Category Archives: General

How to Get Quality Automotive Services

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How to Get Quality Automotive Services

Automotive repair services are no different from any other service. You are entitled to get what you pay for, but how do you know you are getting good repair services if you do not know how a car works, and therefore how long a particular repair is likely to last? How can you tell that you are not being ripped off by an unscrupulous mechanic or repair shop if you don’t know what they did to your car to get it working again?  Read on and we will tell you how to tell if you are getting good auto repair services.

Look for Professional Certifications

The processes of training and certification of auto mechanics differ from country to country, but almost all countries have systems in place to regulate these processes. In fact, in many countries it is illegal for a mechanic to perform car repairs unless he is properly certified by a governing body, so your first step should be to ask about the qualifications and certifications of the people that are going to work on your car.
Qualifications and certificates of competence always include the name(s) of the training and/or certification authority, so be sure to check with these bodies if you suspect that a certificate may not be authentic.

Expect Great Customer Service

Repair shops depend on their good reputations and level of customer service to keep their existing clients, and to attract new business. If the reception you receive is poor, it is almost certain that you will receive poor repair services as well. If the management refuses to answer your questions or discuss your concerns with you, walk away because you will not receive quality service from such an establishment.

Get The Cost of Repairs Upfront

Price alone should never be the sole determining factor, but then again, the quoted price you receive should not differ by more than 10-, or 15% of that charged by other shops in the area. What is more important is the willingness of the shop staff to give you a breakdown of the costs of a repair. An honest mechanic will always tell you what needs to be done to effect a professional repair, and what each step in the repair process will cost, with both parts and labor charges included, as well as an estimate on the time required to carry out the work.
If you are provided with this information in a friendly, open, and transparent manner, it is certain that you will receive high quality services and customer care as well.

Ask About Parts Quality

Many mechanics use cheap, substandard parts to save costs and increase their profits. This is a world-wide phenomenon, and your best defense against this is to insist on the mechanic telling you where he gets his parts from.  No reputable mechanic will have a problem showing you the packaging of parts he uses for other cars, so check for well known and trusted brands.

Unbranded packaging is a sure sign of poor quality parts, and if you see this in a repair shop, you will receive poor, substandard services.

Look for A Neat and Tidy Shop

Repair shops that are neat, tidy, and well organized take pride in their work, which translates into good service and customer care. Return visits by unhappy clients because of recurring problems are bad for any repair shop, but shops that are proud of the quality of the services they provide are unlikely to see many customers return because the original problem was not repaired properly.
The same cannot be said for shops that are dirty, disorganized, or cluttered up by derelict cars and tools, parts, and other rubbish lying on the floor. Such a shop is not capable of providing high quality services, so avoid them at all costs.

Ask About Warranties

Mechanics that are proud of their work and professionalism will have no problem with issuing a warranty on the work they perform. This is especially important in cases where cars are no longer covered by factory warranties or maintenance plans.
In some countries, mechanics are legally obliged to issue warranties on workmanship, but where this is not a legal requirement, insist on a warranty against defects in workmanship- if the mechanic is honest and professional, he will have no problem with it, since his reputation depends on the high level of service he provides.

A final thought…

If you follow the tips outlined here, you can be almost certain that you will receive professional, high quality automotive services; however, you will never receive high quality services if you continually jump from one mechanic to the next, or if you are not clear about your needs and expectations. Mechanics are prohibited from carrying out unauthorized work unless the unauthorized work is required to compete the requested work safely, which means that replacing, or repairing something you did not authorize does not necessarily mean you were ripped off.

Honest and professional mechanics will always inform you if something else needs to be fixed, replaced, or rebuilt to complete a repair safely and reliably, and if this happens, you can be sure you are receiving a professional, high quality service because the mechanic or repair shop has your safety as their first priority- which is always a good thing.

How to Finding A Good Automotive Mechanic

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How to Finding A Good Automotive Mechanic

Since every car owner needs automobile repairs and maintenance from time to time, it is important to establish a trustworthy person that can handle the task at hand with professionalism and skill. Finding the best mechanic for your car is definitely not an easy task especially when there are lots of auto repair shops in every city but not all workers are equally skilled in their job. While for basic tasks such as light repairs or easy maintenance (wheel changing, oil replacement) mostly any Joe mechanic with a more than six months in a service garage will be able to fit, advanced repairs (gearbox issues, engine manifold failure) require a totally different level of skill and care.

First of all, one should always research before paying for a mechanic’s service. Such research includes ensuring the mechanic is trained and certified by a recognized institution in your country. While the Internet is a broad place and holds lots of information, it should be easiest to check out for a certificate placed in the customer service lobby of the repair shop. For example, ASE is one of the most known and broadly accepted diplomas for automotive mechanics. Still, an accredited car technician might just be at the beginning of his career or might not be just as skilled as the accreditation mentions. Looking for a few reviews on the intended repair facility and if possible on the mechanic itself is a great idea. One may not find the required mechanic reviews on the Internet, especially if the service unit is rather small, but asking former customers is a decent way to develop an insight about the person and the company you wish to have your car fixed at.

If you are on a tight budget and cannot afford to spend a fortune on the highest end auto service, ask for estimation prices for the service your car requires. It is especially useful to ask for a written estimate when facing extensive repairs. This way, the estimate can be used to compare different mechanics. Remember though, an expensive service doe’s not always mean high quality. Since quality has to be a primary concern when undergoing vehicle repairs, a valid warranty must be issued at the end of the process. All reputable mechanics will issue a 30 to 90 day warranty for parts and service. Usually, mechanics that use high quality parts and accessories such as OEM auto parts is able to provide extended warranty.

Warranty is not the only reason to choose a mechanic that works with OEM parts. Unlike aftermarket components, OEM vehicle parts feature a higher quality thus ensuring an increased endurance over time and, when applicable, higher power output and increased comfort. In other words, it is better to pay 100$ for an OEM component that will last 5 years instead of paying 50$ for an aftermarket part you will have to replace every year.

Finally, after choosing the best mechanic you can, ensure reliability. A great mechanic will fix problems well and ensure their work is worthy of payment. Also, getting into a friendly relationship with the mechanic ensures a loyal connection allowing you to become a regular customer and win discounts. Also, having the car fixed always by the same mechanic will allow him to keep a service history and also to announce you for future issues that might need to be solved.

As one can see from the above lines, there are quite a few elements to be taken in consideration before applying for a repair service. Keeping in mind these key aspects will benefit on the long run, allowing the user to enjoy quality repairs and prolonged vehicle life at reduced costs.

How to Using Car Jumper Cables

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How to Using Car Jumper Cables

It does happen to everyone: you forget to turn off the CD player or headlights, and you leave the car parked for the rest of the night. When you get back to it in the morning, you realize that turning the key into ignition position does nothing or the electric motor barely spins, not enough to get the engine running. So, what is there to be done? Replacing the battery is probably out of question, since there is little chance you have a spare battery just laying around in your garage. Instead, you can ask for a fellow car driver to aid your battery by charging it over jump start cables.

Before getting into details about how to use jump start cables to revive a drained battery, a discussion is needed regarding how to choose the right pair of jump start cables according to your vehicle. One thing is definitely certain when buying jumper cables; you get what you pay for. There are three main characteristics to take in account when willing to purchase a set of jumper cables: cable gauge, clamp quality and insulation.

Cable gauge sets the amount of power the wire is able to allow to pass through. The higher the gauge (lower numerical index on the gauge meter), the higher amount of power the wire will be able to handle. Using thinner wires will take longer for the jump start procedure to begin, as it will require more time before the battery gets charged enough before being able to start the car again as usual. Thin wires are usually cheaper but can’t handle enough amperage to charge up the battery. If you try to use thinner cables in jump starting procedures, the wire will begin to heat up; this happens when it cannot cope with the amount of energy sent by the donor car. Finally, higher gauge cables can be built at longer lengths, allowing for easier connection between two cars.

Although the cost of cables rises as they are thicker, one will notice that clamps are also getting better. Low quality clamps are copper plated, while higher quality jumper cables will feature solid copper clamps which conduct electricity better. Copper plated clamps usually wear off after a few dozen uses due to the steel layer beneath which doesn’t conduct electric current too well.

On the same note as gauge size, insulation of the cable is equally important. Higher insulation can be found on thicker and equally more expensive cables. Colder climates ask for better insulated cables to avoid cracks due to low temperatures. Also, higher insulation aids pliability, allowing users to wrap cables back easily after being used.

Since critical points in acquiring jumper cables have been discussed, a brief description on how to get your car running again by jump starting is at hand. First of all, one should make sure that the donor battery has at least the same capacity as yours. Then, both vehicles should be put in park or neutral, and both engines shut off. Attach the red clamp at the positive terminal of each battery. You can find the positive terminal by looking after the “POS” or “+” sign near it. Next, connect one of the black clamps on the negative terminal of the donor battery, while the other end should be attached to a metallic unpainted surface of your car. Negative terminals feature the “-“or “NEG” sign near them.

Go ahead and start the car. If it doesn’t work, check the wiring again and let the donor car run for five minutes before trying again.