Frequently Asked Questions
|How do I find a garage I can trust?
|We feel the best way to find a garage you can trust is word of mouth.Speak to your friends , relatives, co-workers, etc...and get referrals.A good idea is to get more than one opinion or estimate from the garages you visit, compare the facts and you will find the common factors with respect to what repairs are necessary. Then you can decide who can be trusted. Another good idea is to ask as many questions as necessary for you to understand the reasons for the required repairs. This will not only educate you , but will keep the garage on their toes.We also suggest that you ALWAYS ask to see the parts which have been replaced. This request MUST be made before you give the OK for the work to be done. Remember , you are entrusting your car to someone to do something over which you have no control, so be careful. As a rule, society has depicted garages as crooks , lumped together with plumbers, electricians, TV repairmen, politicians and the like. The main reason for this is the fact that the public just doesn't know what's going on under the hood, i.e.: the fear of the unknown.There are some slimeballs out there, but by and large, the majority of garages are really OK. For other references you should refer to your local department of the Consumer Protection Association, Better Business Bureau or the CAA (in Canada) or AAA( in the USA) .
|Where can I find find parts for my older cars?
|For the diehard "hot rodder" finding replacement parts is not only a necessity but can easily manifest itself itself into being quite the problem. We could suggest a bottle of aspirin, but since we're licensed mechanics and not pharmacists, that would be illegal. Another alternative would be a case of ice cold beer, but that won't solve the problem either. We went through this headache several times in the past. Take the '73 Dodge Dart Swinger featured on our front page as an example. Try and find any interior trim parts, body parts, striping (original, not after market) or detail stickers at your local Chrysler dealer. Good luck! Well , after doing some research (this is before we connected to the Internet), we located a company dedicated to those of you who are frustrated and sick and tired of looking for a part and ending up in a junkyard rummaging through old heaps of scrap, finding what you need and ending up spending even more cash to restore the part you just purchased to restore your car. Sounds like a lot of work for nothing! We highly recommend you get in touch with Year One Inc. and tell them what you need. Chances are that they even have your part in stock. Go figure!!! We deal exclusively with them and have nothing but praise for their products, staff and service. The catalogues they have also make excellent reading. Happy motoring!!!
|Why doesn't the insurance company want to repair my car?
|This is one of the most frustrating things in life to go through. Imagine, if you will, that you are the proud owner of a 1967 Camaro fully restored and running like a Swiss clock. Needless to say, you did most of the work yourself, dedicating time and money to your project, and risking a divorce in some cases ( you guys know what we mean ). Now, one fine Sunday morning you decide to take your pride and joy out for its weekly run. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, comes this car shooting straight at you , and guess what? You get nailed, but good!!! No problem, you have insurance, you're damages are covered right? Not!!! The only way you will be fully covered for the cars full value is if you have an evaluation done of your car, with a copy going to your insurance company. Think about it. You have a 30 year old car. What is the retail book value? Exactly!!! It's not in the book. Hence, it has no value other than what your insurance company is willing to give you. This gets a bit complicating though, because now you have to dig up all of those receipts for the parts you purchased over the years, as well as some photographs of the car when it was still in one piece! Now what about your time? Isn't that worth something to you? Are you beginning to get the idea? With an evaluation, you have complete protection. The insurance company agrees to insure your car for a specified amount. No more headaches when making a claim. Another advantage is having a copy of said evaluation on hand for the day when you decide to sell your baby to the kid down the street who's been at you for the last 5 years, begging you to sell and asking how much you want for it. Well, now you have a value upon which you can begin the deal making process. Lastly, you get to have something to show the grandkids. Imagine 5 years after you sell the car, you just open a folder and there it is. Your baby, photos and specs. We find that evaluations make excellent keepsakes. Unfortunately there are just too many Automobile Evaluation Companies in existence, so we linked this sight to the Yellow Pages Directory.
|What is the best type of fuel for my older car?
|This is a subject where mechanics have had countless heated debates almost to the point of all out fisticuffs! It is our opinion that ALL cars should be running on the highest octane rated fuel available. This applies more so to those old muscle cars running motors at a 12:1 compression ratio. Remember, the higher the octane rating, the better the performance. You will in turn get better fuel economy, not to mention the fact that you will have less carbon build up on your valves, pistons etc... .There is also the advantage of being able to go longer between tune-ups, since the fuel burns cleaner, your plugs won't get fouled up as fast. Also, since the fuel leaves less residue, the lifespan of your catalytic converter can be enhanced substantially. As far as we are concerned, there is only ONE drawback to running hi-test fuel . The price at the pump!!! But, if you take the time to calculate your cost per kilometer (miles for our American friends), you will probably find out that it will cost you less to run on hi-test than that crappy stuff you are using now! Give it a try and let us know what you think.
|What is the best way to stop my car from rusting?
|This is easily done. The important thing is to get a good start on the rust prevention program. If you purchase a car new, make sure that there is some sort of rustproofing done before you take delivery. This is usually a standard feature with today's new cars, but it's always a good idea to read your sales contract to be sure. We recommend follow-up rustproofing be done every autumn, regardless of how "good" the car looks. You can't see what's going on inside the doors, fenders,rocker panels etc..., so make sure it gets done just the same. Yearly rustproofing is also recommended for every used car out there. The majority of companies which do rustproofing, add chemicals to the oils they spray, which can slow down the rust which has already began, but please understand, once rust has formed, there is really only one thing which can be done. The infected (we call it infected because rust is the cancer of the automotive industry) parts of the body must be cut out and replaced with new metal. This can get costly, so let's try not to let it come to that, shall we! Now that we've covered the obvious, lets talk about your paint. The biggest mistake people make is that they believe cars have paint on them so they look pretty. Not !!! Paint is a protective coating applied to the metal to prevent, you guessed it, rust. If you don't protect the paint, chances are, that you will develop cracking, flaking and peeling. Not to mention that your neighbors property will decrease in value due to the eyesore parked next door. For this, there is a simple solution. It's called a wash and a wax. We recommend hand washes only since the machine wash has those nasty brushes that want to rip off your mirrors. Well those brushes also keep some dirt in the bristles, and that's what causes those teeny-tiny scratches on your paint. As far as wax is concerned, we recommend a good wax job be done at least twice a year. Once in the spring, to give protection against the sun's rays and that lousy rain that falls just after you wash your car. You should also give it a good wax job in the autumn. This will protect the paint from the effects of winter weather, such as freezing rain, your snow brush, road salt and gravel and the changes in temperature if you park indoors. It's a good idea to wash down the car as often as you can, to rid the car of any salt accumulation as well. For the nearest Automobile Rustproofing Company to you, check out your local Yellow Pages Directory.
|When is it time to get rid of my car?
|Well,that's a good one to think about. When we get a car owner into our shop with a rusted out 1984 Honda Civic and asks us if it's worth keeping the car and investing money to restore the body and do some mechanical repairs, (an average cost of $2500.00 to $3500.00), the very first thing we do is check out the power train. Should the heart of the car be in good shape, we ask the first question, "do you like the car?". If the answer is yes, the second question follows, "OK, but do you love the car?". Again, if yes, we set an appointment and get the car back to its original condition. It's up to you, the car owner to decide when to let go of the car. There is nothing that cannot be repaired or replaced. You, the car owner, are the one who has to make the commitment for another 5 to 10 years. If you look at the $$$ side of things, we feel that it makes no sense to spend $25,000.00 and up for a car when you can keep what you have for 1/10th the cost. It's your car, you decide. We wish you luck!
|How can I save money on parts?
|This should be a topic that just about every car (or truck) owner has an interest in. It is an important part of the overall maintenance schedule of your vehicle in such that, the cost can drop substantially, and thus will make the financial burden all the lighter and easier to keep a proper schedule for the maintenance of your vehicle. You see, as a garage owner, I know how expensive it can get just for regular maintenance, not to mention more serious repairs. I try to help out my customers who are, shall we say, financially challenged, by suggesting they pick up their parts and allowing me to install them. There are certain instances where the customer has saved up to 20% on the parts. There is one catch however. You must be careful as to where you buy your parts. I highly recommend you get your supplies from an auto parts supplier who supplies garages. This way, you will be getting the same quality parts that the garage would get and at the same time, you can always ask for a bit of a better price when you're at the store. Note that this won't work at large outlets like "Canadian Tire" in Canada or "NAPA" in the USA. Look for a small supplier and you can usually work out a better price. Remember, if you don't ask, you'll never receive. Don't let pride get in the way of your wallet.
|Is it true that parts are more expensive at the dealer?
|This is a rather interesting subject. You see, there is this misconception floating around that the dealers are always more expensive when it comes to getting replacement parts for your vehicle. This is not the case. As a general rule, you should always compare the prices between the auto parts stores and the dealer. I find, that for several items required for regular maintenance, that the dealers are very competitive with their pricing and quite often are less expensive than the jobbers. Basically I suggest you use common sense when selecting what quality parts you get for your vehicle, for quite often you are sacrificing top quality from original parts, which will of course perform better and last longer, just to save a few dollars. Look at it in a long term point of view and often you will find that by saving money on inferior parts, you are actually spending more in the long run. Shop around and save.
|Eddy's Automobile Maintenance thanks you for visiting our web sight and look forward to any comments you may have. We hope we answered some of your concerns. Take note that we are willing to add your photographs of classic and/or modified American cars to our site, so if you'd like to see your wheels on the web, attach a photograph to your e-mail. Happy motoring!!!
This site prepared by Eddy Helm,
Owner of Eddy's Automobile Maintenance