A bad reputation is effortless

Providing good service is generally not appreciated but expected in business and taking every opportunity to provide exemplary service and going the extra mile is where the accolades belong.

I was recently asked for a litre of transmission oil for a BMW 520 and advised it necessitated checking the label on the gearbox. As the customer had no means of doing this I seized the opportunity and offered to put his car on the lift in our garage and have a mechanic remove the plastic splash guard under tray to reveal the label, at no charge. Needless to say the customer was delighted and I was happy that the extra effort would result in a good relationship.

During the process the customer consulted with the mechanic with regard to and over revving issue and so the mechanic drove the car in our yard to help diagnose the problem. When the customer left he was all smiling and grateful and we were very satisfied with a job well done, albeit for free but as an investment for our future.

Imagine our surprise when the customer soon returned and complained that we had damaged his back wheel. We explained our procedure of removing the under tray and that it had no connection whatsoever with any mechanism of the rear suspension. The customer then insisted the issue was not there before we had looked at the car so we put it back on the car lift and raised it up.


We diagnosed the issue; the mounting of the rear suspension arm was faulty and misplaced from its position. It would take 8 ton of pressure to remove this mounting and explained that this was a common wearing parts issue with this model. The bushing had worn over years and many miles of use. Outlining there was nothing we could have done to promote or cause this issue all fell on deaf ears as the customer stuck to his point of the fault arising whilst we had the car and therefore we were responsible. To add insult to injury, I was accused of going to such trouble to profit from the litre of oil I would sell. The profit on the oil was €2.20.

Good reputations are hard earned and even harder to maintain whereas bad reputations are effortless. What would you have done in this situation?


Cabin Fever


Bad news for those partial to hay fever and summer allergies – mother nature is desperately playing catch up after a particularly schizophrenic spring.

The fact that the coldest April experienced here in 24 years, has been followed by some surprisingly Mediterranean-like conditions in May and June means there has been a sudden surge in the pollen count.

So, while the rest of us rejoice at the sight of that unfamiliar big yellow thing hanging in the sky, those with summer allergies will unfortunately have to content with sneezing, serious coughing, headaches, and, in some cases, difficulties breathing.

While both pedestrians and motorists alike are exposed, the latter can at least take some action to avoid the full effect of these allergies. A cabin filter will substantially reduce allergic reactions by filtering the air and stopping external pollution. It allows air in the vehicle cabin to remain fresh and non-polluted.

Cabin filters are even more important for urban drivers who are also often exposed to pollution (exhaust gases and bacteria’s emitted from other vehicles), particularly in traffic jams. In fact, air quality inside the cabin is often worse than outside due to the infrequent replacement of air.

Sometime you may see two different filters for the same application (carbon vs particulate).  The carbon cabin air filters still remove dust, pollen and other contaminants from the air, but they also adsorb exhaust fumes and unpleasant odors prior to entering the passenger area of a vehicle.

The charcoal in the filters is treated with chemicals and heat to give it specific odor-control properties. Charcoal traps odor-causing gases by adsorption (not absorption), and therefore holds the gases on the surface of the charcoal treated media.

Because charcoal is porous, the filter has a very high capacity for trapping noxious gases.
The carbon filter may cost more than the filter without carbon and may not be necessary unless the vehicle is operated in an area that has slow moving traffic or strong odors.

Don’t underestimate the importance of these filters. A motorist with seasonal allergenic reactions is likely to be much less focused when driving. A sneeze attack at 55mph can cause an average of 30 yards of blind driving. So, educate yourself on your cars’ air filters. It’ll make your journey considerably more comfortable.


It’s worth keeping in mind that your cabin air filter requires a yearly maintenance check to ensure it remains effective. If you currently don’t have one, now’s the time to make the investment.