About

25 year ase medalianMark Gittelman is an ASE Certified Master Technician With more than 28 years experience in the automotive repair business. His friends call him MasterTechMark but you can call him your personal auto repair business insider. For more free automotive information visit his other sites at YouFixCars.com and Auto-Facts.org. See Mark’s Auto Repair Credentials and Work History on Google+.

The CertifiedMasterTech.com website was built to help the do it yourself driveway warrior looking for supporting information about certain car problems. These in-depth articles are also useful for retail automotive service consumers as they try to sidestep extra charges and unnecessary repair operations. With over 200 pages of original content the site relies on the top navigation to narrow things down for visitors.  Also available are the custom search boxes found below and in the sidebar.

1979 Pontiac TAMark is not only a Professional Mechanic but remains an active hobbyist and a big fan of motorsports. He has built several performance cars that where track tested on street night at the local drag strip as well as a few show worthy muscle cars. Two of his biggest loves was his precious 1979 Pontiac Trans Am with the Mighty 6.6L V8 and shaker hood. Although domestic cars where always his strong point he branched out in the 90′s to include a 1988 300zx to his collection. This car was nicknamed Christine because of it’s ability to draw blood from those who worked on her. You can review some of the repairs she needed on the Nissan 300 ZX section.

If you need auto repair information right now and would rather bypass the hunting and searching you can ask your question in the box below. Your question will be posted to a premium car repair forum that is monitored by tested professional Technicians. There may be no better or faster way of getting the answers you need for specific automobile solutions from an actual expert. Reply times vary but researched answers are usually provided within 15 – 30 minutes of submission. Of course on Holiday’s and weekends it might take longer?

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8 thoughts on “About

  1. Mark Post author

    John Eichel: I really can’t provide advice about buying an auto repair shop because I have never done so. It’s the kind of business in my opinion that has so many things stacked against it, it’s hard to find any positives. With that said my opinion is most likely jaded. I think an established customer base is one of the most important things. Talk with these loyal customers about what they think are the weak spots of the business. Read comments from this page http://www.certifiedmastertech.com/wordpress/2011/05/03/shop-supply-and-waste-disposal

    Some shop owners stopped over there to comment and you can get an inside look at just one of the details involved with the business. Also some of them provided links to there shops websites so you could speak to them more.

  2. John Eichel

    This is actually a question, but submitting it here because it is really not a “car question” per Se. Am thinking seriously about buying an auto repair shop, and looking for advice regarding what to look for. Am 58 years old with a career in business, so that part I probably have covered. Have also been an avid DIY over the years when it comes to my own vehicles, so am mechanically inclined and interested in the subject area. Shop size is 4 or 6 bay, with a handful of full-time technicians. Cincinnati, Ohio area. Are there a top 3 or 5, etc, things an experienced owner of a shop would be looking for? Location is surely one. How do I evaluate the competency of the technicians, for example. Do I try to determine the reputation of the shop in general? How would I go about that? Any other advice you might be able to provide would be very helpful. I’m all about due diligence, and this seems to be in great need of it.

  3. Josh Besso

    Mark,
    I just wanted to take a moment and praise your efforts. I feel you are truly one of the very few people out there that truly know what they are doing. I enjoyed reading your posts and by other comments I can tell it is very common to hear what an outstanding job you do. Thank for keeping me in touch with the automotive world..

  4. Glenn

    Mr. Gittelman: I am basically 100% auto repair ignorant. I have worked with the automotive industry for 18 years, but still barely know how to change my own oil! I came across your website and your book today, in an effort to better understand the Auto Repair Industry, as related to my field of marketing. I just wanted to take a moment to thank you.

    I read your book from cover to cover, and I found it engaging, informative and honest as well. I do, in fact, have a mechanic that I feel is the “Golden Egg”…one who performs his his craft with a smile on his face, and brings smiles to his customers as well. However, your book has given me an invaluable insight into your industry. Not just the negative, but also the positive.

    You represent your profession well. As I read through your book, website and blog, I kept waiting for the salespitch. However, there was none. Apparently you have done this for the same reason my mechanic does…because it brings personal satisfaction. I sincerely thank you, and commend you as well.

  5. Mark Post author

    Matt: I agree with you 100% on your statements about the brake fluid being hygroscopic. And maybe my point was not made clear in the book. I’m hoping to expand and edit the book soon and will pay close attention to that section. My jaded opinion was formulated from seeing the brake fluid flush service sold as a profit center as opposed for genuine safety concerns. But your point is well taken!

  6. Matt

    I read most of your book. I have to say I really like the way you explain things. I did own one of the few honest shops in my area for years and I hated trying to compete with the many ripoff shops out there. My only advantage was my love for diagnostics which led to many new customers after I could usually fix what other shops could not. This led to many for life customers. Never the less I talked many customers out of repairs because I felt that the car was not worth investing money into.

    There was one thing I have to strongly disagree on. It is in regards to brake flushes. I never pushed anything on any customers, but this is something I like to keep up with even on my own vehicles, so I always recommend it with a 4-5 year old vehicle. Not because of the corrosive properties of brake fluid which like you said the majority of parts will still last life of the vehicle. It is because of the brake fluids hygroscopic qualities that increase the brakes tendency to fade as moisture is absorbed into the hydraulic system over the years.

    Now the majority of time even if the brake fluid is very old and has collected large amounts of moisture it will still brake on command because in most cases the brakes do not get that hot. But what about the hot day where someone is going up down hills braking very hard and then a car pulls in front of them and they have the temperature of the brake fluid right at the boiling point because the moisture that has accumulated over the years. I do not want to have my children in that vehicle just like I do not want to talk my customer out of a brake flush just because that scenario is probably unlikely in most cases. So for the $100 I think the brake flush is a wise investment every 3-4 years especially in any kind of harsh driving conditions.

    Now some make the argument with modern brake systems they are sealed so well there is no need, but again I think the risk is to great and even with modern systems moisture usually finds away into the system over time. I think it is similar to fixing the air bag when the light comes on. 99% of the time we will never need it, but when we do we will be glad we have it. Furthermore with any tow vehicle or performance vehicle I think it is a absolute must and can make a argument about flushing the system every 1-2 years.

  7. kim

    Hello, I found your website through a google search. I recently have started working at a Auto Mechanic Shop in the office. I know nothing about cars. LOL Quite funny that I would find myself in a job dealing with cars. I was looking for information about cars just to get familiar with the terminology etc… The work I do is writing up work orders after the estimate is written, ordering parts, answering phones, accounting etc… I have really enjoyed your website and find it easy to understand. Thanks.

  8. Jesse

    I just read through your whole book, and I’m most impressed with the negotiation section right in the beginning. I’ve worked in the computer service industry for my entire career, and the two industries share many many unethical practices.

    You kept your negotiation section clear and focused, without turning the reader into a nagging “isn’t there a cheaper way?” person. That’s an important point to make, since annoying nagging customers will receive different service than a customer who demands reasonable quality at a fair price. It’s a hard line to follow, and while your scenario does a great job at that, I feel that it’s worth pointing out.

    Thank you for publishing your book. I’m sure you’ve received a lot of negative feedback from shops, but I can honestly say that seeing this book on the counter of any shop would make me feel more at ease going there with my own vehicle.

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