Podcast Episode 4: Service
Good evening, everyone. Hello. This is Manny from Think Creative. We are here at Metro Nissan of Redlands with Tom Kirk. How you doing, Tom?
Good. Welcome, everybody.
We're having a great time and we just want to know a little bit about yourself. How did you get started here in the car industry?
I started back in about 1987. My father worked for a company that did fuel injections for race cars and boats. That got me going as a small child. We built many cars together. I had a mechanical experience up until 1987 when I went to work as a mechanic. I was a mechanic for 15 years, a master technician. I decided to evolve, and better my life, and try and grow, and became a service advisor. I was a service advisor for five years. Became a service manager back in 2001. I've been a service manager ever since. Now, with the company at Redlands, I am a director of fixed operations. I oversee parts and service at a couple of our locations. And it's been a blast. There's no other business I'd ever want to be in. The car business is the best business there is.
That's super interesting, Tom. Very, very awesome. Tell us a little about your service department here at Metro Nissan.
Well, we try to separate ourselves from everybody else. You can go to literally any Nissan dealership or any dealership in general. And what I've found out over the years, it's the people. You can walk into a Nissan dealership in Las Vegas to a Nissan dealership here in Inland Empire and they look identical. And what separates us from the other dealers is our employees. Our employees are the number one, most important thing in our dealership of having the right technicians, the right advisors, the right people with great attitudes, wanting to help and doing the right things right the first time.
Awesome. Awesome. Tell me, why do you think your customers should come and service their cars here at Metro compared to a local shop or a mom and pop shop out there?
The knowledge that we have here at the dealership that is supported by the factory and ASE training is more in-depth than any independent shop. Our main focus is doing the right things right under any circumstance. We're always going to take care of our customers. And we're always going to side to our customers. We focus highly on that. It's a circle of life. Taking care of the customers here in service, and being trustworthy and honest, and doing a good job, brings that circle back up to the sales department where our customers buy new cars from us. And that circle starts all over again. And we try to maintain that and always take care of our customers so that they feel that we're a good, honest business that's always going to take care of them.
Awesome. That's super great for everybody to know. What is something that you think customers might learn by getting their cars serviced here, at Metro?
Just the focus on what your vehicle needs. Routine maintenance. We wash every single vehicle after we service them. Today's vehicles, there's not as much maintenance that was required in years past. The cars are built better now. They last longer. Oil has gotten better. Oil change maintenance is every 5,000 miles, which we recommend rotating your tires at the same time. So you don't have that 3,500 mile oil change and the 7,500 mile tire rotation that always gets mixed up. We want your tires to last as long as they can. We want your engines to last as long as they can. We just focus on making sure that your car is driving as close to being as brand new, the whole time you have it.
All right. Right. So Tom, is there any common questions that you get here at Metro Nissan?
I would say the top three questions are, "Can I get my car serviced today or make an appointment today?" The answer to that is, "Yes." We do make appointments every day, but we have plenty of technicians. I have 23 technicians and 6 service advisors always here, willing to get things done. We staff our service department with plenty of technicians to take in emergency situations, people that don't have appointments, so we can get them in and get them out as quickly as possible. Very rarely do we ever turn anyone away.
So you guys have a lot of availability here and a lot of technicians. You'll always be serviced.
We have 28 stalls, which is quite a bit. And like I said, we wash every car that comes through the service department. The second question that we always get a lot of is, "Tire pressure lights on." And that can change within six degrees of temperature. With our climate up and down here, out in Inland Empire, it can 80 degrees one day and 105 the next day. So as you drive, your tire gets hot and it builds-- the pressure increases. So your tire pressure can drop on a cold night. It can raise on a hot night. And it seems like, "Oh, my tire lights always on." But any time, we're more than welcome to adjust that for you. Just come on it and we'll do it while you wait. It's no charge. The third question is, "Check engine light's on. How much do you charge to diagnose the check engine light?" We will scan the vehicle at no charge and tell you why the light's on. Unfortunately, it gives us a rough area of what component is causing the failure, but it doesn't tell us why. It could be a wiring problem from point A to point B. But at any time, we will pull the code for you at no charge and tell you why the lights on.
That's awesome. Is there any tips that you can give your customers about maybe the tire pressure light going off? You said the degrees [inaudible] tips.
Yeah. I would say, "Take a quick walk around the vehicle and see if any of the tires look extremely flat." If you have plenty of air in the tires and it looks okay, you're okay to drive to your closest gas station to maybe check the air pressure if you don't have a gauge. At the same time, if you're close to the dealership. I just don't want people driving on their tire when it's flat. Because when the tire's low, that's where the damage happens to the tire that you can't fix. You might have a simple nail in the tire. But if you drove it with low pressure, the rim actually cuts into the side wall and damages the tire. And we don't want that to happen either.
Right. Right. All right, Tom. So last question. What is the common mistakes that you see people doing in caring and maintaining for their own car?
I would say there's a few. One, not rotating their tires. Before we-- like I said in the past, we rotated tires every 7,500 miles and change the oil every 3,500 miles. Now, you should set it at 5,000 miles. Rotate your tires and do your oil change at the same time. You're going to get the maximum wear out of your tires. You're going to be able to identify alignment problems that may be wearing your tires abnormally, or tire pressure being too low or even too high can wear the tires. But when you rotate them every 5,000 miles, they seem to last a lot longer. The other conception is fuel economy. Our price in gas is so expensive. And the two biggest contributors to that is a dirty air filter and low tire pressure. So it's just so important that you change that air filter once a year, especially in this desert that we live in.
It's very dusty out there.
Yeah. And you don't really notice it, but those are your two biggest factors. We want you to get the best fuel economy you possibly can. So does our government. So rotating the tires, keeping the air pressure up to par, and changing that air filter, is probably the best advice I can give you.
Awesome. Well, I appreciate your time, Tom. This is again, Tom Kirk, from Metro Nissan. And I'll see you guys later. Thank you, Tom.