Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Shooting The Parts Cannon Is A Bad Idea

Imagine going to the doctor and saying “Doc, I have diagnosed myself and determined I have Hashimoto's thyroiditis and all I want you to do is give me a prescription for it, no need doing any tests or running any diagnostic procedures.” The doctor would treat you alright…..for a mental disorder because you would have to be crazy to do that. The internet is a wonderful thing, for leading people in the wrong direction. People use it to get a little information about something, choose what they want to believe, convert that to instant knowledge and in a few key strokes become experts on the subject. Unfortunately, I see this occur too often when it comes to some car owners.

The automotive parts industry is projected to sell $148 billion in 2019. That’s $148,000,000,000 and does not include labor. it’s suspected that up to 25% of that will be parts sold based on miss diagnostics. Either Google told the car owner what was wrong or the parts store read the check engine light code and guessed at the cause. That’s $29.6 billion (it looks like this $29,600,000,000). I’m not a big fan of wasting money and I hate to see people throw their money down the drain. The simplest, and easiest way to avoid this waste is to have any problem with your car properly diagnosed first. Diagnostics at my shop is often less than an hour of labor.

“Shooting the parts cannon” is a phrase used when people or bad shops keeping installing parts and hoping for luck. I think it should just be called the money wasting cannon. Be the wise consumer, have any issues with your car properly diagnosed and repaired, don’t shoot the cannon.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

The Reboot of Ek Automotive
1) To start anew, with fresh ideas in a way that is consistent with the principals of the original, but not unnecessarily constrained by what has taken place before.
Sometime about the middle of last yearI sat down with my crew and told them that my vision for the shop went beyond being the ideal automotive repair shop. My vision was that the shop becomes a model business. I want to go so far beyond the standard blueprint. I   wanted to create the kind of place that other businesses from other industries would come to study and model themselves after. “What if Apple were an automotive repair shop? What would it look like? Or Google, Tesla, Amazon, Facebook, or even Monster Beverage?” I asked my crew. What would it to customers? What would it be to the crew? How is that atmosphere created? How can we achieve this and still keep our current vibe? Truth is I already knew some of the answers. I was waiting to hear what they had to say their input is invaluable.   Mike asked me what the budget was for such a huge undertaking, I told him the budget was ‘cool, don’t worry about it’

We went to work creating brand new positions and bringing on more employees. We shifted gears in our approach to production and efficiency. We implemented a team system that has everyone working together.  A system like this is not commonly practiced in the automotive industry. The technicians asked if they could have air conditioning through the production area (bays. Of course the answer was a resounding yes. In fact, we had a new state of the art HVAC systems installed through both buildings completely. There was so much more to this but in the end, it was all to benefit our customers and our crew. Then came the facilities itself. Being an artist and dabbling in interior design, I took the lead on this. My shop has always been an extension of myself, and that wasn’t going to change. However, at the same time, I had to think about our customers and crew. It had to be the perfect combination of, Urban Industrial/ Form fitting function/ Customer appeal/ and the WOW factor, along with a blend of automotive meets art.   We nailed it!!!      The feedback has been incredible, so positive, you’ll have to stop in and see for yourself.

Look for the announcement of our Reboot gala celebration this spring,promise it will be quite the event.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Spring is a wonderful time of year.......except for Chicago drivers, get ready for suspension repair and electrical repair

There is nothing more refreshing then the thought of Spring finally arriving. It’s been a long Winter and we are ready to put the cold and snow behind us. As much as we northerners love the thought of Spring and all it has to offer, our cars, if they could, would cringe at that thought. What? You would think cars would love when the air temperature is not too hot of not too cold. They do, but that isn’t the problem. The problem for Chicago drivers is the rain, and the damp wet weather. Moisture, rain, and damp wet weather wreaks havoc on the electronics of a car. I’m not sure if you know this but there are more electronics on a car then there were on the early space shuttles. Moisture can find its way into the smallest openings in the electronics, kind of like a Lego on the floor can find the bottom of your foot in the dark. We have noticed that some cars are more prone to electrical issues than other but that no car is immune to it. The best way to combat this is like combating the flu season, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The ounce of prevention would be a complete vehicle inspection (catching potential problems) and routine maintenance, a pound of cure would be a electrical repair along with the bill.

Then there are those pesky things that pop up every spring…….POTHOLES. You can’t avoid them no matter how hard you try. When they’re filled with water you can’t even see them. When they fill with water I’m pretty sure you can go fishing in them they become so large. Potholes can take a slightly worn suspension part and break it. They eat up shocks and struts all day. Since they are too difficult to avoid your best defense is making sure your car is in proper working order. What does that mean? It’s simple, A worn suspension part will break, a suspension part that is not worn will not break. Does it get any simpler than that? When you see a car on the side of the road with the wheel hanging off,  it’s had a worn suspension part that the owner either didn’t know about or knew but didn’t have the suspension repair done, that finally broke. Having a complete comprehensive inspection will reveal worn parts and a good service adviser will work with you so that you can make good decisions when it comes to repairing your car.

I know just the shop for you