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1993 Corolla
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Wow, someone sticky-ed this? Cool!
 

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1994 Corolla DX
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Discussion Starter #42
Halo - back to your dealership question: Consider also taking a value proposition to them - something that makes you different.

For example: Do they have an online parts store (like toyotapartsdeal.com etc)? If not, it looks like all those parts websites run off one or two centralized merchant systems. Do some research, find out how they work, and propose to your local dealer that if they hire you, you will not only do the job they hired you for but also:

a) Help them into the age of digital sales and establish a nice secondary revenue stream
b) Through your connections as a moderator and participant at TN - hook them up as a supporting vendor and channel a bunch of parts sales their way through your network
c) Be their online ambassador on forums like TN

Bring them some statistics - show them the total user base of TN (market potential), show them how a lot of online parts sales are made by forum members and words of mouth.

Or if you have another idea of your own - show them that you think creatively and would be an awesome asset to their team. Of course, weigh it appropriately as an extracurricular, you also need to solidly demonstrate you're capable of the primary job they're looking for you to fill. And make sure it's something they have a certain market need for. Don't make it too niche - our 7th gen Corolla forum is a very narrow niche for example, and we're a dying breed - or at least our cars are. Pick something more on the up-climb of the trend curve.

Your average Joe will just be satisfied to have a steady job where they don't have to think much once they've learned how to handle the ropes. You want to catch their attention by combining a) the ability to do what average Joe is doing but better than average Joe - with b) the ability to think about growing and supporting their business.

EDIT: Caveat: Know your audience. If you're speaking with a supervisor or low level Manager you need to look for clues if they feel threatened by your creativeness. If you're speaking with the owner or higher level management they'd be more likely to embrace it.
 

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I have a question for you guys with experience in the automotive industry. I want to apply for a job at a dealership, most people start off as a porter moving cars around. This is okay by me, what are your thoughts on this?

I'm also considering taking a course at a local community college for service advisers, it's a job I've been really considering lately as well. Seems real nice, as I have a good background in mechanical knowledge (enough to work efficiently) and good people skills/customer service experience for the last year and a half.
Something else is an auto auction driver. The local Manheim is probably hiring. They don't pay jack crap but the benefits are pretty good, they're typically easy to work with, and it's a fun job. Typically transporters can be dealer or wholesaler, and pay better than auction work, but are harder to get and typically looking for older guys and people with prior experience. A parts store driver is another option though be ready to sell parts at times too and I also think it's real low paying but it's easier to get into than a transporter job.

I also agree dealers are looking for younger, tech/social media savvy people. I got scouted for this position by a sales person at a local dealer, applied, but got passed over as I have no sales experience. Wound up being a blessing as I worked a job I LOVED at a camera store that summer with people I enjoyed though.

I do feel in both roles being younger has a credibility issue so make sure you dress nice and present well. Talking formally and carefully is the big one too. The guy I bought my Camry from was my age but came across professionally and that is probably why he had the job. Like it or not people are hesitant to trust cars to a 23 year old, but if you have a great personality and conduct yourself well (I suspect you'd have no problem with this) you'll get the sales, this is why my friend does really well selling phones.

As for a community college, my advice is if you go for something with a wide value, that will transfer credits, and can be put towards a bachelor's or masters. A few courses on something for a service writer is fine of course but that's about all you can do with it and most of those career courses won't transfer. Any kind of engineering or engineering tech is great for this, but do research on the difference; too great to go into here, but tech generally is more hands on, engineering is more theory and both work at different parts of a product design process, though there is a lot of overlap. At least take some courses, it'll have a lot more long run value if you want to change careers down the road, but if you do go for 4 years (bank on it taking 5) and do what you can at a CC (2-3 years) to save money. FWIW I went MET, hands on problem solving is my thing.
 

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You could always get a CDL, and buy a dump truck.

You'll just need a set of larger tools, and a forklift or end loader instead of the typical engine hoist. Just like with a pizza car, you keep more money doing the repairs yourself...
 

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1997 Corolla CE
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Leaving the 13th. . Decided to fly and get a rental after some number crunching. I'm hoping to get a Corolla as a rental, but I think I'll end up with a Fiesta. . . Sadly I won't get to visit any junkyards while in Michigan or Pennsylvania. :(
 

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1994 Corolla DX
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Discussion Starter #47
Where in PA?

I've gotten Rollas as rentals at Hertz every now and then. But Chevy and Nissan are probably the biggest fleet brands these days. I don't see too many Fords anymore.
 

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1994 Corolla DX
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Discussion Starter #49
Wow! I'm in Pit every now and then for work. Much nicer city than rumor has it. Great restaurants.
 

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I'll be visiting family, and I agree Pittsburgh isn't too bad. They've cleaned it up a lot over the years.
 

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Probably not. . . This is what happens when you don't visit family/friends after 5/6 years. :( I would love to see it though!! I love abandoned things. . . I'm tempted to visit Detroit, but that would probably ruin my wife's idea of what the US is. lol (She's from Vietnam)
 

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1998 AE102, 2018 ZRE182
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Only Junkyard worth anything in PA near me is EZ Pull, which is about 45 minutes north of the Cabela's in Hamburg. Dirt cheap though the best engines are always gone by the time you find them as are most really rare parts as people check it often due to the cheap prices. Local yards mostly have domestics, certainly nothing unusual in imports. Gettysburg is a nice town. I don't enjoy the drive out there from where I live but it's quaint, and the Battlefields/museum are fascinating. It's less of a tourist trap than where I live in Lancaster, I've really gotten tired of it but driving the back roads through Amish country away from the tourist areas of Route 30/Old Philadelphia Pike really is one of the best drives in the country imo and the entire area is a photographer's dream. Nothing for miles, windy, often fairly fast roads (40-45mph speed limits) typically on the way to various parks/rail trails. Some of Mr.Regular's drives in the country side (like in the Cressida and recent Falcon ride) are a good indicator of the area even though he is north of me in Reading.

Only downside is a lot of those roads are often in small municipalities and boroughs that pave by tarring the road and coating it in rock chips/gravel. It's basically a rally course until the loose stuff comes off the road surface and the rest packs in/cures, plus it beats on the car. But that, combined with snow, and some local roads I know that are gravel/dirt are probably why I prefer rally style AWD cars over muscle cars most people out here prefer, and to some extent RWD sporty cars (Miata/FRS) due to those being useless in winter. The hills though mean a traditional stick shift can be a lot of work.
 

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I've been trying in vain to post an update. . Hopefully this goes through. The hotel's wifi have been terrible, my phone sucks, and my Mom doesn't have internet (yeah, it's true, someone in this day and age without internet lol). The rental car is a Focus, and I really want to like it, but I can't. The transmission acts like it has no idea what it wants/needs to do. When gently pulling forward it will lurch suddenly, like a manual transmission popping the clutch. On hills it also feels like a manual transmission that is slipping. I give it gas, car slows, and the rpms suddenly spike. It will occasionally do this on level ground too. . . Visibility isn't great. but wow it rides smooth and it's comfortable to sit in. We made it to Michigan, had fun, but missed out on some great museums. . . Maybe next time now that I know about them. Now we're in Gettysburg, and tomorrow we go to Arlington National Cemetery, then back to Gettysburg.

Cipher- We drove through the Buchanan Forest, and wow, such nice roads. . . Too bad my wife gets car sick! I would have love to have driven through with an AWD car! My wife actually points out junkyards, but we haven't gone into any since I didn't bring tools. :(
 

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I had a rental Focus in Dallas. Got GREAT MPGs, drove from Dallas to Arlington and back, then Dallas to McKinney, McKinney to Denton, and Denton back to Dallas on $10 (little under 5 gallons) of gas; got like 39mpg, so was very impressed. Rest of the car not so much. Got very tired of the interior shapes, felt it was difficult to get comfortable with and memorize where everything was and I agree visibility was not good. Engine had 20 more hp than my old 2011 but didn't feel it due to the awful A/T programming. The way it would hesitate when trying to merge or change lanes on a 4 lane freeway would really scare me, yet rolling out from a stop you'd be rolling slow, give it a little gas, it'd fumble for a lower gear, then lurch and go. I'll take the old, tried and true 4 speed the 2011 any time over the Getrag/Ford DCT.

The latter, combined with crappy brakes played a huge part of me popping someone at a light when it changed, we were leaving, and the car in front of them randomly stopped. One tiny scratch in their rear bumper from my plate that buffed out, while my car needed a hood, grille, had holes in the bumper, and broke the hood latch. Overall it solved the fact my 2011 was a pig on gas for it's displacement/size but was not as fun to drive due to the awful drive train despite the better sorted chassis. Problem with DCTs right now is in real world driving it seems the unrefined operation of the clutches really put a damper on it, and the way it needs to try and guess the gear and have it ready before a change hurts shift quality. I'd have an easier time with a real clutch as I would at least know when it grabs. Enjoy the rest of your trip, hope it goes well!
 

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Yes, the old Mazda designed/based 4 speed got dumped in 2012 for the 6 speed DCT, though the very base models may only come with a traditional 6 speed M/T. It's a Getrag unit that is pretty brilliant in how it is put together and works but the software behind it is flakey. Seems like the vast majority of the early models had issues with shutters that were addressed with new software and recalls though I'm sure some complaints were due to not being familiar with how it works. That said I know someone with a 2012 and is losing 1st gear (apparently not a rare problem for early units), which is pretty disappointing.

Edit: I'm biased but I quite like that 4 speed. Always downshifted when I wanted it, was smooth enough, shifted in a timely matter, and had a nice firm feel to it. But it was dated so out it went. People knock the 4 speed still being in the new Corolla but something to be said for going with what you know.
 
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