Common Car Repair Questions Answered Here

Common Car Repair Questions Answered Here

When you car has problems, getting it back on the road is very important usually. Not having a vehicle will make your entire life complicated. You don’t always need to pay huge amounts of money on car repairs.There are certain repairs you can do by yourself if you need to. Leather conditioner leaves a satin finish that is never greasy or oily.

Ask any questions about your car when you have. Preventing vehicle issues is a lot of saving money annually.

You do not have to call a mechanic when your car is giving your problems. There are a few things you can fix easily. If the repair is not difficult, you might save a bit of money if you make repairs on your own.

Referrals are a great method for finding an auto mechanic. Ask around for their recommendations. You can gain information about price and value that way. People can tell you what type of experience they had and whether the person was honest or not.

Test drive your car before paying for its repairs.

Look out for signs that repair mechanics may give off. If they talk to you in circles or they don’t pay attention to your questions, they may not be the one you want to work with. You should feel like you can trust them, so go elsewhere.

Always try to figure out the problem with your car’s problems yourself before you bring it in for repairs.You probably already know that some mechanics will deceive you about your car repairs to charge more money.

Make sure the mechanic you hire knows about your particular vehicle. If you don’t know, spend the extra money and go to an authorized dealer.

Assemble an auto repair kit to keep in the trunk of your trunk. Your car probably came with equipment needed for changing a tire. You need to get a lug wrench and a jack if you do not have them. You should probably get a Phillips and flat head screwdriver and several types of wrenches.

Although most repair shops can be trusted, you may end up paying for extra repairs you don’t need. Look for mechanics that specialize in your car. These types of shops are more likely to understand how to perform the repairs your car needs.

Try looking for someone who works from their own garage. If they have auto repair experience they can provide quality work, you can get the same work done at a much cheaper price. You may save tons of money and provide an independent worker by going down this route.

Look at all lights that flash on the dashboard and learn what each one signifies. These lights give you a good indication of when something is wrong with your car. Ignoring them for extended periods of time will not make the problem go away.

It can be very dangerous to repair vehicles on your own car. Always have a buddy to help you just in case of an emergency. Buy only the highest quality tools that will last and reliable. This is the case especially when you are investing in equipment to change your tire changing equipment. The jack you are working on the underside of the car. That’s why sometimes it’s smart to use a hydraulic floor jack that comes with jack stands that are approved.

Check the car’s tire pressure each time you fill up the tank. Look at the tires and make sure they there is nothing embedded in them. You don’t want to have to drive around with weak tires.

Take photos of your car before taking it to a new shop. Some shops strip vehicles and resell them. You should document what the vehicle in case you experience this terrible thing.

Avoid diagnosing your own car problems yourself.What may seem like a simple problem to fix can be quite complex, especially in the newer electric cars and also the newer computerized vehicles. Let repair shop diagnose your vehicle. Give them every detail about what happened and if there were any sounds associated with the problem, but leave the final diagnosis to them.

Don’t allow people to sell auto parts from anyone claiming that say they’re going to last forever. This is generally just a tactic they use to get consumers to buy those parts. One example of this is transmission fluid will last a lifetime. While this won’t have to be changed often, it must be changed around every 80,000 miles or so.

Bleed your brakes before you take your work is done on a test drive. Test it for leaks to ensure you don’t have fluid can run out. You should then get ready to take a test drive in an area with little to no traffic. Start slowly to be certain you’ve made a good repair is done well before risking higher speeds.

It may be a recall you didn’t know about. The manufacturer may fix your car free of charge.

AAA is an excellent ally to have on your side when you need auto repair issues.You can often find that AAA has many discount options in place.

Don’t put water in the compartment for windshield washer fluid goes. Water can clean your windshield, sure, but that compartment is designed only to hold a special kind of fluid. You should check the level in the compartment and refill needs. Do not insist when the compartment is empty.

Now, you know that you don’t always need mechanics and their high costs to fix many basic auto repair issues. A lot of the time your problems can be solved when you’re at home. These tips will get you back to driving in no time.

Car Spray Paint for Removing Scratches

Car Spray Paint for Removing Scratches

The application of car paint protection Adelaide is easy-to-do and gives smooth finish effortlessly in single application. But before you buy car paint for scratches make sure you are aware of the apt methodology of using them else it can jeopardize your effort. Read further to apprise yourself with the directions to use the paint correctly in order to extract maximum benefits out of it.

First check the color. Before applying paint on the target area, apply a bit on any remote area. Match the color and its application and then you are good to use it as a Pro.
Prepare the surface before applying the Touch Up Spray Paint. For this, you will need a textured paper for rubbing off rust, old paint and other polish etc. this will lend smoothness to the target surface. Don’t forget to use masking tape to cover the rest of the area of the car from over spilling of paint.
For minor scratches, dab Emery Pad EP-2500 in water and mildly rub the scratch back and forth while applying a little pressure on it by hand. Repeat the motion till the scratch disappears. Wait for the area to dry a bit and as it appears to uniform and smooth you can use Com-Paint spray on it.
For deep scratches, use Com-Fill Paste. Use a rubber applicator to stroke light coats on the scratch. Don’t forget to instantly wipe off excess paste. Leave the paste at rest for at least 30 minutes. With the help of EP-400, apply uniform pressure on the area to be touched up with the adjacent area. Now apply spray paint on the surface.
Before use, shake the Com-Paint Can vigorously until Agitator ball moves freely. Keeping the can at a distance of 25cms from the target surface, spray the paint in stroking motion to eliminate dripping of paint. A gap of 5 minutes is advisable between the coats.
After finishing the application, spray Com-Merge-Finishing Solvent on the outer area of the target area to let the paint merge with the surrounding surface. Let the area dry for 72 hours. If the spray can button clogs, it is better to clean or replace the tip of the applicator in order to cause blot while painting.

Follow these six easy steps and you are done with saving the shine of your car while making it appear scratch free. Take a clean cloth in the end and rub across the area to restore the shine and give finishing strokes.

TIP: Keep Emery Pads and paint surface wet while dabbing. Do not use the product if the surface is hot to touch. It is advisable to use masking tape only while using touch up paint for cars to protect other areas from over spilling of paint. Use of any other tape or cello tape may cause the paint to scale out. It is ideal to use the products of the kit only as they are meant for complete action and to rectify errors at every proceeding step.

Auto Restoration – These Are The Steps That It Will Take To Build A Great Looking Car

Auto Restoration – These Are The Steps That It Will Take To Build A Great Looking Car

I know that I have done something like this in the past, bit I will try to expand on the earlier article. Keep in mind that this will by know means cover the entire gamut on this topic. First and foremost is that you want to learn as much as possible before you begin the project. Each time we do a repair on your car we make sure we are using a breakthrough paint protection for the portion that has been damage.

Now that I have covered the easy stuff, let’s dive in head first. Obviously when I say learn as much as you can about the car before you start the project; I mean read the magazines and publications related to the steps of the restoration of a car.

Let me outline a few of my choices as far a reading material on this subject. My favorite publication bar none is Hemmings motor news, this publication holds a wealth of information on this subject. Hemmings also covers locating parts, and quite a few other things that you may need.

Next I would say that you should subscribe to publications like Rod & Custom magazine, this magazine will also help you greatly as you learn about the car your restoring. I know it all sounds like a lot of reading, but the more you know, the better it will turn out in the end.

Also I would recommend Car Craft magazine, and Hot Rod magazine, these are great magazines. They will often expose a complete build on a car, I have read quite a few of those issues. They give a lot of good tips and information that you can use.

Finally the last stage of the reading, got to a Barnes & Nobel book store, and get any books that you can find that are related to the specific car that you want to restore. This includes the By The Numbers books, and anything you can find that focuses on your particular car.

That finishes the reading part of the process; now we will assume that you already have the car that you want to restore. We can proceed to the inspection of the car, this begins with the front of the car and works to the rear of the car, or you can work from the rear forward if you prefer.

During the inspection we will be looking for things that need to be replaced or repaired. What you will do here is get a notebook, or a laptop computer. Divide a page in to three sections; at the top your going to label the sections good, repair, and replace.

In these sections you will be putting the parts that belong in each section in the appropriate section. I would also suggest taking pictures of all of these parts before you remove them from the car. This will build your first parts list, you can begin buying the parts for your car.

This will more then likely be a huge list because you will be covering every part of the car, from the grille, to the tail lights. You don’t want to miss anything, it will slow you down in the end. After you have finished this; you can move on to the tear down stage of the process.

During the tear down stage of the process, you will find more parts that need to be replaced, or repaired so keep your list handy. Remember you can never take to many pictures. The pictures will help you re-assemble the car when it goes back together.

At the first of the tear down process I will tell you one thing, you will need a lot of boxes; you can’t have too many of them. As you tear the car down you will label boxes for the front end something like this steering, suspension, grille, bumper, and the like.

The better that you do this part the easier the car will go back together, oh and by the way, you will need a lot of plastic bags of all sizes. You will also need a boat load of labels for those bags, In the bags you will store nuts, bolts, screws, and other small things that you would otherwise lose.

Don’t think for one minute that you will remember where every nut, bolt, and screw came from. I don’t care if you have a memory like an elephant, after the car sits a while, you will forget. I say this from experience, it has happened to me in the past.

Now we move from tare down to the media blast stage. This is the stage where we get the car to a media blasting company. Depending on how much money you have to spend, will decide on the media that you want to use to blast your car.

I prefer soda blasting, as it won’t damage the sheet metal on the car, and a sand blaster who is just learning the ropes can ruin your classic car for you. This is why I would plan to spend the extra money to soda blast, or acid the car.

Both process are messy for you to clean after you get them back, you will be blowing sand, or soda out of all of the tiny little cracks for quite a while. With the acid dipping you will find that in the cracks on the car also, you need to get all of it out.

If you don’t and you leave sand, or soda in the car; it will come out in your primer, and in your paint. You know that means ugly paint; and for the acid, if you leave any of it your primer will peel in the areas that you didn’t clean it out, all it take is water to clean the acid out.

The next stage is the major body work, such as rust, frame damage, and big dents. This is the time when the real work starts. You will be cutting, pulling, welding, and grinding so get ready to get down an dirty here.

This stage will usually take quite some time, so be ready to spend the hours getting this right. After you have finished the cutting, pulling, welding, and grinding; you can move on the the finish body work. This is the stage where the car starts to really look good.

When you first start on this stage of the body work your car should have the rough body work completed already. This means that the body work areas of the car should all be mudded, and finished to 40 grit sand paper.

In the finish body work stage you will complete the body work. What this means is that you will be adding more body filler where you need it, and the finishing that body work to 80 grit sand paper on the longest hand file board that you can find.

You need to check the body work areas for smoothness every once in a while. You can do this by putting a cloth on your hand, and running it over your body work area. The reason I say use a cloth is simply that you can feel the work better that way.

The next step is to apply some metal glaze to your body work areas, this is a thinner type of filler designed for very small dents and waves. After you have applied the glaze, you cane finish it to 180 grit sand paper.

After you have finished the entire car to 180 grit sand paper on a hand board. Your ready for the first stage of primer. If you have a lot of bare spots, I’d suggest that you start with an etching primer before you move to urethane primer.

I would always give primer of any kind at least 24 hours to dry. After the primer has dried you can hit it lightly with some 600 grit wet sand paper, then spray the entire car with three coats of high build urethane primer, waiting 15 minutes between coats for flash time.

This is all for this article, I will cover the sanding of the primer in another article. I hope this has helped some of you.

Steps In A Car Restoration []

I’ve been in the automotive business for about 20 or 25 years, I have worked in all facets of the industry, from parts to restoration, all different makes and models, I just want to keep people interested in the old cars because it’s where my heart is.


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Melbourne Mobile Detailing and Paint Protection

Melbourne Mobile Detailing and Paint Protection

Car paints can now be protected with coverings utilizing nanotechnology. Scratches and dents on vehicles are any automobile owner’s nightmare. Nanotechnology is becoming significantly popular in Melbourne. This service is ideal for paint protection coverings and car paints. In fact, when it concerns car paint protection is ahead of numerous other cities.

Kinds of paint protection:

Nanotechnology based car paint protection can be divided into 2 classifications, i.e., innovation integrated within the automobile paint formula which is utilized as a finish on standard vehicle paint. The 2nd range is more versatile. It is likewise a true blessing for secondhand car purchasers. Such coatings even more differ in their compositions. Examples of nanotechnology based coverings consist of ceramic polymer coatings and some nanoparticles containing coverings. The composition of the coatings eventually determines the effectiveness of the covering.

What nanotechnology based automobile paints and paint coatings offer:

For starters, these paints and finishings firmly attach the car’s existing paint to the body of the automobile. Therefore, scratches and swirl marks do not establish on the paint as quickly as they would without such technology. Cracking of paints is also unlikely with this innovation in the paints or thanks to the coating over the paint.

The nanotechnology based paints and finishings are likewise weatherproof. Therefore, water, heat, ultraviolet light, impurities and some strong chemicals are not likely to damage the existing paint on the automobile.

The car’s paint typically begins looking faded after a time period. With this finishing, the vehicle looks as shiny as a brand-new automobile.

Cleaning the automobile ends up being extremely easy, and less time taking in too. Bird droppings can also be cleaned really easily and will not hurt the underlying paint. Similarly, a few of these paints and finishes secure the car from scratches.

White paint on vehicles has the tendency to turn yellow-colored in time. Some of these coatings are specifically designed to prevent this.

Conventionally, waxes and sealants were used for keeping water off from the automobile’s body. However these subside within a year or two, and they need to be applied once more a number of times during the life-span of the car. Unlike such waxes and sealants, nanotechnology based automobile paints and paint coatings last for a very long time, virtually for the lifetime of the car. Water, pollutants and some harsh chemicals are accountable for the corrosion on the metallic frame once the paint disappears. Grime likewise makes the automobile appearance filthy and cleaning it is not that simple either. But with nanotechnology based automobile paints and paint finishings, cleaning gunk and dirt is substantially much easier.

Paint Protection in Melbourne

In Melbourne one of the most popular nanotechnology based paint finishing is the Ceramic Pro. The maker of this paint finish, makings the vehicle’s outsides shine like a new car, offers a lifetime service warranty too. As the name recommends this paint coating consists of a ceramic polymer.


Nanotechnology is fairly in the market of automobile paints. It will soon discover its way into other paints and reduce the have to frequently paint cars. New approaches are still being studied making the innovation a lot more efficient and individuals from Melbourne will be ahead of others in adopting such technologies.

Great DIY Car Detailing Tips

Great DIY Car Detailing Tips

Car enthusiasts often give the same love to their vehicles surface as the skin on their face but then it depends on car cleaning products they applied. In fact, it goes so far that some people spend more time looking after their cars paint than their own skin! Its important that you take great care of your car surface to keep it looking great as your vehicle gets older.

In 2013, it is easier than ever to take care of your vehicles surface. Techniques developed by professional car detailing business around the world have been passed onto car lovers. Vehicle paint has come a long way with huge improvements from the days of lacquer covered with carnauba paste wax. Auto paint is now a lot more durable and shines longer than in the past. It is perfectly fine to get rid of your old cans of rubbing compound, your leather chamois and piles of newsprint for buffing. You can get rid of your old car cleaning products with items like blocks of paint-cleaning clay, microfiber cloths, aloe leather healer, and chemical paint cleaners.

If you’re considering some DIY car detailing, please be cautious and work the diligence and patience. Professional car detailing businesses use the best machinery and equipment that they have practiced with. Take caution when operating similar machinery so that you do not damage or harm your vehicle. Use a professional car detailer if you are unsure what you are doing when detailing your vehicle. It is suggested that when you detail your vehicle, start with the unpainted surfaces first such as the carpets and tyres.

It is best to get a professional detailer to help you when your paint has a scratch that goes down to the metal. A professional car detailer will help you by sanding the scratch and filling the scratch with paint using a tiny pinstriping brush. A professional can blend this type of fix with the surrounding paint, but this takes great experience.

First Start The Detail with Compressed Air and Stiff Scrub Brushes On Your Carpets

When detailing your vehicle, the first step to start is to fire up the air compressor and blow dirt from the nooks and crannies of your car’s floor onto the middle of the carpet, where you can easily vacuum up the dirt. Stiff brushes can help to to loosen dirt from the carpets, mats and upholstery. If your vehicle has leather seats and interior, use a conditioner with aloe. Do not use the scrub brush on the leather seats!

Clean Your Vehicles Ducts to Keep the New Car Smell That Everyone Loves

Use a air compressor to blow dust and dirt out of the vehicles heating and air-conditioning vents. Its best to aim the high-pressure air at the walls of the ducts behind the vent grilles, where dust and dirt stick and cause musty odors.

Do Not Utilize Acid Based Tire Cleaners

A professional car detailing business will use specially mixed acid solutions to clean dirty tires and to strip dirty residue from new tires, as well as to get tough brake dust off wheels. However, if you are going to clean your vehicle, don’t use acid based cleaners. Acid-based cleaners have caused bare alloy wheels to oxidize and pit, so beware! Additionally, they can result in damage to wheels painted with color or clear coatings. Wheels, tires and alloys should be cleaned before you clean and protect your vehicles paint.

Get in touch with a professional car detailing business such as F1 Car Detailing.

Auto Detailing Procedure

Auto Detailing Procedure

Restoring a vehicle is quite a process. There needs to be extreme attention to both the interior and exterior of the vehicle. Carnauba wax often offer stronger protection than sealants do, but will not last as long.

Auto detailing – This is in depth restoration, washing, and finishing in a vehicle. It involves work both outside and inside the vehicle. In the end, a good detailing should look great, with perfect quality and ability to last. The job off auto detailing is a well-paying profession.

Wash- Wash your car while taking care not to scratch the paint, this can be achieved by using the two bucket style. Previous wax can be removed and disposed of, given that you will need to redo the seals and wax. In the case of need to do the engine detailing, it should be done first.

Dry- a blower is a perfect tool to help dry up the car. It is important to refrain from touching paint to avoid adding any scratches. You could also use other tools for dying e.g. large microfiber towels, with considerable thickness.

Clay- you will need to have a high quality clay bar, preferably new. Lubricant should be in large amounts too. Make sure to detail headlamps, windows, door lamps and even tail lamps.

Prep- you will need to have post clay spirits to help with the prepping. Ever section you go through keen wiping, while ensuring all residues is disposed of. Though optional you might want to rewash after the clay.

Inspect- this is where you try to identify errors in painting and places that need retouch. A good quality detailer lamp is most recommended for this inspection.

Polish- in case that during the inspection you decide to do some repainting, you will do polishing. Use buffing pads and compounds properly with respect to the brand paint materials you used.

Protect- in this step one can use polymer paint sealant first, or another option would be to directly use the carnauba wax for protection. It’s usually advisable to give it time approximately 10hrs between the two layers.

Inside- this is important too, making sure the insides are done. You could make use of the time when waiting for the wax to cure.use such things as the carpet shampoo or a vacuum cleaner.

Fabric- the seats if made of leather would need high quality cleaners. It needs a lot of care. A conditioner will come in handy after the cleaning is done. Is vital to know the kind of leather you are dealing with in order to find out their compatible conditioners.

Wheels- effective detailing is done if the wheels are removed and the job done while they are out. Next on would be to use some past detailing on the wheels. For longevity of cleanness of wheels, a polymer sealer is appropriate. Dressing of tires is then done next.

Glass- clean glass with a sealer, non-abrasive preferably. The correct type will stick easily thus preventing it from effects of weather.

Details- ensure you take into great consideration the minor details. Spend as much time as needed in every little step e.g. sealing and waxing. Hidden places should be waxed and sealed to help them retain cleanliness for much more time.

6 Unbeatable Tips for Car Care and Servicing

6 Unbeatable Tips for Car Care and Servicing

Owning a vehicle is a symbol of status and style. The panache with which you drive your own car or even take a ride, gives a great feeling of contentment. It is a commonly observed that when you are riding a car, you wish the journey would have never ended. Furthermore, the advantage of owning a car is many. In contrast to that disadvantages are less. However, your greatest advantage can become a big hurdle at once. If you do not pay ample attention to your car, then your car ride can become a very fussy experience for you. Many people do learn from their mistakes. Therefore, in this column you will get a glimpse of those mistakes that you must avoid. As a conscious and responsible car owner, these will be very much helpful for you.

Don’t Neglect or Overlook

In life, people do have to pay the cost of negligence and slip ups. In a similar way, you must not overlook oil filters and oil change. People do take care of other minor car repair aspects, but often forget about the major features. If you forget to change the oil and take a look into oil filters, then it can mean replacing the engine altogether. Even if we consider the worst scenario, it could mean exorbitant repair bills. It is always good to cut down on your expenses. However, a do it yourself approach is only good to a certain extent.

Always Check with your Mechanic

If you are having a mechanic to consult, then be careful about a few things. The repairs that the mechanic does note them. For instance, if he changes some car parts, then you must not forget to ask for the original spare part back. This would mean that the mechanic has done the work correctly. Usually, a reliable mechanic returns you the old parts. Pay extra caution when you are hiring a new mot technician. For affordable vehicle repairs you can look for some auto stations on the internet.

In this regard, it is very much imperative that you can make a proper gist of all the problems that your car is facing. The gist must include even the minutest detail about some symptoms that you have observed in the car. This will help the mechanic to get to the main cause of any technical fault that your car is facing. It often happens that the auto shops charge extra money for un-necessary repairs. Here, you can try a cost-effective method. You can specifically tell the mechanic about the problem that is bothering you. This can save your money and also your time.

Inflate your Car tyres

Many a times, car owners forget to inflate their tyres. Failing to forget this might result into a number of things like: damage to other car parts, blowouts and even expensive damage. Therefore, when you take your car to an auto station always check the car tyres whether they are properly inflated or not. This will save money, increase the life of your tyres, your gas mileage will also be improved and the replacements would be reduced. The overall health of your car will be in a proper condition.

A wise DIY approach

A DIY approach is favorable only when you need to repair simple things. If you are conversant with automobile repairs, if not an expert, you can definitely try your hands on the repairs. Sometimes, our vehicles need minor changes. If you can handle these changes by yourself, then you can save time as well as the servicing cost. Some of the easiest tasks that you can do are replacing an air filter or the light bulb, wiper blades. In case you know how to fit them, then you can buy the parts and replace it.

Do not Ignore MOT Testing

You must not ignore the MOT test for your car. MOT test ensures that your car is in proper condition. It has certain standards of measuring performance. If your car passes the MOT test then it means that it is top class condition. You also get a valid certificate or license for that. For MOT testing, you can get in touch with some of the auto-repair shops who have tie-ups with such centers.

No Silly Mistakes

To make mistakes is human and to forgive divine. However, erring with your car, might make you divine’s beloved. This means that if you ignore any persistent symptom that your car is showing, then it might lead to fatal incidents. Anything fatal can become life-taking or miserably hazardous. Hence, you must beware. To give your family a safe ride, you must always pay attention to every single warning that your car gives.

In conclusion, it is sacrosanct that you keep up a servicing schedule for your car. It is always not necessary to take them to dealers but an efficient mechanic can do it all.

Chandrani Jena writes articles for SW Autotech, one of the leading centers for vehicle repairs in Yeovil []. From windshield replacement to mot testing in Yeovil [], this is the perfect place to go.

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The Biggest Myth in Automotive Repair

The Biggest Myth in Automotive Repair

Growing up, if I wanted to spend time with my dad, my mother would often drop me off at the Ford dealership where he sold cars. Sometimes we would walk back to the service lane where he would buy me an orange soda. Other times he was busy “putting a deal together”, and during those times I would find myself wandering around meeting everyone from sales managers to technicians. One of the most exciting trips was when I just refused to believe that a 4 cylinder Mustang could be very fast compared to the 8 cylinder ones, so dad took me around the block in a new 1984 Mustang SVO, pretty much putting that myth to rest forever!

I guess that’s when my biggest misconception took root. It made perfect sense that if you wanted your car fixed right you HAD to take it to a dealership. First, they cost more money, and you get what you pay for, right? Second, these guys were trained professionals, understanding the specific systems to whatever brand you drove. Third, they only use parts made by the manufacturer, which HAS to be better for longevity. And finally, well, you just felt more loyal to the brand. I grew up in a Ford family, which meant people who drove Chevrolet’s were basically stupid (no offense to Chevy drivers – I am one myself, now!)

When I decided to get in the business, I took a 2 year course sponsored by Ford, which of course didn’t teach me any different. Then I joined ranks with my sponsoring dealer, which, of course, was Ford. I then spent the next 10 years of my life in a Ford dealer’s service department, and before it was over I was pretty much completely brainwashed. Then in 2002, I made a decision that defied all logic – I accepted a position running an aftermarket repair shop! Of course, that is a whole other story that we won’t get into right now.

Trying to “unlearn” something you pretty much believed for 30 plus years is not an easy task; but unlearn I did, so let me finish this post by debunking the top 4 myths about why you should use a dealer for repairs…

1. You get what you pay for – I do believe this on some things, but car repair is NOT one of them. The truth of the matter is, the reason they cost so much more is because of the ridiculous overhead, which includes some outrageous salaries. In a dealer of moderate size, you have a President, Vice President, General Manager, General Sales Manager, Fixed Ops Manager, Finance Manager, Service Manager and sometimes a Body Shop Manager, most of which have 6 figure incomes, and that doesn’t usually include the “C” level managers! What I discovered pretty quickly was less overhead equals savings to the customer, at least if you run a smart company. Of course, there are exceptions to both – there are some affordable dealers (somewhere… ) and there are quite a few outrageously expensive aftermarket shops. The key is finding someone you can trust. Most good business men I know are transparent about their profit margins.

2. Trained professionals – dealer techs do get a lot of specialized training, that’s no secret. But to find a true master technician means you found someone who understands the “how and why’s” of automotive systems, and that is NOT specific to brand. What you get at dealers normally is technicians with “brand knowledge” which means they know what part to swap for a particular problem for a particular car. To this day, I still remember that on a 1996 Ford Taurus with a grunting noise in far right hand turns, you replaced the power steering rack and pinion and pressure hose. Why? Because Ford said it would fix it. Anything outside of the norm drew blank stares from most techs. In a truly good shop, you have technicians, not part swappers. In actuality, all of the “problem specific” information that is available to the dealer technicians is also available to the aftermarket technicians in the form of Technical Service Bulletins, or TSB’s. The key here is once you find a shop you think you might like, take the time to find out what kind of training and experience the techs have. An ASE master tech has, in my professional opinion, surpassed the training of about 90% of the dealer techs. In my company, I like to take the time to give our customers a tour of the shop, and let them meet the guys that will be fixing their cars. Our technicians love this, because they know the quality of the work they put out, and now they know they will be given the proper credit because the customer knows them.

3. Manufacturer Made Parts – this is a huge myth. Almost every part used in a repair is made by someone OTHER than the manufacturer. All of your major brands do have Original Equipment Part manufacturers that do make the bulk of the repair parts for their specific brand, like Motorcraft for Ford and AC Delco for GM, but very few parts come directly from the manufacturer. The myth is that the dealers are the only ones that use these parts. The same, exact parts are available to every shop, not just dealerships. Even on the few parts that must be ordered from the manufacturer through the dealer, a good aftermarket shop can buy the part from the dealer and STILL sell it to you for less than what you would pay at the very dealer it was purchased from and the warranty is exactly the same!

4. Brand Loyalty – this was probably the hardest myth for me to “unlearn”. It just seemed so much like cheating to drive something other than what your dad drove. Think about that for just a minute. My dad drove Ford because his dad did. My first 10 vehicles were Ford because dad and granddad drove them. Talk about brainwashing! This is the ultimate marketing goal – to get your customers to “believe” that their product is a part of who they are as human beings! The truth is, even the dealers aren’t loyal anymore. More and more, I am seeing signs go up at dealers everywhere that say “All Brands Serviced Here”. Most dealers have a used car lot, and any salesman will tell you he gets the highest commission on used cars, so where is the loyalty there? Most aftermarket shops will work on either “domestic” or “foreign”, and some can do both successfully. The best thing to do here is find a shop who is both familiar with and comfortable working on your car.

There you have it, unquestionable evidence that sometimes the things we think we know may not be completely true. Remember, out of my 20+ years in this business, I have been on both sides, and there is no question what decision I would make should the occasion arise for someone else to take care of my car.

As an avid automotive enthusiast, I have worked on cars, around cars or with cars for over 20 years, and my unique experiences have given me insight to almost every aspect of our industry, both good and bad. At W.T. Standard Automotive & Collision, we put all of good the practices to work for you, our customer. Please visit us at

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Six Auto Repair Tricks You Need to Know About

Six Auto Repair Tricks You Need to Know About

Even if you are lucky enough to know of a great mechanic, it can’t hurt to be aware of a few common tricks used by some sneaky mechanics to reach deep into your pockets. Read on to get some valuable money saving tips for the next time you have to take your car in for regular maintenance or for the dreaded repair visit!

1. Oil Changes: Overcharged and Overdone

Do you really need to change the oil in your car every 3,000 miles? This has become a sort of debate between cautious consumers and the oil industry. The reality is the way cars have been built for at least 10 years, frequent oil changes are not needed. So how much can you really save? On average, an oil change costs $30. If you drive 15,000 miles per year and replace your oil every 3,000 miles, you will need 5 oil changes totaling $150.00. But if you reduce the oil changes to every 5,000 or even 7,500 miles you can save up to $90 per year.

2. The Spit-And-Polish Scam

Scams by some unethical auto mechanics depend upon a customer not knowing how their car works. The spit-and-polish scam is no exception. Here’s how it goes down: Mechanics may say that a part needs to be replaced, but the reality is that they may pull it out, polish it, then just put it back in the car so that it looks shiny and new. Common targets are easily removed parts like batteries, oil filters and radiators. A twist on this scam is that the mechanic claims they replaced your old part with a refurbished part when in actuality they never removed it. In that case, they’ve done absolutely nothing, except pass the bill along to you.

Here’s what you can do if you can take the car home first: Before having repairs done, mark the suspect part in a spot that isn’t easy for others to see with a small dab of white paint or Wite-Out®. After the repair is completed, ask to see the old and new part. If you see the paint on the “new” part, you’ve caught a scam.

Even if you can’t take your car home, you have the right to ask to see the old part as well as the purchase order for the new one. Match the new part with the info in the receipt. Asking the mechanic will let him know you will hold him to the work and parts he has listed on the final invoice.

3. The Oil Dipstick Trick

Dip your dipstick in your oil before you go in for maintenance and repairs. This is something you should be doing out of habit anyway to make sure your car is not low on oil. Do this to get an accurate reading of your engine’s oil level and to remind yourself to watch out for that old nickel-and-dime trick some mechanics use. The trick goes like this: They’ll only insert the dipstick in part of the way, which will give a lower reading. May not seem like a big deal to pay $5 or $10 to refill your oil, but it’s unnecessary and money better kept in your wallet.

4. The “Tune-Up” Spark Plug Trick

Another trick to watch out for is the detached spark plug trick-it could save you thousands of dollars and unnecessary engine exploratory work. An unethical mechanic will recommend an expensive “tune-up” and even charge you extra to replace the spark plugs. Many times, the only thing that needed replacement were the spark plugs.

5. Getting Doubled Over

In all fairness, some repair jobs will start with one problem, and then lead to completely different issues. Unfortunately, some auto mechanics will take full advantage of this by doubling your labor charge. Sometimes the labor will even overlap for certain work, meaning you will get double charged for labor. If you’re quoted one labor cost on the estimate, that’s what you should pay in many cases. It’s important to be firm and clear with the mechanic that you want to be informed of extra parts or labor you will be charged for before they start work. And if possible, get a second opinion from a mechanic at another shop.

6. Auto Obsession

No, this is not a recognized psychological disorder. It’s what happens when people are fooled into agreeing to repairs or maintenance sooner than a car really needs. It’s one thing to follow manufacturer suggested timelines for standard maintenance, but another to become obsessive about it. There is usually no need to repair or have work done on your car more than recommended in the owner’s manual. The auto manufacturers know your vehicle model better than any mechanic. After all, they built it and know how each part works. Their recommendations should be followed.

Be suspicious anytime a mechanic pushes you to agree to an oil change, flush or other car repair sooner than recommended.

Play it safe and bring your owner’s manual with you when you take your car in for any maintenance or repair. The old saying “knowledge is power” could not be truer when facing a car repairs or regular maintenance. Take a few minutes to look over your car owner’s manual. There is a lot of useful information provided in that book to help you avoid many mechanic scams. The more you know about your car, the less likely you will be taken for a ride. If you do not have the owner’s guide to your car you can find it at

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DIY Car Repair – Understanding Torque Values

DIY Car Repair – Understanding Torque Values

In some cases when torquing a fastener, whether it is a nut or a bolt, it is very important to achieve a level of accuracy. If you are attempting to repair your car yourself there are some basic techniques that will save you both time and, in the long run, money. By understanding and applying some basic car repair techniques the average person is going to increase their chance at performing a successful car repair.

Car repair tools are something to consider – they can either provide a solution or, if used improperly, or in the case of Torque related tools, if not used at all, can make the car problem worse. You may not realize it but you may already own torque related tools. Have you ever wondered why the 10mm wrench is shorter than a 14mm wrench? Why does the ¼” drive ratchet typically only have sockets up to about 15mm? There is a good reason for both. If you use a 10mm wrench to tighten down a 10mm fastener, and aren’t over “torquing”, you are going to get the proper torque. If you used a wrench that is twice as long to do the same thing your chances of over torquing, breaking or compromising the fastener are vastly increased. Using a ¼” drive ratchet to tighten a 10mm fastener is much safer than using a ½” drive ratchet to tighten the same 10mm fastener. This is a simple matter of understanding the forces of leverage and torque, the longer the tool the more leverage you get and the easier the torque is applied. As a rule of thumb, use a ¼” drive ratchet to tighten fasters if the bits are available. Generally speaking there is no reason to use a larger ratchet to tighten the fasteners below 15mm.

There is another car repair tool that will get you the proper torque every time; provided the tool works properly. It’s the torque wrench. What does a mechanic have that you don’t? Well, for the most part, experience. Gaining a feel for how tight a bolt needs to be is the first step to getting the proper torque. This is simple to practice, and it is easily gauged with a torque wrench. There are certain instances that using a torque wrench is incredibly important. Rotating parts is one of them. You don’t want a spinning part to loosen the nuts or bolts that hold it in place. So torque your axle nuts and flywheel bolts. Any time there is a gasket or a nut or bolt that is a “Torque to Yield” it is very important to get out that torque wrench to ensure proper installation and operation.

Make sure you replace a the bolt or nut if it is recommended by a Car repair manual. This is because that bolt or nut has to be, and has been, torqued to yield. This means that the fastener is actually getting stretched to it’s proper torque. It also means that when that particular bolt/nut is removed you will not be able to reassemble using that previously torqued bolt and achieve the same required torque that assures both fit and function. Now when we are talking torque, let’s consider some other factors25. When the car repair manual says to oil the bolt before torquing they are further modifying the manner in which that bolt gets torqued. The friction is reduced from the addition of the oil and this means that more force is now being applied to the bolt for that set torque value. Now let’s think about a dry bolt at the same torque – it is not going to get turned enough to do what the manufacturer intended to do at that torque. What is even worse is if there is a bunch of dirt, rust or any contaminants on the threads. So now that there is a bunch of dirt on the threads, you are increasing the friction and ultimately under-torquing your bolt. Do that on a new hub bearing assembly and you are going to have a separated wheel bearing that has too much play.
To get a better understanding of the importance of following torquing guidelines let’s consider a situation like replacing a gasket that holds oil or coolant – a good example is a valve cover gasket; the factory wants you to apply 10 foot pounds of torque to “most” valve cover gaskets. What happens if you over-torque? You squish the gasket too much and that creates the potential for oil to escape, this compromises the gasket and the required seal.

Here are a couple of charts to give you an idea of the relative torque values that are typically applied to different sizes of bolts. These are guidelines only and this information has not been verified.

Bolt Assembly Torque (ft-lb)
Values are based on the use of lubricated threads
bolt size Grade 8.8 Grade 10 Aluminum
M6 5 10 4
M7 9 14 7
M8 17 25 14
M10 33 50 25
M12 60 85 40
M14 90 133 65
M16 140 200 100
M18 200 285 135

The above chart is for lubricated threads and only provides typical torque values – This chart is not to be followed for any torque to yield bolts or nuts and does not provide proper torque values for a bolt or nut that is holding a gasket surface. Gaskets are made of different materials and the manual pertaining to the exact application is the only source that should be used in determining the proper torque for these gaskets.
Note: size: 10mm does not refer to the bolt head it refers to the diameter of the shaft. Typical 10mm bolts have a 13mm or 14mm heads.

The following chart shows slightly different torque values, and is not based on lubricated threads. M8x1.25 is an 8mm diameter with a 1.25 thread pitch – the lower the number the finer the threads.

Hex head Cap Screw
bolt size Grade 8.8
M4 x 0.7 1.65
M5 x 0.8 4.13
M6 x 1.0 7.1
M7 x 1.0 12.0
M8 x 1.0 18.0
M8 x 1.25 17.0
M10 x 1.0 39.0
M10 x 1.25 36.0
M10 x 1.5 34.0
M12 x 1.25 65.0
M12 x 1.5 63.0
M12 x 1.75 59.0
M14 x 1.5 102.0
M14 x 2 94.0

Anther consideration is that fact that torque specification depends on the type of material used – 8.8 grade steel is the most common, but stainless steel fasteners are a stronger alternative, whereas, aluminum is a much softer metal and will require a different torque. Always check the manufacture’s manual for proper torque specs. No chart that is provided in this document has been validated for accuracy. Most factory service manuals will show a torque specification chart simply based off the size of fastener, however this should only be referred to if the specific torque application is not provided.

After reading this you should feel a little more confident and a little more worried. Continue to do your homework and take on the car repair jobs within your means. Ultimately, it is the experience that is required and some failures can be great learning experience so practice first and take your time.

Shane White has over 30 years’ hands on experience in the Auto Repair and Aftermarket Auto Parts industry. As a fully licensed mechanic Shane ran a successful garage for over 10 years. Over the past 9 years Shane has focused on the managerial side of the Auto Repair and Replacement Auto Parts industry. Currently Shane is Vice President Operations with Prime Choice Auto Parts a Factory Direct to consumer, online store, specializing in High Quality – High Value Aftermarket Auto Parts like Hub Bearing Assemblies, Complete Strut Assemblies, Brake Parts, Car Starter Motors and Alternators for all makes and models.

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