Salem Community Patriot | March 30, 2012 - 15 “Kn w Y ur Car” The test drive is an important part of car shopping.
Taking a car for a spin before you buy it is a great way to get to know the vehicle - whether it has any mechanical problems or if it fits your personal style. But a growing number of car buyers are finding great deals online, which can sometimes mean committing to buy a vehicle before they’ve even seen it. The Internet has made it possible and practical to ex-
pand your car shopping search virtually across the country. What’s more, shopping online offers unmatched conve- nience, selection and value - all without the pressure of making your decision on the spot in the dealership. Buying a new car online, however, is a lot different than other online purchases you might make, such as a book, music or movie. Buying a used car online is even more complex, because there can be far more unknowns to deal with. To help you in this, here are eight secrets to successful online used car shopping: 1. Find out about the vehicle’s history. When you buy a vehicle from online car shopping sites
such as eBay Motors, Yahoo! Autos or AutoTrader.com
, you probably won’t have the opportunity to actually see and drive the vehicle before you commit to the purchase. Used vehicles are like snowflakes - no two are exactly the same. A vehicle history report like AutoCheck, offered by Experian Automotive can help pro- vide information critical to making a smart vehicle-buying decision. The report will let you know if a vehicle has ever had a reported accident, how many owners it’s had, if it’s been registered in a des- ignated natural disaster area, what the odometer reading is and if the vehicle has ever been repossessed or stolen. Experian Automotive’s AutoCheck Score also enables you to measure how a vehicle stacks
up against others of the same age and model class, which is helpful in evaluating any vehicle. Log on to www.autocheck.com
to learn more.
2. Complete transactions through the purchase site If, for example, you find a car online, be sure to start and finish
your transaction through the website. Doing so will afford you all the protections and assurances offered by the site. 3. Know what you’re buying In addition to reviewing a vehicle history report, ask for addi-
Monthly AUTO SECTION
Eight Secrets to Safely Buying a Car Online “Kn w Y ur Car”
Monthly AUTO SECTION
tional photos of details like the odometer reading, VIN and any scratches or blemishes if they are not already revealed in the listing. It’s also recommended to have the vehicle in- spected by a trusted third party prior to purchase to check for any mechanical or safety issues. 4. Check out the seller What kind of feedback does he or she have on the mar- ketplace site? Read his or her ratings and comments. 5. Review the vehicle title. If it appears to have been altered in any way, you may want to reconsider your decision to buy. 6. Never send payments through Western Union, Money- Gram or other wire services. If you plan to pay in cash, do so only in person and obtain a receipt. When going to meet a seller, take someone with you and make sure someone else knows where you are and who you’re with.
7. Realize that if a deal looks too good to be true, it prob- ably is.
Common sense and patience can be two of your best buy- ing tools.
8. If you encounter fraud during the car-shopping process, consider filing a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov
. Just like shopping for any other merchandise -- from clothing to
houses to vacation packages - you should take reasonable precau- tions to ensure you are dealing with a legitimate seller, and take ad- vantage of the secure processes offered by trustworthy and reputable online marketplaces.
- ARA Content Adapt Your Vehicle and Driving Habits to Combat Rising Gas Prices
you spend at the pump. * Drive mindfully: If
Looking for ways to save money at the pump? A truck bed cover can reduce drag and cut fuel consumption.
Just as Americans are gearing up for warm- weather road trips and family vacations, prices at the gas pump are rising. For most people, driv- ing is essential for getting to work, taking kids to school and going out to have some fun, so filling up the tank is a non-negotiable expense. How- ever, costs add up quickly as fuel prices climb higher, taking up more of your budget. If you want to keep your plans in place and
your spending on track, it’s important to be smart about fuel consumption. Not everyone can afford to buy a new, ultra-fuel-efficient car, so making adjustments to your existing vehicle - and your driving habits - can help you stretch the dollars
you’re used to speed- ing up fast and braking at the last moment, you need to reconsider how you’re operating your vehicle - those habits can drain your gas tank and send you back to the pump more often. Instead, make a conscious effort to ac- celerate and slow down gradually and use cruise control to maintain a constant speed, all of which will help to use fuel more efficiently. When possible, avoid idling and make plans
for running errands, to cut down on the number of trips you take.
* Reduce drag: If you drive a truck, smoothing out the aerodynamics of your truck with a truck bed cover or a tonneau cover can make a big dif- ference in fuel consumption. Covers like the Ac- cess Roll-Up Cover, manufactured by Agri-Cover Inc., a North Dakota truck accessory company, are a simple solution that will give you immedi- ate gas mileage improvement. The roll-up cover is lockable, so it protects your gear and improves the look of your vehicle in addition to reducing drag and bringing down your gas costs. Covers can be added easily with clamp-on installation and can
be rolled up behind the cab when not in use. For more information on the Access Roll-Up Cover and to find out how much gas money you could save, visit www.accesscover.com
. * Choose wisely: You’re typically given three options at the pump, with a trio of gasolines with different octane levels - and different prices. One of the simplest ways to cut costs is to opt for the lowest octane fuel that you can use in your vehicle. Making this change can save you hun- dreds of dollars per year, with- out sacrificing performance or gas mileage. * Give your vehicle a check-
up: Maintenance and mileage can go hand in hand, so it’s important to make sure that your car is in shape for saving fuel. Check and change your oil regularly - it’s an essential component in reducing wear caused by friction between moving parts in the engine. If it’s not clean, or if levels are low, your vehicle won’t be performing as efficiently as possible. Equally important to getting good mileage is the air pressure in your tires, which should be at the manufacturer’s recommended levels (often listed on the driver’s side door frame). Proper inflation can improve your gas mileage by up to 3 percent. A check of the
How Far Can You Go? Demystifying the Oil Change Interval
For years, 3,000 miles was touted as the optimum
interval for changing your motor oil and filter. It’s also an oil change interval that continues to be encouraged by the automotive oil change industry. Recently, automobile, oil filter and lubricant manufacturers have been educating consumers that oil drain intervals can be safely extended, saving you time, money and reducing the impact on the environment.
longer under warranty, you can extend your oil change and filter intervals by upgrading to a high quality synthetic motor oil and high performance oil filter. This will reduce the number of oil changes, saving you time and money, and reducing the amount of oil purchased and disposed. There are a number of premium synthetic motor oils
available to choose from. High per- formance synthetic motor oils such as Royal Purple typically have much greater oxidation stability than conventional mineral-based motor oils. Most lubricant manufacturers will offer a recommended number of miles you can drive between oil changes under normal conditions. If you elect to upgrade your motor oil,
Breakthroughs in lubrication and filtration technology
are two reasons why oil change intervals can be extended. Numerous factors come in to play when determining the oil change interval you should follow, including: whether your car is under warranty, the car’s condition, wear and tear you put on your vehicle and your oil and filter selec- tion. Every automobile manufacturer establishes a recom- mended oil change interval for each model they manu- facture. Oil change intervals are now typically 5,000 to 7,500 miles for many new cars. You should follow your car manufacturer’s recommendations on oil and filter change intervals while the car is under warranty. If your car is no
you should also upgrade your oil filter. Inexpensive filters are typically made with the 3,000-mile interval in mind. These filters often use low-quality paper media for filtration and they deteriorate rapidly after 3,000 miles. There are a number of new high performance premium oil filters on the market from manufacturers such as Royal Purple, Wix and K&N. These filters are made for extended oil drain intervals. For example, Royal Purple uses a proprietary long-life, micro-glass media that provides protection for up to 12,000 miles. It also provides an increased level of protection due to the density of the filtration. Don’t get hung up on oil change
myths. Upgrade to a premium synthetic motor oil and take advantage of the benefits: better wear protection for your vehicle’s engine, extended oil change intervals resulting in money savings and a reduced impact on the environment. - ARA Content
8 Raymond Ave, Salem CARSInc. www.carsincnh.com
Your Automotive Diagnostic Center
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air, oil and fuel filters should also be included in a check-up.
Making adjustments to your vehicle and the
way you drive can be the best way to save yourself from going over budget on gasoline. Start with these tips and you’ll be able to enjoy the season the way you want to.
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