Archive for the ‘Random Fun’ Category

Ford wins another award – but you’ll never guess why!

Sunday, April 1st, 2018

Broken down ford


The Ford Motor Company has been on a bit of a tear as of late, topping truck & SUV sales charts, and winning a plethora of automotive industry awards. This week they added another trophy to their collection, for their leadership on climate change – but not for the reasons you may first suspect.

The new-for-2018 honor was presented at the annual Automotive Critics’ Association of America (ACAA) awards gala on Tuesday, with Ford being recognized for leading “climate-related reliability”. What is climate-related reliability?

“This is something we’ve never measured before”, said ACAA chairman Bob Lutz. “We already measure fuel economy and tailpipe emissions, but we’ve never actually considered the greenhouse gas reductions that take place when a vehicle has broken down.” It makes sense, we suppose: If a vehicle isn’t driving, it’s not polluting.

Lutz continued, “People might view the fact Fords break down as much as they do to be a negative thing, but they’re overlooking the benefits to our atmosphere. Plus, frequent breakdowns – as many Ford owners have come to expect – encourage new, climate-friendly habits like walking or taking public transit; even after the motorist has switched to a more reliable car brand.”

Ford Motor Company president Jim-Bob Duggar was on hand to accept the somewhat dubious award, but shrugged off any notions of negativity, saying, “The reliability issues aren’t exactly new, and any publicity is good publicity.”



Happy April 1st from Tools in Motion!

Why we will not longer be servicing BMW vehicles.

Friday, March 31st, 2017


You’ve heard it before: BMW drivers are assholes. While we take a lot of pride in our business’ positive image, and we certainly do not condone this kind of language, for a while we’ve had a sneaking suspicion that there might be some truth to this popular phrase.

At first, we thought it was all in our heads. But sitting down this week and reviewing over a month of dashcam footage from our service truck, we discovered that our suspicions were correct. The bad parking jobs; failure to use turn signals; changing lanes at the last second – BMW drivers are committing a disproportionately high amount of these motoring no-nos. It’s just not our experience, either. Recently, study after scientific study seem to confirm that there is truly a link between driving a BMW and exhibiting this behaviour.

Even our customers have noticed there’s something going on. We have had far too many complaints about BMW vehicles double-parking in our already limited amount of parking space.

In light of everything mentioned above, Tools in Motion has made the decision to stop servicing BMW vehicles. This wasn’t easy, because we recognize that these really are fantastic cars, and not all BMW drivers are to blame. This is certainly a case of a few bad apples ruining things for the whole group. Trust us that this was a very difficult decision, and we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

(Happy April Fool’s Day from Tools in Motion!)

Chris investigates: What’s going on, Yelp?

Friday, September 25th, 2015

honest mechanics airdrie

By Chris Dekker

Most people are familiar with the website Yelp. I used to use the site a lot, myself. I trusted their user reviews when trying to make decisions about which restaurant to go to; things like that. However, recent experience as an owner of a business listed on Yelp has changed how I feel, and I’ve learned that their business ratings and reviews are worth a lot less than I’d thought:


Recently, a customer brought it to my attention that we had a negative review (and a 1-star rating) on Yelp. This was a major concern, as no single part of running my business has ever been more important to me than taking care of the customers. I literally can’t get to sleep in the evening if I feel like a customer is upset with us for some reason!

In the case of our bad review, a customer had their radiator replaced with us, and their water pump started leaking 3 months later. They were upset that we wouldn’t replace their water pump – a totally separate part – for free (under warranty, somehow?) and posted a negative review on the site.

When I checked out our Yelp page, I found that we also had a 5-star review from another user. However, this review wasn’t factored into our overall rating because Yelp’s automated software that looks for “quality reviews” had decided that this review shouldn’t be recommended for some reason. Non-recommended reviews are not included in a business’ rating, and are hidden from their main page.

I decided to do some looking around on Yelp, and see how our competitors were being treated by the website and its users. I found some rather large variations between different businesses’ scores, and how Yelp came up with these scores! Check out how some of the other local auto repair shops have fared:


  • W&B Automotive has one positive review and one negative one, just like us. However, they have a 5-star rating because Yelp is hiding the negative review and showing the postive one – the exact opposite of what has happened with our page.
  • Fountain Tire and Smart Automotive each have one positive review, but Yelp is hiding both of them, so these businesses have no rating.
  • Davis GM has a 2-star rating, based on a single review. However, Yelp is hiding a 5-star review from another customer, which would have improved their score to 4 stars.
  • Airdrie Dodge has a 3-star rating, based on 4 reviews. However, Yelp is hiding eight additional 1-star negative reviews, which have not been factored in.


Do you see the pattern there? You shouldn’t, because there isn’t one. There seems to be no logical explanation for why Yelp’s software recommends some reviews and not others.

The biggest laugh came when I viewed Highland Automotive’s Yelp page. They have a 1-star rating based on one review, and the review isn’t even for their business! You won’t believe why someone posted the review, either. The customer thought they called Highland Automotive about a custom exhaust job, but actually called Stand Fast Auto Repair instead. The boys at Stand Fast told the customer that they weren’t set up to bend and build custom exhaust (neither are we) and referred them to an exhaust shop in town. The customer had a bad experience at the exhaust shop, and left Highland Automotive a bad review because of this!

Yelp boasts that businesses can’t pay to alter or remove negative reviews – and this is true. Unfortunately, this rule extends so far that, like the poor guys at Highland, companies can’t even remove reviews that were meant for a different business!‎ Yelp employees also cannot change which reviews are recommended and which are not; once their software makes a decision using its pre-programmed algorithms, those decisions are final.

One thing Yelp employees can do, however, is call businesses and try to sell them advertising – and boy do they call. And call… every month. It isn’t actually advertising, though – or not what I would call advertising: Yelp actually places ads for our competitors’ businesses on our page, and then wants us to pay a monthly fee in order to remove them!

Thanks Yelp, but I think we’ll pass.

The best deal we’ve ever offered!

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

Any customer who uses us will get a great quality repair for a very competitive price. But yesterday, Brenna G. of Calgary got the best deal we’ve ever offered – hundreds of dollars in much-needed repairs, for free!

Brenna was the winner of our September Facebook contest. We asked parents to nominate themselves, or another parent they knew whose “family taxi” needed some love during this busy, and very expensive back-to-school season. We promised one entrant some free repair work – and we delivered.


Airdrie car repair

Here’s Brenna’s Ford Explorer, just into the shop.


Since we had never serviced this vehicle before, and it was due for an oil change, we decided to start with our service/tire rotation/full inspection packages.


airdrie oil changes

Here is Klayton doing the honors on the oil change.

airdrie mechanics

Even though we did this oil change for free, we didn’t cheap out! The Explorer got a premium filter (as always) and 5 litres of Mobil 1 synthetic oil.

airdrie car inspections

Here is the inspection form that we’ve made up. We fill this out with every oil change.


The customer had noticed a clunking noise underneath, and we found a pretty serious issue: the upper control arm bolts on the driver’s side were coming loose! We tighted these up.


airdrie wheel alignments

Here is one of the upper control arm bolts that had come loose.


Based on the results of our inspection, the most urgent repair on the Explorer was to fix a bad coolant leak from the radiator. We decided to install a new radiator, and flush the cooling system.


airdrie radiator repairs

Here is the new radiator going in. This is about a two hour repair on a V8-powered Explorer.


One thing we’re proud of is that we only use OEM-approved, correct fluids in ever repair. This repair was no exception. We even mix our coolant with distilled water, which helps reduce corrosion in the cooling system compared to tap water. It’s one of those little things that every mechanic knows you should do, but very few shops actually do it.


affordable car repair

That’s a heck of a deal!


We hope Brenna enjoys her newly-repaired vehicle, which should be a little safer and more reliable when shuttling the kids back and forth to school now!

ABS Brakes Explained

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014

We know ABS brake repairs!
















The perfect photo for a cold day, we just had to post it! These little guys do the best illustration I’ve ever seen of anti-lock brakes in action.

Introduced in the nineties, ABS (or anti-lock brake systems) are a great safety feature that allows you to retain steering control under hard braking. On a skidding car a wheel that is “locked”, or not turning cannot steer; the car will continue to slide in the same direction regardless of where the steering is pointed. ABS brake systems automatically pulse the brakes for you, allowing the wheels to turn a fraction of a rotation every pulse, so you can control your steering direction while pushing firmly on the brake pedal.

How Far We’ve Come!

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014

New car safety features sure have come a long way. Bigger and heavier doesn’t always mean safer, as illustrated in this crash test between a 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air and a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu.