Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Auto Repair Shops feel 2013 has started as a “Slump”

Almost 100% of the Auto Repair shops surveyed in central and western Nova Scotia, say business is way down and wonder what’s next, according to research from Scotia Auto Glass

The study also revealed 49% of fleet managers postponed or considered postponing fleet maintenance this year because of uncertainty and last year’s mild winter weather. Only 1 in 5 fleet companies increase their vehicle checks during periods of bad weather.

“First I thought it was something wrong with my business but when the auto parts supplier delivery guy is complaining about being “slow” and might be laid off, I had nervous sigh of relief” and “Customers are clutching their wallets and putting service off until the last minute” says a shop owner who requested to be anonymous  

In 2008 coupled the surge of higher fuel prices auto repair shops experienced some growth sighting that car owner could not afford to buy new and choose to repair their car.  By 2011 just two years ago when the safety inspections came due, this was the beginning of the first two year inspection cycle, consumers were forced to repair or replace.  Auto Repair shops experienced growth during that year and expected the same this year.  Many shops have laid guys off until the spring in hopes of the business returning.  New employment insurance rules has everyone scared on what to do next.  Employees need a stable environment to work and feel secure about the next paycheck, while employers need the skilled labour in the near future.

Garage shop owners search for meaning and economic reasons for the “Slump.” RBC Economics report, although American, talks about U.S. new home sales dip in February while consumer confidence plunged in March!  RBC economics Nova Scotia report says employment is up .06% in 2012 and that major Nova Scotia projects like shipbuilding, are not set to occur during 2013.  Further losses of 2,300 jobs in the public sector will keep employment rates at about the same as 2012.

Automotive Glass Shops are equally influenced by market conditions and fall into the same category.  61% of those asked said that they would have any rock chips inspected and or repaired before the next cold snap, however 76.1% of car owners and fleet managers admit they have been putting it off.  

Of the windshields replaced in the first quarter of 2013, 52% ignore their own safety and wait to have the cracked windshield replaced at the time of inspection.  “As we all know, it is the responsibility of both the driver and fleet managers to make sure all vehicles are ready and safe for Nova Scotia driving.” Said Ron Tibert, manager at Scotia Auto Glass

Auto Repair Shop owners feel the market will return during late spring, but just need to hold on until then.

Scotia Auto Glass tips for preparing for Spring
  1. If you have a windshield chip, always warm up the cold glass slowly.  Ideally, get it repaired.
  2. Replace windshield wipers. We had a harsh winter and the blades get chipped and torn plus they can cause smearing and reduce visibility.
  3. Make sure you check your vehicle regularly. Cleaning headlamps, keeping the battery in good condition, checking tires and their tread.
  4. Consider a windshield coating protection like AquaShield to help visibility
  5. Keep an essential breakdown kit in your trunk, with high-visibility clothing, a flashlight, first-aid etc.
Economic Marketing Report
Scotia Auto Glass

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Best Choice for Windshield Repairs - Glass Insurance

Rock chip only 2 hours old - Look at the detail in the fine cracks

Without comprehensive glass insurance coverage, a cracked windshield can be a costly repair (Ron Tibert –

Potholes are starting to form, roads are getting bumpy and the temperature fluctuates many times in the day, all contributing to windshields snapping at a weak point like a stone chip.

Spring time brings out the bits of gravel and road pieces, you see scattered on our highways, so traveling too close to the vehicle in front of you is not a good idea. Prevention and being proactive is a great start to being one of those people who never had a windshield replaced in their life.

So what should you do in the case that you get a rock chip?
  1. Pull over in a safe place if you can and use our rock chip cover stickers or clear tape to cover the chip to keep it clean. Obviously, do not do this step if the chip is in the critical viewing area. 
  2. Lets save your windshield and give our shop a call or send a quote through our website - If you have comprehensive insurance coverage, you maybe covered under your plan and the cost is usually free with no deductible. We have insurance partnerships and computer systems in place to verify coverage and billing for you.

Sometimes the crack can spread seconds after the impact while driving. Quite interesting to see but can be scary and has the driver wondering if the windshield will blow out on them.

If the windshield is cracked you most likely will need to replace it. Depending on your insurance coverage, you may be eligible for free replacements, which means absolutely no out of pocket expense to you. Your insurance claim will cover the majority of the cost and we’ll cover the rest. Eligibility is based on your specific auto insurance company.

So what legal action can you do to get your money back?

Experience in the past has suggested that you may just be wasting your time chasing down the vehicle and actually trying to get any settlement. If the rock or object came from an unsecured load you have a better chance of getting help replacing the glass.

So let’s not travel too close to the vehicle ahead of you and we will welcome the warmer days of spring.

Come join us on our facebook page for more tips and ideas to maintain a quality viewing windshield for years to come. (And get a coupon for $5 off your next windshield) 

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Lunenburg / Bridgewater 902-543-1956
Halifax / Dartmouth 902-468-5583