Car Stuff

There was a time when the hottest car accessories consisted of eight-track players and stick-on compasses. Those days are long gone.

The typical automobile has evolved from a simple means of transportation. Today, they serve as mass transit systems for carpooling entire departments, recreational centers for road-weary children, and portable offices for mobile executives. With these changing times has come the demand for more gadgets and gizmos to ensure comfortable and productive travel: from coffee cup warmers and shiatsu seat covers, to DVD players and video game portals. One of the best examples of modern accessorizing is the GPS or Global Positioning System, which allows users to view local maps and receive accurate directions. These gadgets are of particular value to fast-moving professionals trying to navigate urban city streets.

Since automobiles have taken the leap from luxury to necessity, manufacturers have worked hard to meet the growing demands by offering a selection of accessories suited to car owners of all budgets. The market has been flooded with accessories and it’s hard to know what’s best, or even what’s necessary.

* Research
They key to making any successful purchase is in the research. Find out what you need, and then shop around for the best price. The Internet is a great resource, with countless online articles, user forums and product comparisons available. You can also purchase everything you need online. Internet auctions are great spots to find quality products at low prices. Internet marketers are able to sell their products at a lower price because they have lower overhead. There are no retail rental fees or expenses so they can, in turn, offer lower prices.

* Shop Around
Once you know exactly what you want or need, it does pay to shop around. Because of the huge demand for quality automotive accessories, there is also an ever-growing market. Check prices at several outlets, and don’t be afraid to haggle for the best deal.

* Ask Around
Some retailers simply want the biggest possible profit, and may try to overwhelm you with their vast knowledge and brand name repertoire, only to sell you something you really don’t need. Arm yourself with information before you visit the store, and don’t fall for pushy sales tactics. Ask other car owners about the car accessories they’ve purchased, or read about them online and in industry magazines. Shop around to compare prices. A little comparative information today can save you a lot of money down the road.

* Beware the Add-Ons
Trying to force buyers to take additional accessories is one of the oldest marketing tricks in the book. It’s like being forced to buy a belt when you pick up a new pair of pants. The same holds true in the car accessories market. Just because a retailer tells you that you really need a neon GPS cover, it’s not necessarily true. Ask a friend or trusted mechanic who is familiar with car accessories and get a reliable opinion on what you should — and shouldn’t — buy.

* Warranty
As with any product, you need to know the warranty details before making the purchase. Understand the retailer’s return or replacement policy in the event that the item doesn’t work in your car, fails to meet your expectations, or malfunctions.

* Inspection
You should have the opportunity to inspect the product before agreeing to purchase it. Of course, this is not an option with Internet purchases, so make sure you’re dealing with a reputable online dealer. Many retail stores ask that you sign a receipt stating that the product is in good condition upon receipt, and doing so may mean waving your rights to return the product if it is indeed damaged.

* Auto Recyclers
Whenever possible, opt for Original Equipment Manufactured (OEM) car accessories. You can usually be certain that the quality is first-rate and the warranty will protect your purchase.

Car accessories not only make driving more convenient, they can also impact your safety while on the road. Being prudent in your choice of what to buy and where to shop can ultimately save your life, so don’t make price your first priority. Safety should always come first, so don’t compromise quality just to get a good deal.

When a car is brought to the shop, a mechanic does the calibration services. The specialist will check the engine, the wheel alignment and other sections of the vehicle to make sure this is safe to drive on the road. If there are no problems, this can be released in four hours or less as long as there is not that many vehicles also requiring some work done.

One way of avoiding the long queuing will be calling in advance and scheduling an appointment. This is because the personnel in the repair shop will always give priority to that person instead of someone who just walked in to have it checked out.

The individual can go to the car dealer where the vehicle was purchased to get the work done since it has a service bay or go somewhere else to have it done. It is advisable though to go back to the dealer because it has a warranty which will no longer be honored should this be done elsewhere.

After parking the car in a space, the owner should carry the warranty booklet to the office. The person should tell the service advisor if there is anything to be checked aside from the regular calibrated service every 1,000 miles or 6 months such as noise in the shocks so this can be checked.

An estimate is given before anything will be done. The individual should sign this and then come back in a few hours to be able to do other errands. It will be a good idea to call ahead to make sure the calibrated service is finished so that the only thing to do will be to pay for it and then drive away.

Calibration services are different when this is done in a plant. This is because the company has to fulfill certain requirements better known as ISO’s. There are different types of these around which are all certified by the National Institute of Safety and Standards.

One example of this is the ISO/IEC 17025:1999 which includes regular calibration service on equipment. This includes the training of personnel. Many people are familiar with ISO 9000 and believe this is sufficient but the newer version ensures the plant is able to make products with fewer amounts of defects.

Such things also apply to the production of the car as well as the calibration services that follow thereafter. This is because with the proper instruments and the people to handle it, the owner can be assured that the vehicle is good as new just like the time when this was first driven off the lot.