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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!

Thursday, 29 June 2017 11:29

Independence Day

This summer is going by so quickly! In Michigan the 4 th of July can be cold, hot, rainy, sunny or any other combination. Being a Michigander requires the ability to carry copious amounts of clothing in our vehicle so we can change when the weather does. It’s a day spent eating burgers, hot dogs, and brats—running around with sparklers and possibly even attending a parade. The day is wrapped up with the explosion of color and light in the sky, followed by ooh’s and aah’s.

Friday, 26 May 2017 12:22

There’s Always a Story

I think of them as the ‘summer cars.’ They’re usually MGs, Datsun Z cars, and Mercedes convertibles. They roll in as the summer weather arrives. These cars usually have their own idiosyncrasies and their owners often have a story about how or why they own that particular vehicle. These cars haven’t been exposed to snow, salt or in some cases, even rain.

Thursday, 20 April 2017 11:17

Preparing For Summmer Pt. 2

Summertime means a switch to summer-mix gas for your car— and a switch to iced coffee for me. It also is an important time to check that your coolant/antifreeze is up to the task of protecting your vehicle’s system from heat.

Thursday, 13 April 2017 10:04

Preparing for Summer

Michigan is such a fickle place to live when it comes to our weather. If you've lived here long enough, you really will have worn a coat and gloves in the morning and shorts in the afternoon. Some days it feels like Mother Nature looks into my car and says, “You forgot your gloves? Time for snow and cold wind and by the way, you need to fill your gas tank. Have fun standing outside of the car!”

Thursday, 21 July 2016 10:23

Car shows, ice cream and summertime!

It’s summer time in Michigan! Beaches, barbeques and road trips. There are also a lot of car shows. A LOT of car shows.

Wednesday, 02 December 2015 13:04

Out of sight but not out of smell

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Cabin air filters are the hidden, forgotten, unloved car part. You can’t see them so you don’t really think about them. They are usually hidden in the area under your dashboard or close to your engine compartment.

They clean the air inside your car. Is this an important job? I think it is. Have you ever noticed a musty, old smell inside your car? It may be that your cabin air filter needs to be checked. In the summer the air conditioning unit is on and drawing all that sneeze causing air into your car. Allergens float around inside your car like little uninvited hitch hikers. In the winter, the heat and defroster are on and they both utilize the air coming from the outside which goes through the cabin air filter.

I mistakenly thought summer was the hardest time of year for your cabin air filter. I was reading an article on the importance of timely replacement of your filter and learned that winter is tough on them. Soot levels from the engine are increased as the weather cools off. The cabin air filter helps to clean the air coming into the vehicle. One of our technicians explained that the filters are located in such an inconvenient place because they have to be at the point of air intake. This makes it hard to visually inspect them. There is usually some disassembly required to get to the filter.

I see many examples of dirty cabin air filters. I’ve seen some that are completely black with leaves and branches stuck in them. You would have gotten your money’s worth but if you actually saw the cabin air filter in its environment, you’d wonder if you really wanted that stuff floating around in your car.

It is recommended that you have your clean air filter inspected every 15,000-20,000 miles. Remember, you can always ask to see the used filter after it has been removed from the vehicle.

I’ve suggested that an essential oil infused cabin air filter would be terrific but no one seems to be jumping on that idea. Maybe a holiday scent for this month?

Wednesday, 30 September 2015 15:01

Autumn Leaves and Summer Cars


The fun cars are getting ready to be put away for the winter. The sparkly, convertible, wind blowing through your hair on the way to the beach cars. The little two-seaters that bring a grin to your face as you sit in the driver’s seat. We see so many of the vehicles that are completely an emotional purchase. I love the stories!

We’ve had cars that someone will bring in because their dad owned one and they remember those summers spent helping him wash it in the driveway or taking it out together for a ride. Some people purchase a car because they had a similar model when they were younger and want to relive that feeling. I feel that way about Corvairs.

We had a Corvair when I was younger and I remember riding in it with my family. Unfortunately, everyone knows that they had engineering flaws back then and were dangerous. By the time the kinks were corrected and it was only a cute little sports car, the name was synonymous with horrible accidents. So, I will never own one but I can admire them when I see them.

Their owner brings them in for a once over, possibly an oil change, depending on mileage. Most of these vehicles have quite low mileage and many are pristine. The care they receive keeps them looking that way. They are carefully washed and maintained and put away for the winter. I’m sure the owners check in on them over the winter, looking forward to that first spring drive and the smile that goes along with it.

I know autumn has arrived when I see them pull into the shop being checked over before the ride to the storage garage for the winter. That along with cider, donuts and colorful leaves tell me the change of season is here.