Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Car Windscreen Replacement Vs Stone Chip Repair

Has your car windscreen been hit by a rock? Stone chips are an extremely common occurrence, especially in area's where large trucks on the road are present or where road works are being carried out. While some stone chips are just cosmetic nuisances, others affect the driver's vision or become larger irreparable cracks with the elements affecting the area of damaged glass over time. the question now is should you repair your windscreen or replace it?

First of all let's explain the role of your vehicles windscreen and its safety aspects. First and foremost you need to be able to see through your vehicle's windscreen, with that said many states have laws stating at what point your windscreen will need to be replaced or repaired.

Typically there is a section of your windscreen that is classified as the "critical vision area" which is the part of the windscreen located approximately 300-400mm directly in front of the drivers seating position and extends the full height of the windscreen. In most cases a stone chip or crack outside this area can be repaired given the damaged area is no larger than 50mm in diameter. Typically a repair cannot take if it is within the critical vision area.

The windscreen is one of the main structural components of your vehicle and is integrated into airbag deployment. For example, the front side airbags are designed to bounce off your vehicles windscreen while inflating and a poorly fitted windscreen can pose serious safety concerns in the event of an accident. The deployment of an airbag will easily push out an improperly fitted windscreen losing strength in the roof structure and exposing occupants to the threat of being thrown from the vehicle.

Stone chip repair versus windscreen replacement: Because of all safety aspects involved you may or may not have a choice about opting for a repair. If the affected area breaches any of the strict safety guidelines - loss of critical vision, structural integrity, it will need to be replaced.

Windscreen replacements will need to follow strict motor safety standards. A government approved MRB licenced technician must carry all replacement. The adhesive urethane and glass must comply with CSI Australian standards, and the vehicle must be stationary until the safe drive away time associated with the urethane used has been reached. Look for a quality automotive glass company that implies safe installation procedures

In most cases repairing your vehicles windscreen will cost a lot less than a full replacement. Keep in mind that on the odd occasion repairs can fail from containing the damaged area to crack and run off. In this case generally a good automotive glass shop will take the cost of the repairs off the full replacement cost.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

How To Save Money On Car Repairs

Car repair costs are rising exponentially on a daily basis. Modern cars have some amazing features that have added to the comfort of the driver, but this has also given rise to the disadvantage that car repairs and servicing costs a lot more today, than it did a while ago. A xenon headlight repair can cost you thousands of dollars! Additionally, the costlier the car you drive, the greater it costs you to get it repaired.

Dealerships across the United States have also raised their labor charges. Certified mechanics charge on an hourly basis and these numbers are almost as high as $70 to $80 an hour. Naturally, it is important that you are aware of all these figures, so you can be informed and not get a huge surprise when it comes to paying your bill. It is a good idea to get a quote from several dealers, so you can get the best deals.

The cost of car repairs depends on several factors. First, it depends on the region you are living in. Secondly, it depends on the age of your car, its brand and make. Foreign import cars are costlier to repair. Their parts are difficult to find and you might need to visit specialized auto repair shops for this purpose.

However, there are some things you can do to keep your car repair costs lower. First of all, ensure that you read the manual thoroughly. This can give you very good tips for self repair. If you do not have experience in the matter; it is best to get the car looked at by a professional. Secondly, regular servicing at the recommended mileage is also very important. These services are done in the warranty period and can help save you a great deal of money. They also 'catch' problems in the early stages and can help prevent costs of future repairs. The warning lights on the dashboard are also very important as they warn you of wear and tear. Such repairs can cost a lot less than when you take in your car for repairs at a much later stage. Regular oil changes are also important to add to the lifespan of your car. That said; there are newer cars that go without an oil change for up to 5000 or even 10,000 miles. Car brands like Ford recommend oil changes after 7500 miles on models beyond '07.

Other small yet overlooked things, which can lead to large car repair bills, include not checking the receipts properly. Make sure that you ask your mechanics about the parts replaced. If you have taken an estimate prior to getting the job done, you are entitled to question them as to why the billed amount is higher. Finding an honest auto shop is thus very important. Unscrupulous mechanics will not hesitate to call you and ask you to get further repairs as long as your car is there in his garage. It is best to switch to new mechanic unless your current one makes a good case that your car indeed needs additional work.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Why Should I Change My Engine Oil?

Based on analysis that had been conducted by Mobil 1, 75% from the 1,000 UK motorists questioned didn't know the best way to check their engine oil, and one half of all drivers have no idea why engine lubricant is required to begin with. With the possible lack of comprehension, comes an over-all ignorance of why motor oil has to be changed regularly, which might explain why some owners don't understand why it's a crucial aspect of a service program.

This evidence is especially worrying, given that engine lubricants have become more and more precise, even manufacturer specific in some instances, letting the level run very low in addition to fill using the wrong kind of oil, and may cause extensive and costly damage.

Just about everyone surveyed didn't know that while using appropriate oil and changing it by the due date, can not only extend the life span of the vehicle's engine (and ancillary parts, for example turbochargers) but in addition reduce fuel consumption. In my opinion, I agree completely with Mobil 1's research results, which deduce that scrimping on maintenance, for whatever motive, really is false economy. Now GEM Motoring Assist has additionally argued that this impacts both reliability and safety detrimentally.

So, to help you clarify the situation, GEM Motoring Assist is going to be posting helpful information for engine oil on its Technical Tips webpages in the near future. Even though the topic is extremely technical, the fundamentals stay the same for any vehicle.

1. Engine oil supplies a protecting film that stops metal-to-metal contact between working parts inside an engine. Without having oil, an engine would last for somewhere around 5-minutes just before seizing or exploding.

2. Engine oil also moves temperature from the hottest areas of the engine. Minimal oil levels may cause the engine oil to get too hot and result in metal-to-metal contact, usually without the motorist knowing.

3. Engine oil also retains combustion deposits, for example acids and soots, in suspension, which can be drained out during the time of oil change.

4. The oil filtration system traps more substantial particles in the engine oil, and really should get replaced with any lubricant change.

5. Engine oil features a very specific thickness, shown using a letter W between two other numbers. Under no circumstances use oil that is either too thin or thick. Every engine requires oil that complies with specific specifications, which are often shown by the ACEA number on the oil can.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Getting a Tune-Up: An Absolute Must in Auto Repair

Over time, our beloved vehicles take a tremendous amount of wear and tear. They are asked to do so many things: pick up the kids on time, get us to and from the grocery store, and even take us on a cross country vacation. Auto repair is something that is inevitable because of all the trust that is put into a car. Getting regular tune-ups helps to show a car, and an auto mechanic, that not only is a car trusted, but it's cared for. When getting a tune-up there is a process that most auto mechanics follow, checking for certain things that tend to wear out or break down on a car easily.

One of the first things than any auto mechanic will check during a tune-up is the spark plugs and wire connections. A loose or burnt up spark plug is one of the most common reasons for electrical malfunction, and, coincidentally, it is one of the easiest to fix. Loose wire connections are also relatively easy to fix. During a tune-up the connections of wires are checked to make sure each wire fits in securely, minimizing the probability of electrical problems within the vehicle.

Air filters are key in any internal combustion engine. Without oxygen, the fuels are not able to burn and provide the large spark that is needed to start the car. However, regular old air will not do. The air needs to be cleaned before it enters the engine, which is where the air filter comes in. The filter is essential in providing the necessary clean air to the engine. When an air filter becomes dirty (which is a normal side-effect), extra fuel is needed to provide the "spark" and run the vehicle. This can cause added strain on the engine and on someone's purse.

Replacing the carburetor is the fuel injector. Fuel injectors essentially are valves that allow fuel to pass through them at the right speed to help move the car. If a fuel injector is broken, then there can be a delay between when the gas pedal is pushed and when the car actually moves. This can be disastrous if someone is trying to get from a stop to go position, especially if they are trying to go across a busy highway. Because of this it is necessary to always seek auto repair if there is a delay between the gas pedal and the movement of the car.

Auto repair is something that is unable to be avoided whenever someone owns a vehicle. And, getting a tune-up is essential to making sure a car is able to stay in good working performance. They can help spot small problems before they escalate into something much larger. There may be a cost for a tune-up, but the peace of mind they provide a car owner with is priceless, especially if an issue is found and corrected in a timely manner.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Transmissions and Auto Repair

Purchasing a car is one of the largest investments (next to purchasing a house) someone makes. It is their responsibility to seek auto repair whenever it is necessary to make sure their car remains in optimal condition and is able to perform all the tasks necessary to get them through the day. The transmission is responsible for many of the functions a car performs, from switching gears to knowing how fast the car needs to go. Problems with the transmission of a car can be detrimental to it and make the car owner want to run and hide from the problem. However, if something is suspected to be wrong with a car's transmission, they should seek immediate care with an auto mechanic. There are several ways to tell if a transmission needs the help of auto repair.

Noises that are out of the ordinary coming from underneath a car's hood are never a good sign. If something is wrong with the transmission of an automatic car someone can usually hear a grinding or whining noise. This grinding noise occurs a lot of the time whenever switching from one gear to another. Alternatively, in a manual transmission, small "bumping" noises in neutral mean that something is wrong. This can be a signal of needing to change the transmission fluid. However, hearing a lot of noise in neutral means that something more drastic needs to take place and possible transmission repair or replacement needs to occur.

Many people notice water coming off of the bottom of their car. This is not a bad thing, as it's usually just condensation. Noticing a pool of sticky, red, sweet-smelling fluid (as nice as that sounds) is definitely a problem. This means that there is a leak in the transmission and transmission fluid leaking out. When this occurs, someone is in need of an auto mechanic quickly, as the fluid is vital to being able to shift the car.
The one sign that many people overlook is their check engine light. Everyone has freaked out about their check engine light coming on, rushed to the repair shop or a local auto parts store that has the capabilities to diagnose it, and left feeling ridiculous because nothing was wrong with it. Many people ignore when their light comes on for this very reason. Yet, this is usually the first warning sign that something is wrong with a transmission. Whenever a check engine light comes on, it is always important to seek auto repair. It's always better to be safe than sorry.

Cars help people in most aspects of their lives. They are responsible for getting their children to school, getting people to work on time, and aid in running errands. Auto repair is essential to any car owner and knowing when to seek it can mean the difference between a small problem and a large one.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Do You Have A Right To Repair Your Own Car?

There was a time when any mechanic or driveway hobbyist with a well-stocked toolbox and the right know-how could fix any make of car. In Massachusetts, a ballot initiative may soon make that the case again, with one key difference - mechanics will need to add a software subscription to that toolbox.

The ballot initiative is called "right to repair." As cars' guts have become less mechanical and more digital, diagnostic software and scanning tools are increasingly necessary for even basic repairs. Carmakers, however, have been reluctant to make these tools widely available, instead reserving full information and software for their franchised dealers. The Massachusetts initiative would require automakers to make their full suite of repair software available through a single universal interface system, to which individuals and independent mechanics could subscribe for daily, weekly, monthly or yearly fees.

Supporters of "right to repair" have gathered enough voter signatures to put the issue on the November ballot if the Legislature does not pass its own law first. A version of the bill passed in the Senate on May 17, but the measure's fate in the House is less certain. Similar legislation has been discussed in other states, including New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, but automakers and independent repair shops see Massachusetts as the key battleground.

Proponents argue that the law would increase customer choice and lower costs through additional competition by opening the way for non-dealer repair shops to do work that only dealers can do now. Opponents say the legislation would force automakers to disclose proprietary information, potentially enabling others to duplicate their parts - a claim that is difficult to understand, since the software needed to repair existing parts would not include much of the information needed to produce new parts. The automakers and dealers' real concern seems to be that the bill would eliminate dealers' monopoly on certain types of repair work, cutting into their lucrative business.

The deeper issue here is what it means to own something. Computerization has given manufacturers more ways to keep a grip on their products, and on our wallets, long after the sale. Manufacturers can easily program their devices so that even the most tech-savvy customer cannot make low-cost or do-it-yourself repairs.

Computerization has not, however, given manufacturers a greater right to do this. Once money changes hands, a product belongs exclusively to its purchaser, who ought to have complete choice over what to do with it from that point on. The law has long recognized this principle for tangible products like cars and cell phones, though consumer rights are much less clear for intangible products like software or video files, which are usually licensed under restrictive terms.

While consumers technically own the computers that are built into every modern car, without the appropriate software, they lack the ability to access the data those computers produce. This is the equivalent to putting a lock on the trunk of a new car and then telling customers that, though they own the whole car, only the dealership will have the key to unlock the trunk.

Of course, automakers have no obligation to give customers or repair shops their digital software keys for free. A "right to repair" law will not ask them to make their software available for free; it will merely require that they be willing to sell it to those who are willing to pay.

Given the complexity of modern cars, it's unlikely that very many people would be able to fix their own vehicles even with all of the tools "right to repair" would make available. But they would no longer be forced to return to dealerships to access features of the cars they have already bought and paid for.