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.


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.

Find an Automotive Repair Shop

Most of the time finding an automotive repair facility you feel comfortable with is like playing Russian Roulette, or a Turkey Shoot. Spending a little time researching can save you $100’s of dollars with a questionable shop. Here are some tips:

?Start with the most obvious. Does the shop have a membership in the Better Business Bureau (BBB)? Call the BBB and see if they have any complaints. How neat is the facility? Is it clean? Are employees genuinely concerned with your questions and are their answers direct, to the point and reasonable?

 Look at the credentials of the business and the employees. Some affiliations to look for include trade association membership, such as the Automotive Service Association (ASA). Look for certification or education offered by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR) and the Automotive Management Institute (AMI).

 Are there educated service technicians in using the test equipment? Ask about the equipment used to diagnose and perform the service. Is it up-to-date?

 Get a written estimate. Make sure the garage understands any changes to the written estimate needs your approval.

 Find out about the shop’s warranty. Get it in writing.

 If the shop owner or manager is hesitant in providing information on written estimates, warranty, leave and go to another shop.

 Ask family, friends and neighbors for their recommendations. Word-of-mouth referrals are the shop’s best form of advertising.

 The bottom line, no one can look out for your best interest than yourself. Asking questions now will avoid problems later.

Basic Winter Car Maintenance Tips

Discovering top quality car repair is not as effortless as it sounds. Your automobile is one of your most costly assets and most people do not know a hub cap from a transmission. Nonetheless, repairs can be really expensive and all car owners should take the time to find out basic car maintenance. Furthermore, car repair is particularly important in the winter as winter brings dangerous temperatures and driving situations. Keep your car safe from unnecessary car repair by adhering to these simple steps.

You will also want to exchange your wiper blades and check your windshield washer fluid. These two steps seem straightforward and they are a very inexpensive way to ensure you stay secure and steer clear of costly mishaps this winter. Prevent charges from mishaps caused by poor visibility. Wiper blades should be heavy duty and able to withstand the snow, sleet, sand and salt of winter driving. Also, quite a few drivers added a bit of antifreeze to their washer fluid, but that is no longer required.

One of the easiest tasks should be done 1st and takes only a few seconds or a few dollars to complete. Open the radiator cap and check to make sure that your antifreeze levels are satisfactory. The fluid in your radiator should be 50 percent antifreeze and 50 percent water. Make sure the level is topped off and that the ratio is at suggested levels. If you performed a radiator flush as suggested in the spring, this step is somewhat easy and uncomplicated. Otherwise, you may want to ask the garage that does your regular oil change to check the antifreeze mixture at the same time.

Car Maintenance Checklist

Every week: Inspect your tires

At least every month: Check that all of your interior and exterior lights are working

Perform Every 3,000 Miles
1. Change your oil
2. Rotate your tires
3. Check transaxle fluid

At lease twice a year: Check all window wipers

Simple Car Maintenance Tips

To keep your car in proper condition and to keep it functioning properly for long time, you need to do proper car maintenance. You can use some professional help and tune your car regularly and eventually can increase the life of your car. After every 30,000 miles or 2 years, your car needs regular servicing. Here are some easy things that you must consider, if you want to keep you car in good shop for longer time.

Some Easy Tips for Maintaining Your Car

You do not need to clean the fuel filters. You simply can replace them, if they inject fuel or are congested.

If you do not have electronic ignition change points and condenser in your car, you should keep track of the ignition timings and should get it tuned at least twice a year. You should inspect the belts regularly and should replace them when they get exhausted. The oil and other liquids beneath the cover also need to be checked regularly. Also change the air filters between main services.

Other important factors of the car maintenance are the servicing of the battery, maintenance of the clutch and adding the distilled water on regular basis. You also need to examine the oxygen sensor on a regular basis. This sensor is responsible for the production of discharges and for setting the engine.

If you see any signs of problems, do not wait for it to stop performing. That will be more costly and time consuming. Regular tune ups are recommended, as they will keep the costly troubles away. If you do not remember or simply ignore a regular tune up, that will mean more trouble and issues later on.

You should spend some time learning the simple car maintenance skills as these will save you time and money.

Choose the Best Car Repair Service Centre

Have you been in an instance where you have had a vehicle trouble and you needed anyone to fix it? Almost all people had at one time. It can be very frustrating to have your vehicle fixed especially when you do not have any idea where to go and who will fix it. This is exactly the importance of having a trustworthy mechanic near your place when you first bought your car. Here are some tips on choosing a car mechanic should you need his services.

Tip #1: Get Recommendations:

All the experts agree with this idea: always get recommendations when you are about to choose the best car mechanic. Mechanics operate in the service industry, and they are not just there to service your vehicle, but additionally to service you too, meaning you need to make certain the car mechanic does not only understand how to fix a car, but he also understands how to treat his clients. The easiest method to know this is to buy recommendations prior to your visit to the mechanics service centre. Request family members and friends, as well as co-employees concerning the mechanics that they have worked with. You will likely find great opinions from them.

Tip #2: Take A Look At Their Shop:

Garage centers are not similar. Lot of people thinks that all garages are covered in filth and therefore are much disorganized. That is not the situation. When you choose a car mechanic, make certain that you take time to look at their garage. When the garage is totally filthy and it is disorganized, you might want to search for another mechanic. While a little of grime and grease is anticipated inside a garage, the garage ought to be organized to ensure that the car mechanic will find exactly what he needs. The place ought to be neat and comfortable for waiting while your vehicle gets repaired.

Tip #3: Pay Attention To Their Prices:

Another factor that is vital to look at when you are selecting a vehicle mechanic is the prices. When you are searching for a car mechanic you do not always want to obtain the least expensive mechanic. Sometimes inexpensive kind of mechanic does not possess the experience or training that is essential to get the vehicle in great shape. But neither would you like to discover the most costly. Rather, search for one which has fair prices. A business who hides their prices is not one that you ought to use. It is also advisable to compare their prices with other service centers.

Should you search for a car mechanic, make sure that the mechanic is not just capable of fixing your vehicle but also is capable of examining what needs to be fixed. Get one who knows their profession and is offering their services at reasonable price.


Make certain the mechanic includes a professional certification from a testing organization. Car service centers only hire licensed mechanics as these types of mechanics demonstrate understanding and professionalism relating to their jobs. Therefore, they are more reliable than those who are not.