Do Yourself a Favor

Today I found out that a friend of mine picked up her car from a repair shop because they told her she needed $2,000 in repairs and drove directly to a used car dealer and traded it in for $500. This was a Subaru that we could have sold for about $3,500 without putting much money in to fix it.

I get that she was irritated and didn’t want to lay out all that money. I get that she really wanted a newer car and she wanted it in that minute. But what I don’t get is that she didn’t even call me on the way and get my advice. Well I guess I get that too, she knew I’d talk her out of it and and she stomped her foot and wanted to get her way.  She of course spent 10 minutes justifying her thinking to me today but lets face it, it was just an impulsive move that cost her a lot of money.

I’d just like to remind everyone that when you trade an old vehicle in like that the dealer is basically throwing you a pittance that they will then add on to the price of the car they sell you. They really have no use for a vehicle that needs that much work and won’t get much money for it. On the other hand she could have invested about $500 and gotten the safety issues addressed (brakes).   Then she could’ve sold the car, making a nice chunk of change, informing the new buyer they had to put a little more in as well.


Don’t be impulsive, take your time and do the work involved, owning a car isn’t a free ride. I know sometimes you just want the shiny new object and if you can afford to do that then go for it, but if you’re like most of us throwing away a couple of thousand dollars is just plain foolish.


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Skip the Body Shop for Minor Car Dent Repair

I love this type of info because it saves you money and you can actually do it yourself. Of course there’s a learning curve but isn’t there with everything?

Automotive Repair Systems in Dubai reminds us that we don’t have to spend a ton of money on small dents.

In the past, small dents and scrapes on vehicles required a full examination and repair at a traditional auto body shop.In recent years, the advent of paintless dent repair (PDR) techniques has allowed car owners to have options beyond the traditional auto body shop. However, in order to properly remove a minor dent, some finesse and experience with the maintenance of cars is certainly required. The perfect answer to your minor dent problem is PDR, which can be performed either on your own with the right equipment and training or by a certified paintless dent removal technician.

What is PDR?

Paintless dent repair is an approach to removing dents that works on the damaged areas from the inside of the car. Where you see the dent on the outside does not necessarily correspond to where the repair of the dent will be focused on the inside, so paintless dent repair is an art of its own. By using the proper tools and ensuring that the dent isn’t pushed too far in the opposite direction, a paintless dent repair professional will work to restore the dented area to its original appearance.



The Benefits of Paintless Dent Repair

#1: It’s Cheaper

Going to a body shop can result in an extremely high bill, as their time is quite expensive. PDR is a much more affordable alternative. Depending on the size, severity, location, and number of dents, costs of paintless dent repair start at around $75 and go up from there. It is almost a guarantee that a dent repair at a body shop, no matter how small, would cost a great deal more than $75. If you decide to do the repair outside of a body shop, the only purchase you need to make would be the tools involved in the dent removal process and the rate for a PDR technician if needed.

#2: It’s Faster

Taking a car to a body shop for repairs can mean being without a car for days, and dealing with the hassle of coordinating a drop off and pick-up. However, by removing the dent on your own or by using a paintless dent removal technician you will save a lot of time. A highly-trained paintless dent removal technician can remove dents in a matter of minutes by using their box of special tools to “massage” out the dent.

#3. You Can Do It Yourself

Paintless dent removal is something that you can do on your own, given you have the proper tools and have some knowledge about cars. By doing it yourself, you save both time and money and can do it immediately, rather than having to wait until someone else can do it for you.

#4. It Actually Works

Massaging the dents out of the car using the correct tools leads to the successful restoration of your car to its pre-dent condition. The “before and after” success stories of PDR are all over the internet, and a certified paintless dent removal technician can help most vehicles walk away with their minor dents properly repaired. However, it is important to remember that the metal that was dented is still damaged after paintless dent removal is performed. PDR is more of an aesthetic fix, but is not a full restoration of your car’s body to its original state. As you can see, there are some great benefits to paintless dent removal. With PDR, you save money, you save time, you have the ability to do it on your own, and you can rest easy knowing that the dent removal was truly successful. Keep in mind, though, that PDR is not for everyone; this method is for minor dent repairs. Major dent removals should be left to professional body shops, as it is likely that the damage to the body is more severe than you know and could lead to some serious car troubles down the line.

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Top 100 Car Blogs 2016

Thank you for naming us one of the 100 top car blogs of 2016. We really appreciate it!!!

The 100 Best Car Blogs of 2016



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5 Car Costs You Can Avoid (That Your Garage Might Not Tell You)

Tips from a mechanic friend, Giles Kirkland of Oponeo.

Running a car isn’t cheap but there are often costs that can be avoided if you have a little knowledge about your vehicle. However, some garages might not choose to tell you this, as it means the lose out on the profit. Yet this can stand to save you plenty of money over the years and across the various cars you may drive, so it’s worth learning a few tricks of the trade. Here are 5 car costs you can often avoid, even if your mechanic doesn’t want you to.

Avoid Additional Repair Costs With Receipts and Guarantees

A good mechanic will stand by their workmanship. As testament to this, garages often offer timed guarantees on their work. For example, if they replace your suspension system, they could offer a year or two-year guarantee. In other words, the quality of their repairs should hold up during this time and, if not, you can get free repairs within this period. You should be aware, however, that repair guarantees are not a legal requirement but it’s worth shopping around for this, as it stands to reason garages that offer this are proud of their service. Still, you should always keep receipts of the original work, including written proof of the guarantee, to remove plausible deniability down the line.

Maintenance And Servicing

Similarly, you don’t need to pay a garage every time something needs changing. While it’s not advisable that you start tinkering with your engine without any knowledge, there are some excellent car maintenance guides online that can help you with the simpler stuff. The same can also be said for your tire air pressure. Why pay a mechanic to measure something a cheap sensor can do for you at home? On this note, consider, throughout your driving life, how often you will have to replace bulbs, air filters or engine oil?  Imagine if you had to pay a service fee of $50 for this? Over the years, this could easily add up to a three-figure sum or more. Taking an hour or so to learn a little basic car maintenance will ease your reliance on your mechanic and make it much harder for them to convince you into paying over money for simple fixes.

OEM Parts

OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer and, as you might imagine, these are often quite expensive. However, most of the time you’re simply paying for the brand name. If your car is long past its original warranty, there’s little to no need to maintain OEM-only equipment. This is beneficial to you, as there are plenty of third-party aftermarket parts that are designed to be competitively priced and with a high level of quality. With a little research, you can find some fantastic options. Many even come with a year’s warranty or guarantee of their own. Of course, your local dealer isn’t going to sell you these, because they only have their own OEM parts stocked. Similarly, even independent garages have a limited selection and may not stock a certain supplier. Yet you should also know that you don’t need to use their parts at all. There are plenty of garages that allow you to buy your own parts online and bring them in. This way, you just pay the garage for the service.

Tire Fittings

When most people think about cars, their tires are the one area that is instantly recognized as replaceable. At some point, you will need new tires and this is where many garages, again, can try and up-sell you in terms of value without any gain in quality. For example, if you only ever drive in city environments, you don’t need tires especially adapted for winter, since the roads you drive on are well maintained. A garage might try and convince you otherwise, because this lets them sell you a new set of tires and a servicing fee to fit them. If you don’t encounter snow or winter conditions, stick with summer or all-year around models. These often improve your fuel economy, too, helping to save even more.

It Might Be Cheaper To Replace The Car

Finally, as any car gets older, the repairs often become more frequent and the annual bills become higher. For garages, this is a good source of money, but you should look at your figures and learn when it’s cheaper, in the long run, to replace or replace your car. If you have a rough idea of the costs of a new car, try comparing this to your existing annual costs. Add up the insurance (including the excess), average annual repair fees and other maintenance costs. If this value is starting to grow past the cost of a new purchase, surely it’s better to just get a new car? This replacement will be in better condition, requiring less maintenance, and may even come with less insurance. If you find this is the case, make the change. Unless your mechanic offers a scraping service, there isn’t any profit in them sharing this advice. Of course, you should always look to recycle car parts, as the various alloy metal, glass, rubber and plastic parts are invaluable.

For one final tip, and Elayne’s #1 tip, is to always find a reliable mechanic when your car isn’t in need of repairs or tests. This way, when the big or surprise events come up, you already have someone to turn to. This way, you’re not walking into garages in a panic and willing to pay more than you need to.

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5 Tips To Increase The Life Of Your Car

Some tips from insurance pros!

Before discussing tips to keep your car running strong, it’s important to talk about the car itself. While patience and money can facilitate just about any vehicle to reach 200,000 miles, this isn’t always a reliable, or financially-responsible idea. That’s why it’s important to invest in a car model with a reliable track record. When choosing your car, check out credible sources like Consumer Reports, which offers comprehensive information on the reliability of both new and used cars.

With a dependable car that fits your lifestyle, you can immediately start taking these five necessary steps to ensure your car lasts as long as possible.

1.   Change Your Filters

Regularly changing your oil and oil filter is one of the cardinal rules of owning a car. However, there are several other filters that also need attention and maintenance. Along with your oil filter there are three other main types of car filters:

  • Air filter: cleans the air that enters the engine for combustion
  • Cabin air filter: helps ensure the health of the engine as well as the health of the passengers
  • Fuel filter: removes impurities from petrol fuel and water in diesel fuel

If neglected, each of these filters can greatly affect the fuel efficiency and overall health of your vehicle. In order to maintain a properly functioning engine, have these filters checked regularly and don’t hesitate to replace when needed.

2.   Always Check Tire Pressure

Though about 85% of drivers say they are concerned about maintaining properly inflated tires, only 25% of that population actually takes the right measures to do so. It comes at no surprise, then, that tires are typically one of the most neglected parts of the car.

However, by abiding by the manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure, you can better care for the integrity of your tires and improve your car’s fuel efficiency. Moreover, having properly inflated tires greatly adds to the safety of your vehicle. Experts recommend doing a quick pressure-check every time you’re at the gas pump. Filling your tires has a huge impact, so make this a habit you become accustomed to.

3.   Be A Good Driver

Think back to the day you took your driver’s license test. How did you drive then? Chances are you braked softly, accelerated gently, took easy turns, and used extra caution when changing lanes or proceeding through stops.

Fast-forward to how you drive today. Do you drive the same? Or are you quick to hit the brakes, hard onto the accelerator, or take tight turns? Unfortunately, most drivers tend to become less careful about these issues over time. Making an effort to pay attention to your driving habits and driving smarter will have a great impact on how well your car holds up.

4.   Keep A Maintenance Schedule

Though there are several steps you can take to personally increase the lifespan of your car, keeping a schedule to have your car professionally maintenanced will ultimately help ward off any serious or threatening problems. It’s important to choose a trusted mechanic who will help you stick to a normal schedule and who knows your car’s history. If you go to a different mechanic each time, they won’t know the work you’ve had done or the issues your car may have experienced in the past.

By staying on a regular maintenance schedule, you can avoid spending money on preventable repairs or unnecessary parts. Your trusted mechanic will keep charts that tell your car’s mechanical story, and they will know when to perform service in addition to what’s in your owner’s manual.

5.   Keep It Clean


clean car.jpg

Taking care of the exterior and interior of your car is essential when increasing its lifespan. By regularly washing and waxing your car, the paint will not only remain in pristine shape, but it will continue to do its purpose of protecting the physical material of your car. Along with regular cleanings and waxings, you should also cover your car as much as possible. Whether you store your car in a garage, under a carport, or a car-cover, keeping it out of the direct sun, away from bird droppings and tree sap, and protecting it from other harsh elements, will help maintain the integrity of your car’s body.

Similarly, be mindful about keeping the interior of your car clean. Don’t wait to clean up spills, vacuum carpet regularly, and wipe the dash to prevent any marks or stains from becoming permanent.

Keeping your car in good shape won’t just help it last longer and make it fun to drive, but it will also help you save money on car insurance. In fact, many insurance agencies offer rewards for safe driving that can help cut monthly insurance costs, and driving a safe, reliable car model will inevitably come with a lower insurance premium. Visit Bradenton Insurance to find out more about how keeping your car in lasting condition will help you save on insurance.






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A Great Auto Accident Calculator.

A guest post from Michigan Auto Law that very useful.

6 Steps to a Lower Car Collision Repair Cost

It’s stressful enough being involved in a car accident, but it’s an even higher level of stress having to deal with the cost of repair of your newly damaged vehicle. Those who have been in an accident and needed to have their vehicle fixed would know. Accidents don’t have to be very serious in order for the cost of the repairs to be ridiculously expensive. Knowing what to look for, and how to estimate your collision repair cost could save you an initial sticker shock and prevent you from being scammed. Performing the following 6 steps will help you achieve the lowest repair cost possible.

Tools and Materials Needed:

 Computer

 Internet Access

 Paper/Pen

 Basic Auto Body Tools

Step 1: Realize the Full Extent of Damage

Some of the costs associated with collision repair are the damage that is not seen from the outside.There could be leaks in windows or windshields, wires that need to be replaced, frame parts that need to be welded, or other damages that can quickly add up. When you’re looking for an estimate on your vehicle, take a look at what is wrong, as well as what could be wrong. This will give you a big picture idea of the total cost.

Step 2: Use an Online Calculator

There are many different online estimate calculators that will give you an approximate collision repair estimate. Michigan Auto Law offers an excellent car accident cost estimator that accommodates every state in the United States. After all, the cost of repair per state will vary. Use of these websites is as simple an inputting a few pieces of information about the vehicle and the damage that was done.

Step 3: Talk with Auto Parts Dealers

Take a list of the parts that you believe will need to be replaced on your vehicle into your local auto parts store and ask for the prices. This may also include any replacement body parts and paint to match the color of your vehicle. See if you can use aftermarket parts instead of the original manufacturer’s parts. Aftermarket parts will always be significantly cheaper than the original parts. As long as the quality of the parts are okay, they will tend to be your best value.

Step 4: Contact Your Insurance Company

You should contact your insurance company as soon as an accident has happened. While you are talking with them, they may give you a list of approved body shops that can work on your car. If not, ask them for a list of places you can contact, as well as an estimate based on their records.

Step 5: Get Estimate from a Repair Shop

Many shops will give you an estimate before they actually do any work on the vehicle. This estimate doesn’t cost anything and will give you a better idea of what they will be doing to the car. Get at least three to four different estimates and then you can make your decision on a repair shop based on which one comes close to both your estimate and the insurance company. Auto blog offers a great search tool to find reputable auto repair shops in your area.

Step 6: DIY Your Repair

After you have checked out the repair shops and know exactly what needs to be replaced, you should consider whether or not the repair is something you could possibly do yourself, or with a few friends. This will drastically lower any collision repair cost, as there is no labor cost involved in repairing the auto damage aside from your own time.

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The Key to It

Recently I lost both keys to my Jeep. I know, don’t ask, it’s embarrassing to admit and subsequently I found one of them. Before I found that one though I had to have a key fob programmed by a locksmith. As soon as I lost the first one I went on ebay and purchased a blank fob so I could have a second one made. When I lost the 2nd one a couple of days later I was prepared with my blank fob to have it programmed by the locksmith. The process for that is to have the dealer issue you the codes that are specific to your vehicle by giving them your VIN number, once you have that code a blank fob can be programmed. The fee for that will start at around $150 depending on your location, so it isn’t cheap. BTW, the whole process from the dealer was $420 so this is a significant savings.

Of course with one key in hand I’m still at a disadvantage so I ordered 2 more blank key fobs on ebay to make 2 more. Now this is where it gets interesting because IF you have 2 working fobs (and this is for most new cars) you can program the 3rd one on your own in about 30 seconds.  Now remember I had one made, ordered 2 more blanks and then found one of the originals giving me 2 working and 2 blanks. It was going to cost me an additional $150 to have the 2nd one made had I not found it. The process is so simple a child could literally do it.




You take working key 1, put it in the ignition and turn the key to on (not starting it, just on) and wait 10 secs and turn off. Insert 2nd working key do the same, after 10 secs a bing will sound and you remove the key (on my dashboard it said Programming in Process). Now you enter the blank key, do the same and wait 20 secs until it bings again and your key is programmed. Couldn’t be easier and I highly recommend that if you now have 2 working fobs immediately get a third (I paid $15) and do this process yourself so you don’t have to spend all that money if you lose one. Remember the object is to have 2 keys and if you only have one that works then you’ll have to spend big bucks to make a second. For a mere $15 you have a third backup. Of course I now have 4, but hey, it’s better than 1. When ordering the blank fob just be very careful about ordering the correct one, some may look similar but can be different.

I know this is the type of thing you will read and think “I better get on that”, and you’re right, do it NOW!


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