Thursday, January 29, 2015

How To Choose A Collision Repair Shop After An Accident

No one likes to be in an accident. Aside from the damage accidents do to your car and your body, the aftermath can be a hassle, as you haggle with your insurance company and find the right body shop to properly fix your car. To get the best work at the best price, what should you look when choosing a body shop?

In addition to turnaround time, affordability and quality of work, also be sure to find out the following from the shops you're considering: how long they've been in business, what type of cars they specialize in repairing, what type of guarantee they have, and whether they offer supplementary services you need, such as rental cars or loners.

Referrals Are Often The Best Source For A Competent Collision Repair Shop

If possible, check among your co-workers, friends and relatives for a recommendation for a shop that has done a good job for them. Some shops, especially small family shops, don't even have an internet presence because they have built a successful business on referrals alone. Check Google for reviews. If a shop has plenty of reviews and the majority of them are raving, there's a good chance you've found a keeper.

Assessing The Price

Whether you are paying for repairs yourself or your insurance company is picking up the tab, you want to make sure that you are paying a fair price for the services you will receive. You probably don't know what a reasonable price is, so always get several estimates before making a decision. With an estimate in hand from three or four different shops, you may find a big difference in price. How can you tell whether the shop that offers the lowest price will do quality work? How do you know that the highest priced vendor is worth it?

A low price shop may use cheap aftermarket or salvage parts and fewer coats of paint and clear coat on your vehicle than a higher priced alternative. On the other hand, the parts used might be OEM replacements and the shop just happens to have lower overhead costs so they pass the savings along to the customer. This is why it's important to compare each section of the estimates side-by-side to see how much is allocated for parts, labor and other costs.

Be wary of any other factors that might make a "cheap" shop too good to be true. For example, a shop may not have fire and theft insurance, which works in your favor in the form of lower prices. However, this also means that if a fire or burglary should occur when your car is in the shop, the liability falls squarely on you (or your insurance company if you're covered for those features).

Labor Cost As A Factor

The biggest line item on a collision repair estimate is labor costs. This figure not only reflects the amount the shop owner pays his workers in the shop, but also the amount of overhead he pays. If the shop is located in a pricey area or if there is a big front office staff to support, the hourly cost you pay might be higher than elsewhere.

Also, you might be charged more hours for the same job. Shops tend the use a reference manual of standard hours to estimate what a particular job should take. Some shops may add on "gray" charges by allowing for steps they might have to take in the worst case scenario or by itemizing the various components of the job. This can be confusing to the consumer, and unfortunately some unscrupulous shops will capitalize on your uncertainty. Your best protection is to carefully compare estimates, and don't be afraid to ask very specific questions about the costs until you are satisfied with the answer.

Making Your Decision

If you don't have recommendations to go on, take factors into account such as the length of time the shop has been in service, the way the shop looks and if they have the latest in auto body technology, how busy it is, and your gut feelings. Check with the local Better Business Bureau and look for online reviews to guide your decision, too. Quality is not cheap, and in shopping for a body shop, you want to balance paying the right price with excellent workmanship.

Jillynn Stevens, Ph.D. is a writer and digital content marketing expert. She recommends visiting Everest Collision Repair in Utah for your automotive body shop needs.
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Monday, January 26, 2015

DeflateGate on the Road: How Cold Penalizes Tires | Consumer Reports

Cold temperatures can affect air pressure in everything from footballs to tires. Your car's tires need special attention during cold-weather months. Here's what you need to know in 30 seconds from Consumer Reports' auto experts.

Friday, January 23, 2015

New Pickup Trucks Shift Status Quo | Consumer Reports

Pickup trends seen at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show include revitalized small trucks, diesel engines in light-duty choices, and factory-built performance models.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

5 Sure-Fire Signs You Need Brake Service Now

They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and when it comes to your brakes, this is definitely true. Whether disc or drum, these devices are responsible for stopping thousands of pounds of swiftly moving metal every time you step on the brake pedal. As a result, they always inevitably wear out--it's only a matter of time. To avoid expensive brake service costs, it helps to know the following warning signs.

1. Strange Sounds

Because they absorb a tremendous amount of energy, it is not uncommon for brakes to occasionally make some noise. But when the device consistently squeaks, squeals, or grinds, it may need to be adjusted or replaced. Of particular concern are grinding sounds, since they often indicate that the brake pads are worn down and need to be switched out as soon as possible. Failure to do so could result in irreparable damage to the rotors, which are far more expensive than the pads.

2. Bad Vibrations

If your pedal, steering wheel, or entire vehicle vibrates or shakes when you try to stop, your rotors may be warped and require replacement. Alternately, it may be possible to have them resurfaced, which can cut brake service costs considerably.

3. Sinking Pedal

If your foot brake does not feel firm when applied or if it starts to sink to the floor when you come to a full stop, odds are there's a fluid leak that's depriving your hydraulics system of the pressure needed to maintain proper operation. There's also a chance that your master cylinder is worn out or leaking and may need to be replaced. Either way, the problem requires immediate attention from a brake service professional.

4. Pulling

If your vehicle noticeably pulls to either side when you come to a stop, it's often an indication that the stopping device is misaligned. The good news is that this problem is relatively easy and inexpensive to correct. The device must simply be adjusted by a brake service professional. But if you make the mistake of ignoring the issue, it will almost certainly result in uneven wear that may adversely affect the operation of your automobile and lead to more costly future repairs.

5. Unpleasant Odors

A burning smell that emanates from your brakes can occur under extreme driving conditions when you ride them particularly hard, such as down a steep, winding hill. But when you notice that malodorous scent during regular driving, there could be a serious problem. More often than not, the issue is a seized caliper piston that is causing the stopping device to drag. Immediate brake service is needed to correct the hitch before permanent damage is done.

Looking for quick and efficient brake service? Livonia, MI residents can learn more about their options by visiting
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Saturday, January 17, 2015

2015 Light-Duty V-8 Challenge: Acceleration, Unloaded

A lot can happen to pickup trucks in just a few years, especially in a segment as brutally competitive as half-ton four-door V-8 pickups. Sales are on a torrid pace and incentive wars are heating up. In the middle of all this, every one of the pickup makers are bringing out more new products and technology, the likes of which we've never seen before.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

How to Stay Safe Driving in Fog

When you run into fog on the road, keep your head and follow these simple tips to stay safe.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

2015 Light-Duty Challenge: 60-0 Braking

A lot can happen to pickup trucks in just a few years, especially in a segment as brutally competitive as half-ton four-door V-8 pickups. Sales are on a torrid pace and incentive wars are heating up. In the middle of all this, every one of the pickup makers are bringing out more new products and technology, the likes of which we've never seen before.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

What Should I Do If I Am in a Car Accident?

If you have never been in a car accident, it is likely only a matter of time before you are. According to the insurance industry, the average driver is involved in a car accident every 17.9 years. So if you are actively driving over the course of your lifetime, you are probably going to have to deal with an accident at some point. Knowing the proper procedure to follow can make this difficult situation less stressful and minimize the damages.

Here are some tips you can follow after being in a car accident:

Remain Calm

Firstly, do not panic or lose your composure. And do not leave of flee the scene until it is prudent to do so. If there are any serious injuries, call 911 immediately.

Get Safe

If possible, move vehicles off or to the side of the road so no further accidents or injuries occur. If the vehicles can't be moved, turn on hazard lights and place flares or triangle warning signs to alert other drivers. Make sure to get yourself to the side of the road and out of the way of traffic.

Contact the Authorities

After getting yourself to safety, evaluate the injuries to yourself or your passengers. Check on the condition of the other vehicle's occupants and call 911 if there are any injuries. Depending on state laws, you may also be required to contact the police. In Alaska for example, the police must be contacted if there are any bodily injuries or more than $2000 in property damage. In addition, the police can help keep everyone calm and help establish liability. If you do not require the police to be at the scene of your accident, you should file a police report soon afterwards to get your version of the accident on record.

Exchange Information

Exchange your name, address, phone number, email address, insurance company and policy numbers with the other driver.

Do Not Admit Fault

Even if the cause of the accident seems obvious, do not ever admit fault or place blame. Refrain from saying "I'm sorry" or something similar with the other driver as this is an admission of guilt. Keep discussion with the other driver to a minimum. At the accident scene, only speak about specifics of the accident the police, fire department, or other emergency personnel.

Document the Car Accident

If possible after everyone is safe, take pictures of the accident scene. Note the location, time and a description of the accident, damages and people involved. Also gather any information from witnesses who may have seen the accident.

Contact Insurance Company

As soon as possible after the accident, call your auto insurance company to report the accident and open a claim. Your insurance company should have a 24-hour toll-free hotline and now most auto insurance claims also have a website that permits people to report the accident online. Also, consider asking your auto insurance company representative where to take your vehicle if it needs repair.

Though an auto accident can be a stressful experience, knowing the proper procedures to follow can protect yourself from undue liability and expense while protecting your rights to compensation.

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle collision, you should contact a personal injury lawyer before speaking with an insurance adjuster. Car accidents can cause a variety of injuries, including neck and back injuries. Contact the Law Office of Ben Crittenden at 907-771-9002 for a free consultation or visit our website:
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Monday, January 5, 2015

2015 Light-Duty Challenge: Acceleration, Payload

A lot can happen to pickup trucks in just a few years, especially in a segment as brutally competitive as half-ton four-door V-8 pickups. Sales are on a torrid pace and incentive wars are heating up. In the middle of all this, every one of the pickup makers are bringing out more new products and technology, the likes of which we've never seen before.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Car Repair Guidelines for the Uninitiated

Car owners are only too familiar with the frustrations associated with car repairs. The fact that these repairs are also quite expensive only increases the stress level that car owners experience. The full cost of a major repair can definitely put a huge dent on the wallet. This usually happens because of neglect. Many drivers and car owners choose to put off minor repairs in order to save themselves the expense. Unfortunately, this could backfire. Here are some guidelines for new car owners. This unsolicited but useful advice could save you thousands of dollars in the future.

Set a budget

The best way to save yourselves from suffering through the headaches and heartaches associated with unscheduled automobile-related expenses is to set aside a budget. This amount, which should be kept in an emergency savings account, should be enough to cover future costs for car-related issues. It is quite easy to figure out the amount that needs to be saved with the help of a trusted consultant from your local car dealership. You may also elicit the help of a close friend who owns a similar make and model in determining the amount. Calculate how much you can set aside every payday, and make sure that you deposit the money as scheduled. Setting aside a budget can help cushion the blow should the need for a huge amount of money for car repairs arise.

Know the early signs of car trouble

You may be driving a car but have no deeper interest in how the machine actually works. That is fine. However, you need to make the effort to recognize the earliest signs of trouble, lest your vehicle stall on you, or worse become involved in a traffic accident due to mechanical fault while you are driving it. It is your responsibility as a driver to know when car repair is imminent. One of the first signs is a light on the dashboard that is not supposed to light up if everything is in good condition. Another early sign is a strange noise from the engine that you have never heard before. These signs usually persist. Sometimes, the light and the noise could stop for a while and then return after a period of hiatus. Do not wait a long time to find out what is wrong. Auto repair shops can diagnose the problem and do something about it immediately. You will not have to spend much for diagnostics and basic intervention.

You also need to know about the available services in your area so that if you encounter a problem you can bring the car either to them immediately, or they can come to your location should the vehicle refuse to budge. Local repair shops can usually deal with mechanical issues with the clutch; exhaust system, gearbox, cam belt, fuel drain, steering, suspension system, and catalytic converter. Sometimes, the repair is electrical in nature.

Shop around

If there are numerous repair shops in the areas where you live and work, you need to find the time to shop around. Looking for the best rates can save you a few hundred dollars. Most of them provide quotes when you request politely. Some of the local auto repair shops may be listed in online directories. You also need to set aside time to browse the Web.

Get more information today about transmission repair.
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