A Great Resource For All Vehicle Owners:

Posted on March 25th, 2015

Aftermarket or Imitation Parts
 If you have not checked out this website, you should! It is full of information and resources you need to make informed vehicle repair and insurance decisions.  This information ensures that consumers receive a high quality and safe auto repair each and every time.

This is one of the many articles on the website that we feel is important to share with our readers:


Imitation parts are typically new parts that have been made by someone other than your vehicle manufacturer. This means that someone not authorized by your vehicles manufacturer has tried to duplicate a part to be used in repairing your vehicle. Since the part to be used in repairing your vehicle was not produced by the auto maker, it hasn’t been made according to the specifications mandated by the auto maker, it wasn’t produced on the same equipment, and often, is not made from identical materials. As a result, these parts often do not fit properly, may or may not wear as well, and may interfere with the performance and safety features, like airbags and their deployment.

In 2001, the Federal Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) reviewed issues that had arisen about the use of these imitation parts in the repair of motor vehicles. In its report, the GAO concluded that NHTSA has almost no ability to recall imitation parts installed on consumers vehicles if they were found to be defective. GAO also recommended that NHTSA include testing of these imitation parts in its program.

In 2010, the collision industry became so concerned about insurers demanding the use of certain imitation structural parts in the repairs of vehicles that the repairers began performing testing demonstrations at national collision industry meetings to alert fellow repairers of the potential dangers of using these parts. Ford Motor Company then performed a series of tests confirming that the tested parts are not of “like, kind and quality” as represented by the imitation parts makers and Insurers and typically required by state law.

Unlike the parts made by your vehicle’s manufacturer, these aftermarket or imitation parts are not crash tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) that oversees the federal motor vehicle safety standards for newly manufactured vehicles. In fact, they are not crash tested by any government entity, and typically not crash tested by any independent entity at all.  That means that someone only thinks this part will perform as well as the one made by your vehicle’s manufacturer, but doesn’t really know it will.

Aftermarket parts should be subjected to the same government safety tests as the original parts so consumers can see the true costs that come with using many copy parts. NHTSA maintains that it has no obligation and no Congressional mandate to do so. In other words, NHTSA still doesn’t test these parts to make certain they are safe, and no other government entity does either.

Some insurers aren’t consistent about whether the use of aftermarket or imitation parts in your repair will affect the value of your vehicle. When they want you to have your vehicle repaired with aftermarket parts, they tell you that those parts will not have a negative impact on the value. They save money by convincing you to have your vehicle repaired with cheaper, aftermarket parts rather than parts authorized by your auto maker.

How to Avoid Getting Into an Accident with a Deer

Posted on March 16th, 2015

In the past six mountitlednths we have had quite a few vehicles in that have been damaged because they hit a deer while driving. Here are some tips to help you avoid this in the future:

Time – Deer are more active at dusk and dawn, which unfortunately is also when it is more difficult for us to see while we are driving. They are also more active during their mating season which runs from October to January. Be extra cautious during these months.

Location – In the areas surrounding your residence you will become familiar with where the deer tend to be. When driving in unfamiliar territory keep an eye out for the yellow diamond deer road signs. Stay alert and try not to drive to fast in these areas. If you are driving on a multi-lane road, use the centre lane as this gives the deer some space if it gets spooked and it gives you more time to react. Be aware – the more isolated the area, the more likely you are to hit a deer as these areas can be their natural habitat.

Deer Whistles –  Some people use a deer whistle, which is activated by the air as you drive. This whistle can frighten the deer away and help to avoid a collision. You can also try honking to scare the deer off the road.

Be Alert - If you see a deer, brake firmly, but avoid swerving out of your lane as you could cause an accident with another vehicle. In addition, the deer could change paths and swerve directly into you.

As you can see there are some steps you can take to avoid having an accident with a deer. Always be cautious and alert while driving, and take note of your surroundings.

How to Jump Start Your Vehicle

Posted on March 6th, 2015

You get in your vehicle and attempt to start it, only to find your battery is dead. Follow these instructions to give your battery a jump, but make sure to consult your handbook first.

The first thing you need to do is see if anyone around you is willing to give your vehicle a jump. If not, call someone that will be able to bring their vehicle to assist you. Once you have secured a second vehicle, park it directly in front of your vehicle, with the hoods facing eachother. Make sure both cars are turned off, and open both bonnets.  Connect the first end of the red positive (+) cable to the positive (+) terminal of the dead battery. Do the same for the other end of the red cable for the good battery. Next, connect the black negative (-) cable to the negative (-) terminal on the working battery. Attach the other end to a piece of metal (bolt, bracket, etc.) on the engine of the dead vehicle.

Double check the cables are away from moving parts and start the engine of the working vehicle. Let it run for a few minutes and try starting the dead car. If it does not start you may have to leave it running for a bit longer.

Once you have your car started leave the other car running for at least five minutes to let the battery charge. Then remove the jumper cables in reverse to the way you attached them. Make sure the clamps do not touch together or any metal surfaces.

Disconnect the black clamp from the grounded metal on the dead car.

Disconnect the black clamp from the negative (-) terminal of the good battery.

Disconnect the red clamp from the positive (+) terminal of the good battery.

Disconnect the red clamp from the positive (+) terminal of the dead battery.

You should drive around or leave the engine running for 30 minutes to an hour for the battery to recharge.