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From the Mechanic’s Wife

A Blog About Auto Repair in Simple Terms

Dear Reader,

Hello, my name is Bethany and I’m the wife of Andrew, owner and lead technician at Marinelli Auto Service. I’ve learned a lot about cars and auto mechanics from being married to a mechanic and, more recently, working with him at the shop.

Before meeting Andrew I would go into a repair shop I was intimidated, to say the least. I never knew if I was making the right decision or if I was being being treated fairly. I now know I made some mistakes during that time. Luckily, I no longer have to worry about the work being done on my car.

I hope my insight will help you be able to walk into an auto repair shop and feel confident in making decisions about the care of your vehicle.

-From the Mechanic’s wife

Synthetic or Conventional Oil?

Synthetic or Conventional Oil?

When I got my first car, I knew nothing - I mean absolutely nothing - about cars. All I knew was that I needed to keep it full of gas and that I should get the oil changed according to the sticker in my windshield. I remember going to the oil change for the first...

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Regular or Premium Gasoline?

Regular or Premium Gasoline?

A friend recently sent me a photo of the gas options offered at a fueling station and said, “Help! Which one do I use?” There were FIVE options at that particular pump. No wonder she was confused. I have since spent a lot of time researching different gas grades and I...

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We’re Growing!

We’re Growing!

Running a business is hard. Customer Service is hard. Working in the auto industry as a mechanic is really hard. Accomplishing hard things is very rewarding, especially when customers voice their gratitude. When things are hard at Marinelli Auto Service, two things...

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The Trust Cost of Vehicle Ownership

The Trust Cost of Vehicle Ownership

We’ve all experienced that moment when someone providing a necessary service for you tells you the price on the final bill and your heart plummets into your stomach. Your heart continues to beat heavily way down there while you are mentally reviewing your bank...

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Business & Family Defeat Challenges

Business & Family Defeat Challenges

2017 has started as a very interesting year for our shop. Andrew and I welcomed our son, Arthur, into the world on February 8th. On February 12th I ended up in emergency surgery and then in and out of ICU for nearly 3 weeks with a severe infection. This meant that,...

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The Meaning of “Family Business” Success

The Meaning of “Family Business” Success

When we say we value our customers we mean it...and we try hard to show it without being overbearing. We truly care about each individual customer. Most people do not expect this from an auto repair shop and, it seems by people’s reactions, many people have not...

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The Difference Between a Mechanic and a Craftsman

The Difference Between a Mechanic and a Craftsman

On every corner of every street in every city across the country, you will find an automotive mechanic. Each has his own reason for going into the industry. Each has his own reason for staying in the industry (not an easy thing to do!). Each has his own training and...

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Me & My Ride: Alyssa Shriner

Me & My Ride: Alyssa Shriner

Alyssa is a recent college grad who did an impressive job navigating the used-car buying experience on a low budget. Here’s a little introduction to her and some things you can learn from her car-buying process.

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Challenges and Changes in a Mom and Pop Shop [We Like Mike]

Challenges and Changes in a Mom and Pop Shop [We Like Mike]

May was an exciting but frightening month at Marinelli Auto Service… Business in the auto repair industry tends to ebb and flow in seasons… We had more work than we knew what to do with. We knew we needed to make a change because we wanted to provide the same level of service, or better, to what we’d been providing over the previous 17 months of the shop’s existence… We’d been wondering, “Can we afford to hire another mechanic?” We had someone in mind and he was ready when we were, we just had to make it work financially and logistically.

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My Life As the Mechanic’s Wife

My Life As the Mechanic’s Wife

Let me begin by telling you that I’ve always held jobs where I was just one of many women...teaching, youth ministry, writing and communications. While I’ve never been opposed to working in a male dominant industry, it just never occurred to me (because of my...

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Me & My Ride: Darryl & Shannon Skinn

Me & My Ride: Darryl & Shannon Skinn

For most people owning a vehicle means being able to get to work, to school, to visit family and friends. For Darryl and Shannon Skinn, owning a vehicle means being able to shower others with help and kindness. When Shannon first got her 2005 Acura RL in 2007, she was...

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How To Reduce Stress With Your Next Vehicle Repair

How To Reduce Stress With Your Next Vehicle Repair

Before I married a mechanic, I definitely didn’t know how to make the most of my appointment with an auto mechanic shop, making it a stressful experience. Now that my husband and I own a shop, I’d like to share with you some things I’ve learned that will save you some of the frustration I used to experience.

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Me & My Ride: Adam Winter

Me & My Ride: Adam Winter

Drums set a grooving beat as the lead guitar begins strumming. The keys chime in with a soulful melody, and anticipation builds as the bass drops a deep rhythm behind the treble hum of the electric guitar. Enter the lead vocals with a powerful opening lyric; then...

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Me & My Ride: Josh and Laura Nelson

Me & My Ride: Josh and Laura Nelson

When the Nelsons pull into the shop, a cheerful spirit arrives with them. They seem genuinely happy to be here, and we love their attitude about car maintenance and repair. Josh and Laura are both quite brilliant people. They met while attending UCF where they...

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12 Christmas Gift Ideas for Drivers of All Ages

12 Christmas Gift Ideas for Drivers of All Ages

Christmas is right around the corner and, if you are like me, you are probably thinking about gift ideas for your family and friends. However, if you are like Andrew, you’ll probably wait until the week of. Whichever your shopping style, I thought I’d give you a head...

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Guide to Buying a Used Car or Truck

Guide to Buying a Used Car or Truck

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...

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Does Your Car Pass the Mom Test?

Does Your Car Pass the Mom Test?

“See this? It does not pass the Mom Test,” Andrew told me one afternoon pointing at some rusty doo-hickey as he crouched beneath a vehicle.   “The ‘Mom Test’?” He explained and it made sense to me...and made me wonder if the Mom Test isn’t what’s missing in the...

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Understanding Your Bill: Part 3 – The Deal on Parts

Understanding Your Bill: Part 3 – The Deal on Parts

You’re driving home after a long day of work. You are tired and looking forward to changing into some more comfortable clothes for a relaxing evening in front of the TV with the family. The light turns green and you begin to accelerate when your car makes a stuttering...

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Should I Repair or Replace My Vehicle?

Should I Repair or Replace My Vehicle?

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...

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How Marrying A Mechanic Changed My Life

How Marrying A Mechanic Changed My Life

As a little girl I imagined marrying a business man, much like my father. As a college student I was sure I’d marry a man doing full-time Christian ministry or a missionary. Instead, I married a mechanic. Even more to my surprise, my husband’s profession has become a...

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Dollars & Sense: Why Do Labor & Parts Cost So Much?

Dollars & Sense: Why Do Labor & Parts Cost So Much?

Your stomach drops (and maybe your jaw does, too). You begin mentally calculating how much money you have in your bank account, the date of your next paycheck, and then you wonder if you’ll have to dip into your savings to pay for this auto-repair bill. Suddenly, you...

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Dollars & Sense: Three Keys to Smart Auto Care

Dollars & Sense: Three Keys to Smart Auto Care

We’ve all been there. The light on your dashboard comes on and you get a slight sinking feeling in your stomach. You’re busy, money’s tight, and maybe you’re just not a car person so dealing with the problem makes you a little apprehensive. If you have a regular...

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