Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I'm a car nut, a gear head!

Yeah, I'm a car nut. Some would say an enthusiast, but lets face it, that is just the polite way of saying I'm a nutter. I have always had a love of all things within the automotive industry. I discovered it at a very young age at the local Newspaper shop. There on the shelf was a car magazine, glossy cover, showing the then new model Alfa on the cover. I had been totally seduced & was now in love. Wheels Magazine has a lot to answer for. I'm not sure if the staff are aware of the influence that they have on the lives of young boys. I grew up with this magazine.

I have followed the trials & tribulations of the staff. I have seen the highs & lows. At times I have not agreed, & times that I have. I have loved it all the time. I have found that it has always been honest & thought provoking. No, they are not paying me to say these things. I am simply being honest about my background. It was due to this love of all things automotive that led me to a job as a Mechanic.

OK, first it led me to be a diesel fitter. I started in the mines of north Queensland. Needless to say, I know my way around equipment with the CAT badge on the side. Well, the mining company also had a fleet of trucks, so we also got to maintain them as well. Macks, Whites, Kenworths, & International. We fixed 'em all.

I'm not sure that I have ever owned a normal car. The few cars that I have owned that were close to everyday normal cars, were very quickly modified soon after purchase. I started with the Holden Torana 2 door. A great little car. It was followed by a lot of other cars. I have never been what would be called "Brand loyal" . I've had Fords, Holdens, Chrysler, Jaguar, Jeep, Mitsubishi, Alfa Romeo, BMW. The list goes on !!

I have been involved in the Automotive industry in one form or another since I was 15 years old. As I originally said, I started in the mines of North Queensland as an apprentice at the age of 15. since those early days I have worked as a Diesel fitter in various other parts of the country. sometimes it was at a mine, at other times it was at a workshop specialising in heavy vehicles. I have also work in the automotive sales industry, both cars & trucks. For a while I was also a warranty clerk for a major multi national automotive company. I spent almost 15 years in the Australian army as a recovery specialist, picking up damaged, broken & accident damaged vehicles from wherever they decided to stop. Also spent just over two years driving a taxi in the Brisbane area. When it comes to cars & trucks, I have seen a lot.

I do not proclaim to be an expert, however, I got a reasonable idea of what I am on about, & generally know my subject. I have learn many things over the years. The big one is that people expect their car to run forever with little or no regular servicing. Oh, they know that the car needs a service on a regular basis, but generally do very little about it. People usually keep driving the car, then one day it stops.

With the state of the economy, people try to save some cash in the household. One of the first areas where they save is in the service & maintenance of the family car. They use the principle that it will keep going if I just drive it less, & check the oil levels myself. I have met so many people that say "I do all my own services." When I question them a little further I learn that they think a oil & filter change is a service. Oh dear, how wrong can you be !!

The average trained & qualified mechanic has done a 4 year apprenticeship to learn the basics of his / her trade. The average mechanic then usually attends update courses on a regular basis to stay up to date with the changes in technology that is installed on vehicles so that the services can be carried out correctly. Believe me, they do not do all of this just to change the oil & filters.

Another misconception is that you must take the vehicle back to the dealer to get the correct service. Vehicle manufactures & the dealers are great at convincing people that this is the case. In truth, all the mechanics went to the same college / school to learn their craft. It is not unusual for a qualified mechanic to learn his trade at a local garage, move to a dealership for a while, then go to a specialist garage for some time. He / She quite often moves from one type of repair facility to another, usually to follow a lifestyle change.

The mechanic that is wearing the Toyota service uniform was probably wearing BMW service uniform in a different city last year. The mechanic at your local garage most likly has years of experience on many different makes & models of vehicles, & is a wealth of information. It is very common for mechanics at the local garage to share information. Jim may have never worked on a XYZ vehicle previous to now, but old Bill working on the car in the next work bay may have spent 3 years at the dealership. They will share knowledge & help each other out.

Now for the good news. If you live in South East Queensland, help is here. Help in the form of regular servicing for your car for a full year for virtually free. Auto Plus Queensland has teamed up with a host of service centres & is inviting you to have regular car servicing for virtually free for a year. A year of servicing will include 1 major service & 2 minor services. The labour is free, all you have to pay for is the parts & oils used, but you pay for that no matter where you go.

The reasons why they are doing this is really simple. Auto Plus & the service centres will hope that you are so impressed, you continue to come back evenafter you have had all of your free servicing because you are so happy & impressed. They want to score you as a long term customer. Obviously, if they do not impress you, you will not come back, and they lose out.

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Have a read of the information or check out the video link below, & give Bob or Paul a call.

Bob Kearsey 0412202661
Paul Marshall 0413828439

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