The loss of some nice cars

I was viewing the NJ, NY, and PA salvage auction lists and watching the auctions today. It was very sad to see so many classic cars that were damaged and sent for salvage due to Hurricane Sandy. Besides the many classic cars, there were hundreds of newer Jaguars, Land Rovers, and other exotic cars like Ferraris and Masseratis. I saw everything from classic muscle cars to collector sports cars. It was very sad to see salt stains on the leather of someone’s proudly restored MGA. The Atlantic Ocean left sand throughout the interior of several Jaguar XKE coupes. The devastation to the car collector hobby is just plain sickening.

I can’t even imagine how a new car could be repaired after all the water damage, especially salt water damage. Let’s take, for example, one of the many newer 2011 or 2012 JAGUAR XJ sedans. There are countless computer components and electrical wiring connections under the carpets and seats. Most of these cars took on water above the seat bottoms. It would cost tens of thousands of dollars to replace or repair all of these sensitive components. Corrosion problems would be an endless nightmare. Don’t forget the carpets, padding, and interior materials that can harbor mold. Future owners could get sick driving in one of these cars. What is going to happen to all of these cars? Interestingly enough, many of these automobiles were bought by buyers in the Middle East, Africa, Russia, and Latvia. I wonder what plans they have overseas for our flooded Gems?

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Check us out on Facebook

Our Facebook page has been very active lately and we have been posting daily pictures from some of our projects. If your interested, click the FACEBOOK link from the home page of our website and check it out. You can find some weekly specials and discount offers through or page. It’s worth a look!

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Thanks to all of our Loyal Customers!

I’d like to take this time to thank all of our new and old customers for their loyalty and for entrusting us, here at Authorized Imported Cars, with all of their service and repair needs.  With all the shops to choose from, we consider it an honor that you have chosen us to provide the care that your vehicle deserves and requires.  Whether you have a Jaguar, Land Rover, Rolls Royce, Mini Cooper, or a Honda – You will always receive the best we have to offer.

After 32 years of business, the support we have received from our customers has enabled us to grow and keep up with modern-day demands.  Thank you for keeping our shop busy day and night, year after year!

Below are some JAGUAR XKE Restoration photos from recent projects:

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Some customers tell us that getting their car repaired is Fun!

I don’t think they are talking about getting the bill after we have repaired or serviced their car or truck. Our customers are referring to our cute little FIAT loaner cars. If you are lucky to get one of the FIATS when your car is in our shop, you are in for a fun time while driving around waiting for your car to be completed. One Land Rover customer told us “it was so fun to drive that tiny car that handled so well after always driving a Land Rover truck…” One of our Jaguar owner’s said “it’s so cute and comfortable to buzz around in…” So, I guess we have a way to make it fun to bring your car to the repair shop.

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Batteries – The life of your vehicle.

As the weather took a turn to the colder side, we have been replacing many batteries every week.  We have been using INTERSTATE Batteries for 30 years here at the shop with great success.  Most batteries are warranteed for approx 5 years, and Interstate seems to be the only battery we see actually lasting that long.

If you dont want to have a problem this winter, stop by and let us check your battery.  We have been finding most batteries to be weak and bellow marginal standards.  If you don’t want to get stuck these batteries should get replaced before its too late.  ANy corossion around ther terminals should also be cleaned and protected.

If you happen to come out one morning and your battery is dead, use these rules as a guide before jump starting your car.  (Copied from EHow.com)  Make sure your key is off and all accessories are turned off:

  • 1

    Pull the car you are using to jump the dead battery in front of the car with the dead battery. The vehicles need to be close enough for the jumper cables to reach, but do not let any parts of the cars touch each other. Turn off the engine of the jumper car.

  • 2

    Lay out the jumper cables on the ground between both cars. Keep the red and black ends of each end of the cables from touching each other.

  • 3
     
    Clip the red or positive end of the jumper cables closest to the dead battery to the positive terminal on the dead battery, firmly. The terminal is marked with a plus (+) sign or it has red around it. Wiggle it a little bit to be sure the connection is good.
     
  • 4

    Attach the red connection on the other end of the cables to the positive terminal on the jumper car’s battery. Make sure the connection is firm with a little wiggle there too.

  • 5

    Clamp the black side of the jumper cable to the negative terminal on the battery on the jumper car following the same procedure as Step 4. The negative terminal is surrounded by black or is marked by a minus (-) sign.

  • 6

    Find a space of unpainted metal in the engine of the car with the dead battery like a bolt or the accessory bracket on the alternator. Clamp the remaining black cable end to it. Make sure the cable will not interfere with any belts or moving parts once the engine is running again. Attaching this negative end to a ground rather than the battery keeps the risk of a hydrogen explosion near the battery low.

  • 7

    Turn the ignition in the jumper car on and allow it to charge the dead battery. Idle it for five minutes and then increase the charge running through the cables by pushing on the accelerator so the RPMs increase by about 1500 for 10 minutes.

  • 8

    Crank the ignition in the car with the dead battery so it turns over and catches. This ensures the alternator in the car with the dead battery charges the battery the rest of the way.

  • 9

    Remove the jumper cable ends in the reverse order from how you applied them: black from the engine with the dead battery, black from the jumper car, red from the jumper car and red from the car with the dead battery. Keep the ends from touching each other to reduce the risk of electrical shock.

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Jaguar V8 Timing Chains & Tensioners

Even though the oldest of the Jaguar V8 engines is now 16 years old (beginning with the introduction of the 1997 Jaguar XK8), we are still seeing cars with their original plastic timing components, tensioners & guides, failing. Some of these V8 Jaguars are still out there with these original plastic parts just waiting to fail – an actual ticking time bomb! No longer do they just fail from mileage, but age also causes the plastic components to crack, crumble and fail. When the plastic breaks it usually causes the timing chain to jump or break. If this happens as you start the car you could be lucky with minimal damage. However, at 20 mph you will definitly bend a few valves and possibly damage the entire engine beyond repair. I have seen a few break valves, pistons, and con rods. Several engines shot the piston thru the side of the engine block. A new engine is over $10,000 which is usually cost prohibitive – unless you really LOVE your Jaguar.

If you own a Jaguar V8 from 1997-2003 and you dont know if you have had the updated timing components fitted to your engine – You might want to save yourself alot of headaches and get it checked!

In this photo you can see a broken piece of plastic tensioner sitting in the lower right corner. We caught this just before it caused MAJOR damage.

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Land Rover Madness!

The shop is full with LAND ROVERS! We may not have a baker’s dozen, but we sure have a dozen Land Rovers in the shop. Everything from a Series Forward Control, Disco I & II, P38 Range Rovers, LR3’s, and new style Range Rovers. We also have an ’89 Classic Range Rover coming in this weekend. However, The newer and classic Jags are still outnumbering the Rovers! We are doing everything from full power train overhauls, timing chain upgrades, to the simple stuff like oil changes and services. With all this work maybe I’ll shed some of the extra weight I gained during the holidays…

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Don’t Run On Empty!

Recently we have had several vehicles towed in with a no start condition.  One Land Rover died at the car wash and a Jaguar wouldnt start in a customer’s garage.  Both vehicles had the same problem – a seized fuel pump.

With the cost of fuel soaring, many people are running their fuel tanks close to empty.  This can create MAJOR problems and BIG expenses.  During this cold time of year you should try to keep your fuel tank full or as close to full as possible.  Excess moisture in your fuel will cause condensation in the open space within your fuel tank.  This condensation will eventually settle to the bottom of the tank causing many corossion related problems.  It could lead to costly seized fuel pumps or injectors, frozen/broken fuel lines, rusted out fuel tanks, or it could leave you stranded.  Remember, top-up that tank to eliminate moisture problems. 

If you have an older vehicle or classic car sitting in storage, you should use a fuel stabilizer that helps combat moisture problems.  We have one old JAGUAR that has been sitting since the summer.  Its twin SU carburettors are stuck with a white film of corossion.  Now they need another costly overhaul which could have been avoided if we had listened to what we preach!

 

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