May 12, 2014

5 Easy Maintenance Fixes For Your Car That You Can Do Yourself

We're not all born mechanics, but it can certainly be worth your while to get to know your way around a vehicle. Regular car maintenance has multiple benefits. It helps to keep your car running at optimum levels for longer and helps you to diagnose problems before they become worse, more expensive issues. Ultimately, car maintenance helps car owners save time and money. However, knowing what needs maintenance can be a challenging endeavor, especially if you are not familiar with the parts of your car. Here are tips for basic car maintenance.
  1. Oil Changing
    An important car maintenance procedure involves checking and changing oil as and when required. Oil changing should be done after every 3,000 miles or every three months. You should also check and change your power steering fluid within the same time or mileage, whichever comes first. There are some handy apps for your phone like this one which will help remind you to get it changed.
     
  2. Transmission Fluid
    Regular changing of transmission fluid is also necessary, preferably every 30,000-60,000 miles. However, the frequency of changing transmission fluid is also determined by the type of car. You know you need to change the transmission fluid if your car is not shifting smoothly. Consult the owner’s manual if you are not sure about when to change transmission fluid. If you find your vehicle has a slow leak of transmission fluid, a quick and easy fix that might be worth a shot is BlueDevil's transmission sealer.
     
  3. Check Tires
    Have your tires rotated every 5,000-8,000 miles to accommodate the frequent wear and tear on various parts of the tires. In addition, undertake monthly tire pressure checking to ensure optimal performance of the tires. Check for leaks and small holes in the tires, which could lead to a blowout or a flat. Inspect the spare tire twice a year to ensure it is in excellent condition and can be used in case of an emergency.
     
  4. Brakes
    Check brake fluids and brake pads every four months and twice a year respectively. The wear and tear on your brake pads is determined by how hard you drive your car. However, brake issues should be addressed regularly in your car maintenance cycle. Take the car to a mechanic if you hear funny sounds such as scrubbing and grinding noises when hitting the brakes. The more you ignore brake problems, the worse the brakes become and the more costly the repair.


  5. Timing Belt Inspection
    Check the timing belt every 10,000 miles. Problems with the timing belt involve costly repair. Regular maintenance will help you avoid the repair costs. The timing belt may not need regular changing. However, timing belt inspection will help you avoid repairing other elements in your car in case it goes out. The owner’s manual will help you determine when the timing belt should be changed.    It's really important to stay up to date on these, particularly the oil changes. Keeping a running log, calendar or a spreadsheet for all of these maintenance items can help you stay up to date on each. If you don't feel comfortable tackling some of these tasks yourself, find a car savvy friend and offer them some incentive to walk you through each (I've found that a few tasty craft beers tend to work really well for this).

May 7, 2014

The Best Cars for Cruising on the Blue Ridge Parkway



The North Carolina’s version of the Pacific Coast Highway is the Blue Ridge Parkway, which starts from Waynesboro and ends 469 miles later at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This summer travelers will be cruising up and down America’s narrowest national park once again for the spectacular view of the mile-high mountains and lush alpine valleys. To make sure you get the most of the trip, you have to be behind the wheels of an awesome car for that sweet and smooth journey across the highway. Here’s what we recommend.

Apr 15, 2014

What Popular Cars Used To Look Like

The New York International Auto Show is just days away! While car buffs are counting down the seconds until the auto show officially begins, we wanted to take a look back at what some of these cars looked like when they first hit the market. After looking at lists made by auto experts on the highly anticipated vehicles for the New York Auto Show, we selected a few to highlight in our blog post. For some of these cars, we didn't have to go too far back to find the original model, while others required us to go way back into the archives...


Mar 25, 2014

The Most Reliable Ford Cars Ever

Ford Motor is one of the greatest companies in the United States and leads other Detroit automakers (General Motors and Chrysler) in the market. Besides its affordable new cars that have garnered high ratings from user surveys, Ford certainly has indelible reasons to gain a bigger share in the car industry. One huge factor for its success is the changes they have made to manufacturing. They focused on making better cars with higher miles-per-gallon rates, such as the Fusion and Fusion Hybrid models. So if you are looking into buying a Ford vehicle, let’s take a look at the most reliable Ford cars sold in the market.

Aug 1, 2013

First time getting insurance for your car? The quotes are free!


Shopping for auto insurance is one of the least popular activities for car owners (right up there with shopping for a used car warranty). Since car insurance is required throughout the U.S. it's worth looking for the best deal you can find.

Fortunately, you can get a free quote from nearly any online provider in a matter of minutes. If you want to be a little more old school, of course you can do it by phone. Usually it's necessary to include information about your driving record, the vehicle to be insured and all additional drivers who may be using the car. On the basis of that information, the insurance companies can provide you a quote as to what you'll be paying over 6 to 12 months.

When buying car insurance, there are some things to consider when comparing the various offers, for there are many factors that can influence the price of auto insurance. This includes the amount of coverage, type of car, past driving record and the location where you live. If you have some negative factors here, it can lead to higher premiums so you'll want to compare the various offers from different companies.

Finding a car free insurance quote online or by phone is easy and allows you to find the best deal in your area. If you do your homework and take your time comparing offers you can save hundreds of dollars up front and in the long haul when you need to utilize your insurance. Get a free quote today and get yourself on the road!

Jul 11, 2013

Is An Extended Warranty Right For You?

When I was sixteen, I purchased my first car; a used Mazda 626 from a nearby dealership. Per typical sales interactions, I was offered an extended warranty. Being young and na├»ve, I just wanted to leave with my car and go pick up my friends. I didn’t have time to think about extended warranties with the open road waiting for me. About a year after I purchased the vehicle, and a few months after the dealership warranty expired, I began having trouble with my transmission. Four months, six transmissions and thousands of dollars later, I realized that purchasing an extended warranty upfront would have protected me from all of these unexpected costs.

What kinds of extended warranties are available?

           
There are two different types of extended warranties. The first type is an extended warranty offered by vehicle manufacturers. These policies often extend the original warranty for an additional time period, which allows to the customer to continue to take their vehicle to the dealership for service and repairs once the original warranty ends.
      
The second type of extended warranty is usually offered by an insurance agency or an independent service company. This type of warranty allows services on vehicles to be performed at multiple different locations, including the dealership.

What are the benefits of an extended warranty?
  • Purchasing an extended warranty gives you a buffer against unexpected repairs, ranging from engine or transmission replacement to repairing vehicle computer systems.
  • Extended warranties often pay for themselves after one major repair.
  • Many extended warranties are transferable to future owners, which increases the resale value of a vehicle.
  • Certain extended warranties offer other services such as car rental discounts, towing services, lockout assistance, etc.
Who is a good candidate for an extended warranty?
  • Anyone who wants to protect themselves against expensive repairs.
  • Anyone who purchases used vehicles or vehicles with higher repair costs. Foreign cars and cars of higher value tend to have higher costs for even small repairs.
  • Anyone that puts more than 15,000 miles on a car per year. The more wear a car receives, the more likely it is to need repairs.   
  • Anyone who purchases a vehicle and plans on re-selling it.
       Most consumers skip the purchase of an extended warranty to save a few bucks, only to be left with products, vehicular or electronic, that require expensive repairs or are completely obsolete. This often occurs because the consumer doesn’t see the value in spending extra money to protect the product. However, the consumer should take into consideration the cost of the product and the rate at which its value will depreciate. Purchasing a $40 warranty on a $100 DVD player isn’t practical, as the price of DVD players continue to drop with the release of competitive products.
      
       Although the value of a vehicle does drop the moment it’s driven off the sales lot, the rate of depreciation is much slower. Vehicles are also a long-term investment. You may drive a vehicle for several years without encountering any problems, but it is more than likely that you will run into necessary repairs, even during the time frame of your regular warranty. The best way to protect yourself from expensive repair costs is to purchase an extended warranty.


This article was submitted to us by Rebecca Hardy, a contributor for www.autowarrantyone.com, which offers vehicle extended warranties for all makes and models. 

Apr 19, 2013

Phone Carriers Vs. Piracy

Here's an oldie but a goodie...

Hollywood wants Verizon to filter traffic that holds copyrighted data. Verizon’s response? No way. Verizon states that they have no intention on filtering traffic over their network. What does AT&T do? Well, they are already ahead of the game and working on a filtering system. Two companies with two very different opinions on privacy and piracy.

There are two possible reasons why Verizon does not wish to fight the battle of piracy with their customers. The first potential reason is that the company does not want to invest the time and money in a system to find copyright infringing material. AT&T, after all, seems to have been dedicating a lot of time to creating a system that will find, locate, and filter copyright infringement. What would Verizon gain from doing this anyways? Well, they would gain nothing and potentially lose customers. It would be the equivalent of shooting yourself in the foot.

The other possibility is that Verizon sincerely wants to give the impression of protecting its users to earn more customers, or the company is just lazy. If the company was being lazy, claiming they want to protect their customers is a much wiser decision. We already know that Verizon doesn’t care too much about their customers, but at least this way they make them feel warm and cozy. Consumers will take notice of these issues, one day, and if there are more alternative ISPs available, people will switch.

AT&T, on the other hand, just seems hellbent on wanting to surrender its customer’s privacy. Why is this? Some people have opinions on the situation, and they all lead to one thing. AT&T wants to save on the bandwidth costs by reducing copyright violations. It is their network; however, I am of the opinion that this is a stupid move.

Unfortunately, the piracy debates are just beginning. In the future, governments will put legislation into effect that will make piracy more difficult, and the punishments will slowly grow more intense. Verizon’s unwillingness to comply is just a genius marketing plan, and that plan will earn the company more customers.