I found this response to my post on another forum - quite interesting. I guess it's been said, but not as clearly as this:
I hope I am able to shed some light here. I was an retail auto technician (mechanic) for about 25 years. It used to be a good trade. Retail technicians are paid on a flat rate basis in increments of 1/10ths of an hour. In other words let's say he changes a water pump. The job may pay 2.5 hours. If he can complete that job in 2 hours, he still gets paid the 2.5 to change it. However, if something happens and it takes him 4.0 hours to change it, he has lost 1.5 hours worth of pay on that job. Some days are profitable, other days are merely a waste.
If the technician is working at a dealership, some of his work may be paid by the customer. If the vehicle is under warranty, he is paid by the manufacturer. As a means to cut costs, manufacturers have cut the time they pay the technician to repair a car. The same water pump that paid 2.0 hours on a customer pay basis may only pay 1.4 hours under the manufacturers warranty.
Furthermore, the manufacturer may not pay the time to find the problem. They will only pay the time it pays to correct it. Noises are a good example. the technician may spend an hour to find it. Say it turns out to be a simple adjustmen, he may only get paid .3 of an hour to make the adjustment after spendin an hour of free time to find it.
I agree this is not the customers problem. When I got into the retail business back in the late 1970s, maunfacturers were very generous in paying technicians to repair cars. In the last few years they have baiscally "screwed" them. This is why I got out of it and into fleet repair.
This may help explain some of the apathy