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All in the Family

By: Deb Kartheiser

written for The Comet Advertiser November 11th, 1987

When Tony Carter started his business over a year ago, he gave it a unique name. It makes people curious; they just have to ask. “Why the name, Tony and Dad’s?”

Tony smiles his slow friendly smile. “Well, my dad financed me, and he does all my bookwork. So I figured part of the credit should go to him.”

Tony works on cars. He’ll do just about anything except body work – electrical, brakes, tuneups, and air conditioning. He’s also specially qualified to handle computerized parts and fuel injection systems on General Motors cars. He has taken quite a few classes with GM; the latest was an advanced fuel injection class.

Tony also works alone; he’s a one-man shop. And he says he likes it that way.

“I like handling things myself, being personal with my customers,” he explains. “I run my business very informally; I’m flexible according to my customers’ needs.”

If a customer is leaving a car in his shop and needs a rise back to work, Tony just closes up for a while and takes him or her. He’ll pick people up afterwards too.

That neighborly attitude is fairly common in the Shirley Street industrial area around him, says Tony. “We all work together back here. If I have a question about something, I consult other mechanics and they do the same with me.”

If they’re having trouble with one of their company vehicles, they drop it off and he takes a look. As with all his customers, he calls first before he starts any repairs.

Tony prefers his customers make appointments. He can sometimes take emergencies, but cautions people to call first! Tony and Dad’s is open for business from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and most Saturday mornings.

Many people could prevent problems with their fuel injection systems, says Tony, if they bought the right kind of gas. Basically, he says, nobody should use gas that contains alcohol - - whether they have fuel injection systems or not!

“The alcohol creates lots of varnishes and gums, which clog up fuel injectors,” he explains. “On the newer cars you can clean those injectors; but on the older ones, they often must be replaced.”

“But the alcohol eats away at the rubber diaphragms in many engine systems. In some cars, just one tankful of gas can cause damage.”

Tony recommends a simple test to see if a certain kind of gasoline contains alcohol. Get a beaker or test tube that’s marked for measurements. Fill it with gas to the 80 milliliter mark; then add 10 milliliters of water. The water will sink to the bottom; it will also separate the alcohol from the gasoline. So if you see 14 milliliters of separated liquid at the bottom of the beaker, the gas contains 4 milliliters of alcohol!

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