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I don’t think that anyone can argue the fact that it costs money to bring your car to a mechanic. We all can agree that the auto industry is full of stereotypes, everyone from sales to mechanics, no one is safe. 😉 So what can the customers to do get the most from their service folks? I put together a list of things that will make life a little easier, and save some money along the way. Most of these tips are better used when your car is having an issue, not for just standard maintenance.

Call Ahead

  • If you are bringing your car in for an issue, not just maintenance, call and make an appointment. Walking in for an oil change is no big deal, but I don’t recommend it when dealing with diagnosis. Give your mechanic and service advisor a heads up that you have a problem

Drop Your Car Off

  • I talked about waiting vs dropping your car off before. I highly recommend dropping your car off when dealing with issues beyond maintenance. It gives your mechanic time to fully dive into the problems. The longer most customers wait, the more pressure there is to fix a car. I don’t like rushing through diagnosis. It can lead to missing something, or misdiagnosing problems.

Make a List

  • If your car has more than one thing going on, write down what they are. People tend to get in a rush, so write down what you need to tell your mechanic. This can also save another trip back to the dealer.

Document EVERYTHING

  • This just might be the most important thing on the whole list. The what, where, when, how, and how often of an issue are so important. If the check engine light is on, that is not a big deal, I will find the problem. Paying close attention to when a problem occurs is vital information for a mechanic. Be as specific as possible, too much info is way better than not enough.

Have a “Guy”

  • I of course mean have a mechanic. I do not mean that as a man either. 😉 Try and find a mechanic that will be yours! Always take your car to them. Doing that will build a relationship between you, your car, and your mechanic. Your mechanic will not have to question if maintenance has been done or not, they will already know.

Here is a situation where the list is not followed. This customer has a rattle in their car. Here is what NOT to do.

Customer just shows up to a shop they have never been before. The customer tells the advisor, “I have a rattle”. When the advisor asks follow up questions, the customer does not have any answer.

The mechanic drives the car, and does not hear anything out of the ordinary. Customer gets the car back, they are mad because the mechanic could not find anything. On the drive home, the car starts rattling again. The customer never goes back because they feel like they got ripped off.

These are the things that customers should do to make getting their car fixed easier, and hopefully cheaper. Let me give you a situation on how this list can work for you.

Customer calls and makes an appointment with their mechanic.(for the story we will call him Charles). The customer says, “Charles, I need to bring my car in. It is making a funny sound”. I would say, “Ok, write down when it happens, and what you do to make it happen. Also write down the time of day, and how long you have been driving”

The customer then drops their car off with a list of things that are wrong, in addition to that list, they have documented all the information I need to duplicate the rattle. I spend the time to find the rattle, and fix it. Customer and mechanic are happy!

See the difference? Getting the best possible service is about 90% the job of your service department. But as customers, we have to play a part too! Having good information can be the difference between happy everyone, or sad everyone. I would love to hear what you guys think! When you post a comment, be sure to click the box that says “notify comments via email” that way you will know when someone makes a comment. Also, consider signing up for email updates for the site. I wont spam you I promise!

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Cabrio top

As you guys know, I have been looking for a project Volkswagen. I have my eye set on a Cabrio/Cabriolet but people think they are worth about double what they are actually worth. I decided to open up my search to add a GTI in the mix. Well wouldn’t you know I was able to find a 1996 GTI on Craigslist. The ad was pretty good, and noted that there were some issues with the car, but what did I expect from a 16 year old car.

Cabrio top

This was my 1st project VW. I only paid $500 for this Cabrio. I sure do miss it.

All ready to buy this car, I made the 40 mile trek to check it out. When I got there, I knew almost instantly, this car was not what the ad said. I don’t

think that the kid selling it was being deceitful, but I know that he was not telling the whole story. I spent about 45 minutes picking the car apart. Everything from damage on all sides of the car, a very oblivious water leak, and every light in the dash lit, to no a/c system, and headlight wires just flopping around. Yep, it had NO headlights.

The sad part for him is I really know this car. I can spot something out of place pretty quickly. The more I looked at this car, the more I found wrong, and more I found wrong, the less I was willing to pay. It pretty much broke down like this.

  • He posted the ad for $3000
  • Next day he changed it to $2500
  • I noted ALL the issues and offered him an offer of $1500. It would have cost me a few hundred dollars to get it drivable.
  • We went back and forth, me being very firm on my offer, and could not come to a price

Now I am only a little bummed that I could not get this car. There are 2 things that really make me mad about it. The poor car was abused. I hate seeing an awesome car ruined like that. The more important issue is, he will sell that car, and get what he wants for it. To someone that doesn’t know this car inside and out, it will seem like a good deal. It looks a little rough, but it “runs good”.

I thought I would put together a list of things that must be checked when looking a buying a used car. This list will help you avoid a big problem. Just a couple of warnings. This list will not predict the future. There can be hidden things that you will not see. I recommend using this list to deciede if it is worth getting checked out by a professional. I ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS, one more time, ALWAYS recommend getting it checked out by a mechanic, but more on that later

  • Do a walk around the outside, check for damage, and really look at the paint, even an untrained eye can spot color differences in paint.
  • Open the hood. Check the bolts that hold the hood and fenders on. Check to see if the paint is cracked. That means the bolts have been moved due to a repair.
  • Check ALL the fluids you can. On top of being clean, give it a good sniff. If it smells burnt, that is a no go
  • Check for fluid leaks. Most fluids will leave a trail the engine should not be wet with oil or coolant. Look at the fans, make sure they turn. PLEASE do this with the car off.
  • If you can see any electrical connectors, make sure they are not broken. Even if you don’t know what they are for, you know they should not be broken.
  • Wiggle stuff, Most car manufacturers do not let parts just flop around. Things are almost always secured in some way.
  • Check where the windshield and meets the cowl(that is where the wipers are) Bad seals there can cause a severe water leak.
  • Moving to the inside, open the door and take a big sniff. Water leaks have a very distinct smell. It kinda smells like a mildewy basement.
  • Look at the roof, see if there is any water staining around the windshield, windows, sunroof.
  • Touch the plastic of the interior. Lose trim can mean someone was “fixing” things
  • Look at the door jambs. Often side damage is not repaired as well on the jambs as it is on the outside
  • Open ALL the doors, make sure they open and close properly, and don’t over extend.
  • Open the trunk, check for the spare tire, and look for cracked paint on bolts, cracked seals, water
  • Check all the lights inside and out. Take a look at the tires, and brakes. I did a post about 5 quick car checks a while back, check it out for more information.

Since you will not be inspecting the car on a lift, there is no need to talk about the underside of the car. Leave that to a professional. Remember, before you buy a car, have it checked out by the DEALER! Yep, do not take it anywhere else. You might think that dealers are a rip off, but no one sees more of that specific car than a dealer mechanic. Now, if you make it this car, please take the mechanics advise. I have done used car inspections for customers, found a lot of issues, and people still buy the car. Then come back a few months later saying their car has all these problems. (D’oh)

Well, my search for a project VW continues. I will be sure to keep everyone posted about the search.

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When I first started with VW,my instructor said “VW makes cars to support their special tool department”. The funny thing his, he was pretty much right. We have over $300,000 worth of tools designed especially for fixing Volkswagens. I have shown you guys pictures of some of the basic mechanic’s tools that I have. I made mention of buying cheaper tools to make custom tools. In the comments of that post, Brett said, ” I’m interested in what you would modify tools for and how you go about doing it”. I think that is a great idea Brett!

Custom tool for removing steering wheel airbag

Cost
Tools are REALLY expensive, often buying a special tool from VW or a top tier company is just out of budget. Paying $100+ of a tool you will use once is crazy(but sometimes necessary). Take the screwdriver on the right. VW has a very similar tool for removing steering wheel airbags. From VW the tool is about $100. I made this one for about $6. By clamping it in a vise, and heating it up, I bent it to about a 90degree angle. Then I had to bend the very edge to mirror the VW tool.

Missing tool
In a shop full of guys, would you believe that tools don’t get put away? Crazy right. Not only that, but tools get lost, get broken, or we never get them. I was replacing an oil pressure switch on a new Touareg. VW had a special tool for the job, but I could not find it. I was not sure if it was lost, or we never got it. To be fair, it did not matter. The issue was the sensor was pretty big (24mm) but the channel to work through was about 22mm. I could have removed more parts, to gain access, but I didn’t really want to do that. I had to cut about half an inch off of the socket. Then grind down the other end to have it fit in the channel. I spent about 1 hour making this special socket, but now I have it for next time.(that job stunk, I don’t want there to be a next time.)

Special fitment
This is most likely the most common reason to modify tools.When tool makers build tools, they do not have the specific fastener in mind. When Snap-On made this scraper, they didn’t know that it would not fit around the mounting surface of an oil pan. A few minutes of grinding, and bingo, a perfect fit. This is one of the very few top tier tools I have modified. Generally I would not do this, but it works GREAT! I do have several screw drivers that I have trimmed down to fit exactly what I need.

Fine tune
This can be similar to special fitment. Doing things like adding a magnet to the inside of a socket, adding some tape around a swivel, or taping the edge of a socket can really be a life saver. I wrap the socket that I use to remove wheels in electrical tape. This will prevent nicking or scratching a $400 alloy wheel. I also wrap some of my swivels in electrical tape. It makes the swivel a little more rigid.

When it comes to actually making the tools, a grinder and a cut off wheels are your best friend. It usually takes some trial and error, but it is worth it. Having a wrench that will allow you to do a job faster, because you don’t have to remove a certain bracket is vital to a mechanics success! Here are some more pics of the tools I have made over the years.
[slickr-flickr tag=”specialtools” items=”13″]

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Hey folks, it’s Friday so it’s time again for “Behind The Wrench”. Today we have Joe, a true VW nut, car enthusiast, and all around cool guy. You can really tell from this interview, just how much Joe lives and breathes this industry.

NAME:

Joe aka Joe-hio….or Gus

How long have you been in the Industry?

Professionally 6 hobby wise 26+

What is your current job title?

Volkswagen tech/ part time pre 80’s (Volkswagen) nutcase

What were you doing for your first automotive job?

Working as a Tire tech/lube boy at NTB to save up cash to put me thru tech school

Do you currently work at a Dealer, or in an aftermarket shop, do you prefer one over the other?

I work at a dealer (Volkswagen) never had a chance to be at a independent shop…as preferring one or the other I can’t say, some say avoid the “stealership” at all costs but I must say that there is ALOT of dubs that show up on a hook(towed in) because “indy’s” don’t have the tech or the techs to solve an issue, at the same time there is a lot of good shops that know what they are doing, do the research VIA the web or word of mouth and find out what works for you and your vehicle.

Walk us through what you do on a daily basis.

Hmmmmmm….the daily grind….well being a flat-rate paid individual can be an interesting game of cat and mouse that 97.7% of the population will not understand…I won’t go there for the reason that the person(s) reading this know what I’m talking about…in a nutshell the everyday tech will perform any of the following career paths at any given time, mechanical engineer, electrical engineer; including but not limited to simple power and ground diagnosis to DSO graph interpretation, crime scene investigator for those accident prone Volkswagens, the list goes on and on for us but that’s the path we chose 😉

When you are not working on or with cars, what do you like to do?

When I’m not on the clock I’m still playing with cars, I am restoring a Westmoreland built 84 GTI at home, besides cars I enjoying mountain biking (single speed 29er) and enjoying a nice local craft beer with some good company!!!!! 🙂

What kind of car do you drive?

I drive a Porcelain blue 98 Volkswagen GTI, also have a 2012 golf and a 2000 Cabrio, the list would go on for pages if it were a perfect world!!!!!

What was your first car?

My first car was a 96 Volkswagen Jetta…I never drove it because we couldn’t get the title from the seller….so a 96 Ford Ranger was the first vehicle I legally drove…not the coolest car a high school-er could drive but I made the best of it!!!

What made you want to work on cars?

This question is one of those unanswerable questions….I don’t know what made me choose this path, my parents are not “car” people, my friends were not “car” people….just kinda happened..all I know is that the love for Volkswagens came out of it!!!!!

What is the weirdest thing that you have found in a car, that should not have been there?

2 mannequin the back seat serving as real humans for the HOV lanes in VA…scared the crap out of me when I looked in the rear view mirror, complete with the owners clothes…including underwear…I didn’t bother to ask the reason why mannequin need undies…

Do you have much customer interaction?

Interaction between me and customer usually happens between me and their VW…there are some customers that love to be “in the trenches”, wanting to see everything that goes on, which I enjoy showing them everything they need to stay informed on their dub. But most of the time the interaction I get from the customer is from online surveys or the “thank you” on the way out the door to their car…the techs are really the “behind the curtains” type of people…

What is your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of the job is being challenged in a way that really takes everything you know to figure out the concern at hand, Volkswagens are on the leading edge of technology, which at times, can really test the knowledge of your training…when you get into the “zone” and find the problem there is nothing more rewarding than that, people reading this know what I’m getting at…

If giving the chance, what would you never do again at work?

The one thing that I would never do again at work is…not make the best of your time while you are there…getting into a “slump” or “rut” can effect you and your fellow techs/writers…you just need to make the best of it and be thankful we have a weekly paycheck!!

The auto industry has a really bad rap, what do you say to someone who thinks you are trying to take advantage of them?

Without the auto repair industry, the world of transportation from golf carts to cruise liners would cease. I am proud to say and do the best I can to help out the customer which ever way I can…with that out of the way the dealership especially gets a bad rap for being nicknamed the “stealership” for having outrageous fees and hourly rates that may be higher than the average shop…I think that you get what you pay for in everything, especially for the care of your Volkswagen, I take a great deal of pride taking care the customers needs a expectations, at times I personally hand wash vehicles after a repair to show that the customers vehicle is well taken care of while here. I would love to rid the stereotype of some people about us dealer peeps and give us (or another) try in the future….

Of all the maintenance that cars need, what is the ONE that will keep my car healthy the longest?

From my point of view it would be oil and filter changes…it’s the blood of the engine and needs to be in tip top condition for proper operation….yes there are plenty of other semi equal items that needs regular attention, make sure to check your owners manual for specific maintenance needs!!!!

How important is reading your vehicles owners manual?

Almost as important as wearing clothes in public…it can be costly if you don’t abide by book!!!

Have you read the owners manual to your car?

Another shot of Joe's Westmoreland built 84 GTI. This car has so much potential

But of course!!!! Learned a lot too!!!

What tool in your tool box do you use the most?

My Experience

Is there a brand of tool that you prefer?

I prefer what works without failure,which doesn’t mean the top brands (snap-on, matco, etc.) I have had plenty of crazy high dollar tools that disappointed me big time…being in the industry you soon find out that it isn’t always the name brand that is the failure proof system…but I do like snap-on 😛

If you could only use 3 tools from now on, what would they be (and why)?

Experience, you can’t lose it….Pocket screw driver, it’s like a swiss army knife…but different…A good attitude, not really a tool but it can take you a long way…

If you were building a “James Bond” car, what is the one thing you would add it?

I would most certainly say a invisibility cloak, or a ICEE machine, or just a nice set of bbs 3 piece wheels. 😛

You are sending your kid off to college, what car would you buy for them?

Mk3 (93-98) VW golf 2.0 manual. That of course would be on my pay scale…but since that wasn’t the question I would have to to say a 2012 Touareg…not on my pay scale..

You can see some more pictures of Joe’s GTI build below
[slickr-flickr tag=”westmoreland” items=”5″]
Well, what did I tell you! Folks, if you care about your car, THIS is the type of mechanic you want to have. Imagine, your mechanic getting as excited about your car as you are. That would be really cool. I want to thank Joe for doing such an awesome interview. I will be sure to keep everyone posted on this GTI progress. If you or someone you know would like to be featured in an interview like this, just contact me!

I hope everyone has a great weekend! Don’t forget to sign up for email updates, I am still working with my buddy(the one that did the header) on doing some work with the site. There will most likely be something special coming when the new site launches, and the folks signed up will get a first dibs!

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Today we will wrap up the 2 part post about scams! I really want to thank AskMen.com for making the post on their “Top 10 Mechanic Scams“. If you missed 10-5 check them out at Mechanic Scams Confirmed and Debunked

No.4 Unneeded air conditioning recharge

“You might think you know whether or not your air conditioning is fully functional, but the mechanic disagrees. “You’re only blowing X degrees,” he says, which stirs potentially unsettling mental images. Then he offers to recharge the system’s refrigerant, which is something most of us won’t touch on our own. So where’s the scam? If you’re not noticing any defects or diminished cooling ability, you’re probably just being asked to address an inconvenience before it ever happens. Again, not a car-killer, but it’s an issue of spending too much too soon.”

This is a tricky one. The say the word “unneeded”, and of course that means you don’t need it. There are some advantages to getting your a/c system serviced. When I do an a/c system service, I remove all the refrigerant, most of the oil, vacuum the system, then recharge it to the proper level.

Much like with coolant, refrigerant holds contaminants. Removing all of the refirgerent, will remove most of the contaminating debris from the system. Applying vacuum will boil off any moisture in the system. Then when charging it, you know your are putting in the proper amount. This can make an a/c system last longer, but keeping it clean and dry. ~Free Tip~ this works the same for your home’s a/c system. I learned that the hard way to the tune of $2500.

No.3 Premature shock/strut replacement

“Sooner or later, you’ll need to replace your car’s shocks or struts. The mechanic scam here is when “sooner” is pushed too hard. Do a little pushing of your own. The old bounce test on your bumper in many cases is still a reliable way to tell if your shocks or struts are really bad, but also pay close attention while driving. If the car is like a bobblehead doll after hitting bumps, pitches and rolls in slow corners or is noticeably unable to quietly absorb all but the slightest imperfections, then it’s time.”

I pretty much agree with them here and I am not sure this really applies to modern cars. I hardly ever replace shocks or struts. I will say that having the bushings checked is really important. They tend to wear out faster than the shocks. Not really much more I can add than that, great job on this one.

No.2 Fuel injection service

“Here’s a mechanic scam with ties to the engine and transmission treatments mentioned elsewhere. Again, it’s all about removing contaminants and restoring efficiency and performance, like finding “hidden” horsepower. And like the others, it’s to be taken with a massive grain of salt — probably best avoided altogether. Name-brand gasoline usually contains enough additives to keep typical engines free of serious buildup under normal conditions. If you do want periodic help, skip the expensive service and add a bottle of name-brand treatment to your tank, such as Techron.”

I have seen this go both ways. To me much of these services depend on the end goal. If you are trying to remove carbon on the back of the valves, a good fuel injection service just might do the trick. If you are trying to unlock “hidden horsepower”, you are wasting your money. I have done this on several cars and it has worked great. I have seen it not do anything before. Using the right type and good quality fuel can help with some of this. Also a “spirited drive” can blow the junk out. I wrote a post about best way to drive a car that goes into more detail.

No.1 Premature brake pads/rotors

“The mechanic’s not lying: You do need fully functional brakes, and the pads and rotors aren’t at their peak thickness levels. But think about it. Technically, “peak thickness” only exists upon installation; everything after that is compromised. So, don’t ignore your brake system by any means, but also be aware of what does and doesn’t happen when you use them. If there’s truly a legitimate issue, address it. If not, don’t get taken by this mechanic scam and spend money prematurely”

There is that word again, “Premature”. I have a asking that I use, mostly when talking about timing belts, but it applies here too, “better 5,000 miles early than 1 mile too late”. Sure you can run your brakes down to the last 0.5mm of pad, but should you? Nope, you should not. Brakes produce a lot of heat, a pad that thin can not dissipate heat properly. This can affect stopping distance for sure. Not only that, it can warp the rotor causing a vibration.

There is also a cost saving, replacing brakes when the rotors can be resurfaced will cost about $280 at my dealer.(don’t hold me to that, its just an estimate). Replacing the pads and rotors will cost $470, due to the extra cost of buying rotors. So is getting another 1,000 miles worth risking the price almost doubling? I would so no.

Well, I really want to think AskMen.com for writing that article, be sure to check their site out, its has some cool stuff for guys and gals. What did you guys think of this format? I might do something similar in the future,there are no shortage of “scams” out there right!

Remember that I am still taking questions for another rapid fire Q&A. Just contact me with your question. If you know of any scams, post them up in the comments, lets get it rolling!.

Hey everyone, it’s time for Behind the Wrench! Today we have a former mechanic who now teaches the craft to the next generation! It is my absolute pleasure to have this interview with Bill!

NAME:
William (Bill) Foster
How long have you been in the Industry?
40 years
What is your current job title?
Program Director, Tech School
What were you doing for your first automotive job?
I started out working for Sears Automotive, busting tires, changing oil, you know, grunt work.
In the years you have been in the industry cars have changed so much, what is your favorite thing cars are equipped with now that they were not when you started?
As a music fan, I really like the way radios have progressed. Otherwise, GPS rocks.
Were cars really built better when you first started working on them? Is “they just don’t build them like they use to” really true?
Cars were easier to work on back in the 70s, but they needed a lot of work. By 70K, one had to have suspensions rebuilt and sometime, major engine repairs. Newer cars don’t have to be worked on as often. It is true, they don’t make them like they used to…they make them better.
Do you currently work at a Dealer, or in an aftermarket shop, do you prefer one over the other?
My last hands-on job was at an independent. During my career, I worked for both dealers and independents both have their good and bad.
Walk us through what you do on a daily basis.
Currently, I’m a director and a teacher at a technical school in a manufacturers program. I like it because I get the skinny on all the new technology and I have a 40-hour week.
When you are not working on or with cars, what do you like to do?
Summer, boating and jet-skiing. Fall and Winter, hiking.
What kind of car do you drive?
Old Jeep Cherokee. It pulls the boats and takes me to the trails.
 What was your first car?
1969 Camaro SS. 396, 4-speed.
What made you want to work on cars?
A hands-on career with good pay. I have no regrets on that decision.
What is the weirdest thing that you have found in a car, that should not have been there?
A kitten. I rescued it with welding gloves on. When the owner would not take it, I suggested that I put in back in the engine bay where I found it. She changed her mind. They became good friends.
Do you have much customer interaction?
As a tech, yes, and I hated it. As a shop manager, yes, but it was my job. As a teacher/program director, it’s my job and I enjoy it.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Turning on light bulbs in normally dimly lit brains.
If giving the chance, what would you never do again at work?
As a technician, I would avoid being directly involved with customers. I would second guess becoming certified, as you get all of the problem cars.
The auto industry has a really bad rap, what do you say to someone who thinks you are trying to take advantage of them?
The next time you go to the doctor, and then have to go back for the same problem, and you get charged for it, think of how cheap the car repair was. Remember, doctors bury their mistakes.
Are cars harder to work on(for a pro mechanic) now? Cars are loaded up with computers, does that make it easier or harder to fix?
Cars are harder to work on for pro mechanics…who think they can repair cars with their wits. You need diagnostic skills, diagnostic tools, and service information. I was fortunate to have worked for employers who purchased good service manuals and equipment.
Of all the maintenance that cars need, what is the ONE that will keep my car healthy the longest?
Full-service oil changes.
How important is reading your vehicles owner’s manual?
It is very important to read the owner’s manual; you miss out on all the features of a car if you don’t.
Have you read the owners manual to your car?
Yes. After I drove a car for 6 years and found out about the auto-headlight function, I started reading them.
What tool in your tool box do you use the most?
Hammer. Just kidding, DVOM.
Is there a brand of tool that you prefer?
The brand with the best service. Currently, that’s Snap-On.
If you could only use 3 tools from now on, what would they be( and why)?
Scanner, DVOM, test light. I enjoy the challenge of drivablility and electrical work…now that I’m not on flat-rate.
If you were building a “James Bond” car, what is the one thing you would add it?
DVD player to watch Bond movies.
You are sending your kid off to college, what car would you buy for them?
Toyota or Scion because of the dependability. Actually, I did that for two of them.
What is the one thing that you want folks to know about your job that they might not know?
Your local tech-school instructor works hard to get young men and women ready for entry-level employment. They are not masters yet, and will not be for a few years to come. Give them a chance as someone did you one day. It is frustrating to watch young people work hard for a year or two learning a career just to be denied a chance, or get paid so little that pizza delivery is a better choice upon graduation. It happens every day.
WOW, 40 years in the business. Bill, you must be a trooper! Folks,I really want to thank Bill for such an awesome interview. If you have a question for Bill, post it in the comments.Be sure to swing by and check out Bills website over at AutotechsForum.com. He has a great blog about cars too.
If you want to be featured, just Contact Me. I am always looking for new folks to interview!
I hope everyone has a great weekend. Hit me on Twitter that is the fastest way to get in touch with me.

Hey folks!

I am actually taking a few days off of work next week. As you guys probably know, I work a 4 day work week. The schedule is a 3 week rotation. So every 3 weeks I have 5 days off in a row. Well, this is my weekend off. On top of that, I took the rest of next week off. Hello 10 days off!

Out initial plan was to drive to Illinois to visit some friends, family, and go on some brew tours. That kind of fell through. Our back up plan was to visit Asheville,NC. A place that I really really love. That fell through as well. My wife and I decided to stay here and work around the house, painting, cleaning and so on. In fact I spent the day doing yard work!

My vacation will not interrupt the flow of blog posts. In fact I will have more time to give you some good stuff.

What I would like for you guys to do, is post up some topics you want to know about. I want to be sure that we are hitting the subjects YOU guys want! Those seem to make for the best posts. You can post them in the comments on the post, use the Contact me form, or head over to the forum and post them there.

I hope you all have a really awesome weekend. As always, I will be in the forum, on twitter, and Facebook. You can use the links on the right side of this post to connect with me. I always have my phone on me. Because of that Twitter or the Contact me form are the best ways to get up with me.

One more thing, if you have not checked out Pinterest, you really should. Its a pretty cool site to bookmark and share cool stuff you find. Let me know if you need an invite, I will send you one.

The best way to connect with me is to use the links on the right. 🙂