Monthly Car Care Blog

February 16, 2018

A female customer's question

A female customer asked me, "I am moving to another town.  How do I find another mechanic that I can trust?"

Wow!  That is a tough question to answer.  And even tougher answer to post.  Let's establish something about the female repair customer, before I try to answer this question.

One would assume the female customer is looking for a great deal.  She clips out coupons before she goes grocery shopping.  She calles serveral retailers before she buys that Christmas present.  And, she spends all Saturday dragging her husband all over the city through various stores just to find one item, and then she may not even buy it.  What's that about?  We men may never know.  I don't think she even knows. But she seems to love doing it over and over.

So, many years ago, when a new resident of our town came in to have her vehicle's oil changed, she said this; "You know, finding a new mechanic is like getting married."  I had to have several long talks with my mother and my wife to figure this one out.  At least understand it a little bit anyway.

What does that statement mean?  My personal belief is that it means, "I want peace-of-mind."  She wants to know, and not only know, but feel, that what was wrong with the car, is no longer wrong with the car, when she pays the bill and drives off.  She wants to feel assured that if something goes wrong with what you repaired, that you will make it right.  In other words, "A mechanic she can trust to do the right thing, and admits it when he makes a mistake(we are not infallable)."

She is not buying a "great" deal, or looking for a discount(even though she would like one).  She is buying peace-of-mind.  She does not, "shop", for peace-of-mind, or get a coupon for it.  She finds it.  Once she finds it with a mechanic she can trust, she will return again and again.  She has found what she wants and she will rarely go anywhere else.  And if she does go somewhere else she might give her established mechanic a call, just to verify, and assure her, that what the other mechanic is doing is the right thing.

With the concept of "peace-of-mind": The next post I will attempt to answer the question, "....How do I find another mechanic I can trust?"

January 18, 2018

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to everyone! 

I know I haven't posted for quite some time.  The end of the year busyiness overcame some of the periphial work such as blogging.

I hope all of you are doing well.  Here is a little something to start off the new year.

This time of year I get quite a few calls such as this:  A customer called me up after Christmas break and told me that when they started up their vehicle it missfired a little bit, the check engine light came on, and then it ran smoothly.  I asked a few questions and one of the answers was that they had let the vehicle sit all vacation and used another car to take their holiday trip.

That was my clue.  Water condenses in your fuel tank in your car.  Most likely water condensed in their tank and settled in the bottom.  When they started their car after letting it sit a week, the fuel pump pumped the pooled water up to the engine, the engine missfired, and the computer set a code to turn on the check engine light. 

I was banking on a random missfire code being set, and sure enough, when I plugged in my monitor it registered P0300, which stands for "random missfire across all cylinders". 

I know this sounds like, "Take two aspirin and call me in the morning.", but that is what is expedient here.  I told them to put two bottles of gas line antifreeze in the fuel tank, and drive it.  If the problem came back again they could schedule it for repairs, but I was betting they would not be back.  They haven't been back.

1 bottle of gas line antifreeze, once-a-month, in the fuel tank, saves a lot of trouble.