Repair and Disrepair – When Cars Go Wrong

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The two extremes in mechanics jargon, when it comes to repair work, are Running Repair and Invisible Repair. A running repair, for instance, is a repair while a car is in use. An invisible repair is one that you can’t see anything ever went wrong. Normally, repairs on vehicles are somewhere between these.

As cars tend to be so expensive most people just want a repair that works, rather than one where you can’t see any damage. Many things like dents or bubbles in the windscreen may just be ignored; though having pride in your car is a good thing in itself, there’s a good reason to get things fixed while they’re still small issues. Not unlike seeing a dentist, you can put it off but you’re not saving yourself any money, in fact, you pay more in the end.

Some repairs are cheap but may need to be done every six months. Technically we call this preventative maintenance. This includes replacing the fuel filter or battery. Many parts are replaced because they wear out quickly while others are replaced because if they fail the results are more severe.

garage-943249_1920.jpgOther repairs, however, start out expensive from the moment you find out your car needs it. The most expensive job in the car is changing the cylinders which can cost about $10,000 on a standard car. Other expensive jobs are to change a battery on a car which works on hybrid fuel, replacing the transmission and replacing the entire suspension of a car (this might come as a surprise to the layman who might not know there is more than one kind of suspension).

When it comes to do-it-yourself, we find the good the bad and the urban legend. It’s not terribly difficult to replace your own air filter (at least the main one) and because this part should be replaced regularly and affects your fuel economy it’s a good candidate for a do-it-your-selfer. Things like a transmission go firmly into the category of things not to try at home.

When it comes to urban legends…there is a well-established idea that ladies’ tights or stockings can be used to repair fan-belts. This used to be essentially true. However, it might be quite hard to do in a modern car simply because it’s just so hard to find the fan belt. If you have to try this, stretch the tights or stockings as far as they can go, remove the old fan belt and run it around the pulleys that held the old fan belt. It will work better with more than one layer, so presumably, two pairs of tights work better than one. In the end, tie it up with a knot. Then drive immediately to a shop and have a proper fan belt installed.

Unless you simply can’t afford to have your car repaired always do so before selling your car. The value is restored, you’ll find buyers faster because not everyone has the ability to take on a non-running vehicle, and it’s highly unethical to not disclose things you know are wrong with a vehicle you’re selling. So avoid having to spend a bunch of ad space listing what doesn’t work.

And what about if fixing the car is too expensive or just can’t be done? Well, then it must be scrap time. An unrepairable car is issued a special certificate. Often the word “UNREPAIRABLE” emblazoned on its front. In order to obtain an unrepairable certificate, you need proof of ownership and filled in the correct paperwork, which differs from state to state. You also need to surrender the license plate which came with the vehicle. Unless you do this quickly (within ten days of when your car stops working) you may have to surrender your car.

It’s sad when a car goes to the wreckers, but that’s just the way of the world. It’ll happen to all cars one day.  Even yours.

Common Windshield Cracks & Chips

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Getting a cracked or chipped windshield isn’t the end of the world (or your paycheck)—assuming you address it right away. It’s very common and if it’s a small enough chip it can be easily fixed for a low cost in less than a minute. In fact, many insurance policies cover these minor dings without it impacting your rates or having you pay a deductible at all or you can find a great windshield crack promotion at reputable shops. However, things can go bad quickly if drivers don’t take swift action.

There are many causes of cracks and chips, whether it was a rock falling off a service truck, debris on the road “kicked up” by the car in front of you, or the neighborhood kids playing golf a little too close to your daily commuter. Oftentimes, if something hits the perimeter of a windshield, it can lead to a massive crack, but if the center glass is hit, that can mean a “starburst crack.”

From Bad to Worse

child-3593655_1920Crack type is determined by where on the windshield the object hit. “Floater cracks” can happen anywhere that’s farther than about two inches from the perimeter. They can be small but spread over time. “Edge” cracks are generally about a foot long and can form at impact. Aptly named, these cracks occur close to the edge of the windshield within two inches of the edge.

Other times a chip can turn into a crack. For the most part, cracks which are smaller than six inches can be fixed so there’s no need for windshield replacement. What most people don’t realize is that there are several types of cracks, and each one might require a different approach to fix. For example, there’s the “Bull’s Eye” which happens when a circular object makes the impact, and basically looks like a bigger chip.

Types of Cracks

A Combination Break is the name for several cracks and chips. A Ding is what many people say when they mean a chip. There’s also the Half Moon, which is kind of like a Bull’s Eye but not perfectly circular. It’s officially a Long Crack when it’s longer than six inches and almost always requires a replacement. The Stone Break usually begins as a chip but is solely caused by a stone or rock.

windshield-245281_1920Finally, there’s the Stress Crack. This can happen without the windshield being impacted by anything, and temperature extremes or swings are often to blame. If a car gets overheated simply idling in the sun, if the A/C is blasted too high and too long, or if you make the mistake of removing frost by pouring boiling water on it, Stress Cracks can happen. These cracks are mostly straight and can be tested with a pen—simply run a ballpoint pen across the crack and if it doesn’t dip, it’s a stress crack (with a stress crack, glass isn’t actually missing).

Finally

Seek a professional auto-glass repair tech to fix windows and if they advise you to have the window replaced, do it. Sometimes a crack can form between pre-existing chips and cause a window to fail quicker than you’d think.

Movies Starring UTVs!

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When you have a UTV, you see it everywhere—and that’s just how you like it! Many UTV riders seek out films and videos that feature their model or one very similar. It’s exciting to see your machine in action, complete with an all-star cast and killer score.

Crusty Demons of Dirt” (all films in the series) is the raw cult classic that kick-started the moto-x freestyle movement. In November of 1999, it got the Product of the Decade award from Dirt Rider Magazine and is a beloved classic by any and all motorbike lovers.

This film whisks you away on an African safari where the biggest dunes in the world are tackled. Featuring Bubba, Seth Enslow, and crew, it’s part Discovery Channel and part sheer craziness.

The “Terrafirma” series, especially 2 and 4, shows spectacular riding that’s perfectly edited with a soundtrack that’s nearly required on any off-trail expedition.

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“Redline 4 Life” showcases some of the most outlandish stunts that have ever been done on dirt bikes and UTVs, but a big “Don’t try this at home!” warning can’t be repeated enough.

Starring Roles

Check out The ATV Movie: “Revolutionary” to see the top riders in the world showing off their skills. Some are the underdogs of the motorsports world, coming from premier ATV practice tracks. Others show what they can do in their own backyards. Freestyle teams from around the globe are highlighted with crazy riding, unbelievable stunts, and reveal in the commentary and interviews what drives them to make their world all about UTVs.

“Butter” is another option (no, not the Jennifer Garner flick). This one is from G3 Productions and delivers the best riding in one sweet package. It follows the lives of the best UTV stunt masters in the world all in HD quality. The Guetter brothers are behind this production, traveling to awesome vistas around the US. It’s a new glimpse into the world of off-roading.

Producer Derek Guetter says, “They are going to blow people’s minds with the best riders and incredible stunning locations!”

It features big jumps, gorgeous dunes, and tracks that are sheer perfection.

Vicarious Goodness

Some things you definitely don’t want to experience for yourself, like the majority of what’s featured in the “Best of Huevos,” DVD. From Wes Miller and H Bomb Films comes some of the best UTV footage on the planet. Specializing in crashes, this DVD is the production of 12 years of labor. The Huevos series is one of the most beloved of extreme riders, but definitely serves as a warning of what not to do on your own UTV!

Just like boxers love boxing movies and singers love a good musical, UTV riders need and deserve their own homage videos. If you’re a rider, take care of your rig, and let these films take care of your craving for adventure when staying inside is on the itinerary.

Proving Negligence After a Trucking Accident

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If you’ve been in a trucking collision, the first step is proving negligence and this can be more challenging than people realize. This is why working with a reputable attorney is a must—they know what judges and juries look for with negligence, how to pinpoint the right evidence and how to present it in the best light. However, it’s also important for you to know the key points in proving negligence to make the most of your case.

Duty Calls

Every driver on the road has a duty, but truck drivers have a little more duty than the average commuter taking the kids to school. Duties include obeying traffic laws, defensive driving and basically doing your best to make sure the road is as safe as possible. Of course, truckers have more laws to follow than other drivers and they may also be bound by the laws and regulations of their employer. Proving that duty was not followed is an integral aspect of proving negligence.

Factual Causes

truck-driver-614191_1920The second step is for the plaintiff to show evidence that injuries were directly caused by the negligence (and breach of duty) of the other driver. These injuries cannot be caused by anything else, and this is where things can get tricky. For example, there may be previous injuries that were exacerbated by the accident (which may be a cause in fact) or perhaps the driver was already injured in a completely unrelated incident. Expert witnesses such as physicians may be necessary for this stage.

Showing Proximate Cause

A driver is held responsible for someone else’s injuries if a proximate cause (such as driving recklessly) is proven to have caused injuries. Anyone behind the wheel knows that reckless driving is dangerous and can cause serious injuries. Therefore, driving recklessly means that driver is liable because they could have foreseen the injury. On the other hand, if the accident was truly an accident and no reckless driving was involved, there is no negligence and no liability.

Determining Damages

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Once all other aspects of negligence have been adequately proven, the damages come into play. During this stage, the plaintiff has to prove not only that the other person was negligent and caused injuries, but showcase exactly what the damages are. This may be proven via medical records and expert witnesses as well as any police reports.

Sometimes, the truck driver’s employer may be found negligent, too. Perhaps it wasn’t necessarily the truck driver’s fault, but the rig wasn’t maintained or the driver didn’t receive training for the vehicle. Sometimes both the driver and the employer may be found at fault. If you’re the victim of a truck accident, you have many tools at your disposal including police reports, witnesses, medical records and an attorney you’ve chosen with experience in negligent trucking cases.