Important Steps For Selecting An Auto Repair Shop

When a car breaks down, most customers just want to get back on the road soon without paying an extreme price. However, a little research and patience can go a long way in finding an auto repair shop. In fact, doing the due diligence now means that the next trip to the mechanic won’t be anytime soon.

Find the Best Local Options

There are a few advantages to finding an auto shop in the neighborhood. First, you can ask neighbors and friends for their personal recommendations and experiences. Local shops will value customer loyalty and trustworthiness because they depend on word of mouth to create new customers. Secondly, the car can be dropped off and picked up easily, hopefully avoiding the process of arranging rides to and from the store. Lastly, a strong connection to a neighborhood shop can result in fair pricing to keep the customer coming back.

Check Customer Reviews

Even if the auto repair services aren’t close by, or there are no referrals from friends and family, there are a variety of internet reviews sites worth checking. A lack of reviews online may suggest inexperience. Of course, most stores will have a range of good and bad reviews, but the overall trends about price, customer service, and quality work are worth reading about.

Compare More Than Prices

Shop around and don’t always go with the cheapest option. Some auto repair shops will use a customer’s impatience against them and raise the price when they sense a lack of negotiating skill. Remember that they need the customer and not vice versa. It is hard to wait when your primary mode of transportation needs fixing, but patience can pay off both now and in the future if it results in a good business relationship.

Prepare a List of Questions

In a similar vein, don’t be afraid to ask questions. General questions about their experience, certifications, warranties, and work timeline let a mechanic know that you take this exchange seriously. Of course, getting an estimate on the price is the best way to ensure you’re not getting ripped off, and it helps to do some amount of previous research to understand what a fair price might be. Shopping around and comparing prices can assure the best possible deals.

Get to Know the Mechanic

Establish a good working relationship with the shop to get peace of mind for future auto repairs. Rarely will this be the last visit to a mechanic. Fair pricing, communication, and a serious disposition will result in a good deal for all parties. Furthermore, if you leave a good review online or promise to come back, the relationship will find solid footing.

No matter how the search plays out, remember to trust your instincts and do what feels comfortable. No one wants to deal with a tense or strained business deal. Be patient, have confidence, and rely on those who have been through it before.

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 divided 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 labelled “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 caution 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 likely 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 won’t 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.

Car Insurance Quotes Online Info: How to Find Quotes and Get Discounts on Auto Insurance

Thanks to the internet, car insurance is easier to buy than ever before. It’s so easy to get multiple car insurance quotes online at once from different companies, all at one site. The downside is that you’ll have to take the time to compare them in order to decide which option is the best for you. To help make the process go quicker, you should have all of your information prepared and ready to go.

Whenever you get an auto insurance quote online, whether through an agent or directly, you’ll need to provide some documentation such as your driver’s license, make / model of vehicle, address, VIN, age, social security number, etc. Like it or not, there are certain age groups that are considered “higher risk” than others. Your location might play a role in the types of quotes you get as well – especially if you live in an area prone to extreme weather and road conditions, or where there is a high rate of crime.

If your vehicle has certain safety features, like anti-lock brakes, front and side airbags, GPS, and an alarm system, you will likely qualify for a discount when shopping for car insurance quotes online. Many auto insurance companies give out discounts to safety-conscious drivers. Also, you can potentially save even more if you take a defensive driver’s course.

Other Factors Affecting Car Insurance Quotes Online

Another possible factor affecting the quotes you will get is your credit score. Those with poor credit will have a more difficult time getting a good rate on their car insurance. If you have poor credit, the best thing you can do is try to look for as many discounts as possible. Some insurance companies offer a wide variety of discounts so you will probably be eligible for at least one of them.

As for age and gender, males are usually required to pay higher rates than women since women are considered to be more cautious when driving. Also, drivers younger than 25 are statistically more likely to be careless, so they are usually charged higher premiums. If you are a student who makes good grades, however, you will probably be eligible for a discount.

There is a newer thing some insurance companies are offering called “usage-based insurance”. This means that they are giving drivers the option to have their driving monitored via a mobile app in exchange for possible discounts and lower premiums.

One good company that offers this type of app as well as car insurance quotes online is esurance. Check out its “DriveSense” feature, which is free for anyone to use. Those who enroll as a customer can save a lot of money.