Newsletter No 32
those of you who didn’t know, I’m out in the shop full time these days,
working as a technician again. Finding qualified technicians is
impossible (an industry-wide problem), and as they say, if you want
something done right, you do it yourself. So it’s kind of like
the early days for me.
Because of this, I’m not in the office
much anymore and it’s difficult for me to field phone calls. If
your car is acting up and you don’t know whether or not to bring it in,
please talk to Betsy or Kris about it. If it’s something they
don’t know, they’ll talk to me and one of us will get back to you.
happy to announce that we switched back to Castrol engine oil last
fall. It’s now available to us at a price comparable to what we
were paying for Pennzoil.
That’s the good news.
The bad news is that we have to had to raise our oil change
prices. There are two reasons for this. The first is that
we have seen a big hike in the price of our bulk oil. It’s a safe
bet that when gas prices go up, a hike in oil prices has just occurred
or is imminent.
Second, you may not know that we have to pay
about a dollar to dispose of a single used oil filter. They are
hauled off site, drained, crushed and recycled as scrap
metal. You know how opposed I am to supply charges and this
isn’t something I do easily. We held off passing this cost on to
you for as long as possible, hoping that less expensive
alternatives would become available, but this hasn’t happened.
The bright side is that we don’t have (and don’t plan to have) those 10 or 15 percent across the board “supplies” charges!
was quite a buzz at the recent Detroit auto show about the new
“alternative” cars. If you watch TV, you may have seen
Honda’s ad for their Insight __ a car they’re selling right now in
California. Supposedly it gets 60 mpg and if you love the earth
and want to help cut down on automotive air pollution, you’ll buy
one. It’s a combination petroleum fuel and electric car.
Some of these alternative cars use diesel fuel! (I wonder how
they’d do in a Minnesota January.)
I don’t claim to
be the most informed person regarding hybrid cars. But I do
wonder if it makes sense to be making a car so complex. I don’t
mean complex from the standpoint of sophistication, but instead as a
function of redundancy of drive systems. Doesn’t it seem like a
step backward to have two motors and storage systems (gas tank and
battery bank)? AND it is still using oil as the primary energy
source. Hmm. . .
If fuel economy was my only concern, I’d
buy a Geo Prizm (50 mpg). It’d be a heck of a lot cheaper than
the Hybrid and probably a lot more reliable.
Now I don’t want
anybody to think I’m opposed to alternative cars. I have no
reason to be. I’m just urging caution and not jumping on the
alternative fuel bandwagon.
In fact, I have studied electric
cars quite a bit, and wish the will ($) was present to develop them
properly. For many people I know (my family included), electric
is an ideal second around-town car.
And speaking of
transportation that makes sense: how about a real public
transportation system! (Uh oh, just alienated a whole lot of
customers. . .) I have traveled extensively in the USA and
overseas, and the one thing that stands out about my home town is that
without a car, you can’t get there. Isn’t that pathetic?
So, your car guy doesn’t believe in the automobile based transportation
development model? Well, think about it. I get to see the
stress and pain that comes with car ownership. I know too well
what cars cost to buy, own, and maintain. I do think there is a
I find it a bit hypocritical that the same car
makers who make some of us expect our cars to be living rooms on wheels
are now suddenly and publicly worrying about air pollution and fuel
economy. That’s never concerned them with their vans and
SUV’s. Those vehicles are considered “trucks” and are
consequently allowed to exceed the emissions standards set for
“cars”. And they’re gas hogs to boot..
And none of them cared at all about fuel economy or high emissions until the federal government made them care.
It’s going to be very interesting to watch what develops here.
Stop in to visit us, or if you have any questions about your cars, call us at 651-635-0395.