Yearly Archives: 2015

Google, Apple Self Driving Cars???

Just thought this was aa great article about the cars we dreamed of years ago will be here soon....But where are the flying cars we were promised? Google Looking for Auto Partner for Self-Driving Car Dec. 23, 2014—Google announced on Monday that it is looking for partners in the automotive industry to help bring its self-driving car to the market within the next five years, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. Google is currently working with automotive suppliers to build a small fleet of prototypes known as “beta one,” with on-road testing of these vehicles is scheduled for early 2015. As of now, Google said it hopes to work alongside established car manufacturers in creating the product. The company envisions the first model to be of a design that lacks a steering wheel, and has a top speed of 25 MPH, qualifying it as a neighborhood electric vehicle that doesn’t need to meet certain safety requirements of conventional road vehicles. Google has set its goal to offer a fu ... read more

Why There Is a Shortage of Skilled Automotive Technicians - Part 2

Why There Is a Shortage of Skilled Automotive Technicians - Part 2

Why There Is a Shortage of Skilled Automotive Technicians - Part 2 By Jim Taddei September 11th 2012 While most shops have always had a certain amount of difficulty finding and keeping good quality technicians, the problem seems to be getting worse. It looks like this trend will continue for the foreseeable future. Good quality shops that are committed to providing their technicians with what is needed to repair today’s complex cars and light trucks (tools, training, repair information) along with fair compensation have been able to continue attracting the best and brightest technicians. RepairPal Top Shops are excellent examples of this. These shops tend to have a core group of very experienced technicians who have been working together for many years. Mixed in with this core group are a smaller number of younger technicians (most often these are fairly recent trade school graduates) who are willing and able to ... read more

Categories:

Repairs

Why There Is a Shortage of Skilled Automotive Technicians - Part 1

Why There Is a Shortage of Skilled Automotive Technicians - Part 1

Why There Is a Shortage of Skilled Automotive Technicians - Part 1 By Jim Taddei September 7th 2012 A recent article shared with me by a co-worker reminded me of a situation looming over the auto repair industry that could become a real problem over the next few years. Skilled automotive technicians are becoming harder and harder to find. I am not talking about technicians who change your oil and perform other minor repairs. I am talking about the highly skilled technicians who diagnose and repair the most difficult problems. These technicians understand the basic mechanical theory behind each automotive system, the computer controls that now manage each of these systems, and the electronic network that links them all together. Over the past few years, many of these highly skilled technicians have left the industry; those who remain will be retiring sooner than later. If I may be so bold (Editor’s note: he sho ... read more

Categories:

Repairs

The Dangers of Steering with your Hands at 10 & 2

The Dangers of Steering with your Hands at 10 & 2

The Dangers of Steering with Your Hands at 10 and 2 By Natalie Josef September 14th 2012 Ahh … driver’s ed. I remember meeting my high school basketball coach and one other kid in the school parking lot at 8am on a few Saturday mornings when I was fifteen. I had already been taught the basics of driving by my cousin, but driver’s ed with Ms. Wallace was mandatory and I couldn’t wait to get my license. The things I remember most about driver’s ed were the brake pedal in the passenger side, the horrors of parallel parking (I still struggle with this), and the first time going through a toll booth, which totally freaked me out. The other thing I remember is the old adage of driving with your hands at 10 and 2. If my hands happened to drift somewhere else during the course of driving, Ms. Wallace would whack the dashboard with her clipboard and bark out “10 and 2!” It’s been over twenty years since then and 10 a ... read more

Categories:

Driving

Pushing the needle too Far!!

Pushing the needle too Far!!

Pushing the Needle Too Far: How Long Can You Drive on Empty? By Natalie Josef September 17th 2012 Anytime the fuel gauge gets less than a quarter full, my mind starts to race. What if I run out of gas? Is this hurting my engine? Can I really “run on fumes”? I am way too much of a worrier to let my needle get to “E.” I have a friend who always comes to pick me up with the fuel light already on before a night out. After freaking out in silence for twenty minutes, I finally suggest getting some gas. What does she do? Laugh and then drive further (my friends know I am a worrywart). We’ll be fine, she says. And you know what? We always are. Some of us in this world like to push the limits, to see how far things can go before they break. These types will see a gas station on the next block, but will wait for the gas station forty miles away, just to see if they can. Others of us like to play it safe and don’t fe ... read more

Categories:

Fuel

What Causes Traffic Jams?

What Causes Traffic Jams?

What Causes Traffic Jams? By Natalie Josef September 25th 2012 Where I live, in the San Francisco Bay Area, traffic jams are as common as the fog. A few weeks ago, I drove up to Sebastopol from San Francisco and before I knew it, my leisurely drive had turned into stop-and-go traffic. The traffic was so bad, I had to turn around to head back to the city before I had reached my destination so I wouldn’t be late for another appointment. When I turned back and started heading the other way, suddenly I was in traffic again. I had seen the roadway on my way up and there had been no traffic—none at all—and now it was crawling along. And just when I was about to seriously freak out, we were moving again. Long story short, I missed my first appointment and nearly missed my second, all because of phantom traffic jams that seemed to pop up and then dissipate like they had never happened. What actually causes traffic ... read more

Categories:

Traffic

Surviving The Frozen Tundra with your Vehicle

Surviving the Frozen Tundra with Your Vehicle By Tom Torbjornsen, Host of America's Car Show Wintertime is hard on vehicles, period. There are common vehicular failures that are winter-related, and they typically settle into six distinct categories: Undercarriage Steering and Suspension Engine Cooling System Transmission and Drivetrain Starting and Charging Systems Body and Wipers UndercarriageTwisted and/or broken fuel, EVAP and brake lines During the winter, ice and snow builds up on the roadways creating obstructions. When a vehicle passes over these, steel lines are torn from their positions, resulting in fuel leaks, check-engine lights or loss of brakes. These lines must be replaced. When techs replace damaged lines, they typically tie them up closer to the vehicle’s underside in order to shield them from road hazards. Frozen gas lines Ice forms inside gas lines from condensation build ... read more

How do Shops come up with an Estimate!

by Dale Bertram May 31st 2012 These days, automotive service and repair shops are getting more calls than ever asking for an estimate. We understand that this is mostly due to the economy. People are understandably searching for the best value, and they want to make sure they can afford to pay for the service. Many consumers want to know exactly how we arrive at the estimated price, so I thought I would take a moment and explain. An estimate consists of three parts: The labor rate Parts and supplies Overhead Labor Rate An automotive service and repair shop estimates the labor rate by determining how long any given service or repair should take. These guidelines are further established by the manufacturer of each vehicle estimating the time it takes a trained technician to perform the specific task. Parts and Supplies Since we can’t fix things withou ... read more

Categories:

Repairs

Why won't our car start?

By Dale Bertram October 2nd 2012 Car problems of any kind can be frustrating, but the one that seems to annoy people the most is when their car won’t start. People then get doubly annoyed when they call the shop and ask, “Why won’t my car start?” and we tell them, “It could be one of several reasons.” I thought I would go over some of the causes just in case you experience a no start in the near future. There are two types of no starts … one that we call “no crank” and the other we call “crank.” If the Engine Is Not Cranking No crank is when you try to start your engine and you hear nothing. This could be caused by one of three things: the battery, the ignition, or the starter circuit. 1. Check your battery voltage If it is low, try to jump start your battery. 2. Check for corroded or loose battery cables You might also have corroded or loose battery cables. If this is the case, you can ... read more

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