Month: January 2017

Auto Technicians Wanted

Work For Yourself & Earn More

auto technician working on a BMWGear Head, Spanner Wanker, Lube Tech, Herr Doctor, Parts Cannon, Knuckle Dragger, Nippledicks (we’re looking at you Wrenching Network) — no matter which one of these adjectives applies to you, two things are for certain. You make your living with your brains and your tools, and you help keep over 260 million cars on American roads running.

This is an incredible proposition, considering recent reports indicate that there are less than 5 million of you in the United States. While this seems like a losing battle, you now have a massive ace in the hole: the ability to work on the jobs that you want, when you want to work on them, and for a rate that you agree upon with the person who needs their car fixed.

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#ThanksObama

A Short Look at the Auto Industry in 2008-2016

As this country gets ready for a new president we took a look back on some of the events, legislation, and trends that have been proliferated over the past 8 years. The Obama administration, like all administrations, has had its ups and its downs — especially when analyzed through the lense of the automotive industry. However, the outgoing administration has had an interesting effect on one of the world’s biggest economic drivers, the American Auto Industry. For good or for ill, industry standards have changed to make cars cleaner, safer, and more regulated. From Cash for Clunkers and Black Box laws, to backup cameras and the GM bailout; here is an in-depth look at the automotive market under the Obama administration.

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GM Renaissance Center in Detroit, MI
GM Renaissance Center in Detroit, MI

2008 was the start of an immense crisis for the automotive industry in the United States, a result of the global economic recession which started approximately in 2001. This crisis was made worse by the increases in gas/oil prices in 2005 caused ostensibly by sustained conflicts in the Middle East.

Image by El Carlos, via Wikimedia, CC BY-SA 3.0,

During this crisis, multiple brands of cars were discontinued sold off during this time by struggling American automotive companies. The list of brands that these companies divested themselves of includes Chrysler’s Plymouth brand, Ford selling off Volvo, Jaguar, and Land Rover while phasing out Mercury, and GM’s selling or discontinuation of Saab, Pontiac, Hummer, and Saturn, as well as it’s Oldsmobile division. In fact, both GM and Chrysler, members of the group known as the “Big Three” along with Ford, requested government bailouts and were nearly forced into bankruptcy and liquidation. The U.S. and Canadian federal government’s bailed out these companies to the tune of $85 billion in order to prevent massive job loss and a further destabilized economy.

Following this massive bailout and the jettisoning of a great deal of debt, GM became majority owned by the United States’ treasury, while Chrysler became majority owned by the United Auto Workers Union and Fiat. Overall, this was a tremendous low point in the United States Automotive industry.

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Used Car Review – 2015 Ford Fiesta ST

“A little party never hurt nobody!”

The 2015 Ford Fiesta ST looks like this…

Image via Wikimedia, By David Villarreal Fernández, CC BY-SA 2.0

 

I can’t be the only one looking at Ford and thinking they have something a lot more fun than water in their watercooler recently. Seriously: the Focus ST, The Focus RS, the Fiesta ST, the new track monster Mustang GT 350, a GT with a screaming twin-turbo V6, and making one of the most pedestrian sedans in America look like an Aston. I’ll have what they’re having!

…but feels like this:

Image via Pixabay

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To Our Customers: We Can Save You $$$

Happy New Year everyone, welcome to 2017, and welcome to Surfwrench. I am co-founder and lead technician here at Surfwrench, my name is James Miller. You can refer to me as your Uncle Jimmy, you know the uncle that can fix your car. Now maybe you don’t have an uncle or someone who can fix your car, well now you do. Since I can’t fix every car in America, I have enlisted the help of some other enthusiastic technicians and mechanics to fill in for me. We are going to join forces to free you from the death grip of repair shops and dealers. You know, the $100 – $150 dollar an hour labor people. Read on and I’ll show you some simple math that may make you mad, then glad, glad for Surfwrench. So if the election didn’t go your way, your favorite celebrity died, or your car broke down in 2016, relax. We here at Surfwrench are going to make it all better. Happy New Year Indeed!

Why Do Car Repairs Cost So Much?

In order for us to tell you our story, we need to give you a brief history lesson. In the past people with car problems took their cars to a shop. Then that shop assigned a mechanic to look at your car, the mechanic performs diagnosis, then comes up with an estimate. These estimates are the total of the cost of parts, and labor. Now in order for the shop or dealer to make money, they mark up the parts to list price. Then they determine the labor time to perform the repair and hit you with their infamous labor rate. Let’s take a look at some numbers, let’s say you need a water pump, the part is $100. The labor is 3 hours at $100 dollars and hour. That makes this repair at the shop or the dealer cost you $400 plus tax, Maybe that sounds reasonable to you and for hundred plus years many people would have agreed. But here is the updated story, with better math.

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Year in Review 2016

So 2016…yeah…that happened. It was a terrible year for music lovers, film buffs, iced tea enthusiasts, Syria, Democrats…and at the time of writing this, there is still two f**cking days left in the year. 2016 was so brutal, a man started a Go Fund Me to protect Betty White from 2016. However, amidst the grey clouds is a major silver lining to everyone who owns a car.

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