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Worrying whether or not you were overcharged for your car repair is an awful feeling. Theres tons of advice on how to avoid getting ripped-off, but few discuss the actual car repair prices. We really need to look at the charges on a car repair estimate or auto repair invoice to determine if were paying too much.The focus needs to shift from giving outdated and ineffective advice to addressing the "actual" and "specific" charges. Are they legitimate charges? Can they be ...

Auto Repair Estimates And Car Repair Prices - The Real Information To Avoid Car Repair Scams

Auto Repair Estimates And Car Repair Prices - The Real Information To Avoid Car Repair ScamsWorrying whether or not you were overcharged for your car repair is an awful feeling. Theres tons of advice on how to avoid getting ripped-off, but few discuss the actual car repair prices. We really need to look at the charges on a car repair estimate or auto repair invoice to determine if were paying too much.The focus needs to shift from giving outdated and ineffective advice to addressing the "actual" and "specific" charges. Are they legitimate charges? Can they be justified by industry guidelines?Now car repair estimates can be confusing. So lets break it down to get a better idea if your auto repair shop is billing you appropriately.First, a glossary of terms is in order, as the auto industry has a language of its ownAftermarket Parts: parts not made by the manufacturer.MSRP: Manufacturer's Suggested Retail PriceOEM: Original Equipment Manufacturer. Manufacturer approved parts designed specifically for your vehicle.TSBs: Technical Service Bulletins. Notes and instructions provided by the manufacturer for known and specific concerns(they are not recalls).Flat Fees: services such as alignments that don't get broken down into parts, tax, laborMiscellaneous Charges: these can include, but are not limited to shop supplies - rags, chemicals, hazardous waste disposal fees, waste oil ...etc.Labor Rate: a repair centers hourly charge to service your vehicleLabor Time: the amount of time or hours determined that it will take to fix your vehicleLabor Description: the step-by-step written details of repairs and/or servicesOk, lets look at the Anatomy of an Auto Repair Estimate:There are six basic components to a car repair estimate1) Customer/Vehicle Information2) Parts3) Labor4) Miscellaneous Charges5) Flat Fees6) Summary of ChargesCustomer and Vehicle InformationUsing a generic top down style estimate, the top portion simply contains your personal information and your vehicle's specifics: year, make, model, mileage...etc, as well as your request or concern.We also want find the shop's labor rate. The labor rate is critical in determining if you paid too much. Most repair centers don't list the labor rate. We'll discuss why shortly.Auto PartsParts are listed usually with a brief description, as well as the quantity, and the price. There are three types of parts: OEM (parts made by or for a manufacturer). These are the parts installed by a dealer, although many local shops use OEM parts too.Aftermarket parts are non OEM parts, and there are various degrees of quality, depending on the brand and where theyre made China versus USA, for example.Then there are Used parts purchased from a salvage yard.To determine if you paid too much for parts, first find out what type of parts are being used. With OEM parts, you dont want to pay more than MSRP, although most people do without realizing it. Premium aftermarket parts are similarly priced across brands, although beware not to pay more than MSRP, which again, many folks do. Used part prices are all over the place, so pick the price in the middle.Auto Repair LaborLabor is billed in tenths. So 1.0 equals 1 hour. 1.5 equals an hour and a half.Labor rates range from $60 to $100 per hour at local repair shops and $80 to $140 per hour at the dealer level. Labor times are based off established industry guidelines, which are frequently abused.If you don't see the shop's labor rate posted on the car repair invoice, ask your service center for the rate. Repair shops can manipulate the labor rate (among other things) with a labor matrix. Matrix pricing is a complicated and ethically questionable practice discussed at length in RepairTrust literature. What you need to know is that you can pay as high as $150 per hour rather than the posted labor rate of $105 per hour.To ensure that you're being charged properly, you'll want to multiply the number of hours billed (which is also often not posted) by the shop's labor rate.Most labor descriptions are poorly written and difficult to understand. So ask questions.Heres a "clear" labor description for a 30,000 mile service on a Toyota Camry.Performed 30,000 mile service per customer request, and in accordance with manufacturer guidelines. Changed oil and filter, installed new air filter, cabin filter and performed all necessary tests, checks, and procedures, including road test (miles 30,123 30,125). Performed lubrication services and confirmed proper vehicle operation. Set tire pressures, and checked fluids, belts and hoses. Note: vehicle is pulling slightly left. Needs alignmentMiscellaneous ChargesThe bulk of your car repair invoice will be parts and labor, but we can't forget about Miscellaneous Charges. These charges can include, but are not limited to, shop supplies - rags, chemicals, hazardous waste, disposal fees, waste oil ...etc. The latter of these may be billed out separately in a summary at the bottom of your repair invoice.Very few of these "extras" are actually used during regular repairs. Miscellaneous charges are calculated off the amount of labor hours billed, not the amount of miscellaneous items used.Flat FeesFlat fees can be another very tricky area. Flat fees are services, such as an alignment, which don't get broken down into parts, tax and labor. This makes it difficult to determine the real and fair price. On the plus side, most flat fees are competitively priced.Be warned however, another term for Flat Fee is called Menu Selling. In other words, you might see Tune Up: $99.99 or Transmission Flush: $89.99. Follow your manufacturer's recommendations only, not a dealer's or repair shop's menu.Summary of ChargesThe last part of an auto repair estimate is the summary of charges. It's usually found in the bottom right hand corner of the invoice. Check it against the charges above to ensure that it all adds up mathematically, as well as logically.This basic estimate outline may differ from your particular invoice, which may have other categories such as "Sublet" or "HazMat."A sublet charge is added when your auto repair shop uses another vender to fix or repair your car, such as a glass company that replaces your windshield.A HazMat charge may include waste oil or other disposal fees. Just make sure that the charges are warranted, as again, they too are often calculated off the labor time rather than actual need.In sum, understanding the actual charges, asking the right questions, and breaking down your auto repair costs is the best way to avoid paying excessive "car repair prices" .

Going For Fast Gas Scooters?

Going For Fast Gas Scooters?

Why Fast Gas Scooters?There is the impression that because it is a tiny version of the loud motorcycles, it lacks speed. What fast gas scooters lack is size but not speed. They are also cheaper and very inexpensive to maintain. For its upkeep, it only costs a mere fraction of the fortune you spend on gas, repairs, and even insurance.Insurance for gas powered scooters are not restrictive. This has to do with speed, yes but lack of it. Fast gas scooters cannot compete with cars in the freeways or on the fast lanes. Hence, they are less likely to figure in accidents. That is how insurance companies assess scooters, and this is good news for all scooter aficionados.More than Just SpeedBut how "fast gas scooters" can go? Many have tried home grown remedies like adding a performance gear sprocket or attaching an exhaust system to get the scooters speeding down the alleys. Instead of figuring out how to hike up the speedometer of the gas scooter, get the 4 stroke single cylinder 49.7cc scooters.The 49.7cc air cooled 2 HP engines give the amazing powerful speed for a little bike. This upgraded version is street legal, and has the approval of the DOT and EPA. So if you are mulling over an ordinary scooter to take you to your office everyday, why not consider a faster moving two-wheel drive?Of course fast gas scooters with 49.7cc engines can rack up a speed of 35 to 40 miles per hour. This is real nifty, considering that that you dont need any legal permits to drive around town. ]Gearing UpThere are some things to do before zooming away on new fast gas scooters. Before even turning the ignition key, make sure that all the screws are secure. If this was shipped to you, then check each screw from top to bottom. Since the chains are still spanking new, oil these every day. This will prevent the chains from snapping during those short drives.Fast gas scooters can be driven uphill, and are so easy to operate. There is no clutch to control; instead you just twist the grip throttle. The torque converter transmission delivers the power suited for fast gas scooters.And the Price is RightThere are different fast gas scooters for every budget and style. The least expensive is priced at $650, and the more expensive models have tag prices extending beyond the thousand dollar mark. The cheaper models have classy sleek designs. They are also trendy and give top performance too.Fast gas scooters need not be expensive. Get one for that daily commutes and short drives. These little road soldiers will eliminate a lot of parking hassles that you experience every time you want a space in crowded parking areas.Check out suppliers and retailers for the latest in scooters. You can get online and compare dealer prices as well as brands. No doubt about it, fast gas scooters give the edge extra money, convenient commutes, and freedom on the road.

Choosing The Right Motorcycle Boot For You.

Choosing The Right Motorcycle Boot For You.

Like so many things when it comes to motorcycle apparel and gear these days, motorcycle boots are being produced by so many manufacturers its hard to pick one. You can get a cheap "motorcycle boots" for under a hundred bucks these days. Not only do you have different makers to choose from you know have to add motorcycle shoes to the equation. These are tough shoes made to be durable enough to give you some protection in a crash. Most have reinforced stitching, ankle protection and a shifter pad as well as a non slip type sole. If you are looking for a quality boot or shoe there are several manufacturers with a good track record to choose from. Alpinestars, AGV Sport, Double H and Icon are most of the more popular brands currently available. Not to mention non brand names. I however recommend that you go with a quality boot that is made by a well known manufacturer. I have a pair of AGV Sport motorcycle boots that have lasted 8 years.Picking a motorcycle boot really depends on you. If you ride a cruiser probably one of Double H 's boots will appeal to you since they are made to have a more classic styling. Double H makes an engineer boot which is a perfect nostalgic looking motorcycle boot or the Jump boot which also has a classic look. I find that people that rider cruisers tend to lean towards those styles, since they fit that sort of bike as well as the gear that goes with riding a cruiser. You would look kind of funny in race gear on a cruiser!!Motorcycle Boots and Shoes for riders of sport bikes are quite abundant. Icon AGV and Alpinestars all make quality motorcycle boots that are tough enough to even wear on track days depending on the one you decide to wear. Most of these boots come with toe sliders, ankle support, shin and ankle protection as well as high impact materials that are integrated in to the boot in case of a crash. These boots are usually made for more aggressive riding there fore you will find more safety features designed to protect your feet from the road. You will find these boots come in lots of different colors that will match most sport bike gear. Also most of the manufacturers of these boots also make gloves and leathers that are all color coordinated to be worn together. Now one of the newer things on the scene are "motorcycle shoes" . These shoes are quite durable but are not recommended for track use. They are tough enough to offer some protection but nothing like what you will get out of a full boot. The shoes are generally made for street riding. They are popular because they look much like regular tennis shoes so you can wear them at work without it being noticed. The shoes usually do not offer much in the way of protection but rather they have a non slip sole and a shifter pad which makes it easier for you to shift while riding. Most of the shoes are reinforced to some degree but not nearly like motorcycle boots.Typically your riding style and the type of bike you ride will dictate what kind of motorcycle boots you will choose to wear. Just keep in mind to wear gear that adequately protects you for your style of riding. Ideally a helmet, gloves, jacket, riding pants and boots should be worn at all times when you are out on a motorcycle.

Car Hire Tips For Murcia In Spain

Car Hire Tips For Murcia In Spain

Many companies offer services for car hire in Murica or at the airport. San Javier airport in Murica is located at the northern shore of the Mar Menor. Since 1996, this airport has experienced tremendous growth in flights for tourists. This has resulted in more car hire companies operating in and around the airport.Car Hire Murica PlanningConsider the size of the car you will need. An economy car is cheaper in terms of rental rates as well as fuel costs. A smaller car will get better gas mileage. If you are travelling with your family or a larger group, you may need a larger vehicle. Otherwise, a compact is a good choice.Consider insurance when you are planning a car hire. You may have coverage with your car insurance or credit card company. Check with your broker before your tip. If you are already covered, you can save between $5 and $10 per day on your rental costs.Book in advance for any car hire. You will pay more if you dont reserve in advance. In addition, your choices may be limited. If you are travelling in the busy season, which is summer, you may not get the car you need. In the very busy weeks, you may not be able to get a car at all.To hire a car, you will need the proper documentation. Most companies will ask for your drivers license, proof of insurance and a credit card. Find out in advance which cards are accepted. Many companies have a minimum age requirement for rentals.Inspect the car before you leave. Take not of any scratches, dents or areas where the paint is chipped. Call these to the attention of the companys representative. Be sure all damage is noted on the rental agreement. If possible, take pictures with a digital camera to record the damage. You dont want to be blamed later for damage that was already there when you picked up the car.Comparing Companies for Car Hire MuricaThe rates for the same car can vary considerably from company to company. Compare basic rates and the fees for extras. Some offer all inclusive rental packages, while others charge for extras. These extras can include insurance, mileage, the cost of additional drivers, airport taxes and other fees.Find out what is included in the price you are quoted. If the company charges a basic rate with add on fees for extras, have the clerk calculate all expenses at the time you are given the quote. This will give you a more reliable comparison.Get the agreement in writing and be sure to get a confirmation number. You dont want to go through all the work of comparing prices only to end up paying a higher price later. A quote in writing with a confirmation number for your reservation will help you avoid headaches later.Compare the cost for picking the car up at the airport or renting in the city. In many cases, there is no real difference in cost. In other cases, you may save money by hiring a car in the city. Most companies will provide transportation to and from the airport. In general, it is cheaper if you pick up and drop off the car in the same location, whether its in the city or at the airport.Compare daily and weekly rates with each company. The weekly rates are often cheaper. If you are staying five days, it may still be less expensive to reserve the car at the weekly rate. You can still return the car early and save money.Look for coupons or discounts for your car hire. If you book your flight through a travel agent, you may get a discount on a car hire. Organizations such as AAA or travel clubs often offer discounted rates to members. Travel magazines sometimes contain coupons for rental fees. Find and use any discount you can to save money.

Peterbilt Trucks: The Birth of a Legend

T.A. Peterman had an inner passion: trucks. Despite this fact there was a time when he felt that he couldnt find a truck of his liking and thats when he decided to build his own truck. In 1939 he acquired the Fageol Truck and Coach Factory. Peterman wanted to have a place where he could modify old trucks at his will and this plant served his purpose. He began to envision the standard that he wanted for his trucks, with this concept in mind he built a truck with the best quality ever seen. His design began to give him a reputation. He kept manufacturing trucks and branded them Peterbilt (name of a line of wooden doors that one of his companies manufactured). During World War II, T.A. decided to pursue government contracts for heavy duty trucks instead of assembling combat vehicles. Unfortunately T.A. Peterman died from cancer after the War. Ida, his widow took care of his business affairs.The direction of the company took a different turn in 1946 when five of the companys main employees and outside investors purchased Peterbilt Motors from Ida Peterman for $450 000. L.A. Lundstrum was named President of Peterbilt Motors and their development continued; by 1947 their income surpassed $4 500 000 while trucks were manufactured on a daily basis. Pacific Car and Foundry Company (PACCAR) acquired Peterbilt Motors in 1958 as an unincorporated division. Today T.A. Petermans dream is more alive than ever, Peterbilt continues to progress as new challenges lie ahead. The company maintains Petermans original vision: the manufacture of high quality, innovative heavy duty trucks that surpass customer needs and expectations.

Tips For Buying A Used Car At A Used Car Auction

Are you interested in buying a used car from an auto auction or a used car auction? If you are, have you ever done so before? Unfortunately, when it comes to buying a used car from a used car auto auction, there are many first time bidders who end up making costly mistakes. To prevent yourself from being one of those used car auction bidders, you will want to continue reading on, as a few helpful used car auction tips are touched on below.Perhaps, one of the most important things that you need to remember, when it comes to buying a used car from a used car auction, is that not all used car auctions are the same. Auto auctions come in a number of different formats. For instance, there are auctions where only used cars are sold and then there are others auctions where a large number of products, including used cars, are being sold. To have a larger selection of used cars to choose from, you may want to focus solely on auctions that specialize in the auctioning of used vehicles.In keeping with the type of used car auction that you wish to attend, it is also important that you examine whether or not you are even able to attend. If you are just one lone individual who is looking to buy a personal car for yourself, you will want to try to find a public used car auction. Public used car auctions are auctions where anyone is able to walk in and place a bid on a used car. It is important that you know what type of used car auction you plan on attending, as there are auto auctions that require proof of a dealership license.In addition to the type of used car auction that you wish to attend, it is also important that you examine how the auction is operated. For instance, are you required to arrive at the auction and bid on a vehicle that you have never previously seen or had the opportunity to examine? While a large number of auto auctions work this way, you may only want to attend auctions that give you the opportunity to inspect their used cars. This inspection session, if it is available, is often scheduled in the days leading up the used car auction. In addition, you may want to see if the auction house or company in question has an online website. If they do, you may be able to find information, including pictures and detailed descriptions, of some of the cars that at the auction.It is also important that you examine methods of payment accepted before you start bidding on a used car at a used car auto auction. Unfortunately, many first time bidders mistakenly believe that all auto auctions accept the same methods of payment. This is a mistake can be troublesome and result in a large hassle. That is why it is important that you examine the methods of payment accepted. In most cases, you will find that cash, credit cards, or certified checks are accepted. In some rare cases, you may be able to find a used car auction house or company that offers financing or one that accepts personal checks.Before bidding on a used car at a used car auction, it may be a good idea for you to speak to an auction representative. Depending on the auction house or company in question, you may even be able to do so before attending an auto auction. When speaking to a company representative, you will want to inquire about the documentation that you will receive when you bid on and buy a used car. After buying a used car, you will need to register it with your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). To register a vehicle with the DMV, you need to have proof of ownership. Most well-known and reliable used car auction houses or companies will automatically provided you with the required documentation, but it may still be a good idea to get verification ahead of time.Since the used car auction that you choose to attend will have a significant impact on the success that you see, when buying a used car, it is important that you choose your auto auctions carefully. If you are a Chicago resident, a resident of a surrounding area, or would be willing to travel there, you may want to examine North Shore Auto Auction.

Summary

Worrying whether or not you were overcharged for your car repair is an awful feeling. Theres tons of advice on how to avoid getting ripped-off, but few discuss the actual car repair prices. We really need to look at the charges on a car repair estimate or auto repair invoice to determine if were paying too much.The focus needs to shift from giving outdated and ineffective advice to addressing the "actual" and "specific" charges. Are they legitimate charges? Can they be ...