Leo Gilmore Although he embodies modesty and tries to keep a low profile, Leo Gilmore’s fan club grows rapidly each year for myriad reasons. In addition to his warm, welcoming presence as a Master Technician and “Subaru Whisperer” here at Ruge’s, he’s gained some fame throughout the country as a SIX-TIME winner of the National Subaru Service Award! We got to catch up with Leo, and in looking for the “keys” to his success, we learned a whole lot more.

Leo, tell us about your recent award; what were the criteria?

Subaru techs are encouraged to perform a QMR (Quality Monitoring Report), which is a detailed report on a repair or diagnosis. They use these reports to identify potential failures and improve the quality of the brand. Every month, of all QMRs submitted nationally, they pick a winner and award prizes.

How does it feel to be referred to as the “Subaru Whisperer” by your team?

No matter how good I think I am, there's someone out there who is better. I'm honored someone would give me that title, but to dwell on it would sabotage the humility it takes to improve.

What do you most love about your work?

I get to solve puzzles every day!

You're clearly a lifelong learner - what is it that makes you so motivated to keep learning and growing within your profession?

Fixing cars is a real-life playground for someone like me. There's never a time when there isn't something to learn. I would argue that being a lifelong learner is a bare-minimum job requirement for this trade.

What's your favorite new feature in Subarus, and why?

My favorite feature in Subarus isn't new: it's how safe they are in a crash. That, and how well they navigate winter roads with good snow tires. A Subaru with four studded snow tires is pretty unstoppable in winter around here.

What is it that you find most fascinating about the latest technologies in vehicles?

The processing speeds behind cars' operating systems have surpassed 100 million lines of code, and those numbers are rising exponentially. It doesn't really come as a surprise when you experience how well a Subaru can basically drive itself. The funny thing, though, is that in many instances, they still are not very good at diagnosing themselves. That is likely to change, though.

What are your secrets? How did you solve the "Case of the STi Misfire that Wasn't,"?

I don't have any secrets. In fact, I do my best to share everything I know every day with anyone who's willing to listen. The "Case of the STi Misfire that Wasn't" was a perfect example of times when, despite huge advances, cars cannot always accurately diagnose themselves. That car was setting misfire codes, despite not actually misfiring. Misfire detection all comes from crankshaft sensor data: the computer can see, within a single revolution of the crankshaft, whether a single cylinder isn't contributing its fair share of keeping the crankshaft moving at a given speed. Neat, right?

Solving that case involved watching the crankshaft sensor signal with an oscilloscope and seeing what the engine computer sees, the way it sees it. The waveform had a signature which could have only been explained by worn crankshaft main bearings, which is what it turned out to be. I am not the fastest, but I'm also not the slowest. The one thing for certain is that I'll do my best to do it correctly.

Anything else you'd like to share about what keeps you so motivated and positive?

Having a great place to work!

Follow updates on the accomplishments of Leo and our entire team at Ruge’s Subaru by checking us out on social media: facebook.com/RugesSubaru or on instagram @rugessubaru. Or, give us a call to schedule your next service or sales appointment: (845) 876-7074. Our dealership is located here in Rhinebeck, with the service center on-location. We proudly serve the Poughkeepsie and Kingston areas!

Categories: News, Service