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. On this episode we talk about the worst cars of all time, preventative maintenance and inspection results.
Hey hello everybody this is episode four from the glove box I got to get used to saying that. This is Mike and Tony Tatich. We're independent shop owners in Northern Indiana. We bring you this podcast on a regular basis and just talk about car stuff, current stuff, favorites, least favorites, all those types of things. But a little bit about us we're a father-and-son team that operate shops in Northern Indiana and we love automobiles. So we love taking care of our clients working on cars but we also love old cars, new cars and everything there is about American cars. So Tony got anything going on today you want to talk about?
The Worst of the Worst Cars
No not heavily. we're gonna talk about a bunch of horrible cars I think.
Yeah maybe so I guess without further ado we were talking about different things and on our past podcast what we've talked about our favorite cars, movie cars, all those types of things and we thought about this. Think about this America. What is the worst car that you ever have owned? The worst car. So before we get into that maybe the top ten list. Tony worst car that you ever owned? One comes to mind.
But that I've ever owned? Yeah personally myself in your marriage. Whatever so I think of maybe. Due to abuse or just the worst car made. Let's not say abuse because we can't we can't pin that on a manufacturer we're talking about a product that you bought that just wasn't the best car that you owned.
I don't know that I've owned a bad car. I've owned a painful car that was a 1997 Z28 Camaro with an LT1 but I like the car. But there's another one that you owned earlier in your marriage.
A Chrysler Pacifica.
There you go.
Yeah that was a piece of work.
Why weren't you fond of that car?
It was great for the time period that I was in in life but it was horrible for maintenance. The only thing that was positive of that car is it was early enough that it had a Mercedes engine in it versus the Chrysler engine. If it would have been later and had the Chrysler engine it would have been even a bigger pile of junk than what it actually was.
Yeah so who how many people out there know that Mercedes actually built some engines for Chrysler in some of those days and there's still some mixture of brands for sure.
2004 Chrysler Pacifica. I remember it had navigation in it and then it was probably seven or eight years old and it had outdated maps and I went to the Chrysler dealer to see what the DVDs would cost for the navigation.
So let's back up so it didn't automatically download from outer space it actually made you put in a DVD to update the map.
And they wanted $1,800 for the DVDs.
Yeah that's a pretty expensive Ran McNally I think. That's an old map for for any of the youngsters out there but yeah $1,800 just to get the DVD. So for me, gosh trying to think of younger years or trucks that cars or trucks we had. You know I actually usually chose pretty good. I married my wife and she was driving a Ford Granada Ghia. I think in the 70s so that was a interesting car. You married my mom that owned a Ford product? Yeah I did because her dad bought her that car and stuff so but light blue. Problem with those cars and the paint jobs back then is because the the light blue and the Sun didn't react very well together so became like a chalk paint job so you would never lean up against that car in a black pair of pants or something because it the finish was pretty chalky.
Got a customer that painted their car in chalk paint one time.
Yeah that does happen also and stuff. Let's think about think about cars everybody out there. The worst one you've owned because we always have that favorite but we have those worst one and there's some that came to mind when we were talking about this. I mean the Ford Pinto was one of the biggest known cars. It was one of the probably an early 70s entering into the small car market for Ford.
For those of you youngsters, if you've ever seen the movie Wayne's World that's the blue car with the flames on it.
Most people my age don't know what a Ford Pinto is. And the flame paint job was an oxymoron because the gas tank was located in the back so if you got it a rear end collision in that automobile. It burst into flames.
But if you own the Pinto, you wanted to make sure it had the bubble window.
Now yeah I did have a buddy of mine from Chicago that had a 1976 Pinto Squire wagon so little two-door wagon with nothing no back windows other than this little bubble window. And it was quite an interesting automobile but I think of maybe the Chevy Chevette. I remember many many years ago in my early automotive career they made a diesel Chevy Chevette with an automatic transmission and I swear to God anybody probably 50 or younger could outrun that car out of a stop sign. From a stop sign no question.
I just found out my kid's godparent godfather owned a Chevette.
I'm sure his pickup line was hey I got a vet it's a Chevette.
Yeah that was the old line so those are those were when a lot of the manufacturers and you know 70s and 80s started entering into the small car market and you know what they were what they're bringing along.
What about some modern piles of crap?
Well I'm looking at this top 10 list here and I don't know if it's a particular order. I looked at a couple of them just to say what you know our friends out in Google stated but one of them was I don't even know if I remember this. But in the mid 80s, Lee Iacocca the guy that really turned Chrysler around had a car called the Chrysler TC by Maserati.
That just sounds like a horrible concoction.
Yeah it's probably a prelude to the Chrysler Sebring style car.
That was a pile of crap by itself.
Yeah that was. I know it I know this is gonna break some of your hearts out there but you Ford Mustang lovers one of them to hit the list was about a 77 to 79 run of the Mustang 2 which is this little version of a T-top.
Basically a Ford Escort with a Mustang badge on it.
I think it really was a Pinto that they've kind of gingered up and made it look a little prettier but it was such a negativity. Thank God for we're kind of Chevy Camaro lovers and so thank God Chevy Camaro and you know Chevrolet didn't go this weird route and build this odd little funny weird looking car because you know Ford has obviously turned that around and built some pretty nice Mustangs but that one was not their best.
That was their first run at putting a four-cylinder in one.
Yeah it was a four-cylinder and it was not what we call one of Ford's better ideas. Anyhow those are all cool things. I was sharing with the family there's a new newer show on TV right now called the American Auto. It's a kind of a sitcom about American car manufacturers. Do it's a cool thing to see but it is really amazing how we make all these different cars. We have all these
different manufacturers that come about and you know sprout up and build these unique cars and and inevitably there's gonna be a couple duds in those. And I think that's what we see right now with that and and we have all sorts of different ones. I mean there's different trim packages that they put on cars that just make them weird and odd looking. But anyhow it's a enginuity, it's what Americans like to do. They like to make unique automobiles. A lot of people like to make very unique automobiles after the manufacturer made them so we see a lot of cool things there. But this segment was just a little bit about what a lot of people consider the top 10 worst cars.
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.