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The Top 5 New Car Gripes of Reasonable Consumers

Does complaining about technology changes mean that you’re getting old? Or are there valid objective reasons behind not liking everything that product market research throws your way? In the case of cars, many technological changes truly are improvements. The motor starter for example, was quite innovative in its time. Not having to stand outside in the rain while turning an engine hand crank must have been greatly appreciated. But not every car “innovation” makes driving more safe, convenient, or fun. Here are 5 new car issues that many experienced car owners take exception to: Touch Screens Touch screens are great on our smart phones and other mobile devices. Anyone who’s experienced sticking keys on old laptops will appreciate touch screen keyboards. However, many people take issue with them being used on car dashboards. The problem is that you get no tactile feedback when using them. Unless you take your eyes off the road and look ... read more

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Don’t Be Left with a Lemon: Top Five Tips You Should Check Before Buying A Used Car

Buying a used car doesn’t have to be a disastrous occasion. Taking a few cautionary steps before driving off the lot will benefit you and prevent the purchase of a ‘lemon’. Below are five tips that everyone who is in the market to buy a used car should consider. Know Your Budget Knowing your budget and financial limits should seem obvious, but that has never stopped some buyers from exceeding their spending limit to only cause financial despair later. Often consumers make purchases with their hearts instead of their heads. Knowing what you can afford is the crucial first step when shopping for a used car. Also consider insurance, fuel costs and any repairs before purchasing your car. Check the Vehicle History Report Once you’ve found the car that suits your budget, don’t hesitate to ask the car salesman for the vehicle history report. This report will list the type of completed mechanical work and preventative ma ... read more

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Tips to Get Your Car Ready For Winter

Winter is one of the roughest times on your car. That’s why it pays to make sure you’re going into the coldest months of the year with a vehicle that’s been fully prepared to take everything the season can throw at it, and then some. If you want to make sure you and your car both make it through the winter season, here are some tips you should take to heart. Tips to Get Your Car Ready For Winter #1: Flush and Re-Fill Your Coolant Your engine coolant is typically a 50/50 mix of water and coolant, but when winter comes along it’s a good idea to flush it out, and replace it with fresh coolant. Instructions for this are in your owner’s manual if you’re a do-it-yourself kind of car owner, but it’s always a good idea to leave jobs like this to the professionals. #2: Check Your Battery Nothing is worst than slogging through the snow, cleaning off your car, and then having nothing happen when you turn your key. If you want to make sure your car sta ... read more

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Defensive Driving Tips For New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve is one of the most dangerous times of the year to be on the road. Not only do you have to deal with the typical winter dangers (icy roads, freezing temperatures, etc.), but there’s the added danger of drunk drivers and dangerous revelers on the roads. While the easiest solution is to simply not drive on New Year’s Eve, that isn’t always an option. If you have to be out on the roads during the new year, here are some defensive driving tips for New Year’s Eve you should keep in mind. Tip #1: Predict What Others Will Do Under normal circumstances you trust that other drivers will stop, stay in their lanes, etc. While you should always be aware of what other drivers are doing on the roads, during New Year’s Eve you need to be a little extra cautious. That means you have to watch everyone, and be ready to react to what comes, whether that means a swift lane change to get out of the way, or braking hard when that other person runs a red ... read more

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8 Common Car Misconceptions That Drive Car Owners Nuts

There are many misconceptions out there about cars. You can hear them about everything to do with cars from maintenance, purchasing a car, selling a car, repairing cars, and much more. Of the many different misconceptions regarding cars there are 8 common car misconceptions that drive car owners nuts. Bad Experiences = Bad Cars – This is the biggest issue that drives car owner’s crazy. Why? Because once someone has a less than thrilling experience with a car they assume that every car from that company is exactly the same. Fortunately, this isn’t necessarily the case. Sometimes the issues stem from having bad luck with a particular model, sometimes there are recalls, sometimes it’s an issue with the dealership. There is no true justification for saying *insert car company* is horrible, never buy them! Car Speedometers – The car’s speedometer does not necessarily indicate how fast said car will go. Just because Ca ... read more

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What’s the Best Car Comparison Website?

15 years ago, it was just exciting to be able to get car information online. The ability to walk into a dealership with inside knowledge about car features and standard prices was a huge benefit.Now, comparison sites online have become so common that before you can even begin your car purchasing research, you feel like you have to narrow down the online websites that are offering to help you. So, what’s the best car comparison website? Here are a few sites that we think are simple to navigate and concentrate on information that is useful. TrueDelta.com True Delta offers the car research you want in the key areas you care about like overall prices and things that will cost you in the long run like gas mileage and reliabilty. Plus, the information on True Delta comes from actual vehicle owners, so you know you’re not just getting the manufacturers’ sales points. There is so much information here that you could spend a lot of time reading reviews and ... read more

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Beware of the Rack!

Two winters ago I was long overdue for some new tires for my Chevy Tahoe. I drive an older model Tahoe that has a really tight turning radius, and is notoriously heavy; which is great for pulling into tiny parking spaces in crowded lots, and keeping drivers safer on slick roads, but apparently this combination chews through tires (which I didn’t find out until much later). With snow, ice, and rain already posing a threat, and Christmas around the corner, I made the mistake of ordering tires online. My husband was against the idea at first, but I convinced him it would fine, and would be a big savings. A common misconception is that if you order tires online you will save big money, and then you just pay retail to have them installed. Well, we ordered them, took them to a tire store, had them installed, and literally no more than a year later, I needed a whole new set. What could have cost me about a thousand dollars the first time, ending up costing me almost two ... read more

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Traction Control and Your Car, Misconceptions About What it Does and Doesn’t Do

Traction control, anti-lock brakes, and stability control are safety features providing tires with a better grip on wet or slippery pavements. Although each is a component of a three-part part system in today’s car, misconceptions arise when people confuse the three or think they perform the exact same function. The Difference Anti-lock brakes and stability control work to stop the vehicle, while traction control deals with the opposite, acceleration. Anti-lock brakes keep the car from sliding when you apply the brakes, while stability control is designed to bring the car to a smooth stop should you have to jam on the brakes. Traction control helps the tires maintain contact with the pavement while the car accelerates. It optimizes control so the car doesn’t slip and side if you pass another car. If you’ve ever accelerated from a dead stop on wet pavement and felt and heard the screeching of the tires as they spun in place, you were d ... read more

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Misconceptions: Bad Beliefs About Cars

Want to make your mechanic crazy? Tell him that you’re pretty sure the engine is knocking because you let the gas tank get almost empty last week and the gas tank sludge has invaded your engine. Chances are he will politely nod and then walk away wondering where all these car misconceptions get their start. Or, tell him about that one when you bought a Tram air filter that was bad, so all their products are bad and you never, ever want them put on your car. Ever. Whether it’s just a misconception handed down through the ages — like that only Ford and General Motors make American-made cars and imports are unAmerican — or willful ignorance claiming that women can’t drive a manual without burning out the clutch, mechanics hear a lot of garbage about cars. Some may have been true at one time or about one model of a specific brand, but for the most part, these misconceptions have become urban legends, things we believe even though we probably know be ... read more

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Misconceptions About OBD Codes: Why Your Car Still Needs a Qualified Mechanic

Misconceptions about Scanning Your Car It’s happening again… your trusty car is failing and you have no idea why. You call your best friend for a lift who mentions that all you need to do is get your car scanned and the code will tell you exactly what’s wrong. Who needs a qualified mechanic? What is an OBD (On-Board Diagnostic) Code? Your friend is partially correct. Mechanics use what are called OBD-II or OBD2 trouble codes to help figure out what is wrong with your automobile. Mechanics plug a portable scanner into your car or truck’s diagnostic computer and receive a code that explains where the trouble is originating. For example, code P0087 indicates that the fuel rail/system pressure is low. Why OBD Codes Aren’t Enough While more specific than a simple “check engine” light, codes can still be vague and do not fully specify the nature of the problem. A scanner may report multiple OBD c ... read more

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