Keep An Eye Out For Bad Mechanics

Posted on September 26th, 2014

Unfortunately, over the years some mechanics have gained a reputation  for being less than trustworthy. It is easy to find a place to get your vehicle repaired; the question remains, can you trust them? Use these tips to help you determine if your mechanic is honest and adept.

Can the mechanic clearly explain the problem and solution to you without leaving you lost and confused? They should be able to explain it to you in layman’s terms so you fully understand what your money is going towards, and why it is necessary.  If you are still unsure, do some homework. Research the problem on the internet, or bring it to another shop for second opinion.

Does the shop offer a guarantee on their work and  parts? Parts should be guaranteed for a minimum of 30 days, and their work should be guaranteed for much long than that. If they cannot guarantee the parts for a minimum of 30 days there is a good chance they are using refurbished or used parts. Likewise, if they do not guarantee their work, than they have as little faith in themselves as you should have in them.

Is the shop clean and orderly? If the shop is one big mess, with tools all over the place, and chemical spills on the floor, be leery.  They may be just as unclean and disorderly in their trade.

Are they willing to give you your old parts back? If not, beware. There is no reason for them to have to keep the used parts, unless they are not planning on not actually “replacing” the part – which should be strictly outlined to you in the first place.

Once the repairs are completed, make sure you go over the bill very carefully. Your mechanic should be able to explain every charge on the bill.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions, you have the right to know where you money is going.


Changing Vehicle DNA is Changing the Collision Industry – By Kmcnamara

Posted on September 17th, 2014

The following is an interesting article we wanted to share with our readers:

DETROIT – Transportation is changing significantly; it is impacting collision repair; and anticipating and responding to change is essential.

Lawrence D. Burns, PhD, Professor of Engineering Practice, University of Michigan and former Vice President, R&D and Planning with General Motors (1998-2009), discussed “The Changing DNA of the vehicle” at the I-CAR Conference in Detroit, July 30th.

Serious challenges face the transportation industry: safety; energy consumption; congestion; parking; environmental concerns; and infrastructure.

These challenges beg the question, “Is the automotive transportation system truly sustainable? I don’t think it is. The good news is there is a new DNA emerging, one that is driven by electrical drive and electric motors, diverse energy sources, connected and coordinated technologies and driverless developments,” Burns says.

Vehicles can fight challenges by combining five elements – connected, coordinated, shared, tailored and driverless systems.

Connected vehicles communicate with other vehicles on the road through transponders and GPS systems, among others. Coordinated vehicles take all the information – where people are, where they want to go – and coordinate this information so the industry can best match supply and demand. Shared vehicles may be a better system for automobile use. “When we buy and own our car, we think it is a rational decision,” Burns says. “But it sits idle 90 percent of time. And parking is a negative impact on the vehicle ownership experience. So more and more companies are coming out with vehicle sharing capabilities.”

Tailoring is a system design opportunity. For example, most automobile trips are one to two-person trips, yet drivers often have four to six passenger vehicles, Burns says. And most trips have an average speed of 25 mile per hour, but vehicles are designed to go much faster.

Driverless systems “are not a fairy tale,” he says. Google is on record to have its self-driving vehicle ready to sell by 2017. “The biggest risk (in driverless technology) is not moving fast enough.”

“All these options give us an opportunity to have a better mobility experience and significantly lower societal costs,” Burns says.

These technologies will drive lower demand for the collision repair industry, Burns says. “There will be fewer crashes and these crashes will be less severe.  They will be more complex, with more technology, more materials, more fastening systems and more vehicle types,” he says. “Vehicle repairs will require more know how, more equipment, and more information systems. And there will be higher expectations – you will see more demanding vehicle owners and business partners. These new technologies will also further drive industry consolidation.”

To be prepared, the industry has to take action, he says.

“You have to get in front of the inevitable and comprehend what is possible. You have to think big, start small and learn fast. You have to develop the know how to respond to opportunities,” Burns says. “You have to make purposeful decisions.”

For full article visit

Upcoming Trends in the Automotive Industry

Posted on September 8th, 2014

As you well know, the automotive industry is a continuous evolution of change. We are constantly researching new and emerging trends and we thought we should share a few with our readers:

High Performance Hybrids

Hybrid vehicles have come a long way over the years, and they are continuing to evolve. As the technology of these vehicles advance we will have longer lasting batteries, shorter charge times and sleeker looking body structures.  In the future we can expect to see many high performance hybrid vehicles that are still environmentally friendly.

Autonomous Vehicles

Vehicles are becoming less and less reliant on the driver, and more dependant on the technology of the vehicle. Blind spot protection, lane changing sensors, back up camera sensors, cruise control, etc are helping to alleviate driver errors.  Manufacturers such as Continental, Audi, Volvo and Nissan recently showcased new, self-driving vehicles. The cars are concept, but we can expect to many more developments in this area.

Diesel Vehicles

With the price of gasoline constantly on the rise, more and more people are turning towards diesel vehicles. These vehicles are fuel efficient and have a better re-sale value.  Manufacturers are creating more diesel models to meet this demand.

Aluminum Bodied Vehicle

Many manufacturers are creating aluminum bodies vehicles. These vehicles weigh less and handle better while still maintaining strength and durability. An added bonus – aluminum is a recyclable material. We have already seen quite a few aluminum bodies vehicles come on the market, and we can expect to see many more.