Most cars are a good deal if you pay what they’re worth. The trick is full disclosure. Don’t overpay for your next vehicle. Get a pre-purchase inspection from a professional like Tire Kickers.
Most cars are a good deal if you pay what they’re worth. The trick is full disclosure. Don’t overpay for your next vehicle. Get a pre-purchase inspection from a professional like Tire Kickers.
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
Crack 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.
Finally, 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).
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.
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.
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.
The 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.
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.
From Utah to New York, collision services are in high demand during the hunting season—but it’s not ghosts or goblins you need to watch out for. Deer collisions spike during the month of October throughout the nation. Cap that off with one of the biggest drinking holidays of the year on the 31st, and this autumnal month is a witch’s brew of road disasters waiting to happen. You can only avoid so much with defensive driving skills, but don’t worry. If collision repair is in need, a qualified repair shop can get you back on the road well before that Thanksgiving road trip.
Whitetail deer are racing across the roads until December, and the fall is the mating season as well as hunting season. This means the does are more anxious than usual, willing to gamble on a streak across a highway rather than get caught by a randy buck. In some states, there are over one million whitetails which means the odds of meeting one in the road during peak season is pretty high.
The odds of a fatality from a deer crash are relatively low, but they can still cause a lot of damage. To avoid a collision, remember that dusk and dawn are particularly activity hours for deer. Drive slower, be aware of your surroundings, and know that if you spot one deer that are probably many more nearby. They travel in groups, so if a single deer crosses a road other might be close behind.
Like people, deer are creatures of habit so take those deer crossing signs seriously. If you get a literal deer in the headlights, break to avoid hitting it if possible but never serve. You’re choosing the chance of crashing into another car or a tree instead of the deer, both of which are better crash choices if you have to make that call.
Steps to Take
Deer whistles for cars have proven to be pretty useless, so depending on your driving skills instead. Most of the time, hitting an animal will kill it, and once you’ve made sure everyone in the car is alright and police have been notified, also alert the department that handles road kill in your region. It’s technically legal to keep an animal carcass for your own use in some states (such as for the hide), but you’ll still be required to report it to the authorities for a certificate of possession. After the dust has settled, it’s time to assess the damage and get your ride back in order.
If it’s not totaled, a qualified collision shop has the skills and technology to return your vehicle to like-new condition. It’s important to get this taken care of right away since you might not realize just how dangerous a crashed car can be. It might look ugly bug functional—but what if the side panel is now rubbing against the wheel, threatening a sudden flat on the interstate? Most comprehensive insurance policies will cover these repairs, excepting the deductible, so consider this a strong recommendation to upgrade from liability only in case Bambi makes a run for it.
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.
If 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.
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.
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.
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.
It’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.
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.
Another 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.
It’s unfortunate when someone’s temper ends in death, but we can’t really blame the road as much as the temper. The story below makes it clear that we can’t let our rage out without paying a price. For tips on keeping out of this sort of situation, we’ve posted this article on avoiding road rage.
http://video.foxnews.com/v/embed.js?id=5828834450001&w=466&h=263Watch the latest video at foxnews.com
In what one sheriff in Florida is calling a “classic stand-your-ground case,” a man arguing with his girlfriend over text messages was shot dead after he was captured on dash cam video threatening an Uber driver, who he thought was driving the woman home.
“This is a justifiable homicide all day long. You have a right to protect yourself. … This was the intent of the law,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said during a news conference Wednesday detailing Tuesday’s fatal shooting of Jason Boek, 34, of Winter Haven, Florida.
According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, either late Monday night or early Tuesday morning, a woman named Jasmine Meazel had too much to drink at a bar in Dundee, and called an Uber car to take her home. When it arrived, another woman, named Jessica Mazzarella, helped Meazel out of the bar and put her into the car. The two woman did not know each other.
Uber driver Robert Westlake, 38, then set out to take Meazel to her destination.
Police said that in the meantime, Mazzarella, who stayed at the bar, was having an ongoing text conversation with Boek, an “on-again, off-again boyfriend” whom Judd described Wednesday as “explosive.”
Judd said that the two had a “rocky” relationship and that Boek thought Mazzarella had gotten into the Uber car. In text messages released by authorities, it appears that Boek and Mazzarella were at the bar together, and then he left.
Although Mazzarella thought he’d left, he tells her via texts that he’s been outside the bar the whole time, saw her get into the Uber and was now going to do the Uber driver harm.
“You know I’m watching every move right now,” Boek said in text messages. “I’ve been watching you the whole time. … I see y’all. … I’m going to f— both of y’all up.”
Boek located the Uber car on the road and started to tailgate Westlake, according to authorities. Boek rode alongside Westlake for a couple of seconds before finally pulling his truck in front of the Uber and hitting the brakes around 2:20 a.m. on Tuesday, police said.
In Westlake’s Uber dash cam video, Boek can be seen exiting the truck with something dark in his right hand. The dash cam video shows Boek pointing the object toward Westlake’s vehicle as Westlake asks: “I say somethin’?”
Boek responded, “You know I got a pistol? You want me to f—— shoot you?”
Westlake, who is a concealed weapon permit holder and previously worked as a security guard in Orlando, took out a gun and shot Boek once in the chest, according to police.
“Oh my God,” both Westlake and the passenger can be heard saying on the dash cam video after the shooting.
In a 911 call, Westlake told the dispatcher that he fired one shot from his pistol and was now applying pressure to Boek’s wound.
“He ran me off road. Jumped out of his vehicle. I couldn’t get away. He came towards me shouting he’s got a pistol, reached for his waistband. I fired one shot from my pistol. He dropped his cell phone. I kicked it away. I didn’t realize it was a cell phone at first,” Westlake told the 911 operator.
By Paul Wimsett (our U.K. contributor, so it’s best to read it with an accent)
If you have invested a great amount of your savings into a car it makes sense that you want to make sure it is constantly working, especially if you use it on your commute. Some states require a yearly emissions check. Car inspections are performed at garages marked with the “Official Inspection Station” sign.
Speaking of ticking, there are many noises that can indicate something is wrong with the car (clinking, ticking etc.) and it is a good idea to check them if they continue for a long time. It may just be a lack of oil but it is always worth looking into any problems. It is important to consider that the older a car is the more likely you are to have problems.
One of the best things you can do with most cars is run them, don’t leave them sulking in the garage. Having said that, driving a car for too many miles artificially ages the car reducing it’s value.
Ways to increase performance and reliability include:
One way of making your car work better is to make it lighter. Have an AUX unit instead of a stereo. The unit itself is lighter and so will be your wallet.
It might be a good idea to improve the exhaust. If the exhaust isn’t able to flow from your car as quickly as it’s produced fuel economy suffers.
Fix everything as soon as it goes wrong. The less you drive it broken the less chance of additional wear and tear.
Spark plugs and air filters tend to need replacing and this is two jobs most people don’t get around to doing.
Most people don’t think of using the best oil in their car but the best performance is all about using the best raw materials, many people don’t realize that you can change how well your car operates simply by changing to a better brand of oil.
If your car was made a while ago, you may benefit from polyurethane bushings. This is a relatively recent improved technology, which upgrades your suspension and stops you from having a jolty ride. Not only will you be more comfortable but there’s a little less wear on your car’s parts as well.
There is a strange idea that cars left alone in the sun actually become harder and in order to test this a piece of aluminum alloy was left in the sun for 6-8 hours reaching temperatures of about 150°. The results seemed to show a marked difference, so if you want to prevent premature aging, you need to make sure it’s in the sun. Of course, most people prefer entering a car which is sitting in the shade.
It makes sense to ensure that your car is the best; it’s safer, more reliable, and better for resale. It is all about making sure your car is efficient, fast and strong. You can come across as an obsessive, but so what? If your car is important to you and you want to prevent breakdown you have to look at these things.
Because only 30% of America is desert, it is unsurprising that most Americans do not have to drive through these types of conditions. If you find yourself in need of a trek through the wilderness, here are a few survival tips for the desert.
It is vital that you bring both your cell phones and a charger. They now sell solar-powered chargers, like the 8000mAh, BESWILL 3 USB Ports and 21 LED light Portable Solar External Battery Power Bank Phone Charger for iPhone, iPad, Samsung, Android and other Smart Devices.
The most important thing you need is water, tons and tons of it, as it is your number one method of survival.
It is vital you check your cooling system and your battery before you start off.
You should never touch hot parts of the car. You should NEVER leave children or pets stuck in the car, they could die.
Tar can bleed in the heat. How does tar bleed? It’s due to the upward movement of asphalt in sunny conditions. The more hours of hot weather a surface has to deal with the worse the bleeding will occur. Roads become so slippery it cannot be traveled.
When it comes to traversing the desert you need a powerful car including…
4 wheel drive (4×4), which increases overall traction by applying power in more than one place
Carrying Capacity-Ability to support additional fuel tanks and spare tires, anything that commonly goes wrong.
Torque-It might be hard to understand what torque is all about. Its rotational force around a specific object (rotation around a specific axis). A car traveling through the desert needs a certain amount of torque in the wheels to negotiate obstacles.
Clearance-You also need to look into the size of the tires. If a car has large tires it is capable of clearing the bigger sized rocks.
As with any off-road vehicles they need to be large but easy to operate. Basically, if it’s built for speed it’s probably not built for crawling the desert. To be more precise any vehicle built for street use is impractical as a desert vehicle.
Wheelbase-It can help you negotiate an obstacle to have your tires spread further apart. So when one tire loses traction while others do not. However, sometimes people choose to forgo wheelbase, so let’s examine some of those exceptions below.
Many designs of off-road vehicles start on the idea of the pickup and extra features because it has a long wheelbase and carrying capacity. There are also exceptions…
One of the weirder types of vehicles built for the desert is the Baja Bug, Herbie Goes Trekking you might say. Unlike the usual type of VW Beetle the Baja Bug has a tubular cage fitted so when should it flip over you will be perfectly safe. There are also longer shock absorbers. (Most bugs can be divided into narrow eyes or wide eye varieties.) The narrow eyes have the headlamps on the front apron, much closer than on the usual bug. The first Baja was created in 1968, originating in California.
The car most people might associate with the desert is the Jeep. Many jeeps are still used on desert safaris. Jeep is a trademark vehicle but it’s also a style of vehicle made by many makers. It started by an American company called “Willys MB.” First used in 1941 it is still used for negotiating hot conditions. However, when WWII ended, a Willies Jeep was abandoned on an island in the Pacific which was reversed engineered by Toyota to create a line of jeeps. There are a number of different desert jeeps on the market, such as the Jeep Renegade Desert Hawk and Desert Jeep Wrangler.
The desert can be cruel to the unwary, but if you are prepared to take precautions, your exploration and activities may be exciting.
At the Kicker, we’ve given a lot of attention to AV’s (Autonomous Vehicles) and touched upon EV’s (Electronic Vehicles) a little in passing because the two types of car are closely aligned in our minds.
Perhaps its time to dig into EV’s a bit deeper by themselves. Let’s start with a little clarification. In the mind of most consumers EV’s and Hybrids sort of run together, but there’s a difference and it matters.
Hybrids use a gas engine to assist an electronic engine. This gives a sort of best of both worlds experience. When an electric engine would be adequate, ie the around town stuff, then you have that. On long trips, the gas engine kicks in to top off the batteries. The gas engine also assists when power is needed, not because you can’t get good power from an electric engine but because you don’t really need a big electric engine just for a few occasions when it’s needed and the gas engine is just sitting there.
EV’s don’t carry a way to generate power unless you count regenerative braking systems (which turn forward velocity back into power to slow the car and recapture electricity). EV’s rely on batteries to store power from a source.
EV’s comes with some advantages and some disadvantages. One potential advantage is that electric power can be generated by multiple fuel sources, which in theory allows each area to use the most cost-effective source to power your car. It’s certainly true that most electricity is created locally, unlike oil which is bought as crude, often from nations that don’t align perfectly with US ideology. However, the fact remains that some source of power is required and you can’t really find a generation source that’s truly free of controversy.
Another advantage to EV’s is that without gallons of flammable, even combustible, fuel on board, the risk of fire and explosion is cut way down. Making them safer to operate and cheaper to insure.
Another controversy is the batteries themselves which are hazardous to dispose of and rely on material that’s mined in places that don’t really align with US ideology.
For whatever reason, consumers haven’t taken to EV’s as enthusiastically as manufacturers and environmentalists had hoped. Laws are coming soon to force the issue, essentially banning new car sales of petroleum powered vehicles. This would include hybrids depending on which version of which countries bill you’re referring to.
This article by DriveTribe identifies potential sources of consumer resistance:
Range Anxiety – EV’s top out at or below 300 miles, which wouldn’t be a big deal if you could charge them as quickly as you can fill up at a gas station.
Investment Anxiety – As with any new technology we’ve yet to see if EV’s are more or less reliable mechanically, but we’re pretty sure they will cost more to fix. We do know how long we can use a cell phone before we need to trade it in or buy a new battery…about a year…and most of us don’t want to get caught up in that racket with something a pricey as a car.
Just Not A Proper Vehicle – Which doesn’t seem quite rational because anything that gets you around is a vehicle. If we stop to think about it, nuclear subs are pretty cool and they don’t run on gas. But as we’ve mentioned many times at the Kicker, there is a certain romance around cars, which is fading, but not as quickly as many folks expected.
Side Note about the fading romance with cars: For much of the car’s existence it represented freedom. Cars expanded our range the way horses let the Tartars build a vast empire. A teenager couldn’t wait to get a vehicle because it uncoupled him/her from their parents. However, clogged freeways, mass transit, online shopping, social media and cheap rideshare companies have eroded our desire to sit many hours a day in a car.
So what would overcome these concerns, and the others too numerous to list here?
Well, not all disadvantages are created equal. One key is going to be infrastructure. We will need enough charging stations to meet our anxiety level and we’ll need them to charge in about the same time frame we can refuel. This isn’t too far away, at least in the U.K. where shell and the National Grid have invested in creating dozens of charge stations capable of fast charging your car in as little as ten minutes.
Cost is another huge factor. The reality for most Americans is that we lack the money to invest. Assuming an EV’s low of fuel costs are enough to make them overall cheaper to operate than fuel engines, then you’re exchanging a higher upfront cost in the hopes of making it up over the lifetime you own the vehicle. This may not be a reality until we start seeing more EV’s on the used car market.
The final ingredient that might nudge the American consumer sentiment towards EV’s is to conquer the range issue. A range over 400 miles would be more needed in a place like America than it is in the UK or Europe due simply to the amount to road and sprawl we have and the lack of an alternative transportation in the 400-mile to 800-mile range. Unless you get a smoke’n deal from an airline it’s cheaper and easier to drive your personal vehicle to the in-laws (and the train is just as expensive but the slowest option of all).
One hopes that a market solution is used to push consumers toward EV’s, if in fact, they are cheaper, safer, and more environmentally friendly. The laws banning new combustion engine sales prior to fixing the issues listed above seems like the kind of laws that work some places and not others.