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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Unfortunately, new cars don’t stay new and it comes a time when parts need to be replaced. If you’ve just bought a new set of wheels and are curious what might go wrong first, the team at J.D. Power and Associates has compiled a top 10 list of the most commonly replaced vehicle components after three years of ownership.
Based on data gathered from its 2013 Vehicle Dependability Study, the following components were replaced by the highest percentage of owners in the 12 months leading up to when the survey was conducted.
Coming in 10th place were fuses, requiring replacement by 0.8 percent of those participating in the survey. Compared to last year, that’s a 0.4 percent improvement. Most fuses used in automobiles are blade fuses, also known as spade or plug-in fuses. They feature a plastic body with two prongs that fit into the sockets. At least the good news is, most fuses are cheap – it’s finding the one that needs to be replaced that could be troublesome.
According to a recent survey conducted online, car owners trust independent repair shops over dealerships for auto repairs by a margin of two to one.
When drivers find a car repair shop they like, they stick with it… and that’s because they trust the mechanics will do a good job. A recent study finds that about 50 percent of people completely trust their garage to fix their cars.
The survey, which was conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center, sheds some interesting light on car owners, who are now keeping their vehicles for an average of nine years. That means that if drivers want to keep their cars on the road longer, they need to find a trustworthy garage to carry out repairs. Of those questioned for this sutdy, 77 percent said they take their car to a garage to keep it maintained. Of those shops, 37 percent of respondent prefer small, independent shop, 30 percent go to dealerships and 11 percent take their car to get serviced at a brand-name repair chain.
Women, older drivers and more affluent households are much more trusting when it comes to a garage fixing their car, with 91 percent saying they trust their repair shop. When it came to authorizing whatever work the shop recommended to repair their vehicle, 73 percent of those polled had no worries giving mechanics the go ahead. And to finish off this feel-good survey, 83 percent of said they are confident they’ll get the right repair work done for the right price.
Do you have a preferred car repair shop you visit on a regular basis? Do you trust them with your car or do you go to them because you haven’t found any garage more trustworthy? Let us know in the comments section below.
[Source: Consumer Reports]
We’ve all heard the horror stories about women who take their cars into a mechanic to fix a minor problem, only to be charged outrageous fees for non-existent or small issues. A national news program went undercover to get the scoop. After placing hidden cameras at several dealerships, the show’s decoy was overcharged for service work.
The MSNBC “Today” show sent a producer with a functional, out-of-warranty 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee to five New York-area Jeep dealerships. Before sending her on her way, the network hired a mechanic to install a faulty air conditioning relay, so warm air would blow out of the unit. This problem would cost you about $100 to fix.
When the producer took her Jeep to four of the five garages, mechanics found the faulty relay, but they tacked on extra services to the bill. When the show interviewed third party repair experts, they said these extra services were considered unnecessary. At one dealership, the producer was told her air conditioning compressor had blown up and it would cost $2,000 to fix.
But hopefully some good will come from this news segment – Chrysler spokesman Gualberto Ranieri issued a statement to MSNBC: “I can assure you that we are investigating this case.”
[Source: Automotive News]
You’re driving along on the highway, watching the road when suddenly your peaceful reverie is broken by a load bang on the windshield. Some inconsiderate rock has left behind a windshield crack… now what are you going to do? We’ve got some ideas and tips that will fix that pesky crack and ensure the problem doesn’t get any bigger.
Cracks and chips impact driving visibility, so you don’t want to put off fixing them. Did you know that if a crack is longer than 12 inches or if a chip is larger than a quarter, you’re windshield’s integrity has been compromised? If so, you’d been get it fixed ASAP. And we realize that it’s not always possible to stop what you’re doing just to fix your windshield, so if you can’t fix it right away, be sure that the crack or chip doesn’t interfere with your view.
Here are a few tips that will minimize the damage and get you on your way:
- Use a specialist. A general mechanic won’t do in these instances, so use an auto-glass-repair specialist. The glass installer should be AGRSS registered and has National Glass Association-trained technicians. In some cases, mobile glass installers will come to you.
- Get rid of dirt: If dirt gets into a crack or chip, it can prove more difficult to repair. Place a small piece of clear tape over the point of impact, but only if it doesn’t block your vision.
- Temperature changes: Extreme temperature and cracked windshields don’t get along. Keep your car out of the sun when parked, as the heat builds up and weakens the windshield, causing the crack to get even bigger.
- Air conditioning/defrosting: When you get into your car, don’t turn the air conditioning or use your defroster on high. Let your car cool down or warm up gradually on a lower setting.
- Don’t wash: Think of it as an excuse to not wash your car for a bit, as water in the damaged area can cause your windshield to crack even more.
- Don’t jolt your car or windows: When getting in and out of your car, don’t slam the door while the windows are all the way up. The extra pressure inside the vehicle can cause the crack to spread.
[Source: Chicago Tribune]
A full 25% of Americans couldn’t pay for a $2,000 repair bill should their vehicle break down, a new report by AAA confirms, hinting at the continued struggle most citizens are facing in the wake of the great recession.
When polled, a total of 38% of drivers said they could cover the cost of a $2,000 bill using money from savings, while 20% said they’d have to use a credit card. A total of 11% of respondents said they’d have to borrow money, or use retirement funds or a home equity loan.
One eighth of drivers said they couldn’t cover a $1,000 repair bill, with 46% answering that hey could. A total of 22 percent answered that they’d need to use a credit card and 14% would need to borrow the funds.
According to AAA, a $1,000 repair bill could be anything as small as a new set of tires of a major brake job, while major repairs to components like the transmission could cost from $2,000 to $4,000.
One quarter of drivers said they neglected repairs and maintenance in the past 12 months as a direct result of the economy. Unfortunately, ignoring smaller jobs can often lead to larger ones.
“Economic conditions have taken their toll on many Americans resulting in them neglecting their cars and leaving them at increased risk for very expensive repair bills,” said Marshall L. Doney, AAA Vice President, Automotive and Financial Services. “Many Americans rely on their cars for their livelihood and losing access to them could be financially devastating during an already troubling economic time.”
“It’s important for drivers to not only continue to maintain their vehicles, but also have a financial emergency plan in place should they be faced with a sudden unexpected auto repair bill,” continued Doney.
The survey also revealed that a total of one quarter of American drivers are continuing to drive their old model because they don’t feel they can handle the cost of a new one.
[Source: Automotive News]