Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sunday morning

Well I was so busy on Friday and then on Saturday we had a funeral to attend that I haven't had a chance to keep up with  my post. Friday found us still one man short in the radiator shop so I was taking up his spot, the drive in business has been booming this last few days and I don't know if its the new ad campaign we started on facebook kicking in or just dumb luck. I will be placing tracking snippets in the HTML code of our web site to help track the facebook ads very soon and see if the ads are paying off.
Running a business you have to be multi talented or have lots of cash to pay for things like web design. I'm cheap at least if not multi talented by nature, my need to save money makes me that way. So here I am  now designing our web site and managing traffic and ads. That is all part of the fun you have when running your own business. Maybe I'll focus on "running the business" as well as day to day repair issues or how to fix your radiator right. Running the business could be of a lot of use to future entrepreneurs. You can't beat having someone to pull knowledge from in business.
 I try to take lots of photos of whats going on in the shop but if I wait to long to post my mind goes blank. I don't know if this has become a defense mechanism or that I'm just getting old but when not at the business I tend to forget whats been going on, its a curse and a blessing all rolled up into one if you ask me. This way when I get home from work I really tend to leave it all behind and not dwell on it through out my time off (it wasn't always this way!) This being said we will have more interesting thing to read about next time along with some more photos.
Remember if you need any help with your auto or radiator please give us a call we are always happy to help and advice is free. Find our number on our web site.

Hope you all have a great day David

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A man short

If your in business for yourself and its a small one you'll find wearing lots of hats comes with the territory. So goes my woes today, I'm 2 men short which means the boss has to take up the slack. Our business is 4-5 persons so when you lose one it hurts. Its my job ( and I really don't know why) that I am jack of all trades and I guess its a blessing in disguise. I can run the whole shooting match on my own if I had to...Wouldn't make much money or get a lot done but its doable so I really am grateful despite my ramblings other wise.
 One man I lost today is my radiator repair tech. I started in this business repairing radiators and am very capable of the task I just am burned out preforming it. Hope my guy gets better soon. He went to the chiropractor today and got his back realigned ( his leg has been bothering him) and it got painful enough he can't work. I hope he recovers quickly for him and me.
One thing being hands on keeps you in shape with what ever skill you have. I remember not working on the repair bench for several years when I was in a manager position, picking up a torch to show a new person how to do something and burning the radiator I was working on up! boy I really showed him.

It's light in the drive in side of the shop so that's good its hard to be pulled in to many directions. I have really good people to depend on so that also helps. Hope everyone recovers soon.
Hope you all are doing great and we will see you soon. David

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What a nice day

It's a nice, warm sunny San Diego kinda day here at the shop 78deg. and great working conditions!

This is a shot of the VW we've been working on. It's been here since Friday the parts have been ordered and are here now so we should be able to finish this up for our customer by the end of the day.

This Toyota has been here before. We check out a brake light issue and noticed that it was low on fluid. Did a complete brake inspection and everything looks fine. Also it needs an oil change .

The radiator for the City is in process of being finished. These radiators take special care to do them right. We sand the metal parts down after being put through a hot tank bath and re-paint with a good quality enamel paint. The radiator cores we paint with a special paint that breaths.
These are the tanks after paint. We assemble with all new nuts, bolts and gaskets that are custom made. It takes 5-7 hours to rod out a large radiator like this one. A car radiator like you would find i9n your car we could do in 1 hour.
All for now David

Monday, October 25, 2010

It never rains in California

This is a picture of our delivery truck in the rain...

 The weather man said the rain was supposed to stop by this morning but as you can see it hasn't as of 8am. By noon we started to see day light through the clouds yahoo.

This Volvo came in with a service light staying on for ten minuets as they drove it  would go off and stay off until the car was turned off and re-started. This is typical of  Volvo warning you to have service preformed on your vehicle. Lube-oil and filter quick check of the tires and all fluids, brakes, belts and hoses and they are off and running again.
Here is one you don't see everyday this Toyota (above) came in with the complaint that it smelled after being driven and the heater function turned on.  Well we ran and ran the car with and without the heater on and didn't really notice anything funny so the lead technician decided to close all the doors on the car for 45 minuets and check it, sure enough we got a smell. Didn't smell like chemicals as the customer had complained of so we pulled out the cabin air filter located behind the glove box and found it to be dirty but not the cause of the Oder. 

Next we looked under the hood and saw that the valve cover was leaking oil but that didn't seem to be the smell ether. Looking over the car we came to the trunk opening it we found a smell, so I stuck my head in and it became worse. Digging through the trunk we noticed a blue yoga mat a bag of rice along with other nick knacks. Closer inspection noted that the yoga mat was most suspicious smelling so we removed the mat from the trunk of the vehicle, closed it up and waited for 1 hour. When we opened up the car again the smell was faint about 1/10 of what it had been. The moral of the story is don't store your yoga mat in the trunk of your car for extended periods of time. We put the mat in a bag hoping to reduce the smell along with some other chemical treatments that we do.
I don't know why the mat smelled usually its the A/C evaporator or evaporator case it self  that has Oder  issues and we deal with that all the time. This was different  for sure and we are hoping that fixes the trouble.
 In the radiator shop today we have a fuel tank out of an oldie that needs to be tested, Look's like it has several holes that need to be repaired and we will install a tank liner so it doesn't rust.

Bolt on radiators look like the one to the left. This one is from a trash truck that we have worked on before. From our identification tag that we solder on we are able to look it up and date the job seeing what we have done to it before. Look's like it needs gaskets replaced.

Well the rain has stopped and the day is at a close, we will do this again tomorrow. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to post or contact us. The web address and telephone is the best and quickest way.
 Have a great day, David

Sunday, October 24, 2010

San Diego weekend

The shop is closed on Saturday and Sunday I figure everyone needs time to rest, besides that is the time I really get to work...Oh Yeah I didn't mention that as an owner of a business you never get to sleep! I didn't know what I was getting my self in for when I signed on the dotted line and became a proud owner of a repair shop. Yes it has its perks like setting your own hours, who you work for and with, what color you paint your building or what you call your self. The down side to it is if the business fails you loose! some times lots!
 I can honestly say I make less now than I did when I worked for someone especially when you start to add up all the hours I spend after hours doing web design, figuring out marketing strategies, how to grow my business, social networking, blogging...It all ad's up. But I have always wanted to be in charge and now that I am I'm set in a position to be able to make a real difference in people's lives. With me it's not just about the bottom line. I want to honestly help people repair their car and make a living too, which seems to be a tougher road to follow. Its easy to sell someone something they don't need and I see it happen more than it should, but harder to be diligent and set boundary's especially when there is no money coming in.  So far this strategy  has worked well for us we now get referrals from customers that say were the only shop they trust. If we can't do something  they need we will refer them to a trusted friend who can.
 So here I set learning to Blog, doing google search one after the other, drinking my coffee and petting Rosie our dog. Ricky and Charlie are our two cats and they hang out respectfully one on our bed and the other on the dining table, awaiting a pet or scratch as someone walks their way. There is a slight overcast today and its 68 outside now with no wind.  Lisa my lovely wife is off to her yoga class then we will go out and grab a bite to eat for lunch some where in the most beautiful city I know. Did I say I love my life? Wishing everyone a great day! David

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Friday light

Today was a typical "Friday light" day, but we certainly were not slow. We have a Chevy truck in with a oil leak that we discovered was a oil pan gasket and not the rear main seal (lucky and cheaper for him!)  the book time was 4.5 hours? we did it in 2.5 and charged the customer appropriately.
 Our shop is built on Honesty, to the point that we some times lose money!  I would rather be too honest in the customers favor and get a repeat visitor, that the other way around and never see them again. So although we could have charged him the 4.5 hrs we didn't and he left happier than not but he will be back!
 This next truck is from the City Of Poway maintenance department and the A/C compressor was noisy. When we hooked up the A/C machine we found that the compressor was not pumping like it should and also had leaks in  the barrel seal which is very common on the new style Chevy compressors.
So we replaced the compressor and all the extras that you need to to fix it right, did a A/C system flush, orifice tube ect.  Then evacuation and recharge we had it blowing @42degreese. A/C system work is tricky and you really should know your stuff before trying to fix one its not like changing a starter there are a lot more thing's that  you need to know to do it safely for you and your car. If done wrong you could waste a lot of time and money. 

This next one is a VW SUV Tiguan and has a water leak in the rear of the motor. This was very hard to see and locate the leak.  We started to remove the heater hoses because it looked like that is where the leak was coming from, we were wrong it was a by-pass tube that wraps around the right side of the block had a hole rubbed in it from the heater hose. We are currently waiting for VW to get the parts in to repair it there are no after market parts available for it at this time, and also the plastic hose connections (VW like to us lots of these!) are starting to deteriorate and they are brittle so when we move them out of the way they brake off. We have already quoted our customer and we like to stick to the original estimate. I don't like to call the customer back and raise the price so we will be eating some of this through the shop. Oh well you win some and lose some, but happy customers are well worth it.
These VW's along with many other newer cars take a special coolant that is vender specific to the car DON'T MIX COOLANTS! Bad Bad Bad, we routinely have to flush out and refill cars that have had the wrong kind of coolant or other fluids put where they don't belong so read your owners manual or call and ask. We are always happy to answer questions. 858-486-0881

The radiator shop had a couple of fuel tanks still in the process of being cleaned out and also had a re-core radiator to do. This one is off of a forklift sort of vehicle for the NAVY on the navel base here in Coronado. We are proud to have many accounts with the NAVY here and are grateful to be able to help them with their work.
This radiator is an up grade from the original core ( we always go up never down) it has more fins per inch and a better tube design making it more effective in cooling the vehicle.
 Well thats all for today we have the week end off but will be back at it on monday, if you need any help or have any questions pleas give us a call I forward the phones to my cell phone even on my days off and am happy to help you.
David Avery  858-486-0881
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