Know Your Car to Avoid Mechanic Scams

It’s a fact: cars are expensive to own. In 2013, Americans spent an average of $750 annually on car maintenance, and even a small sedan will cost you an average of $9,122 over its lifespan. However, 27% of Americans report being unhappy with repair services they’ve received from a mechanic, with most of them being dissatisfied with costs, followed by those who said problems were incorrectly repaired or that the repairs didn’t last. Unnecessary auto repair is consistently ranked highly among causes for consumer complaints, but what can Americans do to save money on car maintenance?


The most common auto repairs are for engine problems, tires and rims, timing belts, tire pressure monitoring systems, brakes, and suspension. Your engine is the most important part of your car, so it makes sense that it requires the most repairs. Typically, tires have a 2-4 year lifespan, but that can be cut short by poor road quality. Timing belts are fairly inexpensive, but they require intensive (read: expensive) labor.

While these are the most common car repairs, they’re not always the most expensive car repairs. That honor belongs to a blown motor, which can cost up to $4,000 to repair, and transmission replacement, which can cost between $1,800 and $3,500. A head gasket costs between $1,200 and $1,600 to repair, and your air conditioning compressor costs between $200 and $600 to replace, plus additional service costs.

Avoid common scams (like a low verbal estimate followed by a higher final charge or charging for services advertised as free) by using mechanics recommended by friends and family and endorsed by AAA. Ask questions to educate yourself about what your repairs are exactly, and get a written estimate for repairs and costs. Pay in full only after the agreed-upon repairs have been completed, and help trustworthy mechanics stay in business by recommending them to your family and friends.

Importance of Verbal Ability Tests and Nonverbal Ability Tests

It’s been a while since I last brag about my daughter’s achievements. Not because I have nothing to brag about, but because she doesn’t want me to post anything about her anymore. She’s smart and talented but quite shy. I asked her permission to post this and I’m glad that she said yes.

Every year, my daughter’s school conducts Verbal Ability and Nonverbal Ability Tests to each students. The Verbal Ability Tests measures the verbal-educational factor. Variety of tasks that call for the application of several processes to verbal, quantitative and pictorial content are given to students. While the Nonverbal Ability Tests measure the reasoning and abstract conceptualization of students. The Life Caoches (Guidance Counselors during my time) then evaluate and rank the students based on test results.

ability testsImage Courtesy of Stockimages at

On the said tests, RJ got a Percentile Rank of 91. This means she belongs to the upper 9% of all those who took the tests. While her Stanine score is 8 (with 1 as the lowest and 9 as the highest). Stanine indicate a given student’s level of general abstract reasoning ability when the student is compared with the students of the same chronological age. To give you an idea, below are the Stanine scores and the corresponding descriptions.

9Very High
7Above Average
6Little Above Average
4Little Below Average
3Below Average
1Very Low

With a Stanine score of 8 which is high, it means RJ performed above the typical student of her age and we are so proud of her.

Verbal Ability Tests and Nonverbal Ability Tests are important to measure the child’s verbal, numerical and abstract reasoning. It can also be an indicator of a child’s ability to learn new things, identify patterns, solve problems and discern relationships. If the child gets a low assessment, the parents should talk to the teacher or school’s life coaches to know the child’s weakest areas and help them fill these gaps. The tests also helps to know a child’s strengths. Thus, parents can help their child to improve or make the most of his/her strengths.

3 Reasons to Seek Advice When Choosing Valentine’s Day Flowers

On Valentine’s Day, men are expected to surprise their sweethearts with memorable gifts or tokens that represent their love. If they choose the wrong gift, the day may become unpleasant for them. Without a doubt, flowers are most popular gifts on this special day. However, not all flowers make the perfect gift. To make sure that you get the right types of Valentine’s Day flowers in Sydney, be sure to hire the services of a professional florist. A florist can help you in the following three ways:

Valentine's Day flowers

1. Create Beautiful Arrangements
By working with a florist, it is easy to create a beautiful arrangement that your partner will love. A florist helps you to come up with a bouquet you never would have thought of by incorporating certain flower colours, styles, and more. Since florists make a career out of creating living works of art, it is best to let them help you create the right gift for your love.

2. The Experts Know What’s Best For You
Just like music and clothes, flower trends also evolve depending on the season, culture, and the person you are buying the flowers for. Before creating a bouquet, your florist takes time to ask you a series of questions about your other half and incorporates that information in the current floral trends. The final masterpiece will definitely surprise your honey.

3. Florists Bring Out the Genius in You
It is a fact that no one is a master of everything. Although you may be good at your job, you are likely to fail in making floral arrangements. To compensate, simply working with a florist will ensure you achieve the best result.

Valentine’s Day should be a time to celebrate, not a time to be worried or stressed about what type of gift you should get for your loved one. By engaging the services of a professional florist like Florist With Flowers, you stand a chance of getting the perfect Valentine’s Day flowers in Sydney. Read more about the

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