I do appreciate the compliment and i do understand the frustration people have over getting their cars fixed. I own three myself, my son has one, my daughter has one and everybody I know has one and they all know I'm a tech. I'm sure you know what that means.
Even on my own vehicles I have to go back most often more times then just once to fix a problem. The reason for this is simple. Most of the posts here state something acts up then it clears up and two or three days later it will do it again.
These problems are very hard to fix on the spot. Lets say the tech is lucky enough to actually duplicate the problem. He then starts his diagnostics to pin point the defective component. All of a sudden everything is working again and yet nothing has been changed or repaired. What would you have the tech do?
Lets say that the problem is the drivers window stops working. The possible choices are..window motor, window wiring, window switch, body control module, powertrain control module, drivers door module, passengers door module and all the wiring between each of these devices. The tech. throughout the remainder of the day tries to duplicate the problem again and again but is never able to. Now bear in mind that all these items I listed are for just one window that stops working, imagine all the other items that could be involved if the dash lights go out at the same time or the air bag light comes on at the same time. Now any module or item and wiring for those systems need to be taken into account. Loose one 5volt refrence voltage and dozens of items stop responding or respond inacurately but only one item is actually taking that 5volts reference out of the picture.
Ok back to the window that started working. We all know it is going to act up again, we know the customers aren't crazy and have nothing better to do then come to the dealer or independent garage. So we have several choices to make, give it back to the customer and have them bring it back when it happens more often or stops working all together, ask the customer if they can continue to leave the vehicle so we can keep trying to duplicate the problem and continue at that point or replace the most common part that has caused this problem on other vehicles. This way if it does happen again we can atleast ignore one piece of the puzzle. The only way to insure a repair the first time around on a intermittant problem is to replace all the components and wiring harnesses that could possibly cause the situation and I don't think we would get many customers to agree to this becasue for something as simple as a single power window you would be talking 10,000 dollars or more (remember to look at all the components I mentioned plus the labor for all of them)a good tech will never try to sell you what you do not need only what you do need or the best choice depending on the circumstance. A good dealership or garage would explain these options to the customer and the customer would make the final decision.
Now on the other hand if a vehicle has a problem that can be easily duplicated then there is no excuse for the customer to get their vehicle back without it being repaired.
I guess I am just trying to say that the mentallity of the general population needs to change and not look at a vehicle repair being just nuts and bolts and something that should always be so easy to find and repair. There are very few items that are not computer controlled and not influenced by many other items. And until we start looking at vehicle repairs being no different then any other electrical device we need to send out for repair we will always be unhappy with the service we get no matter where we recieve this service. Customers need to be ready to leave their vehicles for a week or two so the problem can be found and corrected or spend a lot more money having all items involved replaced. Did you know that when you send a pc or tv in for repair the tech makes the repair by trial and error? They simply replace one component at a time until the item is working again. And yes I know that to be fact, I use to do it. Then the bad component gets fixed and put back into production.
Trust me us techs want to fix the customers vehicles in the best and fastest way possible because that is the only way we get to have a customer tomorrow. And with the way the industry is right now that is critacal as a lot of us are without jobs right now due to many dealerships closing their doors because the manufacturers haven't gotten their heads out of their a's yet.
Do beware that independents do make most of their money by selling parts as the techs get a commission for every part sold. Techs at dealerships do not make any money off of parts only labor and the labor is taken out of a guide so no matter what tech you get or what dealership you go to the amount of time charged for doing a job is the same.
Thats all i have too