Introducing from the glove box an automotive podcast with Mike and Tony. Tatich the father-son team and owners of TMT Automotive in Northern Indiana. Today we're talking about movie cars, how to buy tires, and the check engine light.
So hey, welcome again this is father and son team Mike and Tony Tatich coming to you from Northern Indiana. So how you doing today Tony?
I'm alive in the glove box.
Alive in the glove box. That's true. I forgot to say we're coming from the glove box. That’s our call title. I think so.
Favorite cars from movies
So hey we were thinking about different things to talk about, but you know Tony brought up before we popped on here. Favorite cars from movies or favorite movie cars. You got some favorite movie cars you would like to talk to everybody about today?
My number one, all-time favorite movie car has to do with what we just talked about. Hmm from American Graffiti. Oh boy.
A three window 1932 Ford coupe. Yellow. I think it had a blown small block in it. I think so.
Yeah so but no fenders on it. Wide open rear tires and super wide rear tires and I think it's a head a little drag race with a little guy named Ronnie Howard. I can't remember if Ron Howard drove that or he drove the the white four-door car.
Yeah he did. Wasn't there a 5?
Harrison Ford drove the 55 black Chevy
Yeah so that was my favorite that car. That car was badass but that car was modeled
after the car. I can't remember which movie came first if American Graffiti came first or Tulane. Blacktop came first but the 55 was shared between those two the the same looking of the 55 car was shared between those two movies.
Now that those are really cool cars. And that was back in the day the 50s and 60s. I mean cruising town. Having a hot rod. I remember even going back to my father-in-law professionally drag race Roy Trevino and he grew up in Corpus Christi Texas and he had a 57 Chevy factory fuel-injected car. I remember my mother-in-law telling me people come knocking the door at one o'clock in the morning and want to race because they knew he had the hottest car in town. And they'd go race and he'd win and do whatever happened then I'm not sure and stuff but that was a way of life and stuff. And that really kind of opened up what we talked about in a segment before this. NHRA drag racing. That opened up people wanting to put drag racing in a safer mode than zipping up and down the street.
Still that car culture of that era, it was cool. You had drive-in restaurants. You know like Bonnie Doon still in our area has that for you nationwide or worldwide. Three or four viewers or listeners that we have at this point in time. You know everybody knows what Sonic is and stuff but that was a pretty typical normal situation to have you know your local drive-in restaurant in fast food place and that's where a lot of car shows happen and a lot of cruising happened. You know right over close to us there used to be a lot of cruises at a small town called Goshen had cruise nights and stuff that I know that you're aware of I used to cruise in Mishawaka on a road called McKinley that after nine o'clock at night they shut down one lane on each side to where you could only drive in one lane because they didn't want people cruising through there and stuff. Just a cool side of things that has unfortunately slightly gone by the wayside at this point in time.
You don't see a lot of that so see how Tony took this right off. You just took the car right off the road. We're talking about what's your favorite movie car.
We're talking about movie cars and then Tony's going down the memory lane with cruise plots. But places but you know everybody I'm sure in your cities your towns you had places you went and cruised and did different things and you know different different things going on so. You know I was thinking about that. I was trying to think of my favorite movie car. Car from a movie and I would throw out the bandit. Smoky and the bandit. Burt Reynolds 1978 trans am. 400 you know it was a Pontiac 400 b8. I think that was a big block in those things. I can't remember.
I can't remember either. I know they had a good motor and a crap motor. They had the 403 that was a crap. One of my buddies had that.
But you know hat engine had to shaker hood scoop that shook and stuff. But it was an all-Pontiac movie. If you always watch movies. There was always a sponsor of movies. Even modern day, I watch Yellowstone. And Dodge is a big sponsor of that. They're all over. But there's always these sponsors of the movies and stuff. If you went through
that that was a real cool story and there's all sorts of movies that had to do with you driving across country and driving some hot rod.
Talking trans am kit. The dukes of hazard car. You had lots of cars, lots of car movies innthat era.
And dukes of hazard was another uh yeah that was as you have different now we have all the reality shows. We have all the star shows and all those Fast and the Furious.
We had all those. But we had a lot of those different tv shows that were weekly tv shows.
The dukes of hazard that was a weekly show and they amazingly just ramped that car over rivers and highways. I always still trying to figure out what suspension that car had underneath of it because that thing always stayed on the road. It could have jumped 15 school buses evil keneval style and nothing fell off of it.
They did do that, which you bring up another one evil keneval. Wasn't a car but the dude did some amazing motorcycle jumps. There's a lot of amazing cars and I think a lot of car manufacturers used the movie business to promote cars and sell cars. And that was pretty natural They used to talk about even in the old drag race days. Race on sunday. Sell on monday and that was the whole idea. That's why manufacturers got behind so many different. Whether it's nascar drag racing. The movie business really started picking up. I think we gotta throw three other movies out there real quick. Steve mcqueen and bullet.
That's a good one. I think that Mustang just sold in its original condition. The original car from that and sold for five million dollars or some insane amount of money. Then you got the two gone in 60 seconds. The original. That really wasn't as good and then the one movie that Nicholas Cage made. That was actually good in his entire career which was the gotten 60 seconds from my era that had the Elinor 67 fastback Mustang. The one and only Mustang that I probably would ever own in my life. Other than that, I would never own a pile of crap Mustang in my life.
Don't say that. I mean we are maybe more GM guys. But those are mustangs are some pretty cool cars. But if we have been primarily gm guys. Those are really really cool movies and shows. All thel these different things. You know, it really comes down to this. It’s America's love with the automobiel. You can watch all sorts of great history of automobiles has been on several different shows. They go back and show how the dodge brothers and Henry Ford. The oldsmobile and Louis Chevrolet and all the people. All the things and Carol Shelby.
Ford versus Ferrari was a great movie that just came out. That was a great newer movie Ford versus Ferrari. That was that was a really amazing thing and we're just really talking about American cars through this. There's obviously an amazing amount of cars made in Europe and Japan. That's a little bit about our favorite movie cars for this segment.
How do I choose the right new tires to buy?
Hey mike and Tony, I was wondering about buying some tires and how to choose what tires to buy. Alll I see is different prices man and just hoping to get some advice on it.
If I understand what the caller was asking about. Its “I’'ve googled or i've got on one of the big warehouses and looked up tires for my car,” How do I choose the right, the correct tires for my car? Because if Ii g, “ let's just say you drive an average Toyota Camry.
I mean there are probably 80-100 different choices and tires for that car. So how do Ii choose one? I mean they may be from 60-70 dollars to 200 dollars. They have this big range and I know what the car came with and all those types of things. Understand one thing. Your car came with new tires and maybe you got 50,000 miles. 40 000 miles. And you're replacing them. How do I buy that next set of tires? It's not always based on what the car has on because it was brand new and everything's tight then and things loosen up but tony could you share with share with our audiences, how do you pick out a good tire for your car?
The first piece of information that I want to go to is not necessarily picking out the tire. It's making sure, what tire, what size of tire that your car actually takes. And very few people understand this. That in every single driver-side door jam unless your car had major body damage or major body work or paint work. There's a sticker in your driver-side door jam that says the exact size that your tire should be, the exact air pressure that the tire should be set at and the exact size of the spare tire. And the pressure that should be in the spare tire. I think it would be great if most people educated themselves to make sure that that tire that they're choosing for their car or the tire that's currently on their car is the proper size for the vehicle. Some vehicles, the vehicle that I drive personally has oversized tires on it. I obviously sought professional opinion to make sure that those tires would fit and work for my car.
His professional opinion. He sought mine. I think got his dad's opinion because he knows I know everything about cars.
Yeah I think I saw my own.
I thought he was gonna give me a attaboy there but I guess not. Just so everybody knows, your tire size is on the sidewall of your tire also.
If i'm choosing tires. I think the first thing we want to ask is a couple of questions.
Tony what questions would you ask somebody that says, “hey I want to get a new set of tires for my car?
A lot of times I want to know how long they plan on keeping the car or how many miles per year they drive the car.
Yeah, what kind of miles you drive? What kind of weather do you drive in? I mean we're in Northern Indiana so you may drive 30 miles to work on wintry slick crazy roads. That makes a big difference. How many miles do you drive a year. In this day and age. we have a lot more people that stay at home. But we want to know how many miles you drive. There is an interesting fact about this. So if somebody says, “well I stay at home. I don't leave. I don't need a 60-70,000 mile tire. But tell everybody Tony, the the reason why you may want to choose a 60 or 70,000, a higher mileage tire, even though you may not drive too many miles.
In most cases, the quality of the rubber actually increases with a a better tire or a longer-lasting tire. So for instance a lot of cars. i helped a neighbor last week put his spare tire on and he had a 2012 ford f-150 or something in his driveway. And he lives right behind me and they couldn't get the spare tire down so I went over there and helped him figure that out. And he's like, “Well I could just buy three tires and match up to this one tire and we talked a little bit about that. I'm like yeah you can; however that spare tire is from 2011 so that tire is 10 years old right now. Do you really want to have a 10 year old tire on with three tires that are probably one to two years old? And what a lot of people don't realize too, is is tires have life dates on them. Just like a can of beer has a life date on it. Or produce has has best used. Tiires have the date that it was manufactured on. It's at the very end of the dot number. It's the last four digits. The first two digits are the week, and the last two digits are the year.
So dot numbers like a serial numbers that they stamp into a tire so iIt tells us we can professionally read that on when that was made because rubber is like most any other product or like Tony said like beer, which honestly, around our house, we make sure they never expire. We always want to make sure we get them drank before they get done. We're not going to let them go bad. That's called a beer foul. We're not going to have that happen. But tony's right, tires are stamped with that about eight years is about the maximum on that. So you may think that the tire has been underneath the truck and can be reused, but it's really not good. It will fail prematurely. The other thing, I think tony what we were talking about with this is, is this you can't get a low mileage tire with great traction and great ride. It doesn't work that way. If ride is important to you. Quietness smoothness and great traction on all sorts of road conditions you've got to buy a higher mileage tire.
So the other thing, I've had recently is a lot and you can explain this a little bit too is I've had people come in with 15-20 000 miles on their car and be really angry that their tires are worn out. Explain to them the reason why 15 or 20 thousand-mile tires on brand new cars are wearing out right now.
Well and you think about this, we make modern automobiles that you know your grandparents probably got never drove a car past 100,000 miles and if they did they were probably rebuilding the engine. Well modern cars can go two three four hundred thousand miles. I mean the ingenuity with them. We all get mad when our car breaks. I get that, but they last a lot lot longer. Tires really haven't kept up with that. And here's the reason.
A lot of the reason is they’re all-wheel drive vehicles. They have all sorts of different, versions now. We have taller tires that are 18-99 inch big wheels, and small side walls. And in all the different terms of those so we just don't get the mileage. The mileage has not increased in tires the way the longevity of a car has. It's really changed so if you have an all-wheel drive vehicle and you've got 10,000 miles on it, and one tire goes bad, you really need to replace all four tires and it sucks because I don't want to throw away three good tires. But they all have to match and have to match equally because of rotation. If they're off even a sixteenth of an inch, at 60 miles an hour, it's massively different, and it could cause other damage to your car.
But in addition to that though think about this on new cars. If a person only has 15 or 20 000 miles on the car and the tires are worn out a lot of times it's because Toyota, Honda, GM, whoever the manufacturer is goes to good year and says, “I like that tire. I like that tread. I need it to meet these EPA requirements to where my car will get the certain gas mileage. And as far as rolling resistance and everything goes, but I don't want to pay a hundred dollars a tire. I want to pay 60. So Good Year goes and makes a tire specifically for that manufacturer that is only going to last maybe 15 or 20 000 miles and you're going to have to buy tires prematurely.
That doesn't necessarily mean that tire is a bad tire. I have a lot of people come in and say well those those Good Years or those Bridge Stones only lasted 15 or 20 000 miles. I don't want that tire, and most of the time when you're buying tires you're not buying the original equipment style tire that was built to those specs. You're buying the aftermarket tire that was built to the specs that's advertised. The tire that should get you 50 to 70 000 miles. So a lot of people have to keep that in mind when they're looking at brands of tires.
That's a good point because then we'll wrap up this segment but tire manufacturers will take a certain size and a certain name on the tire whatever brand name and but they'll negotiate the price down. So as professionals we'll go look at the exact same tire for your car and see it rated at 30,000 miles for the original equipment and there will be a 40, 50, 60, 70,000 miles, same version of that tire that's going to last a lot longer. That's a great point that Tony picked up on. So a little bit with this, I would say this. Find a good tire professional, good independent service center that that does a great job with tires and let them help you figure that.
That's a great point. Be careful with big box stores and tires too because big box stores like costco and Discount Tire like a lot of those places have agreements set up to where they have very specific tires that are built just for them. Yeah and those tires may not meet the specs of what the other tire does. As well that you can get from a good dealership or independent aftermarket automotive repair facility that knows tires.
So that's our little bit on tires for this week. So hey tony, how many times a day coming into our shops does the call say, “hey I've got my check engine light on. How much is it to fix that?
All about check engine lights
So our segment today is going to be about the check engine light. So the first thing I'm going to hit on is what the color of your check engine light is. What color is it Mike or dad. I think yeah i'm both but I think it's kind of orange-ishy, orange-ish yellow yeah something like that. So what a lot of people don't realize is the trouble lights on the dash of your car the reason that they're colored either red or yellow is your red lights mean that you should stop and your yellow lights mean proceed with caution.
That's a good point. I think about that so when your brake light comes on red and flashing.
I'll talk about flashing yet, i was going to hit that in a second.
Okay stole his thunder already but about that, if it is a yellowish color or just yellow in most automobiles for caution. Not stop, pull over get out, walk away. It's going to catch on fire. You know all those types of things so exactly so good good good point with that the reason that the check engine light will flash at times for those of you that have experienced that is because that's the way to take a yellow light and make you want to stop the car by making the yellow light flash.
Okay so if you're if you're sharing with the audience a flashing check engine light is i better stop right away and seek help or figure something out. Yeah call a tow truck, call your shop, whatever.
Okay good point, flashing check engine light is much worse than just a check engine light on.
The the the issue with a check engine light anymore is it's widely known as a check engine lighter a service engine soon light. The problem with it is is that check engine light could turn on for thousands of different reasons on the modern car. Thousands of different reasons that have nothing to do with your engine so it has an effect on your engine but may not have anything to do with your engine. It could turn on for your gas cap, it could turn on for a transmission problem, it could turn on for a misfire that does have to do with your engine, it could turn on for a multitude of different things. So it has to do with once your vehicle senses a problem, the check engine light will turn on. It also doesn't necessarily mean that that problem is occurring right now.
And also because your check engine light turned on and then miraculously turned off doesn't mean that your problem went away. You could still have a problem going on. And most of the time people don't realize that they'll call up. I get this call a lot. Hey, my check engine light, engine lights on. Can I get into you tomorrow? And we'll schedule it for the next day. And then the next day the customer won't show up. And we'll call the customer and we'll be like, hey, where you at? We got everything ready to go for you and stuff. And the next sentence out of their mouth is, “oh, my light turned off.”
Well, a lot of people don't realize that you're still occurring a problem in a lot of cases. And maybe the amount of key cycles have gone through times where that light turned off.
So quick thing on that. Tony said key cycles. That's when you shut your car off, restart it, shut it off, restart it. After so many start and stop of the car, if that symptom, that problem isn't going on, that light will go off and it won't come back on. So I want you to think about this check engine light that is on for a couple of days and then goes off.
It's like having you feel like you're going to have a heart attack. You got this chest pain and then it goes away. You don't just let it go by the wayside. You still need to go see a doctor and find out before you have a heart attack that you're going to have a heart attack. Check engine light is made for you to be able to give you a warning before something catastrophic goes bad. And it's not all catastrophic either. The negative things, Tony, I would share with a check engine light with everybody is this. It's too many things with one light. Because it will never come on if you're out of oil. It will never come on in most cases, not every car, but most of them. It won't come out if you're out of coolant, if your car is going to overheat. Doesn't come on for that. It's purely the electronic monitoring of the car and all the different things.
Yes, it can cause some other issues, but it doesn't come on for some catastrophic thing. So it's a light that we tried to make when people built cars, we tried to make it universal between all brands. And it's become this catch-all, but it's too big. We should have 10 lights on your car versus one, but we try to keep it simple so we don't have that.
It won't come on in most cases for a mechanical reason, unless it causes something to misfire electronic. I had a customer a couple weeks ago ask why my check engine light never turned on on a Honda. And the Honda engine had locked up and literally thrown internal engine components through the side of the engine block. And he's asking me, why'd my check engine light never turn on? And it's like, well, because the car never misfired until you were probably at 65 miles an hour and literally rods through the side of the engine block.
Before we got onto the segment, I was going to pull up this quick picture for our, we have an engineer named Brody that does an amazing job for us on this podcast. So we always thank him for that. But I was going to show him a picture of this person that check engine light comes on. She gets out of the car and she goes open the hood and looks and says, Nope, everything looks good. Closes the hood. That's not what check engine means.
And that brings up the next point is so many people in so many parts stores think that a code, which is what comes out when the check engine light turns on, that's what you put a code reader, plug your code reader in for, or a scanner. There's this fallacy that once you have a code, that means that's exactly what you should fix in.
So many people don't truly understand that a code is not a fixing point. It's a starting point. The code is the path. So that's why you need somebody that knows how to perform proper tests and procedures, preferably an ASC certified technician or a factory certified technician to perform a series of tests and procedures on your vehicle to be able to identify what that code is. I can't tell you how many cars have come into our shop that have gone to a parts store, had the codes read and they buy parts and parts and parts and parts and the car never gets fixed. And then they simply bring it to us.
We pop the hood. It looks like a parts store underneath the hood with everything that's brand new. And the simple reason that their code was coming up was because there was a connection issue with one of the connectors or a wiring issue going to that connector. And it would have taken a simple test and procedure from a technician with a lot less money than what they spent on parts in that car to be able to properly identify the issue of that vehicle.
That's a really good point. And we'll wrap this up. But I'll give you this quick pointer for everybody listening out there. Think of we live in Northern Indiana.
If I want to go see Aunt Sally in Phoenix, if I put in my GPS Phoenix, it's going to show me where Phoenix is, but it's not going to show me her suburb. It's not going to show me her street, her street address. It's not going to show me any of those details.
That's what basic code readers and stuff do. When you go to a professional service center, we're going to get you to 127 Maple Street, Phoenix, Arizona, whatever the zip code is, and it's going to get you to the details. That's the difference between professional scanners. I mean, Tony, we have 50, 60, $70,000 worth of scanners in our shops that do amazing things, not a $20 code reader. But think of your GPS. That's the difference when you come to a professional shop. We can pinpoint it.
And there may be multiple issues. We sometimes also have to fix the first known problem. But think of the proper testing as a GPS and getting it specifically pinpointed to that address. That's a little bit about Check Engine Lights, and we could talk a whole lot more about that. But Check Engine Lights was a little bit about our segment this time around.
This is Mike and Tony Tatich, father and son automotive shop owners from Indiana coming to you with another from the Glovebox. Just want to bring you every week a little segment on just the fun stuff of automobiles, maybe a little tip on servicing your everyday driver, and have call in questions also that we like to answer. So love hanging out with you, and we'll wait to see you next time around.
Anything, go, go on, Tony. Time to close the Glovebox. Time to close the Glovebox. Take care, everybody. Have a question for Mike and Tony? Call it in at 888-201-0858.
This podcast is brought to you by TMT Automotive and Momentum Drives Marketing.