Retail value vs. Trade-in - Know right away: you are going to take a beating. You should only trade in if you just don't want the headache.
Sell it yourself - Appearance is a big part of selling your car yourself. Have it detailed (usually less than $100), and make sure your car has good (and good-looking!) tires on.
How do recalls happen? They start with customer complaints to NHTSA -- the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The more complaints there are, the faster that they take action.
The NHTSA opens their investigation, and if they find reason to do so, they place pressure on car makers, which usually results in a voluntary recall. If the reason is serious enough, the NHTSA can also mandate a recall.
What is a shock or strut? It's a hydraulic stabilizer...it keeps the tire in contact with the road and dampens or stills the car body after going over a bump. If your car is like a big, rubber ball bouncing down the road you're probably dealing with bad shocks.
Shocks and struts smooth the ride and keep your tires in contact with road. CONTROL = SAFETY.
How often do shocks go bad?
Every 50-60,000 miles, when hydraulic oil leaks out or when the seals rupture.
As I've mentioned before on this website, car repair is a lot like medicine.
When you're sick and have to visit the doctor's office, you can choose to have an orderly check your illness, or you can have a qualified doctor review the problems with your health.
An oil change at a discount oil and lube joint is like going to a doctor's office that doesn't have a doctor on duty. At reputable shops, ASE certified technicians are on staff in case potential problems are spotted by the lube department.
It's just like a physical exam or health check-up.
Many people don't understand the importance of reacting quickly to cars messages. Cars give messages to us by way of warning lights and gauges. How quickly you react to a check engine light can often determine the cost of repair!
As a result of not reacting quickly to this warning light, a $150 valve cover gasket repair can turn into a $2500 head job.
I recently came up with a list for travel safety for my car. I think it's a pretty complete list for just about any car trip you can take!
- First Aid Kit
- Some tools
- A flare
- Jumper cables
- And a cell phone
Got any kids coming along, too?
- Don't Fall in love with the car before you've done your homework.
- Let someone else take the depreciation hit. (2-3 yrs old is best)
- Walk around the car and check paint, body panel gaps for evenness, chips, dents, etc.
- Check maintenance history (any records).
- Contact the previous owner (get the name from the title).
- Check the fluid condition (oil and transmission fluid should be clean and clear).
- Test drive the car and listen and feel for noises, vibration, and handling problems.
How do you know if your car is overheating?
- Needle is toward or in HOT zone on gauge
- Red Temperature Light is on
- Steam coming out of engine
What should you do?
- STOP NOW!
- DON'T OPEN RADIATOR CAP
- Get professional help...have a tow truck bring you to the most reputable tech in area
What should I do if my engine has overheated?
An easy way to tell how much a repair shop cares about its customers is the time its employees spend getting various certifications. Some of these certifications are more important to me than others. The 'certs' and affiliations that I believe are most important are: