5 Questions with Jeremy Olson, at Olson Auto Repair

For 5 Questions this week, the Herald speaks to Jeremy Olson, of Olson Auto repair at 1322 and ½ Dyke Avenue in Grand Forks, about cars and winter weather.

Jeremy Olson.jpg
Jeremy Olson works on a car in his shop at Olson Auto Repair at 1322 Dyke Ave.
Adam Kurtz / Grand forks Herald

For 5 Questions this week, the Herald speaks to Jeremy Olson, of Olson Auto repair at 1322 and ½ Dyke Avenue in Grand Forks, about cars and winter weather.

Q: How busy have you been because of the cold? Does that change from season to season?

A: The cold is weird now with the vehicles. Vehicles are so efficient that it doesn't affect them unless we get into the sub-arctic temperatures such as we had last week. It's extreme heat, extreme cold. That's what puts so much pressure on your power steering hoses, your batteries, your alternators, your blower motors. That's the kicker. I tell everybody, it's like an 80-year-old body; you’ve got a component in your body that's starting to fail, and then you see that extreme heat or extreme subarctic temperature that it's going to fail. Something is going to snap or break or fail, batteries, starters, all those things. That's how it goes.

Q: What can people do to prevent some of those problems that arise with the sub-arctic temperatures?

A: It's just a matter of staying ahead of the game. Proactivity, I tell everybody to have their batteries checked. You have to make sure your voltages are putting out of your alternators. So many people wait until something breaks to fix it. If you've got some sort of an issue or the car seems like it's just not quite starting like it should, then typically that’s your battery starting to fail. You’ve got to find an honest repair shop, and I'll go toe to toe with anybody here in this area. My grandfather was a World War II aviation mechanic, he fixed the planes that were bombing Germany. He started us up out of World War II in 1946. I'm the oldest shop in the Red River Valley, I believe in the same location. We're three generations. My dad took over in 1970, and then I took over here a couple years ago. I'm honest, I'm sincere and I do what needs to be done. I take care of people like I want to be taken care of.


Q: What do you recommend for people who can't plug in their cars?

A: That's a tough one. If you can't plug it in, all you can do is again, stay proactive. If your battery is a few years old, get a brand new one with the biggest, baddest, cold cranking amps you can get. If you don't have a block heater when it's negative into the negative 30s, you're gonna be in dire straits. It's so hard on everything.

Q: How do you get cars to the shop that won’t start? Do you make house calls?

A: I'm 50 now. When I was younger I would do it. You put them on a wrecker, and when they come over to my shop, then they just back it directly into my shop. That's how most shops do it.

Q: Does your car actually need to warm up before you drive off?

A: Absolutely, one million percent. Here's my analogy, everybody absolutely gets it when I say this. When you wake up in the morning, because a car is no different in this perspective, do you jump out of bed and do a hot lap around the block? Just bang, jump right out and do a full fledged sprint? No. Your transmission, your engine, they have feelings in my realm. If you treat that thing well, it's going to treat you well.

Jacob Holley joined the Grand Forks Herald as its business reporter in June 2021.

Holley's beat at the Grand Forks Herald is broad and includes a variety of topics, including small business, national trends and more.

Readers can reach Holley at him on Twitter @JakeHolleyMedia.
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