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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:

Cats vs. Dogs

Cats vs. Dogs

I’ve been the observer in many discussions about which vehicle is the best. Many people that love cars have a particular favorite, with stories and statistics to back it up. Chevy vs. Ford, BMW vs. Mercedes Benz, Volkswagen vs. Audi, Honda vs. Toyota etc. It’s like cat lovers vs. dog lovers. For every reason you love a particular brand, breed or make, someone has a reason you should choose something else. Everyone has an opinion. Cats are snobby and unloving and dogs are man’s best friend. Or, dogs are messy and cats are meticulously clean. Choosing a car is a very personal decision. I like speaking with people when they are in the shop having an inspection performed about a vehicle they are interested in purchasing. Most people do their homework to determine what fits their lifestyle and driving needs. Sometimes everything fits the criteria, but they drive the vehicle and they just don’t like it. Maybe they just can’t get comfortable in the seat or they don’t like the das ... read more

Vocation Day

Vocation Day

Our business was invited to a local high school for their Vocation Day. Cameron and I went to share information with students that are perhaps interested in a career in the automotive repair field. The students in the class had a lot of good questions. It was rewarding for both Cameron and I to be able to share our experiences working in an automotive repair shop. The automotive industry is suffering from a lack of technicians. There are far fewer people going into the industry than are retiring from it. At the same time, there are more automobiles being added to the nation's roads. Hopefully some of the students we spoke with will turn their passion for cars into a career that they love. What a great opportunity for high school students to be able to talk to people in so many varied careers. Many students that day where able to get questions answered and hopefully direct them to a great career. People will tell you ‘Do what you love and you won't work a day in your l ... read more

Wear and Tear

Wear and Tear

We rely on our cars, but, overtime as we drive, parts start to wear out. Normally people don't even think about this wear and tear – I didn't used to – but it is an important issue. 12 – 13% of auto accidents are caused by mechanical failure due to recommended work being deferred. The worn out part continues to wear down, the parts around it work overtime to compensate and suddenly, several pieces of equipment are worn down, not just one. When it comes to driving a car with worn out parts, the cold, hard reality is it is unsafe for the driver, passengers and the other people on the road. If that isn't bad enough for you, driving with a worn out part can also lead to higher repair bills down the road as it leads to multiple parts needing replacement. (If your shocks aren't working correctly, your ball joints, control arms, etc begin to break down from all the extra work.) You can't avoid wear and tear to your car, but you can avoid extra repair costs by being proactive. Whe ... read more

Welcome 2015!

Welcome 2015!

The beginning of the New Year seems to be when we feel the urge to start anew or change our bad habits. We’re going to exercise, eat healthy, be organized and finish up all those projects we started. All the procrastinating and complaining is going to stop! A study by Franklin Covey showed that only 35% of people surveyed stuck with the resolution they made on December 31. Facebook currently has lots of weight loss, money management and organization ads popping up. Everyone wants to help us with our resolutions. A better resolution is to appreciate where you are and make small changes every day that help you reach your goal. Take the stairs, eat an apple instead of chips, or get a plain coffee instead of a mocha- cinnamon cappuccino with whipped cream. Enjoy your New Year’s Eve, be safe and Happy

Shell Game

Shell Game

I’ll walk for miles on the beach looking for shells. They’re amazing creations that used to be the home of an animal, and they are usually beautiful colors and shapes. I have several that, when I first saw them, they appeared perfect. But when I pulled them out of the sand, I found either a large hole or they were broken. They are still beautiful but not what I was picturing. Used cars can be like that. You drive by and then stop, lured by the beautiful (insert your favorite car color here) exterior. You look inside and the interior looks like new. The seller tells you that it was only driven on Saturdays to the grocery store and has never seen a winter. You love this car so you drive it around the block once, then purchase it. This can have two outcomes. The first one is: the car is in pristine condition mechanically and was a terrific purchase. The second is: You’re standing at the repair shop staring at an estimate for the totally unexpected needed repairs. You can avoi ... read more

Finally, shoes!

Finally, shoes!

I have a board on Pinterest devoted to pins of shoes I love. If you don’t understand that sentence, you may be a guy. Or you are missing out on the greatest time waster ever created. My Pinterest shoe board is, to me, what Car and Driver magazine is to men. I look at pictures of shoes other people love and decide if I want to pin them to my board. Like Car and Driver readers and the cars they love, I will never own 99% of the shoes that I see and like. The boards on Pinterest are somewhat like going to a car show. People stop and look at the cars and then discuss if they’ve had that car, want that car or just admire that car. I pin a pair of shoes and if someone else pins them, we’ve bonded. We like the same shoes. We’re shoe-sisters. I saw a poster that said, “Shoes make me happy. I’m superficial. Whatever.” I didn’t want to relate to that statement, but I did

Lessons from a Red Car

Lessons from a Red Car

I love getting to know the customers who come into Arie Nol, it's one of my favorite parts of working in a service industry. Visit by visit I build relationships with our customers, until seeing them is the same as seeing old friends. I always look forward to hearing their stories. A specific memory comes to mind. A few weeks ago, an older female customer came to show us her new car. For years she had driven a nice, low-key vehicle. Nothing flashy, but very reliable. On her last visit to Arie Nol, we stood and watched her car as it was towed away to the scrap yard. It was bittersweet as that car had served her well for a long time. I wasn't sure what to expect when she came by with the new car, but when she walked in the smile on her face was contagious. Without even seeing the new vehicle, I broke into a huge smile, happy for her happiness. I walked into the parking lot and there sat a sleek, shiny, brilliant red car. “Why the change?” I asked, curious. She paused ... read more

It's All Connected

It's All Connected

We've all seen it, that one car driving down the highway as it hits a slight dip in the road. Suddenly, it's bouncing up and down and you think, “Wow! The ride on that car must be horrible!” What that actually indicates is bad shock absorbers. The shocks are not holding the tires to the road the way they should be and, as a result, the car rebounds from the dip in the road. This can make your vehicle much more difficult to control safely. As if that weren't enough, bad shock absorbers are also rarely an isolated issue. When your car's shocks start to wear, the parts surrounding them have to work double-time to make up for the issue. This can cause increased damage to your car and raise the repair cost. If your car is experiencing strange symptoms, bring it in to a trusted technician. Not only are technicians aware of what bad brakes, shocks, etc. mean for the safe control of your vehicle, they'll also be able to help identify worn parts before the problem spreads

Being Thankful

Being Thankful

As the holidays rapidly approach, there is a lot of marketing of the idea of ‘being thankful’. It usually is accompanied by pictures of family, Christmas events and turkeys. Sometimes in the rush of all of this, we forget to be thankful. We forget that, for some people, the holidays are not a happy time. Whether it is the loss of a family member this year which changes the dynamics of the family gathering, or the lack of funds to celebrate the holidays the way we would like, it is harder to be thankful. We see Martha Stewart-type celebrations or spend some time on Pinterest and feel the pressure of thinking every item for the holidays should be handmade. Most studies show that we can increase our happiness level by doing something for someone else. It doesn’t have to cost money. It can simply be doing something for someone. Make cookies for a neighbor or rake leaves for someone who is not able to. You will walk away feeling better and you will realize, you have a lot to be ... read more

Scare Tactics

Scare Tactics

Any seasoned, auto repair technician can tell you, at some point everyone is accused of using “scare tactics”. It's a common stereotype, but it isn't true of everyone in the business. Most technicians take their responsibility very seriously. Here a few things to think about the next time you feel scare tactics are being used at the repair shop. It is an automotive technician's first is job to make sure your vehicle is roadworthy. Ask them questions when you don't understand. The technician should be able to explain to you in detail why they think your vehicle is unsafe. If you still don't follow, ask if it's possible to have them show you what they're seeing. Technicians are aware of what bad brakes, shocks, etc. mean for the overall safe control of your vehicle. You don't need to settle for the response, “Your shocks are bad,” instead, ask what this means for your vehicle's overall performance. If you still feel like you're being told an untruth, have a differen ... read more

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