First Time Car-Buying Tips

Buying your first car is an exciting step – but it can also be overwhelming and stressful and is never filled with as much uncertainty as it is the first time. If you take the time to do a little research before visiting the dealerships, your first car-buying experience can be a lot less stressful and a lot more fun! Being a good first-time buyer won’t be easy, but if it’s worth doing – and it is – it’s worth doing well. We’ve come up with some tips to help with the process.

Establish a realistic budget. This figure is generally based on what you can afford per month. Look at your cost of living – mortgage or rent payments, food, insurance, social activities. Once those are calculated, the remainder could be spent on a car payment, fuel, car insurance and maintenance.

Visit your credit union to get pre-approved for financing. Before you fall in love with a car you may not be able to afford, go to your local credit union. Their lenders can get you pre-approved for financing at a great rate that fits your lifestyle and budget. You’ll also know exactly how much you can spend, which will give you added negotiating power at the dealership.

Do your research. Informed shoppers are smart shoppers, so gather some information before you start shopping. Resources like Consumer Reports, Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book offer helpful vehicle reviews and pricing information that can help you determine a fair price for the car you want.

Take a test drive. Nothing is more important in your decision process than how you feel behind the wheel. Take at least half an hour on your test drive, while trying stop-and-go, freeway merging and freeway speeds. If the sales person does not have time then take the time to find another dealership.

Bring a wingman or woman to the dealership. It’s always best to work with a partner. They can help you decide what car to buy and what to pay.

Negotiate your price. Price negotiation is probably the most overwhelming part of the car-buying process, but it is important for you to stick to your strategy. If you’ve done your research, you’ll have a good idea whether the dealer’s offer is fair. Keep in mind that the dealer’s first price is rarely their best price, so don’t be afraid to reject the initial offer. If the dealer can’t meet your target price, walk away. Buying a car is a big step and the transaction has to be right for you.

Buyer beware. Before signing the final contract, ask the dealer to explain each item. Dealers have been known to include extra charges for items like “fabric protection,” “paint sealant” or “rust proofing” that may not be necessary. If there are charges you’re not comfortable with, don’t be afraid to point them out.

First-time buyers should also be wary of financing deals that sound too good to be true. Offers like “0% dealer financing” may sound good, but as a first-time buyer you may not qualify for these attractive specials.

Most importantly, enjoy the process. We know the tips referenced above can make buying a car seem daunting, but with low financing rates, and hundred of cars and trucks to choose from, your options are amazing (especially in the first-time buyer category). So take your time as you move through the process and you’ll be astounded with the outcome.

With a little advanced planning, a solid negotiating strategy and appropriate financing, buying your first car can be a fun and a stress-free experience!

A History of Car Locks – Creating a Need For a Good Car Locksmith

Have you ever stopped to think about your vehicle’s locks? Most people haven’t unless they find they have locked the keys inside. There’s quite a history to today’s vehicle locking mechanisms and you may be surprised to know just how these locks came to be an integral part of a car’s safety features.

The First Vehicle Door Locks

It was until the 1920’s that locks were installed quite regularly in vehicles. Most vehicles prior to that were only owned by the rather well-to-do. These vehicles were maintained by the employees of the vehicle owner and seldom were a vehicle left alone without anyone looking after it. However, as production number increased, it became more apparent that vehicle locks were going to be a necessity.

Improving the Original Locks

In 1935, General Motors introduced its six cut sidebar lock. By 1959, Chrysler was using the same type of lock on the trunks. However, in 1966, pin tumbler locks replaced both the trunk and door locks. These locks proved to last longer and the vehicle owners had fewer problems with the internal mechanism of the locks.

The Newer Car Locks and Today’s Car Locksmith

There used to only be a need for a car locksmith to open a vehicle with a simple pin tumbler lock. However, the advancements in automobile locks have made the locksmith industry grow and change, as well. Now there are keyless entry systems, touch pad systems, and even bio-tech recognition systems. As these types of entry systems have become standard on many vehicles, locksmithing has had to take on a whole new meaning.

Many of today’s locks are very complicated and require a lot training to open and repair. Just a few years ago, a locksmith needed a ring of master keys, a couple of special tools, and maybe a wedge to make the task easier. However, today’s locksmiths must be highly trained and even specialise in certain types of locks.

How to Find the Right Car Locksmith for Your Vehicle

You certainly don’t want just any locksmith working on your vehicle. You want one that has experience with your type of vehicle. Not all locks are the same and some will require special tools that only a few locksmiths will have. When you begin calling around, make sure you ask if they are qualified to work on your vehicle. This is especially new with the newest model of vehicles.

Don’t settle for just anyone, or you could end up with damage that is very expensive to replace. Sometimes a car locksmith will have you sign a waiver stating that they are not responsible for any damage. This could be a sign that the company has had problems in the past. Avoid signing this waiver and you may want to contact a different company.

In Closing

Choosing a qualified car locksmith is important if you want to avoid costly repairs. Use only licensed and insured companies and get a quote for the unlock before you allow the work to begin.

Auto Detailing – What Does It Involve?

Auto detailing is not the same as washing your car. When you have your car auto detailed, they will clean your car inside and out. When finished, your car will look as if it is brand new. Some of tasks involved in auto detailing include polishing, waxing, and cleaning of the interior and exterior of the car along with removing debris and stains. To become an auto detailer you need to have a keen eye for the tiniest of details.

Exterior auto detailing

When detailing the exterior of your car starts by cleaning your rims and wheels of dirt and dust. Once this is done, the detailers will treat the tire sidewalls and polishing the rims. If there is any wax residue is left around the chrome plates or decals on the vehicle it is carefully wiped away. They may even treat the windows with a rain repellent. They will also clean the engine using degreasers or by steam. The underside of the rails and hood are polished after being cleaned. They will wash, clean, and wax the exterior of your car, including cleaning the lights.

Interior auto detailing

When detailing the inside of your car they will thoroughly vacuum your car, including the upholstery, and mats. This part of the job can include using a number of different products. It depends on the condition of the inside of your car. They can use rug shampoo, spot cleaners, and upholstery foam cleaner. If the car has cloth seats they may use a wet/dry vacuum on them to help remove most stains. It also makes your seats and carpet look new, with the exception of existing physical damage. The vinyl areas inside your car like the console, dashboard, and door panel trim are cleaned. Then they are treated with conditioner in order to keep the vinyl pliable. The gas and brake pedals are also cleaned. They are not conditioned to prevent your foot from slipping off the pedal. The covering over the speedometer, gas gauge, and other gauges are also cleaned. To ensure that the slats of the heater and air conditioning vents are clean they often use Q-tips. Q -tips also are used to clean the seams in the console that collect dirt and dust. All of the interior glass is thoroughly cleaned and washed, making sure that there is no film or streaking that can reflect impair the driver’s vision from nighttime headlights or low angles of sunlight.

Cost of auto detailing

Auto detailing can range from $100 to as much as $275. It depends on the size of the vehicle, the package you choose, and if you want to add any extras such as a special conditioner. Some shops may base their price on how dirty your vehicle is.

Finding Your Auto Repair Shop

Every household in urban and suburban cities own at least one automobile. They are an important part of the family. With time, automobiles have become advanced and complex technological beings. It is not as easy to maintain them at home as it used to be. With the advancement in computers and engine systems, it is critical that an expert with ample experience and training get involved. This is also because the consumers lead a very fast life. Therefore, it is important to identify a trusted and reliable auto repair shop for your vehicle needs.

Before looking at how to find a resourceful auto shop for vehicle repairs and maintenance, let us understand the difference between these two terms. Maintenance items are shared with the owner at the time of purchase. These are to be checked as part of preventive maintenance at regular intervals. Repairs deal more with a problem that has to be fixed. Both go hand in hand. If you have a good auto repair shop who can do the maintenance check well, then the need for car repairs will reduce. Scheduled maintenance can also be done at your dealership.

A key thing to remember is to find a suitable auto repair shop as soon as you get a car. Do not wait for the need to arise. This will give you less time to choose a shop. If you already have a trusted mechanic, then stick to that shop. An internet hunt can let you know the auto repair shops in your area with reviews and customer responses. Try to avoid choosing a place that is too far away and becomes inconvenient during emergencies. Another option is to do this old style. Talk to friends, family and even directly to different mechanics.

Look for an auto repair shop that suits your car brand. Many shops today have a brand or model of vehicle they specialize in. Use this information to narrow down the shops that will work for you. Once you decide on a shop, ask for two important things –

  1. Ask them about guarantees and warranties they offer. See if the options are making sense to you as a consumer.
  2. This is important, ask for the shop’s certification. The auto repair shop should be certified and have relevant authorization.

The final thing that you can do is to try out two to three auto repair shops for maintenance. A car is a long-term asset. Therefore, invest time in finding the best auto repair shop for your car.