On Wednesday, February 1, 2006, at 03:07 PM, Dave M. wrote:
John, To add to what Tom said: 1) It takes time to look things up. The parts guys don't like spending a lot of time getting info, just to have the customer choke on the cost and say "no thanks". So I do all my research and pricing beforehand, and only call when I'm actually ready to order. Saves me AND Rusty a lot of time - and money!
Very considerate of you. They do get paid for all that though.
2) It can be very hard to describe oddball parts over the phone, assuming you're not down at the local dealership where the parts guy will let you look at his EPC screen and you can point to the item in question. Having it on your own computer is awesome.
True, having a blow-up right in front of you is fantastic. My parts guys are good but occasionally, they fax me a page so I can identify the item without being there. I'm good at ordering parts, I have a lot of experience in that field.
3) I like to compare parts used on early vs. late versions of the same chassis, to find interesting upgrades, or to see what parts are compatible with old/new, etc. This is something the parts guys have little interest in, especially if you're going to be buying the parts used instead of new.
Oh the EPC holds a wealth of info.
4) I look up parts for Euro models in my worldwide EPC - something the USA dealers can't do. Obtaining Euro parts can be a pain in some cases, depending on if MB USA wants a Euro VIN number to release the part, etc.
Oh Daaaaaaaaaveeeeeeeyyyyyyyyyy............Would you mind checking a US verus Euro item for me?
5) The EPC has a reverse lookup feature that I absolutely love. You can enter a part number, and it will tell you what exact models it's used on, and show you the group/subgroup within that model. The worldwide version lets you specify which market (NA, Europe, Japan, etc) if desired, to limit results. It also allows an SA search, if you have the 5-digit SA code.
I have a lot of that info on fiche, PIA but cool, especially that my reader had to be rigged somewhat.
6) The EPC allows you to look up the vehicle datacard. This is great to get color codes when buying a car, or looking at ads online - you can tell if it's Tex or leather, and what exactly "tan" or "gold" really is. It also means you can check the options installed. I've done this when buying used parts, when a wrecker claims to have a Sportline steering box, I can check the VIN and tell if it has the proper codes or not. Most of the time the wrecker is wrong, it saves me a lot of time and $$$ to figure this out over the phone BEFORE placing an order. Just a few things to keep in mind... it really is handy!
I know it is handy but I see all the trouble folks are and have been having with it. This scares me because until I switched to Apple Computers, I couldn't seem to get along with my computer/OS. I could really use a copy and a "How to Use It Guide" that would run on my new G5 2.7 Dually. I do repair MBs professionally. It just seemed like more trouble than I could handle.
Thanks for your valuable input.
:-) -Dave M.
Johnny B. I Mac Therefore I am