Time In The Fut When Repair The Car

As drivers hold on to cars longer, small repairs now can save money, time in the future

(ARA) – Drivers are holding on to their cars longer in these tough economic times, so AutoZone, the nation’s leading auto parts retailer, is offering tips to help motorists get the most out of their investment.

“Holding off on purchasing a new vehicle can be a smart financial decision, especially if drivers properly maintain their vehicles to ensure they’re running safely and efficiently,” said Steve Stoll, Merchandising Director of AutoZone. “Maintaining and replacing key components, such as brakes and batteries, can keep vehicles on the road and help prevent costly repairs in the future.”

The average length of time consumers hold on to their vehicles is more than five years, according to a recent automotive industry study. Older cars can be safe and dependable, but need ongoing maintenance to keep them running at their best. According to the National Car Council, 80 percent of vehicles on the road are in need of service or parts.

Motorists who know the signs of impending failure and understand the impact extreme weather conditions can have on various car components, can plan ahead for repairs and replacements instead of being hit by an unexpected bill down the road, Stoll said.

“The longer car maintenance is delayed, the more costly it can be,” said Stoll.

Two key components in any vehicle are the braking system and the battery. AutoZone experts offer the following tips to ensure these vital parts are properly maintained.

Give Brakes A Winter Check-up.

Excessive build-up of road salt and brine solutions in the winter on brake components is one cause of brake failure. These solutions can create contamination of exposed brake parts and can cause brake components to deteriorate prematurely. Hazardous road conditions can also lead to increased use of Antilock Braking Systems (ABS), which can cause premature wear of all brake system components.

As temperatures warm up, motorists should check their braking systems to uncover any damage that may have occurred during the winter months.

Check Brakes Quarterly To Ensure Proper Performance.

In general, brakes are the most important safety feature on any vehicle and should be checked quarterly to ensure proper performance. Brake pads and rotors should also be checked any time the tires are removed, such as during a tire rotation. Other brake components such as brake fluid should be checked at every oil change.

Extreme Temperatures Can Mean Battery Failure.

A battery’s biggest enemy is heat. High temperatures can cause the grids inside batteries to corrode and break down. The effects of the corrosion are usually seen when winter hits, when the car requires more electrical power to start. Drivers should have batteries tested up to twice a year in normal climates, and more frequently in extremely hot or cold climates.

 

Find An Auto Body Shop Tips

How to find an auto body shop with Body shop 101: Taking the stress out of post-accident repairs
(ARA) – No one wants an accident to happen. But chances are at some point you’ll wind up in a fender bender that requires repairs at an automotive collision center. The common misconception about post-collision auto body work is that the insurance company dictates where the claim’s repairs will occur. This isn’t the case. In fact, it’s the owner’s responsibility to choose where the repairs will be done.

“Don’t wait until you need to find a body shop,” says Craig Williams, director of OEM Global Marketing and Services for Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes. “Investigate several body shops before you find yourself in that kind of stressful situation.”

And, as with any business segment, there are some collision repair centers that are better than others. Knowing your options ahead of time is a good thing.

“There’s still no better recommendation than word of mouth, so be sure to start your search by asking friends and family for recommendations of good collision centers or ones they would not recommend,” Williams adds.

A local consumer organization, such as the Better Business Bureau or Angie’s List, can provide insight into the quality of facilities you are considering. Ask about the number of complaints, if any, and also inquire as to how the complaints were resolved.

“The Better Business Bureau is a great resource,” says Johnny Mock, owner of Johnny Mock Auto Body in Turtle Creek, Pa., near Pittsburgh. “If a shop has numerous complaints, you know it’s one you should avoid.”

Another good source is Automobile Association of America. “AAA will only put a business on their approved list if it meets a certain high level of customer satisfaction,” says DeLee Powell, president of Baker’s Collision Repair Specialists in Mansfield, Ohio. “The approval process is pretty stringent.”

Next, be sure to visit any shops that you are considering, keeping these three factors in mind: cleanliness, readiness and presentation. A premier collision center will be neat, well-organized and have modern equipment.

“You should feel comfortable the minute you walk into a body shop,” Powell advises. “You immediately should feel like it is a place that can properly repair your vehicle.”

“Ask for a tour of the shop and take a good look around,” says Mock, a former BodyShop Business Executive of the Year recipient. “Is the shop clean and neat? What does the quality of work look like? Is the person giving the tour proud of what they are showing you?”

A professionally run collision center also should have a courteous staff who is willing to answer important questions. Some key ones to ask include the following:
* Do you have experience handling the make/model of my car?
* Do you have experience working with my insurance carrier?
* How long does a repair take?
* What kind of training and certifications do your technicians have?
* Will I be able to track the progress of my repair online and/or will you keep me updated on a regular basis?
* What kind of technology do you use in your shop?

 

Scratches Will You Get It

How many scratches will you get this summer? What hurts more? Scratches on your car or scratches on your skin…many car enthusiasts will say it’s the scratches on the body and windows of their cars that hurt more. Find out hwo to protect your car’s exterior finishes from unsightly scratches.

(NC)—For auto enthusiasts, the scratches you get from hiking through the woods or slipping on the rocks at the cottage are minor in comparison. The worst summer scratches are the ones you get on your car every time you load in (or on) the canoe, the camping gear, the bikes – or even just the suitcases.

And cars are only part of the summer scratch story. Imagine what your boat goes through every summer? The wear and tear on things like the cluster gauges, plastic handles and plastic chrome trims, takes away from the beauty and value of your boat. And those scratched windows are unsightly and can even be dangerous if they reduce your visibility.

No matter your sport, our active Canadian summers can wreak havoc on your paint and acrylic finishes. Experts don’t hesitate to tell us the truth:

1. Every car and boat will get scratched, no matter how hard you try to avoid it.

2. The most common way to scratch your car is by doing it yourself with cheap soaps or detergents that don’t properly lift dirt.

3. Professional repair could cost anywhere from $200 – $1200 or more.

4. Scratches will instantly devalue your vehicle or boat, which will cause you to lose money on the future sale (or a lease return of a car).

5. Most scratch removers just cover up or temporarily clean scratches and do not work on scratches deep enough to feel with your fingernail.

Scratch Solutions

Ugly scratches are unavoidable over time, but that doesn’t mean you have to live with them. Expert detailers agree that by following a few easy steps, you can minimize scratches and easily fix the ones you already have.

1. Examine the paint surface frequently.

2. Use only high quality products. Avoid using dish soap, which can only aggravate and cause scratches.

3. Innovation brings us permanent fixes, too, like products from Quixx. Autos will benefit from the High Performance Paint Scratch Remover. Boat surfaces respond especially well to the Headlight Lens Restoration Kit.

Car Preventative Maintenance Tips

Did you know that every year in the US there are more than 10,000 car accidents and some 400 Americans die in them. The usual reason is failure to have routine maintenance done on cars.

The car is the most popular and usual means of transportation in the United States, and about 90% if adult Americans own one now or used to own one. By keeping your car in good condition you can reduce the risk of easy to fix problems causing an accident that could kill you, your passengers or people in other cars.

Before hitting the road, you should check the following items regularly.

1. Your Tires – Lots of American cars have all season tires on them. What ever the kind of tire you use it is important to regularly check them. Check for air levels, flats, leaks, worn spots, over use, low treads. Just inspect your tires weekly.

2. Your Wipers –You should change your windshield wipers at least twice a year. So that means just about every six months.

3. Your Brakes – You need your brakes to slow your car down when you press on them. If you press on your brake pedal and it goes all the way to the floor, you need to have them checked. They are way too low.

Newer cars may have a brake warning system in to automatically let you know when there is a problem with your cars brakes. It is usually found on your dashboard, and will light up if it finds a problem with the brakes.

This signal will let you know it is time to have a mechanic check out the brake system unless you are handy enough to fix it yourself. Check your owners manual to see what your specific problem may be.

4. Your Headlights – Can you believe that in the year 2005 more than 2300 pedestrians died because some drivers had problems with either their headlights or their vision. You should replace your headlights every year.

Here is my top 10 List for visits to the mechanic

1. Electronic/Ignition control
2. Electrical problem
3. Suspension/steering
4. Brake system
5. Oil change/filters/lube
6. Radiator problem
7. Exhaust system
8. Fuel system/carburetor
9. Clutch/transmission
10. Air conditioning system

Keeping up with routine check ups and car maintenance can be expensive. That is the most common reason that lots of people don’t keep up with the maintenance as suggested in their car owners manual. You can find ways to save money on auto repairs.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) confirmed that $20 billion was spent on auto repairs that were not necessary due to fraud and incompetence. Here are some simple tips for you to show you how you can afford repairs when you need to have them done.

1. Preventive Maintenance – This can save you a lot of money during the life of your car. It will prevent serious damage that can be done to your car by letting little problems become big ones. Read your owners manual and follow the recommended servicing’s that will keep your car in good shape and keep it running longer.

2. Get An Estimate – Before you let the mechanic do the work your car needs get a written estimate. It is always good to know what you are being charged and what work will be done to your vehicle. If the price he gives you sounds to high, check other mechanics in your area. It is always smart to get at least three estimates before having any work done.

3. Car Pooling – You should give your car a rest once and awhile. You can try car pooling with co-workers to save your car some wear and tear, and you can save yourself money by sharing the cost of gas, tolls and parking.

4. Do The Repairs Yourself – If you read your car manual you will increase your understanding of the basic workings of the car, and how to fix them. There are some things you can do yourself without too much technical knowledge. You can change your own oil, and give your car a tune up.

 

Find Mechanics That Good on It

Here’s an interesting article that will help you learn how to find mechanics who will come to you, saving you time and inconvenience with your car repairs.

(NewsUSA) – When it comes to managing vehicle repairs, the associated hassles and inconveniences that come about — whether from having no vehicle or the process of finding a reputable repair shop — can become a major annoyance.

However, according to a new start-up business from San Francisco called YourMechanic, a new system is “changing the nature of auto repair.” YourMechanic is a car repair marketplace that connects people to certified, trustworthy, local mechanics. The best part: there’s no need to spend your entire lunch break finding an opening at the repair shop, since the mechanics will come to you.

This new way of fixing your car is getting great reviews and earning awards. YourMechanic recently won TechCrunch Disrupt, the annual start-up competition pitting the best new ideas in Silicon Valley.

TechCrunch, a leader in reviewing the latest tech developments and profiling worthy start-ups, compared YourMechanic to Uber — the company that effectively helped turn every cab driver into a potential entrepreneur. Using Uber, commuters can call a taxi with a smartphone app instead of waiting to hail the next one. As TechCrunch pointed out, YourMechanic has key similarities: mechanics will come to you, and the process is simple.
Anyone can go online to YourMechanic.com, explain their problem, provide details about their vehicle and get instant quotes. All mechanics are required to honor the quotes provided, so you just pick your mechanic and go.

Once you select your preferred mechanic — based on work history, certifications, ratings and customer reviews — they will arrive at your specified location fully prepared to fix your car. Whether day or night, weekday or weekend, mechanics will make repairs as long as they have a parking lot or driveway to work in.