Garage Insurance – Used Car Dealers and Repair Shops Watch Those Symbols

Garage insurance is a much misunderstood policy form. Many professional insurance agents are confused about exactly when to use it and more importantly exactly how. You can use a garage liability policy to protect a used car dealer, often referred to as dealer’s insurance, or you can use this same form to protect an automotive repair shop or to set up body shop insurance. The trick is to know the symbols. If you own a car dealership or an automotive repair shop and are purchasing insurance for your business, it is advisable that you find an agent who specializes in the garage insurance form to help you with this purchase so you don’t end up with the wrong form and perhaps find yourself without coverage after a large loss.

As I mentioned earlier, both types of businesses, auto repair and or body shops and used car dealers both need the garage policy. But exactly what kind of operations are covered in these policies is driven by the symbols shown on the policy. This is very important. If your business is automotive repair or body work but your policy is set up with symbols that would apply to a car dealership, you could find yourself without coverage in the event of a liability loss.

 

So how do you know if you have the correct symbols and thus the correct form? Pull out your garage policy and look at the first page.   Beside each type of coverage, usually to the left, there will be a least one two digit number between 21 and 31. These symbols will describe what is protected by the coverage shown beside that symbol. Here is a list of the most common symbols and what each one protects:

Symbol 21                 Any auto

Symbol 22                 All owned autos

Symbol 23                 Owned private passenger autos only

Symbol 24                 Owned autos other than private passenger

Symbol 25                 Owned autos subject to no fault laws

Symbol 26                 Owned autos subject to Uninsured Motorists law

Symbol 27                 Specifically described autos

Symbol 28                 Hired autos only

Symbol 29                 Non-Owned autos used in the Garage Business

Symbol 30                 Autos Left for Service/Repair/Storage

Symbol 31                 Autos on Consignment

 

As you have probably figured out, if you are an automobile dealer and you have symbol 30 on your policy, you would find yourself without coverage. So why not just put symbol 21 on all coverages? Well, since code 21 is the broadest coverage, you would have to pay more for this insurance policy and in some cases you might be purchasing insurance protection that you didn’t really need.

 

Take some time to look at your policy carefully and review the symbols for each line of coverage to make sure that they are appropriate for the work you do. If you need help with this process, consult your agent. If you agent doesn’t specialize in businesses needing garage policy, ie dealers insurance and auto repair shop insurance, then find one who does. This protection is just too important to leave up to an agent who is practicing on the job …

Will My Vehicle Warranty Still Be Valid If I Ship My Car Abroad?

If you are planning to ship your car overseas in areas that have facilities to provide automotive services, your car’s vehicle warranty issued by your car manufacturer and/or dealer in the United States may not be valid overseas. You should look into buying an extended auto warranty often called an international vehicle warranty before shipping your car overseas. Your automobile manufacturer or dealer can be contacted before you ship your car overseas to find a suitable extended vehicle warranty or an international car warranty.

Shipping your car abroad and hoping to use your U.S. auto manufacturer’s car warranty abroad would not be a wise course of action. Neither would be waiting until your car is abroad before finding an international warranty to buy overseas. You can locate an extended warranty seller online very easily and very economically. Of course, your car warranty should be valid in the United States or else you might want a more expensive vehicle warranty.

Vehicle warranties in the United States and abroad are time oriented. If your auto warranty has expired, you should buy an extended warranty to cover your costs in maintaining your auto before you buy an international vehicle warranty. There are some online sellers of international auto warranties that are very inexpensive. There might be a reason for the low cost of international vehicle warranties. Your best course to insure your overseas experience with your auto is to contact your car’s manufacturer either directly or through your auto dealer and get more detailed information.

Another point to remember is that your automobile warranty in the United States covers your car repairs, usually, only if a manufacturer approved mechanic or garage does the repairs. In many instances, if you use an unauthorized car repair garage, your warranty won’t be valid even here in the United States. Before spending more money on an international vehicle warranty, you might ask whether there are authorized mechanical service areas in the country where you will be shipping your car.

But, if your question is simply will your warranty be valid if you ship your car overseas, the answer is not if you repair your car overseas at an unauthorized dealer or repair shop. There are many expenses involved in shipping a car overseas. One of them is getting an international vehicle warranty. The reason why so many people choose to ship their car overseas is because the cost of buying a car overseas is astounding when compared to the cost of buying a car in the United States. Even with shipping costs and additional auto warranties, it is cheaper to buy a car in the United States than overseas.

Vehicle warranties when used appropriately can make what appears to be a costly repair situation an almost pleasant experience. There are parts of any auto that would cost thousands out of your pocket if they should need repairs. Auto warranties take that burden off of your shoulders or shall we say, your pocket book.…

Water Softener Use In Mobile Auto Detailing

What is considered hard water and what are the degrees of hardness? Well very hard water would be 10.5 grains per gallon and 180 parts per million and above. But you need to realize that even moderately hard water of 3.5 to 7 grains per gallon and 60-120 parts per million will leave hard water spots. Slightly hard water such as 1 to 3.5 grains per gallon and 17.1 to 60 part per million will not leave noticeably hard water spots that you cannot cure with a chamois. But really as a professional auto detailer you are really looking for soft water of less than 1 grain per gallon and 17 parts per million.

What Makes The Water Hard?

Hardness in water is caused calcium and magnesium ions that form insoluble compounds; sometimes iron and even aluminum. There are many ways to soften water. Some are more complicated than others; Aeration, De-Ionization or ion-exchange, Distillation, Reverse Osmosis or Softening.

Softening by use of a water softener is the simplest concept used today; water softeners replace hardness ions like calcium and magnesium with sodium or non-scaling ions. The ion exchange resin used in the process is recharged periodically with salt drawn from a storage tank. Many water treatment experts agree and Lance Winslow concurs that softening can be most cost effective when the water has as few as one to five grains per gallon of hardness. Most mobile operators will be happy with one to three grains per gallon of hardness and probably won’t even purchase a softening unit until the hardness is five plus grains per gallon. Their theory is well taken because, if the total dissolved solids (TDS) is that low, there will be little water spotting on cars anyway.

One reason to put in a water softener even if your water is 5 gpg or less is because you wish to prevent scaling in the coils of your steam cleaner or save your pressure washing pump on your auto detailing rig. On a cold water machine, this is not as important because 5 gpg or less won’t ruin a pump. More than five can over time.

Hardness also hinders soap from doing its job. You may notice that your soaps are not cleaning properly. That’s because they are cleaning the water first and combining with the compounds in the water rather than the dirt on the car. You see, the hardness in the water has a tendency to neutralize those cleaning compounds and you have to actually use more soap to offset the neutralizing effect of the hardness minerals.

With hard water, you will use more soap and the cars still aren’t clean. I encourage you to talk to your soap vendors for helpful advice on water chemistry and treatment requirements. Your soap strategy should be custom tailored to your city and the hardness of the water you put in your tank.

Most independent auto detailing professionals agree that areas with hard water will also cause a film …

GM, UAW – Nothing New

In the early 1970’s, Japanese cars had a reputation of getting good mileage, but very little else. They were small, tinny and not very attractive. General Motors was the monolithic corporate giant that dominated the auto industry. Now, of course, Japanese automakers dominate the auto industry, and General Motors is a corporate dinosaur on the verge of extinction. What happened over the past 40 years can be viewed from many perspectives, and fingers can be pointed in many directions, but one of those directions is toward the United Auto Workers.

The evolution of Toyota and Nissan is very American – underdogs taking on an industry leader, using great ideas and new technologies. It seemed to all start in 1970, with the introduction of the Datsun 240Z This was a great little sports car that young Americans wanted to drive. It didn’t matter that it was made by a Japanese company. It was reasonably priced, well-made, fast and cool, and it began a run that continues to this day.

Throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s, American automakers slowly gave away the trust they had earned from American consumers. They seem to have traded in on their name and brands, producing planned-obsolescent, tinny versions of once great cars. And despite this, they continued to make huge profits from a generation that still saw the Japanese as somewhat of an enemy, and buying American as a form of patriotism.

It seemed that the good times would always roll, and so the UAW sought to share the wealth with its members. Unions have a history of balancing the scale of corporate profits and workers wages, but the UAW wanted more than that – they wanted long-term job security bolted to the status quo, and benefits packages second to none. In the 1970’s and 1980’s, college graduates were entering the workforce in large numbers – a tide of Baby Boomers armed with new ideas looking for ways to change the world. But the auto industry wasn’t the place for them. The combination of strong market share and union benefits had turned a dream job of ideas and innovations into an assembly line of mediocrity.

The lure of General Motors had become its UAW inspired benefits package, and the security of knowing that it was nearly impossible to lose your union-protected job. And while Japanese automakers improved efficiency, incorporated new technologies, designed new innovations and made cool cars, the US auto industry was anchored to the past, and is now sinking from the weight of that short-sighted greed.

So, here we are, in September of 2007. General Motors is in deep financial trouble, having lost its market leadership, reputation, and consumer loyalty, while each of their new cars costs $1500 more, just to pay retired worker’s benefits – the so called legacy costs. Toyota and other Japanese and Korean automakers are winning the game our way. And what of the UAW – now itself a far less powerful force because the Americans working in Japanese auto plants …

The Differences Between Truck Maintenance and Car Maintenance

Maintenance services are intended to keep a vehicle’s motor in optimal condition, and prevent future costly breakdowns and repairs. They are quite necessary, whether you have a car or a truck. If you are new to owning both a car and a truck, you will start to notice a slight difference in their maintenance needs. A truck’s maintenance schedule and requirements differ from that of a standard two or four-door vehicle. But overall, both types of vehicles require pretty much the same services.

The owners’ manual gives detailed instructions regarding your make and model’s factory scheduled maintenance needs and agenda. If you do not have this manual for your vehicle, you can most likely download a copy online, or consult an auto mechanic for professional advice. Continue reading to learn the principle differences between car and truck maintenance.

Truck Maintenance

All motor vehicles, truck, car, or SUV, requires a certain level and array of fluids to operate effectively and safely. These fluids include motor oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, coolant, windshield wiper solution, power steering fluid, and battery fluid. But cars and trucks are used for different purposes, and they drive differently.

A car only holds up to five passengers and drives mostly on smooth roads; whereas, a truck is likely to carry loads, haul items, and drive on rougher terrains. This type of driving causes the fluids to run hotter and get used up quicker. For this reason, trucks will require more frequent fluid changes than a standard car.

On the topic of fluids, trucks also require routine lubrication of their ball joints and U-joints. These areas also need to be inspected regularly for damages or defects. For manual trucks, it is important to also check on the clutch reservoir fluid to make sure it is at a good level.

Vehicles need air and oil filters to keep the motor clean of solid debris. Otherwise, the debris would enter the motor and grind between moving parts, causing engine damage. For trucks that are used in construction or other rugged outdoor sites, it is likely that the air and oil filters are accumulating more debris at a faster rate. This means trucks used under these conditions will require more frequent filter changes than cars. Fortunately, filters are cheap and easy to change.

Lastly, trucks require more frequent tire inflation. Tire inflation is important, and necessary, for trucks because they carry cargo. Tires should be evenly and properly inflated to safely haul cargos of all weights. If tires are not adequately inflated, tire blow outs can occur, causing truck accidents and collisions.

So you see, truck maintenance is virtually the same as car maintenance, but on a more frequent schedule. Talk to your mechanic about proper automotive maintenance for your vehicles.…