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Monthly Archives: November 2016

Dos and Don’ts of Holiday Car Travel

Dos and Don’ts of Holiday Car Travel

  How to Stay Safe and Avoid Road Trip Headaches.   Millions of travelers will hit the road this holiday season, but before you jump in the car and head over the river and through the woods, follow these tips to make your trip safe and hassle-free. Do:  Fill up. It may seem like a no-brainer, but fill up your gas tank before you leave and try to keep it half full, just in case you get stuck in brutal traffic (or snow storms). With potential inclement weather, accidents, or construction, having extra gas on hand can remove stress and create options in an emergency. Further, it can prove vital to keep you warm during an extended delay or help take a long detour. Bring your car in to a mechanic. Get it checked out before a big trip. Look for signs of uneven or excessive tire tread wear and have them replaced  if necessary. Consider changing to winter tires if your travels will lead you to a snowy place. Pack up an emergency ... read more

Tips for Driving Safely in the Rain

Tips for Driving Safely in the Rain

  Fall is in full swing, and rainy weather is the norm in many parts of the country. Though many of us drive in the rain on a fairly regular basis, and like to think of ourselves as expert drivers, driving in heavy rain can be tricky and even dangerous. We would all benefit from brushing up on our wet weather driving skills every once in awhile. Here are some useful tips for driving in the rain. TRY TO PLAN AHEAD This might seem easier said than done at times, but the best advice for driving heavy rain is to simply avoid it if possible. Only take necessary journeys, and if public transport is an option, take it. If you must go out in your car, try to plan your journey so as to avoid the most hazardous and congested highways if possible. SLOW DOWN Vision is poor, reaction times are slower, and the slick road means that it can be harder to stop. This is why, to prevent accidents, you should drive slower than you would usually, 10 or even 20 miles per hour below the usual li ... read more

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5 Bad Habits of New Car Owners That Ruin a Vehicle’s Value

5 Bad Habits of New Car Owners That Ruin a Vehicle’s Value

A flood of new car owners have hit the streets following this past Labor Day weekend. Based on the first 15 days in August, J.D. Power estimates that new vehicle sales reached 1.27 million units for the month – up 12 percent from the previous year and the highest level since before the recession. A number of personal finance gurus advise against buying a brand new car – ever – but drivers are obviously ignoring this advice. Perhaps it's because the cost of financing a new car is so low; a gobankingrates.com auto loan rate study last month found the national average for new car loans is just 3.99 percent APR, while some local banks and credit unions charge as little as 0.99 percent APR. So if you bucked the frugal option, accepting that a new car's value decreases by 11 percent on average as soon as the odometer rolls to &q ... read more

Car-care basics for first-time owners

Car-care basics for first-time owners

  How to keep your new car in top shape As a first-time car owner, odds are good that you don’t have a new car, but rather one that’s new to you. If so, you’re not alone, since every year about three-quarters of all car sales are used cars. But new or old, every car needs to be cared for and this guide can help. The good news is that some important tasks, like checking the tire pressure, polishing the car, and installing new windshield wipers, are simple and can be done in your driveway. Other jobs, like oil changes or new brakes, are better left to a pro, and for major repairs you’ll definitely need a trained mechanic. For new and almost-new cars still covered by warranty, repairs can be readily handled by the dealership, where warranty work is free. But when you’re facing an expensive out-of-pocket repair or service, it pays to phone around to several repair facilities and get more than one estimate. (Try our car repair estimator for a ... read more