New Year’s Resolutions have gotten a bad rap over the years. Instead of an opportunity to better one’s life each year, this annual resolution has turned into a promise with little hope of completion for many. That’s why I’d like to encourage you to avoid them at all costs. No diet and exercise plans, no promise of kicking that bad habit, of being nicer to your siblings, or of completing that project. Instead, I’d like to encourage you to start every day with 5 minutes to quietly ask yourself, “what can I do today to make wise choices?” Don’t make this a resolution. Don’t get down on yourself if it doesn’t happen every day, just give yourself the gift of 5 minutes.
In that five minutes, you’ll likely come up with something different today than you will a week from now. For example, maybe one day you are thinking about choices you need to make about your vehicle, but the money thing is stressing you out. On that day, pull up this blog post, and follow these steps for making wise choices for your car and your wallet. Once you take the first step, you won’t have to work so hard to stick to a goal.
Buying a car, aside from choosing the right college and buying a house, is one of the most expensive purchasing decisions we make, and yet so many of us are in the dark as to what to look for. It is an investment we usually want to hold onto for many years. How do I know I’m getting a fair deal? How do I know the vehicle is reliable? Do I purchase from a dealer or a private party? We often have more questions than we find answers, so I’d like to help ease your mind a little when making that all important decision.
Here are four steps for making a purchase with confidence: (more…)
What is “Price-Shopping”?
For the sake of clarity, I’ll define “price-shopping” as any of the following:
- Moving from shop to shop as you look for the cheapest price for a desired service.
- Returning regularly to a shop because it seems to be the cheapest. (Even if you’re not calling around for price comparisons, price is your main consideration.)
- Making purchasing decisions based on perceived “bargains” (coupons, specials, advertisements etc.)
I don’t recommend that you do any of these things. I recognize that you’ll often save money in the short-term, but we believe you might spend more in the long term.
There’s that old (and true) idea that you often get what you pay for. In automotive repair, there’s a lot that you should want to “get.” Such as the following: (more…)
For several years after college I moved a lot. I’d pack as many of my belongings as possible into my yellow Dodge Neon, Clunky, to settle into my new home in a new state and a new city. Michigan. Ohio. Florida…and when my oil needed changing or something more, I brought my car into a shop the same way one would spin a globe, close their eyes, point to a location and say, “Someday I will live here!” I never knew if I was going to be treated well or get the care needed for my car and I rarely brought it back to the same place twice. It’s this near recklessness with searching for a mechanic shop that causes me to joke, “Well, it’s a good thing I married a mechanic!”
You’ll often read about the importance of building a relationship with your mechanic on this blog and it’s not because I’m married to one. Rather, it is because someone who is familiar with your vehicle, its maintenance and repair history, and who knows you will be more likely to take the greatest care of you and your car. This trusting relationship will reduce the stress of the inevitable major repair and you’ll be able to drive down the road confident in your vehicle’s performance and safety.
So, what should you look for in a auto-mechanic shop? Here are six qualities to consider:
As vehicles age (or face expensive repairs), many people weigh repair costs against the vehicle’s worth. If the repair cost exceeds the vehicle’s worth, they will often sell or trade in the vehicle. By “worth” here, we’re referring to resale value.
I recommend a different approach. Blue Book and Edmunds (etc.) can help you decide what to sell your car for, or what you might pay for a used car. But they can’t quantify what the car is worth to you.
I’m not talking about emotions and memories here either. I’m coming from a practical point of view. (more…)
Welcome! My husband and I are excited to be starting this new full service auto shop. I will be sharing my perspective on various parts of auto mechanics with the hope it will educate the average person on the many issues surrounding your car and car maintenance and repair. Please check back to see what I have to say as we get our business off the ground! From the Mechanic’s Wife