The 2nd Biggest Myth in Automotive Service!

Our industry has a terrible reputation, and unfortunately, that’s not the myth, that’s a true statement.

Not too long ago, I was asked by a customer, one of our local news stations, to help do an expose’ on some of the “fast lube” shops around town. This put me in a terrible position for a few reasons. For one, I really didn’t want to help perpetuate a negative image of our industry. But on the other hand, people have a right to know so they can protect themselves. It really boiled down to two questions for me.

1. What is the harm in doing this? The harm was I was helping to reinforce the negative image our industry has brought on itself. Would people see this and think “Wow, what a really nice thing it was for them to shed some light on common practices utilized by a handful of auto repair shops in order to increase their profits?” Most likely not.

2. What is the benefit in doing this? Let’s face it – the fact that you ignore a problem doesn’t make it any less real. The reputation is what it is, and unless we start to recognize, isolate and eliminate it, it will keep growing and getting worse. When bad things are left unattended, they just get worse, and I have found that pretty much applies to everything in life.

In the end, we ran with the story, and quite a few of the local “fast lube” shops were not real happy with my decision, and they didn’t mind letting me know it. I guess accountability stings sometimes.

So what is the myth?

The myth is that all shops are out to take advantage of you. For my first example, one of the most misunderstood practices in our industry is the Free Safety Inspection, where a technician looks beyond the issue you brought your car in for, then provides you a list of “recommended items”. This sometimes is perceived as an attempt to sell you additional items that you may or may not need. How many reading this have been offered a “flush” that will help prolong the life of whatever system is being flushed, but you can’t find that service anywhere in your owner’s manual? Since you may not be familiar with what they are talking about, it is real easy to feel like you are being taken advantage of.

Let me give you my best advice on this – if it feels kind of sleazy to you, it probably is. Please don’t misunderstand what I am trying to say. A reputable shop is going to offer you the same Free Safety inspection, but with a few major differences.

The biggest difference is the motive behind doing it, and I just summarized the best way to tell in my previous statement – a reputable shop is going to OFFER you the same service. If you don’t want someone looking over your car from front to back, then you shouldn’t be forced to let them. A reputable shop will ask you if you would like for them to perform the service before they do it.

Another good way to tell is the manner in which they approach you with their findings. A reputable shop says “here is what we see, what it effects, and what it cost to repair”, then let’s you make your own educated decision. A greedy shop pushes the service until you feel like running out the door, possibly even using scare tactics to try to intimidate you into buying. One of the shops covered in the expose’ I mentioned actually told a customer her transmission would blow up if she didn’t do the service. What made that extra sleazy was the fact that she JUST had the service done at the previous shop they visited! To make matters worse, the repair was authorized, and the hidden camera showed the mechanic pretending to do the service, never even hooking up the flush machine!

A final way to make sure you’re doing the right thing is to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, and nothing else, since nobody knows your car better than the people who made it. If it’s not in the owner’s manual, it doesn’t need to be done. On repairs like brakes, a little bit of research will tell you what the average is for your make and model on both mileage and cost of repair.

In the end, the most important thing is that as you drive away from the repair shop, you feel good about the transaction that just took place. If you do, you have found your shop. If you don’t, my best advice is to keep looking.

Automotive – An Amazing Invention

Our world is growing as fast as each new day is approaching. Technology nowadays have reached a height so high in the marks of advancement, in machines, in biological technology and so on, and the most extensively noticed is in the marks of automotives. I remember how the Germans take pride on the Volkswagen, but this age have brought automotive technology to soar high above the worlds economy and luxury much more than what we expected in the past few decades.

Car technology of course did not take the passenger’s or the driver’s safety in its design for granted. Safety features of the cars of today don’t just consists of airbags, no; some of the latest advances on car safety features includes antilock braking system, stability control, backup sensing system, adaptive cruise controls, traction control, crash resistant door pillars, crumple zones, head restraints, all wheel drive, and so on. All of these of course could only mean that a whole new level of car development have taken to completion. These points of time have become an age that will spread out the technological boom all over the world in the form of automotives as we know it.

Automotives have reached the world of sports as well. These machines can also demonstrate amazing industrial and product strength in terms of excellence in speed, endurance, maneuvering and the sort in tracks or circuits in the world of sports. Brands famous across the world compete for the title of owning the fastest vehicle and engine, and the show would just be amazing for all the spectators out there whether on the benches or just watching the action on television. Automotives have other use in sports too. Take for example the use of golf carts in golf; they can surely make it easy for golfers to move about that huge golf course, but they are not at all neglected in the advancement of technology. Cart parts take a share on this as well, take a glance on the Yamaha accessories with it and see for yourself.

Automotive have also gone to terrific applications in all sorts of industry like mining and construction, enhanced with the amazing use of hydraulics and all kinds of engineering techniques, vehicles like these have contributed just about so much in making our job much easier and faster, and thus, have made the industrial world much productive and efficient. Can you imagine how hard it would be for us without these machines? It will be like going back to the past and experiencing slavery once again!

That is why we should appreciate it even more for the services it renders us. Whether it is the simplest things like deliveries or transportation or to the most complex of its application like mining or construction, automotives have made a mark on our lives that we would be so pitiful without them. So give a hand to whoever started innovating the way we live by inventing and improving automotives as we know it. Surely, they made our lives easier and because of them we can appreciate technology in the form of these vehicles.

More Heavy Machinery Job Opportunities Coming to the New Zealand Automotive Industry

This year was a particularly difficult one for the automotive recruitment industry and this was reflected in the falling away of employment opportunities in this sector right across the board.

However, recent figures show that confidence is rising in virtually all sectors of the motor industry, with the forestry sector for heavy machinery coming in very strongly on the job market. This is reflected in the steadily increasing numbers of jobs becoming available in the automotive industry.

This is good news all round for anyone looking for mechanics jobs, car sales jobs etc and recent comments in this sector give a sense of optimism that there may be ‘some light at the end of the tunnel”. This may be due to the fact that several large road construction projects are due to start in the new year, meaning more automotive recruitment all round.

Data recently released, shows significant growth in new areas of the employment market which matches reports of growth in emerging New Zealand motor industry jobs. More good news for the automotive sector is the effect of the recent Fonterra payouts to the farming sector. This, in turn, will prove a boon to the local farm machinery companies, resulting in more job opportunities with these companies.

Interestingly, there has been a turnaround by New Zealand Immigration’s ‘shortages list’ to include Automotive Technicians, which gives even more reason for optimism that this sector of the job market has an even brighter outlook, with rising numbers of new job advertisements, forty-five percent higher than at the same time last year.

So, taking all of this into consideration, it would appear that automotive employment opportunities are on the up and up. This is good news indeed for all sectors of automotive recruitment, whether it be in industry (private and public works), farming or car sales.

Regarding the industrial sector, it is reported that there has been a steady increase in heavy automotive and equipment vacancies, which could increase exponentially as the automotive employment opportunities in general continue to rise.

Why Your Website Isn’t Showing Up Organically on Google

Fooling the biggest search engine on the planet is almost impossible today. Websites with questionable content and suspect tactics may incur the wrath of Google with terrible Google search results and an outright ban by the internet titan. There are a few reasons why a business might fail to see its website within Google results, and some of those reasons are innocent while others aren’t so blameless.

Sometimes manipulative search tactics are in play (these methods attempt to bypass Google’s rules for good website construction) while other problems stem from a website owner’s failure to implement simple search requirements to gain standing in organic search results. Utilizing these tactics was much easier just a few years ago, but attempting to use such methods today is definitely not recommended.

What to Avoid with Website Design
Google continuously refines how its spiders crawl and index the web, and website owners must remain knowledgeable about such changes and updates. A method that worked just fine a year ago could be something seen as subversive today by Google. Some habits, on the other hand, have always been bad news but haven’t been so noticeable until very recently.

For example, stuffing a website full of the same keyword so that every other sentence has a particular phrase is called “keyword stuffing,”, and this is bad news when it comes to search engine rankings. Google appreciates well-written and valuable content, and paragraphs filled with the same repetitive phrases aren’t going to encourage great search engine results.

Using Simple Tactics for Better Results
Some of the most common mistakes a website might display include issues like failing to describe the content featured in a page. Titles for each page in a website must be accurate and shouldn’t sound like a default description. Furthermore, each page needs to have a unique set of descriptors, or “tags.” Using the same tags on every page makes it seem like a website doesn’t have that much going on and that all the content is similar or lacks uniqueness.

Crafting a descriptive title that makes good use of keywords isn’t difficult. Focusing on a brief and accurate title is all that Google requires. The process shouldn’t take too much time. Additionally, creation of the page’s description should be accurate and concise. Creating a set of “meta tags” for the page that tell readers exactly what the page contains without taking a ton of space to share such information will always result in a better reaction from Google regarding search engine standings.

The meta tags aren’t the place to put full content for the website. These tags are brief descriptions and are supposed to be helpful to the reader. And this accuracy should also extend to the URLs of each page. A URL that has an ending like “1234.html” isn’t at all descriptive. Changing that URL to something that resembles “BlueWidgets.html” is a much better way to tell Google what content that page contains.

Too Much of a Good Thing Isn’t Good
It’s important not to get too carried away with the URL of a website as a URL that’s too long may actually reduce the effectiveness of a description. In addition, creating simple names for the directory pages within the website also offers value for search engine rankings. For example, a page nested within a directory that looks like “12345/BlueWidgets.html” isn’t going to be as valuable as a URL that reads, “Products/BlueWidgets.html.”

Finally, the overall navigation of a website should be simple and make sense. Creating a short and descriptive order for new pages makes it easy for visitors to know where they are within a website’s architecture, and it also pleases Google’s spiders when they crawl the website. Creating a “breadcrumb” style of pages within a website encourages visitors to stick around and explore.

There are a number of additional tactics required for fully effective website design, and improving overall search rankings does take time even after a full suite of optimized practices are inserted into a website. The idea of improving organic search results should be thought of much like growing a garden. It takes some time for the “seeds” of good website practices to grow and produce fruit.