5 Signs of a Fantastic Auto Shop

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It takes a lot more than comprehensive repair services to snag the title of best collision repair shop in town. Look for a body shop that has built a reputation based on both excellent results and world-class customer service. Unfortunately, a few bad apples mixed with old stereotypes has customers on their guard when considering mechanic shops. Stigmas about suggesting “repairs” that aren’t needed still linger around the industry, but do your research and you’ll know the shop you choose is trustworthy.

If and when the time comes that you need collision repair or classic car restoration, how can you be sure you’re getting the best? Here are a few signs you’re on the right track. Remember—it’s not just the best price or the most five-star reviews that lead you to the right shop. There’s a lot more to it than that.

  1. Jaw-Dropping Galleries

car-engine-3623831_1920If you really want to see what’s in store for you and your car, check out the shop’s galleries. Look for an impressive online portfolio showcasing the talents and skills of highly qualified technicians. From paintless dent removal to complete overhauls—taking junkers to collector status—there’s no job too big or small. The proof is in the pictures.

  1. They Work With Youglass-1749697_1920

A quality body shop has two priorities: Give the customer exactly what they want and keep them safe. Sometimes repairs are wanted purely for aesthetics. Sometimes they’re necessary to keep drivers safe behind the wheel. True professionals treat both of these priorities equally, which is what you deserve.

  1. Endless Testimonials, Referrals, and Reviews

It’s possible to “buy” positive reviews on third-party sites, so be wary of anything that sounds too good to be true. A genuinely high ranking shop has referrals and testimonials you can fact check if necessary. Our shop has countless happy customers who will gladly share their recommendations and are quick to show off their gleaming ride.

  1. Non-Pushy Staff Members

You shouldn’t feel like you fell into a snake pit when you take your car in for a free estimate. There shouldn’t be any pushy salespeople bullying you to choose them or “upselling” when all you wanted was a quote for a single dent removal. At a good shop, every customer and potential customer is treated like family. The team is there when you need it, never pushing add-ons and always revering transparency.

  1. They’ve Been Around the Block

car-2980039_1920It’s not enough to just go local and avoid the big chains. If you really want a flawless job, choose a company that’s been around for a while. Taking pride in their work, every project is treated with the utmost care.

Trusting your car to just anyone is a big mistake. It’s your baby, your first impression on dates and your go-to vehicle to get from Point A to Point B.

 

Planning a Romantic UTV Ride

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Cuffing season is here, and there’s no reason a UTV ride can’t be dripping in romance. After all, the adrenaline is pumping, you have some gorgeous scenery, and with the right amount of cargo space you can pack a great romantic picnic into the mix. If you want to take your paramour on a ride to remember this Valentine’s Day, it’ll take a little bit of prep work. Consider this your ultimate love guide for UTV fans:

  • Get any upgrades done now: Whether you need a new full-tilt windshield, a heater added to your rig, more cargo space, or a roll bar, make sure your UTV is kitted out with all the accessories you want before the big day.
  • Get it clean: You should ideally clean your UTV after every muddy ride, but that doesn’t always happen. Take this time to wash it, detail the insides, and make it worthy of a great date. During this time, you can also check for any damage.
  • Safety first: Before your big date, make sure the tires are in good condition, all the lights work, and take it for a brief spin to make sure all is well. The last thing you want is to be stuck with a flat tire, unable to ride because of a faulty light, or otherwise put you and your date in danger.
  • Map the ride: There are thousands of miles of trail to explore around the country—and a good chance you haven’t seen them all. You have two choices. Go with a trail you know and love, which is a great way to introduce someone to your hobby. Alternatively, you can choose a trail that’s new to both of you and experience the first ride there together. Either way, make sure you know the rules, have any permits required and know how to get to the trail in advance.
  • Pack romance: This is where you can get really personal, so imagine what the ultimate romantic picnic involves. Don’t forget a tarp (in case the ground is wet) and a durable blanket. Be sure to include romantic foods such as fruits, bubbly, s’mores ingredients, and anything else you envision that travels well. Pack food and drinks tightly to avoid destroying them on bumpy trails.
  • Include surprises: There’s a lot you can pack into a UTV—much more than just a picnic! Bringing flowers with you or a romantic playlist can help kick the romance up a notch. Also bring an extra change of unisex clothes, such as a sweater and gloves, just in case the trails are especially wet or muddy.

Long holidays are right around the corner, making it a weekend to get out of town and indulge in some romance. Get all the upgrades you need for a lovely weekend with you and your better half (your date can come, too, of course!).

 

Common Questions About Trucking Accidents

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Getting into an auto collision is one thing. However, when you’re in a trucking accident, you’re facing an entirely new challenge. There are unique laws and rules which can apply to a trucking collision—and also some common questions that will likely pop up. Knowing the basics about trucking accidents can help prepare you for worst case scenarios.

What’s the most common cause of trucking accidents? Unsurprisingly, it’s a tired driver behind the wheel. While there are plenty of laws in place to protect truck drivers from driving fatigued, the truth is that many of them either feel pressured to deliver at a certain date or convince themselves they’re not as tired as they are. Federal guidelines require that no trucker drive over 16 hours in a 24-hour period, but that law is often broken. Driving tired is just as dangerous, if not more so, than driving drunk.

So, Who’s At Fault?

Just like any other auto accident, there’s no one size fits all answer. In fact, when a truck is involved in a collision, there are even more people who may be at fault than the two people behind the wheel. For example, the truck driver’s employer may found to be at fault if they pushed the driver to get (or stay) behind the wheel beyond federal time regulations. A full investigation is necessary in order to determine who’s at fault.

semi-trailers-534577_1920Another big question is how long a person has to file a claim post-accident. Drivers have a two year period in which to file a personal injury claim, but it’s best to do so as soon as possible. If you’re in a collision with a truck driver, that driver likely works for a company which has a team of attorneys on retainer—and their job is to get you to settle as quickly as possible for the lowest possible compensation. The odds are more in your favor if you file immediately and secure your own personal injury attorney.

Questions Everyone Should Ask

“What kind of damages can I claim?” is a question everyone should ask when in a trucking accident. There are many, and they may include lost earning capacity, lost income, medical expenses, physical and emotional pain and suffering, and of course property damage. If you lost a loved one in a trucking accident, you may qualify for a wrongful death lawsuit as well as loss of benefits, loss of companionship, and loss of projected future income.

No matter what, remember that if you accept a settlement, you’re waiving your rights to pursue compensation in a personal injury claim. Oftentimes, settlements aren’t enough to properly compensate a victim. This is especially prevalent if you’re facing medical issues because some issues (such as whiplash) may not be apparent right away. Settling is risky business, especially if you do so without having legal counsel in your corner. Unlike “regular” accidents, dealing with trucking companies can be difficult and you might feel pressured into accepting a settlement you’re not 100 percent comfortable with taking.

 

Best of the Web: Mechanic Slang

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Courtesy of Auto Super Shoppes

Here is some common auto mechanic slang:

  • Aftermarket â€“ Parts made by companies other than the original manufacturer.
  • Baldinis â€“ Heavily worn/bald tyres.
  • Bench â€“ A heavy metal platform used to restore a car’s structural geometry to factory specifications.
  • Breathing â€“ Refers to an engine’s ability to fill its cylinders with the air-fuel mix and then expel exhaust.
  • Dive â€“ The dipping of a car’s nose when brakes are applied.
  • Dyno â€“ Short for “dynometer,” a device that measures an engine’s horsepower.
  • Gas Axe â€“ Cutting torch.
  • Grease Monkey â€“ Mechanic.
  • Hemi â€“ Term that describes any engine with hemispherical combustion chambers on its cylinder head.
  • Kickdown â€“ The downshift in an automatic transmission caused by depressing the throttle.
  • Knock â€“ High frequency vibrations caused by inefficient fuel detonation in the engine.
  • LKQ â€“ “Like Kind and Quality,” meaning a salvaged replacement part that appears to be as good as the original.
  • Menu Pricing â€“ A bundled price for a repair job that includes both parts and labour.
  • Oversquare â€“ An engine whose bore is larger than its stroke.
  • Pent-Roof â€“ A combustion chamber whose upper surface resembles a shallow peaked roof.
  • Pickle Forks â€“ Ball-joint separators.
  • Toe-In â€“ The intentional non-parallel orientation of opposite wheels.

 

Tips for Safely Towing Your UTV

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Whether you have a CF Moto, Arctic Cat or Honda Pioneer, not all UTV owners necessarily have trucks with big enough beds to haul a UTV. Towing your UTV can be done quickly, easily and safely, but not without the right tools and know-how. Unfortunately, many people don’t know how to best tow their UTV to the location where they’re going hunting, off-roading, landscaping or enjoying other activities. As a UTV owner (or hopeful owner), you may have seen dangerous towing practices on the highway ranging from illegal trailers to UTVs that seemed to magically be hanging on by a thread.

 

Bear in mind that if you need to suddenly change lanes, the weight of a UTV alone (no matter how heavy it is) will not be sufficient to keep it on a trailer. However, with the right security systems you can make sudden stops or swerve if necessary, but that should still be avoided. Take some time to ensure you have the right tools before taking your UTV on a joy ride.

Must-Have Features

winch-639703_1920Pick up some D-rings, which are very cost effective and offer additional hook points for trailers. Not all trailers come with “enough” hooks to keep a UTV optimally secured. Also, this can help prevent strap chafing on your machine, which regularly causes straps to break on individuals who haul their UTV often. Next, get a ratcheting strap—especially if you have a heavy UTV. Big ratcheting straps can keep the heaviest of UTVs on a trailer, so make sure you get the largest width possible. Otherwise, a 1,200 pound UTV doesn’t stand a chance.

One of the most important features you have is already on your UTV: The parking brake. It is a fast, simple and free move that might make the difference between a UTV staying on the trailer or not. Remember that there is no such thing as too many straps. The best number is three, and they can help immensely on bumpy roads. Criss-cross the straps to maximize “coverage”.

A Closer Inspection

trailers-1581033_1920No tool will work if it’s broken. Before pulling away, make sure the trailer brake lights are in good working order. The breakaway chains should also be double checked. These are the chains you hook up in case the hitch falters and becomes unattached from the vehicle/trailer. Ensure they are also criss-crossed to keep the trailer stable and straight on the highway.

Double check the trailer tires, lighting and gates, too. Of course, don’t forget about a safety inspection check of the UTV. Nothing is more frustrating than getting to a recreational area and finding out your UTV is in desperate need of maintenance or of a quick fix. Safety always comes first in all aspects of UTV ownership, including the towing stage.