The old adage of not being able to satisfy all of the people all of the time is certainly true in the automotive industry. Cars are necessary in our country to get around. If you live in an urban environment, you can use alternative transportation but not if you want to travel vast distances. As well, cars are a status symbol and if you want to fit in, you own one. The problems arise though if you cannot afford to maintain it. Two things happen then: your car runs down and the costs of repair increases and you get mad because you cannot afford to fix it. To resolve the problem is very difficult.
Our cost of living has increased dramatically over the last few years and if you are like most people, costs have risen faster than income. Everything is less affordable and you slip into trying to maintain the same lifestyle with less. It is like being on a treadmill and no matter how fast you run, you cannot catch up.
Some people then blame us. We are at fault because we charge so much to repair and maintain their vehicles. That is true. It is expensive. It is expensive for us too. The same pressures are on us. The cost of living is increasing and the cost of doing business is increasing. The merry go round seems to never end.
We try to resolve this by working with our customers to prioritize their repairs and maintenance. We have created the 400,000 km club to increase this awareness. We have kept our prices lower than most other garages and we are constantly negotiating with our suppliers on price and quality.
None of this is easy and none of it really satisfies the main issue of affordability. There is no real answer except that if you drive, please maintain your car. Make sure you do your oil changes and flushes on time. Have your brakes checked as well as your tires on a regular basis. Work with your garage on some kind of maintenance schedule. In this way, there are no surprises and no anger.
If you cannot afford to maintain your car, then check on the alternatives: bicycling most of the time or take a bus if you can or even walking if you are close enough to your destination. Perhaps then you could save a little more for your vehicle’s maintenance and have your car when you really need it.
We are seeing people coming in now with coolant and heater problems. Winter is coming very quickly. Check your tires, your coolant, the condition of your heater and radiator to make sure they are in tip top shape. Any problems or questions, let us know!
We are really excited about what is happening here at Marigold Service. We started a maintenance service protocol and it is appreciated by people who care for their cars.
The purpose of the service is not only to have people maintain their cars but is also to create community and educate people on how to care for their cars themselves. What we offer is a complete varied service schedule so your whole car is looked after over a period of 16 months.
While the maintenance aspect is important for your car, having a well maintained car also helps the environment. We are pleased that the word has gone out in the community about out services.
You can read all about our oil change services under our Services section on our website.
Not All cars from Japan have low mileage
We’ve seen cars that have less mileage in North America compared to the same model year in Japan. Ask questions about the mileage. Has it been city driven? Highway driven?
It is true that you can find low mileage cars in Japan but not all the cars have below average mileage.
Not All cars from Japan are well maintained
Many Japanese owners seem to know less about their cars than the countries who import them. Some cars are very well maintained but many vehicles in Japan don’t receive the basic maintenance.
Ask, ask, ask. Know what you are buying. Don’t assume every car was maintained perfectly.
Odometer fraud in Japan is possible although illegal (as it is everywhere in the world)
There is no way to know who does odometer tampering in Japan. Be vigilant of this no matter how good a car looks or how much of a friend you consider the company.
There is no such thing as an accident/rebuilt car from Japan
Be aware that many vehicles on the market whether locally or in Japan have had accident damage and some are going to be complete rebuilds.
The best defense is a physical inspection by someone who is good at detecting frame damage.
Japan is an honest country and if I have a dispute with my exporter someone will help me.
Forbes recently listed Japan as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. You’re unlikely to have any recourse unless you know someone in Japan if you have an issue or dispute with a dishonest Exporter.
A high grade car means the car is in perfect condition
Auction grading systems vary from auction house (A grade 3 in one house may be a Grade 4 at another), and in fact many high grade cars have significant body damage, rust and corrosion and even accident damage.
The auction grade also does not take into account the mechanical condition. We’ve seen firsthand examples of a Grade 4 car needing a full engine rebuild straight from the auction house.
Again, there are definitely excellent condition cars at auction, but it’s best to have a physical inspection done.
Auction sheets are always accurate, honest and unbiased
In general the auction houses are generally reliable, but they often somehow “miss” small details at some auction houses, whether it is rust on the trunk lid and other defects. Some problems or deformities with the car are considered normal for the age of the car and are sometimes not mentioned on the auction sheet at all (it varies by auction house). Remember that the inspector has to go through a lot of cars and they are human.