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I Married A Car Guy: My Journey Toward Car Literacy

Hi, I'm Debbie Nol, and I married a car guy. My 14 years of working at Arie Nol Auto Center has been an incredible journey, building amazing relationships with customers and learning so much from our experienced technicians.

Now I'm launching a blog to share what I've learned about cars and some of my most memorable customer stories. Hopefully you will find my blog both helpful and entertaining!

Wednesday, 30 March 2016 12:07

Why ASE Certified matters to you?

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ASE Certified is the designation given by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence for automotive technicians that have met certain criteria. It matters to us because it means that our technicians have taken the extra testing and met the criteria to reach this goal. The testing requires a certain level of knowledge and a required amount of time spent in the automotive repair field. You also need to retest every five years, which helps ensure your knowledge is current.

We ask our technicians to put in the time and effort required to stay current with their licensing. Education is important to us and our technicians are required to attend numerous classes throughout the year. This translates into a stronger knowledge base, enabling them to repair and maintain vehicles better and more efficiently.

Why does this matter to you? It matters because anyone that is willing to take the additional step of not only being state-certified, which is required in Michigan, but also ASE certified is someone that respects their job and usually wishes to succeed in their chosen field.

You can find out what type of certifications your technician has by checking the wall of the business you bring your vehicle to for repairs. State certification should be displayed somewhere in the facility. If you find out that they have ASE certification, that’s a positive for you.

Thursday, 21 January 2016 10:17

Utilizing the knowledge around you

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Technology changes in vehicles; therefore, we need to upgrade our tools and training. At the same time, our software and hardware also change and need to be upgraded. Computers, phone systems, security systems, etc. need to be kept running efficiently as well as taking advantage of upgrades to increase our productivity.

Who would have imagined thirty-five years ago that not only would there be phones without cords but we would have Bluetooth? A device that sits in your ear and you can answer the phone while driving, walking, eating or perhaps even while you’re at the mall? Each of our technicians has an iPad they use to communicate with the service writers. No more paper and pen. They’re able to take photos which the service writers can then email or text to the customers. This keeps the customer aware of what is happening with their vehicle.

I’m not an IT person and have no desire to become one. We were fortunate enough to be connected with a great, local, small business owner, Kevin, who keeps our computers and other IT related systems running. He also answers lots of questions that begin with, “So, I did this and then this happened and now it isn’t working”. I know he has to, like us, constantly upgrade his skills to keep current with technology.

We connected with him through our website developer that we met at a conference on small business. Networking leads to terrific people that utilize their skills to make your business better. Small businesses have many moving parts and finding great people to work with you makes all of that a little bit easier.

We’re thankful Kevin uses his IT skills to keep us up to date and moving in the right direction. He keeps his sense of humor when training us on something, and for that, I’m very thankful!

Wednesday, 21 October 2015 14:25

Abraham Lincoln’s Take on Tools

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If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six hours sharpening my ax.” – Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln is someone that can be quoted for many different situations. I think because his words were so simple yet so true, even today.

In his day, an ax was an important tool used by people on a daily basis. It could be used for protection, acquiring fuel for your fire, and building your home. Your muscles were what powered this tool so your ability to perform a task was limited by your physical strength.

The tools that we use in our business vary from a wrench or mallet to a computer. The correct tools are required now more than ever. We’ve gotten to the point where some tools are very vehicle specific. Some are even based on the year, make and model of the vehicle. What implications does that have for today’s car owner?

One thing it does is limit your ability to work on your vehicle. As technology advances and cars become more technologically sophisticated, the average person isn’t going to invest in all of the tools to work on their one particular car. Secondly, making sure that the business working on your car has the tools and experience needed to complete the job. We’ve had more than one car towed in that someone had started working on and was not aware a specialty tool was needed.

Some tools are powered by the air compressor; others are using software, while some are still powered by the technician. Whatever the case may be, having the right tool and the knowledge to use it is imperative for any job.

We haven’t had to use an ax while repairing a vehicle. That’s probably a good thing!