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wsMany customers take their car to the garage for servicing or minor repairs and find themselves rubbing their eyes in disbelief when they are presented with the bill. Below are the top tricks of the trade to know about hidden auto repair costs.

Jacking Up The Bill After Quoting Low

Some garages deliberately low ball their price for a repair when giving an initial quote. When the car is at the workshop, they will call the customer and claim that the part they initially quoted for is different than the one needed to fix the car. The new part is twice as expensive, and the bill jumps up.

Charging Expensive Rates For Diagnostics

Many garages will charge an hour's labor or an expensive flat rate for diagnostics. Diagnostics involves plugging a computer into the car that then gives details on the location of any faults with the vehicle. Half an hour is more than enough time for a mechanic to complete the whole diagnostic process and is the amount of time that should be billed to the customer.

Replacing Parts That Can Be Repaired

Garages will often recommend that a

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auAuto alignments and repairs as performed by a professional auto repair shop will ensure that your tires perform better and last longer. Otherwise referred to as tire alignments, these wheel alignments will also improve handling. Additionally, they keep your vehicle from vibrating strangely and/or pulling in a single direction.

About Tire Alignments

Auto alignments and repairs typically involve adjustments to the car's suspension. This suspension refers to the system that connects your vehicle to its wheels. Although most people assume that tire alignments involve adjusting the tires and wheels, this is not the case. Instead, the automotive repair technician will alter the angles of the wheels so that they make proper contact with the road.

Knowing If You Need an Auto Alignment

There are many ways to tell if your vehicle needs an alignment. In case you notice any of the following indicators, check your car in with a licensed auto alignment and repair service technician immediately:

a) Steering wheel vibration
b) Uneven tread wear
c) When the car pulls either to the right or to the left
d) If you notice that your steering wheel is off-center while

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caFor most Americans we depend on our vehicles to get us from place to place. Yes, we can walk, take a train, bus or other form of public transportation but for many situations having a vehicle means the ability to get from one place to another. However, that mobility is seriously hindered if our vehicle is in need of repair or if proper maintenance is overlooked. Consequently, it is necessary to plan on frequent car service appointments to ensure that your vehicle is in top working condition.

Of course, it is not always needful to take the car to a shop to be serviced. There are many actions you can take to help maintain your vehicle's reliability. Here are a few to get you started.

· Don't ignore the check engine light. When the light first comes on, it can be easy to overlook it or think you will get to it later. However, whenever this light comes on, it is best to go ahead and see a mechanic. These lights are designed to come when there is a problem. Early discovery can mean spending

If you're considering repainting your car, a quick online search will reveal a wide range of costs that can be confusing. However, unless you have a luxury car or are restoring a classic, it's not necessary to spend a fortune on a quality job.

If, like many Americans, you are keeping your vehicle up to the national average of 11.5 years or longer, repainting your car is one way to keep it in good shape. A few hours in a body shop can cover age, minor scrapes, and fading that occurs after years on the road.

How Much Does Repainting Your Car Cost?

New cars are expensive, whether you buy or lease them. If you'd prefer to refurbish your old car rather than making a new monthly payment, repainting your car may be worth it. The question is, how much of an investment in repainting do you want to make?

You can go for an economy job from a national chain that might cost $250-$400, or go to a reputable body shop and spend $1000-$5000. The answer often lies in how long you plan on keeping the car and on how valuable it is on the resale market. If you have a Chevy

What to do if you lose your car keys?

Losing car keys isn't something out of the world, it happens to tons of people all around the world, every single day. While some people lose their car keys while working in their offices, in shopping malls and jogging tracks or when visiting a friend or a relative, others get trapped into it by locking their car keys in the car or due to a theft (where their bags which had keys are stolen). Whatever the case is, losing a car key is not just inconvenient but expensive too, but then again, you have no other option than getting the lost car keys replaced.

The first step is to contact a car keys, locksmith, who can help you with all types of vehicles, be it a van or a truck, a car or a motorcycle, or even a caravan. What you need to do is find a reliable auto locksmith in your local area, you can do that by searching online (for example, if you're based in NY then you can search for an auto locksmith situated in NY) or you can also ask your friends for suggestions. Once you've managed to book

A multiple car pile-up collision, also known as a multiple-vehicle collision, or simply a pile-up, is a type of car crash. A car crash can be classified as a multiple car pile-up collision if it involves more than two cars that run into each other at the same time or in a type of chain reaction. Multiple car pile-up collisions generally occur on high-speed roads such as freeways or highways, where it is especially difficult for a driver to slow down or stop quickly enough to avoid running into the car in front of them if that car slows down or stops without warning. These types of crashes can be incredibly dangerous because they involve many cars, all of which are travelling at very high speeds immediately before the crash.

Oftentimes, the driving mistakes of one driver can cause a multiple car pile-up collision. Other times, multiple drivers are at fault for the crash due to mistakes or slow reflexes. However, because this type of crash involves more than just two cars and sometimes can include up to one hundred separate vehicles, it can be difficult to ascertain which driver or drivers are actually at fault for the crash. In

Automotive manufacturers, mechanics, and dealers recommend numerous mileage-based car maintenance checkups, but many motorists wonder if they really need them. Is it really necessary to change your oil or perform other automotive maintenance every couple thousand miles or so?

Modern vehicles last a lot longer than they did two or three decades ago. In the past, regular auto repair was necessary to make the car last 5 to 6 years. If you skimped on maintenance, then you ended up paying the price. The average motorist now expects to drive their car ten years or more, partly because modern cars don't require as much frequent automotive repair as they did a while back, and also because they cost more to replace.

Routine car maintenance is still mandatory, and you can't neglect the recommended auto maintenance schedule if you want to keep your car running properly as long as possible. Though it is all right to follow a dealer or mechanic's maintenance schedule, it is often best to follow that of your vehicle's manufacturer as it is specific to the performance of your car's design.

Below are a few guidelines with the approximate auto repair and service intervals of many vehicle manufacturers:

Every 3,000 to 7,000

There is nothing as amazing as the feeling you get taking a casual drive on a hot summer day with your windows rolled down and the music turned up. With all the places to see and the things to do this summer, the last thing you want to do is have your car breaking down on you or simply refusing to start. It is for this very reason that you have to make sure that you get your car checked and necessary repairs made.

One of the most important checks is the auto air conditioner check. It goes without saying that the AC is one of the most important parts of the car especially over the summer when there is nothing but heat and humidity inside and outside the car. This makes getting an auto AC check and repair something that should be at the very top of your priority list.

5 reasons you should get your car's AC checked

1. A good AC will keep you cool in the hot weather

Driving on a hot summer day can be absolute torture if your auto air conditioner is not working. Getting it checked ensures that it is in good enough shape to keep you

In some states, you have to have your car regularly inspected. Part of that inspection should include an emissions test. If your vehicle is new, you may not have to worry as much. However, older automobiles may have trouble. Catching potential problems and fixing them in advance can save you time and frustration.

What Are Emissions?

To understand how an emissions test works, you first must understand what the technicians are looking for when examining your vehicle. Simply put, as your automobile uses fuel to power the engine, combustion takes place. What is left over from this process comes out of your vehicle's tailpipe. Because of the toxicity of the outflow, inspectors must ensure that these gases are within certain levels.

What Does an Emissions Test Look For?

To perform this examination on your vehicle, the technician places a sampler into the tailpipe. This piece of equipment samples the exhaust coming from your engine and reads what the level of gases are in parts per million.

The equipment is set to sense or "sniff" five different types of gases: NOX, O2, CO, CO2 and HC. NOX is the term for oxides of nitrogen and is produced by heating and compressing air containing nitrogen. This compound

You've been in an accident. You've traded insurance information with the other person and got everything sorted out except for who's going to do your repairs. It might seem like your best option is to pick the cheapest auto body repair shop you can find. That isn't actually a great idea if you only want the work done once. You might save money at first by going with a cheap collision shop; however, when you have to take it to a different shop to fix those cheap repairs, you'll end up losing money. It's best to get it right the first time. Here are some things to look for.

1. Car

Formally known as the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair, I-Car is a nonprofit organization that trains specialists in different techniques. I-Car programs are not the only way to learn these techniques, but they are a great way to ensure that the person you're hiring knows what he or she is doing. If you're looking for a new technician, go with one who is I-Car-certified.

2. Water-Based Paint

Depending on your jurisdiction, water-based paint might be mandated by governmental regulations. Traditional car paint was made with volatile organic compounds (VOC), which are chemicals

After you have been in an accident, the most important thing is making sure you're safe. After that, the second most important thing is getting your vehicle back in working order. The outcome of your collision repair service depends greatly on the type of parts your mechanic chooses to use. Whether they use genuine, original equipment manufacturer, or aftermarket parts will determine how well your vehicle will run and how long the rehabilitation will last.


Some collision repair services try to use genuine parts in all their restoration work. These pieces are what originally came in the vehicle. Typically, they come in a box with the carmaker's logo, so you know it is a genuine part.

When it comes to cost, genuine parts are among the most expensive types you can buy for your vehicle. For this reason, it is best to only use these items if they are still under warranty and you don't have to pay any out of pocket expense.

Despite popular belief, choosing to go with something other than manufacturer parts will not void any remaining warranty. In fact, according to the Federal Trade Commission's "Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act," it is illegal for any manufacturer to void the warranty solely

Purchasing used cars is a great way to save money, but some may feel as if they are not as nice looking as brand new vehicles. Many pre-owned vehicles are in excellent condition both cosmetically and mechanically. Proper maintenance of both the inside and outside can add more life to the car and keep it looking great. For those who feel as if their used cars are in need of a little sprucing up, consider some of these tips.

Clean the Interior

Keeping the interior of the vehicle clean is one of the best ways to spruce up used cars. Pull everything out from the inside and the trunk, and vacuum the carpeting and seats thoroughly. Don't forget to catch the corners, crevices, and anywhere else that dirt can collect. Remove the cup holders and wipe down the hard surfaces. Use an antibacterial cleaner to disinfect the steering wheel, handles, and all buttons, including the radio. Take some time to remove any stains on the upholstery using some upholstery cleaner.

Clean the Engine

A clean engine makes cars run more efficiently and look much nicer. Every month, wipe off any build-up with a shop towel. Spray a degreasing agent on the cloth and carefully

Maintenance is an inevitable part of car ownership, which means dealing with mechanics is necessary whenever your car requires some sort of repair or tune-up. However, many people end up getting overcharged or receiving low-quality service that damages their car or shortens its lifespan when they take their automobile to a mechanic simply because they don't know how to ask the right questions. There are several important questions you should always ask your mechanic when experiencing car trouble or are in need of maintenance before you leave your car in their service to ensure the quality and legitimacy of the service you are receiving.

1. What is the Problem with my Car?

Even if you fancy yourself to be an amateur mechanic with sufficient knowledge about how cars function and the basics of what's going on when your car acts funny, never try to tell a mechanic what is wrong with your car. It's important to let the mechanic figure out the problem themselves rather than just try to fix whatever you declare is wrong in order to ensure that your car receives a thorough check rather than just a sloppy fix that may or may not solve the real problem.

2. Are

In Texas, the car inspection is performed on an annual basis. Beginning with March 1, 2015, the windshield stickers on vehicles are no longer required as a proof of inspection, and car owners are only required to retain the registration sticker.

What concerns most drivers in Texas and other states in the U.S. as their inspection date approaches are the possible reasons why their car could fail. It is needless to say this can create a lot of problems for an average person, so we are bringing you a list of the most common reasons why your car might not pass the Texas State Inspection.

1) Windshield wipers not functioning properly

This is one of the most common reasons why people fail car inspections in Texas. Wipers' function is included on most state inspections' checklists, so make sure to have them ready for the test. It is clearly one of those things that is easy to forget as you may not have to use the wipers that often, but that is more of a reason to give them a once-over before the inspection.

2) Broken lights (especially tail lights and turn signals)

Together with wipers, broken lights are one of the usual reasons why people

Choosing an auto body shop doesn't have to be a frustrating experience. Estimates from different shops will likely fluctuate, sometimes to the point where you wonder if you are getting quotes for the same repair on the same vehicle. Consider these five tips to help guide you in making your decision:

1. Get Multiple Estimates

This one is obvious. Not only will multiple auto body shop quotes give you some idea of the "middle ground," you'll feel better knowing that you did your homework and you aren't simply going with the cheapest... or worse yet, the most costly proposition.

2. Are They Certified and Insured

Do they seem reputable and carry all the appropriate certifications insurance?

Is the location a direct repair facility for your insurance company?

If you are completely new to the facility and going in with very little information on them, check for appropriate licensing hanging on the wall near the register.

Things can go wrong with any repair shop and your vehicle will be living there for a while, so you want to make sure that the repair facility you choose is protected in the event of fire, theft, or natural disaster.

3. Parts and Warranty

What is the warranty on repairs? Depending on whether

Depending on the severity of your windshield damage, a chip or crack can be more than just an annoying eyesore. Highway patrol and collision repair industry experts agree that ignoring, or worse-attempting an ineffective DIY method-can cause dangerous and even life-threatening injuries. It's also illegal to drive your vehicle with cracked or chipped safety glass, and the ticket or citation alone can often be more expensive than a professional fix from your local collision repair experts.

Shards of Glass

A windshield crack that has been left to weather for a while can actually turn your safety glass deadly. Safety glass is designed with outer layers of tempered glass sandwiched over a rubber-based middle sheet, to fuse everything into an effective, shatter-resistant system. When chipped or cracked and exposed to the outside elements for any extended period of time, the entire system can be compromised. This results in safety glass being prone to shattering upon impact.

Loss of Front-End Structural Integrity

When a windshield is in good condition, it is strong enough to act as a layer of protection during a front-end collision. If intact, it reduces the severity of perceived impact inside the vehicle. If cracked or fixed incorrectly, it can shatter, putting you

Heel and toe wear refers to the partial wear of individual tread blocks, appearing as saw tooth wear, but in the direction of tyre rotation instead of across the tread. This wear pattern is most common on non-drive wheels, e.g. the rear wheels of a four wheel drive vehicle and can be corrected by more frequent tyre rotation.

Tyres are referred to as "feathered" when the tread is smooth on one side and sharp on another. This is usually a sign of poor toe alignment. This strain of tread wear means the inside or outside of the tread is significantly more worn than the center of the tread. As its name implies, positive or negative camber causes this type of wear.

Heel and toe wear happens when one side of your tread blocks wears down more quickly than the other in a circumferential direction. Causes of heel and toe wear can include rear toe error, and soft tyre tread compounds. Tread block squirm can be common on some all-season tyres. Lack of regular tyre rotation can also be a cause. Over inflation wear or excessive wear at the center tread area is characteristic of excessive inflation pressure. Over inflation wear also

When your check engine light illuminates, it is often the first sign of car trouble. There are various reasons why your car's check engine light could come on, from a loose gas cap or faulty chip, to a blown head gasket or something much worse. But when it comes to your engine overheating, there are 5 probable causes behind the problem. And the signs are not hard to see.

One of the first signs of an overheating car engine is usually seeing the temperature gauge nearing or exceeding the maximum internal engine temperature level illustrated on the dial. But most often, you just see smoke coming from the hood! You might also smell burning oil or fuel, which is another sign of your car engine overheating. Continue reading to learn five likely reason why your car engine is overheating.

Radiator Issues

There are two common radiator defects that can lead to a car engine overheating. First, you could have a bad radiator fan. This fan blows air over the radiator fins in order to help control the temperature of the coolant. If it comes loose, has broken shrouds, or spins freely when the engine is off, it cannot perform its intended duties, causing

Engine oil is vital for proper functioning; if it is not changed it will clog and will not lubricate properly producing extra heat inside the engine. You may not notice this because the gauge on the dashboard may not show the extra heat. Oil is generally changed according to the mileage of your car, certain cars need it changed more often than others, your car manual has a section dedicated to this topic. As a general rule and depending on the car's use, oil must be changed every two or three months. It is also important to change the oil filter because as the oil circulates inside the engine it picks up minuscule pieces of metal which can eventually produce wear and damage vital engine parts. A trick you can use to check the viscosity of your engine oil is to take out the oil stick and using your index and thumb take some oil from the tip of the stick and separate your fingers. If the oil stretches between your fingers it is good, if not you must have it changed.

Cars need oxygen for the combustion process. Clean air is necessary for the fuel to burn properly. This air

Common Reasons for Failure

• Improperinstallation

• Damaged seals present

• Recent accident suffered that's causing damage

Anyone who has recently replaced a wheel bearing, even within the last year should know that if properly installed it shouldn't fail again for its entire lifespan. The only way it could is if as mentioned above, there is a seal failure or a vehicle accident. Other failures can be from manufacturers defects or even a bad installation. Low mileage, unbalanced tires and bad shocks are also contributors but not as common.

Vehicle bearings are not parts that wear down like tires and brakes do. The majority of them will last the entire lifetime of the car without needing to be replaced. If one fails and the mechanic says both need replaced, find another mechanic. This is just not true! Steer clear of any mechanic that tries to sell a client on this repair.

Have the Right Tools to DIY

Anyone that plans on doing the work themselves when it comes to replacement should know it's not hard but it does take some time. Making sure the right tools are available is a smart move. To change it one will need:

  • A 12-ton Hydraulic Press
  • Chilton's Manual or similar

Damaging the hub and