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Getting a Second Opinion on Your Car Repair is the Smart Thing to Do

By Jack Bulko, AutoAid Auto repair prices vary depending on the shop, the knowledge of the mechanics, the type of car and other factors, and that’s why getting a second opinion on your car repair is the smart thing to do. Sometimes we are hesitant to ask for another mechanic to look at the car because we believe we are wasting their time, or that the price will be the same or more; however that is far from the truth. By asking someone else to inspect your vehicle or review the pricing you received from a dealership or another shop, you are just gathering information that will allow you to make a more informed decision, just as you would before you undergo surgery, repair your home or purchase an item such as an insurance policy. Second opinions take on even more importance when you don’t have a regular mechanic with whom to consult, or are traveling for business or attending college far from home. It’s just another way to help you make a safe and financially sound ... read more

How Do I Check My Engine Oil without a Dipstick?

By Jack Bulko, AutoAid Where is the dipstick in my new car? That’s what my client, Jane, wanted to know. She had purchased an Audi and brought it in for service. She said when her dashboard light alerted her to an issue with low oil level, she stopped and opened her hood to check the engine oil fluid level. She couldn’t find it. After looking for it for 20 minutes she consulted her car’s owner’s manual (yes, it came with a physical booklet), she realized that the manufacturer had intentionally left it out of the car. Changes in design, amenities and functionality have been standard in the automobile industry at least as long as I’ve been a part of it. Manufacturers look for innovative ways to bring the customer back for service, making it more difficult to perform tasks such as checking one’s oil or for that matter doing any traditional repairs. It also puts a kink in fixing your car in the driveway or teaching your kid to do simp ... read more

Where is My Spare Tire? By Jack Bulko, AutoAid

Where is My Spare Tire? By Jack Bulko, AutoAid

Where is My Spare Tire? By Jack Bulko, AutoAid “Where is my spare tire?” a customer recently asked me. “And what am I supposed to do with this spray can?” I knew she was asking out of total disbelief that her new car came without a full-size spare or run-flat (donut) at all, and instead included a can of tire quick fix. That’s why I always recommend that when you purchase or lease a new car or are driving an unfamiliar vehicle such as a rental car, always check the trunk area to see what is in it. This helps eliminate any surprises on the road. Newer cars are missing what many consider an essential component—a spare tire. Cars used to come with a full-size tire in the trunk. While a few still do, including Mercedes Benz, most spares can be found in various truck models. One of the reasons for the change was the government’s insistence on improved fuel economy. To address this, car manufacturers created run-flat tires or donuts, which also ha ... read more

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