Archive for January 2012
Regardless of whether the left headlight blew, the tire has a slow leak, or the brakes uncontrollably squeal, there is nothing worse than feeling the vulnerability of turning to a mechanic or auto repair center to solve your problems. Many times, mechanics sense your desperation and wish to take advantage of it, charging higher prices for a simple job. Then, there are the individuals who believe taking their car to the dealership for repairs will save them money, but they, too, provide an inflated price list.
When car owners take car maintenance into their own hands, the savings are often extremely beneficial. For starters, do-it-yourself car repair allows individuals to compare prices on the tools and car parts needed to complete a job. Many times, auto shops use products that they have bought at wholesale prices, but then increase the cost to customers. When repairing your own car, you will probably be more willing to seek out the deals on spark plugs, lights, and fuses in order to do the job for the least amount of money possible. You may also choose whether or not you want to purchase new or used car parts, which often costs considerably less.
The Top Do-It-Yourself Car Maintenance Jobs
There are numerous car maintenance jobs that drivers often tackle. Demanding only a small amount of supplies. Changing your own oil is a common maintenance activity that is rather easy to get the hang of. To make sure your automobile has an effective fuel system, learning how to change an air filter is also a helpful skill to possess. Sometimes a fuel filter will need replacing and many car owners have learned to complete this job as well. Read the rest of this entry »
Auto accessories are very important components for your vehicle. We all need some auto accessories of the other for different reasons. You can find a wide array of auto parts on the internet as well as at your local dealerships and auto stores. It depends on your particular need and liking as to what sort of accessories you wish to buy. There are some interior accessories and some exterior auto-accessories that you can get for your vehicle. Different auto accessories have different functions. Here are some great benefits of auto accessories that make these components absolutely essential for your vehicle.
• Beauty. There are some auto accessories that help to perk up the outlook of your car. Accessories such as spinners can make your car look more beautiful. Of course we are all in love with our cars and want them to stand out from the crowd. This is why making use of some auto accessories to make your car look more appealing is certainly a great idea.
• Entertainment. Some car accessories are designed to provide you with entertainment within your car. Sound systems and car theatre system allow you and your family to listen to your favorite music and watch movies while you are on the road. You can find a huge variety in these auto-accessories and buy the one which is within your own budget and according to your particular taste. Read the rest of this entry »
What you need:
• Car shampoo (do not use washing up liquid as it can remove wax and leave swirl marks)
• A sponge or washing mitt
• Two buckets
• A hose
• Two car cleaning cloths
• Leather chamois
How to wash:
1. Fill one bucket with a mixture of car shampoo and water, and the second bucket with water
2. Hose the car down if it’s particularly grimy
3. Dip the washing mitt in the bucket filled with car shampoo
4. Start at the top of your car and work your way down, going round the whole car and cleaning every panel
5. Rinse the washing mitt in the bucket of water when it gets dirty
6. Don’t forget to clean the wheel arches, bumpers, outer skirts and inner door panels
7. Lift up windscreen wipers and clean underneath
8. Clean the wheels
9. Rinse down the car with a hose or wet cloth and dry using a chamois leather
10. Wax the car using a cloth and apply in a circular motion. Leave for a few minutes to settle. Swipe your finger across the bodywork – if there’s a powdery residue wipe the bodywork with a second cloth.
For a full wash you’ll need some extra time and equipment but the result will be a car which looks as good as new. It should stay that way for up to two months.
What you need:
• The equipment listed in the simple washing guide
• Microfibre mitt for tyres and wheel arches
• Clay bar
• Car polish
• Tyre shine
• All purpose cleaner
• A brush
• Five applicator pads and cloths
• Glass cleaner
• An old toothbrush
Extra equipment you may want to use:
• Pressure washer
• Jack and wheel brace
• Bodywork detailer and sealant
• Wheel sealant
• Alloy wheel cleaner
How to wash:
1. Follow our simple washing guide ignoring tips 8 and 10 (cleaning the wheels and waxing the bodywork)
2. If you’re using a pressure washer, work from bottom of the car and work your way up – this means dirt from the bottom of the car won’t get sprayed onto areas you’ve just cleaned
3. Once you’ve washed and rinsed your car, clean the wheels using watered-down all-purpose cleaner or alloy wheel cleaner
4. For a thorough clean remove the wheels using a jack and wheel brace – this will also allow you to clean inside the wheel arches
5. Clean inside the wheel hub using an old toothbrush
6. You can use tyre shine on the side of tyres but take care not to get cleaner into the tread as this can reduce grip
7. Leave for one minute and wipe off
8. Use a wet brush to clean the inside of wheel arches and mud flaps
9. Spray clean using a hose
10. Place a clay bar into warm water or use detracting spray to soften it up
11. Wipe the bar across the car’s bodywork in a square motion, one panel at a time – this gets rid of fine contaminants in the paintwork
12. Leave for a few minutes and wipe off
13. Dry the clay bar and store it away for next time
14. Shake the bottle of polish and apply a dab of polish onto a washing pad or cloth
15. Wipe the polish onto the car in a circular motion, one panel at a time
16. Leave for a few minutes and wipe off – starting from the first point you polished and working your way around the car
17. Treat glaze the same as polish – repeat steps 13 to 15
18. Treat sealant the same as polish and glaze – repeat steps 13 to 15
19. Wax the car using a cloth and apply in a circular motion. Leave for a few minutes to settle. Swipe your finger across the bodywork – if there’s a powdery residue wipe the bodywork with a second cloth.
20. Spray glass cleaner onto the windows and wipe off
Making your car look great inside is just as important as getting the outside right. Follow our top ten tips to make the interior look and feel like a million pounds.
What you’ll need:
• Vacuum cleaner
• Dashboard cleaner
• Glass cleaner
• Two microfibre cloths
• Upholstery foam
• All-purpose cleaner
• Gloss or matt interior wipes
• Air freshener
How to clean:
1. Vacuum the carpets, mats, seats, dashboard, door trims and any dusty crevices
2. Remove mats and vacuum the carpet underneath
3. Grubby mats can be washed with upholstery foam and a brush
4. Use dashboard cleaner on – you guessed it – the dashboard
5. Empty ashtrays and cubby holes before spraying and wiping them clean with all-purpose cleaner
6. Use a clean warm cloth to remove any dirty marks from interior trim panels
7. Use gloss or matt interior wipes to finish cleaning all upholstery parts, available in a variety of finishes
8. Clean glass using a window cleaner and microfibre cloth – wipe in a side-to-side motion on the rear window to avoid damaging heating elements
9. Fit a new air freshener
10. Remove ink stains and cigarette burns from the upholstery. You can do this yourself using surgical spirit, but be careful as it can discolour your car’s upholstery – check before buying. It may be worthwhile to pay a professional.
The competitionto provideautomotive loans has reducedto better, and faster, deals for car loan borrowers. So if youapply fora car loan today you can probably drive homeinside your dream machine by the evening!
Choosing the correct auto loan requires some homework on your part – you should bewilling todo some research. Not tooit is not easy; you can easilydo iton the Internet.
First of all, you have to evaluate your credit status. You need to ascertain how much ofan automobile loan you can afford. This is important before deciding onto the car to purchase. Auto loans require monthly payments, so itshould bean amountthat fitsinto your monthly budget. Many auto loan sites have auto loan calculators which can give a conceptas tohow your auto loan willcost youeach month. Once you have worked this out, you can getprepared tomake an application for your auto loan.
Again, the Internet is a superb help here. There are thousands of auto loan sites where one canmake an application fora car loan online. Completing those forms is usually a breeze: just fill ina few fields and then click the ‘Submit’ button!
Usually the online lenders offer interest rates 1-2 percentless than that offered bythe car dealers. That money saved may be used to bear anotherexpenses associated with buying your vehicle. Read the rest of this entry »
Consumers, car dealers, and corporations across the globe rely on auto transporting businesses to move vehicles over long distances, thereby saving time, money, and wear and tear on their vehicles. And thanks to new technologies to make auto transporting more energy-efficient, it’s becoming even more popular as an eco-friendly way of moving cars. Starting an auto transporting business can be a rewarding endeavor, and requires both good management and sufficient investment capital. Read the steps below to learn how to start an auto transporting company.
Determine what type of auto transporting business you want to start. There are auto transporting businesses that provide open car transport for regular vehicles, specialized auto transporting businesses that offer enclosed car transport for vintage and exotic vehicles, and those that provide both types. Open car transport utilizes car haulers on which the vehicles are exposed to the elements, while enclosed car transport makes use of special car haulers that are sealed on all sides to protect the cars inside.
Investigate the competition in your area. If a competitor already covers a large part of the market, consider specializing in one specific niche such as vintage car transport.
Obtain your commercial driver’s license from the appropriate department in your state.
Draw up a business plan that includes your start-up costs, projected revenue, market, business strategy, and marketing plan.
Raise investment capital by presenting your business plan to private investors or your bank.
Get your motor carrier number and transportation license. In most countries, these are issued by the Department of Transportation.
Buy cargo and liability insurance. When starting an auto transporting business, you’re required to carry insurance on each cargo, though the amount will vary depending on your location.
Choose a location for your auto transporting business. You’ll need good access to major routes as well as sufficient room to load and unload the car haulers. Check with your city to make sure you comply with local zoning laws.
Have a lawyer draw up auto transporting agreements, and employee contracts if you are planning to employ staff.
Purchase the necessary equipment.
- For a regular auto transporting business, purchase at least one open car hauler.
- For a specialized auto transporting business, purchase at least one enclosed car hauler, a winch, hydraulic liftgate, and high-strength tie-down straps.
Approach auto transporting brokers to be included on their subcontractors’ list. This means that they can hire you to transport cargo for them.
Advertise your business in local media, as well as on the Internet.
Open your auto transporting business.
In more progressive parts of the world, the drive towards cleaner air has resulted in regulations that mandate auto body repair shops to use waterborne paints in lieu of solvent-based paints. As with new technologies however, perfection takes time and a lot of shops that initially tried low VOC (volatile organic compound) paints have been disappointed with the results. Furthermore, a very clean surface is absolutely necessary when using these paints because the coatings are very sensitive to contaminants. Being less forgiving when it comes to hiding even small particles of dirt, a less than clean surface will show evidence of subsurface contamination after the paint dries. Because of the possibility of a botched finish when using waterborne paints, the importance of cleaning and degreasing the surface to be painted becomes a top priority.
For auto body repair shops that rely on volume to maintain their margins, the fact that you have to be more careful with surface prep coupled with higher flash times (slower drying paint) means that the bottom line could be adversely affected. Base on the experiences of some early adopters, one of the challenges of using these new paints is adjusting to the curing time. Waterborne paints require more time to dry due to water’s higher evaporation point compared to the hydrocarbons found in solvent-based paint. Most auto body repair shops have circumvented this problem by installing air acceleration systems. Working with downdraft spray booths, properly designed air acceleration systems have been shown to hasten drying times close to that of solvent-based paints. Actually, air acceleration systems reduce curing times by 30 to 60 percent and can be used for all types of paint systems. Read the rest of this entry »