Secrets To Car Warranties

Car warranties ensure that if your car breaks down, you will have the necessary funds available to repair it. There are numerous companies offering car warranties today, but not all of them are created equal. To get the best deal on a car warranty, you must arm yourself with information that helps you pick the good warranty companies from the bad. To help you in the process, here are 4 secrets of car warranties that everyone should know before putting money down on one.

1. Prices are Negotiable

You may think the price on the manufacturer’s extended warranty is set in stone, but think again. Like the price of the automobile, the cost to cover repairs can also be negotiated. To ensure you get the best rate on auto warranties, call a few dealers to find out what their prices are on extended warranties. Once you’re armed with general pricing information, begin the negotiation process. Don’t be afraid to low ball the initial quote, in an effort to bring down the overall cost of the warranty. You and the dealer are likely to meet in the middle between their initial quote and your counter offer

2. Costs Can Be Financed

When you are shopping for auto warranties on new vehicles, the cost of the warranty can often be folded into the car’s financing arrangement. Instead of paying a large sum when the warranty needs to take effect, you see a small increase in your monthly payment amount. However, some dealers only quote a monthly rate on the warranty. When you are planning to add the cost of the warranty to your car finance, ask about the total cost before you sign on the bottom line. This will tell you whether you are getting a fair price and assist with the negotiation process listed above.

3. Warranties Can Be Transferred

Extended used car warranties can often be transferred to the new owner of a vehicle when the car is sold. If you are selling a car with an extended warranty, this fact is a good selling feature, offering additional value to the prospective owner. If you are purchasing a used vehicle, ask about extended used car warranties, to see if you can keep the warranty currently in effect. In some cases, this transfer requires a letter from the current owner and a small transfer fee. Transfer the policy when you purchase the vehicle, to ensure repairs are covered right away.

4. Third Party Warranties

Many car purchasers turn to third-party warranties as a means of saving money. Because some auto manufacturers have closed down recently, manufacturer warranties are not holding as much attraction as they once did. However, if you decide to go with a third party warranty, thoroughly research the company and read the fine print of the policy before purchasing. This extra effort may go far in protecting you from fraud and lack of coverage when you need it most.

Car warranties can be very helpful in covering repairs to your vehicle after the initial warranty expires. By observing these secrets of the warranty industry, you can save money and ensure complete coverage of your automobile.

Should Your Teen Take A Driver Prep Course

In most states, before you can go to driver’s ed you need to get your learners permit. But in a lot of states, like Maryland, the learners permit test can be really hard. The Maryland driving handbook is over 100 pages long and sometimes it can be hard to retain that information even if you take a few months to study it.

Before your teen gets in the car or even takes the test you may want to look into Driver Prep classes. These are very different than driver’s ed and are sometimes free for parents. They really help your teen get a leg up on the learners permit test and become safer drivers before getting into the car.

This course breaks up the driver manual into easy to learn and easy to focus parts. Most will just focus on the most important points and leave the fluff aside. While you shouldn’t ignore anything in the drivers manual, you shouldn’t have to study every word either.

In addition, these courses also emphasize practice exams. Lots of them with lots of questions.

The tests resemble the actual exam you’ll take at your local Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) office. All feature multiple choice questions based on material found in your state’s driver license handbook.

Topics include:

  • Identifying traffic signals and road signs.
  • Identifying road lines.
  • Driving at night.
  • The dangers of drinking and driving.
  • Hand signals.
  • Actions to take when emergency vehicles approach.
  • Turning at intersections.

All the tests include explanations to both correct and incorrect answers, giving you a comprehensive understanding of the topic matter.

Unlike a drivers ed class, a drivers prep course is not required for obtaining a learner’s permit and/or driver’s license. These courses are strictly voluntary and come highly recommended for prospective teen drivers.

Thaw Out Your Car For Spring

Are you sick of winter yet? I know I am! But the end is almost near and soon it will be time for those glorious road trips. The windows rolled down, some good music playing on the radio, and a long stretch of highway in front of you. Hurry up spring, we miss you!


Of course you can’t go on those long road trips without getting your car prepared. Here are some quick tips to make sure you get to where you’re going and not sitting on the side of the road.


Check Your Tire Tread

Checking your tread is pretty easy. To check the depth simply place the edge of a penny into the tread of each tire. If the tread covers Abe Lincoln’s head you are good to go. If not, then you need new tires.


Check Your Battery

If your battery is more than four years old and sometimes takes a few seconds to start your motor, you should take it to your local auto parts supplier to get tested and, if necessary, replaced.


Top Off Your Coolant

Make sure your coolant is at the proper level. Most cars have a fluid level gauge, so consult your owner’s manual to find out how to check the level on your particular model. Make sure you only open the coolant cap when your car is cool. Opening the cap when your car has been driven can be very dangerous.


Check Your Brakes

Make sure your brakes are in good working order. If you they are not “catching” properly, scrub, or take longer to stop than they should take your car to a mechanic to get them checked. It may be a good idea to do it anyway just to be extra safe.


Change Your Oil

Regular oil changes can make all the difference in making sure your car has a long, healthy life. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s suggestions for oil change intervals and oil viscosity, and make sure to change the oil filter as well. Some car shops offer fluid top offs, tire checks, battery checks, and even tire rotation included their oil change prices, so you can take care of almost all of your spring maintenance in just one stop.

Safe Driving Tips To Share With Your Teen

Driving a car is a lot of responsibility. Teens do not always comprehend how important these responsibilities are to their own safety as well as that of the other drivers around them.

Parents need to not only talk to their teen about these responsibilities. You can show your teen what each responsibility means while teaching them to drive.

Tips for Teaching Your Teen the Responsibilities of Driving

Car Maintenance

Encourage your teen to be involved with the maintenance of the vehicle they drive.

  • They should know when the car does not sound normal and when to pull into the garage to seek help.
  • If they feel it is a minor problem, they should tell you as soon as possible.
  • Have them read the car manual and understand the basic functions of the car’s parts.
  • Have your teen keep the car clean and gassed up.
  • New drivers should know how to put air in the tires, gas in the tank and check the oil.

Follow the Law

Require your teen to follow the laws of your state for permit, graduated driving and other licensing requirements. Each state will be different and your teen should follow all of the laws that apply to them without fail.

This may include:

  • Logging all practice hours required before taking their driver’s road test.
  • Driving only to and from school or an after school job.
  • Restrictions for driving past a certain time at night or with unlicensed passengers in the car.

If you allow your teen to slide in any of these areas, you are modeling to them that the rules of the road do not matter.

Financial Responsibility

Generally, when teenagers have to put out their own money they take responsibility a little more seriously.

If your teen has a job, considering allowing them to pay for their own car insurance.

In the least, make them pay for their own gas and the occasional oil change or car wash.

It is okay to help them out, but you should not pay for everything. Spending money is part of driving and owning a car!

Passenger Safety

Explain to your teen the responsibility they have for the passengers in their car.

While accidents happen, many are preventable by simply following the traffic laws. The guilt of having an accident when you are fooling around behind the wheel is not something that anyone wants to live with. Your teen will understand that.

They may think you are making too much out of it. This is normal immaturity and why many graduated licensing programs include a rule about no friends being in the car for the first couple of months.

Other Drivers

Explain to your teen the responsibility they have to other drivers on the road. Teens need to know that the road is a shared place. Remind your teen of this fact often.

When you are weaving in and out of the traffic, talking on your cell phone or texting while driving, not paying attention to street signs or speeding, you are not being considerate of other drivers.

Have the Responsible Driver Conversation Often

Driving is one of the biggest steps toward maturity and independence for teens. Continue to talk to them about safe driving even as they get older. More experienced seventeen- and eighteen-year-old teens need reminders too and you will continue doing your best to keep your teenager safe on the road.

Looking To Test Drive A Car This Winter? Here Are Some Useful Tips

There will be a lot of bad decisions in your life, choosing a car shouldn’t be one of them. Test driving a car be a nerve wrecking experience. How do you know it is the right car? What if you like it on the lot and drive, but hate it when you get home? Here are some tips to help you make a sound decision while test driving a new vehicle.

Do Your Homework– If you have a certain model in mind research your choice online. What is the gas mileage? What size is the engine? What options are standard and which ones do you have to pay for? These are all questions you should have answers to before test driving.


Do Try Different Roads– If the dealership will allow it try different roadways. Especially the highway. You should also try it on country roads so you can test the car’s suspension and handling.


Do Test The Brakes– Make sure they are functioning and not pulling to the side. Also there shouldn’t be any noises like crunching or squeaking.


Do Inspect The Interior– Check the radio, windows, wipers, and lights. While these may not keep you from buying the car they are things that should be fixed before purchasing. You shouldn’t have to fork money out to fix things after driving off the lot.


Don’t Forget To Ask Questions– If possible have a list of questions with you. If you are buying a used car you will definitely want to ask if it was in an auto accident and when the last upkeep was done. There is a big difference between a little old lady driving it on Sundays and a speed demon driving it all day. Ask questions!


Don’t Rush Your Test Drive– You are going to have this vehicle for at least two years so make sure it is definitely what you want. Some recommend that a test drive should be at least 45 minutes.


With these tips your test drive should go a lot smoother and your car buying experience even better. Know what you want and what you are willing to pay before even stepping on the lot.