In August 2008, we were very fortunate to be chosen by the nationwide publication MOTOR AGE as their SHOP PROFILE. Motor Age is a trade magazine distributed to thousands of automotive repairshops around the country. Out of these thousands of shops, they pick 12 shops per year to feature in their monthly publication. What an honor for us!
Stephen also writes for our little neighborhood paper here in Tierra Contenta, the Next Door News
Here are some of his articles:
Good News for Car Owners
While the current economy is financially hurting many people and businesses, there have been a number of good side affects relating to vehicles when people have less money to spend. For the first time in years, people are buying smaller, cleaner burning cars and they are being more careful when they spend any available money. People are driving less, which has driven the price of gas down some, and with less driving the pollution levels drop. Fewer people are disposing of vehicles due to age or mileage, which saves a huge amount of water needed to recycle a vehicle, along with the landfill waste from all the scrap metal, plastic and rubber. Basic and economical, cleaner burning transportation is finally becoming more important than buying the new, bigger, more powerful and shinier vehicle just because you are bored.
Rather than replacing their vehicles, people are thinking twice before taking on more debt in the form of a car loan. Many people are finding out it is in their own best interest to think about keeping their older vehicle for a few more years. The majority of vehicles produced since the mid 1990ís can last over 200,000 miles with proper care and servicing, and some will go over twice this distance. My wifeís 15 year old Toyota Camry has almost 200,000 miles on it, and she loves her car. Her car is actually smoother and more comfortable on the highway than my 5 year old Prius. She doesnít want a new car with tire lights or maintenance monitors blinking or buzzing at her every few months. With proper service and maintenance, we are planning on keeping it for at least another 100,000 miles. Both my wife and I also have our vehicles detailed once a year. They come back shiny and clean, makes us feel good about keeping them AND preserves the value of the vehicle.
If you have owned a vehicle for more than 5 years, it is likely paid off or soon will be. Donít be in a hurry to take on another car payment just because your car is due for extensive service work, has some dents, or just doesnít shine like it used to. If you have a good mechanic that you trust, ask for a thorough evaluation of your vehicle to see what the overall condition is. Get a list of foreseeable expenses along with a list of priorities and see if it makes financial sense to keep your vehicle and for how long. Evaluate your budget, and then decide what needs to be done and when. I usually recommend people take care of safety items first, then running or reliability issues and then comfort issues, in that order. Make sure the business you are dealing with is actually able to fix your vehicle. Check with your local Better Business Bureau or ask friends with a similar brand vehicle about their repair experiences. Be wary of service specials or ads with unusually low prices, most businesses offer "loss leaders" to get you in the door and then try to get as much of your money as possible with anything else they can sell you - whether you need the service or not. This has been the tactic of quick oil change, brake and tire stores for years, and raises serious questions about business ethics. Please be careful!
Good quality products and services have become much more important as money has gotten tighter. Make sure your mechanic is doing work that you need and make sure it is fixed properly when completed.
TOY AUTO MAN
Where we treat YOU and YOUR vehicle like family
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