Be Prepared

Have you ever been in a situation where you find yourself needing an automotive repair shop and you don’t have a “regular” [shop] that you normally visit? There was post on Facebook recently about being prepared before you need a repair shop for either body or mechanical work. It happens often enough. Someone will call or come in and say that they’ve never been to us, but their vehicle broke down and they need repairs immediately. It kind of reminds me of visiting an urgent care clinic. You don’t know the person that is helping you but you are dependent on them at that time. You’ve not had the time to research because you need to visit “urgently.” My suggestion is to get some recommendations from friends regarding repair shops they trust and make a visit. Stop in, have a cup of coffee and talk to the service advisor. Let them know what you are doing and why. Tell them what make and model of vehicle you drive and ask if they have had any recent experience with that manufacturer. See if ... read more

Our Logo

I could tell you that our logo, a drawing of a crankshaft and pistons, was created by a large marketing company. That we had focus groups come in and tell us what feeling the logo invoked. That we reviewed the feedback, adjusted the design, spent large amounts of cash to get the color just right, and concluded the project with a launch party. Possibly with crowd- sourcing involved! In truth, what really occurred was that Jeff was taking a high school graphic arts class. His father, Arie, was running his newly-opened auto repair business where Jeff worked every day after school. Jeff had created a drawing in his graphic arts class of a crankshaft and pistons. He brought it home and his Dad thought it was well done and decided to use it for the logo for Arie Nol Auto Center. Some adjustments were made to the original drawing to make it more ‘logo friendly’ and it has been the logo for Arie Nol Auto Center for forty-one years. We’ve tweaked it on occasion but it has remained the same logo ... read more

Give Thanks Every Day

I was just reading something that said that you should have a gratitude journal and write in it each day. The goal is to find a moment, person, or event to be thankful for and to record it. Why? Because no matter where you are in life, no matter what you’re going through, there is always something to appreciate. The point of the article was that by journaling something positive, you overshadow any negatives and give them less space in your life. I’m thankful for the people that I work with each day. We truly believe in the Team Arie Nol philosophy— not just in the workplace but in our personal lives as well. We’ve all had to be there for each other during big life events; births, deaths, health issues, etc. All of it has happened in the time we’ve worked together and the support our team shows for one another humbles me each time. They’re here because they have a love for the automotive industry and automobile repair. We hired them for their skill and attitude and we’ve built a team th ... read more

Independence Day

This summer is going by so quickly! In Michigan the 4 th of July can be cold, hot, rainy, sunny or any other combination. Being a Michigander requires the ability to carry copious amounts of clothing in our vehicle so we can change when the weather does. It’s a day spent eating burgers, hot dogs, and brats—running around with sparklers and possibly even attending a parade. The day is wrapped up with the explosion of color and light in the sky, followed by ooh’s and aah’s. Going to a parade on 4 th of July is interesting because you usually see classic cars, fire trucks, the local politicians throwing candy, Boy Scouts, people on horseback, etc. I remember sitting at the Dorr 4 th of July parade every year and trying to keep three little kids from jumping in front of the beautiful classic cars for a tootsie roll that was just out of their reach. Watching the excitement on their faces as the fire trucks and police vehicles rolled past. Americans have a deep love for their vehicles. Wheth ... read more

Scare Tactics

Any seasoned, auto repair technician can tell you, at some point everyone is accused of using “scare tactics”. It's a common stereotype, but it isn't true of everyone in the business. Most technicians take their responsibility very seriously. Here a few things to think about the next time you feel scare tactics are being used at the repair shop. It is an automotive technician's first is job to make sure your vehicle is roadworthy. Ask them questions when you don't understand. The technician should be able to explain to you in detail why they think your vehicle is unsafe. If you still don't follow, ask if it's possible to have them show you what they're seeing. Technicians are aware of what bad brakes, shocks, etc. mean for the overall safe control of your vehicle. You don't need to settle for the response, “Your shocks are bad,” instead, ask what this means for your vehicle's overall performance. If you still feel like you're being told an untruth, have a different shop take a look ... read more

Torch Award

We were one of the 2016 Better Business Bureau Torch Award for Ethics winners last week. We were excited and humbled to receive this award, especially as an automotive repair business. We are honored that someone felt strongly enough about our business to nominate it for this award. Automotive repair has had a reputation of not being honest or fair to its customers. It was probably deserved at times. I think that most repair shops will agree that it is an uphill battle at times when you are dealing with a customer that has a preconceived idea of your type of business. We take it as an opportunity to educate them about their car repairs and hopefully have them walk away feeling comfortable with the repairs or maintenance we’ve performed. Our goal is to express a value system that shows respect for the customer and their car. It’s an honor to be recognized for our commitment to ethics and we are thankful that the West Michigan Better Business Bureau gives the opportunity for businesses t ... read more

Sometimes, It’s the Little Things

Customers call when their brakes are making noise, their muffler gets loud or their vehicle isn’t starting. These are all part of car ownership. They also never happen at an opportune time. These are things that need to be taken care of either right away or soon. It’s the little things that get don’t really have to be taken care of immediately or, they may even be something you aren’t aware of that’s not operating. I remember getting pulled over as a teenager for a headlight that was out on my Honda Civic. There were no dashboard indicator lights to let me know this was an issue. Now, my car would tell me a bulb was out but not which bulb. A customer came in several days ago and we were chatting while Jeff checked her vehicle. She lives alone and had a light out indicator on her dashboard. She couldn’t identify which bulb was out. Jeff found it was a brake light bulb. It can be a two-person job to check the brake lights as the brake pedal has to be depressed while someone stands behind ... read more

Thanks Ivanka For My New Wiper Blades

Over the years, I’ve learned that quality makes a difference. There are some items that you can purchase and you can go with the less expensive item and it won’t negatively affect anything. Other times, it makes a big impact. Last year, I had two sons get married. This required some serious shopping. Dresses, shoes, etc. Believe me, I was up for the challenge. I’ve established that I love shoes. I have on occasion purchased shoes that I loved but they ended up being uncomfortable to wear. With wedding shoes, you need something pretty but that you can wear for a whole day. I found a pair of shoes that I loved that were made by Ivanka Trump. The heel were pretty high and I planned ahead and had back-up flats, for non-shoe lovers, comfortable but not as pretty shoes to change into later. This is where design and quality come in. I wore my Ivanka shoes for fourteen hours! They finally became uncomfortable at 11:45 PM. I looked at them and found several reasons that they were comfortable th ... read more

Car shows, ice cream and summertime!

It’s summer time in Michigan! Beaches, barbeques and road trips. There are also a lot of car shows. A LOT of car shows. I have attended my fair share of car shows. This is what happens when you marry a car guy. In the early days of dating, I attended a lot of automotive related events. I asked a lot of questions like, “Why are there mirrors displaying the undercarriage of that car?” as well as, “Why is that guy carrying a car hood?” Turns out there was a race car driver autographing whatever you brought in to the show. Fast forward thirty years later and I now work with my husband in the automotive repair business and my life revolves around cars. I can appreciate a beautiful car and the hum of an engine but I don’t have the deep down love of the automobile that many people, including the ones I work with every day, do. Several weeks ago in Northern Michigan, my stepmom and I attended a craft show and were walking to a favorite local restaurant. There was a classic car show on the main ... read more

Are you a Prepper?

Not the type of prepper that has an underground bunker and is eagerly awaiting the zombie apocalypse. However, if you are, September is the month for you! September is National Preparation Month which focuses on planning. The theme for 2017 is “Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can”. If you’re an optimist, you believe that ‘nothing will happen’ and if you’re a pessimist, you figure, “Why bother? If I prepare for a water event, there will be a wind event”. The reality is, this past month has taught us that many things can happen—and do. I firmly believe in having items in your car that make an inconvenience or emergency a little bit easier to deal with. Having water, snacks, boots, matches, a candle, a cell phone charger, etc. can prepare you to deal with sliding off the road, getting stuck in traffic for an extended amount of time, evacuating a flood, and many other situations. I’ve written several blog articles in the past about this because it can make a big difference in that one mome ... read more

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