For most people, after buying a house buying a new car is the second largest purchase they will make. With the average price of a new sedan in excess of twenty thousand dollars it becomes a very important decision. Let’s look at some of the factors involved in making the decision to either keep your present car or buy a new one.
Your Present Car
First you need to find out if your present car is even worth keeping. Once you have this vital piece of information, you can make a well informed choice.
An Honest Assessment
Here at Import Auto Services, we can perform a comprehensive inspection of your car’s overall condition. We can then recommend any maintenance and/or repairs necessary that will keep your car running in top shape.
Conversely, we will be honest and upfront and advise you if we feel it would not be a wise decision to invest money into your present vehicle. For example, we would never recommend a tune-up and a new timing belt on a car with a rotted frame.
Of course, if you have been servicing your car regularly at Import Auto Services, Mark and Greg can easily give you a quick, honest and comprehensive assessment of your vehicle.
Making Your Decision
If the assessment reveals some repairs or maintenance is required to get your present vehicle in top shape, consider the enormous savings of performing the work compared to buying a new car.
If you were to buy a new vehicle, you will have to contend with the down payment, sales and excise taxes. After that comes years of monthly payments along with increased.
If you buy a new car
Remember, Import Auto Services is fully qualified to perform factory recommended schedule maintenance, that will maintain your new car’s warranty (The Magnuson-Moss Act), at significant savings compared to the cost of dealer service.
Dealerships have gotten a bad rap when it comes to prices for service, especially routine service visits. Some of this is deserved and some of it is the marketing of chain service centers and oil change centers.
Many dealerships or car manufactures will offer oil change and tire rotation coupons along with other money saving deals on their websites. Like the chain oil change centers, they too want your business.
Advantages of going to a dealership usually boil down to experience with your vehicle make and model. The technicians at the dealer may be better equipped to spot growing problems with your vehicle before an independent service center can. At the least, they may be more familiar with the right place to look for these budding issues.
For a regular maintenance visit your local oil change center, last time I visited Jiffy Lube their price was ~$90.
Below is an incomplete list of where to look for dealer coupons. These are money saving coupons and offers related to manufactures and can be used at most dealerships. For even more savings, you should consider looking at the website of your preferred local dealer.
As a final note, I would like to relay a story from my own dealer service experience. In 2008, when my new car needed its first service I called the closest dealership to inquire about their scheduled maintenance costs. They were a little higher than I wanted. So I called the dealership in the next town over and their prices were 15% lower across the board. The moral is that it helps to shop around. With that here are the links to manufacturers coupons and offers.
Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Pontiac, HUMMER, and Saturn owners can click here to find service specials and coupons.
Ford Owners click here for oil change and tire rotation coupons and money saving offers.
BMW Owners visit this link.
Chrysler, RAM, Fiat, Jeep and Dodge owners can find coupons and offers here.
First of all, what does your car battery really do?
- The battery supplies power to the starter and the ignition system to start the engine.
- The battery supplies the extra power necessary when the vehicle’s electrical load exceeds the supply from the charging system.
- The battery acts a voltage stabilizer for the electrical system. The battery evens out voltage spikes and prevents them from damaging expensive electrical components.
Secondly, how does your battery work? Don’t stop reading yet, I’ll keep this short and sweet (without all the technical jargon). A battery consists of positive and negative plates arranged alternately within a plastic case then submerged in sulfuric acid and water and lastly sealed shut. Small vents are incorporated into the top of the case to release any gases that may be produced. The electrolyte (acid mixture) causes a chemical reaction that produces electrons, aka ELECTRICITY. When an electrical device is used, electrons are drained from the battery. The alternator (or generator, as many folks call it) replaces the used power by “recharging” the battery. See, now that wasn’t so bad was it?
As we continue to place more demand on batteries and electrical systems with…
- Cell phone equipment
- Anti-theft devices
- Elaborate Audio systems
- Entertainment systems – DVD
- Laptop Computers
It’s even more important to pay attention to a battery’s care and maintenance. Picture 1 shows a battery in its natural environment, under the hood (on most vehicles – some have been found in the trunk, behind the fender splash shield or even under the backseat). All batteries age and eventually die. The average life span of a battery is 37 months. 30% of all automotive batteries make it to 48 months.
What causes premature failure in batteries?
- Deep discharges (leaving lights on, glove box light stays on etc.)
- Vibration – it’s in a moving object, hard to get away from this one. Make sure all battery mounting hardware is in place and in good condition.
- Fast Charging – using the super cycle on your charger instead of the trickle charge setting or possibly a faulty voltage regulator.
- Overcharging – possibly an alternator problem.
- HEAT – The number one cause of premature battery failure in cars is loss of water from high under hood heat or overcharging.
How hot does it get? I couldn’t find any exact figures on just how hot it gets under the hood so I did my own little study. I took my own 300C and put a fluke tester on the intake runner and shut the hood. After ten minutes sitting at an idle on a 65° day, the temperature had already climbed to 151°. I’m guessing after several hours of highway driving the numbers get much higher even with the use of cooling fan modules. How does the water get out, it’s a sealed unit? Remember the vents in the top cover of the battery? When batteries are severely overheated, liquid acid spews out of the vent openings. Small amounts of acid vent out and cause