Automotive Services: The Importance of Proper Wheel Alignment

After gas and insurance, tires are often the single greatest expense of owning an automobile. Even a safe driver who observes the rules of the road must replace them from time to time. According to the experts, the average set of wheels lasts around 40,000 miles. Since the average American motorist drives about 12,000 miles a year, they must replace all four tires every three to four years.Annual ExpenseDepending on the size, brand, and performance quality, tires can range in price from $50-$200 each. If replaced as a set, as recommended, the average driver would have to shell out $200-$800 each time. That’s about $60-$230 a year! Fortunately, there are inexpensive automotive services that can greatly extend the life of your tires.What Is Wheel Alignment?In spite of its name, wheel alignment has little to do with the rubber that hits the road. A trained mechanic will actually work on your car’s suspension system during this common automotive services procedure. His objective is to adjust the angles of the tires so that they are parallel to each other and perpendicular to the ground. This helps ensure that they make full and complete contact with the road.The BenefitsBecause tires are designed to distribute stress evenly, poor alignment invariably results in increased wear to one particular part of the tread. When ignored, the problem almost always results in premature replacement. As we mentioned, this can cost a pretty penny. Alignment helps you avoid unnecessary waste for a fraction of the price. It also helps improve driving performance, fuel economy, and driving safety.Poor alignment can also be quite dangerous. The reason? Because when wheels are uneven, the vehicle tends to pull to one side. This can make handling your vehicle on a rocky surface particularly challenging since you will be fighting the steering wheel and the road at the same time. It is also a fact that drivers have actually lost control of vehicles on sharp turns when their alignment was terribly out of whack. Last but not least, the lack of a solid base often causes vibrations at top speeds that make driving uncomfortable for all occupants. There may even be an increase in road noise because of vibrations that enter the cabin near affected areas.The CostsThe good news is that alignment is a fairly straightforward procedure any experienced mechanic can complete. It is not nearly as expensive or as time-consuming as brake or engine work. Most mechanics will only charge $50-$70 for a complete alignment job. As we saw earlier, that’s nothing compared to the price you’d pay for four new tires.An alignment, one of the most affordable automotive services, can save you big money on tires and repair costs.

How to Select An Automotive Scan Tool

Modern vehicles have so many sensors that turn on check engine light on the dash when your vehicle needs to be diagnosed and repaired. The readings of sensors are monitored by vehicle’s computer and diagnostics trouble codes are stored in the computer when it detects abnormal readings of the sensor. Automotive scan tools can access to these information so that you will be able to start diagnosing on the right area of the vehicle.They can work with a specific year, make and model of the vehicle. They have a variety of features. How to select an automotive scan tool depends on the tasks to be done, the price and the features that you need.Here is a start on how to select an automotive scan tool. First, you need to determine your vehicle’s year, make and model. You can get these information from the registration, insurance policy or a door sticker.Next, the budget, how much money you can spend for this tool. The average price range is from 20 dollars to 300 dollars. The price depends on features and functions of the scan tool. The more features they have, the more expensive they are.Keep in mind the relationship between the prices and the features and functions, you will determine the features and functions you need. This is the most important step in how to select an automotive scan tool.Ask yourself the following questions. You just want to read codes or you want to see real time readings of sensors such as coolant temperature, rpm, and so on? Does a bilingual or trilingual option help you read the codes? All you need is clear the codes and turn off check engine light or you need an enhancement testing features for vehicles of a specific make? What about a display of the scan tool? You only need a display large enough to show code numbers or you want a large display so you can see readings of sensor in graph, dial or meter? If so, are you interested in using your PC or mobile device as a scan tool? And maybe you need to read not only engine codes but also ABS or airbag codes.Answering these questions will help you choose the right one for you. Now you have picked up several ones. Check the price and compare each of them. And don’t forget to check the price on Amazon or eBay. They usually have a great discount. I hope that this article helped you on how to select an automotive scan tool.

Automotive Advertising Agencies Drop Conventional Media in Favor of Social Networking by Consumers

Old school wisdom like ‘the customer is always right’ have often taken a back seat to automotive advertising agencies and auto dealers who presumed to talk “at” customers rather than listen to them. Hard sell tactics built on that presumption may have sold cars in the past but with the rise of the Internet and social networking media — not so much!Today’s educated car shoppers are bypassing the auto dealer’s real and virtual showrooms in favor of visiting other online information resources. Auto dealers are being replaced by consumers in the formative stage of their buying cycle who turn to trusted friends in social networking communities. These online groups of like minded consumers share their car buying experiences before, during and after the sale and customers find that they are able to provide far more transparent and relevant information than any self serving auto dealer; real or imagined.Similarly, the reach and frequency of the best planned automotive advertising campaign can be trumped with the click of a mouse by a car shopper who can get the information they need to buy a car without having to listen to a sales pitch from a self serving auto dealer. The solution for automotive advertising agencies challenged by a shrinking economy and a consolidating auto industry is obvious — if you can’t beat them, join them.Social networking on the World Wide Web is an extension of an equally established wisdom that people like to do business with people that they like. The social part of this growing online marketing phenomenon is built on trust in friends which is an element of human nature that has survived on the Internet Super Highway. Networking references the value of word of mouth advertising that delivers a single message to a sphere of influence that used to be limited to close friends and family. The Internet now distributes that same message virally on channels like You Tube, My Space, LinkedIn, Face Book, Bebo, Twitter and too many others to list that are growing exponentially.Automotive advertising agencies have been challenged to monetize social networking with mixed results primarily because they attempted to apply best practices learned from their past experiences on conventional media like radio, T.V. and print. Initially, it was assumed that the only adjustment needed was to post the same retail messages that worked in conventional media on the social networks. That was accomplished through the use of banner ads linked back to the auto dealer’s website or with an invitation for the customer to call or visit their real world dealership to get the information they needed beyond the low ball price or payment that was often offered but rarely trusted. These banner ads were seen as an easily avoided nuisance by community members who opted not to play. However, evidence does suggest that they did/do provide a residual impression that adds to the auto dealer’s top of the mind awareness with the car shopper; although sometimes the impression was tainted by the dealer’s intrusion into the community of friends.When the R.O.I. of the banner ads did not meet expectations, automotive advertising agencies attempted to register their auto dealer clients as members of the community to promote themselves from within. Auto dealers were quickly discovered as the wolves in sheep’s clothing that they were and the unwritten rules of etiquette of these social networking sites drove them from the community with their tails between their legs.Automotive advertising agencies have since learned that the elements of human nature that drive word of mouth advertising are fragile and they require transparency to survive in social networking communities. As is often the case, the solution has been provided by the developing technologies that have matured along with the Internet as a marketing media.One such solution is provided by ronsmap.com, a game changing customer centric marketing platform with proprietary applications including vBack and SellersVantage that generate Intelli-Leads with market and consumer intelligence not previously available to auto dealers. vBack is a social media engine that is embedded on the vehicle postings on ronsmap as well as the auto dealer’s website and linked marketing channels with an Ask-a-Friend/Tell-a-Friend feature functionality that develops viral messages trafficked through the social networking communities that the customer belongs to and trusts. In addition, related comments from friends solicited by the customer are attached to the Intelli-Lead as part of their SellersVantage application that also accumulates data on comparable vehicles from the auto dealer’s inventory in accordance with the customer’s stated preferences as well as related real time product and pricing information from local competitive dealer inventories posted on the Internet. This added information is sourced from within the social networking community by the customer — not the auto dealer — preserving the anonymity of the dealer while providing the auto dealer virtually unlimited access to members.This method of C2C marketing from the inside out vs. the now dated B2C marketing from the outside in is unique to ronsmap and it promises to allow automotive advertising agencies access to this growing online media. Conventional media is, and will always be, an integral component of any comprehensive marketing plan, however access to leveraged viral messaging offered by consumer driven social networking channels is the best way for budget challenged auto dealers to sell more for less. After all, what are friends for!