Archives : 2016 : July

Should I Buy Diesel, Gas, Hybrid or Electric? (Part 1 of 2)

July 22nd, 2016
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More free, public electric charge stations are popping up… but is an electric car the best vehicle for your needs?

Part 1: Keeping With Tradition
By all accounts, we live in the age of choice. Thanks to an extremely competitive new and used car sales market, there are more car options than ever before: diesel, gas, hybrid and electric options are sold in every price range, and there are pros and cons to every type. Electric car manufacturers like Tesla draw their public appeal from being a sport/luxury vehicle that offers elite style with a smaller eco footprint than a Toyota Prius, but the upfront cost is beyond most buyers. On the other end of the spectrum, tried-and-true gas staples like Toyota’s Corolla and Camry lines offer users product familiarity, gas economy and renowned durability, but they’re not necessarily making waves in terms of what lies ahead in the “the future.” Of course, Toyota, Honda, Ford, Subaru and many other companies are manufacturing hybrids to keep up with the demand for more eco-friendly solutions. If getting the best fuel economy for your money is a top priority, we can help you sort through and evaluate your choices. So let’s look at the pros and cons of buying diesel, gas, hybrid and electric vehicles.

Part 1 of this series will focus on diesel and gas options, the more “traditional” engine types. Part 2 will explore the pros and cons of hybrid and electric vehicle types.

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Diesel pros and cons
The term “deferred gratification” applies well to diesel engines and represents an important life lesson when it comes to saving money. Deferred gratification is the idea that you get more from an investment if you wait months or even years after investing to see the benefits. Retirement policies are the best example: it takes decades to turn tens of thousands of invested dollars into hundreds of thousands, and it happens slowly over the course of a lifetime. Smart investors know that while it feels like you’re losing money in the present, the earnings down the road are well worth the wait. Consider that the average diesel engine lasts over twice as long as a conventional gas engine, but the diesel sticker price runs about $1,000 to $3,000 more. Diesel engines get more our of each gallon, which easily translates into more savings and fewer trips to the pump; however, the immediate cost at the pump is higher for each fill-up. This turns some people away from diesel.

In the short term, a diesel car is going to cost a little more. The savings don’t come in the form of big “blowout-this-weekend-only-everything-must-go-buy-now-or-miss-it” sales, the likes of which car dealerships, malls and businesses across America try to lure you into with the illusion of saving your wallet from the evil “other guy.” Diesel engines, like any investment, will earn you savings over time. If you don’t plan on running keeping a diesel car for at least seven years and 200,000 miles (or more), you might not benefit enough to make it worth the cost.

Diesel Verdict
Diesels are an excellent solution for car buyers who are looking to stick with their vehicle for the long-term. And unlike electric charging stations, diesel pumps are found at virtually every conventional gas station. If you’re more into leasing or purchasing new/used vehicles every five years, you’ll enjoy better mpg (than most conventional gas engines), but it’s a little harder to say if you’ll make up for the higher upfront cost to get the long-term cost benefits.

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The gas-run 2016 Ford Fiesta gets 31/43 mpg

Conventional gas pros and cons
There’s more room for debate here than in any other category. We can say right now that if you’re into most sports, luxury, race and muscle cars, and certainly if you’re into classic cars, then conventional gas engines are probably your go-to option. Being the most common car type, service shops are most equipped to service engine parts (along with diesel), so parts/labor costs are often lower. Likewise, the expert DIY’er will benefit from paying less for parts.

Gas engines offer such a range in mpg that it’s safe to say the biggest factor in determining the life of your gas engine is you. Do you want a big truck? Then you’re not going to get top mileage. Do you want a turbocharged V8? (And we ain’t talking vegetable juice.) No argument here, but you’re not going that route for the mpg. If muscle isn’t a concern, a lower-cost gas-run vehicle can save you on the sticker price and get you at or around 40 mpg. It’s harder to say if the quality of the vehicle and durability of its parts are up to snuff, but much of that will be determined by how you drive and maintain your vehicle. All this being said, conventional gas engines have improved significantly in the past few years, and virtually every major car company is offering new-and-improved models that feature better gas mileage than past models.

Gas Verdict
It just depends what you’re looking for. If you want to get the most mileage per gallon, as well as a lower sticker price, a gas engine may be for you. That being said, when it comes to mileage, the best gas engine will always fall short of the best hybrid engine. As the technology stands today and at least into the near future, gas vehicles are cheaper hybrids and electrics (comparing vehicles in a similar class). The cost savings over time are hard to quantify down to a science, so keep the gas option on the table if you’re looking to save money and get good mileage.

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Gas fuel sticker example. Gas engine mpg varies greatly.

Ranger Products Releases RP-50FC 25-Ton Capacity Oil Filter Crusher

July 18th, 2016

Santa Paula, California – July 2016 –
crusher renderRanger Products is debuting a new oil filter crusher that flattens used oil filters with over 50,000 lbs. of crushing force, reducing them to 20% of their original size. The Ranger RP-50FC transforms used oil filters, normally regulated by the EPA, into general refuse by squeezing out 95% of residual oil and transforming the used filter into a compact puck that can then be disposed of as normal waste or recycled for profit. By removing virtually all of the residual oil, operators are able to eliminate EPA mandates and separately recycle both the used oil and crushed oil filters. With recycled waste oil realizing prices as high as a dollar per gallon and recycled scrap metal prices on the rise, the Ranger RP-50FC oil filter crusher earns business owners a return on investment over time.

The Ranger RP-50FC comes with many built-in features to ensure convenient use and safe operation of the oil filter crusher. Simple operator controls are ergonomically placed to minimize operator reach and movement during faced-paced, high-repetition work. A fully automatic cycle feature allows operators to load filters, push a button and walk away. Also included is a remote electric foot switch that allows convenient, hands-free operation of all basic controls. A built-in automatic safety door with a reinforced transparent viewing window stops everything if and when the door opens. Equipped with a rugged stand, the RP-50FC accommodates collection drums ranging from 5 to 55 gallons. Powered by a 2 HP, 208 – 240V, 50 / 60 Hz, 20A single-phase, electric/hydraulic pump.

About BendPak‐Ranger: BendPak / Ranger manufactures car lifts, parking lifts, pipe benders, and air compressors. Their Ranger Products brand includes tire changers, wheel balancers, wheel aligners, brake lathes, and a wide variety of garage equipment. BendPak and Ranger related marks are registered trademarks of BendPak Inc. in the U.S. and other countries. For more information contact BendPak Inc. at 1-800-253-2363 or visit www.bendpak.com. General press inquiries: info@bendpak.com.

The 5 Best Cars to take on a Road Trip this Summer

July 15th, 2016

We’re coming to that point in summer when most of us have either made the big getaway-vacation plan or otherwise come to fear that it may be too late. Not so! The great North American landscape is full of potential for thrill-seekers, weekend warriors and of course, the most rugged outdoorsy type. The car you drive is just as important as the company you keep when it comes to the summer road trip. If you don’t already have a solid travel vehicle, you can always try your local car rental. They probably have just what you need. Below are five of our favorite road-trip-worthy vehicles for an old-fashioned American vacation, whether you’re looking for a romantic escape or an opportunity to make the world laugh, we have you covered. Note: we’ve made the exutive decision to remove the year from the make and model in many cases (no discriminating against old jalopies here).

Best in Comfort: Honda Odyssey
Some of you are going to have to choke this one down, we get it. But if you have kids, a dog(s) or just a ton of gear to stow, the Odyssey is a pretty sweet option. The infamous 15-cup holder extravaganza comes standard. Road trippers will enjoy the Touring Elite package that gets you so much by way of road trip glory: the 16.2″ screen that can play two videos at once (how far we’ll go to keep children quiet); fuel efficiency to get excited about; low insurance costs; built-in navigation system. Six-speed automatic transmission. The Odyssey is always on the forefront of family-friendly design. And even if you’re packing a smaller crew, your road trip couldn’t be any more comfortable.

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2016 Honda Odyssey interior

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2016 Corvette Stingray

Best in Style: Corvette Stingray 
Okay, so we were originally going with a Bentley here but felt the title of this article would have to change to “The 5 Cars You Need to Take on a Road Trip… That Cost as much as a House.” Let’s face it, the Corvette Stingray design is one of the most, if not the most, recognizable American production lines ever assembled. The new redesign looks sweet (but the classic pre-1982 models are just as sweet), and with a 6.2-liter small block V8 engine and 455 horsepower, the starting price of 55K is… well, it’s a Corvette! So while you’re at it, be sure to get the Bose surround-sound audio package and your cross-country road trip for two will be the sexiest thing on the highway for hundreds of miles around. If you have an older model, be sure to get a good tune-up before you embark, but with a Corvette you’re bound to have an adventure you and your significant other will remember for the rest of your lives. Thanks, Chevy.

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The Amphicar: the only time you see a picture like this and it’s NOT a family emergency. Wave hello!

Best in Hilarity: Amphicar Model 770
Are you travelling a relatively short distance on a well-paved road? Can you get there safely? Can you get there in less than a couple hours? Can you find a lake or river where there aren’t really waves… or a tide… or an undertow? If you answered yes to any of the above, consider the Amphicar one of the most strangely exciting vehicles to vacation in. Roam the urban terrain and err… not-so-high seas… in a car! Come on, that’s a pretty hilarious road trip adventure. Imagine the look on people’s faces when you drive straight off the boat ramp into the water. The Amphicar didn’t last in production very long (because it didn’t work very well), but a small community of dedicated followers hold the faith that this little rough gem of the 1960s deserves its dues. So why not have a hilarious road trip and always recall “that time we went sailing in an Amphicar.”

Best in Speed: 2016 Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4
Sorry, had to wipe a little drool off the keyboard. Or a lot. Speaking of cars that cost as much as a house, this speedster is road-trip-ridiculous in every way. Ready for it? 5.2 L V10 engagine, 602 HP, 0-60 in 3.2 seconds, top speed of over 202 MPH and still somehow 21 MPG on the highway. Taller individuals will probably struggle with the smaller cabin size, and don’t really think about packing heavy. In fact, if you’re in for a solo trip or ride next to a non-fussy individual who’s just happy to be there, you can travel distance in relative comfort (with frequent stops, no doubt). Any way you cut it, this car sings. Just check it out:

Best Overall: Mazda Miata Mx-5
Surprised? Let’s take everything into account that matters in a car or a road trip, even factors that weren’t explicitly mentioned in our above categories: affordability, style, comfort, fuel efficiency, fun… the MX-5 is a fun, accessible road trip vehicle to the average driver. Its base model costs about 24K new and gets 36 MPG highway, which is pretty darn impressive for a non-hybrid convertible. Obviously not a “family car,” the MX-5 seats two and has enough trunk space for light packers. Sporty, elegant and fun, it’s a great car for those who don’t want to spend twice its asking price on a new Corvette. Car and Driver even ranks the MX-5 among the 10 best cars of 2016. There isn’t much not to love here, unless you were just born a hater.

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2016 Mazda Miata, your crowned victor of the road trip

Despite Fatal Auto Pilot Crash, Tesla Primed for Market Dominance

July 12th, 2016
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Elon Musk, chief executive of Tesla

Santa Paula, CA—July 2016—There are two major indicators that Tesla’s Model 3 is turning over the world of auto repair and professional service. First and foremost, as of July 12, 2016, the Tesla 3 model, which is expected to cost consumers $35,000, already has 325,000 pre-orders/deposits. For context, the Toyota Camry sold just over 250,000 units in 2015. Meanwhile, the Chevy Silverado sold 330,000 units that year. The only higher-selling vehicles were the Ford F-series, which includes multiple models. So if you’re in the business of auto repair, the future is fast falling upon you.

The second indicator that Tesla isn’t going anywhere is that their chief executive, Elon Musk, is assuring the public that despite the fatal crash that killed a Tesla test driver who was utilizing his vehicle’s autopilot system, the company has no plans to abandon the autopilot. In other words, don’t expect to see any production delays or product recalls. Body shops can expect to see hundreds of thousands (and eventually millions) of Tesla models on the road, which means the market will soon be saturated with new repairs for new technologies.

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Special riveters are required by Tesla (actual model required may be different)

To even become a Tesla-approved body shop, the Tesla certification requires “three five-day courses at $1,500 each and a [special] riveter.” Further complicating the process, reports of somewhat minor body damage costing consumers tens of thousands of dollars for repairs indicate that now is a good time to get on the Tesla repair know-how bandwagon. Why? The economics of it are simple: the more Tesla vehicles get put on the market, the less the brand will be considered a “specialty” or luxury name and the cheaper these repairs will become. Cheaper, but no less technologically advanced. This puts professional shops in a prime position to benefit from these upcoming market changes, if they are prepared.

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$30,000 worth of damage on a Tesla S (parts and labor)

Body shop owner Larry Peotter is aware of the inherent costs in servicing new vehicle fleets, having just spent $300,000 on Audi service upgrades, but he knows the importance of being available to as wide of a customer base as possible. Mr. Peotter claims that he is already seeing a return on his investment. He says, “You’re giving yourself a new source of work, and you’re becoming an expert to a customer base that is going to really want that.”

As the Tesla brand grows, as suggested by 325,000 (and growing) Model 3 back-orders, the auto service market is probably going to be a step behind, which means your shop can get certified early (yes, you’ll have to eat the upfront certification costs in the short run) and be the most experienced body shop in the neighborhood when it comes to servicing the vehicles of tomorrow. This isn’t meant to be a Tesla plug, but clearly the company has caught the public attention for the time being. We’ll continue to follow this story, as well as other technological innovations in the automotive world.

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Larry Peotter, body shop owner

BendPak Unveils Elite Series of Multi-Stage Air Compressors

July 1st, 2016

V-Max Elite Air Compressor

Santa Paula, California – July 2016 – BendPak recently introduced a new family of two-stage air compressors to increase their presence in the commercial and industrial markets. Their latest V-Max Elite Air Compressor Series models are equipped with 7.5 or 10 horsepower energy-efficient motors paired with huge 4-cylinder 100% cast iron pumps resting on 80-gallon or 120-gallon welded steel tanks. V-Max Elite models are perfectly matched for busy shops and businesses that demand round-the-clock air supply, less energy consumption and low service and maintenance requirements. A slightly smaller model, the TS-5 Elite Air Compressor, is equipped with a 5 horsepower energy-efficient motor paired with a twin cylinder cast iron pump.

“Our new Elite Series models raise the ante in our industry and completely change the game,” said Jeff Kritzer, Senior Vice President of Marketing for BendPak. “We’ve had a presence in the air compressor business for over a decade, but nothing in our past lineup ever compared to these new models. It puts BendPak on a whole new level.”

All Elite series pumps feature balanced pistons, industrial-grade connecting rods, easy-access disc valves, forged iron crankshafts, tapered roller main bearings and dual-belt drive systems. Low-RPM operation delivers air in almost total silence and forced-air after-coolers chill the air for reduced heat and condensation.

About BendPak‐Ranger: BendPak / Ranger manufactures car lifts, parking lifts, pipe benders and air compressors. Their Ranger Products brand includes tire changers, wheel balancers, wheel aligners, brake lathes, and a wide variety of garage equipment. BendPak and Ranger related marks are registered trademarks of BendPak Inc. in the U.S. and other countries. For more information contact BendPak Inc. at 1-800-253-2363 or visit www.bendpak.com. General press inquiries: info@bendpak.com.

V-Max Elite Air Compressor Motor
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