Air Conditioning Blows Hot Or Warm on One Side – Free Car AC Help

Car air conditioning systems that blow warm on one side and cold on the other side usually have one of two problems. In this short auto repair article, a master automotive technician shares his experience, derived from working on air conditioners in Florida for the last couple of decades. This free information can be equally helpful to the do-it-yourselfer as it is to a consumer that knows the value of being informed when it comes to dealing with car repair shops. Read on for free car A/C help when the air is blowing warm on ONE side.

Usually cars that blow cold on one side of the dash and warm on the other side, are typically equipped with a dual zone climate control system. Dual zone systems allow the driver and front passenger to adjust respective temperatures to their comfort levels. There are two common causes of a temperature difference when both sides are set at the coldest settings, lets cover the first one.

Low Refrigerant

Automotive air conditioners which use 134A, usually hold a small amount of refrigerant compared to older automobiles that use R12. Car and truck air conditioners today are much more efficient than their older counter parts. The fact that 134A systems use less freon, means that a leak can more quickly affect the performance of an HVAC (Heating Ventilation & Air Conditioning) system. Due to the design of dual AC systems, low refrigerant is the leading cause of drastic temperature difference from one side of the dash to the other. Even well experienced car mechanics may be surprised to learn that as little as 4 to 8 ounces undercharged of 134A can make such a huge difference. The temperature from the left vent to the right vent can vary 10 to 20 degrees. The easiest thing to try is to top off the system or better yet, remove all freon and recharge the unit with the factory specified amount. In most cases after the proper charge of Freon is in the car, the temp will blow equally as cold like it should on BOTH sides!

What if that didn’t help? Read on to learn of another possible cause of the problem.

HVAC Door Issue

Dual zones supplying different temperatures from vents on either side of the dash is achieved by the use of small doors within the HVAC housing. By controlling the doors, the temperature of the air on the left and right can be adjusted to the desired comfort level. Many times the motor (or actuator) that controls the door for either side can fail or the door itself can break and prevent the temp. from being adjusted. Diagnosing this problem is more complex and can be a subject for another article. Thanks for reading. Hopefully, the free information provided here will help to remedy the problem of “AC’s blowing hot or warm from one side of the dash.”

How to Buy a Junkyard Transmission

Whenever you are faced with a potential, unexpected car repair it can be a stressful task. There are certain mechanical failures that may make you panic – mainly the engine and transmission. It is common knowledge that repairs on either of these components are very costly and you may not have the money to take the car to the shop. The good news is you need not panic as there is another option that can sometimes cut your costs in half.

If you need transmission repair there are a few options to consider:

• Take the vehicle to an auto repair shop and pay for parts and labor

• Buy your new parts from the auto store and do the repairs yourself

• Buy used auto parts and have an auto repair shop do labor

• Buy used auto parts and do the repair yourself

The first option of using a repair shop will always be the most costly option. You will pay more for parts as well as labor. Your second option will save you some money by only requiring out of pocket funds for new parts. However, be advised that new auto parts are often marked up quite a bit. Your third and fourth options are the best choices if you are looking to lower your budget significantly. Let’s discuss them in more detail.

Buying used auto parts makes some people feel uneasy. This should not be a problem if you go to a trusted and experienced junkyard. There, you can often find almost-new parts and components that have significant years and miles left on them. If you need a used transmission, an auto salvage yard should be your first stop, regardless of whether you want to do the actual repairs yourself or have the transmission installed professionally. Before you go to the junkyard you should follow these steps:

• Make sure you know what you are looking for. Consult your car’s manual to determine the exact type of transmission that your car has and the specifications you need.

• Determine what actual parts you need. If you have an automatic transmission, look for other components that are needed such as a torque converter. If you have a manual transmission, you may need a new clutch in addition to the exact transmission. You can always call the car manufacturer to get full details on what you need so that you have all proper parts assembled before your repair.

• Carefully examine all parts. When you visit the junkyard, look at all of the components of the transmission. Cycle through all gears of the transmission and make sure that you do not hear any suspect noises, especially grinding. It should be fairly easy to get through all gears. If you have difficulty doing so, you should probably move on to the next potential prospect. Look for clean oil between the gears. You should also examine the input and output shafts to make sure the input shaft is not too loose and the output rotates easily.

If you follow these easy steps, purchasing a junkyard transmission and other used auto parts will greatly cut your costs and allow you to make your transmission repairs much more affordable – whether you do it yourself or just get used parts and take them to your repair shop.

How To Repair Your Car’s Power Windows

As you’re driving down the turnpike and approaching the tollbooth, you reach for the switch to lower your window and nothing happens. The switch moves but the window does not budge. Not even a noise from the window motor can be heard which strongly suggests to you that the device is not functioning. You must stop your car and open up the door to pay the attendant before continuing on your trip. Thoughts of an expensive car repair bill are dancing through your head, putting you in a foul mood and tempering the anticipated fun of your getaway weekend. Don’t despair: you can repair the power window yourself and save a bundle over expensive dealership charges. Let’s take a look at the steps you can take to fix the problem yourself and save a lot of cash in the process.

Before assuming that the window regulator must be replaced you should first rule out the possibility of dirty electrical contacts. On most cars the main power for all switches goes through the master switch located at the driver’s console. Sometimes the switch is dirty causing the window to malfunction. If this is the case, take the necessary steps to clean the contact and your problem should be resolved.

Should you determine that the contacts are clean and your switch is functioning, then it is likely that the motor has burned out and is in need of replacing. Whether you are installing a Honda window regulator or a Volkswagen window regulator, or a regulator for any other make the steps involved in replacing a window regulator are usually quite similar:

1. Remove the door panel for the affected window.

2. Locate and remove the bolts holding the regulator to the door; it is likely you will have to manually lower the window in order to access the bolts.

3. Remove the old regulator, disconnect all wiring, and replace the old regulator with a new one you have purchased from a parts supplier. Shop online to find the best value as you will pay a mint if you order one through a dealership.

4. Tighten the bolts holding the new regulator and reinstall the moisture barrier. Make sure all the wires are put back in the door before closing the door panel.

5. Engage the power window switch and the new regulator should work unimpeded.

Of course, follow your car’s repair manual for specific instructions.

I’ve given to you a general outline to convince you that this is a task that even a novice mechanic can handle – in other words: you can do it! By handling the problem yourself, you’ll save plenty of money by avoiding garages who will mark up the replacement part as well as tack on several hours of labor costs to your bill. Shop online to compare prices and to receive the best shipping and handling arrangements available.

Finding the Ideal Repair Facility for Your Vehicle

No matter what kind of car you drive, chances are, you will eventually need to have it repaired. Some cars are a little more difficult to repair, due to the complexity and the equipment needed to properly service them. Unfortunately, not all repair shops are created equal. It used to be, most garages could perform most repairs, on most cars. Now that electronics are found on almost every square inch of the car, only the shops that specialize in particular brands can truly offer the same level of expertise as the dealer.

Finding the right shop for you and your car is important, not only for your regular service intervals, but also to have a trusted place to go, should an actual problem arise. Having an established relationship with a shop can help facilitate the repair process and put your mind at ease. Returning to the same shop for repair, that also services your vehicle, means the techs are familiar with your car and usually know your wants and expectations.

So where do you find such a shop, that’s local to you? There are many locator services on the internet, that can help you find those “specialty” shops you seek. Here are a few that I know of:

1) Extremewrench.com You can search for shops in general in a given zip code or you can narrow it down by vehicle brand, such as BMW or Mercedes. This site gives ratings, lets you see what conveniences they offer was well as any affiliations (like BIMRS, a trusted BMW community).

2)Saabshops.com A listing of Saab specialty shops by state.

3)Bimmershops.com A listing of BMW shops by state.

4)FourRingsRepair.com This is a listing of independent Audi repair shops by state.

5)Lexusshops.com This is a listing of independent Lexus repair shops.

These are just a few, you can typically GOOGLE keywords like “Mercedes shop locator” and similar sites will show up.

Once you find a shop near you, make sure you look at pictures. See what the shop looks like, what other kinds of cars they have there, read any reviews or comments and definitely, if they have a website, check it out! Here is an example of a BMW shop’s website: BMW Repair There are a few key things you will want to look for. First, looking through the pictures, are there other BMW’s in the shop? Just because somebody says they work on them, doesn’t mean they really do. Its good to see other cars like yours in the shop. Also, see if there is any mention of what kind of tools they use. For a BMW, either a GT1, ISTA or Autologic is a must. If the shop doesn’t use one of these three, they are not fixing BMWs. Shops that don’t have the proper tooling usually do the “easy” and “money making” repairs and then refer you to the dealer for everything else. A properly equipped shop can handle all aspects of your repair, preventing you from having to make a trip to the dealer, which can cost you more money and eat up more of your time.

How To Find The Best Auto Body Collision Repair Center For You And What Constitutes As A Good Shop

The event of an accident can be very stressful. Finding the right Auto Body Shop can be just as excruciating, I hope to alleviate most of your worries in this article explaining what makes a good (if not great) Auto Body Shop, and how you can find the one that’s right for you.

The best auto collision shops are determined by the quality of work/materials that are applied, and the timeliness of the overall job. Quality can be separated by two different attributes (1) parts/materials and (2) labor. The quality of factory OEM parts far exceeds that of the aftermarket kind. Sure aftermarket products are cheaper, but that’s what’s also happening to your vehicle it’s being “cheapened.” Simply put the materials used are of poor quality, this problem magnifies with misshapen parts due to terrible molds. A good shop will avoid this route by any means necessary. With a factory OEM part the vehicle owner is maintaining the value of their automobile, along with its structural durability. The bondo, primer, and paint needed to repair your vehicle should be of the highest quality in order to produce the best resulting finished product. Most auto body shops have converted to water-based environmentally safe painting, and only a good body shop will offer a lifetime guarantee on these paint jobs.

The quality of labor is a significant factor in a vehicle’s finished result. Starting with properly trained technicians who should be certified in their field of automotive work (iCar, PPG, etc.). Their experience plays a bigger role as well, for example we have employees with various related backgrounds in mechanics, engineering, and custom fabrication. This helps out when rapid knowledge is needed regarding a vehicle with custom modifications. A good collision repair shop will also have knowledge in all major automobile models including old and new.

A shop’s slow repair process can sometimes be unintentional. Insurance companies are required to pay within 10 days after a claim receipt has been made, but this isn’t always the case; Insurance companies avoid payment by evading phone calls to “wear you out”. A good shop will stand up for their customer, and deal directly with the insurance. This is not to be confused with a “direct repair shop” or a “preferred provider” shop that works with the insurance to save them money and devalue your vehicle with aftermarket parts in order to secure work for themselves. A good shop will advocate for their customer against the insurance company in order to receive optimum repair coverage for your vehicle. Once the correct claim estimate is fashioned a well-established body shop will order the parts needed to repair the vehicle as soon as possible. It is important to do this right away to keep from back orders, shipping delays, or any other problems that can occur (like the wrong part showing up). The overall turnaround time is determined by the amount of work needed for the vehicle, delays caused by insurance and parts companies, and the effectiveness of the auto collision repair shop.

A great way to determine how effective an Auto Body Shop operates is to use review sites. Yelp is a great way to see how well a collision repair shop is doing. You will most likely be able to verify a business’s time or quality based off of reviews created for that specific shop. Another way to find reviews regarding a shop is to use Facebook or Google Reviews. Although these sites aren’t as reputable as yelp (due to superior algorithm functions), they can give you more perspective of how well that specific collision repair shop is doing. Try to use your best judgment, and don’t always trust every review. Remember you have the choice to choose the body shop you want! Don’t be steered by your insurance company or anyone else. Do the research and educate yourself, and I promise you will be satisfied with your newly repaired vehicle.

Tips for Choosing the Right Auto Repair Services for Your Vehicle

If you are concerned about the poor show of your car lately, it is time to get it serviced at a dependable auto repair services shop. Automotive repair is a habitual maintenance practice procedure which is necessary for longer lifespan of any automobile. It is also a huge expense and with the increasing age of the automobile, the repairs requirements also increase. There are different options for auto repair in every place but selecting one depends on the category of vehicle owned as well as the closeness of the repair shop to your place.

Car repair is also reliant on seasons. For example, during the summer season, the engine has to be taken care of, specially if you are making plans to go for a road trip. Going in for a full service auto repair is a good decision to undertake in such a state to avert any problems during the trip. All car owners should also be conscious of certain small problems connected to their vehicle which can be effortlessly fixed by themselves whenever required.

It is sensible to start finding an auto repair shop when you buy a car as one never can say when the need might be there. Here are some tips to find steadfast auto repair services:

• One of the finest and most trustworthy options of getting an auto repair services is by asking friends and colleagues for such places. If they have the knowledge of getting first-class service frequently, it can be a great selection to choose.

• The auto repair shop must have qualified experts to undertake the repair and maintenance with no difficulty. A testimony of high quality is the relationship of the repair shop with AA, NAPA Autocare, ASP or Parts Plus. This organization makes sure that the repair shop has been subjected to high scrutiny of service and also has many satisfied clients.

• The ambiance of a repair shop is also vital. One can also take response from customers at the shop about the service given by the professionals and how content they are.

• Check out if the shop has professionals with certification like ASP, Delco or certification from manufacturers like Toyota, Ford, and GM. This shows how good they are in their job and service provided. This also indicated that they are acquainted with the new technology which is actually a sign of brilliance.

• Also, it is not essential that a bigger repair shop will be superior than a smaller one. Always search for prices in every shop you find out about because prices are usually close in any area.

• Look for newest equipments in the repair shop. Without a well equipped shop, complete repair cannot be given. This is even more essential if you own the most recent model of car.

Maintenance and auto repair services are very vital for any car. Although they may be tricky to pay at times, they are priceless when it comes to keeping the good health of your vehicle.

What to Know About Car Repair

A working knowledge of car repair and vehicle maintenance is something that every driver should have; however, the driving population actually has a wide variation in its knowledge of car repair. Some drivers can perform maintenance and repair on their vehicles entirely by themselves. Others need assistance for any service needed on their vehicles. In between, there is a wide range of levels of proficiency with vehicle care.

The purpose of this article is to give someone even with the most basic knowledge about their vehicle some information that will help them understand when to have their vehicle serviced. Chances are, if you are reading this article, you do not know everything there is to know about car repair. Knowing the warning signs will help ensure that your car is in working condition, as well as ensuring your safety and the safety of others.

There are many factors that can cause a vehicle to no longer work properly and require car repair. Sometimes a car must be towed to a repair shop, and other times it may be safely driven to the shop if the damage is minor. When a car cannot be moved at all, that is referred to as a total breakdown. A partial breakdown is defined as a breakdown in which a tow may not be necessary, but the vehicle is still in need of immediate repair. It may be dangerous to drive a vehicle that is experiencing a partial breakdown, and it should be driven immediately to a shop specializing in car repair.

A total breakdown can be caused by several different factors. Generally, total breakdowns are caused by a problem with the engine. The one major exception to this is the common problem of a dead battery, which is usually solved through a jump start in which another vehicle is attached with jumper cables and the electrical charge is used to start the vehicle with the dead battery. In the case of engine failure, however, a person trained in car repair will have to service the vehicle.

Partial vehicle breakdown can mean many different things. A flat tire, as mentioned before, is a very common kind of partial breakdown. In many cases, people replace their own flat tires. However, sometimes this is not an option. For example, one may not have a spare tire or the proper knowledge to repair a deflated tire. You will want to have a trained technician replace your tire in that situation.

Other causes for partial breakdown include problems with brakes, minor but serious problems with the engine such as overheating, or even a minor traffic collision. Failure to have a car receive regular maintenance can endanger you as well as your passengers and other motorists.

Now that you have a basic understanding of what necessitates car repair, you can make better informed decisions about when and how to have your vehicle serviced in the case of a breakdown or collision. You may also want to consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual for specific details regarding your specific vehicle.

Auto Repair Marketing – 4 Auto Repair Advertising Ideas

So, you want to get more cars in your shop to increase your revenues is that correct? Auto repair marketing via the internet is a great way to get more local customers into your shop! Online marketing has grown leaps and bounds in the last few years, and with phone books and Yellow Pages fast becoming obsolete, internet marketing is where the real profits are for auto shops. Here I want to share with you 5 auto repair advertising ideas that you can implement into your business to drastically improve the number of cars you service on a monthly basis!

1. You must have a website, and it needs to be designed using the WordPress platform. Most websites are basically just “flyers,” but with WordPress you can create great looking websites, integrate a business blog, install a form that automatically acquires leads for you, and integrate your website with Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and other online marketing channels. Sounds pretty cool huh? The sad part is that typically an automotive repair shop will hire a web designer, and he will design a website as cheaply as possible and charge a large sum for the work. The web designer is not a marketing consultant, so instead of designing a marketing machine based on tested internet marketing principles, he simply designs a static site that is not conducive to internet marketing. I see it all of the time when I am look at people who are pushing auto repair marketing services.

2. One of the best auto repair advertising ideas revolves around social media. Websites such as Twitter and Facebook are really taking off, and smart auto shops are using these auto repair marketing platforms to promote their business and acquire new customers. The obvious question is “how can an auto repair shop benefit from Twitter and Facebook marketing?” Those sites are for kids right? Wrong! Facebook has millions of adults logging in on a daily basis, as does Twitter. By being on these sites, you are instantly in front of a large portion of your local or regional audience. Guess what happens when Sally needs a new transmission, brakes, etc. and she sees your businesses profile on Facebook? You have a new customer! Do a good job repairing her vehicle, and she comes back time and time again. This one person seeing your business profile on Facebook or Twitter could easily be worth thousands of dollars to your business!

3. Your website needs to appear in local search results on Google. It is not easy to get listed on the first page of Google and Yahoo, but with some good marketing it can be done. For instance, I am an independent marketing consultant in Atlanta, and I rank #1 on Google for the term “Atlanta independent marketing consultant.” In addition to this, I rank #2 on Yahoo for “Atlanta marketing consultant.” Trust me, having your website ranking highly for local keyword phrases can bring you a ton of new business! This is auto repair marketing at its finest! I have beat out over 2,000 websites to get those rankings, so don’t you think I could help your auto repair shop marketing efforts?

4. Another great auto repair marketing idea is writing information articles and press releases. I imagine you do not have the time to write articles, and certainly do not have the time to put together a well written press release. The good news is that you can get marketing firms to do this for you at a very reasonable price. I have written hundreds of articles promoting by marketing consulting business, and I can tell you it is an impactful and very affordable method to market your auto repair shop online.

These are just a few auto repair advertising ideas that you can add to your auto repair marketing arsenal. The best thing is to hire a professional marketing consultant who can come in and show you step by step exactly what you need to do to turn your internet marketing efforts into a cash generating machine for your automotive repair business!

Characteristics of a Good Automotive Repair Mechanic

Knowledgeable on various auto parts.

This is perhaps the most basic characteristic that any auto mechanic should have. Lots of different auto parts are out in the market today. And because we, as car owners, do not necessarily possess the sufficient knowledge when it comes to vehicle parts, we will inevitably depend on the expertise of our mechanic. A simple trick to determine if your chosen car specialist really knows his business is to ask him to differentiate a few parts and gauge whether he is confidently answering your question or is just making his way around.

Diverse background on automotive repair experiences.

Years ago when the makes of our vehicles were much simpler, any mechanic would have been okay. But with today’s high-tech and complex vehicles including family sedans, sports and luxury cars, SUVs, and pick-up trucks, we need someone who has a diverse background in automotive repair services. Mistakes have no room when it comes to automotive repair as these will only make things even more costly. Choose a mechanic who has certifications of training programs and classes that he has attended. The mechanic’s time spent in studying as well as in the actual practice of automotive repair is very advantageous for us car owners.

ASE certified to be an automotive repair professional.

Speaking of certifications, perhaps the most famous and widely recognized one, when it comes to professionals in the automotive industry is the ASE certification. Annually, an estimated 100,000 automotive technicians take ASE certification exams each May and November at over 750 locations.

With an ASE certification, we are assured that our mechanic has good background in all automotive services because an ASE certification requires a minimum of two years work experience in addition to passing a series of examinations that include Engine Repair, Engine Performance, Electrical/Electronic Systems, Brakes, Heating and Air Conditioning, Suspension and Steering, Manual Drive Train and Axles, and Automatic Transmissions for auto technicians alone. There are separate tests for those who want to be collision repair technicians, engine machinists, parts specialists, and others.

Furthermore, all ASE certifications have expiration dates which requires technicians to re-test every five years to keep up with technology and to remain certified.

Works in a reputable auto center.

Unfortunately, ASE certifications apply only to individuals and not to auto centers. However, an auto center with at least one ASE certified mechanic is allowed to display the ASE sign. Furthermore, an auto center that has 75% ASE certified mechanics among its employees are given the Blue Seal of Excellence from the ASE.

Aside from the ASE recognition, other signs that we should look for an auto center include neat and well-organized facility complete with modern equipment, courteous staff, and good policies (regarding labor rates, diagnostic fees, guarantees, etc.)

Highly recommended by family and friends.

Nothing can attest to the quality service that any auto center and mechanic can give than testimonials of our family members, relatives, and friends. Ask for referrals and recommendations. Local community organizations and business listings are also good sources of information.

Benefits of a Full-Service Automotive Shop

Chances are, you’ve probably taken a vehicle or two for a quick oil change at a chain auto repair shop in between major services, or used a national chain for brake or other specific repair work.

While many of these shops may be reliable and honest, their limited service menus and low pricing may compromise overall car care. Their mechanics may not be as seasoned as those in independently owned, full service shops. They may recommend more frequent servicing than necessary for low-cost jobs like oil changes, and use a cheaper, off-brand oil that might not be the best for your car.

Primary Care for Your Car

Mechanics in a full-service auto shop are sort of like primary care physicians: they see the entire car, and not just the brakes or engine. Full-service auto mechanic shops have lower employee turnover than the corporate shops, which are notorious for high turnover. At a full-service shop, mechanics are exposed to more cars, models, and technologies and are aware of performance issues that customers bring in along with their solutions.

Independent automotive shop employees receive more training about new car specs as well as services needed by older cars. They understand the impact of a particular climate on vehicle maintenance (for example, oil changes should be more frequent in extreme hot or cold climates) and can advise customers about what they can do on their own to prolong their vehicles’ life-cycle and efficiency.

Do Full Service Shops Charge More?

In general, you will get the most reasonable charges at a full-service shop and individualized serviced. Independent full-service shops charge a flat rate for their work, which are often lower than dealership charges because of lower overhead. (They are not, after all, paying for extra space used to showcase new or used cars, which are very sensitive to greater market influences.) Mechanics and technicians at independent shops are paid by the hour or receive a salary based upon their skills and job performance, just like most businesses. This frees staff from pressure to maximize the number of repairs they do and the temptation to cut corners.

More Attention to Customer Service?

Independent shops live and die by good customer relations. A good word from a customer to friends and neighbors or placed on Google is essential for an independent shop to thrive.

As with any service-oriented business, customer service can make a huge difference. Independent shops understand that customers value trust and work to build relationships with their customers. They will, for example, be more likely to get customers in a routine to bundle repairs, such as oil changes (at proper intervals) with tire rotation and balancing, which can save time and money.

Surveys Show: Independent Shops Preferred to Dealerships

Consumer Reports asks car owners each year about how satisfied they are with repairs they had over the past 12 months. The most recent data from 2012 follows a long-term trend that shows overall preference for independent shops over dealerships. Not surprisingly, dealership customers complained about high prices more than customers of independent shops, 42% to 32%.

Who prefers independent shops the most? An even mix of owners of mid-range and high-end cars and include Chrysler, Dodge, Jaguar, Jeep, Nissan, Mercedes, and Volvo owners. Dealership fans tend to be owners of the most expensive cars including Porsche.

Source: Car repair shops buying guide. Consumer Reports, June 2014.