"Where misinformation is
always a failed attempt at humor"
USED CAR CHECK LIST
5 AREAS TO CHECK PRIOR TO BUYING A CAR
- Speedometer - Don't laugh, what you need
to do here is compare the odometer reading to the age of
the car and see if this reading is realistic. The average
mileage for a vehicle in personal use is 12,000 to 15,000
miles a year. However, it may be too average. We once had
a customer who ran a delivery service and would
intentionally trade a vehicle when the odometer reflected
average miles for it's age, when actually it had in
excess of 100,000 miles. While six digit odometers have all but
eliminated this practice, it makes sense to view the
mileage in light of the next item mentioned here.
- Driver's Side Wear - Look for wear on
things like the brake pedal and the rug just below the
gas pedal, which is where the heel rests. New floor mats
may be masking a wear problem. When is the last time you
had to replace a rubber brake pedal cover during the life
of a car you drove in normal use - probably never.
- Body Work - Open doors and look for
over-spray on door gaskets which could indicate the car
has had body work - possibly necessitated by an accident.
Other telltale signs are non-matching pin striping. If
the stripes are not the same in color, or material used,
it's not a good sign. Each body component, i.e. fender,
hood, door and trunk lid should be compared to make sure
they match in color. If they don't you should be asking
questions or staying away from the purchase.
- Accessory Check - Make sure you test
every accessory including the high beams and the cruise
control. If the high lights are controlled by a switch on
the column, you might otherwise miss an expensive problem
that would have to be corrected after purchase.
- Fluid Leakage - Any fluid leakage should
turn you off to the sale. Remember the old saying about
buying someone else's problems, well here's your best
indication as to what these problems are. Whether they be
drips of trans, power steering, brake fluids or motor
oil, do you really need those problems.
WHAT MECHANICS SAY
The newsletter of the
National Institute for Automotive Excellence did an
informal survey of 450 mechanics to find out how you're
servicing your car. The publication asked the technicians
to compare your commitment to preventive maintenance now
to five years ago. Guess what? You're doing worse. How's
these results for a "Pay me now or pay me
you're doing worse
you seldom or sometimes follow prescribed P/M
their customers' cars seem to be in a state of
Auto Expertease looked at the
service schedule of a 1997 Ford F-150 Pick Up Truck
driven in normal service conditions and found some
|OIL FILTER @
||5000 ML/6 MOS
|FUEL FILTER @
|CHK. BELTS & HOSES
|COOLANT CHANGE @
||50000 ML/48 MOS
THEN 30000 ML/36 MOS THEREAFTER
|REPLACE SPARK PLUGS
TO SUPERIZE? NOW OR NEVER?
The debate continues to
rage concerning the cost effectiveness and advisability
of using premium fuels. AAA World recently
weighed in on the side of the use of the cheapest fuel
your vehicle will tolerate. The article uses the owners
manual/ear test, meaning if your book says you should use
87 octane and you don't hear the engine knock, you're
wasting your money to bump up to mid grade or premium
WMPD, a Maryland based
service station and auto repair group in their trade
magazine Nozzle & Wrench recently cited an
American Petroleum institute study entitled "Octane
Requirements of the Motor Vehicle Fleet and Gasoline
Grade Sales". In this study one of the points made
by WMPD is of particular note:
Simply explained, the
devices mentioned mask the side effects of lower than
optimal octane levels, by making adjustments to vital
engine functions. Engine Knock is eliminated by the
vehicle is not running as efficiently as it should. So if
you're depending on your ear to tell you when to start
buying plus or premium fuel, you may be being deceived
not by the oil companies but by your vehicle.
4 HABITS THAT WILL SAVE $
Shut off all
accessories prior to turning off the key.
Do not set
emergency brake if not needed.
Keep windows down
unsealed dog food or bird seed in your garage.
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