A Buyer’s Guide To Automotive Floor Jacks

Automotive floor jacks are relatively small devices used to manually lift an end or corner of a car off of the ground. A good floor jack is an essential tool for anyone who frequently works on their car, though everyone should at least own a basic model for changing the occasional flat tire. There are a few important things to consider when selecting a jack, including the material it is made of, pump to travel ratio, and the weight capacity.

Automotive floor jacks are generally made of two materials: steel and aluminum. Because steel is a less expensive metal than aluminum, it is more commonly used in budget jacks. While both metals are durable enough to lift a car, steel is far heavier, meaning that a cheaper steel jack is generally going to be much bulkier and more cumbersome than even a smaller aluminum model. The pump to travel ratio of a jack is a description of how far the car will be lifted each time the user pumps the attached handle. More expensive jacks will lift the car higher with each movement of the handle, meaning it takes less time and effort to lift the car to a workable position. The weight capacity is how much weight, usually in tons, a jack can lift. Each jack is rated based on this number, and while most can lift a standard car, those who frequently work on trucks and other larger vehicles should consider paying more for a higher weight capacity.

Balancing the desired price with the features you want and need is very important when choosing between automotive floor jacks. With careful consideration, however, it should not be too difficult to find the jack you need for a price you can afford.

Automotive Attorney to Repair Your Problems

Automotive industry has a great effect on the world economy. There are many production and service industries which support this industry. There has been a major increase in the number of automobiles in the past decade. Therefore, the repair shops have also increased. Many issues can arise during repair and thus there is a need for an automotive attorney.

Issues

Some of the major issues can include protection of intellectual property and safety concerns. The clients for an automotive defense attorney can include suppliers of component parts, domestic and foreign companies, original equipment manufacturers, automotive trade associations, and consulting firms. Whether the clients are facing regulation, litigation, prevention and counseling, or legislation there is a lawyer to help them.

These lawyers are well-versed with different case scenarios and have vast experience in representing clients who are dealers, suppliers, or trade groups. A defense lawyer will be able to serve the interests of all the repair facilities and technicians. Clients prefer attorneys who have a familiarity and understanding of the common issues that repair shops and technicians usually have to deal with.

What Does the Law Say?

According to the Automotive Repair Act, there are certain rights for the consumers. It is advisable that the repair shops and technicians should know and understand these laws first before they approach a Bureau of Automotive Repair attorney. The Required Disclosures law says that the repair shops must furnish the client with a written estimate. The estimate should include price charged for parts, diagnostic test, and labor. It should also include details like date, duration, and odometer reading. The price should be charged according to used or new parts used. A statement should be there to show if the repair is actually needed or whether it is only recommended.

The repair shops and technicians should know that the consumers have a right to a written estimate. It can either be an itemized or a non-itemized estimate. However, an automotive attorney can tell the client that sometimes the consumers may not want an estimate. They can just ask the shop to do the repairs but the total cost should not exceed the amount set by them. In that case, the technician can get this written and signed from the consumer in case of any issues that may arise later. A customer also has a right to a copy of invoice. The invoice is an itemized list of the price of parts and labor, total price, warranties, and the odometer reading.

The technicians should know that they are prohibited from asserting lien charges for any unauthorized repairs. Consumers have the right to pick up a vehicle from the facility if they pay according to the charges disclosed to them before repairs. Auto repair shops have to, by law, post consumer rights at a place where they are easily visible. The post should tell the consumers that they are liable to a face-to-face contact, a written estimate for repairs costing over $100.

There are many other laws which prohibit the repair shops to perform unlawful practices. An automotive attorney can guide the technicians and repair shops about other laws. These include guiding them about laws relating to non-business hours and unforeseen repairs.

Why Risk Poor Precision Metal Stamping Quality? Automotive Industry Averts Risk With APQP

Precision metal stampings are a critical component of so many products. Automotive components, medical devices, electronic parts – all contain metal stampings. For the part or the device to function properly, the stamping needs to be free of defects and of perfect quality.

We continue our metal stamping quality article series with a discussion on APQP.

Automotive industry refuses to take chances with precision metal stamping quality.

Poor quality is not an option with the automotive industry. That’s why the ‘Big Three’ (Ford, GM, and Chrysler) created Advanced Product Quality Planning, better known as APQP.

So what is APQP? Technically, “it’s a guide in the development process and also a standard way to share results between suppliers and automotive companies.” More simply put, it’s a way of making sure the automotive companies are involved in every step of the development and launch process with their suppliers – to ensure nothing goes wrong. Why? Ultimately, to ensure the ‘Big Three’s’ customers are satisfied with their automobiles.

APQP is typically deployed in 5 concurrent and collaborative phases:

  • Plan and Define Program
  • Product Design and Development
  • Process Design and Development
  • Product and Process Validation
  • Launch, Feedback, Assessment, and Corrective Action

Some of the questions that can be addressed through the APQP process are:

  • Can the product/process be error proofed?
  • Can the product/process achieve a higher level of capability through tolerance design and/or process variation reduction?
  • What controls must be developed to ensure that defects cannot reach a customer?

The APQP process actually monitors 23 topics before production is even started. Topics like design robustness, design testing, quality inspection standards, product packaging, and more.

Metal stamping companies need to be prepared.

There are a lot of suppliers wanting automotive business. Automotive manufacturers and the companies that represent them can demand that their suppliers abide by APQP processes.

And that requirement certainly applies to metal stamping companies as well. Automotive suppliers need to ensure the metal stamping companies they do business with are committed to APQP and should insist they:

  • Establish and continually monitor company-wide APQP processes
  • Utilize APQP tools such as Failure Mode Effect Analysis (FMEA) to ensure quality
  • Utilize advanced technology to verify stamping quality, thicknesses, and dimensions (sensors and gauges)
  • Implement sophisticated quality control plans and tools to ensure consistency and zero defect parts (i.e. Statistical Process Control (SPC)
  • Adhere to the Production Part Approval Process (PPAP)

With these controls in place, metal stamping companies can do their part to ensure the automotive manufacturers achieve their ultimate goal of customer satisfaction.

Want to know more about APQP?

For comprehensive details on the APQP process, refer to the AIAG APQP Manual available through AIAG (Automotive Industry Action Group).

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