Trannies & Gadgets: Just listen, it will all make sense


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Drive Friendly with Steve & Felecia
Drive Friendly with Steve & Felecia
Trannies & Gadgets: Just listen, it will all make sense

It’s just the gang this week. Well, that’s not entirely true. We’re joined by next week’s guest Jeff Knudson of Roofstar Arizona, Inc. to talk about Trannies (car transmissions people!) as well as goofy and great gadgets.

As always, Felecia and Ryan update us on the ever-changing Arizona real estate market. The Canadians… they may not be coming back for a while.

Don’t miss it!

Episode Recap


  • Friendly Auto now does transmission work!
  • Don’t put stupid stickers on your car.
  • Stuck at home? Check out these cool gadgets.
  • Fanny and Freddie might be playing games with refinances.

What You Need to Know About Transmission Shops & Repair

Where are the guys from Factory Motor Parts? AWOL! So, we brought in next week’s guest in the “booth” — Jeff Knudson. He’ll be back next week, too, to talk roofs.

Where has the monsoon been this year? Did Governor Ducey cancel it? Jeff says now’s the time to prepare your roof for any monsoons that do show up. Jeff’s company is so good because Jeff is not just the owner, he’s out there on the roofs doing work and inspecting his team to ensure high standards. And, he’ll “Tell you the truth about your roof!”

Friendly Auto Centers does a lot of transmissions. Most shops send that work out. Steve got tired of sending cars out and relying on another business’ quality. Now, he does them in-house. The thing about a transmission shop is they do an RDI – remove, disassemble, inspect. They fully take the transmission apart to diagnose it. That’s not necessary! With the right experience, you’ll know what’s wrong with a transmission without having to tear it all apart. You end up paying for that disassembly. So, what happens when they give you the repair estimate, and you can’t afford it? Well, now your transmission is all torn apart. They will sometimes literally give you a box of your transmission parts. This causes all kinds of problems.

At Friendly “Transmissions”, we buy factory units, brand new, and install them in the car. The dealers and transmission shops get about $5,000-7,000. At Friendly, you’ll pay about $4,995, completely installed, with a 3-year coast-to-coast warranty. You’ll also get a fast turnaround on that. Even then, you’ll get a loaner car. That’s a guaranteed price job.

People assume that with transmission problems, they have to go to a transmission shop. In reality, what may seem like a transmission problem could be an engine problem. What some people see is the transmission going into ‘limp mode’ where the car limps home. A transmission mechanic will tear it apart, not find anything, and charge you to put it back together. At Friendly Auto, they’ll do a full diagnostic and might find the problem is in the engine, avoiding the whole transmission tear-down.

Are the transmission shops really rebuilding your transmission? You don’t know. Sometimes, they get one from a junkyard, “paint it blue, call it new”, and leave you with that. Not all shops do these things, but why not go to a shop you trust — Friendly Auto Centers (& Transmissions!).

A good price for poor quality is a waste! – Steve’s Grandfather

Stupid Car Gadgets

Let’s talk about stupid gadgets for cars. Here are some gadgets that are ridiculously stupid:

  • Bullet Hole Stickers: why?!
  • Stick Figures of Your Family: now we know how many people live in your house! Felecia likes these, though.
  • Headlight Eyelashes: Maybe it’s okay for a glammy kind of girl, but for the rest of us — no!
  • Grill Mustaches: again, nope!
  • Hyperfast Iced Coffee Maker: you make ice with it, then pour your coffee into it, and it makes your coffee cold without melting the ice into your coffee.
  • The Club: remember those? They just made sure people sawed your steering wheel.
  • Engine Sound Generator: these make little cars sound like a race car. Hate it!
  • Whistler Exhaust Tips: these make your car sound like it’s charging up.
  • Cocktail Machine with Push Button: makes scientifically mixed cocktails. Wait, this is a good gadget!
  • The Bra: these are a bad idea. Just like a human, they cause tan lines. It also holds moisture. It’s also abrasive to the paint. Don’t do it!
  • Train Horns: giant horns that scare people! They are so loud, it frightens people and might cause an accident. Don’t do it!
  • Fuel Line Magnets: These align fuel molecules, right? No! It’s not legitimate.

Goo-Gone and WD-40 are good for removing those stupid bullet hole stickers. They work on regular bumper stickers, too. If you have some of these stupid stickers, come on down to Friendly Auto, and they’ll remove them for free!

Fun Gadgets for Being at Home in the Pandemic

Things to entertain you while you’re at home. Etsy offers some cool stuff from individuals who make cool, fun products. Check these out:

  • Masks: Pretty, nice masks.
  • Nuclear Explosive Lamp that looks like a nuke going off on your table, mushroom cloud and all.
  • Puzzle lock: solve the puzzle before you can open it up.
  • The ‘Simon’ game lock, that you have to solve before you can open it up.
  • Rekindle Candle that never goes out.
  • Retractable dining room table that pulls in/out of the wall.
  • A table that turns into a pool table.

Support these local crafts people.

U-Haul Is a Good Indicator of the Snowbird Economy

Felecia had her U-Haul shirt on. Speaking of U-Haul, Friendly Auto gets some insight into what’s going on by their U-Haul rentals. What they’re seeing is something like a 70% decrease in snow-birds this winter. Sounds good for the roads, but they also put a lot of money into the economy here. This could have a deep economic impact on Arizona. Canada won’t cover their citizens’ health if they visit the US, due to COVID.

Back to School and the Pandemic

Check out the Holderness Family on YouTube. They are really fun and have been entertaining us since before COVID.

A lot of our listeners are confused about going back to school. Is it at-home or are they going back? It’s tough for everybody. Felecia’s mentor from her teaching days passed away from COVID.

But what about divorced parents? How are they working out this new at-home/hybrid schooling with their kids? Parents need to know that they can’t make a unilateral decision. They have to adhere to court orders. Any changes need to be petitioned and agreed upon.

Courts don’t move quickly, but that doesn’t give parents the ability to make a decision without the other one’s approval. That’s why mediation works. You have to come up with a new piece to the visitation schedules — when the kids are doing online school. Both parents need to contribute and not leave it to just one parent. These kinds of issues can be talked through with a good mediator, like PK Jordan.

If you take this into your own hands, it’ll come up next time you’re in court. And that could really hurt you and the kids. Kids need parents to be focused on a fair plan. And as you work this out, communicate with your teachers. Talk to and work with tutors.

Check out PK’s foundation, the Laloboy Foundation. They can help kids get counseling.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Adding New Fees to Refinances

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be adding a 50-basis point fee for all refinancing. On a $300,000 loan, that’s $1500. They think that lenders are making too much money on these loans, so they’re coming to take some of that. The two made over $5 billion dollars last year. This is just a bad idea during a pandemic recession.

There is opposition — a fight! — so it could be delayed. This is one way for people to help themselves financially, so this makes no sense.

Could this be coming for purchases as well? Who knows!

Inventory of homes is dwindling here in the Valley. There are only 8,000 homes for sale now! That is extremely low. It’s also driving rents up. There might be some movement in the Senior market, though. If they don’t come back for the winter, they might start selling their homes.

Wrap Up

Until next week, Drive Friendly and Stay Healthy Arizona!

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