Archive for September, 2007
So what is it that keeps people buying cars, driving them a while, selling them and buying new ones? If anything, it’s obviously all about the looks. Lately, however, the market has gotten a bit smarter and is turning towards alternative forms of transportation. Not that they are ditching the whole concept of cars. They are just looking for a car that performs well and saves money and at best, the environment as well. What kind of car are you looking for this time around? Something built for…
A fast car is just that: a fast car. In a city where traffic is almost hellish, it would be useless to have a car that could burn rubber. And then there are the various speed limit laws the different streets. If you don’t see yourself spending a lot of time on the freeway, then this is definitely not the perfect car for you.
For many, buying a new car for its looks is almost mindless. After all, who wouldn’t want to be caught in a gorgeous car that some celebrity rides in to promote on a famous TV or magazine ad? But in all seriousness, if you are not a safe driver and if a gorgeous car will only make you more nervous and second-guessing whenever you hit the highway, then a car that’s all about the looks is not the perfect car for you.
One thing that people look for in the perfect car is how much fuel it consumes. For them, it really matters that their cars do at least 18km to the gallon or even better. That’s the perfect car for the fuel efficient mind. It’s not about the looks, the speed or the comfort. Chances are that the fuel saving vehicle does look good and is comfortable to ride. Take, for instance, the Toyota Prius. It’s a hybrid, but it’s anything but a freak science experiment and it looks nothing like a tasteless-looking space vehicle. It’s a sleek little number that not only does more miles to the gallon; it leaves a clean mark on the environment too, with almost zero carbon dioxide emissions. Perfect? Not if you are looking for a fast car.
Are you that much of a speed demon? You may want to look into car manufacturers who are conscious about safety. One such brand is Volvo, known throughout the world for having put into the market one of the safest vehicles on the road. It’s got everything; seatbelts, sensors, the perfect brakes, and safety bags located in all the right places; it’s the perfect car for the driver who is most accidental. Physically it looks good, and fuel efficiency is so-so but that could improve in the next five years, and newer models are fast enough to satisfy a racecar driver. The irony is that it’s packed with all these features, but if you were going to spend $38,000+ (Volvo S80 starting price) for a car, we really doubt you’d be experiencing breakneck speeds or risk accidents; simply because you would be wasting your money. Then again, you can never be too safe.
Chances are that you are paying way too much for your car insurance. Car dealerships will probably add the car insurance cost to the down payment that you make when you lease a car. Although it may seem right, it just points to all things wrong. In the long run, you will be paying so much more for your car insurance. What is the wisest thing to do with car insurance? If you have the time and the money, buy it separately and from somewhere else.
First things first: Know what kind of insurance you are after and make a list of the different companies that can offer those car insurance options. Remember that insurance varies from state to state. Some states have insurance laws that either are to your advantage or not; it’s really based on individual opinion. In any case, be aware of the laws of your state. This is the easy part, and at the end of this exercise, at least you will have the names and numbers of all the car insurance companies that you feel are the most competent; whether or not you do not contact everybody on that list, save it for future use.
Turn the tables around and do all the interviewing yourself. Why answer questions that you don’t understand about car insurance? Ask people from different companies what their best offers are and what the most affordable ones are as well. It’s not a bad thing to ask for a discount either; when the opportunity arises, ask for one right away. You are the customer and therefore have the upper hand.
As you go along on your hunt for the most affordable insurance rate, make sure that you take down notes and collect data on the best things that you have heard so far from the different insurance providers. Collecting all the numerical data on car insurance is vital. Don’t pay too much attention to the flowery deals that an insurance salesman has to offer; after all, it’s up to you to use this data and investigate if all the insurance claims are true and do work to your advantage.
Now comes the most crucial part: choosing the car insurance you are most comfortable with. Your decision can be swayed by any number of factors: price of the insurance, insurance coverage, insurance laws, etc. Whatever the case is, the most important thing to keep in mind is that you save money. To do this, keep an eye and an ear open about what goes on in the insurance industry because you never know when you will be spending too much for something that has claims on almost nothing.
Just got a great new car lease? Well, the next step is to spend all that hard-earned money on maintaining your new car especially over the miles that you will be spending in it. Maintaining a new car isn’t as difficult as you think; however, it does take hard work to do it, especially if you don’t want to depend on garages that will more than likely give you sky-high prices on things you can do yourself.
After the First 1000 Miles If your car dealer is competitive with others around town, you may expect something of a bonus in maintenance. A good car dealer will give you maintenance for free after your first thousand miles. This is a great opportunity to make your own checklist so that you can maintain your car by yourself and at a cheaper cost. Ask your car dealer (during the first oil change and miscellaneous maintenance) what things they look into after the first thousand miles your car goes through. Take down notes and try to ask them specifically what materials they use, such as oil brands, cleaning solutions, etc. This will be great information for maintaining a new car on its next thousand or five thousand miles, depending on how often you want to maintain it.
The Most Important Parts
If you want to do all the maintenance yourself (which is quite all right because there is nobody else to blame but yourself if maintaining your new car meets a few mistakes), then keep a list of the following things that you should check:
- Engine Oil – Changing the oil in your car is difficult, but it’s not impossible.Research what oils your car needs and prepare for at least 2 hours of work just draining the old oil out of your vehicle.
- Gear Oil – Noticed how soft your stick shift was when you first drove out of the dealership in your new car?You can maintain that fluid stick motion by making sure you replace the gear oil every 2000 miles. Might be a little pricey but you won’t have to be spending on labor costs if you’re doing it in your own garage.
- Brake Fluid – Probably the most important fluid in your car, this is one of the first things you must check when maintaining your new car. Check the break discs as well and replace them if they are worn down even in the slightest.
- Tires – Next most important item on your list is the tire tread. If you’re a city driver, then maintaining your new car’s wheels may not happen very often. But if your car happens to go off road more often than not, it’d be best to check that the tread still grips the road well. A test drive on smooth roads should tell you if you need to change them already.
- Electronics – Now to test the electrical parts of your car. You can start with the computer (if it has one; check if it records correct mileage and that it still functions properly); move onto checking if all the lights work (every single one should be working and in excellent condition); lastly, test the wipers and other items in the car that require the use of the car battery.
- Power Steering Fluid – If you want a smooth ride with smooth steering, then replace the power steering oils accordingly and regularly.
- Coolant– Most cars have a temperature gauge.You may be surprised that some do not. And if you don’t have one, make sure to change the fluid in your coolant bay after the first 10,000 km and every 2000 to 5000 kilometers after that. Avoid overheating and causing damage on in other parts of your car engine.
That’s the magic seven list of things to look at when maintaining your new car. Got anything else to add? Then feel free to do so because it won’t harm you a bit to keep your car in top condition.