Sunday, September 28, 2014

Traffic Accident Tragedy - Choose The Best Auto Body Repair Services

Getting into a traffic accident is pretty terrifying and sometimes even life altering. Hopefully nobody sustains and the vehicle undertakes all the damage. Of course, any physical injury that takes place in a collision attains the first priority and you must handle it rightly. In due course, as everything settles down a bit, consider taking a look at your car's disintegrated condition. Traffic accidents, whether minor or serious, are always distressing and sometimes even devastating to those involved. While it's completely normal to feel scared and traumatized after an accident, bringing your car back in form is equally important.

The demand for car body repair shops is much more than any other type of repair store. Since the need for efficient auto body repair agencies is incredibly high, it's only natural that so many companies came up with car restoration services. As an inexperienced person, it becomes extremely difficult to hire a body mending shop that offers the best range of services at the most reasonable rates. Thus, you must take a very sensible decision and capitalize on the deals when hiring such an agency for your vehicle. Here are a few handy tips which will help you in choosing an experienced and efficient car body repair center.

Get Referrals

You possibly have many friends and acquaintances with cars or vehicles. A few among them surely got involved in a road accident and underwent car body or frame restoration. These are the best people to seek advice from; ask them the names of some repair agencies that they employed to bring their damaged vehicle back in form. Make sure that the agencies are worthy enough to meet your standard and resources.

Modern and Innovative Tools

Make sure that the agency you choose uses the most superior auto fixing technology accessible today. Inquire them about the age of the tools they apply for damaged frame and body restoration work. Good and honest agencies will give you an insight into their completed projects, since they have nothing to hide. These agencies often use modern paint techniques to bring a damaged automobile back to its original condition. They match the original body color and treat every part individually before starting the work. Once the process is over, everything looks perfectly uniform.

When choosing an auto restoration agency, make sure that you select one depending of your needs and not simply by glancing the services offered by the shop. Almost all of them make big promises to meet your expectation, but only a handful of them truly keep their words. So, do thorough investigations before settling on your choice.

Erique Benson writes articles for Fix Auto Manchester East, one of the leading agencies for car maintenance and repair in Manchester. For checking your wheel alignment in Manchester, this is the right place to go. To maintain the perfect wheel alignment in Oldham, consider visiting this agency today.
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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Top 5 Keys to Finding the Right Auto Body Shop

We love our cars; we spend countless hours in them driving to work, driving the kids around, and driving for pleasure. Though modern vehicles are fine machines, because of the sheer quantity of vehicles on the road, accidents will happen, no matter how cautious and safe you are as a driver. When accidents happen, you will need to take your car in to the body shop. Because there are so many shops in every town and city, here are five keys to finding the right auto body shop that will get the job done correctly and reasonably.

5 Keys to Finding the Right Auto Body Shop

The first thing to do is find a few auto body shops in your area. The best way to do this is through referrals from family, friends, neighbors, or coworkers. You can also look online for shops in your vicinity. Once you get a handful of shops, it is important to check online for reviews, ratings, and testimonials. There are a few good online review sites that offer unbiased accounts on their experiences with businesses in your local area.

It is important that your auto body shop works with your insurance company. Even if you are not filing a claim on this particular accident, it helps to establish a relationship with a body shop that is willing to work with insurance companies if the need ever arises. Any reputable body shop should be able to work with and coordinate repairs with your insurance company; if you find that this is not the case, move on to the next repair facility.

Take a quick look at each shop you go to. A quick inspection will tell you if the place is run efficiently and if the staff is friendly. If you feel as if you won't be treated well or just don't like the vibe, move on to the next location.

Make sure that each and every body shop you visit is properly licensed and insured. There will usually be certificates hanging on the wall, but it is wise to ask about their licensing and insurance. Also, ask about any guarantees they offer.

The final key is the estimate. You should get at least three estimates. The final estimates will vary from location to location, but the difference shouldn't be too great. If one shop provides you with a very low estimate, this should raise a red flag. Even if you are taking your car in for a small job, get the estimate in writing. The estimate should also contain a time frame for completion.

Your final selection should be based on referrals, the online homework you did, your feeling when visiting the place, the customer service, and the written estimate. You want to build up a relationship with a reputable auto body shop; if you find one you trust, then the next time you need repairs, you can skip the first four keys and go straight to the written estimate.

Jennifer Greenfield is a writer in the auto body repair business. For more information on Final Finish Collision Centers, visit
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Monday, September 22, 2014

Car Servicing Basics: What To Be Aware Of

A car service is never easy to deal with and often, as a result of fearing the hefty bill our mechanic might hand over, we can put off visiting our local garage for as long as possible. Unless as the result of a breakdown or as a result of the dreaded annual check up; many drivers will rarely ensure that their car is regularly checked for faults but is this a good habit for drivers to have?

Car servicing will ensure that whatever the age of your vehicle, all the vital components remain in the best working condition for as long as possible. As such an intricate yet volatile piece of equipment, it is important to remain aware that there are many things that could go wrong with a vehicle at any time. For this reason, drivers should know how to spot a problem and how to stop it turning into a big one!

Whatever the vehicle, there are many issues to watch but below are a few of the most problematic that should be dealt with and serviced right away...

  • Brakes- It is important that all drivers remain aware of how their brakes operate. Complexities aside, your brake pads apply pressure and friction to your brake rotors which in turn slow down and stop your vehicle. As expected these can understandably wear and tear overtime. One of the main errors that drivers can make is not knowing at what point brakes require replacement-leaving it too long and being clueless is not exactly the wisest move. Are there any unusual scraping sounds when you use your brakes? Can you feel any vibrations and do the pads themselves feel soft and mushy? Keep a close eye on your brakes and the moment something feels or sounds unusual it is best to get it checked out. Ignoring your brakes is definitely a bad move.

  • Lights- Today's cars are built with electronic systems, these systems include sensors which are connected to different areas of a vehicle and are designed to essentially pick up on any faults that they may have had. These faults are then reported to you on your dashboard in the form of warning lights. From a coolant warning light to oil warning and even brake lights; the moment we see anything we know that we will generally need to take action right away. What is difficult to understand is why, despite knowing that these warnings are indeed a warning, we seem to profoundly ignore our check engine lights. None of these warning lights will appear at a convenient time and it can be frustrating but ignoring them is a big no. One of the basic car facts that all drivers need to be aware of is that any warning lights should be dealt with immediately. Whether it is your oil, your brakes or your engine; deal with it as soon as possible for your own safety.

  • Cambelt- A cambelt or timing belt is one of the most important components of an engine. Controlling the motion between a cars crankshaft and camshaft which in turn opens and closes the engines valves; the cambelt is essentially crucial to how the entire system operates. No engine can operate without a fully functioning cambelt. Unfortunately despite its importance, the cambelt is not immune to wear and tear and as a result it can very easily and unexpectedly snap. If a cambelt snaps, the damage to a vehicle can be catastrophic and an engine replacement is often the only solution. Nobody wants to face this colossal cost yet surprisingly there are many drivers who aren't fully aware of when they will need to replace their cambelt. Manufacturers will provide a standard interval in which a cambelt change should take place but check your manual as this may differ according to vehicles. For those purchasing a second-hand car, be sure to check when the cambelt was last replaced. A snapped cambelt is a servicing nightmare but a cambelt replacement is as easy as pie.

No driver likes to deal with car horrors and visiting the mechanic is never exactly on the top of our last but if we expect our cars to look after us then we need to look after it. There are a number of issues to keep an eye on but monitoring and being aware of warning lights, your brake pads and your cambelt can ensure that the next time you aren't faced with an unexpected visit to the mechanic and a disastrous cost!

Thomas Robson is the development Manager at Central Audi VW; Birmingham's leading Audi, VW, SEAT and Skoda specialists. From MOT to car servicing, the specialist mechanics can provide everything you need.
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Friday, September 19, 2014

4 Reasons Not to Wait to Check Your "Check Engine" Light

I see it all the time. The customer limps his car in, shaking and shuddering every time he pushes the gas pedal. I could almost write a script - "It seemed to be running OK, then all of a sudden..." After asking a few questions, though, it turns out that it wasn't "all of a sudden."

"Has the check engine light been on long?" I ask. "Well, about a month I guess, but it was running fine so I didn't think anything was wrong", they respond. After checking the codes stored in the computer, it reveals a bad oxygen sensor and a failed catalytic converter, which means for whatever reason the air and fuel entering your engine doesn't burn thoroughly enough, potentially causing gas to enter your exhaust. This gas ignites in the exhaust system, which causes your catalytic converter to melt down, which then plugs the exhaust, which basically means you aren't going anywhere too fast. $800 to $2000 or more later and you're back on the road.

The unfortunate thing is if he had checked it a month earlier, a $200 oxygen sensor may have prevented the problem from getting that bad in the first place.

1. Save yourself a lot of money - your check engine light is called a warning light for a reason. Sometimes you may physically feel a problem, but more often than not you won't. Anything left unattended to could possibly cost you big time down the road. It is true - an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.

2. Save yourself a lot of time - I had a fleet customer recently who had a crew driving a work truck several hundred miles to a job. Unbeknownst to him, the check engine light was on the whole time, and eventually caused a major engine failure which required a new engine. Not only did it cost him thousands of dollars, his truck was out of commission for over a week, when it could have originally been fixed in an hour.

3. Save yourself a lot of extra work - in many states, a check engine light is an automatic failure when you go to get an emissions test. Once your car fails, you have to have the problem repaired, and then it has to go through something known as a "drive cycle", which basically means your car has to go through several different conditions to verify it is working properly before the computer resets and allows the emission test to pass. This could take days or weeks, depending on how the car is driven. After all that, you then have to start the process all over by getting it retested at the emission inspection station. Hope it passes this time!

4. Finally, save yourself a lot of stress - I don't know about you, but just the thought of the first three reasons stresses me out. Why not go ahead and bite the bullet, figure out what it's going to take to fix the check engine light, and hopefully save yourself a lot of unnecessary money, time, extra work, and stress!

On a final note, if your check engine light is flashing, that is your cars way of saying, "HEY! you better hurry up! This could be bad!" This typically means you have a severe ignition system misfire, and that could add up to a whole lot of number 1-4, when a simple tune up with new spark plugs and wires (or coil boots, depending on your system) might fix everything.

Don't let your check engine light cause you extra money, time, work or stress. Give us a call or check us out at
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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tips for Preparing for and Dealing With Car Accidents

Car accidents can be terrifying but being prepared will help take some of the confusion and fear out of this horrible event. Whenever you are traveling by car, particularly if you are going far or nobody is expecting to hear from you for a while, be sure you have a cell phone at hand. Keep it in the glove box so that you can get to it easily if necessary but it will not be a distraction while driving.

Immediately after a car crash, assess injuries and what if any danger you are still in. As soon as possible, report the crash location and any injuries to you, your passengers, or other people involved in the accident. Do what you can for injured persons but do not remove them from the vehicle unless they are in immediate danger as this can make some injuries worse. Turn off the ignition in your vehicle to prevent fumes from building up and check the immediate area for dangers such as leaking fuel and fallen hydro wires.

Do not stand in the road as you may be hit by passing cars, move as far off the road as possible and use any markers or flares you have to draw attention to the accident scene and give other drivers time to stop or steer around. This is particularly important in serious crashed where vehicles cannot be moved or when on unlit country highways at night.

Photograph the crime scene if possible so as to provide as much information to the authorities as possible and then move vehicles off the road if possible. If there is little damage to any of the vehicles involved and nobody is seriously injured, you can choose to exchange information and simply report the incident to a nearby Collision Centre instead of waiting for the police to arrive. If the other driver insists on not reporting the accident, be suspicious - there is little reason not to report the incident other than outstanding criminal or traffic related charges.

At the scene of the incident, remember to remain calm and refrain from arguing with the other drivers. Now is not the time to assign guilt or blame. Instead, gather the information you will need to report the accident to your insurance and leave the investigation to the authorities. Never assume responsibility, sign statements, or promise to pay for damages and be wary of tow truck drivers pressuring you to let them take your car to their garage. Unauthorized tow truck drivers can sometimes use the confusion of accidents to prey on unsuspecting drivers: be sure to use a respected, licenced tow truck company and get all of their information before you let them drive off with your car or you may never see it again!

Finally, preparation is the best way to deal with most unpleasant aspects of life so carry these helpful items with you whenever you drive just in case:

• A basic first aid kit;
• A disposable camera or charged smart phone with camera;
• Emergency road flares, warning triangles, or cones;
• A fire extinguisher;
• A flashlight and extra batteries;
• Bottled water;
• Booster cables;
• A tire repair kit and pump;
• A small tool kit;
• A towel;
• A pair of work gloves;
• Non-perishable food such as chocolate bars or granola bars;
• Hand wipes; and
• A thermal blanket..

Remember, if you get into a car accident, keep calm and get all the information you can. Then call a legal expert at X-Copper at to see what options you have for fighting traffic charges or keeping your insurance rates from rising
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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Top Signs Your Car Needs Auto Repair!

Like going to a doctor when you get sick, auto repair is occasionally necessary to keep your car healthy and functional. Sometimes, a car's problems are difficult to detect, and can only be treated once the damage is done. Many other times, however, auto repair costs can be minimized by early detection of key indicators that may signify car trouble. While these examples are by no means complete, they do present a good start!

Does your engine whine or rumble when pumping the breaks at a stop sign? If so, this may be an early indication of brake pads beginning to wear down. While not initially a serious problem, this should be taken to an automotive repair shop sooner than later. Replacing brake pads is a relatively simple and inexpensive task. Wait too long, however, and it could result in lengthier, not to mention costlier, fixes! Just knowing you can come to a full and complete stop whenever necessary will probably make those morning commutes a little less stressful.

Sometimes while driving, people may notice the faint (or, unfortunately, strong) scent of burning oil. This is almost undoubtedly due to a leak somewhere under your vehicle, which is causing motor oil to sizzle against the hotter parts in the system. Most people don't wish to smell like hot petroleum every time they arrive at their destination, but they also probably don't want to pay for continual oil refills. Like brake pads, this is an easy problem to ignore, but the benefits of early auto repair are far more economical, safe, and altogether less smelly in the long run.

So, you're able to stop whenever you want to, and your car no longer trails smoke. But now, your ride feels springier, and it's beginning to give you a bit of a headache. Sounds like your shocks are wearing down. Kids bouncing around in the backseat may think the drive is a lot more fun, but your chassis is suffering for it. Shock systems often deteriorate after regular exposure to rough roads, or just general overuse. So, replacing them when necessary will smooth out those trips a whole lot more.

While these tips are for just a few of the more easily detectable and fixable problems, just being on the lookout for these indicators will save you stress and money. In general, if something feels off, it just might be! Regular auto repair shop visits will help keep you and your loved ones (including your car!) safe and sound as you drive through life.

For trusted auto repair, Lake Oswego drivers turn to Todd's Automotive. Learn more about our services at
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Sunday, September 7, 2014

2014 Ultimate Heavy-Duty Challenge: What We Hate

If you've read the stories from our 2014 Ultimate Heavy-Duty Challenge (three-quarter-ton gas engines and one-ton dualie turbo-diesels), you know that we spent quite a bit of time with each of the pickup trucks in our head-to-head comparison. In that time we drove each vehicle on many different surfaces, in many different conditions through five different states, so we were able pick out many of the things we liked and many things we didn't like.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

End of Summer Car Maintenance

Is it getting dark outside earlier and earlier every day? Are you starting to feel a little chill in the early morning, especially when you realize the custard stand is closed until next year? Yes, yes, and yes? Then sadly, the summer must me coming to an end.

It's time to put away the shorts and tank tops and bring back the wool socks and puffy jackets. Many people make small changes around their homes as well to make sure they are prepared for the colder months. And now is the perfect time to do so since the weather is still nice!

Besides your home and health, your car is probably next in line as one of the most expensive and important assets. So be smart and take the time out of your day to make sure your car is prepared and ready just like you have prepared yourself and your house for the cold winter.

Here are the five areas you need to inspect to insure your car is ready:

1) Oil Changes and Quality

The high temperatures, increased amount of drivers on the road, and even the quality of summer gasoline can cause engine oil to expire at a much quicker rate. This is why the end of summer is a critical time for an oil change. This also gives you a chance to visually inspect your vehicle's oil quality.

To check out the oil, make sure your car has been idle for long enough to completely cool off. Take the oil dipstick and dab it on your finger and then rub the oil between two fingers. You will be able to tell immediately if your oil is smooth and clean or gritty. Oil always gets dirty, but checking how dirty is it with your own two hands can tell you a lot about your engine.

Most cars take a different type of oil in the winter as compared to the other months, and even though the end of the summer is a good time for an oil change, don't switch the type of oil just yet. The harsh cold that requires a different type of oil is still a couple months away.

2) Tires

You should constantly check your tires for uneven or worn down treads, but between seasons this inspection is especially important. The summer heat can corrode and wear down your tires which can be very dangerous on slick winter roads.

The sun even causes your tires to lose air pressure, creating even more driving hazards. In fact, for every ten degrees that the temperature rises, you lose an entire PSI! Proper tire pressure gives you the best fuel economy, keeps your car stable, and is crucial for keeping traction on the road.

So, keep an eye on your tires if you want to keep you, your passengers, and the passengers in other vehicles all safe.

3) Wiper Blades

Windshield wiper blades never last as long as we wish they would, usually from the wear of season and weather changes. So, this is an important time to take a look at the quality of your wipers. Look for cracks in the blades and check for a tacky feeling. And of course the best way to tell is if they just aren't cleaning your windshield as well as they used to.

Even if none of these signs are present, you should still consider the damage that the extreme cold might bring. Remember, wiper blades are not only for rainy seasons, but are also helpful in the icy rain and snowy conditions that will be upon us all soon. Replace your windshield wipers so you don't find yourself in a bad situation after an unexpected snowfall.

4) Coolant System

Your vehicle's engine coolant has been through a lot over the past summer. It has kept your engine at the correct temperature so that everything inside your car works the right way despite the heat and humidity outside.

Your radiator is responsible for keeping your vehicle's systems at a constant temperature. Cracks or leaks in your cooling system can cause you to lose coolant. If your engine or transmission overheats, it can result in significant damage to your vehicle, and costly repairs.

Excessive heat can evaporate coolant, causing you to lose the fluid much quicker than normal. And now that temperatures are about to drop again, there couldn't be a better time to have your coolant system inspected and possibly even flushed.

In the winter, coolant works to keep your vehicle warm by collecting heat and transferring it to the passenger cabin heating system. So if you don't want to be stuck with lukewarm air coming out of your vents in the freezing cold this winter, make sure your car has clean coolant.

5) Fuel System

Like the other parts of your car, the summer heat and increased driving have caused damage to your fuel system as well. Gas quality usually declines during the summer months since more people are driving and doing it more often, which increases demand for fuel. And using this poor quality gas for months on end definitely takes a toll on your fuel systems.

The best thing drivers can do is get a complete fuel system flush from a mechanic they trust. But if that isn't possible, you should at least add cleaning additives and detergents to your fuel tank. You can find many of these fuel cleansing products at your local auto parts store, and even some gas stations.

Remember not to go crazy with these products. Always follow your vehicle manufacturer suggestions, as well as the directions provided with the cleaning products and your car will take care of you through the harsh upcoming cold months.

Call us today at 856 854 2507 Or visit us, online or in person! or 100 W Crescent Blvd, Collingswood, NJ 08108
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Monday, September 1, 2014

2014 Ultimate Heavy-Duty Challenge: What We Like

Here's Detroit Bureau Chief Aaron Bragman discussing what we liked and appreciated during our five-state and two-week tour with these HD pickups during our 2014 Challenge.