How Do You Choose The Best Auto Glass Repair Company?

The windscreen provides structural strength to the body of the car and helps keep passengers inside the car when an accident occurs. This is also what supports the performance and inflation of passenger side airbags. It therefore needs to be top quality and should be installed properly to serve its function. Specially formulated adhesives are used on the auto glass to meet safety standards. When you have a damaged glass, the next step is to find a reliable repair company that can repair it back to functionality.

Because the auto glass does so much more than just keeping you protected from the elements, you want to make sure that it is accorded the best services. There are so many repair companies offering the auto glass services, but only the best can deliver quality results with yours. You can find the best for the repairs by being attentive to factors that matter most.

Ask for certification. Your auto glass repair company ought to be certified by the auto glass replacement safety standard body relevant in your area. The organizations have developed standards that need to be met when doing the replacements and only certified company will give you that kind of reassurance for your industry requirements. Visit the company if you can and ensure that proper licensing is in place.

Check the technicians. The company may be certified, but remember that an individual technician will be responsible for the repair works. Ensure therefore that you get a technician who is also qualified and certified to get the kind of results you expect with the repair works. A good technician should take you through the repair process and help you make the right decisions with the glass and adhesive to use.

Ask the company about safe drive away time. This is the length of time you will need to allow for the adhesive to cure to safe levels before you are allowed to drive the car again. Usually the type of adhesive used will determine how long the car will need to be out of service. Some adhesives will take only an hour to cure to safe levels, whereas for others it may be three hours or more. Incline more in getting quality repair works done but also ensure that you can also do with the off-time.

Consider OEM glass for the replacement. OEM parts are originals from manufacturers and they are always superior in quality. Find out whether the auto glass repair company uses the original products or aftermarket ones so you can make an informed decision. It is always a much better choice to use OEM glass that matches your vehicle perfectly.

Ask about insurance claim acceptance. Most repair shops will accept billing the replacement costs to your insurance company when you are thinking of filing a claim. Take care of the deductible and enjoy the repairs works affordably.

Think about warranty. A reliable repair company for your auto glass should be able to provide you with a written warranty and even a record for the completed work. It goes to show confidence in services offered as far as quality goes.

Why Rust is Like Cancer to Your Car

Rust can absolutely ruin the metal on a car. It is best to prevent the rust from ever taking hold on your car by washing it frequently. I recommend washing at least once a week, especially in areas that use salt on the road during the cold months. All that salt and dirt and grime that builds up tends to hold the moisture in and that leaves a perfect environment for rust to begin. It often will set up in a place that has been dented or the paint has chipped. Exam your car often for small spots of rust. It is much easier to repair the rusted area when it is just a small spot.

That’s really the key. You want to repair the area while it is only on the surface. Once the rust travels deeper into the metal it becomes a much bigger and more expensive repair job. My work restoring vintage muscle cars taught me early on that rust can be lurking underneath a shoddy patch job that has been painted over. You can do a check for this by simply going around the car and knocking on the metal.

That can tell you, based on the clear metal sound or the thud of putty work used to hide rust, if the car is solid or not. It is a test I do before purchasing any car, whether it is only a year old or is one of the vintage muscle cars that I will be restoring. You should also inspect underneath the car and check the wheel wells as well. Both are prime locations for rust to begin. Never buy a car that has been in an accident, even if it was just a small accident. They car likely received some sort of damage to the paint that will be a prime target for rust. Even if the person selling the car claims to have had the car repaired by an expert. Don’t purchase it. Even with an expert doing the repair, it is very likely that rust will take hold. Take the time to check out any car before you purchase. It could save you thousands of dollars in costly rust repairs, in the long run.

How a Faulty Exhaust System Can Make You Sick

If you smell fumes from your car when starting it or while driving, you have a faulty exhaust system. Breathing in the fumes can make you sick and cause drowsiness, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. This part of the car should not be ignored because its carbon monoxide and breathing in too many fumes can put you to sleep permanently.

It could be caused from different components such as the catalytic converter or the exhaust manifold. The catalytic converter is an exhaust emission control device which converts toxic chemicals in the exhaust of an internal combustion engine into less toxic substances.

The exhaust system is usually piping used to guide reaction exhaust gases away from a controlled combustion inside an engine or stove. The entire system conveys burnt gases from the engine and includes one or more exhaust pipes.

The exhaust manifold collects exhaust gases from different cylinders and goes into one pipe. The muffler is the silencer to the exhaust system. With the descriptions of each part, you can see why if faulty it can cause a hazard to your health.

It’s best to take your car to a mechanic that specializes in exhaust systems as well as other repairs. If you go to a muffler shop, they will charge you more and possibly try to sell you the complete exhaust system when you need one part.

Catalytic converters are popular for going bad. You should never start your car in a closed garage. Always open the door first and once started, drive it out of the garage. People have died from a faulty exhaust system. The muffler just drowns out the noise but without it, you your car will be really noisy.

It’s very easy to detect, so once you smell strong fumes, get it to the mechanic. These toxic chemicals can cause a host of health problems and should be avoided. If you have a family member that knows about exhaust systems, ask them for advice and if they can guide you to a good auto repair shop. Go to two or three different shops and compare the pricing with the work needed.

Ask them to give you a written estimate with their guarantee in writing. By getting this done as quickly as possible, it will save your life or a huge hospital bill. By reading this article, you should know how a faulty exhaust system can make you sick.

Will My Auto Insurance Cover Me If I’m in an Accident Out of State?

One of the best parts of living in the United States is the fact that we can, any time we want to, hop behind the wheel of our car and drive to destinations unknown to see any of the 50 states. Nobody’s going to ask for a passport, nobody’s going to ask what you’re doing. They’re just going to smile, wave and drive on. But is your auto insurance going to make sure you’re protected when you slip across state lines?

The good news is, nine times out of ten the answer to that is going to be yes. In the eyes of most auto repair shops American auto insurance is American auto insurance, and as long as your insurance carrier decides to ante up when it’s time to pay the bill they don’t care which state you happen to be from. You’re pretty much free to come and go as you please.

There are, however, a couple of things you need to know about driving out of state. First and foremost, every state has a different minimum driving age. While you can get a permit when you’re fifteen (and a half) in Virginia you have ot wait until you’re sixteen in New York, which means driving around with a VA Learner’s Permit up north is asking for trouble. Other states enforce strict curfews for drivers under 18. If you have a new driver in the house, make sure you check out the rules of the road before you go traveling.

How much liability insurance are you carrying? Technically you’re not required to meet the minimum liability coverage requirements of another state just because you happen to be driving through it, but you are still going to be responsible for any damages above and beyond your maximum coverage levels-and most judges really, really hate dealing with out of state drivers. Not your fault, there are just some people that like to roll through town and cause trouble and leave everybody else to deal with the consequences.

Regardless, the last thing you want to do is spend the rest of your life paying damages to an out of state court. That means you want to make sure your liability coverage is geared up and and ready to handle whatever life (or the California by-ways) happen to toss your way. Most experts suggest that you carry a minimum of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per incident in liability auto insurance to cover any auto insurance claims that happen to pop up, regardless of what part of the country you happen to call home.

Your auto insurance company is one of the most important resources you’re going to have when you start traveling, so make sure it’s ready. Then kick back and enjoy your vacation. You’ve earned it.

Auto Repair Services in Okinawa, Japan: Mechanics That Speak English

I recently visited Okinawa, Japan and found the people there are very friendly and kind. One problem, however, is that most of them do not speak English. On my first morning there, I spent the entire time looking for a person who could tell me in English where I could find a bank. I needed to exchange my U.S. dollars for Japanese yen.

In the neighborhood where I was staying I visited a grocery store, walked the streets, and finally found a small police station outside Kadena Air Base. They did not understand English, but they had a map. I said I was looking for a bank and they said “ginkou.” I thought they said “banko.” So I said “yes, yes!” They did direct me to a bank thankfully.

Now if it is that hard to discuss the location of a bank, imagine how difficult it is for a U.S. serviceman or woman to talk to an automotive mechanic about repairing their vehicle. Fortunately, I know of 2 American mechanics that are retired military who live and work in Okinawa near the Kadena Air Base. I saw firsthand the relief on the faces of customers who came in to drop off or pick up their cars.

Bill Siekert is the owner and head mechanic at B&M Okinawa. Bill explained that some of the automotive services provided on bases nearby are priced a little high because they are run under contract and frankly, they have a bit of a monopoly.

In Okinawa, some auto parts can be a difficult to find. Bill grinned as he said, “One way we have been able to help our customers is to go to the local junk yards in the area and find the parts we need.” It pays to have local connections. Bill speaks Japanese and has connections with local auto body specialists. Bill can arrange for any kind of automotive work that needs to be done.

If you are stationed in Okinawa, Japan you can contact Bill Siekert about his auto repair services or you can use this map with directions to his automotive repair shop.

Learn Basic Car Maintenance

It’s amazing how many people get taken for a ride (ha ha) just by taking their car in for a basic service. A lot of people over think the modern technology of their car and believe everything the repair shop tells them. Modern cars really require way less maintenance, even though the basic concept is the same.

With all this power and amenities, most people forget or never knew that it is the same basic internal combustion engine used over a hundred years ago. And, electric and hybrid cars require even less maintenance than conventional automobiles! Learning basic maintenance about your vehicle can save you thousands of dollars over time and minimize potential breakdowns.

The three thousand mile oil change is a thing of past. If you’re still changing your car’s oil every three thousand miles, you’re wasting your money. You need to know what type of oil your car requires and the capacity. You need to know where the oil filter is located. Cheap oil filters will damage your car over time because they can take up to nine seconds longer to achieve maximum flow at startup. If you use one of those quick lube shops, make sure you know what type of oil they will use to refill the crankcase. Make sure you check the level on the dipstick before you leave the shop. Earlier I mentioned that you need to know where the oil filter is located, here’s why, some shops will not change the filter, but will charge you for one, if you mark the old one before you take the car for servicing, you’ll be able to verify that it has been replaced. Most of these shops lose money on the $29.99 oil change. A good quart of oil will set you back about five dollars, so if your car requires five, that’s twenty- five dollars, add the oil filter and you’re over the thirty dollar mark.

Now pay close attention. This is where you need to be up to date on your car’s maintenance schedule. The $29.99 oil change is a lure, it’s to bait you in and then double or triple charge you for a filter or drive belt or some other regular maintenance item you didn’t keep up with. We’re not trying to make everyone weekend mechanics, we just want car owners to read the owner’s manual so they’ll have an idea of what maintenance has to be done at the recommended mileage intervals. With that said, you tell me if it makes sense to take your new car in for the fifteen thousand mile service and be charged $400 to $600? What did they do to a car with only fifteen thousand miles besides change the oil?

You need to learn what maintenance items to consent to and what to say no to and still be assured your car is in optimum operating condition. A great benefit in learning how to properly maintain your car is also learning how to diagnose potential repair issues.

How to Clean a Yellow Headlight Lens

Quick fix to clean headlights with WD40 or toothpaste

Using WD40 or toothpaste will work to clean your lenses and is very quick and simple. This method only requires you to rub the plastic lens with a cloth to remove the dull or frosted look. This will provide a clear surface, which will improve your vision at night.

However, cleaning headlights with wd40 or toothpaste is a temporary fix and will not last long. But, if you are heading out on a trip or trading your car in, then this may be the quick fix you’re looking for,

Restoration Kits

The second method is to use a restoration kit. For example, 3M has a kit you can buy that comes with the sandpaper and polish to restore your headlamps.

This method will cost more and require more effort. The kit comes with sandpaper to remove the oxidation of the plastic lens. Once removed, then the plastic lens is polished back to a clean and clear lens. This will provide you with a clear light to provide better night vision for a longer time. Although in time, the plastic with dull out again.

Restore Headlights Using 2K Clear Coat

The third method is to use a 2k clear coat. This method also requires sanding, but instead of polishing the plastic, you will apply adhesion promoter and clear coat to the surface. This method may take a little more work, but this is a permanent fix to repairing your headlights. If you don’t have a spray gun, then there is a 2k clear coat available in a spray can.

If you are planning to keep your car for years, then this is the best method to use.

Why Is Headlight Restoration Important?

When you see and drive your car every day, it may become difficult to realize how bad your headlights have become. Night after night they are slowly becoming dimmer due to the plastic becoming yellowed, frosted, or hazed looking.

Just like changing the oil and keeping the tires inflated to the correct pressure, your headlamps lens should me maintained as well.

Not realizing they have started restricting the light to shine through properly at night or procrastinating to restore your them could lead to a preventable accident when driving at night.

In fact, I was talking to a body shop owner yesterday telling me he has an all time high of deer hit accidents. You may not think this is a big deal, but a big percentage of these cars are being totaled. Yes, a deer hit does a lot more damage to newer cars than you may thing. Not that all of these deer hits are due to foggy headlights, but we need to do everything we can to drive safe and prevent these type of accidents. Cleaning headlights with wd40 or toothpaste is a small price to pay to prevent an accident.

I Don’t Have Time To Restore My Lights

There are a lot of do it yourself enthusiasts out there who love to do everything they can to maintain their car. They take pride and enjoy doing this type of work. However, there are other people who are too busy or just don’t want to take the time to work on their car.

You are the people who may have your oils changed and car washed for you. That is perfectly alright because there are businesses out there depending on you to keep them in business. If you don’t have the time for light restoration, then look for a business who can provide you with this service. Many dealerships, details shops, and collision repair shops would be glad to help you out with this service. This may cost you more, but it will free up your time to do the things more important to you.

Does Your Car Engine Backfire?

Does your vehicle engine run ok?

Or does it cut-out on you sometimes when your are going to visit your in-laws?

Does it *spit* and *sputter* and *backfire*, then start running ok, again?

Symptoms of this nature can be several things.

o You could have a sparkplug wire shorting out.

o You could have an electrical wire shorting out.

o You may have some water in the fuel tank.

Let’s take the most common of these three mentioned.

Over the years you cannot keep they fuel tank full at all times.

With a fuel tank half full, the upper part can cause condensation.

This condensation will slowly build up and run down into the bottom of the tank.

When you start to pass another vehicle you call upon the fuel pump to give me more gasoline.

The fuel pump starts working overtime and picks up more fuel, then the water goes into the line along with the gasoline.

The fuel filter catches this water and since water is heavier than gasoline, it drops to the bottom of the filter.

After awhile though, you come up behind me, and I’m not driving quite as fast as you would like to go, so you floorboard it and go around me.

What happens when you floorboard it?

Right, you are asking for more fuel.

With the filter partially full of condensation, water, some of it gets picked up into the fuel line and goes to the carburetor or injector.

“Chug-a-lug, chug-a-lug, Pow!”

Purr, purr, purr.

See what happens?

You can solve this problem, most of the time, by changing the fuel filter two or three times a year.

Now, if you have just filled up at the pump, and your car starts acting this way, you may have to take the fuel tank off and clean it out.

Or, pay someone else to do it!

Characteristics of a Good Automotive Repair Mechanic

Knowledgeable on various auto parts.

This is perhaps the most basic characteristic that any auto mechanic should have. Lots of different auto parts are out in the market today. And because we, as car owners, do not necessarily possess the sufficient knowledge when it comes to vehicle parts, we will inevitably depend on the expertise of our mechanic. A simple trick to determine if your chosen car specialist really knows his business is to ask him to differentiate a few parts and gauge whether he is confidently answering your question or is just making his way around.

Diverse background on automotive repair experiences.

Years ago when the makes of our vehicles were much simpler, any mechanic would have been okay. But with today’s high-tech and complex vehicles including family sedans, sports and luxury cars, SUVs, and pick-up trucks, we need someone who has a diverse background in automotive repair services. Mistakes have no room when it comes to automotive repair as these will only make things even more costly. Choose a mechanic who has certifications of training programs and classes that he has attended. The mechanic’s time spent in studying as well as in the actual practice of automotive repair is very advantageous for us car owners.

ASE certified to be an automotive repair professional.

Speaking of certifications, perhaps the most famous and widely recognized one, when it comes to professionals in the automotive industry is the ASE certification. Annually, an estimated 100,000 automotive technicians take ASE certification exams each May and November at over 750 locations.

With an ASE certification, we are assured that our mechanic has good background in all automotive services because an ASE certification requires a minimum of two years work experience in addition to passing a series of examinations that include Engine Repair, Engine Performance, Electrical/Electronic Systems, Brakes, Heating and Air Conditioning, Suspension and Steering, Manual Drive Train and Axles, and Automatic Transmissions for auto technicians alone. There are separate tests for those who want to be collision repair technicians, engine machinists, parts specialists, and others.

Furthermore, all ASE certifications have expiration dates which requires technicians to re-test every five years to keep up with technology and to remain certified.

Works in a reputable auto center.

Unfortunately, ASE certifications apply only to individuals and not to auto centers. However, an auto center with at least one ASE certified mechanic is allowed to display the ASE sign. Furthermore, an auto center that has 75% ASE certified mechanics among its employees are given the Blue Seal of Excellence from the ASE.

Aside from the ASE recognition, other signs that we should look for an auto center include neat and well-organized facility complete with modern equipment, courteous staff, and good policies (regarding labor rates, diagnostic fees, guarantees, etc.)

Highly recommended by family and friends.

Nothing can attest to the quality service that any auto center and mechanic can give than testimonials of our family members, relatives, and friends. Ask for referrals and recommendations. Local community organizations and business listings are also good sources of information.

Get The Best Auto Repair Services: Important Features To Consider

DIY Car Repairs: Are You Prepared For It?

A DIY approach for car repairs can definitely save your money, but only if you have the essential skills and tools to do the repairs on your own. If you don’t have any idea about vehicle repair and maintenance then you can end up costing a lot of money. It’s advisable to look for certified mechanics who can fix the problems on your car quickly.

When dealing with vehicle repairs, it’s very essential to get the repair and servicing done by an experienced professional. It’s very hard to trust any mechanic or repair shop with your car. If you have a classy and luxurious car, you should always look for a specialist who can assure quality services.

How To Find The Best Auto Body Shop?

Check The Online Review Websites

Before you decide to take your car to the nearest auto shop, you should first check the online review of the body shops in your area. There are many review websites where you can check the feedback from the old or existing customers about the repair station. It will help you to make the right choice.

Get The Opinion Of Your Co-Workers

The very first thing is to make a list of the top five garages or repair stations in your area. The best way to find the car garage is through referrals or recommendations from your friends or family. You may also check online to find the local repair shops or garages operating in your area.

Make A List Of The Top Five Auto Shops

Once you have made a list of the top five repair stations in your area, you should check their ratings and reviews online. There are many good review websites which offer genuine reviews of the garages or auto body shops.

It’s very important to speak with the old customers before choosing the garage. If the old customers are not happy with the services of the auto shop, you should look for some other option.

The Final Tip

When it comes to taking care of your vehicle, these auto repair shops can do the best job. You can also hire them for your expensive car models. They have certified mechanics who can do all the necessary repairs for your car.

Make sure that the mechanics are ASE certified. Keep your eyes and ears open to choose the best auto repair shop