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Why Use Car DVR

As the technological boom continues it is opening up possibilities in a range of sectors, not least in home and personal security. Cameras have become ever more compact, lightweight, and high quality, meaning that a car DVR is now a viable option for automobile security. A DVR (Digital Video Recorder) is not a new technology, but its compact and high quality nature now brings a new added security to cars.

The obvious reason to use a car DVR system is to keep your automobile safe, with so many different ways your vehicle can come to harm; the DVR is a potent tool. If your car has been hit while you were away from it, you can take a look at the video recording to see exactly what happened, whether it was an accident or not. It would also be possible to take the registration number of any car that had hit you, regardless of whether the driver knew they had or not.

Many automobile owners are the victim of crime, and a car DVR can help to catch anyone who performs a felony against your car. The crime may take the form of simple vandalism, something like running a key down the length of your car, a well-positioned camera would allow you to see and possibly identify the person responsible. Likewise a more serious crime like theft from your car or a stolen car could be recorded by the car DVR, allowing you to positively identify the perpetrator, or at least have the video as evidence.

However, a car owner would rather have no crime committed against them, and the car DVR can be the perfect deterrent to criminals. These days DVR systems for cars are suitably compact, meaning they can typically be hidden somewhere on the car and stay concealed to anyone who does not know they are there. If you want the camera to act as a deterrent, you do not have to reveal it; you simply place a sticker on your car (usually the window) saying that your car is DVR protected. This is usually enough for any potential criminals to not target your car.

The last reason why you should use a car DVR is because it can help in tight parking situations. If you are in the town or city you will know how awkward it can be to park sometimes, the side mirrors are never quite enough to fit into those tight spaces. However if you have a screen in your car it is possible to hook up the DVR system and create a live feed, where a well-positioned camera could aid you in parking.

Cheap Auto Insurance Quotes – Tips For Getting The Lowest Rate

Finding auto insurance quotes online is easy, but finding the cheapest auto insurance rates can be more of a challenge. To get the lowest quotes, follow these tips to help you find ways to trim possibly hundreds off your auto insurance quotes.

1. Give them details – If you don’t provide information about your zip code, marital status, car’s safety features, and annual commuting miles, by default insurance companies will quote you a higher auto insurance rate. Provide as much detail as possible to make sure you get each discount that you qualify for.

2. Shop around – Auto insurance rates can vary as much as 300% between companies for the same coverage. You can save hundreds of dollars a year by comparing prices between companies. Don’t forget to check out your current insurance company, they may have lower rates for new customers that you may be able to negotiate for yourself.

3. Raise your deductible – Higher deductibles equal lower insurance premiums. For example, increasing your deductible from $250 to $500, can save you a hundred dollars or more on your annual premium. However, plan on having additional financial resources to cover the deductible in case of an accident.

4. Cut the miles you drive – For drivers who travel on average 40 miles or less a day, they qualify for a low mileage discount with most insurance companies. Consider carpooling or taking public transit a couple of days a week to reduce your car’s mileage to qualify for the discount. By flying or taking a train for vacations instead of driving, you can further reduce the miles on your car.

5. Switch drivers – For married couples, compare insurance quotes between the male as the main driver and the female as the main driver. You may get a lower quote if the female is insured on a truck and the male is insured on the minivan. Teens should also be insured on safer cars such as the family sedan, rather than a sports car.

6. Add an anti-theft device – By installing car alarms or a tracking system in your car, you will get a discount from auto insurance companies. Since anti-theft devices reduce the risk of your car being stolen, insurance companies pass on the savings to you. A certified defensive-driving class can also reduce your premium for three years with most insurance companies.

The 7 Measurable and Improvable Key Performance Indicators for Fixed Operations

Every person seeks to improve. It is a natural and healthy feeling that most humans have when engaged in an endeavor they believe in. Teams are in a constant state of action followed by evaluation. It is the way we human beings find value and worth in what we choose to do.

And because the Automotive Dealership Industry is one of the most heavily measured (think baseball statistics) every action is tabulated, evaluated, cerebrated, deliberated, calibrated and then regurgitated back into the workforce (dealership personnel) with the battle cry “Do it right this time or else!”

Of course, that never happens in your Dealership… I’m talking about the “other guy.”

What do you think about fine tuning and honing the process down to say “7 Measurable and Improvable Fixed Operations Key Performance Indicators?” Would that be something that would interest you?

Ok. Here they are.

RO Count, HPRO, Labor Gross Margin, Parts Gross Margin, EFL, Total Gross Profit Margin, Total Net Profit Margin.

If you need an explanation…you might be reading the wrong article.

So, you want to improve, right? What is the standard and what do I need to do?

The RO Count in many Dealerships is often left up to the “Customer Gods.” In other words, when people are not coming in to the Service Drive, often the Service Manager or Service Director will say something like “It’s like this every __________” or “It’s the down economy here” or some other equally interesting and totally wrong excuse.

The CUSTOMER is having their vehicle SERVICED SOMEWHERE, just not at your Dealership. Your job is to figure out what you need to do to jump start the process. If you have not prepared a plan of action that includes an ongoing Marketing Plan, then you need to.

Let me leave you with this thought. A 10% decrease in RO Count over a two year period is a 1/5th drop in RO Count. No business can stay in business losing 1/5th of their Customers every two years.

HPRO is another measurable that can be improved. Let me ask you this. In the past year have any of your Service Advisors increased their average HPRO by greater than 2 or 3 tenths? Why not?

It seems that we hire people who can Advise but they can’t Sell. Hey, I can get Lucy to give me some advice for 5 cents. What I need is an Advisor who can Sell because that’s what I hired them to do!

If your Advisors have not improved by at least a couple of tenths, you will need an ongoing Training and Accountability System.

Labor Gross and Parts Gross Margins are one measurable that is totally controllable with one Action Step.

Eliminate Un-Authorized Discounts! And hold the Advisor/Parts Counterperson completely and totally responsible.

EFL (Effective Labor Rate) is another measurable that the Advisors have directly in their Control. The key is to have Maintenance Labor Rates that are reasonable and the use of Labor Times/Charges that reflect the complexity of the work being performed.

Again, the use of Un-Authorized Discounts will greatly affect your EFL.

So, at the end of the month, after all the books are closed, you have a number called Total Gross Profit. And this measurable is the end results of all of the other measurable(s) working together and after you have paid your Techs to perform the work. And you want more.

Then, my friend, you need more RO Count, more HPRO, more Labor and Parts Sales with a corresponding decrease in un-authorized discounts and the correct Labor Rate being charged.

Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it?

Finally, you want a higher Net Profit realization. Well, this is where you can sharpen your pencil and look at expenses. Are all of your expenses in line with the industry standard? Are you spending too much in Policy Adjustment and not enough in Marketing Expenses?

These “7 Measurable and Improvable Fixed Operation Key Performance Indicators” is a great place to start on improving your Fixed Operations Profitability.

Find the Free Auto Repair Manual You Need Online

You can easily get a free auto repair manual for whichever repair need you might have. You need an internet access and have to follow a certain procedure searching for auto repair manuals, but when you have done this procedure a few times it will be very easy to find the right instructions for do it yourself auto repair and it won’t cost you a dime.

There are four types of automotive description documents that you will need to choose from when you want to do a repair;

  • General manuals
  • Diagnosis descriptions
  • Repair manuals
  • Maintenance manuals

General Manuals

In addition to some general manuals, most of these are related to the make. Here you can get step by step guidance on how to repair most of the makes in the vehicle market. Let’s say you have a Honda Acura 2002 model and you want to find a manual for that make and model. What you do is perform the following search in a search engine: “free car manuals+Honda Acura+2002”. Then you will have a long list of sites that provide you with all kinds of descriptions for your Honda Acure 2002 model, and you can choose what you want.

Diagnosis descriptions

Automotive diagnosis manuals can also be sub-divided by make and model. But it can also be divided by the area of the vehicle that is affected, for example engine intake problems, brake problems, cooling problems, exhaust problems, start or stall problems, transmission problems etc. Let’s say you have a start problem. Your search would be “car diagnosis manual+ start problem”, then you should get more than enough repair information to choose from. You can even get diagnostic trees where all options are covered for nothing.

You have probably more than one time heard some annoying noise from somewhere in your vehicle, without finding the source of it. This is one of the most kinky situations to run into because you don’t know if it is a serious signal or just a small thing. Some websites gives you the opportunity to diagnose vehicle problems by the noise, sound and vibrating signals – and that is great. The sooner you find it the sooner you can fix it and then you can relax. When you search, you can describe the sound, for example “whine noise” or “shifter knocks” or “driveline vibration” plus car diagnosis manual plus eventually the make.

Repair Manuals

In addition to regular manuals you can also get very instructive and detailed descriptions in other internet document or websites like articles, etc. The natural way to sub-divide such repairs before searching, is by the area of the vehicle that is going to be repaired, for instance body repair, exhaust repair, suspension fix, interior repair and even general car repair.

You do the search the same way as above; “car repair manual (or description) + the area of repair and go through the list of resources you get.

Maintenance manuals

Though vehicle maintenance is closely related to your vehicle make and model, there are some maintenance issues that are pretty much common whether you have a Cadillac, VW or a Mercedes, for example changing oil, changing air filters, engine wash, fluid maintenance, tier maintenance etc. You can get access to maintenance descriptions by searching for the kind of maintenance plus “car maintenance manual (or description)” plus eventually your make and model.

I think you’ll be amazed of the amount of automotive repair free stuff online.

Top 10 Car Drawing Books For Beginner Artists

1. How to Draw Cars Like a Pro, 2nd Edition

In this long-awaited follow-up to the best-selling first edition of How to Draw Cars Like a Pro, renowned car designer Thom Taylor goes back to the drawing board to update his classic with all-new illustrations and to expand on such topics as the use of computers in design today. Taylor begins with advice on selecting the proper tools and equipment, then moves on to perspective and proportion, sketching and cartooning, various media, and light, shadow, reflection, color, and even interiors. Written to help enthusiasts at all artistic levels, his book also features more than 200 examples from many of today’s top artists in the automotive field. Updated to include computerized illustration techniques.

Author: Thom Taylor

2. How To Draw Cars Fast and Easy

How To Draw Cars Fast and Easy is a 134 page car drawing guide in downloadable e-book format, jam-packed from cover to cover with all the tips and techniques previously known by only a small handful of professional designers. This program contains all the information you’ll ever need to draw perfect looking cars quickly and easily that will amaze your friends.

Author: Tim Rugendyke

3. How To Design Cars Like a Pro

This book describes how car design and technology work through the eyes of the most talented and powerful car designers in the world. The interviews give a deep understanding of why we see what we see on the highways of the world. Author Tony Lewin has been a highly regarded magazine editor on the world stage for so long that some of the top young guns revealing all in this book were hanging on his words just a few years ago.

Author: Tony Lewin

4. How to Draw & Paint Cars

This book is not about learning how to draw and paint fashionable cars, super cars, tarted up street or ‘cool’ cars as referred to by some motoring journalists, it is about drawing and painting all types of cars. The author has endeavored to distill experience from many years creating images on this subject into a book that will help and encourage those keen to draw and paint cars, both for pleasure or as a career. The author takes you through the history of the car from it’s conception in 1885 to current models with sketches and paintings created in a variety of mediums, with examples and step by step guides. Readers are encouraged to develop their skills, whether raw beginners or accomplished artists. The road to success won’t be easy, but, through this book you will learn all the techniques short cuts accumulated over decades by an accomplished commercial artist. Whether for business or pleasure this book is THE handbook for automotive art. With 185 illustrations and step by step guides this is a must have for any budding auto artist.

Author: Tony Gardiner

5. How to Draw Cars the Hot Wheels Way

This book provides excellent how-to-draw detail that is appealing and easy to follow for Hot Wheels(tm) and drawing enthusiasts from ages 10 to adult. Detailed drawing techniques with descriptive captions allow readers to create their own automotive designs. Illustrations emphasize how to draw fantasy, custom, concept, and hot rod cars. Author Scott Robertson uses original Mattel artwork throughout the book. With real Mattel artwork featured in detail, the bo0ok has great appeal for collectors, even if they aren’t aspiring artists. Because Hot Wheels(tm) diecast cars are modeled after both real and fantasy vehicles, the techniques and interest to readers is the same as for real-life car enthusiasts. Officially licensed by Mattel.

Author: Scott Robertson

6. H-Point: The Fundamentals of Car Design & Packaging

The ultimate reference guide for car designers and automotive engineers! H-Point was written by the pioneer of the Vehicle Architecture course at Art Center College of Design, Stuart Macey along with the Director of Advanced Mobility Research, Geoff Wardle. Currently used as the educational handout for the transportation design students at Art Center, it will now be available to aspiring car creators everywhere, clearly organizing the packaging standards that apply to car and truck design; along with insightful graphic explanations, this book demystifies the automotive design process and allows designers access to an illustrious careers worth of knowledge.

Author: Stuart Macey

7. How to Design Cars Like a Pro

This comprehensive new edition of How to Design Cars Like a Pro provides an in-depth look at modern automotive design. Interviews with leading automobile designers from Ford, BMW, GM Jaguar, Nissan and others, analyses of past and present trends, studies of individual models and concepts, and much more combine to reveal the fascinating mix of art and science that goes into creating automobiles. This book is a must-have for professional designers, as well as for automotive enthusiasts.

Author: Tony Lewin

8. DRIVE: vehicle sketches and renderings

DRIVE features Scott Robertson’s very latest vehicle designs intended for the video game space communicated through skillfully drawn sketches and renderings.

DRIVE builds upon the success of his prior two vehicle design books, Start Your Engines and Lift Off. Featuring four chapters, each representing a different aesthetic theme, Aerospace, Military, Pro Sports and Salvage, conceptual sports cars, big-rigs and off -road vehicle designs are beautifully represented through traditional and digital media sketches, and renderings.

Author: Scott Robertson

9. How to Illustrate and Design Concept Cars

Beginners will find an easy-to-follow introduction to the topic, while more experienced designers can find new inspirations by reading about the author’s workflow process. A very interesting book for everyone who loves drawing and rendering cars.

Author: Adrian dewey

10. Start Your Engines: Surface Vehicle Sketches & Renderings from the Drawthrough Collection (Air Vehicle Sketches)

Start Your Engines compiles works from Scott Robertson’s vast archives of ground vehicle drawings and renderings, and features the following chapters: Cars, Bicycles, Snowcraft Mechanimals and selected work from the conceptual design of vehicles for the video games Field Commander and Spy Hunter 2. The Cars chapter comprises about half of this book and features original designs both futuristic and retrospective.

Author: Scott Robertson

The 5 Benefits to Changing Your Automatic Transmission Fluid

One of the most commonly over looked aspects of a vehicle is the transmission. Many people tend to either ignore their transmission all together, or simply do not understand how it works. And that is fine and dandy until the day comes that things start to get ugly with it. A busted transmission is another way of saying a car that isn’t going to be running any time soon without some serious work. The transmission is the power source, and it provides proper application of the power of your vehicle. So if you want to ensure your vehicle’s transmission lasts just as long as possible (and most will last the entire vehicle’s life time if maintained properly), then you will want to get on top of changing your automatic transmission fluid.

Benefit Number One: Preventing Lock Up

Odds are you know what tetanus is, because it is commonly referred to as “lock jaw.” You would never want to have lock jaw. Not only would it be painful, but it would be inconvenient. Well, it would surprise you to know that it would be twice as inconvenient if your vehicle got lock jaw. Lock up happens when your vehicle’s transmission gets so hot that your vehicle simply shuts down. It no longer runs. Changing your automatic transmission fluid when it turns black can prevent this happening to your car.

Benefit Number Two: Saving Money

Who doesn’t like saving money? Literally every person you meet does things to save money, unless they’ve got tons to throw around or are children. Usually, they amount to the same. Changing your automatic transmission fluid when it turns black (not flushing it-flushing your automatic transmission fluid can be dangerous to your vehicle, tantamount to bleeding it dry then trying to fill it back up with new blood) can help prevent most transmission problems from occurring, meaning you save the woes of a blown transmission.

Benefit Number Three: Run Cleaner

Changing your automatic transmission fluid, and using the right fluid, can make your engine run cleaner and more efficiently than it has since it was brand new. This means better fuel economy (which we’ll get to next) and better oil usage. However, using the wrong fluid, any fluid not recommended by the manufacturer for your specific make and model, can damage your transmission greatly, so be sure to check.

Benefit Number Four: Better Fuel Economy

Less work means less wear. Less wear means your transmission, and your engine, last longer. Changing your automatic transmission fluid when it turns black can help you to keep your transmission running strong for a very long time, making your vehicle more fuel efficient.

Benefit Number Five: Cost Effective

What do you think costs less: a new transmission, or automatic transmission fluid? Hopefully, you went with the latter choice. A new transmission is expensive, while automatic transmission fluid is relatively cheap in comparison, making taking care of your transmission a no brainer.

Net Promoter Score (NPS): Real Deal or Have Car Dealers Been Sold a Lemon?

In the car sales arena Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) are King: every sales statistic possible is monitored, from customer visits, test drives, sales, deliveries and finance penetration etc and now customer satisfaction. These KPI’s are benchmarked to provide an industry/dealer standard of performance.

It is believed that each KPI has a correlative effect on each other, in that the more people you see, the more you test drive, the more you sell: it is as they sales people say ‘a numbers game.’

Now we believe that we can reverse the algorithm and make KPI’s do the work. By delivering exemplary customer service, a customer becomes a net promoter, advertisement and an advocate for the company.

All we have to do is sit back and wait for the satisfied customers or ‘Net Promoters’ to drive the new customers, soon to satisfied and be transformed into promoters, into our businesses and reap what has been sowed.

A perfect self sustaining and scalable business model or have the sales people been sold a lemon?

What is Net Promoter Score?

In recent years there has been an upsurge in the use of Customer Satisfaction Surveys and the reliance upon the’ Net Promoter Score (NPS)’ – none more so than in automotive manufacturers and retailers.

NPS is a question within a Customer Satisfaction Survey, where the customer is asked to rate on a numerical scale of 0-10 how likely they would be to recommend the retailer to someone else.

The resultant score is applied to the following three categories:

· Score of 9-10 Promoters – those who will actively recommend the retailer

· Score of 7-8 Passive – satisfied customers but ambivalent about recommending

· Score of 0-6 Detractors – unhappy customers actively dissuading others

The Theory

At face value, NPS serves as a more pertinent barometer of customer service levels in that the customer is not just completely satisfied but so elated that they will sing the praises of the retailer at every opportunity.

However it has become relied upon as a Key Economic Indicator of the future financial health of the organisation and an aid to the prediction of future sales.

In essence NPS is a ‘rebranding’ of a theory long since expounded by economists in which certain Key data such as employment statistics have a ‘procyclic’ correlation with the wider financial health of a country. Simply put, if a country is creating jobs then there will be an increase in personal spending which will be reflected in retail sales.

Three problems:

1. The issue with NPS, at least within the automotive retail sector is the tendency to manipulate the statistics.

Employees have been coached in how to ask, persuade or even incentivise customers to ‘tick’ the 9 or 10 box in an effort to mask any real or underlying ‘service’ issues and keep the employee and retailer out of the critical view of the manufacturer.

2. Even if the retailer does give outstanding service and the delighted customer does genuinely and voluntarily ‘tick’ 10, is there really a correlation with increased future sales?

It is fair to conclude that a 10 on NPS cannot in good conscience be compared in terms of its value as an indicator to the creation of an additional job in the market place. There is simply no predictive evidence to demonstrate the relationship, as opposed to the straight forward algorithm of a person earns money, they spend money therefore retail sales increase.

3. Lastly, why is there no correlative evidence or any evidence for that matter? Instead we as the prospective customer ‘how they heard about us?’ and then provide them with a drop down list of options.

Surely we would want to apply a more technical approach as utilised in Google + for example or other social networks, where through the power of technology the relationship between customers is apparent.

Solution

Get back to basics.

Let’s forget for a moment the tangible benefit of NPS or not as the case maybe and consider the original premise behind automotive sales.

It used to be said that a retailer could earn more profit from a customer over the three years after buying their car than was realised from the original sale.

Therefore, the focus should be not on who the customer can recommend the retailer to, but how frequently they themselves return to the retailer.

The good news is we have the capability and relatively simple technology to measure real customer loyalty and harness the data as a real Key Economic Indicator.

Nowhere to hide

Perhaps obviously the introduction of ‘loyalty cards’ would electronically track customer behaviour and reward them for it, but for reasons unknown it has not yet made it into dealer groups. Nevertheless, there is a more rudimentary solution.

1. We downloaded the vehicle sales data for a given year and filtered the information to include the purchase date, customer name, vehicle registration number and net profit.

2. We cross matched that data with that of the three years post purchase to determine if and when the customers returned to buy again.

3. We then cross matched the data with the service and parts department to indicate how frequently the customers patronised the businesses.

Results

If the retailer is brave enough they could contact those customers that didn’t ever return after their first visit and ask them why, to gain real insight to customer service.

However, the results from running this experiment with several retailers, who will of course remain nameless, has been nothing short of shocking.

There is no doubting their determination and ability to gain new customers and sell plenty of cars, hours, parts and finance but they undoubtedly make it hard work for themselves.

But in that regard they are a one trick sales pony and would be best advised to focus a proportion of their efforts in learning and training about customer behaviour and retention.

The Mystery of KPI’s

The Windshield Replacement Survival Guide – Consumer Auto Glass Education

Replacing Your Vehicle’s Windshield? Here is Your Windshield Replacement Survival Guide.

Safety First

A vehicles windshield provides the occupants a barrier from road debris and the outside elements. But most people don’t know a windshield is designed for structural safety in case of an accident, especially a rollover. A windshield is a vehicles third most important safety feature behind the seat belts, and air bags.

Windshields are like basketball backboards for air bags. So if you have a damaged windshield your air bag may not function correctly. It actually may inflate out the windshield cavity, rather than towards you. Or it won’t adsorb any pressure because your windshield simply pushes out.

Most consumers are not aware that when technicians replace your windshield, there is significant scratching to the “pinchweld” where the glass bonds to the car. These scratches must be prepped using paint and rust prevention steps. They should not simply leave exposed scratches where moisture from the exterior side can cause rust to develop.

Here are some questions you should ask your auto glass company:

  • Is the new glass OEM?
  • Did they remove the brand label on the windshield?
  • Does the new glass have a shade band that matches your old glass?
  • Is the new windshield the same color glass? (glass is actually colored, not clear)
  • Does your windshield have a rain sensor?
  • Is your windshield heated? (companies will install non-heated and charge for heated)
  • Does the windshield have the right bracket for your rear view mirror?
  • Does the new windshield have the same third visor as your old glass? (the painted black design which you can see around the rear view mirror on most cars)
  • Are they using a universal trim molding, or the actual trim molding part for your vehicle?
  • Does the company pay to fix paint scratches, if made by the auto glass technician?

Always inspect a piece of glass for scratches and distortion before it’s installed.

Types of Automotive Glass

A windshield is actually two layers of glass with a laminate material between the layers, what is called “laminated glass”. Laminated glass is extremely hard to puncture or break apart. That’s why a large object like a stunt man, can impact the windshield without breaking through. The strength of laminated glass combined with proper adhesion of the windshield to the body of the car provides massive strength against the roof collapsing in a rollover.

All of the other windows in your vehicle are “tempered glass”, which means they break into tiny fragments to reduce injury to the occupants. (a small fraction of vehicles have laminated side and rear windows also)

Windshield Urethane

Today’s vehicles use urethane as the adhesive to bond the windshield to the vehicle, like a glue. Some urethane after complete hardening which can take 2-4 weeks, can hold 500 pounds per square inch of pressure. That’s one reason why you could never simply push your windshield out. Impossible! Some urethane allows you to drive away within one hour after installing the windshield, hardening just enough to withstand vehicle accidents. When your replacement has been completed, make sure to inspect the inside of your vehicle around the edge of the glass. Make sure no urethane has oozed out into view or onto your vehicles interior. This is more common then people realize and needs to be fixed immediately before the glue hardens!

The urethane is normally heated, then applied to the glass or car body at the raised temperature. Depending on where you live or the application, they can use different kinds of urethane, even a cold temperature apply that is not heated. Temperature has a huge impact on the adhesion qualities of the windshield. I would recommend never getting your windshield replaced in temperatures lower than 55 degrees, or higher than 105 for the best results if possible. This is easy if you have the glass replaced inside of a shop or in a shaded area. Direct sunlight can heat the windshield to over 125 degrees!

Urethane does have an expiration date, so make sure you ask about this before a technician begins replacing your vehicle glass. Using expired urethane means minimal bonding power and the windshield has a chance of coming out during an impact. All urethane is made with an expiration date printed on the tubes, and if they don’t call someone else!

Paint Scratches, Rust, and Proper Windshield Installation

Deep vehicle scratches can turn into major problems later. Moisture will enter through a scratch and attack your vehicles body causing rust later. For people who live by the ocean, this can be disastrous for the structural integrity of your vehicle down the road near the windshield. If you are buying a used vehicle, make sure you check around the edge of the glass and under the trim molding for evidence of rust. Rust will spread under your paint, it is amazingly aggressive.

If the rust spreads to the “pinch weld” which is where the urethane is placed, the urethane will not bond and a windshield will leak or can even be pushed out. This can cause thousands of dollars in damage from water leaks or can even can cause death in an accident! If the rust moves into this area the technician must remove it before applying the urethane, or the vehicle must be sent to a body shop for repair.

Make sure the technician takes steps to prep and repair scratches to the pichweld. There is primer paints, metal rust prep chemicals, and other ways to cover scratches to reduce the appearance or spread of rust. The most important areas are where water will contact your vehicles body, especially under the exterior trim molding. That trim is not water sealed between the body and glass. The water seal comes from the urethane bead.

It is very important that you watch the installation of your vehicle glass if possible, DO NOT just walk away. If a professional technician can not perform the job while you watch, they shouldn’t be working on your vehicle and call someone else. A technician can cause significant paint scratching to your exterior paint job with improper techniques. Some even use nail polish or paint to hide the damage. Some even rub dirt into the scratch to make it look old! Ensure that the technician is using vehicle protective equipment like seat covers, floor mats, tape on the car body where it’s close to the glass, and a protective mat over your hood.

Make sure the technician removes body parts like windshield wiper arms and the cowling (located beneath the wipers) are removed, if the glass edge is covered by these parts. Most technicians will simply shoot a ton of urethane under the cowling area and “stuff” the glass, sliding it into the glue and under the cowling. This is extremely unsafe! A technician doesn’t even know if the urethane has created a proper seal, or if it is bonded safely. A proper windshield installation requires that the glass be place straight down onto the urethane bead. Also this ensures the urethane is not shot all over parts beneath the cowling like wiper assemblies and wiring.

OEM Windshields and OEM Equivalents

OEM means, original equipment manufacturer. So if your vehicle is a Honda Civic, OEM glass would be purchased from a Honda Vehicle Dealer. Auto glass installers can simply order OEM glass from the dealer. Make sure the glass has the OEM label. The windshield label which is about a square inch in size, normally is located in the lower corners of the glass. Sometimes OEM glass says the actual glass manufacturer rather than the Car Dealer name. Call your local dealer on what to look for.

A lot of auto glass companies will tell you they are installing the “OEM Equivalent” part. Because consumers don’t know what to look for, most times a glass with no label or an aftermarket part is used. Do not buy a glass when the label has been etched or removed. No one knows where it came from! Always check the label.

The only scenario in which you may find an equivalent glass, is purchasing a windshield produced by the same manufacturer which produced the OEM glass. It may even be from the same production line and mold from the OEM manufacturing!

Aftermarket Automotive Windshields

Do not be fooled into thinking an aftermarket windshield is the same as an OEM glass. Aftermarket windshields are made using reverse engineering instead of the original OEM mold and production line.

Aftermarket glass tends to have more visible light distortion when viewing the glass at an angle, and the dimensions are not exactly the same as an OEM. All glass that is bent has some level distortion yes, but it is considerably worse with aftermarket manufacturing. You may even see distortion when looking straight through aftermarket glass.

Aftermarket glass is transported through different processes than OEM glass from a dealer. A lot of OEM glass is transported covered by plastic wrapping and using strict shipping techniques, and the windshield’s edges are protected by foam wrapping. But Aftermarket glass is transported by much different practices. Most auto glass companies use no protection covering all surfaces of the glass for transport. And sometimes pieces of glass have been taken to customers locations and returned to the distributor or shop. So aftermarket glass has been handled many times!

Now I’m not saying aftermarket glass is unsafe or unfit to use at all. I’m simply stating the facts about the truth, for your education and insight. I feel you should be educated about this part of your vehicle which essentially protects your family on a regular basis.

Rain Sensors and Other Accessory Plugs Such as Heated Glass

If your vehicle has a rain sensor it should be located near the rear view mirror. A lot of times it looks like a circle, square or triangle. This option allows the windshield wipers to speed up or slow down depending on the amount of rain automatically. Make sure you get the same designed glass. If the rain sensor involves a gel patch, make sure the technician does not leave lots of air bubbles when installing it. Those air bubbles can cause the sensor to malfunction.

Some vehicles like a Land Rover, have plugs located under the interior a-pillar trim. On some convertibles like a newer Ford Thunderbird, a large portion of the interior may need to be diss-assembled to remove the interior a-pillar trim. On the Honda Ridgeline, the heater plug is located behind the glove box. Some new vehicles also have Lane Departure sensors located near the rear view mirror.

You can always find out what you need by calling your local dealer and giving them your VIN Identification number from your vehicle. If your car is important to you and you want to maintain the investment, always call your local dealer and ask for advice about your specific vehicle.

Windshield Shade Bands and Windshield Color

All auto glass has a shaded color. No windshields are completely clear. Typical shading colors are blue, green, bronze, and grey. Be sure sure to get the same color. You will see that all pieces of glass in your vehicle are the same color, excluding privacy glass and tinting.

A windshield may have a shade band across the top near the roof of the vehicle. This area is preferential. You should decide if you like it or not. It does tend to hide the edge of the interiors headliner when looking at the vehicle from the exterior. Shade bands do come in different colors but not all windshields

Most windshields can be ordered without a shade band at all. But you may find the part is actually more expensive because less people order it. Having a shade band does provide some shading in between your sun visors but it does little to drastically shade the sun. Take note the shade band will be darker at night.

Exterior Trim and Moldings

Your vehicle may have exterior trim or moldings cover the edge of the glass and/or covering the edge the car body. If the trim molding is just rubber, make sure you know what the technician is using to replace it. Some companies are now requiring that technicians use only a universal type aftermarket molding, rather than one that is specifically designed for your car. There should also be an OEM molding part available which is exactly the same as your original molding. Do note that cost for OEM is always more.

You may see plastic and/or metal trim moldings covering the edge of your windshield on the exterior. Normally these have some type of plastic or metal clips that attach them to the glass or vehicles body. Make sure the company replaces any broken clips or parts from removal of these parts. If your vehicle is older than 3 years, these parts become very brittle and damage easy. You may be warned about parts that always break, in which the company may request you also purchase that part ahead of time. You may find a lot of companies simply glue those parts back into place, rather than replacing the broken parts.

Vehicle Windshield Logo and VIN Window

On vehicles like a Ford Mustang and Ford F150, you may have a logo in the third visor above the rear view mirror. These windshields can be ordered with out the logo and are cheaper that way. Make sure you ask about your options.

Most windshields have a small narrow window for viewing of the VIN identification number near the lower drivers side portion of the glass. Make sure this window is in the right location on the glass. When the job is completed, make sure that glue has not covered the VIN, the VIN number plate has not been cut off, or that it has not been badly damaged. Police or the DMV will give you a hard time if the number is not legible or is completely missing from that location.

The Definition of Luxury Cars

Luxury cars are those vehicles which provide luxury with pleasant or advantageous features beyond strict necessity at an increased expense. Here the term “luxury” describes the greater equipment, good performance, construction accuracy, enormous comfort with creative design and technological innovation or features which create the brand image, status or prestige-or any other flexible feature.

Targeting a particular socio-economic class, the automobile manufactures make specific models of vehicles that get associated with social status of that class. Thus, in collusion with the car-buying public, these automobile manufactures distinguish among their product lines. Regarding the luxury vehicles, high price is the most common factor; moreover the styling, engineering, and even public opinion about the cars highest and lowest status association with them also matters a lot.

In the history of automobile industry, it is seemed that every time due to the assumed superiority of the design and engineering of these particular cars, these group of car marques and models become expensive to purchase. These cars are designed by aiming at wealthy buyers and that’s why these automobiles generically are termed as luxury cars. Moreover, the term luxury car was also used for unique vehicles created during an era when luxury was a personal consideration and thus, coachwork was customized depending on an owner’s likes and dislikes. Even though there is significant literature about precise marques, but there is a lack of systematic and scholarly work which describe the luxury car trend itself.

In today’s era, luxury cars include vehicles such as sedan, coupe, hatchback, station wagon with convertible body styles, as well as minivans, crossovers, or sport utility vehicles which are available in any size, from small to large with various price range.

This widely used term luxury is broad and extremely variable. It is a more conditional, perceptual and subjective attribute and therefore, different people may understand it differently. Thus, the definition of a luxury car to some… may be ordinary to some others.

These cars likely to offer a higher degree of comfort level than their typical counterparts, regular facilities such as real leather upholstery and sophisticated woodgrain-look dashboards. In Comparison to the normal vehicles, these cars have conventionally emphasized in comfort and safety aspect of the vehicles. These contemporary cars also provide higher performance with better handling. Luxury vehicles are considered as status symbols for rich people with prominent use.

In earlier period, the people who are rich and high class could only afford luxury cars. But these days, even the people who are not rich enough can also enjoy the comfort of these cars. The car hiring services have made it easy for them. Limo is one of the very popular hired car these days. People hire limousines for wedding, graduation party, to pick up guest from the airport etc. If you want to book a luxury car for your tour or party, then you will find a lot of car hiring services available these days which will offer you the kind of luxury you want depending on your preference.

Auto Insurance Guide Just for Beginners

From financial perspectives, auto insurance is both investment and waste of money.

· As an investment, the coverage protects vehicles and physical health in the event of accidents. Insurance company compensates for property damages and physical injuries.

· For safe driver or low-risk, this is a waste of money since the possibility of road accident is slim. With defensive driving techniques, auto coverage is almost useless.

Accidents do happen; even an expert driver can get into road accident due to bad weather, malfunction vehicle, sudden flat tire, and a lot of possible incidental reasons. Regardless of the circumstance, an accident almost always leads to collision. When that happens, other drivers sustain injuries and their vehicles need repair or replacement. In the attempt to avoid big expenses to compensate other drivers, auto insurance helps give the payout and keep everybody’s finances healthy.

Whether a collision is at policyholder’s fault or not, auto insurance company has the obligation to help its customers to settle financial disputes. The amount of financial assistance available, however, depends on the insurance policy. What makes things complicated is the fact that there is no one-policy-fits-all package. Everyone has different needs and personal preferences, so insurance providers must accommodate the needs with different sets of coverage and limits. There are plenty of coverage options and overwhelmed first-time buyers tend to make the wrong choices without guidance. Chances are they pay either too much or too little; both of which are wrong. Some factors that affect the types and amount of coverage include:

· Personal Liability: it is one of the most important types and mandatory in most states. In the event of accident where policyholder is at fault, this coverage provides compensation for other drivers’ and their passengers’ medical bills. Besides the protection from medical cost, Personal Liability also includes Property Damage coverage to compensate vehicle damage. The combination of those expenses can be too expensive to cover out of policyholder’s own pocket, so the coverage minimizes the risk of financial burden.

· Major Accidents: there can be thousands of vehicles on the road every day. With more of them, the risk of collision increases. In major accident situation which renders the policyholder’s vehicle damaged beyond repair, auto insurance Collision Coverage helps pay for the replacement. If damages are results of natural disasters such as fire and flood, Comprehensive Coverage kicks-in to provide assistance. Both collision and comprehensive are optional.

· Uninsured Driver: what if the at-fault party is uninsured? According to a 2014 study by Insurance Research Council, about 1 out of 8 drivers in the United States have no insurance. In ideal situation where all drivers have valid auto coverage, the cost for vehicle repair and medical bills are the burden of the at-fault party. Insurance providers offer Uninsured/Underinsured Coverage to prepare for such circumstance.

· Faulty Vehicle: regardless of how someone maintains a vehicle, there is a chance of engine breakdown, flat tire, or empty fuel tank in the middle of a trip. Roadside Assistance coverage helps to take care of the vehicle in this emergency situation. It is an optional purchase from insurance provider, but it can save you from hassles and difficulties. For those who drive dozens of miles on day to day basis may find the coverage as good preventive safety measure. Typical vehicle owners clubs tend to offer membership benefit that include roadside assistance as well. Members must pay annual fee to maintain the benefit, yet the service available from insurance company tends to be less expensive.

· Car Type: brand new vehicle that is still under manufacturer’s warranty has little chance of damage. On the other hand, old vehicle which has travelled thousands of miles or years of everyday usage is more prone to damages. Vehicles come in many different varieties such as SUVs, sport, luxury, off-road, and standard personal/family model without any excessive additional features. Performance cars come with higher premium rate due to higher possibility of speeding which can lead to accidents. Luxury vehicles with expensive replacement part also demand for higher premium. Some models have higher risk of theft as well, so the premium will adjust for the perils.

· Experience: insurance companies divide customers into two major categories: low-risk and high-risk. Teen drivers fall into the latter due to the lack of experience behind the wheel. Stand-alone teenage driver auto insurance can be expensive, but parents can include their children as secondary drivers to bundle the policy and get discounts. High-risk category also includes drivers with previous involvements in major accidents, recurrent traffic violations, and seniors.

Deductible and Premium

Premium is the payment policyholders have to make every month (or any agreed period). There are many ways to reduce premium such as deductibles and discounts. Deductible is a term to describe the amount of money that policyholders pay out of their own pockets to cover compensation. For example, an accident causes another car to sustain damage worth of $600. When policyholder pays $200 deductible, the insurance company only needs to pay $400. Many insurers offer discounts for safety devices, good students with good grades, multi-car policy, completion in Defensive-Driving course, and on time payment.