Your vehicle requires different types of maintenance examinations for different seasons, your vehicle maintenance routines for the summer season are very much different as those required for the winter season and so forth and so on. Since fall and the holidays are fast approaching, fall vehicle maintenance is fundamental for the winter season. Holiday travel means vehicle maintenance is necessary for your family’s safety and well being. Here are a few easy maintenance tips to keep your car functioning at its best during this season:
In the News
SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market AssociationAnnounced on November 1 the winners of the New Products Showcase Awards held at the 2011 SEMA Show. The event recognizes the most cutting-edge automotive products either on the market or about to hit the market. This year, nearly 2,000 new products were submitted for consideration. Criteria that ranked high on the judges' selection for the New Product Showcase Awards included superiority of innovation, technical achievement, quality and workmanship, consumer appeal and marketability.
Best New Collision Repair & Refinish Product
Winner Eagle Abrasive Inc - Super Assilex System, the perfect sanding medium that provides speed, uniform coverage and extremely shallow sanding pattern. It prevents irregular scratches caused by Non-woven products or the risk of over-sanding caused by standard abrasive sheets.
Runner Up Valvoline – Plio Grip Like90 Turbo Pad for Bumpers, pad is pre-saturated with patented abrasive gel. Cleans, degreases and abrades in one step.
Runner Up Gema - OptiFlex®2 Advanced manual powder coating technology in the palm of your hand. Spray all powder coating materials with ease, coat complex geometries with outstanding efficiency and do it all in the most challenging of environments anywhere on the planet.
Best New Tools & Equipment Product
Winner PH2 Solutions Inc - PH2 Validator℠ is drivability software that was de-signed to expedite the overall diagnostic and repair process for technicians by validating a “Check Engine Light” (CEL) repair, or any other emission related repair in real time. The patented software takes the approach of talking with the vehicle’s On Board Computer and constantly queries it to see what, if anything is standing in the way of monitors setting.
Runner Up Las Vegas Tool LLC- EASYPULLER, combines locking pliers with a slide hammer this plier-like tool that clamps objects and uses a pulling force to remove them.
Runner Up Schley Products/SP TOOLS - Air Hammer Ball Joint R&R Tool This unique tool was designed to remove and install lower ball joints on the car versus removing the steering knuckle and using a press. Using an air hammer, the job of removing and installing ball joints is a simple procedure saving 1 hour per side.
Northern California Body Shop Refurbish Iraq Vets VehicleFCC Collision Centers in Mountain View, California, and Anderson Behel Body Shop in Santa Clara recently honored a 26-year-old Iraq veteran by completely refurbishing his beat-up 1996 Volkswagen Golf and presenting it to him when he came home. The veteran, Anthony Gadd, bought the clunker off Craigslist while he was in Iraq, knowing that he would need transportation to commute to the University of California to finish his degree when he got home. A neighbor who works for Enterprise noticed it and rounded up several collision repairers to spruce the car up, including FCC Collision and Anderson Behel. A story in the Mercury News quoted Gadd’s mother as telling him, “People in our country are so patriotic and love you for serving our country. They’re so grateful and want to stand with you. And this is the way they know how.”
Auto Body Shops Say They, Not Insurers Should Set CostsAuto repair shops are stepping up their efforts against insurance companies, which they argue are controlling their prices by steering customers toward preferred businesses that do their bidding. Auto body trade groups are promoting bills in state legislatures from Massachusetts to Iowa to try to change the rules of the game.
At issue is who gets to decide prices for auto body repair — shops or insurance companies. Laws and prices vary by state, but repair shops say if they don't charge what insurance companies decide are fair prices, they lose business, sometimes to shops that use substandard parts. Insurance company officials counter that they deal with thousands of vehicle repairs each year and figure out who can do the best work for the lowest cost. That, they say, saves money for consumers.Some consumers disagree. About a year ago, Kris Weaver hit a deer with her red pickup. She says she took the vehicle to O'Mara Auto Body in Martensdale, Iowa, a company she had used and trusted. The truck needed a new bumper, license plate mounting, grille and air conditioning condenser Tom O'Mara, the body shop owner, estimated repairs would cost $1,330. When O'Mara sent the invoice to AAA, the company reimbursed him $1,187.
That left Weaver with a $143 out-of-pocket bill. "It was just a continual battle," said Weaver, adding she fought until the difference between the total cost and the coverage plus deductible was $25. AAA is an association of clubs across the U.S., and policies vary by club, said Cindy Brough, a spokeswoman for AAA. Three bills about auto insurance and repair prices were introduced in the Iowa Legislature this year, but none passed. They are expected to be introduced again, said Tom Stanberry, a lawyer who lobbies for the insurance industry. In Massachusetts, auto body shops will back the Auto Body Labor Rate Bill in the 2012 state legislative session. The bill would establish a commission to set floors on repair rates at certified shops, said Peter Abdelmaseh, lobbyist for the state's Alliance of Automotive Service Providers. Insurance companies say they must set price standards to keep a lid on costs and premiums and say they conduct detailed surveys to arrive at the rates they pay. In Iowa, regulators at the state's Insurance Division surveyed the largest auto insurance companies in the state this fall, including State Farm, Progressive, Farm Bureau, American Family, Nationwide, Grinnell Mutual and Auto-Owners, at Republican Gov. Terry Branstad's request.
In a Nov. 16 letter to Branstad, the regulators said they had found that insurance company rates in the state are reasonable. Iowa law requires rates to be reasonable but isn't specific on what that means. State Farm, the nation's largest auto insurer, with 42 million policies and 18% of the market, regularly surveys repair shops online to determine prices for each market. Dick Luedke, spokesman for State Farm, said his company allows any repair shop to participate in the surveys. Luedke acknowledges the hourly rate determination isn't always perfect and says State Farm will adjust it occasionally after discussing with shop owners, but generally the company stands by its rates. If a repair shop doesn't think the rates are fair, the business can still charge more.
"He definitely can do that, but what we pay is the prevailing competitive price," Luedke said. "If he wants to collect the difference from the customer, he can, or he's free not to do the repair." Shop owners argue the system of preferred shops puts all auto body repair businesses in two categories — the haves and the have-nots. "The shops that sign onto these (networks) operate by fear," said Ron Reichen, owner of Precision Body and Paint in Beaverton, Ore. "Those shops see the insurance company as their customer, and not the person with the car." Reichen said insurance companies save money by sending jobs to shops that use second-class auto parts. The insurance industry vigorously disagrees, saying it's not in insurers' interest to promote poor-quality repair shops. "If you have a shop that you're having repeated complaints about, you don't send work there anymore," said Steve Morain, president of the Iowa Insurance Institute.
ClickUpcoming Events1/11/12 to 1/13/12
Collision Industry Conference
Venue: Hilton Palm Springs
Collision Industry Conference (CIC) meetings are held four or five times a year, each in a different region of the country. In January of each year, there is an additional planning meeting for the coming year that is open to everyone. Participation in CIC is open to all individuals who share an interest in the collision industry. There are no "members" of CIC, only participants. All participants share an equal standing.2/14/12 to 2/7/12
NADA Convention & Expo
Venue: Moscone Convention Center, San Francisco California
National Automobile Dealers Association, from the latest in products, equipment and services. The participants will get latest information about the techniques which are being used in the automobile industry. Trivia
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AW Collision Recognizes
AW Collision of Las Vegas
AW Collision would like to take the time to give an especially warm Welcome our Las Vegas branch. Their hard work and satisfied customers continue to make us proud.
Welcome to the AW Collision Team, AW Collision of Las Vegas!
AW Collision’s Customer Service Center capabilities ensure our availability to meet your service needs 24-hours-a-day, 365-days-a-year. Whether it’s during normal business hours or after hours, we can assist with towing, rental vehicles and repair arrangements. We’re just a phone call away 1-877-3-FIX-MY-CAR or 1-877-334-9692 orSchedule an Appointment use the brief online form on ourContact Us page to drop us a line.
ANSWERS TO TRIVIA
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The no. 1 reason shops say they lose business due to steering centers around insurers influencing customers. The following are actual reasons listen by respondents: 1. “Customers fear not going where their insurer tells them.” 2. “Customers complain that insurers try to coerce them into choosing a DRP shop.” 3. “Customers are unaware of their right to choose the repair facility of their choice.” 4. “The insurers say we charge too much.” 5. “Lack of customer education.” here to edit.