Our business is based on reviews, please leave a google review!Leave Us A Google Review

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:

Supporting and Sharing | The Women in Autocare Conference

Supporting and Sharing | The Women in Autocare Conference

More women are making the choice to join the ranks of the automotive world as engineers, salespeople, auto technicians, supply chain managers, CEOs, etc. Networking our way. Sharing stories of success and challenges. The moments of clarity when you realize there are many shared experiences and you contribute to the conversation. Being a proud Michigander while listening to Cynthia Kay and Doreen Bolhuis— co-authors of Stop Wishing, Stop Whining, Start Leading—talk about aspiring to lead. Both speakers have built businesses in Grand Rapids and are an inspiration as a woman business owner. Speaking with women from all over the country that I’ve met at past conferences. Meeting new members and recognizing the growth of this organization. Being inspired by a young woman from Pennsylvania who, at 17 years old, is on her way to a career in the automotive field and is taking the steps to make it happen. Having the opportunity to listen to Megan Meyer of Randy M ... read more

Know What You’re Buying

Know What You’re Buying

It's that time of year again. Lots of new drivers on the road. College students preparing to leave the nest and head to their college campus. People are on the lookout for the used car that fits their needs, is reasonably priced and has been well-maintained. That can be a tall order when looking for a used car. Everyone's idea of well-maintained is different. To some car owners, that means following the manufacturer’s recommended services and having regular oil changes. To other vehicle owners, regular maintenance means putting gas in the car when the low fuel light comes on. It's hard to tell when looking at a used vehicle what the care of the vehicle has been over its life span. That's why you should invest in a pre-purchase inspection for any vehicle that you are considering purchasing. I know. It's sounds like a sales pitch. Here's the deal. Most people purchase a vehicle that fits into their budget. Rarely does anyone say, “I have $7000 for a used c ... read more

Don't Do This

Don't Do This

I don't like putting gasoline in my car. I don't like the smell of that liquid that fuels my vehicle. I like it even less in the winter time. But, I'm married to a car guy who is pretty serious about not running your fuel tank down to empty. There is the rare occasion when I do see that little light on my dashboard letting me know I need fuel—but it's very rarely. When we were first married and he would on occasion say, “How long has your low fuel light been on?” To be honest, I just thought Jeff didn't want his beloved bride to run out of gas and have to sit on the side of the road. The truth was that he didn't want to have to replace the fuel pump in my car. That, and he didn't want me sitting on the side of the road either. When you run your fuel low consistently, it can damage the fuel pump. If you have dirt in the bottom of your fuel tank, it can block the fuel filter. It’s a lot cheaper to keep your fuel at least at ¼ tank than to replace these items ... read more

Making Car Memories

Making Car Memories

I had an interesting conversation with a customer and her husband. They're a younger couple with a two year old child. And they bought a sports car. Best of all, it fits a car seat. Kind of the best of both worlds. Like I've blogged about before, many people purchase vehicles for emotional reasons. Some people spend years searching for a specific car, even down to the color and engine size. The husband in this case was searching as a surprise for his wife. I love that he let her know one night he'd found this car and she said, “Why not?” Sometimes we think of sports cars as a ‘midlife crisis’ present to yourself. How about thinking of them as a fun family car that—while not incredibly practical—will make lots of memories. A mini-van is practical and convenient, a convertible is ‘wind in the hair’ fun. You may not be able to put all your kids in your sports car but you can always justify the purchase by creating individual time with your children on a beautiful Michigan ... read more

Independence Day

Independence Day

This summer is going by so quickly! In Michigan the 4 th of July can be cold, hot, rainy, sunny or any other combination. Being a Michigander requires the ability to carry copious amounts of clothing in our vehicle so we can change when the weather does. It’s a day spent eating burgers, hot dogs, and brats—running around with sparklers and possibly even attending a parade. The day is wrapped up with the explosion of color and light in the sky, followed by ooh’s and aah’s. Going to a parade on 4 th of July is interesting because you usually see classic cars, fire trucks, the local politicians throwing candy, Boy Scouts, people on horseback, etc. I remember sitting at the Dorr 4 th of July parade every year and trying to keep three little kids from jumping in front of the beautiful classic cars for a tootsie roll that was just out of their reach. Watching the excitement on their faces as the fire trucks and police vehicles rolled past. Americans have a deep love f ... read more

Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day

On this upcoming Sunday we celebrate Father’s Day. One of the biggest blessings in my life is my business partner who is also my husband and our children’s father. We began as a young couple with three children and became business partners out of necessity, not design, when we purchased the family business from Jeff’s family. I’m thankful for a man who worked hard all week and still coached his kid’s soccer teams on Saturday. For several years he wasn’t able to attend many weekday kid’s events but made a point to take what little free time he had to spend with them. They always knew they were important to him. Jeff modeled commitment, a strong work ethic and love to his kids every day. The kids getting up at 6:00 in the morning to see their Dad before he left for work wasn’t something I thought about at the time but on reflecting back, I realize how precious that time was. When we purchased the business, he asked me to begin working with him, even though I had n ... read more

Do you Tweet?

Do you Tweet?

It seems like social media is this ever changing and evolving animal. Seventeen years ago when I began working with Jeff at Arie Nol Auto Center, marketing was simple. ‘Which sized Yellow Pages ad would you like?’ was the big decision for the year. Now, there is a plethora of platforms and new ways to reach our customers. Customers are reached several ways based on certain criteria. Age does play a factor but I’ve had 75-year old customers who’ve said they follow us on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook. We dipped our toes into the water of Twitter a while ago to kind of see what it was all about. Being restricted to 140 or less characters is an adjustment but it’s easier to find something relevant without wasting a lot of time reading paragraphs of information. Leonardo da Vinci said “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”. You don’t find long rambling posts on Twitter like you may on Facebook. One of the things I do like about Twitter is the fact t ... read more

A Day in the Bay

A Day in the Bay

Have you ever wondered about the process of auto repair? When you drop your vehicle off, what happens in ‘the bays’? While not every auto repair shop has the exact same process, I’m guessing that most processes are similar to ours. When you schedule your appointment, based on what type of work you are having done, the service advisor takes an educated guess at the amount of time needed to perform the work or diagnose the problem. We have a finite number of labor hours a day so we work to fill those hours and schedule the vehicles accordingly. Our goal is always to meet the timeframe stated to the customer. I’d like to say that always happens, and it usually does, but there are times when the bolt breaks or a part doesn’t arrive and that changes the time frame. The service advisor takes all the information and enters it into his computer. This information is then sent via an iPad to the technician chosen to work on your vehicle. The technician brings your vehicle ... read more

There’s Always a Story

There’s Always a Story

I think of them as the ‘summer cars.’ They’re usually MGs, Datsun Z cars, and Mercedes convertibles. They roll in as the summer weather arrives. These cars usually have their own idiosyncrasies and their owners often have a story about how or why they own that particular vehicle. These cars haven’t been exposed to snow, salt or in some cases, even rain. Nostalgia plays a part in the ownership of these vehicles. Many times, their parents had the same type of vehicle and it brings back great summer memories. Other times, the owner was bestowed the vehicle when someone passed away and the car stands as a memento. For other folks, it’s simply been their dream car for as long as they can remember. We’ve had forty-year old vehicles come in that have had only one owner. Some of them—since we’ve been around over forty years—we’ve been taking care of since they were new. For Jeff, these cars are like old friends pulling into our lot. He remembers working on them as a tee ... read more

Work Environment and Cat Grass

Work Environment and Cat Grass

It's important that people enjoy their ‘work space’ as much as possible. Going through our bays, you see family pictures, screen savers of favorite cars and photos of family vacations. I have photos of my family in my office but not any of my cats. That would push me to close to the “crazy-cat lady” title I'm trying to avoid. While many work spaces have changed and evolved over the years, automotive service areas have as well. Many shops you enter are cleaner, brighter and more welcoming than they were in the past. Not just for customers but for employees as well. The mechanical service area used to be a space that you rarely brought a customer. They're still not a place that customers spend much time but if the need arises to look at something on your vehicle while it's in the shop, it's much more inviting than it used to be. Motorized floor scrubbers have made keeping the shop floor clean much easier than in the past. I appreciate it because I don't have to wo ... read more

Arie Nol Auto Center, Inc is committed to ensuring effective communication and digital accessibility to all users. We are continually improving the user experience for everyone, and apply the relevant accessibility standards to achieve these goals. We welcome your feedback. Please call Arie Nol Auto Center, Inc (616) 532-6019 if you have any issues in accessing any area of our website.