Contents

If you were handed an estimate to replace a water pump on your car, would you know if the price was fair? Could you trust the price? How about for a tie rod end, mass air flow sensor, or an evaporative emissions sensor? Most of us dont know what these are, never mind the price. Yet it is components such as these that are commonly used to over charge you, the car repair customer.We no longer live in an age of trust, so how do we ensure that our auto repair costs are l...

Ask A Mechanic: Wading Through The Mess Of Car Repair Prices And Auto Repair Estimates

Ask A Mechanic: Wading Through The Mess Of Car Repair Prices And Auto Repair EstimatesIf you were handed an estimate to replace a water pump on your car, would you know if the price was fair? Could you trust the price? How about for a tie rod end, mass air flow sensor, or an evaporative emissions sensor? Most of us dont know what these are, never mind the price. Yet it is components such as these that are commonly used to over charge you, the car repair customer.We no longer live in an age of trust, so how do we ensure that our auto repair costs are legitimate. How many times have you suspected that you paid too much, but couldn't prove it? How many times did the price seem exorbitant for even simple repairs? To illustrate just how At Risk the everyday auto repair customer is to excessive car repair prices, heres a recent real life example from a reputable? dealer.A client brought her Audi to an authorized Audi dealership for a standard timing belt maintenance service. The price for this service averages $1575 at the dealership level, (including pulleys, water pumpetc) and about $1275 at the independent repair shop level. Yet the woman left the dealer with a bill for $2025.68. What happened?According to the repair order, there were no abnormal circumstances, no problems noted by the technician such as rust or any other extenuating circumstances that would have perhaps increased the labor, or added additional parts. In short, it was a straight forward service, but the bill was $450.68 higher than it should have been. There is simply no legitimate reason to have that much discrepancy.Howd they get away with it?The answer is very simple, and its a point that I dont want anyone to miss:They get away with it because they can!Think about it. The average person doesnt know how much auto parts cost. And who knows how much labor time a repair should take? To what sources does one turn to find out this information? Who even has the time to investigate!Upon examination of this womans repair order, it was found that she was charged a full 4 hours more than the standard labor time. At $100 per hour, this added an additional $400. The remaining $50.68 came from the parts, which were billed higher than MSRP.She was quoted $2,025 for a repair that tops out at $1575. The woman didnt know. She just paid the bill and left.How many times do folks just pay the bill and leave? Pretty much thats all one can do given that there is no accessible information for the car repair customer to adequately question a repair bill. Furthermore, very few even know what questions to ask!The auto repair industry has been over-charging for decadessometimes subtly, sometimes boldly, definitely frequently. The evidence for this is overwhelming; yet, there are no easy solutions available for the car repair customer.Government agencies cant help. The Better Business Bureau cant do anything. Even supposed car repair experts or advocates lack the understanding of the breadth and insidiousness of the car repair business at all its levels. A dealership operates differently than an independent repair shop, and a franchise, like Midas, is totally unique. Who really knows what goes on in the underground of such a diverse and complex industry?The Solution?First and foremost, car repair customers need access to information on "car repair prices" . Without this, theyve got nothing tangible in which to determine fair charges. They also need to be able to navigate the maze of parts and labor charges for car repairs and maintenance.Like everything else, information is the key to ensure fair treatment. Without it, the car repair customer will continue to swim with the sharks without any protection.

Tips For Buying A Car

Tips For Buying A Car

So your ready to take the plunge and buy a new car? Here's a little guide to help get you through the process.Know your credit score. The higher your credit score is, the lower your monthly car payment will be. You can obtain a free credit report by writing a credit bureau, or just do a search online , there are plenty of websites offering a "free credit report" .Get an auto insurance quote. After you have narrowed down your choice of your "new car" 's make and model, get a free "insurance quote" . You should make sure your insurance payment fits into your budget. It's a wise decision to get quotes from multiple insurance carriers , to nail down the best possible rate. Also, if you have enough money saved up, you can pay the policy in full, to get a discount, instead of making monthly payments.Now its time to visit the dealer. Car salesman are fast talkers, make sure your in the right frame of mind to deal with them. They make a living off commissions, so they try very hard to make a sale. While you can admire their eagerness , they can be annoying. Just ask politely for the facts. What are the standard options, warranty info, gas mileage, and anything else you want to know about the car.Haggling. Trying to haggle over a new car's price is like an art form. While sales people would love to make a sale, and haggle with you, they have to answer to a higher power. Usually they are tough to budge on getting a great deal. It also depends how the dealership is doing at the time, if its a slow month or quarter, they may bend a bit more.However, this is one method I tried , and it did work for me once.I just told them I would pay x-amount, nothing more, and to give me a call if they can meet my price. About five days later, they did call me back.

Used Car Dealers Can Be Searched For Online

Used Car Dealers Can Be Searched For Online

A far better way than going around used car dealers on foot is to allow your fingers to do the walking from the comfort of your own home. By going online with a specialist website you can search with a wide range of car dealers to find the perfect car in the shortest time possible. One of the most helpful tools which you can put to good use is the search engine that a specialist site will put at your disposal.While you could just type the make and model of the used car that you are looking for into one of the popular search engines, you would then have to click on each individual one to go to that particular site. You would then have to start your search over from the dealers home page. This of course could result in you finding the car you are looking for, but it can take a great deal of time and a far quicker way is to start off with a specialist website.A specialist website will gather together the top used car dealers so that you can search from just the one page. Another big boost when it comes to saving time is that a good specialist website will allow you to make a search for used cars within a specific area or region. This is very useful when it actually comes to going to look at the car. A specialist site should also give you links for the various types of dealers such as used car, private used car dealers, showrooms and car dealer groups.Once a specialist website has found you the links to used car dealers within your region, then a single click will take you straight to their website. From here you are able to search again for the exact model and make of used car that you are looking for. You should also be able to search based on the color of the car, the transmission and the fuel type of the car.Depending on the used car dealers website that you have chosen, will all depend on the level of detail you get regarding a particular car. The best used car dealers will have several clear photos listed of all angles of the car which can tell you a lot about the overall condition of the car. The information you receive about the car should be clear and give all the basic details of course but the better sites will give you detailed information and be very descriptive. If there are any additional features that come with the car these should also be listed such as exterior body features and embellishments, any special interior features or safety features.Starting off with a specialist motoring website to find the names and get links to some of the best and biggest used car dealers in your area will get you off to the best start. Along with this the site will give you helpful tips and advice by way of FAQ`s and articles of what to watch out for when buying a used car.

How To Store The Car Of Your Dreams Correctly

How To Store The Car Of Your Dreams Correctly

At last you have the car of your dreams and you spent large amounts of both time and money on restoring it and you now want to keep it in the same pristine condition. Unfortunately winter is coming and you do not want to drive it in now the weather is turning bad. So you have decided that you want to put your car into storage for the winter months and as cheaply as possible? Yet you also want to be able to get it back onto the road as soon as the weather is good again and find it in the same condition as when it went into storage?Well hopefully the information contained within this article will help you to make an informed decision on the type of car storage you will use.Indoor StorageOf course this is the best way for any one to go when looking for storage for their prized car and is the best option especially if you will be away for any extended period of time. But because you dont have a garage you are now looking for an alternative. Luckily there are many indoor storage facilities around which will gladly rent storage space that is big enough for a vehicle. If you can try and find a facility where they will run the engine on your car for you every month or two. However, you may find that they will charge you extra for this facility, but it will save you money in the long term as the vehicle will be ready for you to drive after a long lay over period.When preparing your car for storage it is important that it is clean. Wait until you have a warm dry day and then completely wash and wax the car. Also make sure that you clean the underbody and around the wheel areas as well as any dirt left on the car holds moisture and when combined with air will result in result being allowed to grow.Also thoroughly clean the car inside. Use either a shop/garage vacuum or a household one in order to get into all the nooks and crannies in your car (it is important to get rid of any dirt or crumbs etc., from the car prior to storage). Leaving such items in the car will only make it a place that small creatures (mice, rats) will be drawn to and make their home inside it.If you can get the carpets thoroughly cleaned and do this before you do any thing else so that it gives them time to dry out before you put the car into storage.Next take out the spark plugs and put some oil into the cylinders as this will prevent the cylinder walls, pistons and valves from rusting. You can use regular motor oil but a can of fogging oil from a marine supply store is a good alternative. Now you need to turn the engine by hand half a dozen times to make sure that the oil coats everything. Before you reinstall the spark plugs apply a little anti-seize to them. Also make sure that the petrol (gas) tank is full as this will reduce the risk of how much water is available to be absorbed by the petrol (gas).Now we come to the electrical system of your car. Remove the battery cables (negative cable first) and then lift out the battery from the engine. Next you need to wipe the batter down with a battery cleaner (this removes any moisture holding dirt or grease from it). Now you place the battery on a clean dry surface. Attach the battery to a trickle charger which will help preserve the batterys charge. Also inspect the battery for any rust or corrosion.You will then need to lubricate the hood latches, hinges and door hinges if you are able to check the brake fluid (flush it out and replace if necessary). Now you will need to check the coolant level (make sure there is enough to protect the cooling system from winter temperatures).If you want to keep rodents and other small animals from chewing the ignition wires and other wiring in your car (place clean rags into the engine air intake, fresh air intake (under the windshield) and the exhaust. A good idea is to get a big box of mothballs and spread them around and under the car (this seems to keep undesirable elements away from the car).As for the tyres they will after extended periods of time when not moving they will develop flat spots and the best way to prevent this is to put the car up on jacks. Now remove the wiper blades as this will prevent them from becoming glued to the windshield.Now you carried out all the necessary things about there is nothing left for you to do but to put it in to storage and lock up knowing you can enjoy it in the future?

New Technology With Hybrid Cars

Hybrid cars are gaining more and more popularity in recent months, with much positive publicity regarding their fuel efficiency and environmental friendliness. At a time when many folks are suffering from acute sticker shock every time they have to fill their gas tanks, a solution to this dilemma will be a welcome one indeed. Hybrid cars may indeed be the solution that everyone is searching for. But what are these new-fangled vehicles, and how do hybrid cars work? When you hear the answers to these questions, you may agree that this new creation may be the wave of the future.The traditional automobile of today is powered by a gasoline engine. This means that the car requires regular gasoline in order for the motor to operate and the car to run. With gasoline becoming a rather expensive commodity today, other fuel sources are being sought to get us where we want to go. Electric power has long been thought to be the next trend in automobiles. However, an electric engine requires a battery source to run, and these batteries need to be recharged frequently to keep them operational. Not a convenient choice for the average car owner who needs regular transportation without a long and complex maintenance process.Now there is a third solution. To learn how hybrid cars work, you must combine the power sources of a gasoline engine with the battery of an electric motor. The result is a hybrid car that uses less fuel and a rechargeable electric battery in tandem to produce a fuel efficient, environmentally friendly automobile. Here is how hybrid cars work. The electric motor is used to assist in the acceleration process of the car, saving on the fuel needed to make the car run. It can also automatically turn the engine off when the car stops, and turn it back on when the car starts up again. This process also saves on the amount of fuel required.There are other ways in which the hybrid cars gain gas efficiency. First, the gasoline engine is designed for maximum fuel efficiency. The electric motor also slows the car and recharges the battery while the car is slowing down. These vehicles are also designed to be aerodynamic and lightweight, which also contributes to the fuel efficiency. Hybrid cars can get up to 20 or 30 miles a gallon more than the tradition gas engine car can. If you want to learn more about how hybrid cars work, talk to your Honda, Toyota, Lexus or Saturn dealer today about their choices in hybrid vehicles.For information on buying and selling new and second hand cars and bikes visit http://www.bharathautomobiles.com/index.php

Antique Bird Cages And Furniture: Be Different And Beautiful!

Many individuals decide to decorate their homes with antique touches these days. Some go for one or two classic pieces to brig character to their abode whilst others decide to entirely decorate their homes in the antiques of past generations. Antique furniture can be quite expensive but accessories are available for slightly less. They are expensive considering how small they actually are, but antique bird cages and furniture can add the finishing touches to any home.Accessories add character to any home and tend to reflect on the tastes, personality and character of the individual that actually decorates the home! However, antique bird cages and furniture can be just as expensive as the main pieces of antique furniture that are available on the market. Obviously the price will be largely dependent on the era and type of furniture that the specific accessory that you have in mind belongs to.There may be an alternative way to get your hands on antique bird cages and furniture but it is extremely time consuming and requires a lot of effort if you do not like trawling round flea markets and garage sales for bargains. If you would rather pay full price for accessories then so be it, but you can often pick them up for next to nothing. Looking on auction site on the Internet may also reveal bargains to you as well. Some items that are worth a lot of money just pass some individuals by so take the chance to make your effort work for you.Antique bird cages will, not just suit any given room of your house. In fact, the room you plan on accessorising has to follow a certain style in order for that item to fit in rather than spoiling an overall effect. French and Victorian themes welcome antique bird cages and furniture because they accessorized with those individual items in those specific eras. There are more modern room themes and designs that will welcome an antique bird cage and furniture. Floral motifs and a minimalist style would suit the accessories, the latter only as long as the bird cage was the only accessory in there otherwise it would not be minimalist at all.Antique bird cages and furniture should be the focal point of a room. They are not meant to sit in a corner and gather dust because they are highly ornate pieces that deserve showcasing for all to see! If you are not quite sure whether an antique bird cage and furniture would fit into your home then go for one the of the relatively cheap reproductions sold by many fashionable home and decoration stores out there. They are a fraction of the cost and would give you a good idea as to how your home may work with the accessory in place. You can then decide from there whether or not you would like to invest.Antique bird cages are not meant to house real pets. They are simply meant for ornate decoration. They would neither be safe nor hygienic were they to provide a parrot or budgie with a home! Keeping them for decoration would yield much better results.They do come in a variety of colours and styles so choose which one would be best as far as blending into your home is concerned. An investment like an antique bird cage can really enhance your home with or without other antique furniture so take a serious look at your options.

Summary

If you were handed an estimate to replace a water pump on your car, would you know if the price was fair? Could you trust the price? How about for a tie rod end, mass air flow sensor, or an evaporative emissions sensor? Most of us dont know what these are, never mind the price. Yet it is components such as these that are commonly used to over charge you, the car repair customer.We no longer live in an age of trust, so how do we ensure that our auto repair costs are l...