Used Radiator Vs New Aftermarket Radiator

If your radiator has more holes than a slab of Swiss cheese and left you high and dry, then it’s time for a replacement. If you’re on a tight budget you might be considering a used radiator or an aftermarket radiator, but which is a better choice?

Obviously buying used can have a huge cost benefit. Unless you have a rare or high-end luxury or sports car, a salvage yard special will be between $25 and $50. Not bad compared to the cost of a new cooling system from your local dealer.

The problem with buying used is that you have no idea what condition the unit is in. Appearance is not a good indicator and you have no way to do a pressure test. So, what do you do?

If you must buy used, be sure to do a thorough visual inspection. That means you need to look inside and out. Inspect for internal corrosion and damage to the cooling fins and hose connections.

To get a good look inside you will need a flashlight, so be sure to take one to the salvage yard with you. Look for excessive scaling and corrosion. If it does not look clean, then it was not well maintained.

Check the joins, too. Look where the cooling coil connects with the tanks. If you find an accumulation of sediment or mineral deposits from external corrosion, this is a pretty good indicator of poor condition.

Look for repairs. If you see big blobs of “cold weld” cement like J-B WELD, the unit has been patched and should be avoided.

If it’s an aluminum system check for corrosion and epoxy around the tank joins. Aluminum radiators need special coolant. If it’s not used they will corrode rapidly and begin springing pin leaks. Also, a common failure with aluminum cores is separation from the plastic tank. The common repair is epoxy cement. Stay clear if you see these obvious repairs.

Before you scour the salvage yards, consider aftermarket. For just a little more money you can get a high quality, aftermarket replacement unit with a warranty. The average price for an aftermarket radiator in 2011 is $120 shipped.

Most aftermarket components are exact, original equipment (OE) specification. In many cases, the manufactures provide the parts to the car manufacturer. In other cases, the components are “multi-fit,” which means it is the correct capacity and size for your vehicle, but it will have mounting hardware or attachment points for a range of fitments.

CSF, Inc. is one of the world’s largest manufactures and specializes in multi-fit radiators. According to CSF, they provide the overall best value. All of their products meet or exceed original equipment engineering specifications. Their manufacturing plants meet ISO 9000 standards and provide parts to OE manufacturers. They make over 1,000 different models that fit 2,001 vehicle fitment applications. If that wasn’t enough, they offer an industry leading warranty. Simply put, you cannot buy a used radiator with the same quality or assurance of performance.

If used is your only choice, be sure to inspect thoroughly. For complete confidence, invest in a quality aftermarket radiator.

Anyone Can Clean Their Car, But What About Those Cloudy, Yellow Headlights?

It is a very common occurrence. We see then every day. Its like a disease – yellow, cloudy headlight lenses in drastic need of repair. I even saw them on cars at the local carwash. It befuddled me that these people would take such great care – washing, vacuuming the interior, removing the floor mats and even hand drying their cars, but they still had those yellowed, cloudy headlights. Its not just a problem on old, very used cars. It is prevalent on 2 – 3 year old cars also. It doesn’t matter if it is a Dodge, Ford, Mercedes, or a Porsche.

When questioned, most said they couldn’t afford, or didn’t want to pay the high prices of replacements from their local auto dealer. The average price for a pair of replacement plastic headlights at local auto dealerships was around $450 – that didn’t even include installation and alignment (that would be another $60-120). After market headlights do exist, but have received mixed reviews, and the savings aren’t that great, quality and fit is lagging, and then you still had to have them installed and aligned. And for what so you can do it again in another year or two?

There is another solution, there are headlight repair, cleaner and restorer kits available for under $30 (look up headlight cleaner and/or headlight restorer on Google), much less expensive than replacement lenses, and they work!

Plastic headlight lenses are the norm in the automotive industry now – every car has them. Some have fancy names like plexan and Lexan, but they all have the same problems. The sun, acid rain, harsh weather conditions, chemicals (brake fluid, power steering fluid, hot radiator fluids, hot water, harsh cleaners, etc…) will all cause the plastic lenses to degrade and weaken quickly. Some manufacturers have gone to including a protective film on the lenses. Regardless, they are all susceptible to this weakening and yellowing over time.

With these headlight repair, cleaner and restorer kits even junk yard car lenses have been repaired and restored to brand new (as evidenced on some websites). These same lenses used to be discarded and now have become new profit centers for salvage yards. The treatments are similarly applied to the exterior of the headlight lens where the damage is worst and it doesn’t take a mechanic to repair it.

These kits can easily be found under headlight cleaner and headlight restorer on Google. So now you know there is a very economic solution to the problem of yellow, cloudy, worn headlights – repair, clean and restore them to new again. There’s no excuse now to not have sparkling clean headlights. Car dealerships have been using these headlight repair, cleaner and restorer on their cars and you can too.

Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Versus Original Equipment Equivalent (OEE) – Auto Glass

But I Thought You Said This Windshield Was Original Equipment?

Here is a common story for a consumer. A person has a brand new or leased vehicle and a piece of glass becomes damaged. They call an auto glass company and the consumer is told OEE is an original equipment equivalent replacement piece for their vehicle. But when the auto glass technician shows up to complete the replacement, the piece of glass does not actually have the vehicle makers OEM manufacturer logo.

OEM – Original parts installed by the vehicle’s maker during the assembly of your vehicle.

OEE – Parts produced for installation in the “aftermarket” by third party companies.

What Is OEM Auto Glass? (Original Equipment Manufacturer)

When a new vehicle is designed the vehicle maker can use an existing windshield part from an older model vehicle, or they can create a whole new windshield and part number. If the decision is made to create a whole new windshield the vehicle maker contracts a glass manufacturer to create the part. The glass manufacturer and vehicle maker create a unique mold and a unique molding/firing process to produce the OEM windshield (Original Equipment Manufacturer). The parts are installed when the vehicle is assembled at the vehicle makers factory.

OEM parts are available for purchase through your local dealership or through an auto glass company. Do be aware that OEM installations through a dealer will be significantly higher priced than choosing a third party company for the replacement. OEM parts are typically more expensive than OEE. In fact, OEM can cost over 100% more. Although Carlite (Ford) windshields are extremely affordable!

What Is OEE or OE Auto Glass? (Original Equipment Equivalent)

After a new vehicle has reached dealerships and is sold to consumers, third party glass manufacturers will actually acquire OEM glass and reverse engineer a mold to manufacture their own aftermarket glass parts. This mold is created after they digitize an outline of the part. Then the companies create a firing process to bend and shape the glass. OEE aftermarket parts are slightly different in size, they have slight differences in the bend of the glass, and the glass may have high distortion when viewed from a side angle. All of these differences may be minimal or dramatic depending on the manufacturer. The cheaper the glass, the cheaper the manufacturing was.

Removal Of The Manufacturer Logo

Some auto glass installation companies remove the windshields manufacturer logo to fool consumers into thinking its actually OEM. Remember to never buy glass without a manufacturer product label. The label is usually about 1 square inch in size and is located in the bottom areas of the windshield right above the painted black ceramic band. The manufacturer logo includes information about where the glass was manufactured, and has information for the Department of Transportation. Removing the logo is illegal.

What Are The Main Differences Between OEM and OEE.

1. Side View Clarity – All glass that is bent during manufacturing has some distortion when viewed from a side angle. This can be described as waves or waviness. Aftermarket glass is pressed, molded and fired during manufacturing in a slightly different way than the original process set by the vehicle maker. As a result of the difference in manufacturing the aftermarket process typically creates more distortion in glass when viewed from a side angle. Sometimes its a lot more!

2. Safety – Both types of glass meet all federal safety standards and also go through testing at such places as AMECA, Automotive Manufacturer’s Equipment Compliance Agency Inc.. Because both types meet certain safety guidelines, many auto glass installation companies push the argument that aftermarket is equivalent to the vehicle makers original replacement equipment simply based on this one similarity.

3. Glass Thickness – The federal government actually has mandates on the thickness of a windshield. Most windshields are between 2-3mm (millimeters) thick. OEE glass may have a.01mm or more difference in thickness. This may result in the idea that aftermarket is more cheap. Although this is still as safe and equivalent to OEM, I find it is different none the less and may have a higher risk of cracking from debris impacts.

4. Black Ceramic Paint Design – Both types of glass will typically have the same exact paint designs around the edges of the glass, although there are a few unique OEM windshields out there. This black design only hides areas from view (ex: under the dashboard, behind side pillars) and it protects the urethane glass adhesive from UV emitted by the sun. UV will degrade the adhesive which will result in the glass falling out or coming loose. One of the few differences found in paints bands may be, the vehicle maker or vehicle model logos embedded in the design. An example is a Ford Mustang windshield. The OEM windshield includes a picture of the Mustang logo above the rear view mirror bracket in the third visor.

5. The Manufacturer/Vehicle Maker Logo – OEM windshields have a logo that matches all of the other pieces of glass on your vehicle. This is the easiest to see if a piece of glass has been changed before, or to confirm if an auto glass company has ordered the right glass for you. The logo will either have the vehicle maker logo or the original vendor logo.

6. Rear View Mirror Brackets And Sensors – Aftermarket windshields (OEE) use a different process to adhere the mirror brackets to the glass. I find that their quality of adhesion and location is not as accurate as OEM parts. In fact, aftermarket distributors repeatedly drip glue on the glass below the bracket which may stain the black ceramic band on the interior side of the glass. When it comes to sensor components such as a rain sensors, the problem it not as rampant. But on a BMW windshield, a mirror bracket not correctly aligned may hinder the re-installation of the mirror’s plastic cover assembly which hides the sensor and bracket.

So Which Windshield Should I Choose, OEM or OEE?

The biggest impact on your decision will be budget. OEM parts are almost always higher priced. Most consumers simply choose OEE because they have no choice, everyone needs to save a few bucks. Don’t be scared of choosing aftermarket glass though because safety is mostly impacted by the technician installing the windshield correctly, not the glass itself. But if you really love your vehicle and expect the best quality, you should choose OEM. And if you are leasing your vehicle, your dealer may have restrictions on what type of glass is acceptable upon returning the vehicle. You may get a fee added if you have an aftermarket glass installed. Call your dealer for more information.

Auto Repair Services in Okinawa, Japan: Mechanics That Speak English

I recently visited Okinawa, Japan and found the people there are very friendly and kind. One problem, however, is that most of them do not speak English. On my first morning there, I spent the entire time looking for a person who could tell me in English where I could find a bank. I needed to exchange my US dollars for Japanese yen.

In the neighborhood where I was staying I visited a grocery store, walked the streets, and finally found a small police station outside Kadena Air Base. They did not understand English, but they had a map. I said I was looking for a bank and they said "ginkou." I thought they said "banko." So I said "yes, yes!" They did direct me to a bank thankfully.

Now if it is that hard to discuss the location of a bank, imagine how difficult it is for a US serviceman or woman to talk to an automotive mechanic about repairing their vehicle. Fortunately, I know of 2 American mechanics that are retired military who live and work in Okinawa near the Kadena Air Base. I saw firsthand the relief on the faces of customers who came in to drop off or pick up their cars.

Bill Siekert is the owner and head mechanic at B&M Okinawa. Bill explained that some of the automotive services provided on bases nearby are priced a little high because they are run under contract and frankly, they have a bit of a monopoly.

In Okinawa, some auto parts can be a difficult to find. Bill grinned as he said, "One way we have been able to help our customers is to go to the local junk yards in the area and find the parts we need." It pays to have local connections. Bill speaks Japanese and has connections with local auto body specialists. Bill can arrange for any kind of automotive work that needs to be done.

If you are stationed in Okinawa, Japan you can contact Bill Siekert about his auto repair services or you can use this map with directions to his automotive repair shop .

3 Tips On Getting Phenomenal Survival Bartering Power

Have you ever thought about the items you'll use in a survival barter situation? I've always thought that it required stacks of dollar bills packed away in my bug out bag. But something changed my mind.

Today I took my car into the local car repair shop. Paying $ 300 wasn't my favorite thing to do, but the car works now. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate Wayne a lot. If he was not nearby, then the job would surely be more expensive. But the entire experience made me think.

A disaster scenario came to mind. So, what do you think would happen if disaster struck and Wayne had to evacuate? For a minute, I thought that Wayne would be in big trouble having to leave his shop. Tools, lifts, oil, tires, everything. He would leave behind all of the stuff he'd invested in just to save himself and his family. We'd be so happy that we weren't the ones leaving the shop behind. But there's some irony to this situation. He's not in as bad a shape as you think. You see, his skills are evergreen.

# 1 Evergreen Skills

Evergreen skills are skills useable anywhere and anytime. They don't go out of style. They are commonly needed. And they will always be needed. In essence, they are 'ever' + 'green'. So how does this relate to Wayne? He's a car mechanic. Everyone owns a car. So if he leaves his shop and everything behind, he can still setup shop somewhere else. How does this relate to you? You want evergreen skills. These put you in a good position for survival bartering. But that's just one way to improve your bargaining power.

# 2 Skills Are Tradeable

In disasters you trade. But with what? You could trade old furniture. You could buy bread with those old toys your kids don't need anymore? But there's a problem with that idea. How are you going to carry boxes of toys around as currency? That makes no sense. What does make sense is to trade with skills. So instead of carrying around boxes of stuff, you carry around your skill set. Which leaves a lot of room in your bug out bag to pack other stuff. So let's cover the third thing that will give you bargaining power in survival bartering.

# 3 Skills Don't Diminish With Use

This is the big one. Let me give you an example. If you have 1 radio, and you trade it for 1 pounds of food. You now have your food. But you have no more radio. You are out. The food you will eat, and so you've eaten the value you bought. You've eaten your currency in essence. On the other hand, when you trade with a survival bartering skill, you still have that skill. After you've traded, you still have the same skills that you had before the trade.

So with my friend Wayne, if he needs food, he can fix a tire, and get 3 loaves of bread for his time. And still has just as much skill in his back pocket as he did when he started. Unfortunately, most people don't think like that. They are concerned more about things than skills.

Summary

So to summarize, to be in the best position for bartering, you'll want the best system. And to have the best system in the world for bartering, you'll want to have the best skills. And to have the best skills, you want skills that are evergreen, tradeable and that don't diminish with use.

So let's do this. Lets come up with a way to get you onto the right road to barter in a disaster. Why don't you do this. Make a list of your skills that could serve as your survival barter items. Try to come up with 10 skills that you have. Next to each one, put a rating on its value. Try scoring it from 1 to 10. So let's say 1 is low and 10 will be the highest and most valuable.

Ask yourself what others might need, and if you could see that event happening in a disaster. If you do, then that might be a 10. Do you know radio communications? How about car fixing? Are you a computer guru? Are you a good cook? What's your fire making ability like? Can you throw up a shelter real fast? Come up with your own Survival Barter List and see how much bartering power you really do have.

How to Buy Auto Parts Online

Buying auto parts online can be extremely hit and miss. There are so many uncertain variables if you do not know exactly what you need. Choosing the right auto parts online store can be the difference between getting the right part at the right price or finding yourself chasing the proverbial rabbit down the hole. The tips and tricks presented here will help you have a pleasurable shopping experience online.

You Do Not Have to Be an Expert

It comes as no surprise that the past several years have been financially heavy for most people here in the US. This fiscal struggle is everywhere when you take a moment to focus on our spending habits. For instance, new vehicle sales have gone down considerably in the past 5 years while restoration of existing autos have gone up exponentially. These days, we are becoming DIY mechanics, replacing faulty auto parts with new ones as necessary. However, most people are not aware that they can save even more money by buying auto parts online instead of at their local store.

You Do Not Have To Be an Expert!

In years past, consulting with an expert before buying replacement auto parts was the only way to go. We had to trust what our local mechanic was saying as gospel.  Nowadays, with access to a world of information with the onset of the internet, provided you know a little bit about your car, it isn’t really necessary to start your search with your local mechanic. If you want to buy auto parts online you can do it provided you know the make, year and model of your vehicle. Buying replacement parts online is even easier if you happen to know the part number.

Save Time When You Buy Online

If you shop for new car parts locally your selections are limited in terms of price and quality. What’s more, you are not guaranteed to find the exact part you need. This is painfully true if you are shopping for an uncommon auto part. Shopping online for auto parts can be far more efficient in terms of getting quality and accurate results. That’s because there are dozens of online auto parts stores that deal in the sale of auto parts. This means you are likely to find the precise part you need, even if it is an unusual one.

Saving Time

If you shop at traditional venues for auto parts you might have to drive to several different places before you find the part you are looking for. Driving from one place to another takes time. If you shop online what would have taken hours if not days can be accomplished in thirty minutes or less. Therefore, if you have a busy life as most of us do,  shopping online for new parts definitely frees up your time to do what you need to be doing instead of shopping for your parts around town.

Save Money Buying Online

Let us suppose that you decide to buy a used 2001 Ford Mustang, but it needs a new suspension. If you shop locally for the shocks and struts, it will cost you $400 or more at retail pricing. If you shop online for the exact same suspension parts, you can get them for as little as $200. That is half the cost, and usually shipping is free. When you buy new parts online it cuts out the middle man. That’s what makes it so much cheaper.

Warning – Do Be Careful

If your car is in desperate need of a replacement car part immediately, then you will pay for that time sensitive need.  if you have a day or two to spare to allow for your purchase to arrive, it is a much better idea to shop online than it is to buy locally. However you must be careful to order exactly the right part the first time. If you have to send a part back because you ordered the wrong one, it could cause a significant delay. It is also a good idea to ensure that any website you consider buying auto parts from is legitimate before making any kind of purchase.

Trust in these tips and tricks when shopping for auto parts online and you will save time, money, and will enjoy greater satisfaction in knowing you accomplished your goal of getting your car back on the road for less.

How Can You Get a Free Instant Car Insurance Quote?

You may be inquisitive about the possibility for you to obtain free instant car insurance quote. So many insurance companies are shoving to get business and provide free quotes for different models of cars for insurance in no time. It is possible to get a better instant free quote for insurance by using the following methods to insure your car.It is most comfortable to search on internet to obtain free instant quote for insurance. You can find a number of websites that have calculators for getting instant free quote for insurance. These calculators are graduated to work with set criteria. When you fill up your car details, the calculator can bring forth an instant free quote for insurance in a couple of minutes without any cost.Some sites have other versions of insurance calculators that will immediately e-mail free instant car insurance quote after you enter your data. It is important to note that the instant free quotes for insurance may not agree with the factual costs you have to bear. This is very much possible, if the website has not been renewed the right way. Be careful about those sites, which only provide the calculators for finding the instant free quote for insurance. You should ascertain the time of updating of the calculator and be sure that is frequently done. You can have free instant insurance quote to be used as reference instead of a final price.You can obtain the services of an insurance agent who will bring forth for insurance. He will do a total inspection of your car and get you a quote at once. This can be a more useful way than going for an online insurance calculator. You can get an array of quotes offered by the companies, if you contact different agents.You have an additional option, which is a great way to obtain free instant insurance quote. Phone-in- companies also give the service to provide the instant free quote for car insurance. You have to send them all the details filled in a prescribed form and you can get the quote for insurance. They will work out the quote based on their assessment of your car and send the quotation of the priceYou can also search the all insurance internet sites for an instant quote for insurance. These companies directly deal with the customers without having any agents. As such, they pass on the part of commissions to the customer. This is a good option to get reduced prices for getting car insurance.If you are looking ahead for some other necessities in your insurance contract, it is better to contact the insurance company and find the information. For instance, you may investigate about accidental or medical insurance coverage, about low access, safety or no claim bonus and other rebates, which may reduce the quote for insurance.You should negotiate each quote for insurance offered to you. It is also feasible to obtain aggregate bonuses and rebates to have the best conceivable offer for car insurance. You should not hesitate to get an offer for the minimum quote for insurance. You have the right to strike the best bargain and save your money when you go for a free insurance quote.

How To Remove Odor From Your Car Easily?

Although smelling good is not one of the car’s functions, keeping odor away from the car is one of the keys to give passengers a good impression. However, not all smell can be covered up by car perfumes. Here are simple and useful tricks to keep your car smells good and remove odor.There are many different methods you can use if you want to get rid of some bad odor from your car easily. One of the most important and simple ways to avoid bad odor in your car is by keeping it clean. Make it a practice to clean your car on regular basis and you can start with the basics by removing all unwanted trash. Although it sounds simple, allowing trash to build up is one of the most common reasons why a car got bad smell.It is highly recommended that you read the car’s manual for warnings and suggestions on which cleaning products are safe to use in your car before wiping, shampooing, or adding anything to your car’s interior carpet, seats and others. Actually there are many different types of odors and there are a number of chemicals that address specific situations. Hence the product which you choose should depend on the particular odor you have in your car.Secondly check all the back pockets and remove all items. You need to be really careful if you have children as sometimes there may be sticky candies or other children food stuck within the pocket. There are high chances that food and drink can be lodged in any of these places without our knowledge. You need to take out the seats immediately for cleaning.These days one of the most commonly used and proven techniques is using a spray odour neutralizer. Even though a spray odour neutralizer is a bit expensive but it is worth the investment. You can also make use of odor masks which works by producing a more pleasant smell to mask the unpleasant aroma.Sometimes the bad odor is also caused by organic action, such as mold and mildew, which can be eliminated by the application of a disinfectant. It works by killing the organism and prevents it from generating odours.Even using absorbents is a common thing to get rid of odour from the car easily. These products normally come in crystalline structures that attract odor molecules and trap them within their internal matrix.

Running a Mobile Car Wash in Little Rock, Arkansas

Before retirement I had franchised mobile car wash units around the country, and one of the states where we sold a franchise was in Little Rock Arkansas. It’s a pretty cool town, and the downtown area whereas it is old it has very nice architecture, and some big high-rise buildings with many movers and shakers willing to pay a pretty penny to have their cars detail. I’d like to talk about this market and running a mobile auto wash or detailing company there.Little Rock is quite diverse; there are low income areas across the river, and east of the city, whereas the West End is higher-end middle class. The downtown area is just like any other city in the US, albeit a little bit smaller. Where would I go to get business for my mobile auto cleaning service in this area you ask?Well, maybe I might try to get a deal with the Clinton Library to clean and detail cars for guests and tourists. By the way that end of town is starting to come alive again, as it had been run-down in the past. There are also industrial areas nearby with lots of fleet vehicles there, only about a mile or so from the river.West Little Rock is an upscale middle class area with lots of suburban shopping areas, it’s quite nice, a fun place to be with lots of nice cars to detail and clean. Perhaps, a mall parking lot auto detailing and auto washing concession makes sense too. Not sure what they’d charge for such a thing perhaps a percentage of the gross revenue you made?The winters in Little Rock are rainy, that’s probably why everything is so very green there, but mobile car washing and detailing is tough during a heavy rainy season. Thus, starting a secondary business doing concrete power washing during winter months, and perhaps even awning cleaning, and window cleaning for businesses such as restaurants, might be a wise choice too.When we operated there we did quite well cleaning fleets of vehicles for the cable company, phone company, all the school buses, delivery companies, beverage companies, tree trimming services, and car dealerships. Along the freeway there are some significant car dealerships in giant auto malls definitely worth the time, and effort to secure some of those accounts. Not only for lot washing, but also for used and new car detailing.Lastly, I would like to mention that North Little Rock although it is economically depressed does have some industrial areas, and quite a bit of labor available, and most of the folks have at least some auto detailing experience. Indeed I hope you will please consider all these facts, and think on it in case you are considering starting your own business in Little Rock Arkansas.