Buying Considerations for Your Perfect Car

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Gorgeous and high-tech car models make car shopping a fun and exciting task for buyers. You can easily find new or used vehicles that you’ll like from online dealers like cars.com. However you don’t just run off and pick the first car that catches your eye. Buying a new car requires a lot of thought especially if you want your investment to pay off. Is this the best car for my family? Am I spending too much or is it a good buy? The real question is what do you look for when buying your perfect car?

 

 

There are 3 basic considerations when buying a car and these are looks, performance, and value.

Looks

Looks pertain to the vehicles aesthetic features like interior, exterior, and cargo room. Aside from the vehicle’s overall look, you should also check if the design is able to meet your needs. For instance, if you need a family car make sure that the interiors are fitted with child safety features. The size and capacity of cargo room should also be able to service the needs of the family. Comfort is another consideration when scrutinizing the interiors of a potential buy. A good looking car is a great choice only if it makes your passengers feel safe and comfortable during the ride.

Performance

A gorgeous car isn’t any good if you don’t check under the hood. The car’s performance is a primary concern since it covers power train capability, handling and braking systems, including safety features. Safety is a top priority especially if you are going to have children on board. Check the safety features of the vehicle as well as the safety records of the model and manufacturer. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have crash test information on new vehicles that you can use as reference when buying vehicles.

Value

Since cars can be considered as an investment, it also pays to weigh its value before you buy. Value can be assessed based on retail price, reliability, fuel economy, depreciation. Lower priced cars don’t necessarily come cheaper that higher priced ones when you consider other factors. Cheaper cars that are unreliable might cost you a lot on repairs and maintenance compared to a more expensive counterpart. Checking the fuel economy features and type of fuel used for the vehicle can also save you money in the long run. Cars that are reliable and easy to maintain are often your best options.

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What Every Car Owner Needs in their Garage

If you own a car, you are bound to own some tools. If you own a garage, you need to own extra ones. Here’s a list of useful items that you’re going to need if you want to be able to perform at least some sort of work on your car.

garage tools

1.      Car buffer

If your car is more to you than just a method for getting from point A to point B, you probably want to make sure it looks amazing at all times. A car buffer can be of huge help here, as it is used for giving the perfect finish to your vehicle, bringing it back to its original shine. A quality buffer is even capable of removing scratches and minor scrapes from the outside layer of your four-wheeled friend, giving it that polished look.
The pneumatic buffer relies on air as its main power source, while the electrical one uses electricity as its power source.

2.      Garage vacuum

Every owner who takes care of its car’s outside look will also want the interior experience to be as impeccable as possible. The garage vacuum is the most efficient way to clean both your car and your garage properly, which is hugely important, seeing as how a motor vehicle is capable of creating quite a mess. There are two types of garage vacuums out there:

Wall-mounted vacuum is installed on the wall (doesn’t take up too much space) and comes with a long hose that can reachdifficult-to-access places.

Handheld garage vacuum, on the other hand, is a budget-friendlier option and it does the job quite quickly. The downside here is that it has a small capacity.

3.      Jack + jack stands

Your garage might not have a hole in the floor for the purpose of doing check-ups on your car’s bottom side, but there are other ways of doing this. Use a good jack and a quality set of jack stands to lift your car and you’ll be able to do anything your local mechanic can, but without spending a ton of money (depending on how serious the potential issue is, of course). Most importantly, though, make sure to learn how to safely jack up your car!

4.      Magnet

This might sound weird, but you’d be amazed at how useful a tool this can be. If you’ve ever done engine maintenance, you’ve definitely had a screw fall deep into the engine bay. Now, while the fact that some car manufacturers charge a hell of a lot for ridiculous items such as screws is irritating, forking out the unnecessarily high amount of money for a borderline trivial item may not be the worst part of losing a screw in the engine – you’ll be thinking about it constantly, wondering when your car might break down on you, as a result of the screw ending up god knows where. This is exactly why a magnet is an excellent tool to have in your garage. In fact, even if you drop your key in the gutter, a magnet can help!

5.      Fluids

Your engine oil levels should be checked on a weekly basis and there should always be some of it in your garage – never drive without acceptable engine oil levels. In addition, there are many other fluids that your car may need: brake fluid, clutch fluid, antifreeze (especially for older vehicles), de-icer, screen wash, glass cleaner – all of these are extremely useful to have in your garage. We recommend Castrol for maximum reliability, no matter which car fluid type you might need.

Finally, don’t even think about not having some WD-40 lying around!

These five items are incredibly useful for every car owner, especially if you have a garage. So, make sure you have all the tools for keeping the car both clean and well-maintained!

 

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Essential Guide To Car Fuel Efficiency

Want to be a better driver? Then be a more efficient driver. If you can make the best use of your vehicle, you will save money, and contribute to a better environment. Plus, you will avoid the likelihood of having an accident or thrashing your car into oblivion. In this guide, we’re going to take a look at some of the things you should be thinking about if you want to be a more fuel efficient driver.

Very cool Smart Gauge dashboard on all 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrids
Image credit: Ogilvy PR – https://flic.kr/p/6iysgQ

Buy the right car

Of course, the best thing you can do to get started with fuel efficiency is choose the right car. There are plenty of options out there but look for something that goes at least 44 miles per gallon. Also, think about the fuel that you need before choosing your car. If you go on a lot of long distance journeys, then diesel might be your best option. However, if you do a lot of city driving, then think about going for a hybrid. Just charge it overnight when you get home and you can get to work and back on an electric charge for pence rather than pounds.

Maintain your vehicle

Maintenance is critical if you want to drive efficiently. Every part of your car can contribute to using more fuel if it isn’t working correctly, from your tyres to your engine. Going for an MOT once a year isn’t enough – it’s a safety test, not an efficiency test. Look at getting a service once a year, too, and invest in the areas that will trim down your fuel costs. It might be a significant one-off payment, but it will save you money over time.

Look after your tyres

If you don’t care for your tyres, it’s going to make your engine work harder. And, this means that it will consume fuel at a much greater rate. Some tyres are built to be more fuel-efficient – the Kumho Ecowing ES01 KH27, for example. But, it’s not just about the tyres that you buy; it’s also about the pressure that you inflate them enough. It’s vital to keep them at an optimum level and check them once or twice a month, at least.

Driving your car

Keep your revs down to a minimum when you are driving your car – anything from 3,000 RPM and under will be more fuel efficient than going over that limit. Sure, you might have to check your speed on the motorways, but it will cost you a significant amount less to reach your destination. Also, the faster you go, the harder you brake. And, when you brake, you are, in essence, burning away money. Instead, keep an eye on the road situation well in advance, and come to a slow, meandering stop rather than slamming on the brakes.

OK, so we hope that has helped you understand some of the basics of fuel efficiency with your car. It’s commons sense, really, and if you are a safe and sensible driver, then you will only need a few tweaks to make a difference. Let us know if you have any other tips!

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Defensive Driving: What You’ve Been Doing Wrong for Too Long

One of the most important skills to learn while on the road is learning how to drive defensively, which can help you to avoid collisions with other motorists, and is often taught in driving school. Although you may be an experienced driver, anyone is prone to being involved in an accident if they fail to watch for other cars driving recklessly. To protect yourself, there are a few steps to practice to ensure that you remain safe.

 

defensive driving-pixabay
image source: pixabay.com

 

Avoid Following Too Closely
As you scan the road ahead while driving, you also want to avoid driving too close to the car ahead of you, and prevent rear-ending the individual if they slam on their brakes. Any driving lessons in Rochester NY will tell you to keep your speed down, and maintain a safe distance by following three to five seconds behind the driver ahead. This will provide enough time to stop quickly in heavy traffic, or if another driver merges into your lane.

 

Look Both Ways in Intersections
One of the most common ways collisions occur is due to drivers who neglect to stop at red lights once reaching an intersection. Develop a habit of looking both ways and reducing your speed in intersections to avoid drivers who may be running the light. It’s important to remember that you can’t depend on other motorists to drive responsibly while traveling.

 

Scan the Road
Look at the road 20 to 30 seconds ahead to scan for motorists who may be speeding, cutting off other vehicles, or veering in and out of different lanes. Pull over to the side of the road to steer clear of the driver, or take the next exit to prevent driving near the car. As the Morgan School of Driving Inc reminds, you should always be aware of dangers on the roadways or debris as well.

 

Avoid Distractions
Although you may feel in control of your vehicle, it’s easy to become distracted even when few cars are on the road, or you have an easy drive. Avoid switching the radio too frequently, texting on your phone, or applying makeup to ensure that you are focused and notice any hazards. By avoiding distractions, you increase your chances of preventing a possible accident that can occur due to the mistakes of other drivers.

As a motorist, you may follow the law and drive safely while behind the wheel, but it doesn’t reduce your risk of being involved in an accident. Driving defensively will prevent injuries in an accident, and can work to your benefit while navigating different routes with other people who share the road.

 

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How Not To Get Scammed By Your Mechanic

On top of all the costs of owning a car- gas, insurance, and maintenance- paying for auto repairs is a costly thorn in Americans’ side. In fact, 27% of Americans report being dissatisfied with repair services they’ve gotten from a mechanic, and estimates of the money lost are in the tens of billions, with some estimates as high as $40 billion annually. What can Americans do to cut back on spending money on unnecessary car repairs?

 

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On average, maintenance in 2013 cost Americans 4.97 cents per mile, or $750 a year. These repairs tend to come from the same parts of your car over and over again. Your engine is the most important part of your car, so it needs to be fixed more often, and your tires’ lifespan is only 2-4 years (less if you drive on bad roads). Some tire pressure monitoring systems in newer cars need repairs for bugs and malfunctions, and brakes have a short lifespan and need regular changing.

While these types of repairs are common, they’re not necessarily the most expensive fixes. A blown motor costs up to $4,000 to repair, and a transmission replacement can cost between $1,800-$3,500. Your car’s head gasket may be small, but the labor to fix it can cost between $1,200 and $1,600, and even your air conditioning compressor can cost between $200-$600 to replace.

While you can’t avoid many of these auto repair costs- after all, you want your car to run smoothly- you can avoid common scams so that you don’t pay more than you need to. Ask for written estimates rather than verbal, and make sure you aren’t getting charged for parts covered by a warranty or advertised as free. Choose a mechanic that your friends and family have recommended and that has no complaints with the local Better Business Bureau. Ask questions for clarification on the parts and labor they’re charging for, and get a written invoice that details exactly what repairs were made and what parts were replaced, including itemized costs. Finally, pay in full only after the repair is completed.

Remember, although an untrustworthy mechanic is a common stereotype, most mechanics are honest and hard-working. Make sure to recommend mechanics that you trust and have had a positive experience with to others so that they earn business over dishonest mechanics.

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