Auto Care Too Scary to Skip

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(Note: Thanks for enjoying our post, but don’t forget to set your clocks back this Sunday 11/4 or something really spooky could happen–like losing your job when you’re late for work!) 

Do you really need to fix that tiny crack in the windshield if it’s not spreading and doesn’t impact your vision? Is it really necessary to fix that dent in the bumper if you have no hopes of selling your old faithful for a decent profit? The answer “it depends” applies for many repairs and maintenance, but there are some auto TLC steps that should never be skipped. You might be able to skate by with a scratched fender or dent from losing a shopping cart battle in the parking lot, but other fixes, repairs and maintenance are crucial.

A reputable collision repair shop won’t push you to do anything that isn’t necessary. However, don’t assume that just because an issue looks superficial and unimportant that it is. A good “trust test” is to see if a shop offers free walk-in estimates, and whether or not you get a “sales-y” vibe while there. You should be able to get a preview and estimate of what’s in store without committing yourself (and your cash) to a shop.

Like Whitney Said, Crack is Wack

It might not seem like that crack in the windshield is getting worse, and you may not think it impairs your vision, but both things are probably happening. Just like the crack happened suddenly, it can spread suddenly. It’s much easier and cost-effective to fix a smaller crack than replace an entire pane of glass. Plus, you owe it to yourself, passengers and other drivers to have a clear vision of the road in front of you.semi-trailers-2035151_1920.png

As an added bonus, glass replacement and repair is often much more affordable than you imagine. A lot of the time it will be even less than your deductible, which means you’ll avoid changes in your auto insurance because of it. It’s possible you’ll wake up one morning to find a tiny crack has spider-webbed across the entire pane, so get it taken care of now.

Wheels vs. Tires

These words are often (wrongly) used interchangeably. Tires are the black rubber that actually touches the roads, and wheels are the metal or plastic pieces that hold tires in place. You know it’s paramount to have good tire traction and pressure, but aren’t wheels just for looks? Not at all, and a broken wheel might be causing you to lose tire pressure or even impact steering capability.

Wheels are the frames of your tires and need to be in great working condition at all times. Wheel repairs can help improve safety, ease driving and help keep your vehicle aligned. It’s important that both your tires and wheels are in great shape because when they are flawed they can certainly lead to a sudden accident. If your wheel is dented and pushing into the tire, it can suddenly puncture it while you’re going 70 mph on the freeway with disastrous consequences.

When to See a Pro

For wheels, windshields, frame straightening, alignments, suspensions and headlight repairs, it’s crucial that you get these problems taken care of right away. Even better, if you locate a shop that offers a lifetime guarantee, you’ll rest easy while rocking out on your commute knowing that you’re covered.

 

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.

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.

 

Be Careful! Most Deer Collisions Occur in October

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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.

Silver Linings

deer-crossing-2079620__340The 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.deer-952744_1920.jpg

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Rideshare Driver Stops Road Rage W/ Bullet.

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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

Uber driver fatally shoots man in what sheriff calls a ‘classic stand-your-ground case’originally appeared on abcnews.go.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.

PHOTO: Jason Boek in an undated photo. (Polk County Sheriff's Office)
PHOTO: Jason Boek in an undated photo. (Polk County Sheriff’s Office)

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.”

(MORE: Florida ‘stand your ground’ shooter Michael Drejka charged with manslaughter)

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.

PHOTO: Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd speaks during a press conference, Aug. 29, 2018, in Winter Haven, Fla. (WFTS)
PHOTO: Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd speaks during a press conference, Aug. 29, 2018, in Winter Haven, Fla. (WFTS)

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.

(MORE: Florida ‘stand your ground’ shooter had history of gun threats: Complaint)

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.

Original Sources: https://www.yahoo.com/gma/uber-driver-fatally-shoots-man-sheriff-calls-classic-204508267–abc-news-topstories.html

 

Keeping Your Car Ticking Over

 

auto-3582662_1920By 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.

audi-rs6-2934125_1920There 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.