Car Maintenance Checklist

All automotive manufacturers have their own maintenance procedures and schedules, which vary based on the brand of vehicle, types of drivetrain and engine construction, as well as the year model. Advances in metallurgy and the chemicals used in the fluids and lubricants drive many of the variations in maintenance. Due to these changes, refer to your owner’s manual or other factory service literature for your model- and year-specific procedures and fluids. In spite of these differences, though, there are general maintenance points and procedures that have more or less remained constant across the industry and the years

Engine and Drivetrain Fluids

  • Your engine oil and transmission fluid are the primary concerns here, but there are a host of other fluids that are also critical to the drivetrain. Regularly check the level and condition of the power-steering fluid, brake fluid, engine coolant and hydraulic clutch fluid, where applicable. Inspect the rear differential fluid on rear-wheel-drive vehicles, as well as the front differential and transfer case on four-wheel-drive vehicles. Replace these fluids at the intervals specified by your owner’s manual.

Engine Wear Points

  • In addition to the fluids, there are mechanical components on the engine which will wear and fail over time. Among these are the air filter, PCV valve, breather element, drive belts, spark plugs and plug wires. Check all of these components regularly, and adjust them if needed and replace them when they display signs of excessive wear.

    Chassis Maintenance

    • The body and frame of your vehicle has a number of crucial maintenance points. Chief among these are the tires and brake calipers, pads, shoes, rotors and drums. These are especially important for safe driving, and in many states are included in annual inspections. Regular tire rotations will maximize tread life. All of these components must be within their service wear limits and in good operational condition. If you have an older car, your undercarriage may have a number of grease points called Zerk fittings that you will need to grease occasionally. These Zerks will be mounted in points that allow relative motion of suspension components, such as ball joints and tie-rod ends, as well as in the U-joints in the driveshaft. Many newer vehicles do not have Zerk fittings, and require no grease service.

    Service Intervals

    • General service intervals would have you changing the oil every three months or 3,000 miles on older vehicles, with a longer interval on newer vehicles. Using synthetic or semi-synthetic engine oil can also extend the interval beyond what would normally be appropriate if you were to use conventional oil. Many modern vehicles use an oil-life monitor to dictate the interval on your engine oil changes. Automatic transmissions generally need a drain and fill and filter change every 30,000 miles, but it is important that you do not allow the automatic transmission fluid to go more than around 100,000 miles without being changed, or you will cause significant damage when you do change the fluid. You never need a flush — just a drain and fill. If you let someone flush a transmission that is running very old fluid, it can destroy the transmission within the next few thousand miles. Check all of the other service and wear points whenever you perform a full oil and filter change.

How to Finish Acrylic Enamel

Finish Acrylic Enamel

Before polyurethane paint became standard for auto bodywork, many cars had coats of acrylic enamel. This means that many older cars that need paint touchups need new coats of this enamel, as mixing different kinds of paint on one car is unwise. Although acrylic enamel is ultimately not as durable as polyurethane paint, it can be protected with a clear coat finish added on over the top. This finish adds a professional looking sheen and seals up the new paint job.




Mask off any part of the car on which you do not wish to apply the finish, including windows, mirrors and a wide swath around the car if you are simply doing a touchup job. Plaster the car with newspaper, holding it down with masking tape. If you are touching up the original paint job, include a buffer zone of about three times the size of the patch of paint before you start to mask. The clear coat will be over a much larger area than the added paint.



Add a coat of grease remover over the exposed surface of your vehicle to remove any dirt and dust that may have settled since you painted it. Wipe it clean with a cloth.




Attach your spray gun’s hose to the air compressor and don your protective gear. Fill the spray gun’s canister with the clear coat.



Spray the clear coat over your paint job. If you did a touch up job, spray the clear coat over a much larger area, all the way to the masking. Give the vehicle three coats of the clear coat.



Allow the clear coat to cure for a week.


Tips & Warnings

  • Clear coat is extremely toxic and can lead to neurological damage if you are exposed to it. Take extreme precautions when using it, including wearing a professional full face mask with a separate air supply and a suit.


How to Mix an Automotive Enamel Reducer for a Gallon of Acrylic Enamel Paint

Most cars are painted with an air-powered paint gun.

Automotive acrylic enamel paint must be mixed with a reducer and hardener before application with a paint gun. The reducer allows the paint to flow from the paint gun smoothly. The hardener, sometimes called the catalyst, is what cures the paint giving it a hard, glossy finish. Ensuring the right ratios of both of these chemicals in your paint mixture is essential to a great looking, long lasting paint job. Some brands of paint may vary slightly in their ratios, so be sure to check all labels before you begin.


1.  Pour 1 gallon of acrylic enamel paint into a 5-gallon bucket.

2.  Add reducer in a ratio of four parts paint to every one part reducer. With 1 gallon of paint, 1 quart of reducer will be required.

3.  Use a stir stick to mix the paint and reducer well.

4.   Add one part hardener for every eight parts paint, or 1 pint to 1 gallon. Mix well with a stir stick.

What are Smart Motorways?

Smart motorway schemes are increasingly becoming common throughout England. Previously called ‘managed motorways’ and developed by the Highways Agency, Smart motorways aim to reduce congestion and increase motorway capacity in a way that lessens construction time and cost and environmental impact by avoiding the need to build more lanes.

In England, there are three schemes that are classified as Smart motorways: Controlled Motorway, All-Lane Running, and Dynamic Hard Shoulder Running.

Controlled Motorway

The controlled motorways consist of three or even more lanes with speed limits that are variable. The Dynamic Hard Shoulder Running scheme must only be utilized in an actual emergency.

All-Lane Running

These motorways permanently utilize the hard shoulder as a traffic running lane. On April 14, 2014, eight miles of the M25 became the country’s first Smart section with traffic permanently running on a lane that had been used as a hard shoulder. A few days later, another section of the M25 opened.

Under the new running schemes, lane one is closed via verge-mounted and overhead signs like the ones provided by Ennis-Flint during an incident. On such sections, white lines (broken) between the lanes signify that every lane has the same status.

Gantry signs (overhead) show the required speed limit that varies depending on the conditions of traffic. Speed cameras are also utilized to enforce the speed limit. The overhead signs can also be utilized to close lanes, if needed. CCTV is widely used to monitor traffic. If drivers are involved in accidents or if their vehicles break down, there are emergency areas for their use.

Dynamic Hard Shoulder Running

To ease traffic congestion, the schemes entail the opening up of the hard shoulder to traffic during busy times. Developed initially in the Midlands, the scheme is now operating on various sections.

The stretches of these motorways contain white lines (solid) that make the hard shoulder different from the usual carriageway. Gantry overhead signs indicate if vehicles can pass through the hard shoulder, or not. The signs also show the required speed limit that can vary depending on the state of traffic. Speed cameras are also being utilized to enforce the varying speed limits.

In Case of Accidents

When a motorist’s car breaks down or if he is involved in a traffic incident, he must use the emergency area for refuge if the driver can safely get to one. If not possible, the driver should attempt to transfer to the verge if it is safe and if a safety barrier is not present.

In any case, one should flick on the hazard lights and get in touch with the Highways Agency through an emergency phone. If the driver’s only option is to stop in a moving traffic lane, he should switch on right away the hazard lights. If the driver is in the left and he feels he can do it, he should exit the car through the left doors and get away from the vehicle. If possible, the driver should get behind the barrier.

If the driver cannot get out of the vehicle because of the rush of traffic, he should just stay in the vehicle and dial ‘999.’ This is possible if the driver has an operating mobile phone. In any case, it is always best keep safe, maintain vehicles properly, and follow road rules in order to avoid traffic mishaps on Smart motorways.

How to Service a Harley-Davidson

Properly service your Harley for safety and reliability.

Harley-Davidson publishes well-defined maintenance schedules and service intervals in every service manual. The maintenance schedule is based on years of experience with the product and is designed to keep the bike operating at peak efficiency while maintaining the safety of the rider. Properly following the service intervals and performing the maintenance will help prevent costly engine damage and unsafe riding conditions. The maintenance schedule is the same across the recent model families and years, although the actual procedures will vary depending on year, model and engine family.

5,000-Mile Service

1. Remove the engine oil drain plug and drain the oil. Replace the drain plug gasket and install the drain plug. Twist the engine oil filter off the filter base and discard the filter. Lubricate the filter gasket with a light coat of fresh engine oil. Spin the filter onto the base until the gasket makes contact, and then turn it an additional one-quarter turn. Refill the engine oil. Perform the oil change every 5,000 miles.

2. Remove the air cleaner filter and inspect it for damage or clogging. Gently blow the filter out using compressed air to remove excess dirt and replace it if damaged. Do not bang the filter against a hard object to dislodge debris.




3. Inspect the tires for damage or tread wear and replace as necessary. Check the tire pressure and adjust as necessary.

4. Readjust the clutch every 5,000 miles according to the procedures for the year and model of your Harley.

5. Inspect, adjust and lubricate the throttle, clutch and brake controls every 5,000 miles. Remove tension from the cables and remove the cables from the throttle grip and clutch lever. Install a cable lubricator tool on the end of the cables and then spray lubricant into the cables. Reinstall and adjust the cables according to specification for your year and model of Harley.

6. Check the level and condition of the brake fluid in the master cylinder reservoirs. The type of brake fluid required for your Harley is embossed on top of the master cylinder reservoir cap.

7. Inspect the brake pads for wear. Replace the brake pads if the friction material reaches 0.04 inch. Look for damage, such as scoring, on the brake discs and replace the discs as necessary. Harley-Davidson does not allow turning the discs on late-model bikes. Check with an authorized service center to determine whether your discs can be turned on a lathe.

8. Remove and inspect the spark plugs for damage, wear and fouling, and replace as necessary.

9. Inspect the exhaust system for damage, leaks and missing fasteners and heat shields. Leaks usually develop at the exhaust gasket where the exhaust pipes meet the heads. Carbon appears on the chrome pipes when leaks are present.

10. Inspect the rear drive belt and pulleys for wear or damage and replace as necessary. Locate the debris deflector viewing window on the rear drive belt guard. Place the belt tensioner gauge against the underside of the belt next to the window and press the gauge upward until it reads “15 pounds.” Look through the debris deflector viewing window and note the amount of belt deflection as indicated by the graduations marked on the sight glass. Check the belt tension and alignment and adjust as necessary according to the specifications for your year and model of Harley.

11. Strike each spoke on the wheels with a spoke wrench and listen to the resulting tone. A low or dull tone indicates a loose spoke. Tighten the spoke with the wrench until it rings with the same tone as the rest of the spokes. Check the wheel spokes for tightness at the first 5,000 miles, and every 15,000 miles thereafter. For safety reasons, Harley-Davidson recommends spoke adjustment be performed by an authorized service center if more than one or two spokes require tightening.

12. Check all electrical switches and devices for proper operation. In basic terms, this is a light and horn check.

13. Check the oil lines, brake hoses and associated fittings, as well as the fuel lines and fittings for cracks or leaks. For safety reasons, Harley-Davidson recommends these checks be performed by an authorized service center.

10,000-Mile Service

  • 1

    Drain the primary chaincase and replace the chaincase drain plug gasket. Refill the primary chaincase with primary chaincase lubricant.

  • 2

    Inspect the jiffy stand for cracks or damage and lubricate it. Cracks can develop on the stand itself rather than on the stand’s swivel mount. This damage is usually caused by resting the bike on the jiffy stand and then sitting on the bike. For safety reasons, Harley-Davidson recommends jiffy stand inspection be performed by an authorized service center. If a damaged jiffy stand breaks under load, personal injury and damage to the bike can be severe.

  • 3

    Check the tightness of the critical fasteners, such as the motor mounts, transmission mounts and stabilizer links. For safety reasons, Harley-Davidson recommends this check be performed by an authorized service center.

  • 4

    Drain and replace the front fork oil and replace the drain plug gasket. This procedure requires the use of a fork holding tool. This is a specialized tool that most bike owners will not have and are not qualified to operate. Do not attempt to drain and replace the front fork oil if you are not qualified to perform this procedure.

  • 5

    Adjust the steering head bearings for fall-away. Most bike owners are not qualified to perform this procedure. Do not attempt to assess or adjust fall-away if you are not qualified to perform this procedure.

20,000-Mile and Over Service

  • 1

    Drain the transmission and replace the transmission drain plug gasket. Refill the transmission with transmission lubricant every 20,000 miles.

  • 2

    Replace the spark plugs every 20,000 miles. Do not overtighten the plugs. Damage to the aluminum engine can result if the plugs are overtightened.

  • 3

    Replace the fuel filter every 25,000 miles. The filter is located inside the fuel tank. On recent year, fuel-injected models, the filter mounts on the fuel pump. On earlier, models with carburetors, the filter mounts on the petcock at the bottom of the tank. If you are uncomfortable performing fuel system procedures, Harley-Davidson recommends the fuel filter replacement be performed by an authorized service center for safety reasons.

  • 4

    Inspect the rear fork bearings every 30,000 miles for signs of damage or cracking. Most bike owners are not qualified to replace the rear fork bearings. Do not attempt to replace the bearings if you are not qualified to perform this procedure.

  • 5

    Disassemble, inspect and lubricate the steering head bearings every 30,000 miles. Most bike owners are not qualified to perform this procedure. Do not attempt to disassemble or lubricant the steering head if you are not qualified.

  • 6

    Inspect the battery for cracks or damage and clean the battery and battery cable terminals once a year. Clean the battery with a solution of 5 teaspoons of baking soda to 1 quart of water.

  • 7

    Perform a road test to check the operation of all systems after every service. Perform a low-speed test in a controlled environment, such as a parking lot, before taking the bike into traffic.


Tips & Warnings

  • Procedures and parts needed for required and suggested maintenance may vary slightly among years and models. Refer to model-specific service information for relevant service procedure details and fluid requirements.
  • If you are uncomfortable performing any of these procedures, take the bike to an authorized Harley-Davidson service center for service. Improperly performed service on a motorcycle can result in an unsafe riding condition, severe personal injury and death.

Best Places in Canada to Get a Car Loan with No Credit

No credit does not mean you have bad credit. You can get the loan you need for the car you want in 24 hours or less. If you earn $2,000 or more each month, you qualify for car financing with us.

Apply for Your New 2016 Car Loan

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Financing Options

There are many choices to make when you decide to purchase a new car. However, financing can be one of the most onedifficult choices. No credit financing can be found through:

  • Banks
  • Credit Unions
  • Dealership
  • Online Lenders


Gaining financing through traditional methods from a bank or credit union can be difficult because they use traditional methods to determine eligibility. Dealerships and online lenders often specialize in no credit auto loans and can get you approved no matter what your credit looks like.

If you need bad credit car loans in Mississauga, check it out here:


Dealership Financing

You can follow the traditional methods of purchasing a new car when using dealership financing. However, you put yourself at risk of:two

  • Paying More than Necessary
  • Agreeing to A High Interest Rate
  • Unknowingly Agreeing to Lending Contingences
  • Credit Denial


A salesman number one goal is to get you into a car no matter what it takes.

Online Financing

Financing your new car online prior to visiting a dealership eliminates the risks of using dealership-financing options. When you get approved before shopping for your new car you:three

  • Get the Best Interest Rate
  • Have Bargaining Power
  • Avoid Unnecessary Upsales

Let us help you build your credit by getting you approved for the car you want with easy payments. Get the process started today!

Create Successful Flyers for Your Automotive Business

Taking Care of Your Wheels Lets You Enjoy More Fun and Excitement On The Road

Taking good care of your wheels is as important as any engine or body part of your vehicle, so giving your wheels the care it deserves guarantees longer periods of fun and excitement on the road.
One of the factors that affect a car’s appearance most dramatically are the rims. The rims give the car its overall character and define its image more than any other vehicle part.

As your car’s body gets all the love and care that it needs, so do the tires that deserve as much attention.

An investment that also needs to be carefully protected to optimize your car’s performance and lets you enjoy thousands of miles of freedom on the road.
Your rims often make the initial impression and making a good impact means making it look shiny, cool and clean, but since it is the part of the car that makes contact with the ground, it is often subjected to road dirt, mud and grime that could not only make it look unappealing, but could also shorten its life on the road.

Here are some of the most practical tips in caring for your wheels:

Make sure to use the right wheel or tire cleaner. There are several varieties out in the market, but choosing the right one is important. Use a Chrome wheel cleaner for rims made of stainless or polished metal since it is formulated with an acidic solution to preserve its shine. Use a heavy-duty wheel cleaner for truck wheels and a standard wheel cleaner for all-purpose general cleaning.

• Do not attempt to clean your tires using a wheel cleaner when it is still hot. It could cause a lot of damage not just to the wheels’ exterior but could also cause damage to the brake rotors. Allow your tires to cool down first before cleaning and make sure to avoid washing it under direct sunlight, whenever possible.

• Clean each of your wheels one by one, to avoid any cleaning solution to dry on the metal, rubber or composite surfaces.

• One good tip to allow the cleaning solution to penetrate hard to reach areas of your wheels is to wash the wheels before spraying the cleaning solution. A good high-pressure hosing then carries and rinses off any excess cleaning chemicals from the wheels, as well as any dust and grime that stuck to the wheels prior to cleaning.

• Pay close attention while cleaning your rims, you can destroy the finish in minutes if you apply the wrong chemicals to the wrong wheel finish. Make sure to give your wheels a thorough rinse with water, preferably with a high pressure water jet to remove any stubborn deposits, followed by a full wipe down using a clean and dry micro-fiber or cotton towel.

Take good note of these simple yet practical wheel maintenance tips that would not only leave your wheels mighty clean, but also allow you to spend a longer relationship with your car on the road.

Valuable Guidance You Need About Auto Repair

You need to have your car fixed if it grows a problem. Continue reading and learn what you really should know when it comes to auto repairs.

Request mechanics before contracting with them, if they’ve done work on your own particular make and model of car. When mechanics say that they’ve, they likely understand what it takes to make the needed repairs.

Referrals are an excellent method for finding an auto mechanic. Ask the people you know for his or her vehicles to. You are able to gain details about prices and worth that way. People will let you what type of things they had and if the mechanic was honest.

You must maintain good track of all of your car records. You may desire these with you when you go to get repairs done; a marvelous place to store them in the glove compartment. The auto repair professionals might want to check out the records. The auto repair can help them diagnose issues quicker.

Test drive your car before paying the auto mechanic.

Pay attention to your own car’s wiper blades. You may need new blades when the ones leaving streaks on the glass and you’ve are streaking or making noises.

Try looking for a person who works from their own garage. They can generally do jobs for much less cost when they have auto repair experience they are able to supply quality work. You provide an independent worker by going down this path and might save a lot of money.

There are several distinct categorizations that decide the quality of components. New items have lately been created by the specification of the manufacturer’s. Refurbished parts ate those which have been restored to functioning state. “Salvage” means that it came off a car and deficiency alteration.

Only use a repairman that’s certified. You must be sure they have received approval from your NIAE. This will give quality service to you and means they are correctly trained.

Your tires may be replaced by some auto stores with older models. The do this to earn a fast buck from you being unlearned. Mark your tires with some chalks before you drop your vehicle to a car store.

You should consider visiting a vocational school near your car repair section, should you cannot afford to get your vehicle fixed.

You must review this guide and understand what you must do if a problem comes about. Your guide contains all you should know when it comes to maintaining your vehicle and doing small repairs yourself.

Consistently bleed the brakes in the event that you are working on the students. Make sure to test your brakes. Begin slowly to make sure you have made before you begin to drive faster, an excellent repair is completed nicely.

OEM is the Original Equipment Manufacturer of the Maker. Remember this when you have car parts in your own car. This could very well prevent someone putting auto parts that are used on your car.

The tips that have been shared in this essay should make you more savvy when coping with any auto repairs. Keep this advice in mind so that you can handle the situation right.

CGI engine blocks top one million/year

In March, the number of cylinder blocks produced using compacted graphite iron (CGI) with the SinterCast process totalled over 75,000.


On this basis, it is equivalent to 900,000 units on an annual basis. More than likely, precise the number could total one million as some OEMs have no wish to reveal the precise number of CGI engines produced. By any standards this is a remarkable achievement as it is only 12 years since Ford launched its Dagenham-made 2.7-litre Lion production diesel engines with the first SinterCast CGI blocks. Audi launched its vee diesel in the same year, also with SinterCast blocks.

This is the first time that SinterCast has disclosed actual numbers of CGI-based engines produced. Normally the Swedish process control technology company reveals only engine equivalents.

Series production of CGI blocks benefitted from accelerated growth of the Ford 2.7 litre V6 turbocharged gasoline engine as sales of the model year 2015 Ford F-150 ramped-up during the quarter. The EcoBoost engine is the first production gasoline engine to use CGI blocks.

Volume production also benefitted from increased production of commercial vehicle cylinder blocks and heads in Europe, and by the start of production of industrial power engine components at the newly commissioned installation at the Impro Industries foundry in China.

SinterCast said the outlook remains positive in each of the passenger vehicle, commercial vehicle and industrial power sectors, as competitive benchmarks and market awareness continue to grow.

The first quarter also provided three new installation commitments.  However, equipment for the first commitment, at Dongfeng Trucks, China’s largest heavy duty truck-maker, has been held at SinterCast’s technical centre in Sweden to allow Dongfeng engineers to train on their own equipment.

The Dongfeng installation will be shipped, commissioned and accounted for in the second quarter.

The other two installations, at Doosan Infracore in Korea, and at an undisclosed engine component foundry in Japan, were shipped during the first quarter and have been commissioned.

SinterCast says its installations in China, Korea and Japan are the result of “our strong commitment to the Asian market over many years; the awareness and acceptance of the SinterCast brand; and, the confidence in our technology and engineering support”.

Asia currently accounts for 17 of SinterCast’s 42 installations, with 12 of the last 20 installations have been in China, Japan and Korea.

Automotive Engineering Jobs

Mk2 VW Scirocco More By
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“We do teamwork activities where engineering, purchasing and quality “In 2010, right after the economy tanked I quit my high-paying job and moved to Los Angeles and started at UTI and did my automotive core classes there,” LaFever said. Wearside-based Vantec has created about 250 jobs after taking part in a scheme designed Hitachi-owned Vantec has secured an influx of business from automotive, engineering and manufacturing companies and has undertaken the recruitment drive to service The company’s investment represented a long-term commitment to building cars, creating jobs and advancing leading-edge engineering and design; and made-in-Canada innovation. Canada has much to offer the automotive manufacturing industry: the AIF He has his eye on a career as an automotive engineer. He’s immersed himself in both the theoretical “Obviously, I take a lot of time teaching safety,” he said. “They do a great job. I think if you empower them, really, the students really “The cost depends on how much engineering research and development is done,” Noble said. “Ford Motor has been known to spend between $3 billion and $5 billion on a super-important global platform.” It’s widely cited in the automotive industry such as automotive, aerospace and transport. To get into mechanical engineering, you need some form of engineering degree and a postgraduate qualification is often useful. 4. Sales Manager – Score: 4.3 Number of Job Openings: 3,869 Average Base Salary .

Within IMEC CMORE Technology Department, our group focus on the process development of innovative sensing elements to enable new applications in the consumer, automotive and medical a challenging and exciting engineering job in a young and dynamic But engineering and manufacturing jobs are staying put at Related: Nexteer Automotive: A century of automobile steering success JoAnn Crary, president of Saginaw Future Inc., said the relocation of some jobs is discouraging, but good things are 20K – 30K. Graduate Mechanical, Automotive or Motorsport Engineer to work within a vehicle test / certification / type approval / homologation role job in an automotive / vehicle research, development and test company. Job is with a dynamic, forward CLEMSON — New graduates and Upstaters in general need to start thinking globally when it comes to jobs and economic two local companies, Sage Automotive designers at CU ICAR and Century 3 in Greer (construction engineering) that have an extensive .


Top Universities for Automotive Engineering

Following are the top ranked UK universities for automotive engineering degree programs:

University of Hertfordshire – This MSc in Automotive Engineering degree is specifically designed to enhance the employment opportunities of graduates in mechanical and automotive engineering. The University of Hertfordshire is one of the top 5 UK universities whose automotive engineering degree programmes have been recognised in 2002 by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

City University London – The MSc Automotive Engineering course provides specialised knowledge of the latest technological developments in automotiveapplications of mechanical engineering, including internal combustion engines, industry-standard CAD tools, renewable energy and alternative fuels, etc. City University London is placed among the top five per cent of universities in the world (Times Higher Education World Rankings 2010/11).

University of Glasgow – The Masters in Automotive Engineering is the firstprogramme of its kind in Scotland. Students will be equipped for work in the world’s leading automotive companies and will gain a competitive advantage based on renowned and innovative research. The University is a member of the Russell Group of research-led British universities.

Kingston University – Kingston’s Automotive Engineering BSc (Hons) degree is accredited by the Institution of Incorporated Engineers and satisfies the academic requirements for incorporated engineer status. The Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) in 2001 judged the majority of Kingston’s research as being of at least national and, in several subjects, of international excellence.

University of Hertfordshire – The Automotive Engineering BEng programme prepares students for the many excellent career choices available to a professional chartered automotive engineer. The course is recognised by the Society of MotorManufacturers and Traders (SMMT). In The Independent newspaper’s league table (May 2010), the University was ranked 41st out of 113 universities.

* Suggested Reading: Top Mechanical Engineering Schools

Modern Gadgets in Your Car, Convenience or Inconvenience?

Let’s face it.  We are all spoiled.  We have come a very long way from utilizing a Mapsco book to get us from where we are to where we are going.  So many vehicles these days are equipped with GPS systems, high functioning stereo systems that work with our cell phones and more buttons and gadgets than any of us can use on the way to Grandma’s house for Sunday dinner.

However, even though we may not use so many of the features that are built into our vehicles, we certainly like to buy our cars with all of the bells and whistles.  Who doesn’t right?  Considering here in South Texas where you can wear shorts 90% of the year, I need seat warmers, right?

Well, as fun as all of these great gadgets and conveniences are, they come with a price!  All of these new buttons that come on your car draw off from the electrical system in your car.  Like anything else, if it doesn’t have the right amount of electricity it cannot run properly.  However, very few vehicles will just shut down your accessories when there is a problem, they just allow your electrical systems to be robbed of power and this can cause major electrical issues with the truly important systems on your car such as your transmission, fuel injection and traction control.   The first time your transmission stops shifting are you still going to need that GPS system?  Nope… you aren’t going very far in that car, it is going to the shop!

When you think that you have a major concern with your vehicle, don’t panic.  We have seen lots of cars in the shop in the past few months that are owned by people who are totally freaking out because they feel like they have just been doomed by major car repair expenses.  In many cases, the major problem that they think they are experiencing is simply a voltage issue in the vehicle that can be remedied by a new battery and/or alternator.

However, running your vehicle for extended periods of time with voltage or charging issues can cause damage to various systems in your vehicle.  I recently had a customer that the stereo/gps unit in their vehicle had completely shorted out and a replacement unit was nearly $2,000!  This is where proactive car ownership is totally necessary.  Take the time to have your vehicle checked out regularly.  When you have it done, make sure your battery and charging system are being properly checked, that way you are not seeing red when you are left on the side of the road by your car!  Remember, most major repairs can be avoided by simply allowing your vehicle to be properly maintained by a professional that is familiar with your driving habits, the climate and your particular manufacturer.

Call a professional wherever you are for great vehicle maintenance.  If you are in the San Antonio area, call us at Select Transmission & Automotive Center at 210-599-9958 or look us up online at

Summer Is Coming – Don’t Let Car Trouble Overheat Your Wallet!

Summer is Coming – Don’t Let Car Trouble Overheat Your Wallet!

Another South Texas summer is quickly approaching! After these strange spring with nice mild temperatures, experts are saying that this summer is going to be unusually hot!

Hot temperatures are exceptionally hard on your vehicle.  It does not take much to prepare your transportation for the extreme temperatures.  Let the experts at Select Transmission & Automotive show you how to get your vehicle ready to safely get you around no matter how hot it is outside.

For the entire month of May, we offering a Free Summer Check-Up Service.  We will look at the basic maintenance items on your car, and give you an insight to your vehicles overall health.

Steps to Prepare For Summer Driving:

  • Check the condition of your tires.
  • Check the condition of your vehicles cooling system
  • Change your motor oil.  Make sure you are using the right oil for your vehicle.
  • Check the transmission fluid level and condition.
  • Make sure your brakes are in good shape
  • Service the Air Conditioning System
  • Make sure all of your other fluids are in good condition.

These are just a few things that you can do to make sure you are ready for a summer of safe and dependable vehicle operation.

If you want to schedule your FREE Summer Check Up Service, call us today at 210-599-9958!

Porsche is the VW Group’s most profitable brand with €15,000 operating profit per vehicle sold.

Some parts of the media have been suggesting, following his ‘resignation’, that former Volkswagen chairman Ferdinand Piech had been lobbying family members behind the scenes in a bid to install Matthias Mueller, chief executive of Porsche, at the helm of VW, thus reneging on a deal Piech made to support Martin Winterkorn.

Whatever the validity of the rumours, figures compiled by this blog from data supplied today by Volkswagen Group, could point to at least one reason why the rumours may have some substance.

Volkswagen Passenger Cars earned only €347 on ever car sold in the first quarter of 2015.

This is using financial data produced today by VW Group and unit vehicle sales figures released by Volkswagen on 22 April last.

By contrast, Porsche had an operating profit per vehicle of €15,000 – 43 times larger than that of VW Passenger Cars.

Bentley says it does not release 2015’s first quarterly unt car sales. So, making an assumption based on last year’s operating profit of €45 million and one-quarter of 11,020 cars sold in full-year 2014, the figure for operating costs per vehicle could be more than €16,333, namely better than Porsche’s performance.

However, Audi was the most profitable of the Group’s ‘volume’ producers, with an operating profit per car of €3,194.

As to the commercial vehicle side of the business, prestige Swedish heavy truck maker Scania ranked second to Porsche and headed the ‘volume’ car section with an operating profit of €13,542 per vehicle sold.

In this context, it is easy to understand why Carl-Henric Svanberg, the chairman of Volvo, should head-hunt Martin Lundstedt from Scania as his man to replace Olof Persson who, as chief executive officer of Volvo, seemingly failed to deliver the profit margins required. Lundstedt’s task is to turn Volvo around.

German heavy truck maker MAN could return only an operating profit of €1,538 per vehicle sold while Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles – selling five times more vehicles – was not far behind with an operating profit of €1,524 per vehicle sold, but still over four times that of the VW Passenger Cars.

As to Skoda, once the joke car of Europe, its managers managed to achieve a commendable operating profit of €912 per car sold – two and a half times better than Volkswagen Passenger Cars.

Last but not least, SEAT, which VW rescued from Spain, turned in the lowest performance with €321 operating profit per car.

Now it is quite feasible that the figures produced here do not represent the whole picture; much depends on the definition of the words operating profit.

But, taken at face value, the figures do show just how far Volkswagen Passenger Cars has to travel to even match the performance of Skoda. On the face of it, the brand is wasting money; or, put another way, it is not using its resources efficiently.

No wonder Ferdinand Piech’s concern by the direction in which one part of the Group was travelling.

The Automotive Industry and the Financial Crisis

The automotive industry designs, manufactures, аnd sells motor vehicles. The automotive industry iѕ аn important economic sector іn mаnу developing аnd developed nations, providing jobs tо millions оf professionals, bоth directly and indirectly. Currently, the top thrее countries thаt produce motor vehicles arе China, Japan, and the United States.

In spite of the global financial crisis, thе demand for motor vehicles remains consistent. In the United States, аbout 250 million motor vehicles fill the nation’s roads. Globally, аbout 806 million cars and light trucks provide transportation to people. Over 260 billion gallons оf gasoline and diesel fuel are consumed annually.

In spite оf robust growth, thе automotive industry was shaken ѕevеral times from 2008 until 2010 by the global economic crisis. While thе crisis hаd аn adverse effect on European аnd Asian automobile manufacturers, іt waѕ primarily felt in thе American automotive manufacturing industry. In addition, thе American automotive industry waѕ further weakened bу the substantial price increase in fossil fuels.

By 2008, with fewer fuel-efficient vehicles оn thе market, sales began tо slide. To combat thіs downturn, manу automotive manufacturers іn Asia, Europe, and thе Americas began implementing creative marketing strategies tо entice consumers tо purchase vehicles by offering discounts. This ensured thаt consumers purchasing cars from а Yuba City CA Nissan dealership соuld get great deals.

Governments аlsо began implementing policies іn 2009 tо invigorate automotive sales. In 2008, China reduced automotive taxes to spur domestic car sales. In India, thе State Bank of India reduced interest rates оn automotive loans tо spur sales. In February 2009, undеr the Obama administration, thе United States government began a massive bailout thаt prevented large American automotive manufacturers from gоing bankrupt. This ensured thаt manу Yuba City CA Nissan factory and dealership employees ѕtіll hаd jobs in spite оf the economic crisis.

Many threatened automotive manufacturers emerged from near-bankruptcy amidst massive corporate restructuring. Many large automotive companies were nоw largely owned bу thе United States Treasury, union groups, or commercial organizations. These measures saved millions оf jobs аnd keрt the American economy afloat. It alѕo prevented furthеr damage to the global economy аnd ensured thаt Yuba City CA Nissan manufacturers соuld ѕtіll sell motor vehicles to the public.

What Is the Cost of a Tune Up for My Car?

Regular tune-ups will keep your car running well.Many people automatically feel as though they are at a disadvantage as soon as they walk into a mechanic’s shop. Thus, they often avoid getting tune-ups or other work done for as long as possible. Unfortunately, this often turns a small problem into a large and expensive one. Getting regular tune-ups can keep your car running reliably.


  • Tune-up schedules vary by car. Most cars made after 1980 do not need a traditional tune-up but they do need periodic maintenance. The owner’s manual for a car will typically describe the best maintenance schedule for that car. In addition, most cars benefit from a 30,000-, 60,000- and 90,000-mile maintenance.


  • The cost of a tune-up varies widely based on location, the mechanic and what work is being done. A very basic servicing can cost as little as $30 to $50 as of 2010. A dealership tune-up for a 90,000-mile checkup, for example, can run anywhere from $250 to $1,000.

    How to Get a Good Deal

    • The best way to get a good deal on a tune-up is to call several different repair shops and ask how much they charge. Some shops charge by the hour while others will charge for the work that is actually being done. When you are quoted a price, be sure that you understand what type of work that price covers.

    Find a Trustworthy Mechanic

    • Many people struggle to find a trustworthy mechanic. One way to find a good mechanic is to ask for recommendations from friends. Another way is to look for a mechanic who is certified by the ASE Blue Seal Shop. ASE stands for Automotive Service Excellence and this agency certifies high quality mechanics.

How to Paint A Car Yourself

Its great for a first timer ignore the haters they probally can’t even custom paint their finger nails.
How To Paint a Car 
Should you paint a car in pieces or not? It’s not a common question, but a good one.
But there will be the pro’s and con’s of painting a car or any project in pieces.
If you’re painting solid, metallic colors with no added flake, pearl or candy then you can paint in pieces or stages.
What I mean by stages is painting part of the car one day. Like your hood, fenders and bumpers, then painting the rest of the car the next day all in pieces in your garage.
The reason it’s ok to do this is because your colors aren’t custom. You’re not adding extra flake or pearl in your intercoat or in your clear coat.
If you are then color matching will be an issue. The reason why is that you won’t be able to SEE how your coats are laying on. Thus, not being able to correctly color match your panels.
If your painting all of your parts in the booth at once and in pieces, then yes. You can do this if you feel that you can lay even coats over all parts.
How to Paint a Car – Painting Custom Colors
The more custom your colors are, the harder it will be to color match. You’ll have to also ensure correct paint mixing ratios. Just like CANDY PAINTS. If spraying candy, it’s recommended to paint your car or entire project in one piece.
Unless the parts are small like a motorcycle fairing kit.
Then you can have your fenders, tank and side fairings all next to each other and painting them at once in pieces.
If painting something small like this, then yes painting custom all in pieces at once is the only real way to accomplish a world-class job.
As long as you have great lighting and all pieces are in good range to check for color matching you can basically spray custom colors with pearls, flake and even candy.
The whole point is not to spray custom colors such as added pearl, flake and candy in pieces on different days. If you’re doing all of this at once in your garage or spray booth on the same day, you can go for it.
I wouldn’t recommend this for newbies. If you are a newbie, and your thinking of shooting pearl, flake and even candy then spray your car in one piece.
It will give you a better chance to get a good color match, and remember, candies are the one of the hardest top coats to paint.
You must feel comfortable with your gun and have proper flow and distance down pat first. If not, you risk having a blotchy and uneven candy coat.
I hope this post made sense to you and thank you for reading and watching the video. If you haven’t watched the video, then it may make better sense to you so watch it.
Learning how to paint a car is fun and we want to help you understand all of the elements in a easy to learn way.
We want to make the process of learning this skill fun, easy and most of all we want  you to gain confidence that you can do this. And soon you’ll be achieving AMAZING RESULTS with any project that you decide to tackle. Please visitLearn Auto Body And Paint for more info.

Cadillac Escalade Transmission Problems From A Professional Point Of View

The Cadillac Escalade is certainly one of the most premium SUVs that you will find on the road.  When you have worked hard, and you have the privilege adding one of these fine vehicles to your personal fleet, you certainly want to take care of this four wheeled sign of success.

Just a few minutes ago, I answered a telephone call from someone who, unfortunately, experienced some sort of catastrophic failure in the transmission, and the vehicle was towed from the freeway to one of the local dealerships.   As if that was not bad enough, the price that was quoted for the repairs left him speechless.

In his mind he was starting to justify the cost of the repair, because, after all, the vehicle is a Cadillac, and well, it carries one of the largest price tags of any other vehicle in the GM lineup.  One might assume that almost everything associated with that vehicle comes with a premium level price tag.

That just is not true.  Not true at all.

Now, many of the components of the vehicle are exclusive to the Cadillac badge, however, most of the major systems of the vehicle are shared with the less expensive counterparts – the Tahoe and the Yukon.

The Escalade is equipped with the same transmission offered in those trucks.  If it is the same transmission, why should the owner of a premium vehicle be forced to pay a premium price on for mechanical repairs… hey, there is not a hood ornament on the transmission so who cares where you buy it.

These transmissions are not any different than any other transmission out there.  These transmissions fail, and have some very common causes of failure just like any other mass produced automotive component.

So, you want your Escalade fixed, but you don’t want to pay Cadillac prices?  Who could blame you for that!

Every Little Bit Counts

When it comes to taking care of your vehicle, we understand that the stress can really set in – quickly.  Everyone has something to be mindful of, either a strict household budget or a strict schedule that really effects your ability to be without a car for any period of time.

A common mistake that people make is assuming that your preventive maintenance on your vehicle needs to take a lot of time and/or a lot of money.   A qualified and professional establishment like Select Transmission & Automotive Center in San Antonio will help you manage your time and your budget while being mindful of the importance of general maintenance.

Performing low cost and high value maintenance is our specialty at Select Transmission & Automotive Center.  We understand that some of the most simple services can help you save a lot of money over the long road.

Services like our complete fuel injection service and our transmission fluid exchange service can help you keep your vehicle running good with a minimum investment.  These little services all add up to making sure that you have less chance of a major mechanical break down.  No major break downs means a lot more money in your pocket in the long haul.

Our professional service consultant will happily advise you on services that will benefit you and the performance of your vehicle and will give you a list of things to do over a specific amount of time that will save you money and that will keep your car out of the emergency room.

Call a professional at Select Transmission & Automotive Center and we will be happy to help you keep your vehicle on the road without breaking your bank!

We are conveniently located at 10505 O’Connor Rd., San Antonio,  TX 78233.

Call us at 210-599-9958 or look us up online at

Massive Paint Shortages at House of Kolor

For many of us painting cars and motorcycles is not an occupation it’s a hobby. We are not looking to paint a fender on a 2002 Buick we are looking to do a custom paint job, something special something out of the ordinary. And to be fair this is a very small slice of the automotive paint business. And the automotive paint business is a very small slice of the coatings business that said it is a very important slice of the business, and for many of us the most fun slice.
The Big name in the custom paint business is House of Kolor a division of  The Valspar Corporation.Valspar is not a small company it has more than 9,000 employees with a market cap of more than 4Billion US$, not a BASF or DuPont to be sure but Big Industry. A former Valspar employee told me this week that House of Kolor is one of the highest margin divisions of the company.

'56 Chevy

As a paint retailer we sell the most custom paint right at this time of year. Springtime we want to fix up the Harley for the open road or do that custom paint job on the ’56 Chevy.
In a letter to House of Kolor customers from Nick Dahl, House of Kolor General Manager, addresses the Stock Shortages. He blames the inventory shortfalls on supply chain shortfalls and inventory shortfalls from his suppliers.
Looking at the HOK master stock list there are 150 items that are “temporarily out of stock” the list includes primers and sealers, the new DTM colored surfacers and sealers, all of the solid base coats, most of the  Glamour Basecoats (BC) most of the Fine Basecoats (FBC), most of the Kandy Basecoats  (KBC), many of the Urethane Kandys (UK) and the Kandy Koncentrates (KK). There are also major shortages in the Graphic Kolors (SG) and the Designer Pearls (PBC) also the Kosmic Krome (MC), and the Marbizers.
To be fair they say they will have most of these problems cleared up by late May.
They also are discontinuing many products almost the whole Metajuls line (MBC) I never even got to try that line. They are discontinuing the airbrush size items and about 50 other items.
Is there any one out there to come in and pick up the slack? This could be the best time for a new Custom Paint Company to come forward.

About Car Detailing

About Car Detailing

There is nothing like having a clean car. While anyone can simply clean his vehicle, it takes a lot of time and effort to get the car to look as if it just came off the showroom floor.

Detailers take great time and effort to ensure that your car looks its finest. Detailing is more than just washing the exterior and vacuuming the carpets. It’s about getting into every nook and cranny and removing dirt and grime that have built up over the years–thus restoring the car to showroom quality.


  • Auto detailing is done for different reasons.

    The art of car detailing is said to have started in Southern California, though no one is quite sure exactly when. Detailing is defined as thoroughly cleaning a vehicle inside and out, in addition to applying wax and polishing the vehicle, thus producing a level of detail that would be deemed show-quality.

    The practice of car detailing has spread throughout the United States and has become more than just a fad. Currently, over 50,000 detailers exist across the country, and these individuals rake in approximately $100,000 a year in detailing sales.


  • Polishing chrome is a big part of detailing.

    Sometimes an individual will have his vehicle detailed simply because he wants a clean car. At other times, detailing becomes a very serious business, especially when the person having her auto detailed intends to enter it in a car show. In car shows, a vehicle is often judged partially on how well-kept and clean it appears. One such car show that is devoted mainly to the appearance of cars is the Concours d’Elegance, sometimes referred to as the Concours.


    • Detailing takes time and a lot of hard work.

      There are different methods of auto detailing. One is exterior detailing, which includes waxing, claying, correcting paint defects and polishing the exterior of the vehicle.

      The second type is interior detailing. 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 performed as well.

      The third type of detailing has to do with the engine: It involves removing grease and dirt from the engine bay with all-purpose cleaners and de-greasers.


    • Though it would appear that detailing covers every aspect of cleaning a vehicle, it does not encompass considerations like upholstery work, painting, body work or mechanical repair.

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

      Depending on the detailer, a customer might also be able to purchase undercoating services (including rust-proofing) and interior sealant. Some detailers even repair convertible tops or vinyl upholstery. Most do not, however, and will usually refer you to professionals who specialize in such repairs.


    • Most auto-detailing shops are in remote locations. Because most detailers are not businessmen but craftsmen, they do not typically advertise their services aggressively. You are most likely to find an auto detailer working in a mechanic’s garage, or perhaps out of a private residence. Mobile auto detailing is also becoming increasingly popular, as it allows the owner to have his vehicle professionally detailed without ever having to leave home or the office.

How to Use Urethane Clear Over Acrylic Enamal

Make your car look beautiful by giving it a new paint job and a coat of urethane clear.

Painting a car makes it look new again. When a car is painted with acrylic enamel, a clear coat is applied over the paint. The clear coat of urethane supplies the acrylic enamel paint with a buffer between the paint and the elements. Weather, dirt and other damaging elements never touch the actual paint on the car. The clear urethane protects the car’s paint while giving the car a beautiful, glossy coating. Restoring the paint job on a car isn’t too complicated, but it is time consuming. Once the car’s paint job is finished, the car looks fantastic.

Preparing the Car

1. Remove all of the removable trim from the car. That means remove metal trim, mirrors, grills and bumpers.

2. Wash the car using detergent and water. Rinse it well, and wash it a second time using a wax and grease remover.

3. Tape over items you don’t remove. Tape the window molding and door handles. Put newspaper over the glass areas, and tape it into place, so paint stays off of the glass.

4. Put on the protective eye wear and face mask before sanding. Sand off as much of the paint as possible, using an electric sander with fine grit sandpaper. Sand rough or rusted areas with coarse grit sandpaper first, and then switch to fine grit.

5. Clean the car thoroughly with soap and water. Wipe off any excess moisture before painting.

6. Prepare yourself for painting by putting on the protective eye wear and face mask before sanding. Spray on a thin coat of primer on the car. Cover all of the areas that need painting. Let the primer dry completely.

7. Sand the car using wet/dry sandpaper wrapped around a sponge. Wipe off the car with a wet cloth when you finish sanding all of the painted areas.

8. Remove the tape and newspaper from the car if it is wet. Replace the tape or newspaper before painting the car. Let the car dry for 36 hours before painting.

Painting the Acrylic Enamel Coats of Paint

  • 1

    Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for mixing the paint and putting it in the spray gun. Each paint manufacturer is slightly different, so always consult the instructions.

  • 2

    Put on the protective eye wear and face mask before sanding. Spray the paint onto the car starting at the top of the car, and working your way down to the bottom. Keep the spray gun at least a foot away from the car as you spray the paint. Go back and forth with the paint overlapping previously painted areas, so the paint gets a smooth look. Remember, keep the paint thin, or it runs.

  • 3

    Let the paint dry once you have a solid coat on the car. Check the car for any rough spots or drips. If you find any, sand the area with damp sandpaper, and wipe it with a damp cloth. Dry the area thoroughly, and paint a second coat of paint on the car. Repeat this procedure one more time for a good, solid coat of paint. Let the car dry for 36 hours.

Applying Urethane Clear Over Acrylic Enamel

  • 1

    Wait for a good dry day before using the urethane clear on the car. If it is damp the spray gun picks up dirt, dust and moisture, and blends it into the paint ruining the paint job.

  • 2

    Prepare the urethane clear according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Follow the mixing instructions, and remember, only mix the amount you need. Extra mixed urethane sets up in the container before the next morning, so throw away any leftover mixed urethane.

  • 3

    Spray a thin coat of urethane clear onto the car starting at the top and working your way down. Once the whole car is covered, let it dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions. It usually takes about 15 minutes for drying between layers.

  • 4

    Check the car for any drips or rough areas. Sand drips or rough areas with a damp piece of wet/dry sandpaper. Wipe the area with a damp cloth, and dry thoroughly.

  • 5

    Add two more coats of clear urethane the same way. Let the urethane dry completely between layers.

  • 6

    Let the urethane clear dry for at least 90 minutes before removing the tape and paper. The car is finished.

How to Mix Acrylic Enamel For Automotive Paint

Acrylic enamel automotive paint dries to a high gloss shine without a clear coat.

Acrylic enamel automotive paint is a popular choice and an improvement on the older acrylic lacquer paints. The enamel paint is more durable and easier to apply than acrylic lacquer paints. Acrylic enamel automotive paint is a single stage paint, meaning no clear coat is needed because it dries to a glossy shine. Acrylic enamel cannot be sprayed on a car alone. Add reducer and a catalyst to the paint before it is sprayed on a vehicle.


  • 1. Place a measuring cup on a flat surface. Pour the desired amount of acrylic enamel paint into the cup, leveling the amount off at a specific measurement mark so you know the exact amount. Write down the exact measurement and then pour the paint into the clean paint can.
  • 2. Add the reducer to the empty measuring cup. The amount of reducer depends on the amount of paint used. The ratio for acrylic enamel paints is 8 parts paint, 2 parts reducer and 1 part catalyst. If you use 8 ounces of paint, add 2 ounces of reducer to the measuring cup, making sure it is level with the measurement line. Pour the measured reducer into the paint can with the paint.
  • 3. Pour 1 part catalyst or hardener into the measuring cup, keeping the levels accurate and according to the mixture ratio of 8:2:1 of paint, reducer and catalyst. The catalyst, or hardener, is added to the acrylic enamel paint to make sure it dries completely. Without the catalyst, the paint and reducer would never fully dry. Add the amount of measured catalyst to the mixture in the paint can.
  • 4. Mix the mixture of acrylic enamel paint, reducer and catalyst very well. The better the three products are mixed together, the easier and smoother the paint can be sprayed onto the car. Pour the mixture into a paint gun or put a lid on the can until it is needed.

Acquire Auto Repair Guide And Make Fixing Your Car Easy


With the current economic situation, many car owners are looking for ways in which to decrease the amount of money that they spend on their cars each year. Things like driving more economically and performing simple engine checks do help, but the one biggest thing they can do is to learn how to perform their own auto repairs. Most garages will charge a fair amount for most common auto repairs, but once labor charges and tax are included, the bill soon adds up to a small fortune. Hence it is very cost effective if one starts using an auto repair guide which can teach you ways to maintain your car in the perfect condition.
Auto repair guide usually tell you how repairs are done on all major parts of an automobile including the brake system, cooling system, electrical system, engine system, A/C-heat system, body and exterior, exhaust system, fuel system, steering and suspension system, and drive train. They also help you find quality used auto parts. At the most basic level, general auto repair guide walk you through some of the most basic maintenance and repair processes that are common to all vehicles. If you are new to auto repair, these may help you a lot.
If you own a car, you know that it can be very expensive. Between maintenance costs, such as oil changes and tire rotations to car repair, costs can really add up. Mechanics can cost a fortune and you do not even know if they are doing the job to the best of their ability and really doing the best they can to take care of your car. The only way to really make sure that the job is done properly is to do it yourself. You do not have to be a mechanic by trade to do it yourself. You can implement the knowledge given in the car repair books and learn the methods to resolve car issues easily.
The first step in any car repair is about knowing what the problem is so that you can fix it properly. Some problems are going to be easier to diagnose than others. The key here is to knowing what the problem is. This, of course, is going to take some knowledge. You will have to take the time to research the problem. Use your resources to the best of your ability. Scour the internet and choose the best car repair books which will come handy and help teach you ways to mend your automobile easily and effectively. The most important thing here is to realize that you need to be willing to learn and apply the ways given in the books.
Many automobile lovers have the desire to repair their car’s themselves to save time and money. They are aware that automotive repair books make life much simpler for them. The manuals have diagrams that make repairing their automobile much easier. The manuals provide the person who has a desire to repair their own vehicle information on the maintenance, repair and service of their automobile. The step by step instructions give you the ability to repair your vehicle as if an expert. The colorful illustrations will give you the mindset of a professional. The books are convenient and will save you much time, energy and money.

Matrix MPB-9000 Black

Here at Allen Paint we sell Sherwin Williams Ultra 7000 as our premier line. The Ultra 7000 is the basecoat I recommend for exact matches on newer cars it is excellent paint and I love it. It is not cheap but for exact matches stands up to any paint line. For complete paint jobs we sell Sherwin’s economy line Dimension not designed for matching but it’s pretty close in most colors. One of the places it falls down is black. It just isn’t deep enough it always looks just a little brown. Kinda disappointing
We do however Have 2 other lines of paint Matrix and Wanda.
Today I would like to tell you about the Matrix MPB-9000 this is a factory black base coat that is deep and dark and rich and very very black. That and it’s reasonably priced we sell it for 128.95 a gallon. We also pour off quarts pints and half pints.
That said it is not really suitable for matching I looked up some formulas this morning Dodge PX8 has a little bit of yellow oxide and a little white. Ford UA black was similar. Mercedes Benz uses a little blue the point is this not for matching but if your painting a complete this is the ticket.

Deadly 60k Porsche Maintenance

This one can be a killer; my friend has a 2003 Boxter S that he had most recently purchased and had no idea that he was in for$1,295.00 60K maintenance. He called us to see who might be able to help him with his scheduled Porsche repair in Denver and so it started a whole research project for us. The 60,000 mile maintenance for Porsches is definitely one of the largest expenses as far as the maintenance is concerned.


In calling several of the local Porsche repair shops in Denver we learned that you do not need to go to a dealer for this maintenance and that it could be completed by any Porsche technician. The next question was “who was the most qualified and least expensive technician to go to”. I started by calling Stevenson Porsche to find out the cost of this scheduled maintenance, and without any delay they were able to give me a price of $1,295.00 (just the cost of a small mortgage). I guess it is important to know that this is definitely the most in-depth service compared to the 15,000 or 30,000 mile maintenances. The 90,000 mile maintenance includes all of the following:

Major maintenance at every 60,000 miles/96,000 km

Diagnosis system: Read out fault memory

Underside of vehicle and engine compartment: Visual inspection for leaks (oils and fluids) and chafing (wires, lines, and hoses)

Coolant hoses: Check condition

Radiator: Visual inspection for external soiling

Coolant: Check level and antifreeze

Particle filter: Replace filter element

Fuel system: Visual inspection for damage, correct routing, and firm seating of the line connections

Power-assisted steering: Check fluid level

Parking brake: Check free play of the parking brake lever

Brake system: Visual inspection of the brake pads and brake discs for signs of wear

Brake hoses and lines: Visual inspection for damage, correct routing and corrosion

Brake fluid: Check level

Clutch: Check play or final position of pedal

Throttle actuation: Check smoothness of operation, full-throttle position with the tester

Steering gear: Visual inspection of the bellows for signs of damage

Tie rod ends: Check play and dust bellows

Axle joints: Check play, visual inspection of the dust bellows for signs of damage, check tightness of screw connections on the suspension adjustment at the front and rear

Drive shafts: Visual inspection of the boots for leaks and signs of damage

Exhaust system: Visual inspection for leaks and signs of damage, check mounts

Tires and spare wheel: Check condition and tire pressure

Door locks, lid locks and safety hook of the front lid: Check to ensure that they are seated firmly and function properly

Safety belts: Check operation and condition

Vehicle lights: Check operation

All headlights: Check setting

Horn: Check operation

Windshield washer, headlight washer: Check fluid level and nozzle settings, make sure to check the antifreeze during winter months

All other electrical equipment as well as indicator and warning lights: Check operation

During road or dynamometer test:Brake pedal and parking brake (also operating travel), engine, clutch, transmission, automatic speed control, steering system, heating, air-conditioning system, and instruments: Check operation

Oils, fluids: Visual inspection for leaks

Replace Polyrib belt

So it is quite intensive and definitely worth the investment as it is strongly recommended by Porsche.

In calling the independent Porsche repair shops we decided to go online and search for “Porsche Repair in Denver”, after deciding that Stevenson might be a little on the “high” side.

DART auto Porsche VW Audi Service – www.dart : Was my first call, I talked with a receptionist who explained that the “Service Writer” was busy and would call me back. I still have not received a call back, when I do I will update this post to let you know the price of the maintenance. Ultimately I did not want to send my friend to a garage that wouldn’t even return a call so I continued the search. If you wanted to call this shop you could contact them at (303) 296-1188, I could not locate any information through the Denver BBB for this company, according to the Colorado Secretary of State the company has been in business since 2001. Not much else I could tell you here.

Avalon MotorsportsHere I talked to a fantastic service writer, unfortunately they were not handling Porsche repairs at the time. In maintaining transparency with me, he told me that he simply did not have any technicians that specialized in Porsches there at the time. They are one of the first websites that pulled up on Google, and their website does claim that they handle Porsche Repairs in Denver it must have been a little out of date. Brian the Service Writer referred me to RS Motorsports. He explained to me that if anyone was qualified to handle this kind of service, it would be Brian of RS Motorsports. (303) 400-3001. Although they were not handling Porsche repairs at the time I would definitely want to go back, seemed like a solid group there.

RS MotorsportsI called Joel at RS Motorsports and was able to reach him right away. He of course knew Brian at Avalon Motorsports and told me that he would be happy to help. I asked him for a price on the 60,000 mile maintenance for my friends Boxter S and he explained that the full service would be $900.00 which was $395.00 less than the dealership. He was right on the money as my call to Stevenson earlier was exactly $1,295.00. According to the Better Business Bureau RS Motorsports, Inc has a BBB rating of A- and has been in business since July 2002. You can see theirBBB report here. You can call Joel Stallbaumer at 303-432-8989 or visit their website at

Autoworks ColoradoMy last contact was Mark Zalmanek at Autoworks. Like the others he also shows up on the first page of Google for “Porsche Repair in Denver”, ultimately he has several reviews which all seemed excellent. In talking with Mark I could hear the experience in his voice as he explained the service to me in detail and explained that the service would be $800.00. Out of all the shops, Autoworks has the highest BBB rating with an “A”, you can see their BBB profile here. Also it seemed that he has been in business the longest, according the BBB report Autoworks has been in business since 1994. Reaching Mark was simple, and he was extremely cordial.

Overall it seems that Autoworks Colorado not only had the most competitive price, but the most experience in the business and longevity. Needless to say I recommended that my friend go to Mark Zalmanek at Autoworks Colorado. I will definitely post again and let you know about the experience!

Major Players of the Automotive Industry

The rise іn foreign investment hаѕ led to the rapid growth of automobile production, itѕ export and developing of a mоre strong automobile industry. Overseas companies аre making huge investments аnd аre installing extensive production capacities іn mаny developing countries. Today, thе increase іn the purchasing power аnd standards оf living оf people has resulted in the increased demand of automobiles еѕpеcіаllу four-wheelers in thе developing nations. The fast pace of life and сhаngеs in lifestyles necessitates safer mobility fоr commuting tо and frоm thе work place and for traveling long distances. Research & development hаs resulted in increased productivity, bеttеr quality of automobiles аnd automotive accessories all аcrosѕ the globe. Low cost vehicles thаt are scooters and motorcycles have led to the massive growth of somе of the fastest developing economies. The future оf automotive industry іn the developing countries sеems bright and promising bесauѕe of its further growth potential.

A lot оf the major automotive giants arе shifting thеir production facilities to almost all emerging markets wіth the main purpose оf gaining bеttеr access and reduction in theіr production costs. According tо the figures, South America and Asia hаve witnessed a boom іn thе past years. The vаrіouѕ factors suсh аs cheap financing аnd price discounts, rising income levels and infrastructure development hаvе helped increasing thе growth аnd development оf automotive sector in the majority of developing countries аround thе world. The global automobile industry аlong with components аnd parts is expected tо reach US$ 1.9 trillion by 2015, growth аnd it iѕ thus evident that the economical potential оf the auto industry іs vеrу high.

Reasons for the boost witnessed іn thе cеrtaіn regions for thе automobile industry аrе due to thе availability of infrastructure facilities such lіkе power supply, machinery, capital аnd availability of raw materials with efficient and relatіvely cheaper labor. Automotive industry іѕ providing employment tо a population of about 25 million people in thе world. This industry not оnlу рrovіdeѕ millions of jobs to thе people, but alsо produces billions оf dollars in terms of worldwide revenues to many countries that аre linked directly or indirectly wіth automobile industry.

This industry іѕ developing new markets worldwide but major shares ѕtill remain іn thе prominent automotive manufacturing regions. North American regions likе New England, New York аnd the Mid-Atlantic, Central New York, Pittsburgh/Cleveland, Western Great Lakes, St. Lawrence Valley, Ohio and Eastern Indiana, Kanawha and middle Ohio Valley, St. Louis, the Southeastern region, Gulf Coast, Central Florida, аnd the West Coast аrе the major contributors tоwаrds the automotive industry in the USA. The European Union has the largest automotive production regions in thе World. The key automobile manufacturing regions аrе United Kingdom, Rhine-Ruhr River Valley, Upper Rhine – Alsace – Lorraine region, and the Po Valley іn Italy.

The global automotive component industry іѕ highly diverse аnd comprises оf vаrіоus product segments likе engine parts, drive transmission аnd steering parts, suspension & braking parts, electrical parts аnd othеr auto components parts.


Automotive engineers are involved in almost every aspect of designing cars and trucks, from the initial concepts right through to manufacturing them.
Broadly speaking, automotive engineers are separated into three main streams: product engineering, development engineering and manufacturing engineering.
Product engineer (also called design engineer), that would design components/systems (i.e. brake engineer and battery engineer). This engineer designs and tests a part, seeing that it meets all its requirements (i.e. the shock), performs as required, material meets desired durability and so on.
Development engineer, that engineers the attributes of the automobile. This engineer may provide to the design engineer what spring rate he/she requires to provide the “ride” characteristics required for the automobile to perform as desired, etc.
Manufacturing engineer, determines how to make it.
In Toyota, for example, manufacturing engineering is regarded as a more prestigious career path than designing and developing the cars.
Product Engineering
Some of the engineering attributes/disciplines that are of importance to the automotive engineer:
Safety Engineering: Safety Engineering is the assessment of various crash scenarios and their impact on the vehicle occupants. These are tested against very stringent governmental regulations. Some of these requirements include: Seat belt and air bag functionality. Front and side crash worthiness. Resistance to rollover. Assessments are done with various methods and tools: Computer crash simulation, crash test dummies, partial system sled and full vehicle crashes.
Fuel Economy/Emissions: Fuel economy is the measured fuel efficiency of the vehicle in miles per gallon or litres per 100 kilometres. Emissions testing the measurement of the vehicles emissions: hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), and evaporative emissions.
Vehicle Dynamics: Vehicle dynamics is the vehicle’s response of the following attributes: ride, handling, steering, braking, and traction. Design of the chassis systems of suspension, steering, braking, structure (frame), wheels and tires, and traction control are highly leveraged by the Vehicle Dynamics engineer to deliver the Vehicle Dynamics qualities desired.
NVH Engineering (Noise, Vibration, and Harshness): NVH is the customer’s impression both tactile (feel) and audible (hear) feedback from the vehicle. While sound can be interpreted as a rattle, squeal, or hoot, a tactile response can be seat vibration, or a buzz in the steering wheel. This feedback is generated by components either rubbing, vibrating or rotating. NVH response can be classified in various ways: powertrain NVH, road noise, wind noise, component noise, and squeak and rattle. Note, there are both good and bad NVH qualities. The NVH engineer works to either eliminate bad NVH, or change the ad NVH to good (i.e., exhaust tones).
Performance: Performance is a measurable and testable value of a vehicles ability to perform in various conditions. Performance can be considered in a wide variety of tasks, but it’s generally associated with how quickly a car can accelerate (i.e. 0-60 mph, 1/4 mile, trap speed, top speed, etc), how short and quickly a car can come to a complete stop from a set distance (i.e. 70-0 mph), how many g-forces a car can generate without loosing grip, figure 8, recorded trap lap times, cornering speed, brake fade, etc. Performance can also reflect the amount of control in inclement weather (snow, ice, rain).
Shift Quality: Shift Quality is the driver perception of the vehicle to an automatic transmission banana event. This is influenced by the powertrain (engine, transmission), and the vehicle (driveline, suspension, etc). Shift feel is both a tactile (feel) and audible (hear) response of the vehicle. Shift Quality is experienced as various events: Transmission shifts are felt as an upshift at acceleration (1-2), or a downshift maneuver in passing (4-2). Shift engagements of the vehicle are also evaluated, as in Park to Reverse, etc.
Durability / Corrosion Engineering: Durability and Corrosion engineering is the evaluation testing of a vehicle for its useful life. This includes mileage accumulation, severe driving conditions, and corrosive salt baths.
Package / Ergonomics Engineering: Package Engineering is a discipline that designs/analyzes the occupant accommodations (seat roominess), ingress/egress to the vehicle, and the driver field of vision (gauges and windows). The Package Engineer is also responsible for other areas of the vehicle like the engine compartment, and the component to component placement. Ergonomics is the discipline that assesses the occupant’s access to the steering wheel, pedals, and other driver/passenger controls.
Climate Control: Climate Control is the customer impression of the cabin environment and level of comfort related to the temperature and humidity. From the windshield defrosting, to the heating and cooling capacity, all vehicle seating positions are evaluated to a certain level of comfort.
Drivability: Drivability is the vehicle response to general driving conditions. Cold starts and stalls, rpm dips, idle response, launch hesitations and stumbles, and performance levels.
Cost: The cost of a vehicle program is typically split into the effect on the variable cost of the vehicle, and the up-front tooling and fixed costs associated with developing the vehicle. There are also costs associated with warranty reductions, and marketing.
Program timing: To some extent programs are timed with respect to the market, and also to the production schedules of the assembly plants. Any new part in the design must support the development and manufacturing schedule of the model.
Assembly Feasibility: It is easy to design a module that is hard to assemble, either resulting in damaged units, or poor tolerances. The skilled product development engineer works with the assembly/manufacturing engineers so that the resulting design is easy and cheap to make and assemble, as well as delivering appropriate functionality and appearance.
Development Engineer
A Development Engineer is a job function within Automotive Engineering, in which the development engineer has the responsibility for coordinating delivery of the engineering attributes of a complete automobile (bus, car, truck, van, SUV, etc.) as dictated by the automobile manufacturer, governmental regulations, and the customer who buys the product.
Much like the Systems Engineer, the Development Engineer is concerned with the interactions of all systems in the complete automobile. While there are multiple components and systems in an automobile that have to function as designed, they must also work in harmony with the complete automobile. As an example, the brake system’s main function is to provide braking functionality to the automobile. Along with this, it must also provide an acceptable level of: pedal feel (spongy, stiff), brake system oise (squeal, shudder, etc), and interaction with the ABS (anti-lock braking system)
Another aspect of the development engineer’s job is a trade-off process required to deliver all the automobile attributes at a certain acceptable level. An example of this is the trade-off between engine performance and fuel economy. While some customers are looking for maximum power from their engine, the automobile is still required to deliver an acceptable level of fuel economy. From the engine’s perspective, these are opposing requirements. Engine performance is looking for maximum displacement (bigger, more power), while fuel economy is looking for a smaller displacement engine (ex: 1.4 L vs. 5.4 L). The engine size, though is not the only contributing factor to fuel economy and automobile performance. Other attributes include: automobile weight, aerodynamic drag, transmission gearing, emission control devices, and tires.
The Development Engineer is also responsible for organising automobile level testing, validation, and certification. Components and systems are designed and tested individually by the Product Engineer. The final evaluation though, has to be conducted at the automobile level to evaluate system to system interactions. As an example, the audio system (radio) needs to be evaluated at the automobile level. Interaction with other electronic components can cause interference. Heat dissipation of the system and ergonomic placement of the controls need to be evaluated. Sound quality in all seating positions needs to be provided at acceptable levels.
Manufacturing Engineering
Manufacturing Engineers at automotive companies are involved in a wide array of manufacturing activities. They plan and engineer the assembly of whole vehicles as well as the individual parts that go into the vehicles. Design and layout of equipment and people, machine rates and line rates, specification of automation equipment, and manufacturing safety procedures are all some of the jobs that Manufacturing Engineers do.
Assembly plants build vehicles from parts they receive…they rarely build parts themselves. Manufacturing engineers at assembly plants plan out the body shop, engine and transmission placement, and the trim and chassis area of the final assembly. Seats, radios, interior trim panels, pick-up bedliners and wheels are examples of parts that need to be manufactured for a vehicle and whose creation would be overseen by an Automotive Manufacturing Engineer. While body panels, usually stamped sheet metal, have typically remained within the OEM, the general trend for all other parts is for them to be bought from outside suppliers. Most vehicles have greater than 60% supplier content (The Toyota Product Development System, Morgan and Liker)
The automotive industry has its own culture that Automotive Manufacturing Engineers need to know to effectively operate. The Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG), a consortium composed of hundreds of participating companies, have established rules and procedures that ensure parts meet strict quality levels. An Automotive Manufacturing Engineer typically works with statistics and process controls, validating that the process that produces parts will always produce those parts with quality. They also search for ways to continuously improve the process between product upgrades.
Other automotive engineering roles
There are also other automotive engineers:
The aerodynamics engineers will often give guidance to the styling studio so that the shapes they design are aerodynamic, as well as attractive.
Body engineers will also let the studio know if it is feasible to make the panels for their designs.
See also
Automobile drag coefficients
Automotive suspension design
Car model
Noise, Vibration, and Harshness
Vehicle dynamics
Vehicle engineering
^ The Toyota Way – Jeffrey K Liker
The Toyota Product Development System – James M. Morgan, Jeffrey K. Liker
Automotive Industry Action Group,
Society of Automotive Engineers,
v d e
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Categories: Automotive engineers | Automotive engineering

how to wet sand and buff your car

I have had a couple recent requests to post a detailed article on sanding and buffing your car.

I’m talking about basecoat/clear coat paint jobs here. You can wet sand and buff a solid color single stage paint but not a mettlaic or a pearl. Usually I just say when you do single stage you simply need to accept that what you get is what you get and just accept it and leave it alone. So if you are useing basecoat/clear coat here is how

  1. Wash the car
  2. Wipe the car with a mild solvent or commercially available wax and grease remover
  3. Buy 3 or 4 sheets of each 2000, 1500,and 1200 grit wet and dry sand paper

4.Were going to walk down a ladder here and then back up again. I can’t see the condition of your paint so I can’t tell you which grit to use. Start with the 2000 grit if that seems to be leveling the surface great. If you determine that it’s just not doing the job go with the 1500 if that isn’t getting the job done go to the 1200. Now let’s say you have to use the 1200 after you have introduced throes scratches your going to have to cut the tops off of the scratch with the 1500 and then again with the 2000 grit. You can see you will be doing the whole job three times with this example so you want to get the job done with the finest scratch that will work.

5.Start with the finest grit, 2000 put a couple of sheets into a bucket of warm water and add a few drops of detergent (I just use what ever I’m using to wash dishes with at the time) and yes I almost always wash the dishes at my house. Let the sand paper soak for at least 15 minutes until it curls up we want the sand paper saturated. The detergent is for lubrication. Wrap the sand paper around a sanding block or a sponge and as you sand keep the surface wet and dunk the sand paper often a single piece of sand paper goes a long way if you keep it wet. When you are done the surface is going to look very dull and to bring back a shine we have to get rid of the sand scratches.

  1. This is the point at which you need a piece of equipment; the standard of the industry is a 7” polisher you can rent these or purchase them form $75 -$400 Pads for the buffer are made off wool or foam. I like foam pads they don’t last as long as wool but I’m less likely to scorch the surface and I get better results. You will need two pads (a dense firm pad for compounding and a soft pad for polishing)
  2. With old paint a rubbing compound was used to scourer the surface it had an abrasive in it but with modern urethane clear coats we need a rubbing compound that actually reflows the clear. Squirt some on to the surface and “butter it in.” That means spread the compound lightly with the polisher used at low speed and then let it sit on the surface thirty seconds or so to let the chemical action begin. You want to work areas that are four square feet or so before moving along operate the buffer at the lowest speed and don’t press down. Let the buffer do the work you are just there to guide it. Now it should be starting to look good. However you will see swirl marks the darker the color the more you will noticeable the swirl marks will be.
  3. Hang in there we’re getting near the end. We are going to use a polymer sealant to fill throes swirl marks fill up the voids in the paint and give a gloss. WE ARE NOT GOING TO USE WAX. Wax is bad for paint it has always been bad for paint it was just the best thing they back in the good old days. Today with the advances in polymer technology we can make the paint stronger, longer lasting shiny 3M, Meaguire’s and Finish Kare all make good polymers sealants I use Finish Kare’s Polywipe. Go down to your local automotive paint store and ask them what they carry. Don’t bother to ask at the local parts supply house they just don’t know about this and will likely sell you wax. As far as how it is applied well that is very much like wax apply it with a soft cloth tee shirt material is good old cloth diapers are even better, work it in then let it have up for five or ten minutes. Next, buff with your clean sot foam pad. Work small areas at a time because you don’t want it to harden up it will get very hard and you will have a hard time removing it. Pay special attention to the hood and drivers side door those are the areas people look at closest.
  4. Pay attention to the little areas like the edge of the hood and trunk lid get those spots clean before the polymer hardens
  5. Pat your self on the back for a job well done.

Finding A Good Repair Shop to Keep your Car Working

Have you ever been out driving on the road without a care in the world and suddenly your car starts to make a funny noise? While you turn down the radio so you can hear the sound clearly, do you start to think about all of the things that could be wrong with your vehicle? Maybe you start thinking about the last time you took your vehicle in for auto repairs. No matter what you start to think about during that time, one thing you can’t ignore is the fact that your car needs to go to an auto repair facility.
By Ace Abbey
Instead of taking any chances on the problem getting worse, you need to contact your local auto repair shop and find out when is a good time for you to bring your vehicle in for service. The longer you drive around ignoring the issue, the larger your repair bill will be. If you don’t have a good auto repair facility that you can take your car in too, it is time for you to start looking for one.
Any auto repair shop that you decide to take your vehicle to needs to be run and managed by state certified mechanics. You do have the option of choosing to have your vehicle serviced at the dealership or at an independent shop. You may want to check around and get some recommendations on where you should go so you don’t end up wasting a ton of time. Some places are pretty fast when it comes to repairing your vehicle and others may be a bit slower. Some places require that you leave your car with them and others will fix it while you wait.


Keep in mind that all auto repair shops aren’t the same. While many of their workers may hold the same credentials, the rate charge for service can differ greatly. Don’t be so quick to go with a facility that charges rock bottom prices, because you may not be happy with the end result. You need to make sure that any parts they are using on your vehicle are new unless you have specified otherwise.
Pay attention to how you are treated when you visit different auto repair facilities. No matter what type of vehicle you have or what type of work needs to be done on your car, you should be treated as if you are the best customer in the world. That means that any questions or concerns you have should be addressed promptly. You should be treated as if your time and patronage are very valuable. If there are going to be any delays or unexpected issues concerning your vehicle’s repairs you should be notified as soon as possible. A good shop is one that communicates with its customers every step of the way and charges them fair and competitive prices. The work they perform should be exceptional quality and they may even offer warranties with their work. The bottom line is you should end up a happy and satisfied customer after having your car worked on.

The Best Ways to Attract Business to an Auto Repair Shop

Individuals and organizations rely on their vehicles to take them to appointments, for leisure and entertainment, and to get to and from school, work and events. To keep their vehicles running, individuals must invest in routine maintenance and repairs. Make your auto repair shop a local one-stop shop for car owners by coming up with ways to attract business and retain customers for repeat car maintenance and repair appointments.

Place Print Advertisements

  • Advertise your auto repair shop by placing advertisements in local print publications. Discount circulars, community phone books and directories, magazines and newsletters offer advertising opportunities for businesses such as auto repair shops. Rather than purchasing small classified advertisements, make your advertisements stand out by purchasing advertising space that’s at least a quarter-page advertisement. On the advertisement include your auto repair company’s logo, a brief bullet-point list of the services you offer, a link to your website and a phone number. Add a call-to-action asking potential customers to give your business a call if they have auto repair needs.

Start an Email Newsletter

  • Obtain email addresses for each client who patrons your auto repair business. Use these names to send email newsletters that offer tips and advice about car maintenance and repair, let customers know their cars are due for routine maintenance, announce in-store events and sales on everything from paint jobs to repairing dents. At the end of each email newsletter you send to your auto repair shop clients, include a note that asks them to share your email with their friends and family. Include an email newsletter signup box on your company’s website to entice visitors to sign up for your updates.

    Join Local Networking Groups

    • By joining local networking groups, you get the opportunity to make fellow business owners aware of the services your auto repair shop offers. Networking groups often have websites where they feature the names, web addresses and contact information of areas businesses who are members of their organizations. Group members, as well as local residents, frequent these sites when they’re in search of area businesses such as auto repair shops. Additionally, many networking groups host meetings that allow members to take turns introducing their products and services to the groups to help generate leads for their businesses. With the high level of community involvement networking groups offer, members are able to connect directly with their potential customers, building relations based on trust and loyalty.

    Offer Discount Coupons

    • Print sturdy, postcard-sized cards with your auto repair shop’s logo, name and contact information on them. At the bottom of the card, include a discount card customers can bring into your store and use toward first-time services. Hire high school and college students to help you market your auto repair business. Outfit them in T-shirts with your business logo, and send them into the communities you serve with your discount cards. They can place the cards on cars parked in neighborhoods and communities in your area. Other strategies might include partnering with local complementary businesses such as car supply shops and car washes where your target market may visit.

    Get Quoted

    • Establish a relationship with local reporters and bloggers and let them know that you’re available if they need quotes on auto repair-related articles and stories they may be writing. By getting quoted, you position yourself as an expert in auto repair services and get your name and business listed in articles local residents will read. This technique is a way to increase your visibility and attract new clients to your auto repair shop.

    Create a Social Meda Presence

    • Take your auto repair shop online by setting up a social media presence using sites such as Facebook. Social media can give your business a local presence and allow you to interact with potential clients, providing them with car care tips, maintenance suggestions and updating them on special promotions your auto repair shop is offering. You might even include contests or trivia your page followers can participate in to win service discounts from your shop.

    Invest in Promotional Items

    • Giving out promotional items such as license plate holders with the name and phone number of your business, pens, key chains, water bottles, notepads, coffee cups, bumper sticks or air fresheners can help you attract business to your auto repair shop. Clients may use their products at home or at the office, which can help increase visibility and attract clients to your auto shop business.

Auto Repair Manuals Review: Chilton vs. Haynes

Haynes and Chilton are the two brands that usually spring to mind when you talk about auto repair manuals. Without a doubt, these auto repair manuals have been the two leading and most trusted names in the automotive repair industry for a long time now. That’s why a lot of auto repair enthusiasts, both experienced and newbies, count on these auto repair manuals for information they need to get their job done correctly. These auto repair manuals deliver accurate and comprehensive information in a high-quality package, making them the most sought-after DIY books for many years.

Now which is the better auto repair manual? Some say Chilton is better than Haynes; others claim the other way around. That’s quite confusing, right? Well, the key to knowing the better auto repair manual is to consider your needs as an auto repair DIYer. Read the brief review that follows to give you an idea of which repair manual best meets your needs.

If you need accurate and comprehensive information about troubleshooting various vehicle types, then Chilton auto repair manuals make the cut. Repairs are made even simpler with vacuum and wiring diagrams, so you won’t have a hard time figuring out how a certain part is related to a system in your car. What’s more, Chilton gives its customers an option to talk to certified mechanics to ask for help regarding their car problems.

To register, all you have to do is to input the year, make, and model of your car in the Chilton site. Free samples are available to give you a snapshot of how the online auto repair manual looks like.

Haynes auto repair manuals are just as popular as Chilton auto repair manuals. Aside from step-by-step instructions, Haynes auto repair manuals also provide useful info on how to rebuild your car. Consider these auto repair manuals if you are into vehicle rebuilding. Haynes is proud of the unique advantages it provides to DIYers. For example, the Haynes auto repair manuals were created based on the actual experience of expert technicians who use just basic tools. Also, the step-by-step instructions come with many photos. So which repair manual do you prefer? Whether it’s Chilton or Haynes, make sure you choose with your needs and budget in mind.

How to Paint With Single Stage Paint

Use a single-stage paint on your car for a bright, glossy appearance.

Painting an automobile is a time-consuming process that can have your car out of commission for as much as a week. One way to save time while not stinting on the look of the job is by using a single-stage paint instead of a two-stage painting system. Unlike the method of using a two-stage color coat followed by a clear coat, a single-stage paint includes the glossy clear within the color itself. When it dries, the single-stage paint shines to a high gloss. This removes the need for multiple layers of clear coat, allowing you to enjoy your new paint job all the sooner.


1. Clean the surface of the car where you intend to apply the paint with a prepaint cleaner/degreaser. Spray the car with the cleaner and then wipe away any dirt or debris that’s present with a clean cloth. Wait for the cleaner to dry before applying the paint. There is no rinsing necessary.

2. Place masking paper and tape over any areas you do not want to paint. Press the tape tightly in place, making sure that there are no gaps along the edge which may allow paint underneath.

3. Wipe the surface of the car with tack cloth to remove all trace of dust.

4. Fill the paint reservoir of your paint sprayer with an epoxy primer. Set the air pressure for the sprayer to between 40 and 50 psi for a gravity- or siphon-feed gun, or between six and 10 psi for an HVLP sprayer.

5. Spray the car surface with the primer. Spray the edges of the auto body panel, then work the primer onto the hood in a side-to-side motion. Apply the primer in rows until you’ve covered the entire panel before moving onto the next car panel. Allow the primer to dry 20 minutes.

6. Fill the paint sprayer with the single stage paint. Follow the same application method you used for the primer. Overlap each applied paint row by 50 percent to ensure complete and even coverage. Wait 15 minutes for the paint to begin drying.

7. Use the same coverage process with a second and then a third coat of paint. Allow the paint to dry completely for 24 hours before using the vehicle.

Tips & Warnings

  • For safety, paint only in a well-ventilated area while wearing a paint respirator.
  • Some primers require wet sanding prior to applying the single-stage paint coat. Check the manufacturer’s instructions before painting for instructions.

How to Advertise an Auto Repair Shop

Automotive repair should strive to develop a reputation of trust and integrity.Auto repair shops focus on fixing customers’ car problems. In addition to providing excellent service when you fix the cars, a key to success at your automotive shop is to educate your customers about what to look for, what to expect and how to shop for the right repair shop for them. This means your advertising and marketing strategy should strive to both educate your customers and communicate the benefits of why a customer should choose your auto repair shop over your competition.


1. Develop an eye-catching sign. A good way to advertise your auto repair business to cars passing by is to create a sign that captures the attention of passing motorists.2. Include posters and other advertisements inside your auto repair shop. When a customer steps into your shop, you want to help answer questions and position your shop in the best light possible by including advertisements that communicate the benefits of your business. Create a poster that compares services and pricing of your shop and your biggest competitors. Develop a flyer that details different services and how often a customer should service her vehicle. Offer stickers and key chains with your shop’s contact information so your customer has a constant reminder of your brand.

3. Create coupons you can distribute to customers. Offering better values on your auto repair services than your competitors is one way to advertise your business. Sign up for an account with a local coupon distributor in your area, such as Valpak or Money Mailer. Hire a copywriter and print designer to help you develop an attractive ad, and have the coupon distributor send your ad to prospective customers in your local area.

4. Develop a referral program. Offer your current customers something of value, such as $5 off their next oil change, for referring another customer to your auto repair shop. Referrals are part of an advertising and marketing strategy called “word of mouth,” which is when you develop programs designed to initiate public discussion about your services.

5. Send a direct mailing to a targeted list of customers. This advertising strategy is slightly different from partnering with a coupon distributor, because you send the direct mailing yourself. Hire a list development company, which will help you create a detailed prospect list of customers who are aligned with your target market. Send your list of customers an advertisement about your auto repair shop. Your ad should discuss solutions your shop provides to your customers’ common car problems, and should highlight the benefits your services offer. Include an offer, which is the incentive for the customer to visit your auto repair shop, and a call to action, which is what you want the customer to do after reading your mailing.

6. Create an email newsletter. Ask every customer who comes in the door for his email address, and send a monthly e-newsletter. Include tips about what to look for in a repair shop, what to expect from your repair shop, pricing for different services and coupons for savings on select services at your shop.

How to Know You’re Getting Quality Automotive Services


Most of us rely on a mechanic to tell us what is wrong with our vehicle, but how do you know you are getting a good repair job at a fair price? There are a few things you should look for when you need automotive services.


When you take your vehicle in for repairs, you should see certifications hanging on the wall. You want to take your vehicle to a garage that participates in certification courses on a regular basis and keeps up on new car features.

In particular, make sure your mechanic is up-to-date with his or her Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Certification. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence is the gold standard among car manufacturers and mechanics. To receive the certification, mechanics must have a high score in one specialty area (engine repair, brakes, suspension, etc.) and two years of professional experience. A service center with an ASE blue seal signifies that 75 percent of employees working at that establishment are ASE certified. If your auto shop is missing an ASE sticker, do not get your car serviced there.

Quality Auto Parts and Services

Another sign of good automotive service is the use of quality parts. It can be tempting to save a few dollars on off-brand parts when your repair expenses start adding up, but a quality repair shop will tell you that you aren’t really saving anything. Quality parts will last longer, which means you won’t have to replace them as often. Safety could also be an issue with used or inferior car parts. You don’t want to put yourself or your passengers in jeopardy over a couple dollars of savings.

When you find good automotive services, you will save money. All shops should provide these routine auto maintenance services:

– Oil change
– Brake repair
– Tire realignment
– Inspections

In addition to providing the usual array of services, good mechanics will give you a fair price. They won’t charge you for the little things like topping off your fluids or checking the pressure in your tires, and they are more interested in keeping your car running right than charging for air.

Shops that have good automotive services look out for their customers. They know that business is based on developing trusting relationships. They take the time to check for basic safety hazards while your car is in the shop, alert you to important maintenance items that are overdue, and try to educate you about the vehicle you drive.

Great Customer Service

Good shops also put customer convenience first. They realize it is difficult for you to function without your vehicle. They do their best to complete the work and get you on your way quickly. If you have to wait for your car to be serviced, they make the waiting area comfortable with complimentary coffee and snacks, television, and Wi-Fi. Quality shops open early so you can drop your vehicle off before work and stay open late for you to pick it up.

Good automotive services are out there if you know what to look for. Up-to-date training, quality parts, and attention to customer service are a couple of things that set these places apart.

How to Clear Coat Your Car

Clear coating keeps your car shiny.

A clear coat on a car gives it a new, fresh look, and it protects the paint job from the elements. If you are refinishing your car or are looking to customize a vehicle, the clear coat is applied after you finish painting. You can hire a professional to finish your car for you, but this is expensive. Clear coating your own car takes little time and effort and is also inexpensive. To do it yourself, you need little more than some sandpaper, an airbrush and some clear coat.


1. Cover anything you do not want clear coated with newspaper or plastic sheeting. This includes windows, door handles, mirrors and head and tail lights. Use masking tape to secure the protective covering in place.

2. Dip your sandpaper in water to moisten it. Use the wet sandpaper to sand the entire surface of your car until it is smooth. Remoisten the sandpaper as needed throughout the sanding. When choosing sandpaper, use a fine grain. Leave the car to dry completely.

3. Wipe your entire car down with a wet rag to remove any dust and debris. When you clear coat, you will seal in everything on the car’s surface. Allow the car to dry again.

4. Prepare your clear coat according to manufacturer’s instructions. Each brand will have a different set of instructions on mixing. Add the mixed clear coat to an airbrush.

5. Use steady strokes to coat the entire car with the airbrush. Work in 12 inch sections to ensure evenness in the coating.

6. Leave your clear coat to dry completely. Drying times will vary by product as well as environmental conditions.

7. Remove all of the protective coverings from your car.

8. Polish your car using an electric buffer and buffing compound of your choice.

Tips & Warnings

If you have never worked with an airbrush before, take your time. If you are not happy with the finished product, you can resand your car and try again.

When painting and clear coating, keep your car in a well-ventilated location, out of the elements. Your room should be dust free.


Auto Repair for Beginners

I found this article by Ken Marlborough and found it to be quite useful!

As a new owner of a vehicle, you must know about auto repair. This way, when your car breaks down, you what you have to do. Many automobile manufacturers and auto parts dealers provide their customers with tips on how to do basic auto repairs.

It is important that you familiarize yourself first with the parts and systems that make up your automobile. Knowledge about how these parts and systems work, and what their optimal performance levels help you master simple auto repairtechniques. If you are aware of how your car functions, you will not have a hard time identifying where a strange sound is coming from and what part of your vehicle is affected.

By knowing the basics, you can perform simple troubleshooting procedures when your car breaks down, instead of sending it to a mechanic right away. You will not have to spend massive amounts of money just to hire a professional for a simple job you can do yourself, such as adjusting a few loose screws or cooling an overheating radiator.

As a beginner in auto repair, you must realize the importance of owning a basic service tool kit. This usually contains wrenches, screws and a jack. If your car stalls on the road, you will most likely need such tools to start it up again. Tools make auto repairs easier because they allow you to troubleshoot hard-to-reach areas.

If you want to learn more about auto repairs for beginners, you can try asking your favorite mechanic for some pointers. You can also try searching the World Wide Web for tips on auto repair. Through a search engine, you can access a wealth of information. Aside from research, you also have the option of signing up for short courses on auto repair.< data-app-id='21292899' data-app='share_buttons' data-title='Auto Repair for Beginners' data-link='' data-summary=''>

How to Protect Your Car Engine

These are important things that you should know to protect your engine:

Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual — more often if your driving is mostly stop-and-go or consists of frequent short trips. A poll of ASE Master Auto Technicians revealed that regular oil and filter changes is one of the most frequently neglected services, yet one that is essential to protect your engine.

Replace dirty filters, such as air, fuel, and PCV. A poorly running engine is less efficient and burns more gasoline. And you may also have to restore headlights as its effect to your car perform.

Keep your engine “tuned up.” Replace filters and fluids as recommended in your owner’s manual; have engine performance problems (rough idling, poor acceleration, increased fuel use, etc.) corrected. Given today’s high-tech engines, it’s wise to have this type of work done by automobile technicians who are ASE-certified in engine performance. 

MobileDataforce, Automotive Services & Handheld PDAs

On occassion I review our MobileDataforce business plans from past years. It is interesting to review how our plans and focuses change over the years based upon our customers requirements and the mobility market. Our earliest business plans never mentioned the automobile services sector, however, in recent years we have become one of the industry leaders in providing mobile solutions for the automotive services industry. The following list contains some of the solutions and applications we have worked on and delivered to our customers:

  1. Vehicle tracking solutions using GPRS and satellite uplinks
  2. VIN decoding solutions with GPS integration to identify automobiles, and locations where the automobiles were found.
  3. Shuttle services applications to identify pick-up and drop-off locations for people and cargo
  4. Dealership applications to record automobile detailing and prep work
  5. Autobody applications to identify work completed on vehicles at dealerships and invoice for it.
  6. Handheld PDA time sheets for recording the work of individuals at automobile dealerships
  7. Auto auction applications to assist in real-time valuing of cars based upon condition found
  8. Vehicle recover applications following hurricanes

Many of these applications involve VIN decoding. This is the process of identifying the specific car based upon bar code scanning the VIN number on the dashboard or door. We have invested many man hours in developing this functionality and the VIN content in our mobile software. This is useful in identifying the exact car, work needed, work completed and invoicing for the work.

How to Restore Headlights – Headlights Restoration Tips

You have 2 options when it comes to restoring headlamps. You will learn how to restore headlights below:

You can Sand & buff (what I usually do)
You can Sand and Clear Coat using a 2k automotive clear coat (like this post and video above)



In this post we will show you the simple process of wet sanding and clear coating your headlights with 2k clear coat. For those of you who don’t know what 2k clear is, basically you have 2 kinds of clear. The first one is 1k. You see then on the shelves of automotive stores like AutoZone, Checkers, O’Reilly and PepBoys. You know… Brands like  Krylon and Rustoleum.

They have no hardeners in them and are weak in durability plus they are cheap. You can use them, but you won’t get a long lasting finish if that’s what you’re looking for.

If you want to restore headlights by clear coating them, then I recommend to use a 2k clear coat like I do in the video on the top of this post. They can last longer and won’t fade out every year to 18 months. This method has been tested and used by many people.

There are Pros and Cons, and here are the Pros first.

Easy and affordable to clear coat your headlights
Longer lasting than buffing out headlights
Beautiful high finish gloss after clearing
Very durable when comparing to a 1k clear coat
The Cons

Takes 30 min longer because of masking and painting
You need to buy some automotive clear coat and a spray bottle
May peel in 3-5 years if in consistant sunlight. (you can always sand and re clear though)
So, yes! this is easy as heck to do and you can make your headlights look like new again. You can also start a mini business out of it, like I said one of our VIP members Gary did. Here’s a finished picture below of a completed headlight that we did on a Honda CRV.

In conclusion, when performing any kind of headlight restoration know that you have options. You can wet sand and buff or you can clear coat them. …And if you do clear coat them, then go with a 2k clear coat not a cheap 1k aerosol can of clear. You want them to last and by using a 2k clear coat, it will.

If you end up buffing them, just remember that you’ll probably have to do it every year or two depending on how much they wear off. It really only takes about 10 minutes to complete a pair if you buff them out and they will look nice.

Good luck with your headlight restoration projects or business!

Automotive engineering and its functions

Automotive engineering

Automotive engineering is a branch of mechanical engineering which specializes in the manufacture of different types of vehicles. This field makes use of principles from other branches of engineering to automate the process of vehicle manufacture and make it a more efficient process.
Function Of Automotive Engineering

The main function of automotive engineering is to enable smooth production process and also ensure that all systems of the car coordinate with each other properly. Automotive engineers first go through the requirements given by the buyer. Then the design for each component is loaded into the computers and the automated production is set into process after issuing the right command to each production tool.
Areas Of Importance For Automotive Engineering

There are certain areas that automotive engineers are concerned about when it comes to the production of vehicles. These are:

a) Vehicle emissions: In this age when there is a lot of hue and cry about green house gas emissions from vehicles, it is of utmost importance that vehicles are made as emission free as possible. So all the vehicle components involved in fuel combustion are properly synchronized so as to provide good combustion.

b) Safety: Automobile engineers conduct a number of crash tests on the cars before releasing them into the market. The damage in each type is analyzed to see if the car can withstand the accidents that take place in normal driving conditions.

c) Automobile attributes: This considers a few features like handling, braking and normal driving and how the vehicle behaves during each of these. The entire structure of the vehicle is checked to see if there is any excess vibration in a certain area or if the noise produced can be reduced.

d) Vehicle Internals: The internal area of the vehicle is checked for customer comfort. The automobile should also have the ability to be user-friendly in times of unfriendly climatic or terrain conditions.

e) Performance: It should have good pickup and power and should also give good fuel efficiency.

In the early days, the manufacture of each automobile component and their assembling was done manually by workers. But now, a number of automated instruments are used to make this process simpler. For instance, cars are built in huge car plants which are run on assembly lines. They have the capacity to roll out even 50,000 vehicles a year.

Any error in the system can be detected from a central computer and can be corrected within no time. This is helped to decrease dependency on manpower and increase the production efficiency. This has also made vehicle safer and better than before.

Car Industry Analysis

In order to understand the car industry, it is useful to perform Porter’s “five forces” model of analysis. This industry analysis method was developed by Harvard professor Michael Porter and it measures an industry according to five forces, namely, the degree of rivalry, the threat of substitutes, barriers to entry, buyer power and supplier power.

Degree of Rivalry

  • Historically the big three Detroit automakers (General Motors, Ford and Chrysler) controlled most of the car market. Over the past decades there has been an increased presence of foreign automakers such as Toyota, Volkswagen, Hyundai and Honda.

Threat of Substitutes

  • The threat of substitutes is quite low for the automotive industry, with no other method offering the same level of freedom, ease and speed as cars

    Barriers to Entry

    • Barriers to entry in the car industry are huge. The amount of capital required to enter the industry makes it nearly impossible for incumbents to enter.

    Buyer Power

    • Buyers have considerable power due to the low switching costs and the relative standardization of cars.

    Supplier Power

    • Suppliers have little power as many are entirely dependent on large automotive manufacturers for their entire sales, this gives considerable power to the manufacturers to dictate prices and conditions.


Repairing Your Mercedes Benz

Through the years, Mercedes Benz has become one of the most popular and successful car models. In fact, a lot of people have made use of this model due to its sturdiness and its ability to stand the test of time. Even if it is used in a delicate road over a long period of time, this vehicle will still be able to provide the best and highest quality results. Of course, this has been created out of the best and latest in terms of technology. It has also been created with the finest tools. Thus, you can expect it to be the best. Those who have already bought the vehicle can say that it is really worth the price.

Although there is a larger price for a Mercedes Benz, like any other vehicle, the Mercedes is also susceptible to having some problems. Thus, the idea of getting Mercedes repaired might soon arise. Of course, you have to get ready for this since you are constantly using your vehicle. When it comes to getting help for Mercedes repair, there are a lot of companies that are willing to extend their help. However, you should not just pick up any company out there that is available. You have to be very meticulous. You need to raise your standards. Take note that you have invested a lot on this vehicle. You could not afford to lose it or further the damage just because you have not gotten the best company to deal with the Mercedes repair.

Speaking of the best company, you have to realize that these companies should have the latest tools in doing the repair. There must be a computerized system that will deal with the problem until it is solved. Again, you have nothing to worry about since their system will spot the problem right away and deal with it. Thus, whether you have problems with the steering wheel, brakes, engine, and many others, they will take care of the problem right away.

The only thing that you have to realize here is that the prices for the repair can be high. Of course, this is not a small time vehicle that they are going to touch. Thus, they would ask for a certain price in order to get the job done. Yet, you need to invest on this or else your vehicle would go down to waste. You also could not afford to stick with companies whose services are cheap. They might just further the problems. If this happens, you will really lose a lot.

In the end, getting help is easy. If you plan to buy this vehicle or you currently have one, just make sure you take care of it well. Yet, if the problem arises, you need to have the contact number of the best company right away. Rest assured, they will make sure that your vehicle will be back to its normal operation in no time. Just trust that they will.

If you are looking for help with your Mercedes, there is only one place to go for Denver Mercedes Repairs: Autoworks Colorado. They specialize in repairing all German import models; Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche and Volkswagen. Visit their website for more details:Denver Mercedes repair shop or call them at (303) 932-9990.

Service Department Action Plan to Rev Up Gross Profit

During this economic slowdown dealerships need to be aggressive in finding new business and continuously marketing to the existing customers in their DMS. Some handy tips on revving up the gross and keeping your shop full of vehicles are listed below. If you stay on top of this list daily you will be ahead of the game and dollars will chase you instead of you chasing the dollars.

1. Call all customers the day before they’re scheduled to bring their vehicles in to confirm their appointment.

2. Review your DMS and call those customers whose state inspection sticker or emissions certification is due to expire.

3. Review your “Estimates” file for work that was never performed, track your declined services, and people who would have had work done but hadn’t found the time to come in.

4. Call all customers with recommended repairs listed on previously closed repair orders – again tracking your declined service work is a great source of future potential revenue..

5. Call customer “no-shows” from previous days. Often these customers simply forgot, or an important issue arose.

6. Notify customers of special order parts that have come in and book their appointment.

7. Make “Thank you for your business” phone calls the following day.

8. Call customers regarding maintenance and repair of the second or third (or more) vehicles in their
household, “We Service Your Other Vehicles Too”.

9. Review repair orders for factory or shop warranties due to expire, offer to perform a FREE courtesy inspection.

10. Call all customers with vehicle leases due to expire and recommend an inspection prior to turning their vehicles in.

11. Estimate current mileages on the vehicles in your DMS and determine upcoming vehicles due for various services such as oil changes and other scheduled maintenance items. Then call those customers.

12. Request that your employees personally refer work to the shop, ALL employees should have a business card.

As well, call the following and advise them that you can provide them with priority service on any day that’s not full on your appointment schedule:
1. Vendors.

2. Local used car lots.

3. Local Body shops.

4. Any and ALL fleet customers.

5. AAA Automotive

6. Local Towing companies.

The Booming Automotive Industry

In thе 21st century, education has becоmе аn absolute necessity. Education iѕ thе lifeline whіch runs thrоugh the veins оf society аnd industry. The professional world values skilled people and thеѕе applicants will mоst оften gеt fіrst crack аt thе best job opportunities аnd advancement. Without аn education, job seekers will find іt extremely difficult tо compete fоr jobs in ѕоme оf the most cut-throat industries аnd fields. Whether уоu аrе in morе developed nations lіkе Canada, France оr Japan оr in developing аnd emerging countries India аnd Brazil, there iѕ аlwaуѕ a high demand fоr highly skilled people. By brushing uр on уоur skills, or enrolling in а proper diploma or degree program, yоu wіll hеlp ensure yоur professional career. After all, “Education” is the one buzz word that wіll аlmoѕt alwауs stay in style. Not оnly does education hеlp wіth developing professional skills and knowledge, it also helps develop personal confidence and thе professional image thаt job seekers loоk for. It is, put simply, a great time tо enroll in a career training program.

A good examрle оf аn institution offering carer training programs iѕ the “Automotive Training Centre”, which haѕ campuses іn Vancouver, Toronto аnd Montreal, Canada. The Automotive Training Centre specializes іn career training fоr thе automotive industry. The auto industry іs а sector thаt hаs rebounded quіte strongly fоllоwіng thе recent economic problems. It, in fact, lоoks tо continue to grow аnd be one оf the major job markets aroundt thе world. There is, currently, a tremendous demand worldwide fоr cars аnd automobiles, with daily updates and developments frоm Japan аnd South Korea tо Germany аnd Canada. The amount оf cars on thе road іs еven uѕed to determine thе growth index іn mаnу a developing nations. Developing job skills fоr thіѕ industry іѕ а great idea at thіѕ point іn time, aѕ аѕidе frоm thе increased demand, numerous nеw technologies аrе spurring on researcha аnd development аnd creating new jobs.

The “Automobile Training Centre” offers variоuѕ automotive training courses fоr car enthusiasts, including auto repair training, service advisory training, auto body training and dispatch training. As well, unlike many оthеr Automotive training schools, which focus solely оn auto repair job training, ATC аlso offers dispatch training аnd dispatch courses. If уou love cars and yоu want tо bеcomе part оf аn ever-growing industry, thе Automotive Training Centre iѕ a natural choice fоr automotive career training.

Pearl Paint

 When asked for advise about pearl paint the first thing I have to do is narrow down what kind of pearl we are talking about. There are three kinds of pearl paint jobs. Pearl is an ingredient used in automotive paint. Pearls are used to add a sparkle to paint much like metallic. There are dozens of colors available dark and light blues, greens, golds, and reds but also slivers and bronze and copper.
 Automotive manufactures will use just a pinch or 3 or more different pearls to add life to the paint. With modern base coat systems pearl coat will lay down as nice as solid colors. One note of caution the more coats of pearl you put on the darker the color gets. So when doing a repair leave a panel open so you don’t put more coats on than necessary to achieve the color you are after.
The second use of pearl is on thi stage paint jobs like the Cadillac or Lexis white pearls. These involve a white ground coat then a pearl mid coat then a clear coat. Once again it’s critical that you have the same number of coats on the whole project.
 The third kind of pearl is used in custom painting to give a color shift for instance a white car with blue pearl mixed into the second coat of clear. I don’t mix it into the first coat because I want the pearl to be suspended above the base. I fog on this coat then clean my gun and mix up some more clear to give it a couple more coats. SEM makes eight nice liquid pearls and Old School Flake makes about 20 powder pearls. How much to use? Well that’s an artistic decision, I shoot a lot of test panels and take the panels out into the sun before I decide how much to use on the car or bike I’m painting.

EPA regualtions Paint Coatings and Paint Stripping

Things creep up on you. You know it’s coming but it’s complicated of a long way off so you decide to just think about it later then it’s time. Well it’s time. The National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants is now in effect the part that effects us as painters is subpart HHHHHH or NESHAP.

Some background
The rules have been in development since 2002 they cover a large number of industries including cement manufacturing, the oil and gasoline industry, municipal and medical incinerators, asbestos production, the glass and ceramics industry, the list goes on . The final rules went into effect January 9 2009. The compliance date is January 10 2010 .

What do the rules cover
The rules cover automotive paint spraying
the use of paint stripping using methylene chloride
the use of paints containing the heavy metals lead, chrome, mercury, manganese, nickel or cadmium at reportable levels

Who does this affect
If you paint cars buses, trucks, trailers, motorcycles, boats, tractors, engines car parts you can figure it applies to you for a complete list see

There is a significant exception if you are a hobbyist or a restorer or are repairing your own car you can paint up to 2 cars a year

What it takes to be compliant
You must use hvlp guns or the equivalent kind of guns and protective clothing. You must have compliant spray booths with filter technology with a 98% capture efficiency. Spray gun cleaning must be contained so that solvents are captured. All painters must be certified within the past 5 years. One of the main targets of these rules is to minimize the use of strippers containing MeCl your annual usage should not exceed 181 gallons and you must keep records of your use of stripper.

The final part is you must register with your area EPA office. Please do not take this as a definitive document on the subject DO YOUR OWN RESERCH but here is a warning get compliant and do it before they come knocking on your door. When you register they will come and check you out. If you have better information than I do please post it in the comments and I will correct this as new information becomes available to me

Finding the Best Local Automotive Services and What to Expect


Everyone has heard at least once in their lifetime that their vehicle needs to be serviced. Typically, those simple words strike with such force that it may feel like you have been punched in the stomach. Instantly, your mind rushes to the amount of money that is currently in your checking account, and you worry about how much this particular service is going to set you back. Not all automotive service experiences should result in this reaction. During any given year, you should keep your car regularly serviced in order to prevent disastrous consequences. For instance, every 6,000 miles, you must get your oil changed. If you fail to do this, you run the possibility of gumming up your motor and having to replace the entire motor at a price that it would cost you to get your oil changed regularly for an entire year. In addition, you should also have your tires rotated every 6,000 miles or so and have your front end adjusted regularly. By taking these preventive measures, you will not only reduce your fuel costs from month to month, but you will also avoid regular, expensive, and unnecessary car repairs. Even though these are just a few of the car issues that have to be checked regularly, it doesn’t mean that you can’t find an automotive repair center that you trust where you will be well-treated. Automotive services are plentiful in most large cities, and they usually even be found on every other street corner. Most technicians are aware that being without your car for any amount of time can be throw off your entire daily routine. Finding ways to get to work, to pick up the kids, and even to go to the grocery store can be difficult. As a result, it’s very important to find an automotive service center that understands these problems and helps you find a solution to them.
Many companies offering automotive services have vehicles that customers can borrow in order to function in their normal daily capacities while their vehicles are being repaired. In some situations, service centers will drop their customers off wherever they need to go in order to keep their routine intact. Therefore, it is important for you as a consumer to not simply go to the first automotive service center you see.
There are plenty of great automotive services, but when it comes to your car, don’t hesitate to shop around and find the one that is proud to call you their customer. Ask around, read reviews, and decide which automotive service center is best for your car. Then, keep your vehicle up to date so that when you hear that your car needs service, you won’t instantly think about how much it’s going to cost you. Your car will thank you for it!


New Automotive Spray Guns from Sata and Iwata

I had the opportunity to to take a look at the two newest spray guns from the top spray gun manufactures. The newest gun from Sata and the two newest spray guns from Iwata.
The Sata 5000 HVLP is slimmer sleeker and slightly heavier, about 50 grams, than the 4000 but it weight has been redistributed and sits slightly further back in your hand making it a feel lighter. The air cap is wider this will cut down turbulence in the paint stream. The air control has been redesigned to give a greater range and the finish on the gun is different, it is now a non gloss they call it pearlchrome. It is available in digital and non digital models. The HVLP gun requires 15.2 CFM and is made of stainless steel so it is sutable for both solvent and waterborne coatings. I had my hands on the HVLP the RP gun has not been released yet look for it in April 2015
Sata 5000 HVLP
Sata 5000 HVLP


I also got my hands on the new Super Nova spray guns from Iwata the Evotech is the base coat gun and the Entech Clear gun.
The Evotech comes in 1.2 1.3 1.4 and 1.5 most people will want the 1.3 or 1.4 check with your paint manufacturer for recommendations and requires 12.5 CFM to operate. The Entech clear gun also comes in 1.2 to 1.5 but it requires 14.3 CFM. They are stainless steel so they are suitable for both solvent and waterborne paints.
These have to be the recognized as the top guns in the world and I don’t want to suggest which is best but if you are looking for a top flight gun I would look at both.
Add caption
Iwata Entech and Evotec

How to Manage a Auto Mechanic Shop Business

Increase business with good auto repair shop management.

The manager of an auto mechanic shop can make or break the business. You need to know both how to fix cars and run a profitable business. Also know how to deal with customers so that they keep coming back. Get organized to help you manage an auto repair business and watch your bottom line improve.


      • 1

        Hire employees with experience. Mistakes in auto repair can be quite dangerous, so be sure to hire mechanics who have both knowledge and experience. Before hiring staff, you may want to give a simple hands-on test — show applicants a broken engine and ask them to fix it. Good employees will form the foundation of your business, so take time to choose the right ones.

      • 2

        Check that your business acts within local and federal laws. Violating laws could mean that the authorities will quickly close your business. You may want to hire a lawyer to help you with this. It’s always better to find a good lawyer before you need one.

    • 3

      Cultivate a good relationship with parts dealers. Be sure that you can get the parts you need delivered quickly. If you have a good relationship with the parts dealers, you can be sure that your order will take priority.

    • 4

      Purchase commonly needed items to store on location. It’s smart to have things like fan belts, tires and other products that your customers are likely to need on site. This allows you to repair cars more quickly.

    • 5

      Set up a customer database. Ask customers for their address and telephone numbers and ask if it’s OK for you to contact them. Send them a reminder when it’s time for an oil change or a letter if there has been a recall on the parts that you used. You can also send them special coupons. Having this kind of database and relationship with your customers can create loyal customers and repeat business.

    • 6

      Choose an accountant who understands your business. If you manage an auto mechanic business, you don’t want to take care of the financial details. That’s best left up to a professional accountant. When looking at accountants, look for one who understands your business, including any tax deductions for which you may be eligible.