Owning a car is often the second-largest expense for consumers, following housing costs. However, unlike real estate, cars depreciate quickly, leading to substantial costs for owners. In a market flooded with biased advice from various sources, car expert Shahe Koulloukian has stepped in with his book “Car Confidential.” This guide aims to enlighten consumers about the intricacies of car ownership, maintenance, and safety. It covers these key aspects and offers numerous useful tips. Here, we present our review, examining its insights and practicality for car owners.
Automotive Master Mechanic & Industry Guru
First, let’s introduce Shahe Koulloukian. While we won’t explore his entire background, a brief overview is necessary. Pronounced “Shay,” Shahe is a testament to the immigrant success story, having climbed the ranks in the automotive industry from his initial focus on car repair. He continues to run his own shop in Phoenix and has broadened his scope to share his automotive expertise with a wider audience. Shahe is a familiar face on television, often invited as a guest expert, and he acts as a spokesperson for the industry.
Second, regarding the approach to his book, I usually suggest reading it from start to finish, marking important sections along the way. However, for this book, it’s more beneficial to use it as the reference guide it was designed to be.
For instance, you might not be actively looking to purchase a new or used vehicle at the moment. If that’s the case, you can bypass the initial section of the book, titled “Ownership,” and direct your focus to the subsequent section, “Maintenance.” The ultimate aim of every car owner is to maintain their vehicle in a smooth, problem-free condition. However, achieving this is more challenging than it sounds, especially in the case of older cars that have clocked a significant amount of mileage. This section is particularly valuable in providing insights and strategies to keep such vehicles running efficiently, despite the wear and tear of years and the accumulation of miles.
Nevertheless, Shahe covers the full gamut of car maintenance from wiper blade replacement to utilizing the services of a local garage to handle major products. (Check out Car Confidential online to learn more tips as well as to peruse sections that did not make the cut).
Dealing With Garages
In addressing the topic of garages, the author provides wise counsel. This starts with the importance of thoroughly researching mechanics. It’s essential to keep communication clear and ensure all agreements are documented in writing. Additionally, the author emphasizes the need to comprehend the three categories of repair work: recommended repairs, manufacturer-scheduled maintenance, and preventative measures. While not all repairs require immediate attention, the author cautions that neglecting certain maintenance can lead to significantly higher expenses in the future.
Shahe presents a pragmatic caution, echoing a sentiment often expressed during interactions with mechanics. When you inform a repair shop that your budget for repairs is capped at a specific amount, say $700, it’s likely they’ll use this as a benchmark for your bill, regardless of the actual necessity of the repairs. Hence, it’s advisable to be more discreet about your financial limits when discussing repair costs.
Safety, Practically Speaking
In a world where the roads are teeming with less-than-ideal drivers, it’s quite astonishing to ponder how many of these individuals managed to successfully navigate and pass their Driver’s Education classes. Recognizing this perplexing reality, Shahe has dedicated an entire section in his book to Road Safety. This section serves as a vital refresher course, eloquently revisiting the essential tips and rules of the road that, although should be common knowledge, are often overlooked or forgotten in the hustle of daily driving. It’s a timely reminder and a crucial call to action for drivers of all skill levels to reacquaint themselves with these foundational principles, ultimately contributing to safer, more responsible driving habits.
He emphasizes that although we cannot choose our feelings, we do have control over our actions. As an example, he encourages drivers to practice patience and awareness, suggesting they start their journeys earlier, drive at slower speeds, and thereby increase their chances of a longer life. Considering that almost 30 percent of traffic-related deaths are caused by speeding, this advice is a valuable reminder that we should consistently heed.
Fuel for Thought & Pit Stop Lessons
The author’s book is peppered with numerous helpful tips, which can be thought of as “friendly reminders.” These include practical advice on a range of topics, such as avoiding the use of cruise control during wet conditions to prevent hydroplaning, and the suggestion to keep a hammer in the car for emergency escapes if you find yourself trapped inside.
At the conclusion of each chapter, there is a segment labeled “Key Takeaways.” This part provides a concise summary of the chapter’s content, akin to the recapitulation technique commonly used in textbooks. In fact, if you are enrolled in a car mechanic course at a community college, it wouldn’t be surprising to find that Koulloukian’s book is a mandatory part of the curriculum.
Available Online and Kindle Download
For those considering purchasing the book, it is available on Amazon for $19.99 in print or $9.99 as a Kindle edition. Published by Global Wellness Media, this 345-page guide serves as a valuable reference that can help you save money. This includes avoiding certain traps like oil change coupons, which can end up costing more than their apparent value.
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