"Piece of Cake!"
Sep 23, 2018
Co-workers accuse me of being a pessimist because I always assume every repair will go awry. I always order extra parts, grab extra tools, and estimate the repair will take twice as long as it's supposed to. If it takes fewer parts, tools and time than I expected, I'm happy. But I've been caught "short" far too often to assume that ANY repair will be a "piece of cake."
Since I look up and pull most of my own parts it's up to me to anticipate what extra parts to taken a service call. I often call the customer to tell them I'm on my way, and use that opportunity to ask for details about what broke, when it broke, and what happened when it broke, in hope of maybe catching a clue if there's more damage than the customer can see. I've been caught too many times by a customer who swore he needed only a new belt, "Right now, that's all I need, how long till you can be here?" but once I got there I found out that the belt was merely the symptom and the cure was major repairs to shafts, bearings or pulleys that the customer hadn't seen and I hadn't brought parts for.
If you're a customer making your own repairs, you should encourage the guy at the parts counter to offer his opinion/experience on what extra parts might be needed for a particular repair. They aren't trying to sell extra parts; they're trying to save you trips back to the parts counter. Never be afraid to return (unused) parts. As long as you return the parts to the dealership as soon as possible, there's usually no problem (unless it's a special order part, which may require a restocking fee, which is, unfortunately, part of the cost of breaking down and repairing equipment.)
Our parts guys call me, "Bring-'em back Dan," because I return so many parts ordered for jobs. I'd rather have too many parts, too many tools, and have allotted extra time than to be caught short simply because somebody ELSE predicted a repair would be "a piece of cake."