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Everything You Must to Know About Car Batteries

Knowledge is power when it comes to your car’s battery and electrical system. In fact, it’s your ride’s heart and soul. The last thing you want is to be left stranded with a dead battery. The more you know about your battery and electrical system, the less likely you’ll get stuck. At Firestone Complete Auto Care, we’re here to help you understand just what’s going on with your vehicle’s battery and electrical system.

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On average, a battery will last 3 to 5 years, but driving habits and exposure to extreme elements can shorten the life of your car battery. At Firestone Complete Auto Care, we offer a free battery check-up with every visit to our store. This is a quick diagnostic check to estimate the temperature at which your battery may fail. It also gives you some idea how much battery life you have left. One little test tells you if your battery is good to go.

Battery Knowledge

How exactly does a car battery work?

The car battery provides the jolt of electricity necessary to power all the electrical components in your vehicle. Talk about a pretty huge responsibility. Without battery power, your car, as you’ve probably noticed, won’t start.

Let’s take a look at how that powerful little box works:

  • A chemical reaction puts your car in action: Your battery converts chemical energy into the electrical energy necessary to power your car, delivering voltage to the starter.
  • Keep the electric current steady: Not only does your battery provide the energy required to start your car, it’s also stabilizing the voltage (that’s the term for the energy supply) in order to keep your engine running. A lot’s riding on the battery. Call it the ‘little box that could.’

The car battery may be small, but the power it provides is huge. Test your battery now with our Virtual Battery Tester.

Find the right Interstate Battery for your specific vehicle, at the right price — right now.

How do Interstate batteries compare to other car battery brands?

We stock these quality brand batteries — and install them too.

  • Manufactured by Johnson Controls: the world leader in battery quality with 80+ years of innovation.
  • Interstate is #1: Interstate Batteries are the #1 automotive replacement batteries in America with 15 million batteries sold every year – the quality and reliability is in the numbers.

Symptoms & Procedures

Are there any warning signs that may indicate my battery is on the fritz?

“If I only knew sooner.” We’ve all been there before. Fortunately, there are various indications and symptoms that your battery may need replacement:

  1. Slow engine crank: When you attempt to start the vehicle, the cranking of the engine is sluggish and takes longer than normal to start. You’d best describe it as the “rur rur rur” starting noise sound.
  2. Check engine light: The check engine light sometimes appears when your battery power is weak. Strange system indicator lights–such as check engine and low coolant lights–could mean there’s a problem with your battery. (It could also just mean you need more coolant).
  3. Low battery fluid level: Car batteries typically have a part of the casing that’s translucent so you can always keep an eye on your battery’s fluid level. You can also inspect it by removing the red and black caps if they are not sealed (most modern car batteries now permanently seal these parts).
    • Bottom line: If the fluid level is below the lead plates (energy conductor) inside, it’s time to have the battery and charging system tested. When fluid levels drop, it’s typically caused by overcharging (heat).
  4. The swelling, bloating battery case: If your battery casing looks like it ate a very large meal, this could indicate a battery gone bad. You can blame excessive heat for causing your battery case to swell, decreasing your battery life.
  5. Eww, there’s a stinky, rotten egg smell: You may notice a pungent, rotten egg smell (sulfur odor) around the battery. The cause: Battery leaks. Leaking also causes the corrosion around the posts (where the + and – cable connections are located.) The gunk may need to be removed or your car may not start.
  6. Three years + battery age is considered an old timer: Your battery can last well beyond three years but, at the very least, have its current condition inspected on a yearly basis when it reaches the three year mark. Battery life cycles range from three-to-five years depending on the battery. However, driving habits, weather and frequent short trips (under 20 minutes) can drastically shorten the actual life of your car battery.

How do I determine if my battery is too old?

For one thing, you can check the four- or five-digit date code on the cover of your battery case. The first part of the code is key: look for the letter and digit. A letter is assigned to each month — you know, like A for January, B for February and so on. The number that follows nods to the year, as in 9 for 2009 and 1 for 2011. This code tells you when the battery was shipped from the factory to our local Interstate Battery wholesale distributor. The additional digits tell where the battery was made. Car batteries last, on average, three- to-five years. Mind you, there are also weak battery signs to watch for, like a slow engine crank of low fluid level. If your battery case is swollen or bloated, there’s a smelly rotten egg scent coming from the battery or your check engine light appears, trouble may be beyond the bend. And if it’s over three years old? Consider it time for close monitoring. That’s what we’re here for.

Electrical Systems

Can a bad battery harm the charging system or starter?

You bet. If you have a weak ankle, you tend to overcompensate and put more weight–and stress–on the healthy ankle. Same concept with a weak battery. When you have a weak battery, your car ends up putting additional stress on healthy parts. The charging system, starter motor or starter solenoid can be affected.

These parts can malfunction because they’re drawing excessive voltage to compensate for the lack of battery power. Leave this problem unresolved, and you could wind up replacing expensive electrical parts–typically without warning.

Quick Tip: Our Electrical System Check makes sure all the necessary parts are drawing the correct voltage. We’ll know right away if there’s any weak parts that may need immediate replacement. Don’t leave your car’s power to chance, you may end up paying for it later.

How do you know if your alternator isn’t giving your battery enough electricity?

  • The electrical system is possessed. Strange flickering lights or warning lights such as ’Check Engine’ flicker, disappear, and then reappear again. All these malfunctions usually start occurring when the car battery is nearly drained and struggling to provide power. If the alternator is faulty, your battery will no longer receive a charge and is moments away from being totally kaput.
  • The Slow Crank. You’re starting your car, and it keeps turning and turning, eventually starting–or not. This could mean your alternator isn’t charging your battery properly. If you start experiencing the possessed electrical system as well, please stop in to the nearest service facility. Your car could be moments away from a dead battery and alternator.

Let’s review: All the above happens when the battery is not receiving a charge (due to a faulty alternator). Your battery will continue to drain. When it drains completely…well, we all know what happens next: curbed car. And neither you, nor us, want you to go through that.

Quick tip: The sooner we can inspect your vehicle, the less likely you’ll face every drivers’ biggest fear–a car that won’t start. Drive with peace of mind.

The Importance Of Auto Repair On A Bent Frame

When you are in a collision with another vehicle or another kind of object, you are probably in need of auto repair in Corvallis OR. Even if there is no visual damage to the vehicle, their still could be other unseen issues that were caused from the accident. If you are in a collision you may still want to have your vehicle inspected to ensure it is safe to drive on the road.

Sometimes, when owners get back behind the wheel of their repaired vehicle they drive and still feel their vehicle is a little off. This could be caused by the frame on the vehicle being bent. Often, this type of damage can be over looked or repaired improperly. If you think your vehicle may have a bent frame due to a collision you may want to seek auto repair in Corvallis OR services as soon as possible.

One sign your frame is not in proper positioning is misalignment after an accident. For example, if you are driving and you have to pull the steering wheel more to the left or the right to make your vehicle go straight this could be an indication that the frame of your vehicle is bent and needs auto repair in Corvallis OR. Another sign your vehicle’s frame is bent is accelerated tire wear. If after an accident you find yourself replacing tires more then you did before, you may want to have a repair shop check to see if your frame is in proper shape.

The danger of not having this type of auto repair in Corvallis OR can vary. For example, if the frame is bent it could have structural issues that may not hold the weight of the vehicle over a period of time. This could be very dangerous because your car frame is what the large components of your vehicle are bolted to, such as the suspension and engine. If your frame is bent or cracked it may be unable to hold these parts in proper position for a long period of time.

Another issue a bent or cracked vehicle frame can cause is lower gas mileage. Lower gas mileage from a bent frame is caused by the vehicle’s tires being misaligned or crooked, making the vehicle work harder to do things such as accelerate.

What are Fair Labor Rates for Car Service??

How to Find Fair Labor Rates for Car Service

With the National Highway Safety Administration estimating that consumers are being ripped off by billions of dollars every year by auto repair shops more persons are asking, what are fair labor rates for car service? There are websites that can help consumers find fair labor rates by providing online information of real-time shop repair estimates, based on over 400,000 accredited repair shops in the United States. Their estimates include average labor costs and hours of completion for various types of services.

Fair Hourly Labor Rates for Car Service

When looking around for a repair shop to get your car serviced or repaired,it is very important to know what a shop charges per hour for labor.On average, labor rates range from $60 to $100 dollars per hour at local repair shops to $80 to $140 per hour at dealerships in some states.In some states like California, labor rates may be as low as $45 per hour in lower income areas and as high as $100 per hour in high income areas.Some repair shops have different hourly labor rates for different types of services rendered, for example mechanical versus electrical work.This is a fair way of determining labor costs and may save the consumer some money on their bill.

Labor costs should be listed as a separate category on the repair order;this includes labor dollar values and labor time in hours and tenths of hours. Separate listing of labor costs is actually a requirement by law in many states.Some auto repair shops do not post labor rates on their bills, and this allows them to manipulate charges with a labor matrix. Once you have taken in your car to a shop for service or repair and you know their hourly rate for labor, it is important to multiply the rate by the number of hours that your car is repaired for.  This will ensure that you know what the correct amount for labor should be on the bill.Some customers don’t stop to do the math and end up getting ripped off.

Fair Flat Rates for Car Service

Some auto shops charge a flat rate (menu selling) for repairs or services.The bill is not broken down into parts, tax and labor.This can make it difficult to determine if the price charged is fair or not.The good thing is that usually flat rates are competitively priced.The repair shop should determine the flat rate time for a service either from the manufacturer or from one of several published guide books, such as Alldata, Snap-on, Motors and Mitchell.These authorities use time studies to determine average repair times.

Ask the Experts

Determining what are fair labor costs for car service can be challenging; however, consulting experts and authorities in the automotive industry can provide accurate answers.The informed and equipped consumer will be able to expect and demand fair labor rates for services rendered on their vehicle.

Finding Honest Repair Shops

Finding Honest Repair Shops

As a professional mechanic I have some pride in what I do and it is important to me to be able to do a good job as inexpensively and quickly as possible. However, I don’t sacrifice quality for speed; I want to do the job right the first time. This makes me happy and most important it makes my customers happy. There is a saying in my business and sometimes it’s all too true, “There’s never enough time to do the job right the first time, but there’s always enough time to do it right the second time.”
If one of my customers has to bring back his car because I did something something wrong, that hurts my pride and it tarnishes my image. Worst of all, the next time he needs a repair or service he might not bring it back to me. That hurts my business.

I ran a poll with the question: “Do you trust your mechanic?” And I was surprised to see that 46% of those who responded said no, they don’t. This got me to thinking, if you don’t trust your mechanic, why do you bring your car back to him? If you didn’t trust your doctor, you would find another doctor. Your mechanic is very much like your doctor. He has to diagnose and treat your car. In fact if you want to take it a step further your mechanic has to be better than your doctor because your car can’t tell him where it hurts.

Over the years I have built a relationship with my customers. I know them almost as well as I know my own family. I know where and what hours they work, I know what time their kids have to be at practice and when they take their vacations.

I even know what they grow in their gardens. You can’t build this kind of relationship if you think of them as “the ’92 Ford” or “the ’89 Chrysler.” My customers are important to me, not only because they provide me my livelihood, but also because they are people and most of them are my friends.

Everybody wants to work with a mechanic they can trust. Finding one can be difficult but there are some simple steps you can take to find a reputable and highly skilled auto care technician. Doing a little homework will not only save you money, but you will find a mechanic you can trust and one the will give you peace of mind.

1 Shop around for an auto care facility before you need repairs. Having to find a shop when your car is on the back of a flatbed is not a good time to find a quality shop. With the average cost of a new vehicle exceeding $20,000, you will probably be driving you car longer. Basic automobile maintenance is the best way to keep your car running smoothly and avoid costly repairs.

2 Ask the shop for references and follow up with calls to them. You don’t walk into a new doctors office cold, you want to know how good he is first. Physicians always provide a list of references to prospective new patients, and your “car doctor” should be just as forthcoming. Don’t be afraid to ask for references. A few minutes on the phone goes a long way to ensuring you get the quality car repairs you need.

3 Ask family, friends, and co-workers to recommend a reputable shop. Personal recommendations account for 60% of all car-buying decisions. This same method should be used to find a quality care center. Most of my new customers come in on a recommendation from another of my customers.

4 Call your local Better Business Bureau and check a shops reliability and performance before you have repairs done.

5 There is an old saying; “Quality is not expensive, it’s priceless.” This is true when looking for a shop. Don’t shop for price alone. It’s important to remember that you’re not just paying for the cost of the part and the time it takes to install it, but you’re also paying for the professionalism and technical expertise of the technician.

6 If you do a lot of traveling, look for a shop that is backed by a national warranty program. Such warranties cover both parts and labor for 12 months or 12,000 miles.

7 Look for signs that the shop has the equipment needed to properly diagnose your car’s problems. Nearly all cars built since the early 80’s have computer-controlled systems designed to increase engine efficiency, reduce emissions and aid in engine troubleshooting. If a shop doesn’t have the proper equipment to diagnose your car, you may be taking a risk by having it repaired there.

8 Look for a repair facility that employs ASE-certified technicians. It is not generally known that automotive technicians must undergo training and testing every five years to maintain their ASE certification. The ASE symbol is prominently displayed by repair facilities that employ these highly skilled auto care professionals.

How to Manage a Auto Mechanic Shop Business

Increase business with good auto repair shop management.

The manager of an auto mechanic shop can make or break the business. You need to know both how to fix cars and run a profitable business. Also know how to deal with customers so that they keep coming back. Get organized to help you manage an auto repair business and watch your bottom line improve.

Instructions

      • 1

        Hire employees with experience. Mistakes in auto repair can be quite dangerous, so be sure to hire mechanics who have both knowledge and experience. Before hiring staff, you may want to give a simple hands-on test — show applicants a broken engine and ask them to fix it. Good employees will form the foundation of your business, so take time to choose the right ones.

      • 2

        Check that your business acts within local and federal laws. Violating laws could mean that the authorities will quickly close your business. You may want to hire a lawyer to help you with this. It’s always better to find a good lawyer before you need one.

    • 3

      Cultivate a good relationship with parts dealers. Be sure that you can get the parts you need delivered quickly. If you have a good relationship with the parts dealers, you can be sure that your order will take priority.

    • 4

      Purchase commonly needed items to store on location. It’s smart to have things like fan belts, tires and other products that your customers are likely to need on site. This allows you to repair cars more quickly.

    • 5

      Set up a customer database. Ask customers for their address and telephone numbers and ask if it’s OK for you to contact them. Send them a reminder when it’s time for an oil change or a letter if there has been a recall on the parts that you used. You can also send them special coupons. Having this kind of database and relationship with your customers can create loyal customers and repeat business.

    • 6

      Choose an accountant who understands your business. If you manage an auto mechanic business, you don’t want to take care of the financial details. That’s best left up to a professional accountant. When looking at accountants, look for one who understands your business, including any tax deductions for which you may be eligible.

The Best Ways to Attract Business to an Auto Repair Shop

Individuals and organizations rely on their vehicles to take them to appointments, for leisure and entertainment, and to get to and from school, work and events. To keep their vehicles running, individuals must invest in routine maintenance and repairs. Make your auto repair shop a local one-stop shop for car owners by coming up with ways to attract business and retain customers for repeat car maintenance and repair appointments.

Place Print Advertisements

  • Advertise your auto repair shop by placing advertisements in local print publications. Discount circulars, community phone books and directories, magazines and newsletters offer advertising opportunities for businesses such as auto repair shops. Rather than purchasing small classified advertisements, make your advertisements stand out by purchasing advertising space that’s at least a quarter-page advertisement. On the advertisement include your auto repair company’s logo, a brief bullet-point list of the services you offer, a link to your website and a phone number. Add a call-to-action asking potential customers to give your business a call if they have auto repair needs.

Start an Email Newsletter

  • Obtain email addresses for each client who patrons your auto repair business. Use these names to send email newsletters that offer tips and advice about car maintenance and repair, let customers know their cars are due for routine maintenance, announce in-store events and sales on everything from paint jobs to repairing dents. At the end of each email newsletter you send to your auto repair shop clients, include a note that asks them to share your email with their friends and family. Include an email newsletter signup box on your company’s website to entice visitors to sign up for your updates.

    Join Local Networking Groups

    • By joining local networking groups, you get the opportunity to make fellow business owners aware of the services your auto repair shop offers. Networking groups often have websites where they feature the names, web addresses and contact information of areas businesses who are members of their organizations. Group members, as well as local residents, frequent these sites when they’re in search of area businesses such as auto repair shops. Additionally, many networking groups host meetings that allow members to take turns introducing their products and services to the groups to help generate leads for their businesses. With the high level of community involvement networking groups offer, members are able to connect directly with their potential customers, building relations based on trust and loyalty.

    Offer Discount Coupons

    • Print sturdy, postcard-sized cards with your auto repair shop’s logo, name and contact information on them. At the bottom of the card, include a discount card customers can bring into your store and use toward first-time services. Hire high school and college students to help you market your auto repair business. Outfit them in T-shirts with your business logo, and send them into the communities you serve with your discount cards. They can place the cards on cars parked in neighborhoods and communities in your area. Other strategies might include partnering with local complementary businesses such as car supply shops and car washes where your target market may visit.

    Get Quoted

    • Establish a relationship with local reporters and bloggers and let them know that you’re available if they need quotes on auto repair-related articles and stories they may be writing. By getting quoted, you position yourself as an expert in auto repair services and get your name and business listed in articles local residents will read. This technique is a way to increase your visibility and attract new clients to your auto repair shop.

    Create a Social Meda Presence

    • Take your auto repair shop online by setting up a social media presence using sites such as Facebook. Social media can give your business a local presence and allow you to interact with potential clients, providing them with car care tips, maintenance suggestions and updating them on special promotions your auto repair shop is offering. You might even include contests or trivia your page followers can participate in to win service discounts from your shop.

    Invest in Promotional Items

    • Giving out promotional items such as license plate holders with the name and phone number of your business, pens, key chains, water bottles, notepads, coffee cups, bumper sticks or air fresheners can help you attract business to your auto repair shop. Clients may use their products at home or at the office, which can help increase visibility and attract clients to your auto shop business.

Club Flyer Marketing Tips for Automotive Industry

The production and sale of automobiles is increasing with time. Different types of automobiles are being manufactured by the different companies. Thus, the competition in the market is also increasing. This is the reason proper marketing of the product is very important to gain a foothold in this competitive market. If your automobile company has launched a new product then you can advertise it with the help of club flyers. This is one of the most effective and inexpensive tools of marketing. Here are some tips that you might require to use this marketing tool in a proper way.

Establish Trust

For any business, the most important thing is trust. If the readers are not able to trust then they will refuse to work with you. It is a very crucial aspect of an automobile business. You can take the help of flyers to establish trust with the audience.

You need to maintain certain things when you are using flyers to win the trust of the potential customers. You need to make sure that it serves the need of the potential customers. In other words the design of the flyers should be according to the tastes and needs of the customer. For this you have to do a considerable amount of research and find out the demographics of the audience. This data is very essential when you are customizing a club flyer. If your prospective customers are businessmen then you need to maintain a formal tone and if your target customers are younger people then you have to use a casual tone. The design and theme also need to be customized in a similar manner.

Be Professional

Your flyer will be appreciated if you keep a professional outlook. Everything, starting from the design to the paper should have a professional look. Your customers should feel that you have taken the effort to make sure that the flyer looks professional. This will help you achieving that which in turn will make them interested in working with you.

Hire a designer to create the design of the flyer. The graphic designers and designers make sure that the tools that are being used reflect the principle of the business. This improves the respectability of the marketing campaign as well as the organization. When you are printing a club flyer make sure that you are hiring superior company like Printing VIP. Make sure that you go through their profile to find out the standard of work that they do.

Implement Strategies

If you are doing business you ought to know the importance of a good strategy or a plan of action. This is also very important to keep in mind when you are marketing with the help of club flyers. Determine the elements that you want to include in the club flyers like, the images and the text. The copy that you are making should also be based on the strategy so that it is able to interest the customers. The distribution of the flyers also needs to be planned properly so that you are able to reach out to more people.

What You Need to Consider When Buying Replica

One of the ways car owners can spice up their automobiles is by buying a set of factory original replica rims. Something as simple as a few fresh wheels could completely change the look of a car and even increase its market value, while not breaking the bank. If you’re on the lookout for a new set of replica rims, there are a bunch of characteristics you need to consider. These features will help narrow your options and will guide you towards choosing the right rims for your auto.

Things to Consider When Buying Replica Rims

  1. How Many Studs? – This one’s pretty obvious but worth mentioning nonetheless. There are countless individuals who make the mistake of buying a fresh set of wheels to find that they don’t have the right number of studs or bolts. If your car has 4 bolts, buy a rim with the same number. If it has 5, see to it that the new wheels have just that. It doesn’t matter how nice the new rims look if they can’t be mounted onto your car. Keep the nut count in mind before you make a purchase, especially if you don’t have your car with you when you buy them.
  1. What is the Pitch Circle Diameter? – This one needs a little visualization and a solid measure. Look at your wheel and spot the mounting holes (or bolts as they were previously called in number 1.) Now, draw an imaginary circle that goes through them and measure out its circumference. This is what you call the pitch circle diameter. You need to consider this because wheels that don’t have the right pitch circle diameter, regardless of whether they have the same number of bolts, will not fit your car. If the spacing just isn’t right, you can’t expect them to be a match.
  1. Is There an Inset or Outset? – This particular consideration is the most important of all and could become the reason for a host of different problems if not properly thought through. The inset or outset tells you how the wheel is placed relative to the fixing face. It can be that you have an inset or outset that the wheel isn’t perfectly centered on the fixing face, or neither that the wheel isn’t in any way irregularly centered. This could determine how you control your car all together, so make sure you get the right rims for this purpose. Ask your mechanic or specialist what would be best for your car if you feel like you’re not prepared with the right know how. Make the most of your ReplicaRims and take note of these considerations before you buy a new set of wheels.

Hyundai Elite i20 –A review by Autoportal

Introduction

The South Korean based car maker, which started its ride in India with the Santro, still continues to run around quite promptly. Hyundai offersa variety of good cars in all segments of the car market, be it a fuel-efficient hatchback, a roomy SUV or even a luxury sedan. One of its very popular cars here is the i20, released in 2008. The year 2014 saw the birth of the second generation of this car which was named Elite i20.

Initial Response in car market

The new car received a warm response from the car lovers and it soon found its place among the top ten best selling cars in India.In fact, the new hyundai Elite i20 is selling almost double the units than its predecessor. Within just 14 months of its launch, the new Elite i20 crossed the one lakh mark sales.

3

Exterior and Interior features

The car is built on the company’s latest Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design and is quite attractive. It is also wider and gets a longer wheelbase than the original i20, which makes it a spacious car. 5 adults can sit incomfortably and the boot space can carry luggage up to 285 litres. The beige and brown coloured interiors are spruced up and display a fresh design layout.The layered dashboard gets a hi-tech information cluster and leather wrapped 3-spoke multi-function steering wheel.Hyundai has also taken care to provide utmost safety and comfort to its passengers.

Under the hood

Elite i20 is equipped by a refined 1.4litre U2 CRDI diesel engine with power and torque output of 89 bhp and 220 Nm at 1500 RPM. This engine comes mated to a sixspeed manual gearbox. The second unit is the reliable 1.2litre 4cylinder VTVT Kappa petrol engine which churns out a maximum power output of 82bhp and torque of 115Nm at 4000RPM.  The diesel and petrol engines promise a fuel efficiency of 21.76 kmpl and 18.6 kmpl respectively.Elite i20 scores well in driveability, performance, refinement and handling.

Variants and Price

Elite i20 is available in both petrol and diesel fuel options and there are further five variants – Era, Magna, Sportz, Sportz (O), Asta and Asta (O) offered under each fuel trim.The Hyundai Elite i20 has been launched in India at a price between Rs 5.03 lakhs to Rs 8.05 lakhs. The new model is costlier than the original i20, but that is probably due to the added styling and new features presented.Even budget conscious customers can afford to buy the starting variant. However it is advisable to pay a few thousands more and pick up a higher trim with more features.

Also check Maruti Suzuki S-Cross and best bikes in India

 

What are Smart Motorways?

Smart motorway schemes are increasingly becoming common throughout England. Previously called ‘managed motorways’ and developed by the Highways Agency, Smart motorways aim to reduce congestion and increase motorway capacity in a way that lessens construction time and cost and environmental impact by avoiding the need to build more lanes.

In England, there are three schemes that are classified as Smart motorways: Controlled Motorway, All-Lane Running, and Dynamic Hard Shoulder Running.

Controlled Motorway

The controlled motorways consist of three or even more lanes with speed limits that are variable. The Dynamic Hard Shoulder Running scheme must only be utilized in an actual emergency.

All-Lane Running

These motorways permanently utilize the hard shoulder as a traffic running lane. On April 14, 2014, eight miles of the M25 became the country’s first Smart section with traffic permanently running on a lane that had been used as a hard shoulder. A few days later, another section of the M25 opened.

Under the new running schemes, lane one is closed via verge-mounted and overhead signs like the ones provided by Ennis-Flint during an incident. On such sections, white lines (broken) between the lanes signify that every lane has the same status.

Gantry signs (overhead) show the required speed limit that varies depending on the conditions of traffic. Speed cameras are also utilized to enforce the speed limit. The overhead signs can also be utilized to close lanes, if needed. CCTV is widely used to monitor traffic. If drivers are involved in accidents or if their vehicles break down, there are emergency areas for their use.

Dynamic Hard Shoulder Running

To ease traffic congestion, the schemes entail the opening up of the hard shoulder to traffic during busy times. Developed initially in the Midlands, the scheme is now operating on various sections.

The stretches of these motorways contain white lines (solid) that make the hard shoulder different from the usual carriageway. Gantry overhead signs indicate if vehicles can pass through the hard shoulder, or not. The signs also show the required speed limit that can vary depending on the state of traffic. Speed cameras are also being utilized to enforce the varying speed limits.

In Case of Accidents

When a motorist’s car breaks down or if he is involved in a traffic incident, he must use the emergency area for refuge if the driver can safely get to one. If not possible, the driver should attempt to transfer to the verge if it is safe and if a safety barrier is not present.

In any case, one should flick on the hazard lights and get in touch with the Highways Agency through an emergency phone. If the driver’s only option is to stop in a moving traffic lane, he should switch on right away the hazard lights. If the driver is in the left and he feels he can do it, he should exit the car through the left doors and get away from the vehicle. If possible, the driver should get behind the barrier.

If the driver cannot get out of the vehicle because of the rush of traffic, he should just stay in the vehicle and dial ‘999.’ This is possible if the driver has an operating mobile phone. In any case, it is always best keep safe, maintain vehicles properly, and follow road rules in order to avoid traffic mishaps on Smart motorways.

When does a car battery need to be replaced or time for a new battery ?

The battery is what powers every electrical component in a car. At some point, the car battery needs to be replaced, but when? Is there a way to tell that the battery is failing? How long does it last? Let’s start with why the battery needs to be replaced. Most cars have lead-acid batteries that are made of six cells with lead and lead-oxide plates filled with an electrolyte (dilute sulfuric acid).

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  • 01

Slow engine crank:
When you attempt to start the vehicle, the cranking of the engine is sluggish and takes longer than normal to start.

  • 02

Check engine light:
The check engine light sometimes appears when your battery power is weak.

  • 03

Low battery fluid level:
Car batteries typically have a part of the casing that’s translucent so you can always keep an eye on your battery’s fluid level. If the fluid level is below the lead plates : (energy conductor:) inside, it’s time to have the battery and charging system tested.

  • 04

The swelling, bloating battery case:
If your battery casing looks like this you can blame excessive heat for causing your battery case to swell, decreasing your battery life.

  • 05

Battery leak:
Leaking also causes the corrosion around the posts : (where the + and – cable connections are located.: ) The gunk may need to be removed; otherwise, your car may not start.

  • 06

Old age:
Your battery can last well beyond three years but, at the very least, have its current condition inspected on a yearly basis when it reaches the three year mark.

 

Charging Lead Acid

Learn how to optimize charging conditions to extend service life.

Lead acid uses a voltage-based charge algorithm that shares similarity with lithium-ion. The voltage is allowed to roam within a confined window while the charge current is set and will only moderate during saturation charge. The charge time of a sealed lead acid battery is 12–16 hours, up to 36–48 hours for large stationary batteries. With higher charge currents and multi-stage charge methods, the charge time can be reduced to 10 hours or less; however, the topping charge may not be complete. Lead acid is sluggish and cannot be charged as quickly as other battery systems.

Lead acid batteries should be charged in three stages, which are [1] constant-current charge, [2] topping charge and [3] float charge. The constant-current charge applies the bulk of the charge and takes up roughly half of the required charge time; the topping charge continues at a lower charge current and provides saturation, and the float charge compensates for the loss caused by self-discharge. Figure 1 illustrates these three stages.

Charge stages of a lead acid battery

Figure 1: Charge stages of a lead acid battery
The battery is fully charged when the current drops to a pre-determined level or levels out in stage 2. The float voltage must be reduced at full charge.

Courtesy of Cadex

During the constant-current charge, the battery charges to about 70 percent in 5–8 hours; the remaining 30 percent is filled with the slower topping charge that lasts another 7–10 hours. The topping charge is essential for the well-being of the battery and can be compared to a little rest after a good meal. If continually deprived, the battery will eventually lose the ability to accept a full charge and the performance will decrease due to sulfation. The float charge in the third stage maintains the battery at full charge.

The switch from Stage 1 to 2 occurs seamlessly and happens when the battery reaches the set voltage limit. The current begins to drop as the battery starts to saturate, and full charge is reached when the current decreases to the three percent level of the rated current. A battery with high leakage may never attain this low saturation current, and a plateau timer takes over to initialize the charge termination.

The correct setting of the charge voltage is critical and ranges from 2.30 to 2.45V per cell. Setting the voltage threshold is a compromise, and battery experts refer to this as “dancing on the head of a needle.” On one hand, the battery wants to be fully charged to get maximum capacity and avoid sulfation on the negative plate; on the other hand, an over-saturated condition causes grid corrosion on the positive plate and induces gassing.

To make “dancing on the head of a needle” more difficult, the battery voltage shifts with temperature. Warmer surroundings require slightly lower voltage thresholds and a cold ambient prefers a higher level. Chargers exposed to temperature fluctuations should include temperature sensors to adjust the charge voltage for optimum charge efficiency. If this is not possible, it is better to choose a lower voltage for safety reasons. Table 2 compares the advantages and limitations of various peak voltage settings.

 



2.30V to 2.35V/cell

2.40V to 2.45V/cell

Advantages

Maximum service life; battery stays cool; charge temperature can exceed 30°C (86°F). Higher and more consistent capacity readings; less sulfation.

Disadvantages

Slow charge time; capacity readings may be inconsistent and declining with each cycle. Sulfation may occur without equalizing charge. Subject to corrosion and gassing. Needs constant water. Not suitable for charging at high room temperatures, causing severe overcharge.

Table 2: Effects of charge voltage on a small lead acid battery
Cylindrical lead acid cells have higher voltage settings than VRLA and starter batteries.
Once fully charged through saturation, the battery should not dwell at the topping voltage for more than 48 hours and must be reduced to the float voltage level. This is especially critical for sealed systems because these systems are less able to tolerate overcharge than the flooded type. Charging beyond what the battery can take turns the redundant energy into heat and the battery begins to gas. The recommended float voltage of most low-pressure lead acid batteries is 2.25 to 2.27V/cell. (Large stationary batteries float at 2.25V at 25°C (77°F.) Manufacturers recommend lowering the float charge at ambient temperatures above 29°C (85°F).
Not all chargers feature float charge and very few road vehicles will have this provision. If your charger stays on topping charge and does not drop below 2.30V/cell, remove the charge after 48 hours of charge. Recharge every six month if the battery remains in storage.

Whereas the voltage settings in Table 2 apply to low-pressure lead acid batteries with a pressure relief valve of about 34kPa (5psi), cylindrical sealed lead acid, such as the Hawker Cyclon cell, requires higher voltage settings and the limits should be set according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Failing to apply the recommended voltage will cause a gradual decrease in capacity due to sulfation. The Hawker Cyclon cell has a pressure relief setting of 345kPa (50psi). This allows some recombination of the gases generated during charge.

Aging batteries pose a challenge when setting the optimal float charge voltage because each cell has its own age-related condition. Weak cells may go into hydrogen evolution as part of overcharge early on, while the stronger ones undergo oxygen recombination in an almost starved state. Connected in a string, all cells receive the same charge current and controlling individual cell voltages is almost impossible. A float current that is too high for the faded cell might starve the strong neighbor and cause sulfation due to undercharge. Companies have developed cell-balancing devices, which are placed on the battery and compensate the differences in cell voltages that occur as a result of cell imbalance.

Ripple voltage imposed on the voltage of large stationary batteries also causes a problem. The voltage peak constitutes an overcharge, causing hydrogen evolution, while the valleys induce a brief discharge that creates a starved state that results in electrolyte depletion. Manufacturers typically limit the ripple to five percent.

Much has been said about pulse charging of lead acid batteries. There are apparent advantages in reducing sulfation; however, the results are inconclusive and manufacturers as well as service technicians are divided on the benefit. If sulfation could be measured with accuracy and the right amount of pulses applied as a corrective service, then the remedy could be beneficial. Giving an abrasive cure without knowing the underlying results can be harmful.

Most stationary batteries are kept on float charge. The so-called hysteresis charge disconnects the float current when the battery is full and on standby. The battery is essentially put in storage and is only “borrowed” from time to time to apply a toping-charge to replenish lost energy due to self-discharge, or when a load is applied. This mode works well for installations that do not draw a load when on standby.

Lead acid batteries must always be stored in a charged state. A topping charge should be applied every six months to prevent the voltage from dropping below 2.10V/cell. With AGM, these requirements can be somewhat relaxed.

Measuring the open circuit voltage (OCV) while in storage provides a reliable indication as to the state-of-charge of the battery. A voltage of 2.10V at room temperature reveals a charge of about 90 percent. Such a battery is in good condition and needs only a brief full charge prior to use. If the voltage drops below 2.10V, the battery must be charged to prevent sulfation. Observe the storage temperature when measuring the open circuit voltage. A cool battery lowers the voltage slightly and a warm one increases it. Using OCV to estimate state-of-charge works best when the battery has rested for a few hours, because a charge or discharge agitates the battery and distorts the voltage.

Some buyers do not accept shipments of new batteries if the OCV at incoming inspection is below 2.10V per cell. A low voltage suggests partial charge due to long storage or a high self-discharge induced by a possible micro-short. Battery users have indeed found that a pack arriving at a lower than specified voltage has a higher failure rate than those with higher voltages. Although in-house service can often bring such batteries to full performance, the time and equipment required adds to operational costs. (Please note that the 2.10V/cell acceptance threshold does not apply to all lead acid types.)

Watering

Watering is the single most important step in maintaining a flooded lead acid battery, a requirement that is all to often neglected. The frequency of watering depends on usage, charge method and operating temperature. A new battery should be checked every few weeks to determine the watering requirement. This assures that the top of the plates is never exposed. A naked plate will sustain irreversible damage through oxidation, leading to reduced capacity and lower performance.

If low on electrolyte, immediately fill the battery with distilled or de-ionized. Do not fill to the correct level before charging as this could cause an overflow during charging. Always top up to the desired level after charging. Never add electrolyte as this would upsets the specific gravity and promote corrosion. Watering systems eliminate low electrolyte levels by automatically adding the right amount of water.

Simple Guidelines for Charging Lead Acid Batteries

  • Charge in a well-ventilated area. Hydrogen gas generated during charging is explosive. (See BU-703: Health Concerns with Batteries)
  • Choose the appropriate charge program for flooded, gel and AGM batteries. Check manufacturer’s specifications on recommended voltage thresholds.
  • Charge lead acid batteries after each use to prevent sulfation. Do not store on low charge.
  • The plates of flooded batteries must always be fully submerged in electrolyte. Fill battery with distilled or de-ionized water to cover the plates if low. Tap water may be acceptable in some regions. Never add electrolyte.
  • Fill water level to designated level after charging. Overfilling when the battery is empty can cause acid spillage.
  • Formation of gas bubbles in a flooded lead acid indicates that the battery is reaching full state-of-charge (hydrogen on negative plate and oxygen on positive plate).
  • Reduce float charge if the ambient temperature is higher than 29°C (85°F).
  • Do not allow a lead acid to freeze. An empty battery freezes sooner than one that is fully charged. Never charge a frozen battery.
  • Do not charge at temperatures above 49°C (120°F).

Car Repair – Car Repair in the Event of Flood Damage

If the engine is running at high revs and (or) the flood is very deep the engine will hydraulic; this means that following the induction of water on the compression stroke, the engine will lock up as water cannot be compressed.

Occasionally, this will cause further issues such as bent con-rods, the risk of which increases if the driver then attempts to crank or start the engine.

If mechanical damage such as this occurs then it isn’t a problem that can be repaired roadside.

WHAT TO DO IF FLOOD STALLED?

1. Never Crank the engine. This can easily cause more expensive damage.

2. Remove all induction components i.e. air filter box, air metering devices and all air ducting and disconnect injectors (electrically)

3. Remove Spark Plugs (Petrol engines) or Glow Plugs (Diesel engines)

4. Dismantle as required to allow water to escape from throttle body and inlet manifold.

5. Reverse step 4

6. Crank engine by hand to check timing

7. Crank engine with throttle pedal fully depressed until all water is ejected; but beware of high pressure water being ejected from combustion chambers. Reconnect Injectors
8. Re-fit one spark or glow plug and crank again. The engine should “cough”.

9. Re-fit second spark or glow plug and crank again. The engine will “cough” and may even run.

10. Re-fit third spark or glow plug and crank again. The engine will probably run.

11. Re-fit the fourth plug and crank again. The engine should run.

12. Ensure all induction components are dry and re-fit using a NEW air filter.

13. Start engine. It should run normally if the engine hunts (faltering revs) the air flow sensor is suspect.

14. Change the oil and oil filter. Mil light may be on so code clearing may be required.

15. Sell the car quickly!

For five, six and eight cylinder engines, the process is the same just repeated for each cylinder.

Repairs and Maintenance You Can Do Yourself

There are lots of auto repair and auto maintenance tasks that you can do yourself with little experience and simple tools. Troubleshooting will lead you to a repair that you can do yourself to save money and time. This list of DIY repairs and important maintenance tips will really help to keep your car in top shape, avoiding costly repairs later.
Regular Maintenance

There’s nothing more important than regular maintenance to keep your car out of the repair shop. It may seem like a waste of time to constantly perform maintenance tasks on your car, but the money you save by keeping your car’s systems operating well is worth the effort. Regular maintenance is more than changing oil, and there are different maintenance tasks for different seasons. Be sure you’re up to speed and up to date.
Easy Fixes

If you’re a beginner at auto repair, these are some easy tasks to start out with. All of these repairs come up from time to time, and if you can do it yourself, you’ll save time and money, and gain experience in auto repair. Next time, you’ll be ready to tackle serious repairs.
Electrical Repairs

Electrical repairs make up a large percentage of automotive fixes. Much of your car is electric or electronic. Knowing how to make some of these electrical repairs on your own can be very helpful. Not only will you be able to fix electrical problems, you’ll be able to troubleshoot other issues that are related to your electrical system in some way.
Advanced Repairs

These automotive repairs are for DIY mechanics who are comfortable working on their cars and have enough experience and tools to tackle advanced repair jobs. If you haven’t completed some easy stuff yet, you should brush up to be sure you are up to these tasks.

There are lots of auto repair and auto maintenance tasks that you can do yourself with little experience and simple tools. Troubleshooting will lead you to a repair that you can do yourself to save money and time. This list of DIY repairs and important maintenance tips will really help to keep your car in top shape, avoiding costly repairs later.
Regular Maintenance

There’s nothing more important than regular maintenance to keep your car out of the repair shop. It may seem like a waste of time to constantly perform maintenance tasks on your car, but the money you save by keeping your car’s systems operating well is worth the effort. Regular maintenance is more than changing oil, and there are different maintenance tasks for different seasons. Be sure you’re up to speed and up to date.
Easy Fixes

If you’re a beginner at auto repair, these are some easy tasks to start out with. All of these repairs come up from time to time, and if you can do it yourself, you’ll save time and money, and gain experience in auto repair. Next time, you’ll be ready to tackle serious repairs.
Electrical Repairs

Electrical repairs make up a large percentage of automotive fixes. Much of your car is electric or electronic. Knowing how to make some of these electrical repairs on your own can be very helpful. Not only will you be able to fix electrical problems, you’ll be able to troubleshoot other issues that are related to your electrical system in some way.
Advanced Repairs

These automotive repairs are for DIY mechanics who are comfortable working on their cars and have enough experience and tools to tackle advanced repair jobs. If you haven’t completed some easy stuff yet, you should brush up to be sure you are up to these tasks.

Auto Repair and Troubleshooting Reference Information and Specs

It can be difficult to make your own auto repairs if you don’t have access to definitions, statistics, specifications and other vital information that is referenced often in how-to articles on auto repair and auto troubleshooting. If you need a description for air conditioning, fuel injection, your cooling system or ignition, we’ll help you out with that.
Tools and Terminology

Trying to make sense of a troubleshooting tip or a DIY auto repair how-to guide can be difficult if you’re unfamiliar with the lingo. It’s important to have a resource available to help you understand how to use specialized automotive tools or help you understand how parts of an automotive system come together to make that giant bag of bolts into something you can drive to work.
Tools and Terminology

Trying to make sense of a troubleshooting tip or a DIY auto repair how-to guide can be difficult if you’re unfamiliar with the lingo. It’s important to have a resource available to help you understand how to use specialized automotive tools or help you understand how parts of an automotive system come together to make that giant bag of bolts into something you can drive to work.
OBD and OBD-II Diagnostics

Modern cars have computer systems that do their own troubleshooting. These systems are referred to as OBD or On Board Diagnostics. When something is awry, the system will make a note of the error and store it in the computer for a technician (or you) to retrieve later. These error codes can be invaluable in trying to troubleshoot a problem your car is having. The OBD system can be overwhelming, but once you’re familiar with it you’ll be happy to have the information handy.
Dealing With Your Mechanic

Sometimes you have to break down and resort to the repair shop. Not every repair job is a DIY job, and you should only attempt a repair that you feel confident you can complete safely and successfully. When you have to take your car to a mechanic, it’s important to know how to properly communicate and protect yourself. The more you know about your car and what to expect at the repair shop, the better armed you’ll be to get your car fixed right the first time, at a good price, with absolutely no chance of being ripped off.

How To Check A Used Car For Transmission Problems Before You Buy It

The first most importantly thing to do is ask the salesperson for the used car history records. By doing this procedure may save you some time and money. If the used car history report shows that the car in fact was a rental vehicle or has been involved in an accident, there is no point to even looking at it any further recommended. Ask the previous owner or salesperson if any repair has been done to the transmission. If the automatic transmission has already been rebuilt, abstain from buying the car. By saying that… not suggesting that all rebuilt transmissions will have problems but in some cases they work even better than before. The problem is that not all transmission shops can do equally the same high quality job. And since there is no way to verify if it was rebuilt properly or not, it’s better not to take chances. Another thing to be concern about is, ask if the used car you are looking to buy was not used for any towing purposes. Many vehicles that have a towed history like an example towing a trailer. Have much greater risk of having a worn out transmission because of the use for towing that can put a sustainable amount of strain on the transmission over time.

How To Check A Automatic Transmission

You should first get started by checking the transmission fluid level and condition.
With the engine idling, transmission in “Park” (some cars may have different procedures, refer to owner’s manual if needed) remove the automatic transmission dipstick and wipe it off with a clean cloth. Then insert it back in and pull it out again. Check the fluid level, low level may indicate a transmission leak. Pay close attention at the fluid very closely. It helps to drip the fluid on a white paper towel to be able to see fluid condition. The fluid on the paper towel should be clean and transparent, without any metal filings or black flakes. New fluid usually comes out red. Over the time in use it become more of a brownish of color, but it shouldn’t be black.
Try to smell the fluid. It should not have a burnt smell.
It may seem to be difficult to tell at first, but after you check a few similar cars, you’ll be able to pin point the difference with ease.
If you discover that the transmission fluid is too dirty or black, or smells burnt, avoid buying such a car.
Keep in mind, however, that some modern cars simply don’t have the transmission dipstick and require special procedures performed in a shop to check the fluid level. In this case, the only way to check it is by doing a test drive.

Automatic Transmission Indications Of Possible Transmission Problems Overview

One of the indications of a transmission problem is delayed engagement, when there is a long delay between the moment you shift the shifter into “D” (Drive) or “R” (Reverse) and the moment the transmission kicks in.
It’s easier to note delayed engagement after a car was sitting for a while: With the transmission in “P” (Park) start the engine, and wait until the engine rpm has reduced to normal level (650 – 850 rpm).
With your foot holding down the brake pedal, shift to the “D” (Drive) position. Almost immediately the transmission should engage – it feels like the car wants to creep forward. This should happen very smoothly, without a strong jerk or clunk.
Shift to “N” (Neutral), and the transmission should disengage. Now, still holding the brakes, shift to the “R” (Reverse) position. Again, the transmission kicks in almost immediately – you will feel the car wants to creep backward. This also should be very smooth, without a jerk or clunk.
Now, still holding the brake pedal down, try to shift from D to R and back. There should be no strong jerk or clunk.
If there is a notable long delay (more than 1 seconds) between the moment you shift and the moment the transmission kicks in, such a transmission might be either too worn or has some problem.
If you feel a strong jerk or clunk while shifting, the car may have a transmission problem, avoid such a car.

Now it’s time to test drive the car.

With the shifter in “D” (Drive) position drive gently, with smooth and gradual acceleration. Until the vehicle reaches a speed of 30-37 mph (50-60 km/h) or you should feel the gears shifting at least twice (from first to second, and from second to third gear).

All shifts should be done very smoothly, without jerks or slipping.
You should be able to feel when the transmission shifts by the slight change in the engine tone or change in engine rpm. If the transmission is severely worn it may shift with quite a strong jerk, shudder or a delay (especially from first to second gear).
Driving at a speed of 25-30 mph (40-50 km/h) if you press down the accelerator pedal for a few seconds, you should feel downshifting to the lower gear, if the automatic transmission works properly.

The next step: check overdrive.

While driving at 60-70 km/h or 35-45 mph on a level road, without using the accelerator, switch overdrive ON. You should feel an up shifting to the next speed. Switch it to “OFF,” and you should feel a downshifting.
Another thing to watch out for that may indicate the transmission has a problem is the slipping. When the transmission is excessively worn it may slip – which means you press the accelerator, the engine rpm increases but the speed remains the same.

While during a test drive you feel any problems such as the transmission seems to be slipping or shifts with a jerk or shudder or if the transmission got stuck in some gear, or has trouble shifting into a particular gear (for example, from second to third), You should avoid buying such a car.
Always try to test drive the car as long as possible. Often the transmission may work well when it’s cold but when it’s warmed up it starts giving troubles or vice versa. So, it is better to spend more time checking the transmission thoroughly than later repairing it at your expense. Normally there should be no shudder, no noises or any kind of strong jerks at any speed and at any engine temperatures while any shifting is going on. If the salesperson tells you that the jerks or shudder or any other abnormal transmission behavior is “normal” for this car or it’s just because the car is cold or anything alike…, don’t trust them. If the “check engine” and, or a flashing overdrive light comes on while driving, have the vehicle inspected with a certified mechanic before buying a vehicle.

How To Check A Manual Transmission

You should first check for oil leaks. There should absolutely not be any leaks.

Now, shift the transmission lever into neutral. Apply the parking brake. With the engine idling, press the clutch pedal all the way, hold it down, and listen for noises. Then release the pedal and listen for noises again. There should be no loud noises at either positions.
The next step will be to take the car for a test drive.
Try to drive the vehicle at different speeds in all gears, one by one. Every gear should shift smoothly and easily without any noises or jerks. While driving at the second or third gear, try to press down sharply on the accelerator pedal for an instance. The clutch should not slip.
If you feel any slipping (example like… the engine rpm increases but the speed remains the same), then the clutch most likely has to be replaced.
Try to drive with acceleration and deceleration there should be no grinding, whining or humming noise under any condition circumstances. All the gears should shift easily and noiselessly free.

Now that you know a whole lot more about…, How To Check A Used Car For Transmission Problems Before You Buy It. You may consider shopping at CarShopster.com for Used cars, New cars for Sale Online. We have over 5 million Used Cars, New Cars, listings at Local or Nationwide dealerships and automotive resources of cars for sale inventory in your area.

Avoid Towing Your Cars and Call For Mobile Repair Services

A busy day struck with a car repair will be the worst day ever in one’s life. People find it really hard to find a mechanic to repair their cars in the middle of the road. All their plan will be to tow the car to a near by workstation. But that is more time consuming work which will cause more disturbances on your day’s plan. And towing is also a money consuming option where you must have to spend some $200 to $300 for towing your car to near by workstation.

In California, there is always an option that makes you feel easy during your car break downs. You don’t have to call a towing vehicle or never have to take your cars to near by workstation. But the workstation will come to your location. The mobile repair services in California will send you the technicians who were well trained and experienced in car repairing. They will fix your car at no time and also charges very less. The auto repair Fremont and auto service Oakland are the services chosen by people often to fix their cars. This is because these services are cheaper yet quality one.

Apart from mobile repair services, these servicing companies also provide fleet maintenance services and auto repair services at their workstations. The auto service Redwood City is a very famous service in California offered by different servicers in the state. The customers are expected to visit the workstation with their cars to avail these auto repairs and felt maintenance services. This is because; the equipments used for these services cannot be ported to the customer locations. With high quality equipment and well experience and certified technicians, the services rendered will be top in quality and cheap in cost.

To avail the mobile repair service of these companies, you are expected to make a call to them and have to mention the location in which the car is at present. To avail the fleet maintenance and auto repair services, you will be expected to schedule an appointment before you visit the service station. This will avoid too much of crowd visiting the company at the same time. The payment modes are also very simple that these servicers will accept cash mode, credit and debit cards. So if you are struck with car break down, don’t call a towing vehicle; call a mobile repair servicer and get your work done on time.

Auto Repair and Maintenance, Tuning, Motor Sports and Camping Cars’ at the one place, Automotive Aftermarket at KINTEX!


SEOUL, South Korea, March 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Automotive Week 2013, a professional exhibition specializing in automobile aftermarket will be held from coming March 28th to 31st for four days in Kintex.

The 7th Automotive Week is co-hosted with Seoul Motor Show, the biggest motor show in Korea. It provides a place people can see trends of auto market and aftermarket. Partnering up with Seoul Motor Show, Automotive Week 2013 is called ‘2013 Seoul Motor Show Aftermarket Special Exhibition’.

221 great companies in auto maintenance, tuning and motor sports including Llumar Korean, Hansol Engineering, Sinheong Sejin, Solarzen will participate. The number of booths is 1,100 and main displays will be Motor sports facilities, tuning or customized cars, performance tuning parts, dress-up parts, black-box, Auto repair shop facilities, gas station facilities, and A/S parts.

This year’s Automotive Week is expected to cater various demands of visitors with special sections for motor sports, car accessories and black box. Especially, the expanded auto-camping leisure display zone will provide any information about camping cars and their repair or maintenance. Last year, many people were interested in auto-camping.

During the exhibition, various events will be held for visitor to experience by themselves. Tsuchiya Keiichi will have a drifting demonstration and signing. And car audio installment demonstration show will catch visitors’ eyes and ears. Besides, goods for camping like tents and car accessories can be given away and photo time with racing models is planned.

Export consultation with foreign buyers will progress on the opening day of the exhibition. 300 foreign buyers from 19 countries will visit. Among them, meticulously selected 80 companies will be able to participate in export consultation. Last year, the consultation resulted in export deals worth of 85 billion WON and is anticipated it to boost export of competitive displayed goods. With National Maintenance Technology Contest, Advanced Auto-Repair Culture Seminar and Auto A/S Industry Job Fair will help professionals to interact information and technologies.

Drifting Experience Drifting shows and a chance to experience drifting with Japan’s Drift King Tsuchiya Keiichi is planned in a specially designed circuit track located in the rear of KINTEX Second Exhibition Center.

Automobile Camping and Recreational Vehicle Hall A total of 17 companies in the camping and recreational vehicles market will participate in Automotive Week. Recreational vehicle manufacturers, importers, and exporters, as well as outdoor goods specialist and RV maintenance companies will be available for duration of the whole event.

Inviting Influential Foreign Buyers Export consultation with foreign buyers will progress on the opening day of the exhibition, March 28th. Consultations will be held to assist the domestic automotive aftermarket supplier s with entrance to international markets. Over 300 influential buyers from 19 countries will visit selection of 80 companies to directly engage in export consultations. .

Nationwide Automobile Maintenance Competition Korea Association of Auto Technician and Korea Institute for Vocational Evaluation will be co-hosting the 6th National Automobile Maintenance Competition that is being held for two days. This competition is to select a superior maintenance specialist and to increase consumer’s understanding regarding maintenance and features of their car. The competition will be held for students and professionals. They will be tested on electronic equipment repair and maintenance, gasoline engine tune-up, chassis device repair and other skills related to maintenance.

Advanced Automobile Maintenance Society Korea Association of Auto Technician, Car Tech, Kintex will be hosting Advanced Automobile Maintenance Society seminars from 30th to 31st of March. Seminar will focus on the topic of effectively responding to rapidly changing automotive technology and the advancement of the domestic maintenance industry. It is also set to introduce state-of-the-art automotive maintenance industry trends.

Automotive A/S Industry Job Fair Blue Hands Association, KINTEX, and Korea Association of Auto Technician will be hosting Automotive A/S Industry Job Fair from the 29th to 31st. Recruiters will be on site for job opportunities for employment in automotive technology for students and licensed specialists. Counseling for students who are preparing to enter the workforce and experienced specialists in need for career advice can come and consult with specialists in the industry.

Installing Car Audio and Competition WAC (World Association for Car Audio) Korea will be demonstrating installing car audio and hold a competition every day of the event at the KINTEX Hall 8. This event is to increase mutual cooperation between car audio manufacturers and distributors. And, to reach out to the general consumers of the product. Aurix, 6 DB, LIB Sound and other manufacturers with distributors will be showcasing 35 vehicles equipped with sound systems.

Motorsports Exhibition Hall Motorsports Exhibition organized by GP Korea will be held for four days. Team EXR, which is led by Actor Ryu Si Won, will showcase its new 2000cc Class Formula Renault at the exhibition to the public. EXR will have its own booth with two of their team’s racing car. Atlas BX, HK Loctite, INJE Autopia, and other companies related to racing will attempt to create the motorsports track atmosphere.

Automobile Accessories and Black-box At Hall 8, visitors can check out Black-box along with other car accessories and purchase it. The Automobile Accessories Hall will display superior products from different company that visitors can try. Bullseye, ImageNext, DS Telecom and other domestic companies will exhibit the latest black-box.

How to Start an Auto Parts Store

How to Start an Auto Parts StoreIf you are passionate about cars and being self-employed, opening an auto parts store is one way to reach your career goals while being surrounded by something you love. Opening any business involves risk, but if you do your research and plan carefully, running your own auto parts store could be a rewarding and fulfilling venture.

Instructions

1.

Research your local area to determine the need for auto parts in your area. If your community is saturated with auto parts stores, evaluate their services. You can offer the auto parts that they do not. You can also consider offering parts for different types of motorized machines, including motorcycles, lawn mowers, and other machinery.

2.

Develop a business plan that demonstrates your goals and aspirations for your auto parts business. For instance, highlight your intentions, if any, to expand your store and any means you will use to increase your profits. You should also state the more important information that investors will be looking for, such as your monthly expenses and predicted cash flow. For free examples of business plans, visit the U.S. Small Business Administration online

3.

Obtain start-up funds for your auto parts store. Apply for federal and private grants. These are available to just about everyone and never have to be repaid; however, the application process is tedious. If you prefer a quicker route, apply for a small business loan at a bank or credit union. Speak with family and friends about offering becoming an investor in your auto parts store. Don’t be afraid to show them your business plan as well. Your professionalism will play a large part in convincing reluctant brothers, sisters, parents and grandparents to invest in you.

4.

Find a suitable location for your auto parts store. This should be accessible and preferably close to heavily populated areas. This will help your business stay alive due to the constant patronage of your consumers. You can buy, build or lease a store. All three options have their perks, such as being able to avoid paying for expensive structural repairs by signing a lease instead of real estate documents.

5.

Visit your local courthouse or municipal office to apply for the proper licenses, permits and a federal tax identification number for your auto parts store. These documents must be obtained for the legal operation of your auto parts store. Consult your local Small Business Administration for questions or concerns regarding the necessary paperwork you must complete.

6.

Find a supplier that can keep your shelves stocked with auto parts. You are going to need oil and air filters, windshield wipers, car covers, floor mats, coolants, and other items. Before making any final decisions and placing orders, shop around for the best prices. Make sure that you take good care of your relationship with your supplier as he has the auto parts that you plan to sell to make a living.

7.

Determine how many employees you will need to help you operate your auto parts store. You can seek the help of an employment agency who can interview and hire workers on your behalf. Your employees should have customer service skills and knowledge of auto parts and their functions.

8.

Advertise the grand opening of your auto parts store through your local paper and with plenty of signage. Create a website that contains important information, such as your store hours and contact information. Consider allowing your consumers to order their auto parts online. This will increase your sales and help you reach consumers across the country. Consider renting a billboard as well.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always remember to deliver quality customer service and stand behind your automotive products. Stay on top of the automotive industry and keep yourself and your staff educated about any changes or recalls. Competitive prices paired with quality parts and service make for a lucrative auto parts store.

How to Service a Harley-Davidson

Properly service your Harley for safety and reliability.

Harley-Davidson publishes well-defined maintenance schedules and service intervals in every service manual. The maintenance schedule is based on years of experience with the product and is designed to keep the bike operating at peak efficiency while maintaining the safety of the rider. Properly following the service intervals and performing the maintenance will help prevent costly engine damage and unsafe riding conditions. The maintenance schedule is the same across the recent model families and years, although the actual procedures will vary depending on year, model and engine family.

5,000-Mile Service

1. Remove the engine oil drain plug and drain the oil. Replace the drain plug gasket and install the drain plug. Twist the engine oil filter off the filter base and discard the filter. Lubricate the filter gasket with a light coat of fresh engine oil. Spin the filter onto the base until the gasket makes contact, and then turn it an additional one-quarter turn. Refill the engine oil. Perform the oil change every 5,000 miles.

2. Remove the air cleaner filter and inspect it for damage or clogging. Gently blow the filter out using compressed air to remove excess dirt and replace it if damaged. Do not bang the filter against a hard object to dislodge debris.

 

 

 

3. Inspect the tires for damage or tread wear and replace as necessary. Check the tire pressure and adjust as necessary.

4. Readjust the clutch every 5,000 miles according to the procedures for the year and model of your Harley.

5. Inspect, adjust and lubricate the throttle, clutch and brake controls every 5,000 miles. Remove tension from the cables and remove the cables from the throttle grip and clutch lever. Install a cable lubricator tool on the end of the cables and then spray lubricant into the cables. Reinstall and adjust the cables according to specification for your year and model of Harley.

6. Check the level and condition of the brake fluid in the master cylinder reservoirs. The type of brake fluid required for your Harley is embossed on top of the master cylinder reservoir cap.

7. Inspect the brake pads for wear. Replace the brake pads if the friction material reaches 0.04 inch. Look for damage, such as scoring, on the brake discs and replace the discs as necessary. Harley-Davidson does not allow turning the discs on late-model bikes. Check with an authorized service center to determine whether your discs can be turned on a lathe.

8. Remove and inspect the spark plugs for damage, wear and fouling, and replace as necessary.

9. Inspect the exhaust system for damage, leaks and missing fasteners and heat shields. Leaks usually develop at the exhaust gasket where the exhaust pipes meet the heads. Carbon appears on the chrome pipes when leaks are present.

10. Inspect the rear drive belt and pulleys for wear or damage and replace as necessary. Locate the debris deflector viewing window on the rear drive belt guard. Place the belt tensioner gauge against the underside of the belt next to the window and press the gauge upward until it reads “15 pounds.” Look through the debris deflector viewing window and note the amount of belt deflection as indicated by the graduations marked on the sight glass. Check the belt tension and alignment and adjust as necessary according to the specifications for your year and model of Harley.

11. Strike each spoke on the wheels with a spoke wrench and listen to the resulting tone. A low or dull tone indicates a loose spoke. Tighten the spoke with the wrench until it rings with the same tone as the rest of the spokes. Check the wheel spokes for tightness at the first 5,000 miles, and every 15,000 miles thereafter. For safety reasons, Harley-Davidson recommends spoke adjustment be performed by an authorized service center if more than one or two spokes require tightening.

12. Check all electrical switches and devices for proper operation. In basic terms, this is a light and horn check.

13. Check the oil lines, brake hoses and associated fittings, as well as the fuel lines and fittings for cracks or leaks. For safety reasons, Harley-Davidson recommends these checks be performed by an authorized service center.

10,000-Mile Service

  • 1

    Drain the primary chaincase and replace the chaincase drain plug gasket. Refill the primary chaincase with primary chaincase lubricant.

  • 2

    Inspect the jiffy stand for cracks or damage and lubricate it. Cracks can develop on the stand itself rather than on the stand’s swivel mount. This damage is usually caused by resting the bike on the jiffy stand and then sitting on the bike. For safety reasons, Harley-Davidson recommends jiffy stand inspection be performed by an authorized service center. If a damaged jiffy stand breaks under load, personal injury and damage to the bike can be severe.

  • 3

    Check the tightness of the critical fasteners, such as the motor mounts, transmission mounts and stabilizer links. For safety reasons, Harley-Davidson recommends this check be performed by an authorized service center.

  • 4

    Drain and replace the front fork oil and replace the drain plug gasket. This procedure requires the use of a fork holding tool. This is a specialized tool that most bike owners will not have and are not qualified to operate. Do not attempt to drain and replace the front fork oil if you are not qualified to perform this procedure.

  • 5

    Adjust the steering head bearings for fall-away. Most bike owners are not qualified to perform this procedure. Do not attempt to assess or adjust fall-away if you are not qualified to perform this procedure.

20,000-Mile and Over Service

  • 1

    Drain the transmission and replace the transmission drain plug gasket. Refill the transmission with transmission lubricant every 20,000 miles.

  • 2

    Replace the spark plugs every 20,000 miles. Do not overtighten the plugs. Damage to the aluminum engine can result if the plugs are overtightened.

  • 3

    Replace the fuel filter every 25,000 miles. The filter is located inside the fuel tank. On recent year, fuel-injected models, the filter mounts on the fuel pump. On earlier, models with carburetors, the filter mounts on the petcock at the bottom of the tank. If you are uncomfortable performing fuel system procedures, Harley-Davidson recommends the fuel filter replacement be performed by an authorized service center for safety reasons.

  • 4

    Inspect the rear fork bearings every 30,000 miles for signs of damage or cracking. Most bike owners are not qualified to replace the rear fork bearings. Do not attempt to replace the bearings if you are not qualified to perform this procedure.

  • 5

    Disassemble, inspect and lubricate the steering head bearings every 30,000 miles. Most bike owners are not qualified to perform this procedure. Do not attempt to disassemble or lubricant the steering head if you are not qualified.

  • 6

    Inspect the battery for cracks or damage and clean the battery and battery cable terminals once a year. Clean the battery with a solution of 5 teaspoons of baking soda to 1 quart of water.

  • 7

    Perform a road test to check the operation of all systems after every service. Perform a low-speed test in a controlled environment, such as a parking lot, before taking the bike into traffic.

 

Tips & Warnings

  • Procedures and parts needed for required and suggested maintenance may vary slightly among years and models. Refer to model-specific service information for relevant service procedure details and fluid requirements.
  • If you are uncomfortable performing any of these procedures, take the bike to an authorized Harley-Davidson service center for service. Improperly performed service on a motorcycle can result in an unsafe riding condition, severe personal injury and death.

Car Maintenance Checklist

All automotive manufacturers have their own maintenance procedures and schedules, which vary based on the brand of vehicle, types of drivetrain and engine construction, as well as the year model. Advances in metallurgy and the chemicals used in the fluids and lubricants drive many of the variations in maintenance. Due to these changes, refer to your owner’s manual or other factory service literature for your model- and year-specific procedures and fluids. In spite of these differences, though, there are general maintenance points and procedures that have more or less remained constant across the industry and the years

Engine and Drivetrain Fluids

  • Your engine oil and transmission fluid are the primary concerns here, but there are a host of other fluids that are also critical to the drivetrain. Regularly check the level and condition of the power-steering fluid, brake fluid, engine coolant and hydraulic clutch fluid, where applicable. Inspect the rear differential fluid on rear-wheel-drive vehicles, as well as the front differential and transfer case on four-wheel-drive vehicles. Replace these fluids at the intervals specified by your owner’s manual.

Engine Wear Points

  • In addition to the fluids, there are mechanical components on the engine which will wear and fail over time. Among these are the air filter, PCV valve, breather element, drive belts, spark plugs and plug wires. Check all of these components regularly, and adjust them if needed and replace them when they display signs of excessive wear.

    Chassis Maintenance

    • The body and frame of your vehicle has a number of crucial maintenance points. Chief among these are the tires and brake calipers, pads, shoes, rotors and drums. These are especially important for safe driving, and in many states are included in annual inspections. Regular tire rotations will maximize tread life. All of these components must be within their service wear limits and in good operational condition. If you have an older car, your undercarriage may have a number of grease points called Zerk fittings that you will need to grease occasionally. These Zerks will be mounted in points that allow relative motion of suspension components, such as ball joints and tie-rod ends, as well as in the U-joints in the driveshaft. Many newer vehicles do not have Zerk fittings, and require no grease service.

    Service Intervals

    • General service intervals would have you changing the oil every three months or 3,000 miles on older vehicles, with a longer interval on newer vehicles. Using synthetic or semi-synthetic engine oil can also extend the interval beyond what would normally be appropriate if you were to use conventional oil. Many modern vehicles use an oil-life monitor to dictate the interval on your engine oil changes. Automatic transmissions generally need a drain and fill and filter change every 30,000 miles, but it is important that you do not allow the automatic transmission fluid to go more than around 100,000 miles without being changed, or you will cause significant damage when you do change the fluid. You never need a flush — just a drain and fill. If you let someone flush a transmission that is running very old fluid, it can destroy the transmission within the next few thousand miles. Check all of the other service and wear points whenever you perform a full oil and filter change.

About Car Detailing

About Car Detailing

There is nothing like having a clean car. While anyone can simply clean his vehicle, it takes a lot of time and effort to get the car to look as if it just came off the showroom floor.

Detailers take great time and effort to ensure that your car looks its finest. Detailing is more than just washing the exterior and vacuuming the carpets. It’s about getting into every nook and cranny and removing dirt and grime that have built up over the years–thus restoring the car to showroom quality.

History

  • Auto detailing is done for different reasons.

    The art of car detailing is said to have started in Southern California, though no one is quite sure exactly when. Detailing is defined as thoroughly cleaning a vehicle inside and out, in addition to applying wax and polishing the vehicle, thus producing a level of detail that would be deemed show-quality.

    The practice of car detailing has spread throughout the United States and has become more than just a fad. Currently, over 50,000 detailers exist across the country, and these individuals rake in approximately $100,000 a year in detailing sales.

Significance

  • Polishing chrome is a big part of detailing.

    Sometimes an individual will have his vehicle detailed simply because he wants a clean car. At other times, detailing becomes a very serious business, especially when the person having her auto detailed intends to enter it in a car show. In car shows, a vehicle is often judged partially on how well-kept and clean it appears. One such car show that is devoted mainly to the appearance of cars is the Concours d’Elegance, sometimes referred to as the Concours.

    Types

    • Detailing takes time and a lot of hard work.

      There are different methods of auto detailing. One is exterior detailing, which includes waxing, claying, correcting paint defects and polishing the exterior of the vehicle.

      The second type is interior detailing. Interior detailing typically involves liquid cleaners and brushes. Every surface within the interior of the car must be cleaned, from the dashboard, console and visors to the instrument panel. Vacuuming is performed as well.

      The third type of detailing has to do with the engine: It involves removing grease and dirt from the engine bay with all-purpose cleaners and de-greasers.

    Identification

    • Though it would appear that detailing covers every aspect of cleaning a vehicle, it does not encompass considerations like upholstery work, painting, body work or mechanical repair.

      The purpose of detailing is to bring out the vehicle’s appearance potential via the polishing and waxing of exterior paint, wheels and chrome, and by giving the upholstery and seats a thorough cleaning.

      Depending on the detailer, a customer might also be able to purchase undercoating services (including rust-proofing) and interior sealant. Some detailers even repair convertible tops or vinyl upholstery. Most do not, however, and will usually refer you to professionals who specialize in such repairs.

    Considerations

    • Most auto-detailing shops are in remote locations. Because most detailers are not businessmen but craftsmen, they do not typically advertise their services aggressively. You are most likely to find an auto detailer working in a mechanic’s garage, or perhaps out of a private residence. Mobile auto detailing is also becoming increasingly popular, as it allows the owner to have his vehicle professionally detailed without ever having to leave home or the office.

How to Detail a Car

Even if you’re not preparing for a special event, detailing your own car can be a rewarding experience. You’ll also save money and may even come out ahead by discovering a treasure trove of change rivaling that in your couch. Here are a few tips on how to get started.

  • Detailing the Inside

      • 1

        Vacuum the carpets and floor mats thoroughly.

      • 2

        Remove carpet and floor mat stains caused by the soft drinks or coffee you spilled when you hit that speed bump. Use either a mild soap solution or a commercial stain remover. If needed, use a brush to remove the sticky matter that you can’t and don’t want to identify.

    • 3

      Clean the upholstery the same way you cleaned the carpet. If using a commercial stain remover, make sure it is appropriate for the upholstery. Destroying your expensive leather seats by using an overly harsh solvent may cause a lot of damage.

    • 4

      Clean out any dirt from the doorjamb, carefully wiping with a soapy solution and a rag. For the tighter areas and smaller parts, you may need to use a small brush or a cotton swab.

    • 5

      Clean the interior of the door with a soapy solution and a soft rag. For those areas encrusted with heavy, slimy, ugly muck, a commercial cleaning fluid may be needed. Since some door interiors have silly and useless ornaments, cotton swabs or a toothbrush may be needed to finish the cleaning process. Use a soft cloth to dry the door.

    • 6

      Clean the interior windows with a commercial window cleaning fluid.

    • 7

      Clean the steering wheel column with your soapy solution, cotton swabs, and toothbrush. Both the steering wheel and the steering column should then be covered with a spray-on surface protectant.

    • 8

      Clean the dashboard and center console with the soapy rag–you may need to use the cotton swabs and toothbrush.

    Detailing the Outside

    • 1

      Wash your car in sections. A typical car can be washed in five sections.

    • 2

      Use a detergent made specifically for automobiles so you don’t damage the finish. A soft washing cloth or chamois should also be used. The amount of water used during the process should be generous, and if using a bucket of water and not a hose, when the water becomes moderately dirty, it should be changed.

    • 3

      Rinse the car after washing. This removes detergent from sitting on the paint and promoting oxidation. Dry the car thoroughly using the softest towels you can find.

    • 4

      Clean the wheels and tires separate from the rest of the car. Wheels and tires can be quite dirty and covered with brake pad dust, a heavier detergent specifically for wheels and tires may be needed. There are a number of tire treatment products on the market. They also require more time, and this breaks up the rhythm of washing, which could possibly lead to the drying of detergent on the exterior surfaces of the car.

    • 5

      Wax your car using a polish with a high Carnauba content. Liquid and paste waxes are superior to thinner spray-on waxes. One application of wax is sufficient. Excess wax should be removed with a very soft cloth.

    • 6

      Clean the exterior glass using a glass cleaning fluid. Newspaper does a good job of polishing glass.

 

Tips & Warnings

  • Sometimes, the only way to remove dust from small recessed areas is the use of canned air like that used to clean computers.
  • There are many types of wheels. It is best to check manufacturer recommendations for suggestions regarding their cleaning.
  • If you have been tooling through the countryside in the summer, cleaning the windshield glass may require more than simply cleaning and polishing away water streaks. A rubber spatula is sometimes helpful removing dead bugs.
  • It’s crucial that you don’t spray commercial cleaning fluids or slosh the soapy water solution all over the dash board. This area of the automobile contains electrical switches as well as your sound system.
  • A chamois should not be used to dry the car because small particles can cling to it and scratch the surface.
  • You should not wash or wax your car in direct sunlight. Soap suds and wax will dry quicker and sunlight can promote water spotting.

About Matthew Wright, Our Auto Repair Expert

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Matthew Wright, your About.com Guide to Auto Repair, has been trained in both journalism and auto repair, with extensive experience in both fields. He attended Georgia State University’s well known school of journalism, where he studied newswriting. Prior to this he worked for years in the automotive industry, running a repair facility in Atlanta before moving to the great state of New York.
Experience

Matthew has experience in both journalism and auto repair. He has worked in the automotive industry since 1989, specializing in European auto repair and rebuilding. After almost a decade in the business, he began working as a reporter in 1996, and has held positions as a newspaper staff writer and magazine editor. After some years in journalism, he returned to the automotive world, opening an exclusive repair and restoration facility for vintage European makes.
Education

Matthew attended Georgia State University where he studied print journalism and held the position of news editor at the University’s weekly newspaper, but the real education came from years of maintaining, troubleshooting and repairing both my own cars and those for our first repair facility, Wright Brothers Automotive. There is no substitute for experience, and Matthew’s experience goes back to 1989.
Matthew Wright

Doing your own auto repair, troubleshooting and maintenance can be very rewarding! Not only will you save money by avoiding some trips to the repair shop, the more you fix yourself the better you know your car, and that makes sense on all fronts. With a little help, you can be greasy and accomplished in no time at all. And for those times that a trip to the mechanic is unavoidable, you’ll know when you’re being treated fairly and when somebody might be trying to rip you off. Throw a little mechanic-speak back at those guys and watch their tune change before your eyes. Now get out there and dirty up!

WASHINGTON STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE: LAWSUIT SETTLEMENT FORCES AUTO REPAIR SHOP TO PAY CUSTOMERS $10,000

SEATTLE, June 29 /PRNewswire/ — In the first enforcement action under a new law, a chain of auto repair shops in King and Pierce counties has agreed to reimburse eight customers more than $10,000, Attorney General (AG) Christine O. Gregoire said today.
In a suit filed against H.C. Auto Care Inc. the Attorney General’s Office alleged the firm violated the several provisions of Washington’s auto repair disclosure law that went into effect Jan. 1. The AG’s Office claimed H.C. Auto:
— Installed parts on vehicles without accurately indicating on
invoices whether the part was new, used or rebuilt;
— Kept customers’ payments for repairs not performed, or for parts
not delivered or installed; and
— Failed to post signs explaining customers’ right regarding auto
repair
“These and other violations of the law demonstrate the need for our tough statute against unfair or unscrupulous auto repair practices,” Gregoire said. “Most consumers must rely heavily on the expertise and, equally important, the honesty, of auto repair specialists.”
H.C. Auto operates nine auto repair facilities in Seattle, Bellevue, Lynnwood, Federal Way, Tacoma, Kirkland and Renton. Its headquarters are in Seattle.
In addition to paying $10,208 in restitution to eight consumers, the firm has agreed to pay about $3,500 in attorneys’ fees and court costs, under a settlement filed Monday in King County Superior Court. An additional civil penalty of $15,000 was suspended, on the condition the firm does not violate state consumer laws. The company does not admit any fault in the settlement.
This enforcement action comes on the heels of 12 training sessions statewide on the new Automotive Repair Act. More than 1,100 service managers and independent shop owners participated in the sessions, conducted by the AG’s Office between October 1993 and May of this year.
For the last several years, automotive repair concerns have comprised the largest or second largest category of complaints received by the AG’s Consumer Protection Division. This high volume of complaints prompted Gregoire to propose significant changes to the auto repair law in 1992. Last year, auto repair concerns ranked second with 1,500, or 8 percent of the total complaints to the Consumer Protection Division.
To help educate the public, the AG’s Office has published “Auto Repair Law,” a brochure on consumers’ rights and how to deal with auto repair facilities. It is available free by calling 800-551-4636, or, for the hearing impaired, 800-276-9883.
Assistant Attorney General Douglas D. Walsh and Investigator Tim Schindele handled this case for the Office of the Attorney General.
-0- 6/29/94
/NOTE TO EDITORS: The following Tukwila resident, who is one of the eight consumers receiving restitution, is available for interviews: Michael Greener, 206-244-4506/
/CONTACT: Doug Walsh, Consumer Protection Division, 206-464-7243, or Dean R. Owen, Public Affairs Office, 206-586-1883, both of the Attorney General’s Office/

AUTO REPAIR INDUSTRY DEVELOPS CODE OF ETHICS

representatives of the automotive repair industry have developed a code of ethics to demonstrate to consumers the high standard of service used by participating companies. The code was developed by the Maintenance Awareness Program (MAP), a group of automotive repair companies and trade associations which is administered by the Automotive Parts & Accessories Association (APAA).
“Developing a code of ethics is an important step in fostering two- way communication between the repair industry and the customers we serve,” said Lawrence S. Hecker, APAA president and MAP chairman. “The code encourages consumers to have high expectations of the level of service provided by our industry; expectations that we have an obligation to fulfill every time a customer walks through the door.”
The code was composed by MAP’s Service Provider Task Force, which includes the following companies: Bridgestone/Firestone, Car-X Muffler and Brake, General Motors, Goodyear, Midas International, Monro Muffler, Montgomery Ward/Auto Express, Pep Boys, Sears, Speedy Muffler King and Western Auto.
Other MAP initiatives include the development and establishment of standards for preventive maintenance and system inspection for automotive technicians and consumers. MAP’s consumer education brochure, “Under the Hood and Around the Car,” is now available at no charge by contacting MAP or the Consumer Information Center in Pueblo, Colo.
The Maintenance Awareness Program is an industrywide coalition dedicated to strengthening consumer confidence in the automotive repair industry. Spearheaded by the Automotive Parts & Accessories Association, MAP’s participants represent more than 130 retailers, suppliers, independent service stations, industry associations and publications.
Based in Bethesda, the Automotive Parts & Accessories Association is the only international automotive aftermarket association representing the entire industry. Its 1,500-plus member companies are manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers, distributors, manufacturers’ representatives and others who make and market automotive products and services.
MAINTENANCE AWARENESS PROGRAM
CODE OF ETHICS
1. That recommendations will be clearly explained to the customer
and based on system failure, improved system performance or
preventive maintenance according to accepted industry standards.
2. That personnel will be properly trained and qualified to perform
an accurate inspection and/or service of vehicle systems.
3. That a written estimate will be provided and no work will be
performed without a prior authorization.
4. That a written limited warranty will be included at no
additional cost.

Auto parts and automotive repair and maintenance services, ITP and wash / car care.

Tenders are invited for Auto parts and automotive repair and maintenance services, ITP and wash / car care.

Procurement Providing Spare Parts and Car Accessories, Services for Maintenance and Repair of Motor Vehicles, Automotive Periodic Inspection and Cleaning and Car Care Services for Motor Vehicles Belonging to the Headquarters of the National Forest – Bucharest Kerslake.

Total quantity or scope: quantity of the framework agreement

Minimum and maximum amounts specified in the Framework Agreement Annex 2.1 (labor and parts revisions), Annex 2.2 (parts revisions) and Annex 2.3 (other service centers) in the specification

QUANTITY CONTRACTS UP

Minimum and maximum amounts of the largest subsequent contract specified in Annex 2.4 (labor and parts revisions), Annex 2.5 (parts revisions) and Annex 2.6 (other service centers) in the specification.

Estimated value excluding VAT: 961,569.5 RON

Time limit for receipt of tenders or requests to participate: 10.11.2014 16:00

Conditions for opening tenders: Date (closing date of the tender evaluation): 24/11/2014 6:00 p.m.

Language or languages in which may be tender or to participate: Romanian Currency in which the forward price: EUR

Division into lots: No

Deposits and guarantees required: The security of participation: 19,000.00 USD. Validity of tender guarantee of 90 days from the date stated for receipt of tender. Bid bond will be established in accordance with Art. 43 ^ 1 of GEO 34/2006 and art. 86, paragraph (1) of H. G. No. 925/2006 amended and supplemented, by bank transfer or by a guarantee instrument issued under the law of a banking company or an insurance company in the form presented in the form “Letter of Guarantee”. If the bidder opts for the collateralisation of participation by bank transfer, it will transfer equivalent collateral in one of the National Forest accounts Kerslake (RO 1,590,120, J40 / 450/1991) RO20BRDE410 account SV54016774100 – BRD P-ta Romanian ; RO68RZBR0000060000681176 – Raiffeisen Bank P-ta Romanian. Evidence of participation guarantee (regardless of how it is made up) scanned in SEAP will load in a file entitled “Warranty of participation” with the qualification documents and technical bid and shall be filed and the office of the contracting authority, in the original until the date and time for submission of ofertelor.In situation in which SMEs benefit from 346/2004 Law, bidders are required to post proof that they are SMEs. If you choose to pay the guarantee of participation in another currency equivalent will be the exchange rate of the date set 5 days before the deadline for receipt of tenders. Bid bond shall be returned as provided by art. 88, para 1, 2, 3 of H. G. No. 925/2006 IBAN account stated in the form of general information or in case stipulated by art. 88, paragraph

COLLEGE AUTO REPAIR PROGRAM EARNS COALITION CERTIFICATION.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-HemWtPbhZMk/TX_Xnm7OFhI/AAAAAAAAAJY/LAJdbFRQsKg/s1600/LBCCSnapOn8.jpg

LANCASTER – Antelope Valley College has become the first community college in California to have its automotive technology program certified by the Automotive Repair Coalition.

`The Automotive Repair Coalition gave the college its highest competency ranking – level three – in five areas: engine repair, heating and air conditioning, emission systems, suspension systems and brake systems,” campus public relations director Steve Standerfer said.

The Sacramento-based ARC consists primarily of after-market companies such as Firestone, Goodyear and Sears looking for skilled automotive technicians. The level-three certification in California Automotive Technician Training Standards means a graduate of the college’s program will have complete comprehensive training in the specified skill areas and will require minimum supervision, Standerfer said.

The certification is indicative of the excellent work of the faculty in preparing students for their chosen career, AVC President Linda Spink said.

The program met the requirements that the repair coalition was looking for, automotive instructor Chuck Capsel said.

Capsel, along with instructor John Knapp, worked to obtain the certification, Capsel said.

One of the key factors in the process is the fact that the program is industry-driven, he said.

`This certification indicates that the program at Antelope Valley College is a high-quality, comprehensive automotive program which meets the high standards of the automotive industry,” said Maggie Drake, AVC Technology Education Division dean. “The industry will recognize that students who complete our program are well-prepared to meet their needs.”

Drake believes an infusion of new, state-of-the-art automotive equipment and training stations over the past two years helped AVC obtain the certification, she said.

< Lancaster United Methodist Children’s Center is accepting applications for its kindergarten.

The program also offers after-school care, kindergarten teacher Jo Marie Brandon said.

The nondenominational center, which is one of the ministry projects of Lancaster Methodist Church, was known since 1963 as the Lancaster United Methodist Preschool, Brandon said. The name was changed in 1997 with the establishment of the kindergarten to reflect a center that houses both programs, she said.

“Our kindergarten is a full-day kindergarten,” Brandon said. “We run 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. It’s nondenominational. You don’t have to be Methodist. You don’t even have to go to the church here. It’s just one of the ministries of the church.”

The kindergarten follows state guidelines, Brandon said.

The cost of the kindergarten program is $265 a month, interim director Pennie Leighton said.

The preschool program runs from two to five days a week, she said.

The center conducts some fund raising, always welcomes donations and is open to the idea of possible business sponsorships, Leighton said.

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Ford Super Duty Trucks and E-Series vans are very similar
Step By Step Instructions Changing Transmission Fluid

This article will be especially helpful for owners of Ford Super Duty Trucks, Ford Excursions, all E-series vans, Ford Expeditions and Lincoln Navigators that are newer than the year 2000. This article will also work for any other vehicle that requires a 4R100 transmission fluid change. It seems as though the need to change the transmission fluid always comes at such an inconvenient time, but as responsible vehicle owners, we realize that it’s a necessary evil. Keeping your Ford transmission healthy can save you a huge headache and expense in the long run.

It is easier than you think to change your transmission fluid, filter and gasket for your Ford F-250, F-350, Excursion, E-Series vans, Expedition and Lincoln Navigator. Changing the transmission fluid on a Ford F-250 is almost the exact same process as a transmission fluid change in a Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator. Transmission fluid for E-Series vans is necessary to keep your Ford Truck running smoothly. This article contains tips and instructions for Ford Transmission fluid changes, and is a project that you can do by yourself and save a lot of money. You can buy a Ford gasket online or at your local Ford service center at a reasonable cost. You may also want to consider purchasing Ford Filters in bulk to save you money on your vehicle maintenance.
Do It Yourself Ford Transmission Fluid Change

As we mentioned earlier, owning a vehicle comes with responsibilities, and necessary expenses. One of the most important responsibilities in Ford Truck maintenance is to regularly change your vehicle’s fluids. One of the most important fluids in your Ford vehicle is the transmission fluid. As we know, transmission health can make or break your vehicle, so it’s important to be proactive in ensuring that this maintenance is done as scheduled. If you have an automatic transmission, it is recommended that you change your ATF or automatic transmission fluid every 10,000 miles and change the Ford transmission fluid filter and gasket every 30,000 miles. Use caution when you buy discount auto parts; you may want to stick with brand name supplies to ensure that you are using high quality auto fluids with your vehicle.

When changing your transmission fluid, it is important to have all your supplies on hand before beginning your project as you cannot drive your vehicle to pick up additional automobile maintenance supplies at your local automobile parts store once you have begun. You’d be surprised how many people neglect this simple fact and end up having to either put things back together or get a ride to the nearest auto parts store. Make sure to have two gallons of Mercon Automatic Transmission Fluid or similar item on hand. It is also a great idea to have a quart of Lucas Oil’s Transmission fix. You also need a gasket which will come with the filter when you buy it. All these products are available at auto parts stores such as Pep Boys, Advance Auto Parts, AutoZone, Checker Auto Parts and Napa Auto Parts. Call the auto parts store in advance to make sure that they have the transmission fluid or Ford parts that you will need. You will also need a drain collection pan, a standard socket set and a flat tip screw driver.

Start your transmission fluid change by parking your Ford Truck on a flat surface and engaging your emergency parking brake. Make sure to block your rear tires to make sure your vehicle doesn’t slip while you are working on it. Jack up the front end of your Ford Truck and place it on jack stands.

Locate your transmission pan in your F-250 or other Ford vehicle. It is located just aft of your transmission and will most usually have a drain plug bolt at the lowest point. Place your drain collection pan underneath the drain plug and loosen the plug slowly. Allow the Automatic transmission fluid to completely drain from your vehicle. Once the fluid is drained take the transmission pan off with a your socket set. There is no order in which to loosen or tighten the bolts just make sure not to loose them. Do make sure not to take all the bolts off of just one side and let the pan basically dangle. This could possibly bend the pan and cause damage. If that happens, you will need to find Ford motor replacement parts before you can continue. Instead, carefully remove the bolts and hold the pan up while removing the remaining bolts and lower the pan to the ground.

Clean up the pan with a lint free shop rag and set aside. Remove the filter by pulling down while rotating it gently. If the gasket did not come off with the pan, remove it from the transmission pan housing. If it is fused or stuck to the housing you can carefully pry it off with a flat head screw driver. You can purchase a flat tip screwdriver or other tools at your local hardware store, if you don’t already have one. Make sure to not scratch the housing as it might cause leaks.

Install the new Ford filter and place the new gasket on the transmission pan so that it lines up with the bolt pattern. Hold the pan in place and line the pan up with the bolt holes in the transmission pan housing. Hand tighten all the bolts back in place and use your socket set to tighten the bolts down. Make sure to not tighten the bolts so far that they warp the pan. Once the pan is properly in place, replace the drain plug and tighten it down.

If you are concerned about your transmission it is a good idea to add a quart of Transmission Fix by Lucas. It takes the place of one quart of Automatic Transmission Fluid. Lucas Oil Transmission Fix helps keep the seals from sticking, keeping your transmission running smooth. It’s actually one of our favorite additives; it seems to work wonders. This will help reduce the risk of you needing Ford transmission repair in the future.

Add 5 more quarts of Automatic Transmission Fluid. Start your vehicle and place your foot on the brake while shifting through all gears including reverse and then back up to park. Next, take your vehicle for a short test drive not to exceed 10 miles and see how it rides. You should use this test drive time to check for any leaks and to work the new fluid through the filter. Once you are back at your house, check the transmission fluid level and add fluid as necessary. That’s it! You should be good to go for another 10,000 miles

And even time tested dark

Bored with well-lit tones

What simple fact fresh, contemporary tint looking for that’s available? Will be the fluorescent, Ruddy, Blue, And even time tested dark? Get out of with each one of steady pigments not to mention shiny tints, Switch the signal from bright tones in addition return prettier trendier. The brand new stylish craze involves essentially good deal most feminine, Graceful, A little wild, At this point simple. The style could bright pigments could not diminish and will have something totally new and seductive rolling around to use your cat. Actually, You are not aware of these, Also pastels carry on very well who has pastels. Look at your cabinet and you really are actually going to pinpoint a light coloring highlights, Hottest and also everthing else, Beforehand in that location. Pale accessories in of asia not really unique; It’s just higher new and trendy recently. You can put on these color palette in day time in addition to being at the night time individuals or groups. A impressive extra very well as a a silk duvet because pointing to chiffon costume in light hues are sufficiently good to draw all highlight in just a event. The most efficient different shades to attempt wearing pastels are often green, Healthy, Rare, Pink, Pink coloured, With orange are some different shades that you should try to put on. May possibly try a muted colors violet to buy a more a little wild and in addition naughty looks.

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Styles in the indian subcontinent is every time stayed at a primary associated with its tradition. Computer do not follow a unique shade of or costume what follows, Wish to your home is with what is it being designed and / or developed mainly because of the graphic creators listed below. The holler in order over pastels supports in a roundabout way made it easier to us to consentrate on thousands of attire which are saved in our filing cabinet as they definitely were flat and consequently drab using the previous form tendency. Light designs in little black dress may be ever present it might experienced prognosis actually. Since marriage proclaimed as the initial layout tendency, Well later never be reluctant bring folks clothings out there in addition show them off around the globe. A sensational scene to spend any other free cent to correspond with this current orientation regarding styles. You felt the need the group about time consuming, Garment folks while walk out. With thanks to the need for pendant boosting execute, So the expense of the necklace around your neck is furthermore in contact height. You’ll want to organize the spot for retaining the feast day wedding ceremony party. Artists the internet alternative ‘re a less difficult steps for that special day.

How to Make Money Scrapping Auto Batteries

Old auto batteries cannot simply be thrown away becauseMake Money Scrapping Auto Batteries they contain toxic substances, such as acid and lead. The lead makes them valuable to scrappers, though. So you can provide a service and earn money at the same time by collecting old auto batteries and selling them to a recycling facility.

Instructions

  1. Locate a place to store the auto batteries. In order to make money scrapping old auto batteries, you must collect enough to make it worth delivering them to the scrapping facility. You need an appropriate place to store them, such as a concrete-floored garage or shed. Old auto batteries can develop acid leaks, so they should be kept concrete to in case of a leak. Do not store them outdoors or you may run into problems with local zoning laws.
  2. Place an ad on Craigslist for your local area, post notices on bulletin boards and spread the word among friends and co-workers. Most people like to support recycling efforts, so they may be happy to give you old auto batteries if they know you’ll be recycling them.
  3. Find the local recycling facility that offers the most money for scrap auto batteries. Auto batteries are purchased by scrappers because they contain reusable lead. If you have more than one facility in the area that purchases old auto batteries, compare the amounts they pay. Weigh this against the distance you must travel to deliver the batteries, as gas costs can offset a higher pay rate if a facility is too far away.
  4. Once you have gathered a full load of batteries, bring them to the recycling facility. Wear safety glasses and gloves when handling the batteries to protect yourself from possible acid leaks. Protect the hauling vehicle by covering the cargo area with a plywood board covered by a tarp. This should be enough to protect the area from acid during transit. If they become damaged, they are easily replaced. Drop the batteries off and collect your cash.

How to Recondition a Car Battery at Home

If your car’s battery isn’t holding a charge or otherwise is not up to par, you may be able to fix it. The most common cause of degraded battery performance in lead-acid batteries is sulfation, which occurs when sulfur collects on the lead plates in the battery, blocking the electric current. It’s not difficult to recondition a car battery at home. However, sulfation causes irreversible corrosion of the lead plates, so this process will work only three to five times.
It’s not difficult to recondition a car battery at home.

Instructions

  1. Test the battery to see if it is likely to respond to reconditioning; it needs to register 12 volts on a voltmeter. If it’s between 10 and 12 volts, you may be able to restore the battery to full function, but if it tests at less than 10 volts, you’re probably wasting your time.
  2. Heat a half quart of distilled water to 150 degrees F, and dissolve 7 or 8 oz. of Epsom salts in the water.
  3. Remove the battery cell caps. If you have a sealed battery, find the “shadow plugs” that cover openings to the battery cells–you’ll need to drill through these.
  4. Drain any fluid out of the battery and use a plastic funnel to pour enough of the Epsom salt solution in to fill each cell of the battery properly.
  5. Insert plastic plugs in the drill holes or replace the battery caps and shake the battery to make sure the Epsom salts solution is well distributed.
  6. Recharge the battery on a slow charge for 24 hours and then re-install it in your car.

Preventative Maintenance Auto Repair Benefits

For most the world, even owning a car that runs is more of a dream than a reality. Fortunately in America the majority of us have reliable cars to take us everywhere we need to go.  With transportation costs rising in the US it’s important to be mindful of ways to save money on our vehicles.

Auto repair can often come at unexpected times.  Budgeting for these types of “unexpected” repairs is the best advice you can get, but the simple truth is that many people still won’t plan for auto repairs.

Preventative maintenance on the other hand is something that you can plan for and will drastically extend the life of your vehicle.  In fact, preventative maintenance will actually lower the total cost of ownership over the lifetime of your vehicle.  This article will cover 3 of the top preventative maintenance tips that you can apply to save yourself some cash on auto repairs.

Preventative Maintenance Can Improve Gas Mileage

You can drastically improve your gas mileage with proper preventative maintenance.  This includes simple tips like properly inflating your tires, making sure you pass emissions, getting a basic tune up, and changing the fuel filter.  With these basic preventative maintenance improvements you can expect to see up to a 10% increase in gas mileage.

Preventative Maintenance Can Minimize Break Downs

Simple tasks like checking fluid levels and getting regularly scheduled oil changes will reduce the number of unexpected break downs.  Oil changes are a pretty obvious one but do you also consider things like the air filter, spark plugs, battery terminals, belts, etc.  These are smart choices to invest in before major road trips if you’re due.  Knowing that your vehicle is up to speed in the preventative maintenance department will also add a level of confidence to your driving.

Preventative Maintenance Increases Passenger Safety

No one wants to imagine a break down but it would be even worse to experience mechanical failure while your vehicle is in motion.  Accidents happen but preventative maintenance reduces dangerous mechanical failures.  With the safety of you and the passengers of your vehicle it is worth taking the time to understand the dangers of failing to perform preventative maintenance.

Finally, this article wouldn’t be complete without a reference to saving money with auto repair coupons.  Every major auto repair franchise offers some form of coupon/discounts if you search online.  One thing to keep in mind is that many credible shops will beat any written estimate so make sure and do your homework to ensure you get the best deal.  If you’re smart you will find a quality auto repair shop or mechanic that you can trust.  It pays to work with someone that you know because you don’t want to overpay for unexpected repairs!

How to Salvage a Flood Damaged Car Engine – DIY Auto Repair

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Many will tell you once a car has been in a flood; the engine is no longer good.They will go on to tell you the problems you will run into if you should dare to buy a car that was under water. Insurance companies will deem the automobile totaled. This is only partially true. Salvaging the car’s engine will depend on the steps you take after the flood. In all cases a car that has been submerged in salt water, the engine can be salvaged, but it will not last long. Salt is highly corrosive and will degrade the metal parts of the engine along with the wiring. The salt will eat away at wire coverings causing major electrical problems in the automobile. No matter how well you rinse or wash the internal parts, once salt water has invaded the engine space or interior spaces of the car, the damage is done.

A car involved in fresh water flooding as a result of a severe rain storm, overflowing banks of rivers, lakes and streams or an accidental drive into a body of water, can be saved. Many insurance companies will total the automobile and send it off to an auction. Car dealers can buy the car or your insurance company will sell it back to you at a fraction of the value. Your automobile title will be stamped with an “S”. The “S” stands for “Salvage”. Insurance companies will reinsure the automobile with a replacement value in line with the lowest blue book value. As long as you take the necessary steps WITHOUT starting the car – you can save a flood damaged car engine.

Start with the automobile’s Battery

Pop the hood open on your car.

Locate the battery and remove the wires from the battery.

Take the battery out of the engine compartment.

Set it aside – the battery may or may not be good.

Move to the Oil

Crawl under the car.

Locate the drain plug for the oil.

Place a large oil pan under the drain plug.

Take the plug out and let the oil drain into the pan.

Leave the oil pan in place under the automobile for one to two days to allow all of the oil to flow out, which also allows the water to drip out and dry.

On to the Transmission

Crawl back under the car with a second large pan.

Locate the plug for the transmission. Some cars will have a sealed transmission without a plug. If this is the case drain the transmission oil according to the automobile manufacturer’s instructions.

Allow the transmission oil to drain out of the transmission.

Leave the plug out for one to two days to allow the water to slowly drip out and dry.

And Now the Air Filter

Locate the air filter.

Remove it and discard it.

Brakes – Because Stopping is Important

Find the master cylinder.

Take the cap off the master cylinder.

Suction the brake fluid out with a large syringe or you can also use an old turkey baster.

Squirt the fluid into a container.

Disconnect the brake lines from the master cylinder using a line wrench.

Drain the brake fluid from the lines into the container with the other brake fluid.

Disconnect the connector from the reservoir.

Loosen the three nuts that hold the master cylinder in place.

Move the master cylinder and remove the gasket. Throw out the gasket and get a replacement.

Wipe down the master cylinder and area around it.

Put the new gasket in place.

Tighten the nuts to hold the master cylinder in place.

Reconnect the lines.

Fill the reservoir with brake fluid.

Bleed the air out of the brake lines.

It’s Time for Spark Plugs

Find the spark plugs and take them out.

Wipe the spark plugs down and keep them for later.

Sit Back and Wait — Patiently

Gather what you will need to get the car back in running condition or go fishing – it’s your choice and you do have to wait a day or two.

Take the time to properly dispose of the fluids you drained from the automobile.

Replace the Fluids

Put the transmission plug back in.

Fill the transmission with new transmission oil.

Remove the old oil filter and replace it.

Put the plug back in and fill with the appropriate motor oil.

See if the Battery Works

Put the battery back into place inside the engine compartment.

Reconnect the battery cables.

Use the Battery Power to Help Save the Flood Damaged Engine

Get into the car and insert the key into the ignition.

Turn the key as if you are starting it – I know it doesn’t have spark plugs and won’t start – but the it will force any remaining water out of the cylinders.

Repeat six to eight times.

If the car engine won’t attempt to turn over – the battery may be dead.

Back to The Air Filter

Put a new air filter in place.

You Need Spark

Either buy new spark plugs and put them in place or use the ones you removed from the engine.

The Moment of Truth

Get back into the car.

Insert the key into the ignition.

Turn the key and start the car.

A Few Car Salvaging Tips

Do not even think about trying to start the car until you have gone through all of the above steps. A great way to ruin your engine is to try to start it with all of that water in it.

After draining fluids, removing plugs and filters, it’s time to tackle the inside of the car. For best results wait for a nice, warm sunny day.

Remove the seats and set them in the sun to dry.

Vacuum the inside of the car with a wet dry vacuum to pull out as much moisture as possible.

Pull the carpeting out of the car. Lay the carpeting on a flat clean surface. Shampoo the rug with a cleaner made for marine use which has ingredients that will kill odor along with mold and mildew. If the seats are cloth, shampoo them also.

McPherson College C.A.R.S. club car show

On the first Saturday in May each year, McPherson college students enrolled in the automotive restoration program host a very impressive car show. This show is always something special. For me it is more of a social event because I get to see friend who I attended college with. This year was no different. Except this was the first car show that I had a car at….Well, sort of. Because it took me an hour and a half to load Kacy’s pickup on to our car trailer by myself, I was not very eager to unload the truck at the show, So I pulled the truck around to a parking lot were it was visible to those in attendance. The important part was more that Kacy and her family all got to see and enjoy the truck. Project Eugene received many complements and was major boost to my ego, now I am extremely excited to get this project through to completion.

Below are the photos I took at the car show. I do apologize, I missed a lot of the show because of talking with old friends. There were many terrific automobiles in attendance that I did not get the chance to look at.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Car Repair Technicians: How to Find a Good Auto Mechanic

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How Find a Good Auto Repair Service
Good Deals on Car Repairs

The typical new car is a computer on wheels. As much as 15 computers control such functions as the speed of the windshield wipers, sparkplug timing, and the antiskid function of the brakes. Actually, automotive technicians will tell you that the owners of recent-model car have more computing power at their fingertips than the early astronauts had to pilot their spacecraft.

Today’s auto repair technicians have had wide electronics training, and they use this information and training to diagnose trouble in the engine, ignition, electrical and fuel-injection systems, power train, transmission, differential, lubricating system, wheel suspension, the front axle, steering mechanism and braking system.

There are numerous types of auto repair shops and each type offers a little different kind of auto repair service:

Car dealer service departments stock most parts for the automobiles they sell. Additionally, dealer service departments are generally well supported by the automobile manufacturers themselves, who furnish frequent written updates about technical problems and send representatives to train and work with technicians in the dealership service departments. The manufacturers also work with those service departments to cover warranties. So, when your car is still under warranty, your first stop for regularly scheduled maintenance and repairs should be a dealership, though not necessarily the one from which you bought the car.

The key to finding a good auto mechanic is to look before you need one.

Often car dealerships have a supposed secret warranty arrangement with the manufacturer. Under these secret warranties, the manufacturer will pay the dealership to fix problems found in specific makes and models after purchase, even if the car is otherwise out of warranty. The problem is, dealership service departments rarely tell customers about these warranties. If something goes wrong with your vehicle, ask the dealership if there is a policy adjustment available for your particular type of vehicle.

Service stations and general auto repair shops are generally owned or managed by independent technicians and mechanics. These car technicians may or may not have access to all the equipment found in a dealership service department. All the same, many of these mechanics are great generalists, and they often charge much less than will a dealership service department for out-of-warranty repairs.

Specialty auto repair shops are just that—shops that perform only one type of repair, like brake service, change of oil or other lubrication, or a limited range of repairs. You can get quick and competitively priced service in these shops, but the emphasis is often on replacement instead of repair.

Mall automobile service departments are almost always associated with a mass merchandizing outlet, like Sears. Replacement parts in these shops are many times discounted and the technicians are typically well trained. However, the emphasis is on services that can be done rapidly.

You can make a list of automotive repair technicians by asking friends and colleagues regarding the garages they use. Members of local car clubs and people who collect cars are some other source of names.

A phone call to the Better Business Bureau can reassure you that no complaints have stayed unresolved against any of the garages on your list. Ask specifically about what type of complaints were filed and how those complaints were managed.

All Day Auto Open Auto Transportation Trailer

Classic Car Shipping and Transport

DOES YOUR CLASSIC CAR REQUIRE SPECIAL HANDLING AND ATTENTION?
At All Day Auto Transport we provide both open and enclosed car transport methods to our customers with Classic Cars, and we will ship your vehicle per your exact preferences.

For customers with Classic Cars, exotic cars or new cars, there is often a preference for shipping these vehicles using an enclosed carrier so that they will be protected from the elements, theft, and remain in showroom condition.

We do recommend, that if you have a vehicle that warrants extra special handling that you consider an enclosed carrier. Some of these special handling circumstances include:

* Vehicle is a classic, rare or high-end model.
* Vehicle is low-clearance.
* Vehicle is extra-wide.
* Vehicle is used in showrooms or advertising.
* If you are concerned about harsh weather conditions.

One thing to note about enclosed carriers — if you are willing to pay the extra cost for enclosed shipping services, rest assured that this does mean that your vehicle will be shipped entirely ENCLOSED. The enclosure in which your classic car travels is solid, from floors to walls to the ceiling overhead.
All Day Auto Transport specializes in shipping classic cars and exotic cars.

All Day Auto Transport

Great service. I would definitely use this All Day Auto in the near future ship my vehicles. The pick from origin was fast and on time. I was keept informed of stops and delays at all times. The drop off was early which was not any problems because my vehicle was there as soon as I arrived I will definitely use there services in the near future. A five star company nonetheless.

Automotive Repairs – Interior and Exterior Car and Truck Repair – Do I Need an Expert?

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Automotive Repairs

It used to just be the boys’ top choice for a high school elective; it used to be just the odd weekend afternoon tinkering, a man’s man’s hobby, but automotive repair has come into its own with vocational certification and engineering training for serious professionals.

Automotive Repair is an all-inclusive term for the cosmetic body work, electrical and mechanical repair or replacement needed to keep cars and other vehicles in good running condition. While driving a car that looks and sounds good is of prime importance for most car owners, it isn’t just about the joy or convenience of having a cool, running car, it’s become a source of pride to show off a well-conditioned vehicle, indicating the amount of time and resources an owner invests in the car.

Of course a lot of guys still like tinkering under the hood, adding a personal touch to maintaining their cars, even though a lot of professional car maintenance services are now readily available in most areas. Let’s run through some of the most common areas of automotive repair.

Running Well

Automotive repair means hands-on work with standard flat-rates for manual labor. Having a vehicle maintained by a professional shop is a convenient and easy method of keeping your car running well. Bring your car in to have your engine checked at key mileage points. Check with your car manufacturer to make sure you’ve kept your check up appointments on time. Having a regular tune-up and oil change ensures engine safety. It’s a no-brainer, must-do for safety.

One of the most overlooked and most important safety feature of automotive maintenance is brake management. Learning why your brakes need to be maintained at regular times, and checking your tire alignment while you’re at it, is important. Modern disc brake systems utilize two (2) rotors or discs on either side of your tire, which close in on the tire to slow it down and stop it. Regular maintenance of the brake systems, and keeping your tires in good shape, can help prevent the most common car maintenance problem: dents and scrapes from minor collisions.

Listen to it Hum!

Muffler maintenance manages that part of a car’s exhaust system that reduces noise. Once your engine is up and running without strange noises, it’s also important to make sure it hums along just fine.

Inside the car though, your audio system can make or break a ride. Electrical and speaker systems running front and back, set within the doors, dashboards and rear back boards, even in trunks can create an aural experience that soundproofs you from the outside world or proclaim your presence.
Quality systems and competitions for car audio have become even more popular lately.

Looking Good, Inside & Out

Car seat leather and leather trimmings get just as much abuse as a leather sofa in a New York psychiatrist’s office. More, even! Every day, with every passenger, the leather gets worn down little by little, cracking, fading, tearing and ultimately splitting apart. As more and more people get heavier with age, as you advance in years along with your car, you and our passengers expose the leather seats and upholstery to even more abuse.

Leather is one of the most popular natural upholstery materials because of its durability. It lasts for many years if cared for properly. To ease the pressure on your leather seats, buffing with carnauba wax and keeping it nicely moisturized should help to preserve it for the long run. Many high-end luxury cars come with leather seats or interiors.

Front and back, bumps and scratches most often take their toll on your car bumpers. When you hear a Bang! You know it as another unfortunate collision. Accidents always happen… for minor ones, you may want to do a DIY (do-it-yourself) repair job. It’s pretty simple, either you pull out the dent or hammer it out. Whether it’s made of plastic, metal or fiberglass, when handled by true professionals, you won’t be able to tell the car was ever in a scrape.

Minor paint problems can be solved easily with the modern paints used to retouch nicks and scratches. Do-it-yourself auto repair is an increasingly common undertaking by car owners who are interested in saving a little, and who have more than just a working knowledge about car repairs, people who have a passion for it.

For large scale collisions and wreckage, other major problems requiring part replacements, always consult the professionals and ask for an estimate. Knowing more about why your car needs repairs and to what extent, is the best way to get an accurate and fair repair estimate. Not only is it a way for you to know what the next step would be, it’s also a great way to learn more about you particular kind of car and its common problems. Manage your expectations with automotive repair processes.

After all these guys aren’t just good, they’ve been certified: automotive repairs professional.

MobileDataforce, Automotive Services & Handheld PDAs

On occassion I review our MobileDataforce business plans from past years. It is interesting to review how our plans and focuses change over the years based upon our customers requirements and the mobility market. Our earliest business plans never mentioned the automobile services sector, however, in recent years we have become one of the industry leaders in providing mobile solutions for the automotive services industry. The following list contains some of the solutions and applications we have worked on and delivered to our customers:

  1. Vehicle tracking solutions using GPRS and satellite uplinks
  2. VIN decoding solutions with GPS integration to identify automobiles, and locations where the automobiles were found.
  3. Shuttle services applications to identify pick-up and drop-off locations for people and cargo
  4. Dealership applications to record automobile detailing and prep work
  5. Autobody applications to identify work completed on vehicles at dealerships and invoice for it.
  6. Handheld PDA time sheets for recording the work of individuals at automobile dealerships
  7. Auto auction applications to assist in real-time valuing of cars based upon condition found
  8. Vehicle recover applications following hurricanes

Many of these applications involve VIN decoding. This is the process of identifying the specific car based upon bar code scanning the VIN number on the dashboard or door. We have invested many man hours in developing this functionality and the VIN content in our mobile software. This is useful in identifying the exact car, work needed, work completed and invoicing for the work.

Finding the Best Local Automotive Services and What to Expect

 

Everyone has heard at least once in their lifetime that their vehicle needs to be serviced. Typically, those simple words strike with such force that it may feel like you have been punched in the stomach. Instantly, your mind rushes to the amount of money that is currently in your checking account, and you worry about how much this particular service is going to set you back. Not all automotive service experiences should result in this reaction. During any given year, you should keep your car regularly serviced in order to prevent disastrous consequences. For instance, every 6,000 miles, you must get your oil changed. If you fail to do this, you run the possibility of gumming up your motor and having to replace the entire motor at a price that it would cost you to get your oil changed regularly for an entire year. In addition, you should also have your tires rotated every 6,000 miles or so and have your front end adjusted regularly. By taking these preventive measures, you will not only reduce your fuel costs from month to month, but you will also avoid regular, expensive, and unnecessary car repairs. Even though these are just a few of the car issues that have to be checked regularly, it doesn’t mean that you can’t find an automotive repair center that you trust where you will be well-treated. Automotive services are plentiful in most large cities, and they usually even be found on every other street corner. Most technicians are aware that being without your car for any amount of time can be throw off your entire daily routine. Finding ways to get to work, to pick up the kids, and even to go to the grocery store can be difficult. As a result, it’s very important to find an automotive service center that understands these problems and helps you find a solution to them.
Many companies offering automotive services have vehicles that customers can borrow in order to function in their normal daily capacities while their vehicles are being repaired. In some situations, service centers will drop their customers off wherever they need to go in order to keep their routine intact. Therefore, it is important for you as a consumer to not simply go to the first automotive service center you see.
There are plenty of great automotive services, but when it comes to your car, don’t hesitate to shop around and find the one that is proud to call you their customer. Ask around, read reviews, and decide which automotive service center is best for your car. Then, keep your vehicle up to date so that when you hear that your car needs service, you won’t instantly think about how much it’s going to cost you. Your car will thank you for it!

 

Service Department Action Plan to Rev Up Gross Profit

During this economic slowdown dealerships need to be aggressive in finding new business and continuously marketing to the existing customers in their DMS. Some handy tips on revving up the gross and keeping your shop full of vehicles are listed below. If you stay on top of this list daily you will be ahead of the game and dollars will chase you instead of you chasing the dollars.

1. Call all customers the day before they’re scheduled to bring their vehicles in to confirm their appointment.

2. Review your DMS and call those customers whose state inspection sticker or emissions certification is due to expire.

3. Review your “Estimates” file for work that was never performed, track your declined services, and people who would have had work done but hadn’t found the time to come in.

4. Call all customers with recommended repairs listed on previously closed repair orders – again tracking your declined service work is a great source of future potential revenue..

5. Call customer “no-shows” from previous days. Often these customers simply forgot, or an important issue arose.

6. Notify customers of special order parts that have come in and book their appointment.

7. Make “Thank you for your business” phone calls the following day.

8. Call customers regarding maintenance and repair of the second or third (or more) vehicles in their
household, “We Service Your Other Vehicles Too”.

9. Review repair orders for factory or shop warranties due to expire, offer to perform a FREE courtesy inspection.

10. Call all customers with vehicle leases due to expire and recommend an inspection prior to turning their vehicles in.

11. Estimate current mileages on the vehicles in your DMS and determine upcoming vehicles due for various services such as oil changes and other scheduled maintenance items. Then call those customers.

12. Request that your employees personally refer work to the shop, ALL employees should have a business card.

As well, call the following and advise them that you can provide them with priority service on any day that’s not full on your appointment schedule:
1. Vendors.

2. Local used car lots.

3. Local Body shops.

4. Any and ALL fleet customers.

5. AAA Automotive

6. Local Towing companies.

Cadillac Escalade Transmission Problems From A Professional Point Of View

The Cadillac Escalade is certainly one of the most premium SUVs that you will find on the road.  When you have worked hard, and you have the privilege adding one of these fine vehicles to your personal fleet, you certainly want to take care of this four wheeled sign of success.

Just a few minutes ago, I answered a telephone call from someone who, unfortunately, experienced some sort of catastrophic failure in the transmission, and the vehicle was towed from the freeway to one of the local dealerships.   As if that was not bad enough, the price that was quoted for the repairs left him speechless.

In his mind he was starting to justify the cost of the repair, because, after all, the vehicle is a Cadillac, and well, it carries one of the largest price tags of any other vehicle in the GM lineup.  One might assume that almost everything associated with that vehicle comes with a premium level price tag.

That just is not true.  Not true at all.

Now, many of the components of the vehicle are exclusive to the Cadillac badge, however, most of the major systems of the vehicle are shared with the less expensive counterparts – the Tahoe and the Yukon.

The Escalade is equipped with the same transmission offered in those trucks.  If it is the same transmission, why should the owner of a premium vehicle be forced to pay a premium price on for mechanical repairs… hey, there is not a hood ornament on the transmission so who cares where you buy it.

These transmissions are not any different than any other transmission out there.  These transmissions fail, and have some very common causes of failure just like any other mass produced automotive component.

So, you want your Escalade fixed, but you don’t want to pay Cadillac prices?  Who could blame you for that!

Summer Is Coming – Don’t Let Car Trouble Overheat Your Wallet!

Summer is Coming – Don’t Let Car Trouble Overheat Your Wallet!

Another South Texas summer is quickly approaching! After these strange spring with nice mild temperatures, experts are saying that this summer is going to be unusually hot!

Hot temperatures are exceptionally hard on your vehicle.  It does not take much to prepare your transportation for the extreme temperatures.  Let the experts at Select Transmission & Automotive show you how to get your vehicle ready to safely get you around no matter how hot it is outside.

For the entire month of May, we offering a Free Summer Check-Up Service.  We will look at the basic maintenance items on your car, and give you an insight to your vehicles overall health.

Steps to Prepare For Summer Driving:

  • Check the condition of your tires.
  • Check the condition of your vehicles cooling system
  • Change your motor oil.  Make sure you are using the right oil for your vehicle.
  • Check the transmission fluid level and condition.
  • Make sure your brakes are in good shape
  • Service the Air Conditioning System
  • Make sure all of your other fluids are in good condition.

These are just a few things that you can do to make sure you are ready for a summer of safe and dependable vehicle operation.

If you want to schedule your FREE Summer Check Up Service, call us today at 210-599-9958!

Can a tow truck save the day…..?

Today, I had an interesting conversation with someone regarding the complimentary tow service that is offered to customers of my shop.  To be honest, the conversation was not with a customer, but with a friend.  He was quick to tell me that I was wasting money and that it would save me money if I simply assisted my customers in arranging a tow from their insurance company or cell phone service provided road side assistance.  In all honesty, he is probably right, but I have no scientific numbers showing what percentage of the population actually maintains those services.

My real answer is this.  For the average person, if you get in your car to run an errand and are suddenly stopped by a car that is not working or breaks down while you are headed to run that errand – you are stopped dead in your tracks.  For many people, when car troubles come up, the fear of the unknown comes up.  A lot of people start to panic about money, time, inconvenience and a huge variety of other things.  Car troubles can make the average person panic about a lot of things.  It is amazing how much  our lives revolve around our vehicles.   In a city as spread out as San Antonio, it is hard to depend on mass transportation. Most of us also hate to depend on other people and hate to inconvenience other people by asking for a ride.   How can you get from Stone Oak to Downtown in a reasonable amount of time if you are depending on the bus.  If you needed to call a cab for a ride like that, you are going to shell out a ton of money.  One might suggest a rental car, but, if you are renting a car for local use, that gets really expensive really fast.  Ultimately, that is like suggesting that someone pour salt on an open wound.  I know, from personal experience, that these are the things that immediately go through peoples minds.

So back to the tow service.  If we can eliminate the stress of getting a broken down vehicle into the arms of a loving professional, we have taken away more than half of the stress of the broken car already.  Think back to the last time your vehicle had a mechanical break down, did your car consult your calendar and choose the best and most convenient time to break down on you?  I highly doubt that.  It seems that car failure always seems to happen at the most inconvenient time possible.

So, now that you don’t have to worry about actually getting your car somewhere, you can think about the actual process.  Your car is at the shop and now you are well on the way to finding out what is wrong with it.  It doesn’t really matter what is wrong now, because it is where it needs to be and is already on the pathway to recovery.  At this point, there are only a couple of more issues that might need to be resolved.  Can you pay for the repair, how long is it going to take and what kind of warranty do you get with it.  These are super easy questions to answer and the only way that they can be answered is because the car is already at the shop getting love from the professionals that can make it all better.

You see, at Select Transmission & Automotive Center, we have engineered our repair process with the customers mind set in mind.  Our goal is to be the number one transmission and car care center in San Antonio.  We aim to be completely customer friendly and we work to build long term relationships with our customers.  Essentially, we are the family practice of car care.  You can turn to us to treat your vehicles minor little problems and we also have specialists to handle the major problems that any vehicle owner can run into.  We know, it happens to everyone at some point in time, so it should be comforting to know that you have a team of specialists (minus the white coats) ready to take care of you.  We even gladly give you a lollipop when we are done.

We pledge to not be over invasive, over expensive and if you have health insurance (or an extended warranty in car lingo) we most likely take that too!  Give a call, and heck you can call us at any hour of the day or night, seven days a week and we can get you back on the streets of San Antonio without the hassle and without empty wallet syndrome that so many people have come to expect when they see their mechanic.  Turn to Select Transmission & Automotive Center of San Antonio for all of your transportation troubles.  If your car could thank you, it would!

If you have questions regarding your car, check out our website atwww.sanantoniotransmissions.net or call one of our super friendly office minions at 210-599-9958.

Every Little Bit Counts

When it comes to taking care of your vehicle, we understand that the stress can really set in – quickly.  Everyone has something to be mindful of, either a strict household budget or a strict schedule that really effects your ability to be without a car for any period of time.

A common mistake that people make is assuming that your preventive maintenance on your vehicle needs to take a lot of time and/or a lot of money.   A qualified and professional establishment like Select Transmission & Automotive Center in San Antonio will help you manage your time and your budget while being mindful of the importance of general maintenance.

Performing low cost and high value maintenance is our specialty at Select Transmission & Automotive Center.  We understand that some of the most simple services can help you save a lot of money over the long road.

Services like our complete fuel injection service and our transmission fluid exchange service can help you keep your vehicle running good with a minimum investment.  These little services all add up to making sure that you have less chance of a major mechanical break down.  No major break downs means a lot more money in your pocket in the long haul.

Our professional service consultant will happily advise you on services that will benefit you and the performance of your vehicle and will give you a list of things to do over a specific amount of time that will save you money and that will keep your car out of the emergency room.

Call a professional at Select Transmission & Automotive Center and we will be happy to help you keep your vehicle on the road without breaking your bank!

We are conveniently located at 10505 O’Connor Rd., San Antonio,  TX 78233.

Call us at 210-599-9958 or look us up online at www.sanantoniotransmissions.net

Modern Gadgets in Your Car, Convenience or Inconvenience?

Let’s face it.  We are all spoiled.  We have come a very long way from utilizing a Mapsco book to get us from where we are to where we are going.  So many vehicles these days are equipped with GPS systems, high functioning stereo systems that work with our cell phones and more buttons and gadgets than any of us can use on the way to Grandma’s house for Sunday dinner.

However, even though we may not use so many of the features that are built into our vehicles, we certainly like to buy our cars with all of the bells and whistles.  Who doesn’t right?  Considering here in South Texas where you can wear shorts 90% of the year, I need seat warmers, right?

Well, as fun as all of these great gadgets and conveniences are, they come with a price!  All of these new buttons that come on your car draw off from the electrical system in your car.  Like anything else, if it doesn’t have the right amount of electricity it cannot run properly.  However, very few vehicles will just shut down your accessories when there is a problem, they just allow your electrical systems to be robbed of power and this can cause major electrical issues with the truly important systems on your car such as your transmission, fuel injection and traction control.   The first time your transmission stops shifting are you still going to need that GPS system?  Nope… you aren’t going very far in that car, it is going to the shop!

When you think that you have a major concern with your vehicle, don’t panic.  We have seen lots of cars in the shop in the past few months that are owned by people who are totally freaking out because they feel like they have just been doomed by major car repair expenses.  In many cases, the major problem that they think they are experiencing is simply a voltage issue in the vehicle that can be remedied by a new battery and/or alternator.

However, running your vehicle for extended periods of time with voltage or charging issues can cause damage to various systems in your vehicle.  I recently had a customer that the stereo/gps unit in their vehicle had completely shorted out and a replacement unit was nearly $2,000!  This is where proactive car ownership is totally necessary.  Take the time to have your vehicle checked out regularly.  When you have it done, make sure your battery and charging system are being properly checked, that way you are not seeing red when you are left on the side of the road by your car!  Remember, most major repairs can be avoided by simply allowing your vehicle to be properly maintained by a professional that is familiar with your driving habits, the climate and your particular manufacturer.

Call a professional wherever you are for great vehicle maintenance.  If you are in the San Antonio area, call us at Select Transmission & Automotive Center at 210-599-9958 or look us up online at www.sanantoniotransmissions.net

How to Know You’re Getting Quality Automotive Services

 

Most of us rely on a mechanic to tell us what is wrong with our vehicle, but how do you know you are getting a good repair job at a fair price? There are a few things you should look for when you need automotive services.

Certifications

When you take your vehicle in for repairs, you should see certifications hanging on the wall. You want to take your vehicle to a garage that participates in certification courses on a regular basis and keeps up on new car features.

In particular, make sure your mechanic is up-to-date with his or her Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Certification. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence is the gold standard among car manufacturers and mechanics. To receive the certification, mechanics must have a high score in one specialty area (engine repair, brakes, suspension, etc.) and two years of professional experience. A service center with an ASE blue seal signifies that 75 percent of employees working at that establishment are ASE certified. If your auto shop is missing an ASE sticker, do not get your car serviced there.

Quality Auto Parts and Services

Another sign of good automotive service is the use of quality parts. It can be tempting to save a few dollars on off-brand parts when your repair expenses start adding up, but a quality repair shop will tell you that you aren’t really saving anything. Quality parts will last longer, which means you won’t have to replace them as often. Safety could also be an issue with used or inferior car parts. You don’t want to put yourself or your passengers in jeopardy over a couple dollars of savings.

When you find good automotive services, you will save money. All shops should provide these routine auto maintenance services:

– Oil change
– Brake repair
– Tire realignment
– Inspections

In addition to providing the usual array of services, good mechanics will give you a fair price. They won’t charge you for the little things like topping off your fluids or checking the pressure in your tires, and they are more interested in keeping your car running right than charging for air.

Shops that have good automotive services look out for their customers. They know that business is based on developing trusting relationships. They take the time to check for basic safety hazards while your car is in the shop, alert you to important maintenance items that are overdue, and try to educate you about the vehicle you drive.

Great Customer Service

Good shops also put customer convenience first. They realize it is difficult for you to function without your vehicle. They do their best to complete the work and get you on your way quickly. If you have to wait for your car to be serviced, they make the waiting area comfortable with complimentary coffee and snacks, television, and Wi-Fi. Quality shops open early so you can drop your vehicle off before work and stay open late for you to pick it up.

Good automotive services are out there if you know what to look for. Up-to-date training, quality parts, and attention to customer service are a couple of things that set these places apart.

How to Add Water to a Car Battery

Most vehicles have what is known as a maintenance-free car battery, which is permanently sealed and never needs water. If you do not have a maintenance-free battery, then you regularly must fill it with water

Instructions

  1. Turn the car engine off. Open the hood of the car and locate the battery. Remove the vent caps from the battery. Clean the battery surface top before opening the inspection caps to avoid getting dirt and debris into the car battery.
  2. Check the water level in each cell of the battery. Use only distilled water when filling a car battery. Using anything other then distilled water will cause permanent failure of your battery.
  3. Add water to the battery to bring the level to just below the bottom of the cell inspection hole. Do not over fill the water level. This can cause the acid water mixture to leak. Flush any spilled acid water mixture with fresh water. Put the vent caps back onto the battery.

Glad’s Response to Automotive Repair Suit.

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DANVILLE, Calif. — Midas franchisee Mike Glad will aggressively defend against the civil complaint filed in Alameda County. According to Bill Gagen, an attorney for the Glad organization: “This lawsuit rehashes the same causes of action that have been the subject of administrative proceedings in Sacramento for the last year. The prosecutors’ action stems from the same investigation by the Bureau of Automotive Repair. Midas franchisee Mike Glad and his 22 shops in northern California are victims of an inconsistent and destructive enforcement process undertaken by the BAR to take advantage of hard working mechanics in repair shops.”

In 1989 Mr. Glad and his businesses were parties to an agreement with the Bureau of Automotive Repair which led to the creation of a strong working relationship between the BAR and his shops. Mr. Glad became one of the organizing members of the California Midas Dealers Association which was established to work cooperatively and constructively with the BAR. Not once in 20 years did the BAR bring to the attention of Mr. Glad any violation of the terms of the 1989 settlement. In the late 1990’s the BAR dismantled the centralized program for handling consumer complaints. The BAR eliminated the Notice of Violation process which alerted auto repair businesses to violations discovered. As time went on, Gagen commented, “The BAR abandoned its statutory mandate to protect the consumers of California and substituted it with clandestine enforcement mechanisms.”

According to Gagen, “Mr. Glad now knows that from March of 2005, and thereafter for nearly three years, the BAR resorted to a “gotcha” enforcement technique designed to deceive auto mechanics. This pattern of deception included BAR investigators lying to mechanics about symptoms consistent with excessive brake wear. The BAR spent thousands of dollars to cosmetically age rotors and grind down brake pads to 1/32 of an inch, a dangerously inadequate level. There is no evidence that any consumer would cosmetically alter his brake rotor, grind down his brake pad, and then lie to a mechanic about the response of the car to the application of brake pressure. The BAR allowed this conduct to continue unabated for over 2 1/2 years before filing the Accusation last year.”

While the Bureau claims that unnecessary repairs were made on 28 cars, in fact, 24 of those cars were altered undercover vehicles.

“The Midas braking system advertising was not misleading,” said Gagen. “In the ad that is a subject of the complaint was transmitted to the BAR in October, 2004, at which time it was deemed to comply with price advertisement regulations. Five months later, the BAR launched its deceptive undercover operation.” Gagen posed the question, “Why, if the BAR felt that a Glad mechanic in 2005 was violating consumer protection laws, did the regulatory agency take absolutely no action for over 2 1/2 years to prevent similar conduct?”

The 22 Glad shops serve a total of 100,000 customers yearly, averaging fewer than two customer complaints per store. Mr. Glad and his representatives will vigorously fight to maintain the reputation of the organization and its 130 loyal employees.

In the investigation leading to this case, Gagen claims, “The BAR has proven itself to be driven by deception and game-playing, not public protection. In the zeal to ensnare otherwise honest and conscientious business people, the BAR has completely undercut its mission of consumer protection. Over the 2 1/2 year investigation of Mike Glad’s Midas stores, BAR agents tricked employees, artificially modifying decoy cars that were expertly engineered to fool the most experienced mechanic. Simply stated, this was a setup.”