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Year: 2019

What You Really Need to Know About Automotive Service Contracts

Posted on July 8, 2019 in Uncategorized

Purchasing an automotive service contract can be costly, not purchasing one can be equally or even more expensive. So what’s one to do? Only you can decide for yourself and make a decision that suits your particular needs. However if you’ve already made the decision to purchase it would behoove you to follow the guidelines listed or you’ll otherwise find your self stuck with costly repairs even after you’ve paid for that expensive contract.

As always, read the fine print, actually read it all BEFORE purchasing. Car dealers are adept and some if not most are even trained like soldiers on a battlefield to persuade you in to buying something you don’t need or mislead you in to what a contract does or does not cover. F and I managers, salesman and car dealers are quick to explain what a service contract covers but for some reason seem to forget to inform what it doesn’t cover or the stipulations and guidelines you must follow.

Although most are similar there are some differences with individual contracts in relationship to guidelines and obviously coverage’s. The information in this article is for the purpose of rules and guidelines and not individual contract coverage’s, even these guidelines are generic in nature but normally apply to most if not all contracts.

First and foremost is to have your vehicle serviced according to the maintenance schedule in the manufacturer’s owner manual. Oil changes, fluid services etc must be performed at the intervals suggested in the owner’s manual in order for your contract to be valid.

Keep records of all services performed with date and mileages. Hand written notes won’t suffice here, receipts must be kept as well. If you’re not a good record keeper then at least have your vehicle serviced at a facility where you can easily obtains copies if needed.

Any alteration of the vehicle from manufacturer standards is not permitted. Including oversize or under size wheels and/or tires.

In some cases and in most contracts using your vehicle to tow a trailer is not permitted unless it’s designed and equipped specifically by the manufacturer to do so.

Consequential damages are not covered as well. For example: If you have an over heating problem caused by a covered part (thermostat perhaps) and the over heat condition causes engine damage then the thermostat would be covered but not the engine damage. Doesn’t seem fair does it?

In most cases prior or existing conditions would not be covered. Example: If you purchased a vehicle that has been abused or not serviced properly and the oil has sludge build up that causes a problem it will not be covered. The reason is because the sludge build up was caused by the previous owners lack of maintenance

Hazardous waste disposal charges, shop supplies, storage fees, freight charges etc will not be paid for.

These of course are just a few examples of what to be concerned about when purchasing a service contract. Your individual policy guidelines may differ some what so be sure to read the entire policy and pay close attention to the area of “Exclusions From Coverage. If you don’t have a copy contact your provider, either the dealer whom sold you the vehicle or the contract provider directly.

Automotive Services – Mobile Car Washing and Environmental Compliance

Posted on June 3, 2019 in Uncategorized

Not long ago, someone asked me how I felt about the future of the mobile car wash industry. What I thought were some of the challenges in the future. Indeed, I see many, and having run such a company for nearly 30 years before retirement, there are many problems I see which will impact the small business people who run these types of businesses. One of the biggest concerns is the crackdown with the EPA and the local storm water ordinances.

You see, the environmental regulators really don’t understand the business model, and they find mobile car washing and auto detailing to be big polluters of storm water. The reality is that a little bit of soap is good for the environment and most of these mobile operators only use between 25 gallons per car anyway. Further, in the future hybrid and electrical vehicles don’t get as dirty, and the dirt does not stick to them as much because the petroleum distillates and exhaust which is very sticky will not be a problem in the future.

What I’m saying is the dirt that is on the car probably blew onto the car from the dust on the ground. That dust is already in the environment isn’t it? You see, when it rains all that dust which is not on the car, but is on the ground washes into the storm drain anyway. Also, a little the soap is good for the environment as it breaks down things that should be in the environment but also gets the storm drain. Things such as grease and oil which are on the parking lots, which leak from the engines of cars are also washed into the storm drains, which is a nuisance 100-times worse for the environment.

Mobile car washers are not really big polluters, but in the environmental regulatory compliance arena, they are out in the open, and they appear to be. The environmental regulators for storm water should be much more concerned with the fertilizers and nitrates which runoff from the sprinkler systems in the center medians owned by the city itself. The other thing that environmental storm water compliance people don’t understand is that mobile car washers and auto detailers generally clean the outside of the car, not the undercarriages, as they do at the car wash.

The increased regulation on these types of small businesses is liable to take many of these companies out of the marketplace, and put them out of business. It does cost money to buy the equipment to block off storm drains, vacuum up the water, and then take that wash-water to the sewer treatment plant for treating. It also takes time to do that, often taking more time to block out the storm drains and vacuum up the water that does actually wash the car.

Because of this mobile car wash operators and auto detailers will have to double the price. If the price is doubled in this current economy, there will be most likely 80% fewer people buying the service. And therefore the mobile operator will have to drive to more locations, polluting the air, or go out of business. Sometimes the rules become too stringent, and they are nonsensical. Indeed, I care about the environment just as much as the next person but being very close to the mobile cleaning industry I also understand it more.

If the storm water regulators and the EPA really cared about the environment, they would prevent stores from selling toxic soaps that people might use in their driveway to wash their own cars. Mobile auto detailers and mobile car washes use professional grade products, most of which will not hurt the environment. The only person who wins in this over regulation of the small businesses will be the people who own all the car wash, and in fact they are lobbying hard to get the mobile operators shut down. Indeed I hope you will please consider this.

The Automotive Mechanic Job Description

Posted on June 2, 2019 in Uncategorized

The automotive mechanics inspect, service, and repair the engines, brakes, and other parts of cars, buses, and trucks. They even perform routine maintenance to prevent future breakdowns.

The Automotive Mechanics must be able to do the following job functions:
• The automotive mechanics job description entails diagnosing problems quickly and accurately having analytical ability.
• They require a thorough knowledge of cars’ mechanical and electronic systems and competence with a variety of electronic tools, such as infrared engine analyzers and computers.
• They diagnose hard-to-find problems to be one of their most challenging and satisfying duties.
• They replace or repair faulty parts after locating the source of the malfunctions.
• They repair such as electrical or transmission problems and work in special service shops.
• They work in automobile dealerships, automobile repair shops, and gasoline service stations.
• They may repair cars and trucks.
• They make adjustments and repairs after cars come off the assembly line.
• They work for large department stores that have facilities for servicing automobiles.

Requirements:
• The automotive mechanics must be at least high school graduates. High school courses in metal work, mechanical drawing, science, mathematics, computer skills, and automobile maintenance are helpful.
• They may also have advanced high school programs are part of the Automotive Youth Education Service, a certification program that prepares students for entry-level jobs. Participants often train under experienced mechanics for up to four years.
• They should undergo programs that last from six months to two years and combine classroom instruction and hands-on practical experience. Some trade schools partner with automotive dealerships, which allow students to work in their service departments.
• They may also have certification but not mandatory in this field. Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification, the nationally recognized standard, can be awarded in eight different areas of automotive service.

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