What to Know About: Auto Damage »
When a car is damaged by an accident or weather, what can be repaired and what must be replaced? Or is it time to buy a new car?
7200 Independence Pkwy Ste 224Plano, TX 75025
What can I say, I love AAA. I have been a Member with AAA Roadside for the past six years. AAA has always taken care of me and family. AAA was quick to the rescue when ever we had car issues, or we locked are keys in the car. I recently purchased auto and home insurance with AAA. The insura…
5445 Belt Line RdDallas, TX 75254
My interaction with this AAA Insurance office has always been pleasent. The agents there are smart, informative and caring. They have been able to save me over $350 a year on my auto insurance. I used their AAA roadside assistance last week and the tow truck was at my location within 30 minutes …
941 Macarthur Park Ste 100Irving, TX 75063
I had visited the Irving AAA Texas office to pick-up free maps that came with my membership. Little did i know they offered insurance as i only knew them for their membership. I received an auto and home insurance quote and they saved me $412 a year from Allstate, with higher coverages... I was …
When a car is damaged by an accident or weather, what can be repaired and what must be replaced? Or is it time to buy a new car?
Every time I went here, it took at least 3 attempts before anything was finally done semi-right. First were the doors, they filled in scratches and repainted. I had to go back twice because it looked and felt rough, but on the third trip it looked good. No fading, peeling or cracking so far (2 years).The back quarter panels were next. They actually do good body work on small problems (small dents here). The paint quality was good but they didn't even match the back bumper at all. Had them redo it (2 more days).. (might I add that the constant need to leave the car there for 2 days, then a week, then 3 more days, it gets extremely tiresome especially if you don't have an alternate vehicle.)Anyway 2 more days, I got it back. Everything matched, everything looked good. The paint has stood up since I got it done. The kicker: I was rear ended about a year after I got these parts painted. Since it wasn't my fault, I had a dealership paint the back bumper, lo and behold, it didn't match! They used the official factory paint color which made it painfully obvious that Maaco, instead of repainting with the correct color, covered their tracks, didn't bother mixing anymore paint and just went ahead and took my factory paint off the back bumper and painted it with theirs. When I found out I was pissed, but since I had the car paid off by then, and I knew the new paint was now factory at least on the bumper, and you couldn't really notice TOO badly (meaning mostly you could unless you were looking at something else). The car is good to me, I was tired of wasting money and time so I didn't bother fighting it. Not only that, I had moved and getting the car 2 hours down there wait on it, and drive back was just too much of a hassle.Next the roof; I had to take it back twice, they painted over a lot of the weather stripping. He said, oh bring it back and we'll clean it up, no worries. I did, and it looked better but still not great. It was obvious by the thicker paint around the corners of the roof that they didn't even bother taking anything apart, just taped the edges, sanded, primed and went to town. The area with sun damage I was primarily getting it painted for was still ripply and orange-peely after they were done. Still, I'm so cheap and the car isn't that expensive, and it looked ok from far away, I wasn't going to have a hernia over it.The last and final pain in my side: I had run into a truck's trailor hitch at a red light. It left a little Square sized mark on the front bumper, kinda like a cookie cutter does to dough. Bummer. So I asked them about just fixing it and repainting. They said it was cheaper to get a refurbished new bumper painted and put on. I went with it. So I prepaid for the new bumper. Leave it for a week, come back and they HAD MY OLD BUMPER ON IT. I'm like what the crap? I paid for a new bumper? He plays dumb like "oh I thought I was just supposed to repair it and recondition the old bumper". I'm like, no I prepaid before you even started for the new bumper. I mean it was clear that they didn't even take the old paint off, they PAINTED OVER BUGS. WTF. Anyway, so it took another 4 days and they put the new bumper on. Was ok, by no means good, orange peel everywhere. I drove to Dallas after this, and started hearing this horrible sound. I start freaking out like omg my car is gonna break down. I pull over at West End and get out, I look, they had left a pair of pliers with the handles up against my timing belt! It wore the rubber down to the metal. Thank god it didn't break the belt! Oh and about 6 months after that, the clear coat on the bumper started peeling very badly. I'm sick of wasting the time and energy dealing with these people. I have spent so much nonsensical time in this place that should have never happened. I found the more and more I went there, the crappier and crappier of a job they started doing and the less nice they became and the less willing they were to make me happy.
Extremely satisfied client here , great pricing and unbelievably low pressure environment. Ron our sales person was awesome and very attentive to our needs . Conrad the finance manager got us the best financing deal. Definitely will return to buy again and recommend this dealership.Best price on our 2015 Lexus RX350 and I searched all over nationwide.1
He was great and helpful, I received nothing but great service all thorough the process.
Auto Merchants employees are very kind and patient. The process was easy.
Great price service and friendly staff , I was very pleased with the work they did on my car thank you guys
Easy to deal with and I appreciate their straight forward approach.
WOW! Automerchants had the exact car i wanted and it was the cheapest priced online (AutoTrader,http://Cars.com) without any accidents. 2009 BMW 335 with low miles loaded nav everything. I highly reccommend this dealership!!!! Always buying my cars from Amanda! 5 Stars
Sid has been very thoughtful and have listened to the buyer.
This is our third car from here and we are very satisfied with all three deals. They were very quick and very helpful.
All staff were professional and courteous. Would n't go any other place. Thank you.
If you're like most people, you don't give another thought to the water that goes down the drain after washing dishes, taking a shower, or flushing the toilet. But, if you are one of the many homeowners who rely on a septic tank to dispose of your wastewater, it would be smart to give your septic system some attention every so often.
There are four main parts to your septic system:
It's the homeowner's responsibility to make sure all four parts of your septic system are in working order. A failed septic system is costly to repair or replace, can lead to health hazards in your home and community, and may even lower property values in your neighborhood.
Every homeowner who uses a septic system needs to ensure it stays functional. There are three elements to maintaining the system:
Inspecting a Septic System
Inspections should be at least an annual task. Some systems may require more frequent inspections. A homeowner can perform these inspections on his or her own, but hiring a professional is recommended. Contractors who regularly work with these systems generally have a better idea of what to look for and can better identify problems.
To begin, locate your septic tank. If the entry point is buried and there is no map, start by looking at the direction of the outbound pipes in your basement. Follow the pipes' direction into your backyard to locate the tank. When you think you're close, insert a probe into the soil until you find the piping. Your inspector should come ready with an insulated probe to use.
You should only have to go through this process one time. Once you find the piping and the tank, sketch a map for future use. Doing so will not only benefit you and future contractors you hire, but also the next owner of the home.
When the tank is located, you or the contractor will have to dig to uncover the manhole cover to access the tank's interior. Next, test your household water systems to make sure the septic system is working properly. Flush the toilets, turn on the faucets, and run any appliances that use water, like the dishwasher or washing machine. If water drains noticeably slowly, there could be an issue in your septic system that needs immediate attention.
Once you've determined that the system is in good order, it's time to measure the sludge and scum levels. Sludge collects at the bottom of the tank and is comprised of solid wastes. Scum floats to the top of the tank and is comprised of fats and oils. Both enter the tank through the inlet tee baffle, or the pipe that directs outbound water from the home to the tank. On the opposite side of the tank is the outlet tee baffle, which directs treated water to a second compartment in the tank for further treatment, or to the drain field. This baffle is the marker to measure scum and sludge against.
Scum levels should be at least 3 inches above the bottom of the outlet tee baffle. Sludge levels should be no more than 1 foot below the bottom of the baffle. If either of these are closer to the bottom of the baffle than they should be, it's time to have the tank pumped.
Next, take a look at the drain field, tank walls, and pipes. Any cracks in the walls or pipes need to be addressed right away to prevent septic system failure. The drain field should not have any odd or foul smells, and the grass shouldn't be soggy or full of puddles. Uncommonly green grass is also a sign that the drain field isn't functioning properly.
Pumping is usually necessary every three to five years, but it ultimately depends on the size of the tank, the number of people in the household, and the types of appliances that are used. For example, a family of six with a 1,000-gallon tank might pump every 1.5 years, but a family of three with the same size tank might pump closer to every four years. Additionally, garbage disposals fill up the septic tank more quickly and result in the need to pump more often.
A professional should always pump the tank. They will have the right equipment and expertise to know how to safely and effectively remove the sludge and scum from the tank. Additionally, the fumes that are emitted from the tank are noxious and can be dangerous if inhaled.
Always be present for the pumping process. Though the contractor will have the right education and experience to do this task properly, it's important that you oversee the project. The maintenance of your septic system is ultimately your responsibility, not the contractor's. When observing the contractor's work, make sure:
Septic System Failure Prevention
While inspections are usually an annual task and pumping occurs two or three times per decade, prevention is something that must always be kept in mind.
Never flush or pour chemicals down the drain. This includes, but is not limited to:
Introducing these substances to your septic system can cause damage to the tank or piping and contaminate the groundwater in your area.
Don't flush garbage down the toilet, including:
Practice water conservation to prevent flooding your system. Though your tank can handle many gallons of water, too much water at one time can overwork the system and cause solid waste to enter the drain field. Some tips for water conservation include:
Preventing septic system failure also involves keeping the drain field clear. Never drive or park over the drain field, and don't allow livestock to walk over it. Heavy equipment should also be kept away from this area.
In general, a septic system is safe and easy to maintain, especially if you regularly inspect and pump it. However, there may come a time when you run into a problem that needs to be addressed quickly and correctly.
Clogs or backups are usually caused by improper or too-infrequent pumping. Your tank is completely full, and solid waste is being forced through the outlet tee baffle and clogging it. Some signs that you have a clog include:
To address this problem, call a professional to clean out your tank right away.
Broken Lines or Pipes
Broken elements of your septic system need to be addressed as soon as they are spotted. A number of factors can cause baffles, lines, and pipes to break or crack, including:
Using a special camera, a contractor should be able to locate the crack or leak and replace the part.
To prevent pipe damage, call 811 before you begin any project that would require you to dig. A professional can detect which areas you need to stay away from. Remember, there could be more than just your septic system beneath your land - wires and cables may also run through your property.
Prevent damage due to tree roots by periodically having a professional take a look at the trees nearby and assess their risk. Don't attempt to remedy the issue yourself using chemicals like copper sulfate or by cutting down the tree. A professional will know how to solve the problem for the long term and should be knowledgeable of any local environmental regulations regarding chemicals.
When a septic system is working properly and is adequately maintained, harmful bacteria will be removed and won't affect the groundwater, people living in the home, or neighbors. However, a septic system failure comes with health risks that are best to avoid as much as possible.
Illnesses Caused by Failed Septic Systems
Nitrates normally get filtered out before wastewater reaches the drain field. However, if they are still mixed in with the water exiting the septic tank and make their way into drinking water, they can lead to an illness that affects infants. Methemoglobinemia, more commonly referred to as "blue baby syndrome," reduces infants' ability to move oxygen through their blood.
Other diseases that are associated with failed septic systems include:
Water Pollution Caused by Failed Septic Systems
If your septic system is near a body of water, there is a chance that harmful bacteria and viruses from a failed septic system could spread farther than your property using the local waterways. Nutrients in the wastewater can cause algae to grow much faster than normal, blocking necessary sunlight from shining into the water to support other plant and animal life. Additionally, these plants will reduce oxygen levels in the water, leaving the environment less habitable for some animal life.
Too much algae and other plant life can also reduce the ability for people to use a body of water for recreational purposes. What's more, the bacteria and viruses included in the wastewater can also cause disease in the people swimming, boating, or fishing in the water. Fish and shellfish can also become contaminated, making them harmful to eat.
Your septic system is highly important to your home, and as such, it's vital to find a good company to help you with maintenance. Before hiring anyone, do some research into the company. Look online for reviews and testimonials. Also, ask your friends, family, or colleagues who have septic systems who they work with and why.
Program Benefits and Costs
Every contractor will offer different products and programs, even though they'll generally be able to accomplish the same tasks. Be sure to read the fine print and determine what services the company includes in their different programs.
These programs will also vary in cost between different contractors. In 2016, septic tank pumping and cleaning cost anywhere from $200 to $900, with most people spending about $375. Compare and contrast pricing as well as services covered by the program you choose.