Several extra kilometres
At one point, every car owner will be obliged to make The Decision: Repair the current set of wheels? Or trade it in on a new car or another used vehicle? Many motorists are going with the first option. At Mr. Radiator Auto Centre on County Road 34 north of Alexandria, Tim Gordon (photo right) is replacing the transmission in a minivan. The job is not cheap, but it is a sound investment considering the alternatives, points out Joey Ladouceur. “A lot of people are spending money and keeping their cars longer because of the cost of buying new cars,” he adds. “It also gives them more time to look around for another one,” notes his brother, Lee, (photo left) who is cutting a piece of metal that will be used to patch a gas tank. “I tell people to calculate the repair cost spread out over 12 months. When you look at that, versus the cost of new car payments, it makes sense to hang onto to your car a little longer,” says Joey Ladouceur. “When people used to keep their cars for 200,000 kilometres, they are now trying to get them to last for 300,000.”
Despite its name, Mr. Radiator offers bumper-to-bumper car service. Started by Laurent Ladouceur in 1977, the radiator shop gradually grew into a complete car care centre.
The founder continues to work at the shop as a member of the four-man crew.