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Understanding Sunroofs and Sunroof Repair | Helpful Tips

Sunroof helpful tipsSunroof Repair Help | Just like every other option or accessory that is installed at the factory.

Sunroofs in today's automobiles have been designed to do much more than past models. In the case of today’s advanced sunroof there are many differences.

Many roofs of the past were very basic, from a manual pop up roof, to a power slider that only went forwards and back. The size of the glass has also changed dramatically, we now have glass panels that cover the whole roof as well as multiple sliding panels.

Now add in features like one-touch where the sunroof will either go all the forward or back just by depressing the button once. Along with that feature is anti-pinch that will reverse if an object is in its way so not to hurt someones neck or hand if it is in the way.

  • For many, this one-touch technology has been around for a while, so what can happen if an event like your battery goes dead or you replace your battery?

Chances are you will need to re-initialize your sunroof, and maybe many other features as well (like the power windows). Today’s automobile has greater reaching safety and comfort, and that comes to you with responsibilities.

  • At this point, you operate your sunroof, it still opens and closes, but it acts erratic.

Is it broken at this point? Not necessarily…

You need to take it one step further and retrain the car. When you perform the initialization process, you are letting the car know where all the way forward and back stop positions are located and if it hasn’t got the correct information or doesn’t know, it will remove these features.

These options in automobiles were built to go into a default mode to protect the passengers from getting hurt.

Sunroof Repair | Is this the only issue you can have with a sunroof?

Far from it, if you break the glass, care is needed to remove the broken shards from the track. This can cause the sunroof to stop or to keep it from closing.

  • In some case it can provide so much resistance on the glass and tracks that the anti-pinch will prematurely kick in and the sunroof glass stays in the open position.

Items like broken or bad drive cables can cause the glass panel or panels to not move correctly, or move out of sync. Usually age and having old or too thick of grease can lead to this problem. The grease will thicken with age and dirt is also a common issue, so it is a good idea if you plan on re-greasing your tracks to clean as much of the old lubricate out first before applying the new. Too much grease is just as bad as too little, be careful here.

Sunroof help

Parking under a tree with the roof open can also have devastating effects on the life of your sunroof. Leaves and twigs do not fair well in the tracks and combined with the grease you got a future mess on your hands.

Being mindful of these things can keep you from being in a awkward position where it is starting to rain and your sunroof will not close.

Premier Auto Interior RepairDickandRicks.com is not responsible for any damage caused by using any content on this site.  Please get a proper diagnosis / repair by one of our trained professionals.

Convertible Top Technology | The evolution of today’s Convertible

convertible top performanceConvertible Top Performance | Most people who own a convertible want operation and performance to be that of a push of a button (or as few steps as possible) to let the world open to their driving experience.

Through time and increases in ‘the experience’, the convertible top has evolved from mechanical only operations, to full closed loop electronics that help smooth out the (mechanical) experience.

So what is meant by evolution? I see it meaning many different things, some having to do with how the top performs or what is required to understand or work on them when they have problems.

Or it could be the high expectations of the consumer convertible market. Once the consumer sees something that improves their experience, it becomes expected, there is no going back (look at smartphones).

Today’s convertible is much different than years ago, opinions / expectations are important with varying degrees of answers or requirements.

convertible topLet’s start with the most important component, the consumer:

Most people just want to get in the car and retract the top on a beautiful day, enjoy the sunshine and feel the wind blowing along with the sensation of the freedom that is granted with no roof. And in most cases, this is exactly what is going happen, but there are times when it doesn’t all go as planned.

  • Convertible Top Tip | A little insight on the owners part will go a long way to saving money on potentially expensive repairs.

It is recommended that you watch the function of your top each time you use it. I repeat ‘Watch the function of your top each time you use it’, it will help you understand what proper function is, and then when it starts acting up, you can identify ‘where’ it is acting different.

This is a mechanical item and it can malfunction (especially over time). When problems arise and the top stops or binds, don’t force it. Do not make this the norm, it may close with your help once or twice, however, postponing this (because it is convenient, leads to $)

  • Convertible Top tip | Refer to the owner’s manual.

Many convertibles will have a procedure for emergency closing or opening. Before you use it again, have it looked at by a professional, if you don’t you may escalate the problems and cost to fix your top.

This advice fits both old and new cars as they are both mechanical items that work only when you are pushing a switch or that’s how it should work.

This is all simple logic and common sense but it gets more complicated when it is time to repair them. The older ones that just go up and down are a little easier because they have limited wires, cylinders and switches.

Now, add to the process your roof breaking into 3 sections, folding, the trunk opening and multiple panels moving at once and you haven’t got a just a convertible top, you have got an orchestra.

And just like any orchestra if one section is out of sync, you will end up with poor results. Is it impossible to get repaired without the car dealer? No, but that requires knowledge and the correct tools on the shops part. If you understand hydraulics but don’t how to diagnose electric circuits….. don’t start, you might get lucky, but often you make the problem worse.

 

Got questions on top replacement?

 

Since you can’t see electricity flow through wires or tell if a sensor or switch is working by just a visual, you will need to tools to fill the gap. At the very least you will need a DVOM (Digital Volt Ohm Meter) and have some knowledge of how to use it and what the test results mean.

Optimally, a scan tool will be your best friend, this will only get you trouble codes or sometimes called DTC’s (Diagnostic Trouble Code), but it will have extend functions to assist you in your diagnosis.

O.K. you have a scan tool that will give you trouble codes, but you still need to know what to do with those codes, meaning what they mean and what steps are needed to solve the problem.

Now that’s the electrical side and then there's the mechanical side, which some cases is caused by electrical part meaning something did work in order and caused parts to get bent or broken. This is the area you always need to question why.

  • How did it happen and will it happen again?

When the weakest link is not known / properly identified & repaired, it will not get better on its own.

describe the imageJust remember every moving or mechanical part or system can malfunction and cause problems, it’s what you do after this happens that will make a difference.

Premier Auto Interior RepairDickandRicks.com is not responsible for any damage caused by using any content on this site.  Please get a proper diagnosis / repair by one of our trained professionals.

Automotive Technology Trends | Leaning forward for what’s next

auto tech trendsAuto tech trends | There’s a growing divide between knowing and being ready for what’s next. Being Pollyanna about it isn’t going to cut it….read on.

If you're a body shop owner, mechanic, or work at a dedicated brand repair shop, the evolution of today’s systems is growing at a faster pace than any other time in history.

I hope you are looking forward into the future, especially if you plan on working / repairing the many systems in the car that will navigate the vehicle. Let’s face it, the reality is that human input / error is being eliminated by every manufacturer.

If you had planned on your existing scan tool carrying you into the future on it’s own merit, good luck. Today’s scan tools are the interface to a vehicles computer system, it is much like your notebook computer, soon it will ‘take’ a couple of updates and then it will be obsolete.

When you are fixing todays cars you should be planning on how to fix what is coming tomorrow.

Safety systems, looking ahead; for this post, I’ll focus on steering, cameras and radar control systems, all connected together and designed for safety and comfort.

In essence what will the car do when when it is required to save the occupants from impending danger. Because computer closed loop systems can react in milliseconds compared to humans, they will save lives, only if they are working based on OEM programming and specifications.

The only way this will happen correctly after a repair and/or modification to the car as a whole will be if repairs are made, including proper programing and calibration of the automated driving system.

Many of these systems require the repair facility to relearn distances and parameters with targets, reflectors, OEM scan tools and in some cases, an alignment rack.

automotive technologyIf done incorrectly or not at all, this will result in poor or non performing adaptive cruise control, malfunctioning lane monitors and parking aid or emergency braking to have no or little reliability.

It would be like walking across an intersection blindfolded, just like a driver that cannot see the danger coming until its too late.

The 1st step into solving this problem is being educated enough to know when something is wrong (long before it affects the time for getting it back to the customer / or cycle time) or if repairs are being done correctly.

This can go a long way in terms of reputation management. One other quick note just because you work on cars doesn’t mean you are skilled or educated to work on everything on the car.

Some shops get hung up thinking they can do it all, only to figure out that they can repair somethings well and other things mediocre. Yes, your main target market may be good for consistent flow, but it will only take one or two long cycle times on a vehicle owned by someone with strong social media skills to incur damage.

  • Do you want something that involves your safety system repaired mediocre or by guess? …….Not me!

As cars do progress in terms of safety and convenience, the more will be expected of the technician and the shop (with demand growing every year).

This market impact will limit the shops ability to serve their customers.

The fact that there's so many systems tied together and dependent on each other, should alone send a word of caution to anyone that doesn't understand the problem what they can do wrong.

  • Does this exclude everyone except the dealership?

No, but it will demand due diligence on the part of all parties involved, the shop owner, the technician and the vehicle's owner to find a place of repair that they can trust.

As human error is being phased out, the control and performance will be put on safety systems built into the vehicle. That equals a high level of competence to be put on the shops servicing vehicles we all drive. What you don’t know can hurt others in the event of a crash.

  • How will you as the consumer know?

Ask questions, Lot’s of questions. Check them out on the web, see what they write about, get referrals, and make sure to ask if they use ‘OEM only’ scan tools for your specific vehicle.

Got a question about your vehicle?

As for the shop that is curious (as it is part of our ongoing training), you can never do enough research and digging to find out what equipment it takes to ensure the process goes smoothly.

Without the correct knowledge / and training, you will spend money in areas that will take your cycle time in the wrong direction,

  • Why do we know this? Because many shops call us after they have done repairs only to find out that they cannot re-initialize and get safety systems to be operational (as in OEM ready) before returning vehicles to their respective owners.
 photo by techtimes.com

 

Premier Auto Interior RepairDickandRicks.com is not responsible for any damage caused by using any content on this site.  Please get a proper diagnosis / repair by one of our trained professionals.

Automotive Repair Technical Trends | Are you ready for the future?

Automotive Repair, being ready for the future | This is a question I been ask many times, and have asked it a few times myself.

  • So the main question is, ‘what is the future of automobiles?’

Someday this will be old news, but the big push right now is more fuel mileage and a car that does more driving for you while keeping you safe.

With that comes responsibility for what happens after those improved vehicles have some miles on them, need repairs, and become part of the mainstream system for maintenance.

  • So how is this accomplished?

Repair TrendsOver the next 10 years you will see engineering and technology on steroids.

Here you have the racing Corvette (left) compared to the street version (right).

There are plans to make cars lighter with many different type of metals along with composites such as carbon fiber, already found in exotics such as Ferrari, Mercedes, Lamborghini, and our home grown Corvette (to name a few). Proven on the race track for many years, costs and manufacturing processes are now allowing it to filter into automobiles driven every day.  

All this with the core idea of protecting the occupants in the event of a crash.

So whats inside? | Automotive Technology Trends for Shops

The list keeps growing with different features that have one thing in common, what can it do for the people sitting inside? If is not safety, it is convenience, and just like the rest of the car these amenities keep growing in numbers.

  • Just when you thought ‘where can they put another airbag?’ this list keeps growing; A quick example is the airbag on both sides of the backrest in the new Chevy Traverse.
  • Or rear seat belts that have airbags built in to them like some Ford and Mercedes models. Technology is pushing forward, even to having the airbag drop out of the headliner.
  • Now the electronics don’t stop with airbags, the concept of V2V (vehicle to vehicle) is on it’s way. To further explain this we are talking about one car talking to another to better judge the situation (not the subjective situation) and improve the outcome.

There are many benefits to this and some pitfalls as well.

A couple of the benefits include preventing a crash with the car in front or to the side of you. It could also monitor traffic conditions, collisions, poor driving or hazards events and much more.

So down sides are:

The hackers, if they can hack big corporations, they get into your car and remember they will be talking to more than your door locks, if Onstar can shut your car down because it got stolen, so can the hackers.

And don’t forget the DIY / auto shops who try to disable and/or work on these systems (learn as they go) without the proper techniques / sequence / information. They will find a major headache to have it put back to road worthiness (some vehicles will not ‘reset’ and drive until properly re-initialized with the right equipment / process).

  • So what does this require of the repair shop?  

The quick answer is a lot of knowledge, training and the proper tools. Knowledge will keep you out of trouble and guide you through a repair. It will also help understand when there is a problem and prompt you to get the trained help you will need.  Basic shops will struggle with this.

Now it's all fine and dandy to have the tools and in this case we are referring to scan tools. Just like any other tool, understanding that particular tools performance capabilities as well as you need to know how to operate it to get the most out it thus achieving a positive end result.

 

Got a question about your vehicle?

 

This part may sound like the simple part but, don’t let it mislead you, understanding many different brands of scan tools can be a challenge.

  • So what could happen if the procedures needs to save someone life are done incorrectly?

Let’s hope you will never have to answer that question. Technology has ramped up with shorter lead times to market, the industry that will be expected to repair and keep up must follow suit. We are ready, are you?

With that said we have come full circle as to what is expected or what to expect.

Premier Auto Interior RepairDickandRicks.com is not responsible for any damage caused by using any content on this site.  Please get a proper diagnosis / repair by one of our trained professionals.

Toyota / Lexus Sunroof | Before it costs you $2000, read this

If you own a Toyota or Lexus and you have sunroof problems, you have one advantage over the others.

Your sunroof for the most part is rebuildable, where many others require you to replace the whole sunroof mechanism.

This is a huge benefit when it comes down to the actual cost of a repair.

The temperatures are slowly dropping as fall is going to turn to winter, so why or how is it that a sunroof would get stuck open in the colder months? In the northern region when it hits 40 degrees it sometimes feels like summer, thus the increase in sunroof related problems. Unfortunately as it gets colder, the water that runs past the tracks will freeze instead of being routed to the drains.

Lexus & Toyota Sunroofs | If this happens, don’t force that roof closed, warm up the interior of the car up before attempting to close it, your wallet will thank you.

Remember, many parts that move and operate your sunroof are made of either plastic or lightweight metal. The motor is a lot stronger than the parts they are designed to operate.

toyota sunroof motor

Having parts frozen can also cause the anti-pinch to work incorrectly. This is evident when closing the sunroof, and it seems to hit a spot and suddenly reverse and open back up. In which case warm it up and retry the sunroof again.

  • This may take a couple of hours or even overnight under certain conditions.

Sunroof problems | Be patient with your sunroof, hurrying this process can cost a lot of money. If this doesn’t resolve the problem it is a good idea to seek professional help.

Toyota Sunroof help

Here are some helpful tips:

  • Forcing it closed can break more items and cause more damage in the sunroof. And in the end it may make it more difficult to repair.
  • Often times, a roof will malfunction because of debris in the tracks, this will cause the cables and possibly the motor to get damaged.
  • FYI: Some cables are made of plastic and look and act more like a ribbon with teeth on it, it rides on a plastic gear mounted on the motor, much like the old typewriters.

When these get jammed up, the ribbon will double up and can destroy the teeth on the gear as well. Replacement of these parts is necessary (in most cases) for proper function.

toyota sunroof cablesThe biggest problem with this type of a track system is the sunroof glass can get caught half open and be extremely difficult to get closed. This may require serious effort to close your roof which could take several hours. We have extensive experience in almost every aspect of the Toyota / Lexus sunroof, some repairs are caught early, others not so much.

The best advice I can give you is to seek help from a professional (with specific experience in these sunroofs). This could take a $200.00 job and turn it into a $2000.00 job if the right care and process is not implemented.

Premier Auto Interior RepairDickandRicks.com is not responsible for any damage caused by using any content on this site.  Please get a proper diagnosis / repair by one of our trained professionals.

I need Sunroof Help | Product Recall on Sunroofs

Sunroof RecallSunroofs are wonderful, sometimes they give us trouble | Product Recall on Webasto / Hollandia

As more and more sunroofs are on the market, the chances of the consumer owning one has increased exponentially.

There are two distinctive types; the first being factory, and second deemed as aftermarket. The factory sunroof is made and designed by the manufacturer with specially designed headliner and roof panels.

  • Factory Sunroofs | In essence, the roof is made and installed to OEM factory standards and design. This roof is easily identified from the outside, you will see the metal from the roof roll into the opening with out a trim trim of any kind on the roof itself. Some other characteristics; if the roof needs repair or replacement, the headliner that designed to accommodate the interior roof and the sunroof. This is quite important as all components are designed to work together.

Furthermore the sunroof unit and or frame will unbolt, and in most cases be removed. Depending on the brand, they can also be rebuilt with parts ordered from the dealership.

Some of the rebuildable ones include Toyota, BMW and Mercedes, others may allow just parts, and if it involves a serious overhaul, a whole sunroof carriage may be needed. At times they may be expensive to fix but are the most reliable, well engineered and a quality product.  

  • Next are the aftermarket sunroofs, these were designed with the expectation that they would be installed after the car was made with a roof not designed for a sunroof. In order to install them, the roof and headliner both need to be modified to accommodate the sunroof fixture. The primary housing or sunroof carriage is bonded to the inside of roof skin panel. The headliner has the center cut out and to provide for the extra space of the housing and then recovered.

FYI, in many cases depending how the person modifying the headliner installed it, it may not be removed in the future without damaging it, this is a big downfall of the aftermarket sunroof.

In order to finish off the newly created opening in the roof, a trim ring is installed in the opening which can be easily identified from the outside.

There are two main remaining companies one is called Signature sunroofs or Inalfa, and the other
one is call Webasto or Hollandia. Both offer you the ability to add a sunroof to a car that doesn’t presently have one.

Sunroof aftermarket manufacturer not delivering a quality product.  Beware:

One quick note about Webasto / Hollandia, they presently have a voluntary safety recall on there series 700 and 900 sunroofs.  There have be reported cases of the sunroof blowing out and possibly damage surrounding vehicles as the car is in motion, or can have an enormous about of water leaking into the car. http://sunroofcheck.us/  


Another problem may result in severe water damage to the interior of the vehicle that is was installed. This is something that Webasto will not outwardly tell you that they are responsible to cover the cost of repair, they inturn try to get your insurance company to pay for this, beware!


Sunroof repairWe feel that it is our best interests to our primary customers that they are aware of product defects and companies that do not stand behind their products.  

 

Sunroof help

Pursuant to 49 CFR 573, Webasto Product North America, Inc. (“WPNA”), has given notice to the National Highway Traffic Safety.

Administration (“NHTSA”) of its intent to conduct a voluntary safety recall.

If you need help identifying your sunroof or you are ready to get it repaired free of charge, please call 1-888-749-8632 to find out how to get your sunroof serviced

or visit www.sunroofcheck.com for more information.

dickandricks.comWe want our customers to be well-informed, please weigh all the options in getting what you want, we are not happy with this manufacturer and their dealings and do not recommend this product at this time.  

photo by sunroofcheck.com

Premier Auto Interior RepairDickandRicks.com is not responsible for any damage caused by using any content on this site.  Please get a proper diagnosis / repair by one of our trained professionals.

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Auto Technology, a moving target | Is yr shop ready for what’s next?

can bus mouser.comAuto Body, Interior, Mechanic shops | Leaning towards what is today, and what’s next.

Who would ever thought in order to run a complete auto interior trim shop, mechanic or body shop, it would require a huge amount of electronic scan equipment, past, current, and future knowledge to run it.

It is one thing to hang a fender, but quite different to deal with all the electronic components attached to the inner side of it. And if you're a mechanic you will still need to replace that front end part, but what if it requires you to program the module that is attached to electronic components, i.e. steering box, etc?

And if you're the upholstery or trim shop that has none of this equipment, how long before all you can work on, will be classic cars.

Remember, some day a 2001 model year car will be classic. And most of them will be wore out, junked or smashed in a cube. As a current shop owner that has invested heavily in education and technology to repair today’s high tech automobiles, If you haven’t thought about it, you better.

The current proof lies in the number of businesses who in this industry are not putting resources to plan for today and tomorrows technology. To get there it requires money, knowledge and more money.

 

Auto Interior Telematics Tech

 

For those in the body shop business, ignoring that technology gap is going to put a huge wrench into their cycle time / being able to completed repairs out the door in a timely matter. Not mention the extra cost associated with paying employees to drive the vehicle or the expense of a tow to get it to the right people who can identify the core issue and repair it correctly.  

Then, there's the issue of knowing when there’s something wrong and how to deal with it without compromising your customers safety and/or comfort.

Today’s Auto Technology | Now let’s view it from the other side, the consumers point of view;

How would you feel as a consumer, if you were unsure about the safety equipment your car is performing as it should or as how you would expect it?

With the onset of cars that will (in the near future) talk to each other, do more driving for you, and have more added interior safety features, it’s time to take notice. Ideas like self driving cars and one that steer the wheel by wire are already here.

Look at how many cars now park themselves. How many will even stop for you if impending danger exists?

The quick answer for the future is, more advancements are on the way.

A couple things to understand about what is coming:

  • First, computers don’t just control engine performance. 
  • Second, there are multiple computers throughout the vehicle and they all work together to improve and enhance your driving experience. If you have ever heard the term CAN (Controller Area Network) this explains this last statement.

today’s automobiles are better than ever in so many ways, they have changed for the better, so should the businesses that work on them.

It is like driving a computer network on wheels. And it isn’t going to stop there, in order to offer more and better features, electrical systems will evolve, get more sophisticated, while improving your driving experience.

Remember moving from the DOS operating system to Windows 7, which soon will be outdated. Looking forward is a vision of a self driving car, that will protect the occupants from any or all harm and one that will get 100+MPG. Are you ready?

For us the train didn’t leave the station without us, how about you?

photo by mouser.com

Premier Auto Interior RepairDickandRicks.com is not responsible for any damage caused by using any content on this site.  Please get a proper diagnosis / repair by one of our trained professionals.

2005-2014 Ford Mustang Convertible | Troubleshooting, get it right

Mustang convertibleMustang Convertible Top | The most predominant problem for the Mustang Convertible has been with the frame.

Having been in production for several years, it takes a little time for real world manufacturing flaws to show up.

At this time there is little option to replacing it with a new frame, here are the symptoms that it is going to break, and why replacing it with new matters.

There are portions of the frame that prove highly functional, yet over time start to bend, twist and eventually break.

Some of the tell tale signs that you have a defective frame are:

  • A top that makes clunking noises when it moves. 
  • The frame has a poor fit with the windows. 
  • During operation, the top moves up and down really crooked (from side to side).

If you are experiencing any of those symptoms, read on….

convertible top repairWatch out, at this point, you are in for necessary repairs. They can be expensive for the simple fact that used parts are scarce and unreliable, if they are even any good. 

  • Used Mustang Convertible top parts | We have seen customers come in, they have the replacement Mustang specific convertible top parts, and after all of that, the used parts are ‘junk’, and they end up buying new ones. It is hard to diagnose bent parts, as no consumer has a new frame to compare it to. Every frame that has had stressed induced into it for no matter how long will not work as well as one that is new or remanufactured.

The bigger issue is that the frame is all machine riveted together and the broken parts don’t unbolt. So not only do you need to replace the whole side of the frame rail, but you need to remove ½ the top to install it.

Is there a better way if fixing this problem?  With used, you run the risk of buying exactly what you presently own. And the hard part is first finding one, and the second half is figuring out if it is any good.

 

Mustang Convertible Top

 

So, how do you know if they are over bent? Or even more difficult is the many little bends in all the links. Ford built a complex system of parts here, much like all other convertibles, yet our experience shows that used parts don’t last and the risk of mis-alignment is very high.

  • The next option is buying new parts, which is the majority of the cost for repairs on this vehicle. Why do you need new parts? Parts of the frame bend, and in some cases, breaks, and at this point even if there is only one broken part, the others have been stressed, bent, and fatigued over the years.So, as of right now you are stuck with buying the new part if you want want to get back to OEM performance (like new).

Remember, when we order parts here, and install it, the accountability is on us for both the part and installation to make it right, we can’t offer that on ‘other parts, not sourced by us’. This is about accountability and getting proven new parts to make sure it is right.  

Bottom line:  We have extensive experience on this whole issue, new parts are the way to go with the current climate to ensure that you have the performance you expect. We believe that soon in the future, replacement parts for this Mustang may solve these problems for less than the current dollar figure. 

Premier Auto Interior RepairDickandRicks.com is not responsible for any damage caused by using any content on this site.  Please get a proper diagnosis / repair by one of our trained professionals.

Headliner Repair Minnesota | more than just pretty

Every bit that goes into today’s automobile is undergoing some form of transformation or redesign in the name of increased safety and comfort.

headliner repairWhen you look up at the headliner in your car, you see a colored material with vents, a few switches, a couple lights, maybe some warning labels and some other small items, it is the headliner.

So, what is under there that is so important, or the a bigger question is what happens when I remove it?

Lets start with what is under the liner and what the future has for mosts cars.

First, we can start with the obvious, wiring that operates lights and switches. Next, let’s add side curtain airbags, and the wires and connectors that operate that important safety feature, the list goes on.

You may also have a sunroof, yes that stays in the car when you remove the headliner, but did you know that by unplugging it, to remove the headliner, will cause the necessity to be re-initialized once it is plugged back in?

safety systems repairYou will also find an assortment of other wires and connectors that may control antennas, brake lights and even washer fluid lines. SUV’s like GM’s Denali and Cadillac have air conditioning lines, DVD players and other controls up there as well.

Now, here is a few items that are coming or are already in many cars, front and rear vision cameras. Some manufacturers are moving to cameras that face rearward and transmit an image to your rearview mirror. There are many advantages to this, one being range of of vision becomes wider and more defined, don’t forget this alleviates the blocking from occupants and cargo in your line of sight.

headliner replacementA simple idea with great advantages to seeing what is behind you. On the other side of the car, you now have windshield camera's. eyesight cameras SubaruThese may have their own mounting or are attached to the windshield. In either case, it is important to understand what is necessary to work around them for the safety of the driver and occupants.

Back to what happens when you remove the headliner, in many cases these cameras may need to be disconnected and / or removed to service the vehicle properly. However you would like to coin it, there are very clear precautions or procedures that are needed to implement in order for this equipment to work correctly again. No longer is the action of unplug, remove it, repair vehicle and put it back, plug it in. These systems are becoming closed loop electrical devices that communicate to the whole vehicle in order to make the vehicle safer in the event of a crash.

Headliner Repair | So, what’s the big deal with these forward facing cameras?

Lets look are what they do for the driver and what systems of the car it works with or transmits information to, and has the potential to cause the car to make wrong decisions when it comes time to keep you safe.

rear facing camerasFirst, lets start with what it does. Cameras are put there by the manufacturer to prevent forward collisions, warn you if you are moving in and out of your lane, in general helping you prevent from getting into trouble.

This is done by several methods; warning lights may come on your dash and in some instances it will take some control of your car, by applying the brakes and taking some control of your steering. I other cases it may even vibrate your seat or steering wheel.

The camera isn’t just viewing / taking pretty pictures, it is a vital part of your vehicles safety system and not to be ignored. If the cameras are not re-initialized properly to OEM specifications, they may not work as intended and that may not help you in the event of a crash, or if it is later found out that the system was not properly repaired to OEM specs, that too can get you into trouble.

In the future, expect to see more airbags that will drop from the headliner instead of the deploying from the dash. Interior monitors that are always assessing occupant safety (especially the driver) making minor adjustments that will add value in the event of an impending crash.

auto interior repairJust remember, the interior of your car is becoming more technical than your engine. And just like the engine when you open the hood and all you see is wires, and covers. It’s what you don’t see or understand that may be your biggest challenge.

Interior Repair, We can Help

Once again a further need for having the proper tools,knowledge and equipment to meet these challenges, make the proper repairs and most important, keep your vehicle operating at OEM specs for safety and comfort.

Premier Auto Interior RepairDickandRicks.com is not responsible for any damage caused by using any content on this site.  Please get a proper diagnosis / repair by one of our trained professionals.

Auto Interior Repairs / Estimates: difference between cheap and value

auto interior helpI have written many blog posts / shot videos that educate consumers on what matters when it comes to getting things back to OEM specs and performance.

I have also read many blogs relating to our offerings along with watching many, many Youtube videos to gain insight into helping people. I can appreciate the internet and what people are trying to do.

Auto Interior / Convertible top repair | Why this matters:

People want to know a lot more about what and why a product and / or service is going to be the right fit for solving their current situation. We share much information to better help you decide on your choice of repair shop in Minneapolis & St. Paul.

The one thing I always see time and time again is how cheap someone has fixed something. Now this isn’t all bad, the biggest problem is sorting out if that cheap fix is going to solve the whole problem (not just the visual) and will it last?

My idea of fixing a problem isn’t just making a repair, only to have it last a week before I have to fix it all over again.

This is where value comes in, is it really fixed? Hardly.

We have all had experiences that help us define ‘cheap and value’.

auto interior repair helpHere’s my story of going the cheap route and getting less than satisfied value:

One time I bought a “cheap” four wheeler for my daughter. It happened to be imported from China. It was a little 90cc that was Pink and most of all it was a third of the price of well known brands. So far, so good.

That four wheeler lasted just one week, the fenders were broke and the frame was bent. You would have swore she rolled it going 60 MPH. The fenders broke bumping into her brothers Polaris, and the frame bent riding over rough terrain. In my eyes that was what the machine was built to do, but it didn’t perform well. In today’s economy, you get what you pay for.

In hindsight, I would have been smarter to buy the more expensive Polaris for her, of which I still own to this day, and it still runs as it should.

The same concept of being led down the path of fix it now and do it on the cheap is also true in this industry. I have seen on the internet with car repairs, some really good ideas and some that could use some more refinement, O.K. a lot.

When they get out the super glue and paper clips, I think to myself ‘watch out’.

As someone that has repaired vehicles manufactured from all over the world for 35 plus years, I have seen my share of “good enough repairs”. I have also learned that fixing what is not working correctly or broken, the correct way is actually going to be less expensive in the long haul.

I can’t count how many times I have heard ‘I’m going to sell my car in a couple of months’, only to see that same person back with the same car a year and a half later with the same problem because they came in, got a proper estimate to repair correctly, and went somewhere else because they wanted to save a few bucks.

Granted, I also understand if you don’t have the money to fix what you would like, but given the choice -don’t just base your repairs solely on short term cost, when the long term value is going to be ‘short term’.

More Information

I would like to think we offer value at Dick and Rick’s. For us we can put out something we can be proud of and know that the customer will be happy. And for the customer, they can feel good about what they received and are comfortable recommending our business to others.

Premier Auto Interior RepairDickandRicks.com is not responsible for any damage caused by using any content on this site.  Please get a proper diagnosis / repair by one of our trained professionals.

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