What You Really Need to Know About Automotive Service Contracts

Purchasing an automotive service contract can be costly, not purchasing one can be equally or even more expensive. So what’s one to do? Only you can decide for yourself and make a decision that suits your particular needs. However if you’ve already made the decision to purchase it would behoove you to follow the guidelines listed or you’ll otherwise find your self stuck with costly repairs even after you’ve paid for that expensive contract.

As always, read the fine print, actually read it all BEFORE purchasing. Car dealers are adept and some if not most are even trained like soldiers on a battlefield to persuade you in to buying something you don’t need or mislead you in to what a contract does or does not cover. F and I managers, salesman and car dealers are quick to explain what a service contract covers but for some reason seem to forget to inform what it doesn’t cover or the stipulations and guidelines you must follow.

Although most are similar there are some differences with individual contracts in relationship to guidelines and obviously coverage’s. The information in this article is for the purpose of rules and guidelines and not individual contract coverage’s, even these guidelines are generic in nature but normally apply to most if not all contracts.

First and foremost is to have your vehicle serviced according to the maintenance schedule in the manufacturer’s owner manual. Oil changes, fluid services etc must be performed at the intervals suggested in the owner’s manual in order for your contract to be valid.

Keep records of all services performed with date and mileages. Hand written notes won’t suffice here, receipts must be kept as well. If you’re not a good record keeper then at least have your vehicle serviced at a facility where you can easily obtains copies if needed.

Any alteration of the vehicle from manufacturer standards is not permitted. Including oversize or under size wheels and/or tires.

In some cases and in most contracts using your vehicle to tow a trailer is not permitted unless it’s designed and equipped specifically by the manufacturer to do so.

Will the Chevy Volt Revolutionize the Automotive Industry?

In late fall of 2010, General Motors will be launching the Chevy Volt. The Volt is unique as it offers the environmental benefits of a standard electric car, without the limited range. Volts can travel up to 40 miles on electric power alone, before a gasoline engine kicks in to help recharge its batteries. Will the Chevrolet Volt revolutionize the automotive industry, or will it help fill a small niche market of green cars alongside other plug ins and hybrids?

To analyze the potential success (or failure) of the Chevy Volt one needs to examine both the economic costs (and savings), and vehicle features like size, performance, and availability.

*Vehicle Cost: The Chevy Volt is expected to have a list price of $40,000. However, all Volt purchasers will qualify for a $7,500 Federal Tax Credit, bringing the total cost down to $32,500. The Volt’s primary electric car competitor, the Nissan Leaf, is expected to have a list price roughly $7,000 less than the Volt’s. The most similar gas powered vehicle is the Chevrolet Cruze, with a price tag in the $20,000 range. Popular hybrids like the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight cost roughly $10,000 less than the Volt will. Clearly, if GM hopes to sell to more than just the first adopters, they will need to find ways to cut production costs and bring the price down.

*Gas Savings: The Volt can save customers $1,500 per year in fuel costs based on a daily commute of 40 miles. This represents the maximum fuel savings, as no gasoline is needed when the vehicle is driven up to 40 miles a day. A more reasonable estimate would be annual fuel savings of $750 given the fact that people will be driving more than 40 miles on certain days, and driving conditions will not always be ideal.

*Electricity Cost: It is generally accepted that Volt drivers will use 8 kW-h of energy when driving 40 miles. Assuming that the average retail price of electricity in the U.S is $0.11/kW-h, it will cost less than $1 per day to charge the Volt, or a little over $300 a year if the vehicle is fully charged every night. The first 4,400 Volt purchasers will be given free 240-volt charge stations, and in some cases, free home installation. This will give Volt owners the option of charging in a standard 120-volt wall socket, or decreasing the charge time and using the 240-volt charge station. Charging using the standard 120-volt outlet will take up to 6.5 hours, and using the 240-volt charge station will cut the charge time to 3 hours. The 240-volt charging stations have a market value of anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000. General Motors recently announced that there will be an 8 year or 100,000 mile warranty on the battery. GM expects the battery to last 10 years of 150,000 miles.

Securing Your Car Against Automotive Theft

Auto locksmiths provide locksmith and security services for vehicles. They can provide lockouts, code cutting of keys, keys duplication, extraction of broken keys, new keys reproduction, fobs programming, door lock and ignition lock repairing, and transponder keys. Some cars are equipped with an immobilizer system. This system guarantees that the car will only start if a key with the right embedded electronic transponder is used in the ignition. This system has been made a legal requirement in any UK car manufactured after the year of 1995. This system greatly decreases the chance of having your car stolen, because a lock-picking thief will most probably be missing the transponder key or having a faulty one.

One issue of blacksmiths that was raised in the 1990s was the issue of full disclosure. It was addressing the question of whether automotive locksmiths should reveal weaknesses in market locks when they are found or keep that information secret from the public.

Automotive locksmiths are not only helpful for securing your car. They can come very handy if you want to break into your own car. If you are locked out for example or when you are in an urgent need of new keys, having a good locksmith in as veges in your contacts list can be very helpful. However, having the wrong locksmith in your contacts list can be very dangerous. Lots of vehicle locksmith business in as veges are available everywhere, but you need to make sure of the legitimacy of the person you are hiring and double check their license before you hand them the keys to your car.

A good auto locksmith will take care of all you car locking or truck locking requirements. Some really skillful locksmiths are ready to challenge all automotive locking needs. Some businesses are open for 24/7 and come to your service just minutes after you call them to handle whatever problem you through at them. As I said earlier, just make sure it is the right person you are calling.

A specialist auto locksmith can replace you car keys, cut new ones, clone the transponder, and program a fob that will work very effectively on your car central locking system.

Why Canadian Automotive Dealerships Need Social Marketing

Facebook. Twitter. Flickr. These social spaces used to be buzz words. Now they are commonplace – and very heavily used. Facebook and Twitter are estimated to have close to one billion users between them (probably many of the same people using both). That’s over ten percent of the population of the entire world!

It’s no secret that these sites are primarily used for social networking: keeping in touch with friends, reconnecting with long lost relatives, keeping abreast of the latest celebrity smut. However, recent changes – particularity to Facebook – indicate that the tide is changing. Businesses have caught on to the power of social marketing. Facebook states that over sixty million businesses have a registered “Fan Page” – a social space that allows a business to connect to fans and people in their local demographic. Furthermore, Facebook has even developed its own computer language called “FBML” – a variance of HTML that allows designers to write code in order to customize a Facebook Fan Page to suit the needs of a particular business.

Again, the power of Facebook is no secret, but it’s interesting to study which industries have taken to it. Not surprisingly, web-based businesses are the first to leverage the power of social marketing. Media businesses are also quick to make sure they are “Facebooking” and “Twittering”, while traditional businesses – especially sales-based enterprises – are yet to fully utilize the power of social marketing.

Perhaps the largest industry segment that has yet to get on board with social marketing is the automotive industry. Some research has indicated that many dealerships feel they are simply “jumping on a bandwagon” – a bandwagon they feel will eventually ship off, leaving the current trend followers in the same place they were before the social marketing craze began. But it is clearly evident that social marketing is far more than just a trend. Facebook was founded in 2006 and has shown consistent and significant growth over the last four years. It would now appear that those who have not jumped on the bandwagon have only missed out on four years of free publicity.

Think about how much money the automotive industry spends on advertising on a yearly basis. The figures are staggering – in excess of tens of billions. And not just advertising for dealerships, but brands as well – lifestyle and image marketing, brand preference battles, and so on. Maybe the industry has become so accustomed to spending huge dollars on advertising that the thought large-scale, free exposure on Facebook and Twitter is virtually unbelievable.

But, dealerships are busy. Sales people are selling cars and management is making sure they’re doing a good job of it. So, it’s best for dealerships to leave the management of a proper social marketing campaign to a professional – a company who makes a living out of utilizing social marketing to generate new leads and to increase branding and exposure for dealerships

Weight Loss and Good Health are Not Always the Same

When they want to get fit and healthy, many people automatically think of losing weight. A few will think about adding muscle, but most will be concentrating on the weight loss aspect.

However. weight loss is not always synonymous with better health.

Oh, there is an excellent chance that, in most instances, getting rid of some excess weight will result in improvement in some areas of physical wellbeing. Your blood pressure might improve, for example, or your arthritis might not bother you as much, but that does not mean that your overall health is better simply because you shed a few pounds.

The total health benefits of any fitness program or nutrition regimen will be dependent on many factors.

Your age, your sex, your present and past lifestyle, your genetic make-up, as well as many other variables will be involved in the overall outcome.

You cannot control your age, sex, or genetic inheritance, but there are good lifestyle choices and bad ones which can have a strong impact on your health. Choosing the wrong ones, particularly in combination, can result in a general increase, or even a decrease in health, even though one or two specific factors may still be positively affected. However, just as weighing more than what a chart says you should does not mean you are not healthy, weighing what the chart says does not necessarily mean that you ARE healthy either.

One example often given is that of the muscular athlete who, while in prime physical condition, weighs more than the charts say is the best weight for physical health.

For most people, being overweight creates a condition of risk for many health issues in addition to reducing the ability of the individual to enjoy life, or have a high level of self-esteem. Simply changing the weight to a lower level does not automatically produce better health.

Health and Wellness: Secret of Success

How can I take 20 years of clinical experience and begin to explain the secrets of health in just a few words? The answer is simple. You see, I used to stress about the challenges and obligations of educating patients on the importance of various health issues but not anymore.

In today’s information revolution we have access to anything we can imagine, including an overabundance of health related secrets and strategies at our disposal. While it is true that there are some extreme views out there, when it comes to health advice regarding diet, exercise and weight management to name a few, the truth is that there are numerous ways to accomplish our goals that are available right at our fingertips. Don’t get me wrong if there are people who need education due to a specific request or language barrier or something of that nature I will take as long as it takes to explain both in simple and medical terms to the best of my ability, but those demands are not what they were 20 years ago.

I’ve heard it said regarding health and wellness, “It seems like the patients know more than the doctors.” That may be pretty accurate sometimes as doctors tend to excel at their interest or specialty yet we as patients and as people have been programmed if you will to research everything, including our health.

So what is the secret to health, wellness and peace of mind? The answer is that there are countless paths to accomplish the goal. The key is not the how…it is the when. When you and I make a decision to take the information available and act on it is when health can be improved. The secret and the responsibility on achieving health must start with a strong enough conviction to choose a different or improved lifestyle.

Western healthcare and Eastern healthcare alike have fought both externally and internally on the philosophy of what works and what doesn’t…normally with government and lobbyist interest behind the efforts. It’s true that much of the different recommendations around the world are driven not only by tradition, innovation and education, but also by money.

So who do we trust? Trust yourself as at the end of the day you must want to achieve your health goals more than your family, your friends or your doctor. Take responsibility and decide that failure is not an option as all other types of health advice is secondary to this fact. I encourage you to build a support group either in person and / or online to set goals and discuss how your health is doing, what is working for you and for others. Lastly, seek out as much free information as possible. Don’t have your advise tainted by who may stand to profit from your interest.

Congratulations, you have researched and made it to the end. Did you know studies indicate that most people who buy a book don’t read past the first chapter? That is the point to this article, you see it is not up to me…it’s up to you. I hope this made you think, made you excited, made you mad, made you something? It is the emotional response that drives us to action, I challenge you to make a decision about your health today. Feel free to link below for more strategies and remember, there are several ways to get there, but most people never reach there goals because they don’t put into practice what they already know. Finish the book, finish the race and improve your health now… the quality of your life may depend on it. Best Wishes.

Controversial Health Care

Health care has become a hot button issue for politicians and voters in the recent past. Some people believe that there should be a universal health care system put into place so that every citizen has access to health coverage. Others think the health care system should stay the way it currently is with private health care companies in control as opposed to the government taking control of health policies.

As with every debate, money plays a role in the controversy behind health care. A public health system would cost hundreds of billions of dollars, which would add additional strain to the government’s already stretched budget. In order to finance a public health care plan, taxes would have to be raised. Some citizens who would carry the bulk of this tax burden don’t think they should have to, since they are not effected by the current care crisis.

The argument for the other side states that the current cost of health insurance is becoming so expensive that many Americans can’t afford to pay their monthly premiums. Also, uninsured Americans are presently costing hospitals millions of dollars every year in unpaid medical bills.

People who are against a universal care plan claim that healthy Americans who take care of themselves should not have to shoulder the burden of Americans who do not take care of themselves. Statistically, wealthier means healthier in America.

Those on the other side of the issue believe that every citizen should have access to safe and affordable health insurance coverage. They claim that this type of health plan is not available to everyone today for various reasons including having one of the many pre existing conditions that automatically disqualify millions of Americans from obtaining health insurance under the current system.

At it’s core, the controversy over health care comes about simply because it’s a subject that effects every single person in the United States, whether they are insured under the current system or not. A universal care plan would also mean more government interference in the individual lives of citizens, which is a subject that many have strong opinions about. Our health policies can determine our quality of life and can even determine whether we live or die. For some, a government run system could not only allow them the freedom to see a doctor whenever they needed to, but it could also mean receiving medical attention that could potentially save their life. Others who are currently covered and have a great insurance policy could see their coverage worsen to a point where their quality of life suffers dramatically.

Corporate Health Promotion Has 3 Years to Get It Right

In comments before the 2009 Annual Art and Science of Health Promotion Conference, Michael O’Donnell, PhD, MPH, MBA (Editor in Chief, American Journal of Health Promotion) described rapid changes in this field and what it meant to practitioners. “Despite 4 decades of corporate health promotion as a profession, there is still no consensus as to the most effective and efficient way to render services. We have only about 3 years to get it right.”

Michael offers examples: “In smoking cessation, we have good science to guide us. We know that counseling therapy or nicotine replacement medication typically yields a 10% success rate. But when we combine counseling and nicotine replacement, the rate goes up to 30%. We also know when you increase the number of minutes of counseling, you increase success rates; but at 300 minutes we reach a plateau. Involving different types of people in counseling sessions also increases the likelihood of positive outcomes. By applying these scientific principles, we multiply our success 6-fold. Yet in something like weight control, beyond knowing people need to eat less and exercise more, we have very little knowledge of what works.”

Strongly believing the industry needs to dedicate itself to studying what works in health promotion, he was actively involved in promoting Senate bill (S.1001/HR2354). Called the Health Promotion FIRST (Funding Integrated Research Synthesis and Training) Act, many provisions became law when President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and began going into effect in 2010. The bill included additional health promotion provisions and enjoyed bipartisan support. Highlights include:

Development of a national health promotion plan
Increased health promotion research
Technical assistance to enhance evaluation of worksite health promotion programs
Regular surveys on worksite health program prevalence and components
Grants to pay part of the cost for comprehensive worksite health promotion programs in small organizations
Allowing employers to offer employees an insurance premium discount of up to 30% (instead of the current 20%) for positive lifestyle practices or participation in worksite health promotion programs and asking Health and Human Services to study the benefits of increasing to 50%.