Categories
Auto Insurance

Don’t Make Yourself a Target For Car Thieves

Car theft has been a problem in the United States since cars were invented. A car or other vehicle is stolen in the United States every 28.8 seconds according to 2008 data from the FBI. The chances of your car being stolen in the U.S. are 1 in 210 according to data from federal agencies and the Insurance Information Institute. The odds vary geographically. The Northeast has the lowest incidence of vehicle thefts, about 9.8 percent, and the Midwest 18.2 percent. The South and West have the highest percentage of vehicle thefts, about 36 percent each. Your chances of having your car stolen are highest in urban areas.

Although vehicle theft has been decreasing every year since 2006, only 59% of stolen vehicles were recovered last year, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. Car theft is a major problem that can leave you without transportation while you deal with a time-consuming insurance claim. Here are some ways to reduce your chances of becoming a car thief’s next victim.

* Lock your vehicle and don’t leave it running. Your car’s door locks are the cheapest, easiest deterrent against car thieves. Don’t leave sunroofs or windows open, even on the hottest days. Leaving your car running while you’re not around is an open invitation for theft. Law enforcement officials stress that many cars are stolen on a whim for joyriding purposes because the owner made it easy for the thief.

* Be careful where you park. When you park at home, a locked garage is best, but the driveway is still safer than the street. Choose well-traveled, well-lit areas when parking away from home, for your own safety as well as to avoid vehicle theft.

* Don’t make thieves’ job easier. Crime experts warn against leaving a spare key hidden in or on the vehicle, because car thieves know all the good hiding spots for a spare key. Keep your vehicle papers with you and make a set for each driver in the family, instead of leaving them in the glove box. Keep the inside of your car clean and empty. Take your cell phone, music player, and other electronic devices with you when you leave the car, and never leave a purse, briefcase, or closed bag in plain sight while you’re gone.

* Consider buying a car alarm or other vehicle protection device to save yourself the time and expense of dealing with the theft of your vehicle.

Car security comes in many types and price ranges. At the most basic level, a simple steering wheel lock or brake pedal lock is an inexpensive way to secure your vehicle and is visible to thieves who might be sizing your vehicle up.

A car alarm is a highly effective way to chase thieves away from your car and alert law enforcement in the area. An alarm system is simply a sensing device attached to noisemakers like sirens and horns. Sophisticated alarm systems go beyond the basic door trigger switch found in low-end systems and use motion detectors, sound sensors that pick up the pitch of glass breaking, air pressure detectors that know when a car door is open, and even sensors that know when your vehicle is being driven up a ramp onto a thief’s flatbed trailer.

Some vehicle security systems work by locking out the ignition, fuel, or electrical systems until you touch a hidden switch or insert an electronically coded ignition key. Although a car thief may still steal components or tow your vehicle away, these systems deter the most common scenario of breaking in and hot wiring.

New tracking technologies have become standard equipment on high-end vehicles. Global positioning systems (GPS) can help law enforcement find your vehicle after a theft. Police can also track a vehicle using a tracking systems with a hidden transmitter to allow police to track the vehicle. An example of this type of system is the LoJack, which operates over half of the states in the U.S. Law enforcement likes these systems because they frequently lead to chop shops and other illegal theft operations and the arrest of criminals.

Certain vehicles are frequent targets for car thieves, especially high-end sport utility vehicles. The Cadillac Escalade and the Hummer were featured last year in an ABC News article on the most stolen cars in the U.S. Models among the least likely to be stolen are the Mercedes E Class, Buick Rainier and Subaru Forester.

Categories
Auto Service

Secure Your Custom Car Investment With a Car Cover

Your car is a major investment and you will want to keep it looking sharp and running smoothly. If you have a classic or custom car that you store away for the winter, you have to make sure you prepare it for storage so it will be in pristine condition when you take it out. To keep your custom car looking its best you have to keep it in the best shape possible, inside and out.

You need to take extra care and greater precautions when you are driving a custom car regularly and it is being parked outside. Make sure you have it covered with a properly fitted car cover which can protect the vehicle from the elements which predominate in your area. You ought to have it covered whenever it is not in use and if you are going to put it in storage, there are a few preventive maintenance measures you can take to make sure it stays in good condition.

Before you store it away you should give it a good detailing and it should be squeaky clean. You will want to wash all the road grime off of the car including all body parts and undercarriage. Another, very important thing is to make sure the car is completely dry before you cover it up with a car cover as this will ensure moisture is not being trapped which may cause musty smells and promote mold growth.

You will want to make sure the car cover you choose has a high quality soft interior that will not scratch you car and will protect it from dust. If you plan on storing the car for a short time, you can drain the cooling fluid and refill it with antifreeze. On the other hand, if you plan on storing the vehicle for an extended period of time, you can drain the entire system and take the radiator cap off so air can circulate through it.

It is recommended you put the car on car stands or jacks to lift the tires off the ground. This will help keep your tires from deflating or being ruined and more than this, remove the battery and clean the battery cables.

 

When you get your car out of storage, clean it up with a soft cotton cloth that is designed for specifically cleaning cars. It is also important to use the correct car wash and not abrasive detergent. To help prevent rust and metal corrosion you should have any dents, cracks or chips repaired as soon as you notice them.

Wash and dry your car properly after a road trip and make sure you blot dry any water to avoid rusting of the metal surfaces. You should also make sure you remove any gas spills, bird dropping, dead bugs and tree sap as soon as possible. All of these things can do serious damage to your vehicles paint finish. There are quality removal products, which don’t have high acidic content, available for removing these types of things.

When you are not using your vehicle you should cover it up to protect it from the elements. You want to make sure the cover has a soft lining that will not harm your paint job. If you follow the tips above you will keep your custom or classic car in mint condition for years to come.

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Auto Insurance

Save on insurance

Insuring your car is a major expense, but with our shrewd and simple advice you can save money by securing yourself cheaper annual premiums.

Make sure that the quality of the cover you are getting matches your needs. Different insurers have different terms and conditions, so it is vital to check the small print of any deal.

Top 10 car insurance tips
1  Shop around. Be prepared to spend time researching the best deals.
2  Call insurers directly once you’ve made up your mind on a particular product. It gives you an extra chance to ask questions (below), and do some final haggling!
3  Ask lots of questions. Will courtesy cars be made available? Are there hidden excess charges? Does this insurance cover me fully?
4  Get qualified. If you are a younger driver, taking approved advanced driving courses like ‘Pass Plus’ can be a great way to secure a discount.
5 Some insurers will also offer packages that will discount insurance rates if the driver agrees to certain conditions, like not driving at night.
6  Discuss your driving experience with your insurer. You may qualify as a low risk.
7  Check a car’s insurance credentials before you buy. Similar models can attract very different costs when it comes to insurance.
8 If your family owns more than one car, tell the insurance firm. Some companies will offer discounts for insuring more than one car with them.
9 Pay upfront. Some Insurers will add in extra administration costs for splitting the cost of your bill.
10  If you choose to spread payments over the year you could end up paying more than you need to.

Categories
Auto Products

Under Wind Pressure Prompts

Once you know how to buy the right tire, the next is the treatment against tire. Actually caring and safe tires so durable it’s easy, but sometimes the little things are often forgotten rider.
Here again are the tips:
1. Always check tire pressure according to the manufacturer required. If necessary, perform the checks every day before leaving.

2. Filling tires are properly done in the morning. Because, at cold temperatures, wind coming an ideal pressure. If filling after the vehicle is used, then the pressure will increase due to tire friction with the road surface.

3. We recommend using the wind kind of nitrogen as it tends to help reduce the heat so that the pressure remains ideal.

4. Clean pebbles stuck in between tread. The gravel if ignored could potentially tear the vehicle. “Due to friction with the asphalt, the tires will heat and soften. If left gravel will continue to go deeper, “said Lili.

5. If the vehicle is less common, but the tire was stuck for three years, should do the replacement with new tires. Minimum three years of the tire is the maximum age because the longer the tire will be more hard and brittle easy.

6. When the vehicle was left in the garage for a long time to go out of town or going home, try the contact between the tire with the floor is minimized. Because if left too long, steel construction on the tires will turn round no longer intact. This would potentially make the tire bumps and uncomfortable to use. The solution, for the car should be removed at least use the jack and motor functioning central standard that is not too heavy tire load carrying vehicles.

Categories
Auto Products

Auto Detailing – Getting To Know The Basics Before Hiring An Auto Detailer

Auto detailing involves the close inspection and cleaning of your vehicle both inside and out. It can give the new car feel back to your older car and is also a good way to correct minor blemishes and prepare a vehicle for resale. You need to know what to expect before they start the job.

Exterior detailing
Exterior detailing basically implies a thorough cleaning and bringing the car’s finish to a bright shine, the end results will vary depending on the quality and condition of your vehicles paint.

A detailer will also clean and shine your car’s windows, wheels, tires and trim. There are many different products that a detailer may use to accomplish this, including detailing clay, detergents, polishes, waxes and various cloths or applicators.

There are three main elements of exterior detailing. These three are cleaning, polishing, and waxing.

The first step is to thoroughly clean the entire exterior, which will remove all the foreign contaminants that if left unchecked can start to compromise the painted surface.

Depending on the detailing package you were to purchase, a clay bar may be used to further remove any additional impurities that basic cleaning will not remove. The clay bar should be used on the entire painted surface. This will remove any factory overspray, dirt particles, tar or industrial fallout.

A detailer may use various polishing pads to remove fine scratches and swirls produced from improper cleaning or drying. However a good quality wax which is properly applied will eliminate most of these and help to protect the paint in the future.

Automotive waxes provide an excellent barrier against the elements so it’s imperative to ensure that a good wax is used.

Interior Detailing
Interior detailing involves the thorough cleaning of the interior of the vehicle. A detail package should always include vacuuming, removal of trash and debris. It may also include steam cleaning the carpets and upholstery, and thorough cleaning of the dash and console with fine brushes or Q-tips.

Engine detailing
Not all detailing companies offer this service. If you decide to have your engine compartment detailed, you should make sure that any product used does not contain petroleum products. Petroleum based products can break down and cause failure of rubber parts, such as hoses and fan belts.

Knowing the basics of auto detailing will help you to feel comfortable with the service that an auto detailer provides.

Categories
Auto Service

Let Tricks Sustainable Car Transmission

Transmission car is one of the important points in the vehicle. However, owners often underestimate this one. Come let us take care of the transmission. How do?

Transmission oil change should be done routinely appropriate service books.

If it is not done routinely, pull the engine will feel heavy and can damage the transmission components. Furthermore, transmission oil changes using standard oil into separate components.

Oil changes should use genuine quality oil to ensure the durability of the transmission.

Some other things that need to be associated with the transmission shown level include periodic inspection, leak check, replacement of oil filter (on automatic transmission).

Examination of the oil level will be used periodically when the activity is useful for checking the oil level standards.

Lack of oil can cause damage to transmission components. In the manual and automatic transmissions, oil leak checking is useful to know the condition of the vehicle.

Oil leaks can cause a reduction or exhaustion that makes transmission oil level is broken.

In an automatic transmission, oil filter changes should also be taken to avoid any damage to transmission components.

The course car users are already familiar with the use of a manual transmission. However, there are some things that need to be considered to maintain the quality of the components.

One is not to get used to the gears when parking. This is a safety measure and can not damage the transmission components.

In addition, the manual transmission cars do not get pushed at Soak battery, but use jumper cables to power it. The reason is, the habit of starting the engine to the driven manual transmission can damage components.

As for the automatic transmission, here are some tips on their use:

In an automatic transmission, position 1 or L to rise and fall steeply.
In an automatic transmission, position 2 for the rise and fall is not so steep.
In an automatic transmission, position 3 and D together, but the Over Drive function on D.
Over Drive O / D, is used in high speed for a long time, serves to lower the engine so it can reduce fuel consumption.
Position P (Parking), is used when the vehicle is parked, serves to safety.
At the red light, the position of D is shifted to N for the safety and care for the automatic transmission.
For an automatic transmission vehicle broke down on the road, it is recommended to use a car carrier (sling), to prevent damage to the automatic transmission.

Categories
Auto Service

DIY Auto Detailing

There’s no other feeling like driving a clean car. Anyone can clean a car, but it takes a lot of effort to make it look like it just came off the showroom floor.

Professional Auto Detailers utilize great time and effort to ensure that your car’s appearance looks it’s finest.

No one knows for certain where the art of auto detailing began, but it is believed to have started in Southern California, and this art has become more than just a fad, as there are currently more that 50,000 detailers in the U. S., and these professionals rake in about $100,000 a year in detailing sales.

Many people have their car detailed just because they want a clean car. Sometimes detailing becomes serious business, especially when the person having their car detailed intends to enter it into a car show. In car shows, the vehicle is often judged on how well-kept and clean the vehicle appears. One such car show that is devoted mainly to the appearance of car is the Concours d’Elegance, sometimes referred to as the Concours.

There are 3 different methods of auto detailing.

  • Exterior Detailing
  • Interior Detailing
  • Engine Degreasing

Exterior detailing includes: waxing, claying, correcting paint defects and polishing the exterior of the vehicle.

Interior detailing includes: Interior detailing typically involves liquid cleaners and brushes. Every surface within the interior of the car must be cleaned, from the dashboard, console and visors to the instrument panel. Vacuuming is included as well.

The third type of detailing is degreasing the engine: This process involves removing grease and dirt from the engine bay with all-purpose cleaners and de-greasers.

The purpose of detailing is to bring out the vehicle’s appearance potential by the polishing and waxing of the exterior paint, wheels and chrome, and by giving the upholstery and seats a thorough cleaning.

Depending on the detailer, a customer may also be able to purchase undercoating services (including rust-proofing) and interior sealant, a fabric protectant also known as Scotch-Guarding.

Though detailing covers every aspect of cleaning a vehicle, it does not include upholstery work, painting, body work, or mechanical repair.

Mobile Auto Detailing has become increasingly popular, as it allows the owner to have his/her professionally detailed without ever having to leave their home or office.

A full detail will increase the value on a used car. When the vehicle is presented to the potential buyer, they will see the car in the best possible condition. Of course when selling a vehicle, there are other factors to consider, such as mileage and poor mechanical condition. The mileage is of course a factor you do not want to touch, unless your willing to face criminal charges.

Besides keeping your car clean, another benefit is the trade-in value. If you want the asking price, and the car is in good running order, get a professional detail, or, if you can do the job yourself, there are various top quality products for you to use.

Categories
Auto Service

How to Start an Auto Detailing Business 1-2-3

An auto detailing service professionally cleans, washes and waxes the interior and exterior of cars, trucks, RVs and even boats. There is no shortage of vehicles to detail, but detailing can be labor-intensive, so make sure you enjoy cars before you start this type of automotive business.

It can be very inexpensive to start an auto detail service, since you don’t necessarily need a store front or shop. You can offer a mobile service and travel to your customers’ locations, or you can rent space at a local car wash or automotive shop. The equipment you’ll need is minimal as well; quality car wash, wax and interior cleaning supplies. Once you have established a larger client base, you can purchase your supplies in bulk at lower wholesale prices, thus increasing your profit per job.

With so many vehicles, you have your choice of customers with whom to work. You may want to focus on a particular niche market to specialize in a certain type of service or particular type of customer. For example, there are new car owners, car dealerships, RV owners or rental companies, classic car owners, even your average joe car driver who wants his car looking good.

So how do you find your customers? If you are on a budget, network with people you know or print business cards and drop them off at local car dealerships or automotive businesses. You could discuss forming a partnership where they get a cut of your profits by advertising your service at their place of business. You could also place an ad in the yellow pages, newspaper or local magazines offering a first-time buyer discount to attract new customers. If you can, use humor in your ads, it’s a great way to attract attention.

Volunteering in your community is another inexpensive way to get your business name out there. Participate in local events and give away coupons for your auto detailing service. Hold a drawing to collect names of potential customers, the winner receiving a free detail service. You can also advertise on TV, radio and the internet for less money than you may think. Submitting a press release is a great example – the media will promote you for free if you send them a great news story about your business.

 

If you treat your customers well, you will end up not having to spend much of your time marketing because you’ll benefit from repeat customers. Speaking of which, you may want to ask those customers for referrals.

So how do you actually start an auto detailing business?

1. Learn your trade. If you don’t already have detailing skills and knowledge, work a side job. Ask automotive specialists about recommended products. Pick up an inexpensive start-up guide on how to start an auto detailing business or interview an already-successful auto detailing entrepreneur who can give you advice.

2. Find out who your customers are. What are people in your area looking for in a detailing service? What value will you offer them and how much are they willing to pay you for it? Check out competitor’s prices. You don’t necessarily need to be the cheapest – as long as you offer more value (i.e. additional service options, faster service, more convenient location, weekend or evening hours, on-site service, etc).

3. Find out which licenses or permits you need from your local government office. Talk with an accountant, insurance agent and banker (you can get referrals from other local business owners or friends) to get helpful tips on financing, tax issues, insurance and business management that will save you time, money and hassles in the long run.