How to Winterize Your Car »
All it takes is a little preparation to get your car winter-ready and to keep from getting into an icy situation.
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All it takes is a little preparation to get your car winter-ready and to keep from getting into an icy situation.
No matter whether an accident involved a freshly licensed teen or an experienced driver, knowing what to do (or not do) is essential to bouncing back.
It’s time to bring long sleeves and long pants out of storage, prep your home and car, and contact the cool weather home/yard contractors.
I first found Mr. Peter Hennessy's name in a 2/12 "Automotive News" article. He was quoted due to the fact that he is Chairman of the Lexus Dealer Advisory Council. On 11/4/12, I asked his help in finding out why I had a 2 hour drive to my nearest Lexus Dealer, yet Mercedes, BMW, and Hyundai dealers are very close to my home. He not only found out, and diplomatically explained it to me, after going to Lexus Corporate in CA on a business trip, but he also helped me find, and get, with his New Car Sales Mgr.'s help, a 2013 Lexus LS 460 with 18" vs. 19" wheels on it. For some unknown reason, Lexus Corporate was, at first, only sending the 18" wheeled LS 460's to West Coast Lexus Dealers? So, Jay Burnett, the New Car Sales Mgr., suggested the "Pull Ahead" Program which was a new BOS Delivery System that reduced the lee time it takes to special order a new car from Japan from 90/120 days to 45/60 days. I was skeptical throughout the process, but it all worked out very well. I got the car I wanted, in the time frame I wanted it, and Mr. Hennessy kept his word to me that he would give me a price that I was comfortable with, on the exact car/options configuration that I wanted. It was a pleasure dealing with a true professional like Mr. Hennessy who, although a very busy man, and who probably doesn't usually work directly with sales prospects , was prompt in answering questions, and made sure I was taken care of even after he turned my over to others at his dealership. All the people at the dealership were very helpful and friendly, especially Eric Fischer, the sales person assigned to help us quickly learn our new car, when we picked it up after a 6 hour drive to get to Hennessy Lexus of Atlanta. The only negative about my experience is that their Parts Department had totally different information regarding touch up paint for my new car than three other Lexus Dealer Parts Departments had. Mr. Burnett finally got to the bottom of the problem and told me "There was an issue with our system not showing the correct product." The touch up paint was part of my purchase, and the delay in getting it was no big deal, but I still don't understand why their "system" showed something different than three other dealer's systems. All Lexus "Parts" Systems should show exactly the same information on two different touch up paint part numbers. One is the "BC", or "base coat", and the other is the pearlescent top coat.
I started going to Larry Johnson's Buckhead Auto Center over a couple of years ago when I was in graduate school and on a tight budget. I needed to find a mechanic who would not overcharge me, so I did my research and read reviews for different mechanics in Atlanta. My most recent experience only affirmed my high opinion of Larry and Buckhead Auto: A tree fell on my car (crazy, I know), and I drove it to the mechanic closest to my house for fear it would not make it any farther. That mechanic gave me a quote that was well outside of my budget. I called Buckhead Auto for advice, and they gave me a much more affordable quote. I got my vehicle to Buckhead Auto, although I got lost along the way as they have moved locations. Hiram stayed on the phone with me to direct me there, and he was kind enough to come stand on Peachtree Road and wave so I would see where the new shop location was. Josh, one of the mechanics, immediately came out to asses my car and speak with me about what had happened. I spoke with Larry on the phone a few days later, and he advised me that because of the high mileage on my car, how old it was, and the damage done by the tree, that I should consider getting a new car. He of course would be happy to fix my car if that is what I wanted, but he told me if I were his niece, he would advise me to get a newer, safer car. He answered my questions, offered advice, and kept my car there for a week and half while I thought out all of my options. He could have made a lot of money off of me by fixing my car, but instead he was honest. I followed his advice, and I traded in what was left of my old for a new car. Despite the time the spent assessing my vehicle and the time he spent advising me, Larry did not charge me for anything. I feel confident and safe in my new vehicle, and I am glad I already know what mechanic I will go to with it! Larry Buckhead Auto Center is not a place where you feel pampered or get to sit in a luxury waiting area, but it is a place where you will get the best rates and will be treated with honesty. If you want an honest mechanic, go here!
When my 2005 Toyota Prius suffered a scratch on the bottom panel, I immediately scheduled my appointment with Jim Ellis Collision Center. Let’s face it – they are experts. Even though I am sure all the repair guys are great, we were lucky to get Michael Antonovich. He kept in constant contact with us as to what phase Jim Ellis was with the repair and THE CAR LOOKS LIKE NEW. Even though the car is a hybrid, they had no trouble in fixing it. They even said they had a man on staff that had worked with hybrid vehicles. For those customers who complain that the collision department may be a little slow, please thank your insurance companies. If it weren’t for professional collision centers, consumers would be taken for “a ride” each and every time we went to get our car repaired. From my insurance agent, I received an initial check for $650. The final repair cost $3000. Without the help of professionals who make insurance companies replace damaged parts with NEW parts, who knows what kind of repair I would have come away with? We as consumers do not have it in our DNA make up to have to fight with insurance companies to get the true repair dollar value when we go in to have our cars fixed. I thank Jim Ellis for being there to represent me, to fix my car but mostly for being one of the most courteous staffs I have ever had the pleasure of dealing with.
There are more than 700,000 auto service technicians and mechanics in the U.S. Finding the right one to repair a dent in your car door or fix an engine that won't start can be overwhelming, especially when it's an emergency. Review a few important facts about auto repair professionals and what you can do to get the best possible mechanic working on your vehicle's issues for a fair price.
Looking For Reliability
Unlike home repair services that evaluate a property, meet with homeowners and have time to prepare before their physical work begins, auto repair businesses are often asked to make fixes on the spot. If you come into a garage with a tire issue, the expectation is the mechanic will know how to correct that problem quickly.
That is why reliability is so vital when searching for a trusted auto repair shop. It may take going to several different mechanics before you find one you are truly comfortable with. Pose questions to this professional to find out what approach they will take to repair your car or what alternatives are available. Shopping around also gives you the best opportunity to find the cheapest rate or the fastest service, as some garages may be backed up with other vehicles that need repair first.
A recommended way to locate a trustworthy auto repair professional is to seek out customer reviews. Online sites offer honest opinions from real customers who have used a business. Read through this feedback to learn how a business operates and what you can expect if you were to take your vehicle there. Look for reviews about how quick maintenance was completed and if prices were fair. By learning what other people have said about a garage, you can gain a better idea if it's the right place to go when you have a car problem in need of fixing.
It can be difficult to know which automotive problems are serious enough to require expert assistance. A ripped seat cushion or broken radio don't involve safety and will not warrant enough of a problem that going into a garage is required. However, setbacks with brakes, lights and other parts that are vital to the safety of your car's driver and passengers, as well as others on the road, necessitate quick fixes. Many modern automobiles will notify drivers of an issue, in the form of a signal on the dashboard or a noise within the vehicle.
In the event of an accident, even if your vehicle does not appear to have any damage on the outside, it is generally recommended that you see a trusted auto repair professional. Internal damage may have occurred, or an important part may have been knocked out of place. Fixing these issues before driving much further can prevent further vehicle breakdowns in the future. In the case of a serious accident, a body shop can assess the problems and determine the best course of action for repairs, as well as evaluate how much they will cost.
Beyond that, regular checkups are recommended. Tires must be rotated, fluids needs to be replaced and the engine must be evaluated. After driving 25,000 miles, most auto dealers suggest having the vehicle checked out to ensure everything is running smoothly. Taking the car into the auto repair professional you trust will protect you from further problems down the road.
Not every type of auto repair work needs to be done by a certified mechanic. You can fix some of a vehicle's issues just by paying attention to how the automobile is running and having a basic understanding of auto repair. Look over the ways weather may impact your car and what preventative measures you can take to avoid having to take it into the shop. At the same time, be aware of mechanic scams that can impact your experience.
Preventing Trips To The Professional
Some fixes to your car can be done without paying a specialist. Issues like replacing oil and air filters are relatively simple, with instructions provided in the owner's manual on how to make these changes. The same goes for replacing broken windshield wipers or burnt-out headlights. Such issues should be repaired quickly to guarantee safety, but don't require a visit to a garage. By handling these types of tasks on your own, you'll gain a better understanding for how your car operates and save time and money.
Along with understanding how to fix manageable vehicle issues that may arise, taking preventative measures to avoid future problems is a valuable time saver. Many problem-solving best practices are related to the seasons. Your vehicle will be in different conditions in the winter than in the summer, meaning it requires a different type of preparation.
In the spring and summer, you want to be sure your air conditioner and cooling systems work correctly. Given the high temperatures the vehicle will be exposed to, overheating is a common problem. Look over the system by ensuring there is enough coolant available. If it needs to be refilled, it is best to open the hood and add more to the car before it gets too warm out. Also, clean out fan ducts and other ventilation sources necessary for summertime driving.
For winter driving, features such as the defroster, heater and exhaust system are paramount. Look in your owner's manual for specific directions on how features should be checked and repaired. Many newer cars have a cabin air filter that can be replaced when needed, allowing warm air to continue to flow in. Also, check your tires before winter driving, as they need to be at the proper pressure to perform well on snow and ice.
There is a common worry among many people that auto repair professionals take advantage of the general public. Because so many people are unaware of how to fix the problems in their vehicle, they are nervous of being overcharged by mechanics or worried that the improper work is being done.
While the great majority of professionals in the industry are honest, hard-working people, a few bad apples can ruin everything. You should be extra careful when first visiting a mechanic to guarantee that the price you're charged and maintenance the vehicle receives are fair.
Among the common scams pulled are needless repairs, where a garage charges you for work that isn't necessary. Another popular one is attracting customers through a cheap oil change or tire pressure check. Then, when you are in the shop and your car is being repaired, they give you a long list of other corrections they'd like to make, therefore boosting the total cost of your bill.
The best way to combat these types of problems is getting a written estimate before work is done. That way, you can see how much repairs are expected to cost. If the final bill is higher than the estimate projected, ask to specifically see the work. Make sure information is put in writing as well. If a problem remains, you can have proof that work was not done to your satisfaction.
By working closely with an auto repair professional and doing some of the tune-up work on your own, you will be less likely to fall for these scams. At the same time, you'll be able to drive out with a clean and healthy vehicle, thanks to the repairs made by a trained professional.