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Automotive Myths That Could Cost You Money

Like most areas of life, there are a lot of myths surrounding car ownership and maintenance that simply aren’t true. Unfortunately, in some cases listening to these seemingly logical myths can cost you a lot of money. This article intends to shed some light on various common myths that have to do with car ownership and maintenance and provides insight on how to make the most out of your vehicle and lower its expenses.

Following OEM Recommendations

Most people know the importance of maintaining your vehicle’s tires in order to drive efficiently and safely in all conditions. However, there are some misunderstandings about how to properly care for them. Some people think that the recommended tire pressure is the number embossed on the tire’s sidewalls. This actually isn’t true- that number is the maximum pressure for the tire. The real recommended tire pressure is the one provided by the vehicle manufacturer- usually it’s printed on a sticker inside the fuel door or on the driver-side door. This number factors in your vehicle’s weight, drive system, and other variables specific to your vehicle to produce the best fuel efficiency and traction on the road.

Another myth commonly believed to prolong the life of your car or increase its efficiency is that premium fuel is better than regular fuel. People think that a higher octane rating means higher quality fuel, and thus better engine health and mileage. In reality, the best fuel for your car is the kind recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer. Different engines are made to run on different types of fuel, and if your car is designed to run on regular then paying extra for premium won’t benefit your vehicle in any way. At that point, you really are just wasting money.

Piggybacking off of that fueling myth, there’s a separate common misconception about what the best type of fuel is for your vehicle- 100% gas or E10 gas (gas blended with 10% ethanol). While 100% gas can cost more than E10, its supporters argue that this is countered by the fact that 100% gas is more efficient than E10. Therefore, although you pay more per fill-up, the argument is that you fill up less often with 100% gas. While it is true that E10 gas isn’t as efficient as 100% gas, E10 gas is only about 10% less efficient than 100% gas. With that being said, 100% gas can cost up to 20-25% more than E10. At that point, if your car is able to take E10 fuel, you’re actually better off filling up with that if you want to save on your overall fuel costs.

The last myth quickly debunked by opening your vehicle’s owner manual is that you must diligently change your oil every 3,000 miles if you want your vehicle to last 100,000 miles or more. While this may have been true in the past, modern vehicles are often designed to drive much further than 3,000 miles between changes. In fact, some vehicle manufacturers recommend changing the oil after 7,500 miles or more! So, although it is always a good idea to regularly check your oil levels, especially after particularly long trips, changing your oil every 3,000 may be a waste of money. Check your owner’s manual and follow the maintenance schedule recommended by the manufacturer.

New Cars, Old Myths

After purchasing a new vehicle, it’s great knowing that for the next few years your car is covered under warranty in case any issues should arise. What isn’t so great is taking your car back to the dealership and paying premium prices on labor for routine maintenance items in order to maintain the vehicle’s warranty. What you may not know is that you don’t actually need to have your car serviced by your dealer in order to maintain a valid warranty. In reality, you can take your vehicle to any trusted auto shop for maintenance- you can even do it yourself if you save your receipts and have the right tools and know-how! As long as you adhere to the recommended service schedule and can prove that you kept up with everything in a timely manner, you’re still covered under warranty! The only time you really need to take your vehicle in to the dealership is for any recall work that must be performed.

Safety is a big concern when buying a new vehicle, and one misconception on what vehicles are the safest could end up costing you thousands come time to buy a new car! It’s a common thought that SUVs are safer than sedans, as they have more weight, stability and protection due to their larger size. The truth is, just because your vehicle is bigger and you’re sitting higher off the ground, you’re not necessarily safer. In fact, it’s fairly common for sedans to out-perform mid-size SUVs in crash tests. Although it may be hard to directly compare the safety between a sedan and an SUV because their differing classes give them different safety standards, it doesn’t change the fact that some vehicles are simply more geared towards safety than others. With that being said, when it’s time to buy a new vehicle for you or your family, don’t spend thousands more just to get the biggest vehicle on the market. Do your research- brands like Volvo and Subaru are known for making safe cars that are built to last. The safest car on the market may be smaller than you expected.

Rev Up Your Fuel Efficiency

Drivers are always looking for tips and tricks to increase their car’s fuel efficiency, and who can blame them with today’s gas prices? One myth that could actually be costing truck owners money in fuel is that they will get better mileage by driving with their tailgate down. The idea behind this is that with the tailgate up, air is getting trapped in the trunk bed and creating more drag. While this may make sense on the surface, this was actually proven to be false on the popular Discovery Channel show, Mythbusters. Studies show that trucks are, unsurprisingly, designed to be driven with their tailgate up. With that being said, they are designed in such a way that, when driving with the tailgate up, a pocket of low-pressure air forms in the back of the truck that actually makes it more aerodynamic. When the tailgate is down, this pocket can’t form, and the car actually has more drag, and thus less fuel efficiency.

One myth that you may have heard passed down from your parents or grandparents is to let your car warm up for a few minutes after starting it up- especially in cold weather. While this may have been true in the past, modern cars are actually designed to warm up the fastest while they’re actually driving. Starting your vehicle up and hitting the road right away will warm your engine the fastest, thus bringing it to its most efficient performance more quickly. Just make sure not to over-rev your engine the first few miles you drive while it warms up and you’ll increase your fuel efficiency in no time!

Conclusion

There are a lot of different tips and tricks out there that claim to make your car perform better and last longer. Be careful, though, because although they may seem to make sense, all cars are created different and what may save money for one particular car could end up costing you. Make sure to always follow your manufacturer’s recommendations for parts, service schedules, etc. and save proof of the work you perform on your car throughout its lifetime. By properly caring for your car you could save thousands of dollars in maintenance and repair costs, and keep your car running smoothly for longer.

Holbrook Auto Parts is dedicated to providing the Metro Detroit community with high-quality automotive parts and services at affordable prices. Our team has the automotive knowledge and parts you need to keep your car on the road for longer.

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Retaining Value: The Most Valuable Cars of 2018 and How to Preserve the Value of Your Car

In my last article, I explored some of the many things car owners can do from home on their own schedule to maintain their old car until they drive it into the ground. Unfortunately, however, no matter how much attention we give a car, it will inevitably one day need to be replaced with something a little more economical, spacious, safe, or just new in general. For those that use this time to start shopping for something brand new, this article aims to shed some light on the brands that hold their value better than the rest of the new cars on the market, and some of the simple things you can do to maximize the value of your old car when you sell it or trade it in.

We all know that depreciation is one of the biggest unavoidable expenses that comes with owning a car. No matter how well you maintain the car, how little you drive it or how clean it stays, the second it drives off the lot it loses an enormous chunk of its value- and it continues to lose value over time after that. Not all cars are created equally, however, and there are some makes and models that tend to retain more of their value for longer. For a careful driver that keeps up with cleaning and maintenance, that could mean a couple hundred or couple thousand extra dollars come resale or trade-in time. Let’s take a closer look at some of the Kelley Blue Book’s top picks for 2018 regarding makes and models that retain the most value over time.

2018’s Top Makes and Models

Starting with the top make for 2018, the KBB voted Toyota as the best brand regarding vehicle value. Toyota is known for producing affordable cars, trucks and SUVs that are long- lasting, greatly increasing their value when being sold as used cars. Of the KBB overall top ten vehicles, the top three were the Tacoma, Tundra and 4Runner taking first, second and third respectively. All three of these vehicles, according to the KBB, will retain over 50% of their value after five years (the average car only retains around 30% of its value in this time). In fact, KBB estimates that the 2018 Toyota Tacoma will retain a whopping 61.1% of its value after five years! Some other honorable mentions that will retain over 50% of their value after five years are the Jeep Wrangler, GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado (all 2018 of course). If you’re looking for something a little flashier, consider buying a Porsche. For the second year in a row, KBB named them the best luxury brand to buy in regard to value.

Clean Money: Increasing Your Old Car’s Value

Now before you run off and buy your new car, consider these tips to increase the sell or trade value of your old ride by as much as a couple hundred to a thousand dollars. Besides the vehicle’s driving history and mileage, one of the biggest factors in determining the value of your old car is the condition of the interior and exterior. Regular washing of your car and waxing a few times a year is a small, simple investment that can preserve the factory quality paint job on your car and leave it sparkling for years to come. And don’t forget about those wheels! They typically see the most dirt and grime and may be one of the harder parts to thoroughly clean, but few things are more noticeable than sparkling clean rims. Make sure that you always use products designed for washing the exterior of your car when you do give it a bath- normal household cleaners may not give you as thorough of a wash and may even harm the exterior of your car.

Tune- Up Your Value

Besides regular washes and waxing make sure you stay on top of any minor exterior work you may need to perform. This can be especially hard to do towards the end of the car’s life, as it’s easy to adopt an attitude that the next owner can fix the minor problems. However, buffing out minor scrapes and scratches and touching up small flaws in the paintjob can be done quickly and easily from home and taking care of these issues throughout the life of your car can help prevent further cosmetic damages down the line (i.e. rust, discoloration, etc.). Small dings and dents can also be taken care of at home, and besides helping to prevent further damage they help your car look like it’s in better condition and was cared for throughout its life, thus adding value.

A few simple tricks can also help keep your car’s interior in great condition, adding a lot of value come time to sell. One quick, simple way to keep your car looking new is a one-time investment in seat covers. For $100 or less you can get something durable and effective that will help prevent tearing, stains and odors from showing up around your car’s interior. KBB also suggests that smokers try to keep the cigarettes out of their car, as cigarette smoke and odor is tough to remove and stands out to buyers. Finally, watch where you park your vehicle. Prolonged exposure to the sun can lead to fading, discoloration and cracking on parts of your car’s interior.

Besides taking care of your car’s cosmetic problems, make sure you stay on top of service and maintenance throughout your car’s life and you keep records. Always make sure to complete routine oil changes, tire rotations, etc. and save your receipts. Being able to prove your car was well-maintained can help increase its value significantly. And like cosmetic damages, don’t leave minor problems to the next owner. By taking care of simple things like fixing lights, changing wiper blades, and so on can help show how well the car was taken care of, and add value to your car.

Conclusion

With this information, you’re better prepared to stretch your dollars come time to trade in your old car for something new. Not only have we covered 2018’s top value-retaining makes and models, but with the simple tips in this article you can increase the value of your old car by a couple hundred or couple thousand dollars when it’s time to trade it in. Now it’s time to bust out the soap, wax, glass and interior cleaners and get to work!

Holbrook Auto Parts takes pride in serving new parts and tested, high-quality used parts to the Detroit area. If you need parts to keep your car running longer or want to show it a little extra love before selling it for something new, don’t pay more at a big box retailer. Stop by Holbrook Auto Parts and save!

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Break Out the Tools: Save Money by Maintaining Your Car from Home

We all know that the price tag isn’t the only cost associated with owning a vehicle. Cars require regular maintenance to continue running at their peak performance and to avoid costly repairs in the future. Still, there are minor repairs and replacements that inevitably will need to be done, and these simple repairs can be surprisingly expensive at your local dealership or mechanic shop. This article will look at some of the simple car repairs that can be done at home to save hundreds of dollars- even if you don’t have much mechanical knowledge!

Before we jump in, remember that all cars are different, and you should consult a professional before diving into any projects yourself. Always be sure you know exactly what to do and are sure to have the exact parts you need. Consult your car’s manual, look online or ask a professional for the correct parts you need for your particular make, model, year, etc. With that being said, most people with a few common tools, the right knowledge and a little determination will be surprised at how much work they are able to complete on their car at home.

Please note that this article is not meant to be used as a guide to perform any repairs on your own. This article is simply meant to provide information on the various repairs that can be done on cars at home with the correct knowledge, parts and tools.

The Easy Ones

The first, and one of the more obvious, item on the list to stretch your dollar is to perform oil changes at home. Although driving to an instant- change oil shop may be fast and convenient, you’ll often pay premiums for bigger or nicer cars. Some places may offer lower prices, but with low- quality oil mixes or other hidden fees or purchase requirements. For about the same price as your typical oil change at a shop, which may not be using the best oil filters and oil mixes, you can buy a high- quality oil filter and enough full- synthetic oil to properly change the oil in your car. Using high- quality oil mixes and filters keep your engine running smoothly for longer, and regular changes help to prevent harmful buildup and unnecessary wear-and-tear in your engine.

After making sure to buy the right oil and filter for your car, it’s a fairly simple matter of getting under your car, draining the old oil, replacing the filter and adding the new oil. If you do decide to change your own oil, always make sure to research the exact procedure to follow for your particular vehicle, and responsibly recycle your used oil! Many oil shops will allow you to drop off used oil for free or fairly cheaply, and they will recycle the oil in an environmentally friendly manner for you.

There are a couple other extremely easy vehicle fixes that can be done in minutes at home that people often overpay for. People often will pay more than they need to for windshield wipers and air filters, and then pay additional service fees to have them installed when they really can be done in minutes. A good set of windshield wipers will cost about $20 or less and will keep your windshield clear for up to six months. After checking for the correct style and blade length for your car, you’ll find instructions with the wiper blades on how to secure them to your car properly. Most cars use one of a handful of universal clipping methods, and your wipers should come with a variety of interchangeable clips in the package. From there it’s a simple matter of finding out which clipping method your car uses, attaching the proper clip to the wiper blade, then clipping the wiper blade to the wiper arm.

When you realize how painfully simple changing your air filter is, you’ll probably wonder why you been paid to have it done all those times before while your oil was getting changed. Except for some foreign imports that use a couple bolts, most cars house their air filter on the top or front- side of the engine under a plastic cover that’s simply clipped in place. After purchasing a new air filter according to your vehicle’s specifications, usually no more than about $15, simply uncover the air filter, pull out the old one, put the new one in place and re-cover it. It can really be done by just about anyone in less than five minutes and can save you a hefty fee for an hour of service that a dealership might charge you.

Shining a Light on Electrical Repairs

Another easy fix that often needs to be taken care of quickly for the sake of our safety, and the law, are the various lights in and around your car. Please note, you should always use gloves when changing any lights on your car. The oils on your skin can permanently damage the bulbs and decrease their lifetime, among other problems.

The easiest fixes are your interior lights. After figuring out which type of bulb you need, most interior light covers are easily popped off with a flathead screwdriver. Simply pull out and properly recycle the old bulb and replace it with a new one. Then replace the cover, and you’re done! These bulbs are hardly ever more than $5 and should last you a long time.

Your license plate lights, blinkers and rear taillights will require a little more work but are still very manageable. Most cars will require removal of a couple screws before the cover can be removed. After that, it’s again as simple as pulling the old bulb out and, with a gloved hand, replacing it with a new bulb and screwing the cover back in place. Headlights are more involved, as the entire housing may need to be unscrewed and pulled out from the front of the car. From there you could carefully replace the bulb, then secure the housing back in place. Most non- headlight bulbs will only cost you a couple dollars and only take a few minutes to replace.

Sometimes, you don’t even need a new bulb. Over time, your lights may start to get cloudy and this can greatly reduce the effectiveness of even the best bulbs. There are a variety of affordable products that allow you to clean and defog your lights and save you the cost of completely replacing everything, as well as improve your visibility at night or in poor weather. These products usually cost $20 or less and will last for multiple cleanings, saving you the cost of a new light housing.

Batteries are another deceptively simple fix for most car owners. With some models being exceptions, most cars house the battery in the front or side of the engine compartment. After purchasing a new battery according to your car’s manual, you’ll often find that changing the battery is as simple as unscrewing and removing a cap or cover from around the battery, disconnecting and removing the old battery, reconnecting the new battery and securing it back in place. Note that although the process itself is fairly simple, you should always take care when handling your car’s battery. It’s recommended to use battery lubricant when reconnecting your new battery to help maintain a clean, strong connection. Regular checks, and cleaning if required, of your battery’s connections can help prolong the life of your battery. After you replace your battery, make sure to take your old battery back to the shop- you can often get money back as your old core can be recycled!

When your battery is working fine but some of the electrical components of your car still aren’t working, it may be time to replace some blown fuses. Your vehicle’s manual will tell you where the fuses are located for the various different electric components in your car. Once you find the blown fuse and purchase the correct replacement, simply pop the old one out and pop the new one in. Another simple fix that can be done in minutes at home with the right know- how.

More Skill, More Savings

There are a couple more fixes that require a little more skill and knowledge, but can still be done fairly easily from home, and can save you hundreds if you do it yourself. The first of these is changing your serpentine belt. Most cars use a single serpentine belt that winds through a variety of pulleys. Although it may be intimidating to look at, the process of changing the belt is fairly simple. After carefully studying the belt placement, a ratchet is normally all it takes to loosen the tension on the belt, so it can be pulled out safely. From there, replace the old belt with the new belt according to your vehicle’s manual and re-apply tension to the belt. The biggest concern here is making sure the belt is replaced exactly the way it was, or certain components in your car may not work properly. Besides that, this is a fairly simple and quick fix that can save you big on service fees if you were to have your mechanic replace it.

One last repair that can be done from home to save hundreds of dollars is changing your brake pads. When you start hearing squeaking sounds when you apply the brakes, your brake pads may be worn down. Depending on your vehicle, new brake pads usually can cost well under $100 for a full set. You’ll have to remove your wheels, loosen and move the calipers, then remove your old brake pads before replacing them with new ones. This requires a little more mechanical know- how and skill but can still be done with simple tools at home in less than an hour on most vehicles. This is a great deal, considering some brake shops will charge you upwards of $150- $200 to change your brake pads.

Conclusion

Although this certainly isn’t an extensive list of all the repairs that can be done to a car from home, it shows how many of the repairs and services you spend valuable time and money on at mechanic shops can be done right in your driveway. When you consider that most of these fixes can be done in thirty minutes or less, and the parts required usually aren’t more than about $20 or so, you can easily save hundreds every year on your car’s maintenance bill.

Holbrook Auto Parts takes pride in providing the Detroit community with affordable new and tested used auto parts. Stop by one of their multiple locations serving the Detroit area and save big on the parts you need to maintain your car and keep it running smoothly for longer.

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The Real Cost to Owning a New Vehicle

It’s no secret that buying a new car can cost you a lot of money, but beyond the price tag on the car, there are a lot of hidden costs to buying and owning a new car. This article aims to shed some light on some of the expenses associated with buying a new car and compares them to the costs associated with holding on to an older car for as long as. Armed with your new knowledge on the secret expenses associated with buying a new car, you might just see how valuable the old car sitting in your driveway really is.

Whether you want to impress your peers with a flashy new ride, you want the latest safety features and technology, are looking to help the environment, or you just want to change up your daily driver, it seems like the reasons to ditch the car you’ve been driving for years for something a little more polished are endless. Sure, the new car may have a high sticker price, but at least it won’t be in the shop as often, will last longer and will save money on gas, right?

Actually, that might not be the case. It’s not uncommon these days for cars to drive well over 100,000 miles with just a little love and care. By staying on top of things like oil changes, tire rotations and other regular tune-ups, it’s actually fairly common to avoid major repairs and drive for years without a car payment. Holding on to a car long enough to pay it off on its own is a reason to avoid a new car, as that already could be an extra couple hundred dollars in your bank account every month. But new car expenses don’t end with their monthly payment. Depending on where you live and what you want to drive, you could be spending a whole lot more on taxes, insurance, hidden fees and more.

Insurance, Depreciation and Fees

The first expense that’s quickly overlooked by new car buyers is the premium cost of insurance on new cars compared to old. Rates differ depending on driving record, location, etc., however in general you can expect to pay anywhere from $300- $600 more annually on insurance on a new car compared to the same model that’s five years older. You can expect to pay even more if the new car is a performance or luxury vehicle. Further, older cars sometimes have less strict insurance requirements. You can save a little extra money by getting less comprehensive coverage on an older car if you really want to stretch your dollars, where you might be required to get full coverage on a new car.

New cars are also plagued with much faster depreciation rates than older cars. As soon as you drive off the lot, you lose an average of 20-30% of the vehicle’s value in depreciation. After that, depending on factors like driving history, make, model, etc., you can lose another 10-20% in value every year. Although older cars still depreciate, you or the original owner took the initial hit driving off the lot already, and you don’t lose nearly as much in depreciation every year as you would in a new car.

The Secret Value of Self- Maintenance

New cars may have tons of hidden fees (like shipping fees, floor fees, advertising fees, etc. tacked on by the dealer), faster depreciation rates and more expensive insurance premiums, but surely, it’s worth it to have the warranties that new cars come with, right? Don’t old cars break down and cost thousands in repairs towards the end of their lives? Not exactly.

As stated earlier, it’s not uncommon for cars to drive for over 100,000 miles with just a little regular care. Many common repairs are actually fairly simple to do yourself, and you’d be surprised how much you could save by doing them at home. For example, you might pay $150 at a shop to have your brakes replaced. If you buy the brakes on your own, you could pay less than $50 for the parts and replace them yourself in about an hour. Taking care of minor repairs like this not only save money from avoiding service costs, but they keep your car in better health overall and decrease the chance that you’ll need a major repair later on.

Conclusion

If you’re looking to save as much money as possible on your car, holding on to your old car is certainly the way to go. Between hidden fees, higher insurance premiums, faster depreciation rates, and expensive interest rates and monthly payments, new cars bring a lot of expenses to the table besides a big sticker price. You can avoid a lot of these expenses by holding on to your current car for as long as possible; older cars have lower depreciation rates, often have lower taxes and registration fees, and driving a car that’s paid off can save you hundreds every month.

You can save even more money by taking care of minor repairs and maintenance yourself and potentially drive your car well over 100,000 miles before it needs to be replaced. Holbrook Auto Parts takes pride in providing the Detroit area with new and high-quality, tested used parts at affordable prices. Stop by one of our locations and see how much you can save on the parts you need to keep your car on the road longer!

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Why to Buy Used: The Secret Value in Used Car Parts

No matter what kind of vehicle you drive one thing is certain- at some point you’re going to need to replace one of its parts. It’s just the way things are; parts rub, grind and wear against one another and eventually need to be replaced to keep your car running. It’s no secret that owning a car is an expense, not an investment, so why spend more than you have to on maintaining it?

Keeping Old Cars Running

The average American owns their car for at least 6-7 years minimum before replacing it, according to an Edmunds article. Further, according to an Auto News article, the average age of vehicles on the road in 2016 was 11.6 years! It makes sense- if you paid thousands of dollars on your vehicle you probably want to get your money’s worth and you’ll be willing to drive it until the wheels fall off. And even then, you might try to put them back on and get another 1,000 miles out of it. Either way, when it’s time to replace some parts to keep your car on the road you’ll have to decide between getting new and used parts.

Lost Value and Secret Savings

As soon as a new car drives off the lot, the car instantly loses around 10% or more of the its value and every part on the car is considered used- even if that car was only driven 10 miles before being sold again. As time goes on, the car and its parts only lose more value. In fact, according to Black Book, which is a tool used for tracking used car pricing, cars lose on average 20-30% of their value in the first year of ownership. The secret dealers and manufacturers don’t want you to know is that oftentimes these used parts that have lost so much value over time are still in great working condition, and the only difference between those parts and new parts is the number on the price tag.

As stated above, as soon as a new car leaves the lot it, along with all of its parts, are considered used. This is true no matter how far that car goes and what happens to it. For example, if someone purchased a new car only to drive it for three months and decide they want something else, that car’s like-new parts would still be considered used and could be marked down hundreds of dollars.

Not only can buying used parts save you money, but it could actually be safer for your car in the long run. Besides the lower price tag, another benefit of buying used car parts is that they were produced by the original vehicle manufacturer and met the manufacturer’s quality and safety standards. Aftermarket parts might not always meet these standards or measure the exact same as original parts, and what you save in up-front cost of the part you may pay for in new problems caused by using the wrong parts.

Conclusion

Once you consider the fact that drivers are trying to hold on to their cars for as long as possible and the options available to replace parts as they wear and tear, the benefits of buying used parts become apparent. Used doesn’t mean broken, rusty and old. In fact, a used part might be just as new as some of the parts that are sitting on shelves somewhere waiting to be shipped to a dealer. Unlike third-party and aftermarket parts, used parts were made by the original vehicle manufacturer and were specifically designed for the exact make and model they go to. Paired with a significantly lower price tag compared to its new counterpart, it’s hard to find a reason to spend more on new parts.

Holbrook Auto Parts wants to help you save money and keep your car on the road for as long as possible, that’s why we test all of our used parts to ensure you get the quality parts you need for less. Need a part? Visit our website or come in to one of our multiple locations around Detroit, we’d love to help you get back on the road!

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GM Employees: Will Detroit Gain or Lose Jobs with the Automotive Giant?

This week, Motor City giant GM started its layoffs of blue and white-collar jobs in North America in a move to greatly reduce spending and prepare the automaker for an expected slowdown of sales in the automotive market in coming years. Overall, GM is looking to cease production of six passenger car lines that include the Cadillac flagship, the CT6 sedan, and the Chevy Volt, GM’s first plug-in hybrid vehicle.

While this is happening, GM also made an announcement this week that they were adding 1,000 workers to their plant in Flint to prepare for the production of their new Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD. Further, in response to the 2,800 hourly-workers GM is laying off in North America, GM says there are 2,700 positions open to those workers working on the new heavy-duty trucks, and GM also claims that 1,200 of the 2,800 layoffs are retirement-eligible employees, which may potentially open up more positions in Flint or elsewhere for the workers being laid off. So, with that being said, is the Detroit area gaining jobs, losing jobs, are breaking even?

According to GM President Mark Reuss, so far 943 workers being laid off at North American GM plants have already accepted job transfers to other facilities, more than 600 of which will be working on the new trucks in Flint. In an effort reduce its workforce voluntarily, buyouts were offered to 17,700 employees at plants that are looking to stop product allocation, however, the acceptance rate initially was low. Although the number of workers accepting buyouts has increased leading up to this week, GM is still expected to hand out thousands of pink slips to North American workers to meet its goal.

Unfortunately, even with the 2,700 job transfers available and 1,000 jobs being added to GM’s Flint plant, it seems that overall jobs in North America, and in the Detroit area, will be lost. Estimates suggest that at least an additional 4,000 or so hourly and salary employees in North America will need to be let go for GM to reach its downsizing goal. Although GM is offering severance packages to the employees it needs to cut, documents from the Detroit Free Press suggest that these packages aren’t the safety nets employees were hoping for.

According to an article by the Detroit Free Press, GM employees that have been with the company for a year or less are only receiving two weeks’ severance pay. Employees that have been with GM for two years will receive a month’s pay in severance; those that have been with the company for 3 years will receive six weeks’ pay in their severance package. Those that have been employed by GM for 12 years or more will receive six months’ pay upon them being let go. One employee that was laid off shared that she was receiving three months’ insurance after being let go and is able to keep her company car until the end of the month, where she will have the option to purchase it. GM is looking at cutting “level 6 and 7” non-management positions and college hires in the Detroit area, as well as targeting the engineering division out in Warren. Although these layoffs and severance packages aren’t necessarily out of the ordinary, they certainly aren’t anything to write home about.

Overall, it looks as if the Detroit area and other North American regions will in fact be losing jobs with the GM layoffs in effect right now. Hopefully the production of their new heavy-duty trucks and future electric and autonomous vehicles prove to be successful enough to open more jobs again in North America to keep up with production. Until then, however, we will have to wait and see what happens.

Holbrook Auto Parts has proudly provided citizens of the Detroit area with jobs and trustworthy automotive service and parts for over 75 years. We hope to see GM and the rest of the Motor City pick up sales and production in the future, bringing more jobs into and around the city and restoring the Motor City to its past glory.

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Detroit Salvage Yards Clean Up Their Acts

Despite all the snow and ice that hit Michigan this week, Detroit is looking greener than ever this Winter. This week, Detroit Mayer Mike Duggan issued Executive Order 2019-1 to establish a moratorium on auto salvage yards, repair shops, and the likes in Detroit for the next year. Taking effect on April 1st, 2019 and running until March 31st, 2020, the moratorium is aimed at reducing the concentration of these types of business in the city, as well as weeding out such businesses operating without the proper permits or are not up to code in their procedures. Currently operating businesses with proper licensing which are following already-established regulations will not be affected by the moratorium.

Being the Motor City, it comes as no surprise that there are plenty of salvage yards, repair shops and auto parts retailers in and around the city of Detroit. Unfortunately, however, some owners of these businesses don’t always follow the necessary legal steps before opening shop, and that can have many negative impacts on the community. In order to save overhead costs and be able to offer parts at untouchably low prices, some salvage yards, auto recycling facilities, and repair shops operate without permits, certificates of compliance, or business licenses. Further, some businesses have chosen not to follow environmental regulations when it comes to part and fluid recycling so that they can avoid costly installation and service calls for the required disposal equipment. Not only is this extremely harmful to the planet but draining fluids into the ground and letting parts rot and rust into the Earth could potentially introduce harmful chemicals into the city’s water supply, pollute the air, and in general harm the health of citizens in the community.

During the course of the next year while the moratorium is in effect, new businesses in this space in the industry will not be able to open shop or complete the necessary zoning, licensing, etc. needed to legally open. During this time, the city of Detroit will be ensuring that the businesses that are currently open are up to code regarding their permits, licenses to operate, disposal of waste, and so on. If a business does not meet the requirements needed to stay open legally, they will be forced to shut down and will not be able to open again until the moratorium concludes and they sort out the necessary legalities. The businesses which are currently operating legally, however, will not be affected and will be able to renew permits, licenses, and so on during this time if need be.

This moratorium is being put into effect with the intention to level the playing field for businesses and ensure that consumers have access to safe, clean, and legal auto parts. As stated above, many salvage and repair yards that are currently operating illegally attempt to save costs by improperly disposing of waste or offering low-quality parts to consumers. By not dismantling, cleaning, draining, and testing parts before selling them, these businesses are introducing harmful chemicals and dangerous toxins into the ground, polluting the air we breathe, water we drink, and so on. Further, by offering parts at unreasonably low prices due to skipping out on required legal procedures, these illegal businesses are able to run their legal competitors out of businesses that are selling legal, tested parts at higher prices to make up for the costs of operating legally, properly disposing of waste, etc. Although on the surface it may seem like this will cost consumers more, they actually end up saving money in the long run by purchasing tested parts that are certain to work, instead of picking up illegally-obtained, untested auto parts that are prone to breaking and needing more replacements down the line.

Overall, the auto yard moratorium in Detroit is aimed to be a great thing for the community. By eliminating illegally-operating businesses around the city, consumers will have access to higher-quality parts from trusted retailers that are actually interested in the well-being of their customers and their vehicles. Retailers will be more likely to stand behind their parts and provide better, legal, automotive services, and we can all enjoy a cleaner environment with less unnecessary pollution caused by salvage yard waste.

At Holbrook Auto Parts, we’re excited to see the city of Detroit stepping up to ensure the best possible business environment in this section of the auto industry, as well as ensuring the industry reduces its negative impact on the environment. With Detroit businesses running in an eco-friendly manner, we can safely continue to provide high-quality auto parts to our customers at reasonable prices they can walk away from happily.

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