Things You Need To Know When Talking To A Mechanic Shop

Things you need to know when talking to the mechanic shop!

Knowledge is power. Do you feel as if sometimes you are being pressured into purchasing repairs for your vehicle when you seem to take it in for a simple oil change? Then you are fed a line for which you cannot completely understand? Well with a little bit of knowledge about your cars repairs, you could save yourself a lot of money.
How you ask? As a mechanic for some 40 years and Automotive Columnist for over 24 years, I have been preaching the Basics on automotive repair to many who have learned
No need to take college class on auto repair, you just need to learn some of the very basic of information and have them double check. Those coupon specials or gimmicks get you in the door only for the shop to find other things wrong with your vehicle, which is these types of shops, can pay for the giveaways.
What you need to know.
1. “Get that engine flushed right away or its toast.”

Beware if your mechanic’s idea of “scheduled maintenance” bears little resemblance to the recommendations in your owner’s manual. Some shops “build the ticket” (translation: pad the bill) by recommending extra and often unnecessary procedures, such as engine and transmission flushes, or by scheduling some tasks prematurely. These types of generic repairs can be premature and unnecessary.

2. “That rebuilt Alternator will cost you $499.99

Before you agree to any repairs, call around to see what the part will cost and also check other shops on what they will charge for the same repair. You might want to have a second opinion. You might remember a friend or family member had the same repair for less.

3. We thought the part replaced would fix it?

Oh-no, you are dealing with a shop who seem to be parts replacers and not very knowledgeable on diagnostics. Paying for their training can be extremely costly to the consumer. Make the mechanic justify the initial repair. Even if it was an honest misdiagnosis, the shop should refund the amount of the first repair or discount the next one. If the mechanic gets the diagnosis wrong again, stop replacing parts and replace the shop.

4. Your particular car needs a new starter every year.

Not so fast. This may be a tip-off that the shop did the work incorrectly or used poor-quality or makeshift parts instead of proper ones. Call some other shops to find out what they think or check the Web to see if there’s a discussion group devoted to your model and its problems. You might also want to take the car to another repair shop for a second opinion. If the original job was lacking, ask the shop that did the work to repeat the repair either without charge or at a substantial discount.

5. You must bring your car back to the dealer for all your repairs.
Not true. The Dealership Service Center is important when needing a replacement for a repair that is covered under warranty. As for all the other repairs, this can be done at your own discretion. Don’t be intimidated into thinking they are the only ones that can care for your cars needs. Find a reputable service shop that is trained in the type of repair your vehicle needs.

6. Finally, How to talk to your Mechanic.

Snapshot - 4Getting the right repairs at a fair price depends partly on communicating with your mechanic. Here’s what to say and to expect:
• Describe the problem fully. Provide as much information as possible. Write down the symptoms and when they occur. If possible, talk directly to the mechanic who will be working on your car.
• A mistake many car owners make. Don’t offer a diagnosis. Avoid saying what you think is causing the problem. You may be on the hook for any repairs the shop makes at your suggestion, even if they don’t solve the problem.
• Try validating the problem. Request a test drive. If the problem occurs only when the car is moving, ask the mechanic to accompany you on a test drive.
• Ask to see the failure. If you’re not comfortable with the diagnosis, ask the shop to show you. Worn brake pads or rusted exhaust pipes are easy to see. Don’t let the mechanic refuse your request by saying that his insurance company doesn’t allow customers into the work area. Insist on evidence anyway.

Teresa’s Garage Radio Show Tune In

Autos forTune in today to Teresa’s Garage Radio Show, with Host Teresa Aquila of Teresa’s Garage and Co-host Jeanette DesJardins of Car Chix. With Special Guests Dan McGee from, Tonya Pennington, Race Car Driver, who will be discussing her upcoming event, Autos4Autism and Reno Guns & Range offering self defense tips for women. You never know when you might be in a situation where you need to defend yourself, stranded, walking on a college campus, or jogging. Knowledge is power, don’t miss this one. You can also learn where classes are being held for additional training. Teresa and Craig Moss will be chatting about PIT PEEVES, Dan McGee will be updating you on local and national racing news. Callin to join the fun at  844-790-8255, The show airs at 2 Pm Pacific Standard Time or 4 PM Central Standard time. Teresa Aquila and Jeanette DesJardins have teamed up to bring you information on racing, female race car drivers and most of all, a fun time for all. Have a question give them a call during the show. Find Teresa’s Garage on facebook as well.

Teresa’s Garage Radio Show Live Feed

Teresa's Garage Radio Show

Teresa’s Garage Radio Show

Teresa’s Garage Radio Show Live Feed is a weekly radio show featuring Women in Motorsports or Motorsports Enthusiast local and around the world. Teresa Aquila, of Teresa’s Garage, has teamed up with Jeanette DesJardins, from Car Chix. Tune in every Tuesday from 2 – 3 PM PST or 4-5 CST. If you have questions or just wish to comment on the current guest or topics, call toll free 844-790-8255. Also visit Teresa’s Garage Facebook page for daily informationals and automotive tips.

If you want to listen to previously recorded shows, click here Teresa’s Garage Radio Shows . Teresa’s Garage is constantly looking for special guests, people who love cars, own classics, belong to a car club and want to promote your events or just want to talk about your classic, then call toll free 844-790-8255 or locally 775-827-8900. We love hearing from our listeners.

Teresa Aquila is a renown mechanic, educator, Columnist for the magazine, CLICK THE PHOTO TO TUNE IN LIVE. The Happy Herald out of Boca Raton, Florida for over 20 years, Writer and Special Guest Speaker. Also check out Teresa’s Garage on Youtube at Teresa’s Garage on Youtube. A little about Teresa Aquila’s career.

Her mechanical career has spanned 41 years working on everything from Porsches to Heavy Equipment to including classic vehicles which she owns several and has personally restored in a world dominated by men. She managed to be a self taught rebuilder of vintage jukeboxes, radios, pinball machines and windmills. Her love for automobiles came at a very early age despite the discouragement of many including her mother. Being self-driven, she rose to her dreams and now adds Teresa’s Garage website/Radio Show to her list of accomplishments in order to help empower other woman to rise to the occasion.


Happy Motoring

So You Think You Want To Become A Race Car Driver?

Becoming a Race Car Driver

So you think you want to become a Race Car Driver? Have you ever considered what it might take to become one? This article will try to help you decide, and list the steps you can take in order to dive in.arg-nascar-burns-rubber-url

Start with the basics;

Not everyone can be a professional race car driver, but with the right focus and training, talented drivers can take sensible, measured steps toward the ultimate goal of driving professionally on the race car circuit. Anyone can work towards high-profile sports careers, but when it comes to the competitive world of auto racing, a would-be professional driver should first consider gaining some basic experience from which to build a resume.

Many professional race car drivers started as young as 5 behind the wheel of a go-kart. Karting helps teach you the craft of racing; from control, to adapting to the race track for speed. The earlier you start racing, the better your chances will be for cultivating a career later. Learn as much as you can while racing go-karts. Race in as many events as you can to gain experience. The more experience you have while young, the better your chances of achieving that career in the future.

Once you become of age to drive

After you have learned all you can from karting, and hopefully gotten a few wins under your belt, it’s a good time to start racing cars. Try entering amateur racing competitions. You can also start building a career racing off-road vehicles and motorcycles, like so many of the current race car drivers have done.

Local Races


Before you can make it to any kind of professional circuit, you need to hone your skills. Race in as many local races as you can. As you win races, you start to build a reputation as you improve your driving skills, enhance your talent, and build a career. Work your way up through local and regional races, collecting as many wins as possible. This all sounds easy, right? Wrong! Racing is not inexpensive; it takes time and money to participate: from the cost of your vehicle, to entry fees, as well as the cost of keeping your vehicle in tip top shape. Nothing good comes easy.

Take Note

Take the time to watch the professional race car drivers on TV. Just getting a feel of what goes on during a race can give you an insight as to what you will be experiencing. Even better yet, purchase a pit pass to a local race track, and if possible, talk with the drivers. Educating yourself in the sport is always a great asset.

Understanding the Mechanics of a race car


If you are not mechanically inclined, not a problem – most racers are not mechanics. They depend on their pit crew to keep the car rolling and mechanically sound. But it is still imperative to understand the mechanics of your race car. Search the internet, read books, or even take courses at your local community college. Once you’re on the track, the only one that will know if there is a problem with the vehicle is you, the driver. So learning everything you can about the mechanics of a race car is critical, and understanding the differences between a street vehicle and a race car is extremely important.


Another great way to gain some racing experience is to volunteer at a local track to help out in the pits. Find a local racer who would be willing to allow you this rare opportunity. Many amateur and semi-pro teams need volunteers to do all sorts of jobs. This is a good way to meet people and get hands on experience.

Learning to Drive

Driving a race car is very different than driving a street vehicle. If you are serious about racing, then you need to drive like a professional. Take a professional driving course – many local tracks offer such courses to insure the safety of all participants on the track. Learning the hand signals and getting proper course education will save lives.

Find a Professional Driver’s Internship

While actual race car experience is important if you want to be a professional race car driver, it’s also important to tune up your mind to deal with the racing business. As the popularity of racing continues to grow and fans continue to pump millions of dollars into the industry, some advanced education in business and communication could give new NASCAR drivers an edge.

Attend a racing school

Different organizations, such as the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), offer driving schools. An organization such as SCCA can also help you get inside the business as a worker or inspector, which could lead to your own career as a race car driver.

Just when you thought you were on your way to fulfilling your dream, there is still more to know and understand. What about that Professional Racing License? Before you get behind the wheel, you will need to apply for a competition license. This can be an arduous process, but different organizations can help you.

There are slightly different restrictions for people who have racing experience and those who do not. Attending racing schools can help you obtain a competition license. Also, before being awarded that license, you will be required to pass a physical.

You will begin with a novice or provisional competition license. After successfully competing in a set number of organization-sponsored races, the driver will be eligible for upgrade to a full competition license.

So much to think about and consider. Finally, keeping yourself fit, finding the funds to cover the costs of racing, and locating a race car are not easy tasks. Being a professional race car driver takes time, passion, patience, commitment, and teamwork to build towards being the best you can be. Remember, it takes a team to win a race. Happy Motoring. 

Furry Distraction

That Furry Distraction

As more and more drivers are finding out that driving distracted is weighing heavily on their wallets, and texting is now considered the new driving drunk, it appears there’s also a furry front in the war on unsafe motoring: keeping dogs off drivers’ laps. Driving with an unrestrained pet in the front seat is apparently widespread enough, and dangerous enough, that at least two states, Rhode Island and Tennessee, are considering bans on the practice of driving with a dog in your lap or “between the driver and driver’s door.”

Is this becoming a serious problem?

A 2010 survey from AAA has some pretty jarring numbers: 21 percent of drivers who transported their dogs in the last year said they let the pooch ride on their lap, 7 percent said they’d fed or given water to the dog while driving, 5 percent admitted to playing with the dog while driving, and 31 percent said that the dog had distracted them, regardless of where it was in the car.

How dangerous is it?

An unrestrained 10-pound dog, traveling at 50 miles per hour, flies forward with 500 pounds of force in a crash, and an 80-pound dog at only 30 mph packs a 2,400-pound punch. Just think of the devastation that can be caused to your pet, and to anyone in the vehicle in its path.

Jack Russell Terrier Dog Enjoying a Car Ride.

Jack Russell Terrier Dog Enjoying a Car Ride.

So is it legal?

For now yes, but many States are considering forbidding dogs, cats, or other animals from running around freely inside your vehicle. But two states are trying to change that. In Tennessee, a Republican-sponsored bill passed in the House on April 2 and is currently stalled in the Senate. In Rhode Island, a Democrat-backed bill was introduced April 9, and is working its way through the House. There shouldn’t be anything in your lap, whether it is your little pooch or your Great Dane. Your ability to maneuver the vehicle safely with Fido in your lap if a dangerous situation was to occur, or even trying to turn, is not only challenging, but unsafe for everyone on the road.

Other states are also considering new related laws. California’s legislature outlawed dogs in drivers’ laps in 2008, but then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed it. And South Dakota’s Supreme Court sided with police who stopped a woman in 2010 with 15 cats running loose in her car, impounding the cats because they posed a risk to public safety. The woman, Patricia Edwards, didn’t even see the patrol car behind her because cats were huddled in her rear window.

Sharing the road safely is the responsibility of all drivers, and whether it be driving impaired, driving drunk, texting, eating, or being distracted by whatever means, think before you get behind the wheel, because your life and the lives of all those on the road are at stake.

State Laws Regarding Pet Travel

Be Safe and Happy Motoring.

Reno Air Racing, Nothing like it in the World

Reno Air Racing, Nothing like it in the World

Are you a race fan? Do you like your hair to be “on fire?”


Well, the sport of racing doesn’t just apply to cars; Airplanes are also included in the sport of racing. The Reno National Championship Air Races have been taking to the skies since 1964, when Bill Stead organized an air race north of Reno, Nevada, and the Reno National Championship Air Races were born. The event that Bill Stead started in the Nevada desert more than 50 years ago is still going strong. The event has only been interrupted once, in September of 2001 when all aircraft in the United States were grounded following the terrorists attacks in New York and Washington.

9200000009570523 Held every September just north of Reno, the National Championship Air Races have become an institution for northern Nevada and aviation enthusiasts from around the world. For one full week, the Reno/Stead airport transforms into a racing frenzy. Fast flying pilots take to the skies to become the trophy and purse winners of the Gold Race. It becomes home to many visiting aircraft, their pilots and crews. In the past ten years, the event has attracted more than 150,000 spectators, and generated more than $70 million annually for the region’s economy. The event features six racing classes, a large display of static aircraft, and several military and civil flight demonstrations.

I recently had the privilege of hosting Dennis Bruehn on my Teresa’s Garage Radio Show. Dennis is the winning pilot of the 2015 Reno National Championship Air Races T-6 Class. I had a chance to ask him how one becomes a fast flying race pilot?

Dennis’s eyes lit up when he began to explain what makes his hair “catch fire” as an Air Race pilot. He stated that it’s from just being at the races, the camaraderie, and the excitement the spectators express. Dennis went on to say that the Air Races is a multi-team effort, not just among his crew, but all those that are there to fly to achieve the miracle.

Dennis, Teresa, Mike

Dennis, Teresa, Mike

Dennis's T6 Plane

Dennis’s T6 Plane

I can tell you that these pilots are not taking to the skies racing fast and hard for the money. If it was just for the monetary benefit, the races would not be taking place. It is the adrenaline rush, a bit of ego, and the ability to outperform your competitor. Fly fast, turn left, and fly low, as Dennis puts it. You see, in every race, the pilot only makes left turns on the course.

The pilots are put through 10 hours of briefing and preparation for only 10 minutes of flying. Just like in auto racing; if it’s the race car driver, or the air race pilot, the rush begins the moment you start your engines, taxiing your aircraft down the tarmac, and then taking to the skies, to set up and line up in flight, for the start of the race. They begin to start foaming at the mouth just waiting to hear, “Gentlemen and Ladies, you have a race.” The race class determines the speeds that are reached. They go from 160 miles an hour, to 500, depending on the type of planes in the racing class.06c49eac284856bbcc0905ce8ad498bd

Hosting such a fast flying event is no easy task. So just what goes into bringing the Reno National Championship Air Races to reality? Mike Crowell, the CEO of the Air Races in Reno, my other guest on my show, explained his role, what it takes to put on such an event, and what is in the future for the Air Races.

Mike Crowell is relatively new to the Reno Air Races and was hired in February of 2015 to become the Chief Executive Officer. Mike had retired from Coca Cola a few years prior and was asked by a friend to consider taking over the reins. Mike did not have any previous flying experience, but what he does bring to the table is the business side and the knowledge of how to brand a product; just what the Reno Championship Air Races needed at that point in time. Mike’s first order of business was to go from a business type operation to a 501(c)3 non‐profit organization. This gives the Air Races the opportunity to go out and solicit donations through various avenues, in order to keep such an expensive sport flying.

The logistics in preparing for such an event not only takes commitment to the community, the pilots, but also from those individuals who put in countless hours volunteering their time to make the Reno National Championship Air Races the best and only in the world. Numerous people volunteer, 2000 to be exact. You need hundreds of portable toilets, food vendors, entertainers, media, law enforcement, safety equipment and personnel, grounds keepers, golf carts, Pylon judges, buses, and the list goes on.

The area benefits as well. This event pumps some 70 million dollars into the local economy; from gasoline sales, hotel/motel rooms, dining, rental cars, and so much more. Only 30 percent of the spectators are locals, the other 70% come from all over the country, and from around the world, just to feast their eyes on the only closed Pylon air race left in the world. There are air shows, lots of them, but the Reno Championship Air Races is not an Air Show, they are racing.

New to the Air Races in 2016

So what can you expect to be new at the Air Races in 2016? Mike Crowell and his staff have been working with Nevada’s Governor to host their first ever Drone Rdrone racingaces. These drones weigh around 160 lbs. and are being flown remotely by their pilots. This is something I can’t wait to see. Nevada is now one of only 5 sites in the U.S. for drone manufacturing and testing, so what better to add to the list of things to see at the Air Races than Drone Races? It has not been solidified as yet, since pilots will need to attend the June pilot training school, held each year to insure pilots are fit and that the aircraft qualify, but the work entailed to put on such a race has begun.

If you have never been to the Air Races in Reno, you are missing something that is truly amazing. It is not just flying machines, but you are entertained by groups such as the Blue Angels precision flying jet team, aerobatic flying, or even the Confederate Air Force (now the Commemorative Air Force.)

But, the Races are truly the main event. These types of races come with a great deal of danger; danger from your aircraft stalling, to major mechanical failure, to crashes. When you are traveling speeds of up to 500 mph, stopping or landing safely may not be an option. Every pilot knows what could happen and prays that it never does.

Back in the early 1980’s, I personally had the opportunity to fly in one of the aircraft during test trials while they performed their maneuvers, and all I can say is, I am so glad I hadn’t eaten prior to taking to the skies. I was threatened by the pilot, in a fun way, that if I barfed in the helmet, he would eject me. That alone was enough for me to hold it in, but the experience was T6texantotero_convertpriceless, and the opportunity was once in a lifetime. I just wish we had GoPro cameras back then.

The Reno National Championship Air Races are held every year, mid-September for 5 days of excitement, fun and some outstanding flying. Check out their website at If you are contemplating attending, I would suggest you book early, because rooms and rental cars go quickly. Check out the video in this article to get a small feel for what they are all about. Happy Flying.