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!

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/

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

 

 

 

 

Buy a slightly used car for the win!

New Car Depreciation

A new car purchase is exciting, there is nothing quite like the moment you drive off in your new car! It’s the same for all of us, what is there not to love? Well, you probably won’t love the price tag or the drop in value within the first 1-5 years. In fact, that car will be worth 20-30% less within 12 months, that’s a $15’000 loss on the average luxury car! Could you have used that cash?

Look at it like this; your brand new $40,000 car will have a sticker price closer to $45,000. That’s one way to look at depreciation. Carfax data shows that cars can lose more than 10 percent of their value in depreciation during the first month after you drive off the lot. 

 

Make Depreciation Work for You

A used car that is two or three years old will already have taken a big depreciation hit, making it a better value. On average, a used car will already have lost 20 to 30 percent of its value in its first year and half its value by year three or four. If you plan to keep it for a long time, a used car may be an even better value. These days, it’s not uncommon for used cars to go well past 100,000 miles if they are properly maintained. Many can hit 200,000 miles without a major problem.

 

Fastest Depreciating Cars in 2018

If you bought one of the cars used, good job! Look at their depreciation rates after just one year of ownership to see what you may have or could have saved.

 

  • Kia Sedona 30%
  • Toyota Camry 30.7% (due to redesigned new models)
  • Infiniti Q-50 – 32.2%
  • Cadillac CTS 33.4%
  • Lincoln MKZ 33.7%
  • Mercedes Benz E-Class 34.5%
  • Jeep Compass 34.8%
  • Cadillac XTS 38.7%

 

Largest Drop

Every automobile, for specific reasons has its own rate of depreciation. It may be a particular model isn’t quite what the market expected or a high-ticket luxury model that’s at the height of popularity. In most cases, it’s simply the lure of “NEW”, and its depreciation value is your gain.  Below is a list of cars that are known for their high depreciation value. You can expect to get the best deals on these cars after 5 years off the lot. Like what you see, call me!

 

  • Chevrolet Impala 66.2 %
  • Jaguar XJL 66.4 %
  • Mercedes-Benz E-Class 67.2%
  • BMW 5-Series 67.3%
  • BMW 6-Series 68.3%
  • Ford Fusion Energi Hybrid 69.4%
  • Mercedes-Benz S-Class 69.9%
  • BMW 7-Series 71.1%
  • Chevrolet Volt 71.2%
  • Nissan Leaf 71.7%

 

Percentages will vary from car to car depending on it’s condition and MSRP but on average you can expect a sharp drop within the first five years. Consider buying slightly used when choosing your next car, it’s money in the bank!

Have questions? I have answers, call or text (757) 560-4252 and ask for Mike Love. Let TM Auto Wholesalers of Chesapeake help you get the car you want for the price you need.

Follow TM Auto on Facebook to get instant notices on new inventory.

 

Sources:

Agadoni,Laura. “Budgeting.nest: Buying a New Car Vs. a 2 or 3 Year Old Car” www.budgeting.thenest.com 4/1/2019. Web. Retreived from:  https://budgeting.thenest.com/buying-new-car-vs-2-3-year-old-car-25758.html

Stocksdale, Joel “MSN: Fastest depreciating cars in America.” www.msn.com. 4/6/2018. Web.  Retrieved 4/1/2019 from:   https://www.msn.com/en-us/autos/buying/fastest-depreciating-cars-in-america/ss-BBDY7Oa#image=9

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/

Star Trek to Standard Equipment

Automobile Technology changes the way we drive & survive in Hampton Roads

Automobile technology is amazing, right! Do we take it for granted? When you consider that New York was the first state to pass a law, which required vehicle occupants to wear seat belts in 1984, yes we do! What was once space technology has become standard in many of today’s base models. Some of these advances are clearly for our comfort, but others are vital for our safety and the safety of our cars. Unbelievably the 2018 Toyota Camry has forward-collision warning, automatic forward braking, pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assistance, a rearview camera and automatic high beams standard! Here’s what you can expect in the way of tech features on new and used cars today.

AVAILABLE SAFETY FEATURES

 

Front and Rear Park Assist: Active safety technology on the Chevrolet Suburban helps the driver park their vehicle and avoid crashing into nearby objects during low-speed vehicle maneuvering when driving forward or backing.

 

Rear Camera: You may not know that the first rear view camera was introduced in 1956! A bit bulky with a TV in the dashboard for viewing, but still! Backup cameras have become standard in many cars today like the 2013 Toyota Avalon and 2015 Ford Focus. The 360-Degree parking camera normally reserved for high-end luxury models is also available on a few affordable models like the 2016 Nissan Rogue.

 

Rear Cross Traffic Alert: The Chevrolet Suburban also has a system that monitors two areas behind you for vehicles approaching from the right or left. Rear cross traffic alert is active once the vehicle is shifted into REVERSE. When backing, you will receive a visual or auditory warning if an approaching vehicle enters the rear cross traffic alert detection areas.

 

Lane Keep Assist: In addition to lane-departure warning system, the lane-keep assist actively steers a car back into its lane if it detects that the car is starting to drift out. This technology generally offered on high-end luxury cars; is included in the Tech package and Ultimate package of the 2017 Hyundai Elantra.

 

Adaptive Cruise Control: is a feature that automatically slows down or speeds up your car to keep  you a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you.

Blind Spot warning System: The Chevrolet Suburban also features a blind spot warning system can “see” what the driver cannot and issue a visual or audible warning if it is unsafe to make a lane change

 

NEW TECHNOLOGY SAFETY SYSTEMS

  • Pothole Protection: This feature is available on the 2018 Ford Fusion V6 Sport. When the system detects one wheel, dropping into a hole in automatically adjusts the shock absorber to minimize the impact. This not only creates a smoother ride but can protect your car from damage and from an accident or blowout.  
  • Automatic Reverse Emergency Braking: You probably know about forward emergency braking. The 2018 Subaru Legacy has a system that works in tandem with rearward monitoring alerts and will automatically apply the car’s brakes to avoid a rear collision.
  • Intelligent Forward Collision Warning: The system available on the Nissan Altima for 2019 not only monitors the car in front of you, it also monitors the cars in front of the car in front of you!
  • Automated Parallel-Parking Systems:  This is available on vehicles as affordable as the Chrysler 200 midsize sedan. These systems can steer for you! Just shift and control braking until your car is parked.
  • Evasion Aid: The forward-facing camera detects a potential impact situation, and the driver begins to make an emergency-steering maneuver, the Evasion Aid can help guide the automobile safely into one of those spaces. Evasion Aid is available on the 2018 BMW 5 Series.

 

SAFETY FEATURES FOR EVERYONE

It’s vital that you purchase the safest car possible within your budget. Here are www.autobytel.com’s list of very important safety features to look for in your next automobile.

  • Strong Crash Test Ratings
  • LATCH Anchors – know how to use LATCH and to make sure the straps used with the metal anchors are fastened as tight as possible.
  • Stability Control – different from traction control, Stability control helps to keep a vehicle under control if it skids or slides.
  • Reverse Camera
  • Blind Spot Warning System (See Inventory)
  • Forward Collision Warning with Autonomous Braking – the vehicle can determine situations in which your car may collide with traffic ahead, sound an audible and visual alert of some kind, and if you fail to respond can automatically apply the brakes.
  • Emergency Response and Rescue Service
  • Programmable Safety Features – programmable features that are designed to help monitor your child’s driving and report back to Mom and Dad about inappropriate use of the vehicle.
  • A Safe Driver – No substitute for this one!

This is just a sampling of the safety features available to us due to recent technology advances. Take time to research the car that you plan to buy and see what if offers; if you’d like more options, call or text (757) 560-4252 and ask for Mike Love. I can help you find the vehicle that you want with the features that you need!

Follow TM Auto on Facebook for inventory updates! NEXT MONTH – Automobile Tech Luxury

 

Sources:

https://www.autobytel.com/car-buying-guides/features/10-cars-with-the-best-safety-features-132646/

 

https://www.autotrader.com/best-cars/7-advanced-safety-features-you-can-get-not-so-expe-254180

 

How much will insurance pay for your totaled car? Ask and you shall receive!

Ok, let’s say you’ve had a car accident, thankfully no one was hurt! Oh, actually, your car is hurtin’ pretty bad and you think it might be totaled; sadly, this is often the case. Is it really totaled? Well let’s see, did the airbag deploy? Is there damage to more than one side of your car? Is it driveable? If one or more of these answers is ‘yes’, it is safe to say it’s totaled. Depending on your situation, this could be good or bad but either way you need to get educated. So how do insurance companies determine whether your car is a total loss?

 

  • 1. Damage is so severe that the car can’t be repaired safely.
  • 2. The cost of the repairs is more than the vehicle is worth.
  • 3. Vehicle damage is so severe that state regulations dictate that it must be considered a total loss car.

 

How Much?

If in fact, your car is totaled by insurance standards, how much cash can you expect to receive for it? First off, you need insurance to file a claim so if your insurance coverage has lapsed or your policy limits your claim amount, you may be stuck, but if that’s all good, file away! There is no gold standard for determining your car’s cash value once totaled (This may work in your favor). Though all insurance companies have a basic formula for reaching this number, there are simply too many variables involved for a simple online form approach. Here’s where the insurance company will focus their search but it’s almost always up for discussion in the end.

  • 1. Actual Cash Value is determined. That’s the resale price for your vehicle if it hadn’t been totaled. The insurance company will look at recent listings and sales for similar vehicles in your area.
  • 2. Pre-accident condition is considered. Your car’s mileage, options, trim level, and any pre-accident damage.
  • 3. Your deductible. The insurance deductible you choose for your insurance policy is held back from the payout amount for your claim.

 

Now that your detectable is satisfied, insurance is supposed to pay the estimated difference between your vehicle’s pre-accident appraised value and the deductible amount. The key word here is “Estimated” and whose estimation we’re talking about. Getting the highest insurance payout for your totaled car may take some haggling. Ask for the best price! Truth is most people just accept the first offer the insurance company throws at them without question. Remember this is a negotiable figure so here’s how to get your own rough estimate.

  1. 1. Find the NADA (National Automobile Dealers Association) Value for your car in fair condition.
  2. 2. Work out 20 to 40 percent of the fair condition value, depending on how bad your total loss car’s condition is. It’s probably closer to the 20 percent mark.
  3. 3. Keep depreciation in mind, your car is losing value daily.

 

Diminished Values

What if your car just needs repairs? Be prepared; your car’s value may drop due to repairs after the accident, this is called diminished value. It’s perceived trade or sale value is less than same model vehicles that have never been involved in an accident. Repairing the car won’t recover this lost value. However, like your totaled value, this is a negotiable number. Prepare to pass on the first offer and knuckle up to get the best settlement possible. In some cases it may be necessary file a claim against the other driver. This can sometimes force the insurance company to up their offer to avoid expensive attorney’s fees. You may also offer the court an expert witness. A car dealer may be able to present “actual” diminished values that are higher and more acceptable than the insurance company’s.

You might be surprised at how much you can increase your car’s totaled or diminished value with a little insurance savvy. Need help? Ask Mike, text or call (757) 560-4252 and ask for Mike Love. I’ve helped my customers successfully negotiate as much as $2500.00 over their insurance company’s offer. I strongly advise you to stay in the fight when it comes to the final settlement. It’s totally worth it!

 

Source

carbrain.com. “How much insurance pays for totaled car” BLOG, etrailer.com, Web. 10, 25, 2018 Sourced from: https://carbrain.com/Blog/how-much-insurance-pays-for-totaled-car Accessed 4 Sept 2018

 

Head For The Hills With Confidence

 

“I think I can, I think I can!” Is this what your truck says when you’re towing a boat or camper through the hills?

The little engine that could had the distinct advantage of being an American fairytale; you don’t… know before you go!

 

Can your vehicle pull its own weight and then some?

Anyone who’s ever towed a fully loaded trailer knows that it can get a little sketchy sometimes. If your underpowered or have too little stability, you could get into a number of bad scenarios. Your vehicle’s engine, transmission, brakes, tires and suspension, are all under pressure when towing an RV, boat trailer or toy hauler. Factor in adverse weather conditions and you may find yourself in a real pickle.  

What you need to know about your car, truck or SUV’s towing capacity

All towing vehicles have a maximum weight that they can safely tow. Exceeding that limit and trying to carry more than the recommended value could lead to accidents that cause damage as well as extreme wear and tear on the vehicle. (You can find the recommended weight in the owner’s manual.) Your vehicle’s tow rating takes several factors into consideration, including:

 

  1. Vehicle structure

  2. Chassis and suspension design

  3. Engine type, axle ratios, and other drivetrain variables

  4. Hitch design and class

  5. Tire ratings and load capacities

 

It’s important not to exceed these vehicle tow ratings, however there are other important weight limits that should never be exceeded while towing, including:

  • Gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), which represents the maximum weight your vehicle can carry, including passengers, cargo, fuel and the vehicle itself.

  • Gross axle weight ratings (GAWR) on both the vehicle and trailer, which represent the maximum amount of weight a particular axle can carry, including the wheel and tire.

  • Gross combined weight rating (GCWR), which represents the maximum weight of your loaded tow vehicle and your loaded trailer combined.

  • Tongue weight or hitch weight, which should be between 10-15 percent of the total loaded trailer weight for conventional trailers and 15-30 percent of the total loaded trailer weight for gooseneck or fifth wheel trailers.

The above “Gross” ratings are on your vehicle’s door tag. See image below.

 

Exceeding even one of these ratings while towing could not only cause severe damage to your vehicle or trailer, but also put yourself, your passengers and others in danger

 

How heavy is your trailer?

Gross trailer weight is the weight of a fully loaded trailer. It’s not a weight rating determined by the manufacturer or a weight combined with any other weight — it’s the actual weight of the trailer after you’ve loaded all of your bikes, firewood, camping gear, people or any other cargo onto (or into) it. Any weight that you add to the trailer adds to the gross trailer weight. It’s as simple as that. How do you find your (GTW)? Most communities have public scales. For just a few dollars and a few minutes of your time, you can get the answers you’re looking for.

 

Inventory TM Auto Trucks

Inventory TM Auto SUV’s

 

If you’re a first time hauler, practice towing your trailer on some deserted roads before doing any actual towing out on the highway. Backing up, turning and braking should all be part of your training regimen. All that practice will come in handy for the real thing, because if you’ve done everything properly up to this point, including meeting the weight requirements, loading properly and checking equipment, then you can handle almost any challenge up or down the road.

 

Have questions about your vehicle’s towing capacity, trailer weight or other related specs? Ask Mike, text or call (757) 560-4252 and ask for Mike Love. I’m always happy to help you find the best vehicle and ensure you’re in it for the long haul!

 

Sources:

Etrailer.com. “Are Tongue Weight, Hitch Weight and Pin Weight The Same Thing For a Fifth Wheel Trailer

” Q&A, etrailer.com, Web. 9, 4, 2018

Sourced from: https://www.etrailer.com/question-124243.html Accessed 4 Sept 2018

Uhaul “How to determine your hitch system rating”

Sourced from: https://www.uhaul.com/Articles/Tips/33/How-To-Determine-Your-Hitch-System-Rating/ Accessed 4 Sept 2018

COUNTING CARS

Can one have too many cars? Well, as a used car dealer my knee jerk reaction is…, never! I mean I have around 20-30 at all times and seldom drive the same one two days in a row, it’s great! Ok, I get that I might possibly be a little tiny bit bias but still, is that something that people are concerned with? Should we be considering the risks of owning too many cars or is there even such a thing?

It’s easy to imagine that most people own 2, maybe 3 cars each, considering the variety of styles available, and the level of importance most Americans place on their automobiles. However, the peak amount of cars per household in 2006 was only about 2.05. That number correlates roughly with the economy’s highs and lows as you might expect and the recession of the late 2000’s created a bottomless pit decaying into 2010 bringing that number down to a little over 1.8. The lasting effects of this were pedestrians choosing public transportation and carpooling over driving, some ultimately relocating to cities where no personal transportation was even necessary. Some of you here in Hampton Roads may remember the “big move” to northern Virginia beginning around 2012. Also, generation Y (millennials) who as consumers showed much less interest in car ownership due to conservation concerns and affordability also helped drive the percentage of car owners down.

This all makes perfect sense and predictably, these numbers have rebounded with the economy’s upward climb. However, there are some noticeable behavioral changes in the average car buyer. Americans today have fewer light-duty vehicles, drive less, and are consuming less fuel. Hmmm, more car but less motoring over all tells me we’re onto something. We want our cars to last, we want comfort and convenience and saving money is higher than ever on our priority list. Once bitten twice shy? You could say that car enthusiasts today are justifiably more discriminating. The economy, fuel prices, and the negatives of consumption are great teachers. In addition to a greater economy, many of those Gen Y millennials are in their 30’s now. They’re getting older and at a stage in life where salaries are higher and guess what… kids are on the way! The percentage of car owning millennials has gone from 14 to over 29. The fact is we need transportation and though specific demographics are bound to hoof it and others will take trains and busses, the majority of Americans love their cars.  

So what do the studies say? The total number of cars per household falls naturally around 2, going up slightly as kids reach adulthood and prepare to leave the nest. What we also know is that heavier duty vehicles are more popular and that car owners are spending more responsibly using less fuel, and driving shorter distances. So how many cars are cool you ask? Well, look in your driveway… that’s about right 🙂

 

Sources:

Schmitz, Matt. “How many cars does the average American own?” CARS.COM CARS.com. 15 March 2017. Web. 8, 20,2018 https://www.cars.com/articles/how-many-cars-does-the-average-american-own-1420694459157/

 

Buying a Car that’s an Easy Resale!

What will YOU consider when making your used car purchase? Most of us will consider the following for starters and with good reason… 

 

  • First, what do I have in my budget?
    • Larger down payment, smaller payments
    • Don’t bite off more than you can chew
    • Consider that “Full” cost of owning this car
  • So many choices, what body style do I want?
    • Coupe/Convertible
    • Sedan
    • Hatchback
    • Station Wagon
    • SUV/Crossover
    • Minivan
  • How much power do I want?
    • There is an adventurous pleasure for many of us in hearing the thunder of a large engine and feeling its torque when accelerating. However, the truth is, trucks that tow and haul heavy loads are the real example of power requirement. The average car buyer doesn’t need it. Give it some real thought before going either way.
  • What size car do I want?
    • If big interior space is what you want and towing is a priority, buy big! The more practical approach… start small and work up. Small cars tend to have smaller price tags and consume less fuel. Larger vehicles make you feel safer but lighter cars are typically more agile and give you a better chance of steering away from a crash. They often have a shorter stopping distance, which may even keep you completely out of the mix. Some smaller cars even have about the same headroom as full size luxury automobiles.
  • What do I think about hybrids and diesels?
    • Either approach will extend your fuel dollar, but at a premium purchase price. You may have to drive 60,000 or 100,000 miles to recoup your costs. The type of driving you do determines whether a hybrid or a diesel makes sense for you. Hybrids tend to use less fuel around town, when low speeds and frequent braking keep them running on battery power longer. Diesel drivers will see their greatest benefits on the highway and diesel vehicles are more efficient than gasoline cars at low speeds. The fuel benefits of diesel may be attractive but can change as quickly as fuel prices

 

great resale on your carThese are all great points to research and consider before pulling the trigger on your next ride. Now, what about resale? That’s right, sooner or later you’re going to sell, and getting the most for your car is just smart business! Why not consider its resale now while you’re looking and make it easier on yourself down the road? With a little used car savvy you can do just that. According to Philip Reed, senior consumer advice editor at Edmunds.com and Mark Scott, a senior manager at AutoTrader.com in Atlanta, these are a few strong reasons why someone else may want your car as much as you did thus make it easier to sell when it’s time.

 

  • Geography. Body styles tend to be geographic. Demand for a particular car varies in different parts of the country. You should think about the popularity of certain vehicles in your area when buying new if you are going to later sell it locally. For example, there will be less demand for a used pickup in Miami than in Dallas. “A pickup won’t hold value in Miami like a convertible will,” says Scott Mark Scott, a senior manager at AutoTrader.com, in Atlanta. “But that two-seater convertible isn’t very practical and won’t retain its value in Michigan.”
  • Climate. If you are going to sell a vehicle with four-wheel or all-wheel drive, it will have more value in colder areas such as the Northeast. Moreover, all-wheel drive will be more in demand in the winter than in the summer. The opposite is true of convertibles, Philip Reed, senior consumer advice editor at Edmunds.com, says.
  • Color. Stick to standard colors and steer clear of fad colors. “You may see a fun, trendy color that’s hot at the moment, but five years from now it will be like, ‘What were you thinking?’” Scott says.
  • Upgrades and options. Not all upgrades are created equal. Certain equipment options will add to the car’s resale value while some pricey options won’t. “Spending $500 on an upgraded stereo will mean a lot to you, but four or five years from now it won’t bring you any extra money when you sell or trade in,” Scott says. There is more demand for automatic transmissions than manual ones. Reed says that sunroofs, CD changers and leather seats have historically added value to a car. An example of an expensive option that doesn’t contribute to a car’s resale value is a navigation system, Reed says.
  • Timing. Exercising some patience can pay off when trading in or selling a used car. If the used-car market is soft, wait six months until demand is higher. If fuel prices are high, wait until they cycle back down before trading in that SUV. Simply visiting a dealership on a less busy day can increase the trade-in allowance. According to Reed, dealers are more willing to negotiate on all aspects of a new car purchase, including the trade-in, at times when the dealership is less busy. Dickering over the trade-in value will usually be more successful for a consumer on a Wednesday morning rather than a Saturday afternoon.

 

It’s going to be much easier to enjoy AND sell your car if you’ve factored the items above into your used car search. You can also bet on regular maintenance, professional repair work, and good record keeping will impress your car’s next owner. Don’t be afraid to be involved with the maintenance and repairs when they’re needed, you may not perform the tasks yourself but knowing all the details will not only give you peace of mind but also give you confidence when it comes to pitching your car to it’s next owner!

 

All TM Auto automobiles have a Carfax and are professionally detailed before they reach the lot. Please check my inventory and take a few minutes to browse my website for other helpful blog articles!  I’m always available to answer your questions, feel free text or call (757) 560-4252 and ask for Mike Love.

 

Sources:
DMV.ORG. “Creating a car budget.” DMV.ORG. Web. 6, 29,2018 Retrieved From:https://www.dmv.org/how-to-guides/budgeting-purchase.php.
Heaps, Russ. “What factors affect car resale value?” Bankrate. Bankrate.com, July 2, 2010. Web. 6,29,2018. Retrieved From: https://www.bankrate.com/auto/what-factors-affect-car-resale-value/ .