Auto Issues

How hard do you work to take home $2000? Does it really matter if you put air in your tires?  Do oil changes really matter, or is that a myth?  Do you know why smart people buy used vehicles rather than new? Would you like to cut your gas bill?  "Auto Issues" will surprise you and, oh yes, it will save you money.

Maintaining Your Vehicle Like New

oil_change.jpg Remember that old saying, “A stitch in time saves nine?” It doesn’t apply just to clothes. Taking a few minutes regularly to perform some simple maintenance, can keep your car or truck looking and running like new for years. Here’s a quick checklist.

Check the vehicle’s “vital signs” every time you gas up.

When you fill the gas tank, pop the hood and check the levels of oil, coolant, brake fluid, and power steering fluid. You’ll need a paper towel for the oil; most of the others can be checked at a glance in most vehicles. If the vehicle has windshield washer fluid, check that level also.

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Trading Cars? Don't! How to Sell Your Old Vehicle Yourself and Make $$$

car_for_sale.jpgDealerships just love it when you trade in your old vehicle. Why? They give you "wholesale" for it (if you're lucky) then "retail" it to another customer, charging that customer thousands more.

Why should the dealership make that extra money? Why not pocket that money yourself by "retailing" your car to an individual rather than trading it? You may particularly wish to consider selling your vehicle if it's older but nice and reliable. Many people are looking for very affordable, but reliable transportation. So you can take a vehicle that a dealer might give you just a few hundred or thousand for and make more money. Both you and your buyer can come out ahead. Of course, you can also do well selling a newer vehicle.

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Tips for Finding an Auto Service Center

auto_service.jpgNext to a home, automotive vehicles represent the largest expenditure for most consumers. Keeping those vehicles well-maintained and, when necessary, properly repaired can ensure many years of reliable service.

Types of Auto Service Centers

Dealerships. The service centers of new car dealerships provide warranty service and repairs for the models the dealership sells. (Some dealerships may also service other make vehicles.) Positive reasons for choosing a dealership may include: they should be thoroughly familiar with your vehicle, they should offer factory-trained technicians, and original factory (OEM) parts are usually quickly available. Repairs under warranty must usually be performed by an authorized dealership. Most dealerships offer decent guarantees on parts and labor. On average, however, dealerships tend to charge a bit more than other types of service centers.

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Pros and Cons of Automotive Extended Warranties, a.k.a Service Contracts

car_warranty.jpgConsumers buying a new or used vehicle at most dealerships will face pressure to purchase an "extended warranty" on that vehicle. Extended warranties are also known as "service contracts." Dealerships like to sell extended warranties because they make good profits for the dealership. But do they make sense for you? And how do you use one, if you already purchased it?

What are "automotive extended warranties"?

In simple terms, they are service contracts with a warranty company that agree to provide, under certain conditions, certain repair services for a certain period of time from an identified provider. As you might assume from the very general terms of this definition, the provisions and quality of extended warranties can vary greatly. Some are provided by national manufacturers or companies who stand behind their agreement; others are provided by fly-by-night companies based in states with weak consumer protection laws—companies that often take the money and fold before consumers can make many claims against their "warranty." As a consequence, consumers must examine any contract carefully and look at all the pros and cons for their individual situation.

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Auto Contracts Requiring Mandatory Binding Arbitration Limit Consumer Rights

contract.jpgMore and more automobile dealerships across the country have added mandatory binding arbitration clauses to contracts for new and used vehicles as well as to financing contracts. By signing the contract, the consumer is agreeing to binding arbitration to settle any future dispute and also waiving the right to sue or appeal—even if the dealership committed fraud.

Although voluntary arbitration can be a good tool for some disputes, mandatory, pre-dispute arbitration poses several real dangers to consumers. In fact, the dealers must agree it poses dangers—after all, they fought hard for a federal law that prohibits automotive manufacturers from requiring dealers to accept mandatory binding arbitration in contracts between the manufacturers and dealers!

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Money-Saving Tips to Lower Your Auto and Gas Costs

fueling_car.jpgGasoline prices typically fluctuate depending on the season, for example, going up when more people are traveling in the summer. Even a few extra cents a gallon can quickly add up to lots of dollars. But, with some attention to the following tips, you can keep costs to operating your vehicle as low as possible.

Saving on gasoline

No matter whether you drive a compact that averages 30 mpg or a SUV that averages 13 mpg, you can cut gasoline costs by paying attention to where you buy gas, how you maintain your vehicle, and how you drive it.

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