Saturday, August 31, 2013

SUV Crash Tests Improve | Consumer Reports

Cars and SUVs are getting safer. See crash tests of a 2013 Ford Escape compared to a 2001 Ford Escape.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Highway Safety & Technology: Safely Navigating the Road Ahead

Advanced crash avoidance technologies video loop shown in IIHS booth at the 2013 Governors Highway Safety Association Annual Meeting.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Top 6 Things to Look For In A Collision Repair Shop

Where would we be without collision repair shops? They can do wonders for an automobile. They can shape it, change it, paint it, and even relieve it of dents and scratches that take away from the beauty of your automobile.

It doesn't matter how the damage occurred, what does matter is you choosing the auto body shop to make your car right again. They are hard to come by. Not all body shops are the same. For example, choosing the one your insurance company told you to will only result in a minimum repair to your car. The insurance company has a "deal" with the repair shop. It doesn't mean they will do a good job on your automobile.

You need to look for a repair shop that does great work for a fair price. Yes, it's going to cost to right the wrongs with your car, but if you choose the right autobody repair shop, then you'll be very satisfied with the work they do. Here's a list of 6 things they should to look for in a great collision repair shop.

  1. Be sure they give you an estimate. Most of the time, your insurance company will do this, and then send you to their preferred shop. However, you can take your car to any repair shop you want, but sometimes on you might have to pay a little more than the insurance pays. In the long run, it will be more than worth it.

  2. Don't let "cheap" influence you! The cost is usually what everyone looks at first, however, if they use a can a spray paint, how's your car going to look when they are done? Check around and see what type of work they do - first - before you let them have your car.

  3. Parts may take a while to get there. Don't drop your automobile off until they have all the parts they need to finish the repairs. Otherwise, it may take several weeks before you get your car back.

  4. Technology check. With today's technology, they should be able to hook your auto up and know exactly what and how to fix any problem with the damage on your car. Don't let them use putty to fill in the blanks.

  5. Be sure they use the best paint. Some of the repair shops will try to slip some nasty paint onto your auto. Check their paint supply to be sure it's going to last on your car. Some of the paint these days will only last a year or so before it starts to wear off.

  6. Look for the warranty or guarantee. They should have a good one that will cover any type of work they do on your automobile. It should cover the paint, dents and starches, body work, and labor.

Looking for a collision repair shop is time consuming, but once you find the right one, you'll be glad you chose them. Your car will look like new again and no one will be able to see that any work has been done at all. Also, ask around and get others opinion of the auto body repair shop you choose for your auto. That's the best type of shop to have fix your car.

Majestic Collision Repair is Guelph's auto body experts. If you've been in an accident and require collision repair, they'll take you step-by-step through the entire process. They deal directly with your insurance company, and also provide valet shuttle service and rental car assistance. As a nice finishing touch, they also provide a complimentary car detailing. If you've been in an accident, or just need some cosmetic work done, Majestic Collision is your body shop Guelph.
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Thursday, August 22, 2013

What To Do In the First 24 Hours After An Accident

Car accidents are costing Americans a lot of money each year. From fender benders where everyone walks away with no injuries or visible vehicle damage to major accidents where cars are totaled, Triple A estimates the annual cost of crashes at $166.7 billion. According the US Census Bureau, there were nearly 11 million automobile accidents in 2009. If you're involved in a car crash, what you do during and immediately after the accident is critically important. Here's how to take the right steps to protect your health, safety and your investment in your car.

Prioritize your safety on the accident scene

Car accidents are often unexpected and stressful. Keep calm, and take a deep breath. Be aware of injuries, and confirm that everyone in your vehicle is safe and unhurt. Confirm that the other driver and any passengers in their vehicle are safe. If there's any doubt, call an ambulance for help. Use your hazard lights, cones or flares to signal the accident to other drivers. If an accident is minor and both parties agree, move your cars to the side of the road.

Call 911 to report the accident

When an accident occurs, call the police. Never leave the scene of a car accident - this is potentially a criminal offense. The police may not respond if an accident is minor. But calling to report the accident will help simplify the claims process and make sure clear documentation that the incident occurred.

Further, avoid any kind of "off board" agreement with the other driver to forget the incident or pay damages out-of-pocket. USA Today estimates that as many as 1 in 7 drivers may be uninsured. Damage to your vehicle or even injuries may not always be immediately visible. Avoid surprise claims or lawsuits by dealing with accidents through official channels.

Focus on the facts and start the documentation process

It's important to stay focused on the facts. Don't lose your temper, be rude, or fling blame. Instead, focus on gathering as much information and documentation as possible. Always get the license plate number of the other car immediately. Exchange basic data with the other driver, including name and address, license number, and insurance information. If there's any question of safety due to road rage or accident location, wait for the police's arrival to collect that information.

If possible, get the names and contact information of any witnesses that can help prove what happened. It's fine to be polite to the other person, but don't admit guilt. Limit longer conversations about what happened to discussions with the police and your insurance agent. If you have a camera, you can take pictures of vehicle damage or the crash scene.

Contact your insurance agent right away

Many car insurance companies have time limitations on when an accident can be reported. Get that process started as quickly as possible with a call to your insurance agency or insurance company. Be ready to share all the details you've collected above, including witness names, contact information for the other driver and copies of any police or accident report. Some drivers are tempted to forego reporting accidents and pay for repairs out-of-pocket. In any accident involving another vehicle, it's always the smartest choice to report the incident.

Choosing an auto body repair shop

Depending on whose fault the accident was, repairing car damage can be covered by either or both car insurance companies. Once your accident has been reported, you'll most likely have to speak to an insurance adjuster. The process involves giving a statement and having your car inspected. It's important to remember that an insurance adjuster, if they're working for the other driver's company, may not be on your side.

You have the choice to select what auto body shop you'd like to deal with, not the insurance company. You may also be entitled to a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired. When selecting an auto repair shop, remember that many collision repair shops will help work with the insurance company as your advocate saving you time and stress and making sure you get the thorough and quality of repairs you need.

If you're on the road, it's a strong possibility that you'll be in an auto accident at one time or another. Taking the right steps at the scene of the accident and in the hours immediately following puts you in the best position to make a quick recovery on all fronts.

Albert Westbrook is a writer focusing on article of interest to consumers of goods and services. He recommends visiting Dent Master if you are in the Salt Lake City, Utah area or surrounding communities.
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Monday, August 19, 2013

Keep Your Brakes Responsive With A Brake Fluid Flush

One of the most important systems on any car or truck is the one that lets us slow down and stop when necessary. Most of us take our brake systems for granted until we find ourselves in a situation where we are driving down a steep grade and need to slow down to stay safe. The brake system is made up of a number of essential components including brake pads, calipers, rotors, brake master cylinder, and brake fluid. Brake fluid has been referred to as the life blood of the system as its job has to do with both protection and facilitation. Let's get familiar with hydraulic brakes and find out why it's important to have the system flushed at scheduled maintenance intervals.

Slowing down and stopping are almost involuntary activities that most of us don't even think about when we're out on the road. However, there are a number of processes happening every time we push down on that pedal. When the brake pedal is pressed, a piston rod is pushed into the master cylinder which allows fluid to move into a hydraulic line. Hydraulic lines or hoses can be made of stiff or flexible materials. Engineers have designed most brake lines with minimum flexibility in mind. This type of construction helps to keep fluid inside the line as expansion is outward instead of flowing towards the caliper.

Calipers work in various ways. Cars with hydraulic brake systems use a disk and the caliper sits on either side of a rotor. The master cylinder connects to the caliper. When fluid goes through the line into the caliper, pistons inside it are activated and move inward to the rotor. Brake pads are located between the rotor and pistons. If your car has hydraulic drum brakes, the caliper or wheel cylinder is inside of a metal drum. Rather than pushing inward, the pistons move outward to depress brake pads on the inside of the drum instead of the outer side of a disk.

When you press down on the brake pedal, you will feel resistance as your vehicle slows down. This pressure is the result of hydraulic brake fluid which provides the required force for all the mechanical processes to take place. This means that brake fluid is also essential for your safety because without it, the brake system on your car or truck will not work properly. This specialized fluid is designed to protect metal brake system components from rust and corrosion by absorbing moisture. Over time, the fluid can absorb so much moisture that it becomes saturated. Brake fluid can also break down over time due to extreme heat. Contaminated and worn out fluid can cause the brake system to be less responsive. The solution to this problem is to have the system flushed..

The basic procedure for flushing a hydraulic brake system consists of pressurizing the brake master cylinder and adding fresh brake fluid. At the same time, the brake lines underneath the vehicle will be opened to allow the old fluid to be drained and discarded. This preventive maintenance procedure will restore braking responsiveness, stop corrosion, and help prevent unnecessary breakdowns. As a general rule of thumb, the hydraulic brake system should be flushed every 30,000 miles. You can also ask your local certified repair shop to test the health of your brake fluid. The owner's manual should also contain a detailed schedule of all necessary preventive maintenance procedures. Main Street Shell Service is a full service auto repair shop and STAR certified smog check station in Santa Maria, California. We also offer a full line of preventive maintenance services for your transmission, power steering, cooling system, and brake system. For more information on the hydraulic brake system flush, please visit us at
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Friday, August 16, 2013

How to Tell When Your Car Needs a Tune-Up

Normal daily driving subjects cars to a lot of wear and tear. Even a small malfunction of one part makes a huge difference in performance and safety. Recommended tune up intervals vary depending on the age and model of the vehicle. Check the owner's manual for specific recommendations.

Most newer vehicles need a tune-up every 30,000 miles. Check older vehicles every 10,000 to 20,000 miles. Tune-up the car more often if it pulls heavy load or if it is used for a lot of stop-and-go driving.

A typical tune up involves flushing and filling vehicle fluids, checking all belts and hoses, checking the battery, installing a new air filter, adjusting or replacing spark plugs, and checking fuel injectors and other components. Mechanics also use modern automobile diagnostics that reveal other maintenance issues.

• The "Check Engine" or "Service Engine Soon" lights come on and stay on after starting the vehicle.

• The car stalls frequently, indicating a spark plug or electronic sensor issue.

• The engine idles roughly, or it runs unevenly during acceleration. Sputtering while accelerating or going uphill indicates the car needs a tune up. Often a dirty emissions system causes cars to sputter or stall.

• The car becomes harder to start. This may indicate problems with the starting system, battery, fuel system, ignition system, or electronic equipment.

• The vehicle suddenly gets lower gas mileage than usual. Dirty fuel filters, bad fuel injectors, and spark plug problems commonly cause unexpectedly low gas mileage.

• The car makes a loud squealing noise when the steering wheel is turned, or the steering feels very stiff. Low fluids affect how the steering mechanism operates.

• The vehicle makes a sudden jerk when shifted from park to drive gears. This indicates the car needs the transmission fluid and filter changed immediately. Failure to fix these minor items leads to very costly repairs in the future, including transmission replacement.

• The brakes feel soft or spongy, or squeaking or squelching noises occur when pushing down the brake pedal. This indicates low brake fluid. Consistently low brake fluid indicates worn out brake pads.

• A "rotten egg" exhaust odor indicates a dirty or clogged catalytic converter. A tune up checks and cleans the catalytic converter. A clogged catalytic converter also affects gas mileage and overall vehicle performance.

• Chugging or "dieseling" after the car is shut off indicates the vehicle needs a tune up. Other causes of dieseling include buildup of carbon in the combustion chambers. Poor quality gas cause chugging and dieseling in some engines.

• Knocks and pings from the engine compartment result from carbon build-up in the combustion chambers. These noises may indicate a need to replace the fuel injectors.

• The car emits black smoke or a burnt fuel smell from the tail pipes. This may be the result of a clogged O2 sensor.

Tune-ups let the car's ignition system, fuel system, emission system, and computer systems work together properly. This leads to optimum combustion chamber efficiency, better performance, and better gas mileage. The car runs its best and emits the minimum amount of pollutants when it has regular maintenance, including tune-ups.

Service Plus Automotive is a family owned business since 1991. We are focused on providing the best possible customer service experience when servicing or repairing a customers vehicle. We strongly believe in customer education and regularly show the customer what needs repairing. We are very involved in various community activities and believe in giving back to the community who has supported us for almost 20 years. For more information, go to
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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Small Overlap Crash Test Results For Small Cars - IIHS News

The latest small overlap front crash test results from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reveal a range of performance among many of the best-selling small cars in the U.S. market. Of the 12 models evaluated, half earn a good or acceptable rating and qualify for the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Going Farther on a Gallon of Gas

It's not just how much you drive, but how you drive and what you carry that can make a difference at the gas pump. Consumer Reports' tests show just how much your mileage drops if you put on a bike rack or go more than 55 miles per hour.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Top 5 Super Luxury Cars 2013 | AutoMotoTV

AutoMotoTV's best super luxury cars of 2013 priced over $60k. This ranking is based on our analysis of 26 published reviews, test drives, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.

5. BMW 7 Series 2013
4. Lexus LS 2013
3. Audi A8 2013
2. Porsche Panamera 2013
1. Mercedes-Benz S Class 2013

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Top 5 Large SUVs 2013 | AutoMotoTV

Watch this video showing the Best 5 SUVs, presented by AutoMotoTV. The ranking covers SUVs generally priced under $55,000 and is based on our analysis of 26 published reviews and reliability and safety data. The leader in the class of expensive and luxury cars is the Chevrolet Tahoe - it offers excellent towing capacity, seating for up to nine, a smooth ride and a well-equipped interior.