Episode 145: My Generation

On this week’s Memorial Day episode of Grease the Wheels, we talk about the generations in regard to the conflicts they fought and the cars they had to fix. Fittingly omitting “The Lost Generation”, we examine the incredibly simple nature of early mass produced automobiles when they were being driven by “The Greatest Generation”. This is the generation who honed their skills by keeping things running through a Global Depression leading up to fighting Nazi’s and the Imperial Japanese. “The Silent Generation” that had to fight the Korean War had slightly more complex automobiles with more safety features, more creature comforts, and a lot more power; but they earned it because they were born either shortly before or during the Great Depression. “The Baby Boomers” who fought the Vietnam War were all about horsepower when they first started driving, and that didn’t really tail off until the government started strangling cars in stock form.

With “Gen X”, cars got computers to make them run cleaner and more efficiently, and with the Millennials and “Gen Z” things have become electrified and the amount of things that can go wrong in these cars have increased exponentially. However, the number of people entering the field has decreased exponentially, and as another generation marches towards retirement the ranks are not being reinforced. We think the technician shortage is because of the increasing complexity of the cars with the complete stagnation of wages, but what do we know? The generational composition of every shop is different, so take a look around and maybe figure out what generations are best represented and how well they fit the stereotypes that Uncle Jimmy heaps on them.

Also Uncle Jimmy and I would like to give a very sincere, “thank you” to all of the service members who laid down their lives so we could have the freedom of speech to do this podcast!

This episode is distributed by The Wrenching Network. Whether you’re a technician, a mechanic, or someone who just loves the car scene, The Wrenching Network is a place that you have to check out. They have all sorts of great content, gear, and snacks to keep you turning wrenches in whatever capacity you do it. Also if you see us over there, make sure you say hi and leave a comment with what you think about the episode!

Episode 142: Shop Rescue

On this week’s episode of Grease the Wheels, we apply the arc of the extremely popular show “Bar Rescue” to the automotive sector. Folks, this one would get ugly in a hurry. First off, there are a lot of people in management in the automotive sector that think everything is absolutely fine despite their businesses actively falling apart due to either neglect, poor decision making, poor personnel, or all of the above. Therefore, in their heads at least, their shop wouldn’t need to be rescued. However with open job positions drastically outweighing the amount of people actively seeking that employment for one reason or another- the writing is going to be on the wall sooner rather than later for companies that are struggling with staffing. So enter, “Shop Rescue” where we tell them what they need to do to get on track business wise, manufacture some drama, or some days you might not have to because the customers bring enough drama with them for an entire Netflix Series. Because let’s be real, who wouldn’t want to watch Uncle Jimmy scream at your service manager and underperforming service advisors for costing you money, and bad management for making your job more difficult than it has to be!

Also Uncle Jimmy throws Erik the Producer under the bus to set up next week’s episode!

This episode is distributed by The Wrenching Network. Whether you’re a technician, a mechanic, or someone who just loves the car scene, The Wrenching Network is a place that you have to check out. They have all sorts of great content, gear, and snacks to keep you turning wrenches in whatever capacity you do it. Also if you see us over there, make sure you say hi and leave a comment with what you think about the episode!

Episode 126: Evolution

On this week’s Grease the Wheels, we are talking about evolution: both as technicians individually and in regards to the cars we work on. When it comes to the cars, the amount of technological change from the first cars Uncle Jimmy was working on as a lad to where we are now is staggering and because of this, we have all had to learn a lot of things and hone some extra skills to be able to stay effective at what we do. We also talk about the incredible strides that cars have made in terms of safety, unfortunately you can’t engineer better drivers. Finally, Uncle Jimmy buys a 335 with 24 bent valves from a dude who tried fixing it with his PhD in Philosophy and Cam Position Sensors!

Erik the Producer’s sidenote: I witnessed this transaction, he 100% said he could fix this thing with reasoning… It was hilarious.

Also Uncle Jimmy hits on one of the interesting cross-shop touchstones that we can all relate to: “what car got you into working on cars, and what did it teach you?”

This episode is distributed by The Wrenching Network. Whether you’re a technician, a mechanic, or someone who just loves the car scene, The Wrenching Network is a place that you have to check out. They have all sorts of great content, gear, and snacks to keep you turning wrenches in whatever capacity you do it. Also if you see us over there, make sure you say hi and leave a comment with what you think about the episode!

Episode 122: Better Fed than Red

On this week’s episode of Grease the Wheels, Uncle Jimmy completely destroys communism faster than the apprentice who forgot to put the drain plug back in his waiter oil change. While our notion that workers should get paid more does smack of some of Marx’s more heavily Sparknoted works, we know the simple market fact that all workers are NOT created equal. We all know different things, we have different levels of experience, and we have different levels of education- so the idea of paying us all two potatoes a week is pretty laughable. We also know how communism ACTUALLY works, being that the “classless society” workers utopia is actually a split tiered system with party members not really being a part of the “classless society”. We’re not claiming to have class, we just want a little bit bigger slice of the pie that has been kept from us by anti-capitalistic practices and failing to see the increasing level of complexity of the things that we work on: and thus the need for more tools, training, knowledge, and MONEY.

Also, Uncle Jimmy talks about some of the changes coming in the market due to the US’s regime change and volunteers to be NASA’s next Lunar Rover mobile mechanic!

This episode is distributed by The Wrenching Network. Whether you’re a technician, a mechanic, or someone who just loves the car scene, The Wrenching Network is a place that you have to check out. They have all sorts of great content, gear, and snacks to keep you turning wrenches in whatever capacity you do it. Also if you see us over there, make sure you say hi and leave a comment with what you think about the episode!

Episode 121: Action Job Story

On this week’s Grease the Wheels we are actually dispensing useful information when it comes to getting you paid: we are talking about how to write a job story. For the purpose of this episode we are mostly talking about how to get paid the absolute most when it comes to warranty repairs. Now obviously you are going to want to document everything you do to the car in order to get paid for everything you did, but there are also ways to make time in this scenario. We also go into why documenting everything you do to a car can be useful in the case of a comeback or covering your ass with an unscrupulous customer. At the end of the day we suggest that you try to write your job stories like an action movie, with all of the gory details. Also we have a callback to Episode 115: Pride and ask you to tell us some of your stories about fixing the things that others couldn’t!

Also Uncle Jimmy talks his favorite authors: Hemingway, Stephen King, and Tom Clancy and quite possibly is the first person to ever say the word “Unclejimmyville.”

This episode is distributed by The Wrenching Network. Whether you’re a technician, a mechanic, or someone who just loves the car scene, The Wrenching Network is a place that you have to check out. They have all sorts of great content, gear, and snacks to keep you turning wrenches in whatever capacity you do it. Also if you see us over there, make sure you say hi and leave a comment with what you think about the episode!

Episode 107: Lunch With My Boys

On this week’s episode of Grease the Wheels, Uncle Jimmy gives Erik the Producer an aneurysm by sitting down and eating his lunch while recording the podcast in a show of solidarity. That’s right, Uncle Jimmy is now banned by some shops (or at least that’s what the data leads us to believe) but more than likely is if he isn’t banned in your shop yet this will probably be the episode to do it! We talk at length about the first amendment, Multi-Point Inspections, and well as doing videos of these inspections. On the point of videoing the multipoint inspection, we have seen several jobs approved when they were unlikely to because it takes a level of salesmanship out of the equation for the service advisor- which is almost always a good thing. The better we are at explaining the problem and showing the customer the problem and often its magnitude, we are able to really help sell that particular repair. Finally, we provide the entire internet with a convenient soundbite for asking for a raise: but be warned it could also definitely get you fired. Use at your own risk.

Also, Uncle Jimmy revisits the theory (and practice) of what would happen if a single technician came in while advocating and illustrating the shift from passive-aggressive to active-aggressive.

This episode is distributed by The Wrenching Network. Whether you’re a technician, a mechanic, or someone who just loves the car scene, The Wrenching Network is a place that you have to check out. They have all sorts of great content, gear, and snacks to keep you turning wrenches in whatever capacity you do it. Also if you see us over there, make sure you say hi and leave a comment with what you think about the episode!

Episode 94: Less Talk, More Work

On this week’s episode of Grease the Wheels we are talking about one of the main things that costs us money, that we’re not really willing to change: getting along with one another and talking about stuff. We prefer it when shops get along and can talk about stuff because a lot of the time it can streamlining the solving of problems and the maintenance of good morale. But sometimes it can end up costing us a lot of time, which can translate into costing us a good bit of money. However, absolutely nothing compares to the inconvenience of those part time friends that only show up when their car needs work!

Uncle Jimmy claims to be a friendly person despite 94 episodes of evidence to the contrary and describes his natural state: sweaty and angry.

This episode was distributed by The Wrenching Network. Whether you’re a technician, a mechanic, or someone who just loves the car scene, The Wrenching Network is a place that you have to check out. They have all sorts of great content, gear, and snacks to keep you turning wrenches in whatever capacity you do it. Also if you see us over there, make sure you say hi and leave a comment with what you think about the episode!

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.

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!