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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!

Customers call when their brakes are making noise, their muffler gets loud or their vehicle isn’t starting. These are all part of car ownership. They also never happen at an opportune time. These are things that need to be taken care of either right away or soon.

Have you ever gone to another hair salon or stylist to get your hair cut? Not your usual stylist. Maybe you heard about a new stylist, and you weren’t unhappy with the current person keeping your ‘do looking good, but you thought, “Maybe this new person will create this incredible new look?”

I’d like to say “Happy Mother’s Day” to everyone! This weekend is the day we celebrate the woman who raised us. The person who was with you through the good and the bad, the cheers and the tears.

IMG 6435April is Distracted Driver Awareness Month. It could be called ‘Pay attention, you’re driving a giant chunk of metal!’ month.

Most people that have a cell phone have done it. You’re driving down the road and your phone notifies you of an incoming text, email or call. You know you shouldn’t respond but you do. I’ve done it. I think I have all my attention on the road. C’mon, I’ve been driving for years! I can multitask. I can handle glancing down at my phone and watching the road.

But science and statistics prove we can’t. In my perusing of the vast knowledge base that is Google, one study actually said that the better you think you are at multitasking, the worse you probably are at it. And no, you aren’t the exception. If you are a teenager, you aren’t good at it either. Even though you’ve grown up with cell phones, etc. Your brain still isn’t capable of processing a text and driving at the same time. One of those things will get all of your attention and it’s probably not the road in front of you.

It seems that every day there is an accident blamed on a distracted driver. I don’t want it to be me. I don’t want to think that the last thing I do in my life is text, “I’m stopping to get cat food before we run out.”. My cats may think that it was worth it but my family wouldn’t.

IMG 6404Sometimes l will be thinking about my blog post content. I will be set on a topic and then something happens here that causes me to change the topic.

This week a vehicle came in with a broken ball joint. If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you know I have an unnatural fear of broken suspension parts. I’ve seen too many vehicles towed in and the accompanying story of the sudden stop or loss of control.

So, we should discuss the triangle of safety. This is steering, stopping and stability. These all play a part in your ability to control your vehicle in a stopping or maneuvering situation. The other triangle is who it affects. It affects the driver, any passengers and anyone else on the road with you.

If your brakes are worn and not operating correctly, you affect everyone on the road around you. If your ball joint breaks, you will come to a sudden stop. If your shocks aren’t operating within certain perimeters, you have less tire-to-road contact. Worn parts don’t’ just affect ride quality but also your ability to avoid accidents.

Wear and tear can be based on miles or the age of your vehicle. Having a certified technician inspect your vehicle’s suspension is a wise choice. You are keeping yourself, your passengers, and potentially other drivers on the road, safer by taking this step.

And always remember, ask questions if you aren’t sure why something needs to be done. It’s important that you feel comfortable about your vehicle’s repairs, and while you may not understand all the vehicle parts and systems, your certified technician does.

Change oil soon light Rusty car Running people

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.