Categories
Carpet Cleaning

Carpet Cleaning: How A Good Company Can Help

TIP! Consider a carpet cleaning company’s reputation before hiring them. There are a lot of companies out there, and some are more experienced and dependable than others.

If your home has lots of carpeting, you surely realize how filthy they can sometimes be. When this problem occurs, you will more than likely look for a company to clean your carpets. What are the things you should think about when selecting a company to clean your carpets? This article can help you with that.

TIP! Be sure to vacuum the carpet before the cleaning process is begun. Before the technician arrives, thoroughly vacuum your carpets to remove dirt and debris.

You should consider several carpet cleaners before you select one. Research the company and read reviews from former customers. Check with the Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau and/or other validating agency to find out about the history of each company.

TIP! Understand that all carpets cannot be cleaned with harsh chemicals and machines. It is best to test a small hidden section of your carpet 24 hours before getting the entire floor cleaned.

Understand that all carpets cannot be cleaned with harsh chemicals and machines. Ask your carpet professional how they evaluate carpeting to determine whether it can withstand their methods. Rugs made of silk or wool may be damaged by the cleaning process. Talk to a professional if you find yourself struggling to get your carpets clean.

TIP! Even if a company offers furniture moving, move fragile items yourself. If the company is insured, you might be paying for expensive damages out of your own pocket.

Even if the company moves your furniture for no extra fee, be sure you’ve moved anything fragile before they arrive. If you don’t, something might go wrong, even if the company has the best of intentions.

TIP! Just because a company uses a brand name doesn’t mean they are better. Always look into the company that you’re thinking of hiring to see if they’re properly certified.

Be certain to wash new carpets when you bring them home. When carpets are displayed, they have chemicals that make them look appealing in the store. Clean the carpet when you get it to remove these chemicals, especially if you have children.

TIP! You need to be comfortable with any company you pick to come clean your rugs. From just asking about what they can do for you, to getting the job done, you need to be content with what they give you.

As previously mentioned, you know how dirty the carpets in your home can get. Perhaps you have not considered the qualities you should seek in a good company to clean your carpets. This article should help you find a good cleaner if you need one and keep your carpet as clean as possible by yourself. Take the tips given and apply them to your life to find a great carpet cleaner.

Categories
Auto Repair

Auto Repair Insurance: Extended Warranties — Myths And Facts

Auto Repair Insurance: Extended Warranties — Myths And Facts

How much insurance does one need? You have the big four: home, health, life, and car insurance. Then there’s a second category, which starts getting a little hazy with credit card insurance, purchase protection plans, fraud insurance and more. Extended warranties, also called extended service contracts, or extended service policies fall into the mist of this second category.

Extended warranties are supposed to pay (in full or in part) for specified repairs for a specific period of time after the expiration of the factory warranty. They can be a great value. They can also be a significant waste of money. It gets quite foggy in the details. What exactly is covered? How long? How much? Are there hidden charges?

There are numerous extended warranty companies and an even wider variety of warranty packages available: silver, gold, platinum, platinum-plus, and a host of other confidence-building words. What’s the best plan, and are extended service contracts worth the money? Extended warranties, like life insurance policies, are a numbers game. They’re a gamble. You pay $2500-$4500 for a 2 year, 100,000-mile protection plan and hope that you get at least that back in warranty repairs. The provider on the other hand, hopes to pay out less than it insured.

There are three major types of plan providers: The manufacturer, the dealership/third party, and third party providers. Each one has its assets and liabilities (discussed ahead).

What exactly is covered in an extended service plan? As mentioned above, what’s covered depends on the package purchased. Some plans only cover the power train: the mechanical components of the engine, transmission, and rear-end. Others cover the power train plus some electrical components. Still others cover electrical, advanced electrical, and computer components. Some only cover what’s listed in the contract. This is called a “Stated” or “Named” contract. This means that if it’s not stated, it’s not covered. Some cover bumper-to-bumper, similar to a manufacturer warranty, except trim pieces, upholstery, exterior components, cosmetic items, and a number of other exclusions.

Never before has the adage, “The devil’s in the details,” been so applicable.

Manufacturer Extended Plans:
Extended service plans from the manufacturer are the best in terms of coverage, convenience, and quality. Coverage is similar to the warranty while the vehicle was under its original factory warranty—with similar exclusions stated above. The billing is direct, meaning you don’t have to pay out-of-pocket, except for a deductible, if applicable. Quality is great too, as an extended warranty from the manufacturer will only use factory parts. They also have money, so there’s less risk of bankruptcy.

The down side of manufacturer extended service plans is that they are not cheap. These plans are generally the most expensive, require low mileage standards, and necessitate servicing your vehicle at a dealer for coverage.

Dealership/Third Party Plans:
Extended warranties from a dealership are actually from a third party insurer. These providers are “generally” reputable, but not always. However, if there is an issue (such as the warranty provider filing chapter 11, which is quite frequent in the extended service contract business), the dealer “may” step in to cover any repairs that would have been covered under the defunct plan. Also, claims are easier: billing is direct because the dealership has a working relationship with the provider, and there is usually agreement on price.

Some dealers set up their own “internal extended warranty,” which is honored by the selling dealer. This is rare, and should not be confused with a manufacturer warranty. Important: extended warranties are often passed off as “manufacturer” warranties. They’re not. This is a sales trick. Also be aware that there is a significant mark up, as the dealership is merely acting as the middle man. Lastly, extended warranty companies often go bankrupt without warning.

Third Party Plans:
These plans are called third party plans because they are outside the responsibility of the manufacturer and the service center performing the repairs (unless there’s a working relationship with a repair shop as stated above).

There are hundreds of extended service contract companies. Some have good reputations, some don’t. Third party plans are frequently sold by used car dealers. You may also receive an official looking notification in the mail stating that your warranty is expiring, and directing you to call an 800 number ASAP. This is a marketing tactic by an independent warranty provider. Despite the “official” appearance of the postcard or envelope, it’s not from the manufacturer. Manufacturers do not send out reminders about warranty expirations.

Given the wide-variety of third party plans there are numerous red flags.

1) Claims: Extended warranty companies will be quick to tell you that filing claims is easy, and that the service center gets paid immediately via a credit card. Thus, there’s no out-of-pocket expense for you. However, the warranty company can’t dictate a service center’s policies. Some service centers will only accept payment from the repair customer. Thus the burden is on the repair customer to fill out the forms, contact their warranty company, and await reimbursement via check, which can take 2-8 weeks.

It is the service center’s responsibility to contact the extended warranty company to let them know what’s wrong with the vehicle and to check coverage. This process can take anywhere from 20 minutes to 20 days, sometimes more, depending on the degree of repairs and especially the amount. (See $1000 and Adjusters ahead)

Service centers and extended warranty companies frequently battle over the “fair” price of repairs. Many repair shops no longer negotiate, and just state the price, leaving the contract holder (i.e., the service customer) responsible for the difference.

2) Rentals: Rental coverage is a great benefit. However, there are fixed rates and time limits. In other words, the warranty company is not going to pay to have you drive a Mercedes-Benz, even if you drive a Benz. Rental allowances range from $25 to $35 per day. Also, rental coverage is based on the number of hours it takes to repair the vehicle, NOT how long your car has been at the shop.

3) $1000 and Adjusters: Repairs that approach $1000, or that require a significant amount of work, will be cause for the warranty company to call in an adjuster to confirm the diagnosis. This will delay the repairs by a minimum of 24-48 hours. It may cost you additional money when an adjuster is involved. You may be charged to have your vehicle pulled back into the shop for inspection, as well as for the time spent with the adjuster.

4) Tear-down Charges: In many cases, an extended warranty company will require that a particular component be taken apart for inspection to determine if the repair is indeed needed and covered. This puts the service customer in a very awkward position. The customer will have to authorize potentially hundreds of dollars of tear-down expense in the hopes that the repair is covered. If it’s not, the customer is out the hundreds in tear-down PLUS the actual repair. This does happen!

Common Myths:

1) “Extended warranties cover maintenance services and brake work.”

No. Extended warranty plans do not cover maintenance or wearable items. Brake pads and rotors are wearable parts. Maintenance such as coolant, brake and transmission flushes, tune-ups, services, oil changes, bulbs, wipers, and more are not covered.

2) “They told me it’s bumper-to-bumper, so it covers everything right?”

Wrong. Not even a factory warranty covers everything. When pitching the sale for the extended warranty, one is very often lead to believe that he or she will have nothing to worry about. This is just not true on so many levels. For example, if your bumper falls off it’s not covered.

3) “I don’t have to pay anything, right?”

Wrong. Despite the claims of 100% coverage, there are many factors involved. The labor rates, labor hours, diagnostic times, parts prices, and machine work are just a few items that often conflict with a service center’s policies. Some extended contracts only pay a maximum of $55 per hour, and only allow one half hour for diagnostic time. This is generally unacceptable to the service center, as labor rates have skyrocketed to over $100 per hour at many dealerships, and average $75 at local shops. Moreover, with the complexity of today’s vehicles, diagnostic time is at a premium. The customer pays the difference.

4) “If I have an expensive problem, I can just purchase an extended service contract.”

It’s unethical, but it’s an option many attempt. However, most service contracts have a minimum time requirement before the first claim can be filed: usually three months. Also, many contracts require that your vehicle be inspected by a service center to check for pre-existing conditions—just like life insurance.

5) “My contract lasts up to 100,000 miles.”

Only if the time limit doesn’t run out first. All extended warranty plans have a time limit. For example, a typical contract will state that the vehicle is covered for two years or 100,000 miles, which ever comes first. During the sales pitch, however, the emphasis will be on the 100,000 miles, not the time.

6) “If my car breaks, it gets fixed like new.”
Actually, depending on the contract, an extended warranty company can insist on installing remanufactured or even used parts.

Items commonly not covered by extended warranties:
• Any component with a pre-existing condition
• Any component related to a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB)
• Many components that has been updated by the manufacturer
• Extra components necessary “due to manufacturer updates” to complete the repair
• Trim pieces: molding, cup holders, dashboard, console, body parts, glass
• Many accessories: radios, DVD players, TVs
• Many expensive electronics: climate control units, navigation assemblies

Service contract positives:
Some service contracts are transferable, and may thus increase the resale value of a vehicle. Many come with trip interruption reimbursement, towing and 24-hour road side. Some plans can also be financed, or have E-Z Pay Plans. Others offer a money-back guarantee.

What should you do?
You’ll get lots of advice about doing the research, comparing plans, and reading the fine print. This is all sound advice. But what about doing the math?

Let’s say a plan costs $2500 for 2 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first. To break even you’ll need a minimum of $1250 per year in covered repairs, excluding regular maintenance. Remember covered is the vital word here.

Another way to break it down is to anticipate having to pay $104.17 per month over the next two years in “covered” repairs. Do you want to take that bet?

What could happen?
You could double your money or more in repair work. You could conceivably get a new engine and transmission (or used ones anyway). You could also easily spend $2500 for a service contract, and still have to pay another $2500 for repairs, which for a variety of reasons, were not covered under your plan. Now you’re out $5000.

Alternatively, you could keep the initial $2500. In many ways all an extended warranty does is prepay for repairs. You could stick the money in the bank and collect interest. Then you could withdraw the money for repairs as needed.

Another consideration that’s rarely discussed is the cause of the problems. Many car repairs problems are the result of wear and tear, neglected maintenance, physical damage, or acts of God—such as flood damage. None of this is covered. The gamble only covers failed components.

If the vehicle you’re driving does cost $2500 to $4500 in repairs due to outright failed components, is it a vehicle you even want to consider keeping? A vehicle that needs this kind of repair work due to mechanical, electrical, or computer failures may not be worth it. The $2500-$4500 would be better spent on an upgrade to a quality vehicle rather than insuring a lemon.

There’s no question that auto repair is expensive, and even quality cars break from time to time. But do they breakdown to the tune of $2500-$4500? That’s a hefty bet on a “possibility.”

Terence O’Hara from the Washington Post makes an excellent assessment about extended warranties in general. He writes:

…extended warranties play upon a basic human trait to avoid loss, even if it means sacrificing a possible future gain…the gain is all the other things of value that a consumer could buy with the money that was spent on a warranty

What’s the best plan?
Money in your bank account!

Categories
Carpet Cleaning

Acquire More Knowledge About Carpet Cleaning With These Simple Tips

TIP! When vacuuming, divide the room into smaller sections to make your job easier. This way, your cleaner cannot say they had to do any serious vacuuming.

It is not easy to clean carpets. A professional can often make quick work of a chore that will take you forever. Read on to learn what you should consider when choosing a company.

TIP! If a carpet-cleaning company advertises a per-room price, or they contact you via the phone, then you should be leery of them. There are many different room sizes in the world.

Even the carpet cleaning company will include the move of your furnishings free of charge, you should handle the fragile items yourself. You don’t want to trust someone else with your valuables, even when they promise you nothing bad will happen.

TIP! Carpet cleaning companies typically offer a number of services in addition to working on floors. A lot of them clean upholstery, so ask about it if you need that service.

Choose a reliable carpet cleaner who has a physical address. If you run into any issues, you’ll need to have a physical address that you can go to in order to resolve said issues. If their business address is a P.O. box, you should look elsewhere.

TIP! Prior to agreeing to any sort of professional stain treatment, check to see if your carpets are under warranty. Your carpet may already be treated and if used with another product, it will void the carpet’s warranty.

Inquire about how you can take care of your carpeting after the professionals are finished working on it. They will let you know the best stain removers, how often you should vacuum, and the length of time you should let carpets dry. By taking what they say to heart, you should have a great looking carpet for many years to come.

TIP! Just because carpet cleaners use some famous products doesn’t mean that they’re more reliable and experienced than other companies. You want to be sure that the company you’re using is certified.

Clean rugs with a solution of vinegar and warm water. The results are great and the cost is unbeatable. Mix equal parts of each liquid and scrub it into the carpet with a sponge. Do a nice warm water rinse and dry with a fan.

TIP! If you want a clean carpet, ensure the company you are considering has a real address or brick-and-mortar location. If you end up with an issue, you need to be able to find them to be able to resolve your problem.

Keep your front drive clear to ensure that the carpet cleaners have easy access to your home. That sounds kind of silly, but it really is important. The equipment they use on your carpet is quite heavy, so it is helpful if they can park very close to the house.

TIP! You should always have a professional clean your carpets. Even so, to make sure your carpeting is not damaged, hire a professional to do the cleaning.

If you remember this advice, you can find a great cleaning service easily. You must ensure that you have engaged the services of the right firm in order to get the results you desire. That should be easier now.

Categories
Auto Repair

Motorcycle Software, Inventory Control For Your Dealership

Motorcycle Software, Inventory Control For Your Dealership

Most auto dealers get into the business because of the lucrative money-making opportunity in the car industry. Yet, the majority of motorcycle dealership owners start their own dealership due to their life-long passion for motorcycles.

When you walk into a motorcycle dealership, it’s more like walking into a comfortable place where you feel like you fit right in. It’s not the same as an auto dealership where you have 10 salesmen walk up to you, vying for your business in the first 5 seconds. You can kick back, relax, and decide on the right bike, helmet, or motorcycle accessory you’ve been wanting to buy.

When you decide on your purchase, the last thing you want to worry about is how long you will have to wait in line. After all, you want to get out there and take a nice, long ride with your new purchase.

The only time you would even pay attention to the problems at any motorcycle dealership is when you get to the cashier, or you wait for a customer service representative to come help you find the right helmet or part for your bike, right?

Have you ever wondered WHY it’s so backed up; there’s a long line; the prices aren’t correct when the register rings up the product; or they are short on help?

That’s where we come in and streamline everything on the business side, so the customer never waits. How do we ensure this process is fulfilled and your satisfaction is guaranteed?

By having over 16 years of experience with the best, most automated motorcycle software inventory control system on the market.

I’ll bet you didn’t even think about that aspect of the business, right? Good. Because if you go to your local motorcycle dealership and have a great experience, chances are, the owner thought of his business and customers right from the start.

If you know of a local motorcycle dealership that has any of the problems mentioned here, you might want to let them know that we have excellent support staff and training.

How about walking up to an open spot at the cashier the next time you’re there, because we set up the latest motorcycle software in their store that offers PartSmart integration, inventory control with serial numbers, unit tracking, automatic purchase orders, repair history by unit or customer, warranty claim tracking, floor plan tracking and due dates, and best of all, a very satisfied customer who will be shopping there again and again.

Maybe the motorcycle store owner will be so grateful you told him or her about us, that they’ll give you a discount on your next purchase.

There is help out there for their business and valued customers. All the store owner needs to do is ask us for our free demo CD and information packet. Ideal Computer Systems will send out the information for our motorcycle software inventory control system right away.

Categories
Carpet Cleaning

Get More Knowledge About Carpet Cleaning With These Simple Tips!

TIP! It is easier to vacuum a floor if you do it in sections. This will ensure that you don’t go over the same area twice.

Understanding how to choose a quality carpet cleaning company isn’t all that easy. Make sure you have the pertinent information prior to hiring a reputable service. Do not forget the good advice here that can help you choose a reliable carpet cleaning service.

TIP! It is important to vacuum carpets before you clean them. A good vacuum can pick up dirt and grime that could affect the cleaning process.

When vacuuming the floor, the professional should vacuum in different sections to simplify the process. This will allow you to see the areas that you have already went over so that you do not waste your time. If you have a square room, divide it into four different quadrants for cleaning.

TIP! You may think that a carpet cleaning company only cleans your carpets; however, they usually provide other services also. They many times specialize in upholstery cleaning also, so it’s good to ask about this.

In addition to cleaning carpets, many professional carpet cleaners offer other services. They may be able to clean your upholstered furniture as well. A local cleaner may also offer cleaning services for your furniture or rugs.

TIP! If you are going to clean a large area of carpet, be sure to perform a test on a small unobtrusive area first. Testing is critical to do first since some solutions have acids that might make your carpet worse.

Remove your valuables from any room where the carpeting is about to be professionally cleaned. They may promise to be careful, but you don’t want to risk your precious valuables to someone else.

TIP! Don’t hire a carpet cleaning company that makes you uncomfortable. You should be satisfied with all parts of the process, from the first meeting, to the end of the job.

Wash all new carpets as soon as you bring them home. There are cases where carpets are treated with chemicals to keep them looking good on the sales floor. You can reduce the chances of your loved ones being exposed to these chemicals by having the carpet cleaned as soon as you bring it home.

TIP! You want the professional carpet cleaners to have an actual physical address. You should be able to go to an address if any issues arise.

Just because a company uses brand name products that you recognize does not necessarily mean it is any more effective than another one. Do not forget to verify the certifications of the cleaning business. Ask for this information, and take a few minutes to verify it.

Absorbent Pads

TIP! When your carpet cleaning is complete, ask the company who performed the task for recommendations. They should be able to give your some good advice, such as which stain removers are best and the length of time it will take the carpet to dry.

There are several different opinions on the best way to clean carpets. Certain companies might clean with absorbent pads. This equipment resembles that of a floor buffer. It uses absorbent pads which spin that soak up the gross germs, mold and dirt from below the carpets.

TIP! Try a lot of cleaning products before determining which is proper for you. There are so many products out there, but not all of them work well on all types of carpets.

Now that you’re aware of the process behind cleaning carpets, find the right company. There are several things to consider, and it’s best to use this advice. You will be happy with your choice.

Categories
Auto Repair

The Different Elements Of A Car Insurance Policy

The Different Elements Of A Car Insurance Policy

The phrase “car insurance” implies that what you are insuring is your car, but the realities of car insurance are a bit more complex than that. When you purchase a comprehensive auto insurance policy, you are protecting yourself from the costs of damaging your car, but that is just one element that makes up full automobile insurance coverage. You need insurance that can cover the legal fees that may result during a lawsuit if you take another driver to court after an accident. You need insurance that can cover the cost of prescription painkillers that you may need to buy for yourself if an uninsured driver runs a light and hits your car. These and hundreds of other possible costs that have nothing to do with your actual vehicle can be covered by so-called automobile insurance. The act of buying an insurance policy for your car is an act of making sure that it is financially safe both for yourself and for anyone else who you may encounter when you are behind the wheel.

You need to protect yourself from the potential financial hardship of paying for the medical bills of anyone who you injure in an accident, and the costs of repairing any public or private property that you may damage. In addition, before you can hit the road in most states you need enough insurance that you will be able to pay for your own medical care if you are injured in a crash caused by an uninsured motorist. So far, none of these important elements of a standard car insurance policy even mention the automobile itself!

A good collision or comprehensive insurance policy will cover at least some percentage of the cost of repair to your vehicle after physical damage. However, since not every state requires that you have this kind of insurance, don’t assume that physical damage is covered by your policy unless your agent tells you so directly. Physical damage coverage is just one element of a good automobile insurance policy, and many people consider it optional rather than necessary. The actual cost of insuring the physical form of your vehicle is almost always dwarfed by the costs of the other kinds of insurance that you need in order to drive safely, responsibly, and legally.

Other options that you will be likely to encounter when choosing a car insurance policy include things like medical payments coverage, which will help you meet the costs of medical attention after an accident. Of course, a traditional auto insurance policy includes a certain level of protection against the costs of treatment, but things like co-pays are not covered by body injury liability coverage or uninsured motorist coverage. This leads many people to take out additional insurance so that they know that they will not have a larger than necessary financial burden if a hospital stay is necessary for them, for a passenger, or for somebody else harmed during a crash.

Categories
Carpet Cleaning

What To Look For When Hiring Carpet Cleaners

TIP! Be wary of any company that only contacts you by phone or bases their prices on a per room basis. Rooms come in many different sizes.

Want to hire a great carpet-cleaning company to clean your carpets? If so, then you should be aware of some tips on how to make the best decision. For those new to the process, there may be difficulty arranging the facts about each service. Continue reading to learn more helpful information.

TIP! Test any solution on a small area of the carpet before applying it all over. This will prevent your carpet from being damaged.

Vacuum your carpeting before the cleaner arrives. This helps you see the sections that you already have vacuumed so you will not waste time vacuuming the same areas. Divide your room into sections to save both time and effort.

TIP! You need to be aware of what the warranty is on your carpet, prior to getting any stain removal services done on your carpet. If your carpet was pre-treated by the company that made the carpet and you place another treatment over it, it could make your warranty null and void.

Professional carpet cleaners should know not to use too much heat on the carpet. If the temperature is too hot, you can damage your carpet and negatively affect patterns and colors. When trying to clean a heavy stain in the carpet, this can particularly be a problem.

TIP! Find a carpet cleaner who makes you feel comfortable. From your initial inquiry of services, to the job being completed, you should be happy with the service you are receiving.

Always try out a new carpet cleaning solution in an inconspicuous spot first to make sure it is going to work well with your carpet. It’s vital that this is done because certain acid solutions can permanently stain or damage your carpet. This test only takes a minute and it will save you time and money.

Even if the company moves your furniture for no extra fee, be sure you’ve moved anything fragile before they arrive. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

TIP! Research your options when it comes to carpet cleaning companies before you make your decision. There are a lot of options to consider, and each of them works best with a certain type of carpet.

Many cleaning companies use chemicals; if you don’t want these substances in your home, find someone that uses “green” methods. Read labels when choosing carpet cleaning agents. Remember that such natural cleaners as water, baking soda, salt and vinegar often work very well to clean carpets.

TIP! Make sure the carpet cleaning company you hire guarantees its work. If the company doesn’t have a guarantee, find another one.

Knowing what to look for will allow you to make an informed decision. Keep these tips in mind so as to hire a reliable and trustworthy carpet cleaning company. You and your whole family should be very pleased with the end results.

Categories
Auto Repair

Auto Repair: How Can They Screw Up An Oil Change?

Auto Repair: How Can They Screw Up An Oil Change?

“It’s all about beating the clock.” This quote comes from a wise old service manager, advising me on how to maximize my income as a flat-rate technician. If you have ever wondered why your car doesn’t get fixed correctly, or all your concerns weren’t addressed, you can blame, in part, the flat-rate pay structure.

Flat-rate simply means that your mechanic is paid a flat fee for a particular repair, regardless of how long the repair actually takes. In other words, if your car needs a water pump, which pays two hours of labor, and the mechanic completes the job in one hour, he gets paid for two.

In theory, this can work to your advantage. If the job takes longer, you still only pay the “predetermined” labor amount. In THEORY, not reality!

The flat-rate pay structure is designed to drive productivity. It’s very effective. The flat-rate pay system encourages technicians to work hard and fast, but it does not promote quality.

In terms of getting your car fixed correctly, the flat-rate pay structure has disastrous effects. Flat-rate technicians are constantly looking for shortcuts to beat the clock in order to maximize the number of hours they bill. Experienced flat-rate technicians can bill anywhere from 16 to 50 hours in an 8 hour day.

It’s these shortcuts and the breakneck speed at which flat rate technicians work that result in some of the most idiotic mistakes. In the rapid-fire pace of a shop I’ve witnessed technicians start engines with no oil. I’ve seen transmissions dropped, smashing into little pieces onto the shop floor. And I’ve seen cars driven right through bay doors—all in the name of “beating the clock.”

Flat-rate technicians can get quite elaborate with shortcuts. My favorite was the implementation of an 6-foot-long 2-by-4, which was placed under the engine for support while a motor mount was removed. It made a job predetermined to take 1.5 hours achievable in twenty minutes. A win-win, right? The technician makes extra money; you get your car back faster.

Actually, in many cases the placement of this 2-by-4 damaged the oil pan. Moreover, it caused the car, your car, to balance precariously 6 feet in the air, while the technician manipulated the car lift to access your engine mount.

This tactic was abruptly discontinued when a technician’s 2-by-4 snapped causing the car to crash nose down onto the concrete floor.

Sometimes the shortcuts create very subtle disturbances, which create problems overtime. A quick example: a vehicle had its transmission serviced with a new filter, gasket, and fluid. During the procedure, the technician was able to save time by bending the transmission dipstick tube slightly, in order to get the transmission pan out faster. The vehicle was reassembled, and the technician re-bent the tube back into place and off it went—no worries….

Six months later, the vehicle returned with an intermittent misfire. The engine wasn’t running on all cylinders. After extensive diagnostics, it was discovered that the transmission dipstick tube had chaffed through the engine harness, intermittently grounding out an injector. Hmm, that’s strange. Don’t usually see that.

The high-speed environment and the subsequent shortcuts illustrate the devastating effects of the flat-rate, sales-driven pay structure on the quality of car repairs.

No wonder even an oil change gets screwed up!

The poor quality of work encouraged by the flat rate pay structure is disconcerting enough. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop here. The negative effects of flat-rate get exponentially worse, as it opens “wide” the door to rip you off!

Categories
Carpet Cleaning

Dirty Floors? Then You Need Help With Carpet Cleaning!

TIP! The cleaner should divide the floor into various sections when cleaning. Focus on one area at a time and vacuum against the grain of the carpet before vacuuming again, this time in the direction of the grain.

If your home has carpeting, you know how dirty your carpets can get. At some point, you may find yourself looking for a carpet cleaning company. There are several things you should consider before you choose a professional to clean your carpet. Continue reading for tips that will help you decide.

TIP! Do not go over board with heat during the carpet cleaning process. Too much heat can ruin your carpet quality, especially if your carpet is made of delicate material or has a colorful pattern.

Consider a carpet cleaning company’s reputation before hiring them. There are quite a few companies to choose from, and there are those that you can depend on more than others. Get personal references from family members, friends and acquaintances. Check for online reviews to get more information. This will help you determine which company will best suit your needs.

TIP! Understand that all carpets cannot be cleaned with harsh chemicals and machines. Test a small section of the carpet before using anything on the entire floor.

Before cleaning your carpets, a professional should vacuum them. Vacuum loose soil to avoid spreading stains or making them penetrate deeper into your carpet. This will help get your carpeting extra clean. It may be necessary to wait for the stain to dry before vacuuming.

TIP! If you buy a new carpet, wash them once before getting them cleaned professionally. When carpets are manufactured, they often have a chemical added to preserve the appearance until they are sold.

Once you find a good carpet cleaning business, find out what other services are provided. They may also clean upholstery, so ask if need be. You may even be able to find a great deal offering both services at a discount.

TIP! White vinegar provides a quick way to clean a carpet stain. Although this natural cleaner is usually pretty effective, hiring the services of a professional to clean your carpet is usually the wisest decision.

If a carpet cleaning company states they will move furniture and other things for you prior to the cleaning process, don’t trust them with your valuable items. You should move fragile and valuable things yourself. You shouldn’t leave your valuables in someone else’s hands despite any guarantees.

TIP! If you are renting a carpet cleaning machine, be sure to read and follow all instructions carefully. There should be clear instructions about what materials the product works on, if you should ventilate the room and what needs to be done if you accidentally get the product on your skin.

Once you’ve had your carpets cleaned, ask the carpet cleaning company for pointers on taking care of your carpets afterward. Many will tell you how often you must vacuum, the drying times, the best stain removers, and other options for future issues. Follow your technician’s advice to help your carpets remain looking their best.

TIP! If you have never hired a carpet cleaner before, you should ask the people you know for some references. Your doctor or mailman may have some great ideas too.

You should take action right away if your carpet is getting dirty. Therefore, it is important to know how to choose a good carpet cleaning company. You have been given ideas to consider. Use this to find a professional who will do the best job.

Categories
Auto Repair

Save Yourself Car Payments – Undercoat Your Own Car

Save Yourself Car Payments – Undercoat Your Own Car

Undercoating stops and prevents rust and keeps your car looking great. It’s recommended for those planning on keeping their vehicle more than a couple of years It is a thrifty job in two ways.

You save the cost of having it done, and leave the body from rusting away.

Undercoating is an extra dollar that an auto dealership often tries to load onto you when you buy a new car. But you need not dig into your pocket for this extra. You can do the job yourself at a total cost that is a portion of what an auto repair shop will charge you.

Undercoating has two advantages. First and foremost, it will protect a card by preventing the rust that eats through a fender and through a car body. Secondly, sprayed or brushed into metal to metal cracks and crevices the black asphalt material will forestall many a squeak and rattle.

Most people think of undercoating in connection with strictly a new car. However it is usually a job that pays dividends on a vehicle of any age. In fact it offers a means of curbing automobile metal rust that may have gained considerable headway on any used car or vehicle.

If you decide to undercoat your car, do so before washing and polishing since some spillage may occur.

First: Remove the Rust. Whether the car is new or old, all rust must be removed and the metal cleaned off before the undercoating goes in. Rust left under the coating would go right ahead with its damaging work. Work on the metal until it shines.

Cleaning comes first. Getting the grime off can be the most difficult part of the procedure.

Steam cleaning is probably the best way to prepare the car. If you can have this done. It will save you much effort and heartache. If not TSP (Tri Sodium Phosphate) can be used to loosen up the grease. A wire brush can be utilized. TSP is an inexpensive crystalline salt available at most hardware stores such as Home Depot or Rona. Mix the TSP degreaser with hot water and daub it on grease areas with a sponge or cloth.

In doing this job it is important to know what to coat and what not to coat. Keep the material off moving parts, oil pan, brake lines, muffler, tail pipe, drive shaft etc etc. Apply it liberally, however under the fender and sills of the frame and under the floor. Under the fenders work it right out to the edge.

To get under the fenders you will have to remove the wheels. Unless the support is very stable, remove only one wheel at a time. It never hurts to play it safe.

Some undercoaters are inflammable, while wet. So work with good ventilation – and avoid smoking and open flames of course.

Remember an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, or many tons of salt in this case.