Archives : 2011 : February

Car Collector Appreciation Day

February 28th, 2011

Many of our customers are car collectors. Classic cars, muscle cars, Fords, GM, foreign cars, you name it, there’s a collector who specializes in it. They dote on their cars like a father would a child. Storing it up on their Four Post Lift, and bringing it down for special events, and car shows. Collectors are a very dedicated group. They love their cause and follow it closely. So it only stands to reason that there should be a day set aside for car collectors.
The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) and other industry groups, along with the US Senate resolution 513 have deemed July 8th, 2011 “Collector Car Appreciation Day”. This is the second year of this special annual event and it is hoped that it will raise awareness of the trade and all it’s followers. Furthermore, they expect this to support the craft by advocating for the cause in every way possible, along with educating others on the importance of the culture and historical importance.
If you are planning a significant event that reinforces Car Collecting, restoration, and the automotive hobbies, then you can notify the SEMA Action Network at 202-783-6007, and help spread the word.

Collector Cars

Independent vs Dealer Repairs – Which is better?

February 27th, 2011

Your car just broke down on the side of the road on a hot summer day. You called for a tow truck and you must decide where to have them take it. Do you have them bring it to the car dealership service center, or to a local independent repair shop?

There are strong arguments to be made in favor of both. The arguments go deeper, but the basic premise of each is –

Bring your car to the dealer. They know the car better than anyone, plus they have the best trained technicians and the best possible tools and equipment. They have the best Automotive Lifts, Tire changers and alignment machine. Further arguments in dealer’s favor would be that they get the latest updates from the manufacturer, are privy to information that the independent guys wish they could get, and you are less likely to get the 3rd degree when you need to bring it in for warranty coverage service if you’ve been getting your car serviced there all along.

The argument for the independent auto shop is simple. They are more affordable. They typically cost 20 to 40 percent less for the same repairs. Along with the cheaper labor costs, you may also enjoy better customer service from your local shop, as they typically are known to pay more attention to the needs and details of their local neighborhood loyal customer. Independent shop owners will tell you that as long as the shop has been certified through the Automotive Service Excellence program (www.ase.com) then you have assurance that the shop has met very strict standards and has the training and knowledge to get the job done.

So what about you? Do you bring your car to the dealer, or an independent garage?

Automotive Repair Shop

Exhaust Vent Systems – A Vital Piece For Your Shop

February 26th, 2011

Auto shop owners who want to avoid having sick employees should consider getting a portable exhaust vent system to remove those harmful fumes from the garage.  The main culprit is Carbon Monoxide (CO). There are CO detectors that can warn you of high CO levels in your shop. There are also detectors that can tell you how high the levels are. OSHA can tell you what the maximum acceptable levels allowed are. There are all kinds of short term and long term chronic implications from breathing CO. The symptoms may at first be imperceptible. Some early and common side effects would be headaches. Difficulty breathing is another common symptom. The CO molecule attaches itself to the blood cells and prevent oxygen from being taken in. Long term exposure can lead to neurological disorders, and even lung cancer.
If you don’t provide a safe work environment for your employees, you risk not only unhealthy employees, but also citation from government regulators, and even lawsuits from affected employees.
Not only are you required to provide ventilation for your shop as a whole, but if you are running vehicles in your shop while the doors are closed, you must some form of exhaust vent fan that hooks up directly to the automobile’s exhaust pipe and blows it out side.
We carry two different portable Exhaust Vent Systems that prove effective in removing harmful fumes from your shop. So check them out.

RTI Exhaust Vent System

Tougher Safety Standards Proposed For Automobiles

February 25th, 2011

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has come out with a new vehicle scoring system for crash safety. This new system is designed to help consumers have access to information that will aid them in choosing safer vehicles. It tests for front and side impact crashes, as well as resistance to rollover. The testing is much more demanding than the old system. The rating system scores from 1 through five stars, with five being the best score. Among the highest rated cars are the GM Acadia, Hyundai Sonata, Chevy Traverse, BMW 5, and Honda Accord. Most cars scored four. That’s pretty good, and indicates that the modern automobile is safer than ever before. Overall, regulators expect scores to generally be lower due to the more rigorous testing. Auto manufacturers will certainly use this data in their advertising to promote their models with the safest records.
If your car is in an accident, and you happen to find it up on an Auto Lift, it will be of some consolation to know that at least you were safe from harm, protected by the latest technology there is to offer.

Traffic Cameras – Big Brother Is Watching

February 24th, 2011

State and local governments across the nation are hurting for money. 90 percent of them are running deficits. So it comes as no surprise that they’re searching for any way they can to increase revenues.
One way they’re doing this is by increasing fines and creating new ways to catch those who are violating traffic laws. Increasingly, they are turning to traffic cameras to catch speeders and people driving through red lights.
Of course, they won’t tell you that the primary reason they are putting in these cameras is to increase revenues. They’ll tell you it’s for the good of the community. It will make your streets safer. While that may very well be a desirable side effect, you can call us cynical. We believe that’s not the motivation for these cameras. Always follow the money.
These may indeed keep you safer, and potentially prevent you from getting side swiped by a car going through a red light. Nobody likes to see their car up on the Automotive Lift waiting for body repairs. But safety comes at a price, as more and more of your privacy is taken away every day. We must weigh the benefits with the costs.
What do you think? Are these traffic cameras a good idea?

Upcoming Car Shows And Meets

February 23rd, 2011

If you enjoy attending car shows, swap meets, auctions and any other type of auto enthusiast events, then this post is for you. Every month we display some of the more notable shows and events coming up in various parts of the country. If you like to refurbish classic cars by placing them up on your Auto Lift, or just enjoy viewing these fine pieces of machinery up close, and speaking with other like-minded people.

Here are some upcoming events –

April 8th – Dothan, AL – 6th Annual Tri-State BBQ, Car Show and Music Festival. What a great idea. Food, Music and cars. There’s also a kids area and crafts tent. 334-585-2250

April 17 – Pomona, CA – Pomona Swap Meet & Car Show
Tons of Parts for sale at low swap meet prices. This is the west coast’s largest antique auto, Corvette, Porsche, street rod and Volkswagen swap meet and car show. 714-538-7091

March 4 – Palmetto, FL – Car Show and Block Party – $10 Registration, Trophies, photographers and pinup girls. Raffle to benefit Palmetto Youth Center Entertainment – 941-776-7298

March 26 – Macon, GA – 15th annual Cherry Blossom Festival & Car Show.  In Central City Park . Carnival Rides, live entertainment. Admission $20 – 478-960-4240

March 26 – 27 – DuQuoin, IL – 41st annual Egyptian Antique Auto Club car & truck corral event. Held at DuQuoin state fairgrounds agriculture building. Free parking. $2 per adult, children free. 618-996-3129

April 29 – 30th – Maquoketa, IA – Torque Fest – This is not your typical car show… This is an event! They are bringing the jalopy showdown from the east coast and the suede palace from the west coast. Hot rods will get to go on the dirt track and nice customs will be inside. Live Bands, Model contests, art show – 563-332-1947

April 16th – Mount Vernon, KY – Main Street Car & Tractor Show – Held at the Mount Vernon Elementary School. Big trophies. Door prizes. Great food. – 606-219-0908

March 3 -5 – Hammond, LA – Classics For Hospice Bayou Classic Chevy Show. Open Tri – 5’s and all Chevy’s 1958 – 72. BBQ Friday evening. Music. Judging. Sat Night banquet & award ceremony. 504-723-8185

Car Shows

Sale On Some Discontinued BendPak / Ranger Models

February 22nd, 2011

We carry Automotive Lifts from three different manufacturers. By far, the largest of them is BendPak. They’re also the best. Plus, they’ve got the widest variety of lifts out there. They’re always innovating and coming up with new solutions as well as improvements on old models.
So when they come out with these new models, we end up with a supply of the old models that we need to get rid of. These are perfectly new lifts. There’s nothing wrong with them. They’re just being replaced by the latest and greatest Bend Pak Lift models.
So, to get rid of this surplus equipment, we are having a huge sale. Prices are ridiculously low. If you don’t mind getting last year’s model, now is the time.
Supplies are limited, and once they’re gone, they’re gone. So don’t delay.
Here’s what we have available. Just give us a call with any questions –

HD-14 Four Post Lift – $3220
HD-14X Four Post Lift – $3795
HD-14LSX Alignment Lift – $4543
HDO-14LSX Open Front Alignment Lift – $5980
PL-6SP Single Post Parking Lift – $4543
PL7X Parking Lift (extra high lifter) – $3680
DST1200 Wheel Balancer – $979
R710 Tire Changer – $979
R26EX Tire Changer – $3680
RX-950AT Tire Changer – $1725
R-2600HD Truck Tire Changer – $4830

Bend Pak Open Fron Alignment Lift

Cool New iPhone App For Technicians

February 21st, 2011

Are you always looking for the latest technology? Do you need the latest an greatest features for your auto shop? Are your Tire Changers wheel balancer or battery charger the most current models with all the bells and whistles? If so, this story might interest you.  Technicians have  a handy new app for their iPhone or iPad touch mobile devices to turn to from Bosch. Bosch calls it their Light ‘Em Up Dyno app. It allows the technician to use these devices as a portable dynamometer. It can measure acceleration, horsepower and G Force. Once it is downloaded and installed , you can quickly set it up for use. You don’t need to be connected to the Internet to use it either. So it is capable of working anywhere, anytime. Then just enter some basic vehicle information, and you’re ready for use. There are two packages available – The basic app is available at no charge. Then there’s an upgraded version available for a fee of $4.99. These fee can be avoided by getting a rebate after purchasing a set of Bosch spark plugs. visit www.lightemup.com for a link to the very handy app.

Auto Shop Equipment

Preventative Maintenance

February 20th, 2011

Modern  car engines are so technologically advanced these days that the regular DIY guys are sometimes found scratching their heads wondering what half the parts are under the hood. Water pumps are one of the few parts of the modern automotive engine that is still pretty straightforward. They haven’t changed much over the years. In the past, you would typically only replace the water pump when the bearings started making noise or when the seal or gasket went and you started getting leaks. More and more these days, you’ll see people replacing the water pumps as a preventative measure.  Since they serve as an pulley for the timing belt, and the timing belt is so difficult to gain access to in a modern engine, it sometimes makes sense to replace the water pump at the same intervals as the timing belt. Many water pumps these days have a lift expectancy of about 100,000 miles.
This is one job you may want to recommend to your customer with the advise that it could cost significantly more if it is done at a later time. When it’s up on the Automotive Lift for a timing belt change or other job, make the recommendation. It could save your customer from being stranded somewhere from overheating.

Automotive Lift

Source: Counterman Magazine

Daytona 500 Preview

February 19th, 2011

It’s here. The Daytona 500. The racing world’s biggest race is coming up this weekend, and everybody’s excited. Besides the buzz about the new surface, and the three lanes, there’s news about some of the top drivers. Dale Earnhardt Jr. got in a crash Wednesday during practice and will have to use a backup car and start from the rear of the pack. Then there’s the rule changes, like the size of the restrictor plates to slow things down. Experts predict the change will slow things down by about 2 MPH and keep the engine RPM’s down, which is actually preferred by the engine builders, who believe the RPM’s were getting too high. They hope to keep speeds down to below 200 MPH, as they were up to around 206 MPH in practice rounds. Fans obviously won’t be happy about this decision, nor will the drivers.
The new surface has also helped to speed things up, as the old one was bumpy and not as slick. Combined with the new car nose design, It will allow them to draft all the way around the track.
Some of the stars and the director for the upcoming new Transformers movie will serve as the Grand Marshals for the event.
With Jr’s primary car up on the Auto Lift, he’ll start from the back of the pack. This is shaping up to be one of the best races ever. Make your predictions now. Who will win?

Yellow Corvette