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What to Look For When Buying a Used Car

Used cars are a great option for the drivers who love saving money. However, you must take extra caution when purchasing a previously-owned vehicle. Here are five tips to keep in mind when shopping for a used ride.

Do the Proper Research

Although a particular vehicle may initially capture your heart, you still need to do the proper research. After reading through the various online reviews, you may find out that the car has a common flaw. For example, some vehicles are prone to experiencing premature paint fading. Remember, the cost of a new paint job can exceed $1,000. Not only do you need to research the vehicle’s projected reliability, but you also need to find out the car’s current market value.

Beauty is Only Skin Deep

When shopping for a used vehicle, do not be fooled by its beautiful appearance. There could be plenty of problems going on beneath the surface. After starting the engine, keep an eye out for the presence of exhaust smoke. Unsurprisingly, a smoky engine is never a good sign. If you need help, do not hesitate to ask an experienced car person to tag along. Before finalizing any paperwork, be sure to obtain a vehicle history report.

Check the Mileage

Ideally, you should try to select a ride that has less than 100,000 miles on the odometer. However, some high-mileage vehicles can still last for many years to come. Make sure to take the car to a mechanic like Tischer Auto before making any final decisions as they can tell you what condition the car is in better than anyone else. The key is to choose a vehicle that has been well-maintained and will last you a substantial amount of time. If you are purchasing the vehicle from a private seller, ask to see their maintenance records and see if it has ever been in an accident before. Accidents can seriously inhibit the integrity and safety of the car if done incorrectly.

Consider Purchasing a Certified Pre-owned Vehicle

Unlike the average used car, certified pre-owned vehicles usually come with a lengthy warranty. Before being showcased on the dealership’s lot, a certified pre-owned vehicle must be thoroughly inspected for quality. If a vehicle fails to meet the strict standards of the certified program, it will not make the cut. Although certified pre-owned vehicles are just a tad bit more expensive, the prospective buyers will not have to worry about purchasing a lemon.

Know Your Needs

Do not make the mistake of buying a car that does not match your lifestyle. While a sports car can be fun to drive, it is not the best choice for a person who needs to haul around their children.

There is no overlooking the fact that used cars are far less expensive. However, be sure to take the necessary precautions.

Image credit: by cool3c, on Flickr

Stay Safe On The Road: The Six Most Common Auto Accident Injuries

In 2012, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that more than 2.3 million Americans sustained injuries in car crashes, a figure that was up 6.5 percent from the previous year. The nature of the injuries varied, but there are six kinds of injuries that are most commonly reported.

Head injuries

Many drivers and passengers incur brain injuries, which occur when the head strikes an object with intense force. These types of injuries can be difficult to detect because a victim may not immediately show any signs of injury, but they could still be suffering from swelling or bleeding on the brain.

Neck injuries

People involved in motor vehicle collisions may also sustain neck injuries. These can range in nature from the relatively moderate discomfort that comes with whiplash or neck strain, to the more severe and long term pain associated with disc injuries.

Back injuries

Back injuries often occur as a result of the violent force that drivers and passengers experience when vehicles collide. These injuries can come in the form of strain, sprained, fractured or broken bones in the back, damage to nerves within the spinal column and a host of other problems.

Facial injuries

Facial injuries can occur when vehicle occupants slam into the steering wheel or dashboard, when an airbag deploys, or due to shards of broken glass propelling through the cab of the vehicle. Victims of these injuries can suffer from cuts and scrapes or more serious problems with joints and muscles of the jaw.

Internal injuries

Internal organs like spleen, kidneys or liver are sometimes damaged when a person is involved in an accident. Broken or fractured ribs sustained in a crash can puncture a lung or other organs. All of these injuries are potentially life threatening, so victims must seek immediate medical attention.

Psychological injuries

Car accident victims can suffer lasting emotional problems that stemming from the crash, particularly if it caused a fatality. These problems could be anything from short-term emotional anguish to symptoms akin to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Accidents can be avoided by following traffic laws, addressing mechanical issues as they arise and through regular use of seat belts and child safety seats. Using a little extra caution ahead of time could be enough to avoid being counted among the millions who are hurt in crashes every year. If you suffer injuries in a car accident, be sure to talk to personal injury lawyer to recover your losses.

Informational credit to Cantini Law Group Accident and Disability Lawyers.

Five Truck Repairs You Need Before the Weather Gets Cold

Winter is the worst season for driving. The roads get snowy, icy, and wet. They become very slick and your chances of getting in an accident if you’re not careful will increase. Few drivers want to think of the coming cold weather and what it means for a truck, but it’s important to prepare for the worst and if nothing else to be prepared. Here are five repairs you should do before the weather gets cold.

The Anti-freeze

Change the anti-freeze. The anti-freeze strength in your cooling system is important. In the summer, it keeps your truck’s engine from overheating, and in the winter, it protects your engine from cold temperatures while the truck is idle. Check the strength of your anti-freeze before the temperatures plunge. Do not hesitate to flush and replace the antifreeze if routine maintenance calls for it.

The Battery

A truck battery repair is fairly straight-forward, so don’t hesitate if your battery is weak. You’ll realize how important the battery is on the first cold morning that your truck refuses to start. Batteries have a definite expiration date. While a battery living on borrowed time may not have been a problem during the hot months of summer, it quickly dies during the cold months of winter. Truck batteries have a four-year life usually. Have a garage mechanic check the battery before the cold air arrives.

The Tires

If you’ve worn the tires bald during the summer months, be sure to replace them before winter arrives. Do a visual check on the tires for wear and tear. According to Tonka 4-Wheel Drive Ltd., worn tires will not grip the road, and the truck could end up in the ditch on the first morning of a snow accumulation. Put a quarter in the treads and check to make sure Washington’s head touches the top of your tread. If Washington’s head is separated from the tread, it’s getting low.

Body Dents

Body dings and dents will quickly rust with the exposure to road salts. Get your trucks dings and dents repaired to protect the metal body parts against corrosive elements of winter driving. If you don’t do this keep in mind that you are not just allowing the body of your truck to rust, but to become corroded as well. You will also start to lose the color in your body paint and will likely have get it redone at a later point in time.

Windshield Cracks

You may not want to drive around all winter with a long crack across your windshield. You may wonder if it can support all that snow that piles up on the windshield during the winter. In most states, this is an equipment violation, so it’s a good idea to get it taken care of.

Unfortunately, not all repairs are this easy to predict. When a warning lights flash on, or if a gauge indicates a problem with one or more of the truck’s systems, get it into a repair shop for diagnosis and repair before the cold weather arrives. It’s best to get a warning light’s severity confirmed by a mechanic before going on the road.

5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Car Insurance

In order to get the most out of your car insurance, a driver must be informed. They must be informed about how their car insurance policy works with the kind of car that they have. There are several ways to get the most out of their car insurance. Some are widely known while others are not. The following will present different ways to get the most out of your car insurance.

Show Your Repair

Inform your car insurance of any recent auto repairs to your vehicle. Provide them with receipts as proof to those repairs. Doing this will increase the value of your vehicle. If your vehicle were to be later damaged, you will get a greater compensation for you losses. Keep in mind that this is just for general repair. If you are in a car accident that causes significant damage to your car, you will have to show the reports to your insurance company anyway if you want them to cover any of your expenses of your car repair.

Contact the Department of Insurance

If your vehicle is damaged or totaled, meaning either unrepairable or repair costs are at least 75% of the retail value of the vehicle, your insurance company should cover the loss. However, if you feel that their offer is unfair, you can contact the Department of Insurance in your state. The Department of Insurance will then review your claim and assist.

Clean Your Vehicle

If possible, clean your vehicle after damages. If your vehicle is totaled, you can lose money on your estimate simply by having soiled seating. Cleaning your vehicle will prevent it from losing value and help you get the highest settlement. Avoid cleaning any evidence of the accident such as skid marks. The insurance company will need to view all damages caused by the accident in order to access its worth.

The Driving Classes and Other Discounts

Consider taking defensive driving classes and lower your premiums after you complete the course. Paying less for the same coverage is certainly getting the most out of your insurance. Check with your insurance company and local Department of Motor Vehicles for inquiries.

You can also look into other discounts. Many insurance companies will offer discounts for being a good student and getting good grades. Be sure to talk to your insurance provider to see what kinds of discounts that they offer and try to achieve them if they are possible for your current situation.

More Tips

Some more ways to get the most out of your car insurance are assuring that your insurance company has the correct mileage, condition, features, and cover options of your vehicle. You also always want to compare prices of competing companies. Lastly, drivers are often left with a balance after settlement which can be very stressful. Securing GAP (Guaranteed Auto Protection) insurance will help in covering the remaining balance after a settlement.

As presented, there are many ways to benefit the most from our insurance. Saving money, increasing or maintaining the value of your vehicle, and receiving the highest settlement all account for getting the most out of your car insurance. Drivers who are informed and diligent will achieve this goal.

On Your Own: Guide to Owning Your First Car

Whether you are living at home or you are on your own, the first car you own is a big responsibility. A car is an investment and you’ll want to make sure your money goes to good use and your car stays in shape. Learn these tips for keeping track of your car’s well-being, and making it last as long as you can.

Get to Know the Owner’s Manual

Every car is different, and the place where you start to learn about your car and how to keep it running, is in the owner’s manual. The owner’s manual will teach you what every light and switch in the car means, and will also tell how you can do some minor repairs. Remember that keeping basic DIY repair manuals on hand will also go a long way in maintaining the vehicle through all the seasons you and your car face.

Top It Off

It feels like it goes without saying, but keep your gas tank full. It is far easier to fill up the tank than it is to run on fumes, and it is also important when you want to keep your car in good shape during the winter. The last thing you want is to run out of gas on the highway, so why chance it? Gas is pricy, so budget accordingly.

Learn to Check the Tire Pressure

With good care, regular rotation, and careful attention, your tires can last for quite some time. Make sure you are aware of how much wear you put on your tires. Learn to check the tire pressure at the gas station, and keep an eye out for tacks in the tires, and wear on the walls. If possible, try to get new tires before each winter.

Get Insurance

Car insurance is required often and is not a luxury item. Get insurance, and pay for as much as you can. This is what will keep you safe in the event of an accident and give you money to get by if something happens. Keep the proof of insurance in your glove box, and be ready to present it if you need to.

Drive Responsibly 

Drive the car you have, not the one you wish you had! Don’t push the car faster than it can go, and respect the limitations you may have with your model. Stay safe, and always be aware of any problems, no matter how trivial. If your car does not have four wheel drive, try not to take it into rough territory.

Learning to take care of a car is an important part of living on your own, so be diligent in checking every part, especially during the harder months.