Rebuilding Your Credit with Best Buy Imports

Rebuilding Your Credit with Best Buy Imports

Why Do You Need to Rebuild Your Credit Score?

So, just how important is having a good credit score? Although some people are barely concerned about their credit score, it is important to know that the score will affect most of their economic decisions. In an economic slump, for instance, many people rely on loans to finance different aspects of their life. To have access to affordable loans, however, you will need to have a good credit score.

The first thing you should do is find out what your credit score is. Everyone is entitled  to a free credit report once a year from each of the three main credit reporting companies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

 

Why You Need A Good Credit Score

A good credit score is important when getting or refinancing a mortgage. Are you planning to get a new home mortgage or refinance the one you have? Either way, you need to know that your credit score will play a critical role in the process. Purchasing a home is one of the greatest investments you can make and you should be well prepared for the entire process. Taking out a mortgage can be a good experience but without proper preparations, the process might turn out to be a complex and stressful endeavor. You do not need to take a mortgage with a high-interest rate; you can take a few steps to help you negotiate for an affordable rate. You can make the entire exercise of taking out a mortgage less stressful by first rebuilding your credit rating. To build your credit score, you need to demonstrate that you can take out loans and repay them on time without defaulting. The best and easy way to build your credit and to get lower interest rates on your mortgage is through auto financing from Best Buy Imports. By making timely payments you will begin to improve your credit score, putting you in a better position to negotiate better interest rates on future loans.

A good credit score can also help you when you need future car loans. Vehicles are a common purchase and the majority of people need to buy them with car loans. Since vehicle loans are for much smaller amounts as compared to mortgages, you can get them even with low credit score. Generally, if you need to buy a car with a low credit score, you are likely to have a high-interest rate and  banks and financing companies might require a larger down payment from you. You can avoid all of that if you get a car loan from a used car dealership like Best Buy Imports. By using our affordable financing options, including our Buy Here Pay Here program, you will be able to purchase a quality used car, truck or SUV and start rebuilding your credit score at the same time.

A good credit score can also help you qualify for business loan. If you are an entrepreneur, you understand that loans are an important source of finance for expanding the operations of your business. Financial institutions, however, will be reluctant to approve your application for a business loan if they find out you have a poor credit rating, hence the need to rebuild your credit. If you are planning to start a business, you may need an initial loan and, like any other loan, this requires being approved by a lender. Lenders will always look at various factors like previous loan repayment history, your reliability, and your current financial status. You should consider purchasing a car on credit, even an inexpensive model, to help build your credit and loan repayment history before seeking a business loan from the conventional financial institutions. At Best Buy Imports, we will help you get started building your credit score by giving you access to an affordable auto loan. This will help you qualify for business loans from the conventional bank loans down the road.

A good credit score allows you to negotiate for lower interest rates. Who doesn't want to get even a slightly lower interest rate for a loan? Loans can be expensive, especially when the interest rate is high. High-interest rates often result from the lender considering a client that is somewhat risky. If you have a low credit score, lenders who might be willing to take a chance on you will surely require higher interest rates for your loans. This will make your loans more expensive, which could lead to loan default and even lowering your credit scores. But if you can rebuild your credit score you will be more attractive to conventional lenders, and this should allow you to negotiate for lower interest rates on loans. At best Buy Imports, we are determined to help our customers start rebuilding their credit scores by get an affordable car loan right now.

Good credit scores can also help you secure a job. Unlike in the past when employers did not dig deeply into their employees' financial status, many of the today’s employers conduct extensive credit checks on potential employees. For many employers, especially those in the financial sector and government agencies, conducting a credit check is important to establish a candidate's ability to manage finances. You, therefore, should not hesitate to build your credit score by taking up an auto loan with us. Not building your credit score could negatively affect your chances of securing that job you are seeking.

 

How Can You Rebuild Your Credit with Best Buy Imports?

Rebuilding your credit score is important and you need to give it the priority it deserves. Although very few people know that they can use auto loans to rebuild their credit, the strategy has been tested and proven as a reliable way of making sure your credit score is improved. A low credit score makes it difficult for any person to get a credit card or loan from regular financial institutions. At Best Buy Imports, we offer affordable auto loans that can be the cornerstone in rebuilding the credit of those with low credit score ratings.

 

We Can Help Rebuild A Client's Credit

At Best Buy Imports, we know that up to 35-percent of your credit score is based on your history of repayment, and 10-percent of the credit score is based on a diverse payment history. So even though your credit history hasn’t been good, getting a new car loan and making regular, on-time payments will go a long way toward increasing your chances of getting approvals for future loans

Auto financing from Best Buy Imports helps you to keep your spending in check. When conducting a background checks on those applying for credit services, the credit bureaus often review your spending habits. By taking an auto loan with us, you would show that you used the loan productively by purchasing an asset, and this helps you create a perception of good credit management practices. Since an auto loan is not a form of a 'revolving' credit, you would be building your credit without the need of spending your cash in a manner that does not favor your financial health.

We offer flexible auto loan repayment plans that enable our customers to choose monthly installment payments they can afford and maintain. Providing affordable payment options to our customers puts you on the road to improving your credit history and score. By repaying your auto loan on time every month will show that you can be trusted to repay additional loans in full and on time.

Auto financing is available to you on a short-term basis with lower interest rates as compared to other higher interest loans. Building your credit score quickly requires you to make transactions within the shortest time possible. When compared to higher interest loans such as mortgages and conventional bank loans, auto loans are a quicker way through which you can improve your credit score. But whatever auto financing plan you get must be affordable, including all your other monthly expenses.

At Best Buy Imports, we acknowledge that auto loans are a relatively inexpensive way of helping clients rebuild their credit score. When it comes to building a credit score, it is important for any person to look for a method that is simple and less stressful. If you currently own a car or truck and want to build your credit score, the least expensive way is by using hat vehicle as a down payment for a new auto loan and repaying it on time. At Best Buy Imports, we encourage our clients to use auto loans to rebuild their credit score because it can be done without involving the credit bureau ratings.

 

Why Choose Best Buy Imports for Your Auto Loan?

We have been helping customers with all credit ratings get a pre-owned vehicle with financing they can afford for over a decade. And by making their payments on time they have been able to improve their credit histories and scores. Best Buy Imports is a used car dealership that also provides auto financing to customers with poor credit scores through our Buy Here Pay Here program.

You won’t have to worry about the embarrassment of being turned down for a loan, or the frustration of walking away from a dealership empty handed, without knowing how you’ll secure your next vehicle. Best of all, Best Buy Imports offers the best selection of used vehicles in Philadelphia and the surrounding region, so you can select from our wide inventory of both domestic and foreign cars, trucks, and SUVs. You can come to us for your next vehicle and find the car of your dreams while working with our financial team to get financing that works for you, without your credit history haunting you. Just bring in your down payment, or your trade-in, with proof of residence and a pay stub and you can be driving home in a new car today.

You can speed up the process by submitting an on-line loan application. It will be processed within the shortest time possible, with guaranteed approval. And our vehicle inventory is available on line 24/7, or just stop in to one of our two convenient Frankford Avenue locations.

10 Important Areas to Check When Buying a Used Car

10 Important Things to Check When Buying a Used Car

Buying a new car is the ultimate dream for most people. However, the price of new vehicles continues to skyrocket every single day, and there is also the ongoing issue of depreciation; making the purchase of a used car very good sense. But keep in mind that not every car is worth your investment. Some used vehicles will ensure that your dream of owning a reliable mode of transport turns into a horror story, so you must be careful what you buy.

Here is Best Buy Imports checklist that we put together to guide you through the process. Don’t find a reason to skip any of the steps listed. You never know where problems might be, so make sure you cover them all, including those requiring information from the seller. If you don't ask, you can’t expect the information to be  volunteered. Many sellers will not tell you the car had major repair work done to it; you have to find it for yourself.

Here’s what you may need to have with you when you check out a vehicle you’re interested in: a magnet and a mechanic, or someone knowledgeable with the inner workings of  cars . When a used car seller sees you with a magnet, they most likely will volunteer any information about bodywork repairs and accident history.

1. Check for Flood Damage

Floods occur every year, destroying many vehicles. The water from floods can destroy the car's upholstery and the interior, break down metallic parts with rust, and ensure that the overall dependability of the vehicle is compromised.

Smell the inside of the vehicle. Take a sniff at every inch of the interior. Take your time and concentrate on the task at hand. Check under the hood and any other pars that may be hard to reach. Check for signs of mud or mold. Any signs of dirt might indicate poor maintenance, and mold is a pretty sure indicator that the car has been flood damaged.

2. Check for Signs of an Accident

You may want to roll up your sleeves for this one. Start with the front. Take a few steps away from the vehicle. Check for uniformity in the appearance of the car. Inspect the car closely. Run your fingers along panels and edges. Everything should be smooth. If it is not, the dealer or seller should explain. It is at this stage that the magnet comes in handy. Hold the magnet over the uneven surfaces. If the magnetic attraction is not uniform in all metallic surfaces, it usually indicates bodywork has been done. Ask the seller about it. Was it an accident? Was it major or minor? What was the insurance report about it?  Also scrutinize the frame; any signs of welding or realignment indicate that there was an accident.

3. Check the Wheels

Tires should wear evenly. If not, there could be problems elsewhere. Inspect the wheels one by one. Run your palm over them to feel for poor tire wear. Tires should generally be in good condition unless the car is being sold at a bargain price. If they are not uniform, let a mechanic inspect the suspension and overall tire alignment. Some used cars for sale specifically because they have issues. Don't inherit those problems.

4. Do A Test Drive

If possible, do your test drive without the seller, and with your mechanic. The keyword here is smooth. Listen to the engine while parked, while driving and braking, on a highway. Feel the braking systems and listen. There should not be any screeching or unusual sounds. Try emergency braking too at around 25-30 miles-per-hour. It will tell you if the brakes are in reasonably good condition. Give the steering a workout. Turn as many times as you can. Try sharp turns on both sides. It should be easy to navigate left or right with relatively the same ease.

5. Ensure There Are No Leaks and Oil Spots

Take a visual inspection of the hood, the chassis, the engine, antifreeze and virtually anywhere else on the car. Stop the car on a clean surface and leave it running for some time, then check the surface to see if there are any leaks. Green, red or black leakages spell trouble.


6. Check for Rust

 

Inspect every inch of the car for dirt and rust. Look down on every side. If you have to squat to get a better look, do so. You can also place the car in a service bay to inspect the chassis and the rest of the undercarriage. Rusts can indicate poor maintenance or flood damage.


7. Do a Vehicle Review

 

What do people say about the model? Not everybody will like the car model or brand, but you can look at the most common cons that people raise about the car model. If it is a car model you have owned before, you may skip this and go for an advanced review. Also check the used car dealer's reviews.

8. Check the Availability of Parts for the Car

Car models that have problems with replacement parts often have negative reviews. It is usually because that model is no longer manufactured. This may or may not be a problem due to the discontinuance of certain models during the recession of 2008. Just to be sure, you can call the manufacturer or local car parts sellers to find out if they stock replacement parts for that car model.

 

9. Locate the car's VIN and have it checked

 

Make sure you can find the vehicle identification number. Confirm its authenticity. Each VIN identifies the vehicle model and manufacturing date. The trick here is to decode the number. Ensure it matches with the vehicle registration records.

10. Check the Car’s History, Including Recalls

Lastly, review the car documents. Check all transfer documents to ensure that they are intact. Missing documents are a red flag. Ensure that there are documents to show maintenance schedules. If someone claims to do at-home servicing, let him prove it. Regular maintenance in a car shows that the person before you took reasonably good care of the vehicle.

Once you are done with the steps above, you can now evaluate if the selling price is reasonable. Factor in all the variables:

  • Does the car require immediate repairs? If yes, how much will they cost?
  • Are there structural damages to the car? If yes, can you overlook them?
  • How much is the selling price, and how does it stack up against prices for comparable models?

You can find tools online that can help you calculate the fair price of a vehicle. A used car dealership can help, but don't take their word for it. Use your judgment to gauge the reasonable value of the car.

Conclusion

There is a lot of good value in the used cars market. Many dealerships sell certified used cars. These vehicles have undergone multi-point inspections and any necessary repairs and adjustments to insure they are in good operating condition. Also, many dealerships will include a warranty with the vehicle purchase.

At Best Buy Imports, all of our vehicles have been carefully inspected using an extensive multi-point inspection system and reconditioned so that they’re almost as good as new. These cars also offer an extended warranty, so you can drive off with the confidence that if you encounter any troubles down the road, your new vehicle will be covered. 

While browsing our online inventory, take advantage of the CarStory feature. CarStory is an independent service that will let you know how the make and model stacks up against similar models in terms of safety and reliability. It also compares the price and value of the exact vehicle you’re looking at compared to similar options on the market. And you can get data from CarFax about the car you’re looking at, including odometer reading, accident reports, and number of prior owners. You’ll have all the information you need at your fingertips, without even leaving our website before you come in to see us in person!

Why is Buying an Extended Warranty So Important?

Why is Buying an Extended Warranty So Important? 

Money’s tight for millions of Americans. Rent and mortgage costs, bills, taxes, raising children, buying groceries — the expenses of everyday life make finding the cash for that state-of-the-art sports car be tough, if not impossible. Still, there’s no need to go after new, often overpriced models. Investing in a high-quality used vehicle from a reliable dealership instead is a much more cost-effective option!

You’ll have hundreds of cars, trucks, SUVs and more to choose from, all inspected by experts for real peace of mind. The best showrooms cater to drivers of all tastes, lifestyles and budgets too. However, one point to consider when purchasing a pre-owned car or truck is the warranty. Dealerships will often supply one with their cars, but an extended warranty might still be a smart choice. Let’s take a closer look as to why:

Extended Auto Warranties in Brief

Never purchased a used car or an extended warranty before? It’s a pretty simple subject. Extended warranties (sometimes referred to as ‘service contracts’) work as insurance policies on your pre-owned vehicle and investing in one means you’ll be protected against specific potential expenses in the future. They usually last longer than basic warranties issued by the dealerships. 

While buying extended warranties does mean more money, it’s actually a cost-effective alternative to paying for repairs, parts, and services you could face down the road. Breakdowns or faulty parts may take you by surprise, and most of us don’t always have the cash on hand to cover the charges without warning. Buying an extended warranty could be the smartest option for you even if you pick the lowest-priced pre-owned vehicle in the showroom. What advantagesdoes it offer you?

Some Extended Warranties Can Be Transferred To Your Next Car

In some cases, your extended warranty’s lifespan could be longer than the length of time you keep your vehicle. Some extended warranty plans can not only be transferred to the next owner of your vehicle, but the remainder might be transferrable to your next pre-owned car or truck.

When available, transferring your extended warranty over to your next vehicle saves you money on a new contract and gives you valuable peace of mind. Make sure you ask about transference before you sign on the dotted line — don’t just assume it’s possible.

Cover Yourself Against Major Issues

Many used car dealerships are highly committed to great service so they include some type of warranty on all vehicles they sell. The warranty will normally be for a certain length of time (typically 30 to 90 days) and cover specific components of the vehicle. Investing in an extended warranty will give you options for wider coverage for potentially-expensive repairs. Paying for the extended warranty is another cost, of course, but it’ll take a real weight off your mind.

Add Value To Your Pre-owned Vehicle

You may be planning to keep your new car or truck for some specific amount of time. With time and/or mileage remaining on the extended warranty, your vehicle will usually have a higher value when you go to sell it, giving your buyer the same protection you’ve enjoyed. Seeing the warranty in place should also help to make you more trustworthy and appealing as a seller; if you’re responsible enough to take out an extended warranty, you’ve likely taken good care of the vehicle too. And if your warranty has covered the cost of replacing any faulty parts, that makes the vehicle more appealing as well. Potential buyers will know they won’t have to worry about those replaced parts going bad anytime soon.

Extras May Be Covered

Some extended warranties even offer more benefits beyond coverage against repairs. You may be able to get a discount on renting a car, a fantastic advantage if you tend to hire vehicles on vacation or for business trips on a regular basis. You could actually save yourself a lot of money just by paying for an extended warranty.

Towing services may also be covered or discounted, as a further benefit. Hopefully, your vehicle would never actually need to be towed for any reason but knowing you won’t have to pay for such an unexpected charge is a big relief. Even if your car or truck is in great condition, something as simple as a flat tire may leave you in need of a tow truck. 

Talk to the dealer about what your extended warranty will cover and any little extras (such as the above) that may be included. Weigh all of your options and make sure you know exactly what your money is getting you.

Points to Consider

It’s worth considering that not everything in your car will be covered by your extended warranty, specifically parts prone to wear and tear (brakes, tires etc.). This shouldn’t put you off investing in an extended warranty, but do take the time to research any plan you’re interested in. Each warranty plan is different, covering different components of the vehicle, so take your time and evaluate what coverage will best fit your needs and budget. Another factor to think about when looking at an extended warranty is its suitability to your lifestyle and environment. Will it be right for the weather or road conditions you encounter on a daily basis? Again, talk to the dealer about any concerns you might have.

When you buy a pre-owned vehicle from Best Buy Imports, you’ll get a 30-Day PowertrainWarranty. This provides coverage for your transmission, engine and other vital parts of your vehicle for the first 30 days of ownership! And we can give you all the help and advice you need when looking for an extended warranty that covers you beyond that initial period.

We’ll also help you find the pre-owned model that best fits your needs and lifestyle, with financing that’s within your budget. Check out our constantly changing inventory of late model, low mileage cars, trucks and SUVs, all at outstanding prices.

Want to know more? Just give us a call or drop in to see us at either of our two  convenient Frankford Ave locations.

What are Certified Pre-Owned Cars

What You Need to Know about Certified Pre-Owned Cars

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) vehicles are the closest thing you can buy to a new car. They may cost a little more than non-certified used cars, but they are worth it. Certified vehicles have many clear advantages over non-certified used vehicles. Also, most certified cars are only sold at a quality used car dealership or a new car dealership. Below are some of the top reasons to purchase a certified car. 


Only the Best Vehicles Qualify 
In general, newer vehicles with low mileage and a clean history report qualify to be a certified pre-owned vehicle. The CPO programs are offered by the specific vehicle manufacturer, or the used car dealership in conjunction with a certified warranty provider If the car fails to meet a strict criteria as determined by the warranty provider, it will not be entered into the CPO program. 


Multi-point Inspection and Reconditioning 
Typically, there are hundreds of items that are inspected during the certification process. The exact number of items will be determined by the auto brand. Every item on the CPO list has to pass the inspection. If not, it will be repaired or replaced. 


Extended Warranty 
Most certified pre-owned vehicles from a used car dealership will include a bumper to bumper and powertrain extended warranty, even if the manufacturers original warranty has already expired. Typically, vehicles that still have the manufacturer’s original warranties in force, will have the remainder of that warranty transferred to the new buyer. 


Roadside Assistance 
Many CPO programs offer around the clock roadside assistance during the coverage period, which can help stranded drivers with issues such as gas, dead batteries, or locked keys in the vehicle. This is an excellent benefit that you won't find with regular used cars. 


Term Options 
Typically, CPO vehicles from new car dealerships cost more than non-CPO used cars and the terms of the warranty are for a fixed number of months and/or miles. When buying a vehicle from a used car dealership that offers certified pre-owned warranties, you usually have variable term options available.


Leasing 
In some cases, a car dealership may allow you to lease a CPO vehicle. This could be an option for buyers who desire to drive a more expensive vehicle but can’t afford the monthly payments that they would have to pay with a purchase.


Free Maintenance 
Some CPO programs may include free maintenance for a certain amount of time or mileage. This would be determined by your specific warranty and typically cover routine maintenance such as oil changes, inspections, filters, or tire rotations. 


Satisfaction Guarantee 
In many cases, if a buyer is not happy with a CPO vehicle, they may be able to take it back for a replacement within a certain time period, usually one week or less. If offered, keep in mind that this allows the buyer to exchange the vehicle only once for a car that they like better. 

No matter which brand or model you choose, a CPO vehicle usually has clear advantages over non-certified vehicles. If a used car dealership sells certified pre-owned vehicles, you can have peace of mind that it adheres to a strict set of standards set by the warranty provider. Best Buy Imports has two convenient
locations to serve you and an inventory of late-model, low mileage cars, trucks and SUV’s to meet your needs, your specific financial situation, and your warranty preferences.

 

The Advantages of Buy Here Pay Here Financing

The Advantages of Buy Here Pay Here Financing Options

For the majority of Americans, buying a new car is a major financial decision. You have bills to pay, a family to support, a mortgage or rent to cover, insurance payments to make … it goes on and on.

 

Brand new cars keep getting more and more expensive, which makes used vehicles a much more practical, affordable option for most households. However, you still need to secure financing and that’s not always as easy as it should be, especially if you have bad credit. Lenders tend to view any prospective borrower with a poor credit rating as too much of a risk, and refuse to offer them a deal of any kind. This is a serious problem if you depend on a car for work, taking your kids to school and other common responsibilities.

 

Used car dealerships offering Buy Here Pay Here (BHPH) financing are an ideal solution for drivers in this situation. But even if you have good credit, this option can still save you the expense and hassle of getting an auto loan through a bank. Below we will explore the biggest advantages of choosing Buy Here Pay Here financing through your local used car dealership. 

BHPH Financing is Open to all Customers

Almost all of us experience financial difficulties at one time or another. You might find yourself unable to pay bills exactly when you have to or rely on your credit cards a little more than you’d like, ultimately building debts and driving your credit score down.

 

BHPH financing is available to customers with all credit ratings here at Best Buy Imports. We believe in helping everyone get the right deal regardless of your credit report. We don’t subject you to a credit check: instead, we don’t even ask for your payroll stubs, just your driver’s license, insurance details and a downpayment. That’s it. Buy Here Pay Here Financing is here for all drivers. It’s fast and simple. You can get pre-approved online too, to get the ball rolling before you even visit our dealership.

No Need to Contact Third-Party Lenders

Another major advantage of Buy Here Pay Here financing is the convenience: you’ll have through your dealership instead of a third-party lender. This makes the entire process of securing your loan and buying your car so much easier. You’ll only deal with the team at Best Buy Imports from the moment you walk into our office: you make your payments direct to us for the duration.

Finding the Perfect Package is Easier

Finding financing through a third-party lender and buying your car from a dealership can take time, possibly quite a bit more than you have. You need a vehicle, and you may need it fast. Of course, there’s also the problem of matching your loan amount to the right car for your needs and lifestyle. Choosing a Buy Here Pay Here dealership brings it all together brilliantly. You can discuss your money, your exact requirements of a vehicle, your payment options and browse a wide range of pe-owned cars all under one roof. As a result, the entire process of getting the perfect model to suit your budget is far faster, simpler and more streamlined.

A Chance to Rebuild Your Credit

A poor credit score feels like a burden. It can leave you struggling to be recognized by banks and lenders with high thresholds, and getting better credit can be a real challenge. A car loan with Buy Here Pay Here Financing is a terrific way to start rebuilding your credit. Keeping up with your payments on time demonstrates that you’re responsible, can manage your financial responsibilities properly and are a reliable borrower. You’ll be viewed as less of a risk to future lenders and will have access to more varied loans.

 

Rebuilding your credit can improve your financial options in years to come. Once your payments are complete, you’ll no doubt be a viable candidate for a larger loan for a more advanced vehicle, if that appeals to you. Best Buy Imports is here to discuss your finances and payments, and our team will be happy to show you our extensive portfolio of used vehicles. Their expertise ensures you’ll get all the details and valuable insights into each car that catches your eye as you tour our dealership, making your buying process a lot simpler.

No Need to Buy from Unreliable Private Sellers

If you need a replacement car and can’t get an auto loan, you may be tempted to buy through a private seller. This may be cheap, but it’s a much riskier choice. You won’t have the professional team of experienced dealers on hand to help you find the right car, discuss its performance or supply a vehicle history. Instead, you only have the seller’s word to go on.

 

Private sellers generally sell on an ‘as is’ basis too. This means you won’t be able to take it back if you discover issues with the vehicle after driving away or having it inspected by a mechanic. They’ll expect the payment in full, rather than the carefully-planned schedule you get with Buy Here Pay Here financing. A private seller may not let you take a test drive either. This is obviously critical for making your decision. Best Buy Imports lets you test drive whatever cars you may be interested in and will answer any questions you might have. Private sellers offer no warranty either, but we do.

 

As you can see, there are some fantastic advantages to Buy Here Pay Here Financing. Best Buy Imports in Philadelphia is committed to helping you get the loan you need no matter what your credit score, your taste in cars, or your budget. While Buy Here Pay Here financing is attractive to drivers with poor credit ratings, it still benefits those with good or great scores too. Best Buy Imports offers lower interest rates to all customers with high credit ratings.

 

Reaching and maintaining impressive ratings isn’t easy, and we know that. This is why we make choosing our Buy Here Pay Here financing over traditional lenders well worth your while. Want to learn more? Just pick up the phone and give us a call or drop in to either of our two convenient locations. Our friendly professional staff members are always ready to help you find the vehicle that best matches your preferences, with financing options that best match your personal credit status.

8 Tips for Maintaining Your Car

8 Tips for Maintaining Your Car


There are many benefits to performing regular maintenance on your car, beyond just ensuring that it runs smoothly. Proactive maintenance will save you money and frustration in the long run, by allowing you to catch potentially expensive car troubles in the early stages. You’ll also see savings at the gas pump, because routine maintenance will ensure continued fuel efficiency. Keeping your car in good condition will also help preserve its value, getting you the best return when you decide to trade it in or sell it. Most importantly, taking good care of your vehicle will help keep it running safely, potentially preventing dangerous accidents.

 

If you’re a new car owner, or not super car-savvy, you might be wondering what routine car maintenance steps you should be taking, and how often you need to worry about them. Here are eight simple things you can do to maintain your car and keep it running and on the road for many years.

1. Get to know your owner’s manual

Your owner’s manual is the complete guide to keeping your vehicle well maintained based on its specific make and model. It will tell you everything you need to know, from how often to change the oil to which kind of gas you should be using. If you no longer have the physical copy, or want a backup, you can often find car manuals online. Take a look at the manufacturer's website, or search for it on google.


Your car’s manual will most likely offer two maintenance schedules: ‘routine’ and ‘severe.’ If you’re a frequent driver and put in a lot of miles, or live in an area with a lot of severe weather, it’s best to follow the ‘severe’ option. Otherwise, the ‘routine’ schedule will work for most drivers.

2. Keep track of your regular maintenance schedule.

Take notes about the last time you performed routine maintenance on your vehicle, or took it in for service. Write down both the date and the mileage. You can do this on your phone (such as in the notes app), or download an app specifically designed for this purpose. Car Minder, for iOS, and aCar, for Android, are two good options.

3. Do a basic inspection of your vehicle on a regular basis.

Even if you’re not a car expert, you can easily detect if something seems amiss with your vehicle by doing a cursory inspection on a regular basis. Check to make sure that:


  • All of your lights are working.
  • The glass, including windows and windshield, are clean and free of chips and cracks.
  • The tire pressure is adequate, and your tire treads aren’t worn down.
  • Your horn is working.
  • Your hand break holds on an incline.
  • The seat belts are in working order.
  • The windshield wiper blades don’t need replacing.
  • Check that there is no residue around your car’s battery.

4. Keep an eye on your car’s fuel efficiency.

While it’s always a financially savvy practice to maximize your car’s fuel efficiency, keeping track of how much gas you’re using can also reveal potential issues with your vehicle. A sudden change in your car’s fuel economy could point to a number of issues, including:


  • Poor wheel alignment
  • A faulty fuel pump
  • A dirty fuel filter
  • Failing spark plugs

 

There are a number of gadgets on the market you can use to track your fuel efficiency. These are easy to install, and are compatible with any vehicle made after 1996. Alternatively, you could use an app like Fuelly to track your fuel consumption, or manually write down your mileage each time you fill up.

5. In order to catch problems early, don’t ignore warning signs.

Warning indicator lights are there for a reason! Get to know what each one means, either by consulting your car’s manual or an online resource. (Check out Mental Floss’s great guide to warning light symbols, which offers some helpful mnemonics to remember which is which.)

 

If you notice something unusual while you’re driving, pay attention to what your car is trying to tell you. Some common indications are obvious (such as a screeching noise as you break, indicating break trouble) while others can be more subtle (your steering wheel tugging in one direction may indicate your alignment is off.)

 

Use common sense! If something about your car feels different or wrong as you’re driving, it’s worth taking seriously.

6. Check your fluid levels and replace them as needed.

The old saying used to be that a car’s oil needed to be changed every 3,000 miles. Thankfully, car oil has improved over the years, lengthening its lifespan to 7,000-10,000 miles. Newer cars can even tell you when it’s time to change the oil.

 

Even so, it’s important to check your oil levels periodically. In addition to your engine oil, you’ll want to also check the following:

 

  • Coolant
  • Power steering fluid
  • Brake fluid
  • Windshield wiper fluid

 

Either use a dipstick to check the level, or monitor based on “minimum/maximum” markings on the container, depending on the fluid. If your oil or brake fluid has turned a murky color, it’s time to get it changed.

7. Replace parts of your car when they near the end of their lifespan.

Different parts of your vehicle need to be replaced on a routine basis, usually measured in terms of years or mileage. Some of the most frequently replaced car parts include:


  • Windshield wiper blades (1-2 years)
  • Fuel filter (2 years)
  • Brake pads (3-5 years)
  • Car battery (4-5 years)
  • Tires (5-6 years)
  • Spark Plugs (30,000 miles)

8. Learn how to DIY car maintenance – but know when to go to a professional.

If you’re not already familiar with the inner workings of your car, ask a friend or relative who’s comfortable under the hood to teach you the basics. Make sure you can recognize and name each part, and understand its basic function.

 

Many routine part replacements can be done yourself, and for far less money than taking the car in for service. For example, replacing your windshield wiper blades is fairly straightforward, and often the packaging of the new set of blades will include a diagram to show you how. Changing your own oil can be messy, but isn’t too difficult. Even more complex repairs, such as replacing your spark plugs, can be done yourself with a little know-how. Check YouTube for videos that will walk you through the process.

 

Every now and then, though, you’ll still want to take a car in for professional maintenance. When that’s the case, get recommendations from people you trust, or ask your dealership for names they recommend. Always get multiple quotes before spending money on a significant repair.

 

By following these simple tips, you should be able to keep your car in proper working order. Investing time into regular maintenance of your vehicle will save you the headache of breakdowns and unnecessary costs for fuel and repair. 

Advantages of Buying a Used Car at a Dealership