Categories
Auto Service

Things You Should Know About Auto Service Centers

The best way to keep your automobile performing well is to have it checked regularly at some professional Virginia auto service center. Some automotive repair centers are in the habit of raising the prices in the middle of repair, so that when you come to pick up your vehicle, you are shocked to see the huge bills. It is necessary, therefore, to look for a reputable shop for vehicle repair in Northern Virginia and keep a few things in mind so that you are not deceived later on.

Virginia Auto Service: Tips to Deal with Repair Shops

Before you hand your car to any Virginia auto service center, there are a few things that you should be careful about in order to avoid any inconvenience at a later stage:

1 . Get a written estimate of the repair charges well in advance in order to avoid any unexpected vehicle charging in Northern Virginia. Once you hand over your vehicle keys to the mechanics, they can charge you anything for administering any kind of repair.

2. If you do not have full coverage for your vehicle, ask the automotive center personnel for their insurance liability. In case, your car gets stolen at the garage or gets damaged due to some unfortunate circumstances, it becomes their liability to compensate for your car.

3. When you leave your vehicle at some Virginia auto service center, ask the mechanic to note down your vehicle’s last mileage. This will help you ensure that your car is not misused at the garage.

4. Never let any Virginia auto service center change any part of your car that you have not asked them to change. If you get some parts of your car replaced, always ask to see the old parts and take them with you unless they are ready to offer you some discount for keeping the old parts.

Categories
Auto Service

Automotive Service Manger Training is Important For Many Reasons

When you own a garage, you need to be sure that your employees have a good working knowledge of their job. There are a lot of positions that make up a good automotive garage. The main thing that an owner has to do is to make sure that the workers are well trained and up to date on the current information. The most important is automotive service manger training.

It is truly imperative to any business to make sure everyone has all of the information that they need for their job in the business. Ongoing training needs to take place to keep up with the latest information. The manager is especially responsible for knowing the current information in any garage. When this happens, the business will thrive.

Training is a great thing to invest in when it comes to any business. Good training means that the staff knows what they are doing and knows all of the latest techniques. This will come through to the customer and your service shop will do much more business than it would otherwise.

Many auto service shops are lagging in their business. Most blame the state of the economy for this. While this is probably true, it would also have to do with the service shop not have the right training to run the business correctly. A well-run shop will do great business in any economy and training results in great profits.

The service manager is actually a very big role in the auto service garage. To do really well in this position, a person needs to know a lot of aspects of the business. They especially need to be aware of paperwork and how the business end of the shop works. There is a lot to know and ongoing training will help them to keep in touch with each part of the business and will also help them learn the newest techniques.

What is really important for them to understand are all of the state laws and the regulations that pertain to this business. The disposal of hazardous fluids and materials is highly regulated. If the manager does not understand the law the shop could get in a lot of trouble and get huge fines.

Having a good knowledge of office skills is also a must for the manager. They need to have good accounting skills as well as good marketing skills. Without these skills they will not be able to deal with the paperwork involved with the garage. Insurance claims, invoicing and other issues need to be dealt with by the manager from time to time.

Categories
Auto Service

Start Your Own Auto Detailing Business from Home

An automobile detailing business gives the pride and satisfaction of owning your own business. This profession requires hard work but is very rewarding. Auto detailers wax and polish the paint, chrome the wheels and clean the seats until the car shines like a new vehicle.

There is considerable difference between full-time professional automobile detailing and amateur detailing. Even the equipment is different. Professional detailing businessmen take great care in selecting supplies because they are consumed at a fast clip. They also pay great attention to price and quality. This is the only way they can beat competition.

Sales skills: You need to spend a lot of time selling your services. Also you need to inspect the customer’s car in his/her presence and point out problems with paint, stains or interiors, and offer to take care of them. This will not only make your customers come back to you but also spread the good word. You also need to promote your automobile detailing business through fliers.

Another good business practice is to offer maintenance contracts consisting of a weekly car wash and two waxes every month. This will help you:

 

  • Get a nice check up front.
  • Have a steady customer
  • Be seen often in an area, which is good for business.

You can conduct a demonstration for the local car club members. Snacks and drinks can be thrown in to make sure that they turn up for demonstration. This may encourage several car owners to entrust the car washing to you. Everyone likes a smart, clean vehicle; no one, however, likes to spend hours cleaning it.

Start up costs: The automobile detailing business is the perfect business for people with small budgets because it can be started with a small investment. Also you may start with detailing cars in the dealers’ showrooms and then move to detailing private cars.

A common way to start an automobile detailing business is to go to customers’ homes and workplaces in a truck, trailer or van and clean their car at their location. You may use the local water supply or carry your own. Working from a fixed site though, you may offer better services. This may include pick and drop facility. However, it is important that your own vehicle or your location should look clean. Otherwise, it will be difficult to convince customers that you can make their cars look sparklingly clean and new.

Big cities like Las Vegas, Houston, Atlanta or Los Angeles have around 200 mobile detailers who wash five to ten cars per day, charging $12 to $20 per car. Some may get more and may also make good tips. Additionally, they may detail one or two cars at $60 to $100. In places like Silicon Valley, Century City, Beverly Hills, Malibu, Montecito, Newport Beach, Palm Springs, La Jolla, Laguna Niguel or Rancho Santa Fe, you can even charge $120 to $250 for big cars or SUVs.

The mobile detailers are not a big threat to full service car washes or to long-running fixed site auto detailing businesses because they enjoy strong referrals. Before starting you should study the auto detailing business scene in your area. You must find out the prices that are being charged, and the services that are being offered.

Statistics to make you happy: There are over 100 million cars and trucks on the road, all of which need to be washed regularly. People like to keep their cars for a long time and are willing to get them washed regularly. The competition is low in this business and there is enough opportunity for new entrepreneurs to get in.

Categories
Auto Service

Six Hints to Help You With Mobile Car Cleaning

Car detailing is one of the best businesses you can do right now. Many other people can confirm how profitable this business can get. When you start this car washing business your main aim should be to expand it. As your customer base grow bigger, a mobile car cleaning section will be inevitable. Some of your customers will request for car detailing services in their homes. To gratify their wishes you need a strategy. Every business cannot succeed fully without a plan. First, you should prepare everything you need to perform the cleaning tasks. These include the following:

1) Car cleaning supplies: There are several supplies you must have to carry out the cleaning tasks and satisfy your customers. These include the pressure cleaners that are useful for exterior cleaning. They are used to remove sticky oil stains, grease, bird droppings and mud. The other important cleaning supplies are green chemicals. Most modern pressure washers are used together with chemicals to remove dirt. The older steam washers can still be used with green chemicals even if they normally use hot water only. You should not forget carpet cleaners to clean the interior sections of a car. Remember to buy waxes, polishes, hoses and other important supplies.

2) A truck: After buying the necessary mobile car cleaning equipment and supplies, the next step is to buy a truck. The truck should be nice looking and big enough so you can keep everything inside it. You will be receiving several orders from happy people in your neighborhood.

3) Hire Workers: Without loyal and trustworthy workers your mobile car detailing business cannot progress. At first you will start the company alone and maybe recruit a few family members. As you get more clients, recruit energetic staff within your financial abilities. If the workers are focused, your business will grow fast. You will be capable of hiring more workers as you progress.

4) Improve the business management: when the business is properly managed, the customer complains are few and positive. When the management is poor, your clients’ comments are many and negative. To make your clients happier, you should listen, think and perform the tasks. Car models are different and so are the cleaning techniques. You should treat both cheap and expensive car owners alike. Task and money management are other things you want to fulfill. You do not want to keep the clients waiting or forget about their needs all together.

 

5) Obtain licenses: Always avoid trouble with the government. One way of doing this is acquiring a license and renewing it as required by the law. The other thing to do is to pay taxes according to the law requirements for the businesses such as your own.

6) Buy an insurance policy: Your business is vulnerable to various types of risks as it expands. Analyze it well to find out the necessary insurance policy to buy. Of course your vehicles should have insurance cover.

Categories
Auto Service

Selling a Used Car Tips

If you feel like selling a used car, which has served you for a couple of years, you should take into consideration different special factors sometimes forgotten by the car-sellers. You know, it’s necessary to understand, what a potential buyer needs to get. Some people are keen on finding fast car, the other like big and comfortable vehicles. But not depending on the life interests, hobbies and family all people want to feel safe while driving.

That means that in up-to-day world selling used car has become more difficult, because some people don’t trust private car-sellers. At this rate some companies offer their help in selling a vehicle, but you sometimes need to pay them for that and it’s not very convenient. But you are to check, whether your used car meets the international and American safety standards.

They are provided by different research institutes all over the world trying to determine the minimum safety level the car should provide. In order to find out, whether the car meets their requirements, they do crashworthiness tests and test-drives in different conditions. The most well-known among such organizations are two American institutes: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

You can use that fact in order to increase the price when selling used car. Look it up, whether your car manufacturer is included in the IIHS’ “Top Safety Pick.” This is a very big advantage for your customers, which will make your used car more attractive for them. Some of the automakers, like Subaru, are standouts for 2009 because they have at least one Top Safety Pick in every car class in which they are selling their vehicles.

And if you used car had once got NHTSA 5-Star rating, selling it won’t be a big problem for you. So, try to get the most detailed information about your car in order to sell it right.

Categories
Auto Service

Dos And Don’ts Of A Car Pressure Wash System

A car pressure washer, as its name suggests, is used for detailing cars, trucks, and most of the other automobiles. These are pressure wash machines, capable of cleaning automobile exteriors without damaging the surface.

These machines wash away dirt and impurities stuck on the surface with high pressure. The efficiency of these machines is never in question. A car pressure washer is capable of removing almost any kind of dirt and impurity present on vehicle surfaces, including dust, grease, and oil residues. The problem is related to the safety of the vehicle.

Is using pressure wash systems too dangerous to the automobiles? The answer is no. However, you have to understand the following dos and don’ts about car pressure washer machines for using these machines effectively.

Do not use high pressure machines

A pressure wash system’s effectiveness is usually measured by its output pressure. The higher is the pressure level, the greater will be the effectiveness of the machine. This is not true for power washers used for auto detailing though. Here, the power washers should not have a very high pressure.

 

Some of the brands offer specially-made car pressure washer models. It is better to use these models for cleaning vehicles. The output pressure of these machines should not exceed 1500 psi. Power washers are used mainly for cleaning the exterior of vehicles. Using a really high-powered machine would result in the paint damage.

Use a low-flow machine

Flow rate of a pressure washing machine refers to the quantity of water passed onto the surface. It is denoted by gallons per minute (gpm).

It is a more significant specification for auto detailing than for other cleaning tasks. For an auto detailing equipment, the flow rate has to be as low as possible, for two reasons. First, the best pressure washer machines having a low flow rate transfer only low quantities of water onto the surface, leading to fast cleaning.

Second, using an auto detailing equipment with a low flow rate would result in the reduction of water wastage.

The third benefit pertains to mobile auto detailing. It involves taking the portable car wash machines to the customer’s garage and cleaning the vehicle. If the drainage facilities are poor, using a portable car wash machine with a high flow rate is a big risk.

In such cases, it is better to use mobile car wash equipment having a low flow rate. Modern mobile car wash equipment having a flow rates as low as 0.5 gpm are available in the market now.

So, the best pressure washer machines for auto detailing have a pressure level of less than 1500 psi and a flow rate as low as possible, preferably less than 2 gpm.

Make your purchase decision very carefully. Look into all the important features, check out for the best brand, and then buy the machine. A wrong machine can make the cleaning task quite tedious. For easy, fast, and efficient cleaning, you require a machine that comes with all the above mentioned features.

Categories
Auto Service

Radiator & Auto Cooling Systems the Basics

It can be said that to auto owners their radiator and cooling systems are at least familiar to them. Since an automobiles’ radiator and cooling hoses are readily visible under the hood, and it is estimated that up to 4 out of 5 vehicle owners routinely top up their own glycol anti-freeze liquids this is no major revelation of motoring maintenance to most.

Overall and to summarize the cooling system of your vehicle – be it car, truck, or SUV does exactly what its name suggests – it removes, reduces and fundamentally its function is to remove heat from your engine system expelling this waste heat into the nearby air. Without this essential cooling system of your “power-plant”, the heat built up from the exploding gasoline vapors (in a gas engine), would soon overheat and ultimately ruin your engine. Interestingly on the other hand, automotive cooling systems are not nearly as essential to the running and ongoing maintenance of diesel engines. Diesel engines last a lot longer than gas ones overall. Diesel fuels are essentially waste oils; they do not burn as hot. Additionally the fuel oil provides great lubrication for the pistons as they slide in their shafts, whereas in gas engines the gas vapor provides no lubrication and on top of that serves to wash oil off the engines’ cylinder walls.

Your cooling system is built so that a mixture of ethylene glycol antifreeze liquid and water flows into the passages cast into your engine block, where it absorbs heat. A water pump – generally a belt driven device, running directly off your engine itself, circulates this hot coolant liquid mixture, through the engine and then out via a standard auto coolant hose into the radiator of your vehicle.

To increase air flow through the radiator – in an effect to get more cooling power out of your rad system a fan draws air through the fins or tubes on the radiator itself. These fan systems used to be driven almost exclusively directly off another belt on your engine, now many are electrically driven, thermostatically controlled units.

How does the cooling system work overall? Waste heat from your engine is conducted via your engine “block” to the coolant fluid. Then the fluid is circulated by the water pump unit, through the channels of your engines’ heavy metal block, through the rubber coolant hoses, which you should be easily spotted when peering into your engine compartment. These coolant hoses pass from their fitting on the engine ultimately to the radiator. Thus the hot antifreeze coolant carries the engines’ waste heat from the engine directly into the radiator where the air flowing (or drawn by the working rad fan) expelling, diluting and exhausting waste excess heat from your vehicles’ motor into the nearby air.

An autos’ cooling systems runs so well, and are generally so dependable in their functions and functioning that few give the coolant and heat system its due – until problems occur. Generally it is either a case of overheating due to excessive vehicle draw, or slow driving in very hot temperatures and climates with low coolant fluid levels. However interestingly another case in point where a malfunctioning cooling system draws attention is in cold climates where a vehicles interior heating may not be not be enough coolant fluid or circulating antifreeze to allow for the vehicles’ interior car heater to warm up its occupants, or defrost the autos’ windshield sufficiently for automotive safety & driving concerns.

Categories
Auto Service

Toyota HiAce Supe Grandia

Toyota HiAce Super Grandia is part of Toyota’s fifth-generation Hiace exclusively launched in the Philippines. In 2006, the new top-of-the-line Hiace Super Grandia was launched, being the first ever Hiace in the Philippines with a standard automatic transmission. With a worldwide reputation for proven performance to back it, the HIACE Commuter is designed from the ground up to match today’s active lifestyles, and comes loaded with features to make driving more comfortable, more stylish and more enjoyable.

Specifications:
Transmission: 5-speed manual, 4-speed automatic
Engines: 2.5 L, 3.0 L D-4D diesel, 2.0L, 2.7L VVTi Petrol
2-TV headrest monitor
Dual sliding door, ABS, keyless entry
Seating Capacity: 11 passengers
Double Wishbone with Stabilizer Bar / Rigid Axle, Leaf Spring
2.5 Liter Diesel, 4-Cylinder In-Line 16V Double Overhead Camshaft (DOHC) (Turbo Charged)
Overall Dimension – 4,840 x 1,880 x 2,105

The new Toyota HiAce Super Grandia is packaged with an entirely new concept that combines large cargo space for functionality, a unique styling that gives an advanced powerful look, and a driving performance, which incorporates a Direct Injection 4-stroke Common Rail Diesel Engine (D-4D). The new Hiace GL Grandia raises the standard in the van segment by providing customers with an evolution of functions: capacity, durability, reliability, economy, comfort and a higher level of Luxury.

Luxury of performance. – Built for years of reliable service, the HIACE has an immense carrying capacity without sacrificing comfort. It is equipped with an improved frame structure that gives stability to the vehicle together with Toyota’s smooth and high performance 2.5 Liter D-4D Common Rail Diesel Engine that maximizes power output and has excellent fuel efficiency. The newly developed package of the Hiace offers long, wide interior space with three rows of passenger seat with the width that allows a passenger load of eleven adults to sit in comfort with ample leg space.

Luxury of safety. – From active safety features like the Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) and LED High-Mount Stop Lamp to passive safety features like SRS Airbags, crumple zone construction and 3-Pt. ELR Seatbelts, the Toyota Hiace is truly equipped with advance features for your family’s security. The new Hiace Grandia purses the comfort and luxury of a family van, while it offers maneuverability with the toughness needed by a hard-working vehicle.

Categories
Auto Service

Auto Dealerships: Is Your Auto Detail Company a Vendor Or a Strategic Partner?

If you think that detail companies just wash the cars, you may be missing an opportunity to increase sales and generate higher profits.

Enhanced Internet Ads. Make ready services for pre-owned purchases are critical to enhancing the appeal of the car in internet photos.

Enhanced appearance on lot & in the showroom. Invest the money up front to insure the cars have a luxurious finish and all the details have been addressed. Your detail company should be monitoring the condition of the showroom cars – daily – to insure the best presentation possible.

Partnership on Service Department Sales. Sell more details to your current customers-keep them coming to you for all their car needs. This is a clear win-win for the auto dealership and the detail company.

Focus on what you do well. Auto Dealerships are talented at selling and servicing cars. Detail companies are focused and talented at cleaning and reconditioning cars.

 

Invest in a Partnership. To maximize the benefits of outsourcing, you must select a business partner – not just a car wash company.

This means the corporate culture and values should be an important part of the evaluation and selection process. The business acumen of the outsource organization- their ability to understand dealership problems and help in finding solutions – should be critical to you.

For example, the number one reason customers are dissatisfied with the delivery of their car (either upon purchase or service) is that it is not clean. A Partnership allows the dealership and the detailing firm to work together to improve CSI scores.

Great CSI scores mean bonus’ and incentives to the Dealership. Develop a partnership with your Detail Company in order to align goals and work together to maximize each others’ profits. Overall, by outsourcing the auto detail function at a dealership and selecting the right strategic partner, an auto dealership should be able to:

• Enhance auto appearance;

• Add services to expand customer offerings and profit dollars; and

• Focus on Dealership core competencies (Sales & Service).

Categories
Auto Service

How to Select the Best Auto Detailing Equipment

Quality is the most important consideration when purchasing auto detailing equipment like pressure washers. Auto detailing machines should be durable and powerful, yet they should not damage the vehicle. Commercial auto detailing products are more suitable for the car wash industry because of their excellent quality and productivity-enhancing features.

Some indications that an auto detailing machine is of good quality are listed below:

  1. Powerful Motor: The motor should be robust, with a minimum strength of 0.75 HP. NEMA certification should indicate that the motor has been tested for quality and energy efficiency.
  2. Power Methods: A good quality, global pressure washer supplier offers more than just one option for power; such as 110v-120v, 220-240v, or 440v; single-phase, three-phase; and 50 Hz or 60 Hz.
  3. Heavy Duty Construction: Exteriors should be comprised of corrosion resistant, chip proof, durable powder coated steel. Heating coils should be comprised of rugged stainless steel or schedule 80 heating coils. Ordinary pressure washer parts are made of aluminum, which is a good conductor of heat and electricity but is less stable under prolonged conditions of high temperature and pressure.
  4. Hose: Don’t ignore the hose quality. Hoses used in car wash machines are more than simple rubber tubing. They should be strong enough to withstand high pressure and temperature. The hose, usually made of rubber, should be strengthened with wire. Rubber is stronger and more flexible than synthetics; opt for a rubber hose to use with your car wash machines. Dual layered hoses are best to provide the greatest longevity.

 

Features to Enhance Productivity

Apart from sound construction, the car pressure washer should be designed to increase productivity.

  1. Portability: If you service a large customer base or have a mobile car wash business, it would be a good idea to invest in a portable car pressure washer designed for a mobile car wash. This type of car washing machine is lightweight, compact, and can be rapidly mounted on a trailer. If you work at a fixed location, you may prefer a stationary pressure washer.
  2. High Temperature: Some commercial pressure washers may reach temperatures of 330°F. Others have maximum temperatures of 210°F. Hot water removes grease and petrochemical derivatives and their deposits. For heavy layers of grease, utilizing the steam setting is essential. For this reason, wet steam is the preferred output for auto detailing. Tri-mode pressure cleaners are also available to enable use of hot water, cold water, or wet steam as needed for varying applications.
  3. Low Flow Rate: Working on client location with restrictions on water use would be very difficult if low flow car wash machines are not available. These mobile car wash equipment have flow rates of around 0.5 GPM (compared to the usual 3-5 GPM) and save hundreds of gallons per car during the wash cycle.
  4. Nozzle Spray: The size of a nozzle spray depends on the nozzle construction. This is important because the spray pattern determines the effectiveness of cleaning. A highly pressurized, narrow spray produced by a zero degree nozzle would not be sufficient for cleaning the entire car exterior surface, for example, but it could be used for cleaning tire grooves. Other sizes include 15, 25, and 40 degrees.

Remember that the pressure level should at no point exceed 1500 psi or you risk inflicting damage on the car. Proper selection of the right car detailing machine goes a long way in ensuring a trouble-free work load.