Back to School Part 3: College Edition

Categories: Tags:
Back to School: Part 3

\We have previously discussed tips and tricks for high school students hitting the open road for the first time. Now, it’s time for us to give our college students a little advice. Whether you are staying in Brevard County or leaving to explore new lands, it is important that you are fully prepared for move in day.

read more →

Continued Car Care for the New Year

Categories: Tags:
Continued Car Care

New Year’s resolutions have been the focus of our last few blogs. And even though we are well into January, the idea of keeping your car clean and regularly serviced is a resolution to keep throughout the year. Meeting this goal will result in a more reliable, safer, and cleaner vehicle. Another automobile based resolution we suggested was to form a relationship with your automobile. This concept included reading your car manual and learning the ins and out; the bells and whistles associated with your make and model. This also included studying the warranty, reviewing scheduled maintenance routines, and familiarizing yourself with factory installed safety features. Keeping your car tidy and well serviced while being sure to operate and maintain it properly, will ultimately increase the longevity of your automobile and positively affect resale value.

read more →

Read Our Reviews

Categories: Tags:

The balance of power between vendors and consumers has shifted steadily since the early 20th century. After centuries of “Buy at your own risk,” it took only a few decades to transition to “The customer is always right.” Everyone knows that the customer is not actually infallible, but it is true that businesses can no longer get away with poor customer service and expect to survive in our culture. For example, in a highly competitive restaurant market, if you have a bad customer service experience at a new restaurant, you can be pretty sure that this new restaurant will not be around next year. Restaurant customers have too many options to put up with bad service.

The Better Business Bureau’s ratings were an important step toward increased transparency and accountability for businesses, but social media has given everyone a voice in the marketplace. Nowadays, if a customer has a bad experience at a place of business, all of his friends will read about it on Facebook later that day. Also, many websites like TripAdvisor and Yelp specialize in customer reviews.

So now customers have the opportunity to know before you go. In many settings, it is possible to visit a place of business virtually before going in person. When was the last time you tried a new restaurant without reading the menu online or checking the reviews? Because of the customer-driven climate of today’s marketplace, it makes sense to be wary of businesses that do not offer ready access to their customers’ feedback.

Cassels Garage is West Melbourne was started fifty years ago, before personal computers and cell phones and social media were invented. For decades, we relied upon word of mouth advertising from our highly satisfied customers, but our satisfied customers did spread the word and our business flourished. Now our customers sing our praises on social media. We invite you to join our family of highly satisfied customers.

At Cassels Garage in West Melbourne, we are ready to help keep your cars in good working condition. We are a family-owned shop well equipped to provide routine maintenance or do major repairs on your car. We have been serving Brevard County since 1966.

Do-It-Yourself Misadventure

Categories: Tags:

A few years ago I saw a funny sign at the garage where my father-in-law had his vehicles serviced. The sign offered a sliding scale of labor rates. There was a significant upcharge if you wanted to stay and watch the mechanic work, a higher charge if you talked to him while he worked, and the highest rate if you tried to fix it yourself before bringing it in. Last week I heard a story from a friend who lived through a true story that illustrates the wisdom of that funny sign.

A friend noticed that his tail light was out, and told his wife that it should be no problem for him to replace the bulb himself. His wife replied, “You don’t know my husband very well.” My friend isn’t a handy guy but assumed that replacing a tail light might be easy for a guy who worked at an auto parts store. So rather than taking his car to the mechanic, he went to the auto parts store and asked the clerk to sell him a bulb and change it for him. He paid less than $5.00 for the replacement bulb, and silently congratulated himself for his cleverness. It was easy enough for the clerk to replace the bulb, but the tail light still did not work.

The clerk had all manner of guesses as to why the tail light still was not working. He was, however, reluctant to handle the job for my friend and what should have taken only a few minutes if handled by a professional turned into a pricey fix at in the end. Moral of the story: leave the job to those who are trained and equipped to handle the challenge. My friend caused more damage and created additional expense because he was stubborn and did not want to take his vehicle to a professional.

Here at Cassles, we see stories like this all the time. Many fancy themselves do-it-yourselfers but end up causing extensive damage because they simply don’t know how to make a handle the fix. When in doubt, give us a call. We won’t scoff at what you perceive as a “small job” because we know how important every part of your vehicle is.
At Cassels Garage in West Melbourne, we are ready to help keep your cars in good working condition. We are a family-owned shop well equipped to provide routine maintenance or do major repairs on your car. We have been serving Brevard County since 1966.

Easy Road Trips from Brevard County

Categories: Tags:

One exciting but often unheralded feature of living on the Space Coast is the proximity to many other delightful destinations just a short ride away. Melbourne, Palm Bay, and our beachside communities have much to offer, but weekend adventurers can enjoy a variety of interesting locales that appeal to nearby tourists as well as those visiting from out of state. In coming weeks, this column will highlight some appealing destinations for easy weekend road trips from Brevard County. Because theme parks dominate the landscape, many Central Floridians overlook Orlando’s many other appealing features. Because the beach is so much of an attraction for those of us who live along the coast, it is easy to forget some of Central Florida’s inland beauty. This week, let’s take a look at the “World’s Most Famous Beach,” and see what there is to enjoy in and around Daytona Beach.

read more →

Americans Love Their Cars

Categories: Tags:
Americans Love Their Cars

A recent study showed that the current generation of teenagers and young adults are less attached to their cars than their parents used to be. Especially in the major cities, where car ownership is not as common, independence is achieved through cell phone ownership. With their phones, today’s young adults can gain access to ride sharing, Uber, or mass transit schedules and still remain incredibly mobile.

However, the generation of their parents and grandparents has not completely faded away. We remember America’s love affair with the automobile. Car ownership was a privilege of the wealthy at first, but it became common in the 1920’s when Henry Ford’s model T became an affordable option for many families. When soldiers came home after World War II there was a perfect intersection of money in their accounts and manufacturers resuming automobile production. The Interstate Highway Act passed during the Eisenhower administration also helped promote our national affection for the road trip.

read more →

Travel the Blue Highways

Categories: Tags:

Here is a recommendation for all of you who find yourselves making the same road trip over and over for years: Vary your route, and see more of the world. In 1982, William Least Heat Moon published a travelogue titled Blue Highways in which he encouraged road trippers to get off of the interstate highways and literally take the roads less traveled.

My wife and I moved eight hours away from her parents and her extended family over twenty years ago. Since then we have made over fifty road trips back and forth to visit our family. For way too long, we stuck to the same route, the fastest one we could find. However, several years ago we embraced a dramatic change in our attitudes toward these trips. We decided that the vacation could start once we pulled out of our driveway rather than when we arrived at our destination.

At first, we took small steps toward enjoying the journey on the way to the destination. We started by taking time to enjoy a nice meal at a restaurant with a server rather than just grabbing the fastest food we could find. We found that routine to be a nice break in the trip that did not add too much time to the trip.

About five years ago, we took our explorations a step farther. We determined to “add to our collection” at least one new place every time we made the trip to see family. Usually our destinations are within an hour of the interstate, and we will spend anywhere from one to three hours exploring before we get back on the road to our ultimate destination. Sometimes we will just pick a new town and walk through downtown looking for an interesting restaurant. We have also taken trolley tours and toured forts on these side trips.

One of the grand things about having family so far away has been our ability to create memories along the way. We have discovered incredibly unique places all by taking a chance and getting off the road. One memory none of us ever wants to deal with is a breakdown on the side of a country road. The vehicle you take on your road trips undoubtedly plays a role in the kinds of experiences you will have along the way to your destination. It is always wise to make sure your car is ready to handle the journey.

At Cassels Garage in West Melbourne, we will be glad to give your vehicle a checkup before your next road trip. We are a family-owned shop well equipped to provide routine maintenance or do major repairs on your car. We have been serving Brevard County since 1966.

Whom Do You Trust?

Categories: Tags:

When it comes to auto repairs (and many other life situations), the question of who is trustworthy involves two elements: character and competence. An honest person who lacks competence cannot really help you, and a truly honest person will not pretend to have more expertise than his credentials and experience warrant. On the other hand, it does not matter how much skill a person has if he cannot be trusted. In fact, a highly skilled person who lacks integrity is more of a threat than someone who is incompetent.

Last week, Todd Ulrich from Channel 9 News in Orlando did an investigative report on “Buy Here, Pay Here” car lots that prey on unsuspecting customers by selling the same worthless car over and over. The scam is based upon the premise that the customers are quite likely to default on their car loans if the cars are worthless. So the dealer sells a used car at a low price that seems too good to be true. The customer / victim soon learns that the car has a major problem that prevents it from being driven. Without a car to get to work, the buyer is unable to make the payments, so the dealer repossesses it in order to sell it again.

When Todd Ulrich wanted to confirm his suspicions, he took one of the suspicious cars to be checked by a trusted industry expert in Brevard County: Howard Fulton of Cassels Garage. This was an assignment that required a combination of competence and integrity. Todd Ulrich knew what Brevard County residents have known for years: that Cassels Garage is trustworthy and reliable. Fulton confirmed Ulrich’s suspicions, and he confronted the scammers with confidence.

We are proud of Howard Fulton, and we are glad to see that he is recognized by the media as a trusted expert in the field of auto repair. If you are buying a used car and you would like to have it checked out, bring it to Cassels Garage. We’ll be glad to check it out even when the cameras are not rolling.

Cassels Garage in West Melbourne is a family-owned shop that is well equipped to provide routine maintenance on your car. We have been serving Brevard County since 1966.