The Mechanic Doctor is a group of real-life mechanics who like to make instructional videos on all things car related. They just launched a brand new website where you can find all sorts of resources for car mechanics including video tutorials, automotive industry news, tips and tricks and anything car-related.
The road that leads to perfection can sometimes be fraught with pitfalls. Every new Ford Mustang model release is subject to its lot of critics and controversies. Some people love it while others simply think it’s nothing but blasphemy.
But this year’s GT350 seems to reach consensus amongst pony car fans. Indeed, the 5.2-liter, flat-plane crank V8, with its 526 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque, seems to please everyone.
For 2019, the Shelby GT350 receives some modifications to increase its performance both on the track and outside: aerodynamics, acceleration, braking and support force have all been improved.
But, until now, we were still waiting to see it in action before making up our mind and decide whether the new Mustang was a success or another failure like so many of its predecessor.
Anyway, here’s a pretty neat review of the long-awaited 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 by Justin Dugan from AmericanMuscle who had the privilege of testing the beast on the M1 Concourse racetrack.
If like me, you were left half-hearted and somewhat deceived by Ford’s recent attempts to bring back the Mustang of better days, I think you might be pleasantly surprised by this one!
Give this video a watch and let me know what you think of the new and improved race-driven Mustang afterward.
Official 2019 Shelby GT350 Track Review | What's New For The 2019 GT350 Mustang? - Hot Lap - YouTube
If you’re thinking about buying a car or are already in the process of shopping for one, you’ve likely encountered a variety of options already. SUV, sedan, truck. Hybrid vs. electric. Luxury or basic. But there’s one more question that should be at the top of your list while shopping for a vehicle—new or used?
Depending on your needs, wants, and budget, there are plenty of advantages and disadvantages to buying a new car (and we’re not just talking about the new car smell). If you’re in the market for a new (or used) vehicle, make sure to consider both options before making your purchase. To help you make a more informed buying decision, we’re discussing the advantages and disadvantages of buying a new car straight from the dealership’s inventory.
Advantages of buying a new car
are a few of the advantages you might expect when you opt to purchase
a new vehicle.
Many car dealerships will offer a warranty special when you buy a new vehicle with them. This could help cover repairs in the first few months of ownership and protect you in the event of an accident. But keep in mind, there are plenty of other options to warranty your vehicle, even if you buy used or from a private seller.
On the other hand, buying a new vehicle from a local dealer can also mean you get access to convenient and specialized service. If you buy from a certified Audi inventory near Seattle, for example, you will likely be able to get your car serviced at other Audi dealers or partners in the greater Washington State area. This kind of coverage can give you peace of mind if you’re out of town and you need to get a quick and reliable repair.
you buy a new vehicle, odds are you won’t encounter many (if any)
mechanical issues in the first year or two of ownership.
dealerships will offer financing specials on new cars if you buy
directly from them. This could potentially help you save on interest
rates and other auto loan fees—just be sure to do some comparison
shopping to find the best auto loan option for you.
One of the greatest advantages of buying a new car is the ability to experience all of the latest safety and entertainment technologies the auto industry has to offer. If you’re a self proclaimed techie or auto fanatic, this may be an indispensable positive to support your cause—but the reality is, you can still access these features when you buy a used vehicle. From luxury-grade audio outfits to customizable LCD displays, you can add on most vehicle technologies and electronics after purchasing. Keep this option in mind as you shop and compare new and used models.
Disadvantages of buying a new car
that we’ve discussed the advantages of buying a new vehicle, let’s
balance out our perspective and take a look at some of the
disadvantages as well.
This one is kind of a no-brainer. New cars are simply more expensive than used ones. They’re new, shiny, relevant, and coated in that irresistible new car smell. If you’re shopping on a budget and want to save a few bucks, a used car may be the better choice for you.
moment you drive a new car off of the lot, it drops in
value—sometimes as much as 20%. For many buyers, this depreciation
rate translates to lost dollars for not much more in return.
new models can change
When a brand new vehicle debuts, it is in somewhat of a testing phase. Yes, it’s been safety inspected and test driven by experts, but oftentimes new vehicles can be updated or changed within their first few years on the market. This could make your new car outdated in a matter of months if you choose to buy the latest model.
premiums for new models
shopping for a vehicle, you’ll want to also consider how you will
be insuring your vehicle. Many new vehicles will have higher premiums
which could end up derailing your budget. The takeaway: keep in mind
the total cost of the vehicle whether you’re shopping new or used
There are many options and additions to consider when you’re shopping for a car as well as numerous pros and cons. Make sure to take your budget into account when deciding whether to buy a new or a used model and take your time to carefully choose a vehicle that suits your needs. You’ll most likely have to drive and pay for that car for a long time and you don’t want to regret it in a couple of month from now. Do some research, shop and compare multiple car dealers, follow the steps mentioned in this article and you should be able to find the perfect car for you in no time.
Multimeters are every handyman’s best friend. They can be used to perform numerous important tasks and they are absolutely essential in troubleshooting faulty electrical components, especially car batteries.
As it turns out, checking the voltage of your car battery is not at all difficult but yet again, but to make sure you get correct readings and end up with a correct diagnosis, you need to know how a multimeter works. To avoid any errors and possible damages, it would be wise to have this done by a professional but yet again, this would not be as convenient as doing it yourself.
Go get yourself the best volt-ohm meter possible and follow the step by step guide below to learn all you need to know to quickly and accurately check the health of your car battery
Testing a car battery using your digital
Testing the voltage
On some car models, the voltage of the battery can be checked at the dashboard but that won’t help you know how good is your battery since the voltage reading in the dashboard actually shows the power coming from the alternator and not the battery. Here’s how you should check the battery voltage readings.
Step 1: Set the multimeter
First off, make sure the red probe is inserted in the voltage jack and the black on in the COM jack.
The dial setting on an auto-ranging and a manual-ranging digital multimeter work differently. If you don’t have a multimeter yet, I’d recommend that you go ahead and get one with the auto-ranging feature. They are simply easier to use since the multimeter will automatically select the ideal range of measurement for you.
Step 2: Battery polarity
Obviously, you’ll want to connect the red probe to the positive post of the battery and the black probe to the negative side. To save out the trouble, the positive terminals of most car batteries are normally red.
When measuring voltage, the polarity doesn’t matter as much as if you were measuring amps or jump-starting the vehicle. The only difference is that you’ll get a reading of -12.6v instead of 12.6v if the polarity is reversed. Simply switch the probes and you’ll be good to go!
Step 3: Provide a light load and check the readings
First, turn the ignition key to the ON position and turn the car headlights on for 30 seconds to eliminate any chance of parasitic charges that could give you false readings.
A car battery’s voltage is dependent on the outside temperature so assuming it’s 27 degrees Celsius, here’s what you should make of the readings you see on the multimeter display:
For readings that are over 12.5 volts, it means that your battery is fully charged and it is in good condition.
If the readings range between 12 and 12.3 volts, your battery is operating at ¾ of its capacity and it should take you sometime before you’ll need to replace it.
Lastly, if your battery is operating in critical condition and is at around 11.8 volts, this means that it is operating at around ¼ or 25% of its full capacity.
It’s worth mentioning here that your only measuring the voltage of the battery and not the cold cranking amps. A fully charged battery could still die right away when the ignition key is turned as being full charge doesn’t been that it can still deliver enough power to make the starter turn in extreme cold weather conditions. You’ll need to perform a battery load test for that. Load testers are professional tools and regular people don’t usually have one at home so you might need to stop by your local auto repair shop to have your battery checked
What to do in case of a low reading
If you get a reading below 12.6v, the first thing you’ll want to do is to recharge your battery using a smart battery charger. The voltage of a battery will gradually lower as time goes by so if the car hasn’t been started for a couple of days, it’s may be totally normal. A quick charge will fix that right up. Once it’s charged, perform the same test again and see if the readings are better. If they aren’t, you’ll probably want to have your car battery replaced in the near future.
You could also just start the car and let it idle for about 10 minutes. You can also use that time to take a reading of the battery while it’s running, and see if your alternator is still doing is job. A faulty alternator could prevent the battery from recharging correctly while you drive so that may be your problem.
When the car is at idle, the voltage reading of the battery should range between 13v and 14.6v. Anything below that will let you know that your alternator needs to be replaced. Ignoring it will only make it worst and a faulty alternator will slowly damage the battery. Simply replace it and you’ll end up saving money in the end.
Checking the terminals of your car battery using
a digital multimeter
In some cases, the problem may not be with your car battery charge at all but your battery terminals instead. When the battery terminals are dirty, corroded or loose, the car may be a little difficult to start or may not even start at all.
While a loose battery terminal may be pretty obvious, other bad connection problems may be quite difficult to figure out with a simple visual inspection. Once again, your multimeter will be your best ally here.
You’ll need an assistant for this one.
what you should do:
The first thing you’ll want to do is to disable the ignition or the fuel injection system. To do that, either disconnect the ignition coils to disable the ignition system or remove the fuel pump relay or fuel pump fuse to disable the fuel system. Take a look inside your vehicle’s manual if you need help locating them.
Disabling the ignition system basically prevents the engine from being started. In this case, I strongly recommend you disable the fuel system as it will prevent the engine from being flooded while you crank.
The next thing you should do is have the red probe of your multimeter attached to the positive post of the battery and the black one to the positive cable terminal.
Turn the dial of the multimeter to the 2V measurement station and then ask an assistant to crank the engine up.
On the multimeter display, you should register a reading of 0.5 volts or below. If otherwise, you’ll have to either check the physical condition of the post and respective terminal and clean it up.
Repeat the same process for the negative terminal.
Taking a leak test on the battery cover using a
The long-term result of poor maintenance of your car battery is that you’ll end up with a build-up of deposits on the cover. In most cases, it happens when electrical charge can leak from the battery because of dirt and acid deposits on the battery posts.
A visual inspection is not enough to determine whether the battery has reached the leaking point and using a digital multimeter will help you confirm it in a jiffy.
First, have the dial of your multimeter set at the lowest voltage reading available and once again confirm that the red probe is in the Voltage port and the black one is in the COM port.
Turn on your multimeter and touch the black probe on the negative terminal of the car battery and the red probe at the battery cover.
In the likely event that you register even the tiniest voltage reading from the battery on your multimeter, the build-up of deposits has resulted in the charge leaking from the battery. This would then you should clean it up a dedicated car battery cleaner or simply using warm water and baking soda which neutralizes the acid hence allowing you to lift the dirt from the battery cover.
If you suspect that another electrical component is draining the battery when the key is in off position, commonly called a parasitic drain, you’ll have to perform a parasitic drain test to locate the faulty components and prevent it from draining the battery every time the engine is turned off.
If you follow these steps carefully, it should now be a walk in the park for you to troubleshoot the health state of your car battery using a multimeter. Since visual inspection cannot be entirely relied on, stepping things up and using a digital multimeter is the next best alternative to a full charging system test performed by a certified auto mechanic. When in doubt though, it is still highly recommended that you give your mechanic a call if you suspect something may be wrong with your car’s ability to start in the morning. A professional advice from a trustworthy mechanic will often save you time and money in the end.
Asbestos is a
natural but dangerous mineral dating back to prehistoric times, but
with significant popularity during the Industrial Age. The heat
resistance, durability and fireproofing properties of asbestos made
it necessary to many industries including automotive industry and
Though the recent
asbestos ban is considered a significant step towards protection of
upcoming workers in Canada, there lies a risk of asbestos exposure
from imported as well as older products, particularly amongst
mechanics and laborers working in the automotive industry. The
asbestos ban will not have an impact immediately as mesothelioma and
other asbestos-caused diseases take 2-3 decades to develop symptoms.
Therefore, it may take at least two decades for the asbestos ban to
show prominent results.
Automobile Mechanics Face Occupational Asbestos Exposure Risks
One of the greatest dangers and on-the-job hazard for auto mechanics is asbestos exposure. Mechanics are continually exposed to deadly asbestos while they work on various parts such as brakes, clutch facings, transmission pieces, hood linings, insulation gaskets, and car air-conditioning systems. Before the 1970s, asbestos was most commonly used in the automobile industry because it acted as insulation and offered heat resistance to mechanical components of a car that are subjected to high temperatures due to friction. However, the automobile parts undergo wear and tear, get damaged easily and hence require replacement, which can disturb the asbestos. Thus, mechanics working on older vehicles or parts are still exposed to asbestos and it is important to be aware of the fact that the effects of long-term exposure typically don’t show up for 10 to 50 years after initial exposure.
It is essential for
modern day mechanics that perform repairs, which may disturb
asbestos-containing automobile products, to be well-informed about
the asbestos hazards associated with the occupation.
There are many
different ways that auto mechanics can be exposed to asbestos.
parts that were created when asbestos was intensively used;
repairing or removing components that have faced heavy wear and
tear, asbestos dust may be released into the air. Auto-mechanics who
repair brakes and clutches are being exposed to dangerous levels of
asbestos without realizing the danger they face;
– asbestos fibers may be released to the outside environment when
the mechanism of brake or clutch pedals cause abrasion and friction
or when malformation on brake components was sanded down;
asbestos waste – if asbestos is found, a specialist will suggest
the materials be either encapsulated or completely removed from the
mechanics working with old cars are also at risk of unknowingly
inhaling asbestos because the home garage is generally not supplied
with all the equipment present in repair shops, thus subjecting
mechanics to a higher health risk.
In addition, the family members of mechanics are at risk of secondhand asbestos exposure as it is likely that airborne asbestos dust in repair shop gets carried home through mechanic’s clothes, shoes, skin, and hair.
Asbestos Containing Components in a Car
manufactured before the 1970s have asbestos in the following
Brakes – the
most common components to contain asbestos, may contain the hazardous
mineral in the brake linings, brake pads, brake housing, brake drums,
brake shoes, brake dust, easily releasing asbestos dust just as
sanding wood creates sawdust. All brake and clutch dust is
potentially harmful, so it is recommended in all cases, to never blow
dust out of brake drums or clutch housings with an airline. Instead,
it is advisable to use properly designed drum cleaning equipment
which prevents dust escaping is most required.
Asbestos in clutches can get released during normal friction, in
a similar way as in brakes.
Other notable car
part made with asbestos:
Due to its excellent
ability to protect and insulate against high heat and friction,
asbestos was found in hundreds of other assorted automobile parts.
Asbestos has been also found in numerous modern cars manufactured in
Asia, especially China, where asbestos is still legal to use.
Harmful Effects of Asbestos Exposure
Despite all the
efforts to use asbestos safely, workers still face dangers of
exposure to the deadly mineral.
products containing asbestos are repaired or replaced, very thin
fibers of asbestos can escape into the air. Microscopic asbestos
fibers cannot be seen with the naked eye, smelled or tasted, meaning
individuals can be exposed without knowing it. The fibers tend to
persist in the air long after a job is done and can spread
approximately 75 feet from the work area, potentially exposing other
mechanics and customers who enter the workroom. When inhaled or
ingested, the toxic fibers may become lodged in the lining of the
chest cavity, lungs, or abdominal cavity, causing inflammation and
scarring. This can lead to several types of asbestos-related diseases
including lung cancer, asbestosis, mesothelioma, pleural effusion,
pleural plaques, thickening of the tissues around the lungs. Around
2,500 people die each year from mesothelioma – a rare cancer caused
by asbestos – with the figure expected to reach its peak in 2020.
Usually, the symptoms of asbestos-induced cancers take at least 30
years to develop.
How Mechanics Can Avoid Exposure to Harmful
Today, automotive workers at service stations, repair shops, garages, and car dealerships need to be aware of asbestos-related hazards. Both automobile mechanics and their families are in considerable danger of asbestos exposure when they perform work in brakes, clutches, and gaskets and when asbestos fibers and dust are brought into the home on work clothes and shoes.
following recommendations have been made in order to keep mechanics
safe while working around asbestos:
off brakes and clutches, the use of a negative-pressure enclosure or
HEPA vacuum is recommended.
asbestos dust from becoming airborne, always use a wet cleaning
method with low-pressure spray equipment.
into different clothes after work and never carry your work clothes
home, so as to prevent second-hand asbestos exposure
Always wear an
appropriate breathing mask and safety gear to protect yourself
Use of ready to
install pre-ground parts is recommended. If at all you need to cut
or grind a part, use lathe on low speeds to reduce dust levels.
Apart from taking
these precautionary measures, it is important for mechanics to remain
watchful of their health and consult a doctor if problems such as
breathing difficulty and chest discomfort arise. If a mechanic who
has worked around asbestos in the past has been diagnosed with
mesothelioma or other asbestos-related illness, companies that
manufactured asbestos-containing products can be held liable and a
mesothelioma lawsuit can be filed against the company responsible.
About the author:
Gregory A. Cade, the author is the founder and principal attorney at Environmental Litigation Group, P.C. He is an Industrial Hygiene degree holder with a solid science background. He is a member of the Birmingham Bar Association, Alabama State Bar, and the District of Columbia Bar. He has represented thousands of victims of occupational/environmental asbestos exposure and other known toxins by fighting for their claim. His areas of practice include environmental/occupational law as well as Mesothelioma and Asbestos.
It is funny how most people or at least will buy almost anything online without hesitating but they are hesitant when it comes to buying replacement car parts. But if you have some basic auto mechanic knowledge and you are a bit of a DIYer yourself, it’s actually one of the best ways you could save tons of money on your car repairs
Here are some of the benefits of
buying your automotive parts from online sellers.
Good quality and low costs
Buying car parts online is still not
something to take lightly though and you should always select an
online seller with a good reputation. Car parts are often cheaper
online than their in-store counterparts. Buying directly from the
manufacturer will allow you to eliminate the middlemen and their
It’s also easier to buy the parts
on your own time and whenever it’s best for you since, guess what,
online store are open 24/7!
Delivered to your doorstep
When you place an order online, they
will deliver the parts to your doorstep or directly to the shop
repairing your car. It’s especially convenient when you buy wheels
and tires to just get them delivered straight to your mechanic so
they are waiting for you when you are ready to have them installed on
Buying car parts online also means
that you won’t have to deal with a pushy salesman. You can make up
your own mind and decide what is better for your car. You are a
grown-up after all and you should have the right to do as you please
without being pushed by someone who might be biased because he is
getting paid a commission on what you buy.
Tips for buying car parts online
Know your car
Make sure you understand the basics
of auto mechanics and how cars work before you try to buy parts
online and try to fix it yourself. Not being aware of how it works
could, in fact, cause more harm than good if you don’t replace the
correct part or if you don’t install it properly. It may be better
to leave it to the professionals then.
You should never buy anything online without doing some proper research. Use Google to your advantage and compare the price of the parts you need with different sellers. Find out who is the manufacturer, read reviews and make sure you are aware of what you are buying and that it actually fits your vehicle.
Do some research and read customer
reviews about the seller. Watch out for hidden shipping costs to
prevent any unwanted fees at checkout.
Make sure to select a seller located
in your country of origin if you can since most car parts will have a
custom fee to be paid when importing from another country.
Lookout for the discounts
One of the biggest advantages of online shopping is the use of promotional discount codes. Before checking out, scout the web for coupons codes for that seller and special sales on websites like Groupon and such.
Avoid buying rare parts online
If your car is an antique vehicle or comes from another part of the world, what out for unexpected disappointment. Buying rare car parts is a lot harder online since you can’t talk with anyone live and incorrect parts are definitely harder to return than if you had bought it from a brick and mortar shop. The cost associated with antique parts is also sometimes higher online. Not sure why so make sure you shop a lot before buying anything.
Internet is a good place for counterfeit part manufacturers, thieves, and stolen auto parts reseller to operate. Make sure to verify the seller you intend to buy from correctly to avoid being scammed. Directly calling the manufacturer is a good way to find out if they are legit or not,
Quality of the website
Find a well-structured website making it easy for you to find the parts you need. A website is the face that the company is showing to the world and a badly maintained website often tells a lot about them. A good example of a well-maintained website is OnlineCarParts. Go on that website www.onlinecarparts.co.uk and judge for yourself. It’s also compatible with multiple devices and features one of the best structure out there.
How you can pay for your order is
also an important thing to consider. Make sure the seller accepts
multiple payment options and Paypal too. Watch out for currency
conversion fees and credit card transaction fees.
Remember to take your time when
shopping online. Most ordering errors and regrets after buying
something online is caused by being rushed and not really researching
anything beforehand. Take your time, find a seller you like, give it
a try and if it works fine for you, keep this seller in your
bookmarks and only deal with this one from now on. It will definitely
take the stress off of your replacement parts online shopping.
Are you thinking about pursuing a professional welding career and you would like to try your hands at it a little first? Or are you already a certified welder simply looking to improve your welding skills by mastering new techniques? Maybe a weekend DIYer seeking to learn some basic welding notions to get your next project going? Whatever the case is, learning from textbooks may very well be the answer you are looking for!
Textbooks are perfect to learn at your own pace, in the comfort of your home, and for a fraction of the price of a standard school curriculum. But not all welding books are created equal, though, and that’s why we created a list of the most useful books covering everything you need to know about welding to help you with that.
Take note that the following list is ordered based on the complexity level of the content from beginner to professional level. If you are a total noob, start with the first ones and work you way up. If you are already an experienced welder, you can definitely skip some of them and go directly to the more advanced textbooks.
This one is a given. Everybody knows the “For Dummies” books and how well-written and informative they can be. As with any other book in the series, it’s first and foremost oriented towards total newbies. If you have no prior welding knowledge whatsoever, this one is for you!
The text is broken up into small chunks making it easy for everyone to understand. The information is divided into themes and sections to help you find the answers you need in no time. Literally everything you need to get you started is covered in this book. From the most common types of welding to the best welding and oxyfuel cutting techniques as well as the required training you need to become a fully certified welder.
Professional, on the other hand, will appreciate it as a welder’s reference handbook. Just stick post-it notes on the most important pages and conversion charts and keep it in your tool chest for future use. You never know when you’ll need a quick on-the-fly refresh of some of the most basic notions.
Who is it for?
The Welding for Dummies book is a perfect gift idea for welding students, weekend DIYers and a good starting point for anyone with no welding background at all. It’s definitely one of the simplest books on this list. If you feel intimidated by the look of the more complicated books following next, get this one first!
Don’t let the title of this book fool you. It’s definitely not only for farmers!
Farm and Workshop Welding deserve the second place on this list because it’s a complete textbook including in-depth details about most common welding techniques and basic theoretical notions but even more so because of the way it’s illustrated.
Learning to weld and differentiating a good weld from a bad weld is not always easy based on text only. Rest assured, there are around 400 high-definition images on every subject covered to help you with that. At 160 pages, this book has an average of 2 images per page. There no need to mention that, if you are a visual learner, this one is an absolute must!
One of the most useful features of this book is the whole module dedicated to avoiding and correcting common welding mistakes. If you have some prior welding experience like I do, you already know how frustrating it is when things aren’t working out as they should and you don’t really know why and what you should do about it. This book will take care of that. At least, it did for me.
Worth mentioning, not only does this book cover most types of welds and whatnot, it even includes a section on plastic welding as well as basic blacksmithing techniques to make you a well-rounded metal worker
Who is it for?
Farm and Workshop Welding goes a little further than the “For Dummies” book, therefore it’s better suited for beginner welders to intermediate ones. The denser text and textbook approach may be a bit much for total newbies and first-timers. It will definitely take you further as a welder too, though, and that’s a point not to neglect. If you plan on becoming a certified welder in the future, you may be better off buying this one right away.
Richard Finch is a well-known reference in the welding community. His past experience as a Nascar consultant is really what makes his books interesting. Everything is viewed from a performance and efficiency point-of-view. He doesn’t just teach you to make good welds. He will teach you to make fast welds if such a thing is even possible.
Worth mentioning, if performance is what you are all about, he even wrote a book called “Performance Welding” specially dedicated to various types of welds and techniques used on vehicles built for speed. Race cars need stronger welds while keeping the total weight as low as possible and to achieve that performance welders have developed a wide array of secret techniques and neat little tricks.
It’s so instructive that petrolheads should buy it even if they have no plan to learn to weld in the future. It’s packed with race-developed tricks and tips you had no idea about. Have you ever dreamed of building your own roll cage? Well, this is the book you need! These race car engineers are real genius and learning from the best will definitely give you a heads up compared to the rest of the pack.
Anyway, back to the Welder’s Handbook, it is also the most recent published book on this list. In fact, it just got completely revamped to stay as up-to-date as possible, including all the new development in MIG and TIG technologies. It’s true that the basics of welding have been the same for years but aluminum is now used more than ever in car manufacturing and welders need to stay on top of their game to be relevant in such a competitive market.
Who is it for?
If you are a speed enthusiast looking to build race cars or simply attracted to the rigorous and efficient side of race engineering, both these books should be to your liking. Richard Finch definitely knows his things and his teaching will resonate with everybody who likes to build things that go fast.
This one is a Training Series originally distributed by Miller Electric, a well-known welding equipment manufacturer, to potential and regular customers. In fact, it’s the reference and training book we have been using in our auto repair shop for years now. Most mechanics need to know how to weld, especially when it comes to exhaust and bodywork, and it’s not extensively covered in auto mechanics trade schools so we use these to perfect our employees’ welding skills.
Lucky you, Miller Electric is now offering these training lessons in a Kindle format, which makes them super inexpensive to own and easy to keep with you at all time. They are perfect to train at work or in your garage on your own free time.
The Training Series covers everything you need to know about welding and they are split into multiple chapters, each on a different subject. Thanks to the ebook format, you can only buy the chapters you need to train on and leave out the rest, which will make it a lot less expensive than to buy a comprehensive textbook.
I am a teacher, first and foremost. Not a teacher in a classroom (though I have done that too) but a consumer educator. As I watch my industry peers sell, one thing separates the successes from the failures: customer perspective.
It is true that confidence is key in closing sales and overconfidence can be deadlier than ignorance.
Most customers don’t come to my shop because they can do the repair themselves but choose not to. They come to my shop because they have little to no idea what the issue is. In fact, a good portion of customers can’t begin to explain the symptoms their vehicle is having.
It is little surprise then that they take every word from my mouth with a grain of salt. Some are even downright hostile. Their vision of the auto repair industry is that of a bunch of sharks circling a wounded seal.
Know your customer
One thing I realized early on is that most customers have zero ideas about their vehicles. They don’t stop for a second to consider proper maintenance outside of the wipers, headlights and air conditioning.
Some don’t even notice when the entire wiper has been torn from the blade. It is like trying to use a squeegee with nothing but the handle to do the job. Yet, when I point this out the look I get is the same as if I were telling them that a person on the other side of the world had a tick. Oblivious.
No wonder they don’t change their brake fluid. They may have never considered that there is such a thing. For all they know, it could be right there on the shelf next to the blinker fluid and to the left of the muffler bearings.
What many of them do consider is that the industry is rife with stories of victimization. They will turn a blind eye to a significant safety issue in favor of not looking like a dope or a fool by being taken advantage of.
The victimhood mentality
Our industry has a significant lack of consumer education and outreach. This is the space I operate in daily. My job as a service advisor is to flip that customer so that instead of making decisions from a position of fear they make them from a position of power.
Having your back to the wall will make you angry and afraid. You are one subtle hint away from slipping into the victimhood mentality. Once there it is hard to get back.
Consider that brake fluid again. A lot of mechanics don’t give it a second thought. At my shop when we pull fluid samples we test the brake fluid for copper contamination with a strip which turns from white through deeper shades of purple.
Putting it in layman’s terms
My sales approach looks like this:
Mr. Customer, when we tested the brake fluid we noticed a problem. Fresh brake fluid looks like new motor oil. Yours is turning green.
Brake fluid absorbs moisture from the atmosphere the same way salt does on the frame of your car. It sucks that moisture down inside your brake lines which are lined with copper.
When we tested the fluid it tested positive for high concentrations of free copper which means that your brake lines are rusting on the inside.
Have you ever seen a penny turn blue/green in a fountain? That same thing is happening inside your brake lines. We need to get that old contaminated fluid out and go back with fresh fluid which won’t let those lines continue to rust.
Notice the pattern?
I tie something they know nothing about to something they do. Most people know salt is bad for cars and should be washed off to prevent rust.
I take that comparison and explain how brake fluid works, how we test it and most importantly, how we move forward with making sure we stop the problem before it starts.
In the end
Providing a customer with information they can understand and use is empowering. Empowered people aren’t easily turned into victims. They make purchasing decisions from a position of strength instead of weakness. They are less reluctant and more satisfied with the repair.
is a Service Advisor in a full-service shop. He brings a solid
understanding of complex systems down to earth for customers who are
shy about dealing with the automotive industry.
A teacher at heart, he believes that customers are most satisfied when they understand the issue and the path forward. This results in customers making purchasing decisions from a position of power instead of fear and reluctance. He also enjoys quiet activities like non-traditional board games, reading, YouTube, sarcasm and collecting pre-loved cars the rest of us call ugly junk.
Aside from wrenching on cars and managing a blog, one of my hobbies is collecting comics. And between all of them, the ones I like the most are, without a doubt, those old hot rod and racing comics from the ’50s.
Maybe it’s the retro feeling or maybe I miss the time when you could just build a frame from scratch, drop a big block on it and drive a chopped-top/open-wheels hot road with flaming side pipes on the road and nobody would care about it.
These guys weren’t tuners… They were builders!
Anyway, in some of those cars-related comics, once every couple edition, they used to dedicate 1 or 2 pages to general automotive advice and basic auto mechanics notions and some of them are simply pure gold.
I tried to gather the best ones I have and I will post one every once in a while!
P.s: Keep in mind that these comics were intended to be read by kids and yes, if you are a full-fledged auto mechanic yourself, this is probably not news to you but it’s still interesting to take a minute to think of an era that is long gone now and to realize what it must have been to work as a mechanic in those days…
Important stuff right there!
It’s interesting to see that things haven’t changed that much in a way. Spark plugs have evolved a lot since then and they are now little pieces of high-technology but the principle remains the same. Notice how they explain that a hotter plug would be perfect for engines burning a lot of oil. At least, some things change. Burning consumption is definitely less a problem now than it was in the before times.
Being an auto mechanic is not an easy job and those of you working in the field will agree. This week’s infographic highlights the most common hazards auto mechanics risk while doing their job every day.