Fast and Heavy 

That headline might sound like good qualities for a middle inebacker, but in this instance were describing something your more likely to find in your garage. Yes your Car, SUV or Minivan - sometimes close to two tons and not unusual to see it going sixty or seventy miles per hour.

If it were an Airplane it would be required to get a thorough check over before every flight. Considering the cargo they carry – family, friends, babies and grannies – we should all be careful not to take the care and safety of this family transporter for granted.

Everybody loves a bargain, but believe me, your vehicle needs more than a quick, cheap fluid change a couple of times a year. We recommend that you set up a schedule with your service center to get it in at least twice a year for a good complete check over.

We are very fortunate in Pennsylvania to have an excellent Safety Inspection program in place. If you are the typical Erie driver, we see from ten to fifteen thousand miles per year. I would coincide one of my oil change services with the annual inspection and at that time set up another appointment six months from then for another good check over and service.

With road, weather and driving conditions, things wear out, come loose and break, and when that happens, “Fast and Heavy” becomes a formula for disaster.

Be responsible and take the steps necessary for safety. Drive like your life depends on it.


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Gerry's Christmas Card 
This is from a Christmas Card that got sent out to all of our regular customers. I thought I would share it with our visitors too. Merry Christmas to all


After a while, people who lived outside started to notice a star that was moving and getting brighter—so as soon as they could get someone to fill in (watching the sheep) they started following it.

Pretty soon people who didn’t even have sheep were coming out of their houses to see what was going on, and they joined in too, and there were lots of them, kind of like Woodstock, only they knew more about living outside and didn’t get as muddy.

Some of them had better jobs and they rode around on Camels and brought food and presents - but the baby was the real “Star” - and if you’ve ever seen one that has just come out of the mother: so little, with its arms and legs going and making his little faces — then you know, for sure, that is a miracle right here on this earth.

So they were all really happy and sat around singing silent night and ate up all the food that the rich people had brought.

So even if it’s kind of cold on Christmas Eve, just go outside for a while and look up at the stars, (fifteen or twenty minutes should be enough to get the feeling). Then you all go back in the quite house, hug the babies, sing silent night and eat some cookies.

Life is good, just take the time to enjoy it! Gerry

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"Name That Car" 
That title reminds me of back in the day, when it was very important for a young man to be able to immediately recite the year, make and model (with bonus points for engine size, carburetion and quarter mile time expectations), of every passing car on West Lake Road while sitting in front of the Sugar Bowl on a hot Saturday afternoon.

Of course the family wagons would only elicit a grunt and a sad headshake. But of course none of this has anything to do with what I was going to write about.

What I really had in mind was how many of our Customers actually give their cars names and make them part of their family. I see this as a good thing, Old Jezabelle seems to get treated better once she has been named and adopted into a loving home.

One of our favorite customers had to give up “Oreo” a black on black Blazer that came down with a fatal engine disease, Craig bought it from her and brought it back to life, whenever the lady comes in she has to check on Oreo and make sure she is being treated well.

Back in the 90’s I rescued and restored a very sick Saab Sport Coupe for my daughter Shannon which she loved dearly and promptly named “Kemo Sabe”, partly from old Lone Ranger episodes and partly from the extensive “cancer” treatments it underwent during restoration.

Myself I’ve had a couple of tow trucks lovingly called Big and Little Stinky for the smell they made in the Garage when they got started up every morning.

And of course the spoiled super model “Christine” (what else) undeniably the sexiest Eldorado Biarritz to ever roll out of Detroit. So give your car a name, tell us about it and we’ll treat it like one of the family.

**Soul to soul heart to heart cheek to cheek**
*come on baby gimme a kiss that’l last all week*
John Prine

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Serial Killers on the Loose 

This article is a true and accurate account of a ruthless serial killer who preyed on local vehicles during the late '90s and early 2000's. A tale of rampant homicidal and psychological vehicular terror right here in our own little town!

To get right to the story, one of our infamous one time customers ("I got your number from an old friend" — right - Hannibal Lechter?), we will refer to him as code name Ear Hole, due to the relocation of certain body parts and their contents to his head.

The car, a five year old Chevy Lumina, named Lizzy came in on the hook. It was for all intents and purposes slightly beyond DOA, its very desire to transport had been ruthlessly and systematically drained and torn from every joint and circuit.

The tow truck had to be treated for depression before it could leave the parking lot.

Lizzy’s fluids were a service mans nightmare of abuse, the oil was somewhere between mud puddle and roofing tar, what was left of the antifreeze came out in a vile wisp of steam. None of the body panels had escaped the torture, the windows had been tinted nicotine yellow and the interior décor was a visual and aromatic explosion of July noon landfill with a crisp under current of sweat sock sauce. Her once snappy, responsive computer module mind had been reduced to a freaked out mass of failure codes, check engine lights, ABS shutdowns and neglected service reminders.

We called the District Attorney, Auto Maintenance Police and Social Services immediately. Ear Hole showed up about an hour later, claiming the lemon law as his defense. He is currently serving five to ten for attempted vehicular homicide. Lizzy has been relocated to Union City as a Lawn Ornament.

The Moral: Don't be an "Earhole" take care of your "Lizzy"!

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Finger Walking 
One of my ongoing jobs, now that I’m not actively involved in the nuts and bolts of auto repair as I once was, is dealing with the many phone situations that arise in this business.

Without doubt the most common, that gets assigned to me, is the “phone shopper”. This is usually not a current or regular customer, but someone who has been told by someone else that they need a certain repair and how much it will cost, and just like me upon finding out how much a jar of peanut butter or a pair of kids sneakers costs the aura of disbelief creeps over them and a healthy pink complexion begins to turn violent purple.

At this point the fingers start doing the walking to find out just how much this job should really cost!! The problem here is that unlike a jar of peanut butter, prices may vary drastically for a water pump repair between different makes, models and engine sizes.

Also, does that price include the fluids necessary to complete the job properly or the testing required to be sure that a water pump is even what is needed to solve the problem?

Probably the biggest danger is that there are places out there that will tell people whatever they want to hear (low price), just to get them in the door, then call them back later with the real cost involved.

My advice to people calling for prices on the phone is that the cheapest price you get by calling is probably the last place you want to take your car for repairs.

You need to find someone you can trust, who uses good quality parts and has well trained, capable technicians to perform the repair. Your car is a high speed family transportation unit—you can let your fingers do the walking but use your head to make those critical repair decisions.


Love Advice: Hold tight, close eyes, touch lips, be true.

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