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Richmond mechanic to sign his guide to buy, maintain a safe used car

MILFORD - If you own a car or you're planning to buy one, Joe Boulay says he's got the book for you.

In fact, he wrote the book.

Boulay, an automotive technician from Richmond, is scheduled to sign and discuss his new book, "If That Car Could Talk: How to Locate and Maintain a Good Used Car," at the Toadstool Bookshop in Milford Saturday.

"The book is pretty much meant for anybody that owns a car or who is looking to own a car," Boulay said.

After 25 years working as a mechanic, Boulay said, he was inspired to write the book for those who don't have the automotive know-how to find a good used vehicle and to keep it running without spending more than they should.

"I want to be the go-to guy that people go to and trust about automotive advice," Boulay said, "people that have been taken advantage of and don't know where to go or who to trust."

Boulay said he wants to empower consumers by busting the myths about used car sales and maintenance with his do's and don'ts of locating safe and reliable cars as well as trustworthy mechanics.

"I primarily wrote this book for every senior citizen I've seen come in with their Social Security check and leave without it," Boulay said. "I'm about saving people money. And I think the timing of this book is pretty good with the economy the way it is."

The best way to keep your car in good shape is to have a good working relationship with your mechanic, he said: "If a mechanic doesn't want to talk to you, you don't necessarily want that mechanic working on your car."

The book covers everything from how much you should budget annually to maintain your car to when to let go of a used car.

"I've seen people sink $1,200 dollars into a car that's 12 years old," he said, adding that's not something he recommends.

His biggest tip for buyers? Don't buy a car because it's "cute."

"I see it time and time again, people making the same mistakes," Boulay said. "They buy a car based on emotion, not thought."

He also shares some humorous but real life tips for people bringing their cars in to the shop, like "Don't bring your truck in for a front-end alignment and leave your snowplow on after driving through a manure-filled pasture."

Boulay worked as a Honda mechanic for 20 years, earning Platinum Designation. He currently works for an independent automotive shop in Keene.

Boulay will autograph his books Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Toadstool Bookshop in Milford. If anyone arrives with a check-engine light on, he says, he will diagnose the problem on the spot.

"If That Car Could Talk" can be purchased through Boulay's website,, and at the Toadstool Bookshops in Keene, Peterborough and Milford, as well as through online retailers.


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