Know More About Import Exhaust Repairs Made Simple

If so, is it really necessary to go to a dealership or high-end import specialist and pay the extra money commonly associated with this service?

You may be surprised.

Thousands of service shops now have access to original equipment (OE)-style replacement exhaust components.

Depending on the brand offered by the shop, you might even enjoy the benefits of more robust, premium-grade materials, factory-quality fit and a carefully tuned exhaust “note” that helps make your vehicle sound like new.

“Many import owners feel that the dealership or high-end import specialists are the only ones with quality replacement exhaust products,” said Bill Shutt, emissions control product manager for Tenneco Inc.’s Walker brand.

“The fact is, you can save hundreds of dollars by relying on a qualified auto repair shop that carries a leading exhaust brand.”

In some cases, according to Shutt, an “aftermarket” system will be virtually identical to the more expensive OE product. In fact, some aftermarket manufacturers, including Tenneco, also design and produce OE systems for vehicle manufacturers around the world.

“The bottom line for the consumer, regardless of the vehicle make or model, is finding the best total value in terms of fit, durability, exhaust flow characteristics, and sound,” Shutt said.

“These benefits are available through any auto repair shop that carries Walker products and other leading aftermarket brands.”

The same is true in the case of catalytic converter replacement, said Shutt.

Some vehicle owners assume that quality converter service is available only through the dealership. In truth, however, virtually any qualified shop can install an OE-style replacement converter on nearly any import model.

Repair Or Replace Your Car

Is it best to repair or replace your car? That’s a good question in this economy and here are some helpful tips to make your decision a little easier for you.

(NAPSI)-A growing number of people are finding that the economy has them debating whether it’s best to buy a new car or repair the one they have. If you are trying to decide between buying and repairing, here are some tips that may help:

Comparing Costs

It is typically less expensive in the long run to repair the vehicle you already own rather than purchasing a newer one. Financing even a $2,000 repair typically means lower payments (or similar payments for a shorter time) than those incurred when purchasing a newer vehicle.

The 50-Percent Rule

After receiving the estimate of a major repair, consider the “50-percent rule.” When the cost of a needed repair approaches 50 percent of the vehicle’s value, it is time to seriously consider replacing it.

Reliability And Maintenance History

The best way to know a vehicle’s condition is by maintaining it on a regular basis and using the same repair shop. If a repair shop knows the service history of a vehicle, consumers can look to its technicians for guidance on when their vehicle likely will need major repairs.

“Following the vehicle manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations can greatly increase the life span of vehicle,” said John Nielsen, director of AAA Approved Auto Repair and Auto Buying.

Cosmetics

The cosmetic condition of a vehicle can greatly affect its value and a motorist’s desire to hold on to it. Motorists should take a critical look at their vehicle for signs of wear and tear and evaluate how important their vehicle’s cosmetics are to them.

Lifestyle

Changes in lifestyle can be a large factor in changing vehicles. Family size, commute length, recreational usage and business needs are all legitimate reasons to consider purchasing a newer vehicle that is better suited to a consumer’s driving routine.

Outside Factors

Several outside factors may impact the decision between repairing and replacing a vehicle, such as reduced pricing and special offers from manufacturers. A vehicle that could become a valuable classic might be worthy of extraordinary repairs and maintenance.

Learn More About Communication Vital to Quality Auto Repairs

A poll of ASE-certified automotive technicians indicated that drivers over 60 are among the most conscientious when it comes to taking their vehicles in for routine maintenance and repair.

The experts at the nonprofit National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) remind consumers that good communication between shop and customer can help make the repair process go smoothly.

“Professionally run repair establishments recognize the importance of two-way communications,” notes Martin Lawson, ASE’s editorial director. “Just as you would with your physician, be prepared to discuss your vehicle’s aches and pains once you are at the repair shop.”

The following tips from ASE should make the repair process go smoothly:

Don’t ignore what your vehicle is telling you.

Look for:

* Unusual sounds, odors, drips, leaks, smoke, warning lights, gauge readings.

* Changes in acceleration, engine performance, gas mileage, fluid levels.

* Worn tires, belts and hoses.

* Problems in handling, braking, steering, vibrations.

* Note when the problem occurs and whether it is constant or periodic.

Stay involved; communicate your findings:

* Be prepared to describe any symptoms. In larger shops, you’ll probably speak with a service consultant rather than with the technician directly.

* Carry a written list of the symptoms that you can give to the technician or service consultant.

* Do not be embarrassed to request simple definitions of technical terms.

* Ask to be called and apprised of the problem, course of action and costs before work begins.

* Before you leave, make a note of shop policies regarding labor rates, guarantees and acceptable methods of payment.

* Keep a record of all repairs and service.