Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Three Things You Need to Know About Financing a Car

Many people don't have the means to purchase a new or used car in cash. That is why financing is an excellent option for some individuals. It's important to understand the basic facts about financing before sitting at the sales table. Here are three things consumers should know about car finance before purchasing a new vehicle.

Choosing Direct Lending vs. Dealership Financing

Direct lending is a car loan from a bank or credit union that can be used to purchase an auto at a dealership. It allows buyers to shop around for the best interest rates and fees. Dealership financing is when a car finance loan is procured directly through the dealership. This type of financing offers the benefit of special deals and convenient hours.

Determining a Budget

Buyers must keep a budget in mind when shopping for a used car. It's important to understand how this new obligation will fit into an overall budget. Before heading to a dealer, consumers should know not only the total target sticker price but also their budget for monthly payments.

Getting Clear About Credit

Those who don't know their credit score may have trouble determining the total expected loan cost. The better the credit score, the lower the interest rate. While the dealer can pull this information during the car finance process, consumers can also request a free annual credit report to know where they stand to avoid any surprises at the bargaining table. Purchasing a new vehicle is an exciting experience. Follow these tips and you will be ready to negotiate like a pro.

Monday, August 15, 2016

5 Preventative Maintenance Services That All Cars Need

Any mechanic worth his salt will agree that preventative maintenance is essential. Those who do not take the time to perform these simple tasks will end up spending twice as much on repairs or a new car.

Changing the Wipers

Wipers wear out periodically. Worn rubber streaks the windshield, making it impossible to see. This is a danger to anyone on the roadway. It is important to change the wipers before they wear down in order to prevent accidents and increase visibility while driving.

Getting An Oil Change

Dirty oil doesn’t provide the necessary protection to prevent engine wear. The muck can also make the motor work harder than needed. Most people follow the 3-month/3,000-mile rule. However, to ensure the engine is adequately taken care of, check the owner’s manual for the right interval.

Rotating and Balancing the Tires

Rotating the tires allows owners to ensure that the tires get even wear for a smooth ride. Rotating and balancing allow the tires to last longer.

Replacing the Cabin Filter

The cabin air filter is often overlooked, but it is one of the easiest things to do. It allows the occupants to stay comfortable and filters most of the pollen and pollution out.

Replacing the Engine Filter

The engine filter is different and not as easy to replace. However, it helps keep air flowing through the engine properly. Check the owner’s manual for change schedule.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Choosing Between Buying and Leasing a Car

Purchasing a car often involves an important decision for the consumer about how to pay for the vehicle. Whether buying or leasing a car, both options require specific contracts to determine the overall expense and the length of payments.


Consumers who opt to purchase a vehicle will own the car at the end of the loan period, so they can keep it as long as they wish. This option involves paying up-front costs such as a down payment or the full price of the car, taxes, and registration. Consumers who finance the purchase will then assume monthly payments, which include interest, finance charges, and possibly other fees. Buying an automobile gives the owner flexibility regarding mileage, wear and tear, and customization. At the end of the loan term, the consumer can use the value of the car to help purchase a new vehicle.


Consumers who lease a car will not own it; they will merely use it during the lease term. Leasing involves paying up-front costs such as the first monthly payment, a security deposit, taxes, and registration. Leasing payments are usually less than a loan payment. The lessee must monitor mileage and wear and tear to ensure that use of the vehicle does not exceed the parameters of the contract. With leasing, the consumer will return the car at the end of the contract.

After careful consideration, the consumer can choose the purchase option that fits his individual needs.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

FWD vs. RWD vs. 4WD vs. AWD: What's the Difference, and Does It Matter?

There are many things shoppers should consider when searching for a new car or truck. While fancy features and the latest gizmos often attract the most attention, driving performance is arguably more important. Because it has a significant impact on traction and security, shoppers should understand the difference between drive systems before they buy.

Front-wheel Drive

The vast majority of passenger vehicles utilize front-wheel drive (FWD), which transfers power from the engine to the front wheels.

Rear-wheel Drive

Often found in pickup trucks and truck-based SUVs, as well as in some luxury sedans and sports cars, rear-wheel drive (RWD) balances a vehicle's weight more evenly from bumper to bumper.

All-wheel Drive

Because all four wheels receive power from the engine, an all-wheel drive (AWD) vehicle gets excellent forward traction during acceleration.

Four-wheel Drive

Although it is also capable of transferring power to all four wheels, most modern four-wheel drive (4WD) systems are automatic units that switch between two- and four-wheel-drive mode as needed.

Which Is Best?
It obviously depends on the driver. But for the average passenger vehicle, an FWD vehicle should have more than enough power and traction. It is also important to note that four-wheel drive does absolutely nothing to improve braking or cornering. For those who haul heavy loads, an RWD vehicle, such as a pickup truck or truck-based SUV, is needed for better handling and towing capacity. When driving in extreme conditions, an AWD vehicle is often the best option because of its superior traction. Last but not least, off-roaders often opt for 4WD vehicles because they offer the ability to switch between two- and four-wheel modes based on the environment.

At the end of the day, the choice of a drive system depends on the driver. No single system is demonstrably better than the others, but one is almost certainly more suitable based on driving needs.