Nol Auto Center 2563 res

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!

We were one of the 2016 Better Business Bureau Torch Award for Ethics winners last week. We were excited and humbled to receive this award, especially as an automotive repair business. We are honored that someone felt strongly enough about our business to nominate it for this award.

If you look around Grand Rapids, you realize that small business is the backbone of our city. Many of the entertainment venues, parks, and educational spaces we visit were funded by what was once a small business. Think Van Andel, Meijer, Seidman and DeVos.

AAA forecasts that 48.7 million Americans will travel farther than 50 miles. As I’m writing this, we have the bay doors open and it’s in the mid-60s. Mostly because it’s Michigan and we have been rewarded an incredible Fall this year, that’s about to change. That’s how Michigan works.

Sixteen years ago I began working at Arie Nol Auto Center. It was a completely male dominated environment. There were very few woman working in the automotive industry and there were pretty specific ways that things were done. I hadn’t worked in automotive and Jeff had worked his whole adult life in the shop. We occasionally differed on how something should be done. I’m fortunate in that he’s opened-minded and agreed with trying something to see if it worked for us. It didn’t always. I occasionally went down in flames but it was a learning experience.

Michigan is a beautiful state filled with incredible landscapes, hiking paths, parks and an incredible amount of lakeshore. Most of these places require some driving to access. The best way to ruin a good hike is to get back to your car and find out your battery is dead and you need to find someone to jump start your car.

There is a lot of chatter about self-driving or, autonomous cars. There are articles in trade magazines talking about their possible capabilities and what being a passenger in an autonomous car may look like.