Mike N, Does any of this sound familiar?


Veteran Member
Jun 17, 2006
I worked for GM dealer for over 20 years as a master tech then left, Why? like the kid said "got treated like sheet and low pay". After that I worked at a Hyundai dealer for 5 years as a lowly oil changer, the pay for what I was doing was great but then a new manager stepped in and wanted me to be a tech again for low pay and I said "bye bye" and have not worked for another shop since. Last year I was offered a starting pay of $38 per hour at a local Chevy dealer and while that's a pretty good starting pay I just did not ever want to put up with all the dealer BS again. The manager could not understand that. I always told these clowns I can fix anything but you need to get off your wallets for me to do that. Now a day I just mess around with what ever I want and I don't blame that kid for getting out of the auto industry one bit.


Veteran Member
Sep 24, 2014
Pittsburgh, Pa.
Nowadays you have to be insane to get into any aspect of auto repair. Some of the best techs I ever met are hanging drywall, working for cable companies, steel mills, etc. I don't blame them one bit.


Staff member
Lifetime Gold Member
Feb 26, 2004
Bloomington, MN
What will the auto repair industry become as EVs phase out “normal” vehicles?

Who will want to become a low-pay “Battery replacement technician”?


Administrator. .a car, a man, a maraca.
Staff member
Lifetime Gold Member
Mar 25, 1999
San Jose, CA, USA
This guys makes a lot of good points. I've dealt with the auto-repair business from pretty much every aspect. Turning wrenches (a long time ago) service writing, parts, corporate office.
A constant battle has been me advocating 'we need to pay the techs more' while finance guys were saying 'we can't' (or don't think they have to).
The problem is, that even with low tech pay, it's very hard to actually turn net profit at a repair shop. One would think paying techs $30-$40/hour while charging $150/hr to clients would be a slam-dunk. It's really not. What the video is saying about charging for diagnostic time is dead on. OEM's paying technicians less for warranty work is borderline criminal.

The real problem with the automotive industry as a whole: We have the expectation that anything car related should have really low margins. People want to buy cars at dealer invoice, buy parts at near dealer cost, be charged the bare minimum for labor... Somewhere, someone has to be able to make money. Too many years of 'buddy-deals' and I'll just take care of that for you. This is why the speed shops are gone and we are stuck with half-a-dozen mail order houses for performance parts.

Look to electricians. On a call from an electrician NOTHING is free. The electrician charges accordingly for their time, and makes a good wage. A union electrician in California can easily make $200K/year
Consumers won't like it, but the automotive industry has to push up charges and wages.
COVID shortages may have forced/allowed new car dealers to actually sell at a profit. Repair shops will likely be nexts as the technician shortage continues to come to a head.

RE: Flat Rate Pay. I don't like it and never have. It holds technicians responsible for problems beyond their control. That said, just hourly rate doesn't work either. Too easy for people to stand around and do nothing.
Hourly + incentive is a great way to go IMHO. A individual bonus for work completed, combined with a team bonus for shop profitability.

A broad solution: Over all I think there need to be fewer repair shops. I think the industry probably needs more regulation (hear me out). As cars become less uniform, we need to insist that techs/shops are certified to work on specific vehicles. This will help get rid of the fly-by-night shops that both perform sub standard work, and drive market labor rates down to unsustainable levels. The tools needed to work on modern Toyota's are pretty different than Mercedes etc... While this might sound like it's coming down on the techs, it actually allows techs to specialize in tool-sets and education. Fewer people will have to buy some dedicated spanner wrench to do 1 job and may never be used again.