Mobile Car Washing for Large Franchised Rent-a-Car Corporations

If you are considering expanding your mobile car wash business clientele and customer base this year perhaps you should look into the washing of Rent-A-Car agencies. What you may not realize is that some Rent-A-Car agencies are huge corporations where each outlet, store or location is owned by the company. But there are large franchised Rent-A-Car companies where each location is independently owned and operated and where the actual Corporation may only own larger airport locations.

If you are considering expanding your clientele to include large franchised Rent-A-Car companies you may want to learn a little bit more about the history behind them before you go to make the sales call. Now then, when doing business with Dollar and Thrifty Rent-A-Car you must understand that they operate differently than other rental car agencies. You see, Dollar and Thrifty have the same parent company. They are head quartered in Tulsa, OK.

Dollar is an interesting company with 441 locations in 26 countries. They have about 100,000 cars in the US in their rental fleet. They were started in Los Angeles, CA in 1964. They were bought by Pentastar Transportation Group in 1990. Along with Thrifty Rent-A-Car, General Rent-A-Car and Snappy Rent-A-Car. Snappy was sold in 1994. They closed General Rent-A-Car in 1993. General Rent-A-Car was pretty much a duplication of the others and it had non-Chrysler cars in it. Once they ran out the company was closed.

Pentastar Transportation was a subsidiary of Chrysler to sell them cars to compete with Hertz owned by Ford and GM’s Rent-A-Car acquisitions of the 80s. Chrysler divested themselves of the company, which was then called Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group. Thrifty and Dollar are franchisors that license out their brand names for independent businesses. Dollar has over 260 suburban locations and is also in most all major airports. Dollar predominately rents only DaimlerChrysler cars, mini vans and pick-ups. Their President, Gary Paxton at one time was the first franchisee outside the state of CA. He now ran that entire company of the Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group. Gary also was formerly the president of the ACRA – American Car Rental Association.

Thrifty Rent-A-Car has 1300 locations all franchised in 58 countries. They have 60 dealership agreements to sell their cars after run out of miles. They are planning to get another 300 car sales lots by 2005. Thrifty and Dollar together pack a wallop. Thrifty Rent-A-Car has 66% of its business in airport markets and 34 % in local suburban markets. Thrifty car sales was only started in 1999, but already has 60 locations and is growing fast. Thrifty has also purchased airport parking lots across the US owning 40 of them with some 14000 spaces. In many of these lots they have a car wash to wash their own cars but also for customers parking.

5 Automotive Tools Every Auto Owner Needs

Automobiles are sizeable investments. As a car becomes older, its maintenance becomes increasingly important. There are many tools that every auto owner should have. Auto shops can sometimes charge exurbanite amounts for a simple fix that could have been done at home for much cheaper. Having the proper tools and knowledge will allow any auto owner to save money, learn more about their automobile, and maintain their car.

1. Every auto owner should have a jack and jack stands. When working on a car, more often than not, the car must be elevated. Simple procedures like rotating tires can be done at home with the help of a Jack. Additionally, all car owners should have a jack in their car with them wherever they go. In the unfortunate event of a flat tire, having a jack and a spare tire can lead to a simple tire replacement. In a garage, having a powerful jack and strong jack stands makes it possible for an auto owner to reach every point underneath the car and thus solve problems more efficiently.

2. One of the most important car maintenance practices is the oil change. To maintain an automobile, the oil should be changed once every 3,000 miles. Quintessential to a successful oil change is having an Oil Wrench that takes the oil filter off and allows the oil to be changed expediently. Without an oil wrench, an auto owner may be forced to take their car to an auto shop and overpay for a simple oil change.

3. Often when dealing with parts of the engine, or the hard-to-reach spots under the hood, proper tools are required. A 3/8-inch Socket Set can allow an automobile owner to loosen and subsequently tighten a wide variety of bolts. Different extensions allow the auto owner to obtain the best angles for torque and therefore make auto jobs quite a bit easier.

4. When changing oil, having a funnel, some rags, and a bucket is very helpful. Once again, the oil change is one of the most important maintenances for a car, and it can be done easily by anyone. However, many people do not have the proper tools or knowledge for a successful oil change. Having a funnel can also be useful when refilling any other fluids in one’s car. The funnel serves to make sure that fluids do not get over filled, which can lead to significant problems.

5. Finally, every auto owner should have a pair of solid vice grips. Some times a part will just not come loose. Other times, a car part may not seem to be tight enough despite one’s best efforts. Vice grips can hold a wide variety of car parts and allow the user to obtain more leverage for either tightening or loosening a part. When encountering a part that will simply not come loose, many auto owners will give up and take their car to a shop. Having vice grips can help one to avoid this problem.

Unfortunately, there is no car in existence that doesn’t require constant maintenance. However, with the right tools, anyone can fix minor problems and maintain his or her automobile without the assistance of an auto mechanic. The right tools can lead to a longer last vehicle, and large cost savings.

How to Choose a Repair Shop

The best way to start is to do some preliminary research. Visit websites such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or any of the multitude of repair shop review websites to scout for prospects. Check with friends or colleagues to see if they would recommend a shop they’ve used in the past. Often, the best advice comes from someone in your social network who has seen the shops work first-hand.

Next, check with professional organizations. The Automotive Service Association (ASA) and America’s Collision Repair Association (ACRA) are both useful resources to use when looking for a dependable shop. Shops typically have to maintain rigorous standards and uphold a code of ethics to gain membership. To go a step further, once you have narrowed down your search, you can check to see if their repair technicians are certified by Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). These technicians have undergone specialized training which sets them apart from the rest.

When you visit the shop, make sure that it is clean and has a professional appearance; this is a reflection on their work. Confirm the shop is licensed in your state and, if needed, ask to see a copy of their license. Make sure they can do work on your make and model of vehicle. Show them your appraisal and find out if they will have any problems ordering the necessary parts. If everything looks good, get a timeframe for when you can drop off your car and when the work should be completed. Ask to be kept updated on the repairs as they progress. Also, take this time to discuss any deductible you may be responsible for and make sure that everyone is on the same page as far as what will be owed upon completion.

When the time comes to pick up your car, give it a good once over. Closely check the area which was damaged. See if the body panels line up and the paintwork matches. Check that the hood, trunk, and doors all open and close properly if they were affected by the impact. Bring up any concerns you have before taking your vehicle. It will be much easier to get them addressed on the spot rather than days or weeks later.

If an issue does come up down the road, call the shop to report it. Most will address legitimate complaints and work to correct them. If they don’t, report them to the professional organizations to which they belong. You can also contact your county or state consumer protection agency to report the situation and also file a complaint with the BBB.

If none of this gets the shop moving and the faulty workmanship issues persist, consider pursuing a claim against the repair shop’s insurance company. If you followed the above steps and chose a licensed and reputable shop, they will have an insurance policy which should cover you if they did a shoddy job on your repairs.

Automotive Rapid Prototyping Fail First Paradox

New product development and innovation is much more difficult and time consuming than most other business activities. Automotive rapid prototyping greatly enhances learning speed and reduces the risk of new automotive parts development.

Historically, the automotive industry has been using rapid prototyping as an important tool in the automotive parts design process. The extremely fast-paced automotive design cycles require an extremely fast prototyping system which can produce car parts fast and inexpensively.

The main objective of automotive prototyping is to learn quickly: how a new automotive product behaves in its natural working environment, before transferring the prototype to the production line. Many times, mistakes are learned only after a new automotive part is launched. This is the main explanation for poor automotive parts design, from product mismatch, poor engineering and function or finish, and overpriced production. In order to accelerate the learning curve, before these costly automotive prototyping mistakes are made, one must accelerate and facilitate feedback loops from tests in the lab and market trials.

Automotive Manufacturing Technologies

Working with an assortment of rapid prototyping equipment, automotive prototyping engineers utilize the most advanced 3D printers, in their quest for perfect form, function and utility. Working in advanced manufacturing centers, the automotive engineers use the technology to verify what they are doing, and, equally important, to save tremendous amounts of time, and money.

Automotive Rapid Prototyping Compresses Development Time

The advantages of 3D rapid prototyping model creation versus viewing a cad/cam model on a computer screen is palpable. Automotive parts engineers get together discuss the pros and cons of a rapidly produced automotive parts model and discuss the pros and cons of the design, as they pass it around, twisting and viewing the prototype, and decide if that is what they had in mind. This way, problems get solved up front, before going to the assembly line! Once determined that the automotive prototype design is a go, the model can then be sent to a die maker.

Automotive Prototyping and the Die Maker Process

The die maker cannot use model to make the die, but because they have it in their hand and can look at it and feel it, they can determine where the parting lines will be and exactly how much steel they will need to produce it. The timing of the die process is greatly compressed.

Examples of Automotive Rapid Prototyping Parts

· Engine castings and parts

· Car Engine parts

· Auto Mechanical parts

· Car Dashboards

· Car Handles and Knobs

· Auto Body Components

· Car Trim parts

Fail first Paradox in Automotive Rapid Prototyping

The automotive rapid prototyping paradox is to fail earlier rather than later. By failing earlier, the design engineers surprisingly succeed in accelerating the project; this greatly reduces development cost risk. By considering all automotive prototype failures as learning experiments, the engineer has much less stress, knowing that they are practicing the old adage, that success comes from ninety-nine percent failure and introspection.

Automotive Hand Tools Are Essentially Important

Because the automotive industry is so big, there are different kinds of automotive hand tools used.

These tools are all used for fixing different issues and broken parts on automobiles like cars, motorbikes and scooters, buses, trucks even trains and locomotives.

As long as we have cars on the road there will be a need for mechanics and automotive tools to fix cars.

There is also the industry of using the tools, spanners and sockets to assemble customized replacement parts, to repair and assemble different automotive parts when restoring older cars or refurbish them. Automotive enthusiasts buy top quality spanners and socket sets and have a vast inventory in their workshop.

Here is a basic list of tools an automotive workshop might have:

* -Socket sets
* -Spanner sets
* -Air tools
* -Air fasteners
* -Jacks
* -Air compressors
* -Screwdrivers
* -Impact guns
* -Lubrication equipment
* -Hammers
* -Punches and Drifts.

Large Automotive Hand applications

Automotive hand tools include a very wide range of wrenches, spanners and sockets. These vary from small sizes for scooters and some cars to large sized wrenches and hammers for use on such vehicles as trains and trucks. Because these vehicles are so much bigger, heavier equipment is needed and these tools are described as heavy duty and are twice the size or ordinary implements. Power and hydraulic equipment is commonly used when hand power is not sufficient.

Constant Maintenance

Most people know that unfortunately vehicles are in constant need of servicing, repairs and maintenance. Its the fuel systems, petrol and diesel engines, complex electrical system, independent suspension systems, steering and brake systems that present problems to fix and repair on a periodic basis. Mechanics schedule this maintenance on your cars and utilise their tool kits to fix all the common problems that arise.

Hand Tools are extremely important and have a very large market to cater for. They are commonplace in any auto outlet and home hardware shop. The hand tools are becoming lighter and easier with every design. Be sure though -The quality is directly related to price and you really get what you pay for.