Boys Under The Hood Podcast 1/21/2020
Updated: Feb 9
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Transcription of Boys Under The Hood
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00:00 And now Boys Under The Hood with James Stephenson from Precision Auto Repair in West Springfield, MA and Pat Kelly. So James, how’s the shoulder doing man. It’s awful. It’s terrible. So if you missed it, James I guess it was about three, four weeks ago was visiting the Bronx zoo with his family and one of the one of the gorillas was able to get his arm through the cage and grabbed a little toddler. James flew into action, saved the kid, who is a little girl, I don’t know if the gorilla is still hurt, but in the process, you, you did something to your shoulder. I did. I put a beating on that girl. But that was a big gun. That was a big day. But even that kind of guy who steps up for that too. That was, yeah, that gorilla didn’t stand a chance. How’s it heeling up? As good as a shoulder surgery could, you know, I’m out of the sling finally so that’s, that’s good. Is there any support at all you have on it now that are just, no, just it’s, it’s normal now and there’s just just limited, just don’t, don’t move it a lot, you know. Cool.
We can continue to talk about that if you want. No, I don’t want to talk about it anymore. Good to keep talking going on about that. If you want or we could talk about your fire stick that has all the channels and every, does that pick up local all the local channels for you to or is it just the just the bigger games. Welcome to boys into the hood. James Stephenson from Precision Auto Repair in West Springfield joins this every Tuesday morning at eight o’clock. And we take your car care questions a couple of ways you can get a hold of us and send the questions in on James’s Facebook page. Precisionautorepair.biz and I also had someone email me, firstname.lastname@example.org. And that’s one of the questions we’re going to address today. So many ways you can get a hold of us if you old car questions. James is the expert man. He runs the business. So definitely send them into us. A lot of times too, what we do is we you know, we’ll get a lot of similar questions, you know, based on time of year, like, Hey, I’m tire pressure, right? My light came on, it’s gotten cold or something like that. So, you know, we’ll really try to target that type of question two, if we begin to get a lot of like bulk of one type of question. Does that make sense? Yeah. Oh yeah. You know, so yeah, I mean just ask, there is no such thing as a stupid question. We get people that even asked to just please, please don’t use my name cause I know that this is a dumb question.
02:05 Don’t worry about it. We’ll won’t pick on you unless you’re rude and then maybe we will a little bit.
Our first question comes from Ellie in Hampden. Elliott, she maybe she drives a Toyota land cruiser. She’s chosen the Shriners hospitals for children as her charity. They’re doing just wonderful work. They’re very well done. Ellie writes, I’m new to maintaining my own car after losing my husband last fall to his personal trainer. Yikes. That’s a lot of information right off the bat. In a car and a car question, my brakes started making noise. So I took it into the shop he always used and they started asking me a ton of questions. I got so confused. I ended up leaving. My main question is about the Brake Rotor, which is the biggest cost. What is a machined rotor? Can all rotors be machined? And what determines if they can be machined?
02:59 So this is the part that the Brake Pad pushes up against. If you look inside your your wheel, you to stand next to your car, look at your wheels. There’s like a, a big metal disc inside there and that’s called your Brake Rotor. Now when you step on the brake pedal that’s in the car, the Brake Pads press against that metal disc and that metal disc it just gets incredibly hot, right? Friction will create heat. So it just gets incredibly hot. Now that metal disc needs to be able to hold the pressure of that stopping force of the pads pushing against it. And it also needs to be able to dissipate that heat that the the Brake Pads and that friction will generate. So Brake Rotors have something called a minimum thickness. Okay. So what machining a rotor means is you’re basically just shaving down the outside edge of it to make the surface nice and new and clean. You want a nice true flat surface. Okay. So there’s a couple of other things you do. You measure the minimum thickness, but you also want to measure what something called runout, right? Every rotor, even though it’s perfectly true as it’s mounted on the hub. When you step on the brake and then the pedal releases, what actually pushes the caliper back, it’s, the rotor actually has a little bit of wobble, but it’s usually the way that the, the hub sits into the steering knuckle or spindle area. So everything all kind of sits in there and there actually is just a very, very minor wobbling. It’s called runout. Every car is supposed to have that. You don’t feel it, you don’t know it as you begin to drive the vehicle. And sometimes if you go, when you step on your brake and you feel the whole car begin to kind of shake, that’s something called excessive runout or a Brake Pulsation.
04:36 So you would measure for run out and then you would measure a minimum thickness and then you would make just a very quick calculation to determine how much you have to shave that rotor down. And does it sit outside of the minimum thickness? Does that make sense? And what we’re talking about to quite literally shave it down. So if you, if you, if you look at like a record, an album, okay. And imagine that you’re looking across the top of it. There’s the little bumps on it. That’s what the process does. It shaves, literally shaves down those bumps to make it flat again. And the, exactly, something like more or less like that. Now if it, if it looks like a record, the surface, you’re going to hear that when you step on the brake. So it’s gotta be perfectly machine.
05:18 So it looks almost like glass. It’s a perfectly smooth surface, but you’re, you’re 100% like the back side of a CD almost makes it a better analogy. Yeah, exactly. It just, it shaves it right down. It just takes off that top, top couple of layers. And then you’ve got your surface there. Replacing a rotor is just, you get a brand new rotor, you put it on the car. And you know, when we put rotors on cars, we’ll check them just for for that run out to make sure that that run out is within spec. Cause nothing worse than putting on a brand new rotor that’s got a pulsation already, you know, built into it. Now, some cars some cars actually don’t allow you to machine the rotors. They’re just called discard only white performance. You know, they’re, they’re already thin enough or they’re drilled or crossroad or slotted or something.
06:05 You know, there’s all kinds of different, different reasons. But some manufacturers just don’t even want you to to machine them. They just want you to just replace them. So cause it used to be, it used to be a very common thing and they used to call it turning of the rotors turning. Yeah. And I remember like I remember seeing the machine it was on, it basically looked like a record player with the hard needle and it just slowly turns it. And as it turns it, the needle moves into the center and eventually it’s flat again. That’s it. But now, so are they thinner? Are they made thinner now? So that’s not as common or will be thinner? Yeah, I mean some, some will be thinner, some are just you know, just the, the way that they’re made you, you can never properly machine them.
06:43 So some higher performance cars, they’ll have little holes all drilled in there. You can’t machine those, you know, the, the, you’d destroy the tip on the lave and would snag in it. It would just, it would, yeah. Would get caught. Cause you’re, you’re literally pressing that, you know, that tip of that lave into that. So you can grind down that surface. If there’s, you know, major imperfections or holes within it, you’re, you’re not going to be able to machine that. So, you know, some just want to make sure it’s a cleaner job, you know. Now is that something that a mechanic would know right away, whether they can be a good one? Yeah. A good one. Yeah. You know somebody on Facebook that has no idea about cars, but they’re just trying to give you advice cause they’re an expert on everything. They’re probably not gonna know.
07:26 But somebody that has actual knowledge of a car can look all that stuff up too. Some are owners actually used to have the minimum thickness written right on there. You know, it’d be kind of stamped in there. But other than that, it’s very easy to find you know, any licensed repair facility that has the, you know, all of the proper specs and things like that, that we look up online. You would you’d be able to quickly find that that’s never been a problem. Determining that. It’s just,what’s the best course of action for the customer because you’re going to have a little bit more labor machining the rotor, but you’re gonna have the lower part cost or you’re going to have a higher part cost and then less labor if you replace the rotor.
08:05 For me personally, I like replacing rotors. I think it’s a cleaner, better, easier to warranty job. It’s also faster, especially if the customer’s in a little bit of a hurry. Not to say that you don’t Machine Brake Rotors, but you don’t do it as much as you used to. Years ago. Like when I started working on cars, every Brake Job for the most part got machined, you know now it’s just, it’s not that way, you know? And then with the cost of rotors and everything coming down significantly over the years, it it really kind of the same. You know, you’re listening to the Boys Under The Hood. James Stephenson from Precision Auto Repair is here every Tuesday morning at eight o’clock. Did you like the the egg carton that I propped the door with, so I was going to bring that up.
08:46 That’s really nice. Yeah, it’s high tech. Is that like a two, two dozen carton? That was the most, that’s the big one. That’s a dozen and a half. One a dozen and a half. That’s a really, that was a professional carton. Well we need those when the chickens get crazy in the spring and summertime cause they just start popping off eggs everywhere. I don’t even know how they do cause it’s not a big animal. Yeah, right. I don’t you hear him in the hen house too. Like, you know when they’re laying an egg, it’s like [inaudible] and I’m like, you’re damn right. That hurts. Oh my God. I mean, come on. Can you integrate chicken? So the chicken sitting there just minding its own business, being a chicken, then all of a sudden it’s like, Oh, ah, but then every single day they just go crazy. Yeah. They just, I don’t know, man.
09:35 They were watching the chickens hatch at the the biggie. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. They’re wicked cute. The chicks have fewer things forever. Since I was a little kid, I go there, I’ll stand there for 15 minutes, 20 minutes, just waiting for one, you know, staring at an egg hole, like willing it to have a little bird pop out of it, lets you see the look for the first crack in it. Like that. That’s it. Then I’m there. I’m stuck. I don’t care what’s going on in the rest of the day. We’re gonna talk about the the chicken show. The it’s not the poultry, is it the poultry show? A show just of chickens, chickens and roosters and ducks. It really is, you know, your kids would love it. What do you do? You just walk around you. Are you buying chicken? Some chickens?
10:10 Yeah. Some people sell their chickens, but a lot of them, I wouldn’t buy a chicken. I just go to your house and steal a couple more. Well, when it gets the kids closer, I’ll tell you about it. I went there, I went there last year and I couldn’t believe it that it was as big as it was hundreds of. And some of them, like some of the roosters, they stay like three feet tall. Dude. Really? You do not want to mess with some of these, these birds, but it’s your Brookie and Maddie would love it. They would be beside themselves. Oh yeah. It’s, it’s really, really interesting. I think you’re overestimating their attention span. [inaudible]
10:47 Well maybe I am. You’re listening to your mom, man. We’d be in the parking lot just getting there and they’d be like, can we go to Chipolte now? Send your questions into us at Precision Auto Repair in West Springfield. Last week we received an email asking us to stop talking about the sales process for dealers. Mainly to stay away from talking about financing because this one salesman lost a commission when the buyer chose their own bank.
11:27 So, yeah, I guess the what did we talk about? What was it that we talked about last week that this was not even know what I talked about today so far? You know, last week there was a question from a woman that was ultimately buying a car and we ended up segwaying into talking about, you know, how dealerships, if you go in there with cash, right, this isn’t, you know, the, the mid eighties anymore, a cash deal isn’t going to get you a cheaper price on a car. All right. So they actually, the dealership will make more money if you finance, right. Was the, the premise behind that conversation and since this guy is upset about it, I guess we could just talk about it again for those that didn’t, that didn’t hear it.
12:18 So then if you go in and you buy a car years ago used to say, you know, well, what’s your, what’s your cash price? And you, you probably could get a cheaper price, but says also a tax implication there as well. So it used to be, Hey man, how about if I paid your cash and save the tax? And so then you’re counting on the other person to misrepresent what they sold at four. So because cash is not traceable, basically that’s the in and out. I don’t like to live in the shady world that you live in. And I like to think that the dealer would know that it was probably going to be an easier transaction now, the guaranteed sold unit. Now that would be the way that I would look at it, Patrick. But you know, you’re free to have your own, your own point of view on that.
12:56 Judging. I just, I’ve, I’ve done cash transactions before. Absolutely. You know, the the, the, the dealership will make money on the financing and that’s not always a bad thing because in some cases there’ll be a promotional rate that will be less than you know, what you could get from your bank if your bank is at like 3%. Maybe this promotional rate is 0% or 1%. So it’s not evil to finance with a, a dealership. But you know the dealership, yes, they, they make money on the financing. They’ll make you know, a couple percent on the financing and on top of it they’ll try to sell something called gap insurance. So if you are trying to purchase a car and you basically don’t want to put any money down or you don’t have any money to put down you would purchase a gap, right?
13:41 Because the second you register that brand new car, it’s going to lose what, like 15, 20% value. Then you drive down the street, somebody smashes into you and the car is only worth what it’s worth. So gap would cover the loan to value amount. Does that make sense? It does cause they’ll come after you for the extra money the insurance won’t cover. Right. And then the biggest scam out there is the not that gap, this or any of that stuff. It is a scam. It’s just this is the biggest scam probably in terms of car-buying is the aftermarket. Warranties just there. Just don’t buy them. They’re terrible. They’re absolutely terrible. You know, they, they limit what kind of parts can go in your car. So they only want some type of like lower quality aftermarket or used part. They don’t pay all of the labor in all cases.
14:26 They just build ad it’s, it’s terrible. I’ve seen, we actually have one at our shop right now that’s been tied up for three weeks, three weeks, just sitting there waiting on an inspector. Three weeks. This customer is not allowed to drive the vehicle. They can’t take it. They can’t do anything. Right. Warranty company wants to make sure it’s in our possession the entire time and the customer can’t mess with it. Customer didn’t mess with it to begin with. They drove it, it broke, and now it’s sitting there for three weeks waiting for an inspector. I’d be crazy, right? Think about how you would feel if you just paid $3,000 for this warranty. I think this person’s had this car for about a year, paid $300 for this warranty. Now finally you need to go use it for a stupid issue and three weeks later you’re still waiting on an answer.
15:07 And they’re not, you know, the warranty company hasn’t agreed to pay for anything. So this person now has this rental for three weeks waiting on approval. How much does the rental cost? I’m at 30 35 $40 a day or something. You know what I mean? That’s insane. That also speaks to, and let’s face it, that’s insurance, right? When you find that and that speaks to any insurance company and you see them on T V right? I’ll act in like they’re your friends. Oh, where are your buddy? Insurance companies do not stay in business paying out claims. Insurance companies make money by denying claims. It’s how they make money. Yeah. So don’t expect that when something happens that they’re going to show up at your house. You know, homeowners is a good example. If you have to file a homeowners claim, good luck to you. You better have everything documented.
15:48 And I mean like your clothes, your belongings. And that’s why they say, you know, a good idea to kind of go around your house with a recorder and record your belongings so that if the time comes, God forbid it does, you’ll have proof for it because the last thing they want to do is pay out a claim. That’s a great tip. Go around and just record it periodically, once every couple months or something. I had some friends of mine, man, and they lost the house. Remember the tornadoes rolled through here, lost everything all the way down to the foundation and what they had to do to get their money back for their stuff cause they hadn’t documented their clothes, their stuff. You know, you got to do it. We had ’em so our building got hit directly. My, our old shop was in the footprint of the the MGM casino.
16:30 Yes. So where that parking garage is, where you exit onto union street, that was where my my old shop was. And you know, obviously since torn down now that they couldn’t fit the building on top of him. Right, right. So thanks for that. But when we got hit by that tornado down there, my my experience actually was just the opposite. They the insurance, we got hit with a tornado on Wednesday, on Thursday, the adjuster came out to kind of take a, like a preliminary list, but we didn’t know what we had lost or had at all. And he just said, if you think you lost it, just write it down. He goes, if you didn’t, we can just deal with it later. Okay. So Friday I took an inventory. I had a check by Monday. Wow. Yeah. My first check by Monday, I don’t think they ever, like, they never gave us any pushback or anything like that.
17:14 We provided receipts and then, you know, what we had or didn’t have or lost or was damaged or whatever. So, you know, I, I had a as good an experience as you could possibly have in such a bad situation. You know, job well done there by whoever the adjuster was because we use I don’t know who the adjuster was. Our agent really went to bat for us, Bob Proulx out of a Berkshire Insurance in Longmeadow. Great team over there. But yeah, I mean back to the back to the question. Yeah. I mean, you know, one of the ways that I will if I’m going to purchase a car and a, I’m going to finance, sometimes you’ll have rebates that are only available if you are to finance so you can get a cheaper price on the car that way.
17:59 So there may be new car incentives or something like that. In that case, what I have done in the past is I will ultimately finance the car at that rate, get the cheaper price, and then you have like a 30 day period where you can’t pay off the car and then I’ll just pay it off after that, that period so that the dealership can get those rebates and everything. And then once the transaction is settled, so to speak, you can just pay it off that way if you want. If you’re, you know, if you’re purchasing a car in cash. Does that make sense? Does, you know? So take whatever they’re willing to give you, let them make their money however they need to and then, you know, just pay it off the way that you initially intended to. So, you know, dealerships aren’t evil.
18:36 They’re, they got these big, huge places so that because they, they make money, you know you know, sometimes the rate can be, can be less, you know, at the dealership. If you need gap insurance, you honestly, you’re buying a car that you can’t afford. So you probably should just look at another car if you’re in a situation where you need gap and then the warranties just stay away from them unless they’re a, they’re certified pre owned. There’s a big difference there. The certified pre owned is essentially an extension of the factory warranty. And in some cases even better where the aftermarket warranties that you would buy from some bigger dealerships. But you know, mainly smaller dealerships, never use them. Never buy one, ever totally stay away from ’em. Just put maybe $20 a week aside into a savings account. And then if you don’t need the money to repair your car or if you need it, it’s there at some point and if you don’t need it then you just use it to go on a vacation or you use it for a down payment on the next one.
19:29 Right. Boys Under The Hood. James Stephenson from Precision Auto Repair in West Springfield sits across from me. I’m Pat Kelly, appreciate you joining us today and submit your car questions to PrecisionAutoRepair.biz or James’s Facebook page or however you can get them through as get them to us and we’ll answer them here on the radio. Let’s jump right back into it.
Denise in Longmeadow drives a Volvo XC 70. She’s chosen the Shriners hospitals for children. Denise writes, I was leaving my favorite restaurant the other night in Hamden and my check engine light came on. I was alarmed. So I called the repair shop the next day. I wanted to have it looked at but was appalled that they needed to charge me to look at the vehicle. Body shops never charged for repair estimates.
20:20 They told me what was wrong and the, the car is broken. Even after fixing the car, what should I do now? They told me what was wrong. She was at, and the car is still broken. Hampden House, you ever go there? Oh yeah. At the eggplant tower. They do a nice job there, man. That thing will fatten you up. Nice. We went down there. We’re there for a thirsty, thirsty. I think we scared them and him that house. Yeah. This was a couple of years ago. It sure Lois. I mean we brought a ton of people so they, they had to be thrilled from that respect that it’s not sure if they were ready for the music to be blaring and they’re like that. But I love the Hampton house. LA Cucina. Yeah. Right. Yeah. Yeah. We go there a lot.
20:58 I like it. They made great espresso martinis, spry espresso martinis. Real good. That’s the second time you you, you turn the whole conversation over to alcohol today. How are you doing? You all right? Long week already. A little bit shaky this morning. Honestly, I mean I’m not going to lie to you. Martin Luther King day is a like your st Patrick’s day. Yeah, that’s what it is. Yeah. That’s funny. So you know what Denise in the past eight months, one of the the, the most asked questions and we kind of touched on this earlier is why do people have to want to pay to have their car look that? And the reality is cause it’s expensive to, to have all of the equipment and training tools and everything that you need to be able to properly diagnose your car. Plus it takes time, right?
21:46 So if you go to a body shop and you want an estimate on something or just going to do a visual inspection of it, okay. If the car is a got a scratch on the bumper of a newer car, it’s probably pretty easy to estimate that damage that you can physically see. Correct. An engine has about a thousand pieces to it. Okay. And you are now supposed to, as a technician, determine which one of those thousand pieces is malfunctioning internally causing a Check Engine Light, even though that part is internal as well. Right. How would you know that? No, you wouldn’t. You can’t see it. You know, and even even a, a, a diagnostic scan tool that maybe will put you in the area, but that’s not going to tell you exactly what’s wrong with it. There’s no such tool that exists. There’s no tool built in the world today that will tell you exactly what is wrong with your car by plugging it in.
22:41 And it does not exist on any level of auto repair. Whether it’s basics or the best dealership around it just does not ignore it. It doesn’t exist. It’s nowhere. And that makes sense. I’m glad that she actually, she’s the one that brought up the the body shop stuff, right? Cause it’s crystal clear to you there’s, there’s no digging around. I mean I’d imagine if the car had like a crap load of damage, like it’s close to being totaled, it’s gonna take him more time to go over it. Whatever. What happens is the body shop will pull it apart. So body shop will say, okay, your initial estimate is, is $2,000 for this major, major front end collision collision. Now they take everything apart and they do something called a supplement. Okay. Now that we’ve got it apart, we’re able to see all the additional damage.
23:21 And then, you know, now you have your, your true estimate. Right. Does that make sense? And they’ll send it off to either you or your insurance company or, or whoever. In the end, the insurance company ends up paying for that anyway. Right. So yeah, but they’ve got to have their initial estimate and then so that’s what they don’t charge for. But it’s totally, it’s different. You know, it’s different. So if you you know, if you allowed me to take your car apart and you are going to definitely pay for it, I can tell you exactly what was wrong inside as well, you know, so I don’t, I don’t know. It’s kind of apples and oranges. You know, you’re, you’re comparing something that you can physically see that’s on the outside of the vehicle and, and very visible in most cases. Versus something that’s internal, a moving component that’s causing something else.
24:08 Like it’s just, it’s apples to rocks. And this isn’t just precision. I mean this, this is every place you take. She never brought the car to us, but the, the thing that I can say is that I, I know the shop that she brought the car to and cause people will, the, we typically will leave the name of the shop out of wheat. Not typically. We always leave the name of the shop out of the person’s question. Just because we don’t want anybody to think negatively of somebody based on somebody else’s negative or perceived negative experience or interaction with that shop. If I have a friend that owns a shop and somebody asks a question, I always call that shop and I ask them, Hey, what happened? Or be aware of this. Maybe you could call that customer and try to make it right or something right.
24:52 Because in some cases, good customers, they just, they don’t complain to the shop, they’ll just, they’ll never come back and you know, that doesn’t help the shop. So, you know, if the shop doesn’t know that there’s an issue, they can’t fix it. So you know, in a lot of cases I will call that other shop as long as I know them and I’ll tell them, Hey, look, this happened in this case, this woman was given a list of things that she actually needed to repair. And then she told, chose to repair one and she said she had another Mechanic that could do the job cheaper. And she chose not to do the majority of the list of things so that, that would be, in this case, why her car is still broken. She just never actually wanted to repair the car. But then she took some time to ask us this question and that’s great.
25:32 I’m glad we were able to clarify what the difference is between a body shop and a repair shop. Well, can you imagine if your whole day was just looking at cars and diagnosing them and just like not getting paid at all because all the diagnosis were free if you break down, you know, the, the time, the tools, the training, everything, you know, last week I think we touched on this, you know, one of our main scan tools for Check Engine Lights is about $20,000 and we’ve got to have at least four different scan tools, different ones because there is no like one size fits all scan tool either. You’ve got to have some that only work on certain European Cars and then some that only work on certain Asian or domestic or you know, whatever. And then you’ve got special ones that are just for programming tires and all this other stuff.
26:15 So with all of that comes updates at a thousand couple thousand dollars a year per tool. On top of that. Now you’ve got to train your technician and your tech or your technician has to have a bunch of other little tools that he needs to be able to diagnose all that stuff on top of it, you need electricity in the shop, right? I need all that stuff. So without even getting into the business lesson of all of that, it takes time, right? It takes a lot of time. And what happens with diagnosis is people will think, and not all people, but just some people will think and it’s just cause they don’t know, they’ll think, well there’s a computer you just plug it in and that’ll tell you what’s wrong with it. Auto zone does that auto zone, you know if you want to buy some parts there, that’s great.
26:54 But auto zone is a part store and their job is to sell you parts. So when they plug in their, you know, whatever they plug in, right? Whatever their basic, very generic scan tool is. What it does is it spits out a list of common parts that typically get replaced for that repair. Could be this. It could be one of these 10 things right now, Patrick has to go inside the store, purchase the part, and then he has to what? We’re going to look up on YouTube, how to replace it, right? And then you’re going to probably screw it up, right? And you’re going to need to go back to the parts store and buy another tool or whatever. You’re going to turn this 10 minute job into an all day project because you don’t know what you’re doing and I’m not going to do the job right then the light’s still going to be on.
27:33 So now you need to go back and they’re going to clear it for you, and then you’re going to drive around for a couple of days and then the light is going to come back on and you’re going to have the same exact code and now what are you going to do? You can go back to the park store and you’re going to go through this whole gamut again and now it’s going to be a month and few hundred dollars and however many wasted days that you’ve spent trying to work on this car, all to replace what they said were common failure parts, right? The difference that you get at a repair shop is the repair shop will say, okay, this is the exact part that is bad and this is why it’s bad and this is how much it’s going to cost and this is how long it’s gonna take.
28:08 And they’re going to tell you all of that stuff. And the other thing that repair shops gonna do is they’re going to obviously do the work for you, but they’re going to re they’re going to warranty it. So should that part go bad? Should something not be right. Then you’ve got somebody you can go back to and say, Hey look, you know, you guys are supposed to be the experts. Prove it. You know? Does that make sense? It does make sense. You know? So the, there, there’s a huge difference there, right? And we’ve used this analogy before, and I stole this from somebody else. A customer actually gave it to me. Diagnosis is like a high rise building, alright? Empire state building, and you’ve got however many floors are in the empire state of how many floors are in there? 80 a hundred. 100. Let’s just call it a hundred.
28:46 I don’t even know. But there’s a lot of floors. All right? Every floor, let’s say, has a hundred rooms. What diagnosis is gonna do is it’s gonna put you on the 82nd floor, okay? And it’s going to say, figure it out now. So the technician is going to have to check every single room, all 100 rooms on that, that floor, and figure out where the problem is. All right? What a part store does is they say, all right, you’re on the 82nd, the 41st, and the the 93rd floor and just go by all of this stuff and something in here is going to fix that issue. Good luck. You know? And if you need more parts, we can sell you more parts. Right? Does that make sense? It’s asinine. You know, that’s the difference between a part store and then diagnosis part stores are great if you want to buy parts, you don’t want a part store trying to diagnose your car because it’s going to cost you a lot of time, aggravation, you know money and I’m, you know, I’m glad you bring up time.
29:45 That’s one of the things that I’m always talking with Kim about when we don’t, we don’t debate it a lot, but anytime there’s like a do a DIY project, right? I, I always look at how long it’s going to take me on my day off or how long it’s going to take us on our day off. And I say to her, is it worth putting in 10 hours on your day off to save 100 bucks? Cause it’s not me, not to me it’s not. I’d rather have somebody who knows what the hell they’re doing. I’d rather pay a guy to do my landscaping then for me to do it half assed at twice as much time on my day off. So the bottom line is you want a pro to look at your car because you’re wasting a lot of time in addition to the process of trying to chase down the right part, if you’re getting that basic diagnosis from a parts shop.
30:34 Sure. And I do love our local Napa here by the way. Napa is great. Yeah. Napa does an awesome job. All right. You know, all these, these parts stores do an awesome job sourcing and selling parts and they’re helpful, you know, very helpful and they can give you a lot, a lot of great information. All right. They’re just not, don’t use them as a diagnostic tool. Like that’s just not what it is. Use them to tell you, Hey, you can continue to drive the vehicle with this light on until you can get to an actual shop that can repair the car. And then the shop will in some cases buy the apart from them and then put it in the car if they choose to use that vendor. But that would be really the only capacity that I would use them to. I don’t know, scan your car in any, any way, shape or form.
31:19 Does that make sense? It does. You know, we do offer Free Diagnosis at a Precision Auto to for existing customers. You just have to roll in a, sorry, enroll in our what’s called Precision Pride Program. It has stickers on my truck first. First hour diagnosis, always free forever. And then you also, or you would get 5% off repairs, so one or the other. So if you come in for diagnosis today, we will do the diagnosis for free. Or if you just came in for, you know, just service or something, you get 5% off, but it’s a totally free program. You give the shop a call, three, six, three zero three zero six, we get you enrolled. Takes all of a minute, not a big deal. And it’s totally free. You’re listening to the Boys Under The Hood. James Stephenson, owner operator, Precision Auto Repair in West Springfield.
32:05 So did the guys listen to the show? The guys in the shop? They listen in the shop too. Yeah. I love those boys. They work hard. They’re a good group of guys. Yeah. They’re, they’re a, a, a very, very good group of guys. We we’re blessed.
Our next question comes from Eric who’s chosen the open pantry and this is one that came to me last week and I start laughing because this has happened to me. My question concerns rodents living inside the chipmunks or mice. I know that they may be attracted to eating wires or bringing in their own NES. What’s a good way for an automobile to keep these pests out? I’ve used mothballs and netting over the intake before.
32:53 Any ideas or thoughts? Thank you. That’s a good question. It is, you know, very relevant to this time of year seat [inaudible] all the little critters will want to go find a nice warm place to hide in the wintertime. It’s what, one degree out two degrees out today, right? It’s, it’s probably warmer in your, your garage and nevermind next to your nice warm car in that. Nice warm engine Bay so the critters will want to find a place to go inside there. Moth by, I’ve heard a lot of really great suggestions over the years and, and mothballs are a mothballs I, I’ve heard are, are great. And you know, when you actually break it down, I’ve heard that they’re not so great. And the reason being is that the amount of of naphthalene that you would need to be able to deter a mouse is roughly the same that you would need to determine a human or deter, deter.
33:42 Not determined. I’m sorry. Deter a human. So it would have to be such a large amount that it would, it just would be, no, wait a minute. What do you naphthalene what do you, what kind of words he tried to throw up my listener, I can’t even spell it. Is that what’s in mothballs that makes it smell like that? Yeah. Yeah. So that’s your, that’s your, your active ingredient there. That that keeps everything in the, in the, in the mothballs naphthalene it’s called here right now. Yeah. Yeah. I didn’t know that. I thought the main ingredient was mothballs a show on Google right now. Now one you a dollar. I’m right. I mean I bet I could look it up. You know you’re right. It’s just, you say it like it’s matter of fact like you’ve, you’ve said naphthalene a lot. One of us works on cars all the time. I’m supposed to know this stuff. Hence expert on this side of the desk. I got to know these things.
34:34 I had something living in my, it was living inside of the fan. Like it was in the, it was inside of the rotor where the inside where the fan, like the, the cabin fan. Yeah. And he had built a nest in there but I couldn’t like, he must have had a really bad last day because that thing spins. Yeah. You know when you turn the car on it spins and next thing I know my heater is like spitting out pieces of grass. It’s coming through the, the vents. And then finally I figured out what was going on. Did it, was he would want to know how was the porno idea? He, he must’ve bolted before I started it because he would have been doomed. Yeah. There’s no getting out of that. And here’s how I know that I almost took my finger off trying to fix it with it on.
35:22 That wasn’t wise. Don’t stick. Shut the power off to stick your finger in a fan. No, I don’t want to do that. No, it wasn’t good cause I, you know, I tried to do, I tried to spin, spin the stuff out. I had the, I had the glove box open. I’m all up in there and like, Oh I can’t, I couldn’t get my big fat arm in there. So I tried to spin it out. So I’m like, okay, I’ll turn the car on, turn the fan on, it’s spinning. And I’m like, okay, now I’m gonna stick my finger in there. It’s a logical, quite a thought process. I mean, it made sense at the time. Did you pull back a stump of I pulled back a bloody finger. Oh my goodness. You know what that happened to ’em it’s pretty common. You know that you’ll get a you know, rodent or something in their room, had that happen to them from a Romeo Athletics in Enfield.
36:14 He had like maybe two inches deep of a, of acorns all in his fan. You know, cause the fan looks like a little basket. Yeah. You know, and he had maybe a couple inches of, of acorns in there. He comes in, he said, what the heck is going on? Something’s wrong with this fan and you know, won’t get up to speed and it’s making a ton of noise. You just totally destroyed from all the the acorns and everything. You know, something was living in there, but you know, the, the mothballs, I mean you could try it if you want. Peppermint oil is a really a good deterrent. So the first thing you want to do is you want to make sure that you don’t have any holes or exposed areas where critters and things can get in. You want to try to remove them from your garage first and then from there you can begin to kind of treat the car.
36:59 So I can tell you what I do. Everybody, you can do a quick Google search and you could find a bunch of really cool you know, tips and things like that. But for me, when I store, you know, I have a, a, a classic car that I store for the winter. What I do is I treat the inside of the garage with a like a peppermint oil, like a natural peppermint oil. The reason I use that is because we have a little dog and he goes around sniffing for everything and chewing on crumbs and dirt in the garage. She’s such a stupid little beast, you know, but he just, he’s handsome, but he just, he eats her. You’re like, what are you eating dust for? Why are you talking with the dog? He’s listening to us right now. Cause you probably just because he fell under his see your dog.
37:39 Right. Because that dog knows now I’m going to go home and he’s going to pee in one of my shoes or something. I would, I know I would too. But he, you know, he’s a, he’s a good little dog, but you know, he’s going to try to eat any little crumbs or anything that he might find on the ground. You know, so I don’t want, I don’t want a meeting poison. Right. You know so that peppermint oil is good. I’ll set some like mouse traps around the outside of the garage on, not that we have a problem with it, but just in case, right. We don’t have a problem with, because we’re always treating for it, you know. So we’ll set two mousetraps humane ones so you can, you know, catch and release if you want to. And then from there I’ll spray that same peppermint oil right around the car and I’ll spray some kind of underneath, you know, on, on the, the body of the car underneath so that they, you know, they just, they don’t want to come near it.
38:25 And I’ll repeat that like maybe once a month, once every week, every couple weeks or something like that, as needed. And in the car, I like to put dryer sheets in places where the critters might be able to get in and it seems to determine, plus it smells pretty nice. Wow. Yeah, they never thought about that. I have found that they are more deterred by dryer sheets than mothballs and the mothball smell mop all smell like mothballs, you know, like it’s awful. It’s a terrible, it’s like a very unique, terrible odor. I’d rather my car smell like fresh linen or lavender or something. Right. And that night, again, it smells like it was just smells like a fresh T shirt right out of the dryer. Right. It was someone got that on record you say? I just would love it if my car smelled like fresh linen.
39:06 It’s a more pleasant, a pleasant aroma now than mothballs. Yeah. I know some people like to put steel wool in different areas too, but fresh linen or steel wool, you know, you listen while you’re listening to voice under the hood. We field all sorts of car questions. We’d talked about rodents today. Look if you have a problem with your car, it’s making a funny sound. Do you have any questions about repairs? Maybe you took your car somewhere, you feel like you weren’t treated well. You know what? If you took your car somewhere and you weren’t treated well and you want to talk about it, these send a question into us. Precision Auto Repair on Facebook or PrecisionAutoRepair.biz. We needed a question of the week here and we need to make a donation. I’m going to yell at ’em the land cruiser. She had a question about brake rotors, machining, brake rotors and she wants to donate to Shriners hospitals for children. So James going to cut a $25 check to the Shriners boom. Done. Very well done. That’s it. Good luck with the road and senior. Carmen, you do want any ice fishing today or anything? No. Hell no. I don’t ice fish. It’s too cold. It’s too cold. Just light a fire on the ice. These two, that seems safe. I don’t know what could go wrong that I changed. Thanks for coming in, man. I thought I’ll talk to you next week.