Leading Car Care

Local Car Dealers Have Made Me Forget How to Drive

Here in Alabama, we’re constantly subjected to some pretty shady local business ads. First you have your title loan commercials that tell you everything about how you’ll get cash in your pocket but forget to mention the 400% interest charge. Next you have the local syndication commercials that have successfully made me stop watching Seinfeld, the DVDs will suffice. After that, you have the generic salesmen who use their children as a marketing ploy. I honestly have no idea how these guys are staying in business; it looks as if they haven’t sold a single child. Then theres the worst of the flock, the local car dealers. What make these guys the most notoriously irritating? They have a budget, a big budget. Equipped with blue screens and Mac software, these guys are doing the worst thing with financial surplus since “Star Wars: Episode I”, (there I said it). My favorite comes in the form of a shrill voiced man with a matching grey suit and hair. He’s known by most Alabamians and his children as… nevermind, I’m not giving him any publicity. He averages a new commercial every 2 weeks and is almost as topical as South Park. Anyway, “0 down, 99 a month” has been so deeply burned into my brain, that I’ve actually forgotten how to drive. So I guess I’m not a big fan of this guy because he’s the one who brings commercials into my home for a product I don’t even know how to opporate, so I just feel like the whole thing is a waste of time. And yes, I have Tivo, but it doesn’t help me that much. Tivo was designed for people who have to go out into the world and don’t want missing their favorite shows to be a consequence for having a life. Well going out into the world these days pretty much requires a car, and being unable to drive, I have absolutely no problem being at home when my shows are on in real time. It’s a never ending cycle. Sure, I run long distance, but I’m not going to Starbucks all sweaty, what would the burista’s think? Even if I did, I can’t run with a cup of coffee in my hand, what if I go into marathon mode, and sling it on my face, I’d be scalded to the 3rd degree. So my problem with that certain car dealer is a very appropriate one, his ads have basically put me under house arrest and to make matters worse, I don’t think he’s going to stop. I guess I could always turn the t.v. off, but t.v in general has made me forget how to read, so what else am I going to do? Most of the people who read my blog live nowhere near me, so I know you have your very own leisure suited demons to fight. If you have a similar problem, leave a comment about them and let’s see who has the worst one.

Negotiating Auto Repairs

Negotiating your way through the tricky world of car repairs can be difficult. By arming yourself with a little bit of analysis before bringing your automobile into the dealer or local auto repair shop will give you the best likelihood at bargaining a fair price for your auto repair or service needs. With these tips, you can speedily and effortlessly negotiate a better deal on your vehicle repair.

  1. 1. Research common problems or issues with your vehicle’s year, and model . When you bring your automobile in for repairs, let your shop know that you have looked into the problem; whether that might be engine or transmission performance problems, abnormal sounds while driving, fluid leaks, or warning lights on your dashboard. These are all vital signals to your shop that correspond with the situation that your automobile is having. Sharing the information you know may be of assistance in negotiating down or eliminating a $100/hour diagnostic cost.
  2. 2. Inquire about not being charged the “diagnostic fee “if the issue is easily identified OR if the shop that is inspecting or testing your automobile finds an issue that needs service and you get the service done there.
  3. 3. Know your vehicle’s warranty information!  Manufacturer warranties might include:
  • Basic new car warranty
  • Powertrain warranty that covers internal engine and transmission difficulties (noises, leaks, performance issues). This warranty normally extends past the time and mileage expiration of the basic new vehicle warranty.
  • Emission warranties which cover important and costly parts such as catalytic converters, engine computers and other parts for generally 8 years or 80,000 miles.
  • Paint/corrosion or rust warranties covering cosmetic damages.
  • Tire warranties often from the tire manufacturer in case of manufacturer defects.

Reading the fine print on your warranties may benefit your finances when repairing or servicing your vehicle.

  1. 4. Contact the manufacturer about any financial assistance towards certain repairs, particularly if your vehicle is recently out of warranty by time or miles and you have discovered that the trouble you are having is widespread to the year, make and model.
  2. 5. Inquire about discounting the repair work (parts and labor ) if the repair work is substantial and in depth, such as brake jobs and suspension repairs. This work generally does not require a master technician at $100 an hour or more, and when a shop sells a pricey job they may be more inclined to negotiate a deal on parts and /or labor.

Guaranteed Full Service Auto Repair Shop

  1. 6. Call around to a couple of part stores or repair shops and inquire about part quality, pricing and warranty.


Happy negotiating!

How To Extend Your Car’s Lifespan

These can be very stressful times for most car owners. With gas prices soaring and auto insurance costs rising, perhaps the last thing a car owner wants to worry about is seeing their car break down.

To avoid potential auto breakdowns, vehicle owners need to know how to properly maintain their cars. This requires more than just ensuring that the tires are fully inflated or checking brake fluid levels. Perth car service experts share a couple of tips on how to extend your car’s lifespan.

Study The Car’s Maintenance Manual

The first step towards making your car last longer, would be to read and analyze the car’s maintenance manual.

By making sure the car follows its recommended maintenance schedule, you’ll avoid seeing any costly repairs done on the car’s brakes, suspension, chassis and other components. If you follow the car’s maintenance schedule, you’ll also fully benefit from the car maker’s warranty.

Routinely Change Oil

The next step towards stretching your car’s life, is to routinely change oil. The suggested mileage between oil changes, according to most car mechanics Perth, is from 3,000 to 5,000 miles.

This should also be done every three to six months. But apart from regularly changing oil, also make sure that your filters are clean and in good condition.

Avoid Short Trips

Perth mechanics share that another way of stretching your car’s life would to avoid making short trips. For example, don’t make it a habit to start a cold car just to drive it into the garage.

Perth car repair experts stress that cold starts are usually tough on engines, as well as on gas mileage. Short trips can also damage the muffler in the long run, and they too can increase greenhouse gas emissions.

Instead of using the car to go to the nearest grocery, why not walk to the store? If you own two or more vehicles, why not use the one that was recently driven?

But if your car has stayed in the garage for longer than a week or two, make sure the fluids are not slowly draining out of the car, as well as consult the nearest auto mechanics Perth expert in your area.

Don’t Forget To Wash Your Car

Perhaps the easiest way to keep your car looking good, and running for years to come, would be to regularly wash it. Ask any auto mechanic in Australia today, and they’ll all agree that mud, sludge, pollution and road salt can damage your car, and lead to costly body work.

If you don’t regularly clean your car, you’ll slowly start to notice rust forming on the bottom of the doors in no time.

Apart from these steps, North Perth mechanics also suggest that vehicle owners regularly rotate their tires, monitor brake pad thickness, keep tires inflated and keep the car’s front end aligned. Try to consult with the local auto parts dealer too about other manuals that are specific to your vehicle. This way you’ll learn how to do basic maintenance on one of your most prized possessions.

Experience Excellent offered Cars along with used cars for sale Uk

Searching online is often a popular as well as beneficial manner of finding used cars for sale. This is a great arena for automotive dealers and personal sellers to promote their cars, together with for buyers to see second hand cars without the problem of venturing round garages in addition to listening to revenue pitches. Purchasers can surf cars at pleasurable from their own homes and now have time to focus about their judgements instead of being rushed in to buying from a high pressure scenario. Car dealers who advertise on line can also cut down overheads, particularly in the number of sales people employed. The recession has been the bleak time frame for many markets and after doing a survey form of the used cars for sale Uk we’ve got discovered that another hand auto market did not suffer for you to badly. Countless overweight people have have been home loan business the volume for cars sold each and every year however not much of a large enough lower that dealers large or small have gone out of business, a similar cannot be reported for car manufacturers.

used cars for sale uk: This government’s car scrap-age structure did keep car manufacturers head above normal water but for some times have been extremely tough having a struggle forward likely for famous brands Saab. Second hand auto garages have noticed a stability associated with sales during the recession with a bit of even doing better than we were holding just before the recession bit. Longoria and tony parker, who owns the garage while in the North Gulf states, A I have seen a lose in footfall just lately but that has been only due to the big freeze out! Apart from that the past two years happen to be pretty solid, that is going for me whilst others I know while in the second hand motor vehicle game.No The buoyancy from the second hand car market includes probably range from amount of downsizing together with restructuring of ancestors finances inside social groups A1 * C1, with many center management workers being designed redundant or even laid off they already have had to contemplate money saving/making possibilities so selling their Two year old Rolls royce SLK to change for a pre-owned 8 years old Audi A4. This unique unfortunately stands out as the case from coast to coast with many the need to look out right now there outgoings Per expenses as well as luxuries like fancy cars could be the first to search, luckily for another hand vehicle market another solution vehicle are usually needed.

There are many good car listing web pages. One such site is Finding Motors that offer the option of viewing used cars for sale by make, body type, price structure, fuel model and gear box. Prospective customers can also carry out localized lookups to find a car that they can buy near home. This website works with U.K. used car sales and profits. When observing used car sales and profits online prospects can view images and also message the car dealership or user with doubts about the car. That is a much more powerful method compared with having to go in addition to meet the individual to discuss the automobile when you are simply at the looking into stage. Naturally, if you do will buy the vehicle from the grouped advertising web page, it is very important in order to meet the seller, view and try out the car, as well as perhaps bring along an automobile mechanic to test that it is all totally in suitable working obtain. Used cars for sale come in all shapes and sizes so make sure you check out a used cars for sale uk site first.

Using the Internet to Demystify Car Repair

If you aren't familiar with the dark inner workings of your car, choosing the right mechanic can be downright intimidating. It's difficult to know where to go, who to trust and whether you're being taken for a ride. In the past the most powerful tool at your disposal was word of mouth, and the advice of family and friends. That's still true today, but that source of advice has expanded from your immediate family and friends to the whole of the Internet.

Almost as good as having taken auto shop in high school.

RepairPal is a good starting point if you're unfamiliar with many aspects of automotive repair. It allows you to plug in the make and model of your car and the needed repair, and then outputs a reasonable price range you could expect to pay, breaking it down into labor and parts. It seems to be fairly accurate judging by a few test cases, so if a mechanic quotes you something that is too far out of the ballpark you will want to inquire as to why. It's possible that the mechanic is including parts in his estimate that RepairPal hasn't considered, for example replacing a worn serpentine belt along with a bad alternator, since the belt must be removed in order to replace the alternator. The site also allows users to post reviews of specific shops, which can help you narrow down the field.

Finding word of mouth on the Internet: everyone has an opinion and they're more than happy to share.

Sites like Yelp and Citysearch also allow members to post reviews on local businesses, including mechanics. It's always worth remembering that someone who has had a bad experience is more likely to complain than someone who had a good experience is to praise, so if a shop has one bad review don't necessarily count them out. Pay attention to what people are saying on these sites, such as what hourly or 'flat rate' the shop charges, whether they use reputable parts suppliers, what types of cars they work on and what type of work they do. Some shops only work on Japanese imports, some shops specialize on only transmissions, and others can take care of any problem you might have.

Another good source of information is Mapquest, Google Maps and Yahoo! Maps. Using these services you can search an area around your home or work for mechanics, and many of them will have reviews posted similar to sites like Yelp and Citysearch. This is useful since it gives you a visual idea of how convenient a shop might be.

When all else fails, check with consumer advocacy groups.

A good way to weed out trouble shops is to see if they have any complaints through your local Better Business Bureau. Many shops won't actually be members of the BBB, but the BBB will still have records of if there were any disputes and how they were handled. The BBB now has a very convenient online search to look up this exact information. If you search for a specific business you will be able to see a slate of information on that business, including a letter grade that has been assigned to them, whether there have been any complaints in the last 36 months, and whether those complaints were resolved.

An excellent source of consumer information is the Consumer Checkbook, which publishes in seven areas around the country: Boston, Chicago, Delaware Valley, Puget Sound, San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose, Twin Cities, and Washington, DC. Unlike the other services mentioned so far the Consumer Checkbook requires a subscription fee, which covers both a print version and access to all the data on their website. They have actually accumulated data from real customers of area mechanics, along with many other products and services, and rated them based on different factors, including consumer satisfaction and cost, to give you an idea of what area shops are charging per hour, or flat rate.

What's the deal with "flat rate" anyway?

Flat rate is the method by which most mechanics calculate the labor for which you are charged. They have a flat rate manual, or more likely a computer program, which contains data on how much time it is supposed to take to perform any given repair. In practice a slow mechanic can take many times longer than flat rate, while a fast mechanic who has done the operation many times might be able to 'beat' flat rate. However, the flat rate multiplied by the shop's hourly rate is what you will be charged in either case. There are two main sources of information for flat rate estimation: Nichols Chiltons, and Alldata, and the two sometimes can differ substantially. Very few shops own both systems, so one possible explanation of a difference in flat rate estimates is that one shop is using one while another shop is using the other.

Using information gleaned from these and other online tools and sources, as well as the all-powerful recommendations of friends and family, you should be able to confidently choose your mechanic even if you don't know the difference between a spark plug and a wheel lug.

Girls Guide – 5 Tips on Purchasing a New or Used Car

Nothing is scarier than purchasing a car, new or used, for the first time, especially for women. Here are a few tips to ensure that you don't get taken.

  1. Shop around first and get Vehicle Identification Numbers.

By researching the Vehicle Identification Numbers of vehicles that you are considering purchasing, you will later be able to ensure that you are not getting a vehicle that has a history of accidents. Of course, before you get to this stage, you will have to do a lot of shopping around first. If you absolutely hate car salesmen, there is an option for you.

  1. Shop at night if possible.

If you are able, shopping for vehicles in the evening, after the dealerships are closed, is a great idea. All you are going to do is drive around the dealer lot in order to get an idea of what they have to offer, the price range, etc. There is no need to cause suspicion or feel like a criminal. The best part: As you are driving around looking at vehicles, you won't have any pushy salesmen hunting you down. Be aware that this isn't an option in all areas. Some dealerships are gated at night.

  1. Check the Vehicle Identification Numbers on Carfacts.com.

Once you have narrowed down the field of vehicles down to a few (hopefully you are able to do this before you have to talk to anyone), check those Vehicle Identification Numbers on Carfacts.com. For $24.99, you can receive reports on an unlimited number of VINs. In addition, you can receive safety and recall information on a wide-range of vehicles for free.

  1. Know exactly what you are looking for before you talk to a dealer.

You should have a very good idea of not only what you are looking for when you do go talk to a dealer, you should also have a price range and monthly payment in mind. In that way, you will be much less likely to be talked into something you do not need or want. By knowing what you want and what you can afford, you are not a good target for high-pressure sales people.

  1. Never let them know that you've made up your mind; never let them into something you simply don't want.

Even if you have made up your mind and know exactly which car you'd like to purchase, don't let them know it until you are ready to sit down and talk. By appearing willing and able to walk away at any moment, you will likely get a better deal. In addition, if the sales person tries to keep selling you something you simply do not want, just leave. You can find a better place to do business. No one should try to make up your mind for you. You are the one spending the hard-earned money.

By following these simple tips, you will better be able to make a truly informed decision when purchasing a new or used vehicle. There is nothing worse than living with a vehicle that you've come to regret.

6 Car Maintenance Tips for Going Green

Hybrid and alternative-fuel cars that are environmental safe have become popular since the increase in gas and Global Warming. There is becoming an increased supply of hybrid cars and more people are buying this type of car. Many companies are finding environmental safe ways to disposedof car batteries.

A regular driver doesn't have to know about disposing batteries or buying an environmental safe car to protect their environment. Many car owners can help the environment by taking their car to have routine maintenance and driving the car with care. There are some tips every car owner should know about that will keep the environment safe and thriving.

  1. Keep Engine Running at Good Performance. The engine of a car should receive routine maintenance and this helps with conserving energy. If the "check engine" light comes then visit a mechanic in a timely manner.
  2. The Tires Air Pressure Should Not Be Low. Low air pressure in tires will require the engine to overheat and use more gas at higher or steady speeds.
  3. Have a Certified Technician to Check Air Conditioning Unit. Some technicians are more certified to deal with automotive refrigerants. Also, these guys will know how to recycle the automotive refrigerants. These types of air conditioning systems using up the resources in the environment and has an affect on the ozone layer.
  4. Change Hood Switch. Most of the older cars have a switch that's used to the activate hood. Also, the switch is used with the trunk and glove-box lights. There are some organizations that have programs to help with removing old switches from cars for recycling. The switch is replaced with a more environmental switch on the car.
  5. Avoid Speeding. Many drivers will accelerate at sudden high speeds or drive faster than the speed limit. Excessive speeds will result in gas guzzling or wasting gas.
  6. Properly Dispose Batteries. There is a government office called WMA or waste management office available in most cities. This is a good place to call to find information on how to expose of car batteries. The batteries fluid should not seep into the ground because this can affect our water supply, lakes and streams.

Many people have to be educated more about going green and Global Warming Effect. The environment is really being affected by the surplus of people and unsafe products being used in the environment. A car owner with a properly maintenance car and uses environmental safe habits leads to conserving natural resources. Also, these actions will help a car owner to maintain a car that will last for a few years. Going green helps with the maintenance of cars and keeps the environment stable.

Teen Car Maintenance Tasks for New Drivers

She expects to turn the key and take off, but does your teen understand what it takes to keep a car running well? If she wants the privilege of driving, she needs to take on the responsibility for basic car maintenance. Not only does it teach her responsibility, it also prepares your teen for handling the maintenance herself once she's on her own.

Filling the Tank

The gas is the most basic of maintenance tasks for a vehicle. Your teen needs to know how to fill the gas tank in her car. Show her the basics of pumping gas even before her first time driving solo. Emphasize the importance of checking the gas gauge regularly so the tank doesn't reach empty. Designate a certain level as time to refill. For example, tell your teen she needs to refill the tank as soon as it reaches the halfway mark.

Checking Tires

Get your teen in the habit of taking a quick walk around the car before she drives it. This allows her to notice when the tires have low air pressure. Have her study the tires so she knows what they should look like when they are full. Pull out the tire gauge and have her practice checking the tire pressure. The teen years are also a good time for your child to learn how to add more air when the tire is low.

While you're at it, teach your teen driver to change a flat tire. Hopefully she will never need the skills, but it's always a good idea to know what to do so she isn't left helpless on the side of the road.

Scheduling Maintenance

Her car needs regular oil changes and new filters to run well. She doesn't have to do the work herself, but you can build your teen's car confidence by having her schedule the appointments and take the car to the shop. Go with her so the mechanics don't talk her into expensive repairs she doesn't actually need.

Spotting Problems

Your teen may be more worried about the radio station or impressing friends with her car, but she needs to learn to tune into the car's normal behavior so she can spot problems. Encourage her to alert you if the car starts handling differently or making a strange noise. These could be signs of a serious problem that makes the car unsafe to drive.

Make a Safe Driver

Teaching your teen the basics of car maintenance helps her stay safe on the road. She knows how to take care of her car and what to do if a problem arises.

Lamborghini or Volvo: What Kind of Car Does Your Dream Man Drive?

There are so many varieties of cars that it becomes intriguing to analyze why a man drives a certain type of vehicle. Did he like the design, the safety record, the cost, the image of the vehicle or is another more mysterious factor at play? Do men somehow choose a car that reveals their own private self image? It is an interesting question.

I think for some people cars do represent their inner personality . Over the years I have noticed that some men seem to drive cars that show their true colors. For example, a divorced neighbor with young children when I was in high school was "dating" a much older lawyer who drove a red Lamborghini. That flamboyant car was parked in her driveway most lunch hours but rarely at any other times. What is the link between racy cars and racy affairs?

A doctor so kind I recommended him to my friends used to drive a red Mercedes convertible. He was the gynecologist that saw friends and I through the change from overage Catholic virgins to women. He was Italian and cut quite the dashing figure buzzing around with the top down on his powerful car. He personified La Dolce Vita. Now, long after he has died, I still think of him when I see a handsome man in a Mercedes convertible.

A number of my coworkers over the years drove Volvos. They are kind, academic men who favor family, hard work, and strong values. Some had Volvos that were spanking new (and sometimes company provided) and others had old Volvos that were older and well maintained. Volvos are known for their safety record and their solid design. Looking for a solid guy? You may want to find one behind the wheel of a Volvo.

When I had my first apartment one of the women who lived downstairs was dating a man who drove a gold Porsche Carrera. Again, I'm not one to covet cars but that machine was like a work of art. It was beautiful and sleek. Around that same time a coworker and I were chatting at a party. When we got on the topic of kids at a party he said no he didn't have any and said "these are my kids:" and took out his wallet with a picture of his red Carrera and his beach house. Oh men and their toys!

I had a friend in college that had a red mustang that had a surf board attached to the top most of the time. When I saw that car buzzing around campus or town it always made me smile. His car reflected his sunny personality and joy for life. After college my Grandfather gave me a slightly used Mustang as a graduation gift. It was a silver blue color and attracted a lot of attention. I loved that car even though I had to learn how to use a stick shift to drive it At that time, that particular car did seem to suit my personality.

And a man in a pickup truck warms the heart of many American women. Though I cannot resist the urge to ask what does it cost to fill the tank of that behemoth vehicle these days to certain people with pickups, there is just something about a down to earth guy who drives a truck.

So does your man drive a pickup truck or BMW? Mini Cooper or Hummer? Neon or Escalade? What message does your man's vehicle shout out to the world?

Car Maintenance Tips for Women

I’m often asked by alot of my customers, “What are your top car maintenance tips so i won’t end up having to pay for expensive repairs?” and it seems that the majority of customers asking me for these car maintenance tips are female. It seems that our female customers take a keener interest in maintaining their cars then their male counterparts!

To help answer any questions you might have about car maintenance tips and preventing expensive repairs,i thought i’d post a series of tips over the coming weeks. Please feel free to contact me if you have any particular questions you’d like answered.

First things first! My number one in car maintenance tips is READ THE MANUAL/ SERVICE LOG BOOK! Like any major purchase it pays to read the instruction manual. This will make sure you get the best performance and life out of your car. Whether you car is new or used, definately make time to sit down and read the manual or log book, this will give you a basic understanding of how the car operates, what’s under the bonnet, how often you should have your car serviced and whats entailed in your car log book service.

You’ll find that your car manual/log book will be full of acronyms and car speak for example ABS (anti-lock braking system) EFI (electric fuel injection) or RPM (revolutions per minute), the great thing about reading through your manual/log book is that it also explains these terms in detail and these terms and phrases will no longer be a foreign language!

Something as simple as reading you car manual/service log book will make you an informed car owner and help prevent expensive repairs, plus you’ll be able to talk the talk with your mechanic when it comes to car maintenance!