Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we get.
- What is Collector Car Companion? Collector Car Companion is an innovative web-based service that will help you organize, document and track your collector vehicles. Collector Car Companion helps you plan your work, catalog your parts, track your costs and suppliers, organize your photos, and document your progress on all types of projects, from routine maintenance to full-blown restorations and everything in between. You can use Collector Car Companion for all sorts of vehicles including classics, antiques, customs, hot rods, resto-mods, whatever. And its just as useful for other types of collector vehicles like motorcycles, boats, airplanes, tractors, etc.
- How do I sign up for the Collector Car Companion service? It's easy. Go to the Collector Car Companion website and fill out the Create an account form.
- Why are there different membership levels? To keep Collector Car Companion as affordable as possible we offer 3 membership levels. The Hobbyist level is intended for those who want to manage 1 collector vehicle. The Collector level is for those who need to manage up to 5 collector vehicles. And the Professional level allows for unlimited vehicles. All membership levels are affordably priced, and you can upgrade from one level to another if and when needed. See the Create an account form on the Collector Car Companion website for current pricing.
- How do I access my Collector Car Companion account? Just go to the Collector Car Companion website to access your account. You can access Collector Car Companion from anywhere you have an internet connection, using any device that has a web browser.
- How do I get help with Collector Car Companion? If you need help with Collector Car Companion please first check the extensive help resources included within your account. While using Collector Car Companion, help is always available by clicking on Help in the top menu bar or any Help button you see. You should also check out the How-To Videos on our YouTube channel. If you don't find what you need you can always contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- How do I keep up with the latest Collector Car Companion news and events? Stay current with the latest Collector Car Companion news and events by following our facebook page.
- How do I use Collector Car Companion? Collector Car Companion is easy to use and adapts to how you want to work. This write-up will give you the basics. To learn more be sure to check out the How-To Videos on our YouTube channel.
Collector Car Companion is organized around how you work. It uses the strip-down, restore/replace, assemble workflow we are all accustomed to when working on our vehicles. And Collector Car Companion is flexible enough to match the way you work. Maybe you want to track every nut and bolt on a frame-off restoration. Collector Car Companion can do this for you. Or maybe you just want to document major sub-assemblies on an engine rebuild. Collector Car Companion can do this for you as well. You determine how much detail you want to capture and Collector Car Companion adjusts to the way you want to work.
You'll want to start by adding a vehicle to your account. Simply click Add Vehicle in the left menu tree and fill out your vehicle's information. The only required fields are Year, Make and Model. Your membership level determines how many vehicles you can manage in your account.
Next you might want to add some photos of your vehicle in its current condition. Click the + next to your vehicle in the left menu tree, then on Photographs. You can add photos at the Vehicle, Project, Group and Part level. More on photos later.
Now you're ready to add a project. A project is any unit of work you want to document on your vehicle. It could be a full restoration, some routine maintenance, or anything in between. Right-click on your vehicle and select Add Project, then fill out your project info and save it.
You can also do other things with your vehicle like edit its information, delete it completely, share a view-only copy of the vehicle with other members, or transfer the vehicle to another member.
Each project follows a strip down, restore, assemble workflow that we are all familiar with. As you take parts off the vehicle you will categorize them into groups under the Strip Down phase, and as you restore (or replace) and reassemble parts back on the vehicle they will be documented in the Restoration and/or Assembly phases.
Now that you've created a project its time to start adding groups and parts. In this example, we've added several groups named Engine, Body, and Chassis. To add a part to the group Chassis simply right click it and select Add Part. This will launch the Add Part Wizard which will guide you thru the process of adding a part.
Now its just a matter of adding groups and parts as needed. You can capture as much or as little detail as you'd like. Use the Help buttons on each page to get more detailed instructions. In this example, we have started to add parts as they are taken off the vehicle. Also notice that you can capture photos at each level of the tree so they are organized with the associated vehicle, project, group or part. For example, you can capture some photos at the part level while you take a part off the vehicle to assist you in assembly later.
- How is my vehicle's information organized? Collector Car Companion uses a tree structure to help you organize and find your vehicle's information quickly and easily. In the left menu tree click on the + and - signs to expand and collapse that portion of the tree, then click on any item to highlight it and see its details. Right-click on any item to see the actions you can take for that item. At the top are your vehicles. Your membership level determines how many vehicles you can have in your account. Next are vehicle photos where you would generally keep photos of the vehicle's overall condition. Next come projects. A project is any unit of work you want to document for your vehicle. It could be a full restoration, some routine maintenance, or anything in between. There is no limit to the number of projects you can have for each vehicle. Next are project photographs, where you can save before, during and after photos of the project. Next are phases. Every project is organized into 3 phases - strip down, restoration and assembly. Next comes groups (and sub-groups). Many people use the section titles from their vehicle's shop manual to define their groups like chassis, body, engine, interior, etc. Next come group photos where you can keep photos of an entire system, like your engine before breaking it down into subassemblies or individual parts. Next come parts. You have a lot of flexibility here in how much detail you want to capture. Let's take a starter for example. In one case you may just want to clean, test and paint the starter so you might just define 1 part called the starter. In another case, you might need to break down and rebuild the starter, so you could define a group called starter and add individual parts to that group. It's all up to you. Next come part photos where you can capture photos of individual parts. This is very helpful when you later go to put the part back together or reassemble it on the vehicle. And finally come components. These are typically the hardware, gaskets, fluids, etc. needed to restore or reassemble a part. Again, how much detail you capture is up to you.
- Can I capture and track the cost of my parts and labor? Collector Car Companion allows you to capture and track labor and parts costs, and automatically rolls these costs up by group, project, and vehicle. Some people will want to capture and track costs while others may not wish to, so all cost fields are optional.
- What are templates used for? A template is a predefined set of groups that allow you to automatically populate a new project. Let's say you do the same maintenance on your vehicle each year before putting it away for the winter. After making a project for this maintenance work in year 1, you could save it as a template and then use the template to create identical groups for future yearly maintenance projects. There is even a feature to share and use templates from other members.
- Can other members see my data? No. Your data is private to you only. If you choose, you can share your data with other Collector Car Companion members. Right-click on the vehicle you want to share, select Share Vehicle and provide the email address of the member you want to share that vehicle with. That member will now see a view-only copy of your vehicle in their account. You can at any time remove a share. Simply right-click the vehicle, select Unshare Vehicle and pick the email address you wish to remove from the share.
- I just sold my vehicle. Can I pass along its data to the new owner? Yes! Right-click the vehicle you want to transfer, select Transfer Vehicle and provide the email address of the receiving member. Once you have transferred a vehicle you will no longer have access to it in your account.