLY as it did when you dropped it off.......... maybe a few shiny new parts, but otherwise untouched.

drewsdeville
04-07-13, 03:15 PM
For me it was not for a living - yes, I liked the money but the experience and parts discounts was primary. I can honestly say that I would NOT want to be a 40-hour "mechanic".


Ditto. Well said.

orconn
04-07-13, 04:31 PM
For most forty hours a week (or more) of anything is a drag and more often than not drudgery, that's why it is called work! Not many pursue or enjoy what they do for a living with a passion and the enjoyment that comes with it .... those that do are truly lucky in life!

Cadillac Kid03
04-07-13, 04:33 PM
Thats the same thing I heard from my mechanic when I asked him about becoming one back when I was in high school.Well i guess nothing changed? lol

drewsdeville
04-07-13, 04:43 PM
For most forty hours a week (or more) of anything is a drag and more often than not drudgery, that's why it is called work!

That's a grim viewpoint...I'm glad I don't share it. Your employer gets 1/3 of your life - I'd be miserable if that 1/3 was a drag and drudgery even though it didn't have to be, highly compensated or not. To each their own.

If this is the way a typical American views the labor market, we are a sad, weak, drone population and the health of our society has a very dark future. Perhaps the GOP isn't as crazy as the die-hard liberals make them out to be!

orconn
04-07-13, 05:13 PM
Don't kid yourself, Drew, it was those jobs that bought split level houses, two cars in the garage and all kinds of gadgets that have entertained American youth of all ages for several decades. For most of the American workforce "work," while in this day and age perhaps not drudgery, is still a necessity of getting and maintaining those things that are "wanted!"

While "work" no longer involves the physical exertion that it has in centuries past it still is less than a "fun" experience for most of the labor force. For those with inadequate education and less than acceptable language and mathematical skills (and that amounts to about half of working age adults) their choices are limited to both mind numbing and physically repetitious jobs with little or no upward mobility.

Granted over the last fifty years "work" has become less physically demanding, their has also been a steep decline in adjusted hourly wage for workers in U.S. Today it takes a two income family of four to maintain a basic lower middle class average income, whereas prior to the 1970's most middle income families were support by one wage earner.

But, Drew, I am glad you find yourself doing work that you apparent really enjoy .... and that this work supplies an adequate income for you!

amunderdog
04-07-13, 05:34 PM
http://i2.cdn.turner.com/money/2011/02/16/news/economy/middle_class/chart-rise-of-super-rich-2.top.gif
The average American's income has not changed much, while the richest 1% of Americans have seen their earnings surge.

drewsdeville
04-07-13, 11:12 PM
Don't kid yourself, Drew, it was those jobs that bought split level houses, two cars in the garage and all kinds of gadgets that have entertained American youth of all ages for several decades. For most of the American workforce "work," while in this day and age perhaps not drudgery, is still a necessity of getting and maintaining those things that are "wanted!"

While "work" no longer involves the physical exertion that it has in centuries past it still is less than a "fun" experience for most of the labor force. For those with inadequate education and less than acceptable language and mathematical skills (and that amounts to about half of working age adults) their choices are limited to both mind numbing and physically repetitious jobs with little or no upward mobility.

Granted over the last fifty years "work" has become less physically demanding, their has also been a steep decline in adjusted hourly wage for workers in U.S. Today it takes a two income family of four to maintain a basic lower middle class average income, whereas prior to the 1970's most middle income families were support by one wage earner.

But, Drew, I am glad you find yourself doing work that you apparent really enjoy .... and that this work supplies an adequate income for you!thank you, I do, but the point went right over your head. I recognize that many aren't fortunate enough to hold a job they enjoy. At any rate, the point is that those who are smart or skilled enough to successfully leave a job they dislike will - and that's what is happening with all of these auto techs. The job sucks, and those who care to help themselves are quitting - leaving behind positions that are filled by those with no passion or love for the job (what you claim is the definition of work, unfortunately). It's the answer to your question. Those who thought they loved it found out the hard way that it's a shitty full time career - and have such a sour taste in their mouths that they are leaving the industry entirely. Those drones who are willing to go through the motions for a paycheck are filling the voids. Wages aren't the issue - you can't pay the disappointed techs enough to retain them.

Jesda
04-08-13, 12:10 AM
http://i2.cdn.turner.com/money/2011/02/16/news/economy/middle_class/chart-rise-of-super-rich-2.top.gif
The average American's income has not changed much, while the richest 1% of Americans have seen their earnings surge.

We have, however, changed the definition of "middle class" somewhat.

Today's new homes are much larger, more elaborate, and more expensive -- though construction quality may not be so great. Cars, even after adjusting for inflation, have risen in cost and complexity too, and the modern middle class expects all of it.


Still, people I know who have achieved middle class normalcy (call it two cars built after 2000, a kid or two, and a 1500 sq ft home in a respectable if not upscale neighborhood) have gotten there through the most convention means possible -- college education (post-graduate in most cases) followed by white-collar employment.

ral1960
04-08-13, 12:49 AM
thank you, I do, but the point went right over your head. I recognize that many aren't fortunate enough to hold a job they enjoy. At any rate, the point is that those who are smart or skilled enough to successfully leave a job they dislike will - and that's what is happening with all of these auto techs. The job sucks, and those who care to help themselves are quitting - leaving behind positions that are filled by those with no passion or love for the job (what you claim is the definition of work, unfortunately). It's the answer to your question. Those who thought they loved it found out the hard way that it's a shitty full time career - and have such a sour taste in their mouths that they are leaving the industry entirely. Those drones who are willing to go through the motions for a paycheck are filling the voids. Wages aren't the issue - you can't pay the disappointed techs enough to retain them.
So, what's changed in 100+ years of auto repair and maintenance? Do today's young people not want to get their hands dirty?

It's actually much easier now with computer controls and diagnostics--less of an art, and more power tools. Cars are also more reliable, so fewer techs are needed, and the JiffyLubes have taken over simple maintenance from the dealers/garages.

There was an independent garage that specialized in Cadillacs in my town, across the main drag from where the Cadillac dealer was before 1973. But it was literally on the wrong side of the tracks--that side of town spiralled downward. The local Cadillac owners lived too far away to keep it in business. Our dealer got a reprieve from losing his franchise in 2009. He finally put up some permanent Cadillac signs after that (he'd bought the franchise after Olds was discontinued and treated it like a step-child).

drewsdeville
04-08-13, 08:27 AM
So, what's changed in 100+ years of auto repair and maintenance? Do today's young people not want to get their hands dirty?

nothing much has changed in the field. It's just enjoyable now as it was back in the day (take a look at Submariner's post, for example). The difference today is the availability and affordability of education. Gone are the days where you have to put up with a career you hate just because it's the only thing you know. Check your local 2 and 4 year schools for people who have returned to education with their sights on leaving the current job they hate. You might be surprised.

thebigjimsho
04-09-13, 10:39 AM
We have, however, changed the definition of "middle class" somewhat.

Today's new homes are much larger, more elaborate, and more expensive -- though construction quality may not be so great. Cars, even after adjusting for inflation, have risen in cost and complexity too, and the modern middle class expects all of it.

Still, people I know who have achieved middle class normalcy (call it two cars built after 2000, a kid or two, and a 1500 sq ft home in a respectable if not upscale neighborhood) have gotten there through the most convention means possible -- college education (post-graduate in most cases) followed by white-collar employment.

And don't forget the ever-increasing bottom feeders that want to do nothing but collect checks. Checks that weren't around 100 years ago...

dkozloski
04-09-13, 11:06 AM
It's almost impossible to be an independent shop anymore because of the investment in special tools required to work on todays cars as well as the way the electronics and programming is handled. To program a device requires on-line access to the factory web site. The source of the program data is no longer a CD or DVD. It's all proprietary and done on-line from a password protected data base and the dealership is merely a pass-through. The days of a grease monkey tinkering around on your car on instinct and with a canvas bag of stone tools went away a lifetime ago.

dkozloski
04-10-13, 03:14 AM
At least now that so many dealerships were forced out of business their old tooling is starting to show up on Ebay.

orconn
04-10-13, 01:02 PM
And don't forget the ever-increasing bottom feeders that want to do nothing but collect checks. Checks that weren't around 100 years ago...

And let's not forget all those in the non income tax paying lower 47% who cheat the rest of us by failing to report "cash" income for income tax purposes all the while enjoying the benefits of that the income tax the rest of us pay makes possible!

dkozloski
04-10-13, 02:11 PM
And let's not forget all those in the non income tax paying lower 47% who cheat the rest of us by failing to report "cash" income for income tax purposes all the while enjoying the benefits of that the income tax the rest of us pay makes possible!You must be talking about the undocumented Democrats.

orconn
04-10-13, 04:27 PM
^^^ Actually here in Virginia it's the card carrying Tea Party member and their fellow travelers who loudly declare their right to everything and just as avidly pursue a "cash only" lifestyle! I imagine Alaska has its' share true blue Americans. Republican or Democrat these freeloaders are what force those who actually pay their fair share of income taxes to pay higher taxes. It is estimated that if this so called "gray" economy were to pay their fair share of income taxes that there would be no annual deficit in the Federal budget.