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Success Story: Metric Motors

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Metric Motors knows well how important it is to keep up with the advances in digital technology. The Taos repair staff also recognizes it must do its part to reduce their footprint on the environment in which they work and live.

“For 40 years, we’ve offered the best to our customers, so we strive to be the best,” owner Joe Franzetti said. “That means the best equipment, best technicians, best training.”

Over the years, Metric Motors has embraced both of these challenges. From OEM diagnostic equipment to a solar array on the roof, Metric Motors has become not only Taos’ most techno-savvy automotive repair shop, but also its most environmentally sensitive and voted Best of Taos for 15 years in a row.

Last July, local solar company Sol Luna Solar completed installation of an array of solar panels atop the garage at 1314 Paseo del Pueblo Sur — providing all the company’s electrical needs and making Metric Motors the only “green garage” in Taos.

“It’s a state-of-the-art system,” said Franzetti. “We want to be in the forefront of change for the good. By going fully ‘green,’ we feel like we are helping keep this place beautiful for our kids and grandkids.”

In addition to taking control of its utility costs, Metric Motors also has continued to fine-tune its mechanics’ ability to identify a vehicle’s problem. All of today’s vehicles come with an engine full of micro-processors — tiny computers that control the electrical systems that dictate an engine’s performance. Most components have a sensor that sends low-voltage signals into a dedicated micro-processor.

“Every year, there are more and more computers in the cars,” said General Manager Juan Munoz. “For instance, a Mercedes can have up to 91 computers that feed information into a central location.”

By plugging an OEM diagnostic tool into the vehicle, Metric technicians can trace the myriad of electrical impulses that course through an engine, and capture them on a hard drive. The ability to survey the systems of the engine allows them to see breaks in signals that mean trouble.

“We can freeze-frame all the signals from the components and see where the glitches are,” said Munoz. “Unless you can see the electrical system of a car, it’s hard to fix what’s wrong. So the laptop is standard equipment for our mechanics at Metric.”

While these technological advances streamline Metric Motors’ diagnostic and repair processes, it also saves customers money. The shop has a two-year, 24,000-mile warranty on all repairs so that customers know they are protected on the rare occasion that more work is necessary down the line.

Technicians at Metric Motors are continually going to factory training sessions in order to stay top of their game. In particular, they attend Bosch factory training to gain the knowledge to work on today’s highly complicated and technologically advanced vehicles — both European and domestic.

“When your car is worked on at Metric Motors, the tech behind the wrench or diagnostic tool has the knowledge needed to keep your vehicle on the road safely without the guesswork,” said Franzetti. “We need this knowledge on our modern vehicles as throwing parts at a vehicle, in hopes of fixing it, can get expensive.”

In addition to the savings the garage gets from having its own solar power and streamlined diagnostic equipment, Metric Motors goes full into other “green” efforts to improve our environment and its efficiency such as:

• Recycling all used oil into heaters that warm the shop;

• Recycling waste metal components and parts;

• Taking paper and plastic to the town’s recycling station;

• Offering hybrid electric-gasoline Prius cars as loaners; and

• Factory-training its mechanics to deal with hybrid vehicles.

All of these efforts have helped Metric Motors developed loyal relationships with hundreds of Taoseños for more than three decades.

“To me, you need your car and you need it now,” Franzetti says. “We do our best to make sure you get the best service. All repairs are done as quickly as humanly possible.”

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