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How to Find a Reputable Mechanic

How to Find a Reputable Mechanic

In car ownership, there is always the chance that a car may break down or develop an issue. Defects usually occur as car ages but even new cars run into problems once in a while. For this reason, it is best to know how to find a reputable mechanic.

 Follow These Steps to Find a Reputable Mechanic

  1. Basic Description of Issue
  2. Dealership & Mechanic Research
  3. The Decision-Making
  4. Scheduling the Appointment
  5. Repairing the Vehicle 

find a reputable mechanic Basic Description of Issue

When you need to find a reputable mechanic, begin by diagnosing the problem. Whether the vehicle breaks down or there is an irregular sound, do your best to localize the issue. Do your best to describe the issue at hand so you can simplify the process. An added benefit to fully explaining the issue is a reduction of time needed by the mechanics to diagnose the problem. Less time means you spend less money out of your pocket.

The description of the issue begins with a fundamental analysis of the vehicle. If the vehicle breaks down, the problem is most likely with the engine. Should you hear an irregular noise while operating the vehicle, try to take note of where the sound is taking place. If another person is available, you could ask them to listen outside the vehicle. When the vehicle has an unusual vibration, be sure to take note of when it occurs, and whether it’s due to the motor or the vehicular motion.

 Where is the Problem Located?

Problems that you can feel can include alignment, brake, steering wheel, tire, or transmission issues. An alignment issue can be noticed by steering wheel misalignment on a straight drive or the vehicle steering by itself to the left or right. An alignment issue is not a major problem, as long as you feel comfortable controlling the vehicle under the circumstances.

If the brakes do not feel the right, whether they are gripping less or losing pressure, it is best not to drive the vehicle before having the car repaired. Problems with the brakes can range from degraded pads and rotors to leaking brake lines.

If the steering wheel feels less sensitive or loose, the problem is most likely occurring in the steering system of the vehicle. Steering problems often arise from alignment or tire issues. If the car has overall difficulty steering, do not attempt to drive the vehicle as it is not a safe option.

 Check Your Tires

Tire problems include damage, flat tires, leaks, low tire pressures, and unequal tire pressures. A damaged, flat, or low-pressure tire may make a noticeable difference in the feel of your vehicle. If the tire is damaged, it should be inspected by a technician ASAP. A damaged tire can lead to a blowout which is a very unsafe situation.

tiresIf the tire is flat or losing air, it is best to park the vehicle and replace it yourself or through a mobile vehicle service (such as AAA). Low-pressure tires may be good for sand but are not safe for normal road conditions. It is best to ensure tire pressure is below the maximum value on the tire and close to the value provided by the manufacturer on the inner door label.

A tire leak may not be noticeable until there is a flat tire, but sometimes a hissing sound may be present. If you notice a tire leak, move to the next step to see if it can be patched or needs replacing. Lastly, unequal tire pressures may not be noticeable, but sometimes it can lead to an uncomfortable ride.

Once you have described the problem, it is time to move onto the research portion of your preparation.

 Dealership & Mechanic Research

The second step of finding a reputable mechanic is to conduct research. Depending on the vehicle’s mileage or year, the car may fall under warranty for some problems. The first step of research is to understand your circumstances. If you are within warranty requirements, then contact a local dealership to see if they can correct the issue. It is best to go to a dealership for warranty work. If not, then you can decide between a dealership or mechanic.

 Find a Reputable Mechanic

Once you know about the warranty, it is time to conduct research. Whether you are searching for a dealership or a mechanic, the best place to start is the web. Go into your favorite search engine and look up your vehicle’s brand dealerships and mechanics with your zip code.

An example of this would be “Audi Dealership 12345” or “Audi Mechanic 12345”. Once you see the list of possible options, there will usually be ratings available to you. If not, you can make a list of the options then use a review website such as Google, Yelp, or even social media.

The rating of the business is usually a good indicator of their services but always be sure to read some reviews, both negative and positive, to see both sides of the story. Sometimes negative reviews can save you from a disaster, but sometimes they are illegitimate or due to the customer’s lack of understanding.

Once you have checked the reviews and decided on a location, you can start the next step. Now, you will want to call each dealership and mechanic shop to obtain prices for the job. If you are looking for the best repair for your vehicle regardless of price, the dealership is probably the best place to go. This recommendation does not mean that a general mechanic cannot handle the job, but dealerships hire and train workers trained on a specific brand which creates a better understanding of those cars.

If you are worried about cost, the dealership is usually more expensive than the mechanic. From here, it is up to you to make the best decision based on the reviews and your expectations.

 The Decision-Making Process

The third step is to decide on the dealership or mechanic shop. As mentioned above, you should base the decision on both your expectations and the researched reviews. If you have chosen a mechanic, then you are ready to schedule your appointment. If not, take more time to look at more reviews as well as seek additional information from the shops.

Remember, do not allow a shop to pressure you into an appointment. You are the customer, not them. In the end, ensure you are satisfied with your decision as once you begin the repairs, you can’t go “Hey! Stop! I changed my mind!” while the cars gutted in the shop.

 Scheduling the Appointment

Once you find a reputable mechanic you need to schedule an appointment. Call the dealer or technician on the phone during hours and check their availability. Analyze your schedule and make a decision that is best for you. If the problem will only take a few hours to repair and you can wait, do so. If not, ask for a rental vehicle for the day.

Dealerships may offer rental cars for a small cost while mechanics usually do not provide this service. If the dealer and mechanic can’t help you, then you can always rent one on your own. You could also take advantage of the situation and rent a car such as an Alfa Romeo 4C for the day. If you do, make sure to take a “sick” day.

 Repairing the Vehicle

If you find a reputable mechanic, you can feel confident that they care about you, your car, and your satisfaction. Once the car is ready for pickup, they will call you. If there wasn’t any warranty coverage, then you will be responsible for all expenses related to the repair including paint, parts, and wages.

Be sure to check the bill over to ensure they didn’t charge you for something you didn’t need. If your repair was for a motor belt and the bill shows an exhaust tip replacement, you can point that out. If you did not agree to repairs in-person, by email, or over the telephone, you should not have to pay for the charges. At this stage, confront the dealer or shop – if they will not discuss it with you then you may consider seeking an attorney, but we won’t get into that. Otherwise, as long as you are satisfied with the bill and repair, you are ready to get back on the road.

When you need to find a reputable mechanic, there is no reason to stress. From localizing the issue to the day of repair, the steps above should help you get through the process. Research and communication are vital to your success.

New German Automobiles for Release 2016

In 2016, some of the German manufacturers made upgrades to their existing models. Then, they also introduced several new German automobiles to the market. Now, we will take a closer look at each of these vehicles.

 Audi A1

First, the German automaker Audi introduced a new vehicle, the Audi A1, into the Indian market in 2016. The Audi A1 included an aggressive radiator grille, which also featured an embedded company’s logo in the front. It’s beautifully crafted headlight cluster houses LED daytime lights along with high-intensity halogen headlamps. The Audi A1 is a tough competitor for the Mercedes- Benz A-Class and the BMW 1-Series, which also debuted in 2016.

The Audi A1 is equipped with a 2-liter, four-cylinder engine capable of producing 248 horsepower. The engine functions in conjunction with a 6-speed automatic or a 6-speed manual transmission.

 BMW 1 Series Facelift

Next, the hatchback model of the BMW 1 Series boasted some cosmetic changes to its interior as well as its exterior. The refurbishment included an 118d Sports-line diesel engine. The exterior changes of the BMW facelift were highlighted by a wraparound headlamp cluster on both sides as well as the signature kidney-shaped radiator grille.

The 2016 BMW 1 Series facelift also included a 2-liter four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine. The cars produce 236 pound-feet of torque between ranges of 1600 – 3000 rpm and 150 horsepower at 4000 rpm respectively. Also, an 8-speed Steptronic automatic transmission is equipped on these BMW models.

 Mercedes-Benz A-Class

The Mercedes-Benz A-class is one of 2016’s new models and it also includes all of the features that one can expect from a supercar. This Mercedes version incorporated aerodynamic improvements and a total of five doors. One of the notable features of the 2016 Mercedes-Benz A-class is its sports exhaust. Drivers can also count on the car’s immobilizer, ABS, traffic sign recognition, traction control, airbags, and a lot more for a safe ride.

The Mercedes-Benz A-class comes equipped with a 1.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine, boasting the power range of 90 – 109 horsepower. The A-Class is also equipped with a 7-speed automatic transmission or 6-speed manual automatic transmission, based on preference.

 Mercedes-Benz GLE Facelift

The Mercedes-Benz GLE facelift replaced the ML and M-Class SUVs. Although there showed no change in the displacements, the facelift version featured enhanced fuel efficiency. It came equipped with a 9-speed automatic transmission system. The refurbishment also included the addition of updated cabin features and cosmetic changes to the exterior.

The GLE facelift comes equipped with a wide range of engines which even included a 2.1-liter four-cylinder diesel engine which outputs 369 pound-feet of torque.

 Porsche 911 Facelift

The facelift model of the Porsche 911 was the most exciting upgrade in 2016. It’s liquid styling turns heads and then grabs eyeballs. Besides turbocharging the new Porsche 911, Porsche also included several other upgrades:

  • Central Exhaust Pipes
  • Door Handles
  • Headlights
  • Improved Dynamics
  • In-Car Technology
  • Rear-Axle S
  • Thin LED DRLs
  • Updated Chassis
  • Upgraded Hood Over the Engine
  • Upgraded Rear Bumper

The 2016 Porsche 911 offers a turbocharged 2.7-liter, six-cylinder engine capable of producing 401 maximum horsepower.

 Volkswagen Passat

Finally, a lot of changes occurred to the 2016 Volkswagen Passat. First, it was 187 pounds lighter than previous models. Then, other changes included an upgraded wheelbase and interior space, equal to many of Volkswagen’s premium sedan models.

The 2.0 TDI engine produces 187 base horsepower. This engine includes the VW DSG dual clutch gearbox. The 2.0 turbocharged direct injection is not only powerful but also quite efficient. The engine works with a 6-speed automatic transmission.

 

References                                                                                                                          

http://autoportal.com/upcoming-cars/

http://www.2015-2016newcars.com/page/2

http://www.cardekho.com/carmodels/Mercedes-Benz/Mercedes-Benz_A_Class

 

Top 10 European Sports Cars Between $100,000 and $200,000 in 2016

Imagine owning a beautiful sports car, powering through turns and racing down open stretches of road. While for most people, cars over $100,000 will stay the stuff of dreams, there are some out there with the cash to make it a reality. So, for those of you who want to plan for “someday,” here is a list of the top 10 European sports cars priced between $100,000 and $200,000.

 

 

Top 10 European Sports Cars – $100,000 to $200,000

 

Here are the cars listed in alphabetical order.

 

 

#1 – Aston Martin DB9 GT

MSRP: $201,075 – $238,132

Engine: 6.0L V12

Power: 540 bhp @ 6750 RPM

Torque: 457 lb-ft @ 5500 RPM

The unique appeal of the Aston Martin DB9 GT is its 6.0-liter V12 engine which generates a peak of 540 bhp at 6750 RPM. Its front mid-mounted, 48 valve, all-alloy, 5,935 cc engine is a powerful motor. The transmission is a six-speed, Touchtronic II transmission which uses a wire control system. This V12 engine can launch this luxury British sports car from 0 to 60 mph in only 4.5 seconds. The Aston Martin boasts a top speed of 183 mph and comes with several key features:

  • 10-Spoke, 20-Inch Wheels
  • Black Painted Diffuser and Splitter
  • Black Anodized Brake Calipers
  • Taillight Treatments
  • Redesigned Headlights

The DB9 GT model can be distinguished from other Aston Martins by the GT engraving on the aluminum fuel filler cap.

 

 

#2 – Audi R8 & Audi R8 Plus

MSRP: $164,150 – $191,150

Engine: 5.2L V10

Power: 540 bhp @ 7800 RPM

Torque: 398 @ 6500 RPM

The Audi R8 only takes 3.2 to 3.5 seconds to go from 0 to 60 mph.  At just 48.8 inches high, 76.4 inches wide, and 174.0 inches long, the Audi R8 is short, wide and low to the ground sports car. This makes handling a breeze on curvy roads, especially for cruising through beautiful mountain roads. The Audi R8 is equipped with 19-inch wheels featuring 245/35 sizing up front and 295/35 sizing in the rear, with optional upgrades. The overall feel of the Audi R8 is like a stealthy cat on the prowl. For this Audi, it’s all about speed and power.

 

 

#3 – Bentley Continental GT

Price: $180,195

Power: 582 hp

Torque: 531 lb-ft

The Bentley Continental GT sports a new bumper at the rear, a smaller grille, and redesigned fenders. The fenders incorporate the obligatory side gills featuring the “B” logo. A lower diffuser added to this GT Speed model enhances its overall charm. You will also find a reshaped trunk lid in this successor model of the Bentley Continental. The interior updates include a revised center console, a smaller steering wheel, and new gauge faces. The seats are adorned with a new stitching pattern and softer leather or faux suede, although the diamond quilting isn’t eliminated from this upgraded version.

 

 

#4 – Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale

Price: $134,625

Power: 454 hp

Torque: 384 lb-ft

The GranTurismo includes a 4.2-liter V8 engine that can be mated either to an optional MC Race Shift 6-speed manual transmission or an Electro-Actuated MC Shift auto-manual transmission. Buyers also have the option of choosing a lighter GranTurismo MC Stradale version which comes with some exterior modifications. The 2016 Maserati GranTurismo is equipped with an automatic gearbox and fitted with an adaptive control system. It can adjust the gear-shifting mode to different conditions and individual driving styles. Like its predecessors, this new model includes all of the luxury features, such as premium CD stereo, power windows, power-adjustable leather seats, electric mirrors, multiple airbags, alloy wheels, stability control, ABS brakes, and more.

 

 

#5 – McLaren 570S

Price: $184,900

Power: 562 hp

Torque: 443 lb-ft

The McLaren 570S includes a carbon fiber tub for strength and lightweight. This upgraded model can hit speeds of up to 62 mph in just 3.2 seconds. The top speed of the 570S is around 204 mph. It flaunts an adaptive suspension and ceramic brakes. The dual-clutch, seven-speed automatic transmission, and 3.8-liter, twin-turbo V-8 engine are other optional add-ons. The 570S’s seven-speed, dual-clutch gearbox provides tough competition for other 2016 luxury car models.

 

 

#6 – Mercedes-AMG GT

Price: $129,900

Power: 503 hp

Torque: 479 lb-ft

The AMG GT redefines luxury. It is fitted with 4.0-liter V8 bi-turbo engine. It can hit 60 mph from static in 3.7 seconds. Its speed tops out around 193-mph. Other features include:

  • 7-Speed Dual-Clutch Transmission with Electronically Controlled-Slip Differential
  • Dynamic Suspension
  • Dynamic Exhaust System with an Electronically Controlled Variable Vane
  • Performance Steering Wheel with Shift Paddles
  • Dynamic Select with Multiple Steering Modes
  • Driver-Selectable Suspension

The AMG GT comes with a number of trim options and safety upgrades. The adaptive braking technology and collision prevention help prevent accidents. Other safety features include the rearview camera and blind spot assist.

 

 

#7 – Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG

Price: $150,625 – $218,475

Power: 621 hp

Torque: 738 lb-ft

The SL65 AMG is more of a high-performance roadster than a luxury sports car. This vehicle is designed for people that want nothing less than “awe-inspiring.” The SL65 is more potent than its predecessors. It is fitted with 6.0-liter, V-12 twin-turbo engine. The optional active suspension of this new model allows it to move from 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds. The rear wheels of this vehicle get power through a seven-speed automatic transmission. The other highlights of this luxury car include altered alloy wheel designs, wood trim on the steering wheel, red brake calipers, an upgraded sound system, carbon ceramic brakes, and soft-close doors.

 

 

#8 – Porsche 911 GT3 RS

Price: $131,395

Power: 500 hp

Torque: 338 lb-ft

The GT3 RS model comes with a paddle-neutral feature. The RS also has a button to limit pit-lane speed. The rear axle ratio of the RS is shorter than the standard 911 GT3, which is an add-on for hastier takeoffs. The Porsche 911 GT3 RS can hit 60 mph from static in less than 3.1 seconds. Although the body of this upgraded model is similar to the 911 Turbo, the upgraded tires and wheels give the vehicle wider rear and front tracks. Despite the familial resemblance, this updated version manages to look meaner than its predecessors. The GT3 features sporting louvered vents mounted on the front fenders and a massive rear wing. Moreover, its brake rotors are larger than the standard models.

 

 

#9 – Porsche 911 Turbo S

Price: $182,700

Power: 580 hp

Torque: 553 lb-ft

The Porsche 911 Turbo S features a 20bhp power boost. This 2016 model is fitted with 3.8-litre, twin-turbo engine that includes new injection nozzles, higher fuel pressure, and altered inlet ports. The Turbo S reaches 62 mph in 2.9 seconds with a top track speed of 198mph. This car is much more fuel-efficient than its predecessors thanks to the revised gear change mapping and engine alterations. Like other Porsche 911 models, the only transmission option is a dual-clutch PDK.

 

 

#10 – Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet

Price: $163,000

Power: 572 hp

Torque: 553 lb-ft

Fitted with the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, this all-wheel-drive supercar from Porsche can hit 60 mph in 3 seconds. Porsche claims a 2.0 mpg improvement, which makes up around 30.4 mpg. Its luxurious interior and exterior styling make it a pleasure to drive at any time, on any road. The Porsche 911 Turbo includes 20-inch center lock wheels. The makers have upgraded the up-front width by 9 inches and the rear by 11.5 inches.

 

Overall, the ten sports cars mentioned above are great options at the price range of $100,000 to $200,000. From the Aston Martin to the Porsches, there are cars that fit different desires and needs. Although each car has its own perks, the decision comes down to personal preference. Hopefully, this article helped you decide which car you’d prefer at this price range.

German Automobile Reliability After 50,000 Miles

German automobile manufacturers pride themselves on innovative design. Their vehicles have some of the newest technological features on the market. However, “new” often means “unproven.” Historically, consumers have found that those “new” features came with a host of problems. Older model German cars were plagued with reliability issues. Fortunately, today’s models seem better engineered.

“Higher-ranking brands don’t go on the fritz nearly as often, or in the same manner, as their under-ranked German counterparts.” –  John Lincov, Consumer Reports, 2011

Even though newer model German cars perform better than their older versions, they are still expensive to service. Mercedes and BMW rank as the top two most expensive cars to maintain. In particular, the repairs to the German BMW 328i and Mercedes-Benz’ E350, can cost almost twice as much as their luxury counterparts. (1)

 

Audi’s Latest Models Win Reliability Award

Audi’s greatest issues revolved around engine and transmission problems. Although Audi’s overall quality was notably high compared to other German brands, many people were content to bypass them based on their reputation. Indeed, if you looked at the bulk data, this seemed smart. However, even in the past, there have been a couple of shining stars in the Audi lineup.

Without a doubt, the popular models such as the A4 and the Allroad were plagued with problems. The Audi A4 was noted for its powertrain and engine issues. The Allroad took flak due to powertrain and transmission issues. Older A4s are noted for excessive oil consumption. The worst model year for the Audi A4 was 2002 with engine failure occurring, on average, by 76,000 miles. Past 50,000 miles, the Allroad often succumbed to valve cover and cam tensioner leaks.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is Audi’s Q7 and A8. If you sift through years of reports, malfunctions in the A8 are few. Though the First Generation Q7 did have some electrical problems, later model-years did not.

Audi listened to consumer complaints from the past and has attempted to address the issues. A newer model Audi earned one of the top five spots in Consumer Reports’ 2015 Auto Reliability Survey.

At one time, potential owners may have had reason to balk at the prospect of owning an Audi, but newer models are better designed and more reliable.

 

BMW Does Well with Lower-Priced Models

Like Audi, the reliability of BMW over the years depends on the model being examined. Overall, BMW’s quality compares with other German vehicles. Some models seem plagued problems, and others have stood the test of time.

BMW produced both the lowest rated BMW 745i and the highly popular BMW Z4. The 745i showed a high instance of powertrain and engine issues while the Z4 had virtually none. Accordingly, people traded in more low mileage 745is towards other models compared to the industry average.

There is a correlation between longevity and lower sticker prices. The less expensive BMWs contained fewer electronics. Consequently, it is possible that there is a direct relationship between reliability and the use of mechanical over electronic parts.

 

Mercedes-Benz Ranked #1 for Longevity

Public perception of Mercedes-Benz vehicles tends to be positive. Most owners report they’d buy another, and it’s not uncommon to see older models on the road. On the surface, Mercedes appears reliable.

Of the German cars, Mercedes ranks as number one for longevity. Historically, they show the highest number of high-mileage vehicles in use when compared to their German counterparts. Mercedes also boasts the highest rating for overall manufacturer quality of the German brands. However, the numbers are a bit different when Mercedes is compared to non-German brands.

Something to note is that the United States government organization that tracks vehicle safety issued more recalls, and filed more complaints about Mercedes than other brands during the last decade. It seems that, with Mercedes, you roll the dice and hope for the best.

 

Porsches are Expensive to Maintain

Porsche wins all sorts of awards for its new cars. However, a different story emerges when you look into their historical data. Of all the German manufacturers, Porsche had the lowest number of traded-in vehicles carrying over 180,000 miles.

A recent study of British consumers which analyzed the reliability of cars between the ages of 3 and 8 years old, rated Porsche the second least reliable vehicle on the road. The study calculated the average repair cost of a Porsche to be just over $1000; quite a hefty fee for the average consumer.

The verdict: Porsche produces well-built, high-performance vehicles that are very expensive to keep on the road.

 

Volkswagen Ranked Lowest of the German Brands

Volkswagen’s reputation precedes itself; it’s very common to hear phrases like “money-pit” and “disaster” thrown around. Based on the data from the last decade, one can understand why that is so.

Actually, Volkswagen was pretty close to Mercedes on the number of trade-in vehicles carrying over 180,000 miles. That would indicate that people keep their cars for a long period. However, there are also a large number of complaints regarding engine and transmission problems. Notably, the Passat and Jetta showed mostly engine complaints including several instances of engine failure due to oil sludge. Those repairs cost upwards of $2000 each.

Volkswagen received the lowest rating for overall manufacturer quality of the five German manufacturers. In 2014, when J.D. Power surveyed owners of three-year-old vehicles, they found significantly more reported problems in Volkswagen than other brands.

Based on the data available, Mercedes and Volkswagens seem to have the longest life spans. All German brands are expensive to maintain and have a history of engine and transmission problems. Out of them all, Audi seems to have their act together and now holds the top spot for reliability.

So why do people continue to purchase older model German vehicles? Most of these brands enjoy an almost “cult-like” following. Their luxury vehicles seem prestigious, and people who own them don’t seem to mind the high upkeep.

 

References

https://www.yourmechanic.com/article/the-most-and-least-expensive-cars-to-maintain-by-maddy-martin

http://www.cnbc.com/id/41831956

http://www.reliabilityindex.com/

http://www.jdpower.com/ratings/industry/automotive

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/cars/guide_to_car_reliability/index.htm

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