San Diego & La Mesa Auto Repair

Same Great Service At Both Locations!

Mon - Fri: 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sat: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

La Mesa Location

(619) 403-9426

7447 University Ave, La Mesa, CA 91942

Mon - Fri: 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM

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Yearly Archives: 2017

It’s Vegas, Baby!

Jeff and I went to Las Vegas last week to celebrate NAPA’s 90th anniversary. We were able to take advantage of training and to meet with vendors to see what new tools and equipment were available. There were people from all over the world at this event and many times you learn a great deal from the attendees. Conversations are started about issues and solutions that have occurred in another shop owner’s business. The classes we attend encourage you to look at your business and see where you can improve…always a good thing for your business and customers. Being a NAPA Autocare Center is something that we are proud of achieving. We are an independent business with access to training and programs, specials and parts that we might not have access to otherwise. We are affiliated with groups that reflect our values and commitment to our business. We just put up our new NAPA Autocare sign. I tried to get the NAPA Corporation to switch their colors to our signature burgundy and black but they ... read more

Battery Life

Michigan is a beautiful state filled with incredible landscapes, hiking paths, parks and an incredible amount of lakeshore. Most of these places require some driving to access. The best way to ruin a good hike is to get back to your car and find out your battery is dead and you need to find someone to jump start your car. Not many people think about how old a battery is or what it's life span should be. I think about batteries. I don't know if this is an indication that I have been around car repair conversations for too long. Probably. Mostly because I see the inconvenience a bad battery causes and I know it can be avoided with correct maintenance and testing. Michigan is tough on batteries. Hot weather and cold weather both affect longevity of a battery. Winters that include the description snowpocolypse, polar vortex or snowmeggedon are especially harsh on batteries. Our hot summers are equally tough on the battery powering your vehicle. The first sign that your battery is getting ... read more

Is Your Car Ready for College?

Do you have a student heading off to college and taking a vehicle? If so, is the car ready? You've bought the microwave, mini fridge, extra-long twin bedding and talked about the importance of making good personal choices. But is their car ready? It's important that a vehicle headed to school be maintained correctly and any minor repairs be taken care of before your student leaves. Many times, your child is headed to a town that you're not familiar with and they may not have the number of a shop you can trust. Being proactive about vehicle repairs and maintenance BEFORE they leave saves you a potential phone call about a broken-down vehicle. We know it's stressful trying to find a shop to repair your student’s vehicle. We know it's stressful for the student trying to deal with something they may not have had a lot of experience handling. While it can be a teachable moment, it's one you'd probably rather avoid. Make sure that they understand several things about the vehicle. How to che ... read more

Conversations in the Car

Our goal is to make our customer’s automotive repair experience as painless as possible. Even though we have several options to meet their transportation needs, sometimes it works out well for them to have us drop them off at their home or office. Sometimes, it’s an unexpected breakdown and they just need a ride home. It’s usually either Cameron or I that is available to drive the customer to their destination. I’ve had some of the best conversations with a wide range of topics. Many times, I’m asked if I’m related to anyone at Arie Nol and I share that I’m Cameron’s mom and Jeff’s wife. Riding in the car with someone gives you the opportunity for both of you to learn a little about the other person. Sometimes, they have had a very stressful day with their car braking down and their schedule has been drastically altered. I’ve stopped at the grocery store, driven through McDonald’s so someone can get some breakfast, listened to small children sing Disney songs and even been quizzed abou ... read more

Building relationships, not just fixing cars

One of the biggest compliments we can get as a business is about how we made someone feel when they were in our facility. We pride ourselves on the repairs and maintenance that we perform. We appreciate that we can partner with our customers to keep their mode of transportation running, so they can accomplish their day-to- day obligations. Our business is repairing vehicles. Our goal is to do that well but at the same time, offer customer service we can be proud of. Having been in business for forty years has given us a deep base of customers, some who are third generation drivers just starting to use our services. We received an email last week from a long time customer who mountain bikes. He and Jeff have had many conversations about their shared interests. He had taken a bad tumble on his bike and emailed us to let us know we wouldn’t see him for a bit. He shared what had happened and knew Jeff would be able to relate to a crash on his bike, just not to the level of severity of this ... read more

It's The Little Things

There are some things that most people don’t know when bringing their vehicle in to be serviced. If you have a lock on your tire’s rims, know where the key is in the car. Nothing will slow down a repair job faster than not having any way to remove the tire from the car. Most shops have some that may work but with the plethora of tire rims available now, we don’t have them all. If you are purchasing a car that has locking rims, make sure they give you the key when you purchase the car. My advice, keep it in your glove box. A flat tire on the side of the road is bad enough. Not being able to remove that tire makes for a bad day. Sometimes, our technicians will need to go in the trunk, hatch, glove box etc. if they are diagnosing a problem. Some people, like myself, have stuff in their car. Grocery bags, emergency kits, boots, bungee cords (you never know when you’ll need one), a blanket, etc. Others, like Jeff, have nothing in their car. If you are like me, ask when you bring in your ca ... read more

Respect the Tow Trucks

We repair vehicles here and—on occasion—they need to be towed to us for repairs. Before I started working here, I had never really thought about what a tow truck driver does unless I needed one. I now have a lot more appreciation for them than I did in the past. These are the people that tow you out of the ditch in the worst weather, jump start your vehicle if your battery has failed and clear the road after an accident. I’ve been on the phone with someone that has just hit a curb during a snow storm and they’re waiting for the tow truck to come and bring the vehicle to us. When the driver arrives, they very efficiently handle the situation. To the car owner it may have seemed like a long wait, but in bad weather and with lots of people driving on snowy and icy roads, they’re required to do a lot in a short time frame. Many times they are dropping off a car, grabbing a cup of coffee and they are on their way to the next accident or disabled vehicle. When you’re standing in the cold an ... read more

Prioritize Repairs

One of the things I’ve learned working at an automotive repair shop is this; replace your ball joints. I actually have an unnatural fear of broken ball joints. Here’s my reasoning. If they fail, it might get ugly. Here’s why. Ball joints are part of your suspension. They attach to the hub assembly and lower control arms. They attach into something that looks like your hip socket. If they are loose and come out of that assembly, your car continues to move forward without all of the suspension holding it up and no steering ability. Several years ago, there was a white Dodge Intrepid sitting on M6, between the 68th street and 76th street exits. The ball joint had broken and the front of the vehicle was almost sitting on the road. I remember it because I drove past it every day for probably a week. It was a good visual of a bad situation. We’ve had vehicles towed in that had the ball joint break; and I don’t ever recall a customer enjoying the abrupt stopping then losing control of their c ... read more

So I Like Volvos...

My past four vehicles have been Volvo wagons. I don't even have children in soccer anymore, so the Volvo-driving-soccer-mom doesn't apply. When someone asks me what my favorite make of vehicle is, I don’t even have to think about it. Here's why: safety, comfort, outstanding engine-acceleration, and organization. If I ever met a Volvo engineer, I might act like a NASCAR fan meeting Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Jeff is hoping that never happens. Safety first They're not flashy vehicles but they've been known for their safety innovations since they began. I had smaller children when I had my first Volvo and I liked the fact that they were a little bit safer in my car in case of an accident. Plus they have the option of built-in booster seats. Comfort Not everyone is comfortable in a Volvo but the front seats fit a wide variety of heights, so it’s perfect for me. However, my sons are both six-feet plus and they impart their opinion of the leg room into my back seat, often. I'd avoid this scenario ... read more

Josie and Her Car Seat

My daughter Liz has a small Sheltie puppy named Josie, who will only be about 25 lbs. when full grown. When Liz first started driving with Josie in the car, Josie wanted to sit on her lap. Liz realized that this would be a problem. I decided to do a little research and found several interesting articles about how unrestrained dogs in vehicles are often hurt or killed, even in low speed accidents. Owners can also be hurt because dogs become a projectile in the car during an accident or fast stop. In a 2011 AAA survey, 23% of pet owners used their arms to restrain a dog while braking, and 17% admitted to holding their dog in their lap while driving. Unfortunately, if the airbag deploys in an accident while your dog is on your lap, this could seriously injure your pet. Years ago, when a customer came in to have the air in her tires checked, I saw her two dogs in the back seat with harnesses and seat belts on. I hadn’t seen this before, but now realize her wisdom of safe travel methods for ... read more

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