What’s Best For Your Auto Transport – A Broker Or A Carrier?

Plainly put, car shipping is a big deal. Placing your valuable vehicle in the hands of perfect strangers can be a bit nerve racking by itself. Most often, however, there is also some other event taking place when an auto transport company is hired. When you’re focused on relocating due to a new job, buying that new car, retiring to the city of your dreams or finally buying that classic car you’ve drooled over since high school, you want to know for sure your car will be moved with the highest level of care and at the best price. That’s where choosing between a broker and a carrier can be extremely important.

Core Differences in Auto Transport Companies

The basics are the same regardless of which type of auto transport company you choose. Your car will get shipped from point A to point B. But that’s generally where the similarities end. From there you find a list of pros and cons that can help you make a decision on whether to use a broker or carrier.

Let’s define those terms to start with. In the car shipping industry, a broker is a company that resells your job. For instance, when you call a broker, they will charge you a fee for shipping your car. However, they will not actually perform the shipping themselves. They will call several carriers and sell your car shipping job to them. After the job is passed on to the carrier, the broker steps out of the picture.

A carrier, on the other hand, actually takes your car from destination A to destination B. Think of it as going straight to a wholesaler when you’re buying furniture or jewelry. Rather than going to a retail store when you buy these items, you cut out the middleman and buy them for a better price direct from the wholesaler. In the same way, rather than using a broker, you have the option of contacting carriers directly.

Pros and Cons

The biggest benefit of using a broker for car shipping is selection. A broker may either have a pre-approved list of carriers or may post the vehicle online for any carrier to select. When using a carrier, you would be responsible or contacting each one individually which might take a bit of time. However, there are other factors at play when shipping a car.

Fees and Cancellations

Brokers attempt to source carriers at rates below what they have quoted in order to make a profit. That’s how they stay in business. You will be expected to pay a deposit, which is generally nonrefundable. The carrier will collect the balance of the transportation costs when the vehicle is delivered through cash or certified funds only. Many will also allow you to cancel your order at anytime prior to pick-up with a 100% refund. To be sure, always ask first!

Guaranteed Pick-Up

Because brokers don’t have full control over every carrier they use, they can’t guarantee when your car will be picked up.
When comparing transit time you need to be careful to make an apples-to-apples comparison. A brokered move may have a shorter transit time from pick up to delivery but it may take more days to get the vehicle picked up. Make sure that you include all of the days in any comparison.

Door-to-Door Service

Depending on the carrier, the size of their truck, or the entry into your neighborhood, you might be asked to meet the driver at a nearby shopping center or other landmark for delivery. This is due to their inability to take big equipment into an area that is difficult to maneuver. Unfortunately, brokers cannot always assess the carrier’s ability to take your vehicle directly to your door. Again, never assume. Ask the broker or auto transport carrier what their policies are to be sure.

Before you sign any contracts or releases, make sure you are dealing with the type of company you prefer. There are big differences between brokers and carriers that go beyond price. To ensure the safety of your car and a flawless transaction, check out each company thoroughly before making your decision.

Electric Kit Cars ? Build Your Own!

Every day I read about how electric kit cars are coming–and soon! The New York Times says “a national electric car charging infrastructure” is in the works. “This consists of electricity charging spots with plug-in outlets all over the country.”

And Forbes magazine just had an article that said, “A future where drivers tell utility companies when and where to charge their electric vehicles and with what source of energy–wind, sun or coal, for instance–could be as close as two years away.”

But you don’t have to wait. You can actually start converting your gas-powered car into an electric-powered car today! This means your car will no longer use gas. You’ll install special batteries into your car and those alone will provide the power. It used to be very expensive to do such a conversion, but new electric car technology has made it easy and affordable for everyone.

How do you go about doing this? First you have to purchase an electric car conversion kit, or instruction manual. These are available on the internet for immediate download. They usually cost $35 – $50. Next you’ll need tools and parts. These manuals show you how to find free batteries and other parts. The total cost of the whole conversion could cost as little as $300 (not including the manual).

Then you follow the step-by-step directions. Your car should be able to go about 50 mph and travel 100 miles or so on a single charge. You “refuel” your new electric car by simply plugging it into an electric socket. Then you’re good to go for another 100 miles. You don’t ever have to pay for gas again! Plus, your car doesn’t emit any pollutant by-products, or create obnoxious noise.

The best part is, the state and federal government will actually pay you to drive an electric car. There are huge rebates available for electric kit cars. When you add everything together–the money saved on gas, the rebates–you really aren’t spending a dime for the conversion. In fact, you’re making money!

This is not only a fun project, but you’ll also learn all about renewable energy. Big batteries that can store electricity for transportation and wind and solar generation are the next big industry. These batteries are the key to clean-technology.

As the song goes, “the times they are-a-changing.” They sure are. As Detroit goes down the tubes, the writing on the wall is clear: the future is electric kit cars. It’s an awesome vision, and you can become part of it today!

Consider A Car Donation

If you are looking to purchase a new vehicle, you may be trying to figure out what to do with your current automobile. Many people trade in their old cars to reduce the price of a newer car. While this is a good strategy, another thing you can do is donate your car to a charity. Believe it or not, there are a number of advantages this has over trading in a car towards the purchase of a new vehicle. When you buy a new car from a dealer, you will find that most of them will try to talk you into trading in your old car. Once you do this, they will often turn around and sell your older car, especially if its in good condition.

However, this is not what usually happens. In most instances, the dealer will try to buy the car from you at a lower price than they expect to get when selling it at an auction. When you donate your car to a charity, not only will you be turning it in for a good cause, you may also get a deal which is better than what you would find from a dealership. Many people don’t realize that donating their car to a charity can allow them to get a tax deduction during tax season. Not only can you use it as a tax write off, you will often earn money that is significantly more than what you would get from most car dealers.

When most people hear about car donations, they are often discouraged because they feel that it will be a long process that will cost them a lot of money. Nothing can be further from the truth. In reality, donating your car to a charity can be just as quick as trading in your car through a dealer. Remember, the charity needs the car from you, and will make it convenient for you to turn it in to them. To donate your old car to a charity, the first thing you will need to do is contact charities in your area. They will be able to answer any questions you have about donating your car. Many of them will visit you at your home and pick up your car, saving you money on shipping.

Once you have donating the car to the charity, you will be mailed a receipt of the transaction. The receipt should tell you how much the car was sold for, and it may also tell you the price that you are given by the charity. Once tax season arrives, you will be able to get your reward for donating your car to the charity. By helping other people who may be less fortunate than you, you will feel good, and you will also be rewarding financially. Most people trade in their cars when they go out to purchase a new one. Only a small segment of the population uses car donation services. However, car donations services are a smart financial tool that can allow you to save a large amount of money on taxes over a long period of time.

The money that you save on taxes can be used for investments, vacations, or anything else you’re interested in. Before you trade in your existing car for a new one, be sure to look at the car donation services in your area.

Improving Your Mini Cooper Gas Mileage

Most engines (and all Minis) use an electric spark to start the burning of the fuel/air mixture which in turn powers the car. If the engine is to run properly this ‘electric spark’ must happen at the exact right time. Setting your timing means that you adjust the time the plug fires relative to the position of the piston. Piston position is defined as follows: at the very top of the cylinder the piston is said to be at the TOP DEAD CENTER. At the bottom of its stroke it’s said to be at BOTTOM DEAD CENTER. The crankshaft is marked in 360 degrees. At top dead center, the crank is at 0 degrees. At bottom dead center the crank is at 180 degrees. Timing is measured in degrees and most often ‘before’ top dead center. ( BTDC degrees)

It is most often measured either with a timing light (which is a “stop motion” strobe light which fires with the spark plug and “freezes” the crankshaft timing mark for observation), or mechanical setup (static timing). Your ignition timing changes as you drive. The number of degrees BEFORE TOP DEAD CENTER (BTDC) is called the ADVANCE. This is done mechanically (centrifugal advance), or by vacuum (vacuum advance), or by a combination of these. Whatever the setup, advance increases with engine RPM and decreases as the engine goes under a load.

SYMPTOMS OF INCORRECT IGNITION TIMING

Symptoms of incorrect ignition timing are poor fuel economy, sluggish acceleration, hard starting, backfiring, or “pinging” or “spark knock”. Too little spark advance will cause low power, bad gas mileage, backfiring, and poor performance. Too much advance will cause hard starting and pre-ignition.

PINGING, SPARK KNOCK, OR PRE-IGNITION

Pinging or spark knock is properly called “pre-ignition” and is often incorrectly called “valve noise” because it sounds very similar to loose valves that need adjusting. The difference is that loose valves will make a noise all the time, whereas pre-ignition happens on acceleration or under a -ignition can be caused by too much spark advance or from too low octane gas. If your car does this from time to time, you may not need to do anything. you might use a higher grade of gas, but that does cost a lot of money! I tell people to just not let their car do it: either get on the gas or get off the gas and the “ping” will go away.

Auto Dent Repair

Auto dent repair is the method of removing vehicle dents, which happen due to collisions. It can be done on all types of autos. The time taken for the whole process depends on the size and position of the dent and the technician’s ability. It also depends on the magnitude of dent.

Normally, two types of auto dent repairs are in evident.

? Paint refurbishment repair and

? PDR (Paintless Dent Repair).

Paint refurbishment repair – is well suited for the larger dent and the method involves a variety of processes such as pulling or hammering out dents, grinding, chiseling, and sanding. Technicians make use of a variety of tools; pullers, dent hammers, drills, fender picks, and rivets depending on the type of dent.

If the dent is too large or cannot be repaired, the whole panel or section of vehicle is removed. In such cases, pulling or pounding out is done before the panel or section is removed, and the new portion is attached by welding. Once the above process is over, the repaired area is primed for further painting.

Paintless Dent Repair (PDR) – is generally used for smaller or minor dents, dinks. Dents are removed with the help of specialized tools, the paint or the original factory finish of the dent section remains as such and the cost involved in painting is eliminated.

PDR ? The right treatment for your car!

Nowadays you see cars around in need of desperate attention and due to the credit crunch; no one wants to take the risk of cashing out for replacements. However, there is an easier way. Repairs are so much easier, faster and more affordable than replacements; it?s the perfect option for you and your car.

All-new 2009 Mazda6: Sophisticated And Smart

The all-new 2009 Mazda6 was specifically designed to cater to the demands of the North American market. The car is visually different and bigger than Japanese and European counterparts and offers plenty of Mazda’s characteristic Zoom-Zoom energy.

The 2009 Mazda6 gets bold new bodywork, a stylized grille flanked by jewel-like headlamps that flex into flared fenders with prominent wheels. A 4.5-inch stretched wheelbase, expanded width and dimensions, give it a more aggressive stance. The car?s sleek aerodynamic profile improves the co-efficient of drag by 10 percent. The Mazda6 comes in 7 trims: I SV, I Sport, I Touring, i Grand Touring, S Sport, S Touring, S Grand Touring.

Power comes from a 2.5L four-cylinder base engine (i models) mated to either a 6-speed manual or 5-speed automatic. The step-up 3.7L V6 powers the S Sport, S Touring and S Grand Touring. The only transmission option is a six-speed automatic with a manumatic sport shift feature. The North American Mazda6 is available only as a four-door sedan.

The 2009 Mazda6 i SV includes standard features such as AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio, power accessories, air conditioning and a tilt/telescoping steering column with multifunction steering wheel. Sport trims add cruise control and keyless remote; Touring features a power driver’s seat, trip computer, and pushbutton start, while Grand Touring gets dual-zone A/C, full leather trim, dual power/heated buckets, Xenon headlamps and LED taillamps. Options include a navigation system and a Bose audio/moonroof group for the two top trim levels and a Convenience Package for the Touring.

The 2009 Mazda6 is of the style and scale that will attract enthusiast buyers in the C- and D-sedan segments. The midsize sedan segment is the most competitive and the Mazda6 will take on some of the most popular cars in the auto industry. This new entrant takes Mazda sophistication to new heights, adding new four-cylinder and V-6 powerplants with a punch that was lacking in its predecessors.

Visit the website: for more information.

Things To Do To Keep Your Car From Getting Stolen

So you have a new car. And you have saved three years worth of your salary to buy it. Or maybe you were approved a loan that obligates you with monthly payments for the next five years. How would you feel if suddenly, your car gets stolen just like that? It would be a sinking, painful feeling for sure. Well, there are ways to stop that from happening. Here’s what you can do to keep your car from getting stolen.

1. Don’t park in unfamiliar neighborhoods.
If you’re new in the place, it is best that you don’t park there at all. If you have to stop and ask for directions or anything, look for a gasoline station or convenience store to do that. These places are equipped with surveillance cameras so thieves are not likely to hang around there too much. But just the same, you have to be very careful.

2. Equip your car with an alarm system.
While an alarm system would do nothing but squeal for all its worth, it could scare the hell out of a possible car thief. At least, the people around him would know that he’s not the owner of that car because the alarm wasn’t switched off when he approached. Hopefully, the thief will run away and leave your car alone.

3. Never leave your car unlocked and running.
Even if you intend to leave your car for half a minute, it is never a good practice to leave your car unattended, running, and unlocked. You don’t know if there’s a car thief near you. If your car is in this state, it would take the thief a quarter of a second to slide into the driver’s seat, lock the car, drive away, and leave your running at your heels.

4. Engrave your name somewhere on the more expensive parts of your car.
While this might not always work, leaving some sort of a personal identification on your car may help you recognize it in the future. You never know but your car stereo may be stolen. Or it could be something as simple as the side mirrors of your car. Thing is, leave some marks on your car so even if they’re detached, you will still know that they’re yours.

5. Invest on a garage.
You might never suspect any of your neighbors taking your car away. But you will never know if somebody from ten cities away drops by the neighborhood with the sole intention of stealing a car in the middle of the night. Cars parked on plain view are easier to steal during the night. So don’t waste your garage if you have one. If you don’t have a garage, build one. And use it at all times.

6. Don’t hide second set of car keys somewhere in the car.
Car thieves are intelligent people. Don’t underestimate them for a second. It’s bad practice to put a second set of car keys under the skirt of your car. Somebody may chance upon it and leave you crying helplessly. If it works for your house, don’t do the same for your car.