Category - Fiction

Part One: What Are You Really Thankful For?

What Are You Really Thankful For?

thankful

Remember these guys?

It’s a couple of days before Thanksgiving, or the day that millions of people stuff their faces full of food, enjoy time with their friends and family, and watch the hell out of some football. Yeah, that’s great and all…but what about the rest of the world? What are they doing? We should be thankful for everything in our lives…not just once a year, but every day.

This is the time of year that people begin to really think of what they’re thankful for. Maybe it’s just their new job, or the fact that they get time off for the holidays. Whatever you’re thankful for, it must be important to you…which got me thinking. Why don’t people thank their auto technicians more often?

thankful

This guy is thankful for your business…are you thankful for his handiwork?

They are the silent heroes, keeping our cars running safely. So why don’t we appreciate that? It’s probably because to be thankful for their handiwork you have to spend money. I get that, totally. Spending money sucks, but spending money on a car repair to ensure that you and your family ride around in safety isn’t that big of a deal.

Which is why I researched the internet and found a bunch of reviews that people wrote: Thanking your Auto Technician. Take a pleasure ride through these touchy reviews and see just how appreciative people really are towards the people who fix their cars.

* Warning, some of these stories may instill “feels”. If you’re wondering what feels are, they’re feelings. Yeah I know, weird nickname. Either way, these articles might require you to have some tissues…then again, maybe I’m just a sap.*

1. “You are good people who respected me as a customer and, just as importantly, as a person.  You did all you could to earn and keep my business by assuring my complete satisfaction  every step of the way.  And you did it with a handshake and a smile.  It reminded me of how it used to be years ago when I could do business confidently with neighborhood tradesmen who knew me by my first name.  I can’t ask for more than that” – Art, Hollywood, Florida.

2. “After getting into a little fender-bender, my daughter and I arrived at your shop where we were both greeted with smiles and warm hot chocolate. I can’t thank you enough for the service you provided to us. You could have treated us like any other customer, on any given day, but you didn’t. You listened to my concerns and what I could afford and worked with me the best you could. You also treated my daughter with kindness when it is easy to dismiss young children. Thank you again.” – Sarah, Lexus dealership in San Francisco, California.

3. “Your tech, Cole, was exceptional. He showed us exactly what was wrong with our car, and what it would take to fix it. His personal touch and concern led us to have the work completed. You usually don’t get honesty like that in big dealership repair shops.” Travis and Mariah,  Meridian, Idaho.

5. “I came into the shop thinking I was going to spend thousands of dollars. I was pleasantly surprised that the technician showed me what I really needed to get done on my truck to make it run better. He didn’t try to lead me into buying new tires, a whole new engine, or even windshield wipers. He was honest, kind, and very detailed. More shops should have technicians who care as much as yours.” -Brian, Denver, Colorado.

6. “Today I decided to get my oil changed. I found your shop on yelp and decided to give you a try. Everyone knows that most repair shops will give you a deal on their oil changes and then slap you with a second “estimate” for work you need done. But not Jiffy Lube, you brought my car in, worked on it and sent me on my way in under 30 minutes. Thanks for the speed and professionalism, it’s respected!” – Kate, Orlando, Florida.

7. ” I normally hate waiting on my car to be fixed…but with free tv, wifi, and even some snacks…I couldn’t hate sitting there if my life depended on it. The coffee was hot, the popcorn was buttery, and most importantly, you got me in and out of there quickly.” – Kyle, Chicago, Illinois.

8. “When I bought my daughters Toyota into your shop, I expected to be handed a very expensive estimate to repair the windows that stopped working. I was happy to find that you charged a flat fee, included the price of the new windows into it, and didn’t overly charge me to the initial estimate to find out what we needed. I couldn’t thank you more for making my experience a good one. I will return to your shop when I need more work done.” – Jo, Arlington, Texas.

9. “Every time I come into this shop the employees are pleasant and kind without having to fake their way through it. I appreciate that you have your technicians explain what needs to be worked on, rather than someone behind a desk who hasn’t looked inside a hood in their entire life. That is what I like about your shop more than others in the area. I can trust that you’re not out to just take my money, but honestly want me to be safe on the road.” – Carson, Seattle Washington.

10. ” I am happy that my friends referred me to your shop when I needed work done on my AC. IT was important to me that I got work done by someone who really knew what they were doing. Your technician was not only knowledgeable in everything that had to be done, but he suggested what I might need to get done in order for the problem not to come back- he didn’t push the work on me, just handed me a sheet and said that I might want to get it looked at. No pushing, totally nice, and you were great explaining the cost of the work to me. I’d like to thank you again for your work!” Aria Jeanne, Detroit, Michigan.

You see! People really do love their automotive technicians! It’s times like these that we need to be thankful for everyone in our lives, because in one way or another, they help us get through to tomorrow. They are the reason why we are able to be at home safely on the holidays, and to celebrate out with friends when we need to get away from said family. All people deserve our thanks and If this inspired you, go out and say thank you to the people in your life that help you get along.

– K. The Car Girl

p.s.

This will be a three part series. I may have said that at the beginning of this article, I can’t remember…either way, look out for tomorrow’s edition of What Are You Really Thankful For?

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share

Trunk Or Treating Ideas for your own Trunk!

Trunk Or Treat Ideas for you all!

What is trunk or treat you ask? It’s only the coolest way to hand treats to kids this year…and it’s all the rave on the world witch web, therefore it must be cool!

trunk or treat

It’s time for Trunk or Treating!

Happy October!

It’s my favorite month. Mostly because of the seasons changing and the feeling of warmth, even if the days are cold. Pumpkin spice everything! Bonfires complete with hot chocolate and lot o’ smores. You just can’t beat October. So that got me thinking…what does October and Halloween have to do with cars? A simple google research and VIOLA!

TRUNK OR TREAT: is known around the United States as an alternative to Trick or Treating. Basically you deck the trunk of your car out as best as possible and have children walk around the parking lot or small housing area and scare them, I mean enhance their Halloween experience 🙂

trunk or treat

A Classy Halloween

Before I show you the Trunkideas, I would like to first give all my readers a brief history of Halloween:

“Straddling the line between fall and winter, plenty and paucity, life and death, Halloween is a time of celebration and superstition. It is thought to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints and martyrs; the holiday, All Saints’ Day, incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows’ Eve and later Halloween. Over time, Halloween evolved into a secular, community-based event characterized by child-friendly activities such as trick-or-treating. In a number of countries around the world, as the days grow shorter and the nights get colder, people continue to usher in the winter season with gatherings, costumes and sweet treats.”

So basically, Halloween started as a pagan ritual celebrating the changing seasons- from summer to winter. Lot’s of Celts believed that this seasonal change was the physical representation of Life and Death. It makes sense, the harvest season is plentiful and lively– giving sustenance to those throughout the upcoming harsh winter months; while winter is usually described and thought of as desolate and depressing- or when trees lose their leaves, no planting is acceptable (or advised) and most people would rather just stay indoors to get away from the cold.

So, with that brief history lesson, here’s a couple of fun Trunk or Treat ideas I’ve found around the world witch web for your viewing pleasure. Go ahead and thank me now….I know this is probably the BEST idea in the whole witchy world!

The Batmobile:

trunk or treat

Robin get the candy ready…thousands of hungry ghouls and ghosts are on their way to our car!

How cool is this car? I heard they only serve bat shaped candies and because Robin really likes chocolates, he gives children bird shaped chocolates! It’s simple in it’s design, but heck, I’d enter the bat cave for some candies!

Enter the Land of OZ:

It’s time to enter the wonderful world of OZ. All you have to do is follow the simple yellow brick road while watching out for the Wicked Witch…and you’ll be reawarded….with Candy 🙂

trunk or treat

follow the yellow brick road to some CANDY!

Oh the Witchery!

trunk or treat

*best cackling witch voice* “come here my pretty, I’ll give you candy”

These witches will cackle and…giggle? Apparently! Look at all the fun decorations that you can add to your trunk to make it look like a witches home. With added white branches and the awesome candy goblets, well, you’re in for a witchin’ good time at this Trunk Or Treat party!

Enter the pineapple under the sea:

Trunk or Treat

he may live in a pineapple under the sea, but spongebob knows how to Trunk or Treat!

Come visit with your favorite Bikini Bottom friends while Trunk or Treating! I bet cleaning up all that sand and the water must be hard…but someone’s gotta do it!

My Personal Favorite:

So while the aforementioned Trunk or Treat trunks were awesome…this one is my favorite. Why you ask? Well, duh. Because it’s awesome. It’s not really a trunk persay, but still…the creativeness of this person must be well and witchin’.

Trunk or Treat

I do wonder where they’ve hidden the candy though…because let’s be honest, that’s the most important part of Halloween.

trunk or treat

enjoy a fun and safe holiday this year! Filled with lots and lots o’ candies and fun memories to share with those you love!

I hope you all enjoyed some Trunk or Treat ideas. Go ahead and implement them into your Halloween fun and I’m sure all will love you very much. Just seriously don’t forget the candy. Be safe this Halloween: Stay in lit areas or walk with a flashlight. Walk in groups. Make sure your adults know where you’ll be. And most importantly: HAVE FUN!

You’re Witchy Advisor-

 

The Car Girl.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share

Calling all Mobilian Myth Busters!

Hello Mobilian Myth Busters!

It’s time to bust some known (or unknown) automotive myths. We’re here to find and deliver the truth!

it’s time to bust those pesky automotive myths!

Here at Air Mobile we believe in the truth! That can mean many things to different people, but we pride ourselves in honesty and letting our customers know exactly what needs to get fixed and how much it will cost- even if you decide to not go through with our services. That being said, today’s blog is going to be about Myth Busting! And guess what? We’re here to bust myths and let our readers know the truth.

The Internet. It’s amazing -no, astonishing because all of the worlds information is just at the tips of your fingers…but that also means there is a lot of misinformation as well. That’s why I’ve decided to debunk some Auto Maintenance myths for you all. You can thank me later!

Myth #1: You Should Probably Change Your Oil Every 3,000 Miles.

I’m sure at one point everyone from your Grandpa to your service technician told you that you need to change your oil every 3,000 miles. This is you breaking that industry standard.

myth

Oil doesn’t need to be changed every 3000 miles. This myth? Busted!

The majority of automakers today are saying you can change your oil at either 7,500 or 10,000 miles. Obviously I’d still check with your individual owner’s manual to see what they recommend. So, why should you wait that long? First of all, you’re spending dollars that you don’t have to on oil changes…which makes your dealership or local technicians very happy. Secondly, you’re wasting oil, and contributing to the growing problem of how to recycle all the used oil that is irreparably damaging the environment, and nobody’s got time for that!

Here are just some of the reasons that make it possible for longer oil change intervals:
  • Improved oils that protect engines from wear and heat.
  • Tighter tolerances (the gap between metal moving parts) of modern, high tech engines.
  • The introduction of oil life monitoring system that notify the driver when an oil change is required.
  • More automakers using synthetic oil.

Myth #2: Independent repair shops are always more expensive than dealer service repairs. 

While this may be partly true, for some Auto body shops, it’s not true for all of them. Especially us here at Air Mobile. We are here to give you honest answers to your car troubles, what needs to be serviced, and how much that service will cost. But a dealership? Well, they’re in it for the money.

myth buster

see the blonde? She knows that dealerships spread this myth to deter customers from local repair shops. Shame on them!

They have higher monthly expenses that ultimately result in higher prices for services that your local shop might not charge for. Let’s start with the diagnosis, shall we? Most high end dealerships will cost you about 50-100 dollars or more depending on how intricate their diagnostics need to go. Why the high charge? Well, that’s an easy answer- incase you don’t go through with the service, the time they spent on your car is covered, payed for. Haven’t you heard the expression, “There’s no free lunch?”.

  • Should you opt to have the repair done after it’s been diagnosed there is usually some labor overlap involved. Overlap meaning that if you came in with a brake concern then, in most cases, the wheels are already removed from the vehicle as part of the diagnosis. You should not be charged the full labor time to replace the brakes because some of the labor has already been done. The labor time most local technicians will charge for a brake job has removing the wheels and inspecting the brakes already built in. While most dealerships double dip by charging you diagnostics and full labor on the brake job.

More often than not, dealerships charge more per service hour. The industry standard is 88.00, that’s pretty reasonable, espically if someone is getting dirty and taking apart your car to fix the problem. But dealerships? They can charge you anywhere from 90 to 125 per hour! That’s freaking crazy! Why so much? Obviously they need to pair their technicians accordingly, and to save themselves, high end dealerships charge a higher labor rate just because they can. I mean, you’re essentially paying for the name.

Myth #3: Manual transmissions offer better fuel economy than automatics.

myth

Me too, me too…

This used to be the case, when automatic transmissions were relatively new.

But recent advances in the technology (like the continuously variable transmission, which offers an infinite range of gear ratios) eliminates the advantage of manuals, and in some cases puts automatics ahead. That being said, you can find a car with great gas mileage that’s a manual…it just sorta depends on you as well.

Drivers play a big part in whether your car gets good gas mileage or not. If your a break presser or even a lead foot- you could be contributing to higher fuel economy. Shame on you!!

Myth #4: If regular-grade fuel is good, premium must be better.

This is an expensive mistake. Most vehicles run fine on regular-grade fuel (87 octane). Filling these cars with premium won’t cause damage, but it won’t improve performance, either. Higher-octane fuels are less likely to create pre-ignition problems, so they’re usually used in hotter-running, high-compression engines.

myth

what side is it on?!?!?!

So if you’re driving a little Honda with a 4 cylinder engine…it’s fine to use either grade fuel, but you’ll be just fine paying for the regular. So will your pockets!

Myth #5: Warm up your car for several minutes before driving.

We’ve all been told that warming up your car before you drive is better for your engine and gets the car ready to drive…uh, I’m sorry, I wasn’t aware that a car needed to be ‘ready to drive’. My car isn’t a diva, and I’m going to assume your’s isn’t either.

myth

well, I take that back Mrs. Diva car…

That’s Outdated advice. Driving the car is the fastest way to warm up a modern engine, and the sooner it warms up, the sooner it delivers the best mileage and performance. And don’t rev the engine during the first few miles…that’s just annoying everyone in and out of your neighborhood.

Myth #6: Having Work Performed at an Independent Shop will Void the New Car Warranty

Having an independent shop perform work on your vehicle will not void the warranty. It’s actually illegal for a car manufacturer to deny a warranty claim on the grounds that work was performed at an independent shop. Now obviously the shop has to be registered with the state, and work was performed to a professional standard. In some cases, work you’ve done yourself can be used in a warranty claim, like an oil change, if you’ve kept receipts for the oil and filter, with the date and vehicle mileage.

myth

Let Air Mobile work on your baby. We’ll take care of her.

But don’t let this silly myth deter you from going to your local shop. Most often than not, we’re cheaper than the dealership and corporate repair shops…and we’re nicer too.

So there you have it Myth Busters! I hope this article sheds some light on your ever demanding needs as car people and Mobilians- btw, that’s what I’m going to call you from now on. Get used to it.

The Car Girl 🙂

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share

The Most Dangerous Time To Drive

Did you know that August is the most dangerous time on our roads? So that got me thinking (and researching) on the most dangerous days and seasons to drive. If you’re reading this, obviously you made it through the treacherous month of August- Congrats! 

The Most Dangerous Time to Drive

Driving is dangerous. Period. So don’t contribute to the growing number of fatal crashes by being a dummy. Drive Smart. Drive safe!

Auto accidents kill more than 40,000 people in the U.S. each year; they are the No. 1 cause of death for people between the ages of 1 and 34, and account for more than 75% of all Emergency services in the ER and police! Crazy right? Well, driving is one of the most dangerous things a person does on a daily basis.

So it’s so surprise that the time of day you drive, simple distractions or even unsafe behavior contribute to higher accident rates…but why does the time of month matter? The simple answer is that getting behind the wheel of a car is the riskiest thing people do every day, however since fatal car crashes happen in “ones and twos” scattered across the country, the general public doesn’t realize that it equates to about 110 people per day, nationwide! Now that’s a dangerous statistic!

So it’s up to us, to look at how and when fatal accidents occur and try our best to stay off the roads at the most dangerous times, as well as make sure we’re focused solely on the road regardless of if we’re driving in dangerous conditions or not. A good example of how distracted some drivers get is the new Ford Commercial. I’m sure you’ve all seen it. They make people sit in a room and watch the screen, creating severe distractions, and keep their eyes on the screen. Well, obviously it’s much harder than it seems!

Behind the Startling Numbers

To compile my list of the most dangerous times to drive, I consulted with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, as well as AAA’s Foundation for traffic Safety. You can find out more information by clicking on the links -at the bottom of this article, and researching on your own…however, what I found is pretty surprising:

Time of day plays an important role in evaluating fatal car crashes, in no small part because other dangerous factors are actually compounded at night. Did you know that the instances of drunk driving, speeding, and driving without a seat belt are all significantly increased during the night-time hours and each one contributes directly to increased fatality rates?

dangerous driving

In 2012, more than 10,000 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes – that’s one every 51 minutes!

Speeding is a factor in about 30% of all fatal crashes according to the NHTSA website. Eighteen percent of fatal car crashes during the day are alcohol-related, while a whopping 54% of crashes at night are directly related to alcohol.

A concerning number, 49% nationwide, of fatal crashes happen at night with a fatality rate per mile of travel about three times as high as daytime hours. Of people killed at night, roughly two-thirds aren’t wearing seat belts! However, during the day, the percentage of unrestrained fatalities tends to be about half of that percentage (about 24.5%). Could this be caused by general carelessness? Or do people not understand that wearing a seat belt can actually save your life? Either way, those statistics are not only concerning, but severely unknown by drivers on the road.

dangerous morning driving

Driving in the early morning is dangerous! Keep your eyes on the road, stay in control, and most certainly wear your dang seat belts!

In 2007, the fewest deaths by crash happened early in the morning between 4 a.m and 5 a.m. Those hours see significantly less traffic – only about 9% of the average amount during peak hours. Mid-week days like Tuesdays and Wednesdays also see the lowest number of fatalities, both days averaging fewer drivers and 96 and 100 deaths per day. Those are still startling numbers however, why aren’t these statistics known to drivers on a daily basis?

Weekends- when the greatest number of people are driving- predictably see the highest numbers of crash victims, with a combined average of 143 deaths for Saturdays and Sundays. This statistic comes from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Again, you can see all of this information for yourself, respectably, on their websites. (I’ll attach links at the end of this blog for you all to see!)

Simple Steps to Driving Safety

Driving experts say it’s the simple things that can lead to enhanced driving safety: wearing a seat belt, driving the right speed for the road conditions, and paying attention to the road. In fact, most of these very things are neglected by drivers involved in accidents.

Ninety-five percent of crashes are caused by human error, says Rae Tyson, a spokesman for the NHTSA, but 75% of drivers say they’re more care than most drivers. Ironic right? “I think that people in some instances have a false sense of their own abilities and therefore, their abilities to multitask,” Tyson says. “Since most of those crashes are a result of human error, somebody’s got to be making most of the mistakes.”

dangerous texting and driving

Seriously. Is ‘LOL’ or ‘Hi’ really that important? I’m sure whoever it is can wait!

According to AAA, 82% of drivers say distracted driving is a serious problem, but more than half say they talk on a phone while driving and only 14% admit to reading or sending texts while driving. Don’t people realize that it’s simple to pull over, read or send the text message, and then continue driving? That could drastically lower the amount of crashes from distracted cellphone drivers!

While only 75% of drivers report that speeding is a serious problem, but 20% say they have driven 15 miles over the speed limit on the highway, and 14% say they occasionally do the same on a neighborhood street. This is concerning! Why are people speeding? Is it that they’re running late to work or some other obligations? My mom always instilled in me that no reason, absolutely none, is worth speeding and dying in a crash. It’s a simple of sending a text (not while you’re driving) to whoever or wherever you need to be, that you’re running late…rather than kill someone or consequently getting into an accident and not showing up at all!

Weather Woes

Winter is a great time, full of families getting together, fun building snowmen, and who can forget about Christmas and New Years? But driving too fast for the weather conditions plays a major role in fatal car crashes each year, espically during the winter months.

dangerous winter driving.

Don’t let dangerous weather conditions whether it be snow, wind, rain, or a hurricane hinder your driving abilities! Drive safe- arrive safe!

The NHTSA‘s Tyson says that speed is the single greatest contributing factor to serious car crashes- not so much the violation of a posted speed limit, but rather when drivers ignore weather or traffic conditions that require a reduced speed.
“It’s a significant factor,” Tyson says. “If you’re on a icy, slippery road and it’s posted speed limit of 55, if you’re going 40, you may be going too fast!”

Snowfall obviously makes for dangerous road conditions. But fatalities actually drop across the nation during days with high amounts of snow, probably because more people stay at home and partly because they tend to drive slower under inclement weather. The only exception? The first day after a major snowstorm-it takes about a day or two for drivers to regain their sense of driving in the snow.

Researchers have evaluated 1.4 million fatal car crashes are attributed to weather conditions from 1975 to 2000. They also found that fatal car crashes were 14% more likely to happen on the first snowy day of the season compared to subsequent snow falls throughout the season. Why is that? Well, out here in Boise, Idaho, we don’t normally get a ton of snow fall. So the first snowfall is a pretty big deal…and therefore, our Idahoan drivers aren’t prepared (mentally) for driving in the snow, espically on that first snowfall. I joke that even the emergency vehicles won’t go on the roads, but the fact of the matter is, that it’s even difficult for them to drive.

More Often Than Not, It’s the Driver, Not the Car.

My findings reinforce the idea that the most car crashes don’t involve mechanical failures on the part of the car. Even though there are always technological improvements or preventative safety features and signs on the roads, a lot of it comes down to human error…and it’s hard to change that, but to the extent that we can, that would probably avoid most car crashes.

It’s good advice to keep in mind. While you might not be able to limit all this coming winter’s driving to Tuesdays at 5 a.m., you can do what the statistics recommend: Wear your seat belt, focus on the road- not your phones or screaming kids, and above all, stay in control!

dangerous no seat belt

Click it or Ticket? Which will you choose….

I’ve given you all a lot to think about. So here’s to staying safe and driving more safely on the roads, regardless of seasons, days, or even the time of day. Stay safe and get home to your families and friends in one piece!

Links for more information:

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – Check out their Driving Safety tab at the top! There is a multitude of great information from Aggressive Driving to Disable drivers, and even Older Drivers which can reinforce all the information herein.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety– A great read is their Alcohol-impaired driving topic. Make sure to read through, all of their information is as current as 2015, however, most of their studies with the best results are from 2012-2014 when most of the information is available. This website also has a ton of great topics for you to read through to continue to be safe on and off the roads!

AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety – click on the research link at the top and you can find a mulitude of studies that are completed and ongoing/current projects. A Really great find is the “Distracted Driving” Which coincides with this article amazingly.

– The Car Girl.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share

Ahh!! Zombie Cars That Refuse to Die

Do you have a Zombie Car?

In today’s economy, there’s nothing better than a car that outlives your expectations. Weather it’s life expectancy, easily repaired, or even a junker that keeps on rollin’, these are some of the cars that absolutely refuse to die.

The 6 Cars That Refuse to Die

It’s a never ending battle of making your cars better and also trying to be better yourself. -Jeff Gordon.

Today, most of the cars on the road are used. In fact, a recent study showed that most people can not afford to purchase new cars. So what does that mean to you? Well, if you car is used, you’re going to need things replaced, fixed, or even bodily repairs. This can rack up a bill that could almost buy you a whole new car. Surprising right? Well, obviously you wouldn’t be forking over the money in one lump sum, but still, it’s easier on your budget to repair a car. 

My mom always said, “You’re going to always be paying for a car, either you have a loan on a new one…or your paying for costly repairs.” That had me thinking one day. What if I got a used car that was both cheap and easy to repair. Wouldn’t I get the best of both worlds? Of Course! So that’s what brought me to this list of the 6 cars that just refuse to die. They’re also easy fixers, but if you’re like my step-dad, and refuse to get your cars looked at (or think you can repair them yourselves…and clearly you’re having issues) this list is for you!

1. The first car comes to us from Airplanes! Well, not exactly. The Subaru Motor Company started out as an Aircraft Research Laboratory in 1915, right around the start of the first world war! The company then evolved into an offical aircraft company in 1932 and became the countries major aircraft manufacturer during the second world war. So it’s really no surprise that this company makes cars that last…and last…and last. In fact- 8 out of 10 Subaru cars on the road today are older models! That makes them a car that refuses to die.

I bet this car has seen many camping trips!

We’re only going to be talking about the Subaru wagons, however. From the early 1990’s to today, these cars are some of the longest running that you can buy. While they’re not particularly easy to fix (considering most of the technology now a days is confusing for even me!) they will last if you can find a reputable mechanic that you trust with your baby. I mean come on, with a parent company like Fuji Heavy Industries, it’s really a no-brainier that these babies are like tankers. They’re mostly all-wheel drive, which means that they’re a formidable opponent against nasty weather! Which, in turn means you won’t die in the frigid cold and can outlast a nuclear explosion in a Subaru…okay, maybe not.

2. The second car on my list that refuses to die is the Honda Accord. Obviously. If you even remotely thought that this car wasn’t going to be on this list, well…then you clearly aren’t a car guy-girl?! You know those unassuming tan, black, or white vehicles that are piratically everywhere on the road? Yeah, it’s probably a Honda Accord. Heck! Maybe you’re even in one right now (and clearly if you are in a car, you better not be driving!)

We’ve all seen these cars…and clearly they’d be good if you were a trouble-maker, because as unassuming as they are, they’re easy to blend in!

What began in 1976 as a reliable, and affordable alternative to the aforementioned Subaru, the Honda Accord has been the top selling car in the United States since 1989! Plus, numerous road tests list the Accord as one of the most reliable vehicles out there! If that’s not saying something, then…I dunno what will convince you. Have you even tried to kill off a Honda? No, well that’s because no matter what you do…they just don’t die!

The Honda Motor Company puts all of it’s eggs into the engines and engineering! That means you get one heck of a reliable engine that’s sure to never fail you, and even if it does, it’s pretty easy to fix. In recent years many Honda Accord owners were polled on the number of times they had to make engine repairs vs a domestic alternative (a Dodge or Ford) and the answers may surprise you- only 18% said they needed costly repairs on their engines, where as Ford and Dodge owners of a similar vehicle was at a high of 26%! That might not seem like a big deal, but it is! Engine repairs are some of the most costly and time consuming -which means you will pay the big bucks to keep your car on the road! That being said, it’s no wonder the Honda Accord is on my list of cars that refuse to die!

3.  The next car on my list is the Jeep Cherokee. While the first two cars were imports, this is an American made machine! This car was actually a mistake. Well, maybe. Jeep wanted to compete with the trucks on the road, and instead came up with this- the small SUV that packs one major punch! Most of the Cherokees house a straight- 6 engine and now even offer a turbo-diesel option, both of which just won’t die on you! With American muscle and engineering…it’s like a zombie that’s been on the road for years…and years…and years!

Look at this guy. Reliable, easy to handle, and super fun on road trips! It’s like the perfect boyfriend…well, maybe better because he doesn’t talk back 😉

This is a great vehicle for someone who needs the exterior and engine toughness of a truck- but refuses to drive a hunk of metal the size of a small boat around in the wild! With so many on the road, they’re easy to fix and find parts, and are relatively cheap when it comes to those fixes. Why? well, the’re not having to disconnect a crap ton of odd wires and tear out the dashboard to fix a light bulb, nor do they have to sit and tear out useless things in the engine block to reach the most needed of fixes!

4. Number four on the list of cars that refuse to die is the Toyota Corolla. These babies just keep on rolling. In fact, it first hit the market in 1966 and by 1974, was the best selling car world wide! It continues to be a clunker that keeps clunking, even to this day! With so many Corollas on the road, it’s absolutely no surprise that they’re easy to fix…the next time you’re at the junkyard, take a look around…i’m sure they’re in there some where!

Ah, the Corolla. Another good companion car for anyone who isn’t car tech savvy! Easy to repair and as long as you take care of it…it will continue to drive the road until we’re long gone!

With some restrictions on imported cars, Toyota did the smart thing and merged itself with GM, creating the perfect marriage of foreign engineering and American made parts. Which is also a reason why they’re a car that refuses to die….you literally could run a Corolla into the ground and it will still probably a turn over for you. Like the loyal dog, Toyota has created a unique car that lasts and is easily fixed! If you’re looking for a decent used car, check for a Corolla. Mine has 276,458 miles on it. I know! Your jaws just dropped, but please, pick them up…you’re not a fly catcher! I was told that I could rack up the miles on my Snow, and as long as I’ve got regular check ups, and keep all the parts in working order…that my own children could have the car. (which is a good thing, because my kids won’t get a new car until they can afford to buy it!)

5. Volvo is a car company known for it’s longevity. I mean, it started out as a company that manufactured buses, trucks, and construction equipment…and if that doesn’t express a long life, I’m not sure you’re even really reading this article! However, the original Volvo company sold off it’s car manufacturer in 1999, so while they’re making cars, they still use the original premise of the company: to build cars that can last on the harsh Swedish road conditions and tough winters.

A typical 90’s car. Boxy, brilliant, and noisy. Ah, the 90’s!

This car is like a freakin’ zombie that just keeps getting it’s limbs cut off and still refuses to die. With interchangeable parts amongst most of their models, it’s a car company you are sure to rely on! While this car company is reliable, it’s pretty expensive! Now a days, a standard Volvo starts at about 33,000 if you build them from scratch, or about 25,000 if you were to buy the same Volvo off the lot. But, there is good news! With such a tough car company, you can expect to rack up the miles just the Toyota and still get what you pay for out if it!

6. The Last car on my list of cars that refuse to die is the Volkswagen Jetta. I had one that I bought in early of 2011, that lasted me until about two months ago. Now, you might be thinking that’s not such a good deal…let me tell you my story:

I bought my Jetta for 1,000. It had an original 115,489 miles on the engine, and the body actually had more! The engine was replaced after it was in an accident five years prior to my purchase, and had two owners in it’s lifetime (three if you include me!). Most of the miles were highway, meaning the original owner drove to and from…pretty much everywhere! The body of the car was like a tank. Seriously! Metal and eroding in some places due to the snow and salt we in Idaho put on the roads, but that was okay! All I needed was a small machine gun attached to the roof and I could pop out the sunroof and head off into battle. That’s how safe I felt in this car. 

Back to the present day, and I wish I still had this car. While it wasn’t particularly easy to fix, being a 90’s car, it had some problems- espically the computer system. Yeah, we never quite figured that one out, but it was still a great car! The Jetta’s parts aren’t interchangeable like the Volvo’s are, and surely not as common as the Toyota Corolla or Honda Accord, but I felt like I ran the car until it died. And one day, it did. Sadly.


 

So there you have it folks. My list of Zombie Cars. Well, clearly they’re not going to try and eat your brains out- but they surely won’t die easily. I hope you enjoyed the article, and remember: The next time you’re out looking for a new car…Ask yourself- Do I want to pay for this in the form of a loan…or do I want to get a used car that will refuse to die, and last as long as I give it life? The answer should be an easy one!

Until next time,

The Car Girl.

Like us on Facebook and be sure to sign up with our email list for promotions and other cool car information!

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share

Summer Driving Tips for You and Your Car

So since summer is already here and blaring it’s heat, I think it’s the perfect time to give you all some summer driving tips! These tips are really handy to keep your car running in tip-top shape through the heat of summer and into the fall.

  1. First, make sure that the radiator core is in good shape. In areas of the country where roads are salted, the core of the radiator can literally rot away. Even though the radiator may not be leaking now, it will be leaking soon. That means bad overheating for your radiator! And when your engine isn‘t cooled properly, it can easily blow a head gasket, or crack or twist/distort a tube head. In technical language (used by experts-not me), your engine is going tomelt.” And no, the melting has nothing to do with the summer heat, just the opposite actually. The radiator core melts because of the salted roads and the leaking I talked about earlier.What is the radiator core, and how would you know if it‘s rotten? The core is the little tubes through which the coolant flows so that it can get cooled by the air flowing past it.But, it takes some experience to recognize a radiator that‘s rotten, so we recommend that you ask your mechanic to check it out. He‘ll look at it and touch it to see how hard it is to get it to crumble. Unfortunately this is a destructive test if it‘s rotten it will fall apart. But better it happens in the shop than on the highway, right?
  2. While driving for summer road trips and fun adventures, please make sure that you have the correct tire pressure in all five tires. (In case you never noticed, there’s a tire in the trunk.) There’s plenty of debate about what constitutes “correct” tire pressure, but we suggest going by what your vehicle manufacturer recommends, which should be listed on the side of the driver’s door, on the glove compartment door, or in the owner’s manual. Don’t confuse the “maximum tire pressure” listed on the sidewall of the tire with the “recommended tire pressure” provided by the manufacturer of the vehicle. While it’s okay to inflate your tires to the “maximum tire pressure” number, “Recommended tire pressure” is the ideal pressure you want in your tires. If you’re carrying an extra heavy load, follow the recommendation for “heavy loads,” which is usually listed in the manual that came with your mother-in-law. (Or your car’s owner manual.)Ready for some more high-school physics? Remember that tire pressure will increase as the outside air temperature rises. In fact, tire pressure will go up approximately one pound for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit. So, tires that were at 35 PSI back in January when you drove to the slopes could easily be closing in on 45 pounds on a hot July day at the beach. Under some conditions that increase in pressure is enough to blow the tire! If nothing else, a tire that’s overinflated will wear prematurely and will cause the car to handle and brake poorly. Don’t count on your electronic tire pressure monitoring system to alert you to an overinflated tire, either — the warning light will only get illuminated when a tire’s air pressure is too low, not too high.By the way, while you’re out there checking the air in those tires, toss that stupid pencil-style pressure gauge in the dumpster where it belongs and get an accurate, dial-type gauge.

    You also have to remember friction. As you drive, there’s friction between the tires and the road. Friction means heat — and heat means an increase in tire pressure. So, here’s what to do about your car’s tire pressure: Check the tire pressure before you start driving. If the recommended pressure is 35 PSI, for example, it means 35 PSI before you start driving. If you check the tire pressure when you stop to get gas two hours later, it will be much higher than 35 PSI. If you check it at this point—after you’ve been driving–there is no way to know what the correct tire pressure should be. You’ll be tempted to let air out of the tires, because the tire pressure will be greater than 35 PSI. Do not do this, because the tires will be under inflated.

  3. Make sure you stay on top of  all your oil changes. This is particularly important in the summer, since a hot engine needs all the lubrication it can get, and at high temperatures your engine’s oil is really getting put through the wringer. Our current recommendation is to change your oil every 5,000 miles — though that number may decrease dramatically if you’re like me and taking summer trips every few days!A word about hauling big loads in the summer: Most car manufacturers will recommend 5W30 oil year-round. However, your owner’s manual may have a recommendation for what’s called “severe duty,” such as pulling a trailer. In this case, you might want to switch over to a higher viscosity oil. Why? Well, under hot operating conditions, a thicker oil will thin out less quickly, making sure your engine stays well lubricated when it needs it most. If you do operate your vehicle under “severe duty” conditions, you should also consider changing the oil more frequently, because you’re working it that much harder. 
  4. Ah, Summer road trips….with or without AC, they still put us through hell. Let’s face it: when it’s 95 degrees and humid outside, and you’ve been stuck in the car for six hours with three rowdy kids, one slobbering canine and a grouchy in-law, having working AC might just be the only thing that keeps you from diving out the window and running headlong into the grille of an oncoming Mac truck.There’s nothing to really maintain, per se, on your air conditioning system, but there are a few important things that are worth checking. Here’s why it matters: Failing AC can affect more than just the cool breeze blowing in your face. On most modern cars, the serpentine belt that helps power the air conditioner also provides power to other things, too—including the water pump that keeps your engine from overheating, for example. If your AC fails, your summer safari could come to a screeching halt faster than you can say, “Pass the Right Guard!”First, check to see that you’re getting some cold air coming out of the vents when you turn on your AC. Next, consider asking your mechanic to check to make sure that the AC system is fully charged with refrigerant. Finally, ask your mechanic to check for a noisy compressor, and to listen for the telltale sounds of a noisy or worn AC clutch.

Okay folks, that’s really it for the tips…however here is a list that you can bring to your mechanic:

Make sure your mechanic knows of your concerns for your car that way they can better address them in the long run. Also, by sticking to this list, it is alot easier for your mechanic to understand your car and see what’s wrong with it before it breaks down.

  1.   Check out the entire cooling system: radiator, coolant, belts and hoses, cooling fans, heater core and water pump.
  2.   Tires: check tread depth, uneven wear and tire pressure, and get a real spare.
  3.   The front end: check ball joints, tie rod ends and steering components.
  4.   Check the suspension, including struts and shocks both front and rear.
  5.   Change the oil. Look for leaks.
  6.   Check the air conditioning system: refrigerant level, compressor clutch and belts.
  7.   Check the tranny. Are you close to the recommended service interval? Is the fluid nice and clean? Any leaks?
  8.   Check the brakes! We know you’re eager to get to your destination. But you want to stop when you get there, right?

Alright, have a SAFE rest of the summer folks! And be sure to check out our blog updates! They will be less few and far between. I promise

-The Car Girl.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share

Classic Car AC Systems

Florida is Hot and Many Classic Car AC Systems just don’t have the power  to keep the car cool!

classic car ac systems

We are the only Automobile Air Conditioning company in Melbourne who can:

  • Fix Classic Car AC Systems
  • Repair Classic Car AC Systems
  • Custom Build Classic Car AC Systems

Johnny, our seasoned Tech has been specializing in Auto AC systems for a little over over twenty years and he is a MASTER in all automobile AC Systems.

  • If he can’t fix it, it can’t be fixed!
  • If he can’t install it, it cant be installed!

Johnny is a Master and he loves what he does.

With his multi-faceted knowledge of Automobile AC Systems, give us a call and let him assist you with virtually all your classic automotive air conditioning needs.Classic Car AC Systems

We also “Make” custom AC hoses on site!

This is what makes Air Mobile so dang special.

Give us a call …..

 

Click Here to Receive Special Discounts and Promotions

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share

Here’s your chance to Ask The Car Girl!

Listen up Brevard: This is your Chance to Ask Me Anything!

Do you have a question about your car that you need answered? Well go ahead, 

ask me

Ask me anything you’d like about your car!

Or do you just want to know something about your car that you’ve never known the answer to?

Well here’s your chance…

So ask me an question you’ve got about your car. If you’ve got a car question…I’m you’re girl! Be sure to email your questions to our email. Click here and it’ll bring you to our Contact Us page and let’s get this started! I’ll be sure to answer it in a timely manner! This is your chance to learn anything you’ve ever wanted to know about your car.

Here’s some additional information for you

1. Be sure to include your Name, and the area in which you live (if you’re in Brevard county of Florida, I’ll be sending you some discounts and coupons!) If you don’t live in Brevard, I’ll send you a personal thank you note!

2. Ask your question in as much or as little detail as you’d like. Ask me anything from how to keep your car running to how to properly wash the inside of your car seats. Just Ask me! I’m here to answer any of your questions! However, be sure to get a lengthy response anyway!

3. Title your email: Dear Car Girl,

4. Also, if you’d like a response from Johnny, our technician, let me know. I can totally set it up. If you do live in Florida, I could possibly set you up with a free diagnosis, and some good laughs from Johnny and Troy down at Air Mobile. If you don’t live in Florida, but would still like a response from Johnny, I can do that too. I’ll have him make you a personalized video, answering your question to the best of his knowledge (although, I cannot say you’ll be able to understand him- I still have a hard time!!)

– K, The Car Girl.

 

p.s. This is gonna be so much fun, so run with it! And remember, to ask me anything you’d like to know about your car or how to take care of it!

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share

Why Is Your Car Yelling at You?

Is Your Car Yelling At You like A Two Year Old?

car

Ugh. Tiny humans….they cry, they scream, and they make the weirdest noises. They’re sort of like cars, although you don’t really pick up after your car. Or do you?

If your car is screaming, whining, or making other weird noises, it might mean that something’s wrong with it. Whether it’s a warning indicator of a storm that’s about to happen to your brakes, or your car is at it’s final stages of a tantrum and about to break down, these handy sounds mean something. So get ready to check it out Brevard, we’re about to list some of the possible sounds your car might make and what is causing those whines and screams!

This is Snow! We've recently purchased her, and along with our green bean Jetta, we're a cute family :)

This is Snow! We’ve recently purchased her, and along with our green bean Jetta, we’re a cute family 🙂

So personal problem: Yesterday I started my car for the first time that morning…and after a few feet from my driveway- my car let out this loud squeal. It sounded like I’d run over a poor squirrel, so I stopped, looked under all the wheels…only to find nothing. What?! My car was just yelling at me as though I’d done something wrong. It seems like my car is out to haunt me. Literally. I’d been driving this car for a little over a year now- so what gives?

This got me to thinking…how many people driving have their car yelling at them? Probably a lot, especially since these days most of the cars on the road are used, hand-me-downs, or barely new.

It’s inevitable, at one point or another your car is going to make funny sounds. The good news? It’s pretty easy to describe the sound to your technician…and if they’re anything like Johnny at Air Mobile, they will be able to diagnose the problem in no time!

Today I’m going to describe the different types of noises your car could be making and the types of problems associated with the sounds. So let’s begin, shall we?

 

1. The Brake Squeal.

bad brakes

Are your brakes squealing at you? Well, this might mean that you need new brakes 🙂 This picture shows you what a bad brake pad looks like.

It’s happened to us all at some point. Imagine your driving down the road with a couple of friends (or your boyfriend – like I was- Yikes!!) and you go to make a stop. As a good driver, you know you need to start braking at least 300 feet from the stop sign or light…but as you push on the brake- it sounds like the most awful sound coming from your wheels. Did you just run over the neighborhood cat? Nope. It’s just your brakes!

<—–You see those four holes? Well, they’d usually have a little warning indicator attached to them, that’s the sound you hear as you brake. It only gets worse, and much louder (also embarrassingly loud) as your brakes wear away.

This is the most common sound your brakes will  make when they need to be replaced or worked on. While it is soo embarrassing- it’s a pretty easy fix, and whether you know how to do it yourself, or need to get to your technician as soon as possible, they will be able to hear right away…espically if you’re squealing the whole way into the parking lot. (insert red cheeks and anxious smile here).

 

2. The irritable grinding noise.

So you turn your car on, it’s pretty hot so you immediately turn the A/C on…and all of a sudden it sounds like there are tons of gears that are grinding against each other like an angry metal music mob. What gives? Did some poor little creature climb up into your A/C system and get caught between all of the different mechanical stuff in there? Probably not- but it has happened to me. (if you mention this story to Troy at Air Mobile on your next visit, you both will have a good laugh and she might even give some sympathy to you and give you an awesome deal on your next A/C repair!)

fan motor

This is your car fan motor. (maybe- each car varies but just imagine it’s yours) Sometimes when the fan motor is going out, you’ll hear this annoying grinding noise.

Unlike the brake squeal, this grinding noise may have you stumped. What could it be? Most often, if this happens when your A/C or heat is on, it could be the fan associated with your heating and cooling system. However, if it’s not happening when you turn your A/C off…well, then that might be something your technician can diagnose for you.

 

 3. A whining noise while you drive.

So this comes from my own personal horror story. As I said above, I started to drive away and all of a sudden it sounded like my poor car was throwing a tantrum at me! We all know toddlers go through stages, well so do cars! And my poor Snow (my white Toyota Corolla) was definitely throwing a tantrum…but only when I was driving her. This noise didn’t happen when I was braking, nor did it happen at high speeds…so what is it?

bad ball joint

Look! A perfect picture to show you exactly what I was saying! You see that little white cloud in the upper left corner? Well, that’s what our car needed to have replaced…and trust me, it definitely screamed at me the entire time I would drive.

 

Well, thanks to Johnny at Air Mobile, I was made aware that I needed a new ball joint. Cool. At least it was a pretty easy fix, and now Snow is driving like a good girl again! I’m so thrilled! Seriously, if your car is beginning to throw a tantrum- making a horrible whining noise as you drive- it’s probably your ball joints. You can most certainly tell it’s a ball joint if it sounds like it’s only coming from the wheels!

The picture to the right shows you a couple of things that could be contributing to the whining noise. When your ball joint becomes worn down and rusty like the one in the picture, it begins to rug against anything next to it…hence the awful whining your car does like a little two year old.

4. Awful squeaking as you drive over bumps in the road.

Shocking news~ If you’re hearing a noise as you drive over any bumps in the road This is pretty easy to describe. It’s only as you drive over those pesky bumps in the road…or the horror of driving over those speed humps (I still shudder sometimes!). The good news is that it’s most likely your shocks. Yes, cars have shocks- and they usually don’t need replacing often, but when they do, they’ll let you know!

good shocks

Shocking news! If you dread going over bumps in the road, and hear this really annoying squeaking noise- it might be your struts…or shocks! Ha!

Normally when you get your shocks replaced, they will realign your axles too. This is a very good thing (and if your technician doesn’t do that- SHAME ON THEM!) That way your brand new shocks and alignment will continue to produce a smooth sailing car.

I should also note that this squeaking you’re hearing will come from all over the car. Plus, it’s pretty hard to not laugh at your face as your cringing painfully to avoid this noise. HA! too good actually.

 

 

5. The window grinding.

Ugh. The worst possible noise I can think of (other than the brake squealing and squeaking!). Imagine it’s so dang hot that all you want to do is roll your windows down and get some fresh air…but your windows have other ideas. As you roll them down, they are constantly complain with each motion. Cry babies, I swear. Windows are so finicky…

Meet your window motor (unless your arm is the motor, then pat yourself on the back). When this thing takes it’s final turn, you’ll either be too hot, baking in a car that won’t allow you freedom unless you open the door…or it’ll make you cold. Very cold.

window motor

This is the inside of your door. And unless your manually rolling your windows up, then this baby will be a live saver, so get it fixed asap…otherwise your window would grind up and down like the worst exotic dancer.

Whether you have all electrical, or you’re still using your good ole arm to roll down your windows- we all hate that sound as it goes up or down…espically if it starts to really yell at you. This is a pretty easy diagnosis! If you aren’t using your hand to crank the window up and down, it’s undoubtedly your window motor grinding and not working to it’s fullest potential. If you are using your hand to crank the window, it’s probably just off it’s track, which could lead to other problems…like your window completely falling off it’s track.

Trust me, my last car didn’t have air conditioning, and while that was like heaven on earth during the winter months…come summer I was boiling in my car! All I wanted to do was roll the windows down, but once they fell off their tracks, it was like a constant battle to keep them up! So take it from me- if your windows are grinding, get it checked out asap!


 

happy car

This could be you. Happy as can be with your car acting like it’s supposed too!

 

So there you have it folks. Some noises your car could be making and what they possibly mean for your technician to fix. While all these noises are super annoying- some even ridiculously embarrassing, it’s always good to take your car in for a regular check up, that way these pesky noises won’t just pop up and take you by surprise 🙂

 

 

 

Well, here’s to another week! I’m sorry I haven’t been posting much, but I promise to be a better blogger. 🙂 – K, the Car girl.

instagram

That’s me! The Car Girl.

 

 

 

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share