The “Death Wobble” –
Be safe not sorry!
A Death Wobble is a phenomenon not to be confused with a front-end
shimmy or a wheel balance problem. A Death Wobble (DW) is very common
on vehicles with a solid front axle. It has earned its name, not
from mechanics but by vehicle owners that have been frightened by
Trailer Safety Chain
One of the most common mistakes trailer owners make is: Failure
to properly attach a safety chain between a trailer and the towing
vehicle. There seems to be a consensus by the general public that
simply attaching a chain is sufficient. Here are some vehicle code
regulations to assist you in making a safe hookup
Boat Trailer frame repairs
One of the most common damage we see to a boat trailer is caused
by “jack knifing” the trailer.” This is usually
when the trailer is being backed up and the turn angle becomes too
severe. The trailer can not turn farther and the tow vehicle driver
is unaware that the turn limit has been reached. Continued backing
up will force the trailer draw bar (tongue) to come in contact with
the tow vehicle. Damage will often occur to both the trailer and
the tow vehicle.
Cheap Collision Repair Estimate... Beware
He phoned to say…sorry you didn’t get the job. The
other shops bid was $700 dollars lower than yours was. The Insurance
Company chose the other shop.
We had written him a collision repair estimate for his vehicle.
He had been a customer for many years and we want our customers
to be customers for life. I could hear the disappointment in his
voice. He had placed his trust in us for all these years and now
he felt we were charging him too much. A business relationship was
being destroyed. But more important we had developed a friendship
and that too was now in question.
Vehicle Painting Mistakes - Improper Sealer Use
People that are interested in cars often read car and trade magazines.
They are a good source of information. But sometimes the information
is not accurate. An article appeared in a trade magazine by one
of the newest custom rod celebrities showing how to prepare a car
for painting. The car had an old paint job that was failing.
He demonstrated a process to prepare the car for a new paint job
that saved a lot of work. I was dismayed. This method is doomed
for failure. I have been adamant about not using this method for
Faded Headlight Lenses
In the early stages fade on headlight lenses appears as a fogged lens. At its worse condition it is whitish and no longer clear.
I was walking past a row of cars at the mall when I noticed several parked cars that had faded headlight lenses. This is a very common problem today. I decided to count the faded headlight lenses in comparison to the clear lenses on my way to the store. I wanted to see the percentage of good headlights v/s faded headlights. I counted 13 cars in one row. Three had clear lenses, and 5 had lightly faded lenses. The last 5 had lenses completely faded and would have made night driving dangerous.
Fiberglass Boat Repair
The most common repair failure I see in the shop is "Do It
Yourself" fiberglass repair. Let's explore repairing holes
and cracks in fiberglass boat hulls.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of products available to the general
public that will stick to fiberglass. Most common are epoxy putty,
gel coat chip repair material, and automotive body filler used for
filling dents in cars. These products are rigid and will fail if
they are applied to a surface that is flexible.
Repairing Recreational Vehicles
RV repair, specifically motorhomes and big camp trailers, require
skills and equipment that are not typically found in just one occupation
or one business.
Steel and aluminum are used in the structural components of RVs.
Metalworking skills and equipment are required. If damaged in a
collision, body and frame repair skills are required.
Trailer Wheel Alignment
There are a lot of mysteries in life. Science can answer many
of them but I don't think the subject I am discussing is a scientific
mystery. It is I believe a lack of knowledge and incorrect information
that is very common among the general public.
Misconceptions on Wheel Alignment
Complaint: I have had my car aligned three times in three
different places and it just keeps slipping out of alignment.
Alignments do not slip out unless a bolt or steering component is
loose. Vehicle owners often imply a mistake was made and the alignment
technicians neglected to tighten something. However it would
be highly unlikely that 3 technicians would make the same mistake.
What I have found most often is, the alignment is set as a wheel
to wheel comparison, not to the centerline of the vehicle. New or
rotated tires develop the same unusual wear pattern, giving the
car owner the impression the alignment has slipped out.
Trailer Towing Basics (Compulsive Behavior)
I have compulsive behavior, (a compulsory or obligatory desire to do something.)
I can not control it even if I try; I automatically go into compulsory behavior.
It is even worse that I know many of my trailer towing friends are not affected
with this disorder. What I mean is, I worry about my trailer. It's bad enough when
I am the driver but when I am the passenger in a friend's vehicle, I find that I
am worried about his trailer too. It's even worse when my friend totally disregards
his trailer and I have to worry about it for him.
A Wheel Alignment Rattle Problem
She walked into the shop waiting room area and announced loudly for all to hear. I have had three wheel alignments, two of the shops were incompetent and the third is a crook. Can I trust you to solve my problem? What is the problem with your car I asked? I need a wheel alignment she said.
Sideways Driving Vehicle
Have you ever followed a vehicle that seemed to be going sideways
on the road? If you were to watch it as it went around a curve you
would notice that the vehicle could not navigate the curve smoothly.
It would move from side to side in the lane. I wonder, does the
driver realize how dangerous this condition is?