Hi there. I’m Saul Reisman here at Saul’s Automotive, and today we’re going to talk a little bit more about proper winter preparation for your vehicle here.
One major aspect that we often joke about in Colorado is the idea that you should carry boots, a shovel and snow pants in your car year ‘round. This isn’t a joke. You should carry these items in your vehicle in Colorado, especially if you travel in the high country, go skiing or spend time in the backcountry often.
Here at Saul’s Automotive, we try and be as aptly prepared as possible. We know that during major snow events, our doors will actually be slow, as the tow trucks are very slowly rolling in with damaged motor vehicles, so we take a few extra steps to prepare.
First off, every one of our staff members’ vehicles is equipped with a steel- and hickory-based shovel. Not a plastic, $10 local hardware store shovel, but a true 40-pound piece of steel and ash wood that is designed to push snow and scrape your vehicle out from the worst of spots. This is one of the original True Temper tools that they were using in the early 1900s. We literally order the same part number that’s been in production for over a hundred years, because we know it’s the most reliable out there. We keep these in all of our motor vehicles, so not only can we, of course, help ourselves out of a stuck situation, but part of our mantra is that if any staff member is on their way to or from their job, it is their duty while on the clock, even if they’re late to work, to stop and assist stranded motorists.
Additionally, here at Saul’s Automotive, we provide two other services to really try and help you out during the winter. Can we give you a shovel on the side of the road and maybe a hand push? Sure, and that’s a common courtesy that we would expect from any neighborly venture. However, we try and go a step above, and we’re going to talk about those two aspects.
First and foremost, the most common repairs on motor vehicles we see here in Denver are those on the suspension and the steering wheels of the vehicle. Literally the components that bolt to the wheels themselves in the front, whether it be a wheel bearing, a strut, a sway bar link, a CV axle, a tie-rod end, a control arm, the knuckle itself. These are the most common replacements. These are also the most likely components to be damaged when a vehicle slides into a curb or hits something in the ice or snow. Now, we’re always told you always want to hit a curb or a bump straight on and steer into the skid, and this is true. If a vehicle is sliding sideways and strikes a curb, it can cause serious damage by laterally impacting the suspension, whereas turning towards it and letting the tire hit it straight on, like a hard speed bump, while still aggressive and not great for the vehicle, can definitely be more productive and keep that suspension alive.
Here at Saul’s Automotive, we know that you come in often with suspension and steering repairs. We put a lifetime guarantee on all of those parts already, parts and labor included in all we do. One part where we can go a little beyond is in the wintertime. God forbid you come in and you’ve tapped a curb in the snow and you’ve got some bent suspension components. The first thing we’re going to do, after addressing these concerns and seeing what components need to be replaced, is we’re going to look at every time your vehicle has been in with us for service in the past, and if any of those suspension components have been replaced before, we will gladly honor both a parts and labor warranty on those components. So while some vehicles may come in and slap a curb and end up with a thousand or 15 hundred dollar major repair, if you’ve been in before and had some of these components replaced, this repair might not cost you anything at all. If so, maybe only a few hundred dollars, as opposed to the major catastrophe you could have been looking at otherwise. That’s one of the best ways we try and protect you out on the roads in the winter.
The next aspect is something that we truly take to heart. In Colorado, when we get major, major snow storms, it literally leaves the city incapacitated. For many of us, it’s a great excuse to have a few days off, relax, hang out, enjoy the weather, build a snowman, and that’s fantastic, but there’s a few of you that have to be at work. You have either emergency positions, health positions that need your presence no matter what.
Here at Saul’s Automotive, every one of our staff members is a member of FEAT, the Four-Wheel Emergency Assistance team. We partner with the Denver Office of Emergency Management. When there is a major snow storm, we’re notified ahead of time. We’re given contact information for local doctors, medical professionals and others of the like that need to be at work, so that the moment they know that they can’t get to work and that their vehicle isn’t capable enough, they call us directly. We provide this as a volunteer service to the community 24 hours a day, ‘round the clock during the snow storms, so that we can ensure that we can get these people to work so that they can do everything they can to assist their community.
As a mechanic, there’s not really a lot we can do to give back to the community, so to speak. This is one small part where we’re truly able to give our time, our effort and our passion back to the community. So next time you’re out in three feet of snow, your car smacks a curb and you’re thinking about what to do next, remember. There might be somebody from Saul’s Automotive driving by with a shovel and some helping hand to push you out. There might be somebody from Saul’s Automotive that can help you warranty those parts and take care of that repair less expensively or there might be somebody from Saul’s Automotive as a member of FEAT that’s out actively patrolling and picking up stranded motorists.