Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Using The Dealership Or Independent Repair Shop

In order to retain your car’s value and to keep it running smoothly, you need regular maintenance. It’s also inevitable that at some point you will need some type of repair work done whether it’s minor or major. The burning question is should you use the dealership or should you use an independent repair shop?

When you should use the dealership
Every time you purchase a new car, the dealer will often recommend their dealership mechanic and for certain repairs such as manufacturer recalls or warranty work, the dealership is obviously the place to go. It’s also wise to use the dealership when you have a hard to diagnose problem with your vehicle. If you’re under the impression that using an outside garage violates the car’s warranty, it’s usually just a ploy to get and keep your business.

When you should use an independent repair shop
Getting your work done at a dealership can be very expensive. Even when a cheap special for oil changes or scheduled maintenance work is displayed, you can usually find you can get the work done cheaper at an independent shop. One of the main reasons for this is because dealerships have more overhead. They also tend to have better customer service because they are smaller than your dealership and need your repeat business. Sometimes these local repair shop mechanics are more qualified as they have knowledge of all the auto part components and on many different types of vehicles as well.

Finding a good independent shop
Whether you’re choosing a shop for its location or convenience, you’ll want to make sure that the mechanic you’re going to is ASE certified. These are mechanics that are certified for their quality and knowledge. The best way to find a great repair shop is through networking with family, friends and co-workers. You may want to get a better understanding of the shop you’re hiring by asking questions like how many years of experience they have and how long they’ve been in business.

Repair shops may advise you that you should get an oil change or major tune up more often than necessary so it’s wise to have a manufacturer’s manual and stick to their schedule unless your vehicle is not running well. This will help you save money in the long run and a great way to shave off your budget.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Zero Tolerance Alcohol Level For Novice Drivers

All drivers, beginner or experienced, know that we should never drink and drive. If you’re a young driver you need to be aware, be disciplined and responsible because the penalties for drinking and driving are now stricter for the younger drivers.

As of August 1st, 2010, a new “zero tolerance” law came into effect in Ontario. This law makes it illegal for a driver 21 years or younger to drive with any amount of alcohol in their bloodstream regardless of their class of license. The goal is to teach our young drivers at an early age that road safety and responsibility is a priority.

Four years ago a law similar to this was introduced in Manitoba and it was reported that there was a significant decrease in the youth death rate.

Although there is a lot of controversy over the new law, the truth is that when you mix someone who is a new drinker as well as a new driver then it becomes really risky for all drivers and passengers on the road.

Penalties for being caught are:

· A 24 hour suspension
· A 30 day license suspension if convicted the 1st time, 90 day suspension for 2nd offense and cancellation for 3rd.
· Up to $500 in fines.

We should also not forget that along with the above noted penalties comes the fact that your insurance rates will also increase.

With Halloween and the holiday season approaching, there may be many social events taking place where alcohol will be available to you, so be pro active and evenly dispense designated driver duties within your group.

For more valuable information, please visit

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Getting Your Car Ready For Winter

Let’s face it, unless you live in sunny Florida winter can be rough and can certainly be rough on our cars. There are numerous things to keep in mind when winterizing your car so here’s some advice on what you can do to get your car ready for the cold season.

TIRES – Making sure your tires are ready for the winter season is the most important thing to take into account. It’s the only part that touches the road so you’ll want to make sure that the tread on your tires are in good shape followed by checking that they are aligned and rotated. Sometimes it may not be enough to have tires checked, you may need to replace them with snow tires for the season depending how bad winter is.

HEATER AND DEFROSTER – Making sure that your heater and defroster is working before the winter hits won’t only ensure your comfort in the car but will ensure that you’ll have good visibility through your windows.

WIPER BLADES – Replace the windshield wiper blades and fill up on windshield wiper fluid in the reservoir. Don’t use plain water as it’ll freeze.

BATTERY – You can jump start your car in the middle of a blizzard but why not avoid that if you could. This is a great time of year to make sure the connections are corrosion free and that your battery has all the water it needs.

KEEP AN EMERGENCY KIT IN THE CAR – Prepare a winter emergency kit for your car.

These are some things you may need.
· A warm blanket
· An ice scraper
· Rock salt or sand
· A tire inflator
· A flash light
· Snacks
· Jumper cables
· Extra warm clothes like gloves, boots and scarves
· A small shovel

Hope this simple reminder helps keep you safe throughout the winter months. For more valuable tips and information, visit

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Beware of the New Car Loan Financing Trap.

When you visit a new car dealer the entire experience is designed to make sure that you leave with a vehicle.

From the showroom to the shiny new cars to special offers and more… sales people wait for you to arrive so that they can make a sale. Only one problem, the most affordable new vehicles are domestic and range from $20,000 - $30,000 in price after tax and freight.

Let us be finance people for a moment and look at a number like $25,000. If we divide $25,000 by 60 payments (5 years) at 0% Interest you are looking a monthly payment of $420 per/month at NO interest. Now who would finance a customer at 0% interest. This is the subject of our article.

· Many new car makers advertise low APR financing but if you read the fine print you will learn that they will also demand large down payments and involve very short term loans (no longer than three years of financing).
· Those who offer 0% leases, tag large buyout at the end of the lease.

So what happens if you don’t want to lease and can’t afford extremely short term financing to qualify for the low APR rate?

The dealer still has financing options that they will try to sell you. For those who cant afford a large payment and don’t want to lease, well now the dealer can send the application out to banks and finance companies. Banks and finance companies will not finance you at 0% interest and most car loan rates start at 7%. The only way to achieve the lowest payment is to stretch out the loan term and new car dealers will try to sell you new car financing up to 84 months, which is financially irresponsible.

The best thing to do is take a deep breath, take your time and do lots of research. If you don’t know what kind of vehicle you want, visit some quality pre-owned vehicle dealers. They will have the inventory to allow you to test drive lots of different vehicles. Consider a low mileage pre-owned vehicle. This can reduce the cost of the vehicle by up to 40%. Dealerships like Prudent Value Cars carry lots of newer vehicles with less than 50,000 kms. "We offer financing that considers our client’s financial goals".