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Used Semi Truck Purchases – How To Find The Safest Commercial Vehicle

Posted by on Mar 16, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you privately ship items for a living or if you own a shipping business, then you likely use commercial vehicles to transport goods. Semi trucks and tractor trailers are the most efficient vehicles for large scale shipping needs. If you need to expand your business or replace a truck that has broken, then your best options is to purchase a used tractor trailer. The safety of the truck should be one of your top concerns, so follow the tips below to make sure that the used semi you choose is the safest one possible. Look for Advanced Safety Features Automobiles have been supplied with advanced safety features for some time now, and these devices help to prevent vehicle accidents. Blind spot detection, collision warning systems, rearview cameras, and automatic braking systems are a few examples of these features. Around two million injuries a year occur due to vehicle accidents, and the vast majority of these incidents involve passenger vehicles. However, when a semi truck is involved in an accident, fatalities and serious injuries are quite likely. Manufacturers understand this concern, and advanced safety features are now implemented in some commercial vehicles. Collision avoidance systems are most commonly utilized with large semi trucks. These safety devices feature radar systems on the front of the trucks that detect possible collisions. When a collision is detected, the engine is slowed down and the braking system is activated. Look for a commercial vehicle with one of these systems to own the safest truck. You may need to buy a truck that has been manufactured sometime after  2007 or 2008 to take advantage of advanced safety features. Consider Color Cab color is often not one of the deciding factors that you will use when purchasing a semi truck, but color is actually quite important to safety. Studies indicate that the color of your truck can reduce accidents by making your truck as visible as possible at night and during storms. White vehicles are considered the safest, because they reflect light. Consider purchasing a white truck, unless you drive extensively in snowy weather. If this is the case, then think about buying a yellow truck.   Along with the basic color of the cab, look for reflectors that have been permanently secured to the vehicle. Reflectors and reflective tape mirror the light that is cast from headlights and traffic lights. This helps to make your truck much more visible in low light situations. The most effect reflectors will be located on the lower sides and the back of the vehicle. Red and white reflectors are most effective, so look for these types of add-ons. Ask for Maintenance Logs Semi trucks are often considered business investments due to their high costs. This means that truck owners will often complete regular maintenance to ensure the safety and functionality of all the working parts across the truck. Detailed records generally accompany the maintenance, and these records or logs should be provided with the used semi truck you intend on buying. Before you purchase the truck, look over the logs in detail. Make sure that oil has been changed about every 10,000 to 15,000 miles, and look for indications that drive shafts have been properly oiled as well every several weeks. Logs should indicate that both oil and fuel filters are changed every one or two...

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Buying A Used Car For Your Teen Driver? Make Sure It’s Free Of These Issues

Posted by on Mar 5, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Having a teen driver in the household can be nerve wracking – after all, vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among teenagers in the United States. Lots of practice time and plenty of ground rules are essential risk management components, and the type of vehicle your teen drives has a direct impact on their safety while behind the wheel. When shopping at used car sales for your teen, it is a good idea to make sure that it’s free of these issues: Deployed Airbags After an airbag has been initially deployed, it no longer has the ability to protect the driver or passengers from accidents. And if the airbags have been previously deployed, it’s a big sign that there has been some body damage to the vehicle that’s been repaired or covered up. Repairs and replacements of the airbag system does not guarantee that they’ll work again. Ideally, your teen’s vehicle should have airbags in it that have never been deployed to ensure optimal performance in case they are needed at some point in the future. In addition to checking the airbag indicator light, inspect the steering wheel cover and dash for signs that they have been replaced, which would signal that the airbags have been deployed or repaired. A Salvage Title Vehicles with salvage titles have been in serious accidents that causes structural damage to the vehicle. This damage may have been repaired, but that doesn’t mean that the functionality and safety of the vehicle is intact. Most vehicles with salvage titles can’t be financed, and you’d be hard pressed to find an insurance company who would be willing to issue insurance policies for them. And the truth is that you never know how safe these vehicles are once they’re on the road again. It’s best to avoid vehicles that come with salvage titles altogether. An Upgraded Sound System Loud music is identified as a hazard for all drivers, especially those who are new to it like your teen. In fact, music played above 90 decibels may reduce driver reaction times by up to 20 percent. The last thing your teenager needs is a loud stereo system installed in their vehicle that encourages them to keep the volume at high levels. Systems with multi-disc CD systems and plug-ins for iPods just add to the distraction. Consider sticking with a vehicle that has a basic radio system that won’t intrigue your teen into paying lots of attention to it. Even with a basic radio system in place, you may want to install a volume control program that will limit the decibel level of the volume while your teen drives. Lots of Extra Seats The risk of an accident is increases with each and every additional passenger your teen drives around with, so it’s smart to limit the number of passengers allowed in the vehicle at any given time. It’s important to address passenger limits within the rules set in place for your teen driver, but you won’t be there to enforce the rules all of the time. An effective way to limit passengers in the car is to avoid vehicles that come with lots of extra seats and storage space. A small sedan without a hatchback limits available space for comfortable riding, which will automatically limit the...

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Oh, Rats! Rodents Pose Big Problems For BMWs In Winter Storage

Posted by on Feb 9, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Before you put your beloved BMW in storage for the winter, what steps do you take to protect it? Do you spray your wheels with a coat of petroleum so they don’t rust? Do you remove your battery so that you can bring it home and charge it every now and then? How about the fluids — do you top them off so your car is ready to roll come spring? If you do all of these things, then you’re well on your way to keeping your BMW protected through winter, but you’re missing a very important detail — pest control. Rodents are attracted to the tight, sheltered confines of your car in winter, and if you don’t take measures to stop them, they’ll ruin your vehicle. What Kind Of Damage Can Rodents Do To Your Car? Rodents drag all kinds of materials back to their nesting spots. A daily haul of goodies might include some torn up paper, a potato peel, some snails, and a bit hair. These random bits of debris pose fire hazards and can choke up your engine, so it’s never a good idea to have them floating around under your hood. The biggest risk of damage rodents pose to your BMW, though, is damage to the wiring.  There are over 2,050 different species of rodents in the world and they all have one horrific characteristic in common: their teeth never stop growing. Whether squirrels or rats, mice or voles, if they don’t constantly gnaw away at their surroundings, their teeth will grow so long that they ultimately lead to the rodents’ demise. Most of the necessary chomper growth-control takes place in the area immediately surrounding their nests. If that nest happens to be in your stored BMW, you’re looking at chewed-through filters, ruined hoses and belts, and a whole lot of severed wiring. In a worst-case scenario, rodents can chew through your wiring harness, which is the main electronic hub of your car. This harness can hold over 1000 wires that control over 100 features of your vehicle! If your wiring harness gets chewed, you can expect to find yourself without power locks, power steering, lighting, air conditioning, or window functions. Because of the complexity of your wiring harness, these repairs must be performed by a skilled BMW auto repair professional and, as you can imagine, can be pretty expensive.  How Can You Keep Rodents Out Of Your Car? Don’t worry, you don’t have to spend your winter camping out next to your stored BMW playing bop-a-mole; you just need to take a few extra precautions when placing your classy car in storage.  Don’t Provide A Food Source — Try not to eat in your car. Even little crumbs left behind can be enough to allure hungry vermin. If you do eat in your car, vacuum it out thoroughly before storing it. If you’re storing your vehicle in your household garage and you also keep your garbage there, consider relocating your trash to outdoor covered containers to get it (and therefore, rodents) farther away from your vehicle.  Deny Easy Access — If rodents can find an easy-access entry to your car, they’re going to take advantage of it. While plugging up your exhaust and air intake isn’t foolproof, it will at least deter the pests a...

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Building Up Business For Your New Auto Body Shop

Posted by on Jan 28, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Small business owners face big challenges, especially in the first few years. According to The Wall Street Journal, three out of every four new businesses fail, and auto body shops are no exception. If you want to keep your doors open, you must market both yourself and your business aggressively from day one. If you have the budget to do so, consider hiring a marketing expert to get the word out, but if you’re forced to go it alone, give these tried and true tactics a go: Build Your Online Presence Every 21st-Century business needs a website, and it should be optimized for mobile users. Mobile users are those who do much of their shopping and Internet surfing from mobile devices such as cell phones and tablets, and they encompass a large portion of the population. Build a website to showcase your new business and make it user-friendly and convenient for potential customers to navigate. Offer small coupon deals to get people through the doors — offers such as discounted paint touch-ups or glass repair — and then wow them with your abilities and your stellar customer service. Advertise your website on local classified pages that feature cars for sale.  Participate in Car Shows Set up at local car shows to make your presence known to local car enthusiasts. This is the clientele you need to woo in order to remain in business. Offer a chance to win a nice giveaway, such a free paint job, if visitors leave their street and email addresses. You can use these later to send out small samples that might include your business card made into a refrigerator magnet or a free car-themed item such as a small ice scraper or car freshener. People love getting freebies, and as long as the ones you’re giving out contain your contact information — or even better, a QR code that points to the landing page of your website — customers will find you. Use the email addresses to send targeted promotions to people you know are already interested in cars.  Get to Know Your Auto-Conscious Neighbors Enough can never be said about networking. Going door-to-door in your neighborhood and getting to know the other car-related business owners can net you big rewards. You own an auto body shop, and the guy across the street owns a detailing service? Make friends right away. Maybe you can help each other out by referring customers. Other local businesses to target include car washes, auto-supply stores, and tire dealerships. Offer to display the brochures of these local businesses at your cash register and ask them to do the same for you. When you begin seeing those regular customer stream through the doors, talk up your fellow shop owners and tell your customers to mention your name when they visit.  Choose Your Signage Wisely Lastly, invest in quality signage that’s eye-catching without being obnoxious, and have your signs professionally made and installed. Nothing is more off-putting than hand-lettered signage that’s spelled wrong and looks amateurish. Your entrance is your first impression, make sure it’s as professional as you are. Choose signage that screams auto body shop. Additionally, ensure your interior signage is easy to understand and accurate. Pay attention to expiration dates, and if a customer catches you out, remember —...

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3 Important Tips For Protecting Your Car From Rust

Posted by on Jan 19, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

When it comes to cars, rust is the great equalizer. It doesn’t matter if your car is an old beater you bought for a few hundred dollars or a brand-new luxury car you just drove off of the lot. All cars are susceptible to rust because of the materials they’re made from. Whether you’re trying to preserve a new car’s pristine appearance or just keep your old car in one piece, rust prevention should be a priority for you. However, many people don’t know how to effectively prevent rust in all parts of their cars. Take a look at a few tips you may not have heard of that will help prevent your car from developing rust. Measure Your Coolant Carefully Your car’s cooling system is as vulnerable to rust as many other parts of your car. In fact, it may be more vulnerable because you occasionally have to introduce water into the system. Water contains oxygen, and because of this, it can easily oxidize metal. With exposure to water, the aluminum and iron in your cooling system can turn to aluminum oxide and ferrous oxide (rust) and your cooling system will corrode. Your best protection against this corrosion is to avoid putting too much water into your cooling system. Never put in distilled water alone, and always make sure you use a 50:50 mixture of coolant and water. The coolant acts as protectant against rust, and will prevent the metal from oxidizing and your system from developing leaks. Choose Your Car Cover Carefully You may choose to use a car cover to protect your vehicle when it has to sit for long hours in an open parking lot. This is an excellent idea, as it can protect your paint and upholstery from fading and protect your car from bird droppings and debris that can cause rust spots and other damage when left on the car for too long. However, there is a downside. A car cover can trap moisture underneath your car, contributing to rust development on the underside of the car – the most difficult spot for most car owners to reach and clean. The solution is to avoid car covers made of plastic film or plastic-coated fabric. These can be useful if you’re going to store your car in a closed, dry place for the winter, but they can do more harm than good if you’re trying to protect your car from the weather in an open parking lot. Instead, choose a car cover made from a breathable fabric material that won’t trap moisture. If possible, order one custom fitted for your car. An overly large cover may flap around in the wind, leading to scratches on the car’s surface that can lead to rust spots if they aren’t fixed quickly. Use a Rust Inhibitor Many car dealerships offer rust inhibitor treatments at an additional charge. If you’re buying a new car, you may want to think about purchasing the rust inhibitor treatments. These treatments can be as much as 99% effective if applied correctly. Even if it’s too late to have the dealership add in a rust inhibitor treatment, it’s not too late to use one on your car. If you’re looking for a DIY treatment for rust prevention, you should look into rust inhibitor...

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5 Sure Signs That Your Transmission Needs Attention

Posted by on Jan 13, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Even if your mechanical knowledge is limited, you probably know enough about cars to be aware that transmission trouble can result in costly repair bills. Fortunately, you may be able to keep expenses down by learning to recognize signs of potential transmission trouble, which will enable you to get your car into the shop before the damage is extensive. Although it doesn’t always work this way, a general rule of thumb with major auto parts such as engines and transmissions is that driving the vehicle until it completely breaks will cost significantly more than having it repaired when you first notice a possible malfunction. Following are five signs that your vehicle’s transmission is due for a checkup. Leaking Fluid A classic symptom that your vehicle’s transmission is in distress is that it’s leaking red fluid. This isn’t necessarily a sign of a major problem, though — it could be as simple as a small leak in your transmission case. A sign that something serious may be in play is if the fluid has a burnt odor. No matter what, though, you need to get your car to a professional as soon as possible after noticing a leak. Slipping Gears Whether your vehicle has a manual or automatic transmission, slipping out of gear is a sure sign of a potential big problem. Not only is your car unsafe to drive at this point, but doing so will most likely damage the gears even further. Be safe and have it towed to the mechanic’s shop. Failure to Shift Gears This could mean a minor problem such as an inadequate amount of transmission fluid or something more serious such as a malfunctioning clutch. This scenario is far more likely to occur in vehicles with automatic transmissions. You can easily check the level of fluid in a car with an automatic transmission by locating your transmission and checking the level with a dipstick — there should be one provided right next to the transmission fluid tank. If you don’t know where your transmission is, then consult your owner’s manual. Checking the fluid level of a vehicle that has a manual transmission is a bit more complicated — leave that task to the mechanic unless you’ve got some basic mechanical skills yourself. A Burning Odor A sharp, burning odor can be a sign that your transmission is overheating. A common cause of this is low transmission fluid levels or fluid that has not been changed in a long time that has become so dirty that it is failing to lubricate the gears properly. If you have a manual transmission, having the fluid changed every 30,000 — 60,000 will will help prevent this from happening. Keep in mind that if you do most of your driving in urban areas that require a lot of stopping, going, and otherwise shifting gears, your transmission fluid may require changing more often. Automatic transmissions that function normally can easily go over 60,000 miles without having to have their fluids changed. Grinding and Shaking If your vehicle has a manual transmission, a grinding sound when you switch gears could be indicative of a worn out clutch — but it could also mean that the clutch simply needs to be adjusted. Only a qualified mechanic will be able to know for...

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