How to Winterize Your Car »
All it takes is a little preparation to get your car winter-ready and to keep from getting into an icy situation.
All it takes is a little preparation to get your car winter-ready and to keep from getting into an icy situation.
No matter whether an accident involved a freshly licensed teen or an experienced driver, knowing what to do (or not do) is essential to bouncing back.
It’s time to bring long sleeves and long pants out of storage, prep your home and car, and contact the cool weather home/yard contractors.
I just purchased a 2013 Honda CR-V EX this week (October 2013) and have nothing but great things to say about my experience. However, I really did a LOT of homework prior to any actual physical contact with anyone t the dealership. The reason that I say that is you HAVE to know what you want in a vehicle and what a reasonable price is for that said vehicle. I used Consumer Report car buying report. For $14 you get a full report which includes a LOT of information, but specifically what the dealer pays for the vehicle and what a reasonable price would be where you should start to negotiate from. Also, I would highly recommend making initial contact with the internet sales person and see what offers they can give you. Virtually every dealership has an internet sales person and they are typically paid a salary and will provide you a very competitive price for your vehicle through an email correspondence. You don't have to go through the haggle of going back and forth with a salesperson. My internet sales person (Jeff Dude) was awesome. He quoted me a VERY good price for the 2013 Honda CR-V EX. Once I was sure that this was the vehicle that I wanted, I scheduled a meeting and we sat down to talk specifics. He answered all of my questions, explained the breakdown of the pricing and was not pushy in the least bit. Again, because I had done my research I knew exactly what to expect and what pricing was reasonable AND competitive with other dealerships. There were no surprise "fees" or "add ons". I knew prior to talking to the finance people exactly what my vehicle was going to cost me. Also, another really big selling point for going with Premier Honda is that they include a "warranty for life" for the motor/transmission/engine on all vehicles they sell. As long as you own the vehicle, there are NO mileage or time limits. Now for the financing aspect of the deal...I had secured guaranteed financing prior to going to the dealership. I got a great rate through Capital One and used their online application. I wanted to be sure that I had a "sure thing" in terms of financing before I did any talking with the Honda finance person, Travis. In the end, Honda still had their 0.9% financing rate for 60 months and I qualified for that based on my credit score of 715. Travis also was super helpful and of course I had a million questions during the paper signing process. He offered me the 7 year/100,000 mile bumper-to-bumper extended warranty for a SUPER great price. I had priced out similar extended warranties through my own car insurance (Geico) and other reputable agencies, and they were no where close to the price that Travis quoted me. Normally, Consumer Reports suggests that you stay away from an extended warranty since you should be buying a car that is RELIABLE as it is. But, pricing it out over the long term was such a great deal that I took advantage of the warranty. So...in summary, I had a wonderful car buying experience. I got a great deal on my vehicle, had all of my questions answered prior to signing any paperwork and was not presented with any mystery "fees" or "add ons". I did a LOT of research prior to contacting the dealership and was firm, yet very respectful in expressing what I was looking for. If you walk in there (or any other dealership) with a chip on your shoulder or an arrogant attitude, you will only hurt yourself in the long run. You will "get what you give" and if you don't like what a dealership has offered you, simply tell them that and be prepared to walk away from any deal. There are 100s of dealerships vying for your business. Go with the one that you have a good "gut feeling" from and one that has the best benefits. If you follow these simple rules, the car buying experience can not only be educational but can also be a wonderful experience both emotionally and financially.
I was referred to this dealership by a friend and was not expecting the actual service she received when she purchased her new car. The dealership was well kept. The salesmen were professional but one in particular, Percy Huff, was the one who made all the difference in my experience. He was on top of everything. He made sure I was comfortable when I waited. His friendly demeanor, I found delightful. He was down to earth yet professional and good at his job. His attention to detail was great! It's always amazing to find someone who works in customer service with a genuine heart and compassion for others. There are too many crooks out there. Percy, proved that good people still exists. Although I did not purchase a new car that day, due to no fault of the dealership, I would gladly recommend this dealership to family, friends, co-workers and anyone else who is in need of a great car shopping experience. When you go, please ask for Percy!
I live on the Northshore near a Nissan dealership and after shopping there and being told that they wouldn't negotiate on an new Quest for my wife because the factory can't get them more I checked out Eric Hill even after some mixed reviews that were posted about them. I have to tell you I am glad I made the drive, they treated me like a friend of the family, our salesperson, Anthony Lewis did a great job and knew the Quest inside and out, they were easy to negotiate with and the finance manager Antonio got us a great rate. It took a little while for them to get the car cleaned but everyone entertained our four year old so I made it bearable. All in all it was a great experience and I will let my friends and neighbors know that it was well worth the trip to the east for a great deal and friendly people.
There are more than 700,000 auto service technicians and mechanics in the U.S. Finding the right one to repair a dent in your car door or fix an engine that won't start can be overwhelming, especially when it's an emergency. Review a few important facts about auto repair professionals and what you can do to get the best possible mechanic working on your vehicle's issues for a fair price.
Looking For Reliability
Unlike home repair services that evaluate a property, meet with homeowners and have time to prepare before their physical work begins, auto repair businesses are often asked to make fixes on the spot. If you come into a garage with a tire issue, the expectation is the mechanic will know how to correct that problem quickly.
That is why reliability is so vital when searching for a trusted auto repair shop. It may take going to several different mechanics before you find one you are truly comfortable with. Pose questions to this professional to find out what approach they will take to repair your car or what alternatives are available. Shopping around also gives you the best opportunity to find the cheapest rate or the fastest service, as some garages may be backed up with other vehicles that need repair first.
A recommended way to locate a trustworthy auto repair professional is to seek out customer reviews. Online sites offer honest opinions from real customers who have used a business. Read through this feedback to learn how a business operates and what you can expect if you were to take your vehicle there. Look for reviews about how quick maintenance was completed and if prices were fair. By learning what other people have said about a garage, you can gain a better idea if it's the right place to go when you have a car problem in need of fixing.
It can be difficult to know which automotive problems are serious enough to require expert assistance. A ripped seat cushion or broken radio don't involve safety and will not warrant enough of a problem that going into a garage is required. However, setbacks with brakes, lights and other parts that are vital to the safety of your car's driver and passengers, as well as others on the road, necessitate quick fixes. Many modern automobiles will notify drivers of an issue, in the form of a signal on the dashboard or a noise within the vehicle.
In the event of an accident, even if your vehicle does not appear to have any damage on the outside, it is generally recommended that you see a trusted auto repair professional. Internal damage may have occurred, or an important part may have been knocked out of place. Fixing these issues before driving much further can prevent further vehicle breakdowns in the future. In the case of a serious accident, a body shop can assess the problems and determine the best course of action for repairs, as well as evaluate how much they will cost.
Beyond that, regular checkups are recommended. Tires must be rotated, fluids needs to be replaced and the engine must be evaluated. After driving 25,000 miles, most auto dealers suggest having the vehicle checked out to ensure everything is running smoothly. Taking the car into the auto repair professional you trust will protect you from further problems down the road.
Not every type of auto repair work needs to be done by a certified mechanic. You can fix some of a vehicle's issues just by paying attention to how the automobile is running and having a basic understanding of auto repair. Look over the ways weather may impact your car and what preventative measures you can take to avoid having to take it into the shop. At the same time, be aware of mechanic scams that can impact your experience.
Preventing Trips To The Professional
Some fixes to your car can be done without paying a specialist. Issues like replacing oil and air filters are relatively simple, with instructions provided in the owner's manual on how to make these changes. The same goes for replacing broken windshield wipers or burnt-out headlights. Such issues should be repaired quickly to guarantee safety, but don't require a visit to a garage. By handling these types of tasks on your own, you'll gain a better understanding for how your car operates and save time and money.
Along with understanding how to fix manageable vehicle issues that may arise, taking preventative measures to avoid future problems is a valuable time saver. Many problem-solving best practices are related to the seasons. Your vehicle will be in different conditions in the winter than in the summer, meaning it requires a different type of preparation.
In the spring and summer, you want to be sure your air conditioner and cooling systems work correctly. Given the high temperatures the vehicle will be exposed to, overheating is a common problem. Look over the system by ensuring there is enough coolant available. If it needs to be refilled, it is best to open the hood and add more to the car before it gets too warm out. Also, clean out fan ducts and other ventilation sources necessary for summertime driving.
For winter driving, features such as the defroster, heater and exhaust system are paramount. Look in your owner's manual for specific directions on how features should be checked and repaired. Many newer cars have a cabin air filter that can be replaced when needed, allowing warm air to continue to flow in. Also, check your tires before winter driving, as they need to be at the proper pressure to perform well on snow and ice.
There is a common worry among many people that auto repair professionals take advantage of the general public. Because so many people are unaware of how to fix the problems in their vehicle, they are nervous of being overcharged by mechanics or worried that the improper work is being done.
While the great majority of professionals in the industry are honest, hard-working people, a few bad apples can ruin everything. You should be extra careful when first visiting a mechanic to guarantee that the price you're charged and maintenance the vehicle receives are fair.
Among the common scams pulled are needless repairs, where a garage charges you for work that isn't necessary. Another popular one is attracting customers through a cheap oil change or tire pressure check. Then, when you are in the shop and your car is being repaired, they give you a long list of other corrections they'd like to make, therefore boosting the total cost of your bill.
The best way to combat these types of problems is getting a written estimate before work is done. That way, you can see how much repairs are expected to cost. If the final bill is higher than the estimate projected, ask to specifically see the work. Make sure information is put in writing as well. If a problem remains, you can have proof that work was not done to your satisfaction.
By working closely with an auto repair professional and doing some of the tune-up work on your own, you will be less likely to fall for these scams. At the same time, you'll be able to drive out with a clean and healthy vehicle, thanks to the repairs made by a trained professional.