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Chris_NC last won the day on November 20 2011

Chris_NC had the most liked content!

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About Chris_NC

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    Occasional Poster

Business Information

  • Business Name
    Exact Auto
  • Type of Business
    Auto Repair
  • Your Current Position
    Shop Owner
  • Automotive Franchise
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  • Certifications
    CMAT, L1, Factory Certs

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  1. We work on mainly European vehicles and the German manufacturers recommend extended oil services. We use only the approved oils (MB229.5, VW 505.01, BMW LL, etc.) and do not see problems with the longer intervals. But, the correct oil MUST be used and we double check the service information on every vehicle before we do the oil service. Some other makes use an algorythym in the PCM to calculate oil services, others just use a mileage counter. I believe in following the OEM recommendation, as long as whatever oil is being used meets or exceeds the manufacturer's oil specification. Now, since the vehicle doesn't come in for routine oil changes as often, we are able to perform more thorough services and inspection for the customer (battery tests, tire rotations, etc.) and can place added value to their oil service.
  2. Look up a company called Dealertrax, they have some really nice affordable stuff for start up and can upgrade later on as you desire. It's what we started off with out here, and I have used the full tilt package at another shop I worked at. It's a great bang for the buck, and you own it.
  3. I'm inclined to think it may still be a mount issue. Where did the replacement mount come from? If one was broken chances are the others are not at full capacity either. I haven't worked on this line of cars for a while now, but the last few I did, I recommended replacement of all three because they were actually worn. Try placing a 2x4 on a jack and slightly raise the engine with it in drive to see if the vibration disappears. I couldn't imagine a flush causing a vibration issue, maybe that is just when they decided to notice it.
  4. Yep, you nailed it! It will be better as the business grows. Less arguments about money...kind of like having two wives. But, you are right in saying that it couldn't have happened without him.
  5. I actually drooled a little over that phone.
  6. I have seen some of them and they are great. I consider George (who is now officially, Becky Witt) to be one of my shop owner heroes I guess. She has a good teaching style and has built up a model facility over the years. Definetly worth checking out in my opinion.
  7. Sometimes I think going in without a partner would have been better, sometimes it has it's advantages.
  8. We are closing up Thursday-Sunday, and I'm headed to the beach for the South Carolina State Bluegrass Festival. I need the break, and to spend the time with my year and a half old son. Today is hectic though, but that's a good problem
  9. Franchise stores don't really worry me too much. The franchise stores in my area tend to be tire oriented, and I chose to stay away from trying to compete with that market. My biggest worry is the dealers, but they have proven to be my biggest asset so far due to their excellent customer service(sarcasm). We have factory tooling for most of our client base, and the shops within a few miles of me don't mess with European vehicles too often and tend to send their Euro customers to us. I used to worry about what the other shops were charging, but I've decided to just make sure our work stays top notch, and go an extra mile for our customers (customers meaning they actually will pay for our services) and just worry about what we have to have to complete the job properly and profitable. O'reilly's and Carquest have came by to talk to me about tech-net or certified programs, but I've been unsure about going that route. I worry if the customer has had a poor experience somewhere else with those signs being displayed, will they associate us with it? Some customers who have been to quick lubes for their oil services will question our oil change prices being higher, but I just try to explain the affects of using a non-OE approved oil with pics of some engines we have torn down using the improper oil and service interval and assure them that the vehicle will be thoroughly inspected, correct fluids used, and service reminders will be reset, it eases their mind. The business is only a couple of months old, so I'll see how it works. So far so good, I'm just trying to get car count up and see if I can make it continue to work and make the necessary changes as I go.
  10. Being fairly young myself (age 26), I can give an account on my growing up experience. First off, I grew up on a small farm, my dad worked and mom stayed at home. I began work at age 14 giving banjo lessons at a music store after school to start saving for a car. My buddies wanted me to hang out but I instead went to work. I then took a job turning wrenches at a John Deere dealer at 16 to learn mechanical basics. My grandpa told me before he died when I was 15 to pick a trade, become skilled in it, and I wouldn't go hungry. So I tried to follow his advice and planned my high school and vocational school career in the automotive field. The guys I went to high school with goofed off, performed poorly in whatever class they could just get by in, and took jobs doing something they could maintain a party lifestyle in. The females had a tendancy to take the more academic classes and did really well in school, not to offend anyone by saying this, but it seemed as though the school system pushed them harder and most females I know from school ended up in really good careers with nice paychecks to go with it. In trade school, the population was 95% male. Most of the students were unruly, didn't put an effort into the training, and were allowed to pass their classes with poor grades. How did this happen? They had an entitlement attitude and felt because they had paid to go to school there, they should be allowed to get the degree, thus making the guys who worked to accomplish, not look any more spectactular than the general population of attendees. But, the root of the problem started way before trade school. I'll go as far back as elementary school being a problem. Kids in class would act up, get in trouble and the parents would be notified. Instead of the parents enforcing some disipline (mine was in the form of a 2" wide piece of leather), they instead go to the school and yell at administrators saying that their perfect little snowflake did nothing wrong and nobody gets in trouble. Teenage years come up, they recieve a new car. The first speeding ticket gets issued and mom and dad pay an attorney to get them out of it. Now, the guy is 25 years old, living at home, no job, no rules, and no work ethic or life lessons have been gained. I can think of the guys that are my own age that I've worked with in the industry who wonder why they don't make money. They squeaked by in trade school and thought they knew it all, never investing in additional training or taking ASE tests because it interefered with the draft specials at the local bars on that night. Just look at IATN, it's a bank of knowledge for a small fee, and the amount of folks in my age group that visit the site are few. I guess Jersey Shore is more interesting than Right to Repair or learning about changing technology? The young guys I worked with at the dealer would get mad when they rolled into work at 8:05 and didn't have a work order because I got there at 7:30 and hoarded them up. Maybe if dad would have given them chores on a Saturday instead of letting them play soccer in a league where EVERY kid got a trophy for just showing up to the game, they would have known that the REAL world isn't fair and you have to put forth an effort to get ahead. I'm not knocking sports, because learning teamwork is important, but maybe if the players who performed the best were the only ones to get the trophy, the weaker ones would have learned to practice and get better and that not everyone wins. I'm not trying to say I'm better than these folks. I was just fortunate enough to be raised differently. I am thankful for what my parents believed and taught me and that I can see the faults of my generation. That is why I register on trade forums, instead of occupying some movement.
  11. Hi all, I'm located in Advance, NC and just opened a new shop with a partner specializing in Mercedes Benz and other European makes. Both of us are Master techs with a combined 25 years experience. I have relieved myself of technician duties(hard to do, but after reading the E-Myth I realize it is needed). We have a 1,600 sq. ft air conditioned facilty located a mile from Interstate 40. So far we have been open for three months and are seeing sales gains every month. I will definately have questions as the business grows and will frequent this forum I'm sure. I've been cruising the forums and have been impressed by some of the businesses you guys have built. I plan on getting there with you, as I didn't open this shop to go broke and give the farm away. The shop was started on a shoestring budget, but I just got tired of non-professional staff being in control of my earnings, so we stepped out on a wing and a prayer. So far, we have been successful with controlling our expenses and are building a nice working capital. We have also had some great shop owners coaching us on budgeting so far from a couple of towns over. I look forward to gaining some more knowledge from you folks and I appreciate any advice good or bad. Thanks a lot, Chris Ward Exact Auto

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