car lot

Last week I had spied an article in the local paper about a couple that had purchased a used vehicle from a person from what I can only assume had advertised it in a newspaper or some social media site.

Fortunately for them, the writer of this article was able to help them in getting some assistance with their plight. This article is meant to give the general public a set of guidelines for the “art” of buying a new or new ‘to you’ vehicle.

  • First, a vehicle or anything you are contemplating buying or selling is “worth” is only as much as someone is willing to pay for it. This means that all of those online sites that give you your car’s worth can give you a guideline but they are not gospel. Also remember that their income is generated by “hits” so the more attractive they make their quotes, the more “hits” that they get and thus more income for them.
  • Second: Never buy a vehicle under duress. This means that if your present vehicle needs a large amount of work or if you are worried that the repairs are going to be more than the vehicle is “worth” ask yourself this question. Were you in the market for a new or different vehicle a week before this repair came up? If the answer is no then this is not the time to be shopping for a replacement vehicle as there is just too much pressure on you to make quick decisions without searching out all of your options. It never ceases to amaze me just how many people are willing to spend $7,000.00 to $30,000.00 for a different vehicle rather than to spend $2,000.00 on a vehicle that they were perfectly happy with before.

Buying a new car is easier, usually, it is a conscious decision and it can be a fun and exciting experience. Here are my own personal hints on how to buy a new vehicle.

  1. Play the field, look at all vehicles that “trip your trigger”, a Sunday afternoon is a good time to survey different dealerships without having to deal with a salesman.
  2. Be aware of the price! If you cannot pay for a vehicle in a three or four-year period you are in the wrong price range.
  3. When you find that vehicle or vehicles, rent one for at least a week and use it every day. This is the best way to be sure that the car fits you and not the other way around.
  4. Find a dealership that lists the selling price on the vehicle, this lets you concentrate on important issues such as insurance, options, special financing rates without having to negotiate the sticker price.
  5. If you are going to use your old vehicle as a trade-in, know exactly what it is worth on the open market. Use multiple appraisal sites and average them out, call the local lending institutions and ask what their guideline are to finance your older car and finally scour the newspaper ads and see what similar vehicles are selling for and lastly ask the salesman what the ACV (actual cash value) is for the vehicle that you are going to trade in.

If you are looking at a previously loved vehicle the list is a little longer.

  1. used autos Make sure that the seller has a clear and clean title. If a title has the words “salvage or rebuilt”, that means that the vehicle was totaled and should be thoroughly investigated. Insurance companies have been known to total vehicles for cosmetic reasons after windstorms or hurricanes, but as I said be very careful, especially if it came from out of state.
  2. Get a CarFax! Do not use the free version as it is useless, pay for the detailed report. If you are looking at multiple vehicles they offer a bulk package where you can get multiple reports for a single fee.
  3. Do not hesitate to ask for the vehicle’s service records. If you are buying the vehicle from a used car lot, run the VIN number to check for TSB’s, or Recalls, and sometimes little tidbits of information pop up that are not invading anyone’s privacy. Look for oil stickers and see where the vehicle had been serviced last and call them. A good service facility will usually call the previous owners and get their permission to release their records.
  4. Have the vehicle inspected by your service facility. A good inspection should take at least one to two hours. Make sure that measurements of brake thickness, tire tread depth, rotor thickness, and alignment concerns are notated prominently. Of course, belt and hoses conditions and fluid conditions are important, as well as all accessory operations are working. Expect to pay for this inspection.
  5. Remember that you are buying a USED vehicle and some wear and tear is to be expected. Due diligence is required at this point to ascertain what major maintenance schedules will become due in the near future. For example, if you are buying most any four or six-cylinder vehicle with between 90,000 and 105,000 miles on it a timing belt is in the near future as well as belts and hoses and a water pump. Vehicles in the 50,000-mile range are due for many fluid flushes. These costs must be incorporated in the negotiating price so that you can arrange your budgeting.

If you have any questions or cannot find some of this information please do not hesitate to contact us for help.



A VIEW FROM THE PUMPS – September 2021


To start this article, I must ask everyone a simple question. That is, do you really know what Autism is?

autism graphicEven though the term Autism first appeared in 1911 very little was known about it until the late 20th century. It is only now that new discoveries and treatments are becoming prevalent helping individuals on this spectrum achieve their full potentials.

The term Autism comes from the Greek word autos meaning “self”. Autism literally means “alone”, and affects 1 in 68 children. It does not matter what race or creed, or religion the child is and it is more prevalent than childhood cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined. Males are five times more likely to have it than females.
The correct term to identify these children and adults is to say that they have Autistic Spectrum Disorder or ASD. This simple change helped remove the darkness associated with the disease.

IT IS NOT caused by vaccinations!

ASD often appears in children before age 3. Many are non-verbal for many years. If a child is non-verbal at age 4 it DOES NOT mean that the child will never speak, research now shows that most will learn to use words and more than half will speak fluently. A family with an autistic child will spend on the average of $60,000.00 a year! But if it is detected early and treated, that cost can be reduced by up to 2/3rds. According to a recent study the lifetime cost of autism averages 1.4 – 2.4 million dollars.

autism spectrum disorderEach child with ASD is a unique individual they differ from one another just as “normal” children do. They can be verbal or non-verbal of average intelligence or genius, sometimes they have severe cognitive deficits. Many are afflicted with Hyperlexia, which is simply the ability to read above their age or grade levels. Many very famous people have been diagnosed or suspected of being Autistic. They include Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Hans Christian Anderson, and Lewis Carroll. Great mathematicians, such as Sir Isaac Newton, Michelangelo, and Nobel prize winner Dr. Vernon Smith. Celebrities that you will recognize immediately; Anthony Hopkins, Dan Aykroyd, Susan Boyle, Jerry Seinfeld have all been diagnosed with ASD.

Tell me is it a curse or a gift?

I am blessed to not have any ASD in my family, that I know of. But several close and special friends have told me that they have children or siblings or grandchildren that are afflicted with this syndrome. I have met many of them and they are wonderful and beautiful children and are now young adults.

brake padsWe at Gregg’s Automotive have a Free Brakes Campaign. Partnering up with NAPA auto parts, we can give ANYONE one set of premium NAPA brake pads or shoes. That is a savings of $75.00 to over $100.00 dollars off on their vehicle. All other services and parts necessary to perform the brake job are performed with our customary competitive prices. On October 31, we tally up all the brake work that we have done during the month and write a check to Autism Awareness Charity of Charlotte County for 10% of that total, so that they can provide the necessary services and needs for all of the Charlotte County Schools that house and educate ALL of our challenged students. EVERY CENT COLLECTED stays in this county.

This is a win-win for everyone, you save some money on a brake job, we can donate much-needed funds to a great cause, and the children of this county are helped.

Tell your friends neighbors and family about this campaign, and if you don’t need brakes, we will gladly accept any contribution you would like to donate. This is our 13th year of doing this, everyone that participates will receive a great T-shirt and I am looking forward to writing this charity a check for $2500.00 this year.

God Bless you all for allowing us to do this and remember:

Maintenance starts at mile 00001

Lack of common sense will always cost you dollars and cents.



This is an old story and it’s rehashed all of the time, but it’s a new time and all of the rules have changed.
The good news is that getting a new lease on life on your existing vehicle can start no matter what stage of its life it’s in.

vintage auto Why do we need to keep our car running for 20 years? Well, the sorry truth is that because we as a country have decided to allow a hostile and destructive country to produce all of the world’s semiconductor production and sales.

As a result, we have thousands of vehicles that cannot be sold because they cannot be finished. Thus, the new car inventory is quickly diminishing. Likewise, replacement parts are becoming more and more difficult to find and the prices of said parts are climbing to the moon. A small indication of this phenomenon is the fact that cooling system hoses, that once adorned the walls of small service stations are now often days and weeks out. That is if they are available.

Depending on the age and mileage of your vehicle is the true starting point of your quest of keeping your vehicles running forever. It is a real misnomer thinking that if you have a car that has extremely low mileage that it never needs preventive maintenance. This cannot be more wrong. A vehicle that has extraordinarily low mileage can sometimes be more apt to break down than a vehicle that has been used in a more aggressive fashion. Think of it as we do of our bodies, use it or lose it.

oil changeEvery car comes with its own instruction booklet or bible as I like to describe it. It’s called the owner’s manual. Once a thirty-page booklet that was found and ignored in the glove box has now become hundreds of pages thick and many times multiple volumes. In this book under maintenance is the scheduled maintenance charts. These charts are the lifeblood of your vehicle. If you notice the schedules are usually written by time and mileage. As all industry’s goal in life is to confuse and mislead the public, these charts appear to be grouped by time and mileage at the same time, when in all actuality it should be written as time or mileage whichever comes first.

The mainstay of all preventive maintenance schedules is the oil duration schedules. While as in most of us oldsters, the 3000 mile or 3 months duration pops into mind. With the advent of better metallurgy and oil composition, it soon became 3 months or 5000 miles. With the introduction of synthetic oil, the range has increased to 10,000 miles or once a year. The newest vehicles now do not even have dipsticks to check your oil levels and the oil service duration has become “when the change oil lamp comes on”. How foolish is it that do Doctors tell you not to breathe in until you turn blue?

So here is the skinny in a few paragraphs for keeping a car viable for 20 years.

  1. Change your oil every 5000-7500 miles or every 6 months if you are using mineral or semi-synthetic blend oils.
  2. If your vehicle demands synthetic oil to run change it every 7500-9500 miles or every 9 months. If you are fortunate to have an oil dipstick to check your oil levels, do it weekly if not read the bible and find out how to monitor your oil levels via the electronics in the vehicle.
  3. engine cooling system Rotate your tires every time you change your oil. This will allow you to see the wear patterns and examine your brakes at the same time.
  4. Replace your brake fluid every 2 years regardless of mileage. This will protect your calipers and brake hoses.
  5. Replace your power steering fluid at the same time. This will save you thousands in rack repairs.
  6. Replace your automatic transmission fluid every 35,000-40,000 miles and the filter every 60,000 miles and while you’re at it, replace and flush the cooling system.
  7. Last of all replace all of the belts and hoses every 9 years or 90,000 miles.

Learn to enjoy your car as it will last you a long time.





Welcome to the world of automotive acronyms! The industry has progressed to what used to be straightforward and easily understood wording to the world of deep espionage as convoluted as our own security organizations. You know NSA, FBI, CIA, DEP, EPA, etc. In the industry, we live with MAF, MAP, TPS, TPMS, STFT, LTFT, ECM, BCM, EBCM and the list goes on. I’m sure that these acronyms have appeared in conversations or on repair invoices and while some folks question them; most do not.

Me, I’m all about spelling it all out and using the full names of these sensors. In today’s rush for all-electric and autonomous vehicles to roam the highways of the land, the alphabet soup will just get even more jumbled.

Just so you know anytime you see an article about an electric vehicle it soon becomes an EV and when they talk about the demise of the internal combustion engine it will be called ICE. Autonomous refers to a self-driving vehicle like the new Domino’s Pizza delivery vehicle. They are out there and functioning, just not quite perfected yet. Believe me, I will be hard-pressed to step inside an UBER that has no driver.

ADAS technology

ADAS which stands for ADVANCED DRIVER ASSISTANCE SYSTEM, is already here and in the bridge to autonomy. First and foremost, you must understand that there are two distinct types of ADAS, passive and active. Passive ADAS has sensors that will see if the vehicle is drifting in or out of its lane or encroaching upon a vehicle in front of you and alert you, the driver, that things are not as they should be and send you warning signals. These signals are lights on your dash that turn from green to yellow to red, or vibrations in your seat on either the left or right side depending on which side of the lane you are on.

Active ADAS will do the same but at the same time will take corrective action as it seems fit. The first type of active ADAS was dubbed as Intelligent Cruise Control. If you were gaining on the vehicle in front of you while driving with the cruise control on, the intelligent cruise control would slow you down as to keep a safe distance between you without disabling the cruise control system. We all know what a bother it was to have to hit the brakes and then actually reset the cruise control. By the way, it is no longer called Intelligent Cruise Control but has been renamed Adaptive Cruise Control. I guess that people didn’t want to appear as Un-Intelligent. The upside of this is that using the very same technology in reverse became COLLISION AVOIDANCE.

Think about every car commercial that you see on television, think about a mom looking at her child in the back seat and the fool texting and walking in front of the car and it magically stops. The texting fool doesn’t even lookup. In my very humble opinion if more fools got hit the world would be less foolish.

In some vehicles, high beams will turn on automatically when the level of darkness reached a point. I always thought that that little lever on the right side of the column was really easy to do that same thing. Now the new rage is active adaptive headlights that turn with the curves of the road always keeping the headlights where they were supposed to be on the road. What seems to have been forgotten was in the mid-1940s a young engineer named Tucker designed and built a car that did just that.

I write this article with tongue in cheek, I love technology, it can be fascinating but, it has to work with the loose nut behind the wheel not against him or her. Next week I will be a little less cynical and more informative.





Vision and safety; a strange combination of words probably only used in the automotive industry. Exactly what does that entail?  Well in my eye any part of an automobile that inhibits or does not protect the operator from the natural resources of their area is part of the vision and safety aspect of the vehicle.  The vision part of this statement is pretty much self-explanatory but the safety part is a double edge sword.  Safety not only pertains to the safety of the operator and the passengers but also the safety of on-coming traffic and above all the safety of pedestrians and motorcyclists.

windshield and wipers

As we talk about vision, of course, the first part of a vehicle that comes to mind is the windshield.  Proper care of the windshield is the first step in keeping your line of vision clear and unobstructed.  What is the proper care of your windshield; first of all, it means keeping it clean on both the inside and out.  That means cleaning it with a good foaming type glass cleaner and buffing it with a good polishing towel or cloth, the ultimate trick is to rub the outside of the windshield down with a clay bar, and then re-polish it with a good foaming cleaner.  It is highly advisable to install a protective treatment such as Rain X to help eliminate pests and debris from sticking to the glass.  Keeping the inside of the windshield clean is just as important as most vehicles in the sunbelt always have the windows closed and the  A/C on recirculate, which means that the same air and its contaminates are always in the passenger compartment.  This creates a film on the inside of the interior glass that is conducive to glare, especially during sunrises and sunsets.  Most people in S.W Florida live to watch our beautiful sunrises and sunsets yet that is the most dangerous time to be behind the wheel. Dusk is approaching and when do the headlights need to be turned on.  At sunrise, the sun is so bright and low on the horizon so that it is directly in the driver’s eyes especially if you are traveling due east.  Of course, everything we discuss about the windshield also pertains to all of the other windows in your vehicle except for the Rain X application, which should only be used on the windshield.  Cleaning the inside of your windshield with a Mr. Clean eraser sponge and then polishing it with a good foaming cleaner and a new microfiber towel is the best cleaning procedure. By using quality glass wax on the remainder of your glass should be protection enough.

The most detrimental damage done to windshields is done by the wiper blades that are being used.  Windshield wipers are one of those automotive enigmas that make shop owners like me crazy.  As a shop owner, I maintain that any part that is installed on a vehicle should be of the highest quality at the best price.  Unfortunately, sometimes trying to convince a client that the blades that we recommend are $30.00 apiece when the owner can run down to a discount store and buy the “SAME” thing for $4.00 a pair.

Take this with a grain of salt.  We just explained how to care for your windshield which by the way can run as high as $1000.00 to replace, and now you want to run a cheap rubber knife across its surface in order to save a couple of bucks.  A windshield wiper blade is a miniature squeegee.  Their efficiency depends on the material the blade is made of, which needs to be soft and pliable especially when it is exposed to the extreme heat in Florida.  It is also dependent on the contact points and pressures that are exerted on the windshield while the wipers are in use.  Today’s windshields are aerodynamic and have a different contour than the windshields of the past.

That means that the wiper blade must be able to conform to the shape of the windshield and provide even and constant pressure across the viewing area when in use, during different types of conditions.  When was the last time that you turned on the wipers and they hesitated to wipe right away or did you have to break them loose from the windshield, and when they did eventually work there was this huge area that either didn’t wipe or just plain smeared in your optimal viewing area?

That my friends are the difference between blades that retail for $4.95 a pair and $30.00 each.   With every service that we perform at Gregg’s, we monitor the condition of the blades, the condition of the rubber, and we install a glass treatment on the windshield, as your safety is our top priority.

Which wiper blade is the best?  Actually, that is a question that cannot be answered easily.  It depends on your budget, your vehicle, and how your vehicle is stored.  I can promise you this if you stay with name brands such as Anco, Trico, Rain X, Bosch, etc., and buy your blade by your vehicle’s specifics and not “universal” fits chances are you will not have any real issues.  We used ANCO’s contour blades as they seem to be the best of all worlds.  However, they have since been discontinued and we now recommend either Rain X or the new Bosch line. If you happen to be the proud owner of certain European vehicle’s we recommend OEM blades because we know that they work.

As usual, our concerns are for the safety of our clients, their families, and the thousands of others that share our roadways.



One night while I was working late, at about 10:00pm an ambulance screamed up Route 41, past the shop.  Being in such close proximately to Bayfront Hospital, this is not an odd occurrence.  What was odd was that very shortly after, the same or another ambulance made the right off of Olympia onto 41 with lights on but without a siren.  Usually that rig would continue down Olympia towards the hospital, not up 41.  I’m sure that we have all had that “feeling” when something was off.  Because of my past when I was not only a “first aider” but also a first responder with my wrecker for all “suspicious” accidents and all death by auto calls, I’ve learned to pay  close attention to those “off” feelings.  Watching a rig pass by with lights and no siren can be good or bad news.  The injured are either stable or not with us anymore.  The next thing that I heard was the wop wop wop of a helicopter main rotor, except this time there was a queer echo until I realized that there were two choppers that had landed in the empty lot that used to be the City Market Place.  Being inquisitive I had to follow these sounds and found myself watching a team transfer a patient from one rig to the copter.  Everything was so slow and controlled that I really thought that this was a training exercise.  Imagine my shock and surprise when I passed a destroyed vehicle on the top of the bridge, and I knew why there was no rush anymore.

I’ve been in this business for over 48 years, and in those 48 years I’ve had first-hand experiences with broken vehicles. Vehicles that were so UN-SAFE that they should have been taken off of the road!  Accidents are caused by so many contributing factors, some resulted with bruised pride and some resulted in horrific deaths.  Like anyone else that is in contact with carnage, our minds automatically protect us by surrounding us with a kind of force field.  The outside world thinks that we are insensitive or hard, but take it from me those images never leave us.  But as they say in the movies “life goes on”.

While researching for this article the most recent facts that were available were already four years old.  This is not the first time I have written on this subject, and while the numbers have changed the results are always the same.

In 2018 there were 2915 fatal accidents in Florida.  3133 people lost their lives in those accidents.  Amazingly to most folks only 687 of those fatalities were alcohol related.  487 of those deaths were pedestrians.  The breakdown of these accidents were as follows:  1512 were multi-vehicular collisions, 1621 were single vehicle collisions.  You must take into consideration that these numbers only represent fatal accidents, not all accidents.

Information from various sites which were state sites, attorney’s sites and general informative sites rated the cause of all accidents as such:

  1. Speeding
  2. Cell phones and texting
  3. Other distractions  radio’s, talking, general inattention
  4. Fatigue
  5. Alcohol
  6. Rubber-necking
  8. Defective roadways
  9. Weather
  10. Improper coning

If you pay attention to the bold information it means this.  That in the year 2018 at many  fatal accidents were caused by poorly maintained vehicles.  According to AA1CAR.com 13% of all accidents are caused by defective and/or poorly maintained vehicles.  Most cited as major points of failures were brakes (22%) , tires (35%) steering(3%) and suspension and roadway design.  I would like to add another two categories, belts and hoses and heating and air conditioning.  Tire issues are pretty much self-explanatory, and any tire with less than 2/32 of tread left is unsafe and needs to be replaced.   Any time an insistent wobble or vibration  appears in the steering wheel with a hard pull usually means that a tire in beginning to fail internally.  Brakes are sometimes a little harder to “feel”.  Sticking calipers or partially blocked brake hoses can cause a drag that can actually boil your brake fluid causing a sort of embolism in the hydraulics which can result in the total loss of your brake pedal without warning.  So can ignoring that annoying squeaking or vibration when stopping.  This is a sign of things that are not right.  Not having your suspension checked at least once a year can find faults with tie rod ends and ball joints.  If you have ever passed a vehicle with one wheel facing left and the other facing right rest assured that a bad tie rod was the culprit.  Breaking a ball joint looks like a vehicle trying to drive on the inside of its tire.

As most vehicles have already switched over to single serpentine belts, losing a belt not only will kill your battery or overheat your engine but consider driving at 75 mph on Rte. 75 and suddenly losing your power steering.   Or consider this, driving along when all of a sudden this violent down pour happens and your entire windshield just totally fogs up and distorts your vision.  A vehicle that has faulty air conditioning and defrosting capabilities reduces you to drive one handed and wipe the inside of the windshield with your free hand.  Not entirely having complete control of your vehicle, is it?

So to be completely blunt and to the point I say this:  Not maintaining your vehicle will cause you to spend more in repairs, cost you for rental vehicles and loss of time for fun or work, and it may cost you or someone else their life!



See us about providing you with your Factory Maintenance  Schedule as our gift to you.



When writing these stories, it’s sometimes hard not to preach or sell. The true purpose of these articles is to educate you, the driving public about the most technologically advanced industry in the world.

Yes, we can hurtle through space on jets and rockets and the social media platforms are evolving by the second, however few of these industries touch every person in the world as much as the automotive industry.

Continue Reading


Horns and cars are like peanut butter and jelly, and like armpits. Correlation; you don’t think of peanut butter without jelly and everyone has at least one armpit, as do all vehicles. Some interesting facts, when cars were simple and a technician had a no crank it was second nature to just bump the horn and turn on the lights to see if the battery was dead. Not so easy today, but back then it was a simple test.

Continue Reading


Myths and truths have been around since the car has been rolling, so here are some questions, lets see how good you are.

Will driving with your windows down cause you to use more fuel than with the windows up and the A/C on?

Depending on the aerodynamics of the vehicle and the speed of which you are driving, having the window open without a way for it to escape can cause enough extra drag to make your engine have to work harder. Today’s vehicles A/C are so efficient now and the fuel trim so regulated that if you are driving at speeds over 55mph it would be more efficient to use the A/C.

Running with the blower motor at its highest speed is good to keep the A/C working best

Actually, by running with the fan speed at its highest speed you are causing a higher load on the engine thus making the charging system work harder to maintain the demand. Also by keeping the blower speed at it’s lowest level can actually gain you an additional 8-9 degrees of coldness from the center vent by allowing the air to stay in the evaporator case for a longer period of time to remove the heat from the air passing through it.

Vacuum leaks in early fuel injected engines make the engines race because of the extra air in the combustion chambers

Todays newer and more controlled engines can compensate for the extra or unmetered air that enters the combustion chambers via the oxygen sensors and the fuel trim. They allow the injectors to add extra fuel to keep the engine running as smooth as possible and bring the idle down to its normal spot via the idle air control motors. Many times, the owners do not even know that the vehicle is running lean except for the check engine light that will show a lean code.

Synthetic oil is actually mineral oil that has been reengineered and synthesized with additives

True synthetic oil such as Mobil 1, Amsoil, Redline, and Royal Purple are truly synthetic. They are made from refined hydrocarbons such as animal fat, rapeseed oil methane and biomass by products. Because these molecules are combined and reengineered to be exactly the same size and identical in their lubricating qualities. Imagine that the molecules of oil are like little ball bearings chained together. Also because these molecules are identical and synthesized they have less of chance to join together and thicken the oil or turn to sludge. That doesn’t mean forever oil, just so you understand.

You should never let the pressure in your tires exceed the number stamped on the side of the tire no matter how hot that tire may be

The number stamped on the side of the tire is rated for a cold tire, meaning that it has sat for between 4 and 8 hours before being moved. Most new vehicles have the exact tire pressures posted on the front left door pillar. These are the pressures that the tires should be set at , once again cold. Expect those pressures to increase by up to 3 psi after the vehicle has been driven for even a short distance. This means that if you drove to a gas station that has a air compressor, lots of luck with that, armed with your credit card insert your card in the machine , read the tire pressure placard on the door panel, if it says 32 psi, inflate your tires to 35psi and you should be close. Or come to Gregg’s Automotive where we still do for you and it’s free.




If you have been listening or watching the news in the last couple of weeks, you have been deluged by the problems with Boeing’s 737. Three crashes in the last month and an emergency landing just today.

The real questions here are simple, who is really flying these mammoth planes, the on-board computers or the pilots? Secondly, whose job is it to train said pilots, the manufacturer or the airline that purchases these planes. It is horrific to hear pilots state that they have had only 2-3 hours of training on an I-Pad.

Are they really pilots or just passengers hoping that the computers can make all the right decisions?

In two instances in which the planes had crashed with no survivors, except the now infamous “black box”, both issues happened just after takeoff. Both on board computers showed evidence of a “stall” condition. If any airplane is in a stall condition the proper response is to drop the nose, which the auto pilot did. The problem was is the stall did not exist, it was a faulty sensor. As with anything computer related, “garbage in-garbage out” is a fact of life. The real horror was that these pilots were never trained to override the auto pilot or didn’t have enough training to shut it down and actually fly the damn plane. Hundreds of lives lost, because of who, the manufacturer or the air line. We all want cheaper flights, less training or lesser qualified pilots cost less. Is it worth the price?

Okay, let’s get back to earth. Look at today’s new vehicles. What’s the pitch? Our cars stop by themselves when there is an object in its way. Explain that to the family of the Tesla owner, who’s vehicles anti collision sensors were lower than the body of the trailer he drove under and emerged minus his head. What was he doing? Texting? Obviously, he wasn’t paying attention to the task at hand DRIVING. Every new car now has lane reminders to keep you in between those white lines. They have blind spot cameras so that you don’t have to take your eyes off your phone when changing lanes. Turn you head? Why? Mirrors? Oops! They’re there so you can put your make up on while the crash avoidance sensors and the intelligent cruise control doesn’t let you get too close to the guy in front of you. And you pedestrians aren’t off the hook either, you cross the streets watching your phone, you’re oblivious to the fact that the light may have turned. It has been such a problem that there is legislation to jam the phone signals at intersections so that you will have to look up.

The manufacturers are slowly developing an entire generation that will own cars and not know how to drive and this is scary, because my grandchildren will be on the road.

Do you know that certain manufacturers have installed little blue coffee cups on their instrument cluster that turn into large coffee cups when you as a driver are either too tired, or drunk or just driving poorly? Now to the average joe, this appears to be a wonderful credit to them for caring so much about little old you. Think again, the first place any insurance goes especially in a traffic fatality is that same little black box, except we call it an ECM, and the first place they will look at is the data files that will show them how fast you were going, or how many times you activate your ABS system or if that little coffee cup was illuminated because that claim will never be paid.

Just a little test; be honest, if you go into a skid do you turn into it or out of it?

Did you guess right? You turn into it in a millisecond you must make that call, it needs to be ingrained and an impulse. You can’t do that if you let your car do your driving for you.

Be smart, take control, and remember:
MAINTENANCE BEGINS AT MILE 000001 and lack of COMMON SENSE will always cost you DOLLARS AND CENTS.