Things You Should Do When Looking For an Auto Repair Shop

Car trouble? Are you sick and tired of the overheating and the non-stop oil leaks? Sometimes there are things that we can’t troubleshoot, and well, what mechanics can do – only they can do. You can’t always figure out the cause of an oil leak just by your own diagnosis. You would definitely need to see a mechanic in an auto repair shop. But, looking for a good auto repair shop can be a difficult and challenging process. How do you know you’re picking the right shop? What are the factors you should consider?

The first thing you should do is that you should drop by the shop to check if they have trained, hardworking mechanics and high end equipment. Of course, there are also other things you need to check out. There is always more than meets the eye. An auto repair shop that looks classy and well maintained doesn’t necessarily mean it can provide you with good customer care, honest work and reasonable prices.

It is best to know something about vehicle repairs so that you are not caught off guard when conversing about the repair. You should also be cautious of the shops that take advantage of an unknowledgeable client. When people sense that you don’t know much about something, they may grab the opportunity to rip you off, or worse, tell you to have something repaired that isn’t really broken.

You should also consider feedback about the shop. Ask around. If you know someone who has any experience with that shop, listen to his or her comments. It always pays to be inquisitive.
Do a background check on the auto repair shop. You need to know if the shop’s mechanics are highly trained and competent.

Ask for a written estimate for major repairs. You can compare prices with other auto repair shops by checking them out yourself. You can give other shops a phone call or visit their websites to do the research to save time. You would also want to check into the quality of materials the shop uses for their clients, and the brands of their parts as well.

You would also want to ask for ongoing promotions and offers to save you money. Make sure you find out about their service warranty. Aside from the rates, you also deserve good customer care. Make sure they entertain all your questions and answer you thoroughly.

Knowing all these factors, you can carefully decide which shop to choose. Don’t be in a rush though, and don’t be impulsive. Doing so can save you hundreds of dollars, or cost you a lot. If you live in Florida, check out a very competent Orlando auto repair shop. Check out their free services and get your own online quotation. So choose wisely before making that big move. When you finally decide and if you are fully satisfied with the auto shops’ service, you’re lucky to have found an auto repair shop for keeps!

What is the Difference Between Vehicle Tracking and Vehicle Tracking Systems?

Vehicle Tracking
Vehicle tracking is the method by which the police are alerted to an illegally moved vehicle and by which they can recover such a vehicle after a theft. Most new consumer vehicles are fitted with an immobilizer security system, which any vehicle tracking unit can then be integrated with. The vehicle tracking unit uses motion sensors to alert a control center if the vehicle has moved without consent, in effect becoming part of the on-board security system and aiding recovery as the result of a breakdown or theft. This is the most basic type of vehicle tracking available and does not have the capability to indicate the status of the vehicle ie. if the vehicle is off or is not working properly.

Vehicle Tracking Systems
Vehicle tracking systems however are a sophisticated means of keeping tabs on an entire fleet of commercial vehicles where data is collated by GPS tracking. Global Positioning Systems allow for regular updates to the manager of the fleet and can inform the company as to the status of the vehicle as often as every five minutes while the vehicle is away from its base. This means the company can tell how long the journey has taken and for how long the vehicle was stationary for and when and if the engine was turned off.

Used primarily as a source of monitoring business efficiency and productivity, having a vehicle tracking system means you can plan better routes for your fleet according to traffic and so decrease your fleets overall speed. This is possible since you will have the exact location of your vehicle in front of you and if you become aware of a problem in the road up ahead you can redirect the driver to another route so as to avoid any delays.

A GPS tracking system not only helps to keep your business up and running, it can also help to keep down the cost of fuel and wear on the vehicle. This allows for your business to save on operational costs as well as to make sure every driver is running to schedule.

A vehicle tracking system also means that once unauthorized movement of the vehicle is detected the immobilizer will keep the vehicle stationary allowing for faster recovery. Acting as a security asset as well as a cost effective means of keeping your business interests in check at all times, installing a vehicle tracking system can improve your business’ interests all round.

Since the rise in popularity of mobile phones over the last few years the technology used in the communication between satellite and the masts on the ground has grown so much as to decrease the cost of having a tracking system for your business dramatically.

Not only is having a vehicle tracking system a great way to save on overall costs for your business then but, depending on which system you choose, you can even customize your tracking needs to accommodate data for when the vehicle was turned off and even to monitor if the vehicle is being used outside of working hours.

Aftermarket Auto Parts Vs Used OEM Auto Parts Vs Brand New Discounted Parts

Alright! The worst thing has happened to your car and that worn out / damaged part needs a replacement. What is the first thing that comes to your mind?

I am sure it would be, “how do I get a replacement part that fulfills the need at the lowest possible price?” And believe me; most sensible people would think the same way.

Let’s face it; nobody likes to spend big bucks on car repairs and part replacements. In fact, if given a choice, nobody would even want to be in a situation where his/her car needs a repair or a replacement part.

This is basic human nature and we all exhibit it. As far as I am concerned, I would rather spend extra money on a fancy car stereo than go for a costly replacement auto part. I would any day prefer the cheapest possible repair or part replacement that does the job and so would you unless you are a celebrity and money sticks to you like a shadow.

So what are the options you can consider if your vehicle needs a replacement part?

In the current market scenario, we have 3 major options namely:

  • Aftermarket Parts
  • Used OEM Parts
  • Brand New Discounted Parts

Let’s discuss the pros and cons of each so that we can make a decision.

Aftermarket Parts for a vehicle may be defined as auto parts made by a manufacturer other than the original vehicle manufacturer.

But that is not necessarily the correct definition as most vehicle manufacturers do not make all the parts themselves. They may ask a different company to manufacture a certain auto part for them. In that case, the first definition would not hold true.

I believe the following example would make the concept clear.

If you are fitting an Air Filter in your ABC car and that Air Filter is not manufactured, not considered a standard fitment (stock option) and not recommended by the ABC Company, it qualifies as an aftermarket part as far as ABC Company is concerned. In that case, all warranty from ABC Company for your ABC car is void.

That is not the only consequence of fitting aftermarket parts in your vehicle. These parts are not tested for compatibility with all makes and models of cars. As a result, an aftermarket part may not function properly in your car leading to unforeseen problems. For example, an aftermarket Air Filter can harm you car engine if it is not compatible with your car model resulting in low engine-efficiency or perhaps total engine damage.

Aftermarket parts don’t necessarily confirm to laws and regulations for quality and performance. For Example, aftermarket headlights may not confirm to the local regulations in your state or perhaps your aftermarket engine does not meet the emission standards in your state. It is imperative that you ascertain correct details and features of an aftermarket part before you purchase it.

Depending on factors like quality and brand-name, an aftermarket part can cost less, equal or more than a brand new OEM part.

A good quality aftermarket part manufactured by a company specializing in a particular domain qualifies as a performance enhancing auto part and usually costs more than what a brand new normal OEM part would. Unless you are willing to shell out money on car customization, you don’t need to tread that path.

One truth about aftermarket parts holds good even today; “use it at your own peril.”

Used OEM auto parts for a vehicle are manufactured by the same manufacturer that made the vehicle. The only factor being, these parts are not brand new. They have been used before, probably in another vehicle of the same make and somehow found their way to a scrap-yard or salvage-yard.

In this case, a fact that one should consider before purchasing a used auto part is that used parts from a certain ABC car most probably will fit only ABC cars of the same model and year as per company standards. This is because manufacturers might introduce slight changes or enhancements in auto part designs and specifications every year for any particular model.

Since all OEM auto parts from a particular car manufacturer are of the same quality and tested for optimum performance by the manufacturer, you don’t end up making any compromises on this front. Remember, this is not the case with aftermarket parts.

Used auto parts could be your best option in terms of cost-effectiveness and quality provided you select the correct auto part online and buy it from a recognized seller only. The advantage of buying from established sellers is that you get original quality tested parts at low prices and usually with no shipping charges.

The only worrying factor about used auto parts may be about their history. The part could be salvaged from a car that got destroyed in an accident or perhaps from a car that was scrapped after serving a lifetime. Then there are also some used auto parts available that were used by the original manufacturer for testing purposes.

Whatever be the history of the part, you can get a confirmation from the seller over the phone before buying. Major used auto-part dealers exercise quality control by maintaining a log about the condition and history of a particular auto part so that the customer knows about the exact age and origin of the part he/she is buying.

Moreover, vehicle’s manufacturer warranty does not get nullified if you install a used OEM part in your vehicle.

Used auto parts are the most cost effective out of all the three options since they cost just about one-third the price of brand new OEM auto parts.

Brand New Discounted Auto Parts probably don’t need any description. These are brand new auto parts sold at discount prices. Definitely a great option but these are not available everyday and at every store. In fact, they are available occasionally and at the sole discretion of the dealer. If you are lucky enough, you might find the part you need on discount but as is the case usually, the parts that are sold at a discount are the ones that have the least demand. Hence, if you desperately need a brand new replacement part for your car, you might have to wait till it is available at discount prices.

To conclude, you can choose any of these options depending on your need and suitability but please remember that in the case of repairs and part replacements, you should take a step only after weighing the pros and cons of each available option.

Happy Motoring!

James Rodham

www.QualityAutoParts.com