Do it yourself auto painting

Sourcing Parts At Reasonable Prices For Your Classic Corvette

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With any classic vehicle finding a source of auto repair parts can be a major concern. So it is with classic Chevrolet Corvette as well as Chevrolet Stingray autos.

Corvettes have always had distinctive wheel covers and are a refreshing change from slotted mag wheels. The wood steering wheels add a rich touch if you are lucky to ever find one.

Interest has been spread into the 1968 and later models, especially car equipped with the lift out roof panels. In these cars, the excellent General Motors (G.M.) Turbo Hydra-matic transmission was the desired feature. Indeed one of the most valuable vehicle of this group has been the 1970 LT-1 350. Chevrolet itself had offered some good gymkhana suspension parts for this group of cars that are relatively inexpensive and greatly improve handling qualities.

Where can you find used parts for your classic Corvette? First of course are local swap meet and car clubs in your area. If you can shop close to home better be it.

You actually hold and fondle the part, inspecting it yourself. Why have to arrange and pay shipping charges. As well you may make valuable contacts for your Corvette restoration projects. Often one local contact will lead to another good source for parts as well as classic car restoration expertise.

Next on the list are magazines – such as – Corvette Enthusiast, Vette and Corvette Fever. It might be said that Corvette websites on the internet might be next on your list. However the actual magazines may provide a source for you first. Why not whittle down your Corvette resource list first rather than searching through the websites that may or may not have stock and be of the stature they claim. Websites can be made and put up easily. Magazines articles usually have current sourced lists; will place the vendors in some ranking. If there are ads – those ads have to paid for – which is an indication of the solvency and current resources of the firms involved. As well you may get additional good tips form the articles in the magazine. Classic car magazines such as Hemmings are also very useful.

Next for resources are actual websites devoted to this passion. The sites can be Corvette specific – such as vetteweb, the general motors website itself, The Corvette Club of America etc. Google the term “Corvette Links”, “Chevrolet Corvette Links” or “Stingray Links”. One link will always lead to more and additional links. Corvette enthusiasts are like that – always trying to be helpful and to share.

A terrific resource always is eBay. EBay is the premier online auction site. It can easily be found on the web at its home of ebay.com as well as various worldwide specific sites – whether they be ebay.ca in Canada or ebay.uk in the United Kingdom. EBay has both its original sales areas as well as the more specific and distinct eBay motors. The beauty of eBay is that somewhere in the world someone may have exactly the part, component or technical manuals that you are looking for.

In essence it may be “just lying around” and be of found money to them and yet be exactly what you require. It may be that that item is not available in your local area or the locals may want a killing for it. Either way eBay can be a very useful resource. Some of the items on eBay are on an auction basis; some are on a “buy now” price. Some are both. The beauty of eBay is that it has advanced features which may make your search for that exact hard to find Corvette car part easier. You can conduct product searches on eBay easily and specifically. If you are an eBay member (no cost to register), then you can have the eBay system email you the moment someone lists that part. Then you can either bid on the item, or if it is a buy now you can choose to purchase it. In addition eBay has a buyer request area where you can put out feelers and a request if anyone has that part or knows of contacts or leads that have that component available. Remember though with eBay that shipping costs are major component of the final and real cost of any good purchased. All that matters, if evaluating cost, is what the product costs when it arrives at the door of your shop.

Lastly never forget your local or area Chevrolet dealer themselves. There is both an amazing and remarkable amount of early Corvette parts still in the parts inventory of some Chevrolet dealers as well as some General Motors Chevrolet dealers who specialize in classic Corvette and Corvette Stingray car, mechanical as well as body parts.

Buying A Car, Some Tips And Information

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“Car buying is, or should be, a calculated decision,”says John Mondin, an auto travel counselor with AAA. The complex and sometimes frightening process of car buying is demystified in a comprehensive guide that covers: How to choose the right car, new/used car-buying strategies, getting a used car bargain,avoiding the pitfalls of leasing, how to shop for insurance.

In addition, Strategies for Smart Car Buyers includes several appendices and a variety of new material to complete the buyer’s research process, including: The acclaimed investigative series, “Confessions of a Car Salesman,” relating insider secrets in an entertaining account of two car dealerships, monthly payment charts and monthly leasing payments, expanded financing section detailing crucial contract dos and don’ts, plus additional commentary throughout text from undercover car salesman Chandler Phillips.

Online new car buying is a quick and easy way to look for a car in the privacy of one’s own home without the pressure of rash buying. Online car buying is a reality now because of the many excellent sites where you can find the car you’ve been looking for. See all the buying and selling articles you can find on avoiding scams and post-sale problems. As most of us know, used-car buying is a business wrought with scams. One of the best innovations in used car buying is the CARFAX website.

Tips

Educate yourself before buying a car, no negotiating prices without going for a test drive! Do you buy nice clothes without trying them on. Arm yourself with knowledge,with these tips, you can confidently walk into a car dealership, ready to be confronted by eager salesmen. More dealers are better: The more dealers you have in your area, the more competition for your business, the higher your odds of getting a good deal. Some helpful guidelines and car buying tips can be found at the Federal Information Center, as well as a wealth of other money related issues.

Information

The good news is that with the advent of the Internet, a world of information — never available to our parents and grandparents — is just a click away. Walking onto a dealer’s lot with no information is like walking into the lion’s den. And relying on a dealer for information is just slightly better. It levels the playing field by giving accurate information to the consumer.

You can also read up on the latest car reviews by browsing the Web as there is literally a wealth of pertinent information available online. Never discuss in a dealership what you can afford on a monthly basis; dealers can use that information to structure a car loan to meet or slightly beat your monthly-payment requirements, without addressing the more important issues: the total price of the car and the terms of the loan. To negotiate on price, you must be armed with information about the true value of the car you want with all the options you demand.

A variety of Web sites now offer detailed consumer information comparing the dealer’s invoice cost, what the dealer paid the manufacturer, against the MSRP printed on the window sticker. Important information about automobiles and fuel economy should always be considered. Some helpful guidelines and car buying tips can be found at the Federal Information Center, as well as a wealth of other money related issues. Check it out, you’ll be surprised at the valuable information you’ll find there. They combine extensive industry knowledge, dealership experience, and the power of the Internet to empower the consumer with the information they need to negotiate the best deal. They offer valuable research and information about used cars. You can find out about rebates online whereas before, unless you ask the car salesman, he wouldn’t volunteer the information to you.

Loan

You will get greater flexibility and savings by getting pre-approved for a car loan before shopping for a new or used car. And,if you decide to finance the car, find out what your monthly payment should be by shopping for a car loan before going to the dealership. You may discover that getting a loan will cost less than financing directly. If you do find a loan that you like, it’s recommended that you get approved for it before buying the car. The question you really must ask yourself at this point isn’t how much car you can afford but how much car loan you can afford. That determines how much car loan you’ll be able to cover comfortably every month for the next three to four years. The next step is to talk to your bank or credit union to find out what rates they’re currently charging on new-car loans for 36 and 48 months. There are many ways to find the best loan for you regardless of your credit standing. The prospective car buyer can also look into current interest rates on car loans ahead of time and determine which way they should proceed with regard to financing the vehicle. So be sure to follow these steps; do your research on the car, research available loan rates and programs online, check your impact on your insurance, and then reach a dealer about the car you want.

Final Thoughts

The world of car buying is changing rapidly. Online new car buying is a quick and easy way to look for a car in the privacy of one’s own home without the pressure of sales people pushing you into rash buying. The key to successful car buying is to meet your wants and needs within your budget.

Improve Your Trade Show Results By Writing Articles

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It is well-known among internet marketers that writing and distributing articles is one of the best and least expensive ways to promote products and services to a very wide audience. If you are involved in trade show or event marketing, you can use this technique to very effectively support your event marketing efforts.

**Supporting your trade show marketing with articles**

Let’s say you are a wedding photographer who shoots weddings within a radius of about 150 miles of your office or home. You are selective about which weddings you will shoot because, quite frankly, some pay better than others. So you are interested in reinforcing your carefully developed image. Your image is of a photographer who does work that is more creative and of higher quality than what you get from the average wedding photographer.

One of the successful methods you use to promote your services is to enter two or three specialty wedding trade shows held every year in different cities within your target area. Because these shows are geared specifically towards couples who want “something special” (that is, they are prepared to spend more money), they help you reach the “better than average” clientele you are after.

**A perfect opportunity to reinforce your special image**

This is a perfect scenario for reinforcing your image by writing and publishing articles about wedding photography. Of course you have to be careful that your articles don’t sound blatantly self-promoting. Most article marketers suggest your articles contain interesting, general information that can stand apart from the fact that you just happen to be providing the services you are writing about.

For instance, you might write an article called “Do Something Different with Your Wedding Photos”, where you describe some different techniques and locations that might be used. Or “Wedding Photography Over the Last 50 Years”, or “Should Your Photographer Choose Your Wedding Outfits?”, or “5 Secret Locations to Shoot Your Wedding Photos”, or “Perils of a Wedding Photographer”.

There is really no limit to the number of original and interesting stories you could can come up with if you just use your imagination.

A good article marketing campaign will consist of at least three or four articles written and distributed just before the peak periods in your marketing cycle. If you are trying to reinforce your trade show marketing, make sure you prepare your articles well before the trade shows you are entering.

**How to distribute your articles**

Your objective is to use these articles to create an identity for yourself at the same time as getting yourself lots of free publicity. The more places you distribute your articles, the more prospective customers you will reach, so don’t be timid about getting your articles out there.

The obvious place to start is by posting them on your own website. Create an article section and mix in articles from other (non-competing) writers. This will make your website a more valuable resource for your prospective customers, and it will enhance your image in their eyes.

Second, consider distributing your article to the local print media. If it is interesting enough — and not just a self-promotion — some of them will very likely publish it. The important thing is to find an interesting angle. Think in terms of their readers and write for them. Some media will even have special sections — weddings, home renovations, automobiles, outdoor, sports — that you can contribute to.

Third, if you are entering trade shows, send your material to the trade show organizers. They may publish a show program and may be looking for interesting material that helps make their program appear more substantial.

**Distribution on the internet**

If you are catering to local customers you may think the internet is overkill. But you would be wrong. If you are trying to reach prospects in, say, the Lexington area, make sure you write your article so the search engines know your service focuses on the Lexington area. They will do a great job getting you exposure for searches like “wedding photography Lexington”, “Lexington auto detailing“, or “kitchen renovators in Lexington”.

Distribute your articles to as many key article websites on the internet as you can find. This will do three things for you. First, a lot of people will read your articles on these sites. Second, other sites interested in your subject matter will republish your article, exposing it to an even wider audience. And third, the major search engines will analyse and index your article and it will start appearing in searches.

**Using a professional article writing service**

You may not feel comfortable writing your own articles, and you may think it is much too time consuming to do your own distribution. That’s when you should look for a reliable service to do both of these things for you. You might be surprised to find out how many writers and promoters there are out there ready to go to work for you.

Look for a service that has a solid track record. They should be able to show you writing examples, and they should be able to give you a very good idea where they intend to distribute your articles. As with most other specialized services you will probably find it is a lot more efficient to let a professional do it for you than to try to do it yourself.

Car Dealers Can Suck You Dry With All The Extras

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It’s amazing how many people get ripped off after they have already closed the deal. You have the car you want, you got the price you’re happy with and then it happens. They get you on the extras and the warranties at that point and they can actually suck another $1000 to $4000 cash or another $100 to $200 a month.

The extras are things like rust proofing, scotch guarding etc. It seems pretty straight forward but you would be surprised at how many people get taken on these. What’s really amazing is that you get scammed on a car and say, “that’s not going to happen again!” Then 3 years later, Bam, what the f…… just happened???

The trickiest closing cost scam is the extended warranty because the language used is so confusing. This is not even the warranty that the factory gives you for the car. It is a warranty that covers the cost of fixing the car should it break down on you. To get around this, you have to know the dealer’s language and you should really get this part down. Now although extended warranties often do cover any repairs that you require during your coverage period, there is often some information that you are not told about.

For example, the extended warranty is usually effective only up to a certain amount of mileage or term period; whichever happens first. Make sure you have all the details on the terms if you decide to take on the extra auto coverage. The warranty might also only cover certain types of problems. If your extended warranty doesn’t cover every part of your car, why bother? It will cost you so make sure it’s worth it for you.

Some extended warranties don’t cover the larger engine problems or certain power train issues, but just cover the smaller issues. If your engine conks out, you may be left in the lurch. Don’t even bother considering buying an extended warranty if you are only leasing the car for a small time period like 36 months. Perhaps it is better only for longer periods of leasing like 60 months.

Many extended warranties don’t cover everyday wear and tear policies, only breakdown problems. If you do insist on getting an extended warranty, get one that covers you for both occurences. You will only really want to get a warranty on a more dependable car like a Lexus, Honda, or Toyota because extended warranties rarely cover the costs incurred in cars that are closer to the present time of purchase. You will also want to get a warranty that is effective immediately. You will also want to get a warranty with a well established finance company and not one that go belly up in a year.

Don’t purchase an extended warranty directly from the dealer. Instead look at sites on www.LendingTree.com for an online warranty because being online gives you all the time to asses your warranty properly. Keep a close eye out for your deductibles because you don’t want to get stuck paying for deductibles that you thought were covered by the warranty.

The following chart shows some of the extras that dealers try to get you on at closing. This can be very irritating how they try to weasel even more money out of you in the end on stuff that you really don’t need at all. I mean, you already paid a chunk of hard earned cash, but they see it as, what’s another $2000 or $3000?

Of course, when you hear them explain the extras, they will all sound like you need them NOW. It’s bad enough that they will throw them up at you but look at this table to show how much they are really ripping you off by.

Most Common Extras at Closing

Description
Rust proofing — Your price $800 — Dealers costs $40
Extended warranty — Your price $1200 — Dealers costs $300
Scotch guard — Your price $300 — Dealers costs $5
Car alarm — Your price $400 — Dealers costs $100
Paint sealant — Your price $300 — Dealers costs $10
Credit/insurance costs — Your price $200 — Dealers costs $30
Detailing, pin striping — Your price $299 — Dealers costs $30
Total of extras — Your price $3499 — Dealers costs $515
Extra monthly payment — Your price $97 — Dealers costs $0

As you can see, these extras when buying a car will get you in the end. If you can, you should avoid them all together. They are worth far more to the dealer than they are to you. Understand what you want and/or need and stick to your guns.

Starting a Small Business Through a Car Club

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If you already have a job or even a career and are looking for ways you can earn a bit of additional money you may find some relief in your car club.
Many people in car clubs prefer to do business with other members and this makes the prime situation for making some additional money in a business geared towards cars. Some of the best options that are available may be looking you right in the face without you realizing it but harnessing your ability and the network connections you have from your collector’s car club could turn into a very profitable venture.

One of the first things you need to consider is what do you have to offer. Can you paint well? Do you have the supplies at your home to do the painting? Most car collectors at some point in time are going to want to paint at least one vehicle. The process is very expensive though, especially from businesses and most people do not have the time or space in their home to do it themselves. If you have the equipment and a bit of free time, it could be a great way to make some extra money.

Another way you can use the car club to create a small business is if you are good at working on cars. Not everyone has the time or knowledge to work on their own cars. Having the knowledge and tools at your disposal makes it quite easy for you to open up. Create an account at some auto supply stores and you should be able to get the parts for a nice discount, which can make it even more profitable. If you really love working on cars then this could be a fabulous way to earn a bit of extra money and turn your skills and connections into a nice stream.

If you are good at upholstery work, bodywork, or even detail cleaning those are other skills that you can use to your advantage in terms of making some money. Detail cleaning is especially important to most car club member’s right before a car show. Everyone wants their car to look the best possible and this includes those who do not have the supplies or who are just too busy to do the cleaning. This is a great way to make some money without consuming your entire schedule. It is very important if you are interested in using your contacts to your advantage for business purposes that you be able to demonstrate your skills.

This would mean that if you are interested in detail cleaning cars for others you should always ensure that your car is clean and organized. If you are interested in doing mechanical work, ensure that you know what you are doing, and also make sure you have the appropriate tools. For those who enjoy painting it is very important to have the tools and supplies that you need readily available and ensure that your vehicle always looks good. Your vehicle is your form of advertisement; you always need to ensure it shows the best image of you possible. Never take your vehicle out if it is running poorly, or in bad shape when you are using your skills to make money.

People who are willing to put forth some effort and really hone their skills are usually highly successful at making some money by working with the members of the clubs on ventures. If you are not willing to put for the a bit of effort then you are not likely to make much if anything. If you are good at talking to people, you may discover that it is a great way to supplement your income, or you may discover that the demand is so large that the business can grow even further and provide a complete source of income for you. With some work and time you are sure to find a lot of extra money can be made.

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Your SUV: Your New Paint Job

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Look sharp in cut rate auto body shop or you may lose more than you gain. A good paint job to spruce up your SUV up truck may lose you more than you gain. A good job takes time, skill and equipment.

Why should you pay big dollars to have your SUV repainted when you can get the job done for much less cost? After all for appearances if you place both of these jobs side by side they may well look fine.

In fact, one may be actually be as good as the other – and you will be in the chips with the cheaper job. A low overhead , a low margin of profit and a volume business can make it possible for one shop to charge bargain basement prices and turn out a job that will stand up for years.

But cutting pries may also mean cutting corners. If you have ever painted a car or even a fence you know that a job takes time, patience and a good degree of skill. There are many chances for cutting corners. Failing to sand off rust for instance. Or skipping various steps in the process.

Here are some defects that might show up over time in a corner cutting paint job.

The most common defect is “Peeling”. Peeling is what happens most often. Sometimes the entire paint film lifts off right down to bare metal and you can see rust that was not removed. Or the sealing has not stuck to the primer coat or finish stuck to sealer.

Next in line is wrinkling. Wrinkling is a condition that you can almost always blame on the man or women who did the job. Perhaps too heavy a coat of paint was applied. Or the painter may have used a thinner that dried too fast. In warm weather this will produce a very heavy coat that will surface dry too rapidly. Insufficient thinner is another cause of wrinkling.

Cracking and checking may come from too much haste in turning out the job. Applying finish coasts before the coats underneath dry may well have occurred. Sudden temperature changes or the movement of body panels may cause fine cracks.

Should you take back a defective job like this – the painter may tell you that that “spotting in” would fix it up. It will not. The entire panel must be completely refinished.

Blistering of paint can be caused by a variety of conditions but if it happens soon after the car comes from the auto body shop you can almost always blame the painter.

Poor preparation of the metal always causes blisters and bubbles. Perhaps various steps were missed or fudged. Grease oil or dirt may have been left on the surface before painting began. Moisture or oil in the air line of the spray gun can cause blisters as well.

But if the job is done at a time of high temperature and humidity, be cautious about blaming the shop. These conditions may blister the very best paint job. Even nearby chemical plants or pollution can cause this as well.

How can you avoid such defects and problems? True in even in a full high priced job, some of these defects some or even all of these defects can show up. But your chances of missing them are far better.

Above all, know the shop and its reputation. If you are doubtful stand around awhile and watch. You might well do this while awaiting your estimate.

After all it is your SUV. Your vehicle is the best representation of you. Being careful and thorough is always the best policy.

Diminished Value: What Most Insurance Companies Don’t Want You To Know

Diminished Value: What Most Insurance Companies Don’t Want You To Know

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If you have been in a car accident with a newer car that was not totaled but received a significant amount of damage, you may be entitled to more money than you know about. Most insurance companies won’t tell you that you may be able to get a significant amount of money for a diminished value claim. Many people do not even know what diminished value means.

Diminished value is the difference in value between a vehicle with an accident history, and the same vehicle without an accident history. Diminished value is the monetary difference between a car’s pre-accident value and its value after the accident – the automatic loss in value from a collision. Diminished value is very hard to prove, so many times you need to hire an attorney who handles diminished value claims, depending on what state you live in.

Diminished value exists as a real concept in the insurance world and it is paid all throughout the country. Diminished value is the best-kept secret that your auto insurance company hopes you never learn. Diminished value is a reality, even in cases where repairs eliminate all visual evidence of damage. Diminished value is most pertinent in relation to late model cars that have low miles and have suffered structural damage. The amount of repair related diminished value is determined by the overall quality of the repairs.

Diminished Value and Insurance

Insurance companies generally do not acknowledge the right to recover diminished value. Insurance companies would have you believe they are your advocates when in reality they are your adversaries. Insurance companies promise to restore your vehicle back to its pre-accident condition, but fail to define exactly what that means. Nowadays, a vehicle’s crash history is easy to track online, and a history of an accident can cost a vehicle owner thousands of dollars.

Diminished Value and Accidents

The fact that it has been involved in an accident and repaired causes your vehicle to have diminished value. It has been estimated that 55% of consumers would not buy a car that had been in an accident. Although your body shop does an excellent job and your vehicle looks as good as it did before the accident, having been in a collision it’s now much less desirable if you should decide to sell it now or down the road. If you list your car for sale in the newspaper for the Kelley Blue Book Value, the first thing a buyer will ask is “Was this car in an accident?” If your beautiful late model car sustained structural damage, or was repaired with cheap foreign parts, your buyer will likely not pap the same value for it as they would have before the auto accident.

Diminished Value Appraisal

It has been my experience that it is key to get a good appraiser to value the car once the appraisals are done.

Without An Excellent Finish Your Vehicle Is No Shark

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If there is a paradox that meanders through automobile vehicle owners – whether it is owners of cars, trucks or S.U.V.’s is that most owners and purchasers tend to short change their vehicle’s finish and final shiny finish and presentation. This absurdity is usually two fold: either the enthusiast loses patience, is lazy or simply runs out of money. However according to automotive industry expert Riteway Strokon “Presentation and Appearance is Everything” “ Presentation, Presentation , Presentation“ is similar to the Real Estate Salesperson’s adage of “Location , Location , Location”..

What factors need to be considered in the choice of car body paint shop and technician specialists who will prepare and apply the finish to your vehicle – be it car, truck or S.U.V.? First of all a proper and a through job of preparation are essential. Once cannot skimp on a foundation of a house and once cannot skimp on proper auto body paint preparation. A paint job is only as good as to what is underneath it. The auto body surface must be absolutely clean – first by a chemical stripper, next removing any rust apparent or not apparent on the car by either by chemical means or by sandblasting. Once those two are done the surface must be washed down with a metal conditioner to in effect etch the metal surface for better adhesion of the paint.

Next the surface of the vehicle is primed with a special “primer “coat of paint. The key thing to ask and look for at this stage of the process is whether the car with its coat of primer paint will be allowed to air dry and set for a number of days or whether the paint will be slapped on after only a cursory overnight time period of primer paint drying. After a thorough drying – this coat of primer paint will next be thoroughly and carefully sanded. Again attention to detail and patience are key. You can often judge these two traits in a shop and its staff by both their attention to cleanliness and order in their shop of tools and equipment, their general demeanor as well as references from previous customers.

Next in line is the actual painting process. Here again attention to detail is key. Not enough can be stressed on the importance of this stage in the vehicle painting process.

Lastly it comes to the post presentation finishing. Ask about this step. Some shops will consider the job “done” after the simple application of the surface paint.

Others will pay great attention to detail – inspecting and applying finishing touches- in effect making sure that everything and anything of the presentation and appearance of the car is in order. The vehicle so to speak should be in better than “new condition”. Ensure that body moldings as well as the rubber door seals are placed in properly – that is tight fitting without space so that the rubber doors seals seal fit intact and tightly without gaps. There should be no wind noises. Lastly ensure that no remnants of the finished paint job are apparent in small ways on your vehicle paint job.

All in all a more than excellent paint job more than adds great value and appreciation to your vehicle – whether it is Car, Truck or Sports Recreation Vehicle .

Raffles, Drawings and Other Contests for Car Clubs

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If you are trying to decide what your club should possibly offer as a raffle prize there are several things that you should consider but of course, finding prizes that are car related are always best. Some of the most popular options are also highly affordable as well, especially if you take the time to call around and see if you can obtain any donations for the raffle that you are conducting. Just be careful to ensure that you treat businesses right to get repeat prizes in the future.

Look to cat detailing and body shops for some gift certificates. Most people with great classic cars are ever really satisfied with the appearance. This leaves it quite necessary to usually continuously redo some work of some sort. A small gift certificate may not go far, but it can be a huge help if someone is close to finishing the work on their car. Plus, many shops will work out a deal where you can purchase the gift certificate for at least a reduced price if not donate it entirely.

Auto parts stores are another great idea for raffles. Most people need auto parts at some point even if it is something that is basic like oil and spark plugs for normal maintenance. Providing members with prizes that allow them to pick up the auto parts of their choice can be a sure way to win over members.

Car seats are sometimes uncomfortable or even neglected in the quest to make the outside of the car look gorgeous. Consider seeking out either seat covers, or an upholstery shop for a prize. This would allow members to have some work done on the inside of their car without having the save up them money to afford it themselves.

Additionally, look to some restaurants to donate some gift certificates for free food. These are usually quite easy to arrange and almost always are free to get, just talk to the manager at the store and you are generally able to obtain 2-3 complete meals quite easily. Similar arrangements can usually be worked out for movie theaters as well. This can help you to arrange an entire date night to give away to members.

If you happen to have a really large budget, you could arrange for a small mini weekend vacation somewhere. If you are really good at talking to people you might be able to get some free gas cards to pay for the gas if the destination is close by, as well as a free or at least reduced priced hotel room as well. Talk to the managers around the destination area and you may be even able to snag some free tickets to events and attractions in the area.

As you can see, raffles and contests do not always have to have t-shirts and hats as prizes. While some people really are thrilled to win a shirt, having a few big prizes, especially when they are discounted make a great option for helping to boost the sales of the tickets, or encourage members to attend meetings if you are always giving away great prizes to those who show up. Just remember, be very nice to businesses that donate prizes so that they are likely to work with you again in the future.

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Safety Instructions Before Using Vehicle Lifts

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Lifts are used to raise a vehicle on a stable platform, allowing automotive mechanics unrestricted access to inspect and repair the underbelly, transmission and wheels of the vehicle. Multiple vehicle lifts are standard equipment in most auto repair shops. In addition, some automobile enthusiasts install lifts in their homes for vehicle storage.

Prior to 1920, only service pits were available for repairing and doing preventive maintenance on the undersides of vehicles. The hydraulic auto lift was invented in the 1920’s to reduce the time and equipment needed to hoist vehicles off the ground. Depending on the design used, .today’s vehicle lifts can raise up to 50,000 pounds and can cost between $9,000 and $45,000. Installation not included.

In the beginning, there were no industry standards and vehicle lifts varied in design and construction. After World War II, there were only fifteen auto lift manufacturers in the United States. They recognized the need to develop standards to guide the industry. In 1947, the U.S. government issued its first set of standards. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration developed its own regulations in 1974.

Today, there are three major manufacturers of heavy lifts: Mohawk Resources Ltd. of Amsterdam, NY; Advantage Lift Systems based in San Diego, CA; and Rotary Lift in Madison, IN. Electric controls for lifts are standard, and lift features vary according to price and model. They vary depending on where they make contact with the vehicle, usually the axles, frame or wheels. They include single-, two-, four-post, and scissors lifts. The single- and two-post lifts are ideal for small trucks and cars. The four-post auto lift is used for most commercial and transit vehicles. The scissors lift saves space by having the posts in the middle of the lift, operating like an open pair of scissors.

Over the years, the structure of the automobile body has changed. Vehicles previously built onto underbody frames are now being constructed into frameless or unibody styles. Lifts have evolved to better handle the structure of newer vehicles. Rotary, for example, has developed the three stage lift. It has three telescoping sections, giving it a greater range of extension and retraction than other lifts. As a result, it can reach a broader range of vehicle pick-up points. It has become the preferred lift of many vehicle manufacturers, including Honda, Volkswagen and Audi.

Despite changes in the design of lifts over the years, many injuries and accidents occur annually. This is usually due to human error rather than any flaw in the lift design. The most simple things often lead to disaster. Auto mechanics sometimes fail to keep the lift area free of debris, grease/oil and obstructions. Not paying close attention when working around the lifts or allowing untrained individuals to use them are two more potential problems. Some forget to wear the right safety gear, including goggles, a hard hat, and steel toed boots.

Proper use and maintenance of the equipment is essential. Blocking or overriding the controls is dangerous. The manufacturer’s rated capacity is shown on the nameplate affixed to lift. Despite this, some mechanics use the lift to hoist vehicles that exceed the weight limit.

An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. Mistakes made before the vehicle is lifted are accidents waiting to happen. The lift arms must be properly positioned before the vehicle is raised. If the center of gravity of the car is not on the center of the lift, cars may tip off. With some vehicles, removing or installing items may cause a critical shift in the vehicle’s center of gravity and result in instability. Mechanics should always refer to the lift manufacturer’s recommendations. If there is not ample overhead clearance space, the vehicle may be crushed. Mistakes also occur when the transmission is not in neutral, doors are not securely closed or the ignition is not turned off. Some repairmen fail to lock the lift into place before going under it. Others raise the car while someone is inside the vehicle.

Numerous accidents occur during the lifting process. The vehicle should be loaded on a lift carefully. Mechanics should ensure that the lift supports are in contact with the manufacturer’s recommended lifting points. When a secure contact is made, the lift can be raised to the desired working height. If work will be done under the vehicle, the lift should be raised high enough for its locking device to be engaged.

Before lowering a lift, the mechanic should ensure that everything is removed from under the vehicle. Locking devices should be disengaged before the lift is lowered.

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