Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care Re-Launches Website

Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care, with locations across the U.S. that service almost any makes or model vehicle, foreign or domestic, has relaunched its national website with many upgrades, new features and added content that makes it a must-go online destination for anyone seeking information and advice on car maintenance and repair.

“Our new site, at, is easier to navigate and full of updated information on transmission repair and services,” said Derik Beck, VP of Digital Marketing at Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care.

Cottman’s New Website

“In revamping our site, our goal was to make the user experience easy and useful, with quick access to a wide variety of information and advice about transmissions and general service and repairs for motor vehicles which weren’t there with the previous site. The new site is responsive with all digital platforms including the full range of mobile devices to make accessing the information easy for the customer.”

The site, which features the iconic Cottman Man on the home page, has icons that when clicked provide general information about batteries and electrical systems, belts and hoses, transmissions, brakes, diagnostics, and auto repair and services.

“For over 50 years the Cottman brand has serviced customers and trusted their neighborhood, Cottman Man. We want the new website to bring customers closer to Cottman by providing information that is readily available whenever they need it for their vehicles,” said Beck.

There is also a link to the new Cottman Man blog, which recently was named as one of Top 50 automotive and mechanics blogs. It was cited for helpful articles like My Car’s Still Under Warranty; Do I Need to Have It Serviced at the Dealer?, But Here’s What It Says on the Internet! and My Car Didn’t Start This Morning; Should I Replace the Battery, as well as stories that put a focus on local franchisees who, in their communities, are the Cottman Man.

Auto Care Advice

“We want to help consumers become better educated about their cars, about preventive maintenance, and about Cottman and its commitment to quality and integrity in all the services we offer,” said Beck. “Our aim is to remove the mystery and fear many consumers have when it comes to car repair, so they can enjoy cars that run smoothly, safely and trouble-free for a long time.”

Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care Leaps Into The Digital Age

Cottman Transmission and Total Car Care held its annual convention on May 2, 2015, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The convention provided Cottman center owners with an opportunity to meet with one another while discovering new ways to hone their business skills.

Cottman Annual Convention

The event’s theme was Profiting in the Digital Age, and all of the seminars were targeted toward improving the shop owners’ use of digital media to market their businesses. The program included seminars from leaders in digital marketing, including such companies as Google, Amazon Local, Angie’s List, Merchant Centric, YEXT, Yodle, and an expert on LinkedIn.

“While the internet has leveled the playing field when it comes to digital marketing, it’s constantly changing. Today’s shop owner needs to be aware of the different ways to leverage it,” says Derik Beck, Cottman’s vice president of digital marketing. “Cottman is committed to becoming a leader in digital marketing for our franchisees.”

One person who was both an observer and a speaker for the convention was Dennis Madden, CEO of the Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Association (ATRA), a worldwide business association dedicated to providing business and technical support to the automatic transmission repair industry, and the publisher of GEARS Magazine.

Madden spoke about some of the features that ATRA has to offer its Members, which includes the entire Cottman chain.

While events of this type are fairly common for franchises, this one set a new standard for attendance: more than 70% of the Cottman centers were represented. That’s a startling turnout that caught everyone’s attention.

GEARS Magazine Article

Madden was so impressed by the level of attendance and the event itself that he decided to chronicle his participation there. His article — Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care Leaps into the Digital Age — will appear in the July 2015 issue of GEARS.

GEARS Magazine is available online at and may be accessed freely.
To view the complete article click this link.

4th of July Holiday Driving – Cottman Man Says Don’t Drink And Drive

For most Americans, the 4th of July means cook-outs, picnics, swimming, boating, time spent with family, and friends and, of course, fireworks. But the nation’s birthday celebration is also one of the deadliest holidays of the year due to alcohol-impaired traffic fatalities.

4th of July Driving

Cottman Transmission & Total Auto Care and its neighborhood car care centers throughout the nation remind drivers that police will be out in force during the days leading up to and including the Fourth of July, cracking down on impaired drivers. It’s part of the annual Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign, coordinated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). During the campaign, drivers who are pulled over and who are impaired will be arrested and charged, with no second chances and no excuses, NHTSA officials say.

Statistics gathered by NHTSA over the past 25 years show that, on average, nearly half of all deadly traffic crashes over each year’s 4th of July holiday involved some level of alcohol impairment, up from the year-round average of about one-third. Impaired driving fatalities spike during nighttime hours, with the proportion of alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes almost five times higher at night than during the day for the July 4th holiday period. More than 10,000 people die each year due to alcohol-related crashes.

Holiday Driving Safety

Cottman offers several tips to avoid becoming a tragic July 4th statistic:

  • Plan a safe way home before the fun begins;
  • Before drinking, have a designated driver;
  • If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation;
  • If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact local police.
  • If you know someone who is about to drive while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.

All year long, we work hard to keep vehicles running smoothly and safely,” said Randy Wright, President of Cottman Transmission & Total Auto Care. “We encourage our customers and all drivers to be safe and smart about drinking and driving. Please don’t become a statistic.”

For more information on Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, visit

A Father’s Day Checkup Can Keep Your Car Running Smoothly This Summer

Whether it’s a Father’s Day gift or simply a gift to yourself as a car owner, a summer tune-up is a good way to keep your car running smoothly and safely. The annual salute to Dads is a good time to think about summer car care, since this is when most of us spend more time in our cars, vacationing or taking weekend or day trips.

“A few simple steps at the start of the summer can keep your car running smoothly, safely and efficiently,” says Paul Dintino, an ASE Master Technician and Director of National Accounts at Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care, a brand with locations across the U.S. that services almost any make or model vehicle, foreign or domestic.

Easy Car Checkup

Here is what to look for when doing a summer vehicle checkup:

  1. Check the tire pressure.

Dintino recommends checking the air pressure in all the tires.  The recommended air pressure varies by make and model, so it’s important to refer to the owner’s manual.  It’s important not to exceed the recommended pressure, especially in the summer when air temperatures and road surfaces are hotter since air expands with heat.  Maintaining the proper tire pressure helps provide a safe and smooth ride, and it also helps with fuel efficiency, since under-inflated tires add friction that works against the engine.

  1. Be sure the air filter is clean. It’s important to check the air filter to be sure it’s clean. A dirty filter prevents the proper amount of air to get into the system, and an improper mixture of fuel and air retards the efficiency of combustion in the engine, lowering the gas mileage.
  1. Check wheel alignment.

The wheels should be checked at least once a year for proper alignment, Dintino says.  “It’s especially important to check the wheel alignment after a rough winter since icy roads and potholes can knock the alignment off,” he adds.  Improper wheel alignment can be costly, since it causes tires to wear unevenly and more quickly, and it also creates more drag which lowers gas mileage.

  1. Check the coolant.

Coolant helps prevent the water in the radiator from boiling and evaporating, which can leave you stranded.  Running the engine without proper coolant can also cause major engine damage.  It’s especially important in the warm weather of summer when air temperatures are higher and the car’s air conditioning is often in use.

Many of the new cars have what’s called “closed systems” which cannot be opened without proper equipment, so it’s best to have a service center check the water level and the amount of coolant.  If you have an older model that enables you to open the radiator, only do so when the car is cold.  Never open the radiator cap after the car has been running or serious injury could occur.

  1. Check your brakes.

Don’t wait until you hear your brakes squeak, Dintino says.  Brakes should be checked once a year, and the start of the summer driving season is a good time to have it done.

Good Father’s Day Gift

“Some advance care as the summer begins can help keep your car running smoothly and safely,” says Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care’s Dintino. And that’s a great father’s day gift for any dad or car owner.

Cottman Man Blog Makes List Of 50 Best Auto Mechanics Blogs

The Cottman Man Blog, a new blog about transmission and general car care and service, has been named one of the Top 50 Automotive and Mechanics Blogs, in a list compiled by Direct Capital, a CIT company.

Auto Repair Blog

The Cottman Man blog ( went live only five months ago, with information on car care, servicing tips, and profiles of local Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care franchisee.

“There is a lot you can learn from mechanics, automotive repair professionals, and car lovers,” notes the Direct Capital blog. “Some of these people have taken their work and automotive interests to the blogging world, and they have a wealth of expertise, experience, and stories to share. Our list of top 50 mechanics/automotive blogs feature people who have been in the business for years, with some on a mission to help DIY mechanics, while others stress the importance of leaving your automotive repair to the professionals. Either way, these blogs are full of know-how to help you in your quest to keep your automobiles in tip-top shape.”

The listing for The Cottman Man Blog includes three posts they especially like, including My Car’s Still Under Warranty; Do I Need to Have It Serviced at the Dealer?, But Here’s What It Says on the Internet! and My Car Didn’t Start This Morning; Should I Replace the Battery?

Transmission Service Specialists

“We are extremely pleased and proud that our blog has been selected for this prestigious Top 50 list,” said Derik Beck, VP of Digital Marketing at Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care. “In addition to offering car repair and maintenance tips, we also put a focus on our franchisees who, in their communities, are the Cottman Man. These are unique stories that showcase why each Cottman owner is truly the Cottman Man in their respective neighborhoods. While the launch of the blog was only a few months ago, we have reached back in time to post a variety of different articles going back to 2013 for additional content for everyone to enjoy.”

Local Repair Shops – Pick One Shop and Trust Them

Just for a moment, pretend you’re the one who answers the phone at your local repair shop. Two customers called this morning: One was a regular customer you know by name; the other a one-time price shopper.

Which one would you go out of your way to take special care of? In most shops, the answer would be the regular customer.

Price Shoppers Vs. Regulars

The people who work in a repair shop know that their regular customers are their bread and butter. And, because of that, they’re going to go the extra mile to take special care of those customers.

Not that they won’t take care of a price shopper. Price shoppers have always been a part of the auto repair business. And these days they’re becoming even more common: Today’s high prices combined with the accessibility of the internet have turned price shopping into an art form.

At Cottman, we get our share of one-time customers. And we go out of our way to make sure we provide quality service at an honest price, whether you come in once or once a month.

But we wouldn’t be honest if we didn’t admit that our regular customers hold a special place in our hearts. And, truth be told, we often put a little extra effort into making sure our regular customers get the best we have to offer.

We’re not unique in that attitude. It’s a normal part of the business strategy for pretty much every repair shop in the world. It’s just common sense that they’d go out of their way for the folks who depend on them whenever they have a problem with their cars.

At Cottman we treat everyone special; it’s the hallmark of our business philosophy. But there’s no doubt that we go the extra mile for our regular customers.

Choosing A Repair Shop

If that’s the kind of care and treatment you want when you take your car in for service, your best bet is to find a shop you like… and make them your regular shop.

How To Find A Good Car Mechanic – Choosing the Right Shop

Maybe you’re new to the area… or maybe your old shop closed. Whatever the reason, there may come a time when you have to look for a new repair shop. But how do you choose the right one?

How To Pick An Auto Repair Shop

When it comes to trying to find a good car mechanic, it can be a difficult decision. Here are some tips to keep in mind on how to choose the right auto shop:

  1. Start with recommendations from friends and family. See who other people in your neighborhood use.
  2. Once you have a few names, go online and research those shops. Start with their websites. Do they present a professional presence? Do they have relationships with organizations that serve the public, such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB), American Automobile Association (AAA), or the Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Association (ATRA)?
  3. Check customer feedback. Is the majority of their feedback positive? Keep in mind, sometimes you’ll find a negative comment for even the most reliable service provider. But the feedback should be overwhelmingly positive.
  4. Consider a franchise shop. Don’t forget the benefits of doing business with a franchise shop, such as your nearby Cottman. They offer several advantages: To begin with, the franchise has its own standards for honesty, integrity, and technical proficiency that every center must abide by.
  5. Finally, visit the shop. Do they present a professional appearance? Do they greet you with a friendly demeanor? Do they have their technicians’ certifications displayed proudly in their waiting room?

If you can answer “yes” to all these questions, you’ve probably found a reliable, honest, and capable shop. Take your car there with confidence.

Quality Auto Service Center

When it comes to customer service, Cottman takes pride in leaving our customers with positive experiences. Cottman’s corporate office keeps a close watch on their franchisees. If you have a problem with a Cottman center, the home office will examine the situation on your behalf. And a shop that doesn’t meet their high standards won’t continue to display the Cottman sign for long!

How To Get Your Car Road Trip Ready – Preparing For A Summer

So you’re getting ready to take a big summer road trip; the last thing you want is to find yourself stuck in a strange repair shop, hundreds of miles from home, with out-of-state tags and a stack of suitcases in the back.

So your best bet is to have your car checked and serviced before you head out on the road.

Road Trip Car Checklist

Here is what to check to get your car road trip ready:

  1. Start by reviewing your owners manual; it’ll have a list of all service recommendations based on your car’s mileage. Keep in mind that you’re going to be adding a lot of miles on your trip, so if you’re getting close to a recommended service milestone, now’s the time to take care of it.
  2. Take your car to your local Cottman center and ask for a complete safety check. Explain that you’ll be going on a road trip and want to make sure you don’t have any surprises while you’re gone. They’ll understand exactly what that means.
  3. Have them check all the normal wear items. This will include the tires, brakes, suspension and steering, and motor mounts. At the same time, they should make sure all your lights and wipers are working like new. And they should adjust the tire pressures to compensate for the warmer weather.
  4. If you haven’t had your car’s engine oil changed recently, do it now. And consider using one of the slightly heavier recommended oils; engine oils thin out as they get hotter. You can also consider using a synthetic oil, because they tend to maintain their viscosity through a wider range of temperatures but always use the motor oil weight recommended by the manufacturer of your particular vehicle.
  5. While the technician’s under the hood, you’ll want him to check the hoses and belts, all the fluid levels, and the battery terminals.  If anything else looks iffy, have them check that as well.
  6. Finally, have the technician check the air conditioning system. Doing so will ensure that it’s working right. Don’t forget your comfort: this is a vacation.  You want to relax and be comfortable while driving along on those hot summer days.

A few simple checks can make the difference between a memorable summer vacation and a nightmare you just can’t forget.

Outstanding Franchisees Honored By Cottman Transmission And Total Auto Care

Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care, the transmission and auto repair brand that services almost any make or model vehicle, foreign or domestic, recently recognized several outstanding franchisees and employees at its annual convention in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Dedicated Franchisees

“These dedicated people represent the best of the best,” said Cottman President Randy Wright, recognizing franchisees, managers, and technicians from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, North Carolina, Kentucky, Colorado, Oregon, Wisconsin, Michigan, Texas, Virginia, Illinois, Florida, and South Carolina.

Ozzie Bombaro, the owner of the Cottman franchise in Woodbury Heights, NJ, and part owner of the center in Lansdale, PA, received the President’s Award for Excellence. “Ozzie has demonstrated integrity, honesty, loyalty, success, courage, diligence and trustworthiness during his outstanding tenure with Cottman,“ said Wright. “This award recognizes him as the standard by which all others shall be measured.”

Cottman Center Awards

The Cottman Man Award, given to the franchise with the highest gross sales for the previous year, went for the second consecutive year to brothers and partners Randy and Rusty Cato, who operate the Cottman center on Erhardt Blvd. in New Orleans, as well as centers in Gretna, LA and La Place, LA.

The Founders Award, named for the Cottman founders, was presented to Rick White, Cottman of Raleigh, NC. The award is given to an individual who has overcome adversity. Rick has been a Cottman man since 1997, when he opened his first center in Durham, NC. He took over his current shop in Raleigh in 2000 and has built the business steadily to one of the top ten centers within the network. A large percentage of his business comes from repeat customers and referrals, which he prides himself on consistently giving the best service to his customers.

Jim Dietvorst, Cottman of Denver and Cottman of Wheat Ridge, was named Person of the Year. He opened his first Cottman center in Denver 12 years ago and 6 years later added a second in nearby Wheat Ridge, CO. In addition to consistently being among the chain’s best performers, the proud Navy veteran works hard to give back to the community. Jim and his workers participate in “extreme community makeovers” where volunteers go into a neighborhood and help with exterior clean-ups and painting, and they also support a local women’s shelter, a youth anti-gang program, and the local food bank.

Mike Morrison, Cottman of Spartanburg, SC, was named The Transmission Physician. The winner of this award is Cottman’s representative to the world “I AM COTTMAN!” Successful in their own center, always there to help their fellow Cottman owners, and have an outstanding relationship with their own customers.

Greg Hulce in Cottman of Louisville was named Manager of the Year, one of the chain’s highest honors. Hulce exemplifies the highest standards in professionalism, dedication, and sales.

The Top National Account Development award is being given to 2 outstanding franchisees, Jim Harrington in Cottman of Mauldin, SC, and Bob and Cindy Cowie in Cottman of Louisville, KY. This honor is awarded for being proactive owners that work hard to acquire these types of accounts, and for striving to make national account customers satisfied and keep them coming back on a regular basis.

The Top Business to Business Customer Development award was given to 3 Cottman franchises that have shown a strong commitment and ability to develop and nurture these types of accounts. In the past year, they have added new business while maintaining existing accounts. The franchisees given this award are Jim Dietvorst in Cottman of Denver/Wheat Ridge, CO, Rick White in Cottman of Raleigh, NC, and Don Lenartz in Cottman of Grand Rapids, MI.

The Technical Proficiency Award is given to those technicians who have shown an exceptional technical knowledge of the automotive industry. This year it was awarded to David Earp, Cottman of Trenton, NJ, and Ted Reinert, Cottman of Woodbury Heights, NJ.

Fourteen Cottman centers were honored for providing a consistently outstanding level of customer service. They are Cottman of Denver and Cottman of Wheat Ridge in Colorado; Cottman of Trenton in New Jersey; Cottman of West Mifflin in Pennsylvania; Cottman of Stroudsburg in Pennsylvania; Cottman of Beaverton in Oregon; Cottman of Racine in Wisconsin; Cottman of Grand Rapids in Michigan; Cottman of The Woodlands in Texas; Cottman of Richmond in Virginia; Cottman of Gladstone in Missouri; Cottman of Mundelein in Illinois; Cottman of Fern Park in Florida and Cottman of Vancouver in Washington.

“It takes incredible dedication and hard work, coupled with leadership and management skills and a true sense of community service to be successful in this business,” said Wright. “The recipients of these awards are outstanding examples of what is good about the service industry and the core values that make Cottman a leader in its field. They are truly their neighborhood Cottman Man within the respective communities.”

April Is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Distracted driving, especially among young people, has become recognized by safety experts and the public as one of the biggest risks on our roads and highways. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has designated April as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and police agencies throughout the U.S. will be extra vigilant by enforcing laws that prohibit texting and use of cell phones while driving, under the banner of the “U Drive, U Text, U Pay” campaign.

Distracted Driving Statistics

“Although texting and talking on cell phones gets the major public attention, there are other causes of distraction that can divert a driver’s attention from the road,” said Randy Wright, President of Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care, a nationwide chain of franchised total auto repair centers. One of the biggest causes of distraction, especially for new teen drivers, is having other teens in the car, he noted.

A recently-released AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study shows 15 percent of distraction-related teen driver crashes involved interaction with one or more passengers. That’s a greater frequency than cell phone use, which was cited in 12 percent of teen crashes.

NHTSA statistics show crashes are more common among young drivers than any other age group. Nationwide, one in four crash fatalities involves someone 16 to 24 years old, which is nearly twice as high as other age groups. Traffic crashes continue to be the biggest cause of teen deaths, with more than 3,000 teens killed every year on roads and highways in the U.S.

NHTSA reports that 10 percent of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were distracted at the time of the crash — the largest proportion of all age groups.

In addition to cell phone use, distractions while driving can include eating and drinking, talking to passengers, grooming, using a navigation system, watching a video and adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player.

NHTSA has a wealth of information about distraction and teen driving at

Driving Safety Videos

Some excellent videos on distracted driving, including one called “Generation tXt,” are available for free download from The National Road Safety Foundation at