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Month: June 2019

Automotive Service Facility Secrets That Will Save You Money

Posted on June 6, 2019 in Uncategorized

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 retrieve 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 automotive 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 with the vehicle at that time. At that point you can make a determination where the technician is at in diagnosing your vehicle and you can then decide how much more time you are willing to let him spend on it. Don’t be afraid to push the service adviser 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 wasn’t any of the parts but some other underlying problem. Again you should instruct the service adviser to call you as soon as they suspect a part and want to replace it and if it is not the problem will you be charged for that part.

  • Generally dealerships will treat you better

Automotive service dealerships normally 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.

Six Tips for Thwarting Auto Thieves with an Automotive Security System

Posted on June 5, 2019 in Uncategorized

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (www.ojp.usdoj.gov) over three quarters of all crimes in the U.S. are made up of property crimes and certainly automobile theft is among the most prevalent. Automobiles are easier targets than homes in many cases as they are high dollar items, in high demand, and can be driven away within seconds leaving behind virtually no clues as to the identity of the thief.

Although manufacturers have continued to provide basic automotive security features, additional measures are needed as thieves continue to adapt to devices on the market.

For first time buyers unfamiliar with the options, the decisions related to purchasing an automotive security system can be daunting. However, there are a core set of features that should be considered which will help consumers select an effective system with less frustration.

o An automotive security system should provide a first line of defense that warns would be intruders that a particular vehicle is protected. Some type of visual reminder such as a flashing light on the dash or stickers that indicate security are simple deterrents.

o A second line of defense is audible alerts; sirens and alarms that sound when a breach is attempted. This security feature brings unwanted attention to the break in and slows the thief down in attempts to eliminate the sound. These should be sufficiently sensitive and should detect any breach. They should trigger when windows are broken, doors are opened, the hood is raised, and so forth. Motion detectors and infrared sensing are common. A good siren will continue to operate even when power from the battery is cut off in attempt to eliminate the warning. Some of the best automotive security systems will also notify the owner when a breach occurs so that they can check on the vehicle or notify law enforcement.

o Another feature of an effective automotive security system is an immobilizer or kill switch to shut off the ignition/starter or perhaps the fuel pump. Certainly, such features make driving off with the car extremely difficult. Some systems will even lock the hood when activated to prevent access to the engine and other mechanical components. At this point it is also important to consider that a device that is located so that it is difficult for thieves to find and disable can be critical as well as this can additionally delay the thief.

o As thieves have continued to adapt to newer automotive security systems, higher tech methods are employed to gain access to vehicles. Code rolling is an excellent feature that prevents thieves from picking up the codes used to gain entry to the car by using a type of code grabbing device. Code rolling changes the codes used by a driver’s keyless entry device each time it is used.

o Another option to consider is a tracking system. As far as automotive security systems are concerned these are not a deterrent but a retrieval system. This type of security system allows a vehicle to be tracked and recovered if it is stolen. Some systems are activated only once law enforcement is notified but ideally the system would activate immediately once the car is taken. Some of these systems will notify the owner by e-mail, pager, or phone when the car is moved.

o A final consideration when purchasing an automotive security system is how effective it will be in avoiding annoying false alarms. Some systems can have the sensitivity adjusted to keep false alarms to a minimum while others are able to identify malfunctioning sensors and shut them down until repaired. Newer automotive security systems also offer dual zone sensing which produce only a small chirping alarm for minor occurrences, such as a bump on the side of the car versus a full blown alarm for more intrusive occurrences.

Certainly cars are a significant investment that is attractive to amateur as well as professional car thieves but consumers can tilt the odds significantly in their favor with the addition of an up-to-date automotive security system.

Driving Conveniently With the Help of Smart Automotive Electronics

Posted on June 4, 2019 in Uncategorized

We live in the digital age where technology makes our lives easier each day. Advance medical equipments are created to help doctors treat patients, kitchen tools are innovated to make it easier for home makers, and cars are made smarter to make driving easier for humans.

Automotive electronics paved the way for helpful features like anti-lock braking systems (ABS) and automatic weather adjustments which makes driving safer and more comfortable.

Car manufacturers spend about two thousand dollars in automotive electronics for every car that comes out of the assembly line. These automotive electronics transform the car into a vehicle with better performing engine, more adaptive entertainment systems, and safety features that are far more superior than its predecessors.

Automotive Electronics of the Modern Car

o Control Area Network or CAN – There are several computers that run a modern car. The CAN is a network of computers that play vital roles in the different functions of the engine and its peripherals. The CAN serves as the bridge for the different computers so they can communicate with one another so everything are well coordinated. CAN controls the functions like cruise control, engine management, and the ABS.

o Fuel Efficiency- automotive electronics can save a car owner hundreds of dollars in fuel consumption. This is done through the EFI or Electronic Fuel Injection technology which ensures that the engine’s fuel consumption is at its optimal. In hybrid cars, a driver can easily switch from using gas and electronic power supply to run the vehicle.

o Safety Devices- Most safety system is controlled by automotive electronics. Devices like the Acceleration Slip Regulation, Traction Control, Electronic Stability and Dynamic Steering wheel ensure the safety of the driver and the passengers. The simple but complicated timing of airbags during a road collision is also controlled by advanced automotive systems.

o Added Features- Some cars today can even park themselves without any assistance from the driver. All the calculations are done by a computer making sure the car will not hit anything by making references to other cars and different objects in its surrounding.

One cannot imagine the evolution that took place with automotive electronics. The Apollo 11 which landed on the moon ran on a memory which is 150 kilobytes only. The sound systems of our cars today are running on 500 kilobytes of memory to ensuring our entertainment pleasure. Automotive electronics have gone far beyond entertainment and enhanced modern day vehicles in terms of safety, efficiency, and convenience.

The automotive industry projects billions of investments and sales in developing cars that are smarter, more fuel efficient and more environment-friendly in the future. Modern cars can be the answer to alleviate the adverse condition of the environment and the rising price of fuel all over the globe.

Cars are being developed to scan the traffic, the road, and all hazards so it can drive itself while the driver can do anything that he wants while in motion. The future cars can think for themselves with the aid of advanced automotive electronics. In that way, driving will be more than getting from one place to another.

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