Tag Archives: boulder mechanic

Jeep Repair: How to Change Your Cherokee Ignition Switch

Jeep logo - Jeep Cherokee ignition switch repair

It is important that the ignition switch on a Jeep Cherokee continue to work well if you want to maintain safety on the road. If the switch ever begins to malfunction, you could end up stuck somewhere with the car stalled. You might not even be able to start it. You will get the first hint that this problem has arisen when you have difficulty starting the vehicle, perhaps having to retry a couple times. These warning signs are not always present though; you may just lose the ignition suddenly. No matter how the part fails, this article describes how you would go about removing and replacing it.

This Jeep repair is basically in three phases, as you remove the lower dashboard trim, remove the old ignition switch, and install the new ignition switch.

Tools needed:

  • Wrench
  • Screwdriver

Lower dashboard trim removal

  1. Open the hood of the car and secure it.
  2. Take your wrench and detach the car battery from the negative cable terminal (black).
  3. Grab your screwdriver and take out the 10 screws that are holding in the lower dashboard trim panel. Note that you will typically need to look inside the ashtray container for one of the screws.
  4. Make sure all electrical connectors are also detached, after which you can take off the panel. Put the panel someplace that is easy to remember when you need to reinstall it.

Ignition switch removal

  1. Turn your key lock to “Off-Lock.”
  2. Take out the pair of retaining screws that attach the steering column and switch, using the screwdriver. You can now detach your actuating rod.
  3. Disconnect the white electrical connector from the black wire harness connector.
  4. Take the switch out of your steering column.

Ignition switch installation

  1. Position your replacement ignition switch at the edge of your steering column so it is prepared to install.
  2. Change the switch’s slider so that it is set on “Accessory.”
  3. Attach the slider hole and actuating rod. Connect the switch. Use your fingers to get the pair of retaining screws tight but not stuck.
  4. Keeping your key lock set on “Accessory,” barely adjust the switch so that it is at the column’s base. Make sure the actuating rod is free of any slack. Use your screwdriver to complete the tightening of your retaining screws.
  5. Reestablish the connection between the white and black electrical connectors.
  6. Take the lower dashboard trim and reinstall it, using your screwdriver to reattach the screws.
  7. Connect the car battery to the negative battery cable, using your wrench to get it tight. Shut your hood.

Jeep News & Information

With this Jeep repair complete, we can turn to some lighter fare – some current news and information that might interest you as a Jeep owner:

  • Jeep Cherokee gets a redesign for 2019
  • Record number of redesigned Wranglers sold
  • Jeep driver goes off cliff in effort to avoid wasp

Jeep Cherokee gets a redesign for 2019

As small and midsize SUVs flood the market, Jeep is giving a refresher to its Cherokee with the 2019 edition.

The styling of the front of the Cherokee now has a greater resemblance to the front of the Compass or Grand Cherokee. The lights are the main difference, but the grille is also positioned more vertically than horizontally. The Cherokee’s taillights are also redesigned.

A previous design of the Cherokee created separation between the headlights and LED running lights. Now those lights are all included within a narrow, streamlined lens. The additional updates that are most notable are the composite tailgate, lightweight aluminum hood, and five new wheel designs.

The weight is lighter by 200 pounds vs. the 2018 version of the Cherokee. This change, which enhances the riding for occupants, is getting some positive attention, with Detroit Free Press car critic Mark Phelan saying in his review that the weight reduction was very impressive for a car that currently exists and is getting a midcycle refresh.

There is a new engine in the 2019 Cherokee. It offers 270 horsepower through a 2-liter 4-cylinder design. Phelan suggested that the engine is key to making this car a standout, saying that the 2-liter turbo was the first strong 4-cylinder engine that Chrysler had produced “since before DaimlerChrysler was penny wise and pound foolish in developing an uncompetitive family of bargain-basement engines more than a decade ago.”

This engine, which you can get in mid-range and high-end Cherokees, has the strong torque at low engine speeds and strong fuel economy to make it the best engine for the Cherokee.

Record number of redesigned Wranglers sold

With a strong resemblance to military vehicles, the Jeep Wrangler is a durable SUV and is intended for people who would want to go after rocky or muddy terrain.

With automotive consumers in the United States becoming increasingly attracted to SUVs and trucks, the Wrangler just hit the highest point in the model’s history.

Incredibly, the rise was 70% year-over-year (YOY) from March 2017 to March 2018, according to the numbers released by Fiat Chrysler. The figure made the Wrangler the top-selling model in the Jeep catalog. It even bested the Cherokee, which also had a huge rise of 63 percent YOY but achieved a lower total of 23,764 units sold.

The total for March of 98,382 Jeep cars was also a new record for total cars by the automaker.

The way in which the market is evolving right now is suited well for Jeep since it is a brand completely focused on sport utility vehicles.

Jeff Schuster, who assesses and projects sales of cars as the forecasting VP of LMC Automotive, commented that the numbers for Jeep were remarkable. Noting that the SUV focus is the expertise at Jeep, Schuster said that the brand is currently “really well aligned with the market.”

To clarify, the 2018 Wrangler is a different organism. It is not the historic, stripped-down version of the Wrangler but instead offers a stronger focus on comfort. There are locking differentials, a roll cage, and other all-terrain components. However, from the comfort end, this Wrangler includes Chrysler’s Uconnect infotainment platform and a push-button ignition.

Comfort is critical since off-roading is not a part of Wrangler ownership for all people. The design of the car and its amenities are important to other owners of the model.

Schuster noted that a Wrangler will often see no off-roading at all.

Jeep driver goes off cliff in effort to avoid wasp

A Jeep went off a cliff into Lake Pleasant in Arizona on April 6 when its driver attempted to swat a wasp in the cabin.

The wasp flew into the car as the man was driving, according to a the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. The driver did not know that he was approaching the cliff since he was so distracted by the wasp. Luckily, the driver did look up just before his Jeep sped off the cliff and leapt from the car to the ground. The car kept going off the cliff and down into the lake.

There were no injuries to the driver or anyone else. The Sheriff’s Office clarified that the driver was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Honest Jeep mechanic in Boulder

The Jeep brand continues to excite, with refreshes of its popular models continuing to draw eyes and new drivers – as indicated by sales of the Wrangler and the Cherokee redesign in the 2019 model. If you wish, you can follow the above steps to replace your ignition switch. If you need a mechanic for this repair or any other, we can help. At Independent Motors, 90% of the auto repair we do is repeat business. See our Jeep repair philosophy.

VW Repair: How to Change Your Serpentine Belt

Volkswagen - VW Repair - Quick Steps to Change Your Serpentine Belt

The alternator, air conditioning compressor, and other engine accessories in your Volkswagen are provided power by a v-ribbed belt or serpentine belt. The good news is that you will not need special tools in order to replace this part. You will not always be able to access the serpentine belt immediately, though: in the Jetta and Golf, you will have to remove an auxiliary v-belt first.

No matter what type of VW model you own, you can use the below steps for replacement – skipping over the v-belt sections as applicable.

Caution: Before you start this Volkswagen repair, you want the car to sit for 2-3 hours so the engine can cool. If you do not allow ample time for cooling, you could get burned.

Removing your VW auxiliary v-belt

  1. Make sure the ground is level. Activate the parking brake.
  2. Lock your steering wheel by turning it all the way to the right.
  3. Look for the ground cable attached to the negative battery terminal, and disconnect it. Apply a wrench to the retaining bolt, loosening it. Remove the clamp from the terminal.
  4. Get a pad and paper. Create a rough diagram of how the belts are arranged around the engine pulleys, so that you can later install them in the exact same way.
  5. Grab a socket and loosen the mounting bolts on the power steering pump. Let the pump slide in the direction of your engine.
  6. Take the v-belt from the engine pulleys, and pull it out of the car.

Replacing your VW serpentine belt

  1. If you have not already done so (#4 above), grab a piece of paper, and make a drawing of the path of your serpentine belt around the engine pulleys.
  2. To release the belt’s tension, manually rotate the tensioner pulley – which you can find right beneath your alternator – away from the belt.
  3. Using your hand, remove the old serpentine belt from the engine.
  4. Look at your diagram of how the pulleys were arranged within the car. Place the new serpentine belt so that it matches the drawing.
  5. Take the serpentine belt, and situate it through the pulleys using the diagram you sketched.
  6. Get the belt tight again by releasing the tensioner pulley.

Installing your auxiliary v-belt

  1. Check the v-belt to ensure that it is not degraded and does not have a crack in it; if it does, you want to replace it.
  2. Thread the v-belt through the pulleys, as indicated by your drawing.
  3. Make sure you have lain the v-belt properly in the engine pulleys so that it is seated correctly.
  4. Move the power steering pump out of the way of the engine, and use your socket to tighten the mounting bolts.

Measuring your v-belt’s deflection

  1. At the longest stretch of the v-belt, put a straight edge on top of the two pulleys.
  2. Use a finger to press in the middle of the belt.
  3. Grab a ruler, and measure how far it is from the belt to the straight edge. The maximum separation you want is 13/64-inch.
  4. Take your socket, and loosen the mounting bolts on the power steering pump until the v-belt is sufficiently tight. Again, move the power steering pump out of the way of the engine. Tighten the bolts again.
  5. Reestablish the connection between your negative battery terminal and the ground cable. Put the clamp back on the terminal, and use a wrench to retighten your retaining bolt.

All steps of this Volkswagen repair are now complete. Your new serpentine belt will keep your car continuing to operate smoothly so that you can get where you need to go.

Note: Beyond replacing serpentine belts as needed, it is also smart to buy a backup belt and keep it in your trunk, as indicated by Jeffrey Caldwell in It Still Runs. “That way if the drive belt breaks while you’re on the road,” he said, “you will not be stranded.”

Volkswagen news & information

With the serpentine belt project finished, we can now take a look at recent Volkswagen news that might be of interest:

  • Two-motored VW racecar to run Pikes Peak
  • Ashton Kutcher’s VW could break world record

Two-motored VW racecar to run Pikes Peak

It is a commonly accepted notion within the automaking industry that racing can be helpful in the development of stronger cars. Prior to starting production of a car, you will often not be able to see its vulnerabilities until you test it at high speeds on a track. Carmakers are also able to bring more people into their dealerships from victory in races or even just the publicity surrounding them. Given these different general reasons to race, a Volkswagen prototype racecar will make its way to Colorado to take on Pikes Peak in a few months.

Volkswagen has another reason to race, related to the sustainable design of the car it is using. At a time when electric cars are increasingly becoming a serious alternative to internal-combustion cars, Volkswagen and its competitors are leveraging racing to show off their technology and make electric car ownership more attractive. Since traditional car racing is on the decline, noted Steve Hanley in CleanTechnica, the electric vehicle racing series Formula E is drawing the attention of many carmakers. The Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla Model S sedans are example cars that will be featured in racing series.

As a dive into electric racing, Volkswagen is traveling to Pikes Peak with an electric racer featuring dual motors in June. The hill climb that take place there on the 24th is the only race of its type on the planet. The stretch of road runs 12.4 miles, increasing from an elevation of 9,390 feet to 14,110 feet above sea level. Electric cars are actually well-designed for this competition. “Internal combustion engines lose power at higher elevations,” noted Hanley, “but electric motors are unaffected by altitude changes.”

Ashton Kutcher’s VW could break world record

The world record for the sale of a Volkswagen at auction may be broken on April 14, when the VW Microbus or Samba bus from That 70s Show is offered at Barrett-Jackson’s Palm Beach Auction.

No other VW Samba Van, or Microbus, with provenance has ever appeared in an auction, which makes people think that this one could be a record. It is worth noting that when That 70s Show was on the air, the bus was auctioned. It was sold for $28,000 at that point, but that was before the Microbus was a point of focus for collectors. Between that initial sale and today, numerous Samba vans have sold for greater than $100,000, and the collectible car industry has surged incredibly.

Mike Hanlan of New Atlas explains another reason why this car is expected to draw a huge price tag: it celebrates the youth of baby boomers, a group he described as “the people who have now accumulated the majority of the world’s wealth, and the same people who pay millions of dollars for the artifacts of their youth at auctions.”

Honest auto repair in Boulder

Hopefully the above steps have been helpful to you in understanding the replacement of your serpentine belt. If you would rather have an expert perform that repair or any other, we can help. At Independent Motors, 90% of the auto repair we do is repeat business. See our Volkswagen repair philosophy.

Subaru Repair: How to Break in Your New Engine + Oil Change Schedule

Subaru logo on steering wheel - Subaru Repair - How to Break in Your New Engine

Many car owners do not realize that when they drive a new car off the lot, their engine’s long-term health will be greatly influenced by their treatment of the car during the first few weeks on the road. You may have any of three different engines in a Subaru –turbocharged or naturally aspirated 4-cylinder, or 6-cylinder, all of which are horizontally opposed – and all of which require a proper break-in period at the beginning.

While we want to help with Subaru repair as needed, we also want to help you avoid large expenses with preventive strategies. Best practices to maintain and drive your car properly during the extremely important early period of ownership are as follows:

Tip 1. Start slow. Wait until you have at least 1000 miles on your odometer before you exceed 4000 revolutions per minute (RPM). Simply exhibiting patience with the car in this manner allows you to keep the engine stronger for all driving scenarios. Plus, keeping it slow at first lowers your risk of burning oil in the years to come by letting your piston rings seat properly within the combustion chambers.

Tip 2. Do not brake or speed up suddenly. As indicated in #1, you want to take it easy on your engine in its first few weeks on the road. You make it possible for the components within the engine to continue to fit well long into the life of the car by only accelerating moderately as you accrue the first thousand miles. As with acceleration, you will develop the correct mating of the pads with the brake drums or discs by applying the brakes lightly from day one. You will potentially cause your brake components to break if you are using the brakes heavily prior to completion of seating.

Tip 3. Avoid cruise control. You want your car to be speeding up and slowing down a bit, going through a spectrum of RPM levels, rather than keeping it on cruise control and having it rev at a consistent rate. You want the engine to be exposed to diverse engine conditions within a safe range (similar to stretching a muscle).

Tip 4. You want to take the car out on different types of routes, including city and highway roads. As with avoiding your cruise control, you can help the internal parts of your engine be ready to take on a range of engine RPM by using different driving scenarios. You want both the braking and the acceleration of your Subaru to be lively but conscientious (remembering moderation but also sticking to the task of “breaking in” the engine).

Tip 5. Get your oil changed at the first recommended point. See the full information on oil changes below – but the standard is 6 months or 6000 miles, whichever comes first. Whatever the case for your model, it will give the general health of your engine a boost by getting an oil change on time, with high-quality synthetic oil. Your oil change will be a bit different depending on the intake method and size of your Subaru engine. To make certain you use the right oil type and that you follow the change schedule correctly, check the car manual, although guidelines for the 2017 lineup are below. Often mechanics will suggest getting two oil changes within the break-in period, underscoring the gravity of this stage in the car’s life. To be clear, this recommendation is to get an oil change “halfway through the first oil change interval, and then performing another at the first scheduled change,” as indicated in It Still Runs.

Tip 6. Be responsive to your dashboard. You do not want to drive the engine when it is cold. Be aware of the blue “cold engine” light; if you see it, warm up the engine before proceeding.

Note of Caution: If you want to keep your Subaru healthy and prevent engine problems in the months and years ahead, use engine break-in best practices, as described above. It is worth noting that these strategies are not as critical for the newer cars as for the older ones. However, your chances of going hundreds of thousands of miles with relatively few issues will be greatly improved by careful engine treatment as you go your first 1000 miles (and continue with excellent Subaru repair and service as needed). On the other hand, failing to be conscientious could mean that you do not the value out of the car that you want.

Subaru oil change schedule

The interval of 6 months or 6000 miles, whichever comes first, is mentioned as a standard for new Subaru cars above. That interval applies to all 2017 and 2018 Subaru Outback, BRZ, Forester, Crosstrek, Impreza, Legacy, WRX, and STI. If you have a different year of the car, check your manual for your interval.

As indicated above, some mechanics will suggest doubling up the oil change during the first interval (which would mean also changing it at 3 months or 3000 miles, whichever comes first, in the case of the 2017 and 2018 Subaru models above). As noted in Cars101.com, it may be a good idea to change the oil ahead of the standard interval, “especially with hard driving, cold/hot weather, or manual transmissions that are revved up or downshifted.”

The Subaru owner’s manual backs up that perspective. The carmaker mentions that there are also various scenarios in which you want to refill the oil prior to the oil change – important since the rate at which engine oil is consumed increases under certain conditions. Those scenarios are:

  • During the break-in phase of initial ownership
  • If you filled the car with low-quality oil (or if you cannot verify oil quality, as when you buy a Subaru used)
  • If you used oil that is of the wrong viscosity
  • If you use high engine speeds (i.e., operating it at high RPM)
  • If you carry heavy loads in your Subaru
  • If you connect a trailer to the car
  • If you have lengthy stints of idling
  • If you are in traffic jams or other stop-and-go scenarios
  • If the external temperature is extreme during the car’s operation
  • If you are speeding up and slowing down the car more often than normal
  • If you have engine braking implemented.

In these situations, it is a good idea to check your oil every other time you refuel your car. Plus, you want to get oil changes more often as well. If your car is consuming more than 1 quart of oil per 1200 miles, you want to bring it to a mechanic to determine why consumption is abnormally high.

As a sample (otherwise check your manual), here are the types of oil that should be used in 2017 versions of these Subaru models and engine sizes:

  • Outback 5 L – 0w-20 synthetic
  • Outback 3.6 L – 5w-30 conventional or synthetic
  • Legacy 2.5 L – 0w-20 synthetic
  • Legacy 3.6 L – 5w-30 conventional or synthetic
  • Forester 2.5 L – 0w-20 synthetic
  • Forester 2.0 L Turbo – 5w-30 synthetic
  • Crosstrek 2.0 L – 0w-20 synthetic
  • Crosstrek 2.0 L Hybrid – 0w-20 synthetic
  • Impreza 2.0 L – 0w-20 synthetic
  • BRZ 2.0 L – 0w-20 synthetic
  • WRX 2.0 L Turbo – 5w-30 synthetic
  • STI 2.5 L Turbo – 5w-30 synthetic

Honest Subaru repair & advice

Knowing how to care for your car for yourself as needed can be helpful for your finances. However, you will probably have situations in which you want the help of a mechanic for your Subaru repair or maintenance. At Independent Motors, 90% of the auto repair we do is repeat business. See our Subaru repair philosophy.

VW Repair: How to Change Your Thermostat

Blue Volkswagen Bug and Cloudy Sky - VW Repair - How to Change Your Thermostat

VW Repair: How to Change Your Thermostat

The Jetta model, with a liquid-cooled engine, was first released by Volkswagen in the early 1980s. Volkswagen reintroduced the Beetle model as the New Beetle in 1996. Along with the Golf and the Passat, these two models keep the engine cool using radiator fluid instead of air flow. To avoid overheating, a thermostat gauges temperature and reports readings back to the computer. When the thermostat becomes dysfunctional, it is necessary to take it out and put in a new one.

Here are the steps to perform this Volkswagen repair:

Caution: Before proceeding, note that the engine should not be hot when you make this repair. Be certain that the car has had time to cool prior to the work to protect yourself from serious burns.

Step #1 – Drive the car onto auto service ramps. Position the wheel chock in back of the rear wheel.

Step #2 – Beneath the radiator drain valve, position a drain pan that can hold up to two gallons of coolant. Take a ¼-inch ratchet drive and insert it into the drain plug. Let about two gallons of coolant flow from the radiator. This drainage gets the level of fluid down enough that you will not get it on the engine. Once complete, set aside the drain pan; you will reuse the same fluid.

Step #3 – Find the spot at which the engine connects to the upper radiator hose. Loosen the clamp. Pull the hose out of the housing. You should now see the housing for the thermostat.

Step #4 – Take a socket and disconnect the three bolts that keep the housing attached to the engine. The 14-mm socket is most common, but your model may require a different size. Remove the thermostat housing.

Step #5 – Take the old O-ring from the thermostat housing. Put on a new one. A traditional gasket is not used to create the seal, so the O-ring must serve that function.

Step #6 – Take the thermostat that is no longer wanted from the engine and put the replacement part into position. You will know which end of the thermostat should be inside the engine by the big spring on that end of it.

Step #7 – Position the housing of the thermostat over top of it. Use the bolts to secure it. Check the bolts for rounding, rusting, or other corrosion. Replace them if needed.

Step #8 – Hook up the radiator hose again. Use the clamp to lock it into place.

Step #9 – At the radiator’s left side, you will see the fill cap. Open it, and pour the fluid back into the radiator. Make sure there is sufficient time for the radiator to let out air. Once all the fluid is back in the car, close the cap.

That’s all; you are finished with your Volkswagen repair. You should now have a new thermostat in your car so that you know your internal temperature is being properly protected. Your car is safe to drive without concern of overheating.

Volkswagen News & Information

Now that you have changed the thermostat and have that task out of the way, here are some recent news stories that may interest you as a VW owner:

  • VW sales up 6% in February 2018
  • Large segment of VW workforce will get 45 vacation days
  • 50 VW electric cars for German city
  • VW’s marketing chief aligned with blockchain startup

VW sales up 6% in February 2018

Sales for the US division of Volkswagen rose 6% in February, year-over-year (YOY) vs. February 2017. Volkswagen of America noted that the key reason for the sales bump was that its sports utility vehicles were becoming more popular.

The rise of the VW SUV is also a victory for sustainability, with both of the models sold in the United States (since the Touareg was discontinued here) also manufactured in North America. There were 7,486 sales of the Tiguan, which is built in Mexico, in February. There were 4,766 units of the Atlas, produced in Chattanooga, sold as well. That total of 12,252 represented more than half (54%) of all United States February sales by the automaker.

As SUV numbers rose, Passat numbers fell. The sedan, which is produced alongside the Atlas in Tennessee, backslid 50.3% YOY in February, dropping to 3,036.

While the Passat was a weak point, total sales for the US division of Volkswagen hit 26,660, making it the strongest February for the auto manufacturer since 2014.

To look at the first two months of 2018 together, the start – at 51,404 cars – has been 5.7% better than last year.

Large segment of VW workforce will get 45 vacation days

Approximately 120,000 VW union workers have arrived at an arrangement with the automaker that includes a substantial raise and, for some workers, six additional vacation/sick days.

Beginning in May, the union employees will see their salaries boosted 4.3%. During 2019, VW workers will get an additional 2.3% bonus along with benefits within their pensions. Some workers will be able to forego the bonus pay in exchange for six extra personal days (if they either work the night shift, or have parents or kids who require their care).

For the people who do fall within those parameters and decide to go with the extra six off-days, that will mean those individuals get a total, including the public holidays, of 45 paid days off work annually.

VW, Audi and Porsche cars are all manufactured by Volkswagen Group, which has an entire global workforce of approximately 636,000 – 286,000 of whom are in Germany.

The German members of the VW workforce are able to be powerful in negotiations with the multinational corporation because the economy has been expanding quickly and the unemployment rate is down.

50 VW electric cars for German city

In February, Volkswagen gave 50 e-Golf cars to the City of Hamburg. These zero-emission electric cars were part of a partnership between the carmaker and the German port city.

As the new, virtually silent electric cars were given to the city by Volkswagen, the company’s group strategy for new business director, Ludger Fretzen, noted that the 50 vehicles are a step toward healthier air quality.

“The objective of our partnership with Hamburg is to make urban mobility more environmentally compatible and more efficient,” noted Fretzen, who added that this sustainability effort was aligned with VW’s ongoing, long-term green campaign, Roadmap E.

VW’s marketing chief aligned with blockchain startup

IOTA, a blockchain startup, is loosely considered a distributed ledger technology (DLT). As such, it allows computers, for a very contained consumption of resources (and hence cost), to send data and payments securely.

IOTA created a data marketplace that was officially released in November 2017. Along with a major investment from Robert Bosch Venture Capital, that launch has made IOTA a point of focus for international business.

Given the prominence of IOTA, it is noteworthy that VW’s chief digital officer, Johann Jungwirth, joined the IOTA Foundation’s board. His position will be to guide the plans for the foundation and to make recommendations on how IOTA and the carmaker could work in tandem.

Honest Volkswagen repair in Boulder

While Volkswagen sales may be growing in the United States – and while the carmaker may be taking positive steps for workers, the environment, and data security – there will still be times when you need VW repair or routine maintenance. At Independent Motors, 90% of the work we do is repeat business. See our Volkswagen repair philosophy.

 

Toyota Repair: How to Change the Door Lock Mode

Toyota Repair - How to Change the Door Lock Mode

If you own any recent Toyota model that has power locks and an automatic transmission, you have the ability to change the sequence for the locking and unlocking of the doors – as determined by the current mode.

 

This adjustment is not really a repair but will help you to “fix” the issue if the car is set in a mode that you do not like.

 

Your choice is between four modes that are preprogrammed into the vehicle:

 

  • Mode 1 – This mode connects the shift position with automatic door locking – but notably not unlocking. When the key is in the ignition and in the “On” position, and when all doors are shut, they will automatically lock when you move the shift lever out of “Park.”
  • Mode 2 – This mode simply turns off the feature. Automatic locking and unlocking will be nonoperational.
  • Mode 3 – Similarly to Mode 1, this mode ties both locking and unlocking of doors with the shift position. With the key in the “On” position and with all doors shut, you will auto-lock them whenever you move the shift lever from “Park.” In turn, the doors will auto-unlock whenever you bring the shift lever back to “Park.”
  • Mode 4 – This mode connects not just the shift position but also the key position to the automatic locking and unlocking system. With the key set to “On” and all of the doors shut, you will auto-lock the doors when you move out of “Park” with the shift lever. In turn, all the doors will auto-unlock when you turn the key to “Off” while the shift lever is in “Park.”

 

Switching between modes

 

Now that you know what your options are, how do you change from one to another? Here are the six steps:

 

  1. Look at the control knob for the dome light. Change the position to “Door.”

 

  1. Make sure all the doors are shut and that your shift lever is set to “Park.”

 

  1. Put the key in the ignition, and turn it so it is set to “On.”

 

  1. Once you are in the “On” position, and before 5 seconds has passed, push down the door lock switch on the driver’s side, keeping it down for 5 seconds.

 

  1. The number of flashes that come from the dome light will tell you the mode to which the automatic locking system is currently set. One flash tells you that you are in mode 1, while two, three, and four flashes signal that you are in modes 2-4, respectively.

 

  1. Push the switch to change to a different mode. It will flash to let you know the new mode. Keep pushing the switch until you get to the one you want.

 

You now know how to switch your Toyota car into any of the four different modes for automatic locking and unlocking – one of which (Mode 2) shuts it off completely, if that is your preference. Again, although not a Toyota repair, this project will allow you to have better control of the car and to fix the situation if you are frustrated by the way that this automatic feature is currently configured.

 

Note that your choice of auto-locking and auto-unlocking mode will be forgotten by the car computer if the car battery dies or becomes disconnected. If that occurs, the vehicle will be reset to Mode 1.

 

Toyota News & Information

 

Now you know how to switch your mode so that you are in control of how your automatic system is set to lock and unlock your doors. With that tutorial complete, we can turn to recent news stories that may be of interest to you as the owner of a Toyota:

 

  • Toyota wins 4 crowns in 2018 Consumer Reports list
  • Toyota develops more sustainable EV magnet

 

Toyota wins 4 crowns in 2018 Consumer Reports list

 

Each year Consumer Reports ranks the best cars, and the 2018 list amounts to an impressive display for Japanese carmaker Toyota.

 

Not all news has been positive for Toyota lately. It no longer has the planet’s leading volume of sales, eclipsed by Volkswagen and Nissan/Renault/Mitsubishi. Nonetheless, this Consumer Reports ranking shows that the carmaker is a strong choice for buyers, with critical assessments (drawing on many thousands of perspectives) that do not consider where a car stands in the popularity contest.

 

Consumer Reports is taken very seriously because it does not allow any potential bias to be introduced either by advertisements or by getting cars from automakers – instead purchasing cars directly from dealerships. Related to performance, that information is gathered from its subscribers, so that all its information is as scientific as possible (both objective and derived from a large sample).

 

Within the magazine’s 2018 Top Picks, 4 of the 10 categories saw Toyota at the helm. The categories and victors were:

 

  • compact car – Corolla
  • midsize car – Camry
  • midsize SUV – Highlander
  • minivan – Sienna.

 

The basic reasons that the carmaker was successful with this 2018 list, according to Consumer Reports, were threefold: reliability of the car; the focus on safety features; and the accessible, mainstream design.

 

The magazine’s director of automotive testing, Jake Fisher, stressed that “really impressive reliability across the board” was essential in setting the brand apart from its competition.

 

Fisher also mentioned that the automaker was excelling in applying safety technologies – particularly forward-collision warning systems and automatic emergency braking – standardly throughout its lineup.

 

Toyota develops more sustainable EV magnet

 

Electric vehicles (EVs) are embraced as a way to cut down our reliance on fossil fuels, at least creating a new format of automobile for which fueling at the pump is unnecessary. One key issue with zero-emission electric cars, though, is that they require a rare-earth element (REE), neodymium. Toyota has become concerned that we are mining this mineral too quickly to supply the growing demand. It is currently developing magnets for its motors that cut in half the amount of neodymium needed to build one of its hybrid or electric models.

 

This decision is exciting news for environmentalism, both because of Toyota’s scope and because it has announced it will offer an electric version of all its cars within seven years. To reduce the amount of neodymium, the carmaker has turned to lanthanum and cerium, both more affordable and currently in more abundant supply.

 

The reason magnet engineers have typically used neodymium is that it can maintain magnetization to an incredible degree and also has extraordinary heat-tolerance. The simple act of including more cerium and lanthanum instead of the neodymium would have been insufficient, since the important magnetic capabilities would be reduced. Because the project was not a simple task, Toyota invested substantially to innovate breakthrough technology that would allow the motor to perform just as well with only 50% of the neodymium.

 

Perhaps the most compelling aspect of this new magnet technology is that it can be applied to electronics beyond automobiles. Appliances, robots, and any other objects that might have use for an affordable, sustainable high-temperature motor could utilize this new technology. These more environmentally friendly motors will be used in production cars starting in approximately 2020.

 

Honest Toyota repair in Boulder

 

Toyota cars are owner-friendly, as suggested by the ease of switching between locking modes and the great ratings from Consumer Reports. Plus, the brand is easy to like, with its sustainability strides. Nonetheless, Toyota repair and routine maintenance is sometimes needed. For those tasks, you want a mechanic who is credible and straightforward. At Independent Motors, Boulder’s neighborhood auto repair shop for 35 years, 90% of the work we do is repeat business. See our Toyota repair philosophy.

 

VW Repair: How to Change Your Key Fob Battery

VW Repair - How to Change Your Key Fob Battery

Has your VW key fob battery died, and you’re locked out of your car? Well let’s get you in. Please skip down to the next section, “How to unlock your Volkswagen car when the key fob battery dies.”

 

Volkswagen cars come with key fobs featuring buttons to unlock the vehicle and a flip-out key (a.k.a. a bayonet key) or an internal emergency key. They have small batteries similar to those used for watches. When the battery runs out of charge, it is necessary to take it out and put in a new one. Has your key fob either become unresponsive or inconsistent? Probably that dysfunction is because the battery is dead or has experienced a failure of some sort. It should be replaced.

 

When the battery dies, many people head to their local VW dealership for assistance. However, that is not necessary, as indicated by It Still Runs. It is straightforward to take out the existing battery and put in a new one, once you know the steps for this Volkswagen repair.

 

Before we get to those steps, though, let’s get you into your car.

 

How to unlock your Volkswagen car when the key fob battery dies

 

What if you need to get into your car immediately? The method is a little different depending on the start system and model (as discussed here).

 

  • Lock cylinder cap models – There may be a lock cylinder on the door handle that is hidden beneath a cap for security (and to confuse you). At the base of the cap, you will see a little notch. Carefully, place the key within the notch and pry off the cap. Press the button on your key fob to release the manual bayonet key, and you have access. Put the fob up against the steering column, just below the ignition slot. Press the start button that is next to your gear stick in the center console to start the car.
  • VW Touareg & CC models – If you own a Touareg or CC, you unfortunately do not have a bayonet key. However, inside the key fob is an emergency key. Look at the side of the fob, and you will see a button. Press the button, and the key will pop out of the fob slightly. Hold the fob tightly and pull on the key ring loop. You can now use the key to unlock the door. Once inside, insert the entire fob into the ignition, and the car should start.
  • Any other keyless access models – You can get in the door using the bayonet key (and again, that’s accessed by pushing the button on the fob that releases it). Same as with the cylinder cap instructions, put the fob up against the steering column, just below the ignition slot. Press the start button that is next to your gear stick in the center console to start the car.

 

Steps to replace your VW key fob battery

 

1.) Get a new 3-volt CR2032 battery. These batteries are common, available at office supply stores, electronic stores, etc. You will also want a 1-inch-circumference round key ring, if you do not already have one on the fob. Ideally, you also want either an eyeglass screwdriver or a 3 ml flat-head micro-screwdriver.

 

2.) Press the button on the key fob that extends the key.

 

3.) The fob should be on a key ring when you perform the next step. If it is not yet, thread the ring through the fob’s key ring slot.

 

4.) To allow the best possible leverage, put the key ring on your index finger.

 

5.) The fob has two portions that you need to separate. Pull with your index finger while you hold the fob steady with your other hand. Use additional pressure until you have separated the two sections.

 

6.) You should see a seam where one of the halves, the remote case, can be pulled apart. Grab a small screwdriver, or use your nail. Now you should see the battery.

 

7.) Pull the battery out. Now replace it with the new CR2032 battery. You want the positive (+) side down, so you should see the negative (-) side when you insert it.

 

8.) Close the case. When you hear a snapping sound, that means it is in position.

 

9.) Bring the two sections of the key fob back together.

 

That’s it. Now you should be able to get into your car, and to replace your key fob battery so that you can move forward more easily.

 

Volkswagen News & Information

 

With that project out of the way, here are a couple of notable recent news items that may be of interest to you as a VW owner:

 

  • 2018 could be best year ever for Volkswagen
  • VW advances human-robot collaboration

 

2018 could be best year ever for Volkswagen

 

If you own a Volkswagen, you may appreciate the fact that you have a car that is less common than many others. However, the carmaker is making a huge push. In January 2018 alone, Volkswagen Group delivered just shy of 900K cars internationally – adding up to a 10.1 percent increase versus the previous January. In the official announcement from the carmaker, VW Head of Group Sales Fred Kappler noted that all regions worldwide experienced year-over-year (YOY) growth. He added that it was “the best start to the year in the history” of the company.

 

Here are the details related to sales for each region, in ascending order of growth rate, along with the total figures:

 

North America:

2017 sales = 66,600

2018 sales = 67,900

YOY growth = +2.0%

 

Europe:

2017 sales = 315,300

2018 sales = 332,600

YOY growth = +5.5%

 

Asia Pacific (APAC):

2017 sales = 368,000

2018 sales = 421,500

YOY growth = +14.5%

 

South America:

2017 sales = 39,600

2018 sales = 48,000

YOY growth = +21.2%

 

Global Total:

2017 sales = 816,100

2018 sales = 898,700

YOY growth = +10.1%

 

VW advances human-robot collaboration

 

Robots are often deployed in auto manufacturing. However, there has had to be distinction between human and robot areas to avoid injury. While the robots that are currently being used by Volkswagen were not designed to work alongside humans, the carmaker has found a way for safe side-by-side production.

 

In order to get robots and humans to get along together without barriers separating them, VW has created dynamic safety zones. The floors of these zones are designed to light up in red, yellow, or green – letting the robot understand the location of the person. To get that information, the motion of the human is monitored using a system of lasers. The lasers then send the data they receive to the control system of the robot. The visual effect “looks like the dance floor of a night club,” notes Stephen Edelstein of The Drive.

 

The robot is programmed to respond to each zone as follows (essentially just like a traffic light):

 

  • Red – Stop. Cease all movement.
  • Yellow – Caution. Slow movement.
  • Green – Go. Fast movement.

 

Honest VW repair in Boulder

 

Switching out your key fob battery is a simple DIY task. Some repairs, though, may require the experience and expertise of a mechanic. At Independent Motors, to better serve our Boulder area customers, we’ve developed expert skills at maintaining the safety, mechanics, performance and durability of Volkswagen vehicles. See our VW repair philosophy.

Why Support Locally Owned Businesses?

Why Support Locally Owned Businesses?

A study highlighted by the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA) assessed two independent, locally owned businesses in Austin, Texas (record store Waterloo Records and book store Book People), finding that they recirculated over 200% more money into the local economy than the estimate of what a Borders Books and Music location would have given back to the city.

 

The return of money to the local Boulder economy is a major reason to support locally owned, independent businesses. It is just one of many though. Let’s look at these reasons, explore a concept called the multiplier effect, and specifically review the satisfaction advantage of locally owned auto repair shops.

 

11 reasons to support your locally owned businesses

 

The Boulder County Independent Business Alliance (BIBA) notes that corporate franchises have become the standard for a huge range of products and services, such as coffee, groceries, and hardware. Big box stores often drive independent local businesspeople into having to shut down their shops. In turn, towns around the United States “are becoming marked by stark uniformity and lack of human scale,” says BIBA.

 

Here are 11 reasons to shop local, from BIBA and the nonprofit Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR):

 

  1. The money stays in the local area.

The entire local area will be boosted when people are buying more products and services from their neighbors rather than from corporate chains because a significantly larger chunk of the revenue from local businesses is reinvested locally (as indicated above).

  1. It enhances the sense of local community.

A business that is owned and run locally strengthens the community by giving to local charities and creating a more cohesive sense of place, creating a fabric of interconnected relationships between consumers and businesses, both economic and personal. Town centers are often revitalized by local entrepreneurs too.

  1. It gives your area a unique character.

When business and life are increasingly dominated by sameness and the overhyped supposed predictability advantage of large brands, being distinctive offers an advantage.

  1. Keep control at the local level.

The people in the local community will be most impacted by decisions that are made regarding the local area. By supporting businesses that are independent, you also support the independence of the area’s decision-making. As corporations accrue more power every day, they increasingly are able to control policies in local communities, explains BIBA. Think about companies that are absentee-owned being able to increasingly pressure and control local governments. In that sense, these companies threaten the democracy of the local area, according to BIBA. One example is subsidies and tax breaks that may be available to corporations to choose a certain place for a new store. Beyond that, huge companies can use their global presence and incredible funding to sidestep environmental and human rights laws through physical or financial transition to nations, states, and cities that do not have as many rules in place.

  1. Get access to a broader range of products and services.

A cookie-cutter model within a national franchise is expected. Within local businesses, though, you can find more diversity of offerings. When there are more small businesses, the needs of local people are the point of focus, leading to better access to a larger number of items locally.

  1. You have more competition, which cuts down the price.

Most people know that competition is a fundamental precept of a thriving capitalist economy. You both keep down the costs and see more innovation when there are hundreds or thousands of small businesses. When Walmart was studied in Iowa, the researchers found that 84% of its business was taken from local merchants. Box stores and other corporate chains mean less competition; prices may start low but gradually will rise over time.

  1. Buying local is a commitment to sustainability.

Independent shops often have agreements with local companies, reducing the need for shipping. There are fewer executive plane flights. Plus, independent local companies improve walkability – minimizing pollution (emissions), habitat loss, and sprawl.

  1. It increases pay and improves employment rates.

A typical local business generates more jobs locally than a corporate chain does. Pay and benefits are also often preferable to what is offered by chain stores.

  1. Your tax dollars are better utilized.

Everyone wants their tax dollars to be used as intelligently as possible. The costs and advantages of an independent company are both better; these businesses utilize public services more efficiently and do not have as much need for infrastructure as strip malls and box stores do.

  1. Buying independently is an investment in entrepreneurship.

Upward social mobility is central to the American dream. The entrepreneurship that is built into an independent business provides opportunities for people to move more solidly into the middle class. It also enhances innovation.

  1. It reduces costs for anyone local who wants to start a business.

Large Wall Street corporations force everyone in the area to pay more for their leases, since these heavily funded organizations can pay for huge amounts of space.

 

Multiplier effect

 

In the above list of reasons, we noted how local businesses tend to reinvest in the local economy. The extent to which independent shops reinvest locally is incredible. The impact of the difference between locally owned franchises and absentee-owned businesses can be described in three ways, through the multiplier effect, as indicated by AMIBA:

 

  • Direct impact – Directly, a local small business often spends locally for business operations costs such as wages, equipment, inventory, and utilities.
  • Indirect impact – This effect is seen as the money that an independent company uses for purchases locally is recycled within the community.
  • Induced impact – This form of impact occurs as the owners, staff, and affiliates make purchases locally.

 

Better satisfaction ratings at independent auto shops

 

One way to alleviate some of the frustration of taking your car in for a repair or maintenance, says nonprofit consumer research publication Consumer Reports, is to choose an independent shop over a new-car dealership franchise. (We have reviewed this study in this blog previously, but we will provide a bit more detail here.)

 

The service of 121,000 cars was included within the survey. 41,000 of the vehicles were repaired at independent, local mechanics, while the remainder were fixed at chain new-car dealerships. The locally owned, independent auto shops received better scores from car owners for a broad range of factors, including the accuracy of time estimates, friendliness of personnel, quality of work performed, cost, and general satisfaction. Nearly all the independent shops reviewed by the magazine had high scores from its customers for all those categories. Dealerships did not typically have high scores.

 

The only dealer that had strong satisfaction was Tesla. However, Consumer Reports noted that Tesla was a new entry to the market at the time (2015), and that it did not have nearly as large a pool of customers to keep happy as the more widespread luxury automakers. As Tesla continues to manufacture more and more automobiles, the magazine suggested, quality would likely decline. In fact, the Tesla Model X has been a dud in the dependability department, making the magazine’s most recent list of 10 Least Reliable Cars.

 

Setting aside the possible exception of Tesla, though, independent is clearly the way to go, according to the report’s findings.

 

Getting your car repair from an independent shop

 

As you can see, there are many reasons local outperforms corporate chains and should be considered when you make purchases in Boulder.

 

Would you like to start supporting the local community with car repair? We originally started Independent Motors because we felt our city needed an auto repair shop that was in line with Boulder’s values — Community, Loyalty and Honesty. Meet our staff.

11 Reasons You Should Be More Independent

11 Reasons You Should Be More Independent

The ability to become independent has changed during the digital era. Yes, we can find the answers to many of our problems and advice on how to accomplish tasks, directly from, well, anywhere – so we certainly don’t need to ask other people as many questions if we don’t want to. True independence goes beyond rooting around on the Internet, though. Independence also requires a certain amount of thoughtfulness and mental acuity, along with a personal belief in yourself that you will be OK even if there isn’t someone there to support you.

 

Independence is not always entirely positive: it can lead to isolation and lack of understanding the ways in which we are part of the broader fabric. However, there are many reasons why independence is beneficial. Here are 11 of the most prominent ones:

 

#1 – Self-assurance

 

People who are independent will tend to have a greater belief that they can approach any situation with positive results, notes Joel Brown of Addicted2Success. That is probably because they do not feel that they have to wait for someone’s approval in order to move forward. Strengthening your independence will allow you to explore new terrain that is outside your comfort zone without feeling afraid that you are in waters no one has fully explained to you and that feel unpredictable. When someone has less of a sense of independence, their breadth of experience should be narrower than it is for someone who is not tied up in the specific avenues and activities that have been presented to them by an outside party or by society as a whole. What’s more, as you continue to achieve things that are widely various and require a diverse skillset to accomplish, you will increasingly feel that you can take on any challenge by yourself, taking full responsibility for your success or failure (and using failures as fuel to improve).

 

#2 – Self-discovery

 

When you have proven to yourself that you can be responsible for your own actions and success, rather than feeling that you are leaning on others in order to make progress, you will be able to become exactly the person that you want to be. Once you have determined that you are powerful and that you completely accept yourself, then you will be able to have better relationships (in your career, romantic life, and with your other loved ones).

 

#3 – Lightened load on those around you

 

When you can figure out how to approach your own problems and arrive at your own decisions, you do not need to introduce the stress to your personal relationships. You also are not poorly impacting the society by failing to be responsible for your own actions since you are essentially establishing ownership of your life.

 

#4 – Improved decision-making ability

 

It becomes quite a bit simpler and more straightforward to decide the direction you want to take when you have determined that you are the ultimate responsible party who will get the greatest benefit or damage from the choice you make. When you rely on others for support, whether financial or emotional, you may have trouble figuring out the best way to go since others’ funds and hearts will be impacted. While it is helpful to think about the perspectives of others when you are deciding what you want to do, it is not easy to decide which option makes sense when you are worried about how another person will feel about it – or will possibly be hurt by it.

 

#5 – Broader perspective

 

When you feel that you are just one in a large group of people, you may have trouble looking at things from different angles. Broad thinking becomes easier when you are out by yourself, letting your thoughts wander and coalesce. “It’s good to be yourself sometimes and just think,” notes personal improvement site Hello Beautiful. Of course, independent thought is not just about being in a different physical space. When you move around, whether physically or intellectually, you will find different types of solutions that might have been concealed to you if you were more stationary or dependent.

 

#6 – Better value of your assistance

 

Having to get help from another person is not always negative; for example, asking for help finding a product in the store can be much more efficient than wandering around trying to find it yourself. On the other hand, if you can solve problems on your own and choose to do that, it can allow you to both care for yourself and help out other people as well. “People learn to trust you as a beneficial resource and look to you for assistance,” explains Darin L. Hammond in Lifehack.

 

#7 – Creativity

 

When you are truly independent, you are able to allow yourself to move freely in your daily life, as well as within your mind. With your thoughts less conformist and reliant on what has already been said or accepted, creativity flows more freely. Creativity has different applications, but one of them is business innovation.

 

#8 – Self-improvement

 

When you can really start to leverage all of the different capabilities at your disposal, you can self-actuate. There is self-improvement in terms of your response to anything that happens. You will more easily manage your feelings when you feel anxious, frustrated, or dangerously impulsive. This better control of your emotions allows you to optimize yourself interpersonally too.

 

#9 – Freedom of motion

 

No one wants to feel that they are stuck within a specific group or city. When you are independent, you can better do the things and be in the places that you want. By being able to get outside social and geographical structures, you are better able to pursue your goals and build toward success that would not previously have been possible.

 

#10 – Boost in happiness and reduction in stress

 

You do not need other people’s help in order to process things emotionally if you are an independent person – so you will be less likely to dump your problems on those around you. Now keep in mind that independence is an ideal and not a pragmatic goal as a totality; however, while all of us do need others, it is not necessary to burden other people so substantially with our issues when we are more independent.

 

#11 – Greater financial stability

 

The skills and knowledge that you develop and gather through an independent perspective will allow you to pay for everything you need today and put away some for the years ahead.

 

Independence in the context of auto repair

 

To see how independence relates to the car repair industry, we can look to a 2015 survey from Consumer Reports. The magazine polled its readers on their satisfaction levels with work performed on their cars. The survey gathered data from owners of 121,000 cars, with 41,000 taken to independent shops and 80,000 taken to franchises. The results for the independent mechanics were much more impressive on numerous factors, including the key ones of the quality of the job and accuracy of the initial time estimate. People were also more pleased with the friendliness of the staff and how much they were charged at independent shops. Beyond all these specific factors, independent mechanics scored higher on general satisfaction ratings as well.

 

Would you like to become more independent? At Independent Motors, we certainly embrace that value – as well as honesty. We tell each of our customers exactly what we are doing and why we are doing it. See our history and beliefs.

Why Honesty is the #1 Business Priority

Why Honesty is the #1 Business Priority

Popularity, happiness, youthfulness, timeliness, reliability, niceness, comfort, friendliness, innovativeness, uniqueness, and quality are all values that could be used to describe a business. Companies or brands can choose to embrace whatever values they want, and some qualities are deeper than others (quality having greater substance than youthfulness, for example).

 

What value do people appreciate most in the businesses from which they attain products and services? As residents of Boulder, we will have our own expectations in terms of how businesses behave. For instance, sustainability or community focus might be a value we appreciate more than in some other geographical areas. However, looking internationally gives us a good sense of what consumers expect from or most prioritize in businesses generally.

 

Before we get into the international value of honesty within business, we take a look at truthfulness as a characteristic of businesspeople. Finally, after discussing the survey results, we look at an honest option for car repair in Boulder.

 

Characteristics of businesspeople with integrity

 

We can talk about brands all we want, but what about the people? Here are a couple of characteristics that are common to high-integrity professionals, based on ideas from public speaker Brian Tracy that he described in Entrepreneur:

 

  • They hold themselves to honesty as a nonnegotiable standard (regardless of any immediate or long-term profit motive); and
  • They keep promises (and, in so doing, prove themselves to have candor).

 

Tracy additionally calls honesty and integrity the #1 sign of a strong leader. “Integrity is a state of mind and is not situational,” says Tracy. “If you compromise your integrity in small situations with little consequence, then it becomes very easy to compromise on the [large] situations.” (Note that Tracy uses the notions of honesty and integrity interchangeably, whereas the poll creates distinction between these two concepts.)

 

#1 worldwide business value

 

Now let’s get to businesses and the notion of honesty as a value within them. The issue of the most highly prioritized values was the focus of a poll conducted by PR firm Cohn & Wolfe. The survey asked consumers worldwide what value was the most important to them, and the one that received the highest number of responses was honesty. The second and third highest listed values were reliability and integrity.

 

The PR company polled 12,000 individuals in 12 major world markets, one of which was the United States. One of the primary researchers behind this study was Geoff Beattie, a former TV news reporter. Writing about the study in Fast Company, Beattie notes that its results seems off in terms of what we understand about how people actually do buy. For instance, it does not seem that people are necessarily concerned about the integrity of their smartphone manufacturer. However, the fact that people are saying that trustworthiness really is the thing that they want most in those who provide them goods and services should be taken very seriously by businesses.

 

Beattie explains that after being a part of the same poll’s research team in 2012, 2013, and 2014, he had started to believe that the Great Recession was a gamechanger in people’s expectations toward businesses – that trust and transparency have become essential, with consumers being increasingly concerned that they are part of a respectful relationship. People are setting aside polish and charm in favor of something genuine, real, and authentic.

 

The two reasons that Beattie sees authenticity as on the rise are these two elements:

 

  • While people may disagree on the causes of the Great Recession of 2009, the result is that more people are distrusting the activities and intentions of corporations. Incredibly, the study from Cohn & Wolfe found that only 1 in 33 (3% of) people in the US, UK, Italy, Sweden, Spain, and France thought that large enterprises were very transparent and trustworthy. In Germany, just 1% of people think businesses should be trusted. This focus on honesty is especially high in Europe and the US – more than in China, India, and Indonesia.

 

  • Since the world is becoming more digital all the time, the likelihood that businesses are exposed for not having been forthright about certain information is rising every day. Beattie says that when he first began work as a journalist in the 1980s, it was challenging to get information related to businesses that was not their own self-published materials. When you did get something that was really eye-opening, the corporation might respond by 100% denying the allegation or not issuing a comment. Today, since everyone with a smartphone can be a journalist, and since data is distributed in vast troves across the earth, companies will no longer be insensitive to these concerns. A large company with many different international locations has to think that there is at least one person within its ranks who is failing to perform their job correctly, behavior that could be uploaded to social networks (becoming a viral hit and PR nightmare).

 

As Beattie sees it, honesty is not an option for these large companies. They have to be transparent with people, or it will come back to haunt them.

 

Impact of Edward Snowden & related stories on perception

 

To continue exploring honesty as a worldwide concern, there is plenty of evidence to back up the idea that consumers will flee companies that hide critical data that they feel should be public. High for priorities in terms of transparency are the point of origin and other descriptors of foods, notes Beattie.

 

At the same time people want access, there has been a huge recent rise in the general public’s concern with information privacy and security, per the Cohn & Wolfe findings. Beattie notes that part of the reason that is the case is because of Edward Snowden and the basic truths about the invasiveness of the surveillance state that were put into the limelight by his whistleblowing.

 

Authenticity is increasingly a topic for the top technology providers, since they are having to adapt to meet the changing needs of their evolving customer bases. It is not easy to successfully approach this issue, since it can be confusing to summarize with proper highlighting and clarification of the specifics within a data privacy agreement (those long contracts we all sign when we get an update for our phones or software).

 

“We believe this is the moment for big brands to take the idea of authenticity seriously,” writes Beattie.

 

12,000 people: 4 characteristics of an honest, authentic company

 

When this group of people was asked what made a company authentic or honest, they listed what they expected from honest brands or companies in open-ended answers. The answers typically included a desire for these characteristics (among others):

 

  • values that do not change regardless of context
  • consistency in grounding actions within an overarching mission
  • transparent exposure of organizational policies and any major behind-the-scenes issues
  • the capacity to present mistakes while being clear about the need and intent for improvement, as applicable.

 

Honest Boulder mechanic

 

One industry for which consumers feel particularly concerned about honesty is car repair, since the automobile is such a resource-intensive and highly valued possession. At Independent Motors, we believe great service starts with open, honest communication. See our history and beliefs.

Why Values Are Important in Business

Why Values Are Important in Business

You may think that business and values do not have much in common. Perhaps business seems directly functional, while values seem to have to do with personal perspectives and cultural background. However, values are incredibly important to how businesses operate with their partners and their clients – whether the outfit is an auto mechanic in Boulder or any business.

 

Why is it important for a business to have values?

 

Ethics is not just important to the consumer or to affiliates of an organization but to an organization itself. In fact, W. Michael Hoffman has pointed out in risk assessment publication Corporate Compliance Insights that lack of values actually increases the risk of a firm. Here are a few key reasons why business management should be values-driven:

 

Pressures of the market – When you have to find ways to cut costs, you may not have as many checks and balances in place to maintain proper behavior. Employees might have their own ability to act one way or another, leading to possible ethical violations.

 

Diversity – In the United States, there are people interacting with different genders, religions, and ages. This diversity leads to different perceptions of what it means to act professionally within a business. While there must be commonly understood codes of conduct, the way that a person comprehends the exact same scenario and information can be very different from another person’s based on their demographic characteristics.

 

Globalization – People from various cultural backgrounds will not all experience different situations and circumstances the same. In certain cases, ethics becomes confusing related to the issue of culture, in which case the issue is sometimes considered a cultural sensitivity rather than a simple ethical precept.

 

Remote workers – Since so many people are working from a distant location part or all of the time, it is important to have values that infuse the organization at the management level.

 

Business partnerships – Your alliances with other businesses are another area in which ethical errors might occur. Values-driven tactics are effective not just at defining the ways that interactions occur internally but with external partners as well.

 

Team structure – There is more of a communal, integrated, team-based notion of internal growth in business today, with merit and individual aptitude leading the way to decision-making. Removing the top-down nature in which decisions have traditionally been generated has allowed all players to feel part of the process.

 

Entrepreneurship & intrapreneurship – Often now, companies are advocating that members of their staff, even at the entry level, become more innovative, try tactics (within structured confines) that embrace risk, and even get to use some funding. This method, called intrapreneurship, gives anyone working at a business a chance to feel like they are the owner and assume the relevant responsibilities.

 

Key values within a business setting

 

The above elements of business tell us reasons that values are important to business. However, what exactly are we talking about? What are the most common business values?

 

Here are some of the top values that are used by the world’s best businesses, according to responses to a questionnaire conducted by the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Alumni of the Stanford business school were asked to list the values that were most critical within a business setting. Here are a few key values, along with the comments that were made by those who responded.

 

Golden rule treatment – Wealthfront CEO Andy Rachleff noted that he thinks the golden rule is a fundamental precept of a solid business interaction. When a person approaches others with respect and with a goal of making a strong impression in a business setting, typically the favor will be returned. You will not only gain credibility but will also have greater peace-of-mind. You can put yourself at risk by acting in a manner that assumes mutual concern; however, even if you do get hurt occasionally with this strategy, you can simply discontinue your engagement with anyone who does not treat you in kind.

 

Integrity – Approaching your communications with all parties from a perspective of consistency and authenticity will point you in the right direction, according to Pagatech cofounder Jay Alabraba. Taking this honest approach will mean that you are not deceiving anyone or scamming them. In other words, you want to transparently convey what you are offering to everyone, regardless whether it hurts your immediate profits. University Games CEO Bob Moog also mentioned this value as a high-priority one in a business setting, noting that he had many handshake deals with other businesspeople, resulting in beneficial relationships that had lasted decades.

 

Straightforwardness – People often want to see a person who is going to talk with them directly and straightforwardly, advised Thought Leadership Lab CEO Denise Brosseau. Often people will want to work with startups or other organizations outside of Wall Street since smaller and less traditional companies can often have a greater degree of directness. This direct dynamic is aligned well with entrepreneurialism and the notion of getting to hand-select the partners through which one conducts business, said Brosseau. In that capacity, a company is able to not only offer straightforwardness itself but be able to filter for that quality in its clientele.

 

Mutuality – Tiny Prints co-founder Laura Ching noted that trust is built into a company that creates a familial, open-communication environment. When firms look for new employees, they can specifically have a desire to hire people who care about the strength of their bonds with others. The culture of an organization can also further enforce and enhance the notion that interconnection is critical to the mission of the company. People should be able to get courtesy from one another, but also friendliness. In that type of setting, people will feel comfortable to get even better at interacting with their peers. Loyalty and retention can both be high with employees and, in turn, with customers; after all, your clients become attached to certain members of your staff. When there is an implicit sense of honesty and having one another’s best interests at heart, you are able to acquire feedback that would otherwise be challenging to attain.

 

Transparent messaging – When a company has many different projects occurring at the same time, conducted by a broad array of players, there can be a huge range in the perspectives – leading, potentially, to communication difficulties between different projects that are ultimately interrelated. Empowered Careers CEO Steve Poizner commented that executives at companies should promote a business culture for which truth is critical to all interactions, regardless of all other factors. Additionally, said Poizner, being strong and unafraid allows someone to make the kind of impact they want with their customers and in their community.

 

Gratitude – We all want to be appreciated by businesses when we give them our money and invest in a relationship with them. As indicated by Ariat International CEO Beth Cross, organizations should remember that their clients care to know that they are appreciated.

 

Simple value – You can find out what the client needs in various ways, as noted by Design Within Reach founder Rob Forbes. Whether you use market research or simply release your offering to the market, you would be wise to think in terms of what the customer would actually value. By creating products that are high-quality and then communicating their story to your customer, you are able to give something to others through a business context that is authentic and can improve their quality of life.

 

Passion – Passion is another of those terms that may seem to be antithetical to the dry and serious needs of business. However, you really do want to care about what you do for a living – and be able to say the same about the people from whom you buy your goods and services.

 

An honest Boulder auto mechanic

 

It helps to get an idea of why values are important to business, and the specific values that should be high-priority for organizations. How can this search for values be reflected in your choice of car mechanic? We originally started Independent Motors because we felt our city needed an auto repair shop that was more in line with Boulder’s values – Community, Loyalty, and Honesty. See Our History and Beliefs.