Archive for April, 2010

Buying Online Auction Vehicles from Copart, Ride Safely, IAA, Manheim,

Posted on April 27th, 2010 by admin

Buying a vehicle from an auction yard can be a risk due to uncertainty of a vehicles condition. Most auction cars, trucks, and equipment do not have warranties or guarantees for their present condition. The term for buying a vehicle with no warranty is SOLD AS IS. To reduce risk when buying an auction vehicle you can implement some basic risk reduction techniques. When you are on the auction website look at pictures of the vehicle that you might be planning to buy. Inspect the vehicle very closely by enlarging the screen or picture.

Things to look for are:

1) dents, dings, waves or ripples in the body of the car. Vehicles that may appear to have no damage may show signs of body deformation.

2) look at the body panels and body parts of the vehicle for proper creases and clearances. If a vehicle has had prior damage it can show up in the form of misaligned parts. Parts such as headlights ,tail lights, fenders and bumper should be lined up proper with no gaps.

3) look for cracked windshields or windows. Vehicles that may have been in previous accidents may show frame or body damage in the form of cracked or broken windows. You can tell the difference between chassis damage and F.O.B. (Foreign Object) damage. Damage from a foreign object will show an obvious point of impact.

4) General Physical inspection of a vehicle that you may be planning to buy should be look at the car in a whole. Wheels should be properly aligned with the body of the car. Bumpers and body panels should be intact along with other parts of the vehicle.

5) Mechanical condition is the toughest thing to asses on a vehicle. It is almost impossible to tell a vehicles mechanical condition without a test drive or at least a start up and engine idle. Other drive-train parts such as transmission, differential, drive shafts and suspension parts are not easily visible to visual inspection. Most auctions will declare if a vehicle is in a running and driving condition.

6) Salvage Vehicles / Rebuild-able / Rebuilt Vehicles and Damaged Vehicles:  Salvage vehicle buying should be left for dealers, mechanics, and experienced salvage auction bidders. All the same rules apply as above but care must be taken to assess damages that vehicles may have sustained. Persons who buy damaged vehicles have an understanding of the cost to fix and buy parts for salvage vehicles. Even then salvage buyers can get in over their head when they find new unexpected damages or parts that they may need to rebuild a auction car.

In our experience 95% of the time a good mechanically inclined person can predict the condition of a vehicle without a physical inspection. On the other hand we have seen vehicles that are said to be in perfect running and driving condition to have minor to major damage to the frame or power train parts of the vehicle.

To remove all doubt it is best to have a vehicle physically inspect before you invest any of your hard earned money. If you cannot inspect a vehicle personally you could ask a the auction company if they have an appraisal service. An appraiser can physically inspect a vehicle to determine if it is worth the amount of money you are willing to spend while considering any damage the vehicle may have. We have personally transported vehicles that were thought to be in perfect to near perfect condition to only find out that there is light to severe hidden damages. If the auction yard that you are looking to buy a vehicle or equipment at does not have any inspection services you could take it into your own hands and find a mechanic in the auction yard location are to inspect the vehicle for you.

Using Vegetable Oil for Fuel

Posted on April 16th, 2010 by admin

F.D.A.T has been using bio fuels in our own fleet of trucks for over 4 years. For diesel motor vehicles, the process of using bio fuels can be used in 3 to 4 different methods. The use of vegetable oil in internal combustion engines is not new to the world. The first diesel engine was designed to run on peanut oil. Fossil fuels took over because it was easier to source in mass quantities.

Bio Diesel is the process of using plant based vegetable oil and turning it into a fuel that has similar flow characteristics as fossil fuel diesel. The process to make bio-diesel is called transesterification. Anyone with vegetable oil can make their own biodiesel with some equipment, general knowledge, and a little trial and error. For any beginners start small to avoid wasting materials. Vegetable oil can be used to make fuel either as virgin oil or used waste vegetable oil also called W.V.O. Once again the main purpose of transesterification is to make vegetable oil as close to the viscosity of fossil fuel diesel. Diesel engines have been designed to run on petroleum diesel which is a much thinner fuel compared to vegetable oil which is thicker at low temps.

The second method to using vegetable oil for fuel is called Blending. Blending is just what it sounds like, meaning you simply blend vegetable oil with diesel fuel. You must mix the vegetable oil and petroleum diesel in a ratio that will not cause engine malfunction. As mentioned before, diesel engines of today are designed to run with fossil fuel diesel which is much thinner than vegetable oil. If the blended mixture is too thick, it will not burn properly in the engine. The problem is not that the vegetable oil is harder to burn it is just that the parts in today’s diesel engines are meant to use thinner fuel. What vegetable oil blenders will do is add a solvent that will thin out the vegetable oil, making it closer to the thinner petroleum diesel. We have blended vegetable oil with diesel for many years with no major problems at all. Anyone can do this and it is the easiest way to start using bio fuels. Start with small ratio mixtures like 10-20% vegetable oil to a full tank of petroleum diesel. For more detailed information, do a search on vegetable oil blending.

Running straight vegetable oil (SVO) in a diesel engine means using veg oil as the primary fuel without any petroleum products. There are two popular ways in which SVO can be used in diesel engines: a one tank system or two tank system. A one tank system stores vegetable oil where it is either heated or not heated. Heating the oil thins it allowing the oil to have similar viscosity flow as petroleum diesel. An example of this would be when you heat up a pan of cooking oil. Oil in a heated pan goes from thick oil to thinner oil as it gets hotter. Some one tank systems utilize a heating element that can warm the oil up to an ideal temperature before the engine is started. Two tank SVO systems use the vehicles original tank and auxiliary tank filled with unmodified filtered vegetable oil. With this system the engine will be started with petroleum diesel from the vehicle original fuel tank then switched to vegetable oil once running  and up to operating temperature. By the time the engine warms up the vegetable oil tank will reach pre determined operating temperature. Two tank SVO systems uses engine heat to warm the oil in the vegetable oil tank. This is accomplished by using engine coolant fluids to heat the vegetable oil tank using a radiating element similar to a water heater.

The most important thing about using vegetable oil as fuel is to make sure the oil is clean with no particles and that the oil has no water in it. A diesel engine fuel systems do not tolerate water or dirty fuel. Before you try to run vegetable oil in your diesel vehicle do as much research as you possibly can. Also start small and work your way up.  You can get a lot more detailed information on the use of bio fuels by doing searches on any of the popular search engines.

Car Transport Florida

Posted on April 16th, 2010 by admin

The state of Florida sees more auto transport request inquires than any other state in North America. Florida has the most amount of visitors that will most likely be driving a vehicle during their stay. Besides visitors Florida has many seasonal residents, residents and vacationers. Florida unlike many metropolitan cites in North America has no major mass transit systems. With no major public transportation personal vehicle transport is the only available mode of transport. Because of Florida’s geographic location along with no mass transportation Florida sees a very high amount of automobiles entering and leaving it’s major cities and towns.  Professional Car Transporters are constantly traveling in and out of Florida transporting vehicles to and from Florida’s major towns and cites. Transport trucks can be seen traveling on Florida’s major highways such as I-10, I-95, I-75, and Florida Turnpike. Even though there is a good amount of transport carriers in Florida you should remember that they prefer to stay on or close to the Florida’s major highways. If your vehicles origin or destination is 50 miles or more away from the major highways you could expect a slight increase transport price. This is the same case for vehicles being transported in any state in North America. Florida is a very long state heading North to South but is very narrow from East to West. Other states in America can have cities and towns that are far away from any major highways. Vehicle Transport Carriers sometimes travel up to 250 miles off route to pickup or drop off vehicles and freight. If you are planning to have a vehicle transported in or out of Florida be sure to contact us for a FREE QUOTE.

South Florida Miami Copart Auto Transport and Storage services

Posted on April 13th, 2010 by admin

Transport of auction vehicles and auction equipment has been one of our many specialties. We have been providing transport and storage for Auction cars, trucks, and  heavy equipment in Miami and all of South Florida. If you have a vehicle in We handle many export vehicles from Copart.com, Florida Auto Auction, Manheim Auto Auctions, Adesa Auctions and many others. Same day pickup for Copart Miami North and Copart Miami Central auction yards and next day pickup for West Palm Copart and Ft. Pierce Copart yards. For heavy construction equipment transport we have specialized transport trucks to handle all your needs. We also provide terminal service for auction bidders and auction buyers who may have purchased vehicles and equipment in the South Florida area. We can pickup or receive vehicles and heavy equipment at our storage yard in Opa-locka, Fl next to the Copart Miami North Yard. If you need vehicle storage or heavy truck equipment storage please contact us and we will happy to assist you.

Auto Transport Florida

Posted on April 3rd, 2010 by admin

Transport of motor vehicles in and out of Florida is higher in volume than any other state in North America. The reason why Florida has more than average demand for auto transport is geographic location and lack of mass transit. Visitors and residents of Florida have limited options for personal transport when it comes time to move in and around the state of Florida. For that reason, many (P.O.V.) Personally Owned Vehicles are transported in and out of Florida.

If you are planning to have your personal vehicle transported in or out of Florida, the time and season of year can have a minor impact in transport scheduling. Every winter season, Florida sees a mass migration of seasonal residents from northern states. Vehicle transport jobs, such as auto transport from New York to Florida, New Jersey to Florida and Massachusetts to Florida, are very common. If your vehicle needs to be transported from a northern state to Florida, it is very likely that there will be many car transport trucks heading to Florida. The only problem may be that they are already booked and loaded with automobiles. You could see a 1-2 week delay at the most if you are shipping your vehicle during this time period. The industry name for this seasonal transport time is called Snowbird Auto Transport.

Vehicles requiring transport out of Florida can sometimes see minor price breaks due to the fact that more vehicles and freight enter into Florida than what leaves the state. Most transport companies will not tell you this but a lot of transport trucks leave Florida heading north with completely empty space or available transport space. Do not always expect a price reduction but your chances of getting a lower transport price may better.

Regardless of the origin and destination that you need to ship a car, you should always arrange transport ahead of time. A good rule when shipping a car is to find a transport company 3-4 weeks in advance and to book auto transport services in 1-2 weeks ahead of time.