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The Checklist: 10 Elements of Your Vehicle That Require Regular Maintenance

Modern vehicles can be considered much more reliable than their predecessors but that doesn’t mean you can neglect some regular maintenance tasks that help keep your car in the best possible shape and safe on the road.

Simple but effective actions such as checking the oil, and even tire rotation to prolong their life and reduce wear and tear, are just some of the items that should be on your maintenance checklist.

Here is a look at what sort of things you should be checking on a regular basis.

Make sure you can see where you are going

One of the cheapest parts to buy for your vehicle also happen to be one of the most important, as you rely on wiper blades to clear the rain efficiently so that you can see the road ahead as clearly as possible.

Give the rubber blades a regular wipe with a cloth to clean away any grime and change the blades for new ones every six months or so, even if you don’t think they need changing.

They cost so little to replace and you can fit them yourself, which makes it a no brainer for your checklist.

Keep an eye on your oil

Your engine can’t function without it and if your oil starts to thicken it could affect the efficiency and lifespan of such a vital component.

It only takes a couple of minutes to check the oil level when you fill-up with gas and you will find that if you change the oil at regular intervals you should get better fuel consumption and your car’s engine should last longer when it is well protected with clean oil.

Every 5,000 miles or so is a good benchmark for changing your oil completely but check it regularly to see whether it needs topping up in the meantime.

Check the oil filter too and replace it when you can see that it needs changing.

Look after your battery

Nothing more frustrating than having a flat battery when you are trying to start the car to get to work or go somewhere in a hurry.

A good habit to get into would be to clean the terminals so that you always have a good battery connection and you don’t get a buildup of dirt or corrosion.

If you notice a slightly chalky residue accumulating around the battery terminals clean this away and replace the battery terminals.

Allow your car to keep its cool

Another vital component is the radiator and if this is not working properly your car can quickly overheat and suffer a breakdown.

It is essential that your car’s radiator and cooling system are kept topped up as it needs to be clean in order to be able to work as efficiently as possible.

An annual flush of your radiator should be on your checklist and it is not a complicated task to do yourself if you follow the instructions in your owner's manual.

Check your tires

The tires on your car will take a lot of punishment during their lifetime and they do a vital job of allowing you to maintain good control of your vehicle and keep you as safe as possible.

Check the tires weekly for signs of damage and make sure that they have the right amount of air in them. You can get the tire pressures from your owner's manual or there might be a sticker somewhere on the vehicle that tells you what pressure they should be for optimum performance.

A good maintenance tip would be to rotate your tires as this will help preserve their integrity and should ensure they last a bot longer.

Check your air filter

Your air filter does a good protective job but it can only perform that task if it is not clogged up with dirt and debris.

It will probably only take less than fifteen minutes to change your air filter and this should be done every 12,000 miles or every year, which one comes first.

Check all your lights are working

Some vehicles provide you with a warning light on your dashboard to tell you when a bulb needs replacing but sometimes you might not be aware that a light is not working.

It would be a good idea to get into the habit of checking whether all of your lights are working and ask someone to check while you go through testing all of them.

It will only take a matter of minutes to do this but it is important and you get a ticket if your tail light is out, for example.

Preserve the bodywork

Regularly cleaning your car will help to keep it in good shape but what will really help preserve the paintwork and help your car hold its value, is to protect the bodywork with waxing.

You can probably get away with waxing your car twice a year but providing that protective seal is well worth the effort.

What is your engine telling you?

You can often tell when the spark plugs in your car might need replacing as the engine will start to sound noisier and you might notice that it idles erratically or even misfires.

Checking and changing your spark plus is something you can do yourself if you want to, and bear in mind that the average lifespan for his component is about 30,000 miles.

Listen for the clues your engine is giving you and be sure to tighten the plugs up tightly once you have checked or replaced them.

Clean the upholstery

Keeping the interior of your car clean and tidy is a good habit to have and it makes sense to give the upholstery a regular clean too.

You will be preserving the value of the car if you keep the interior looking nice, especially if the material is a natural product such as leather.

A clean and well-maintained car is often much more pleasurable to drive if you are proactive with your repairs and upgrades and you could find that reliability and performance are also enhanced as a result of following your maintenance checklist.
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When’s the Best Time to Sell Your Luxury Sports Car?

There is no best time to sell a used car, as many factors influence whether now is the time to dispose of a vehicle. However, sellers need to consider more than the price when making this decision. For example, will the vehicle unexpectedly drop in value for some reason? Are repair bills getting higher and higher? If so, the driver needs to look into selling even if he or she won’t get the best price. Three things should be considered at this time. Look at the current market conditions, the vehicle condition, and the owner’s personal circumstances to determine when the best time is to sell the luxury sports car.

The Economy

When money is tight for many families, it might not be wise to sell a luxury sports car. Drivers who could afford a vehicle of this type may find they need the funds for other purposes. It may be they have the money to make the purchase but want to ensure the financial problems of others don’t have a negative impact on their bottom line or they won’t need to help family members who are struggling. Wait until the economy is better, if possible, and consider working with a dealer such as European Exotic Center that specializes in this type of car. Dealers have customers in their network who may be looking for the exact car being sold and this moves the process along more quickly.

The Season

Experts agree it is best to sell a vehicle in the spring or the summer. Car buyers and sellers prefer the warmer months when the sun comes out and is shining down on the vehicle. Winter is not a good time to sell, as the focus is on buying gifts and other items for the holidays. However, keep in mind that a convertible will sell best when it’s warm outside. In contrast, an SUV will likely generate more interest when weather conditions begin to deteriorate and drivers need to ensure they can get around in the snow. Most luxury car owners will find they have a larger pool of potential buyers when selling during warm weather.

New Car Sales

When new vehicles are being delivered to the car dealership, a person looking to sell a luxury sports car may want to hold off on selling their vehicle. The dealership will likely be inundated with others who are trying to accomplish the same goal, and this can lead to the owner being offered a price that is below what he or she is trying to obtain for the car. For this reason, many experts say late summer or early fall is not the time to trade in or sell a used car, regardless of what type of vehicle it is.

Keep the above in mind when determining if now is the time to sell your luxury sports car. Certain drivers find they have no choice but to sell regardless of market conditions as their current financial situation simply won’t allow them to keep the car otherwise. However, for those who are not in this situation, knowing the right time to sell is crucial. By holding off for a short period of time, a person may find he or she is able to get the full asking price for the vehicle and can use the funds for any purpose whatsoever.

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Helpful Tips for Buying Used Car Parts Online

Modern cars last longer than ever before. Thanks to innovative technology and superior maintenance routines, the average length of car ownership has gone up by about 60 percent in the past decade.

While this is true, cars still need repairs and part replacements from time to time. While drivers can opt for new parts, there’s another option. Simply choose used auto parts. Learn some tips on how to buy used auto parts and extend the lifespan of any vehicle here.

Find a Reliable Seller

When trying to find car parts for sale the first thing to consider is the actual seller. Make sure the seller used has good reviews from other customers and that they provide accurate information about the parts for sale.

In addition to finding a quality seller, do a bit of price-comparing, too. Research the parts needed and how much they cost new. Then, begin browsing online to see what the average cost is for the same part that’s pre-owned.

Keep in mind, when buying parts online, the photos available aren’t always clear and concise. As a result, it’s important to ask plenty of questions or request better photos prior to making a purchase.

Verify the Part’s ID

Regardless of what parts needed, no matter how common it is, it’s important to know the precise identification. A buyer can match the part they want to buy with their vehicle’s VIN or the chassis number.

If there’s no number on the part, and no way to determine it’s the part that’s needed, buying from another seller, who’s offering verifiable parts, is a better option.

Get to Know the History of the Used Part

Avoid buying a lemon by taking the time to get to know the history of the part. While many parts seem perfect from the outside, they could have a crack or defect that results in failure or malfunction in the future. This leaves the driver having to purchase the same part all over again.
Find out the age of the part, number of miles on it, if it’s undergone repairs, or been rebuilt or modified in any way. If the person selling the part is unable to answer these questions, make sure the price reflects this uncertainty.

Return Policies

Don’t ever purchase a used auto part from a seller who doesn’t offer a return policy. There’s no amount of savings that is worth the potential of being stuck with a part that doesn’t work. Always read the policy carefully and take note of any exclusions or exceptions.

Some sellers only cover used parts for a specific amount of time. An example of this would be a seller providing a 30 day warranty from the date of purchase. Many online sellers often charge high restocking fees, too, so knowing this ahead of time is beneficial.

Warranty Considerations

Even car wreckers add a warranty to any used part purchase. Make sure to carefully read the warranty coverage provided with the part.

Some online used part sellers include terms and catches to their warranties, so reading carefully is advisable.

Fining the Needed Part

There’s no question that purchasing a used auto part can help a driver save a significant amount of money. While this is true, there are less-than-honest sellers out there. Using the tips and information here can minimize the possibility of getting a bad deal.

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Tips for Qualifying for Car Loans with Bad Credit

If you have bad credit, the challenge for many is qualifying for a new car loan. Yet you can’t escape the need to get a new or used vehicle eventually, since you’re still wearing out the car you own. Here are a few tips for qualifying for car loans though you have bad credit.

Know What You Can Truly Afford
When planning for the car purchase, look at what you can actually afford. Remember that you will need to pay for car insurance, gas and vehicle maintenance. If you walk in saying you have $300 a month in your budget and ask for a $300 a month car loan, you’ll be rejected because the lender knows there are other costs involved.

Put More Money Down
The risk the lender takes when issuing a loan is directly proportional to the size of the loan. When you put more money down, you’re reducing the risk they take. This is most evident with mortgages. If you put 20% down, you don’t have to have mortgage insurance. Put zero to five percent down, and you’ll pay a higher interest rate and mortgage insurance. The same is true with car purchases, though the financial terms differ. Save up for another month or two to put a larger amount down on the vehicle, and you could secure a lower interest rate. Increase your down payment a few hundred dollars, and it is equivalent to adding 50 to 150 points to your credit score.

Work with a Lender Who Will Work with You
One of the simplest solutions is working with a lender who will work with you. A car lender such as Barrie car loans for bad credit works with people whose credit has taken a hit. By specializing in this niche, they offer loan terms they know you can handle and are flexible on many fronts. It may be a weekly or biweekly car payment instead of a monthly one. It may take the form of a longer car loan, making the monthly payments regularly. Fees and charges might be rolled into the loan balance so you don’t have to come up with money upfront.

Trade In a Vehicle or Two
You may not be offered as much by the dealer as you could when selling your old vehicle via a private sale, but trade-ins have a number of advantages, too. It eliminates the hassle of trying to sell an old vehicle. A dealer is more likely to take a car that isn’t in the best of shape or isn’t running. And the trade-in can be used to raise a down payment for the new car or offset the total loan balance. After all, the bad credit car lender is more likely to be able to sell a used vehicle after it is fixed up than other auto lots.

Don’t Let Your Credit Get Worse
If you’re going to buy a new car with bad credit, it is essential that you don’t let your credit get worse. Don’t open a new credit card when you’re applying for a new car loan. Don’t do this even if the intent is to roll over existing credit card debt to a new, zero interest loan. It hurts your credit. Also take the time to get a handle on your money and pay all of your bills on time and in full. If you’re late with the rent, the lending office will reasonably worry that you won’t pay something less important like a car payment.

Follow our advice, and you’ll be much more likely to qualify for a car loan despite bad credit. And you won’t have to pay more than you have to for your new car.
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Spicing Things up a Bit: 8 Cool Ways You Can Customize Your Car

It is your car, your baby, all you have ever dreamed of (or not!) and the time has come to add a personal touch to your own four wheels. Sure you can go with the standards of customization, like license plates and stickers, but why not get a little creative? Why not be a tad bit...extra? We have some great tips that you may find useful in truly customizing your car. At the end of the day, the end of the drive, the beginning of another road trip, or the familiar trek to work, you are destined to rest assured that the car in which you sit is your soul car-mate.

Number One: The License Plate
Your car’s license plate is an eye grabber and is, therefore, a very simple way to customize your car. Not to mention, this easy addition is suitable for any vehicle, and you can design it exactly as you wish. Relatively inexpensive, a customized license plate is sure to spell your name (literally?). If you are needing a place to start, Primo Registrations offers an affordable, user-friendly, and out-of-the-box platform for designing and creating your very own license plate.

Number Two: Bumper Stickers
Sure you can tack on any random bumper sticker from your favorite beer garden, or from a cross-country race or ski event, but you can also get even more creative. Try applying your initials in fancy lettering, or decorating the entire exterior with flower stickers. Go a step further and make your car look like a race car with stripes and a diamond on the front. With your own bumper stickers, you can design your car to your own interests (or create your own interests) and truly make your ride a customized vehicle.

Number Three: Tinted Windows
Your car is your space so why not add some mystery to it? Tinted windows are an obvious statement and is definitely a feature that not every car can own. So, make it your own! Bear in mind, there are certain legal parameters to stick to when window tinting. For instance, the rear windows and rear windscreen are free of restrictions, so tint as dark as you want! But, the minimum levels of light to pass through the windscreen and front side windows is set at 70% for vehicles first used before 1 April 1985. For vehicles used on or after 1 April, 1985, 75% of light must be able to pass through the windscreen, and 70% through the front side windows.

Number Four: The Stereo
Blast your classical music so the rest of the world can hear because we need that calm stuff more than anything. But regardless of the intention (be it a parade down the road or for your own personal delight), your own speakers could make or break your comfort level when it comes to humming along with a tune, especially if your current stereo has limited features, like base adjustments or wireless capabilities. The best part about this way of customizing your vehicle is that you can break the bank, or not! There is a range of options to fit every bill.

Number Five: The Exhaust
Time to change your pipes? Opt for a sportier look especially if it suits your horses. Swapping these out not only enhances the look of your car (if you are into that) but also changes the way your vehicle operates and sounds. It is yet another simple way to draw attention to the fact that hey, this is your car.

Number Six: Wheels and Rims
Your car comes with wheels, but what if you got your own wheels? The car might ride better, get better mileage, and be quieter on the road. While you are at it, swapping out the rims could add a sparkle to your car’s smile. Rims are simple but easily noticed customization technique that would carry you quite far, if you so chose. Not to mention, you can buy used rims online, just be sure to double check that the size is correct.

Number Seven: Suspension and Stance
This is somewhat more serious customization. Lowering (or raising) your vehicle is another way to take the car off the grid and into your own element. But, because it involves springs and alignment standards, we highly recommend that you take this project to an experienced mechanic. They can test the camber and alignment scales before and after to make sure everything runs smoothly. Improper alignment will cause your tires to wear unevenly, which would be an easily avoidable expense later on down the road.

Number Eight: The Interior
There are so many nifty ways to customize your interior. For instance, just the seats have plenty of opportunities for creativity to break loose, from seat covers to embroideries, to backseat pockets and straps. Get fancy with storage and add extra compartments to that simple single pocket, or get more durable material for keeping the mud from your dog from staining and damaging the soft fabric (helps with resale if you and your car break up). Too much black? Add bright pink. Tired of the leather heating you up during those heat waves of summer? Swap to the fabric material. You can truly be creative here in terms of fabric patterns and textures and make the interior conducive to your aesthetic and practical needs.

Try steering wheel covers, or customized sun visors, or change the floor mats. Ever notice how refreshed you feel when you change the paint on your walls or walk into a room with new curtains? You can have the same experience with your car, which might even be better than buying another.

From the very beginning, the vehicle is your very own, but customizing it further can be more than just a public announcement or a flare of personality. It can also be a meditative experience for exploring your own creative potential. Get fancy, go simple, be expensive, opt for the aesthetic effect, enhance its practicality, be you, and put yourself into your vehicle to call it yours.

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