Is your car ready for the holidays… TM AUTO WINTER CHECKLIST

Around this time each year, I begin to wonder… Should we drive or fly? Let me see, a thirteen hour drive or airfare for five? Road trip wins again! We all know that November 25th is historically the busiest day for Thanksgiving travel, and yet there we are with thousands of other families making the annual trek. It’s crazy, stressful, exhausting, and a wonderful American tradition that has forged family ties for generations. I love it, but don’t tell my kids; my grumpy dad reputation would be ruined!

Whether it’s an epic journey or a short jaunt, it’s important to prepare your vehicle for holiday traveling. Your car has just endured a summer’s worth of beach trips, sporting events, and taxiing everyone everywhere! For your car’s sake as well as your families, don’t risk it – winterize it! The basics will ensure safe passage through stormy weather, traffic jams, freezing temps, snow, equipment failure, and the unexpected. Most of the items on your winterizing checklist are DIY, minus a couple that I’d leave to the pros.

Battery: Have mechanic run a battery load test to make sure your battery will go the distance. In extreme cold, a fully charged battery has just half its rated amp-hour capacity.

Windshield: Change your wiper blades, fill the windshield washer reservoir with a lower freezing temperature washer fluid, and I suggest applying rain-x to your windshield for the best possible visibility.

Tires: Have your tires professionally checked if the tread depth is less than 3/16 inch. Your tire’s air pressure drops an estimated 6psi from summer to winter so properly inflate them to ensure best possible traction (see your owner’s manual). If snow is in the plan, consider swapping your tires out with snow tires for the trip.  

Fluids: Have your oil and filter changed. Cold thickens your oil so a lower viscosity rated oil may be a good idea (See your owner’s manual). Check all fluids to ensure they are at the correct levels and there are no leaks. Now is also the time to check your 4WD to ensure it’s operating properly. Slippery roads, mud, or snow may call for heavy-duty traction!

Antifreeze: Your car’s radiator should contain a 50/50 antifreeze and water mix. I recommend purchasing an antifreeze tester from your local parts supply. A simple test will confirm that your car’s antifreeze is suitable for winter temperatures.

Belts & Hoses: They can weaken with cold weather. Check them for any signs of wear and tear and if in doubt, have them changed.

Emergencies: I suggest a first aid kit, tool bag with basic tools for making minor repairs, portable charger for cell phones and other accessories, warm clothing for everyone, and plenty of bottled and backup munchies.  

So maybe you fly, maybe you drive… Either way, hope for the best, prepare for the worst this holiday season by completing a smart checklist before heading out. Text or call (757) 560-4252 and ask for Mike Love. I’m always happy to answer your questions and assist you in any way I can. Safe travels!

Ceramic Coating… The Dirty Truth

Heard About Ceramic Coating? You’ll Want to Read This…

 

So what’s all the buzz about this new clear coating that supposedly protects my car, boat, and even my RV from dirt, harmful contaminants, UV rays, and fading unlike anything ever before? We car owners have always dreamed of such a product but nothing ever seems to hold up in the end. Technology has definitely revealed a few amazing possibilities in recent years so  maybe, just maybe this one is the real deal? 

 

THE SCIENCE

 

Unlike traditional coatings, which are typically concocted from polymer resins, a car ceramic coating is silicon dioxide or silica (SiO2) based. Commonly derived from quartz crystals and sand, silica creates an invisible “nanotechnology coating,” which when combined with elements like titanium dioxide, polysilazane, triethanolamine, water, and various other ingredients, becomes quite resilient. Once cured, this viscous liquid turns into a crystal-clear shell, a product that is commonly referred to as a nano ceramic coating, or ceramic coating for short.

So why haven’t we heard about this magic potion? And more importantly, why don’t car manufacturers use it on our cars? 

Ceramic coating was discovered in the 80’s and apparently car manufacturers have been using it, just not on the automobile’s outer skin. It’s been used to coat many other car’s parts to give them better protection over the years! 

 

THE CLAIMS

Protection from Harmful UV Rays (Ceramic coating will protect your car’s paint from oxidizing, preventing it from fading and wearing a dull look)

Protection from Chemical Stains ( A coating will prevent acidic contaminants in the air from bonding into the paint)

Hydrophobic Nature, Ease of Cleaning (all water-based dirt and grime will bead on the surface and eventually slide off. A quick jet wash afterward and you have yourself a spotless, ageless car)

Candy-Like Gloss (It will give your car a glossy look, bringing the best out of the original paint job)

Long Lasting Protection (A high quality coating will offer protection for 2-3 years and may last as much as 5 years)

Increase Car’s Value (Nano Ceramic Coating offers a level of protection that paint, wax, or other protective coatings can’t match, increasing a car’s value for it’s advanced qualities)

 

THE COST

 

A high quality ceramic coating product applied by an industry pro starts at around $500. That doesn’t seem bad for what it claims to do right! That’s for the ceramic coating product and application, there are a few other steps required to ensure that it does it’s job. Although a $500 intro price for just the application of the ceramic coating itself may seem tempting, the fact remains that most cars require quite a bit of prep work via a clay bar, followed by a lot of microfiber clear coat polishing. Being that time is money, this surface prep stage often adds a lot of zeros to the final bill. Expect the real deal to come in around $899 – $3000 if a licensed pro is doing the job. The price will vary depending on the condition and size of your car or other vehicle. 

The DIY version required the product which is more like $20 – $130. Everyone agrees that is awesome so what’s the catch? Guess who’s doing all that prep work mentioned earlier. Still the difference in price is convincing and as long as your product comes with detailed, understandable instructions you can save yourself a bundle! Know your product before buying. There are a handful of manufacturers and each one has a different formula, make sure your choice is the right one. 

 

THE TRUTH

 

It Works! Ceramic coatings offer better protection than waxes or sealants, hands down. They also last much longer – usually multiple years. Many professional grade coatings even offer warranties. In most cases, when your car’s coating is damaged in an accident, the coating of the newly repaired areas of your car will be accepted in your insurance claim, but confirm with your insurance carrier to be sure. Once the claim has been processed, and your car has been repaired, your Ceramic Coating dealer can re-apply the same coating to the new parts that was used on the rest of your vehicle! Ceramic Coatings repel dirt and water like nothing else, which makes them easier to clean. Their slickness and deflection helps to prevent swirl marks and marring from washing.

However, remember is that proper prep work and application are critical to the product’s performance. It’s also true that not all cars benefit from Ceramic coatings. If your car is garage kept and virtually never sees the sunlight or it has a specific paint application (single stage paint) that doesn’t necessarily play nice with ceramic coatings. 

The formula quality varies greatly so no your products. A high-quality ceramic coating should be sticky, yet never gooey, and it should always go on smoothly without appearing watery. It should contain at least 80% silica dioxide (SiO2). The stronger the SiO2 dosage, the harder the ceramic coating will cure.

In order to keep a ceramic coated vehicle looking sharp you should regularly hand wash the entire vehicle with water and a pH neutral car shampoo. 

Finally, removing ceramic coating from your vehicle will be even more fun than applying it when it comes to elbow grease. It’s meant to last…

If you have the cash, and protecting your baby means the absolute best protection money can buy, having a professionally installed ceramic car coating applied to your vehicle is the best option according to most if not all satisfied customers. For the average Joe, the DIY hydrophobic coating route for our daily driver is a good alternative too. Yes, a little elbow grease, and some TLC are needed to get her looking awesome and keeping her that way, but a small price to pay compared to $2000.00. Either way, when it comes to your car’s paint protection, you have a “crystal-clear” alternative to scrubbing, compounding, and waxing from now on with Ceramic Coating! 

Call or text (757) 560-4252 and ask for Mike Love, I have answers. 

 

TM Auto Wholesalers, Chesapeake Va

 

 

 

Source:

C, Tim “Ceramic Coating: The ultimate car protection guide” AVALONKING.COM. February 14th, 2018, Web. Retrieved 9/15/2020 from: https://avalonking.com/blog/the-truth-about-ceramic-coatings/

 

Lau, Anson “Ceramic Coating: What is it? Benefits? Disadvantages?” www.vive-houstin.com. June 15, 2019, Web. Retrieved 9/15/2020 from: https://www.vive-houston.com/blog/ceramic-coating-does-it-work 

 

Silvestro, Brian “Road and Track: These Are the Cars That Depreciate Most” www.roadandtrack.com. Oct 12 2018, Web. Retrieved 4/1/2019 from https://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/buying-maintenance/g23723032/cars-with-high-depreciation/

 

Staff “How to choose the best ceramic coating for your boat – 38 Scout” www.Glidecoat.com. Web. Retrieved 9/15/2020 from: https://www.glidecoat.com/case-study/how-to-choose-the-best-ceramic-coating-for-your-boat/#:~:text=In%20many%20cases%20the%20marine,very%20similar%20to%20the%20automotive.&text=The%20lack%20of%20longevity%20of,gel%20coat%20and%20painted%20fiberglass

 

Automobile Maintenance Advantages 101

HOW WELL DO YOU MAINTAIN YOUR CAR? 

Ok, so you keep your car shiny and clean inside and out, congratulations you’re doing a great job! How about your car’s mechanical maintenance? Looks can be deceiving… You know the great looking car with the new tires, wheels, and shiny paint? The one that smokes and rattles like the engine is falling out lol? That scenario is more common than you think! I mean let’s face it, soap and water is cheaper than the parts and services associated with regularly scheduled maintenance, especially on newer cars. As a result, some folks just let it go until they’re driving junk! We have to assume most of them have no idea the benefits that keeping their car in shape offers. Think of your car as a living breathing form of transportation, like say around the 19th century. If you didn’t maintain your horse and keep it in good shape, you were walking. Things haven’t changed a bit, neglect your car and well, get to stepping!  

 

DOING MAINTENANCE

If you’re one of the discerning car owners who don’t wish to take a college course on automobile maintenance, join the crowd! Many car owners just don’t care about how it’s done as long as it gets done. That’s why we have professionals that do care and wan’t the best for your car just like you. Find one in your area with great reviews and give them a shout. Text or call me for a recommendation if you’re not sure, glad to help. 

For those hybrid greasers out there who don’t mind getting their hands dirty to save some cash, check out my article on maintenance schedules Secret To Max Car Performance and Life. 

 

“Whether you’re a DIY owner or reliant on your favorite service department, you should know the following benefits of regular car maintenance.” ~ Mike Love 

 

BENEFITS OF CAR MAINTENANCE 

Why is keeping your car mechanically on it’s game so important? The list is long and there are some benefits more important than others, but here are six good ones to begin with. 

 

01. Dependability

One of the major advantages of car maintenance is the reliability of the car to go from any place to another with the utmost convenience. The performance of the car is assured with regular maintenance and occasionally a checkup from a seasoned pro even if you’re a DIY car owner.

02. Resale 

For all vehicles, resale value is a major consideration. After a while, people want to replace their existing vehicle with a new one, they just do. One of the key aspects of a good resale is a vehicle’s overall performance. The properly maintained car has 20 to 30 percent more value than an average vehicle. Worth it…

03. Low repair costs

For any kind of vehicle, maintenance cost is a very important aspect. Keeping in mind that the replacement cost of an important car part is high. Parts replacement costs can be dramatically reduced by performing proper maintenance. It’s a simple fact that if it doesn’t wear out, it doesn’t need replacing. Keeping everything in good repair wins every time. 

04. Better fuel efficiency

With proper maintenance, you can boost your fuel performance to a new level. Maintaining correct air pressure in tires equates to fuel savings. For every 10 psi of under-inflation, a 10% reduction in fuel economy can result, according to NACFE. 

Too little or too much engine oil can create more friction and rob power. Clean oil lubricates better than dirty oil, so pay attention to oil change intervals. Explore the use of lower-viscosity oils to improve fuel economy.

A restricted air intake system (air filter, air cooler, and tubing) or exhaust system will decrease engine power output. Check components at regular PMs and fix any leaks. These leaks can be particularly hard to find, as leaking air is not as noticeable as fuel or oil, but their repair will improve engine operation and fuel efficiency. I could dedicate an entire blog to just this maintenance advantage! 

05. Safety

Because our lives may depend on car performance, don’t take unnecessary chances. System failure can be avoided largely through maintenance. Rear brake lights, brakes, brake warning lights on your dashboard, lack of brake fluid are all extremely dangerous system failures that can be life threatening. 

Over-inflated tires, Under-inflated tires, Punctured or damaged tires, valve stem damage, and Worn down or bald tires are all capable of causing an accident. 

Headlights, taillights, and turn signals are all essential to your safety while driving. 

06. Longevity 

In many cases, it may be too late for your engine when it starts to overheat or begins leaking coolant on a hot summer day. It’s best to have your coolant system serviced by the pros. Frequent fluid top-ups will help keep your engine cool and reduce stress on your car’s heater and air conditioner. A belt check along with replacing coolant fluids will help improve the life of the vehicle’s engine and will give you a heads-up should there be an underlying problem with the vehicle’s radiator or thermostat.

 

While tire suspension and care are the main priority, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment for an auto transmission servicing and a front and rear differential inspection. A good service should provide:

 

  • A complete tire inspection including rotation and balancing
  • Replacement of a dirty air and fuel filter
  • Power steering fluid exchange
  • Inspection of the transfer case
  • Differential and trans-axle servicing
  • A transmission fluid exchange

 

The advantages of keeping your vehicle well maintained are too many to mention, but if they were only those above it would be well worth it! Let me know if you have any questions, always happy to help. 

Call or text (757) 560-4252 and ask for Mike Love, I have answers. 

TM Auto Wholesalers, Chesapeake Va

 

 

Sources:

Lockridge, Deborah “8 steps to better MPG through maintenance” TRUCKINGINFO.COM June 20th, 2016 Web. Retrieved from:

https://www.truckinginfo.com/156794/8-steps-to-better-mpg-through-maintenance#:~:text=Maintaining%20correct%20air%20pressure%20in,can%20result%2C%20according%20to%20NACFE.&text=%E2%80%9CThe%20biggest%20thing%20we%20do,3. 

 

Staff “How Routine Maintenance Improves Vehicle Longevity” MRCLEANCARWASH.COM Retrieved from:

https://www.mrcleancarwash.com/blog/how-routine-maintenance-improves-vehicle-longevity

 

Beckman, Viles “Does Vehicle Maintenance Affect Road Safety” VILESANDBECKMAN.COM February 20th, 2019 Web. Retrieved from:

https://www.vilesandbeckman.com/does-vehicle-maintenance-affect-road-safety/#:~:text=Brake%20Failure%20Can%20Cause%20Accidents,car%20before%20a%20collision%20occurs.&text=Brake%20warning%20lights%20on%20the%20dashboard

Memoirs of a Clean Car

 

WHAT WOULD YOUR CAR SAY ABOUT YOU IN IT’S MEMOIRS?

You love your shiny new car with all it’s cool features and it’s exactly what you want… for now.  Hey, don’t shoot the messenger, that’s just the life of a car. One day your eyes will start to wander and BAM, you’re shopping for another, newer, shinier, one with cooler features. That for sale sign hits the windshield and well, you know the rest. 

So what would your car say about you to its new owner? “The years have been kind to me, haven’t they!” or “I’ve definitely seen better days” Guess what, it tells others all about you every day with its appearance! Your car’s condition is a reflection of you whether you like it or not. The dude in the beater with the bald tires… sketchy. Hey, the dude could be a prince but THAT CAR, the car didn’t give him a chance. Love your car and it will love you back! It’s all up to you which way this goes. If you’re hoping for a good return on your investment, best keep that car looking young!

That’s right, there are some sweet benefits to keeping your car young. Besides resale, though it’s certainly at the top, did you know that a clean car can make you happier? You might, but did you also know that a dirty car can get less gas mileage? Maybe not and there’s more, read on! 

 

  1. LONGER VEHICLE LIFE

By waxing your car, you are keeping the paint job in good shape. The natural deposits of dirt and salt that you gather from driving will corrode the body of your vehicle over time. The benefits of cleanliness extend to the engine, where a regular wipe down can prevent damage from buildup of debris. Check out how to wash and polish your car for tips on how to do it right.

 

  1. BETTER MENTAL HEALTH

You spend a lot of hours inside your car. If that environment is clean, you can feel more focused and organized. Most people are happier if they keep neat living areas in their houses; the same is true for that vehicle where you may meditate or contemplate your days to and from work.

 

  1. SAFER DRIVING

Visibility is a key to accident prevention. What detracts from your visibility? Dirty windows and rear-view mirrors. If you keep them clean, you can better evaluate what’s going on around you. Plus, clean headlights lead to maximum illumination, a must for driving at night or in inclement weather.

 

  1. BETTER PHYSICAL HEALTH

Think of the dirt that’s probably built up inside your car. Even if you are a tidy person, there’s probably bacteria on the hard surfaces. That’s not to mention dust and residue on the seats and flooring. It can lead to poor air quality, aggravating people with allergies or breathing problems.

 

  1. IMPROVED FUEL ECONOMY

A layer of dirt actually makes your engine work harder. That’s because it increases drag on the vehicle. Your fuel economy goes down, therefore, if you don’t regularly wash the exterior of your vehicle. Reduced fuel economy means that a dirty car is money out of your pocket.

 

  1. PERSONAL PRIDE

Your car may or may not be a status symbol, but it is an accessory with which you are regularly associated. You want your car to reflect the same pride you feel with your personal appearance. After all, you probably spent quite a bit of time thinking about the make, model and color of the vehicle before you bought it — why not keep it looking its best?

 

  1. SPARKING JOY

You may have heard this phrase as connected with organizer Marie Kondo. You can certainly use the KonMari method to declutter your car, but instead of joy, look at it as utility. Ask yourself, of all the things you keep in your vehicle, “is this necessary?” Removing some of the extra weight will not only improve your sense of well being, but reduce the number of pounds your car’s engine has to work to drag around.

 

IT WORKS

 

I’ve personally experienced some of the benefits on that list by keeping my cars clean, and that’s no easy task with a large family like mine! Each of my in-stock vehicles is detailed prior to delivery for one final inspection. Hearing “Wow, the years have been good to this one” is the best 🙂

Keeping Your Car Young part 2 “Advantages of keeping your car mechanically in its prime!” on July 31st

 

Have questions? Call or text Mike Love (757) 560-4252, I have answers! 

TM Auto Wholesalers, Chesapeake Va

 

 

Sources: Staff “Hidden benefits of a clean car” www.goldeagle.com July 14, 2020 Web. Retrieved from:  https://www.goldeagle.com/tips-tools/hidden-benefits-clean-car/

The Secret to Maximum Car Life & Performance?

 

Vehicle maintenance is the single most important factor in your car’s life

As far as value is concerned, the old adage rings true: A car loses value as soon as you drive it off the dealership lot—up to 15% depending on the vehicle. It doesn’t stop there; by the time it’s four years old, the typical car retains only about half of its value. After that, however, the depreciation curve is much less steep. So buying a three or four-year-old car, which should still have years of dependability, makes plenty of sense. It’s even possible to buy a car of this age, drive it for a year and resell it with little or no loss in equity. In fact, the most cost effective way to own a car is to buy a used car that’s about 3- or 4-years old and drive it until it’s no longer driveable or worth the cost to maintain. Wait… maintain? Yes, all of the above hinges on your vehicle’s maintenance history. When properly maintained, a vehicle should easily last another six to eight years without needing any major repairs… emphasis on properly maintained.  Sticking to a car maintenance schedule, and keeping good records of what you’ve done can help extend the life of your vehicle and protect you against breakdowns, expensive repairs, and other unwelcome surprises.

 

What is Your Car’s Maintenance History

 

With used cars, each has led a different life. Some may have been pampered, others abused. The best bet is often one owned by a trusted friend, family member, or original owner who can share details of the car’s history. Still, it’s smart to carefully look the car over inside and out, top to bottom and during daylight hours when paint flaws that may indicate repairs or other troubles can be readily spotted. Essentially, you’re looking to ensure the car is in the condition claimed by the seller. So what if you don’t know the owner? 

Firestone in Chesapeake Va keeps an ongoing record of your car’s service and can provide you with a detailed print out for the year anytime you need it. This is especially helpful when it’s time to sell. Firestone will also begin reporting your car’s maintenance records to Carfax in the future, making it possible for potential buyers to order it online. Carfax vehicle history reports are one of the most reliable ways to search a car’s maintenance records. Many dealerships provide them free to customers but they can also be purchased for $39.99. Not all maintenance shops report your car’s repairs and maintenance to Carfax however. Carfax Shop Locator will give you a list of Carfax affiliated shops in your area. Carfax won’t list unreported accidents and repairs but will show you a history of the items listed below.

 

  • Major Accidents

  • Multiple Owners

  • Vehicle Service

  • Structural Damage

  • Open Recalls

  • Registration History

  • Mileage Rollback

  • State Owned

  • Total Loss

  • Rebuilt

  • Warranty Information

  • Flood Damage

  • Airbag Deployment

  • Mileage Rollover

  • Not Actual Mileage

  • Salvage Titles

  • Service History

  • Hail Damage

  • Branded a Lemon

  • Junked

  • Estimated Miles Driven Per Year

  • Last Reported Mileage

  • Length of Ownership

  • Commercial or Personal Use

 

A Regular Maintenance Schedule like this one is a great way to start!  

SHORT TERM CHECK-UPS

OIL AND COOLANT LEVELS

Every month, or every few gas fill-ups and especially before any longer road trips, it’s a good idea to get under the hood of your car and inspect both the oil and coolant levels while the engine is cool. Low levels of either can lead to engine problems if left unchecked. Refer to your owner’s manual to locate both on your specific vehicle.

AIR FILTER

Your engine’s air filter is what regulates the air that flows into your engine and helps keep out debris and particulate. By making certain that your air filter is flowing properly, you can improve your fuel efficiency, decrease your emissions, and help ensure the life of your engine. This can be done easily at home, so check your owner’s manual for instructions and how often it needs to be changed.

TIRE PRESSURE AND TREAD DEPTH

Since well-maintained tires are integral to a safe, fuel-efficient ride, make it a habit to visually inspect your tires often. Check the pressure in your tires every month, and before long trips or carrying extra load.  Don’t forget the spare.  A tire pressure gauge will be needed to check your tire pressure. Also, during the colder months, note that tire pressure drops one pound with every 10 degree decrease in pressure. Your owner’s manual will tell you how much air pressure your tire needs. You can check your tread depth using the simple penny method.

HEADLIGHTS, TURN SIGNALS, BRAKE, AND PARKING LIGHTS

It’s important that the lights on your vehicle are properly functioning, but oftentimes it can be easy item to overlook. Once a month, turn on your headlights when you’re parked in front of a flat surface and check that both headlights are working properly and well-positioned. Walk around your car and visually inspect both turn signals and your parking lights. Have a friend stand behind the car while you engage the brakes to be certain that your brake lights are functional.

OIL & FILTER

The motor oil in your vehicle’s engine serves a whole slew of functions: it lubricates the moving parts, helps act as a sealant against debris, cools the engine, reduces wear and tear, and helps prevent engine corrosion. Keeping it clean is vital for good engine health. Depending on your car and what kind of oil you’re using, you may need to change both the oil & oil filter as much as every 3 months or 3000 miles. Many newer vehicles’ owners’ manuals will recommend changing your oil less frequently – often in-between 5,000 and 10,000 miles. Check your vehicle owner’s manual and consult with a professional to be certain what is appropriate for your vehicle.

ROTATE TIRES

Depending on your vehicle alignment, usage, and many other factors, the tread wear patterns on your tires may vary between the front and back tires, or even from one side of the tread to the other. Rotating your tires will help to extend the service life of your tires by more evenly balancing the tread wear, and helping prevent noise and vibration problems.

WAX VEHICLE

Making certain to wax your vehicle every six months after washing it won’t just keep it shiny, it’ll also help to keep both the paint in good shape and reduce the chance of rust. Many irritants such as dust, sand, and salt can build up and environmental factors like ozone and ultraviolet light can cause microscopic damage, but waxing can help minimize this by forming a protective seal to extend your paint’s life.

 

LONG TERM CHECK-UPS

 

TRANSMISSION FLUID

Much like the oil in your engine, transmission fluid is a lubricant that helps keep all of the moving parts inside of your transmission functioning properly. Whether you’re driving an automatic or manual transmission vehicle, it is essential that you have your transmission fluid checked and changed when needed to avoid costly transmission damage or replacement. Follow the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations.

TRANSFER CASE FLUID

In four-wheel or all-wheel drive vehicles, the transfer case is what shifts power from the transmission to the axles. You’ll need to have the transfer case fluid checked according to the vehicle manufacturer recommendations to make certain that it is properly filled and leak-free. This will require you getting under the vehicle, so bringing it into a professional is recommended.

INSPECT SHOCKS AND STRUTS

The shocks and struts on your car function to control the impact and rebound as your vehicle passes over bumps in the road and are an essential part of your auto’s steering system. They should be inspected by a professional every 50,000 miles or bring your car to the shop if you notice a decrease in smoothness or loss of control when driving.

COOLANT FLUID EXCHANGE

The radiator in your car is a vital component that helps keep your engine cool and functioning properly. Having your coolant system flushed regularly will help get rid of contaminants that can build up inside as well as ensure that your radiator is filled to a proper level. Check your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation to find out how often your coolant should be exchanged,

SPARK PLUGS

The spark plugs in your engine ignite the gas and air mixture that ultimately powers your vehicle . If your spark plugs aren’t functioning properly, your engine will lose power and won’t run at optimal capacity. Have a professional check and replace any faulty spark plugs depending on vehicle mfr recommendations or when you feel a decrease in your engine’s power.

SERPENTINE BELT

Although may seem like a simple piece of rubber, your vehicle’s serpentine belt is essential to keeping your car running by powering peripheral devices such as your alternator, power steering pump, and air conditioner compressor. Visually inspect the belt to ensure that it is free of cracks or other wear and tear.  Replace id damaged or according to your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation.

FRONT AND/OR REAR DIFFERENTIAL

The differentials are devices that split the torque—or power—from the engine and allow it to send power to the tires. In front or rear-wheel drive vehicles, there is only one differential, but in 4-wheel and all-wheel drive vehicles, there is both a front and rear differential, and possibly even a center differential. Like many parts of your vehicle, the differentials need to be kept lubricated to ensure proper functionality. Have a professional check and change fluid whenever your vehicle manufacturer recommends it.

 

SEASONAL CHECK-UPS

 

The needs of your vehicle can vary by season and driving conditions. Following are a few suggestions to add to the notes section of your vehicle maintenance checklist:

REPLACE WINDSHIELD WIPERS

Windshield wipers need to be replaced about once every year, or whenever the effectiveness is compromised. In winter months, it could also be a good idea to install winter wiper blades for optimum performance. You should also pull your wipers away from the window when parked during the winter to prevent ice buildup.

BATTERY PERFORMANCE CHECK

Your car battery is one of the most important components for your vehicle to run. A car battery supplies large amounts of electrical current for the starter, engine and other electronic accessories in the vehicle. Extreme temperatures affect the performance of the battery so regular battery testing will ensure that battery will perform when you need it to.

CHANGE TIRES

Depending on where you live and the winter driving conditions you might encounter, you might want to switch your tires in cold, snowy months to a winter/snow tire. When the temperature hovers at or below freezing consistently, the tire compounds in non-winter tires hardens, decreasing traction and handling performance while increasing braking distance. Winter tires have tread patterns and compounds designed to remain soft in the cold and provide grip in snow, slush, and icy driving conditions.

CHECK COOLANT LEVELS

It’s also important to check your antifreeze levels in your radiator in winter months to keep your radiator or engine components from freezing. A 50/50 mix of antifreeze to water is generally recommended, but check your owner’s manual or with a professional to be certain.

 

Overall, car dependability has improved considerably over the past decade. A five-year-old vehicle is likely to have about a third fewer problems than one would have had a decade back. Engine, transmission and exhaust problems, which once plagued older cars, have decreased dramatically, according to automotive research groups. Do your homework when buying used and request a Carfax. It’s invaluable when it comes to confirming background information on any used car, truck, or SUV. If the dealer can’t or won’t provide a Carfax, keep looking. Once you’re in the driver’s seat, do your monthly maintenance and drive it until the wheels fall off.  

Have questions? Call or text Mike Love at (757) 560-4252, I have answers!

TM Auto Wholesalers, Chesapeake Va

 

 

Sources:

 

Staff “The Ultimate Car Maintenance Checklist” www.bridgestonetire.com Web. Retrieved from: https://www.bridgestonetire.com/tread-and-trend/drivers-ed/ultimate-car-maintenance-checklist

 

Staff “service shops” www.carfax.com Web. Retrieved from https://www.carfax.com/Service-Shops

 

Trucks… Gas or Diesel?

Every devoted truck owner favors a particular make, model, 4 or 2 wheel drive, and diesel or gasoline engine. Though we all have opinions on Gas vs Diesel when it comes to greater power, longevity, and fuel efficiency, we may not have all the facts. A shootout between these long time rivals should provide you with more ammo for pulling the trigger on Gas vs Diesel. 

 

Truck Wars

 

Henry Ford’s vision of a converted military truck for civilians came to fruition In 1917 when he produced what may be considered the first American made pickup truck — the gas powered Ford Model TT. Chevrolet answered back In 1918 with the Model 490. In 1925 Ford edged ahead of Chevrolet with the Ford Model T Runabout factory-built pickup, equipped with a four-cylinder 40 horsepower engine. Chevrolet answered with the Chevrolet Independence in 1931. This tug of war would continue until 1948 when Ford introduced the F-Series, which became the best selling truck in America and reigns supreme today. 

 

Gasoline

 

Today gas provides truck owners affordable fuel costs, a lower sticker price (as much as 2’500-4’000 less with the gap still widening), and lower maintenance costs. Gas scores more convenience points than diesel when it comes to availability on the road. Surprisingly the fuel economy advantage in light and medium duty diesel trucks is often less than 2 mpg. Gas engines have the edge when it comes to horsepower but diesel has the torque, so in short-term torque applications gas and diesel are equal. Gas may have the win in this class of truck being least expensive overall. 

 

Diesel

 

Diesel… according to Urban dictionary; Unstoppable at something, awesome or strong, physical power, great, cool, or sexy. That’s a pretty impressive resume for an engine from anyone’s point of view! The first production diesel engine was introduced by Benz in the early 1920’s while the US was still using gas powered trucks through the 1970’s. In 1983 Ford released the first Diesel F250 with the 420-cubic inch, 6.9L V8 diesel engine capable of putting out 175 horsepower and 318 lb.-ft. of torque. Followed In 1995 by the 7.3L turbo diesel “Power Stroke” engine packing 210 horsepower and 425 lb.-ft. of torque, available for the Heavy Duty F-250 and F-350 pickups. The Super Duty Diesel was here to stay. “By design, diesel engines operate with a combustion process that’s leaner, burning less fuel than a conventional spark ignition (gasoline) engine,” explained Roger Gault, technical director, Truck & Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA). Today diesel trucks are well known for providing enhanced towing and a greater engine life compared to gasoline. Whether it’s a Ford, Chevy, GMC, Honda, Jeep, Nissan, Ram, or Toyota, diesel packs a powerful punch but as the list below shows, not in every category. 

 

  • Fuel Efficiency: Compared to gasoline engines in most trucks, diesel engines earn an average of 30% to 35% greater fuel efficiency.
  • Fuel Cost Per Gallon: Most gas stations around have a diesel gas pump, but not all. Added with that inconvenience, diesel fuel is often more expensive on average than gasoline.
  • Towing Capacity and Trailering: Diesel engines have a torque advantage at a lower RPM than gas engines that is better suited to towing heavy loads than a gasoline engine. 
  • Maintenance Costs: Diesel engines are made from components that are difficult to find or may require more frequent repair costs due to the larger oil reservoir in diesel engines.
  • Engine Longevity: Diesel engines are often made from more sturdy materials and therefore, diesel engines last longer on average compared to gasoline engines. 
  • Environmental Impact: Due to diesel’s fuel economy advantage in long-term torque uses, it’s greenhouse gas emissions are comparable to gasoline in similarly equipped vehicles.

 

Only you can decide if gas or diesel is the better choice for you and your trucking needs , but thanks to a variety of options and clear differences in performance, fuel cost per gallon, towing capacity and long term maintenance costs we have winners on both sides. Have questions? Call or text Mike Love at (757) 560-4252, I have answers.

Keep on Truckin’ folks!

TM Auto Wholesalers, Chesapeake Va

 

 

Sources:

 

Mcbain02 “Diesel” www.urbandictionary.com June 11, 2013 Web.  Retrieved from: https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Diesel

 

Staff “Diesel vs trucks pros and cons” www.allenturnerchevrolet.com Web. Retrieved from:   https://www.allenturnerchevrolet.com/diesel-vs-gas

 

Smith, Alison “History of American trucks: past to present” www.cjponyparts.com February 5, 2020 Web. Retrieved from: https://www.cjponyparts.com/resources/history-of-american-trucks  | 

 

Staff “Pros & Cons: Diesel vs. Gas in Class 3-4 Trucks”www.worktruckonline.com November 3, 2011 Web. Retrieved from:  https://www.worktruckonline.com/147984/pros-and-cons-of-gas-vs-diesel-in-class-3-4-trucks

 

The $2000 Used Car… Gone for Good?

SEARCHING FOR THE ELUSIVE $2K USED CAR

I remember when $2’000 used cars were a thing. They were for sale in front yards everywhere and in good shape too! Hey, for $3’500.00 – $5’000 you could drive away in something really nice with low miles! I get calls all the time from folks still hunting that savory deal and I wonder, is it gone for good? With the average cost of a used car peaking at over $22’000 last summer it’s time to make way for the new standard…

The average cost of a new car in 1990 was about $9’500. This means after the first year’s depreciation (20-30%) and subsequent year’s (16-18% annually) we might buy her used in 1995 for around $2’000.00 – $3’500.00. The average price of a new car in 2020… $37’000. Over the next 5 years that car will lose around 60% of its value. If you don’t have a calculator handy that puts the price at around $14’500.00 used. Something really nice with low miles will cost around $20’000. Those are the facts and there are a couple good reasons why.

Quality: New car quality has increased and is still rising, they simply last longer. They’re still kicking like a mule at eleven plus years. This means that a five year old car has a long life ahead of it and the owner knows it. It’s price will reflect its longevity.

Supply and demand: Used cars are scarce these days compared to the 90’s. What’s the best way to drive the price of a product… control sales. With less inventory on the market, there is less competition and this is powerful leverage for sellers.

Larger more expensive vehicles: Increased SUV, truck, and crossover sales in recent years has led to less small, inexpensive vehicles on the used market and less means more for sellers. Since you’re not likely to find many of them for sale, they’re come at a premium. If you do find an inexpensive used car in great shape, move fast, it won’t be available long!

 

Are there any cheap used cars out there worth buying?

Of course there are, just harder to find. Best bet is to purchase from family or close friends that can guarantee the car’s history. 150’000 plus miles is fine as long as the car has been properly maintained and loved. Otherwise it’s anyone’s guess how long the car will last. Dealers can’t sell what they don’t have and there are so few of these rare birds available that dealers can’t find them either. The discerning used car dealer has a reputation to protect and must have a reasonable amount of confidence in each used car they sell. Often times cheap is just cheap and that doesn’t meet inventory standards.

 

The New Standard

What should you expect to pay for a reliable, well maintained used car today? For the features that most of us want with 60-80k miles you can expect to pay on average around $14’000-$18’000 for your 4 to 5 year old used vehicle. Yes, there are exceptions both higher and lower depending on the car and condition specifics but buyer beware, if it’s cheap it’s a heap! Have questions? Call or text (757) 560-4252 and ask for Mike Love, I have answers. Happy hunting folks!

TM Auto Wholesalers, Chesapeake Va

 

 

 

Sources:

Frio, Dan “Cheapest Used Cars” EDMONDS.COM December 10th, 2019 Web. Retrieved from: https://www.edmunds.com/vehicles/cheapest-new-cars/

Edgerton, Jerry “Cars Now Last Longer Than Ever.. Will Yours” CBSNews.com August 7, 2015 Web. Retrieved from: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/cars-now-last-longer-than-ever-will-yours/

Mattone, James “Used Car Prices at Highest Levels in Three Years” media.thinknum.com August, 2019 Web. Retrieved from: Mahttps://media.thinknum.com/articles/used-car-prices-are-at-highest-levels/

The ABC’s of Buying a Used Car

Used car shopping? It’s as simple as ABC with a good plan and the right tools!

Let’s break used car shopping into three parts; finding the right automobile for your needs, researching it, and making the deal!

First, narrow the field with these three questions:

How am I planning to use this automobile?

a. Daily transportation to and from work
b. Hauling the family to sports events, school, trips
c. Work vehicle with room for tools
d. Adventure vehicle for off road
e. Heavy duty vehicle for towing a boat or toy trailer
f. Sports car with just enough room for two

 

How long do you plan to keep it?

Think about the long term… Is this an impulse buy or can I really keep this vehicle. The best scenario would be to purchase used after depreciation and drive it until the wheels fall off.

 

Am I financing or paying cash?

If you’re taking out a loan, get a quote from your bank or credit union so you can compare those numbers with what the dealer may offer in terms of financing. Remember, longer-term loans may lower your monthly payment, but you’ll end up paying more for your vehicle in the long run. Cash means zero percent financing!

 

A: THE CAR

As a rule, it’s best to set a budget first, seriously, set it and don’t forget it. This will help you decide where the funds will come from and how to pay them back. Decide what you need and want, yes they’re both part of the equation, you’ll be making those payments so you should be happy with your purchase. Remember, affording a car is more than making the monthly payment. You may be able to pay for a BMW and a Toyota Corolla but can you afford to repair the BMW? Search online; Car Gurus, CarMax, local dealers, Carvana, and Facebook Marketplace.
By now you should have a pretty good idea of what’s in your price range, time to start digging…

 

B: RESEARCH

How is the car’s safety and reliability record? Check Consumer Reports and J.D. Power collect maintenance reports from owners and rate your choice as well as other used cars. Safety first and reliability is key!
You can use a guide like Kelly Blue Book to estimate the market value of the car you’re looking at based on age, mileage and options. It’s not perfect, but it should get you in the ballpark.
Now that you’ve found a car…. What’s next?

Once you find a car you like, contact the seller to ask any questions you have and get a Vehicle History Report from CARFAX by referencing the vehicle’s identification number (VIN). This will give you the good, the bad, and the ugly on the car. A reliable dealership should provide a CARFAX report on every car in their inventory. This report is vital, it will provide you with information that cannot always be seen. Below are just some of the details you’ll get from a History Report.

a. Does this car have a clean title? If a car’s been in a serious accident, fire or flood, and was “totaled” by the insurance company (declared a total loss) it still might be drivable. However, the insurance company will issue a “salvage title” to alert future buyers. It’s best to steer clear of cars with a salvage title because it kills the resale value, and the car might still have hidden problems. NOTE, this is not always the case, especially if you plan to keep the car indefinitely and know that the damage was repaired completely.

b. Serious accidents are reported to the insurance company and will probably be on the vehicle history report.
Shady car lots might spin the odometer back to increase its selling price. The vehicle history report can alert you to this scam.

c. It’s nice to think the car you’re interested in was driven to church by a little old lady for its entire life. If you order the report, you’ll know for sure each time it changed hands.

d. Some reports show if required maintenance was done on time and where the work was performed.

A pre-purchase inspection of the car you’ve chosen can be done before making any deals. A pre-purchase inspection is an independent, third-party professional service that evaluates a vehicle’s condition before a purchase offer is made. … Unless the vehicle is unsafe to drive, the evaluator does not provide a purchase recommendation. It will include a detailed road test where components such as steering and brakes can be assessed. A thorough inspection will include checking engine compression and a computer engine analysis. A basic PPI will cost $20.00 from Firestone and the buyer typically pays for the pre-purchase inspection. This is your opportunity to test drive the vehicle to see what YOU think.

 

C: Make the Deal

Let’s make a deal! A good deal is paying less than the listed price, prepare to negotiate with the comparisons from your online research and your Kelly Blue Book numbers. Considering the seller has probably listed their car a little high, you should have some room to bargain. Start by pointing out the things you love about the car then move to your concerns and what the blue book says the car is actually worth. Play nice, be firm and you’ll do just fine.

Before taking ownership of the car, you should add it to your insurance policy. Then, you only need to pay for the car — usually with cash or a cashier’s check. Make sure you get a title and have the seller sign it correctly. When in doubt, check the state’s registry website for more information. Most states allow about 10 days to register the car in your name. If you’re buying from a private party, and there is still a loan on the car, call the lender to find out how to close the deal. If the lender is a bank, offer to meet the seller in a branch office and sign papers there.
If you’re at a dealer, It doesn’t hurt to see if they can get a better interest rate. Just make sure all the other terms of the loan are the same. Review the sales contract carefully before signing. The contract will probably include the agreed-on sales price, sales tax, documentation fee, and registration fee. Take your keys and hit the road!

Have questions? Call or text Mike Love (757) 560-4250. I have answers!
Follow TM Auto Wholesalers on Facebook to see our latest inventory.

 

 

 

Sources:
Reed, Philip “How to buy a used car” NERDWALLET.COM 3/21/2016. Web. Retrieved from

How to Buy a Used Car

Youngs, Jeff “Understanding Pre-purchase inspection (PPI) JDPOWER.COM Shopping Guides 4/19/2019 Retrieved from:
https://www.jdpower.com/cars/shopping-guides/understanding-pre-purchase-inspection-ppi

“Planning to buy a car, take these five steps” ONEMAINFINANCIAL.COM Resorces-everyday living. Web. Retrieved from:
https://www.onemainfinancial.com/resources/everyday-living/planning-to-buy-a-car-take-these-five-steps-first

Berger, Rob “6 Reasons to Pay Cash for a Car (and how to actually do it) Personal finance. DOUGHROLLER.NET 9/26/2018. Web. Retrieved from:
www.doughroller.net/personal-finance/6-reasons-to-pay-cash-for-a-car/

All you need to know about tire replacement

 

Sure, there is more to know… but no more, you need to know. A well-selected and maintained set of tires can contribute greatly to your safety, increased fuel economy, better handling, and stopping in all road conditions as well as provide greater comfort and ride quality. Wow, that sounds like the entire car… indeed, tires are important. Upgrading your tires is another topic all together, let’s talk replacement for now. 

 

I recently had a customer ask me about upgrading the tires on her Jeep. I had some straightforward answers that made sense to her so I thought I’d share some of these basic points with my readers. 

 

First, Do You Really Need New Tires?

Before taking the plunge on a new set of all terrains, perform a quick visual inspection. If you see cracked sidewalls, discoloration, dents, bulging or excessive tread wear, it’s probably time for a new set.  A simple way to check the tread on your tires is the old penny test. It’s not terribly scientific but its all you need to know for your initial assessment. 

If your tires are more than 10 years old, consider replacing them even if they look fine. Rubber deteriorates with exposure to oxygen (beware of tires that have been in storage for long periods). In my customer’s case, the tires on her Jeep were over ten years old and had less than 2000 miles on them. I urged her to replace them anyway. 

 

Is Your Car the Culprit?

If your tires are looking sketchy and you’re confident that a fresh set is needed, it’s time to take the next step. Use the checklist below to eliminate your car as the culprit. The way your tires wear can reveal suspension problems instantly, check them out for possible signs.

 

1. UNEVEN TREAD WEAR INDICATES POOR WHEEL ALIGNMENT.

2. EXCESSIVE WEAR ON ONE SIDE OF THE TIRE SIGNALS INCORRECT CAMBER ANGLE.

3. IF THE TREADS ON THE OUTER SECTION BECOME KNOBBY, IT MAY SIGNAL PROBLEMS WITH THE TOE-IN VALUE.

4. EXCESSIVE WEAR IN CENTER TREAD INDICATES OVER INFLATION OF THE TIRE.

5. EXCESSIVE WEAR ON SHOULDERS MAY SIGNAL PROBLEMS SUCH AS UNDER INFLATION OF THE TIRE.

 

Choosing The Correct Tires

OK, if it is going to happen and new tires are definitely in your future then make sure you select the right tires. The best replacements will be original equipment (the tires that a vehicle was originally equipped with from the factory) or at least the same type and size, the brand is more of a personal preference. That mysterious string of numbers, letters, and punctuation on your tire’s sidewall is its identification code. It should look something like this, P215/65R 15 95H M+S. A good tire center will quickly reference this code and cross-reference all possible replacements for you. For my more inquisitive readers however, check out the cipher explanation below, courtesy of CNN’s 10 great tips for buying tires article… it’s all you need to know. 

 

CODE

 

 

The manufacturer of your car will most likely recommend that you replace your tires with the original type and size. This is to ensure that your tires have a maximum tread life, handle properly, and keep you safe. My recommendation is to replace all of your tires at the same time with a matching set. Your tires will function better, be easier to maintain, and any future suspension issues will be easier to recognize and repair. 

 

Tire Upgrade Time?

Original equipment tires are all you need unless you’re changing the way you use your vehicle. For example, if you’re planning to pull a trailer, you may need more load capacity or wider tires with less vehicle roll. Upgrading or changing tire sizes can provide several advantages: 

 

1. Enhanced traction on acceleration

2. More grip on hard braking

3. Less vehicle roll in corners

 

There are also disadvantages to changing the size of your tires: 

 

1. You can hydroplane much easier or lose control on slippery or loose surfaces like gravel with wider tires

2. The wider tires may not fit inside your wheel wells

3. Your turning radius can be dramatically reduced as wider tires contact the bump stops sooner

4. Wider tires can be quite costly to install

5. Increased road noise

 

A Good Tire Center 

A qualified tire center representative will be able to explain your tire’s codes and will know which tires are a good fit for your vehicle. Typically, your choices will be summer, all-season or winter tires with extended tread life and better handling options. I recommend taking your sweet time and get as much information as you need to make a confident, well-informed decision. The average cost to replace your set of tires runs from $450.00 for standard, all season radials to $1000.00 for your truck or SUV. Choose wisely shoppers!

Have questions? Call or text (757) 560-4252 and ask for Mike Love. 

 

 

 

 

Sources:  

Fogelson, Jason.“10 great tips for buying tires” CNN.COM 7/16/2008. Web.   Retrieved from: http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/wayoflife/07/16/aa.buying.tires/index.html 

 

“How to tell if you need new tires” FIRESTONECOMPLETEAUTOCARE.COM 2019. Web. Retrieved from: https://www.firestonecompleteautocare.com/penny-tire-test/

 

Unrau, Jason “Are Wider Tires Better” YOURMECHANIC.COM 11/12/2015. Web. Retrieved from:https://www.yourmechanic.com/article/are-wider-tires-better

 

 

 

 

Drive a 4xFun in 2019!

Summer is here and it’s time to hit the beach with your 4X4! Wait… you don’t have four wheel drive? It’s a want, not a need? You obviously need to experience some 4X4 summer fun… let’s fix that! 


4 Wheeling is Trending… again! 

According to Los Angeles (CNN Business) General Motors will end production of six sedans by the end of 2019. North American customers want SUVs, crossovers, hatchbacks and trucks! It seems like everywhere you look you see SUVs these days. Jeep also reached their popularity peak in 2016 rising steadily since 2013. That trend has continued with the introduction of the new wranglers in 2018 and 2019. Practically every driveway has one! The fun factor is alive,well, and going places like the Outer Banks of North Carolina, the snow peaks of West Virginia, and the Big Boys Playground in Valley Pike, Harrisonburg, VA! 

AWD gets the job done!

Not you? Well you don’t have to be certified crazy to go off-road, many 4WD owners spend their weekends cruising on two lane blacktop… with the knowledge that anytime they feel the need, they can take to the backcountry 🙂 This power and confidence is one of the reasons why so many drivers have switched to a 4WD or AWD car, truck, SUV, or Jeep. 

4WD vs AWD

To get good traction in sand, snow, and mud, it’s usually best to drive all 4 wheels simultaneously. This feature was once limited to specialized vehicles that had locking hubs and a manual shifter that engaged the vehicle’s front wheels at the same time as the rear wheels. Commonly found on jeeps and various off road vehicles specifically designed for exploration, work, and military use. 

Today, 4WD is as common in cars as air conditioning and is an option on most if not all trucks and many family cars. AWD (All Wheel Drive) is the term used to describe vehicles that have continuous four wheel drive while 4WD’s (usually larger SUVs or Trucks) are distinguished as having a selectable system that when engaged, puts all 4 wheels in drive. 

The difference between the two would be in the robustness of the 4WD and its ability to tackle extreme off road terrain. Your AWD may do just fine on the beach and light snow whereas your 4WD tricked out Rubicon Gladiator will be the rock climber.

2007 GMC YUKON TM Auto Wholesalers

FIND YOURS

Yes, there can be big price differences depending on usage, thankfully there is an option for every budget. Below are a few selections from TM Auto’s inventory that you can bet will get you to the other side! 

Whether you’re in it for weekends or a daily commute; comfort, reliability, quality, and toughness are available in 4WD today! Check out TM Auto’s entire inventory and give me a call. If you don’t see the vehicle you’re looking for, I’ll find it for you!

Call or Text Mike Love
By Appointment Only(757) 560-4252

See you on the Beach!