Kindness Matters

2 02 2015

leftrighthand

 

“But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,”

~ Matthew 6:3, NIV

Ever since Community Automotive Repair’s inception, this company has been built (literally) on charitable initiatives.  If you know our back story, it’s not something we’ve intentionally promoted to date.  This is in large part due to the Biblical verse cited above.  Now, any of you that have been around for awhile also know that we’re people of faith, but just the same it’s not been something we openly advertise.  We believe our actions should speak for themselves but then there’s that slight rub that says people of faith shouldn’t hide behind their beliefs.  All this to say, we’re not interested in being forceful about our morals or values, but we’re happy to share them with people that may inquire.  Being in business requires you/us to operate within ethical guidelines that dictate what level of transparency we may have in regards to our own personal beliefs.  It’s unfortunate to a degree, but painfully accurate.

To that end, we’ve almost never made a point to call attention to good works in which we may be involved.  We’ve engaged with local and regional endeavors in secret, for the most part.  However, that was then, and as Bob Dylan prophetically spoke years ago… the times, they are a changin’!  While we maintain it’s not our desire to shamelessly broadcast our philanthropic arm, we do believe there’s merit in partnering with you to maximize the benefit of these offerings.  How else would you be able to engage unless you were aware on some level?  In short, you wouldn’t.

As we’ve observed a significant percentage of our local friends launching their own charitable campaigns, we mostly (up to this point) have stood quietly along the sidelines.  We’ve had to discern our place in the fold, and that hasn’t been easy.  Perhaps it shouldn’t have been this difficult, but we submit it likely was because of our steadfast wrestling with being a sustainable and profitable local business, as opposed to building our legacy in private.  Suffice to say, our decision to be either of these entities was not made sheepishly or without laboring over the most appropriate way to do so.

Today, we’re happy to introduce you to three specific relationships we’ve had, in hopes (should you be willing and able) you may come alongside our efforts and help make an even bigger impact for these benefactors.  By design, we’ve given of our time, energy, or resources to benefit the following local organizations:

ICCF (Inner City Christian Federation) – providing affordable (and in some cases emergency) housing to those in need, learn more at www.iccf.org

Kids’ Food Basket – attacking childhood hunger in West Michigan by providing sack suppers and empowering kids to help each other through educational programming, learn more at www.kidsfoodbasket.org

Congress Plus – an afterschool (latch-key type) program within our neighbor Congress Elementary School’s campus, specifically designed to help local kids achieve greater leadership through elevated liberal arts programming.  Currently Congress Plus doesn’t have much of an online presence, but more information about Congress Elementary School is available at www.grpublicschools.org/congress

We launched Kindness Matters infrastructure last year to better manage our continued support of these fine groups.  With that, our hope is to slowly release campaigns on site that promote different levels of engagement, in which you will be able to participate as little or as much as you’re able.  We hope arriving at this place of more public disclosure doesn’t misconstrue our sincere mission to assist these wonderful people without drawing attention to ourselves.  This isn’t about us, and we can’t express explicitly enough how the desire of our heart is that these organizations would receive the spotlight they both need and deserve.  It has been our deep pleasure to help where we’re able, and we’re even more eager to make a greater impact with your help.

We anticipate early 2nd quarter will introduce some opportunities for you to get involved, should you be interested. For example, services rendered at our place of business may include some credits to grow our donation, which in turn would become OUR collective gift.  Doing this alone all these years hasn’t been an exercise in futility, just that now we believe the power and influence of many can (and likely will) make an exponential difference.

Thank you for ongoing trust and confidence.  We don’t take the opportunity to serve you lightly, and greatly appreciate you choosing our local small business to address all your automotive service/repair needs.

Lastly, the aforementioned website upgrade is almost complete, and we hope to have a more user friendly and technologically advanced (read as quicker) space on the internet by the end of this month.

Kindness matters, friends… and so do you.

CAR

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Coming soon…

8 12 2014

under-construction

It’s only been a couple short years since Community Automotive Repair’s website upgrade but technological advances are happening faster than ever.  As such, we’re pleased to report our corner of the web will be completely revamped, to maximize a user-friendly online community.

You’ll still be able to schedule an appointment, link to our social media sites, ask our Service team a question, or browse the latest customer gallery photos.  In addition, you’ll have a much better browsing experience from your mobile devices.  We already had a site optimized for mobile viewing but given more of you are surfing from your phones these days, we need to meet you where you are.

This is just one more way we hope to improve your overall experience with our local auto repair shop.

Thank you for your patience as we make this transition.  Rest assured, a vastly improved site awaits!

~CAR





Synthetic oil, myth versus truth

30 09 2014

synvsconvoil

Maybe your vehicle’s manufacturer requires synthetic oil, or you have a choice.  In either case, you should still learn why one type might perform better than another for your specific vehicle.  We recommend taking a closer look at this article from Vehicle MD regarding “The Truth About Synthetic Oil.”

For the record, we strongly support and recommend synthetic oil when applicable (Mobil 1, in most cases).  This topic of discussion has been sensationalized over the years, but these experts do a great job of cutting to the quick.  No conspiracy theories here.

In any event, you should always consult your vehicle’s owners manual when considering what application might work best for you.  Should you have any additional questions, we’ll be here to help you.





Inspection(s) can make/break experience

22 08 2014

joe

 

An article published earlier this year in US News & World Report suggests six car buying mistakes to avoid, where #5 on the list is “Not getting a used car checked out.”

We cannot stress enough how this process can either lead to a favorable purchasing experience, or a chain of unfortunate events.  The old adage of “do your homework” couldn’t possibly be more applicable here.

We offer three different levels of inspections at Community Automotive Repair.  The first is a visual inspection that basically seeks to document common wear/tear and any upcoming or overdue maintenance services.  This is offered complimentary with each visit.

The remaining two inspection levels are different in that one (L1) is reserved more for an owner that’s already had the vehicle and would like to assure it’s “up to par” or safe for upcoming travel, whereas the more comprehensive option (L2) is specifically designed for pre-purchase circumstances.

It’s always best to identify and confirm the actual condition rather than be surprised by a breakdown with a vehicle you already own, or roll the dice on something new (to you) and risk being stuck with a lemon.

Call today for pricing and availability.  616.774.7048





Best cars for (new) teen drivers, possibly…

21 07 2014

teendriver

An inquiry we receive quite regularly from parents of newly turned teenage drivers is, “what might the safest possible option for my son/daughter be when it comes to cars on the road?”

A fair question, but not an easy one to answer.  Unfortunately, you’ll most often receive equally as many answers as people you ask.  For that reason we’ve decided to do a little research, and the NY Daily News recently published an article that appears to be relatively consistent with our findings.  Mind you, this is taking into account a brand new vehicle purchase.  We don’t necessarily feel that’s your best option, but if that’s the direction you’re leaning this list may prove to be quite helpful.

Alternatively, there’s a quality pre-owned vehicle.  The majority of people, we suspect, will fall into this category.  These days most vehicles are trustworthy.  The key is to learn how many owners there have been of each specific vehicle, whether or not there have been any accidents, if the routine maintenance has been performed, and if most of the miles were highway or city.  These four criteria form a sounding board for becoming a wise consumer when purchasing a new (to you) vehicle.

Whichever you may decide, we recommend your son/daughter first spend adequate time with your family vehicle, if for no other reason than to become familiar and confident with the ways of the road.  Of course, these days kids are required to spend a certain amount of time practicing, and in some areas actually cannot obtain their license without first attending a driving school.  No matter the degree of prerequisite training, make sure they’re well versed on safety guidelines and what it takes to become a defensive driver.

Stay safe, and best of luck to your new driver.





Stay safe during severe weather!

8 07 2014

Wyoming MI tornado

With most recent events in Kentwood and Wyoming Michigan, it stands to reason we should review how to properly respond to inclement weather while driving.  Thankfully, the American Red Cross has already gone to the effort of making simple to follow instructions.

Might go without saying that the safest possible position would not be to operate a motor vehicle during a major storm, but if you must these are very important factors to keep in mind.

Error on the side of caution, always.  It’s not worth risking your life, or perhaps somebody else.

Photo credit: Bill Smiewec, courtesy of Mlive





Eyes On The Road

10 06 2014

Newly released Volkswagen PSA.

Please do not drive while distracted.

Pledge today.








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