It’s not unusual to see an influx of people heading to the gym to knock off a few extra pounds acquired by holiday festivities. But after a few weeks, the attendance settles back down to the yearlong regulars.

Eating right and exercising as a way of life has been embraced by only a very small percentage of people here in the US. I have come to know a man who is in this small group of people. Besides having a daily vigorous workout schedule, he is a very serious nutritionist — for himself and for others. In having many conversations with this man, it is alarming to learn the amount of bad food we consume on a regular basis. Genetically modified organism (GMO) foods have infiltrated and are dominating our food supply. Combine this with processed foods, sugar foods, chemically injected meats and farm-raised fish, and we wonder why obesity is the norm and why so many never see a healthy retirement.

The conversations I’ve had with this man have also touched on the medical field and how doctors profit from prescribing medicines. Continuous medication ultimately causes one side effect after another, which eventually deteriorates internal organs. All of this could be avoided with eating whole and genuinely organic foods, drinking plenty of good water and exercise. It’s amazing how much our bodies endure, but I think we all know too well that what we put inside our bodies has an effect on the quality of our lives.

So what’s the point of all of this? Well, the same can be said with the parts and fluids we use fixing automobiles.

ATSG Vehicle HealthVehicle fitness

When it comes to automatic transmissions, I have seen what sub-standard parts can do. It is an awful feeling when you see your work come back on a hook only to discover that a new part had failed. This is quite a dilemma, one that is prompted by consumers who do not want to pay a high price for their car to be fixed. This also initiates price wars with another shop across town.

While the consumer should know “you get what you pay for,” that doesn’t stop him from downing a dozen of those delicious Krispy Kremes every morning.

It’s not easy to eat the right thing all the time or work out each day. It’s not easy to convince consumers that the reason why they pay more with you is that you use quality parts — not to mention your professionalism, knowledge, tools and workmanship.

I often wonder how many tech calls we field here at ATSG with slide bump shifts due to the wrong fluid being used. We get so busy with trying to reset adapts, changing solenoids and valve bodies that using the wrong fluid is not a consideration. Especially when we hear, “I use this fluid all the time and never have a problem.”

Substandard filters are yet another costly budget decision to make, especially when you seem to have a decent run at them — that is, until several start coming back on the hook one at a time. In all fairness, yet even worse, is when you do use a new quality part and it, too, fails in short order. No doubt it can be tough to produce a quality job using quality parts and get paid for it. The idea obviously is that by using quality parts, it doesn’t come back and the job remains profitable, for the shop and the consumer.

A shop owner I met at a seminar took pride in using quality parts and getting paid for it. He told me that one of his responses to a potential customer having a difficult time with the price was, “Well, I can put in the cheapest parts I can find, but I’ll need to give you a taillight warranty.”

This is similar to explaining to someone to start the day with genuine organic oatmeal, fruit, nuts and juice, or a monstrous omelet with cheese, butter-loaded hash browns and white toast, three pancakes, sausages and bacon. The temptation is always to go the wrong way, even when you know what’s best for you. The challenge certainly is to be able to properly articulate the benefits and deficits of each to help the consumer make the best choice.

Transportation is an essential part of life. Whether it’s your body transportation or your mechanical transportation, it’s what you put inside that counts.


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