The History of Automotive Repairs – Why We Need Trained Technicians in the Collision Repair Industry

Vehicle History Overview

  • They don’t make them like they used to.

The First Cars

  • The first motor cars were nothing more than a buggy and engine (Generally repaired by blacksmiths and carpenters. These cars were very expensive, which only the wealthy could afford)
  • Model T was the first car mass production on an assembly line in 1908 (Ford’s Vision was to produce an affordable car the average person could purchase)
  • Model T’s came in black only to keep the costs down. (The price came down once the assembly line was streamlined, but in 1908, the cost for a Model T started at $825. By 1913 the cost of the car reduced to $550)

Cars in the 1960s

Cars were made the same basic way up through the 60s

  • Body Over Frame
  • Rear Wheel Drive (Same concept, but the cars were very big, bulky, and heavy)

Except people in the 60s wanted SPEED! They achieved this with Big Block Motors, which created a lot of Horsepower. (The Birth of Hotrods, Rat Fink, Flames, and Pin Striping).

Cars in the 1970s

  • The government place strict fuel economy and emissions control laws
  • Customers demanded cars with increased fuel economy
  • New laws and customer demands started the automotive explosion of engineering ideas and changes in the automotive industry

Changes to comply with Demands and Laws

  • Smaller bodied cars and smaller engines
  • Aerodynamics (Increase Fuel Mileage)
  • Lighter cars by using different materials and designs
  • More work-hardened areas created during formation of panel (Body Lines)
  • Safety

Construction of Interstate Highways + Higher Speed Limits + More High Performance Cars = Accidents and More

Deaths from Auto Accidents

Federal Laws were passed to regulate safety. These laws included:

  • Installation of seatbelts
  • Safety glass windshields
  • Head restraints
  • In 1979, the first driver side airbag was introduced
  • Airbags are mandatory in motor cars produced after 1990
  • Unibody Torque Boxes: Allow controlled twisting and crushing
  • Crush Zones: Made to collapse during collision (To act as an absorber, absorbing the impact)

Modern Day Cars

  • Carbon Fiber Parts
  • Aluminum Parts
  • More Plastic Parts
  • High Strength Steel
  • Boron Steel
  • Unibody Construction
  • Space Frame Construction
  • Computer
  • Hybrid Cars

Now they even have cars that will tell you when you’re lost, where to turn, Parallel Park for you.

Conclusion

While the modern day cars appear to be made cheap and unsafe, they are actually designed to crush or collapse, while transferring the energy around the stronger passenger compartment to protect the passengers from injury.

There is considerably more damage to modern day cars during a collision than the older vehicles, which gives the perception that “they don’t make them like they used to”. However, in reality the cars are taking the impact instead of the passengers.

The lesson was designed to give you a little history, but to also emphasize that just a hammer, dolly and a few wrenches are not going to repair today’s cars. We need highly trained collision repair and automotive technicians to repair today’s vehicles.



Source by Donnie A Smith

Automotive Service Facility Secrets That Will Save You Money

I want to talk a little about automotive diagnostic costs and how they get passed on to the average consumer along with the reasons behind this. The inner workings of Automotive service centers are very similar in some aspects and very different in others. Some service centers really try to give the best customer service available while others will charge you for every bit of time that they can scrape up and not even look back.

  • Not all Automotive diagnostic strategies are equal.

The truth about diagnostics is that technicians will not always treat them the same way. There are always different points of view and unfortunately just because you recover a certain fault code, the part it points to may not in fact be the failed part. The technician will use his own experiences to diagnose the problem and not necessarily the "text- book" method depending upon the skill set of the tech.

  • Technicians need to feed their families.

The technician, like anyone else, needs to feed his family and in the automated service profession the techs are paid by the book hour. This means that they receive a small amount of time to diagnose the problem and the standard "book" time to replace the part. This is where things tend to go wrong as the technician is forced to "beat the clock" to diagnose and repair your vehicle.

  • Parts Swapping

When the technician is faced with a fault that is unusual and has to spend a fair amount of time on it, this is where you start to pay. It is not that the technician is untrained or inexperienced, but rather that he or she may have to ask for extra time or start swapping parts which you may end up paying for.

  • Paying for more than you needed

Nobody usually minds paying a little extra if the technician has run into a problem and needs more time, but it is when the fifth part that was replaced has fixed the problem and you are faced paying for the other 4 possibly unnecessary parts. This happens because the technician must fix the vehicle as promptly as possible to get paid and move on to the next job.

  • Be smart about your repairs

When you bring your vehicle in for diagnostic work such as a check engine light, air conditioning, abs light, air bag light, etc. always and I repeat "ALWAYS" tell the service center to call you after they have put an hours worth of time in and convey to you where they are at the vehicle at that time. At that point you can make a determination where the technician is at diagnosing your vehicle and you can then decide how much more time you are willing to let him spend on it. Do not be afraid to push the service advisor into telling you whether he is close or not.

  • Paying for parts you did NOT need

There are many instances where the technician will put 2, 3, or 4 parts on the vehicle and say that they were all contributors of the problem and it seemed to get a little better as each one was replaced. From my experience this is possible only when the vehicle is just so old and neglected or there was consequential damage as something took out a multitude of parts and it usually was not any of the parts but some other undering problem. Again you should instruct the service advisor to call you as soon as they suspect a part and want to replace it and if it is not the problem you will be charged for that part.

  • Generally dealerships will treat you better

Automotive service dealerships usually will be more expensive, but are large enough to usually work with you on possibly splitting the time of the diagnosis. If it was an extensive diagnosis they may consider "eating" some of the time and NOT charge you for any parts that did not fix the vehicle. There are many independent service shops that will grant this negotiation to you, but in my experience there were not as many.

Everyone needs to get their vehicle serviced at some point or another and being aware of the situation will greatly help you in the long run. If you experience a situation that you are not so sure of and need a little advice, be sure to drop us a line at the company website.



Source by John Plocar

Facts About Car Rental Insurance

Whether renting a car for business or for pleasure, the last thing anybody wants to have to worry about paying for damages to a rental vehicle should it happen. For this reason, there is car insurance to cover drivers who are operating a rental vehicle. Many people opt out of purchasing car insurance because they feel it is an unnecessary expense. The truth is, without car insurance a person could be liable for a lot more money than what the cost of car insurance would be if he or she were to sustain damage to a rental vehicle.

A common misconception among many people who rent a vehicle is that their personal auto insurance policy will cover them for rental vehicles as well. This is not always the case. Some personal auto insurance plans will cover a driver when he or she rents a vehicle but this is not the norm. A person should always consult his or her insurance policy or speak to his or her insurance agent to help determine if rental cars are covered on the personal auto insurance policy. If rental vehicles are not covered by the personal auto insurance policy, then the renter has a responsibility to secure rental insurance.

Car insurance can be purchased directly from the rental company. Many rental companies offer different insurance coverage plans to meet the individual needs of the renter. The car rental insurance premium is calculated by a daily rate and in some cases a weekly rate if a person is planning an extended rental period. The premium amount is added to the rental fees and paid for all together. A renter would have to opt for and purchase car rental insurance at the time of rental. It cannot be added at a later time. This alleviates the possibility of insurance fraud.

Purchasing car insurance is not always necessary when renting a vehicle. Some major credit card companies offer cardholders perks such as car rental insurance just for being a member. To be eligible for car rental insurance through a credit card company, that exact card will have to be used to secure the rental. Not all credit card companies offer this perk to its members. A person should always call and consult with an agent from his or her credit card company to determine if he or she has this coverage and what the eligibility requirements are to take advantage of this perk.

Despite the concerns of many individuals, car insurance is a solid investment. The cost for car rental insurance is far in comparison to the costs a person would endure if he or she would have to pay for damages out of pocket. Car rental companies always offer car rental insurance as an option at the time of rental. Some people may qualify for coverage either through their personal auto insurance or through their credit card company. They should always consult their insurance agent or credit card company to ensure they have coverage.



Source by Nelson McWilliams

Saving Money When Traveling

Traveling, particularly overseas, can be a great experience. For many people, it can also be an expensive one, which means you need to know how to save on expenses.

For many people, traveling is the ultimate method of rejuvenating their zest for life. On one hand, you get away from the constant interruptions of daily life that occurs at work and home. On the other, you get to see a whole different way of living in another location, even if it is in your country. The only problem with traveling, of course, is it can put a whammy on your bank account.

Saving money when traveling is not as hard as you think. The number one thing to remember is that practically everything is negotiable. If it is not, such as the cost of flights, there are often timing issues that can result in savings. While there are hundreds of tips, here are a few you might be unaware of.

Traveling in a group is a great way to save money. Businesses in the travel industry like groups because they represent a pool of guaranteed money. If you can swing a group of 10 people for a trip, hotels, cruises, guides and such will provide you with their services for free. Just you, not the entire group. This may sound like a strange strategy, but it can work if you are mad about some location. You simply offer to provide a guided tour to the area and do some marketing. The cost of your trip is next to nothing and you may be able to write-off much of the remaining expense on your taxes. Of course, make sure to run it by your accountant.

When it comes to hotel bookings, it is important to understand that the price of every room is negotiable. A hotel assigns four, five and even ten different rates to each type of room they have. Obviously, they want to get the most for it, but they offer all types of deals to attract bookings during slow times. The best way to take advantage of this is through online hotel booking sites. Since these sites move massive quantities of bookings, they usually get the lowest or close to lowest prices. You just need to compare prices, point and click.

If you are traveling somewhere by plane, you are inevitably going to need ground transportation. Car rentals at airports tend to be price compared to in town options. If you must rent at the airport, the best way to get a deal is through your frequent flyer miles. Rates can be half as much as those posted at the desks. If you do not have frequent flyer miles, try to book through the online sites for the various rental companies. A number of them will be offering specials that can really add up to significant savings.

Taking small steps to save money on trips can make all the difference. Follow the above advice and you should see less of a drain on your bank account.



Source by Richard Chapo

The 4 Benefits of Using an Airport Taxi Service

Taxis are known to be one of the safest and the most comfortable modes of transportation to reach your destination. They are one of the few transport services that can be customised according to your choice and help to move about from one place to the other. Several private companies have a fleet of taxis that are modernised according to the latest requirements. These private cabs are known to be extremely professional in their services where they reach the doorstep of their clients within minutes of making a booking.

Apart from helping you reach your destination within your city, they often have specialised services for airport pickup and drop. While you hire them to help you reach the airport on time, here are a few benefits of hire these taxis services rather than opting for any other mode of transport.

• Saves up on time – As the cabs are fitted with modern devices and technology, the driver can help you reach the airport in the fastest time possible using the shortest route. They are aware of the direction in the city, and GPS devices make it easier. You can simply inform them before hand with the details of your flight, and they would come over to help you board your flight on time.

• Lets you relax – If you opt to use your car to reach the airport and do not have a driver to help you, it is something that you need to worry about as your vehicle would be left with no one to take care of it. While the cab comes over to help you reach the airport, you do not have to worry about taking care of your car and thus helping you relax.

• Allows you to concentrate on other priorities – While you make arrangements to board a flight, you do not have to worry about making arrangements for transport to help you reach the airport. The moment you make a booking with their office, they would frequently send across reminders showing you their existence and thus would be arriving to help you reach your destination safely.

• Make you pay according to your convenience – Most taxi services have a fixed price that they charge for airport pickup or drop. There are a few who charge according to the distance covered. After you confirm on the payment procedures, you can either make payments online or can use your debit or credit cards to do so. It isn’t always necessary to pay for their services in cash.



Source by Natasha Unger Nandi