Common Sense Car Care

By Rick Ostien

  In previous articles I have written about the drastic changes that are occurring in the automotive industry. I should say anything that burns fossil fuels. The highway construction site that you drive by will most likely have computer controlled plus emission complaint equipment. California emission standards have raised the cost to the consumer and of doing business in California. Some states including ours are looking into adopting these standards. This means vehicles or equipment that do not meet these standards will have to be sold or replaced.

     The cost of repairing your vehicle has risen steadily over the years.  For a licensed repair facility just to open the doors there has also been a steady increase of operating costs. This brings us to another problem. For years people have worked on their own vehicles and helped family and friends with theirs. This did not really affect licensed repair facilities. Today, however, we have unlicensed repair facilities in back yards. Let us look at one that is located in our area. He does not just have a one or two bay garage, but multiple bays. Each bay has a lift and equipment. There is no liability, warranty, or recourse for the person who has their vehicle worked on here.  There is nothing you can do if there is an issue with a repair.  The town does not receive tax money for the services they offer. The state does not receive revenue that a licensed repair facility has to pay just to operate a business in our town and state. This person also has a regular job that is a union occupation. I wonder if he would feel the same way we feel if someone was affecting his job or business.

     The high-tech world has changed the cost of living. The cost of owning and maintaining today’s vehicle must be treated like an investment. Simple oil changes can help you extend the life of your vehicle. The motor vehicle has always had part failure and needed regular maintenance. I would suggest creating some sort of regular maintenance program for your vehicle. The repair facility that changes your oil usually includes a visual inspection of the vehicle. This can help you plan for future repairs. The fable of the ant and the grasshopper comes to mind. The ant was always prepared and a very hard worker, the grasshopper on the other hand, was a fun-loving guy who was never proactive. He got left out in the cold! Are you an ant or a grasshopper? (you can google this story if you cannot remember it)

     The last thing I would like to write about is the closing of National Speed Center in Manchester. This business has been serving the public for 5 decades. Owned and operated by Dan Burnham and Jay Adams, this was a great place to get specialty parts. If they did not have it on the shelf, they would get it for you. Dan and Jay have decided to retire and they certainly have earned it. I will miss their service and dedication. I wish them a wonderful retirement and thank them for all the times they helped me find the parts I needed over the years.

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