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 talk about fatal flaws, first cars, and shocks and struts.
Hello everybody. Mike and Tony Tatich bringing you from the Glove Box, another podcast episode reminder to everybody out there. We're a father-and-son-owned service center group in Northern Indiana. And we get on a couple of times a month and talk about different car things.
So how are you doing today, Tony? I'm doing pretty good. You don't sound too peppy. I leave the pep to you. Oh, okay. All right. That's good. So we were talking to before we got on today about different topics and stuff like that. And we were thinking about, think of cars that were really pretty good cars, but they had one or two major flaws that made them not so great.You know, and they had problems. So you had a pretty good solid car, but it had some weird flaws and stuff. So I know one thing that comes to mind with me are the old CJ Jeeps and even some of the Suzuki, little Samurais, and stuff like that, great little four-wheel drive vehicles.
But one of the major flaws with those cars was a really short wheelbase that was a major problem and rollovers and stuff. Or if you try to change lanes really quickly and stuff like that, that was one that came to mind and stuff. I think Jeep and Chrysler, that owns Jeep now has switched that and made a longer wheelbase and four doors and all those things.
But I remember that being, you know, people didn't want to buy Jeeps because they were unsafe because of rollover stuff. Any thoughts on that or any other cars like that, Tony? Well, as we were talking here, contrary to popular belief, Mike and I aren't smart enough to be able to run this podcast on our own. So our button pusher Brody brought up Nissan transmissions as of late, I think from his own personal experience. But you know, Nissan has had a pretty huge problem with CVT transmissions and a lot of Rogues and Altimas and in multiple cars that way.
As of recent, a lot of what comes up to my mind in this is blind spots. The fourth generation Camaro, so running from 1993 to 2002, you couldn't see either the front fender or either quarter panel in any mirror, any which direction out of that car whatsoever. The Chrysler 300 when it first came out was very boxy and you could not look back over your left shoulder or your right shoulder when you're changing lanes or really position the mirrors all that well to be able to see the cars coming up in either lane when you're changing lanes in those cars. So a lot of those cars really created heavy, heavy blind spots because the shorter in stature windows or the curvature of the roof line of the car. It caused quite a bit of accidents because of that. Yeah.
And that's a good point. There's some things that were made really cool in cars that caused the problem. So one comes to mind as a 1963 Corvette split window. So the back window had this four inch, five inch piece of steel right down the middle, which was really cool and made those cars really rare and worth a lot of money. But if you ever drove one of those and you attempted to look out the rear view mirror, it was pretty tough because you had this big piece of metal in the back. I think the other one that comes to mind is probably the 1970ish Ford Mustang Mach 1. They made the rear window almost perpendicular to the sky. So you just pretty well couldn't see out of that. And I think even flipping the modern cars, I know when my wife and Tony's mom looked for a new SUV a few years ago, it was shocking how some of the sportier SUVs you just couldn't see really well out of the back or the headrests were in the way to see out of the back.
So I think as you talk about some major flaws, is that blind spot, how well can you see? I think if you spin that also, I think that's one of the reasons a lot of people like driving an SUV because they feel they sit up higher. They feel the blind spots are less than that and stuff. I think that's one of the reasons though we've had the evolution of technology. So now you have blind spot monitors that tell you if there's a car oncoming on either side of you or tell you if you're backing out of a parking spot at the mall and there's somebody walking alongside the car and there's a lot more technology that's come in to reduce blind spots for these fatal flaws in cars. If you have one of those cars, one of the modern ones that have that blind spot, if you're backing out of a parking spot at the mall or something and then it crams the brakes on all of a sudden for you and scares the crap out of you. Those are in the last couple of years of cars, but you always get mad at the car.
Now it's supposed to save you from running over somebody. Sounds like you're speaking from experience. Let's say it maybe happened a time or so too, maybe with that. So we think of those different things.
I even think if we go back to John DeLorean, who was a great engineer for GM and Ford at certain times and started his own car company, the DeLorean, which was featured in what movie, Tony? Back to the Future. Yeah. So that… T-phone home. Yeah. That Gullwing stainless steel car and stuff, and we worked on quite a few of those in the areas. One of the fatal flaws, I think, in that car was it was a really cool looking sports car with a really crappy little V6 GM engine that wouldn't really pull its way out of much of anything. So it was as cool as a car was. It had no get up and go.
So those are those are first up things with that. I'm trying to think of other modern vehicles that came out that were maybe failures at first. Brody, what did you tell us earlier with the exhaust fire? Brody said it's a Lamborghini. There's certain Lamborghinis that were notorious. And I've seen videos of this where they're sitting at a stoplight and they're revving their exhaust and everything. And believe it or not, when you rev your exhaust, if you're in a performance car, it could shoot a flame out the exhaust. And when that happens and it backfires, it'll shoot a small flame out. Well, one of the rear ends of the Lamborghinis had too much plastic too close to the center cut out of the exhaust.
So it would actually catch the plastic on fire when it would backfire and actually would melt down the whole back of the car. So they had to believe they had to go in on those and a lot of times extend the exhaust tips or did something to mitigate the plastic around the back. They even read a story a little while back and there's such things in cars called two steps and stuff like that when you're launching a car from a stop. And when it does that, it'll pop and bang and everything.
And the city of New York has actually made that illegal to do on the street now because it actually sets off their gunfire detection system in the city and causes police to go after where exhaust and street racers are going around and stuff. So but those Lamborghinis were notorious for burning down the back of the back of the car sitting at a stop sign or stoplight.
Yeah, those were those were, you know, big issues and stuff. I know, you know, wasn't a lot of those floating around on the car on the roads and stuff, but you don't find too many Lambos in Indiana. Now, I mean, even probably 30 years ago, too, we ran into, you know, Ford and Firestone tires got the big lawsuit over rollovers of their earlier like Bronco Little Broncos Explorer Explorer is a lot of Ford Explorers in Indiana. There are a lot of those and stuff. But those, you know, those cars had issues, you know, as well with and it was kind of a fight between is it the tire, is it the vehicle? And it ended up being there in that.
So here's something, too, if you think about this, most of your cars now have tire pressure monitors on the dash and they and they have 32, 35 pounds of pressure. A lot of manufacturers have adjusted that where tire pressure may be different on the front or rear of a car. I know there was several manufacturers that try to compensate for these rollover problems because with with tire pressure and stuff. So you know, so there was all sorts of things. You want to talk about a fatal flaw. Most people find that tire pressure monitors are a fatal flaw when the light turns on in everything. The fatal flaw of a tire pressure monitor is the batteries that are installed on them. Most of the time only have a shelf life of about seven years.
So once seven years expire, you end up needing all new tire pressure monitors in a lot of vehicles. It depends on where you're at in your geographical region and your weather and that type of stuff. In Indiana, we can be 100 degrees in the summertime and we can be zero degrees in the winter time. So that can be rougher on batteries. Yep. That changes tire pressures and stuff. And as Tony talked about tire pressure monitors, those have watch batteries pretty much embedded in them and they're not replaceable like a watch battery is. So those were, you know, definitely some issues there and stuff. So yeah, a lot of different cars.
I mean, there's all sorts of different, you know, cars that came out and people had great ideas and and stuff and they had they had a few issues and stuff. So we can talk about a modern major flaw in a car. The Tesla cyber truck with bulletproof windows can't even take a rock or a softball thrown by Elon Musk to the window. I did not see that. That's a viral video that's out when he unveiled the Tesla cyber truck and was trying to show that it had bulletproof glass and he takes the little weighted metal sphere and throws it against the side window and shatters the whole side window, spiders all out and everything. So no longer has bulletproof glass. Yeah, well, that's a good one to see. So those are those are quite a few of the different ones.
I just was searching through a little bit.
There's an old car that Chevy made called a Corvair, which was a rear engine car. And when I don't. Well, they were actually pretty cool. But the problem, the flaw with those were if you lived in a mountainous state. And at that time I was young and we lived in California, those cars would come down a mountain pass and the road would be slick and the cars weight distribution sucked.
So all the weight of the car was in the back, pretty much in the trunk.
And then the cars would just slide out and have have major issues and stuff. So that was that was one flaw is a cool, cool car. But it was definitely, you know, definitely a little bit of Ford Fiora or excuse me, Pontiac Fiora just came up as one with that. So anyhow, there's a lot of different ones and stuff.
But, you know, kind of look out for those. I mean, Consumer Reports does a great job with that. You can look at a lot of good different, you know, manufacturers' reports and stuff. So so anyhow, that's a little bit about cars with maybe some fatal flaws. I know we've talked about in other episodes, the Pinto's and AMC Pacers and Pontiac Aztec, Pontiac Aztec.We talked about that car was entirely a flaw. There was nothing. Yeah, not one fatal flaw. Yeah, there was a there was a whole bunch of those.
What about the smart car, too?
You know, the biggest fatal flaw that is I don't fit in it. Well, yeah, Tony's I we had one in a shop a couple of years ago and I took a picture of Tony on and we call it a big guy in a little car. I believe may have used something more mean than that. But but anyhow, that's a little bit of talk about that. But cars that have some issues.
Our First Cars
Hey, glove box crew, what's your guys' first car, and is there a story behind it?
So Tony, getting back to this, I think the caller shared, you know, stories about our first car and issues, maybe the fun side, maybe the bad side. But talk about your first car and the good, the bad, the ugly, I guess, of that. I paid one thousand three hundred and fifty dollars, I believe, for a 1994 V6 black Marrow. I remember that. Yeah. So didn't have enough money to buy new tires, but had enough money to buy new wheels. So put chrome wheels on the used set of tires, put them on it, put an exhaust on it, put a big stereo in it. And if I remember correctly, I was about 15 when I bought this car, maybe 14 and a half. So obviously not of legal driving age.
But anytime I will say, God bless my mother, because anytime I wanted to, when I had my permit, she would ride in the passenger seat and let me drive my car instead of driving her vehicle. But I remember the first time I got the cops called on me for a vehicle related incident, I didn't even have a driver's license, but I had the music up too loud in the garage by myself with subwoofers going in. Had the police show up at your house. See, you know, if any if any of your parents out there, there's always these mysterious stories that come up once your kids become adults that, you know, even though we thought we knew everything and we're really good parents that just some stuff went on at the house that we didn't always know everything. So that's that was probably one of those. And that's probably not the only story we don't know about. And really, quite frankly, some of the crap I really didn't want to know about.
So now that I'm older, I understand the fact that we live next to that condominium complex that had some elderly people living there that really didn't appreciate bass heavy rap music of the early 2000s. And yeah, I was apparently trying to get them to appreciate it, according to the fellow police officers that came to visit me. Well, must have been pretty loud because the closest house was like a football field away. So but you know, great thing about that is Tony's got four young ones and a set of twins. So his his time's coming and grandpa will get to sit back and kind of kind of laugh about that stuff.
So what was your first car?
The first car I bought was a 1970 Chevy Malibu Chevelle Malibu. But really, it was a Malibu because that's the was the cheaper version. And I remember that car. If you bought an old car and you're an older dude like I am, they rust it out. So guys would fill in with Bondo or they would, you know, take a rusty section of a fender and fill it in with that. And I think once I bought that car, I think it had so much Bondo, which is just kind of a plasticky, you know, fiberglass material that allows you to kind of get rid of the rust for a little while. It had so much in it that I had a right rear corner that I think literally the car sagged because that stuff probably had 100 pounds worth of extra weight in it. So but it was it was and we would always the one thing we always did when those because hey, for everybody in this day and age, really modern cars don't rust out much anymore. You don't see the rusty automo plastic. Well, a lot of plastic, a lot of you know, and we've done a better job with the metal. But you know, back in the 60s and 70s and even 80s, rust was a big factor.
But you would take your hand and you would run it along the fender well, like where the tire sits in there. And you could feel if it's a nice, clean metal edge or if it was rough and big plastic, then you knew somebody put this Bondo in there and stuff like that. Or if you knock down the whole side of the car knocking on a door down the side of the car, you can tell the difference between the hollowness and the thud of Bondo. Yeah, it was.
So it would be almost be like if you if you if you're not familiar with that, it'd be like Play-Doh that you left set out on the counter and it became really hard and stuff. That's about what that was. So yeah, so that car I had.
What time of year did you pick that car up at?
Now, that was the second one. I bought a 70. I got I sold that car and I bought a 71 Chevelle SS. It was originally a 454 V8 car that had a 350 in it. But I bought that car in December and it had really wide mag wheels and tires on the back. And I had a let's just say not so nice relative that dropped me off to pick up that car and he just left me in the driveway. So I gave the guy to cash. I went to back the car out and it had snowed a few inches. And that was before cell phones and everything. And I could not back that car out of that guy's driveway for about two hours. So I was shoveling. I was probably 16 and a half, 17 years old. I was crying. It took me like two hours and I lived five minutes away to get the damn thing home. So I finally got it home and stuff. And that car was I was a little mad at the first time we met. So but now it was a cool car. I wish I had that car back. And most of most of us think of cars that we would have back and stuff.
But yeah, you know, think about that first car and, you know, and think about whether it was, you know, for a lot of Americans, it was a love of some type of sports car. A lot of times now it's just transportation. It's not a big deal and stuff. So but, you know, there's still a decent amount of people that have a passion for, for their car or have a passion for the accessories that they put on their car and stuff. And I think that's, I think that's something that used to be more profound in our society and seems to be shrinking a little bit, but also in some areas, it seems to be coming back a little bit more.
You know, you talked about the Chevelle.
I know my Camaro, my Camaro wasn't the coolest, fastest thing, but I did stuff to it that made me appreciate it and stuff and some custom areas and everything. Well, and I think, I think those first cars that we have when we begin to drive are, are almost like that song that comes up, up on the radio that you remember and you, and it puts you back in that time of, of your life and what was going on in your life. And you know, whether you're driving at the school or you're driving it on a date or the, to the Friday night football game and all those things came about with the car and stuff. So yeah, I think, you know, as, as Americans, we, we really, you know, love the modern automobile. I don't see mass transportation coming anytime soon in United States, America, because in most cases Americans love their cars.
So you know, so this was just a couple of little stories.
I know the caller called in, but a couple of stories about some of the first cars we had, but it's more for you all to think about maybe the first car that you had also. And think about some of the good memories and maybe some of the things that maybe you were a poor high school kid or college kid and you were driving a car that was a POS, I think they call it. We'll try not to cuss on the broadcast, but anyhow, we all have those. So that's a little bit about the first cars and loves for those. You know, so if we've talked about different subjects on this podcast, we've talked about, we haven't used it all the time, but we're trying to get honed in on a few different things on each episode, but driving the discussion.
Discussing Shocks and Struts
One of the topics that we were talking about before we got on this one was shocks and struts on cars and you know, what the difference is. And there's a lot of, there's a lot of controversy over when should I replace my shocks and struts? When should I, what are, what are their, you know, what are they? They do. And, and cars used to strictly have shocks. Now they have, you know, some have struts on the front and shocks on the back and some are struts all the way around.
What's the Difference Between Shocks and Struts?
But Tony, talk to us a little bit about, you know, what, what a shock and what a strut is and what the differences is all are.
And let's chat, chat this out a little bit. So a shock and a strut to me in, in I'm sure there's a better definition than my definition, but to me, the main difference between a shock and a strut is the strut is usually an assembly that contains the coil spring on the actual strut assembly. So it was coined by a gentleman by the name of McPherson, I believe that's why it's technically called the McPherson strut. But the coil spring in the mount and everything is all in one in an assembly with the shock absorber, if you may, that's part of that. So versus a standard shock, which is still primarily used on pickup trucks, is literally just the shock absorber and neither has a coil spring separate of that, has a leaf spring somewhere, has a leaf spring and a coil spring somewhere, has some other way to be able to carry the load or the weight of the vehicle. The main job of a shock or a strut is to really absorb the road and to also absorb impact. So therefore it lessens the blow on ball joints, tie rod ends, other items. A lot of times when I'm talking to a client, I equate your shock absorber or your strut to your knee. When you're running, your knee takes a lot of impact. Your hip doesn't take a lot of the impact, your knee does. So that's really to me how a shock and a strut actually function.
The thing that I always go back to with shocks and struts is a couple of years ago, one of the largest shock and strut producers in the world is Monroe and I got to go do what's called a Monroe ride and drive. So they have three different vehicles. So the one that I went to, they had a BMW car, they had a SUV and a GMC Acadia, and then they had a minivan in a Chrysler Town and Country. They have two versions of both cars. One version has brand new shocks and struts on it from Monroe. The other version has 50,000 mile old shocks and struts on it. Both cars have around 50,000 miles. So I got to drive both of the minivans.
Go ahead, poke fun. He's got four kids. He's a minivan guy now, so no cool Camaros or anything like that. He's the minivan and a hybrid minivan too to bring up the Sienna all-wheel drive hybrid. There you go, man. Awesome. You see me rolling. Oh yeah. So of course I got to drive the minivan.
So we had to go through a solemn course, we had to do an emergency panic stop, we had to do a bunch of different things, avoid a deer that ran out, stuff like that on this road course in these vehicles. And the amount of difference to me was shocking, no pun intended, between the vehicle that had 50,000 mile old shocks and struts and still had 50,000 miles on the vehicle that had brand new shocks and struts. The handling of the vehicle was vastly different, especially in a top heavy vehicle like a minivan. Those aren't meant to corner very well. I'm running this thing through this course at 40 to 60 miles an hour and weaving and doing all kinds of crazy stuff that you're not supposed to be doing that type of speed. And just the way that the thing handled and drove was vastly different between the two cars. The biggest difference between the two was when it came to the panic stop. I bet you that minivan stopped probably 150 to maybe 200 feet sooner and faster than what the van did that had the original 50,000 mile shock.
How Do Shocks and Struts Make a Vehicle Stop Quicker?
Now wait a minute, explain to everybody, I thought brakes and good tires stopped the car. Why would struts and shocks on a car make a car stop quicker?
So it's got to go back to weight distribution. So earlier in this episode we talked about the Corvair that would spin out because it had so much weight in the back of the car. So when you go to stop, most of us are driving forward. And when we stop in a panic stop, because you're moving down the road, you're not driving in reverse, think about where all the weight of your vehicle is. It's in the front. That's where your engine is. So the car does a nose dive. If you have to take a really quick stop, you can watch the hood of your car and it really takes a nose diver. It goes down a little bit versus when you have new shocks and struts, the car is not going to nose dive as much. It's going to keep that weight a little bit higher. So therefore basic geometry tells you the triangle of the vehicle that you're making with the point.
I can't remember what he got in geometry in school, but we'll see here. I actually got an A in that. Did you really? Yeah. It was algebra. Shout out John Cusella that I didn't do very well with.
Now, when the vehicle nose dives, it actually will take longer on the bottom of the triangle to be able to stop. So when the vehicle maintains the weight at the top side, it'll actually take a shorter distance to be able to stop. Good point. So when you see that, when that nose dies, that means the whole weight of the vehicle. Think of if you're walking down a couple steps with a load of firewood and you're going out to your campfire and you lean forward, that weight will make you off balance and make you maybe trip or fall. That's what happens with your car. And that slows down the stopping of an automobile because there's always big discussions on when do we replace a shock or strut. Because the old shocks were on cars. They were to shock, absorb, and make the car ride smoother.
The McPherson Strut, as Tony or we refer to it as just strut and slang, it's a load carrying device. So when they switched cars from a transmission and a rear differential and a lot of weight in the middle and the back of the car and put all the weight in the front in a front wheel drive car or an all wheel drive car, they had all this weight right over the front two tires. So they needed something much beefier to hold that. So the weight distribution changed a lot. That's what it came about.
How often do they need replaced?
But there's a lot of talk on when those need to be replaced. Some people say 60,000, you'll see probably a company, a shock-selling company. Some people say 100,000.
Some people I've heard even dealers say you never have to replace them if they're not leaking or whatever. So you're going to get a bunch of different opinions on different shops with that. But I think the thing is what Tony said, think about the time that you have to make a panic stop.
Think about the time that you're driving down a curvy road.
The other thing I think a Strut does really well, its job is to keep the tire pressed down to the pavement in a nice even footprint. So if you go through a curve, the weight shifts and it puts a lot more weight on that. So a Strut that's not leaking or doesn't have any outside damage but maybe has 100,000 miles on it, you could buy a brand new set of tires that are 50 or 60,000 mile rated tires and turn them into a 30,000 mile tire because that Strut's not doing its job. So the bigger side of when to replace shocks and Struts isn't so much what the dealer says or the shop says or what the Strut manufacturer says.
Really what it is, is how long are you planning on keeping the car. If you're planning on keeping the car for 10 years, 200,000 miles, I would tell you you should replace your shocks and Struts in that 80 to maybe 120,000 mile range so you get good use out of them. Because 200,000 mile Struts while they still work and I'm doing air quotes saying work, they're not going to perform the best for you.
So if you're planning on driving that car a long time, I would tell you to replace them probably closer to the 100,000 mile mark but in that window that I just ranged that way. Yeah, and we'll wrap it up with this. One of the comments that most people say to us once they get new shocks and Struts on their car, so you bought a car brand new and now it's got 90,000, 100,000 miles on it. That ride dissipates and gets a little weaker and gets a little softer over time but you really don't notice it because it's happened over three, four, five years.
The number one thing that somebody will put back in a five star review or something to us will be, well this, I didn't realize how weak everything got and now the car's back to handling and riding like it was when it was new. That's a great feedback and people, because it just kind of dissipates over a short period of time.
So anyhow, talk to your local shops, make sure that you have them pay attention to that. Don't wait till they're just leaking or broken because they do a lot of other things. They just give you a smooth ride. They help it be stable, they help it break well, they help you be safe and reliable out there on the road. That's our little bit on shocks and struts.
This is father and son team, Mike and Tony Tadich. Just want to thank you for hanging out with us again today. So you got anything to wrap up, Tony? It's shutting the glove box time.
So we'll see you next time on the next episode. Take care, everybody. Make sure you're here for our next one. 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.
What Really Is Preventative Maintenance?
Hey Mike and Tony that's sure what I've been hearing is preventative maintenance.
So what really is that? Love the show, thanks.
So if I think I understood the call or correct Tony, it's like I bring my car into my local shop my trusted mechanics and I bring it in for an oil change or and general maintenancebut it's that preventative maintenance. Why do every time I come in, they're talking to me about preventative maintenance? You know could be flushes, tire rotations, could be a whole bunch of different things. But I think the caller really wants to know am I getting scammed or is that something really legit and what's that all about? So I think with this segment, we'll chat this out a little bit Tony.
So I think it does start with the word is the very first word of it which is preventative. What does preventative mean?
Basically means that you need to execute something to keep something else from happening. Okay so let's take the medical field. I always tease but every time I go to my doctor he says I need to eat better. I need to drink less. I need to exercise more. I need to watch my cholesterol. Shout out to Doc Buck.
Yeah it is it that's a good good dude there so but Doc shares with those with me not to be mean because he's a friend of mine but it's preventative maintenance for the human body. So if we spin that and equate that to what what that means in the automobile business. I mean what doesthat mean Tony?
You know a lot of a lot of people in in the thing that I hear a lot from people is, “ oh I had a car one time and I drove it to a hundred and fifty thousand miles and I never did anything but put tires on it and change the brakes a couple times” and it's like yeah you might have done that on
that vehicle and at that point in time depends on your driving habits, depends on the climate, depends on the vehicle and depends on you how you use the vehicle. That doesn't necessarily mean that the car was in its tip-tops most safe and reliable state at that point in time at a hundred and fifty thousand miles with no maintenance ever having been done to. It doesn't also mean that another car of that same brand, same make, same package, same everything wouldn't have had a failure at a hundred and twenty thousand miles. A lot of people are very very good at changing engine oil. However people lately have started to get worse with changing engine oil with manufacturers extending oil change intervals which is a whole different conversation but is is people change oil. They forget about the seven eight other fluids in the vehicle. They forget about performing an annual alignment every 12,000 miles or every year especially.
Let's play a quick game you name another fluid other than oil in a car and I'll name one. Let's get through a few of them name. One transmission fluid. Transmission fluid. Cooling system antifreeze it's another name for them but it's what keeps the engine cool during the summer and keeps it from freezing and running well during the winter. Brake fluid.
Brake fluid, so fluid that runs through your brake system. Not every car has this anymore but a lot of them still do which is power steering fluid.
So differential, what does that really mean what does differential mean I don't even know what
that term means. I do but let's share with the people.
Your differential fluid basically runs your axles. It keeps everything moving at the at the bottom of the car. I'm trying to think of the layman term side of it.
So a lot of trucks obviously have differentials. A lot of all-wheel-drive vehicles have differentials but it's it's that power component at the back wheels or the front wheels. Not all not all cars have both of those. If they're all-wheel drives but most do. But it's what drives the power, it's another it's another form that puts power to the tires. So there can be cars with a front differential and a
rear differential or there could be an an SUV that uses the front-wheel-drive style setup which which is a transmission in the front with a differential in the back. So there's another component that links with those in some vehicles called a transfer case. What does that mean?
Transfer case basically takes the power and transfers it out to the front and the rear axle
in an all-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive vehicle. So that way you can link up your drive shafts to get to two axles instead of just running the transmission right to one axle.
So and what Tony's explaining to you which is true is if you have a front-wheel-drive car that means just the front two car tires or wheels propel the vehicle or you have a rear-wheel-drive vehicle and the rear to do that. A transfer case transfers that power to two or four wheels all at the same time. So it's usually a couple quarts of fluid or less it's a small little item and stuff but I think what Tony's hitting on with these is everybody remembers hey I need to change my oil change do my oil at 3,000 5,000 miles whatever but there's all these other fluids in cars we even missed a few. But there's these other fluids that name need to change periodically. Not every three or five thousand miles but in an interval and we always have this debate too. Tony people say well what's the manufacturers recommended interval. What's good about that and what's bad about that?
Well first of all which manufacturer. Fluid manufacturer or the vehicle manufacturer?
That's that's very true. So fluid and fluid manufacturers have a different standard than vehicle manufacturers. So there have been some companies car, building companies that have said this fluid is lubed for life. It's a lifetime fluid. Is that true it'll last forever Tony?
There's no lifetime fluid in a vehicle.
Why isn't that true it says it right in my BMW manual?
Well in BMW, you kind of started that stuff with a 2006 x5. They had the lifetime transmission fluid in that that lifetime transmission fluid to us today is known as deck 6 and is stated by fluid manufacturers it's only good for 30,000 miles. So the thing with the lifetime fluid craze is what does lifetime actually mean? And to most vehicle manufacturers the life of the vehicle means the life of the warranty period so if it's got a five-year hundred thousand mile powertrain warranty on it they consider that to be the life of the vehicle at that point in time. They don't
think that you're going they don't want you to drive the vehicle to two three four hundred thousand miles that most vehicles are capable of going to with preventative maintenance.
That's a very valid statement. I mean this lifetime fluid usually covers the time that some something's other warranty but it doesn't mean it's going to last forever. Really naming one fluid in the world that lasts forever I mean water evaporates. All the other things do. So
fluids become problems and vehicles as well whether they're driven a lot of miles or very little amount of miles.
So well and what's the number one killer of fluid?
Yep so, the the heating and the cooling cycle of the fluid creates what's called thermal breakdown. I'm not a chemist by any means. I've watched a couple casserole commercials but you know thermal breakdown causes that fluid to break down in a lot of other fluids can cause it to even increase its water percentage and can cause other things to happen.
And he's not a chemist. I attempted to help him pay for further education after high school and we weren't totally successful on that. We were in a life side maybe not at the college side.
colleges it for everybody. Whole other subject.
Also there we go but that's just a little bit on some of the preventative maintenance that we have but there's a lot of these things that are really well recommended and it'll make a vehicle last forever. Think of this last piece. I'll leave you at this point, when you go to an independent service centers like the one that we run and a lot of our friends in the United States. We only maintain cars and make them last for as long as you want to drive them. One of our oldest mechanics that one of our shops has a Jeep he was working on over the weekend I think 325,000 miles on this thing. They can last a long time. So unlike a dealership and no disrespect. There's great dealerships but we're not in the business to sell you a new car.That's not what we're all about. If you like the way a new car looks ,smells drives, and go buy one. But if you want to take your 2015 Chevy Tahoe or you know 2014 Jeep Cherokee and make it last three four hundred thousand miles. Shops like ours can help. You get to that point. That's what preventative maintenance is and Tony got a final bit on this?
Yeah the the one thing I want you to remember too is a lot of preventative maintenance is in the eyes of the person recommending it. So just because your shop is recommending it. Doesn't necessarily mean that they're trying to rip you off or trying to up sell you or do anything that way and just because maybe you went to a shop before this shop that didn't recommend that doesn't mean that they were doing anything wrong either. It's in the eye and the education of the technician in the shop that you're dealing with. So there are some shops like ours that like to be highly trained and highly technical and go to school and look at those type of things and recommend those things. It's also remember to just because the vehicle that you have now requires something doesn't mean that it's wrong that the vehicle that you had before didn't require that. So a lot of people, I think get confused is well my car never read recommended to have brake fluid flushed before. Well that's because your car now is an all-wheel-drive vehicle and all-wheel-drive unit pulses the brakes every time you go around a corner so now you need to brake fluid flushed every 15,000 mile. And I think preventative maintenance is the area where a lot of customers get concerned that they're getting ripped off by their their shop. And I want
people to truly understand that it is not that I tell people all the time. I could care less if you fix a car. I could care less if you want to go get a new car. I'm here to try to make the car last and try to give you an unbiased opinion of what's going on with the vehicle. And make it last to whatever you want it to last for. If you're leasing, it that's fine. If you want it to last 200,000 miles I know how to do that too.
Well we beat the heck out of this question but that's a very valid point. I'll leave you with this minor tip. If you you're not buying a transmission service for $250 you're buying a $5,000 transmission that does not fail prematurely. So we'll leave you with that at this segment.
Alight, we're back here from the glove box and here's a topic of debate is when
you get your inspection from your local shop whether it's digitally or still on piece of paper and it comes across to a customer as green yellow and red. So why is it worked green yellow and red and I'll give you a quick thing most of us know green yellow and red for one thing. What is that Tony?
Green means go yellow, means accelerate harde, and red means stop.
Yeah well we know it from the traffic signal. Green, Yellow and Red and and Tony is right. We all you know won't think twice about a green light may look through that intersection. Yellow you know we have to all be honest with ourselves. So dig down and put up your honest right hand and swear that you're gonna tell the truth. We usually accelerated a yellow light so we can get through. That red means stop.
Obviously so, when you get your digital inspection or your your paper inspection from your
local shop and it's shared with this. Green yellow and red, Tony share with me a couple pieces how we look at it or how we would share with our customers.
Well green obviously means that the point has passed so if if it's marked green it's in good shape. It's good to go. In our shops we may still attach a picture to a green point just because we want to show you that yes this tire does still measure good or yes this air filter is still light and pristine and clean.
So you said back up a minute because maybe some people get these, some don't. What does attach a picture mean?
So in in our shops and a lot of modern shops in today's society, we do what's called a digital inspection report. So we will actually take a live photo of your vehicle and in our shop, in our bay on our hoist and send that to you digitally before we call you or talk to you about your car. So you can see what's going on with your car and you can understand what problems that may have, what good things that has going on and what things may be something for the future.
So would this just be a picture off of you know shutter and what is it what's the thing on on the Google. It's not a canned photo that's what we're getting of your vehicle. Okay now I will say there are manufacturers in dealerships that are doing stuff with canned photos that I have seen that is not how most of the aftermarket industry does it. Okay so I'm getting a real live photo of my vehicle of that particular component.
In fact, I talked to my guys all the time. I talked to him this morning. I want you to take a picture of the brake lights because when we take a picture of the brake lights and the brake lights being on number one is a consumer you can never look at your own brake lights because you can't be
pressing the brake pedal and behind the car at the same time. It's physically really fast if you could do that.
Yeah used to be this thing called Stretch Armstrong. That might be off possibly for Elastigirl from the Incredibles for you younger folks. You can tell I have young kids. So when we do that we take the picture of the brake lights. It shows your vehicle in my bay, on my hoist, your license plate, the tag for the year, that your license plate is it's a current photo and not the photo from last year or you can see that you got an expired plate. We had that come up one time, I didn't realize my plates were expired in and it just shows everything live. There so a lot of consumers don't believe those photos when they see them until they see that picture.
Yeah so one of the things that I see a lot in our shops too what so somebody will receive this digital inspection and I'll see them text back into the shop and they'll say how much is it to fix all the reds, which is what that technician that advisor has recommended that the car needs.
Those reds like in the inspection that we use, red points are considered urgent points versus yellow points are considered non urgent points. So when we try to rank things, we also have to be cognizant of the fact of if I tell you it's not urgent you're more likely to not fix it at that point in time. You're more likely to put it off. So if we rank things of importance level that has to come into play. Also I have friends that have shops that will rank things of an importance level from one to ten. I think that that gets a little too confusing at times to consumers when we're grading it is all it's a seven on a scale of one to ten with ten being the worst and one being the best. So we try to go in and we try to simplify it. To where we'll put things in the red to where you know okay this this thing needs attention and needs attention is immediately as you can. A lot of times with consumers also or clients we will go in and we'll really explain to them you know this is the total picture of the vehicle. What do you have budgeted for your repairs at this point in time? So then we can go back to that list of reds and yellows and I can say all right this red point is is problem number one that we need to tackle. This red points problem number two. This is problem number three and this is problem number four. Your budget is going to allow us to repair one and two at this point in time. We're gonna have to know that three and four coming down the pike. The last thing with reds that we always try to do is we rank safety items the highest. So if it is an item that is going to fail and cause you an accident, cause you to careen off the road, cause you any type of grief that way. The wheel to fall off, the brakes not to work, that type of stuff. We're gonna rank that the most important and then we're gonna rank maintenance beyond that because maintenance isn't gonna outweigh a safety concern. So if if you need brakes and your coolant needs flush also. Flushing the coolant is not more important than replacing the brakes. The coolant is not gonna kill you. The brakes will kill you.
So yeah so they're all good points. If we can kind of simplify this or really help you know digest
this at your local shop. It's a bit it's a really good way to communicate between the technician and the shop with the client and let them know. We don't want to send you this crazy medical report that absolutely nobody even with a PhD can read. We want to make it clean simple and and good recommendations and then you as a consumer got to figure out am I that consumer that doesn't fix anything till it's broken, am I somewhere in the middle? And I do some maintenance or am I really prevented a maintenance person and I want everything really precise in my life and I would suggest when you go to your local shops that you really honestly explain that to them. And in most shops will adjust and help you accordingly to the way you prefer to maintain a vehicle and they'll give ou their suggestions as well. So that's a little tips today on our red ,yellow and green ways of communicating what's needed on your automobiles.
Hey this is a father and son team Mike and Tony Tadich just want to thank you for hanging out with us again today so you got anything to wrap up Tony?
It's shut the glove box time so we'll see you next time on the next episode.
Take care everybody.
Make sure you're here for our next one. 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.