Monthly Archives: November 2016

Boat Winterization Services

Fuel:

Fill up fuel tanks to avoid condensation during winter. Add a fuel stabilizer by following exact instructions on the container. Change out fuel filters and water separators.

Main Engines and Generators: (Optional $150)

Change the sump oil and oil filters. You should run the engine for 10 minutes to warm it up first. Hot oil tends to allow impurities to be drained with the oil. Acids have formed in the oil from combustion heat and are attacking vital engine parts. Leaving old oil in an engine during the non-use period is a bad idea. The old oil adheres to bearing and other important engine parts and causes corrosion. Change fuel filters on primary and secondary filters. Check fuel filters for algae and water. Advise owner if really bad. Make sure to change protective zincs in the main engines and generators. Add anti-freeze to cooling system and run for fifteen minutes. Use only environmentally friendly anti-freeze. Never use silicone based anti-freezes or even ones which contain any silicone what so ever. If the engine block freezes and cracks, it’s usually covered under the boater’s insurance policy. Plug up all exhaust ports. Remove spark plugs and use fogging oil spray to spray into cylinders. Wipe down engine with a rag sprayed with WD-40 or fogging oil. You may also wish to follow engine linkage and spray it down with WD-40 and wipe excess.

Bottom Cleaning:

If the boat is out of the water clean off the bottom of the boat ASAP. It is easiest to remove barnacles, grass and slime while the bottom is still wet. Pay particular attention to cleaning off the water line and transom. Also propellers, shaft, rudders and trim tabs.

Stern Drives:

Inspect stern drive(s) and remove any plant life or barnacles from lower unit. Drain gear case to remove any moisture in oil. Clean the lower unit with a steam cleaner when it is possible. Check rubber boots for cracks and pin hole leaks. Grease all fittings and check fluid levels in hydraulic steering or lift pumps.

Carpet Cleaning:

Ask about carpet cleaning for the boat. Clean upholstered furniture. Also lay out fabric curtains and clean them as well. Vacuum mattresses.

Outboard Motors:

Disconnect fuel hose and run engine dry, until it stops. It is very important to make sure all fuel is drained from carburetor to prevent build up of deposits from evaporated fuel. Old oil can turn to varnish. Use fogging oil, spray into cylinder walls, and pistons. Apply water-resistant grease to propeller shaft and threads. Wax the engine. Note: there are two theories on whether you should disconnect and drain fuel or whether you should add stabilizers and fuel treatments. Nissan Marine Motors recommends that you drain it completely, while Mercury and OMC recommend treating fuel with a conditioner, which they sell, and adding stabilizer. The second method is of course much simpler, but you must follow the boat engine manual.

Canvas Covers: (Add Maintenance Costs for Hardware)

Check for weak seams and defective fasteners. Check receivers on the boat also. You must replace bad hardware due to winter winds. A few bad fasteners may allow the wind to grip on the covers and it will thrash it to shreds.

Storage Bins and Lockers:

Use a good marine caulking compound to seal cracks and leaks. Remove contents. If paint is missing, sand and repaint (extra fee). Be sure to wipe down with moisture resistant cleaner and then wax it.

First Aid Kits:

Replenish first aid kits and medical supplies. Discard old medicines. Take everything out and wipe with anti-moisture cleaner.

Docking Lines:

If the boat will be left in the water, pay attention. Check lines for chafe and add spring or breast lines to prevent fore and aft movement in the slip. There should be twice the number of lines as normal. Check dock cleat for tightness. If loose, contact marina management to get them prepared before windy season. Add chafe protectors on lines if owner wishes and be sure to charge them for this. Hang twice the number of fenders that you would use in summer.

Power Cords: (Replacements Add Costs, Coordinate Repairs)

Give your AC power cord an inspection. Check to see if the female end looks brown, melted or corroded inside. If it does you have a poor connection problem. Have a professional marine electrician take a look. Make sure the power cord does not fall into the water or that there is no way it will be pulled in to the water. An electrical short can cause unnecessary corrosion to the boat or neighboring boats.

Deck Gear:

Secure all gear on the deck and possibly attach a small plastic coated wire lock. Mail the key to the lock with a note in your invoice for services. Keep one key yourself. Do the same for shore boats, water toys, scuba and safety gear. Other items such as EPIRB’s, mob flags, fire extinguishers, flares, fenders and life saving gear is better off below out of the weather. Pressure wash them first and secure them below to discourage theft. Advise owners to take cushions, galley fuel, boat papers, home electronics and small outboard motors home.

Fuel Tanks: (Add Cost of Gas to Invoice)

Top off fuel tanks and pour in two bottles of additive.

Secure Cabin:

Close all through-hulls (except cockpit drains). Double clamp both sides with stainless rubber hose clamps. Turn cushions on end to allow air to circulate around them. Open refrigerator and freezer and tie doors open. Wipe them down inside with moisture absorbing marine products such as: “No-Damp”, “Damp Away”, or “Sportsman’s Mate”. If you want to really get tricky turn on a de-humidifier for a half a day.

Sailing Yachts:

Secure the halyards to keep them from clanging as the wind blows and putting nicks I the mast. Make sure sail covers are tight and lashed strongly to the boom. If you have roller-furling, be sure the sails are furled all the way in and the furling line is secured so that wind will not deploy.

Freezing Lakes:

If you live in an area where the lake actually freezes around boat and the owner has opted to leave it in the water, you might suggest a de-icing system or bubbling system around the boat.

Simple Credit Repair Tips

Thinking that credit repair is simple is a fallacy, however, there are some credit repair tips that are quite simple to follow and five of them are listed below. The idea that performing a successful credit repair can be done overnight is also extremely false. Appointing an expert to assist you would be very advantageous; otherwise, you will need to be diligent and professional in your efforts to repair your rating.

-Examine your credit report thoroughly to discover any discrepancies first, as well as negative entries such as collection accounts, judgments, liens and charge-offs. Make notes of every harmful item that you have paid off or ones that may not belong to you. The fact of the matter is that by changing or removing even a few negatives on your credit report can greatly improve the score.

-Contact the companies to fight erroneous items on your credit report. The company names, addresses and phone numbers should be listed on the credit report to use in your quest for credit repair. Many discrepancies can be removed when you send dispute letters to the creditors that have reported negative marks onto your credit file. Argue any erroneous entry or even ones that are accurate but may be still reporting negatively and affecting your credit score.

-Even though it may not be considered an actual tip for credit repair, it is important to incorporate and follow a household budget in order to revamp your credit file. Prevention will play a key part of keeping your credit on track when bills are paid in a timely manner. The bottom line is having the money to pay your bills on time to ensure a good credit rating, so a household budget would be imperative to the goal.

-Be wise when paying off credit card debt in your effort to repair your credit. Not all credit is bad and keeping the right amount would also improve your credit rating. This is another area in which a specialist would be beneficial. Also, it is important that you do not go over your means when paying them off or else you may end up in the same sinking boat.

-Hire a professional credit repair expert. If you find that it is too overwhelming and time consuming to handle all of the dispute letters, phone calls and contact with the various companies on your own, you should find a reputable credit repair agency to assist you. Professional agents are qualified and experienced in credit repair so they will be much more likely to have a positive impact on your efforts to clean your credit and you can rest easy knowing that it is being handled accurately.

Methods of Wood Boat Repair

Wood has been used to build boats since man first starting travelling by water. Wood boats are still used today, even though there are more resilient materials to use in these more modern times, wood is arguably the most beautiful material to build a boat from.

The downside to using wood as a building material is its vulnerability to decay from water. For this reason, maintenance of a wooden boat is of absolute importance. Wood can be very durable if sealed properly and it is a very forgiving building material, so it is easy to work with and can be shaped into many shapes, so when it comes to wood boat repair it is something that can be taken on a lot easier than say fiberglass or aluminum. Tools for maintaining and repairing a wooden boat are much more readily available at most local general hardware stores, than other boat building materials, so it is something that can be taken on as a home project rather than needing to bring in costly specialist help.

Wood is a beautiful material to work with and makes for beautiful boats, so if you have chosen to buy or build a wooden boat then you will want to take the necessary precautions to keep this boat in the best possible condition. There are several precautionary measures you can take to help preserve the life of the boat. If you are building a wooden boat from scratch, then picking the right type of wood is your first concern. Some woods such as white woods are simply not strong enough and other woods like Cedar are not very rot resilient. Teak is a very strong wood and extremely resilient to deterioration so is an excellent choice.

Storage of your boat is also an important factor. This depends on the type of environment that the boat is in. A prime example of this is in hot and humid conditions. These conditions will encourage the growth of bacteria and fungi in the wood and so treatment with anti-bacterial and anti-fungal chemicals as well as regular cleaning of the boat are even more important. Another example is storing your boat inside somewhere warm and dry if it is not being used over winter periods.

Wooden boats are a passion for many people and how well you maintain your boat will directly determine how many years of enjoyment you will get from the boat. Even after following these general tips you still need to regularly check your boat for signs of damage or decay, the sooner you notice these the easy and cheaper it will be to repair.

How To Winterize Your Bike

Sad, but true, it’s that time again… time to winterize your motorcycle. As difficult as it may be to even consider putting your bike away during the harsh months to come, it is a must in order to keep it safe. Those living in harsher climates especially need to take special precautions to ensure that their bike stays in shape for riding once the weather breaks and spring returns.

To keep your motorcycle in tip-top running shape, figure on taking at least one full day to get it prepared for storage. Follow these simple tips to help protect your motorcycle this winter, so it’ll be ready to hit the road again come spring:

-Change the Oil and lubricate all moving parts.

-Purge The Carbs, always remembering to add gasoline stabilizer to the tank before storing.

-Wash and dry your bike thoroughly before storage. A leaf blower works great in frying off excess water.

-Check your belt drive for any signs of wear and tear at the end of each riding season.

-Wax all painted areas and the frame to keep moisture from causing problems over the winter months.

-Clean and polish all chrome parts and rims with a coat of chrome polish or silicone lube.

-Adjust and lubricate your drive chain.

-Take special care of your battery by removing it for the winter months. Always clean the terminal and check the fluids (adding more when needed). Store on a wooden plank only – never concrete!

-To keep unwanted guests from setting up housecleaning in your exhaust pipes, be sure to stuff a rag in the end or cover with a plastic bag. Always REMOVE prior to starting up your bike in the spring!

-Keep your bike covered when stored with a good quality motorcycle cover or cotton bed sheet.

-Remove all removable equipment and store in a relatively warm place (oil dipstick, temperature gauge, etc.

-Leave a note for yourself to remind you of any parts that need replaced or rechecked or maintenance that will be required before heading out on the open road once again.

Motorcycles may seem like big strong machines that need little tender loving care, but the truth is a motorcycle needs a lot of attention in order to ensure that it rides safely and stays problem free for years to come. Those living in warmer climates may be able to forgoes the storage tips listed here, but those living in the colder climates of the Northeast and Northwest mountains should take the time to carefully prepare their bikes for the winter season.

How to Save Money on Do-It-Yourself Automotive Repairs

When trying to do automotive repairs yourself, there may be times when you do not have the right equipment or experience to properly diagnose a problem. Some times even the professional certified mechanics might have difficulty. This is when you must simply replace a suspected faulty part and hope that it fixes your problem. When going this route, you can save a lot of money by purchasing 2nd hand car parts rather than opting for brand new ones.

There are often many junk yards in any town that will offer “you pull it” service. This means you can get a better price on 2nd hand car parts if you bring your own tools and remove the part yourself. You will also have a better chance to inspect and decide whether or not the part is in good enough condition for your use.

Other junk yards will hire special staff to pull all road worthy parts from a totaled vehicle and put them up for sale. Buying 2nd hand car parts from places like these will often have some sort of guarantee on all parts other than electronics. This is because electronic 2nd hand car parts can sometimes be damaged simply by hooking up to a faulty electrical system, and there is no way to determine who is at fault. Those junk yards will however have a process for determining quality control so you can shop with comfort.

This can save you a lot of money when you are not sure exactly what is wrong with your car. Generally there will be several parts that you know could be causing the problem, so you will have to start with one.

Cheap used car parts may have slightly less life left in them, but will be much easier to fit in your budget. You never know just how much is broken until you try and fix it. You won’t know if a bolt is stripped until you try and remove it. Just be sure to carefully look over your 2nd hand car parts so that you know you are getting a working piece.

Summer Checklist For Motorcycle Safety

It’s summertime, which means that instead of sitting in front of the computer, you would probably rather be out on the wide open road riding your motorcycle. Before you hop on your bike and ride towards the sunset, you should take a moment to review some Massachusetts motorcycle safety tips in order to avoid any problems that could lead to a serious motorcycle accident.

Winter Bike Storage

Because it gets so cold in the winter, you should exercise Massachusetts motorcycle safety by winterizing your bike. Winterizing means that you took the time to properly clean your bike, including changing the oil, removing the spark plugs, or even removing the battery, before storing it for the winter. If you did not prepare your motorcycle for the winter, you may want to have it checked out by your bike mechanic first.

Safety Gear

Next, you should check out your riding gear. Inspect your helmet, boots, gloves, and other riding accessories to make sure everything still fits properly and isn’t in need of repair. While you are at it, throw a motorcycle repair kit and some tools in your bike so you are prepared in the event of flat or other problem on the road.

Motorcycle Inspection

Most motorcycle owners are familiar with the acronym “T-Clocs.” This helpful mnemonic device can help you remember what to check before going out for a ride, especially if it has been awhile since the bike has been used. Here is what T-Clocs stands for:

• Tires: Check the tire’s condition, such as tread depth and wear, as well as air pressure. You should also inspect the wheels to ensure the spokes, rims, bearings, and seals are in good working order.

• Controls: Check the levers and pedals to ensure they are not bent or broken and adjust them properly. Inspect the cables, hoses, and throttle for fraying, cracks, or cuts and make sure they work correctly.

• Lights: Make sure headlamps, brake lamps, and turn signals work. Inspect the battery and wiring to make sure they are in good working condition.

• Oil: Check all fluid levels (oil, hydraulic fluid, coolant, and fuel) and look for leaks.

• Chassis: Check the bike frame, suspension, chain, and fasteners to ensure everything is in place and working as it should.

• Stands: Make sure the center stand and side stand spring into place and are not cracked or bent.

Even if you follow all of these motorcycle safety tips, motorcycle accidents can happen. Motorcycles are much smaller than trucks or passenger vehicles, and drivers are not always on the lookout for motorcyclists. If you are injured by a careless or negligent driver, you should contact an experienced Massachusetts motorcycle accident attorney to help you file a motorcycle accident claim.

 

How To Fix A Motorcycle

Is your motorcycle not running the way it should be? Have you noticed in a drop in performance the last few times that you have been out riding? Chances are your motorcycle has mechanical issues that need to be addressed. Here is some helpful information about making motorcycle repairs.

Diagnosing The Problem

The first step in making repairs to your motorcycle is actually understanding what needs to be fixed in the first place. Proper diagnoses of the problem at hand is just as important as making the actual repair. You don’t want to spend hours on something that you think is the issue only to find out that you have been wasting your time on an incorrect hunch. One thing that you can do to properly diagnose mechanical issues that might exist with your motorcycle is to consult the owner manual.

Understanding How To Complete The Repair Task

Repairing a motorcycle can be a difficult task if you’re not exactly sure what you are doing. There are a number of resources both online and offline that can help you through the steps involved in making repairs. The owner manual is perhaps the most beneficial resource that a biker can have for performing maintenance and repair tasks because it contains information specific to your particular model.

There are also a number of diagnostics tools that can help you identify specific problems that might exist in your motorcycle. These tools will help identify issues within the motorcycle electrical system, fuel system, emissions system, and more.

Common Repairs That You Might Have To Make

There are a number of common repairs that might have to be made at some point over the life of your motorcycle. Here are some typical maintenance items that you could experience:

– Brake repairs (adjusting drum brake play)
– Pivot point and drive shaft/belt lubrication
– Throttle and clutch cable adjusting
– Tire pressure
– Battery services
– Spark plug replacement/spacing
– Air filter replacement/cleaning
– Oil changes
– Tire Replacement

Tips For Avoiding Future Costly Repairs

Keeping up with routine motorcycle maintenance tasks is one way that you can avoid expensive repairs later on due to long term neglect. To put it simple, staying on top of these common motorcycle repairs can save you a bundle of money down the road. If you’re not comfortable with making the repairs yourself, then it may be best to leave the repairs to a professional mechanic. Making mistakes due to a lack of knowledge can end up being more costly than paying a professional mechanic to complete the repairs the first time around.

Auto Repair Services in Okinawa

I recently visited Okinawa, Japan and found the people there are very friendly and kind. One problem, however, is that most of them do not speak English. On my first morning there, I spent the entire time looking for a person who could tell me in English where I could find a bank. I needed to exchange my U.S. dollars for Japanese yen.

In the neighborhood where I was staying I visited a grocery store, walked the streets, and finally found a small police station outside Kadena Air Base. They did not understand English, but they had a map. I said I was looking for a bank and they said “ginkou.” I thought they said “banko.” So I said “yes, yes!” They did direct me to a bank thankfully.

Now if it is that hard to discuss the location of a bank, imagine how difficult it is for a U.S. serviceman or woman to talk to an automotive mechanic about repairing their vehicle. Fortunately, I know of 2 American mechanics that are retired military who live and work in Okinawa near the Kadena Air Base. I saw firsthand the relief on the faces of customers who came in to drop off or pick up their cars.

Bill Siekert is the owner and head mechanic at B&M Okinawa. Bill explained that some of the automotive services provided on bases nearby are priced a little high because they are run under contract and frankly, they have a bit of a monopoly.

In Okinawa, some auto parts can be a difficult to find. Bill grinned as he said, “One way we have been able to help our customers is to go to the local junk yards in the area and find the parts we need.” It pays to have local connections. Bill speaks Japanese and has connections with local auto body specialists. Bill can arrange for any kind of automotive work that needs to be done.

Use Vinyl Banners For Your Automotive Repair Business

Knowing how to use a vinyl banner to the benefit of your automotive repair shop will help build awareness and, ultimately, new business for your shop. It’s important to think about what your repair shop has to offer and how a large vinyl banner could help grab attention, increase new customers, and improve current customer retention.

The bold design and vibrant colors of a well-designed advertising banner are great for making an impact, and a strong message can be enough to build trust with new service customers. Here are some of the most-effective uses for vinyl banners for your automotive repair business.

Listing Specialties

Identifying your automotive specialties builds confidence in your training and service. Hang a vinyl banner to help build your competitive edge and specifically-list your specialty training in imports, transmission repair, brakes, etc. Customers are more-comfortable knowing their car is being serviced by an experienced professional who is a confident authority on their specific repairs.

Customer Loyalty Programs

Advertise your customer appreciation cards, returning customer programs, service cards and any other special incentive programs that you offer to customers. An advertising banner that shows your customer appreciation will encourage return customers and develop a dedicated customer base. Place your custom banner in the waiting room so customers will be motivated to sign up for your customer loyalty programs while they wait.

Special Offers

As your part suppliers and distributors offer promotions, take advantage of this time to advertise special offers to your customers using a vinyl banner. Place an outdoor banner across your repair shop to announce the promotion, or hang an indoor banner over the parts section to help direct customers to the short-term deals. Always make sure to include a deadline which motivates customers to purchase.

Services

If you run a full-service repair shop, make sure current and potential customers know everything your shop provides. Hang a vinyl banner over your shop entrance or in your lobby. This will help your service representatives market your capabilities and lets customers know up-front everything that your shop can perform.

Promoting Events

If your service shop specializes in classic restoration, or if your employees have other specific interests, use this as an opportunity to participate in local events. Showing off your custom abilities and getting involved in the local community is a great way to market your shop. Don’t forget to order a vinyl banner which shows your business as the event sponsor or announces who is responsible for the restoration.

Before Buying Car Lifts for Your Automotive Repair Shop

Before you decide to choose the right car lifts for your automotive repair shop, there are some crucial factors that should be considered to make sure that you find the best one. If you are looking for the finest the industry can offer, you will not find it easily just by choosing randomly or rushing to make decisions. It is always good to know what to do and to make the right choice. You do not walk to the store and buy the first product you see, what you do is take your time, do research and then buy it. And the same thing goes for these car lift. It becomes better and easier for you if you have the right information about these machines.

This prepares you mentally and financially because you are sure of what to expect as you shop for such products. It also becomes easier to buy and enjoy your purchase without any form of regret because you know what is right for you and your shop, therefore no need to doubt your verdict.

This is the direct opposite of people who rush for products at the store without learning a few things about those items. The quality might be high but the buyers might still fail to make the right decision because it is not a good fit for the client. This brings the importance of following these tips during the purchase.

The right and detailed information is important during the buying process. You have to know what your repair shop needs and get that product for your shop. Also, if the selected supplier does not give the correct information or hides some facts about these products, you may as well reconsider your decision.

This means that you should always look for reputable companies in the industry to buy these products from. If you have friends or close relatives who have bought a car lift before, then you have an advantage. Their decision might not be the best but it can guide you as you seek for the best car lift for you.

Find out who your supplier is. It sounds very odd to buy something from a company you know little about. But when you know a little bit about them, it becomes easier to monitor what they do and how they can suit you. This prepares you to get the right manufacturer. You should at least look out for a brochure or the websites of your selected supplier. This makes it easy to learn a few things about them.

Also find out what other buyers have to say about that supplier. You cannot possibly interview every one that has bought a car lift but all you can do is to check through the various reviews and comments that have been posted by the consumers on the official sites of that particular dealer. You should expect positive reviews but if you discover that the majority is negative, move on to the next step.

Some additional factors such as the warranty, the price and the experience offered by the manufactures cannot be overruled. Car lifts are machines and if they break down, you need prompt repair or servicing and this is what your dealer should give. Do not forget the dimensions of your garage. It is recommended that you write down the correct measurements to guide you when looking for the one that fits your repair shop.