This is a category we all love. Our motorcycles, boats, cars, and trucks will operate just fine without them, but these items give our vehicles that personal touch that most of us desire. However, when adding accessories, you must always make sure that you are not adding an accessory that will void your factory warranty or damage components on your vehicle, and that the accessories are properly installed by someone with the proper knowledge of your vehicle and the accessory being installed.
One of the most common accessories for a vehicle is the tires and wheels. It is important not to install a tire and wheel that is too big or will rub the vehicle’s body parts, as this can damage your new tires, body parts and/or front-end steering components. Keep in mind that changing tires and wheels on your vehicle may cause a change in your speedometer reading as well; it could read too fast or too slow. Manufacturers design each vehicle specifically to maximize your mileage, so the addition of any aftermarket accessories, such as bumpers, body kits, lift kits, tires, engine performance parts, and almost any exterior accessory, can change your fuel mileage. When choosing accessories, keep in mind that you will possibly have to choose between the accessory and the change in mileage you will get; decide for yourself what is most important to you.
Finally, always make sure you are using a qualified technician to install your chosen accessories. If you are installing the item yourself, make sure you have the right tools and knowledge necessary to install the accessory correctly; an inexperienced technician or doing it yourself, without the proper knowledge and tools, can lead to a nightmare rather quickly. So, remember – know what you are buying, make sure it will fit properly, and make sure it is installed properly.
Auctions can be a great way to save a lot of money when purchasing a motorcycle, boat, car, truck, or parts. Finding an auction, however, can sometimes be tricky. We try to make the process easier for you. You can search for your city and state, and most of our ads have links to the auctioneers’ websites, which will provide you with the when and where of local auctions.
It is important when you are bidding on a vehicle to know exactly what you are bidding on. Auctions move very fast and it is easy to lose track of which vehicle is actually being auctioned. Pay close attention to make sure that you are not bidding on the vehicle next to the one you want. If at all possible, try to preview the vehicle before the auction actually starts so that you have plenty of time to look the vehicle over really well.
Sometimes the auctioneer will start and move the vehicles. If the auction you are attending does this, be sure to observe the vehicles you are interested in when this takes place. You want to verify that the vehicle starts easy, will pull forward and reverse, and doesn’t smoke or make any unordinary noises. Check the tires to make sure they are not wearing unevenly, as this can be a sign of worn out front-end components or possible issues with alignment.
Most auctioneers will require a deposit at the beginning of the auction. An initial deposit offers the auctioneer a safety net and encourages bidders to only bid on vehicles they really want. Watch the bidding closely to make sure you bid on the correct vehicle and stop bidding if you are unwilling or unable to pay the price, because once you have won the bid, it is your vehicle, period. If you do not pay for the vehicle, you will lose your deposit and may not be welcomed back.
Make sure that you receive all the paper work; you will need to get the vehicle titled in your name. Check the VIN number, year, make and model of the vehicle with the paper work to make sure you have an exact match.
Check with the auctioneer to see how long you have to remove the vehicle from its current location. There are usually time limits, and in most cases, you will be charged storage fees for exceeding those time limits. These are just a few items to keep in mind when buying a vehicle at an auction. You can also print the checklist, under auto sales below, to help you remember things to look for when buying a vehicle. Remember, it’s your money, and you have to be comfortable with what you spend and what you get in return, but this is not a brand new car, so it’s not going to be 100% perfect!
Whether you are buying a new vehicle or a used one, it is important to do your research. Initially, you need to decide the type of vehicle you want and how it will fit your needs. Most of us want the biggest and the best, but that is not always practical. Narrow down your color choices, the year, the make, and the model you are looking for. Try to limit your search to dealers or individuals that are close to your work or home. Running all over town or to other cities or states, will increase the total cost of your vehicle without you even realizing it. Once you have narrowed your search, the important thing to look at is the overall condition of the vehicle. Listed below is a two page, printable checklist to carry with you when purchasing a vehicle. Use this on all used vehicles and new ones, as well. Don’t assume some of these items are not damaged or don’t work, just because a vehicle is new. We recommend putting a Ö in the boxes that are okay on the vehicle, and an X in the boxes where there are problems. If you place an X in a box, make notes about it in the notes section below.
Exterior Vehicle Condition:
- Front driver fender
- Front driver tire
- Front driver door
- Driver side mirror
- Front driver door glass
- Rear driver door
- Rear driver door glass
- Rear driver body panel
- Rear driver tire
- Trunk lid
- Rear windshield
- Brake lights
- Tail lights
- Left turn signal
- Right turn signal
- License plate light
- Rear bumper
- Rear passenger body panel
- Rear passenger tire
- Rear passenger door
- Rear passenger door glass
- Front passenger door
- Front passenger door glass
- Passenger side mirror
- Front passenger fender
- Front windshield
- Wipers/wiper blades
- Front bumper
- Fog lights
- Front passenger turn signal
- Front driver turn signal
- Hazard lights
- All tires same size/same brand
Under the Hood
- Transmission fluid
- Power steering fluid
- Brake fluid
- Air filter
- Battery connections
- No fluid leakage
- Under the hood lighting (if equipped)
Interior Vehicle Condition
- Door locks
- Doors properly open and shut
- Windows roll up and down
- Power Mirrors (if equipped)
- Seat condition
- Power Seats operable (if equipped)
- Emergency Break engages/disengages
- Windshield Wipers
- Air Conditioner
- Cruise Control
- Dash lights
- Overhead consoles (if equipped)
- TV/DVD (if equipped)
- Rear wiper (if equipped)
- Seatbelts operable
- Interior lights
- Spare tire, jack and lug wrench present
Driving the Vehicle
- Starts with ease
- All gears shift properly
- Steering doesn’t pull to one side
- Brakes stop and are quiet
- Turn off radio; listen for unusual sounds
- Rear view mirror
- Gauges are accurate
- Navigation (if equipped)
These are just a few things you can check when looking to purchase a vehicle. If there are problems with anything on this checklist, you should know how much it is going to cost to fix it before purchasing the vehicle.
Brakes may be the most important repair you will perform on your vehicle. Brakes that work improperly can cause some serious problems. Never let an unqualified person do any brake repair on your vehicle. If you are doing the repair yourself, make sure you have the right tools, parts and knowledge.
The most commonly repaired brake parts are brake pads and brake shoes. These parts are designed to wear out over time. The key to keeping the cost of your brake repairs down is changing the brake pads and brake shoes before they are completely worn out. Your brake pads should have a piece of metal on them. When they are reaching the end of their life, they will start making a scraping sound. If you start hearing this sound, you should get your brakes repaired immediately. It is best to have them inspected regularly. Replacing worn brake pads or brake shoes is fairly inexpensive, but if you wait too long, it can cost you a lot of money. Failing to repair your brakes in time can result in damaging other expensive brake parts such as rotors, calibers, brake cylinders, etc. More than likely, you will make this mistake only once because it will be very expensive.
Car shows are a lot of fun and you can gain a lot of knowledge about cars and trucks. There are several different kinds of car shows – classic cars, new cars, low riders, trucks, big rigs, etc. Some are called Swap Meets or Rallies. Whatever type of show you attend, there are plenty of activities to go along with it. You can enter your car or truck in a beauty contest, buy, sell, or trade parts for your car or truck, or just wander through everything and enjoy the sights around you. Car shows provide great ideas for things you can do with your vehicle. At any given show, you can almost guarantee you will have beautiful cars, beautiful women, good food and great fun. So start searching for car shows coming to your area and make plans to take your friends and/or family. It can be a real blast.
Although this is not something any of us want to experience, we hope that our service will help ease some of the stresses of your collision needs. If you’re faced with an unfortunate accident and need to get your vehicle repaired, there are some important decisions you will need to make. Once you have determined that you, your passengers, and the occupants of the other vehicle are okay, and the police have taken their report, you need to find a towing company to remove your car from the scene if it is damaged too much to drive.
The most important decision, next to the towing company, is where to have your vehicle repaired. You will then need to make arrangements to have a rental car while your car is in the collision repair shop. Make sure you are comfortable with the collision repair shop you choose. Ask if they are planning to do all the work there, some of it, or if they will outsource all of the work. If they are outsourcing any of the work, find out where your car will be and who will be repairing it. Ask questions to find out if the parts they plan to use will be genuine parts or aftermarket parts, new parts, used parts, or rebuilt parts. Determine the warranty policy and limitations for the parts used on your vehicle as well as the labor to install or repair them. Find out what you can expect from the collision repair shop should you take delivery of your vehicle and find something wrong with parts or items they repaired. In other words, make sure that you are not “stuck” with hidden problems or issues once you take delivery of your repaired vehicle and leave the collision repair shop. Get estimates from more than one shop, if possible, and make sure you are comparing apples to apples and oranges to oranges.
When your car is finished, check it over just as you would if you were buying it new. It is probably a good idea to print the checklist above and go over all the same things again. If there is something wrong, do not accept delivery of the car. Make them fix what is wrong, first. The best advice I can offer is to pay attention to detail and check everything thoroughly.
Customizing falls along some of the same lines as accessories; usually in greater detail. If you want a one of a kind car or truck, then finding the right custom shop is important. The people in custom shops usually have a special skill and ability to design. Make sure you are clear about what you want. If you are going to leave it up to the shop, do not get upset if it is not exactly what you had pictured in your mind. It is best to give them a general idea and then let them create a design. Make sure you look at the design and make any adjustments to it before any work gets started. Changing the design in the middle of the job can cause them to have to start all over and cost you more money.
Most of us will detail our own car or truck. However, if you want an extensive cleaning of your vehicle, then you might want to use a detailing company. This service is usually found at a full service car wash; there are mobile detailing companies, as well. Be clear about what you are getting done and how much it will cost. The cost of an extensive detail can vary depending on how dirty your car is and the extent of the things you want done. Remember, communication is the key in any business transaction.
The financial aspect of purchasing an automobile is possibly one of the most important decisions to make when buying a vehicle, new or used. The interest rate and your down payment amount can drastically change your payments and the length of time you will have to pay for your car or truck. Not to mention, it will also determine the final cost of your car or truck. Shop around for the best rate, but be careful that you do not allow too many finance companies to run your credit; too many inquiries could possibly lower your overall credit score. Read everything before you sign any documents. If you are not sure about something, ask them to explain it to you. If you have never been through this process, it is a good idea to take someone with you who has; someone you trust. Purchasing a car is a big investment, especially if it is a new car, so make sure you take your time and that the financing is within your budget. Do not let the salesman or finance companies bully you into a situation that will only cause financial or emotional strain in the long run.
General auto repair:
Most auto repair shops offer general auto repair services, and the majority of them can handle a broad range of your auto repair needs. It is a good idea to get a written estimate regarding repairs the shop is to perform, a list of the parts needed and the price of the parts, what their hourly rate is, how long each item will take to fix, and all warranty policies and limitations the auto repair shop will offer for parts and labor. Again, communication is the key. Know what you expect from the repair shop, what they expect from you, how long it will take and how much it will cost.
Glass repair is another important part of our vehicles. Glass protects us from the weather and road debris. A cracked windshield, or any other window, should not go unattended. The glass in your car or truck should be replaced by a professional. It takes special tools and knowledge to perform this type of repair. These days, small chips can be repaired without replacing the glass. The sooner you get them fixed, the better. Do not let it get worse because it will cost more if you wait.
State inspections are performed at inspection stations. There are several businesses that only do state inspections, but many auto repair shops do them, as well. Pay close attention to the sticker in your windshield to make sure you are not driving around with an expired state inspection. The ticket for an expired state inspection can prove to be costly.
Insurance is required by law. You should never drive an uninsured automobile; it is not worth the risk. The fines are usually expensive and the consequence to you and others on the road with you could be financially draining if a collision occurs.
Finding a good insurance agent/company is priceless. Check the coverage and make sure you have the right amount of coverage for your needs and situation. Insurance policies can be written several different ways with different coverage specifications, such as uninsured motorist, towing, rental car allowance, medical coverage for you and your passengers in the event of an accident, and the list goes on and on. It is crucial that you understand the coverage you have and when comparing insurance companies, you need to verify that you are comparing policies from different companies with the exact coverage for each one.
We put job listings on our site to help our vendors find employees when they are in need of them. Job listings here pertain to the automobile industry only. If you are a vendor with us and need to add one or more employees, just let us know all the details. This is a free service to our vendors. If you are someone in the automobile industry and need employment, check out the job listings on our site that are listed in your city and state.
We hope this category will assist you in locating a local car or truck rental facility. Whether you are looking for a long term lease or a short term rental, this is the place to look. There are several reasons for wanting or needing to rent or lease an automobile, from an unfortunate accident, to vacation needs, to just simple auto repair on your personal automobile. If you are looking for something long term, then leasing is the way to go. Whatever your leasing or rental needs are, I am sure you can find this site most helpful.
A locksmith is the man you call when you need keys made or you have lost your keys and need a new one. They also come in handy when you lock your keys in your automobile and have no way to get to your spare. This is not a do it yourself matter, and takes special equipment and talent; especially when the automobile has no key at all. Locksmiths usually have a mobile locksmith service, making it convenient for those mishaps on the road.
A machine shop is the place to take your car or truck engine parts. This category is for the mechanic shops and serious do it yourself guys. Usually, parts that would go to a machine shop include an engine block or engine heads. The machine shop has the right tools and knowledge to clean and rebuild these very important engine parts. It is always important to know what you are getting for your money before you leave. There are different things that can be done to the same engine block or engine heads. If your goal is to build a hot rod, then you need to do some research and know what you want done, or at least, what you would like to discuss with the machine shop ahead of time. This will make it easier on the machine shop and they will have your parts in a shorter amount of time.
Mobile Car Repair:
Mobile car repair is a convenient service that some mechanic shops offer. In most cases, you can get a mobile car service to do minor repairs, such as starters, alternators, oil changes, tune-ups, etc. This service is usually the same or slightly more expensive than taking your vehicle to a regular auto repair shop, but is much more convenient. Make sure that the company you are dealing with is knowledgeable and experienced and has the proper tools to perform the work you need done. Make sure all work that has been done to your vehicle is recorded and provided to you in writing, you receive a detailed receipt and all warranty for parts and labor is in writing as well. Make sure that the location where the mobile repair is taking place will not be in violation of any ordinances, local, city or otherwise.
Muffler repair is a category that requires a professional with extensive knowledge; it is not a do it yourself project for individuals inexperienced in car repair. This service requires many different talents and ranges of experience, as well as the use of specialized tools, such as welders, pipe benders and car lifts. It is important that this repair is done properly, as this particular part of your vehicle is key to the passing of state inspections; not to mention, it plays an important role in the sound of your vehicle. Old or improperly installed exhaust parts can drastically alter the performance of your vehicle. Another important thing to keep in mind is when the catalytic converter is clogged up, it can be misdiagnosed as a fuel pump or fuel injector issue. However, if your car is losing power or acting like it is running out of fuel, the catalytic converter is possibly the culprit. A professional with the proper knowledge of the exhaust system can easily identify issues with the catalytic converter.
Oil and Lubrication Services:
The proper maintenance of your vehicle is extremely important, starting with regularly scheduled oil changes and lubrication of moving parts. Use your manufacturer’s guidelines to determine how often to perform these services, as different models and circumstances require different intervals for optimum performance and maintenance. Make sure that all maintenance on your vehicle is recorded and kept in a convenient location so you can keep up with the records. There are many providers that offer services limited to oil and lube services, offering a convenient, timely manner in which the service is performed. However, almost all general auto repair shops offer these services, as well.
Parts & Supplies (New):
There are many different providers of auto parts and supplies; from your local auto parts stores and dealers, to online providers. It is important to know the year, make, model and engine size when inquiring about a part for your vehicle; it saves time if you have the information ready when you call or begin your search online. When contacting the dealer, have your VIN # available so that they may look up the parts specific to your vehicle. Make sure you fully understand the provider’s policy on returning or exchanging parts, especially when purchasing electronic parts. If at all possible, remove the old part and take it with you so that you can compare the new and old parts and make sure you have the correct part you need. In many cases, the part you are buying may have a core charge, meaning you must turn in the old part or pay an additional charge.
Parts & Supplies (Used):
Take caution when purchasing used auto parts and supplies. You can save a tremendous amount of money by purchasing used auto parts, but could just as easily throw your money right out the window. A salvage yard is the easiest and fastest place to find used auto parts, and in many cases, you can receive a warranty for parts and labor. This may cost extra, but is well worth it if you are replacing an engine or transmission. If you are looking for auto parts for an older vehicle, a swap meet is a great place to find used or rare auto parts.
If you have a classic car that you want to restore, a professional car restoration provider can work miracles for you. When searching for a restoration professional, always ask to see other cars they have restored. You can gain a great deal of knowledge about a restoration provider by looking at other vehicles they have restored. Before handing over your pride and joy, make sure you have something in writing, detailing all services to be performed, the cost of the services, and how long the services will take to complete. Restoring a classic car can get expensive, so make sure you are prepared for the time and money that will be involved.
Protecting your vehicle is of great importance to most of us, because next to the purchase of a home, the automobile is the most expensive purchase we will make. It is very important, when having a security system installed on your vehicle, that the person performing the installation has the proper knowledge, skills and tools. Security systems are connected to your electrical system, so improper installation can cause tremendous problems. There are many different types of security devices and alarms, and a wide price range for these items. It is best to shop around to find what device or alarm will fit your budget and vehicle needs. Make sure you understand the warranty provided by the manufacturer as well as the provider of the security device or alarm. Be careful not to install something that will void your manufacturer’s warranty on your vehicle.
Signs and car wraps are a great way to advertise for businesses or upgrade the appearance of your car without having to use something as permanent as paint. Whether you are doing the sign or car wrap yourself, or having it done professionally, make sure you have a clear idea of what you want, how it will look and what it will do to the value of your vehicle. Make sure you see a proof of the design prior to having the sign or car wrap installed on your vehicle, as well as the understanding of what it will take to remove the sign or car wrap should you decide you no longer want it.
This item is near and dear to most of our hearts. The thought of having a vehicle with no stereo system can be unbearable. When purchasing a stereo system, make sure that the system you choose will fit in your vehicle, as stereo systems come in a variety of sizes, styles, and accessories. It is important to do your research; buying a poor quality stereo system can cause a wide variety of problems, both short term and long term. When you are installing a stereo system, make sure the person performing the installation has the proper tools and knowledge to install it correctly. The stereo system is connected to your electrical system, and improper installation can lead to shorting of wires, electrical malfunctions and other various issues with your vehicle. You can usually purchase a car stereo installation kit for just about any make or model. One of the most important things is to make sure you do not have to alter anything on your dash to install the stereo system, as it will be a permanent change in your vehicle’s interior, even if you decide to change stereo systems in the future.
Storage of a car can be done using an indoor or outdoor storage facility. If you are looking for indoor storage, it is possible that you could use a regular, enclosed storage building. However, make sure that they approve of a vehicle in storage. When storing a car using an outdoor facility, keep in mind that it will be exposed to the elements and weather. Find out the proximity of other items that are being stored, and whether the facility is gated, monitored by security, and at what times you may access your stored items. If storing your vehicle outdoors, it is recommended that you invest in a durable tarp or cover to prevent paint fade, rust due to weather and the elements, and to prevent dry wrought of the tires when they are exposed to the heat and sun. Whether storing indoor or outdoor, if you are going to store a vehicle through the winter, make sure it has plenty of anti-freeze in the radiator and it has circulated through the entire engine prior to storage.
Tires come in a broad range of sizes, brands, and prices. It is always a good idea to use the original tires your car’s manufacturer installed because the car was designed with those tires so they are specific to your car’s make and model. If you are going to change the tires’ sizes, pay close attention to make sure that the size of tire you choose is not going to rub against the car’s wheel wells. Keep in mind that changing the size of your tires will affect your fuel mileage and the way your car will perform while driving. It is best to change all four tires at the same time, if possible; if not, purchase at least two tires at the same time. If new tires do not fit your budget, you can look at purchasing used tires, which will save you a considerable amount of money in the short term, but remember that used tires will not last as long as new tires, and could possibly cost more in the long term.
Towing and Recovery:
There are many different ways of towing different types of vehicles, and there are many different types of tow trucks. If you have a rear-wheel drive car or a front-wheel drive car, a conventional wheel lift tow truck should be sufficient to get the job done. However, if your vehicle is all-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive, a flatbed truck would be the ideal choice to make. If your vehicle sits low or has ground effects, a flatbed tow truck is also highly recommended. When calling a towing service, it is important to give an accurate description of your vehicle, such as the make or model, accessories, if applicable, that have altered the height of your vehicle from the ground, and whether your vehicle is all-wheel, 4-wheel, front-wheel or rear-wheel drive. If contacting a wrecker service for a recovery, it is important to give an accurate description of the recovery type so that the proper wrecker is dispatched.
Tow Truck Sales & Service:
Tow truck sales companies are few and far between. It is not uncommon for someone to travel great distances to purchase a tow truck or wrecker. It is a good idea to know the whereabouts of tow truck sales locations within 200-300 miles of your own location, and if you are in need of tow truck service, within 100 miles of your own location. There are many interchangeable parts for different wrecker and tow truck models, so it is important that you know prior to purchasing these parts that they will actually fit the model you have. Once that part has been installed, whether it is the proper fit or not, the part is typically not something that can be returned. Prior to servicing your wrecker or tow truck, make sure that the shop you are taking it to, has the proper knowledge of your wrecker or tow truck, and that they have the ability to obtain the parts needed for your wrecker or tow truck. Get a realistic down time allotted for the service or repair of your wrecker or tow truck since the wrecker or tow truck is your livelihood.
The prices of tow trucks and the abilities of the equipment options vary. Prior to making a purchase of such magnitude, it is important to know that the wrecker or tow truck you are looking at is capable of performing all the tasks that you require.
Transmission repair requires a certain level of knowledge and experience. Therefore, many transmission repair shops specialize only in transmission repair. Transmissions are a key component in the operation of our vehicles, and without proper maintenance of your transmission, your car’s performance can be impaired, possibly leading to costly repairs.
There are two types of transmissions, standard and automatic. It is important to regularly maintain your transmission just as you would your engine, tires, brakes, etc. Consult your owner’s manual for the proper maintenance schedule and specific needs for your car’s transmission, and always keep an accurate record of all maintenance performed on your vehicle, including the specific items maintained and the date the service was performed.
If your vehicle has an automatic transmission, it is necessary to regularly check the transmission fluid; making sure that your vehicle is warmed up and running. Standard transmissions are not as easy to check as an automatic transmission because you can’t just pull out a dipstick to check it. You have to actually get under the car and remove the plug with a wrench to check the grease in a standard transmission. Due to the difficulty of this task, you may prefer to have a mechanic perform the check of your standard transmission whenever you have a regular oil and lube service performed on your vehicle.
Auto transporters provide the service of transporting cars from one location to another. Transporters are capable of transporting one car at a time or multiple cars at a time, depending on the size of the trailer being used to transport. When deciding to have your vehicle transported, some things to find out are whether the trailer transporting your vehicle is enclosed or open, the limit of coverage for your vehicle while in transport, how long it will be in transport, the cost of the transport, the route it will be transported, and most importantly, a written detail of the above mentioned items.
An upholstery specialist can take your automobile’s interior from a worn out, tattered and torn product of yesteryear to a modern-day, custom interior suited for you and your taste. An upholstery specialist is capable of changing the appearance of your car from the headliner and door panels, to seats and carpeting. Some people may choose to purchase upholstery from another car or to purchase unused upholstery. Before beginning, get a good idea of the cost of upholstery with materials and labor, both from another vehicle and purchased brand new. This will help you decide what will work for your budget and your personal preferences. Make sure you have a written explanation with details regarding what you expect from the upholstery specialist, and what they expect from you.
There are many components on your vehicle that may require an experienced welder, especially when installing aftermarket parts such as lift kits, truck beds, bumpers, etc. Having a certified welder makes a big difference on the safety and quality of your vehicle’s welded parts. It is important to keep in mind that welding on the frame of a vehicle, in most cases, will void your factory warranty. So, before welding anything on your vehicle, check the owner’s manual or vehicle manufacturer to make sure that what you are welding on to the vehicle will not void the warranty.