April 26, 2022
Essential Tire Safety Checklist
Tires play an important role when it comes to both vehicle performance and safety. Maintaining your tires will increase their lifespan, saving you time and money. The wear and tear on your tires are under your control, based on how you drive and care for your tires. Basic knowledge of tire maintenance could be key to keeping you safe and extending the life of your tires. Here’s an essential tire safety checklist to help guide you through routine tire maintenance.
Check Tire Tread
Once a month, you should take time to check the tread of your tires for wear and tear. Tires that are bald or nearly bald won’t offer as much grip on the road and may cause you to lose control when driving. A good rule of thumb is to perform the penny test each month. Take a penny and place it in a vertical groove of each tire with Lincoln’s head face down. If the crown of Lincoln’s head is still visible to you, then it’s time to get new tires. This test will show if the tread on your tires is less than 2/32nds of an inch, which most states consider to be worn out legally.
Check Tire Pressure
Another task to complete each month is checking your tire pressure. Proper tire pressure extends the lifespan of your tires, keeps you safer, and maximizes fuel efficiency. You can purchase a tire gauge to check the pressure yourself or take your vehicle to a local tire retailer and ask an expert to check your tire pressure. They will often perform this service for free. Newer vehicles may have a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), and while this is a good way to keep an eye on your tire pressure, it’s still recommended to check your tire pressure once a month.
Check for Irregular Wear
A healthy wear pattern on a tire shows tread loss evenly. You should take the time to check for uneven wear on your tires when you check the tread. Irregular wear patterns include:
- Flat-spot wear- Hard braking or leaving a skid mark can lead to flat-spot wear on your tires.
- Feathering and cupping- Cornering aggressively or driving a vehicle with worn-out suspension parts can cause this type of pattern.
- Underinflation- The shoulders of your tires will show excessive wear.
- Overinflation- The center of your tires will show excessive wear.
While all tires will eventually wear down, it’s important to keep an eye out for these irregular wear patterns to increase the lifespan of your tires and keep you safe on the road.
March 04, 2022
Spring fever is settling in, along with its most visible emissary. Pollen.
If you walked out to your car in the last week and saw the yellow coating it received, you aren’t alone. Pollen is everywhere, and what you may not know is it’s more of a problem than just looking ugly.
What looks like a thin layer of yellow dust is, on a microscopic level, more like a field of tiny hooks and needles. All those hooks and prongs are how pollen clings to your clothes, your dog, and the pores in your car’s paint.
The worst part about pollen is acidity. The acidity of various pollen is commonly activated when it comes in contact with water, so just waiting for a rain shower to clean off your car won’t cut it. Acidity can do everything from stain your car to accelerate the spread of rust.
So what can you do?
- Wash your car with soap. Remember, water can activate acidity by itself. It’s important to use soap in order to safely encapsulate pollen before you wash it away. Take your time, get to know your car, and give it a nice sudsy massage. Also, if you just try to get rid of the pollen by wiping it down with a cloth, you can end up scratching the paint by rubbing the abrasive pollen against it.
- Wax on, wax off. Just like Mister Miyagi taught you, a fresh coat of wax after you wash your car will replace a caustic coating with a protective one. The wax will make it harder for the pollen to stick on, and that way a simple rinse will work.
- Change your cabin filter and keep your windows closed. The benefit to having a clean car on the outside will mean that less pollen will find its way into your car, but there are other steps you can take, too. If you aren’t in the habit of doing so, you should change your car’s cabin filter. This will keep your ventilation system from bringing pollen in from the outside.
These are just a few simple and logical pointers to help you get rid of pollen. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us!
February 28, 2022
I know it can be intimidating to buy a used car but not all used cars have skeletons in their closets. Actually, most of the vehicles sold in the U.S. are used. Here are a few water cooler tidbits that we found about used cars!
- Three out of four automotive transactions in the U.S. involve previously owned vehicles.
- The average vehicle will likely have three owners in its lifetime.
- There are more used Silverado pickup trucks for sale than any other model (nearly 120,000 throughout the U.S.)
- Chevrolet tops the list of most-available brands in the U.S. (with about 450,000 available), followed by Ford (425,000). There are "only" about 280,000 Toyotas on the market at any given time.
- Automatic transmissions outnumber manual 10 to 1 in the market for used vehicles.
As you can see it is not uncommon to buy a used car! Needing a place that’s reliable and that you can trust? Come see us today!
January 24, 2022
If you don’t have the cash on hand to buy a car up front, you’re not alone. Most folks turn to financing their car purchase with an auto loan. For those with a relatively weak credit score or little credit history, this can make the process frustrating. So if you’re struggling to get approved for an auto loan, here are things you can do to boost your credit score so you can get your loan and get on the road.
1. Lower Your Credit Utilization Ratio. A good target is to fall below 30% utilization of your available balances.
2. Make Multiple Payments. Instead of waiting for your balance to pile up over the month before you pay, make multiple, smaller payments throughout the month. This will show as lower credit usage.
3. Avoid Hard Credit Pulls. Things like applying for a loan, a home lease, or a new credit card trigger “hard” pulls on your credit report. Hard credit pulls can temporarily decrease your credit score. So if you’re planning to apply for an auto loan either avoid applications that can trigger a hard pull, or do them at the same time as your auto loan application so your credit report gets pulled before your score gets dinged.
4. Ask For a Higher Credit Limit. If you trust yourself to use your lines of credit responsibly, ask your lenders to increase your limit. If you have more available credit but keep using the same amount as before, that will lower your credit utilization ratio.
If you need any help during this process don't hesitate to ask us! We are here for you!
December 16, 2021
Believe it or not, Winter is one of the best times of the year to buy a car. In fact, if you ask people, many of them might tell you winter is an especially bad time to buy a car but the present moment favors the idea that buying when others are not buying is a smart move. Instead of waiting for spring and battling hordes of other car buyers for the most popular vehicles with the most desirable equipment, you can get into the market early and pick off a good deal without tripping over other car buyers in the dealership.
In days gone by, car manufacturers were more content to wait out winter with the expectation that sales would inevitably pick up in the spring. But today’s market is too competitive and too dependent on continued cash flow to sit out a couple months of sales or even let them slip markedly. So, to keep the sales going in the face of miserable weather, the carmakers get more generous with the incentives they offer consumers to get them to buy or lease.
The typical dealership depends on foot traffic, and when poor weather prevents potential customers from going out car shopping, dealers are more eager to close deals with those few customers who do brave the elements. That means they are often more willing to take less for a car so a shrewd negotiator has more leverage in the winter than in the beginning of summer.
What are you waiting for?? Go get that car for Christmas!
Buying a used car can be difficult when you don’t know what you should take into consideration.. You could buy new but with the average price of a brand new car these days, that may not might not be in the budget. Thankfully, it's never been easier to find a quality pre-owned car.
How easy is it? Follow these expert tips for buying a used car to help ease the process...
1. Weigh Age Against Price
Buying a used car is all about finding a balance between price and reliability. Too new, and a vehicle will be expensive; too old and it could require several repairs. Buying a used car that is around five years old should be in good shape and could cost up to 40 percent less than its newer counterparts.
2. Consider A Certified Used Car
Does the prospect of expensive repairs make you nervous? Then look for a certified pre-owned vehicle. These used cars are inspected by dealers and must pass inspection requirements such as: Maximum mileage and age thresholds, restrictions in the presence of aftermarket add-ons, and the condition of the vehicle’s transmission system.
These requirements are determined by manufacturers and come with extended warranties. Combined with dealer warranties and you won’t have to worry about paying for a new transmission a year from now.
3. Do Your Homework
Back in the day, figuring out the value of a used car could be difficult. But online services make researching what others paid for your vehicle easier than ever. Check to see if the car you’re looking at has been in an accident.
4. Don’t Get Emotional
As with any major purchase, it’s important to think with your head and not your heart. When you’re buying a used car, try to avoid fixating on a certain model or color. Read reviews online and aim for pre-owned cars that have a history of reliability. Don’t overlook obvious problems just because you like the look of a vehicle. You don’t want to be satisfied with a new-to-you car in the moment only to regret having to drive it for years to come.