Categories
Auto Service

Essential test drive tips

Taking a test drive is one of the most important steps of the car buying process – it’s your way of making sure that vehicle you have researched and reviewed meets your expectations.

A test drive also offers a first opportunity to check that you’ll enjoy driving the car once you have bought it.

Taking a test drive is even more important if you’re planning on buying a used, or nearly new car. It’s your only chance to make sure the vehicle is in good condition and free of faults – if you don’t feel confident doing this, we recommend you book a qualified engineer to check the car on your behalf.

Don’t be afraid to ask to take a car out more than once. Dealers will be keen to close the deal, but If you’re close to making a decision, going back for an extended drive is the best way to confirm that those good first impressions are here to last.
Insurance

Before you even think of taking to the driver’s seat, make sure you are insured to carry out the test drive.
Dealers will have cover specifically for this purpose, but if you test drive a used or nearly-new car being sold by a private vendor, you’ll need to use your own.
If you are unsure, talk to your insurer. They will be able to offer you comprehensive cover over a short period of time so that you can test drive the cars you are thinking of buying.

Seats

Make sure you can adjust the seat and the steering wheel so you’ve got a comfortable driving position.
If a car has removable seats, ensure that they fit securely and that none of the connectors are damaged.
If you plan to use child seats, take them with you and make sure that they fit.

Engine

If you plan to buy a nearly new car, make sure that the engine’s cold before you start it – by placing your hand on the bonnet.
If the car feels warm, find out why, and bear in mind that the seller could be trying to hide a problem.
When the car starts, look in the rear view mirror to check for signs of smoke.
On the road, the car should accelerate smoothly.

Suspension

Make sure there are no unusual clunks or bangs from the suspension.
Check that the car doesn’t bounce or roll unevenly through corners.
Broken springs, a fault you may find on a used car, will reduce road grip and braking performance.

Steering

With the car stationary, turn the steering wheel from lock-to-lock to check that its action feels smooth and is free from resistance.
Check the turning circle in a car park to make sure it meets your needs.
Check that that the wheels do not rub on the bodywork while you drive forward on full lock.

Brakes

The brakes should respond immediately, and not need pumping or pressing very hard to make work.
There should be no loud noises from the brakes, however hard you use them.

Gearbox

Gears should be easy to engage, and the action should feel consistent.
Automatic gearboxes should swap gears smoothly and quickly.
If the clutch doesn’t engage until the pedal has reached the top of its travel, it may need to be changed.

Family

Take your family with you if plan to travel with them regularly.
They will help you spot problems with practicality and versatility.

Categories
Auto Business

Should Mobile Car Washes And On-Site Auto Detailing Companies Give Senior Citizen Discounts?

The other day, I was talking to a mobile detailing entrepreneur in the state of Florida. He been doing business an awful long time, but he also noted that unemployment in the state just hit 8.8%. It wasn’t like this in the past where he could go to any office building, and all the workers were flush with cash and paid him for an executive $20 wash, and a $125.00 detail every other month. Today, he is busy trying to find any customer he can, and he asked me a very interesting question.

He told me that many of the customers in the retirement resort gated communities were asking him for a senior citizen discount. I told him that would be rather tough because almost everyone in those facilities, living between the fairways and the golf courses was a senior citizen. You might as well just lower the price and give it to everyone, or raise the price and let everyone get the discount, either way the concept of a senior citizen discount in Florida is rather silly.

Further, retired folks like to talk a lot, and they have nothing better to do but sit there and watch you detail the car, this could actually slow you down, and then they want to tell you all about their grandchildren, like you have time, you need to get to the next car to make some more money so you can afford to put gas in your mobile detailing rig because even that is up to four dollars a gallon now. Of course, the seniors do like to get a discount or least feel they are getting a discount, so maybe it is time that you rearranged the prices on your menu flyer, perhaps raising them 10 or 15%, and then giving the senior citizens a 20% discount.

Another issue that you may not have considered is that the baby boomers are retiring in record numbers, and they’re all hitting age 55 or 60. It might even be possible now to tell people that if they are only 65; “hell you are still young, you could probably wash and detail your own car, so I can’t give you the discount, I only give the senior citizen discounts to people 90 years old or older.” They might get a laugh about that, but maybe you can set your senior discount age at 70 or 75. If you are in the state of Florida like my acquaintance, you’ll still have plenty of customers take you up on the offer.

Well that’s all for now, if you have other questions or concerns you may shoot an e-mail. Until then I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.

Categories
Auto Service

I Want to Open a Detail Shop

Are you a car lover? If you are a car lover and are considering a business of your own, perhaps you might consider starting an automobile detailing shop. Generally there are two types of customers who will want to use your service. There is the retail detail customer and the wholesale auto detail customer.

Both of these two types of customers can be lucrative if you’re careful which services you offer and how you go about marketing your company. The retail detail customer would be the private car owner who loves their car sometimes more than their own children. Much of their love of the American automobile is tradition and some is ego driven. Neither of which should matter to you as you were should be more concerned about making money.

If your auto detail shop has a great reputation around town and plenty of referrals you may find yourself able to charge upwards of $180 to detail and SUV or $135 for a regular car. The wholesale auto detail customer would be a car lot, which has used cars that are traded in and need to be brought up to show room condition. Some auto dealers will go to the auctions in order to put used cars on their lots. Many used car lots will also go to the auto auctions and they will want those cars detailed so they can put pristine automobiles in their showroom and on their lot.

Additionally new car dealerships often have customization requests from customers such as pin-striping, special sealant protectors and custom graphics. All of these aftermarket auto accessory type services can provide your shop with more profits. An auto detailing shop is a very labor-intensive business and you’ll have to watch management issues, but it can be lucrative business if you are careful with the market mix, the services you offer and the quality of the services you perform. Consider all this in 2006 and good luck.

Categories
Auto Products

Suzuki Carry family car at an affordable price

Suzuki Carry is available in 2 variants: DX and GX, a car mini bus that is flexible enough for the size of a family car with a price suitable bag.

Although the exterior looks pretty dynamic Suzuki Carry as seen from the design of its body to the size of a mini bus and headlight design a simple but follow the times.

Then in terms of the interior in the cabin can accommodate up to 9 passengers as well as luggage as well in addition to a considerable amount, even if you are still a lack of places you can fold the rear seats for extra space.

Suzuki Carry also carry a 1,500 cc 4-cylinder 16V G15A matching combined with a 5-speed transmission, and thanks to the machine, the Suzuki Carry was able to generate power of 78.8 PS at 5,500 rpm and torque of 122Nm at 3,000 rpm.

For the security of driving a car equipped with a Suzuki carry ventilated disc brakes at the front and brake his drum parts at the rear, ABS, electric lock and brake lights mounted on the stern mounted high enough that makes the Suzuki comfortable carry accompany long journey your family.

Categories
Auto Products

Mazda Biante 629 Units Sold

success exceeded sales targets at IIMS 2012. MMI successfully sold 2156 units, well above the previously announced target, which is 1,300 units. All-New Mazda Biante launched at the opening of the IIMS, plays an important role in the achievement of sales targets MMI after successfully recorded sales of 629 units.

While the new Mazda2, which has become the backbone of the MMI sales since its launch in 2009, returned to the show as the best-selling Mazda cars with sales of 1017 units. Meanwhile, the All-New CX-5, completes the top three with sales of 313 units. The results of this year’s sales represented an increase of 71% when compared to the achievement of sales at IIMS 2011 as many as 1259 units.

Commenting on the achievement of Mazda sales in IIMS 2012, President Director of PT. Mazda Motor Indonesia, Keizo Okue, said, “We are very pleased that Mazda has ended with the IIMS 2012 this glorious achievement. We saw IIMs as appropriate container to communicate Zoom-Zoom brand to the masses. We are also very satisfied with the sales results that we achieved, as this is a sign of the acceptance of our brand in the community, “he said.

All-New Mazda Biante, a new model was introduced this year after previous MMI brings Mazda RX-8 Spirit R, New Mazda2, all-new Mazda CX-5 and All-New Mazda BT-50 Pro. Mazda Biante, which is the medium MPV with a high roof that is able to accommodate 8 passengers, capable of directly proving its appeal at IIMS 2012.

This is evident from the high demand for Mazda Biante test drive as many as 567 during the IIMS 2012. In addition, visitor attraction on the Mazda Biante more visible after the car was chosen as the third winner in the category “Most Favorite Car” award at IIMS 2012.

“The year 2012 is still proven to be a fantastic year for us. Starting from the success we launched a number of new models to exceptional sales results at IIMS 2012. Obviously this will further motivate us to continue to improve our customer satisfaction,

Categories
Auto Products

Waiting Honda Brio With 7 Seats

Actual news of the Honda Brio, a small car from the Japanese manufacturer is rumored to be coming soon in version Multi Purpose Vehicle. According to Director of Marketing and After Sales Service Honda Prospect Motor, Jonfis Fandy, info of the presence of the Honda Brio MPV version is still sketchy, but it implies that its presence is not an impossible thing.

According to him, in 2013 it will present two new cars from the manufacturer Honda are still included in the category Citycar and MPV. And both are likely to be present as well be a world premiere at the upcoming event IIMS. The possibility of the presence of Honda Brio in the MPV version is supported also by the reality that in this attack cars family cars (low MPV) will be very intense. As is known in addition to MPV cars that have existed such as Toyota Avanza, Daihatsu Xenia and Suzuki Ertiga, will emerge a new family car from other companies such as Chevrolet and Mazda Spin VX-1.

As we know that Brio city car is a car that will share the basic as well as his brother the Honda Jazz. Starting from a car possible hacthback version, Brio is also now comes in a sedan version. So it is not impossible that this one small vehicle would be re-packaged in the form of another and the family car is a very possible.

When the car is going to be versatile brio launched officially and how the price of Honda Brio in this versatile type of car will be sold? They say the car will be on display to the public at the biggest automotive exhibition in Indonesia IIMs to be held in September 2013.

Categories
Auto Modification

Windshield jammed

For motorists who had their vehicles equipped with power windows, check windows right next door. Press the power window. Most likely, its windows still normal. One-touch glass up or down smoothly. But, try to do the same on the rear window glass left or right. It could be, one or two glass door window can not go up and down smoothly right front window. Feels somewhat stilted. Even bad at all. Such complaints regarding power window presented the riders in general, namely: stuck on the rear window glass. Glass window next to the front right side comparatively more smoothly because it often operated. In general, this congestion occurs because rust on the components of the power window.

Usually rust-rust was in metals regulator. Karat is also often found in the teeth of the motor drive power windows. Rust itself is formed by water coming through the rubber (seal) door. Therefore, to prevent cases like this, there are some simple things we should do: Replace rubber glass list when the rubber has hardened and broken. Seal is not shut down completely this is what makes water break and enter so make rust in the metals. Often operate power windows. Neither the glass front door and rear window. This operation can minimize corrosion. With these two things, the possibility of power window jams can be avoided. But, if the congestion is already happening, the solution is easy. Namely, stay clean the rust and lubricate (giving fat / grease) metals earlier. But, keep in mind that to dismantle and touch power window motors a little bit complicated. You need to open the bolts attached to the car doors.

Be careful if you want to do it yourself. Some tips on handling power window jammed mentioned steps seem easy. Starting from prying door trim, glass player open lever, remove the power window switch to clean and lubricate the rusty metal. But, in our opinion, should submit handling power window jammed into the mechanics at the garage only. Because, when you open one, it is quite possible there are parts that just broke. In addition, since the keys and bolts pretty much, probably one pair could have happened.

Categories
Auto Insurance

Mature Market or Changing Shifts in Competition Co-Branding in Mobile Automotive Sector

So you want to start a quick lube? We great and in doing so you have been asked by the SBA assisted loan to make a business plan, ‘tally hoe’ and away you go! Right? Well wait a one second, every good business plan discusses market share, competition, market areas, etc.

So have you figured out who your competitors area? You maybe surprised at the real answer. For instance as Midas Muffler started to lose their market base since new cars were being often leased and therefore did not need mufflers as often, what did they do, they started changing oil and doing braked. Well what did the brake shops do, they started doing smog checks, changing oil and rotating tires. What did the tire shops do? They started changing oil too. Wal-Mart and Kmart saw their sales lagging a little and unable to keep up with growth rates and feared a bad quarter and knew they had a captured audience so what did they do, started offering auto services, oil changes at Wal-Mart and fuel card gasoline stations at Sam’s Club. Kmart made a deal with Penske Auto Centers then later closed stores that were not profitable, even when Penske Auto Centers were. Pep Boys also sold auto parts and then started services, meanwhile jiffy lube could not grow fast enough, AAMCO same thing. Car Washes wanted to become a destination place and started offer Java, oil changes and small gift shops too.

So really the original core business, that the HBR editors love to BS about is really a questionable event. Since even Michael Dell, Microsoft, GE, 3M, etc will tell you it is a never-ending evolution such that books like Built to Last, by the Stanford Professor simply reported with biased what he perceived to be his reality. So then as long as you are still with me on this subject realize we did not digress from the subject at all, we evolved this conversation about a reality that you should be thinking about in your business as well.

Many in the industry are reporting in Metro Area as many as 21 competitors which a pure competitors, quick lubes that is within what they believed to be their exclusive trading area of 20 miles. In actuality that number is quite irrelevant because your trading area is probably only 10-12 miles. Car Washes trade area is generally 5 miles sometimes 10, they add oil change facilities on their properties due to no interest loans and incentives on the buildings by oil companies and to increase the draw to a larger trade radius. Does it work? Well it worked for a while and it makes sense to the customer, although it is not true that car washes mix all that well, despite what you are told. Both industries use the synergy theory to promote equipment sales to their potential customer base to improve their sales quotas and give them extra people to call on and more sales to close.

Now then with these added competitors in the market place some have said they are still making money and profits through efficiencies of synergy in other things, such as adding air filters, wiper blades, car washes, detailing, tire rotations, brakes, belts, etc. More money per customer per visit but fewer cars per day. Declining vehicle counts. So, what the heck do you do when you price yourself out of the market? Speedway for truck oil changes is doing this now, but realize fewer truck stops are changing oil and none can get all the jobs done on time and few have the labor to run 24/7.

To top it off the car dealerships like Audi, BMW and others want you to use their oil and oil changes so they offer them free and then hit you up for their prescribed over redundant service mileage check ups costing you even more, otherwise warranty is voided. So they take away those brands of cars for you. Also United Auto, Auto One, and many large Ford and GM dealers are learning this, many from Carl Suell in Dallas, who wrote an excellent book on customer service you should read called: “customers for life” and while you are at it pick up the History of Enterprise rent-a-car; “Exceeding Customer Expectations” by the founder, I will tell you Jack was not only a good fighter pilot, he is a great entrepreneur with one hell of a young and aggressive team. You could learn a lot from these folks.

Now we see Wal-Mart cutting price to $12.99 barely breaking even, but for them it is a loss leader anyhow, they just want those shoppers in their store shopping for an hour or more, did you know that the average oil change customer spends $87.90 while shopping during the time it takes to get the oil changed? You think they do not know what they are doing, it works for them, but this may not be so good for your business plan? So we are now reading articles that perhaps you need to expand into more fleet business since those companies are eliminating garage personal and you could pick up their business. AH HA you say, yes I will build larger bays to take on School Buses, Boom Trucks from the Cable Company, Ambulances and other vehicles? Yes but there are mobile oil and lube companies and on-site re-fuelers who do this world already as well as the cars of employees of all the construction companies.

And I doubt they want to spend the time to drive all those vehicles over to you, and even wager to bet you do not want to spend the extra labor or increased liability to have your employees drive them over to your bays do you? AIG is hoping otherwise, but why bid low to get the account and pay it all in insurance to AIG, Farmers, Fireman’s fund, American States or State Farm Commercial? Good question, some might say now is the time to be focused, but staying focused means keeping your eye on the ball, weaving and jagging and running like hell for that end zone.

The more vehicles such as fleets you do the more filters and larger air cleaners you must stock and if you lose the account exactly what were you planning to do with all those extra fuel, air and oil filters? Use them as Christmas Tree ornaments? Hey better in your inventory than mine? How can a quick lube expect to compete against a mobile lube service even for an account as simple as a Limo Company? There is no way, and it is only a matter of time until they move back to mobile or move to mobile for the first time and never change back.

Categories
Auto Service

Tips live AC

Yes. If we want to turn the AC on the car, do it at low RPM. RPM position (or rotation per minute) at low engine idle there, when we did not step on the gas pedal. Steps like these we need to do if we want to take care of air conditioning. The technical reason is actually very simple steps. That is, in order to avoid friction between the pulley and the overly harsh pressure plate (pressure plate) on the AC compressor. Pulley and pressure plate is a very important component in the air conditioning system work. Pressure plate is the component that serves as a liaison so that the air conditioning compressor shaft to rotate. Duties as a liaison was only able to run after the pressure plate attached to the pulley. Pressure plate will be close (to adhere) to the pulley when we turn on the air conditioner.

The problem, pulley is always spinning components for engine life. And, pulley rotation is changing. Sometimes fast, sometimes slow. High and low pulley hanging round the engine. Pulley will turn faster when the engine per minute (RPM) high. Conversely, slower when low rpm per minute. Of work that we can predict, when it is appropriate to attach the pressure plate to the pulley. And we can imagine what would happen if we put a pressure plate when the spins very fast. On lap faster, the friction between the surface of the pressure plate and pulley will be very hard. If this practice continues to happen, the two components of friction surfaces will quickly wear out. When already worn out, the next effect is tedious: rotary power engine to its full potential can not be forwarded to the AC compressor. Engineers call this condition the term slip.

There are two effects that are generally advanced riders feel if slip occurs. First, the AC was not cold enough. Second, there was a noise on the AC compressor. The impact that makes us uncomfortable, is not it? Therefore, if you want to turn on the air conditioner, do it at low RPM.

Categories
Auto Products

What is a Car Restoration?

First of all let me tell you a little about what isn’t a car restoration, then we’ll move on to what is a car restoration. Let’s dive right in here, the top of the list of things that a car restoration isn’t starts with a collision repair, at least in the sense that we can break it down, and do a complete full estimate.

I say this because it’s the first thing that I always get asked to do, and it’s the last thing that is possible for us to do. The short sweet explanation is this; we have to tare the entire car apart to do an estimate, and by then the work has already begun.

We can’t just quickly through the car back together so you can take it to the next place. No shop will take a job that has been started by another shop, in most cases. There is a reason behind this, we don’t want to get left with fixing the things that they may, or may not have done.

Lastly on the subject of estimates, you really don’t want to come and take your car away in boxes. This is your other option; doesn’t sound very appealing huh? In the end it is all up to you, but this is one of the main reasons that most real restoration shops will not do an estimate on your car.

My shop most definitely will not do an estimate on your car, and the truth is that we are not a collision shop. We don’t have a book, or a program that gives us a list of hours that it takes to do things. Mostly because there is no way for anybody to know every variable that comes in to play.

 

All though some of the work that we do appears to be allot like collision repair, it is truly nothing like the same thing. We aren’t all about speed, we are about getting it done the right way every time. It can take some time, but it will be right if you have the time to spend.

The next thing that we are not, is a tuner shop. Our shop specializes in cars 1974 and older. We didn’t used to go newer then 1963, but that has changed along with the fact that these cars are getting hard to find these days.

People are restoring cars that used to be considered parts cars. Because they can’t find anything else, this obviously makes extra work for the restoration shop that is doing the work. An average car can cost $100,000 or more in just labor alone.

I tell people to be ready for anything that might happen, it’s always better to be sure that you have what you need before you begin the work. Make sure that you know what you want when the restoration is complete, discuss your vision with the shop that is doing the work.

Make sure that the shop knows what you want when your car is complete. Rather it’s a factory stock restoration, a resto-mod, or a hot rod. In the end for both you and the shop to feel like they had a good experience, discuss every detail of the job with the shop doing the work.

Now for what a restoration is; first of all the restoration shop should be a place that you enjoy visiting, and seeing the progress on your car. OK beyond this a restoration shop does body repair work, interior repair work, mechanical repair work, and the list goes on.

We dismantle the entire car piece by piece, determining what pieces are good, and what pieces need to be fixed, or replaced. This is not the same thing that any collision shop does, they do what it takes to get that car out, and move the next one in.

We look at every parts of the car, not just a damaged quarter panel, or peeling paint. Every job that rolls out of a real restoration shop has to be perfect, and nothing less will do. A restoration shop wears a lot of hats, we are a hot rod shop, a custom car builder, a custom auto paint shop, and more.

Essentially we do what ever the customer wants us to do, we never have use after market parts if the customer doesn’t want us to. If a parts isn’t available, we will fabricate it, yes we ware a lot of hats, and we love it.

We love the creative part of the process, we are in this for the art work sake of the job. Our passion is to see these cars on the road, not to get this one out, so the next one can come in. Our passion is creating show winning cars, and cars that people will love their entire lives.

What is a car restoration, it’s returning your car back to factory, or better specs. It’s being able to customize your car any way you like, you should enjoy the process of a restoration, you should always receive the highest quality work possible, if all of these things happen, you will love it.

In short a car restoration is exactly what you want it to be, nothing more, and nothing less. The whole idea is to have fun, that is what hot rodding, and restoration have been about from the beginning. It’s still the same thing that is has always been, a few guys having a good time with an old car.