Monthly Archives: December 2016

Tips to Save Money On Auto Parts For You

Buy OEM parts

It is simply not true that OEM parts are always more expensive than aftermarket parts. Remember that cheap parts are usually cheap for a reason, so if an OEM part is more expensive than an aftermarket part, the higher price serves to remove the reasons why the aftermarket part is cheaper.

These days, there is no telling where any given aftermarket part was made, or even who made it. The global parts market is flooded with cheap, substandard garbage that does not conform to any accepted safety and quality standards, which in practical terms, means that you could be endangering the lives of your family by refusing to pay “exorbitant” prices for safety critical parts at the dealer.

Moreover, if an OEM part fails, you know who to talk to about it, which is often not the case with aftermarket parts. The result of this is that you often have no recourse, and you simply have to buy another part at a different auto parts store, hoping it won’t fail again within a few days. Thus, by occasionally paying more for an OEM part, you can save a lot of money, time, and aggravation in the long run.

Compare prices

If you do choose to go with aftermarket parts, despite the risk of receiving substandard auto parts, you can often realize substantial savings by shopping around. However, when you do shop around, you must compare prices for the same brand.

If you don’t know your way around the parts jungle, it is easy to fall prey to unscrupulous dealers who do not have your best interests at heart. Reputable auto part manufacturers will always brand their products, so stick to brands you know and trust: auto parts that come in unbranded white boxes (or in plain plastic bags) may be cheap, but you just don’t know what you are buying.

“Cheap” never translates into “good quality”, which means that by the time you had replaced an aftermarket auto part of uncertain provenance for the third time, you’ve probably spent more money than you would have done had you bought the part from the dealer in the first place.

Buy used auto parts

We are not suggesting that you should always buy used parts, but where used parts do not pose a safety risk, such as trim panels, mirrors, body parts/panels, and the like, you can often save substantial amounts of money. Moreover, by shopping around and comparing prices at a few junk yards, you can often negotiate a price that will make you come back for more.

Buy refurbished parts

Major auto parts like alternators, drive shafts, and transmissions are always expensive when you buy them new, but refurnished parts can be a viable alternative that can save you substantial amounts of money. However, not all refurbished parts are rebuilt to OEM standards, so if you want to take this route, be sure to investigate the company that does the refurbishing.

Remember that no refurbished auto part ever comes with a warranty that matches the warranty of a new part, but the warranty should offer at least two thirds of what a “new” warranty offers. Nonetheless, a warranty means nothing if it is not backed up by a solid history of superior after sales service, so be sure to check out the supplier’s record with regard to after sales service.

Buy auto parts online

A quick online search will turn up a multitude of online parts retailers that carry huge stock inventories, and often at prices that beat those of walk-in stores. In addition, some online retailers’ will deliver the part to your door, or sometimes at a nearby auto part store, which can save you both time and money.

However, you need to check on a few things before you purchase auto parts online, the most important of which is the retailer’s returns policy. Electrical parts are for the most part not returnable, regardless of where you buy it from, but some online retailers will not accept returns of any auto parts if the packaging had been opened.

This can make online purchases problematic if you cannot supply a sample of the part you need, so be sure to check out the terms and conditions set by each online retailer- not doing this could double the cost of the part if the retailer won’t accept a return, and you have to buy the part from a walk-in store anyway.

Use loyalty programs

Almost all auto part stores and chains offer loyalty programs that could save you the full price of a part if you have enough points or benefits to redeem against the price of that part. However, to get the best from any loyalty program you need to make frequent purchases to collect points, which means that if you only buy auto parts occasionally, a loyalty program is likely not the way to go.

Do preventative maintenance

Nobody actually likes spending money on auto parts, but one sure fire way to save on money on parts is to stick to the specified maintenance schedule of your vehicle. This may sound counter-intuitive, but by replacing worn parts when you should, you save money by not having to buy related auto parts that were damaged because you did not replace worn parts in time.

Fixing secondary damage can run to several times the cost of the part or component that should have been replaced, and these additional costs can add up to ridiculous amounts over the life of a car. So, shop smart, don’t replace parts unnecessarily, stick to the maintenance schedule, and you will be amazed at how much money you are saving on auto parts all of a sudden!

Some Savvy Tips for Locating and Establishing an Auto Repair Shop

One of the most lucrative investment opportunities in the world today is in the automotive industry. Every year, a new car model is released into the market thus increasing the demand for quality vehicle installation, repair, and maintenance services. For this reason, establishing an auto repair shop is a viable business idea that you can materialize to achieve financial stability and freedom.

However, there are many factors that one needs to consider when looking for a location to establish the shop. Here are some of the main factors that investors should consider when planning to establish this kind of a facility.

Target Audience

This basically refers to the group of clients that are likely to use the services. One of the best ways of identifying a target audience is by carrying out an intensive background research of the targeted area.. The internet nowadays has numerous free tools that one can use to acquire this information. However, it is recommendable to use premium research tools, as most of the free ones are not reliable and can be easily manipulated.

Operating Costs

Technology has led to development of new machines and systems that are more efficient and effective in pinpointing mechanical issues in cars than the traditional systems. Virtually all of them are expensive, and this makes it difficult for startups that are on a tight budget to purchase them. Based on this fact, entrepreneurs need to consider the initial capital and operating costs that will be required and make the necessary plans to avoid financial problems down the road. Luckily, there are banks and other financial institutions that offer business loans to investors at an affordable interest rate.

Getting License

To establish and run an auto repair shop, one needs to get legal accreditation from the relevant authorities in the area first. It is recommendable to check the requirements, rules, and regulations that businesses in this niche are required to abide by to increase the chances of getting the license and other required documents such as work permit. Entrepreneurs can also consult other experts in this industry who have gone through this process before to get a clear picture of what to expect. Note that the savvy customers are love dealing with facilities that are legally accredited.

Hiring Expert Personnel

Skilled and experienced staff members are the backbone of any business in the world today. Hence, it is imperative to hire mechanics and technicians who have the necessary skills and expertise. One does not have to steer the hiring process alone, there are recruiting firms that specialize in scouting, and providing trained job candidates to startups at an affordable price. Such firms help to save on time and money for other business activities.

Finally, once the auto repair shop is up and running, it is imperative to come with creative and effective marketing strategies as well as ways of delivering high quality services consistently. The internet is one of the best platforms that one can use to market the services without spending a fortune.

This Eco-Friendly Automotive Tips for Going Green

If we could get everyone on board to work toward a cleaner, more efficient means of living, the world would be a much better place, and for a lot longer too. With the new movement in eco-friendly practices, we now have access to green cleaning products, eco-friendly appliances, homes, vehicles, and more. So there are several facets of life and living that can easily be improved in terms of leading a greener lifestyle! And one fantastic and very necessary place to start is your car. Continue reading to learn some helpful automotive tips for an eco-friendlier way of life.

Drive Less

Vehicles are imperative assets in our lives. They get us to work, school, and more when the time calls. But there are several opportunities to forgo driving, and choose to walk or ride a bike instead. You can even choose to carpool with coworkers or friends to drive less. If you do this at least once per week, you are making a positive impact on the environment.

Keep Your Car as Long as Possible

It’s tempting to trade in your vehicle for a newer model, or buy a new ride after a great job promotion, but keeping your current vehicle for as long as you can is actually the more eco-friendly practice. Having less cars means less toxic emissions and so forth. Keep your inventory of vehicles as low as possible, for as long as you can.

Properly Dispose Old Auto Parts

Car batteries that can be recycled must be recycled properly, and those that are not must be safely disposed of. Proper disposal for other car parts is important too, including old tires, motor oil, car fluids, and more. Metal auto parts can be recycled for cash at your local scrap metal yard or junkyard. All of these practices will instantly help the environment.

Don’t Skip Scheduled Car Maintenance

Factory scheduled car maintenance is vital to the overall performance, safety, and longevity of every vehicle. And it also helps with the budget since it prevents costly breakdowns and repairs. Scheduled car maintenance includes routine fluid changes, filter replacements, brake service, tire service, battery service, alignments, and more. Proper auto care reduces toxic emissions and fuel consumption, and supports a safer, more efficient operation. All this is eco-friendly and better for the environment. Check your owners’ manual for your vehicle’s suggested service schedule, and talk to your mechanic about your car’s individual needs.

Here Automotive Clutch Replacement Tips

Having spent several years in tech support with a company that sells manual transmissions, I have spoken with many customers that have made clutch installation mistakes that cost them dearly in terms of time, money and frustration. These tips are based on my experience with what is frequently overlooked by a novice that is installing a new clutch. This article is NOT a substitute for a good auto repair manual that is specific to the vehicle you are working on! If any of these tips contradict the information in your service manual, follow the service manual instead.

Tip # 1: Lubrication in all the right places (and none of the wrong places!) – Place a light coat of grease on the pilot tip of the input shaft and on the collar that the release bearing slides on. Wipe a VERY light coat of oil on the input shaft splines to prevent rust. Be careful to NOT get any grease on the flywheel, the clutch disc, or the pressure plate.

Tip # 2: Have the flywheel resurfaced, no matter how good it looks. It only costs a few dollars, and the risk of having to remove the transmission again because of a chattering clutch is not worth the money you might save.

Tip # 3: Replace the pilot bearing or bushing. If you don’t have a special pilot bearing puller tool, some service manuals instruct you to remove the old bearing by packing the cavity behind the bearing with grease and using a wooden dowel or old input shaft to drive the old one out. I have found that instead of grease you can use play dough, silly putty, or even some old bread, with equal or better results and way less mess!

Tip # 4: Don’t force anything! If the transmission won’t slide all the way up to the back of the bellhousing, do not draw the transmission up to the bellhousing by tightening the transmission to bellhousing bolts. I can’t tell you how many broken mounting ears and damaged pilot bearings I have seen! If the transmission will not slide all the way in to the bellhousing, then the clutch disc is misaligned or the input shaft is not going into the pilot bearing because the transmission is at an angle. Try this: Install or reattach the clutch linkage, and then have a helper depress the clutch pedal slightly while you wiggle the transmission around to get it aligned. When the clutch disc is released, it will move so that you can get the transmission aligned with the pilot bearing. I fought with a transmission for an hour one time before I thought of this, and then it took about five seconds once I had a helper step on the clutch pedal!

Before tackling your first clutch replacement, I highly recommend reading the complete procedure in a repair manual or factory service manual. Even if you are a seasoned veteran, it doesn’t hurt to take a look at a service manual if you are replacing a clutch in a vehicle you aren’t familiar with.