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November 2020

5 Things You Need to Do for Your Winter Car Maintenance

Winter car maintenance is vital if you want to ensure that your car is safe to drive. Some of the maintenance work you can do on your own but for other tasks, you may need to request the help of a car mechanic.

 

1. Check your coolant

 

The first thing you should check is your coolant. Coolant gets diluted in time, making it more likely to freeze. There are special devices that can tell you at what temperatures your coolant freezes and based on that measurement you can add more coolant or a 50/50 mix.

 

2. Check your car battery

 

The battery is the second most important thing that you need to check as part of your winter car maintenance checklist. Colder temperatures slow down the reactions inside the battery and if your battery is already weak, it may even cause your engine to be unable to start. If you noticed that your engine is sluggish to start, your battery might need to be replaced. You should also have a technician check the health of your car battery.

 

3. Get winter tires

 

The next thing on your list should be tired. If you do not have winter tires, you should consider getting new ones. Driving with summer tires during the cold seasons is a bad idea. The rubber on summer tires hardens when temperatures get low, making them unable to maintain grip. Winter tires do not have this problem and they will make your car much safer to drive during the winter.

 

4. Check your brake fluid

 

Your winter car maintenance checklist should include a check on your brake fluid. Brake fluid can absorb water and if that happens, it can start to boil in the hose section close to the braking rotors. When the brake fluid boils, you will have gas or water vapors building up casing your brake pedal to have no effect or very little when pressed. In the winter, there is increased moisture and humidity in the atmosphere thus it makes sense to ensure that your brake fluid is in good condition in preparation for the winter.

 

5. Consider an oil change

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How Sites Like Car Fax Help Used Car Buyers

Not all dealers are honest. Most of them are but because there are some shady car sellers, services like CarFax need to exist. Many may not see the value of CarFax but the moment you get some understanding of how the application works, then you truly appreciate the value that it offers.

 

What Vehicle History Reports Do

 

Sites like CarFax are at their core an aggregator of car data. They check the vehicle to see if it had any accident, salvage title, mileage or if it was reported as stolen. All the information is displayed in a single report. The report also shows common problems with the model type as well as a known fault that the user should be aware of.

 

How Vehicle History Report Sites Work

 

CarFax sources its data from law enforcement agencies, insurance companies, dealerships, repair shops, and even car auction websites. If a car can be identified on for example a car auctioning site, it will collect the photos and information available there. Some of these sources of information are not available to the general public. Car Fax can have special agreements with some of its sources of data to collect information about vehicles.

 

All the information collected is used to create a record that aggregates every single detail available about a car. Sometimes, for some cars, information may not be available for various reasons. Cars that have been imported from certain countries or that may have been serviced in small shops that do not report data may return an incomplete report. This is not something that occurs very often but it can happen.

 

How Sites Like Car Fax Help Car Buyers

 

Sites that generate vehicle history reports are made for buyers that are looking only at used cars. There is a certain degree of uncertainty when you buy a used car. You can never know for certain how that car was maintained, if the odometer displays a real value or if the car was involved in a severe accident. According to Car Fax, 60% of all cars that are imported from the US to Europe have a negative history which may include flood damage, salvaged, rebuilt, or even stolen cars.

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5 Must Know Tips About Trading in a Vehicle

If you are thinking of replacing your current car, you might consider trading it in. Some dealers offer such services and there are a few advantages to trading in a vehicle. The process is also fast and it does not involve a lot of waiting or paperwork. Still, there are a few things that you should be aware of.

 

1. Convenience

 

The idea of trading in a vehicle means that you offer the dealer your car and then the dealer offers a discount on your new car that you purchase from them. The discount is equal to the amount your car is appraised for. This type of deal is appealing because it saves a lot of time. It can take days if not weeks to find a buyer and you have to deal with the entire selling process. If you are trading in your car, you do not have to bother with selling the car at all.

 

2. You only have to talk with the dealer

 

The dealer is the one that will be offering you a new car and will take in your car. You just have to deal with the dealer and it can all be done in just a couple of days. Again, this saves you some time and for many people, time is the one resource they do not have enough to spare.

 

3. You can get less for your car

 

Trading in a vehicle may not get you the same dollar value as you would get if you would sell it on your own. Dealers offer you a cash discount on your new car based on their valuation of your old car. Usually, their valuation is a bit lower than the market value. Looking back, what you get in return for accepting a lower amount for your car is saving time. It is up to each individual to decide how much their own time is worth and if the dealership offer is worth considering. Keep in mind that you can try to negotiate. Never accept the first deal you are offered. Try to get a discount on the new car or a better valuation for your old car.

 

4. It limits your options

 

If you do decide to trade in your car you have to buy your next car from that dealer. If you sign an agreement with the dealer, you cannot buy a different car from a different dealer. Before signing anything or even mentioning that you want to trade-in your car, check if the dealer has a car that you want.

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Things to Check When Buying a Used Car

Buying a used car mandates at least a visual inspection. There are a lot of things that can be wrong with a car because you do not know how it was maintained, what hidden issues it may have, or if you need to invest money into different consumables.

 

1. Engine

 

The first thing you should check when you are buying a used car is how the car starts. Just turn the car on and pay attention to the engine. Listen for unusual noises. If the car starts without any issue, the engine should be in good running condition.

 

2. Car AC and Heater

 

With the engine on, you should check the AC and the heater. You want to have the climate system working properly because it can be expensive to fix. You would not want to have a car that is unable to blow cool air during the summer or that cannot heat the cabin during the winter. If the AC and heater do not work, negotiate with the dealer to have them fixed before buying it. Some dealers may not tell you the car has a problem with the AC. If that is the case, you need to negotiate the car price to include the repair.

 

3. Transmission

 

Another thing you need to check on the car is the transmission. Take the car for a drive. If it is an automatic transmission, pay close attention to how it shifts and low and high speeds. If you feel that the transmission is stuttering or shifts through gears brutally, something may be wrong. It is not worth buying a car with a bad transmission since it will cost thousands to fix it.

 

For a manual car, check how the car shifts. If there is a problem with a manual transmission, it is much cheaper to fix. Also, even if the clutch is worn out, it will still be cheaper to fix than an automatic.

 

4. Tires

 

You may overlook this but you should check the tires when you are buying a used car. They should have a tread depth of at least 2/32 of an inch. There are wear indicators in the tire places in the threads. If the tires are worn out, you may have to invest a couple of hundred dollars into new ones.

 

How worn the tires are is not the only thing you should look out for. If the tires are worn more on the inner side or vice versa, you may have some other underlying issues. The car may need an alignment or may have problems with lower control arms.

 

5. Brakes

 

The breaks should have a high priority when buying a used car. Having worn out rotors and brake pads is an easy fix but it will cost you at least $100. It is not a considerable extra cost but it is worth keeping in mind when negotiating the price with the dealer.

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