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My Journey Toward Car Literacy

 I Married A Car Guy: My Journey Toward Car Literacy

 Welcome to the non-automotive automotive blog. My name is Debbie Nol, and I have been the Business Manager at Arie Nol Auto Center since 2000. I have a unique perspective, as I am not a ‘car person’ but work in an industry filled with people passionate about vehicles. It gives me the ability to share what I’ve learned over 20 years and hopefully help you navigate the world of car repair and maintenance more comfortably. However, posts will not always be vehicle related. I love to share observations and story’s from ‘auto world’ with shoes and cats thrown in for good measure.

I’m glad you’re here, and I look forward to you getting to know us a little bit better through this blog!

Articles:

Take Care of Your Teeth AND Your Car

Take Care of Your Teeth AND Your Car

Taking car maintenance seriously is not as exciting as it may sound (this was said with heavy sarcasm). It’s like going to the dentist; you know you have to do it, but most people drag their feet before making the appointment. Knowing you have a dental appointment causes us to do all the things we should be doing anyway. Typically, lots of flossing precedes the dentist appointment. The dental hygienist knows that you don’t floss every day. One glance in your mouth tells them you tried to make up for all those missed flossings. Car maintenance has a similar effect on people. You think back to when that pesky light on the dashboard came on and you decided to ignore it. It’s suggesting that you need maintenance, but it’s not a carved-in-stone-do-this-immediately light, right? Most of the time, the maintenance due light is letting you know that something the manufacturer recommended is due. You can look in your owner’s manual and find out what sort maintenance is due, or you ca ... read more

Tags:

Filter , Dental

The Tree Won, But So Will the Car

The Tree Won, But So Will the Car

One of our technicians, David, is a triathlete. He bikes, runs, or swims daily to be ready for his next competition. He started out mountain biking a while ago and progressed to what he does now. At the shop, we have had several discussions about safety equipment while biking. Many people from our Arie Nol family have participated in different types of bike racing, including Iceman in northern Michigan. Everyone agrees safety equipment can be irritating. You purchase it, wear it and most of the time never have any reason to be glad you wore it. Until an incident that reminds you of the ‘just in case’ reasoning behind that helmet, neck protector or reinforced vest. David had that situation last week. Going 10-15 mph, he hit a tree. He bounced off that tree and hit another head on. The pictures below are of his helmet. In his words, it “rang his bell for sure” but he got up and walked away. The helmet did its job. He walked away able to participate in a sport that, like every ... read more

Tags:

Car , Safety , Helmet , Tree

College Bound?

College Bound?

It’s that time of year. Making the list of items your college bound student needs before they leave. Extra long twin sheets for the dorm bed, a laptop, and a slew of really expensive text books they can later sell and perhaps purchase a cup of coffee. If they are taking a vehicle with them, add “vehicle check” to the list. This is important for several reasons. Firstly, most college students are not worried about oil change intervals and battery health. Having the vehicle checked over and maintained by your local repair shop before you leave can save you time and money. No one wants a phone call because their student living out of town has a dead battery. This requires finding a local shop and possibly paying for a tow charge. It’s also less stressful working with a shop that you are familiar with now, rather than trying to find a repair shop in the town your student is living in while they are trying to deal with the situation. Being proactive now can save you phone calls ... read more

It Sounds Like What?

It Sounds Like What?

My car is pretty well maintained. Letting your vehicle go too far over an oil change in our house is frowned upon greatly. I think all three of our children get a little nervous if they glance up at the oil change sticker in their car and see it is much past the mileage oil change due. I was driving in Eastown on the brick road when I heard something that sounded like chains being dragged behind my car. Once I was off the bricks, the sound ceased. Everything was working fine so I waited until I was at work the next day. In the morning, we often have a couple of minutes to chat about the day's work. I asked if someone could drive my car when they had a chance and explained what had happened. Grant drove my car later that day to determine what was malfunctioning, and fixed it. It was simply that the brake caliper needed an adjustment. I mentioned that I had never heard someone describe a problem with that sound before. To me it sounded like chains. Grant said, "What it really sou ... read more

A Vehicle Genius Bar

A Vehicle Genius Bar

It's interesting how many customers come in and say, "I don't know anything about cars, but this is what's happening with my car." Back in the old days, if your phone broke, you purchased a new cord, because that's probably what was worn out. Now, when my iPhone isn't working, I call the Genius Bar and make an appointment. I walk in at my appointed time, hand the wonderful Apple employee my phone and say, "It's broken. It won't open when I drag my finger across the screen.” I don't know why. I don't care why. I just want it to work. It's usually something I did and I'll try not to do it again, but no guarantees. In the past, many people had a lot of knowledge about vehicles. Many people performed oil changes, tune-ups and worked on brakes in the garage with their dad. They had a basic understanding of a vehicle’s mechanical systems. When they did have to bring their vehicle in for repairs, they could tell the technician which system was malfunctioning. In my opinio ... read more

Thanks Ivanka For My New Wiper Blades

Thanks Ivanka For My New Wiper Blades

Over the years, I’ve learned that quality makes a difference. There are some items that you can purchase and you can go with the less expensive item and it won’t negatively affect anything. Other times, it makes a big impact. Last year, I had two sons get married. This required some serious shopping. Dresses, shoes, etc. Believe me, I was up for the challenge. I’ve established that I love shoes. I have on occasion purchased shoes that I loved but they ended up being uncomfortable to wear. With wedding shoes, you need something pretty but that you can wear for a whole day. I found a pair of shoes that I loved that were made by Ivanka Trump. The heel were pretty high and I planned ahead and had back-up flats, for non-shoe lovers, comfortable but not as pretty shoes to change into later. This is where design and quality come in. I wore my Ivanka shoes for fourteen hours! They finally became uncomfortable at 11:45 PM. I looked at them and found several reasons that they were comfortabl ... read more

Be Prepared

Be Prepared

Have you ever been in a situation where you find yourself needing an automotive repair shop and you don’t have a “regular” [shop] that you normally visit? There was post on Facebook recently about being prepared before you need a repair shop for either body or mechanical work. It happens often enough. Someone will call or come in and say that they’ve never been to us, but their vehicle broke down and they need repairs immediately. It kind of reminds me of visiting an urgent care clinic. You don’t know the person that is helping you but you are dependent on them at that time. You’ve not had the time to research because you need to visit “urgently.” My suggestion is to get some recommendations from friends regarding repair shops they trust and make a visit. Stop in, have a cup of coffee and talk to the service advisor. Let them know what you are doing and why. Tell them what make and model of vehicle you drive and ask if they have had any recent experience with that manufact ... read more

Farewell to You, Vehicle

Farewell to You, Vehicle

This conversation comes up eventually. A customer has had a vehicle for many, many years. We start to see them more often and it is not for maintenance. The vehicle is no longer reliable and the car they loved for many years is starting to cost more than it should to operate. The decision has to be made whether to continue repairing or send the car to the big car lot in the sky. Some people are ready to get rid of the car. One of our customers drove her Jeep Cherokee from 1998 until 2014. It was starting to have some problems and dependability became an issue. She purchased a Subaru that was several years old and she loves it. Door handles work, heat is reliable and the young man who purchased her vehicle now has a project car to work on. If you are in this situation, there are several factors to take into consideration. If you are told that your vehicle has multiple issues that could be costly to repair, it's time to evaluate the situation. First, what are the costs involv ... read more

Independence Day 2

Independence Day 2

Most Michiganders’ memories of the 4th of July usually include sparklers, insect repellent, hamburgers and hot dogs, fireworks and cars. And either a trip in the family vehicle or sitting on the hood of the car watching fireworks explode overhead. The air is filled with oohs and aahs as we celebrate the birthday of our country. Whether you are driving a minivan, SUV, convertible, truck or sedan on the way to your festivities, you are celebrating the American way of life. We are very busy for several weeks preceding this holiday as people prepare for either a trip to visit family or a camping trip. From my limited vantage point, it seems most people stay in Michigan. Why? What better place to celebrate than our great state! You can take advantage of either the beautiful woods and campgrounds, numerous beaches and the towns they’re in, or one of the many small-town 4th of July parades. If you love cars, sitting at a parade and watching the antique and classic cars go by is l ... read more

The Dog Shoes

The Dog Shoes

Several months ago on Facebook, there was a picture of shoes that many people where commenting on. If you look at the photo above, you'll understand why. There was no conceivable reason for these shoes to exist other than the fact that they are crazy, unique and fun. I don't even know what you would wear with them. You couldn't wear regular length pants because you are NOT going to take the chance they'd be covered up. Hopefully if you do wear them, the people you are with are both shoe lovers and have a sense of humor. Or, dog lovers. There is a saying, “putting on the dog” which means to get dressed up for a special occasion. With these shoes, you can do that literally. Although, I don’t recommend them for a wedding unless the bride has a really good sense of humor. What does this have to do with cars? Nothing. It is just interesting how one person can find something on the internet that intrigues, interests or scares them and it can ‘go viral’. Have a kitten or puppy vid ... read more

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