Car Maintenance Tips For Teens

 

Finally having the freedom and ability to drive your own vehicle is great. But breaking down on the side of the road and potentially having to spend a lot of money on car repairs? Not so great.

When you buy your teen a car from Susquehanna Chrysler of Wrightsville, you need to express how important it is to keep up with the maintenance. There is more to the the car than the radio, GPS, and streaming your songs. It is better to start them out right away so they will be able to keep up with it well into adulthood. As a Mom with two teens, I know how much you want to help them but they need to learn now.

One way to avoid costly repairs is to focus on proper vehicle maintenance. Here are a couple basic steps to follow that will make your life as a car owner easier.

  • Read Your Driver Manual

    Perusing your driver manual is perhaps the easiest way to stay informed about your vehicle. All new cars come with this handy booklet, which contains information on all the features and operating parts of your car as well as proper maintenance tips (including the recommended type of oil, tire pressure, and more).

  • Inspect Your Car Frequently

    Keeping your car well-maintained isn’t necessarily rocket science. There are a few key inspections that you can do yourself to make sure your car is operating in good shape. Checking things like fluid levels (e.g., oil and coolant) and tire pressure can ensure the good condition (and mileage) of your car. Additionally, keeping tabs on the condition of basic equipment such as windshield wipers, tires, and headlights can mean a world of difference when it comes to driver safety. These small inspections take a short amount of time and go a long way towards keeping you safe.

  • Keep Up with Routine Maintenance

    Pay attention to the service recommendations from your car’s manufacturer. Usually, you will have to bring your car in for routine service every 30,000 miles in addition to regular oil changes and other checks. Follow the advice that you find in your driver manual – it gives you everything you need to know to keep up with maintenance. Your mechanic should check the condition of the air filter, brakes, belts, spark plugs, and fluids at regular intervals. Many send out reminders when it comes close to the time for new inspections, but don’t rely on this too much. If you’re still unsure of what needs to be maintained, the Internet is a powerful resource that can give you all the info you need to know about your vehicle.

Remember, even a well-equipped car can break down in certain circumstances. Be sure to keep the following in your vehicle in case of emergency:

  • A properly inflated spare tire and jack
  • Flares or reflective devices to alert other drivers of a breakdown
  • A flashlight
  • A tool kit (can be travel size)
  • Jumper cables
  • A first-aid kit
  • An empty fuel container (Never carry extra fuel in your vehicle. It is extremely hazardous)

In snowy or icy areas, you should also keep:

  • A small shovel
  • A blanket (consider something that is water resistant on one side)
  • An ice scraper/brush

7 Tips For Safe Summer Travel

 

 

If you are planning to travel by car this summer, take steps to help avoid ending up on the side of the road. Make sure your car is in good shape so it won’t break down. At Bob Fisher Chevrolet in Reading, they care about your safety. Especially while on the road.

A properly maintained car gets you where you want to go, and saves you money getting there. Here’s what you need to check.

1. Radiator

Overheating is the number one cause of summer breakdowns, according to the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). Make sure your radiator is adequately filled with coolant at the right concentration — usually a 50/50 mix of water and antifreeze, but check your car’s specifications.

The radiator should be flushed every two years. If it hasn’t been serviced, do so before you hit the road. If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, make sure the engine has cooled before you open the radiator cap to avoid being scalded by boiling coolant.

Check your dashboard temperature gauge while driving. If it moves into the red, you’re going to have to turn your motor off or risk damage. If your engine temperature starts creeping up, try turning your air conditioning off and your heater on — all the way up. You may get hot, but you might save your engine while on your way to get a professional’s help.

2. Hoses

Your coolant is only as good as the hoses it flows through. Look for leaks, cracks, peeling or separation. While the engine is still warm, squeeze along the hose’s length — it should feel firm, but not hard. If the hose is spongy or soft, even in one section, consider replacing it before it fails and causes bigger problems.

3. Oil

The hotter the weather gets, the more important oil becomes. Oil helps prevent overheating by lubricating many moving parts. However, oil additives break down over time.

Oil change recommendations are as frequent as every 3,000 miles, but makers of many modern cars say to wait until a maintenance reminder light brightens your dashboard.

According to the Car Care Council, “Though having to only change your oil every 7,500 miles is something we would all prefer, 3,000 to 5,000 miles are numbers more representative of actual driving conditions. By erring on the side of caution, you’ll help to extend the life of your car.”

Check your oil between changes and add a quart or two of your car manufacturer’s recommended grade, if needed.

4. Battery

Hot weather can strain a battery. Test the battery if it’s older than 3-years or if you see one of these telltale signs of a failing battery:

  • Lights dim at starting
  • Power drain when turning on the air conditioning
  • Slow cranking when you start the car

Many auto parts stores offer free battery testing. Check your battery to make sure the posts and connections are free of corrosion, a white powdery residue. If it’s not a maintenance-free battery, make sure its cells have plenty of water.

5. Air Conditioning

A marginally operating air-conditioning system may fail in hot weather, according to the ASE. Put a thermometer in your car’s vent while the air conditioner is running and see how cool the air is getting.

If it’s not cooling properly, you may try replacing cabin air filters that clean the air entering the heating and air-conditioning system in newer cars. Check your owner’s manual for location and how often they should be replaced.

However, if your air-conditioning system is suffering from a bigger problem — like a leak or loss of refrigerant — it’s likely time for a mechanic.

6. Tires

Your four tires offer a critical connection to the road, according to the Car Care Council. Check them at least monthly. Low tire pressure adds rolling resistance, making it harder for the engine to move your car.

Proper tire pressure, which should be posted on your car door, improves gas mileage by 3.3%, or about 10 cents a gallon, the council says.

Underinflation stresses a tire’s internal fabric and steel cord so they flex beyond designed limits and lose their bond to the rubber. The result can be a blowout.

Don’t wait for your car’s tire pressure monitoring system to light up, as it may be too late to save the tire. Instead, check air pressure when the tires are cool — summer weather and friction can cause the pressure inside to rise, giving you a false sense of security.

Also, check the tire tread by inserting a penny: If you can see all of Abraham Lincoln’s head, it’s time for new tires. If the tires look unevenly worn, have your wheel balance and alignment checked.

7. Other

Here are a few more tips to get your car road-ready for summer.

  • Consider a tuneup. Fouled spark plugs cause the engine to lose power or misfire, wasting fuel and lowering gas mileage. However, check your owner’s manual before scheduling a tune-up. Many newer cars don’t require a tuneup for more than 100,000 miles.
  • Check the brakes. If you notice pulsations, grabbing, noises or longer stopping distances when braking, it may be time for repairs.
  • Change the wipers. Windshield wipers deteriorate faster in sunny weather. If you get caught in a summer shower, you’ll want to be able to see where you’re going. Many auto parts stores offer free installation when you buy new wiper blades.
  • Wash and wax. Sunlight, UV radiation, acid rain, salt, dirt and air pollution can damage your car’s exterior. Help protect the paint and finish by washing and waxing your car regularly.
  • Keep a safety kit. In case your car does break down, be prepared with supplies, including water for yourself and the radiator, jumper cables, a flashlight and batteries, and a first-aid kit.

Tips for Buying A Car Seat For Your Child

 

 

You can find a lot of family sized vehicles at Reedman Toll Chrysler of Langhorne at great prices. Chances are if you are looking for a family vehicle you have kids in a car/booster seat. You may already have one but if you are bringing that baby home for the first time, you may still be looking for one. You need a safe car AND a safe car seat for your little one!

Baby car seats can prevent serious injury to your child in the event of an accident. It is the law that all children under the age of twelve should be seated in the back seat. This is especially true if you have airbags in the front.

From the time you bring your baby home from the hospital, s/he should be placed in an appropriate car safety seat. Infants must be in a rear-facing infant only seat or an appropriate convertible seat until s/he weighs twenty pounds or reach the age of one. After twenty pounds and after the first birthday, toddlers can use a forward-facing seat until they reach approximately forty pounds or their ears reach the top of the car seat.
Over forty pounds, a child must be in a seatbelt positioned booster seat.

Your car seat belts should not be used by a child under the age of eight unless they are four feet nine inches tall. A booster seat should be used until then. There are many different types of booster seats are available.

Your child should be appropriately restrained at all times. Your child will not be ready to use regular seat belts until the shoulder strap fits across the shoulder, not the neck. The lap belt must fit across the hips and not his stomach.

When installing car seats the manufacturers directions must be followed exactly. if you don’t have them call the company for a replacement. The car seat will have a label which will have the manufacturer, the address, and the phone number. It will also show the name of the car seat. You must have this information to get a replacement. If there is no label on the seat do not purchase it. It could be a seat that was damaged in a car accident.

If you are purchasing the car seat second hand, inspect it thoroughly. Check all the belts for fraying, all fasteners for cracks, and the padding of the seat to be sure it is not ripped or torn. Always check to see if there is a label on the seat, it will have the information you need if there is no manual available. Ask questions such as has this seat been in a crash?
If so, do not purchase it. It may look fine but its safety may have been compromised. There could be a misalignment of the frame resulting in your child’s safety being compromised.

No matter what type of seat you purchase, and there are many, consider how much you can spend. If expense is a concern a convertible travel system may be in order. A rear-facing car seat can be used as a front facing car seat until the appropriate age. There is a base that remains in the car. The infant/toddler car seat then can be attached to a stroller frame and later it can reattach to the base that’s in the car. Check out your options and consider what will be best as far as expenses are concerned. Do your research and determine what will be best for you and your child. Always, the first concern should be the safety of your baby from day one.

It is important to know what type of seat your vehicle will accommodate.
Your car owners manual or a dealer will be able to tell you what is compatible with the vehicle you own. It is an overwhelming choice to make but begin looking for a car seat when you find out you are expecting. A well-informed choice will keep your baby safe.

7 Ways Save Money On Car Insurance

 

When looking for a car at Buchanan Auto Park of Waynesboro you need to have car insurance before you can even drive it off the lot. Car insurance can be expensive but sometimes the cheapest quote is not always the best quote. I have had friends that have went with the cheapest insurance they could find and then when they had an accident the nightmare began.

With the cost of car insurance becoming more and more of an issue for the average American family, there are increasing numbers of people looking for cheap car insurance. But although it is possible to find cheap car insurance, the question remains, is it worth buying?

Everyone knows those car insurance companies are not all equal. Cheap car insurance is wonderful when paying the bill, but make a mistake on the company you select and you could find that the cheap car insurance policy that you found may turn into a nightmare. Cheap car insurance may not turn out to be so attractive when making a claim.

So if you have found a discount car insurance broker don’t just take the cheapest quote that you get. You need to find out a little about the insurance company that is offering the cheap car insurance rates.

And there are ways to reduce the cost of your car insurance even with the best of companies. Here are some tips for those looking for cheap car insurance to help reduce the cost of car insurance without compromising other things.

7 Cheap Car Insurance Tips

1. Look at your deductible amount. This is the amount that you pay first out of any claim. The cost of your policy is directly related to this amount. Many people, particularly those who have had their insurance policy for a long time, have never considered whether they ought to vary their deductible. If you have a good driving record and are prepared to increase the risk of paying a larger amount in the event of a (hopefully unlikely) claim you can save money by increasing your deductible.

2. Have a look at the type of car you drive. Certain types of cars attract higher car insurance rates. Cars such as sports cars and also certain makes and models that are prime theft candidates cost more to insure. If you are buying a car then find out which makes and models these are before you buy.

3. Drive carefully. Although it sounds a little trite to say it, your car insurance cost is a factor of your risk profile. You won’t get cheap car insurance if you have had 3 speeding fines and 2 accidents in the last year. These things are all taken into account and you should take care with how you drive. It all adds up onto your bill. There are big safe driver discounts available.

4. Considering installing safety and anti-theft devices in your car. Again these affect your risk profile. If you have a car that is safer and less at risk of theft it should be cheaper to insure. And if you have a car with certain safety devices now check that your insurance company is aware of these, if not tell them.

5. Look at your policy when it comes to renewal time, don’t just pay. There are some things that you can vary in your policy that will affect the cost. Often there are some things there which duplicate other insurance that you may have that can be eliminated. Be critical, look carefully and ask questions about all these before you renew your policy.

6. Have a look at who your other insurers are. Many insurers offer a discount for multiple policies. If you insure your house with a certain company then ring them up and find out if they do car insurance. Get a quote from them. Find out what discounts they offer.

7. Find a good online discount car insurance broker before renewing. The internet is a fabulous resource. Use it. There are all sorts of discount insurance brokers online where you can get fast quotes from a wide range of companies. Don’t just settle for the same company you always use. Car insurance rates vary all the time. Always get comparable quotes before renewing any policy.

 

Save Money On Your Next Auto Loan

 

Everyone likes to save money. Auto loans can carry significant financial burdens for many people. If you are looking to buy a new car at Northwest Chrysler in Houston, chances are you will need a loan. The good news is there are several things you can do to lower that burden before buying the car! Below are some tips to save money on your next auto loan!

The best way to save money on your next auto loan is to improve your credit score. A higher credit score means a lower auto loan interest rate. There are four basic tips for raising your credit score.

Regularly check your credit report
The first thing each and every individual should do before applying for an auto loan is to get their own credit report. Checking credit reports for accuracy should occur once a year. If there are any mistakes that negatively affect your credit, corrections can take up to three months to fix. Staying on top of these mistakes will save you a headache in the long run.

Reduce credit card balances
An important factor in your FICO credit score is the ratio of owed amount to the credit limit. If you have over 25% of your credit limit owed, this could lower your credit score. Try to limit the use of credit cards if this is your problem. Pay bills timelyPaying bills on time is one aspect of good credit in which most people are aware. Be sure you make timely payments on bills especially close to the time you apply for a loan. A late payment six years in the past will not affect your credit as heavily as a late payment in the present.

Pay off debt
Many credit cards offer appealing balance transfer rates. Do not fall victim to these rates around loan time. If you cancel a credit card and transfer it’s balanced over to another credit card, you are increasing the debt to credit limit ratio. As stated earlier, this is not a good thing. Instead of transferring debt, work on paying off that debt before applying for an auto loan.

There are many reasons why improving your credit score is so important. Saving money on auto loans is just one of the many benefits of having great credit. Improving your credit not only improves the health of your current financial situation but sets you up for future financial success.