Honda Repair Service and Maintenance

Honda is known for being the world’s biggest manufacturer of motorcycles as well as the world’s biggest manufacturer of internal combustion engines measured by volume. As a matter of fact, Honda has been producing more than 14 million internal combustion engines each year.

Basically, Honda is a company founded by a dreamer who strongly believes in the “Power of Dreams” and that well-built products will sell themselves. With Honda’s global lineup of most in demand cars consisting of the Fit, Civic, Accord, Insight, CR-V, Odyssey and S2000; what more can you ask for? Apart from being the biggest engine maker in the world, Honda has a number of firsts in many categories, including the first engine to meet the 1970 U.S. Clean Air Act.

Owning one of Honda’s prestigious products, however, may allow you to come across with various instances in which your Honda car would require repairs and maintenance along the way. This occurs most especially when met with an accident or any other problem. During these instances, car repairing becomes an important issue in your life as it can become the main cause of your distress. For this reason, finding good quality, cheap repair for your Honda automobile is very important. What involves in the process is a lot of trust between the buyer and the right auto shop. As a car owner, of course, you have little knowledge about your car but it is from the experts that you rely on the technical data for whatever problems your car is having. This makes it awfully difficult for you to quality check their work. You do not need to overpay for repair, but the thing is you also wish to have a job well done.

There are a lot of big benefits when you opt to go with a repair shop that’s certified as a consultant with the your Honda vehicle. It’s best to deal with mechanics who know the inner workings of your Honda vehicle and its makeup. This could save you from having to shell out a great deal of money for an experimental trial when you are getting your car fixed.

With a little research, you can look for established auto shops in your area that can provide you quality assistance to Honda car owners like you for you car repair and maintenance needs. Always go for a trustworthy and reliable independent Honda servicing shop that specializes in service and repair of all Honda makes and models. Furthermore, look for auto shops with ASE-certified, trained and experienced mechanics who can provide all factory-scheduled services.

Overall, make sure your Honda car is always in good working condition. Keep in mind that you are fully responsible to keep your family safer in the car. So, never fail to get a highly qualified Honda repair services from a repair company in your locality to help you deal with just about any automotive emergency.

Proper Boat Repair

Boat repair and maintenance should always be carefully considered by all owners. While there have been many advances made in boat design over recent years, as well as in the manufacturing of components and parts, this doesn’t negate the need to take care of your craft at all times.

Travel by water is now safer, cheaper and more comfortable. Many new features and technologies have also been added to boats and other machines designed to work on water. Examples of these improvements include safer passenger cabins, sturdier boats seats, enhanced engines and better hull designs. Although all of these components have been built to last, proper maintenance and boat repair is still necessary to extend the life of your beloved craft.

Proper maintenance and boat repair can help you keep your craft in optimum shape. This means that all of the boat’s components are working exactly the way they should, reducing wear and tear. This can also help prevent parts from breaking down, which can lead to lower maintenance costs. Proper boat repair also has the added benefit of lower fuel consumption. This is because well maintained engines use up less fuel than engines that have been neglected. Boats are very expensive machines and you have to take good care of them to get the most out of your money.

Failing to repair your boat, and ignoring little problems that pop up here and there, can lead to more serious problems in the future. The failure of certain key parts can produce a domino effect that can also damage the rest of your craft.

Every boat comes with a very thorough instruction manual. Be sure to read it since almost all aspects of boat maintenance and repair can be found in it. The manual will also contain numerous tips on how to keep your boat in tip-top shape. Remember though that you should only undertake work that is recommended in the manual and that you are capable of performing. For anything else, you should always consult a professional boat repairer.

It is very important to note that boat maintenance during the summer differs from that required during the winter. Maintenance during the summer months involves standard boat maintenance practices like changing the engine oil, cleaning boat parts and greasing moving components. In fact, maintaining a boat can be very similar to maintaining a car. During winter however, boat owners should also winterise their engine. This is a very important procedure and can help you avoid expensive repairs later on. This can be done by cleaning the engine with soap and water, draining the engine of fuel, greasing the components, applying water proof oil to the parts and polishing the exterior of the boat with wax.

Yearly check-ups are also very important. If possible, get a qualified boat repair expert to take a look at your boat at least once a year. You can also request check-ups from your boat dealer. Many boat dealers offer maintenance services to customers.

Being vigilant in proper boat repair can help ensure that you will be able to use your craft for many years to come, helping you make the most out of your purchase. Since the boat operates better, you will also be safer as faulty components can also lead to unexpected and costly accidents.

Things to Know in Boat Maintenance

It is a desire of most people to have their own boat, but only a few are aware that from the moment they buy it that they have to see to its maintenance. A boat owner should be aware of proper maintenance tips in order to keep it in good working order and looking attractive. Proper boat maintenance will result in giving your boat a long life and preventing unnecessary repairs.

One of the easiest things you can do on your own is to wash the vessel after every trip with soap and water. There are many parts of the boat including the wood, fabric, metal areas, glass surfaces and plastic elements which need cleaning. Consider using high quality, safe products when washing the boat.

Purple Marine offers a range of cleaning equipment which is ideal for this purpose. Items range from rubber buckets to cleaning brushes, bailers, scrubbing brushes, cleaning pads, wash mitts and special cloth which eliminate any dirt or dust particles. Do not use any bleaching agents since it can damage the boat’s surface. It is important to dry every nook and corner to avoid any mineral deposits which may lead to corrosion. Make sure to frequently check up the fuel tank, fuel line and all the claps for signs of rust or corrosion.

It is advisable that you use environmentally friendly waxes, bilge cleaners and other high quality liquid rubbing compounds. Along with washing, one should do the waxing with heavy duty waxes and polish. Waxing the boat often will keep its surface safe and away from UV damage. For the ultimate in luxurious, deep gloss finish, one can go for Purple Marine’s Luxury Carnauba Polish which is one of the world’s heaviest waxes. Afterward you may consider buying a cover for the boat which will protect it from sun, rain or other harmful weather conditions.

The engine is another major component that should be maintained well. Replace spark plugs, change oil filters and grease the engine after every 75 hours of use. Oil should also be clean and kept up to the correct level. At the same time do a routine check up on the engine’s cooling system to avoid any malfunctioning. This is a good practice that will ensure the safety of all passengers on board and will keep the boat in good working order.

Maintaining a boat is not that easy. There are so many things to check and attend to. This can be easily done by following the checklist of a professional; or get in touch with the UK’s leading chandlery experts Purple Marine who are specialists in boat maintenance and suppliers for all marine equipment. One can rely on them for high quality GRP boat repairs to any minor or major damage and your boat is assured of being attended to by their skilled boat inspectors who will give the best service for your money.

Oil Change Discount Tips

Many people realize the importance of a regular oil change on their vehicle but cannot afford the cost of getting the service done as often as scheduled. Fortunately there are a number of money saving coupons and other offers that are often available. They tend to come in the mail or as an insert in the paper but there are many ways to find a deal so keep your eyes peeled and you are sure to find a great discount.

Often a deal will include an oil change of up to five quarts of lubricant and a replacement filter. Additionally most shops will provide a free check of all of the fluids and a lubrication of any parts that are in need of it.

Most shops want to draw in business any way they can. Often they accomplish this with guarantees of having your oil change done within a certain timeline. If for example they fail to complete your service within half an hour often the next one is free. Other places offer a customer loyalty program wherein after a certain number of purchases a customer can earn a free oil change.

One of the top ways of saving money on your next oil change is to have it done in conjunction with other services. A lot of places will offer discounts or complimentary additional service with the purchase of one type of maintenance. Some of the other types of maintenance that need to be done are a replacement of coolants. This involves draining and checking the cooling system’s hoses and belts and then refilling the necessary fluids. This is probably the most commonly combined type of work.

When seeking a discount be sure to check several sources. Start by looking through mailers that you may have received to see if any local companies are offering discounts. If you cannot find anything go to their website and see if perhaps there is a downloadable coupon that can be used. If not look and see if they offer some sort of special offer or discount for automotive customer care members.

It is likely that you will find something that will save you some significant money. If you don’t find anything on the main site be sure to sign up for the companies email list. This way you will receive offers through the computer and won’t need to look for a coupon elsewhere. An added bonus is that many companies will provide an immediate discount just for signing up. Regardless of how you find the deal or where the coupon comes from there is bound to be a way to save a significant amount of money on your next oil change.

Starting a Mobile Detailing Business

Starting a mobile automotive detailing business seems to be a popular trend and last time I checked well, we did not have a shortage of automobiles to clean, wax and detail. Auto detailing is like another trade, it requires some skill, professionalism and of course the best products and equipment. So then, you ask; “What are the best and safest products to use and where do I buy them?”

Well many industry professionals like these brands; OneStep, Meguairs, AutoMagic, Beauty Shine, etc and there are of course a few others, generally you will end up picking a brand you like. Perhaps you will not like an entire line of product but pick and choose from each brand those favorite products such as; Tire Dressing, Rim Cleaner, Wax, RTU Window Cleaner or Leather Conditioning? Most auto detailing supply vendors give out samples so, try the samples and use what you like. All have websites online and training guides, good support and dealers in most major cities and nearly all regions in the United States.

Chances are you will be pleasantly surprised as to the amount of good will and support you get from automotive detailing product vendors. They often have manuals, training videos, MSDS sheets and tips and tricks of the trade all free for the loyalty of being a good customer who pays on time, upfront or in cash. Think on this.

Marketing Auto Detailing Services

If you are in the mobile car wash business or mobile automotive detailing sector you are well aware that your very best customers come from referrals. Phone book ads, flyers and people who simply see the signage on your rig are not usually the best customers. Sure all customers are good, but it is a known fact that most people refer up. In other words they refer to people they perceive to be better clientele with more money or nicer cars.

Knowing this makes referrals even more golden. Marketing you Auto Detailing Services or mobile car wash businesses through referrals makes more than just cents. The best way we have found to get the best referrals is to put a rose or a mint on the center console with a little card folded in half and set like a mini-A-Frame sign which thanks them and inside says.

“If you like our work, please tell a friend and receive a fifteen percent discount for each new customer you bring us.”

It also makes sense if someone goes over board in compliments of how nice their car looks after the detailing services to ask them for referrals and they will be glad to take some of your business cards and hand them out. Give them three and if they want more they will ask. You must ask for referrals if your want to get the best customers in auto detailing. Consider this in 2006.

Car Audio Installation Training

I found myself getting interested in car audio installation when I had to make some changes in the existing audio system in my car.

There were hundreds of things I wanted to know about and the little manual that came along with the new units just did not seem to be able to answer most of my questions.

I found out that most experts in this line are those who have learnt more by research and trial and not by attending some regular training classes.

Yet, there are many people like me who would rather get a formal training in the installation of car audio systems. This quest for knowledge led me to the discovery of such training classes in and around the area where I live.

What can you learn in a training class?

Firstly, when you have made up your mind to start attending classes, it is obvious that the teacher would be someone who has handled a great many car audio installations himself. This is rather important because only he would be in a position to answer most of your questions, even the silly ones.

Secondly, you would learn to install a system under the supervision and guidance of an expert which would definitely make the learning a lot easier. Thirdly, you would be encouraged to do the installations by yourself after a certain number of days.

Lessons taught in a car audio installation class

o The best and the most compatible audio system depending upon the make of the car.

o Tips and tricks to install components

o How to achieve more clarity and power for best audio or video.

o Servicing existing systems

o In-depth knowledge about each and every part used in the system

o Get to know the latest gadgets available and their specifications

Choosing A Car Audio System

Car audio has moved a long way from the old standard AM/FM Radio/Tape Deck combo. Today, in-vehicle multimedia systems include DVD video, television and navigation systems with local hotspot news. Common to all systems is the sound quality.

The quality of sound in a car audio system depends upon a number of factors – the type and quality of the media player system, the type of speakers used, the acoustics of the vehicle and interference from other devices.

Type and Quality of Media Player System

Before we look at the different types of in-vehicle media players it pays to have a basic understanding of audio quality. When deciding what type of audio system to install, and also when comparing one make and model to another, there are two key specifications to consider:

Signal-to-noise ratio [SNR] – a measure of signal strength compared to background noise in the signal or equipment. Measured in decibels. The higher the dB, the better. A car CD player has an SNR of 90 or 100 dB.

Frequency response [FR] – a measure of how much of the audio spectrum, from bass to treble, gets reproduced. It’s measured as a range in Hertz, and the wider the range, the better. Look for a CD player with a range of at least 10-20k Hz.

An FM radio, cassette player, and CD player all have different measurements for these specs. To help understand these two specifications, let’s compare a car tape cassette player and a car CD player.

Cassette player has an SNR of 50-70 dB. This is much lower than a CD player, so the sound quality degrades at each end of the spectrum. The FR is around 30-18k Hz for a cassette player, so does not contribute as much to sound quality as the SNR.

That’s why overall, a car CD player gives a much better sound than a cassette tape player.

Media players in vehicles today are either radio tuner, CD player/changer, or Digital Audio player.

CD Players & Changers

There are a number of options when it comes to playing CD’s in a vehicle:

  • An in-dash CD Player – often combined with radio tuner, WMA/MP3 player
  • An in-dash CD Receiver – with a multiple CD cassette / changer located elsewhere in the vehicle
  • Connect a portable CD player to an existing in-dash audio unit using either a cable and adapter or a bluetooth wireless connection.

When choosing a car CD player the first two things to consider are:

  1. Will it physically fit into the vehicle?
  2. Will it integrate cosmetically with the dash and other electronics?

Most decks have standardized form factors; so fit most cars, but there are exceptions, so make sure that the deck is suited for your car. You are usually pretty safe is the car stereo is made for the same market as the source of your car:

Cosmetic integration is a little more complex, but in many cases easily resolved through customisation features. For instance, many decks allow you to change the faceplates and color of the display.

Digital Audio Car Systems

With most home audio systems and portable players giving crisp quality sound using digital audio, we are no longer satisfied with the flat, bland analog sound from older car audio systems.

If you normally store your digital music files on CD, a compatible stereo or changer is a good option. Up to 10 hours of music [250 songs] can be stored on a single disc and allows use of random shuffling and repeat options. This disadvantage is ease of use, having to load and unload from cassettes located in the boot or under seats, and the limited file formats that your stereo can play back.

So now you have the media player selected, what about the speaker system.

Car Speaker System

The speaker system can be thought of in two parts: the channel amplifier and the physical speaker units.

Car amplifiers power the speakers in your car stereo system to provide crisp sound quality at high volumes. Each speaker requires one channel of amplification. This means a 4-channel amplifier, will support four speakers.

And choice of speakers is not limited either. With a range of options for your basic stereo speakers [2-channel], you can supplement the high note quality using a tweeter and the low bass notes with a sub-woofer. This gives you a standard 4-channel sound system that will rival your home audio system.

Adding to a basic car stereo option typically involves adding subwoofers, amplifiers and crossovers to tailor the output sound to personal tastes.

This does not mean the result is the boorish, obnoxious bass boom boxing that invades the entire neighbourhood. A subwoofer adds quality and purity to music.

For details of specifications on each part of your system, see – Car Electronics Section

The main factors in selecting car speakers are:

  • Design or Speaker Type
  • Technical Specifications
  • Fitting & Mounting

Speaker design is about the combination of sound drivers for midrange, subwoofer and tweeter. Depending upon the combination, the set is known as a two-way, three-way or four-way speaker system.

Car speaker specifications are similar to home audio speakers; the main difference in technical specification to compensate for the lower power outputs of car stereo receivers.

The speaker technical specifications include sensitivity, frequency response, signal to noise ratio, power handling and impedance. We will look at these specification in more detail in subsequent articles.

The fittings and mountings are selected depending upon where you choose to position the speakers. Car audio speakers are either: top mounted or bottom mounted. Clearance depth is most important when installing new speakers in a non-factory speaker location. So check all of your components carefully before purchase.

With such a range of combinations available the Internet provides a valuable resource in car electronics reviews. Sites like seek out reviews and consolidate the recommendations to give you a quick reference buying guide.

Outsourcing Auto Detailing Services

Automotive dealerships are notorious for outsourcing services, both services they sell to the customers and those operations they do in-house on their own vehicles. Take for instance auto detailing; each new car coming off the truck must be detailed prior to being placed on the lot. Each car that is traded in during the sales process must also be detailed in order to be put onto the used-car lot or sold at the auto auction.

This requires a full-time staff to detail all the cars at the auto dealership. Unfortunately, with unemployment so low and a shortage of auto technicians in the auto dealership industry this is not always possible therefore many auto dealerships have looked towards auto detailing companies to outsource all their work to.

Outsourcing auto-detailing services at auto dealerships is very common. It also makes a very good business. For over 2 decades my company has been involved with wholesale auto detailing at auto dealerships on an outsourced basis.

This is done by commandeering a couple of bays at the auto dealership and detailing all the cars on the property. Although the auto dealerships are slow to pay their bills and wished to get a very low price the amount of volume is truly incredible and therefore over all both the outsourced company and the auto dealership find a win/win situation in this arrangement. Consider all this in 2006.

Polish and Detail Your Own Car

I have been detailing cars for a few years and with the amount of questions people email me about how to do it themselves, I thought I would just write out what I tell people. I mostly cover how to polish a car, most people already know how to wash and dry their own cars, so why tell them how to do that? Well , actually, there are is proper way to do it, but I will cover that in another article.

First, I want to say that you must start with a clean car. I do not want to go into too many details, but basically you want to wash and dry it all by hand. Then you should definitely go over the car with a Clay Bar. A Clay Bar is just that, I piece of clay that you get in a kit with a bottle of spray. Which is an automotive quick detailer spray most of the time. The spray is used as a lubricant on the paint as you rub the clay bar across the paint to clean off all the contamination and grit that accumulates on your paint finish. Once this is done, then it is safe to polish the scratches out of the clear coat or paint surface.

The first step in polishing the paint is determining the level of damage you have. Do you have any scratch that you can feel and catch with your finger nail? if you dot, then you have a deep scratch that will be difficult to take out. This gets worse if you can see through to the undercoat. if you can see metal, then it has gone all the way through the clear coat and paint. I will not cover single stage paint, this is less common and I will discuss base / clear coat painted cars ( most common ). If you have a scratch that is this deep, you will need to repair the scratch first, you can get scratch repair kits from various auto detailing supply companies, either online or locally. First, fix the scratch, then continue with the polish of the paint. The next level of damage would probably be fine scratches. You will see this as a lot of small, short scratches all over the paint. This is usually produced from using rough drying towels, or taking your car through an automatic car wash that uses brushes. Do that only once and your paint is ruined. The best way to see the damage is to use the sun’s reflection against the paint surface. The next level would be swirl marks, these are usually caused by previous polishing attempts and are most noticeable as extremely fine lines as a circular type pattern. These are easier to correct too. The last level of damage is basically the oxidization and discoloration of the paint. This is caused by the sun and makes the paint look dull. Red paint is the worst, but it occurs on all colors.

You can use a power polisher or do it all by hand ( takes longer ) to correct all the above issues. You will want to start with a good selection of polishing products, depending on the severity of the damage. Start with a heavy cut compound for the deep scratches ( that you should have already corrected with a scratch repair ). Then a medium or mild cut compound for the fine scratches and finally a swirl remover for the swirl marks. These can all be applied by hand too. If you decide to use a machine, make sure that you start with a lighter polish and pad first, if that does not work, then go to a more aggressive compound or pad. The last thing that you want to do is burn through your clear coat or paint. Once you do that, there is no going back and you will need to repair or fix the area you burnt through. Start with the type of compound that matches the worst damage you have on your paint. You will need all the remaining products to complete the job too. If you have the fine line scratches ( most common ), with the odd deep scratch, then you will need all 3 types.

You will need to pick the following items. A pack of 20 or more micro fiber cloths, the compounds you need for the damage on your paint, a polish that is really light duty, mostly referred to as a glaze. Meguiar’s makes a polish called speed glaze, with a cut power of 1 or 2 I think , this is what you want to use as your last step. This will really bring out the gloss of the paint. Once that step is complete, you will want to wax it or put a sealant on, so pick up a Meguiar’s wax, or something similar.

You steps will be as follows. we will assume that you have some deep scratches on the car and mostly fine scratches everywhere. To properly detail the car you will want to proceed as I note here

– wash and dry

– clay bar the car to remove all contamination on the surface

– fix the deep scratches with your scratch repair kit

– polish by hand ( or machine ) with a medium or fine cut polish, if it does not remove the scratches in 1 or 2 passes, then move to a heavy or medium cut. Proceed to heavier cut compounds until it removes the scratches

– polish the car again with the lighter polish from the previous step, this removes the swirl marks you may have put into the paint if you used a heavy compound. This step can be skipped if you started with a fine cut compound

– Polish the car with the swirl remover, this will remove all the fine line and swirls from the paint

– Polish the car a last time with a speed glaze type product. This step will brighten and richen the paint color.

– last step would be to wax or seal the surface.

That is about it. As you work with the polish make sure you do it in a shaded area, the UV from the sun will make the removal and work a lot harder. To check you progress, use a bright light, such as a halogen work light. Look at the paint directly into the reflection of the light and you will see the lines, scratches, swirls, etc, very easily.