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Choosing a Used Car That's Good on Gas

Buying a car is a major commitment, both for financial and environmental reasons. If you are like many people nowadays, you are searching for ways to save money on weekly purchases like groceries, transportation and gas. You may be searching for a used car that's good on gas, but you are not sure what kind of car to choose. Here are some tips to help you select a used car that's economical on fuel:

Look for enough car for your average daily needs.

When choosing a used car, it's important to keep in mind what you will be using the car for on a daily basis. Will you be transporting just yourself to and from work or will this be a family vehicle that requires more room for passengers? If you use your vehicle for your business or you need to be able to carry special equipment around such as for your job or a handicapped member of your family, what kind of vehicle can accommodate these needs? You wouldn't buy a two door sedan instead of a mid-size car just because it was better on gas, then attempt to cram your family of five inside would you? This gives you a good place to start when evaluating used cars for usefulness and economy. Choose a car that will give you maximum usage in an engine and body size that works for your average needs.

Consider the savings now or later.

Before you select a car for your family needs, you may want to consider how saving money on a purchase based on the age of the car versus the longer-term fuel and environmental savings that newer models may have. For example, if you were able to save $5,000 USD now on a used car that's five years old, but that didn't have the features that a one year old used car may have, such as a hybrid engine or a higher mileage rating, is it more important for you to have the immediate savings now or enjoy a greater savings over time? Because you will probably be driving your more economical used car for a few years, you may want to think about the savings over that time period instead of just buying it to save a little money now.

Read the reviews and get more information about the used car.

When you start looking at used cars, you may find that you are overwhelmed with all the features and benefits of the cars themselves. It may be difficult to know which one to choose. One great way to make your decision easier is by reading automotive reviews about the cars that you are considering. Evaluate the different models based on the quality of the materials used to manufacture the car, the user reviews and ratings and then the gas mileage ratings. Just because you can buy a used car with better gas mileage for a lower price, doesn't mean it's a better value. You can save yourself a considerable amount of money if you carefully consider any mechanical or user issues each car may have.


5 Suggestions For Additional Services When You Get An Oil Change

Getting your oil changed on a regular basis keeps the engine working smoothly and prevents you from causing unnecessary mechanical problems to your car. But did you know that there are many other basic maintenance services you should consider undergoing whenever you get your oil changed? Taking care of one or more of these items every time you have it changes will keep your car in good condition.

1. Rotate Tires and Check Pressure

Most car and tire manufacturers recommend a tire rotation every 5,000 to 7,000 miles. Depending on how frequently you change your oil, you'll either need a tire rotation every time you go or every other time. Rotating the tires helps them wear more evenly, which in turn makes them last longer. Even if you don't rotate the tires, you should at least check the pressure and fill them to the level indicated in your vehicle's manual.

2. Change Cabin Air Filters

The air that spews out of your air conditioning and heating vents goes through filters to remove all sorts of dust, and these filters eventually get full. By changing the filters every 30,000 miles or so it helps to keep the air flowing into the interior of your car fresher and removes pollen and allergens as well.

3. Change Wiper Blades

A typical set of windshield wiper blades only lasts about a year, after which point they begin to leave serious streaks on the windshield, which can be a potential hazard because it impairs your visibility. If it's been about a year since you last had your wiper blades changed, consider having the guy changing your oil replace the wipers as well.

4. Check the Coolant

A radiator overheating can be dangerous, and if the ratio of antifreeze to coolant is too far off in a cold climate, you could end up with a major problem. When you're changing your oil during the fall, you should have them check the levels to ensure there is enough antifreeze to keep your car safe through the winter.

5. Visual Inspection

Many oil change businesses perform a courtesy visual inspection to look for major issues that require service. They will probably check out the belts and hoses, let you know how thick your brake pads are, and take a look at some other components of your engine. When they make service recommendations, ask how critical each one is to decide whether to have the service done.

Especially if you aren't very familiar with cars, having technicians complete additional services when you get your oil changed will help keep your car in top shape!


As The World Population Increases So Will The Population Of Hybrid Cars

When you think about purchasing a new car, a hybrid car may be something which is within your decision-making process. This may not have been a part of your decision-making process four or five years ago but hybrid cars have made significant strides and will continue to make significant strides within the near future.

Whenever car manufacturers or any companies which produce products decide what to produce, they need to look at where the demand will be. Take the hybrid car market for example. There used to be little demand but that demand has become stronger as more and more consumers are concerned about rising gas prices and minimizing impact on the environment. With this in mind, more and more car manufacturers are creating hybrid cars. It allows the car companies to sell a product to a steadily increasing segment of the market along with the political benefits of being known as an environmentally friendly car company. You as a consumer have a choice on whether you want to purchase a hybrid vehicle or not but it is very certain that most people will be out buying hybrid cars in the future.

To go back to the previous topic of gas prices, the demand for gas continues to increase and the world as countries like China and India continue to develop. As these countries develop, they will have more of a need for gas. With an increase in demand for gas, there must be an equal increase in the supply of gas so that prices can at least remain the same. Gas is a limited resource and supply cannot keep up with demand so that dictates that gas prices will continue to increase in the future.

We as consumers do not want to continue to have to pay high gas price in the future but rather have alternatives: vehicles which are not as dependent upon gas. Hybrid cars will continue to develop so that there is less reliance upon gas. You are able to save a great deal of money in fuel costs as you may be able to receive between 45 and 60 miles per gallon from your hybrid car versus 25 to 35 for the most fuel-efficient gasoline powered cars at this time.

With demand increasing for hybrid cars, car manufacturers will continue to develop new concepts and hybrid cars. As hybrid cars become more mainstream as well, prices will continue to decrease so that the price differential between a gasoline powered car and a hybrid car is not as great as it is today.

When you next thing about buying your new car, think about hybrid cars and the fact that you will either buy one now or probably buy one in the future, probably sooner than you may think.


A Few Things You Need To Know Before Buying A Car Battery

Who knew that buying a car battery could be so confusing? It's just a battery, right? How do you sort through the confusion, and buy the best battery for your vehicle? There are some essential things you'll want to know when you need a new battery for your car.

• Know your group size. This doesn't mean how many people you're going to talk to when going car battery shopping to make sure you get the right one. Group size refers to the size of the battery itself, and the position of the terminals. Making sure you get a new battery in the right group size means the battery will fit correctly in your car and that the terminals are positioned correctly. Your owner's guide or a helpful auto shop attendant should be able to help you select the right group size.

• How much amperage do you need? A battery needs to be powerful enough to start your car engine. The "power" of the battery is referred to as its amperage. The more amps, the more powerful the battery is. Higher CCA (cold cranking amps) means that your car battery will more effectively start in cold weather -- weather below 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-17 Celsius). CA or "cranking amps" refer to the batteries amperage when the temperature is 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius). The colder the climate in which you live, the more important these numbers are for your battery purchase.

• Ask about reserve capacity. A battery's reserve capacity is how long the vehicle can run on battery power alone. This value is rated in minutes so you'll have an idea of how far you can go before the engine quits. It helps to know the battery's reserve capacity as you make your selection.

• Long life batteries. Do you make short trips and frequent stops, or do you primarily make long road trips? If most of your trips are short ones, usually less than 30 minutes, you'll probably want to make sure you buy a long life battery. The longer a battery's life, the better it will function without extended recharge times.

• Battery guarantees. Many batteries come with guarantees -- the promise of the manufacturer or dealer to replace the battery if it doesn't work. By getting a good guarantee, you can rest assured that you're getting good value for your money.

• Batteries are better newer. Batteries are marked with manufacture dates and just like fruits and veggies, the fresher, the better. Check the battery's date on the stamp code, and look for a battery that has been on the shelves for less than six months.

If your battery isn't a good one, your car won't start and we all know how frustrating that is. It definitely pays to do some research and make an informed decision when buying a car battery.


Lowering Your Auto Insurance Costs

Vehicle insurance a cost we all must bear if we want to drive. But you might be surprised at how varied the rates for car insurance can be in your area. Definitely shop around for your car insurance. Do not just go with the first agent you speak with.

Now, thanks to the internet, you can shop around right from the comfort of home. Go ahead and get at least three price quotes from different kinds of insurance companies.

If you are in the market for a new car, call to see how much it will cost to insure in the first place. Having a car alarm and other anti theft devices can help lower your costs.

Always ask about discounts. Do not be shy. Companies expect this!

What is my cost if I have a $500 deductible? Increasing your deductible from $200 to $500 could reduce your collision and comprehensive coverage cost by as much as 30 percent.

How about a $1,000 deductible? Going to a $1,000 deductible can save you 40 percent or more. Now if you do not keep at least this much in the bank, do not choose this option!

If your car is worth less than 10 times the annual insurance premium, purchasing extra coverage may not be cost effective. That is one great thing about owning an old car!

My credit rating is excellent. I always pay my bills on time.

What if we insure more than 1 car with your company?
I have not had an accident in more than three years
I have not had a traffic ticket in three years
I have taken a drivers training course.
My car has an anti theft device.
I do not put a lot of mileage on my car in a years time.

I carpool.
My car has air bags.
My car is quipped with anti lock brakes.
I have daytime running lights.
I am a student driver with good grades.

Since I have both auto and home coverage with you, do I qualify for a discount?
I am a college student away from home
I have been a long time customer
My mom and dad use your company

Do you offer any other discounts? Some companies offer reduced rates to drivers who get insurance through a group plan from their employers and other professional groups. It ca not hurt to ask.

Not every company will offer the same discounts. Compare the final prices the various companies offer you. It pays to shop around for your car insurance!


Rental Car Insurance - What You Need To Know

At the best of times, most of us do not fully comprehend the "ins and outs" of car insurance. When adding rental car insurance into the mix, it may seem like an added expense that you can avoid, or, should you be cautious and jump at the chance of making sure that you are fully covered in the event of a car accident?

Before leaving home on your next family vacation or business trip, it may be a wise decision to find out what your personal vehicle insurance and credit card cover. There are basically two types of insurance: Liability and Collision. Liability covers your personal injury and injury to others. Collision covers the actual vehicle damages.

Some credit cards cover you if you have an accident; however, not all of them provide the necessary coverage. As well, there may be insurance loop holes to look out for. It is easy to call your credit card company to request a copy of the insurance they provide for car rentals so that you can have it in hand when you go to rent your vehicle. When you receive your copy of the insurance and feel that you have a good grasp of the coverage and are secure with it, then use that credit card to cover your rental insurance.

A fee of between $10 and $15 per day is charged by most car rental companies. If you decline the optional insurance, many rental companies will then charge a substantial fee as a deposit to feel secure with the rental. The fee, which is charged to your credit card, can be as much as the value of the rental car itself. This can wreak havoc on your credit limit while traveling so make sure you have an additional card for use on the trip. Depending on your personal car insurance, you may be able to waive this fee when traveling, but again, check before you rent the car. In some cases, you will be okay, but often collision and comprehensive will cover only your rented vehicle.

If you make a trip to the rental car pick-up location, you may be able to get a much better deal than if you called the toll-free number. Many times the cost of rental and rental car insurance depends on other things such as the season, travel distance, and the travel destination, particularly if it is a densely populated urban area.

To keep the cost of rental expense low, check your own personal vehicle insurance and the insurance that your credit card offers when you use the card for a rental purchase. Sometimes the coverage the rental company offers is a secondary coverage and only kicks in after the coverage of your own personal policy reaches its limit. It is important to check to see if that is a condition of the rental insurance policy. There could possibly be a large number of exclusions and a high deductible, making the policy a poor investment.

If you do not have collision and comprehensive insurance and you are acquiring a rental car, you should purchase the Loss Damage Waivers (LDW) or Collision Damage Waivers (CDW,) whichever your rental company offers. It will protect you if the rental is vandalized or stolen.

When packing for your vacation or trip, pack a copy of your vehicle and credit card insurance. Take the insurance papers with you when you go to the rental car company so that there will be no issue concerning your coverage. You can then start your trip on the right foot by saving money and making sure that you and your family are protected.


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