All posts by Tiffany Lee

The Most Important Training and Education Requirements for Becoming an Auto Mechanic

If you want to become an auto mechanic, it’s important to not only have enough passion and enthusiasm to learn the practical and technical aspects of the job, but also to orient yourself so that you can find and attend the right courses so you can complete your certification as early and as efficiently as possible.

Certification and formal training are a big part of the requirements that an auto mechanic should consider before working full time or starting their own repair shops. As this profession has to do with repairing cars and small trucks, the mechanic often has a great deal of responsibility as to the safety of the drivers and passengers who will be using and riding in the cars that he or she repairs.

What Are the Responsibilities of an Auto Mechanic?

Auto mechanics have the primary responsibility of repairing the cars and vehicles that their clients bring in and to ensure that the repair work is done with a strong consideration of the safety of those who will be using the vehicles. An auto mechanic has to know the architecture of the cars they work on in their finest details, and they also need to be familiar with the procedures for diagnosing various problems and tackling specific, standard repairs.

Additionally, a certified auto mechanic has to abide by certain standards when repairing a vehicle. Even though there might be quick fixes and unconventional repair procedures that some unqualified repair technicians might be willing to use, these are not standard and are not acceptable in a professional auto repair shop. This is because their use can lead to safety issues that the repair shop and its owners will later be held accountable for, and the danger is often very real that, for example, when fixing a brake or a steering problem, the improperly repaired vehicle could end up severely injuring or even killing its owner and their passengers.

auto mechanic school

Enrolling in the Right Programs

The required education for becoming a certified auto mechanic can be quite extensive. You’ll need an associate’s degree or a 2-year auto mechanic school program that can provide you with a certification to start working as an entry level technician. Both these approaches can be taken, but it’s important to note that even once you finish your entry level training, you might still need an additional 3-5 years before you are fully certified.

Also, you’ll find that, as you look for work, most employers will require an ASE certification right off the bat, and some will also ask you to continue your studies to become fully certified as part of the criteria they use to determine whether they’ll hire you or not. The projected job growth is slightly in decline for most areas, so that will also weigh in as an important factor when it comes to the competition between certified and uncertified auto mechanics.

Fortunately, there are many colleges and high schools that allow you to start your training early and focus on it while completing your education. Also, once you finish high school, you can typically follow your dream of becoming an auto mechanic alongside your higher education studies, by attending an auto mechanic school and following a specialized training program leading to certification.

Benefits of Using Factory Windshield Replacements

windshield replacement Byers pros

When you need to replace your car`s windshield, you can choose between an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) or an aftermarket product. Sometimes the decision may depend on the insurer’s specifications, but most of the time it is you who has to make that decision. To be able to determine the best for you, you must know the difference between these two types of windshields.

OEM or Aftermarket: what should you choose?

Equipment Manufacturer

An OEM windshield is designed to be identical to the original one, with which the car came out of the factory gate. These products may not be made by the same company that produced the initial windscreen, but any sub-contractor hired by the manufacturer will create the products in accordance with its strict specifications, therefore your windshield will be a perfect match in terms of size, shape, tint, thickness and durability.


Aftermarket types of windshields are made by window manufacturers that do not have a contract with the car manufacturer. As long as these companies do not produce OEM windows under contract with the manufacturer, they are not obliged to follow its specific instructions. In fact, because of copyright laws, these manufacturers are not allowed to produce windows that are identical to those fitted in the factory. It is obvious that the size and shape must be identical, or else the windshield could not be physically installed on the car. But other features such as the thickness and durability may differ, as well as the window tint.

Some customers complain that aftermarket windshields are not as good as original windshields because they do not seal tightly and/ or produce excess noise. Other people complain about the surface of the windshield which is supposed to be perfect but it is not, or about the tint, which seems annoying to them. Although, usually, the differences between OEM and Aftermarket windshields are very small, the pickiest customers may not be happy with an aftermarket windshield, even if others do not notice any difference, or at least they do not mind the small differences between the original windshield and the newly installed aftermarket version.

Like in many other cases, the decisions people make are often based on price. Besides, some insurance companies may only cover the price of an aftermarket windshield, because it is cheaper. This way, it will be the decision of the car owner whether to pay or not for an OEM windshield. Many aftermarket windshields do their job very well, but there are some customers who do not want to take any risk by installing a lower quality product than the original and thus choose to invest in an OEM windshield. The best thing you can do is talk to windshield replacement Byers professionals to see what will work best with your car and budget.

As a final note: if the car is purchased in leasing, the contract typically specifies that the windshield will have to be replaced only by an OEM product. So, if you ever need to do this operation, make sure to carefully check details about it in the contract. Otherwise, you may have to pay extra money at the end of the contract.

How to Find Affordable Business Insurance

Purchasing business insurance must be done responsibly, to keep the costs down while getting a reliable product that offers the coverage you need, when you need it. On the same note, cheap business insurance may seem like a highly appealing prospect, but there are other factors to consider besides the price, if you want to get the best insurance.

First, you should know that each type of insurance rates is determined by a formula, being calculated according to the risks involved. All businesses that have employees who are not the owners are required to have at least workers comp and commercial general liability insurance . If your employees must also drive around often, you will have to consider commercial auto insurance as well, while if you’ve got a sports business, you could surely use a health insurance policy.

commercial general liability insurance

Assessing premiums is based on a few factors:

  • The risk level of your business (some professional activities are obviously riskier than others)
  • The location of your business (for example, in highly populated area, the risk of vandalism or crime is higher)
  • The size of your business (more employees means more risks)
  • The popularity of your business (statistically, there are more claims made against renowned companies)  
  • The level of coverage (the more you pay, the more coverage you get)

Taking into account all these factors can help you find affordable business liability insurance. However, you must also find reliable coverage, which means that you should do your best to find an insurer which is available, responsive and reliable. In other words, make sure your insurance company pays claims according to what you have agreed and quickly enough.

There are also ways to avoid overpaying for business insurance.

First, you have to determine what types of insurance you really need. For example, do not get auto insurance if you do not have a vehicle. Also, make sure you read the fine print policies include, because you will find out about what may tie you in a high rate, as well as about penalty on cancellation.

Not least, finding the right provider of business insurance is essential if you want affordable insurance. Remember that “affordable” means keeping payments as low as possible, but also according to your actual needs, without compromising on what matters the most: your safety. Find a reliable insurer, committed to offer all these to you and value simplicity by providing accessible policies, tailored to your needs. Each business has different insurance requirements, so make sure you pay for the type of coverage that is relevant for you.

Other criteria to use in considering an insurance company include:

  • Financial strength
  • Experience in industry
  • Claims processing
  • Policy exclusions
  • Added fees

Before purchasing business insurance, always ask your insurer to estimate the prices, as they may add up very quickly. General liability and workman`s comp are required for every business, but there are other necessary insurance policies, depending on the type of each business:  commercial auto, business property, errors and omissions or umbrella insurance.

Why Get Driving Classes – Denver Driving Schools and the Benefits of Learning from Professionals

If you want to learn how to drive or you just want to practice driving in the capital of Colorado, the driving classes Denver driving schools offer will help you learn and practice driving under the supervision of excellent instructors.

Why Take Driving Classes from Professionals

Colorado is among the states where only teens (under the age of 16) are required to participate in official driver’s training, but according to the statistics, those who learn and practice driving with a professional instructor become more confident and better drivers than those who learn how to drive from a friend or from a family member. The phenomenon is easy to explain: despite the fact that communication might be smoother and more efficient between people who are related or already know each other, many experienced drivers have at least a few bad driving habits that they have developed without being aware of them and they might pass these bad habits on to the person they are teaching. Another argument for learning driving from an expert is that not all experienced drivers are good teachers as well, knowing how to handle the vehicle and how to drive observing traffic regulation does not mean that the experienced driver can efficiently explain the ins and outs of driving, too.

Who Should Take Driving Classes

Driving classes are not only for teen learners and for those who have never driven a car before. Driving classes Denver special courses are for those who already have a driving license, but are out of practice and would like to brush up on their driving skills before getting their own car. Another category of people who turn to driving schools is those whose enrollment into a driving course is required by a court of law – this category includes people whose driving license has been revoked because they became involved in an accident or they broke traffic laws and are required to retake the driving test.

The Structure of Driving Courses

Driving courses focus on both the theoretic and the practical aspect of driving. Students usually participate in classroom teaching where they become familiar with driving regulations and with some technical aspects of driving a car and then they move on to practical, behind-the-wheel training. The second phase involves at least 10-15 lessons of driving the specially equipped training car (fitted with two breaks and two clutches for increased road safety) provided by the driving school under the supervision of a driving instructor. Both phases end with a test – at the end of the theoretic training, driving students are required to take a multiple-choice test to prove that they have learned and understood driving regulations and at the end of the practical phase they need to take a driving test to prove that they can suitably handle a vehicle in traffic.

The safest and most efficient way to learn how to drive is under the professional supervision of driving instructors and teachers who specialize in explaining driving regulations. The driving classes Denver residents have access to provide the best learning experience for beginners as well as for those who just want to refresh their skills – coping with big city traffic is definitely easier with thorough training.


Hybrid Battery Replacement – How to Make It Affordable

The hybrid battery is one of the most important and most expensive components of a hybrid car, hybrid battery replacement costs being high for any model. Even though hybrid cars allow their owners to save considerably on fuel, so your hybrid car has probably returned the value of the battery pack to you by the time the battery fails, nobody wants to be forced to shell out thousands of dollars, so here are a few tips about how to reduce the costs of replacements.


Make Sure the Problem is Caused by Battery Failure

Hybrid cars are complicated machines and the symptoms of battery failure can be caused by other faulty components as well. To be sure it is indeed the battery that causes the problems, take your car to a mechanic who specializes in hybrid cars and get the battery checked – who knows, maybe it is just an imperfect contact and you can avoid replacement.


Core Credit

If it is confirmed that the battery is beyond remedy, some manufacturers of hybrid cars offer core credit, which means that a certain sum is deducted from the price of the new battery if you and hand over the old one for recycling. The sum you can expect to be deducted is usually around one third of the price of the new battery.


Reconditioned Batteries

Getting a used and reconditioned battery is another way to reduce the costs of hybrid battery replacement. There are many online vendors that sell reconditioned batteries and there is a chance that you can even find a seller in your town as well. These refurbished units cost much less than a new pack – prices stay in the hundreds -, but they are usually warranted for only a year or so. You must also know that not all mechanics are willing to do the replacement using a reconditioned unit, but you can get assistance with the procedure from the vendor.


Getting Your Own Battery Rebuilt

Many companies offer battery repair services for the  Honda Civic hybrid battery . They willcarry out a detailed and thorough evaluation of your battery, they will identify the faulty components and repair them or replace them. You will have to send your battery to the company and the procedure may take a while, but it is a relatively cheap way to get your car up and running again.


Getting a Battery from a Junk Yard

Getting the hybrid battery pack from a totaled car taken to a junk yard is also an option. Battery failure is very rarely the reason why hybrid cars get totaled, so chances are that you will be able to find a perfectly functional battery in a junk yard for the fraction of the costs of a new. The problem with these units is the same as in the case of refurbished units – not all mechanics are willing to do battery replacements using second-and units -but again, the technician at the junk yard can give you advice about finding a suitable mechanic.

Failed Emission Tests – How Emissions Testing Is Done and How to Make Sure Your Car Takes the Test Successfully the Second Time Over

A failed emissions test may come as a surprise to many car owners who take their takes to a testing facility to get their registration renewed. However, the failure can be easily avoided – here are a few words about what these tests are and how to prepare your car to pass.


What is an Emissions Test?

The ultimate objective of emissions testing is to improve air quality by not allowing cars that emit too much noxious gas to be used. In case of failed emissions tests, vehicle owners are required to fix the issues found and then take the test again.

How Are Emissions Tests Done?

The actual test is preceded by a preliminary inspection to check whether any of the following issues is present:

  • Missing gas cap,
  • Missing catalytic unit,
  • Faults or problems of the vehicle’s on-board computer that might prevent accurate emissions testing,
  • Problems of the fuel filler.

If any of these problems are detected, you will be given a pre-test rejection form and you will be asked to come back for testing after the issues are corrected.

If none of the above issues are found, the emissions testing can start. If your car was made after 1996, the test is done by connecting a testing device to the on-board computer of your car to read and analyze the data stored in your computer and to determine whether your car’s emission levels meet the standards. If the car was made before 1996 or does not have an on-board computer, a tailpipe test is done to determine emissions levels.

What to Do in the Case of a Failed Emissions Test

There are several components in a car that can lead to failing the emissions test, the most frequent culprits being the exhaust, the catalytic converter and the oxygen sensor. If your car fails the test, you should take it to a mechanic right away – he will check and test your car and he will also determine whether the fault can be remedied by repairing the faulty part or you need to buy a new part. Mechanics can also order and mount the replacement parts for you, so you will be able to take your car back to the testing facility for a re-sit within a few days.

How to Prevent Failing the Test

Proper maintenance and attention to how your car works are the best way to avoid failure. The parts that alter your car’s emissions values do not break down suddenly – they produce signs such as diminished performance, increased fuel consumption, difficult start that you should address instantly when you notice them. The sooner you take your car to a qualified mechanic, the easier to remedy the problem and the lower the repair costs, so listening to what your car wants to tell you is definitely worth it.

A Failed emissions test might be a nuisance, but it’s not the end of the world – the faults that lead to the failure can be easily fixed, all you need is a good mechanic.

Starting Your Own Lakewood CO Auto Repair Business

Auto repair shops are doing quite well these days, considering that the market experiences significant profit gains and the need for auto mechanics is growing.

Owning your own auto repair shop is a good idea if you are a specialist in this business, but you must first design a business plan and make room for all your preferences and initiatives.

  • Write down your ideas and make the preliminary estimates

Start with defining the scope of your business. How big it will be your repair shop and how many cars will be serviced daily? Will you offer only auto repairs or a more comprehensive range of services? Also, do you plan to buy an existing auto repair shop or start one from the scratch? Will you hire more technicians? Do you plan to run an independent shop or become a part of a franchise? Think well about the pros and the cons of each option and estimate the costs to see what you can actually afford.

  • Planning the location

When it comes to Lakewood auto repair shops, location matters quite a lot. Do not choose an isolated place or an area with difficult access, because customers will most likely not bother finding you. Choose instead a place near main road access. Also, determine which option is right for you: leasing an existing shop or building a new one. The first option is less expensive, but the second one comes with the advantage that you can build the place exactly as you wish.

  • Estimate your equipment needs

Equipment necessary in auto repair shops is expensive today when mechanic tools are not enough anymore and you must also purchase computers, diagnostic machines, lifts with installations etc. All these will probably constitute the most expensive part of your investment.

  • Consider getting proper insurance and detail the sources of funding and any loans you plan to apply for in order to build and start your business

Estimate all the costs: insurance, rent, monthly payment for your technicians, equipment, monthly expenses etc.

  • Think about offering something unique to your customers, so they pick you over other competitors

Your unique selling point may consist in lower prices, specialized services in niche fields like antique cars restoration, eco-friendly services, going mobile and offering roadside assistance etc.

  • Obtain your license for operating your auto repair shop

License requirements are different in every state, but basically hey involve filling out an application, providing the required documents and paying some fees

  • Hire an accountant and put in place a financial system
  • Make your own marketing strategy, define your brand’s values, think about having a loyalty program and, not least, consider doing some advertising, at least in the beginning.
  • Hire good technicians and encourage all of them to get certified
  • Approach dealers and try to make working partnerships. For example, you can offer to advertise them if they send you customers

In time, you can open more branches and get more certification for your business, improving its credibility. Your shop can become specialized in different areas: collision repairs, trucking equipment etc.