Tow Truck Repo Stories

Posted by on Dec 27, 2017 in Auto Repairs |

If you’re in the repo business, you’ve no doubt seen and heard a lot of stories.  Funny stories, stories that piss you off, stories that will scare the heck out of you, and so on.

 

Here is a collection of stories I found on Odometer.com and they fit the bill in all the categories (funny, sad, mad, scary, etc.).

 

And, YouTube has plenty of videos to watch that will also make you laugh.

Here’s a crazy one:

 

 

Repo men are usually employed by the lender who financed the car loan.  Repo men take chances every time they go to work.  Consumers who default on their loans and find themselves in this position shouldn’t take it upon themselves to fight with the guy who was hired to return the property to the lender.  Take your beef up with the lender.  That’s my humble opinion.

 

 

 

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Restoring an old VW Van

Posted by on Oct 22, 2017 in Auto Repairs |

Everyone loves the old VW “camper” Van, especially one that has been brought back to life with a beautiful restoration and paint job.  If you are lucky enough to own one, here are the steps to restoring that old VW Camper Van to like-new, classic antique status:

 

ENGINE & TRANSMISSION

Rebuild the engine with new parts (not refurbished), to include the carburetor and air cleaner, the battery, spark plugs, and seals. Next, replace the old points and condenser distributor system with a new electronic ignition system.

 

UNDERCARRAIGE & MECHANICAL

Be sure to power wash and seal the undercarriage with rust preventative undercoating. All mechanical and electrical components removed in disassembly should be carefully inspected, tested and repaired or replaced.  These parts include Some, steering, brakes, axle, throttle, clutch, break cables, shifter and suspension components, and the heater.

INTERIOR & UPHOLSTERY

Coat the floor with undercoating, new plywood and high traction carpet. Seat stands, rear cargo and side panels get covered with new automotive carpet. Dashboard and components are disassembled, painted and reassembled. Replace the front door panels. Install a new, modern stereo. Add new seats with lap seat belts. Add new floor mats, kick panels, sun visors, handles, etc.

EXTERIOR

Hang new doors, replace handles, windows, mirrors, antenna, grill, roof rack, and bumpers. Replace all rubber seals around the windows and doors, too.  Finally, four new tires and wheels and you are on your way!
Most importantly, have fun!

 

 

 

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Lift Kit Maintenance for 4x4s

Posted by on Oct 21, 2017 in Auto Repairs |

Fixing the lift kit on a 4×4 ain’t no joke.  Make sure you have the right tools and the right knowledge.  Do NOT try at home if you do not.  Better to hire a professional to make sure it gets done right.

 

Altering the suspension on a truck looks super cool and is fun to have, no doubt.  However, if not well-maintained, it can have serious consequences if not done right. Here are some maintenance tips for the 3 main areas of concern:

 

1) Ride and Suspension

Problem:
Many first-time lifted truck owners don’t realize the ride penalty in going high. Not all kits are created equal, and a rough-riding rig can add to fatigue on long trips, make controlling the vehicle exhausting, and put wear on the truck itself.

Low quality shocks and generic or average tuning can lead to issues with the handling of your truck, such as vibrations, axle hop, and loss of suspension damping, which would lead to a more serious problem. Torsion bar twisting is an inexpensive method many people use to lift their truck, which may be OK for leveling, but it is not a true lift because it merely adjusts height of the truck in its suspension travel. Therefore, the higher you go with a twist, the less down travel you will have, causing shaky handling, such as skipping across the road imperfections, rather that soaking them up. On 4×4 vehicles, this also causes an issue because you could over-extend a CV axle joint on a truck that has excessive compression, but limited droop.

Solution:
Spring and shock technology has come a long way in recent years. Reservoir shocks once reserved for high-end race trucks are now within reach of many truck builders. These damping units are easily tuned, adjustable for ride height, and are readily available from many high-end shock suppliers. Custom leaf springs, tuned to your vehicle and your needs, can easily be purchased from a few quality companies. Traction bars that locate the axle to the frame to reduce unwanted movement and axle hop are another way to tame the wildness in your suspension.

 

2) Gearing

Problem:
A major drawback to upping the tire size is getting power from your engine to the ground. Installing different-sized tires from stock will effectively change your truck’s gear ratio. With a bigger tire, the truck will feel like it is geared higher (numerically lower), which is great for highway cruising, but not for low-end grunt, off-the-line acceleration, or passing power.

Solution:
To bring your truck back to stock performance, it is important to re-gear the truck accordingly. A simple calculation will tell you what gear ratio would get you back to your stock equivalent. The calculation is your new tire diameter, divided by your old tire diameter, multiplied by your old axle ratio, will equal your new axle ratio (new tire diameter/old tire diameter x current axle ratio = new axle ratio). For towing or performance, you would want the next gear ratio lower than the stock equivalent. So, if our ’95 project Silverado had 30-inch tires stock, and a 3.73 axle ratio, that calculation would tell us we need a 4.103 (which rounds off to the readily available 4.10) gear ratio to get us back to stock. The next lowest ratio from a 4.10 is the 4.56, which should be selected for towing and performance. Needless to say, we went with 4.56s on the Chevy. Because of the extra weight associated with off-road tires, we recommend always going with a performance-minded gear ratio for any tire size above 35 inches. And, keep in mind that 4x4s need both the front and rear diff re-geared to the same ratio.

3) Driveline

Problem:
When altering a truck’s suspension to make it higher, the vehicle’s frame and body is moved up and away from the differentials. This causes the driveshaft angles to become extreme, often causing bind, premature wear, and nasty vibrations. On lifted IFS trucks, the CV joints also become an issue, especially on trucks that have a wider track, and are lifted with a longer coil spring or cranked torsion bars. Many aftermarket lift kits provide CV spacers to move the stock axle outward, effectively lengthening it, but spacers aren’t necessarily the best answer for the long haul.

Solution:
For leaf sprung, solid-axled vehicles, pinion wedges should be installed between the axle and spring pack to compensate for the driveshaft angle by rotating the differential housing up, making for a clean pinion angle on the differential side. Often, this is not as easy to accomplish with the transmission or transfer case side of the driveshaft, and your U-joint-style driveshaft is best tossed for a custom unit, using a double cardan or CV joint that can run smoothly at higher angles. Custom-length CV axles are also a better bet for any lift kit, especially those that offer increased wheel travel over stock, and recommend that spacers should be used in conjunction with stock axles. The last thing you want is to blow a joint in the middle of nowhere, especially on newer vehicles that have live front axles in place of traditional hubs, and have no means of disengaging the front axle.

 

 

 

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How to Keep Annual Maintenance Costs Down

Posted by on Sep 21, 2017 in Auto Repairs |

Welcome to our Auto Repair and Towing Blog.

Here are a few tips that will help keep your repair costs down to a manageable level.

Keep an Eye on the Maintenance Intervals

Don’t overdue the maintenance suggested by the manufacturer.  Much has changed in how trucks are maintained and when they need service. It used to be that we needed to change the oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. Nowadays it’s about 10,000 miles with synthetic oil.  A transmission flush can be done about every 5 years and the brake lines can be flushed about the same.  You should flush your radiator at about 60,000 or 5 years, too.  Newer trucks these days require less maintenance than they use to.  Of course, you have to have a computer science degree and a $10,000 piece of diagnostic equipment to do it yourself, so you gotta take it to the shop.  Just less often.  And, they seem to be as dependable as ever.  No towing service needed.  That buddy of mine that’s been Towing Mesa folks around for 20 years tells me all the time that he sees 10 cars for every 1 pickup truck.  They are just so dang dependable.  RAM, Chevy, Ford, Toyota, and even Nissan.  These trucks are tough.

Replace The Air Filter

Change your air filters.  The cabin air filter will save you money for miles and for years if you keep it clean.  New ones can be washed and re-used for up to 100,000 miles or more.  Look for a K&N filter.  They seem to be most popular.

Keep and Eye on the Tire Pressure

Checking your tire pressure really is a big deal. The right pressure can help them last longer and perform better.  Low tire pressure wastes gas and causes tires to wear down faster.  And, of course, check the tread to ensure they are wearing evenly.  If not, check the alignment or the suspension and get it fixed before you end up buying another set of tires.  That’s easily $1500 for a set of truck tires, when you could have paid $150 for an alignment.

Look Into Putting a Nan0-Glass Ceramic Coating on your Truck

A nano-glass ceramic coating is a paint coating that will create a hard, clear surface that is resistant to damage from harmful UV rays and can also protect the paint from scratches. You can put this on yourself with a cloth. Duragloss seems to be the preferred option here.

 

Taking a little time can really pay dividends on the life of your truck.

Happy Trails!

 

 

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The Top Four Auto Repairs You Should Leave to the Professionals

Posted by on Jul 23, 2017 in Auto Repairs |

Most people have developed a mindset and a perception of wanting to do everything by themselves including tasks they aren’t qualified to do. As much as DIY can also apply in the automotive industry, it’s important to know what to do and what not to do. Hiring a professional or taking your vehicle to an auto repair shop might seem quite expensive but it’s the right thing to do. Of course, you may want to save money and feel independent but there should a boundary to what you should do on your own.

Many benefits come with hiring a skilled mechanic including experience, service guarantees and the right equipment for the job. Some of the tasks you can attempt on your own include washing your car, vacuuming, waxing, replacing a dead car battery and protecting the car’s interior. However, larger projects such as transmission repair and maintenance require specialized training and the right equipment for the job. Here are top four automotive repairs that should be left for a professional auto mechanic.

Suspension Systems

As much as your vehicle’s suspension system doesn’t require much attention regarding repairs and maintenance, it comprises of many small working parts which may require fine-tuning and replacement. There’s very little information explaining how one can do this repairs on their own. Repairing and servicing your vehicle’s suspension system will need you to have access to a hoist before pulling it off.

Transmission Repair and Maintenance

If you want to reduce future mechanical repairs for your vehicle, consider having regular transmission maintenance. We both know how tricky and complicated it is to handle transmission repairs. Your vehicle’s transmission is crucial when it comes to your safety. Whether you want to replace a worn clutch or just conduct routine maintenance, any task that involves your transmission is time-consuming and requires the right tools and equipment to ensure everything works properly.

Heating and Cooling Systems

The temperature in your vehicle and other parts is regulated by things such as radiator fan clutches, frost plugs, radiators, hoses, water pumps, blower fan motors, electric radiator fans, heater controls and other parts. All these parts work together to regulate your car’s temperature. In most cases, maintenance and repairing these parts requires dismantling since they can’t be accessed so easily. It, therefore, follows that only a qualified professional can help fix problems in your vehicle’s heating and cooling system.

Exhaust System/ Mufflers

The first thing most drivers think of when there’s a complication with their vehicle’s exhaust system is replacing the muffler. Despite the fact that a muffler is the biggest part of your vehicle’s exhaust puzzle, it can be sealed or repaired. The problem could be with other parts such as the oxygen sensors, exhaust pipes, exhaust headers, manifolds, or studs yet your focus is on replacing the muffler. In such cases, a DIY replacement will cost you more than having your vehicle inspected and repaired by a professional mechanic. Remember the exhaust system is complex and requires the right tools to access the area.

Other automotive repairs to be left for professionals include your vehicle’s brake system, ignition troubles, air-conditioning systems, fluid leakage and fluid flushes, power steering issues, windshield repairs and replacement, sensory malfunctions, and electrical problems.

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