Butler Service Tech Embraces “Movember” for Cancer Awareness

Iman in full “Movember” mode.

He is one of the most photogenic and frequently photographed of Butler employees.  The camera does love him but, that’s not the only reason Butler Ford Service Technician Iman Pirasteh is happy to smile at the lens;  It is also because he is always willing to throw himself behind a cause… which, coincidentally, explains the current, considerably hairier version of Iman, the “Movember” version.

“Clean cut” Iman

His friends say he looks like a grizzly bear.  His family wants it’s fresh faced young man back.  But Iman welcomes the comments because they allow him to talk about his reason for relinquishing the razor:  “Movember”, a movement born in 2004 that urges the growing of a mustache to raise awareness of prostate and other cancers typically associated with men.  “You hear about breast cancers in October,” he says.  “But how are you going to show support for men?”  He doesn’t even know anyone afflicted with any of the highlighted diseases;  He just wanted to help, as the movement says, “change the face of men’s health”.  He even went above and beyond the movement’s guidelines.  “Movember”* is a hybrid word mashing “mustache” and “November”  but Iman says he think he looks less silly with a full beard.  “You go through stages of your beard getting really itchy but then, after that, you don’t think about it… you just cruise,” he says.

Frankly, this reporter is stunned by the sheer amount of facial hair the normally clean-cut Iman has managed to sprout in just the past 19 days (he stopped shaving on November 10th).  But along with raising awareness Iman says there’s another benefit.  “It does help keep you warm.  It’s awesome,” he gushes.  And somewhere, under all that fur, he cracks a photogenic smile.

For more information visit http://us.movember.com/?home.

*There is also a “No Shave November” movement whose only purpose is to promote laziness and indifference.

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Storing a Vehicle

Photo courtesy of Coverking

Now that winter’s approaching, some of us are considering storing that convertible or classic car until the return of nicer weather.  Or, maybe you’re a snow-bird who wants to leave the vehicle behind when you migrate to warmer climes.  Whatever your reason for storing your auto, there are some steps to take before you can tuck it in safely for its long winter nap.

 

 

  1. Clean it – inside and out.  Any dirt or debris left to sit for an extended period of time can erode the paint or stain the interior.  Give your vehicle a thorough wash and wax before putting it away.
  2. Top off all fluids – including gasoline and coolant.  Full reservoirs combat condensation which can occur over time.  As for fuel, consider adding a stabilizer to prevent the gas from getting “gummy”.
  3. Change the oil and filter
  4. Disconnect the battery (older vehicles) or connect it to a trickle charger (newer vehicles)
  5. Cover any gaps an animal could get into (exhaust pipe, etc.) to keep mice, rats, cats, etc. from taking up residence in, or chewing on, the interior.  If you leave a window down slightly, make sure the space is too small for a critter to crawl through.
  6. Make sure tires are inflated to proper level.
  7. Make sure parking brake is OFF.  You don’t want the brake pads to fuse with the rotors.
  8. Remove wiper blades, or put a piece of plastic wrap between wipers and windshield to prevent the rubber from sticking to the glass.
  9. Lock the doors.
  10. Cover it.  Ideally you’ll be storing your auto indoors.  If not, a weatherproof cover is a must.

Lastly, if you’re thinking about letting insurance on the vehicle lapse, call your insurance company to find out whether it will cost you the same or more to reinstate your policy later.  Some companies will charge you more after a gap in coverage.

Sources:  www.Edmunds.com, www.WikiHow.com

What’s in a Tune-Up?

Butler’s Lisa Graham works on a Hyundai

Back in the good ol’ days (read:  before computers) a tune-up had one definition. Whether you had your vehicle serviced at a dealership or by the mechanic down the street, the same services were provided.  From state to state, all across the country, it was understood that certain systems were checked, certain fluids were refilled, certain parts were replaced.  A tune-up was a tune-up, period.

But now, technology’s made our vehicles much more efficient, and a lot more varied from model to model and manufacturer to manufacturer.  The industry may have changed but, for many customers, the concept of a tune-up has not.  That’s why Butler’s service experts say, when you take your car or truck in to be serviced, ask what’s included in the “tune-up package”.    Butler Acura’s Joe Butterfield says, “When I hear “tune-up” I think “maintenance”.  Butler’s Service Manager Curtis Hancock agrees.  “There is no more “tune-up”, he says.  “There’re only mileage intervals and what the book [the owner’s manual] calls for at those intervals.

Here, then, are the intervals at which service is typically recommended and the procedures we perform as part of that scheduled maintenance.  In other words, here’s what Butler considers a “tune-up”.

Scheduled maintenance every 30/60/90/120K miles includes lube, oil, filter service; brake check; tire rotation; visual inspection under hood and of underbody; parking brake adjustment; battery tested and serviced; engine air filter replaced; cabin air filter replaced; transmission serviced and flushed; brake system and fluid checked; power steering checked; cooling system checked.  All the above is covered under one price.

Other services that might have been included in the past definition of “tune-up” are no longer necessary for every make and model so we offer them separately.  They include the service and cleaning of the fuel injection and emission system, the service and cleaning of the throttle, a coolant flush, and sparkplug replacement.

Curtis says technicians will look for common problems but, if there’s something specific you’d like addressed it’s best to speak up.  Making sure you and the shop are on the same page when it comes to a “tune-up” can save you loads of time and money down the road.

Meet Butler Hyundai Service Technician Lisa Graham

Lisa Graham, Butler Hyundai Service Technician

It was 2009, the country was in financial crisis, and Lisa Graham had recently been laid off from her job as senior teller at a local branch of Washington Mutual Bank. To top it off, her 2000 Nissan Maxima was broken again. So, Lisa made a command decision; It was time to make a career change and stop paying automotive labor costs. It was time to become a mechanic.

They’re called “service technicians” these days but the training’s the same. Lisa entered the automotive program at Rogue Community College and instantly felt the animosity that accompanies being female in a male-dominated industry. “Some of ’em told me to go to nursing school. Some of ’em told me to go home,’ she says. “But I’m mouthy and I gave it right back to ’em. Then I proved myself.”

Upon graduating, one of Lisa’s first interviews was with Butler’s Service Manager, Curtis Hancock. Curtis says he knew he’d be hiring Lisa but, because she’s so qualified, he wasn’t sure for which position. “She gets along with everybody. She’s the one person who could’ve been a service advisor, work in the parts department, or work on cars.” So he let Lisa choose. She chose the latter. And Curtis is glad. “She has a great attitude and makes for a lighter atmosphere. She lightens the place,” he says. Robert Temple, Butler’s Warranty Administrator chimes in. “She’s super easy to work with. She has a great memory and learns quickly.” Both men agree: “She’s just awesome.”

She’s also a rarity. Joyce Quattrin with the non-profit National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) tells us “There is nothing official, but right now less than 1% of all ASE certified professionals [are] women.” Of the four woman in Lisa’s RCC program, only she and one other graduated. Even though she’s now bronze certified in Hyundai and Suzuki service Lisa admits she occasionally picks up a hint of sexism and has been known to avoid telling men what she does so as not to intimidate. But there’s a benefit to being female in the automotive industry, too. “Small hands help get into small [engine] places,” she quips with a smile. And the single mother of two is getting to pass her new skills onto at least one of her kids. “My 13-year old daughter’s not interested,’ she says. “But my 9-year old son, he wants to learn.”

So, how’s the unreliable Nissan Maxima? Lisa grins. “I’m still working on it.”

Suzuki Auto Files Chapter 11, Pulls Out of U.S. Market

2013 Suzuki

Suzuki will focus new car sales efforts on other shores.

Goodbyes are never fun but sometimes they’re imposed upon us.  That’s the case with the announcement this week that American Suzuki Motor Corporation has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and will discontinue the sale of new cars in the U.S. market.

As a Suzuki dealership, we’re especially bummed.  The automaker is recognized around the globe for its quality and, while struggling to gain a foothold in the U.S. has outsold many other well-known brands elsewhere in the world, even topping Honda sales in Japan.  Chuck Butler, owner and founder for Butler Auto Group, says, “We all know what a fine product Suzuki brought to the American market and, it is unfortunate that these international financial factors impacted the profitability of American Suzuki Motors overall.”  He adds that Butler will continue to offer Suzuki service and parts, and will honor all customer warranties until expired.

Suzuki’s decision affects automobiles only;  Motorcycle and marine engine business will stay unchanged.   While that’s some consolation we’re still sad to know we’ll be taking no more new deliveries of such fan favorites as the Kizashi or the towable Grand Vitara.   So, farewell Suzuki.  We’re glad to have known you.

Look for liquidation prices to be posted on Butler Suzuki stock in the near future.  For a walk down Suzuki memory lane visit http://www.autoblog.com/2012/11/07/remembering-suzuki-of-america-in-commercials/.

Automotive Service Trivia

Here’s your chance to put all that random automotive knowledge rattling around in your head to the test.   Take the quiz, then tell us in the comment section how you did!  Answers are at the bottom of the page.

 

  1. What does a connecting rod connect?
  1. What type of transmission was most common in U.S. cars in the 1940s?

3.  Who was the first President of the US to formally make the change from horses to automobiles?

  1.  The world’s first speeding ticket was issued in Dayton, Ohio in 1904.  Who received it and how fast was he going?
  1.  Where and when was the world’s longest traffic jam?
  1. In 1895, how many cars were registered to US citizens?
  1. How long does it take the average airbag to inflate?
  2. What musical note are most car horns tuned in?
  1. In what year was the first car insurance policy purchased?
  1. Who invented the original windshield wiper?

11.  What year were seatbelts made mandatory in U.S. cars?
12. What year were driver and passenger side airbags required in cars?

13.  Who perfected the type of storage battery we use in cars?
14.  What year were cars required to use unleaded fuel?

15.  What was the price per barrel of crude petroleum in 1901?
16.  What year were gasoline engines first located under the hood in the U.S.?

17.  The clean air act of 1963 gave us a very important emission device that is still with us today. What is it?
18.  Why did it become illegal to manufacture automobiles with chrome-plated trim in the U.S. and why?

19.  We sometimes hear about fuel-cell powered cars in the news. What does the fuel cell utilize to produce electricity and what are the by-products of this process?

20. From where did the term “dashboard” originate?

21.  In 1926 at a Massachusetts Public Works Commission hearing it was argued that automobiles not be equipped or banned from having a new automotive accessory that had been introduced 4 years earlier. The question is:  What automotive accessory was Massachusetts attempting to ban from use in the automobile?
22. Where and when was the first traffic signal put into use?

23. Between 1972 and 1982, the average speed on the congested freeways of Los Angeles dropped from 60 mph to what?

24.  Manufacturers started installing brake lights in rear windows after a suggestion by whom?

ANSWERS:  1. The Piston to the crankshaft  2.  Three-speed manual  3.  William H. Taft  4.  Harry Meyers of Dayton, Ohio received the world’s first speeding ticket in 1904 for going 12-miles an hour through town.  5.  In 1980 over a 175-kilometre (108.74 miles) stretch of the French Autoroute between Paris and Lyon.  6.  4!  (By comparison, 254-million automobiles were registered to US citizens in 2007.)  7.  40 milliseconds  8.  F  9.  1897  10.  May Anderson, in New York City in 1902  11.  1964  12.  1998  13.  Thomas Edison  14.  1975  15.  A Nickel  16.  1900  17.  The PCV Valve  18.  It was part of an effort to conserve resources for the American war effort.  19.  Hydrogen and oxygen; Heat and water.  20.  From the old stage coach days the dashboard was a vertically mounted board that is positioned so that it deflects debris from the horse’s hoofs called “dash”.  21.  The radio  22.   The first traffic signal was unveiled at the corner of East 105th Street and Euclid Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio in 1914. It was manually operated by a traffic officer stationed in a nearby booth.    23.  17 mph!  24.  Elizabeth Dole