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Recycled Auto Parts – Good for Everyone

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Friends don’t let friends overspend on auto parts

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Video on RPO Codes and Build Sheet Information

Reading GM RPO Glovebox Codes and Build Sheet

My 2016 Budget Challenge: What to Do With a Totaled Car

My 2016 Budget Challenge: What to Do With a Totaled Car

By Max Wong on 6 January 2017

[Editor’s Note: This is another episode in Max Wong’s journey to find an extra $31,000 this year. Read the whole series here.]

Some stereotypes are true. People in Los Angeles suck at driving in the rain.

The Accident

Last week, Mr. Spendypants and I were driving down the center lane of the 110 Freeway. The road ahead was a multicar accident scene. Blocking the left hand lane was a smashed car facing oncoming traffic, its windows completely blocked by air bags. Blocking the right hand lane was not one, but two separate pileups.

As we approached the accidents, we were struck from behind. The driver of the car that hit us had swerved to avoid crashing into the stopped vehicle in the left lane and plowed into our car, instead. The impact of the crash sent us skidding toward the stopped vehicles in the right-hand lane. If the initial impact wasn’t bad enough, the driver who rear-ended us tried to pull out of his skid only to drive into the side of our car, instead.

My first thought as we finally came to a stop on the wet pavement: Why did this have to happen to our nice car and not the clunker that I want to part out for cash?

The Aftermath

Karina, our 1993 Volvo 240 station wagon, did her job. We drove away from the accident without a scratch. Unfortunately, Karina didn’t fare as well. The accident had smashed a rear door and quarter panel, and ripped off molding, a brake light, and a bumper cover.

The next morning we drove Karina over to our Swedish mechanic who put her up on the lift. Miraculously, she had not sustained any mechanical damage from the accident, just body damage. She is in perfect driving condition.

Even with this slightly good news, I knew at this point that Karina was totaled. Car insurance generally works off a very easy algorithm: If the cost of repair is more than 75% of the car’s value, that car is declared a total loss even if the car is in perfect working order.

The Appraisals

The bodywork estimate: $2,000. Average value of a 1993 Volvo 240 wagon: $2,400. Boo.

Luckily, the driver of the car that hit us is insured (by Progressive). We had their adjuster give us an appraisal and got a second appraisal (and opinion) from State Farm, Mr. Spendypants’ car insurance. Both companies called Karina a total loss. This means that instead of paying to fix her, the insurance company would cash us out on Karina’s value and we’d drive home in a damaged car with a check in our pocket.

If we went through State Farm, the accident would go against our deductible and we would end up with a check for $3,199. If we went through Progressive, there would be no impact on our deductible and we would end up with a payout of $3,480.

By the way, we were totally shocked that Karina had retained so much value. We’d purchased her in 2012 for $3,500. We were anticipating that they insurance companies would give us $1,000 and we’d be stuck paying out of pocket to repair her.

Both insurance companies offered to buy Karina from us for scrap. Progressive valued Karina at $119 as scrap, and State Farm offered us a princely sum of $75 to take our totaled car off our hands. While all insurance companies offer to buy totaled cars — as a convenience to the customer — it should be noted that Karina’s used parts are worth around $15,000. The rear door that we will have to replace on Karina sells for $450. And that’s just for the exterior metal panel, not the interior of the door!

I have no idea why more people don’t understand what a total money-loser this is.

The loss of almost $15,000 in parts value is not a convenience. Instead we will take our chances on repairing Karina. We accepted Progressive’s check for $3,480.

The Action Plan

This is where owning a totaled car gets sticky. The moment Progressive cut us a check is the moment when we lost the original title to Karina. The state of California, like most states, revokes the original title on totaled vehicles to prevent damaged cars from being resold to unsuspecting buyers. The DMV will replace our original title with a Salvage Certificate. This becomes the new ownership document. Once we repair Karina, we can re-register her as “Revived Salvage.” She will never get a clean title again, but we will be able to resell her if we want to down the road.

Yes. The process of re-registering Karina will be inconvenient, but not $15,000 worth of inconvenience. This is what my next week’s action plan looks like:

  • Complete an Application for Reregistration.
  • Pull Karina’s prior bills of sale to prove the chain of ownership.
  • Have California Highway Patrol inspect Karina.
  • Obtain smog inspections and other equipment certificates, if necessary.
  • Pay the $50 total loss salvage inspection fee, the $5 automated per year prior history fee, and the title and registration fees.

Alas, the body shop will not be able to repair Karina until the New Year. This means that we will be back down to one car for the entire month of December.

Silver lining: We can use the $3,480 to pay down our debt challenge in the meantime.

Progress So Far

Well, there are better ways to make money than getting double-tapped on the freeway, but I’ll take it.

Goal: $31,000

Amount Raised: $29,867.42

Amount Spent: $13,598.66

Nothing Stays the Same

Nothing Stays the Same
By Robert Counts and Chad Counts

Things in your life and in your business change whether you desire this change doesn’t matter – stuff happens.
You only get a choice in what happens if you plan changes in advance and follow through on your plans. Even as you make the changes you plan for you will still have to deal with changes outside of your control, but at least you will have the advantage of already creating progress with your own changes.
“Take care to get what you like, or you will be forced to like what you get.” George Bernard Shaw.
If you were not proactive in January 2014 and did not do a real review of where your business was, there is a good chance your net profit was not as good as the year before. If you haven’t made any changes in more than two years you are wondering:

• Why is business off?
• Why are these other yards paying “stupid” money for cars?
• Why isn’t life much fun?
• Why do I feel like I am working harder for less?

In working with and studying successful people I have learned the following:

• They know who they are and they do what they are passionate about. Business is hard and if you are not passionate about the business you are in – work becomes a grind. They many not be passionate about selling used parts, but they are passionate about growing their business. You need to get to the core of why you are in this business.
• They like to know if they are winning. They know what good is and are striving to be better. They are never satisfied. They compare, compete and improve.
• Success first. Ego second. Most people struggle with change if it’s not their idea. You may be your own biggest obstacle. Are you to busy shooting down other people’s ideas to actually see if their ideas would work?
• They are not afraid to make changes:
o In themselves,
o In their people, and
o In their business.

• The inaction caused by avoiding mistakes often costs more than trying and failing. They try, test, learn and adjust.
• They work hard. There will always be people who are smarter than you, who have more resources or who have had more opportunity. But nothing says you can’t level the playing field by out working your competitors.
“Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.”
Thomas Edison

Steps to create your change:

• Start! Most ventures start with an idea and then get perfected through experience. Never let best get in the way of better. You can get a little better everyday. Most people do not have a shortage of good ideas they have a lack of execution. So pick an area for improvement and start today.
• Focus. Identify one thing that you and your team think would radically change your business. Put 80% of your focus and energy into this. Make a plan and get started. You will have to make adjustments along the way so be prepared for that.
• Identify. As owner/manager/leader you need to identify your top 20%. Who are your top producers and are committed to your company? Spend 80% of your available management/leadership time with them. They are the ones who are going to help identify the most important thing you are going to tackle and they will be the ones most responsible for its success.
• Take Away. Strip away things in your business that are not producing at a high level. It is better to do one or two things really well than many things poorly. Don’t do it because your friends or competitors do it. It has to fit into your overall business focus and be something that you have a passion about.

CBCDashboard, LP
www.cbcdashboard.com
Counts Business Consulting, LLC
www.countsbusinessconsulting.com
Robert Counts, rcounts@sbcglobal.net, 512-653-6915

Chad Counts, crcounts@countsbusinessconsulting.com,
512-963-4626

AARA Prepares to Celebrate America Recycles Day

Tempe, AZ Arizona Automotive Recyclers Association in Tempe Arizona, has members statewide that have been recycling automobiles for over 50 years. The members of the Arizona Automotive Recyclers Association are supporting the America Recycles Day. The America Recycles Day is a national event held annually on November 15 to promote the social, environmental and economic benefits of recycling and buying recycled. Our members want to encourage everyone in America and especially those in the beautiful State of Arizona to use recycled automotive parts.

Last year millions of people participated in events around the country. “On America Recycles Day this year our members will have recycled thousands of vehicles statewide. This translates into thousands of gallons of oil and gas recovered and thousands of tons of steel, aluminum, rubber, plastics, and other materials recycled. All of these recycled items reduce landfill space used and is good for the environment. Customers also benefit from the millions of dollars in savings achieved from buying and using Recycled Parts,” said Michael Pierson, AARA President.

According to the Automotive Recyclers Association, the industry’s international trade association, just about everything in your car is recyclable. What parts are not recovered for re-use by consumers can be recycled for use to make other consumer products. These parts include the body parts, engines, transmissions, glass, a/c compressors, instrument panels to upholstery. The aluminum and steel can be recycled for use in new automobiles or other consumer product.

Approximately 84% of each vehicle is recycled and during this process six million tires and millions of gallons of anti-freeze, gasoline and oil are recycled nationally. Automobile recycling recovers enough steel to produce almost 13 million automobiles and saves an estimated 11 million gallons of oil that would otherwise be needed to manufacture new automobile parts. “Many people don’t realize that the automobile is the most recycled consumer product in the world,” said AARA Board member James Pautot.

The efforts of automotive recyclers not only preserve natural resources and conserve landfill space, they also reduce air and water pollution that occur during the manufacture of new automotive parts. As automotive recyclers, our business is preserving natural resources, protecting the environment, and saving our customers money. We are recycling automobiles for our future said AARA Board member Leroy Liebermann.

FTC Consumer Alert

Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Consumer Protection Division of Consumer & Business Education

Auto Warranties, Routine Maintenance, and Repairs: Is Using the Dealer a Must?

If you own a car, you know how important it is to keep up with routine maintenance and repairs. But can a dealer refuse to honor the warranty that came with your new car if someone else does the routine maintenance or repairs?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nations consumer protection agency, says no. In fact, its illegal for a dealer to deny your warranty coverage simply because you had routine maintenance or repairs performed by someone else. Routine maintenance often includes oil changes, tire rotations, belt replacement, fluid checks and flushes, new brake pads, and inspections. Maintenance schedules vary by vehicle make, model and year; the best source of information about routine scheduled maintenance is your owners manual.

What is a warranty?

A warranty is a promise, often made by a manufacturer, to stand behind its product or to fix certain defects or malfunctions over a period of time. The warranty pays for Read More→

Future Green Cars

The Next Wave Of Green Vehicles To Hit Showrooms
The first mass-market electric vehicles are about to go on sale in selected cities, kicking off the beginning of a wave of new green vehicles hitting showrooms over the coming year.

The Chevrolet Volt, from General Motors, and the Leaf, from Nissan, both launching in December, are just the beginning of the electrification trend. At least eight hybrids and 12 plug-in electric cars in every price range are planned for 2011, with another batch of electric vehicles (EVs) expected in 2012.

The rollout of these vehicles will be regional, starting with California and a handful of other states, including New York, Texas, Washington, Oregon, Arizona and Tennessee, among others. It could be several years before EVs are readily available across America. Each employs different powertrain technologies, so it pays to do your research at sites like www.hybridcars.com or pluginamerica.org.

But here are the basics:

A hybrid, as the name suggests, uses both a gasoline engine and electric motor to power the car, switching back and forth as necessary. A plug-in hybrid is similar, but comes with a larger battery that allows the vehicle to travel solely on electric power for short hops, but not for long stretches. An extended-range electric vehicle, like the Volt, can go up to 40 or so miles on electricity, after which a small gasoline motor kicks in to recharge the battery and keep driving. A pure EV, like the Leaf, runs solely on electricity and needs to be recharged every 100 miles or so.

When it comes to hybrids, Toyota’s Prius is the only one anyone ever really talks about, so it might surprise you that there are 27 other hybrid models already on the market today, including hybrid versions of the BMW 7-series, Mercedes S-class and Lexus LS.

Many more are coming. They include luxury cars like the recently introduced Porsche Cayenne S hybrid SUV, which, at $67,700, sells for about $4,000 more than the gasoline version of Porsche’s bestselling vehicle, and the Lexus CT 200h compact, due in early 2011, which is aimed at a younger, Gen-X crowd, and will likely be priced under $32,000.

German carmakers, which had been trying to steer more Americans to clean diesels, are now making a big push on hybrids and plug-ins, too. A hybrid version of the Volkswagen Touareg SUV comes out next month, followed by a hybrid VW Jetta small car in 2012.

Meanwhile, virtually every carmaker, including many industry newcomers, is working on some sort of electric plug-in car, though not every company is ready to take them into the mass market. They’re rolling them out slowly, to utilities and government fleets, until there’s a charging network that can support them.

Some exceptions: The Coda sedan is an electric vehicle assembled in California with parts imported from China that will sell for $44,900. A federal tax rebate will bring the cost down to $37,400, and buyers could be eligible for additional state and local incentives. The car will be marketed through a unique network of retail stores and delivered to customers in person. The first deliveries are expected before the end of the year, and Coda says it plans to produce 14,000 by the end of 2011.

Another small company with big plans is Think, based in the Netherlands. It’s building its tiny Think City at a factory in Indianapolis, which is expected to sell for about $34,000 when it goes on sale next year. Think plans to sell 2,000 to 3,000 of the cars in 2011.

Ford Motor hasn’t even started selling its next-generation Focus compact (it goes on sale at the start of the year), but it’s already planning an electric version. The Focus EV will go on sale in late 2011, and will be manufactured alongside the gasoline version at a factory in Michigan. Chrysler, controlled by Italy’s Fiat, will sell the Fiat e500, a plug-in version of Fiat’s cute 500 city car, beginning in 2012.

Toyota, which sold an electric version of its Rav4 SUV a decade ago, is now working on the second generation with help from Tesla, the Silicon Valley startup that markets a $100,000 electric roadster. Tesla will build and supply the lithium-ion battery pack and other components. A small fleet of new Rav4 EVs will be tested in 2011, with the expected full-market launch expected in 2012.

Find Quality Used Auto Parts From Arizona

The Arizona Automotive Recyclers Association (AARA) is a group of automotive recyclers that know quality, value & service go hand in hand. Use this site to find the used auto parts or truck parts you are looking for by searching an online inventory or by sending a request to the members.

Rust free used auto parts are a few clicks away by using the FREE ONLINE SEARCH AND PARTS REQUEST FORM you will not only be able to find rust free top quality Arizona auto parts, but with a few minutes time you will have auto recyclers competing for your business.

Our inventory has auto body parts, engine, transmission, drive line, brake, cooling, suspension, electrical & more. Why deal with one salvage yard when you can have many competing for your business?

We have over 55 members within the state of Arizona selling rust-free, quality automotive parts. All of our members offer a minimum 90 day warranty on their parts. You can search our members combined inventories or send our members a part request by clicking on the parts request and parts search buttons listed throughout the site.

The Arizona Automotive Recyclers Association is a select group of Arizona Auto and Truck Recyclers committed to serving Arizona and the World with quality recycled auto parts, to help our customers, our communities and our environment.