Sunday, January 27, 2008


today's rant, as always, goes out to the fine boys and girls, who happen to work at the major big box stores. unknown to most of them, since the basis of most of their cliential is DIY's(dummies, idiots, yahoo's), the buy it 'cause i may need it, runs amock in our industry.
we are not car insurance companies; i did not go to school to sell policies to people to proctect them from theirselves; granted, it seems like it at times, when people, just like NASA, bid their parts out to the lowest bidder, i have to question having $12.99 brakes on a $40,000, my favorite pet peeves are the unsure ones who saunder into my store, no idea of what it is they want or need, and because of the retail giants, who will taake back anything, no questions asked, i have to bite my lip, and watch my parts go out the door and within one to two days, watch them come back, unused and unwanted. chances are, if you are a busy jobber store, you'll not catch the items on your order trigger and of course, since we are keeping lean inventories, they get re-ordered, and now our dollars are tied up by having two sets of what ever it was they bought.
true, a little forsight and query might(MIGHT) prevent alot of these transactions from even taking place, but there always be the ones that do and as well, there are folks who are steadfast determined to buy the product, look you in the eye and tell you these will come back, i am just hedging my bets.....some times, like the whack-a-mole game at Chuckie-cheez's, i want to take a big hammer and Whack the above said idiot...what even hurts worse and rubs the salt in deeper, is when they like clockwork, walk in all smiles the next day, triumphat, returning the said items, gloating how right they were...sure, we can hit them with a re-stocking fee; but in these tight times, continue a risk of sending them further into the trenches of the enemy?
hell, maybe it is time to get my insurance license afterall.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


consider the lowly "TORX" brand fastners; you really don't think much of them, until a customer comes in wanting a socket to remove one. in their design feature, much to most mechanic's dismay,their one most pressing feature is the one they do best; resist stripping out.
most tech's and counter people will agree that in the conditions they are used, they work extremely well, by avoiding the rounding off of the shoulders of the bolt. in theory, by placing the stress on the inside of the fastner, in a tool that places the torque in multiple points, makes for a better fastner all around. and since the bolt(nut) is generally hardened, it resists stripping out even further. what drives most back yard and entry level counter people out of their minds is the simple fact the tool that is designed to remove these bolts is made of a "soft", mangable metal, which is designed, to break or shear off if over stressed in usage. how many times have you been asked if you had any 1/2 drive torx sockets? if you need a 1/2 drive or an impact resistant type socket for these, "you" are going about this the wrong way. how many times a day do you get some one returning a "warranty" socket, with of course, the head sheared off, or twisted? when you try to explain to "johnny backyard" that the tool is only warranted for structual defects, not due to mis-use of the tool as for it's design intent? i have had on many occasions, so called mechanics, telling me that so and so retail store warranties the sockets all day long, i send them on their way, to those places; ask any Snap-on tool rep, sure, for 25.00 a socket, i'll warranty the damn thing, but at $2.79, the first time i try and warranty it, i am told to toss it and eat the cost; after two or three of those so-called freebies, now i am at a losing point; any tool salesman worth his or hers salt(or 10w30) will tell you the tool is designed to fail, shear or break off, so that you, the smuck taking off the bolt, doesn't do any further damage and strip out the fastner and make the task even harder. for god's sake, lube or heat the damn thing and you'll find, 90% of the bolts come easily out; sure, many safety hardware, like seat belts, the bolts are not designed to be removed and are bastards to remove( look under the car, cut of the fastning plate, the bolt comes out real easy) so a little patience or fore thought will aid in using the right tools for the job, including the tool that is in your head; you'll find those little "star" bolts aren't so bad and just another bolt in your life.