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Automobile Aftermarket Industry Rules United States

The automotive aftermarket is actually part of the automotive industry which deals with supply; manufacture or remanufacture of accessories of a vehicle after it is being sold to the customers by the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer). The aftermarket industry today fetches close to $ 250 billion to the US economic sector. It provides a variety of parts broadly ranging in price and quality, thus enhancing the scope of customization during purchase of these parts.

The decade of the 1990s witnessed a lot of changes in the automobile and aftermarket industries. It began with 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments and at present settled down at Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act or simply Right to Repair introduced in 2006 in New Jersey. It is mainly a debate between automotive manufacturers and aftermarket associations where the former has to share the information to independent repair shops as they do with dealers. Since then, this industry has opened up innumerable employment opportunities to the people across the globe. A total of 3.84 million people were employed in this industry in 2010. Aftermarket also receives immunity from AAIA (Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association), a non-profit organization which was established in July 1999 and is the trade association for this Industry.

The success of aftermarket lies in its ability to specialize in a particular field and manufacture and fabricate best spare parts or sometimes referred to as replacement parts relating to that field. Vehicle owners typically usually opt for the replacement parts to give unique look to their cars, trucks and many other four wheeler vehicles. These upgrades are provided by OEM also but with fewer options. Here is a large number of public pre-aftermarket companies to actual automobile manufacturers for replacement parts. The upgrades include better sound system, chrome rims, air intake kits, car graphic kits, car bumper, headlight, tail light, fender, grille, door, hood, fog lamp, mirror, radiator, trunk lid and tailgate for the vehicles.

Although an upgraded or modified vehicle looks unique, there is a hitch in terms of law. Aftermarket is not illegal now but a few changes done to an automobile may violate practices of law and regulations. For example, headlight and tail light brightness levels may vary from place to place and so do emissions laws.

Care should bet while purchasing an aftermarket spare part from the market. Replacement parts can be installed by car owners by themselves or with the help of an expert supervision. Very few handlings need professional guidance. It is therefore advised to seek complete knowledge about replacing parts of a car before the decision is taken. If not, issues related to warranty may also arice because the replacement sometimes nullifies the warranty of the vehicle provided by the OEM. Apart from this certain aftermarket parts are exclusively designed to meet the specifications of very few models of cars. Here extra precautions are to be followed while choosing a spare part for your vehicle to meet these specifications.

There are many companies in the market today which trade spare parts and replacement parts of vehicles. Ever since the web world grew more influential, the online marketing strategy took over the classic marketing methods giving birth to online buying and selling of products and services. Online aftermarket stores also gained noticeable popularity among the customers worldwide. The main advantage of online purchase is that buyers from any corner of the world can access the store sitting at home which spares the pain taken to roam about places to find the right parts you want.

Some exclusive online markets are:



Assessment of the parts supplied by these online stores became easier because of the number in which they are present on web. For example, there are dealers who supply exclusive car parts and others supplying only truck parts. Clearly it is understood at what ease the online purchases are made now-a-days. The reliability of the store should also be considered based on factors like its certification and customer reviews.

Find yourself a good store and enjoy the world of online aftermarket.

Car and SUV Winterization

Protecting your pride and joy and one of your largest investments this winter. The automobile has become an extension of its owners personality as well as representing a huge chunk of our hard earned income. Lets face it, as Americans we love our cars. We want them to look good, cruise smoothly and last a long time. Then of course there is the weather. Man is constantly adapting to his environment and adjusting to his climate. We put stuff on the roads so we can drive in any weather without fear of becoming the next human driven hockey puck.

During the Winter Months different agencies apply different things to the roads to keep them drivable like salt, sand and chemicals such as de-icing chemicals, which are environmentally friendly but can destroy a regular wax job. Magnesium Sulfate works great to keep cars from sliding into the guardrails and ditches, but it plays hell on an automobiles finish. With rust and corrosion threatening to destroy your investment and reduce the value of your car by thousands of dollars the stakes become high. We may not be able to control the weather quite yet, but we can give you the tips from years of experience and industry knowledge to help you minimize your risk, fight back against jack frost and work with mother nature to co-exist and cruise successfully through winter. How can you win the war on winter?

Winter is coming and will soon be in full swing. Roads will be packed with vacationers and outdoor sports aficionados. You and your car need to be ready. We know from experience that bare metal will rust when exposed to moisture and harsh elements. Take a look around your car, are there paint chips? Even small chips can allow moisture to get underneath your cars finish and work its way all the way through the metal. Holes in your car needless to say will not improve your chances for good resale value. And if your car is on a lease they will be hitting you hard on its return. There are a few things you can do to take care of these chips now. To find a chip repair person go to Paint Bull's website and find one of their 500 mobile chip repair dealers. If you have a fiberglass body or a primarily plastic car such as a Saturn it may not be as critical if you have a chip or two.

Every car that drives through harsh winter climates needs some type of undercoating. There are many options. You can go down to your local auto parts store, buy a can of undercoating and spray it on yourself or you can go to any auto detailing company and have it done for about $ 80-100. There are a few detailing companies who have a number of stores through the country as well as mobile units, which can provide this undercoating for you. You can also go ziebart's website, they have 216 stores Nationwide. They have been closing stores at a fast rate of about 30 per year. They charge about $ 200-300 and will touch up the undercoating job free each year. They use this as a gimmick to get you in their store next year to sell you more stuff. Their guarantee is of questionable value since if the store closes then who will do the guarantee wok. Another problem with the lifetime guarantee is that most people do not own their cars for their entitlement life.

If you own a truck or a cargo van you may consider a lining. There are a few different types of linings. Rhino Lining at Rhino Lining Wesbite has a rubber like lining. An average bed runs about $ 300. There is Line X, which is a harder liner at Line-X website and Permatech which has a really good liner that is between the hard Line X liner and the softer a Rhino Lying. All these brands have hundreds of franchises and dealers. You can conveniently search their websites to find a location near you. The going rate is around $ 300 for an 8 ft bed and you can negotiate a little with your local dealer.

What can you do to protect your cars paint? Several things. It is important to understand the different types of wax and how they perform against salt spray tests. Carnauba the most popular wax name amongst consumers, will not hold up well under harsh salt conditions, de-icing wetted areas or on magnesium chloride soaked roads. It does however work well against roads, which have been covered, with sand. Teflon and silicone waxes do not work well in any of these conditions or in colder climates.

So what is the best modern wax for these Winter environments? Polymers work best, but are usually put on in liquid form and therefore goes on in thinner coats. It may take several coats to insure that the protection last longer than three months. It is best to put on multiple coats and then re-apply in three months. If you do not feel that you want to do this yourself you can call several companies that provide onsite service at home or office. National Detail Systems has over 300 dealers.

Ask for polymer wax and ask for a multiple coat discount. Expect to pay $ 65-90 plus $ 15-25 for each additional coat from National Detail Dealers. It will vary significantly from dealer to dealer. The Car Wash Guys have standard pricing and charge $ 35 for an exterior polymer coat and charge $ 10 for additional coats. Many car washes also have express detailing service starting at anywhere from $ 35-55. To get a listing of car washes and the new JD Powers Car Club website. This site is quite helpful. The website will give you a map to the nearest carwash based on the zip code you put in. You can print it out and drive down and get your car waxed. Fixed site carwashes vary so much from operator to operator it is hard to say what additional coats maybe cost, it may even depend on the day of the week you go, which manager is working and how busy they are that day. You should try to go on a Tuesday.

You may wish to put a protective coating on your cars carpets. The very popular product ScotchGuard was taken off the market this year due to environmental problems in manufacturing and is no longer available. Blue Coral does make a similar aerosol product although not as good as the former 3M leading brand. With new genetic woven splicing of nylon into cotton plants we are seeing a new breed of interior carpeting in vehicles. It is more durable easier to clean and holds up well under multiple steam cleaning passages. Sometimes a simple plastic cover over the carpets may be your best bet. Most modern day min-vans come standard with plastic covers and if yours did not, you can buy plastic covers for next to nothing at any auto parts store.

There are also some very high tech solutions to automated protection. For window glass there is a hydrophobic treatment called Diamon Fusion. It prevails chips in the window and allows you to drive in heavy rain without use of wipers. A simple solution may be RainX, which can be purchased at any auto parts store for about $ 5. All of the companies listed in this article can also put on RainX for you. Be sure to ask them to apply it to the interior windows also because it prevails unnecessarily fogging when you do not have your defroster set exactly right. The coating industry has evolved and out of the NASA Space Program came a glass coating used on the tiles on the bottom of the Space Shuttle, which can be put on at room temperature. It is put on 2 to 4 milimeters thick. Glass of course is imperfect to moisture.

This new revolution in ceramic technology is also being perfected by the Japanese. PP & G, the leading automotive paint company, is also on the cutting edge of this new field and we may soon have a new and more advanced clear coat for cars for the 21st century. That is the good news. We may see a new clear coat for cars coming out which will make waxes obsolese in the next few years. The bad news is that for now there is no substitute for waxes, coatings and undercoating. You can pay now or pay later. You really should consider protecting your investment. If you neglect to take this opportunity to plan your winterizing strategy, Mother Nature already has a plan of her own and she is coming soon.

Many people are only going to keep their car for two years on a lease and then trade it in for a new model. So if there are no chips in the paint, you may only need a single coat of polymer wax and new windshield wiper blades before Winter. If you are going to keep your car for many years however protect your investment against the inevitable Winter. Please realize that most manufacturers warranties on bodies and paint do not cover salt or environmental damage. If you pay attention to these simple things you can cruise through winter with no problems providing your tires dont get recalled and you can still afford the gas.

Auto Electrical Repair – Know Thy Battery

When doing auto electrical repair, the first vehicle component your should acquire knowledge about is the car battery. Even though the battery only store 12 volts, it is the electrical source of the entire vehicle. You will not be able to start your engine without the battery. In addition the auto battery helps to operate all the electrical accessories installed on your motorcar. An auto battery should last 3-5 years in average climates. Extreme hot or cold climates however, will reduce this to only 2-3 years.

An auto battery is built up of six cells, each containing stacked positive and negative lead plates. These are separated and separated by insulators and immersed in an electrolyte, a liquid blend of sulfuric acid and water. However, some batteries, use a gel instead of the electrolyte. This is considered to be safer and because you do not have to refill it with electrolyte, it has been labeled "maintenance-free". Each cell generates or more correctly put, stores 2.1 volts for a total of 12.6 volts.

Between the electrolyte and the lead plates, a chemical reaction is created. This produces dangerous, explosive gases that vent through the battery cover vents. Because of this, caution should be taken when you charge or jump start a low battery. The same precaution should also be taken every time you are working under the hood of your vehicle. It is important to provide as good ventilation as possible in the battery, so always keep it clean. All batteries, even those using gel instead of electrolyte lose charging capacity as the time passes. The reason for this is that the chemical breakdown of the connections inevitably takes place leading to the deterioration of the plates and loss of the electrolyte.
When your vehicle has start up or charging problems, the vehicle troubleshooting procedure should start with a test of the battery. You do that with a visual check followed by a voltage test. If the battery is ok, other components of the electrical system is probably the reason, but battery problems are by far the most reasonably reason.

A good thing with battery checking and trouble shooting is that you need very little technical equipment. All you need is a good, old Digital Volt Ohm Meter and a charger for the battery.
Each auto battery manufacturer uses a certain color in the battery 'eye' which tells whether a charge is needed. This is a fast and easy way to alert you for re-charging. Check out your battery manufacturer's specification of the 'eye' and everything associated with it.

If you need to replace your auto battery, always test it before you replace it. Also test the entire electrical system of your car. The reason for your battery problem might be a weak alternator or a drain on the system and if this is the case it will not take many weeks before your have to replace the new one as well. What seems to be a battery problem is not always caused by the battery itself. You can acquire more information about how to repair your car's electrical system on the web.

Electric Scooter Repair – How To Repair An Electric Scooter

Every machine needs maintenance and repairs and an electric scooter is not an exception to this. Of course as compared to a gas powered scooter the amount of maintenance required for an electric scooter is much less, but needs care just like every vehicle.

Gas powered vehicles machines are complex systems with so many things to look after on the other hand an electric scooter is a very simple machine. A person with little knowledge of electrical circuits can repair it on his own without any need to look for a mechanic. But if knowledge of electrical circuits is not there, many options are available.

If you have an electrical scooter in need of repair the first thing you can do is take it to a standard mechanical workshop and ask for help. Since normal gas powered scooters also have electrical circuits in them, every mechanic will have at least some basic knowledge about circuits.

If they refuse to repair it you can simply ask the manufacturer of the electric scooter regarding any special workshops where such electric vehicles are repaired. Since selling electric scooters is a business for them it is strong possibility that they have special tie-ups with workshops around the country to service their scooters.

Depending upon the kind of repair your scooter may need a week or for minor repairs just a few hours. Sometimes it is just a matter of charging the battery (if you do not charge it regularly) ad it's ready to drive again.

However it is necessary to understand that "prevention is the best cure". Regularly use your electric scooter and do not forget to charge it regularly too. If you are way for a few days from your home, you can carry it with you or store in way that it is safe from moisture. Usually it is advisable to look for repair shops before you buy an electric scooter bur since these machines are not complex, they can be repaired easily without much expenses on your part.

Copyright SMVaidya

Advanced Leather Repair

Cracks in Leather

The only way to un-crack leather is to replace it. One approach that leather repair specialists use is to clean the leather and then re-color it. The result is that the leather will have a uniform appearance. The cracks will still be there but will be less similar.

You can also have a leather repair professional replace the cracked areas and match the new leather to the original color. This works best when you are working with a panel of leather, for example on a car seat or the surface of a furniture cushion.

Dog and Cat Scratches

If you own a dog or cat, do not allow them on your leather furniture – PERIOD!

For dogs, most damage occurs while climbing on and jumping off. If you are a cat owner, leather fillers or tanner's resin will cure the symptoms but not the problem.

You might consider buying your cat a scratching post and put it near the area where the cat is scratching before using the filler.

Spray water on the scratch and cover it with a small square of 1000 grit wet sand paper from the hardware store. Sand very lightly until the surface is smooth and you can not feel the tear from the scratch anymore. You may end up needing to re-color the furniture if the scratch damage is extensive. That would be a job for a pro.

Leather Repair Kits

If your leather has a tiny tear and it's not very visible, (and if the color is black) any leather repair kit should be sufficient if you follow directions.

However, there are a couple of things to be aware of in case you run into problems. The repair material may not bond well with the leather. This happens if the leather is old or if the heating element supplied with the kit (if it's included) is not hot enough.

Usually, a leather repair kit will contain grain papers that you rub over the repaired area to imprint a grain-like finish. The idea is that the grain will resemble that of the original undamaged leather as much as possible.

Some grain papers are also pigmented. It's difficult to match color but it's even more difficult if the leather is old. Experts say that without the leather color is black, the repair will show.

You may need to place a small piece of cloth and padding under the tear to help hold the edges together. You can place a piece of material under the tear and glue it with the edges to be repaired as close together as possible. Hold the edges together while the adhesive dries, or use a hair dryer (very carefully) to speed up the process.

Using a leather repair kit will usually hide the tear and hopefully prevent further damage. The problem with using a leather repair kit is the damaged area will always be weaker. The other thing you can do of course is have someone replace the damaged section of leather and match the color professionally.

Stuck Leather

If you have a leather item with sides, such as a purse that appear to be stuck together, look inside to see if you can tell exactly where the sides are sticking. You should be able to see if it is sticking in a couple of places or if the leather is completely stuck shut.

Hold the item over a pot of boiling water – not too rarely and do not allow the purse to get soaked. The heat and humidity will expand the pores in the leather and might allow you to work the sides free, just do not force them if they will not budge.

You could also try to work some leather cleaner in between the sides. If there is dirt or other grime that's holding the sides together, this may loosen it. Finally, if getting the sides separated does not look easy, take it to a cobbler for repair.

Headlight Repair and Some Visionary Solutions

Statistics are alarming. Faulty headlights cause a staggering proportion of all the car accidents that happen annually. In fact, the cloudy vision of the man behind the wheel can be attributed more to yellowed and hazy headlights than to the drinks he had. Headlight repair is the pressing need of the hour. For a car without a proper head repair job done on it is a veritable killing machine stalking the roads.

The need for headlight restoration arises due to varied factors. Weather elements like the sun's detrimental UV rays, acid rain, winds and snow can cause havoc with the car's lighting mechanism leading to cracks in the headlights. The plastic headlights that are much in use tend to oxidize and acquire a yellow tinge after serving for only a few years.

In any case, a dirty headlight with a mottled appearance mars your car's looks and does not promise too well for your safety. Complete replacement is an expensive scheme, so a car headlight repair should definitely be on the cards.

If your headlight is just dirty or water has looked inside it, then you do not need to drag your car all the way to the garage. You can do this car headlight repair job on your own.

To clean the headlamps, you can buy the cheap but efficient headlight repair kit that is found in the market. Most such kits contain a cleaner, which is sufficient for the job at hand. For the water lodged inside, remove the lens and drill a small hole benefit the headlight all the way up to the inner chamber. Remove the water and make the headlight dry with the air-conditioner or a dehumidifier.

For some problems like cracks or holes, there's nothing like plastic resin to fix them. And with the resin being transparent, no one will notice the difference. Evidently, with the headlight repair kit at your disposal, the odd car headlight repair job that crops up will not seem a Herculean task.

If things are grave, then the car headlight repair job would actually involve a replacement. That is not too hard either.

If you have a halogen bulb, then take off the hood, and behind the headlamp you will see a black knob. The bulb is attached to the knob. Unscrew it and replace the bulb. Car headlight repair could not have been any easier.

If your bulb and headlamp are all one piece, unbolt the tiny screws that hold the thin metal band outside the headlamp. Remove the rubber covering around the headlamp and replace it. This is one headlight repair job that would not require you to rush to the garage.
Once in a while, a headlight repair job may come up which would merit a visit to the experts. Do not fret. Advanced headlight restoration techniques will ensure that the car headlight repair job gets over within minutes without burning a hole through your pocket.

Headlight repair is child's play these days. All the more reason not to ignore it.

Understanding Glass Repair

An Internet search for glass repair brings up many websites dedicated to repairing glass items such as car windshields, glass doors, and windows. But glass, as most understand it, is a substance that when broken is near impossible to repair.

Actually, glass repair is dependent on the type of damage the glass object has sustained.

What is Glass?

Glass is defined as a hard, brittle substance made by fusing sand with other ingredients. It is usually transparent or translucent and commonly used for windows, drinking containers, table tops, light bulbs and other articles.

Because glass shatters when the right amount of force is applied, glass repair is often ignored. People usually find a replacement rather than repairing it. A small crack in a window or windshield would ever grow and may ever cause an accident.

Glass Repair

Depending on the damage, repairs can come out cheaper than total replacement. A small chip in the windshield can easily be repaired with minimal obstructive view for the driver. The windshield may even be as strong as it was before the damage. Some insurance providers even covers glass repair, particularly auto glass repair (car windows, mirrors, windshields).

Another factor when considering repair is the sentimental value of the item. Some trophies and awards are given in the form of glass or ceramic mugs. Some even give out glass trophies. As these kind of items are hard to replace, glass services, albeit expensive depending on the damage, is the only option.

Before throwing out a broken glass object, consult with a professional glass contractor and get a quote on it. Find out if it is still repairable and if it is cheaper than getting a replacement.

Repair Professionals

There is an abundance of glass contractors, particularly for home glass. These companies are not limited to home glass fixtures. They also offer specialized service for automobile windows, mirrors, and smaller glass objects.

It is best to do a background check on these glass contractors. Glass is a very delicate item. Make sure that they are qualified and reputable. Hiring a person who has no experience may result in an accident, make the object irreparable, or can cost more than getting a new replacement.

People are accredited to automatically throw away broken glass objects. Glass makes up a large percentage on household and industrial waste. Some of these items are thrown away unnecessarily. They can still be repaired to a usable state.

Knowing that repair or renovation is a possible option can save the person some money.

Need For Auto Glass Repair Shop

Accidents may happen with anyone at any point of time. And in vehicular accidents, major glass repair or replacement services are needed from experts.

Modern repair centers come with advanced structural as well as compositional enhancements to serve vehicle owners. They are needed at several times like:

Large crack in windshield

Windshield is one of the most essential vehicle parts. If it gets one large crack or three or more smaller cracks, it needs the help of a quality service station. Repairing the crack by an amateur may put one to face vehicular accidents again in future. But, an expert mechanic can save money and effort.

Stress cracks in windshield

Stress cracks appear in windshields due to natural conditions. Uneven force distribution due to temperature change leads to this condition. If someone sits under the sun for long hours and then turns on the air condition, this situation prevails and causes huge stress cracks in windshield.

At this point, the reformation of stress cracks can be made with the support of expert technicians. Most of the time, this vehicle part needs to get replaced and properly maintained.

Cracks on both layers of windshield

Windshield usually has two layers- outer and inner. The inner layer is moisture sensitive, so deviation by more than 0.05% moisture cause damage to this part. And in such case, one needs to replace car windshield.

Windshield also needs replacement when any crack or chip is found in an acute area. Acute area means the area nearby driver's vision which usually comes with 11 inches wide and 8-1 / 2 inches high.

Thus, all the above mentioned conditions require windshield repair or replacement from a recognized auto service center. And apart from windshield replacement, good auto glass repair shops also assist individuals in other glass repair or replacement work. The reason is that they have the right resources consisting of trained technicians, quality products and guarantee work as well.

How Many Times Can You Do Auto Windshield Repair?

However, it is important to remember that a windshield is still just like any other part on a car, and there comes a time when windshield chip repairs may no longer be a viable option. It's a lot like patching a pair of jeans so many times that you can no longer tell what is part of the original fabric and what is a repair sewing job. In the same way, if you keep your vehicle for longer than just a few years, you may have to eventually consider windshield replacement.

The good news is, your auto windshield repair professional should be able to give you a good estimate of how viable windshield chip repair is for your particular situation. In most cases, you should be able to repair several chips at one time or even over time, depending on your situation. That's because quality windshield chip repair is meant to restore the structural integrity and optical clarity of the auto glass.

• The process of windshield chip repair reinforces the original factory seal, so your windshield remains strong and safe.

• Auto windshield repair professionals use a specialty resin that mimics the light reflecting properties and strength of glass, so your vision will not be impaired.

• The risks of existing crack or enlarged chip is completely eliminated once your windshield chip is repaired.

With such great results, you can make some worry-free windshield chip repairs over the life of your car. However, excessive damage in the form of windshield cracks or or chips that are larger than a quarter or chips that fall too nearly to previously damaged damages may be better served by entity windshield replacement. After all, cracks and chips tend to reach out for one another, and several small problems can quickly add up to one large problem.

If you are concerned about some windshield chips that are close together or you feel your vehicle's glass has been repaired too many times for safety, talk with your trusted windshield repair professional. He or she should be able to return your windshield to safety or recommend a windshield replacement.

Dent Removal for Less – Paintless Dent Removal Will Save You Time and Money

Whether you were in a minor fender bender or a major car accident, getting a dent in your car can be a big hassle. From car repairs to insurance paperwork, the last thing you want to worry about is hunting around for the best price for dent removal. Fortunately, getting a dent removed from your car for less is not a myth. In fact, thanks to new technologies, getting a car dent repair can take a little under two hours – not to mention save you a bundle on repair bills!

So how exactly does paintless dent repair work? Take a look below to see how an expert dent repair technician can make your car look and feel like new:

• A Technician will come to your home or business to give you an estimate on the dent on your car or truck to determine if it can be repaired without paint. Based on this assessment you will be given an estimate of cost and time of completion or your repairs.

• Paintless dent repair is a simple process which allows a mechanic to push out a dent from behind the surface of a vehicle. Unlike traditional methods of auto body repair, this practice preserves the look and integrity of your vehicle's paint job, thus eliminating the need for body filers, paint jobs and other auto body work.

• This is a quick process – and does not involve extra auto body work – your mechanic can easily fix your car within an afternoon. This means that you'll get your car back sooner without having to fork over the contents of your bank account!

• Dent removal is not just for major dents; in fact, this method of auto body repair can be used for smaller dings and scratches as a result of hail damage and other normal auto body wear and tear.

A major dent does not have to be a death sentence for the look and integrity of your car. Paintless dent repair and removal can save you plenty of time and money, as well as make your car look like it came straight from the dealer's lot!