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!
Most of the educational opportunities I take advantage of now are management or marketing related. I also attend conferences geared towards women in auto care and female entrepreneurs. Mostly because I believe you should never stop learning, and keeping myself current by learning from people that are experts in their field helps me to be better at what I do.
Do you have a student heading off to college and taking a vehicle? If so, is the car ready? You've bought the microwave, mini fridge, extra-long twin bedding and talked about the importance of making good personal choices.
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!”
Jeff and I just returned from the south. We drove my dad’s car to Florida and had the distinct pleasure of driving through the aftermath of Storm Helena. I still haven't decided if it was our most intelligent move but, I'll leave that thought alone.
2016 is swiftly coming to an end. This is traditionally the time of year that we look at what we did the past year regarding finances, weight, exercise, attitude, etc. Then we decide whether we need to have a New Year Resolution. If you read the statistics for keeping resolutions, many of us don’t even make it through January.
One of the biggest compliments we can get as a business is about how we made someone feel when they were in our facility. We pride ourselves on the repairs and maintenance that we perform. We appreciate that we can partner with our customers to keep their mode of transportation running, so they can accomplish their day-to- day obligations.
One of the things that many people ask is, “What is the number one thing I can do to prolong my car’s life?”
I've always been amazed by the damage that can happen inside an engine compartment or on the suspension of a vehicle. The technicians always let me know when they have some car part carnage for me to take a picture of before they repair it.
Cars and the human body are not that far removed from one another when it comes to our responsibility to them. We know we are supposed to take care of our bodies by eating healthy, getting enough sleep and exercising. We depend on our body to hold young children, carry the groceries and walk up and down stairs.
The same goes for our cars. We depend on them to take us to the grocery store, our place of employment and sporting events. Possibly even the mall, if you’re lucky. They take us to the beach or the woods on the weekend, so we can enjoy Michigan’s great outdoors.
We know that changing the oil in our cars, getting the brakes replaced when needed, and staying on top of maintenance is necessary to minimize repairs. Delaying an oil change is kind of like eating a doughnut occasionally. It’s not going to hurt you unless you make a habit of it.
As you age, your body is less able to handle not being taken care of correctly. Just like your car. An older car is less likely to have problems if maintenance is performed when needed as opposed to waiting until something breaks. You can live on pizza and donuts when you are twenty years old, but it would be a bad choice as you age. There is always the exception to the rule. There is always the person that ate everything they wanted, never exercised and smoked like a chimney and lived to be ninety-seven years old. Just like the older car that had the oil changed whenever and had no maintenance and the owner got 300,000 miles on the odometer. It happens but it’s not the norm.
Take good care of your car and it will serve you well.
Picture going into a dentist office, telling them you have pain in the lower left side of your jaw. You had a friend that had the same symptoms and that person had a cavity. You precede to tell the dentist you would like him to figure out which tooth needs to be filled without x-rays or looking in your mouth. You think you know which tooth it is and tell him that’s the one he should start drilling.
There is a good chance you are going to be disappointed with the outcome of this scenario. This isn’t the recommended oral health care choice. In the automotive repair business, as diagnoses becomes more complicated, we deal with this sometimes. Back in the day most people could diagnose their vehicle or their neighbor could. That isn’t true anymore. There are many more complicated electronic and computer systems that exist in your car.
We work with our customers to educate them as to why diagnosing the problem in many situations is less expensive than just beginning to replace parts hoping you hit on the correct malfunctioning part. The technician feels confident after the diagnoses that he is correctly repairing your vehicle, and you will be happier because the actual issue will be addressed.
Like a dentist who has to purchase his x-ray machine, train a technician to correctly and safely take an x- ray, and then read the x-ray while taking into consideration your symptoms, there can be a lot involved in a car diagnoses. Knowledge, equipment and listening to the customer all need to happen to correctly fix the problem.
If a service writer is explaining that the technician needs to spend some time checking into the problem, it isn’t a way to inflate the cost of your repair. Today’s vehicles are filled with complicated systems. Our goal as an automotive repair and maintenance facility is to keep your vehicle running. And when it isn’t, our goal is to repair it correctly and get it back to you as swiftly as possible.