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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!

Carnage montageI call it “car carnage,” all of the things that happen to a vehicle and damage the working parts. Fire, heat, water, operator error, mice.

I remember the first time I saw a vehicle come in with intermittent electrical problems. After some investigation, it was diagnosed as mouse damage. I was shocked, I had no idea that happened. Then we got the full story.

The vehicle owner had a dog. The dog's food was kept in the garage and so was the car. The winter was cold. A certain mouse was too. Then, he found the perfect place, the engine compartment of a warm car located seconds from an endless supply of kibble.

The mouse settled into the engine compartment and did what all mice do, chew on wires. A lot of very important wires. The story ended sadly. The mouse perished and the car had electrical issues – not to mention an engine compartment littered with dog food.

Not all carnage features a tragic end for a furry creature. Some damage comes simply from driving with worn parts. The worn part stops working as it should and all the other parts try to compensate.  This usually causes the owner of the vehicle a higher repair bill because other parts – not just the worn part – need to be replaced now too.

So, while you can't always avoid damage or wear, you can avoid some of it via proactive repairs. Oh, and if your dog food is in the garage, maybe invest in a mouse proof container.

Blogs, they're everywhere, covering every conceivable topic. I bet you think since this is an auto repair shop's blog, it'll be all cars, all the time. Well, that's not quite my goal. Sure, I'll talk cars, but only sometimes.

You see, I'm not a technician – honestly, I'm not normally a car person either – but I married into a family of automotive repair experts. It's hard to admit, working with a husband and son who live and breathe auto repair, but when it comes to my car I see it mostly as a way to get me to the shoe store. I'm like most car owners; I don't need a great performance car. I just want something functional, reliable and in a color I like.

After fourteen years of working at Arie Nol Auto Center, I've learned a thing or two about cars. It would be hard not to when you're spending 8 hours a day with some of the most passionate technicians around. They're a patient group, always willing to answer my questions, and very friendly. The team here has been integral in helping me learn about what makes a vehicle run – or not run – and while I'm pretty well-versed, I don't speak technician lingo. On the Arie Nol Auto Center blog, I talk cars – and shoes – in plain English. So, welcome! Here's to learning something new and having some fun!

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