Resistance Is Futile – Your Vehicle Will Be Maintained

I wonder how many of you pondered the challenge of promoting and selling ‘Preventive Maintenance’ to your customers. It’s quite amazing when you think about it, the way your customers can really dig their heels in. They just stubbornly resist your every good intention to part them from their money…

Oops! Did I say that out loud?

I meant to say, your every good intention to protect their vehicle and help them avoid that nasty of nastiest… like the 3 AM rain-soaked, dark and lonely, solo roadside picnic while awaiting the tow truck driver.

Because that’s the reality of it. Preventive Maintenance is all about avoiding the inconvenience of waiting around. Of being stranded somewhere when you’re on your way to somewhere else. Of losing time. Of missing something important. Of… heavens forbid… being late!

And that’s the problem, they (the general public) don’t quite ‘get it’ – well, to be fair, some do. But on the whole, the majority simply think you’re out to part them from their hard earned money.

They don’t seem to understand regularly inspecting a vehicle helps identify problems before they become serious, and to be fair, most of them don’t really understand the true cost of vehicle ownership.

For example, most people are either paying a loan or a lease payment, and of course they’re paying insurance and gas. So the thought of paying an additional ‘unnecessary’ preventive maintenance expense is somewhat irritating to them. They take the position ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!’

I bet if you were to ask a dozen of your customers how much they should budget annually for vehicle maintenance repair they’d have no solid idea. The more confident ones might guess, but I’m betting they don’t really know what the industry standard amount is.

As you know, a suitable budget is about $100 a month. Usually consumed annually in two, maybe three visits to the shop. That’s an extra $1,200 to $1,500 your customer probably didn’t bargain on – so you can see why some are irritated at the idea.

Now I imagine some of you already have loyal customers who trust you implicitly – that’s fantastic. You may even have a stable customer base so that you seldom lose a customer, again that’s great.

However, remember approximately 10% of the local population moves yearly. This is according to the post office, they know because of the change of address requests. So this means most of you face the real possibility that 1 in 10 of your customers will leave every year or so.

So new customers have to be acquired and then retrained to trust you all over again. They might have had bad experiences with ‘lesser’ shops and on the whole you’ll need to carefully show them that you and your business are a solid, reputable and trustworthy place to take their vehicle.

You’ll have to gauge the right time to promote the concept of preventive maintenance too. You’ll need to educate and inform them about the true cost of vehicle ownership – if you’re brave enough you can take this article, make copies, and mail it to all your new customers. (You have my permission to reprint this article)

Include your business card and a hand written note. The hand writing part is important because it shows you care enough about your customer to personally take the time. Tell them you thought they’d appreciate the enclosed article because it’s an unbiased 3rd party opinion on this subject. And ask them to call you if they have any questions.

If nothing else, you would have established a unique relationship with this new client because you would have let them see ‘behind the curtain’ and this earns trust. They’ll read about the real costs and see the challenges you face and the reasons you try so hard to help them.

Mazda MX5’s Iconic Evolution that Makes Mazda Parts Distributors Like Parts Train Deliver the Best

Fresh from the wheels up, Mazda MX5 — the world’s favorite roadster remains true to the lightweight, fun to drive formula that sold more than 700,000 MX-5s worldwide since its introduction in 1989. The third generation Mazda MX-5 will be presented in October 2005 at the Geneva and Melbourne motor shows. Intensity of spirit possessed by very few sports cars – this was what Program Manager Takao Kijima has in mind when creating the all-new Mazda MX-5.

The all-new Mazda MX5 epitomizes the Japanese word Jinba Ittai (rider and horse as one).Jinba Ittai is akin to the bond between a single-seat formula-car pilot and his racer, which is the essence of Zoom-Zoom. The rider-and-horse idiom and the effort to create a car universally seen as “lots of fun” served as the focal point around the new Mazda MX5.

Mazda engineers realize the Jinba Ittai concept defined the five basic requirements: the car would be as compact and as light as possible while meeting global safety requirements; the cockpit would comfortably accommodate two full-stature occupants with no wasted space. Meanwhile, the basic layout would continue with the original’s front-midship rear-drive configuration with the engine positioned ahead of the driver but behind the front axle for 50:50 weight distributions. In addition, all four wheels would be attached by wishbone or multi-link suspension systems to maximize tire performance, road grip and dynamic stability and that a power-plant frame would again provide a solid connection between the engine and rear-mounted differential to sharpen throttle response.

Mazda engineers made every gram count when they very well knew that extra weight would have a dramatically negative influence on driving, cornering, and braking performance. Their “gram strategy” assessed weight in the smallest possible increments and carefully scrutinized weight-trimming opportunities. Other weight-saving tactics were employed as well. Advanced technology was applied where practical to achieve a light and rigid unibody design using materials that offered higher strength and lighter weight.

The MX5 iconic roadster has indeed evolved as evident on its bold new look. The classic “Coke bottle” shape of the contours was removed. The nose and tail are smoothly tapered but now the surfaces wrap smoothly between the wheels without narrowing. The fender arches of the new Mazda MX-5 are notably more pronounced for a substantially wider wheel track dimensions and a more athletic stance. Seventeen-inch wheels help define the corners of the car while there are modest increases in wheelbase (+65 mm), length (+20 mm), width (+40 mm), and height (+20 mm),

With Mazda’s new generation sport car architecture the car boasts 22 per cent more flexural stiffness and a 47 per cent increase in torsion rigidity compared with the former Mazda MX-5’s. Moving the engine rearward by 135 mm was a major step towards balancing front-to-rear weight distribution and reducing the yaw moment of inertia. The new car also benefits from ideal 50:50 weight distribution.

The Iconic 2006 BMW 330i and Partstrain’s Commitment to Product Excellence

The 3-series each year sells about 450,000 worldwide-making it one of the biggest single car lines from any carmaker, which is especially remarkable for a premium vehicle. All U.S. 3-series models come with front, front-seat side, and full-length curtain air bags, but not with rear-seat side-impact air bags, because BMW claims “advances in side-impact safety are such that it is no longer necessary to offer rear side bags.” “We cannot afford to take a risk with this car, because it is too important,” says BMW’s R&D chief Burkhard Göschel. “If you look at the Z4 as the extreme, as avant-garde, this is in the middle between safe and avant-garde.”

The BMW 3 Series represents 40% of BMW’s vehicle output. It is, as one BMW executive said, “the core product for the brand.” Not only is it important to BMW economically, but also its status as an iconic car is crucial to the company’s image. For many, it’s the car that says, “I’ve made it,” or at least, “I’m on my way.”

The BMW 330i has a three-stage variable induction system, an electric cooling pump and a volume-controlled oil pump that only pumps as much oil as needed, saving engine power. Its new engine weighs 22 pounds less than its predecessor does. It is also more powerful, more fuel-efficient and more compact. In addition to the usual double VANOS magic, this engine features the Valvetronic continuously variable valve lift.

BMW’s double-pivot independent front suspension has been adapted for the 3 Series, with a pair of lower arms that complement the car’s upgraded MacPherson struts. An all-new five-link rear suspension, featuring many lightweight aluminum pieces, is combined with an all-new, more rigid chassis. Oversized ventilated discs in all four corners and an aluminum steering rack ensure precise handling and braking.

The safety equipment includes front airbags, side-impact airbags up front, and side curtain airbags. The structural stiffness of the car is so high, according to Dr. Burkhard Göschl, member of the Board, that side-impact for the rear passengers would not add any extra safety, so they are not available. Furthermore, the 3-Series has two-stage adaptive brakelights that increase the intensity of during hard braking or whenever ABS is activated.

The 3-Series is not only an icon; it is the benchmark in its very competitive class.

For the original and the best entry-level luxury sports sedan on the market, nothing is befitting than the excellently crafted BMW Replacement Parts at Partstrain. It has in its stock highest quality BMW body parts that will retain the BMW’s driving dynamics bundled-in technology and its design.

10 Tips to Beat Rising Gas Prices & Increase Your Mileage

It used to be that the US had some of the best cheap gas on the planet, but now gas prices are at unprecedented rates and climbing.

I won’t go into the political situations behind this at all.

Our interest here is how to help you get better mileage from the car you have.

There is a lot of talk about gas saving devices, but most research has found that these create only marginal improvements in economy.

There are a number of far better ways to improve your mileage and reduce the effect of rising gas prices.

There is one key ingredient before we start. Just a little bit of motivation is required to put these tips into effect. If you can muster that, then I will guarantee you will increase your mileage.

These tips are from a short free little ebook that you can download, which by the way has even more tips on saving money on your car – not only fighting the gas price war. You will love it.

So here they are. Remember the key ingredient is to DO it. That’s all.

Tip 1

Use the correct octane rating

What is an octane rating? It’s basically a measure of the mixture of the fuel. Some engines don’t run well on a low octane rating and create noises like “pings” in the engine. Your car may not need to use high octane fuel. A way to test this is to gradually reduce the proportion of high octane fuel in the tank. If you get no pinging sounds you can get by with that octane rating. You will save up to 15c per litre. Also check your owners manual to make sure you are using the recommended octane rating. Don’t be sold on the benefits of premium fuel protecting your engine. You can do much more for it if you keep it regularly serviced.

Tip 2

Revvs are for nevvs

Bad rhyming I know. What is a “nevv”? Frankly I have no idea, but it means something like a person who wants to throw dollar bills down the toilet.
Revving your car puts unnecessary stress on the engine – big time. And chews fuel faster than a thirsty coal-miner drinks beer after work.
Especially when the engine is cold. Imagine waking up in the morning and squatting 300 pounds while your knees are cold and you’ll get the picture.

Tip 3

Put the contents of your boot/trunk in your shed

Carrying excess weight in the boot adds to your fuel bill. Any drag or weight will increase the amount of fuel required to get the car in motion and overcome it’s intertia.

Tip 4

Idling engines are the devils work

You may have heard that switching a light switch on and off uses more electricity. Well, I’ve never gotten to the bottom of that, but tests have definitely shown that idling your car for more tan about 2.5 minutes uses more fuel, than turning it off and restarting it.
If you are in a traffic jam, waiting for a bridge to open, or dropping your friend off – any more than 2.5 minutes you are better to switch it off.

Tip 5

Plan your driving

Drive the most fuel efficient car you own for the most miles in your family.
Avoid peak hour travelling if possible. If you are just doing a single trip to work that is pretty routine consider car pooling.

Tip 6

Keep your car tuned

Cars are not like the human body. They don’t really self-correct and can go out of adjustment.
An untuned car can increase your gas bill in very severe cases by 33%.
It’s absolutely shocking and you always kick yourself for not getting it done sooner.

Critical components are:

Air Filter: Cheap to replace

Fuel Filter: Should be changed once per year

Oil: Reduces friction between moving parts – change according to manufacturers recommendations. You should also change the oil filter when you change the oil.

Spark Plugs: If these are incorrectly set or corroded they will seriously affect fuel economy

Apart from that get a professional tune-up including lubrication of any bearings required. Anything that reduces friction will increase fuel economy.

There are other mechanical and electrical systems that can affect fuel economy. Older cars with carburetion systems may get dirt in the carburettor and this should be looked out for.

More modern cars are able to be hooked into computers for diagnostics – check with your “trusted mechanic”
(See later tips on mechanics and saving money)

Tip 7

Pumped up tires are not hot air

Get out your owners manual and check out the recommended tire pressure. They will be different front and back. You can actually increase the psi(pressure) by 2 units over the recommended for increased economy. Make sure you take into account the season.

Tip 8

Air-Conditioners

No it’s not a myth. The air-conditioner will use more fuel. Drive without it if possible. However on a long highway journey it may actually be cheaper to have it on rather than drive with the windows open. This is due to the increased drag. So the rule is on a short journey – A/C off. On a long journey A/C on and windows up.

Tip 9

Smooth operator

Taking off smoothly will put money in your pocket. With traffic lights there is very little point in doing 0-100 in 4 seconds. You only have to stop at the light again. When you are braking let the engine slow you down. Take your foot off the gas well in advance of the stop sign or light.
You really don’t get there any faster in a city by speeding, unless you are willing to drive on the sidewalk, which I am not recommending.
Tests have shown that for every 10mph over 55mph you are adding something like 2-5% to your fuel bill.

Tip 10

Make use of Cruise Control and Overdrive gears.

If your car has cruise control or overdrive gears, use them. Overdrive is most useful on long highway drives, where you are already running. The engine does less work for the same miles.
Cruise control is also a fuel saver on highway trips. Basically the less you touch your gas pedal the better, because it always overcompensates a little bit.

Well, that’s it. As I said just DO it.

Happy Motoring

Graeme Sprigge is the webmaster of SellMyCarForCash.Com, a website dedicated to enlightening you on how to get the most for your car in a private sale. The site is is constantly expanding and includes more great articles, some of which are available for reprinting in your ezine. There is a lack of unbiased information on the net in this are so this site aims to fill the gap.

Automotive Business – What Are Fuel Cell Membranes and Why Should I Care?

What are Fuel Cell Membranes and Why Should I care? Well first off, just in case you think things are not moving forward, that is not true, as the Donaldson Corporation is selling all the replacement and re-usable parts for Fuel Cells. Peruse this site and understand the nature of what is to come. Fuel Cells need clean air to run, therefore like a Diesel or Gasoline Engine they need air filters too. Contamination control is essential for safety of a fuel cell and also for proper efficiency. Los Alamos has been working on these and is almost at a major breakthrough.

and if you are serious about the future market share you will want the Donaldson video available on their website too. Remember there are several things going on inside of a Fuel Cell to make exchange the energy. Chemical Reactions, which have a filtration process and heat exchanges, ion exchanges and exhaust components. All of which have monitoring needs and issues. Contaminants are not a real good idea in this sort of thing. And of course this is where the pedal hits the pavement and where the men are separated from the boys, there are training needs, customer needs and opportunity in the Chaos to come.

Vehicles, which do not derive power from an internal combustion engine, will not require oil-changing services? Does this mean the oil change industry is dead? For some yes absolutely, they will perish and new innovative companies will take their place, such is the struggle of free markets and competition, for the rest there will be service items to take care of with fuel cells too. So then what can we expect to see in the next 12 years? A big change? Yes, it seems to be estimated that 35-45% of all vehicles in the US will be another form of hybrid propulsion. Namely it appears to be that Hydrogen Cells will take the place of much of what we know.

There will be manufacturers and suppliers of these filters no doubt and companies like our will replace them. There are significant opportunities for companies in the Filter manufacturing business of ceramic filters and membranes. Will fuel cell service stations supply these parts at the counter of their C-stores? As a matter of fact the answer is yes, some will, while others will be a typical looking C-Store with gasoline stations, only with hydrogen with kiosks near ATM machines? How many brands will there be? Will auto manufacturers design many different models and will auto service businesses need to stock all the Fuel Cell Service items too? Today just stocking air filters can be a hardship with over 161 common types?

Will these Fuel Cell Stations Be franchised? Who will be doing this? Will the Oil Companies see this and jump on the opportunity? Will Wal-Mart add Fuel Cell Card Lock stations at all their Sam’s Clubs? The future is predictable, most of this seems like obvious questions to answer. We feel we could answer most of these and be pretty close on target. Are the Futurists all they are cracked up to be? Or just realists-idealists and theorists?

When you start seeing hydrogen fuel stations pop-up then you will see people buying those cars. Then you will see trucking companies investing in their own systems to haul along major freight lines, then you will see railroad try to run for lower fuel costs and heavier loads to compete, and thus you will see the ushering in a new age of transportation and form of distribution, cleaner air, water and more efficiency.

Regarding filters for hydrogen cell? Honda is pushing their electric hybrids claiming no needed filters. However this might be a bit misleading to the general public who has knowledge of such technologies, these vehicles require other usable parts, and you can bet the Japanese want to sell you those reusable parts. The high heat may be use in conjunction with larger fuel cells in factories or grid generation and plasma torches to clean the areas of the filters, which may last several cycles longer or may have a plasma unit running continually to clean the particulate. Cars will have some obstacles because what is good for General Motors is good for America concept.

Now realize brake fluids, windshield wiper blades, etc will still need servicing. But the days of the $24.99 Jiffy Lube oil change appear to be on their last decade. Not only because of price competitiveness of Wal-Mart, but also due to shifting technologies in oil intervals, additives and introduction of Hydrogen Cells. So you ask how hard is it to replace fuel cell filters? Very easy. And take a look at these sexy little anodized fuel cell filters. Small and expensive. About $35.00 and even the fuel sending units are considered replaceable parts, yep $80.00, not cheap. But remember for an industry still in its infancy, these are not bad.

Just because your auto repair business is without a future, does not mean a little adaptation cannot keep you in business for another 40 years.