A stitch in time

One of the lessons I have learned in life is that a very young baby will only cry for a reason. They might be hungry, tired or in pain but there is always a reason.

People should generally take this into account too when it comes to their car. When something unusual appears like a bang, knock or scraping noise it is happening for a reason. “A stitch in time saves nine” is never truer than when it comes to vehicle issues. Preventative maintenance is the key to low vehicle repair costs.

I served a client recently who called to purchase new wiper blades and during the transaction I was asked if I knew why there was a squealing noise when the brakes were engaged. I went out and inspected the vehicle to find the front brake pads were almost worn to the back plate but the situation was much worse with the back brakes.

Braking

Not only was the friction material of the brake pad worn through, the backing plate of the brake pad had cut grooves onto the brake discs badly damaging them as the metal backing of a brake pad is a stronger and more course metal than that of the brake disc. Unfortunately the client now needed to spend an extra €116 plus labour to rectify the issue.

A common habit is to avoid the knowledge and cost of what the problems may be but they rarely rectify themselves. Garage workshops are not like going to a doctor whereas they will generally inspect and diagnose an issue without charge and only bill you for the repair.

The next time you have a problem, speak with your mechanic early and avoid the major bills.

Happy driving.

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Reduce prices to the unemployed

These are certainly hard times for most people. The last recession Ireland experienced does not seem as difficult and widespread as the one we are experiencing now. This time around is different, as so many people had put themselves in a position of huge debt before the enormous downturn. Many young couples are experiencing difficulty for the first time and the fall from the boom times is taking its toll.

As a business owner I am too well aware of the current economic struggle and the recessions indifference as to where the axe will fall. Painfully I have observed many friends losing their jobs. It is regardless of their abilities or record of achievement, but more for the need of companies to downsize due to a retracting marketplace.

It is precisely at a time like this, we all need to pull together and look for opportunities to help each other where we can. The neediest in our society are within the masses of unemployed and all businesses should realise that their capacity to spend for goods and services is near to non existent and represents a very small fraction of their turnover. I do appreciate that many businesses are struggling to pay their costs and remain open, however should this sector be a fraction of your revenue, an increase in volume will justify a lower margin. Given that you will be covering your costs, your profit can be the help you have given others. I am sure your help will be appreciated long into the future.

September is a particularly expensive time for families as the children return to school, the nights draw in and the weather deteriorates. The need for finance is very demanding and brings enormous strain and pressure to bear. As business owners we have the capacity to ease this pain on the unemployed and I ask that you consider reducing your prices to them, in particular for items that would be considered necessities.

As the owner of two businesses I am discounting my prices until the end of September as a trial period as follows.

Motorway Parts & Accessories. A discount of 20% will apply to all service and vehicle maintenance products.

Automotif Tyre & Service Centre. A discount of 10% will apply to all mechanical services and products.

All discounts apply only to what I consider to be necessities in the upkeep, safety and maintenance of the vehicles, as opposed to accessories. To ensure customers qualify for this discount, they will be asked to provide the registration certificate of the vehicle and their corresponding unemployment card.

I can only ask the public do not abuse this scheme and refrain from producing previously held unemployment cards and as a safeguard, we may also ask to see a recent notification or correspondence from the department of social welfare. I also realise that I may encounter further issues in the application of this scheme and therefore reserve the right to retract it, should the need arise.

I have little doubt you will know of people that will be happy to hear and avail of this scheme, so please pass the word along.

Any other businesses who wish to apply this idea might please contact me with a view to setting up a discount FaceBook page or website. It would be great to have a number of savings listed in a centralised source.

Paul Allen

paulallen@motorway.ie

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I have spent the last 24 years in the Motor Parts industry and also over the past two years in the Tyre and Mechanical repair business, dealing with customers and giving them advice with their vehicle issues as my knowledge of the products, problems and processes are vast. I have been dealing with everything from cars to light commercials but not heavy commercials/trucks.
Some problems are repetitive, for example which is the right oil for my car and which brand should I use? And of course new ones come along all the time like the current issue with E marked tyres. So I have decided to create this blog to share the knowledge and help as many people at once as possible. I would be delighted to help you so please let me know what it is I can do for you.