Episode 90: Nostalgia

On this week’s episode we are talking one of the most strange and complicated human emotions out there: nostalgia. Literally translated, it means a longing for something that once was and usually when we’re talking nostalgia we’re talking cars, people, and moments in time. We tend to have nostalgia for things that we are consumed by, and one of these things is work. Almost every single one of us has had more than one job, and even more of us will have another job in the future, but the weird thing with our industry is that more times than not we find ourselves back in places where we have been before. Literally. We have lost count of the number of times former employers have called us looking for help, but the important thing about nostalgia is that often it’s only the good things. Meaning, sometimes we forget all of the completely legitimate reasons we left in the first place!

Also Uncle Jimmy further breaks down the title of the podcast.

The Makes: Mercedes Benz (1945-Present)

On this Week’s Episode of GTW, it’s another episode of “The Makes” with Mercedes Benz. We start with the end of WWII (because we botched the first round of the Creation-WWII episode) and going right up to today. We are talking everything that makes Mercedes truly “the best or nothing” from their incredible rise from the ashes of a burned out Stuttgart to the highs of taking a Formula One world Championship just 10 years later. This dominance coming to a sudden and tragic end with the worst motorsport accident of all time, one that fundamentally changed not just motorsport but even manufacturers policies as well. We also go in depth into the great models of Mercedes Benz that took it from a symbol of evil to one of supreme style and class, as well as some of the incredible personalities that owned them (and some that brought some of that evil back into focus). Also we talk in depth about one of the great conspiracy theories that takes place in a Mercedes Benz inside of a tunnel in France in 1997. Finally, we talk about where they are now: their dominance in Formula One by bringing in some of the greatest racing minds in the world, their slightly bloated lineup full of crossovers, and their quiet maneuverings to possibly completely upset the EV market. Continue reading “The Makes: Mercedes Benz (1945-Present)”

Episode 89: Used Cars Revisited

On this week’s episode of Grease the Wheels, we are talking used cars. This is a touchy subject for us because we have very concrete opinions on what happens, what should happen, and what is going to happen to that industry in the future. As automotive technicians, you and I should inspect every single car that every single person in this country buys. Preferably before they buy it, but most of the time after the purchase, which points to a level of ignorance that is costing people thousands of dollars. This is the ultimate cart before the horse scenario. This is a must listen if you are planning on buying a car online. Also we talk about all of the ways to tell if a used car has had its ass kicked by a previous owner.

Also, Uncle Jimmy seriously questions the viability of delivering freshly purchased used cars on a flatbed.

This episode was sponsored by Spoke and Dagger Co. Spoke and Dagger Co is Buffalo NY’s premier spot for motorcycle parts, apparel, and information. They have loads of information about how to work on your bike, and even a 6 week class on the basics of being a mechanic. Hit them up with what you ride and what parts you need and they will send it right to your door.

This episode is also sponsored by MechanicsMarketplace.com. Their intuitive iOS and Android applications make it easy for techs to find new work. They are only available in the United States right now, however they will be expanding into Canada later this year, so keep an eye out. There is no up front cost for shops to find new technicians and mechanics marketplace even handles the drug and background checks.

Episode 88: Shout Outs

On this week’s episode of Grease the Wheels we reach into the GTW vault and bust out an episode from our treasured past, late 2019. In this episode Uncle Jimmy talks about the great people he has worked with and calls out some of the complete morons. We call out some of our largest listenerships, and some of our segments that don’t even fix cars, they fix stuff that makes cars look small, well engineered and simple! Also, in a Nostradamus-esque twist, we talk about a virus of unknown origin coming from some of the rolling dumpsters that you all work on and post pictures of to the internet. We also talk about taking the show on the road, which may still be happening pending our imminent demise as a society from COVID-19.

Also Uncle Jimmy says “YOLO” for the first time in public record since at least 2014.

Episode 87: Collision

On this week’s episode of Grease the Wheels, we are talking about what happens after a customer hits something with their car. It seems that recently the trend is for the collision shops near us to get the car straight and send it down the road for whatever else it needs. And when it goes down the road, it almost always ends up in our shop. Folks, we’ve all been here. A customer brings in their car after a significant amount of collision work and don’t say anything, but we quickly find out that there are major problems and they are going to be without their car for even longer. We make no bones about it, working in the collision industry is very hard work. Good body people are getting fewer and more far between and the number of people entering the industry is even less than the amount who are becoming mechanics, if you can believe that!

Also Uncle Jimmy relishes in looking at cars that have been wrecked sitting out behind his shop, and asks for you all to send in the pictures of the wrecks that get hauled to your shop!

Episode 86: Corona Baby

On this week’s Grease the Wheels, you’re getting a little bit of everything as we actually delve into the COVID-19 madness taking a look at it from several angles. This includes large corporate shops, small indy shops, and some of the businesses that support the automotive industry. Also, we use the way-way-back machine to talk about what is going to happen once this pandemic is over in the automotive industry and the country at large.

More importantly we go over some of the best ways that tech’s are keeping themselves safe in this environment where they routinely have to work in a 4-wheeled petri dish. Most notably: steering wheel condoms, ziplock baggies over shifters, mats and seat covers, and if anyone has an idea on how not to touch the stop start button we are all ears!

Additionally, we talk about sourcing jobs for yourself in times of economic hardship using a website/app that we have been developing where people post their broken cars and you mechanics bid on fixing them. You do the repair, you collect the money. It’s called Surfwrench.

Also, Uncle Jimmy’s phone goes off and Erik the Producer stumbles into a post-apocalyptic cosplay convention. Uncle Jimmy pleads with tech’s with nothing better to do to NOT name their “corona babies” James or Erik.

Episode 85: Tool Borrowing Etiquette

On this week’s episode of Grease the Wheels we are actually sort of topical to what’s going on with the world at large: sharing. Unlike the rest of the media who are saying things like “shelter in place” and “don’t come within 6 feet of other people”, we encourage sharing in specific circumstances even in these pandemic ridden times. The sheer number of different cars, and all of the years they have slight variations make it mathematically impossible for every technician to have every tool to do every job on every car ever. Eventually you are going to have to go to one of your buddies in the shop to borrow a tool. However, with what we now know, we ask that when you borrow a tool, you return it when you’re done using it to its proper place WITHOUT potentially deadly pathogens as stowaways.

Also, Uncle Jimmy boils down 5000 years of Buddhism into about 45 seconds and theorizes that all of the missing 10mm sockets are actually just reincarnated auto technicians being dicks.

Episode 84: “Complimentary” Multi Point Inspections

On this week’s episode of Grease the Wheels, we take a look at what should be the most profitable thing that we do all day: Multipoint inspections. However, most of the time when a dealership or shop says that they have complimentary multi point inspections, they are really complements of the technicians doing it. Meaning, they do the job for free and the shop doesn’t charge the customer. This is wrong on many levels, but then gets compounded when you have service advisors declining service to the customers vehicle even before the quote gets to your parts department. When the numbers get tallied up and you figure out what your service advisor doesn’t sell, then it becomes quickly apparent how the post quarantine economy runs entirely on toilet paper. Continue reading “Episode 84: “Complimentary” Multi Point Inspections”

Episode 83: Service Advisors 3: Tokyo Drift

On this week’s episode of Grease the Wheels, we are back to our bread and butter: complaining about service advisors! In this episode, we are going to be focusing on how they sell jobs, or in most cases, how they completely fail to sell jobs. As we’ve established they are dealing with an unknown element in the customer, so their jobs can be excruciatingly difficult. However, when they don’t sell things like tires or other maintenance items that are easy money for the technicians our feathers get understandably ruffled. Dealer techs know that they are losing a lot of work out the door to cheaper alternatives, but the service advisors need to be able to sell the value of having factory-trained talent in their shop. Finally, we look at some new technology that allows technicians to listen in to the calls between service advisors and their clients and how that is affecting inter shop relations.

Also, Uncle Jimmy channels his inner “Wolf of Wallstreet” and breaks down the entire sales process on service while Erik the Producer takes over episode naming duties.

The Models: BMW 3-Series

What is your favorite generation of the BMW 3-Series?

This is a question that has been asked in pubs, locker rooms, car shows, autocross events, and even some of the cooler dinner tables all over the world for the better part of the last 40 years. In this new podcast from Grease the Wheels, we break down the history of the BMW 3-Series from its company-saving and genre defining predecessor, to its most modern and slightly massive iteration. For the past 40 years, the preeminent contender for best driver’s car has in fact been a member of the BMW 3-Series.

We talk about the 3-Series’ humble origins, creating the entire market segment of “sports sedan” and eventually taking part in one of the all time great market wars with Audi and Mercedes Benz. We also talk about the E30 culture, tax, cool swaps we’ve seen, and one of the all time great unsung heroes of motorsport. The BMW 3-Series has become the BMW that people get first, and when you have that spot in a company’s lineup it is immensely important to get it right. This only gets magnified when that company is in the highest echelons of the automotive industry. Continue reading “The Models: BMW 3-Series”