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Happy Monday everyone. I hope that you all had a great weekend. Today on the Automotive Podcast we have a great yet touchy topic. Is VW reliability a problem, or is it perception. I had written a blog post years ago about this very topic. It is one of the most commented on posts on the blog. You can check it out at VW reliability problems.

I understand that there are a lot of folks that have very strong feelings about this exact topic. I also know that many folks have experienced the pain of having a huge repair bill on VWs. But you can take the VW out of the conversation, and input any other manufacturer. That is right, people have big repair bills with Toyota too. I also realize that there is truth to the issues that VWs have. I am a dealer tech, I see it all the time.

Today on the Automotive Podcast we discuss:

  • Why this topic came back up
  • VW ranks 5 from the bottom on J.D. Power
  • Why I “promote” VW as a brand? I DON’T!
  • My affinity for the brand
  • VW are not the right car for everyone
  • What fuels the problems car manufacturers have
  • Buy what you like, and expect problems
  • The story about my CR-V
  • A salesman wants you to by their brand
  • We can substitute VW for any other car brand

Well that wraps up Episode 16. I know that I may have hit close to home with many of you. Feel free to post your comments below. Remember this is not me standing on a soap box. It is a community.

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pliers tool sorterHey everyone. As you may know, Thursday’s have become tool review days. I have to say that I love doing tool reviews. As someone that owns a ton of tools, it is fun to share my experiences with them.

Today we are talking about the Tool Sorter Pliers Storage Tray. This is a very timely review for me. My pliers drawer was a mess. So bad that I wont even post a picture. And you know me, I share just about everything with you guys.

Tool Sorter Pliers Storage Tray Facts:

  • Up to 11 pliers can be stored in separate compartments Width of compartments from 0.6″ to 1.15″
  • Tray size of 12″ is no limit – longer tools can be stored
  • The tray is designed to accommodate various tools The 12″ long tray is open on one side, so longer tools can be stored
  • There is some issue with spring loaded pliers. That is really the only issue. But they do mention that on the Tool Sorter site
  • Oh, I never thought about it, but this would be great for storing files and chisels.

Well, what did you guys think? After the review I brought the tray to work. I gotta say that I dig it. The concern I had about angled pliers was not really an issue. My angled pliers fit perfect. If you have any questions or comments, please post them below, or use the contact me form.

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Auto Mechainc's Tool Box

After talking about Prepping a car for winter yesterday, I have the holiday season on the brain. Now, this is NOT a holiday show, but I thought it would be a great time to talk about buying tools as a gift. So today on the automotive podcast, we are talking about things to consider when buying tools as gifts. I am also working on a guide to buying tools this holiday season. That will be coming out next week. I assure you, there will be awesome deals.

I am someone that has spent a lot of time researching tools. In addition to that time doing research, I have spent a TON of money on tools. So today’s show it really built on how to buy tools for anyone from the auto enthusiast, to the DIY homeowner. Also remember that gift cards are always awesome, but are not really personal.

On today’s automotive podcast we talk about:Auto mechanic tools

  • Thinking about who we are buying tools for
    • Car person
    • The Pro
    • The Woodworker
    • Electronics person
    • DIY homeowner
  • How to find the perfect tool
  • Buy nice or buy twice
  • Tool count does not equal value
  • What tools to aviod
  • Flames do not equal quality
  • Slam dunk gift ideas (I don’t mean basketball)
  • Less glamorous, but awesome tool ideas
  • MT Knives sharpening video

If you are having trouble viewing here, check out Buying Tools As A Gift on Youtube

As always, your comments and questions are welcome. I love hearing from you guys. If you have a show topic you want you can post it below, or use the contact me form.

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Happy Monday Everyone!Cars stuck in Snow Storm

The season is upon us. Yes winter is almost here. Heck depending on where you live, it IS winter. As I type this, it is 44 degrees in NC. It is probably a million below in the northern states. 🙂 With all that, today we are talking about getting your car ready for winter.

This is something that is highly dependent on your location. Someone in the south will have different needs than someone in the northeast. Prepping your car for winter is also dependent on your car. If you drive a small car, you may not have room to fit things like a minivan. Also think about how getting a truck ready, may be different than a car.

Also keep in mind, many of the things we talk about are every day type things. This is more about fine tuning, rather than reinventing the wheel.

Prepping your car for winter show notes:

  •  Lights on your car
  • Tires, both pressure and condition
  • Coolant or antifreeze
  • Washer fluid, level and spray patterns
  • Wiper Blades
  • Vehicle battery
  • Keep your fuel level up
  • Test the heat
  • Spare tire and jack
  • Things to keep you warm
    • Hat
    • gloves
    • handwarmers
    • socks
    • blankets
  • Multiple ice scrapers
  • Water and snacks
  • Flashlight, check batteries
  • Evaluate your First Aid kit
  • Cash
  • 72 Hour kit

If you are having trouble viewing the video, watch it here on YouTube Episode 14, Prepping Your Car For Winter

I don’t think I mentioned it on the show, but keeping a weather radio and a way to keep your phone charged are VERY important.

Thanks for watching. What do you add to your car in the winter time?

As always, your questions, comments, and feedback are always welcome. You can post any comments below. You can also use the contact me form. Also feel free to email me Charles(at)humblemechanic(dot)com.

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Shell at the USA F1 Grand Prix

Happy Friday everyone! Today’s show is a multi-part show. It has been a while since I just had a chat with you guys. Since things are finally getting back to normal, I thought it would be fun to give you a recap of my F1 and Shell trip. It has also been a long time since we have talked about the Cabby.

Today’s Automotive Podcast we discuss:

  • My trip to Austin with Shell
  • The great folks in my media group
  • A weekend with Ferrari
  • Dubs for A Cause
  • VR6 Cabby electrical issues (big surprise)
  • How we are going to fix said electrical issues
  • and more

Links from the video:

As always, your comments and questions are not only welcome, but encouraged. I love hearing from you guys. If you have a topic you would like discussed on the show, you can post that in the comments below, use the contact me form, or fire me an email to Charles(AT)HumbleMechanic(DOT)com. Be sure to check out and follow at:

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Happy Monday everyone.

I am finally getting back to the real world this week. As almost all of you know, I was traveling a ton at the end of October. Between a trip to Virgina for an ASE workshop and my trip to Austin for USGP I was toast. But now that I have a week back at work behind me, it’s time to get rolling again.

Today we are talking about a very timely subject. That is what techs can do when the shop is slow. Last week was very much that type of week for me. As techs we know that business is up and down. So planning for slow times, and making the most of them are vital.

Today we talk about:

  • Why is the shop slow:
    Time of year
    Poor shop habits (bad service advisors, advertising, ect)
  • What can you as a tech control?
    Are you looking over every car for maintenance and recall needs?(NOT IN A RIP OFF CUSTOMERS WAY!)
  • What if you have no car to work on?
    Time for training
  • Work around the shop
    Maintain shop equipment
    Review TSBs Learn other jobs(behind the parts counter, service advisor)
  • Learn new cars/ good cars
    Run baseline values and test repairs on known good units
  • Lot Cars
    Check the lot for cars with updates and recalls
    This is mostly a dealer thing
  • Check local car lots
    This is also a dealer thing. Check local used car lots for cars that may have updates

Well that raps up another episode. As always, post your questions and comments below. IF you have a topic for the show you can post it, or just contact me.

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WOW, what an amazing weekend of fuels and racing. For the second time this year, the folks at Shell have asked me to come out to learn more about fuel and oil technologies. It didn’t really take much for me to say yes!

While I dig through all the pictures and videos of the weekend, I thought I would share some of my favorite pictures.

There will be plenty more pictures and video. Be sure to check out and follow at:

I have said it before, but it’s worth mentioning again. This trip was sponsored by Shell. Thanks to them for giving me such an amazing opportunity.