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  • Writer's pictureSteve Ek

Taking a brake from painting

Updated: Mar 5, 2021

Back in 1966 there was a little show on TV called Batman with Adam West playing the main character. When he was asked about what it was like to star in such a role he stated “I never had to say ‘I’m Batman.’ I showed up. People knew I was Batman.”

I think about that a lot in my personal life, people ask me what I do and everyone is always surprised to hear I own an auto repair shop. I’m no expert on judging books based on their covers but I assume this is because I present myself more as an artist. It wasn't always this way, especially when I was making my first awkward attempts

into art. My work and style was unrefined as I was inexperienced and lacked a formal education but as time went on my skills got better but my work did not. What was holding me back now was the material I worked with. I didn’t know much and just assumed cheaper paints were close enough in quality to the higher end ones that it didn't make a difference. Sometimes that little extra spent on quality pays off in the long run.

You see, I was working with brands like Krylon or Rusto because that's what I was familiar with. Stuff like Montana 94 was as foreign to me then as it is to you reading it now. After some research I came to understand the difference between the two is the difference between poorly done alley graffiti and beautifully intricate center pieces in galleries. One is used for award winning master pieces, when the other is used the city will come and remove it from your garage door in three to six weeks. Using quality materials made all the difference in advancing my skills as an artist. At the end of the day both are still just spray paint but I’m sure if you had a project to do I’ve made a far better case for Montana 94 then Krylon or Rusto.

You might be asking what Adam West and spray paint has to do with car repair? We’ll get there but before that let me paint a picture for you. Say you're driving to work one day and you start to get a bit of brake noise. You ignore it because you have a busy day ahead but now some time has passed and next thing you know your brakes are making a grinding noise. Now while you might have the time to do research about different brands of brake pads and rotors it would probably be your last possible choice of leisure activity, right behind ditch digging or watching paint dry. You aren't sure if you're getting the brake pad equivalent or Rusto or Montana 94. Quality isn't something you pay for, it's something you trust. And while I learned my lesson about cheap paint in a can, a lesson about cheap brakes should be avoided entirely. Good brake pads will not only last longer but have quicker and more reliable braking, not to mention that wonderful lack of brake squeak.

Now this can and does happen, cheap brakes are sold and installed every day. Now we don't expect you to have done thorough research and brand comparison for every problem your car has because we already have. We have done our homework and have the first hand experience to know what's going to work and what's going to last. This is why it's important to have a mechanic you go to regularly and trust to take care of your car. Regular inspections can also help avoid little things becoming unexpected problems and your car on the road longer.

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