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    Call or Text Mike Love
    By Appointment Only(757) 560-4252
    Fax (757) 277-7320
    mike@tmauto.com
  • T M Auto Wholesalers, LLC, Auto Dealers  Used Cars & Trucks, Chesapeake, VA
  • Stay with the Old, In with the New

    Make Your Old Car Like New Again

    Look out your window, and you’ll see Ole’ Reliable sitting in the driveway. The car that’s been with you for years now and still (mostly) runs great. Maybe you bought it new, used, or maybe it’s a relative’s old car. As nice as a brand new car might sound, those car payments…. Fortunately, here are a few things you can do to make your old car seem new! These tips and inexpensive fixes will get your old vehicle looking and feeling like it just rolled off the lot.

    1. Cosmetic Fixes

    The most obvious cosmetic upgrade to your car may be painting it, but the easiest upgrade to make an old car feel new is a nice, thorough cleaning. Not just a vacuum and a car wash. To really spruce up your car, try checking off this list:

    • Shampoo carpet and upholstery
    • Clear out the trunk trash
    • Clean outside and inside of windows.
    • Remove the spare and clean out the tire well
    • Remove and clean under seat cushions. Consider getting cushions covers to make your life easier in the future.
    • Clean off floor mats or replace them with rubber floor mats, which are far more durable than most original versions.

    A high quality professional detail is the way to get the outside of your car looking new again. Waxing and buffing can easily make old paint look new! If you really want to clean your car up, consider getting the engine compartment pressure washed as well. Your engine will look new again; it’s pretty amazing. Before going on the lot, all of the cars in my inventory are professionally detailed. I’ve used Gary, owner of Liquid Investments for years. He and his team do an excellent job for a reasonable price. Give him a shout (757) 477-5752.

    After you work your way through a solid cleaning session, you car should already be looking good. If your steering wheel is looking a little beat up as well, you might consider purchasing a steering wheel cover for around $10. Another easy to overlook flaw that makes for a noticeable upgrade is your dashboard. You can add a dashboard cover or even paint it with vinyl paint to make it feel newer, and don’t forget to check the dashboard illumination. If your knobs or switches are broken, replacement parts are cheap whether they are new or recycled.  

    1.            Performance Upgrades

    There are bunches of simple internal, mechanical fixes that can get your car running noticeably smoother and feel more comfortable. Check these major areas and see if they need upgrading: 

    • Headlights. Cars and trucks built over the past few decades typically have plastic headlamps that fog up over time. Headlight restoration is usually less than $30 and instantly makes a difference. A full headlight replacement can add a sporty look to your ride and will cost between $50.00 and $100.00 to do it right. (top vs bottom image)
    • AC. All cars’ AC systems can get mold, mildew, and bacteria build ups if not cleaned often enough. Make sure the air passageways into the vehicle aren’t covered by leaves, dust or grime before changing or cleaning any filters. Adding an air-conditioning deodorizer to the vents or your rearview mirror can bring back that new car smell, too.
    • Rubberizing. As your car ages, the rubber trim on doors begins to wear and tear, letting your hot and cold air out and wind noise and rain in. The adhesive strips take a little patience to apply, but are incredibly cheap and can instantly make the interior of your car quieter while driving.
    • Windshield Wipers. Old wipers break down and lose their effectiveness over time, making driving in the rain and snow dangerous. Upgraded windshield wipers make the cold, rainy seasons a little safer.
    • Brakes & Suspension. Old cars start getting stiffer as the years pass, and brakes get squeakier and squeakier with every red light. Getting your shocks, springs, dampers, struts, brake rotors, and brake pads checked and possibly replaced can completely change how your car drives.

    **New springs can lower your car and improve handling if you’re a car enthusiast!**

    • Wheels. Tires periodically need to be replaced as treads wear down. Use the Penny Test (http://www.firestonecompleteautocare.com/penny-tire-test/) to check your car. Even if you don’t need to replace your tires, installing new tires can completely change how your car drives (and looks) and are much cheaper than a new car payment.

    After working your way through these cosmetic upgrades and internal fixes, Ole’ Reliable shouldn’t look quite so old anymore and will be much more reliable! Have questions about these upgrades? Call 757-560-4252 and ask for Mike Love with any questions!

     

    Sources:

    Brown, Evan. “10 Ways to Make Your Used Car Feel New”. esurance. Esurance Insurance Services, Inc. n.d. Web. 1 Nov 2017. http://blog.esurance.com/10-ways-to-make-your-used-car-feel-new/

    Huffman, John Pearley. “10 Ways to Make Your Old Car Feel New”. Popular Mechanics. Hearst Communications, Inc. 26 Sept 2011. Web. 2 Nov 2017. http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/how-to/g175/10-ways-to-make-your-old-car-feel-new/

    Karim, Andrea. “12 Cheap Ways to Make Your Car Look Awesome”. WiseBread. Wise Bread. 14 Dec 2014. Web. 2 Nov 2017. http://www.wisebread.com/12-cheap-ways-to-make-your-car-look-awesome

    Winter Maintenance Alert

    Is Your Car Ready for Winter?

    It’s easy to forget about the cold ahead when it’s still warm enough for a t-shirt, but winter is on its way. Your car navigates dry roads and warm weather just fine! However, can it handle a cold snap and black ice? Now is the time to prepare your vehicle for winter as engine performance and driveability can dramatically decline in cold weather.

    As you go over your winter prep checklist, don’t forget to replace old, dirty filters, such as air, fuel, and PCV. A poorly running engine is less efficient and burns more gasoline. You should also go ahead and replace old windshield blades. If you’re particularly worried about the frost, rubber-clad or winter blades can fight ice buildup.

    A few other things to check

     

    Fluids

    One of the best and easiest ways to winterize your car is to check your fluid levels. One of the most important things to double-check is your coolant. Ensure that there is the correct antifreeze/water mixture; fill it to the maximum line. You can pick up a tester at any auto parts store. Another important yet often overlooked fluid to check is your wiper fluid. You should get freeze-resistant wiper fluid to keep your windshield clean and ice-free. Remember to double-check your oil as well and replace it as needed.

    Tires

    On wet or frozen roads, low air pressure and worn down tires are particularly dangerous. Pick up a tire gauge at any auto parts store and try and keep your tire pressure between the recommended levels for your vehicle according to your manual (usually between 30 and 35 PSI). Check the tread depth quickly and easily using a penny! Place a penny between the treads on your tire, head side down. If the top of his head disappears, your tires are probably okay. However, if the entire head is visible then you may have to replace your tire, the tread is too shallow. You may also want to ask about getting your tires rotated to prevent uneven wear.

    Batteries

    Winter can be cruel to your battery. Not only does cold weather make your battery less likely to start your car, but it also reduces the battery capacity. As temperatures fall, it’s a good idea to inspect the battery as well as the cables, terminals, and fluid.

    When checking over the battery, make sure that there are no cracks and that the terminals fit snugly. Check battery fluid by uncovering the refill hole. Refill with distilled water if the level is below the bottom of the cap. Some automotive stores like Advanced Auto will check your battery for free!

    Emergency Kit

    Important, but often overlooked, you should always have a safety kit in your car. Having a few safety items such as road flares, a jack, a lug wrench, and a first aid kit can save the day. If you don’t have one now, you should put one together soon! Once you have your basic kit, add these seasonal items to prepare for the cold:

     

    • Flashlight

    • Blanket, leather gloves, and hat

    • Bag of kitty litter/sand

    • Ice scraper/brush and small shovel

    • Leak-proof container of coolant

    • Snacks

     

    By updating a few parts and keeping a strict maintenance schedule, you’ll be ready for winter and avoid costly breakdowns right before Christmas! However, if another winter is too much for your car to handle, let’s talk. TM Auto’s inventory is loaded! Take advantage of TM Auto’s Absolute Credit Approval on a used car, truck, van, or SUV.

     

    Call (757)560-4552 and ask for Mike Love!

     

    Is your car ready for the Holidays?

    winter-driving-tm-auto

    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. You may even want to tighten up that shine before cold weather sets in. Check out AutoDeets for spot removers! 

    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 finding the vehicle you want. Safe travels!

    Repair or Replace?

    repair-or-replace-tm-auto

    Imagine you’re going to start your car one cold winter day this winter. Maybe it’s been snowing, maybe you forgot to check the antifreeze, or maybe skipping that oil change wasn’t the best idea. Whatever the reason, it seems that your car just won’t start. You nervously pop the hood cringing at the thoughts of what problems you might find and discover that not only is your battery dead but the cold has weakened your old spark plugs to the point of cracking and has thickened your transmission fluid to boot!

    Now to get to the auto shop you will either have to pay exorbitant fees for the privilege of having your car towed or worse pay a mechanic to come to you! If you’re a do it yourself kind of person then you might try fixing all this yourself. None of these options are too appealing when you’re already half an hour late for work. By the time you get anything accomplished you’re already two hours late, and at serious risk of frostbite!

    If you have an old car, then this scene probably didn’t take too much effort to visualize. On top of being a hassle to you as a driver old cars can actually be dangerous, especially in the winter when older key components are more likely to break.

    “But what can I do?” you say. “Those big used car lots told me my credit isn’t good enough to finance a replacement.”

    TM Auto offers guaranteed credit approval with low credit, bad credit, or no credit on our entire inventory!

    As an added bonus, making regular payments on a car no matter how small is a positive sign to creditors that you are a responsible borrower. So come see us at TM Auto Wholesalers and trade in that old car for a vehicle that you can rely on this winter! With a vast selection that is constantly being updated there is something for everyone. Let us show you how easy buying a car can be! Stop in or contact us directly at mike@tmauto.com When calling just ask for Mike! 757-560-4252

    TM Auto Social Media Managed by: Pixel Lab Designs

    Source

    http://www.accuweather.com Five Ways Cold Can Damage Your Car Author: Jenna Abate (Informative Article) Retrieved From: http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/five-ways-cold-can-damage-your/22612192

    Dependability – The TM Auto Way

    happy-tm-auto-customers

    Service that you can depend upon, that’s the TM Auto way. Mike Love’s dedication to service extends far beyond what you have probably come to expect in other used-car dealers. For over 10 years Mike has been steadfast in his dedication to providing the greater Hampton Roads area with quality used cars, trucks, & SUVs, but that’s not all! If you’ve gone through the car-buying process with Mike, then you know that he goes above and beyond in delivering you a quality used vehicle, but you might not know about Mike’s dedication to service in other aspects of life.

    As a member of the Chesapeake Rotary Club’s board of directors Mike strives to live his life according to the Rotary International motto of Service Above Self. This dedication to community service is particularly exemplified in Mike’s position as chair of the Chesapeake Rotary Club’s project, Paint Your Heart Out. The project, which will celebrate its 25th anniversary next year, brings together over 500 volunteers to paint the homes of families who have run into unfortunate economic circumstances.

    With this dedication to service, it is no wonder that customers are quick to place their trust in TM Auto! Take for example, the recent case of the lady (to be left unnamed out of respect for privacy) who read a year old article in the Shopper detailing Mike’s dedication to service in all aspects of life. She had never met Mike before, nor did she need to purchase a used vehicle, but she was so enthralled by the article that she told her friend who had recently lost her car about Mike. Her friend was also impressed by the article and wouldn’t you know it, she ended up buying the used-car that you see in the picture at the top of the page!

    Service Above Self; not just the motto of Rotary International, but also the guiding philosophy at TM Auto. From Mike Love and everyone here at TM Auto, we would like to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. We hope that you join us in cherishing the all important familial bonds and look forward to doing business during the New Year. As always, if you or anyone you know is in the market for a quality used-vehicle that you can rely upon, then please contact us by email at mike@tmauto.com, or by phone at 757-560-4252. Ask for Mike, and enjoy the low-pressure car-buying experience that comes standard at TM Auto!

    TM Auto Social Media Managed by Pixel Lab Designs

    Find the right car at TM AUTO!

    find-it-at-tm-auto

    (Carmen Joyner with her newly purchased 2009 Expedition)

    Whether it has been a long time since your last purchase, or if it is your first time, it’s natural to feel nervous when going to the car lot. In fact, buying a used vehicle can be downright scary, but it doesn’t have to be!  At TM Auto Wholesalers, customer service is our top priority, and we wish for all of customers to feel comfortable when purchasing a used vehicle, regardless of credit history. To allay our customers’ fears, we offer services such as CARFAX vehicle history reports, but we also provide so much more!

    Finding You the Right Car

    Picture this: You’ve browsed the inventory long enough and have finally decided on the car you’ve always wanted, a sporty 2005 Toyota Camry with extra features!  You’re feeling great, content in the knowledge that in a few hours you will riding home in the car of your dreams. You arrive at the lot only to have your dreams crushed upon learning that the Toyota Camry has already been sold!

    Now here’s where things get strange. At most car lots, this would be the point where the salesperson apologizes for the lack of your desired car, and instead offers to direct you towards a suitable (and doubtlessly more expensive) vehicle. Not at TM Auto! Mike Love hates to see a dissatisfied customer, and understands how hard it can be to settle for a different vehicle, so he decides to do some looking of his own upon seeing how distraught you are. A short while later, Mike has set up a deal with a competing used car salesperson, and you leave a satisfied former pedestrian, all with no sale to Mike! Yes, it comes down to customer satisfaction and that’s the bottom line at TM Auto.

    So don’t be scared! Be excited, because the right car for you is waiting at TM Auto Wholesalers! Browse our inventory, check the complimentary CARFAX Vehicle History Reports, and let us know when you are ready to see your new car in person! If you or anyone you know is in the market for a used vehicle, then please contact Mike Love by phone or text at 757-560-4252, or by email at mike@tmauto.com.

    TM Auto Social Media Managed by Pixel Lab Designs

    Posted 01/25/2016 in TM AUTO UPDATE

    bad credit, no credit, low credit, used cars, used vehicles, used SUVs, Used Trucks, cars, trucks, SUVs, Service

    Why smart people buy used cars!

    Ok, so remember the time you were talking up that new car or truck to your uncle and he replied, “I never buy new…, always 2 years old.” You were like.. but I want a NEW car! Do you also remember that this was the uncle with a second home in Dana Point California and a perpetual happy face. That used car advice carries a little more weight when it’s coming from someone who has made lot’s of smart financial moves. So why is buying used so smart? Cars are more reliable than ever before and last much longer (even if not well maintained previously). They can be easy on your budget through the entire ownership experience. However, all used cars aren’t created equal so always do your research before buying. Now without further ado, here are the top reasons for buying used automobiles for your consideration.

    1. Value. 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 at this age, drive it for a year and resell it with little or no loss in equity. However, once cars are six-years old, the depreciation curve increases again, and cars of that age are less reliable.

    “It also cost less to insure a used car, as used vehicles have less value than a new model. You can also save more money once the car becomes older by dropping collision and theft coverage, if you choose.

    Depending on the state you live in, you also might save money on vehicle registration fees. In many states, the fee they charge to register a car is based on the car’s sales price.”

    As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t put money toward repairs once they surpass more than half of a car’s value. So, for example, if you have a nine-year-old car valued at $4,500, a $2,300 repair bill is probably better spent as a down payment on your next used car.

    So, the most cost effective way to own a car is to buy one that’s about 3- or 4-years old and drive it until it’s no longer driveable or worth the cost to maintain.

    2. Dependability. 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.

    “When properly maintained, a vehicle built in 2011 should easily last another six to eight years without needing any major repairs.”

    Modern cars can last 150,000 miles or even much longer when properly maintained.One downside to owning used car is that it is typically out of warranty, and you’ll have to pay for repairs yourself. However, most will be for wear items such as brakes, batteries and tires.

    Used-car dealers try to push certified pre-owned cars as the next best thing to buying new and they’ve been very popular with budget-conscious drivers who want new-car dependability without paying the new-car price.

    “But a certified pre-owned car typically costs $2,000 to $2,500 more than an identical non-certified car, and the extra price you pay is often more than what you would likely spend on repairs during the car’s warranty period. So, these cars are really nothing more than used cars with an expensive extended warranty tacked onto the price.”

    With relatively newer used cars in particular, certification doesn’t make much sense as most cars are relatively trouble-free in their first three to six years. Your best bet when buying a used car is to take it to an independent mechanic for an inspection and skip the in-house certification and expensive warranty and put that money into a rainy-day fund for the car if something goes wrong.

    3. Safety. Only a few years ago, buying a three- or four-year-old used car meant that you had to give up advanced safety features like electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, and side-curtain air bags, but those features can now found on most cars manufactured after 2009. However, you should still do some research to make sure any car you’re interested in has such safety features, do not even consider a car without stability control, which is a critically important safety feature that can keep a car on its intended path by preventing it from sliding sideways in a turn.

    Stability control has been found to reduce the risk of fatal-single car accidents by more than 50%. Near half of all fatal car crashes involve just one vehicle colliding with a tree or another obstacle after leaving the road.

    All vehicles manufactured from 2012 on have stability control as a standard feature, mandated by the National Highway Safety Administration.

    If you are thinking about buying a used car, we recommend referring to J.D. Power & Associates’ list of vehicles rated highly for dependability. You should also refer to Edmunds.com’s Consumer Ratings and Reviews to read about other owners’ personal experiences with their vehicles.

    4. Sustainability (Going Green). From a sustainability perspective, it definitely makes more sense to buy a used car that gets good fuel economy over a new one, as the building and disposal of an automobile has a significant environmental impact. The automotive industry’s own studies have shown that between 12 and 28 percent of the carbon dioxide emissions generated during a car’s lifecycle occur during manufacturing and initial shipment. Every time a consumer opts for a used car over a new one, that’s one car that’s already passed through those phases and one less vehicle headed to the scrap heap.

    And while you might think buying a new hybrid might be more ecologically sound that buying a used car, hybrids actually have a much larger environmental impact to build than comparable non-hybrids, as those lithium-ion, lead-acid, or Nickel-Metal Hydride batteries are no friends of the environment. And electric cars like the Tesla and Nissan Leaf are emission free only if the electrical power comes from a source that is renewable, like solar or wind. It’s much more likely that the electricity will come from a  coal- or natural-gas burning power plant.

    So, buying a used car could be your greenest choice.

    TM Auto Wholesalers Social Media by Pixel Lab Designs

    Sources

    1. Weathers, Cliff. 4 reasons you should buy a used car instead of a used one, Used cars are not only easy on your pocketbook, they’re easy on the environment.  ALTERNET.  Alternet, 11 Feb. Web. 2015  5 Mar. 2016

    Are one-owner cars really a better buy?

    When searching for your next used car, don’t forget to consider how many owners it’s had. Those that have been owned only once tend to be in better condition and worth more compared to those with multiple owners. You can also expect to see less wear and tear, less mileage, and less years on them! 80% of shoppers prefer to purchase one-owners over other used cars too! Sounds pretty great so far; what’s the catch right? You guessed it, the more reliable the car, the more it will usually cost. But before you make your decision based on price alone consider all those benefits. Also, it may not cost a lot more, only slightly more. According to Carfax most one-owner purchases are less likely to need expensive repairs and are more reliable. However, finding a good deal on a one-owner begins the same as any other used car purchase… homework. Just because it’s a one-owner doesn’t mean its owner was honest Abe. Here’s a few items for your “ask the seller” checklist. Remember to get the full story before considering purchasing a one-owner or any other used car.

    • Was it used for business or personal use? Depending on the kind of business this may tell you if the car has mainly highway or in-town miles. Road miles are preferred.
    • Where was the car registered? Road salt can be a huge problem if the car was from the northern states (Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Boston etc.).
    • How many estimated miles per year was it driven? If it’s been sitting for a long period of time there are a variety of problems you should look out for. Check the battery and around it for leakage. Hoses and other componentry including belts that are vulnerable to “natural decomposer” should also be checked. A full fuel system flush should also be undertaken to clean out “bad fuel that can gum up and clog the injectors,” Probably get a full replacement of air, oil and cabin filters, engine oil and coolant.
    • Was it ever involved in an accident, fire, or flood? Extensive damage such as foam absorber or metal reinforcement bar damaged. If it’s an SUV hit by a small car there could be floor damage if the car slid under it. Mold, rust or smoke damage, could be lurking behind metal, inside the upholstery and car’s frame.
    • What reasons did the previous owner have for selling? This could be HUGE RED FLAG or just a case of personal preference, which makes this a great deal for you!

    Informed, reliable dealers will gladly provide these answers in hopes of proving the automobiles worth. Remember to ask for a Carfax if the dealer has not offered one. As I’ve said before, this is 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.

    Sources

    1. Weathers, Cliff. What damage should I look into if I was rear-ended but there is no visible damage? Yahoo Answers.  Yahoo Answers, sourced from: https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090814090903AA6kApK
    2. Howie, Craig. Cars parked too long can develop problems. CNN. cnn, 1 April. Web 2009 April. 2016

    Posted 04/08/2016 in TM AUTO UPDATE

    Used Vehicles, Used Car, Used Cars, Used Trucks, Dependable Cars, Pre owned cars, Used SUV,

    Car mechanics with THE RIGHT STUFF

    Buying a used car instead of a new one makes good dollars and cents. Low or no monthly car payments means you’ll have more cash on hand when you need it most! If you’ve purchased wisely then you’re not likely to need any major repairs on your used car. However, you’ll need to perform regular monthly maintenance on it to keep it in good condition, especially if it’s approaching or has past 100’000 miles. There are many great high mileage used cars for sale and because of their previous owner’s excellent maintenance practices; they will remain great for years to come.

    DIY maintenance projects are often easy and cost very little but eventually you’re likely to need a professional mechanic. Cars with advanced computerized systems require highly skilled pros that can assess and pinpoint the problem with little or no guesswork. You may be getting yourself into more trouble and more money by trying to do these repairs yourself. So how do you choose the best mechanic for your needs with confidence? Below is a smart guide to help you make an informed and relatively worry free choice.

    Ask your family and friends

    Especially seek recommendations from those who have a vehicle similar to yours.

    Find a shop for your brand of car

    Many garages specialize in certain makes. Those that focus on your type are more likely to have the latest training and equipment to fix your vehicle.

    Search the Internet

    Look for information about local mechanics on Angie’s List, the Consumer Reports car repair estimator, and the Mechanics Files at Cartalk.com. Cartalk.com provides those services free, Angie’s List requires a subscription, the car repair estimator is free for Consumer Reports’ online subscribers.

    Check for certification

    Your mechanic and shop should be certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, or ASE.

    Check the Better Business Bureau

    Auto repair shops rank 12th on the bureau’s list of common complaints. Go to www.bbb.org; the information you find might help you figure out which shops you should avoid.

    Give the shop a tryout

    Before your car needs a big repair, you might want to try out some local shops with smaller repairs or maintenance items, such as oil and filter changes.

    Ask about warranties

    What kind of guarantees does the shop give on repair work? Warranties can vary greatly among shops, so ask about them ahead of time. Use a common repair, such as brake work, as your guide.

    Make sure the shop is convenient

    Even the best shop might not be worth the effort if its hours conflict with your schedule or you have few transportation options after you drop off the car.

    I’m also a big advocate of Google reviews. If they consistently get good Google reviews, it is a fair bet they provide quality services. I understand that finding a great mechanic may appear hit or miss but it’s not guesswork. Making an informed decision simply requires a bit of investigation. Please feel free to call 757.560.4252 and ask for Mike Love. I am happy to help, drive safe!
    Sources: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2012/12/how-to-find-a-great-car-mechanic/index.htm

    Posted 07/12/2016 in TM AUTO UPDATE

    July, Deals, Cheap, Toyota, TM auto wholesalers, Best Mechanic, Car Mechanic, Used Cars, Selling Cars, Car for Sale, Chesapeake, Virginia

    Room to Grow

    room-to-grow

    Remember your first car? Most of us inherited or purchased a starter vehicle about the same size as our checking account back then. I was single with no dogs and had a few less toys than today; it worked! My Toyota pickup did just fine for me; plenty of room, great gas mileage, no payments.

    Fast forward 20 years and about 5 cars later; we have 3 children, 2 dogs, 4 paddle boards and lord only knows how many toys! Does this sound totally familiar? For growing families all across Hampton Roads, the challenge of packing everyone and everything in our vehicles borders on wizardry. It’s only natural that as our families grow, so do our cars. Luckily there are vehicles for virtually every lifestyle and budget to fit us and our stuff.

               Even though our cars do more shuttling and shopping than cruising these days, style matters. This is one of the reasons that SUV’s are one of my best sellers. With ample room for a family of 5-6, sophisticated entertainment systems, and the muscle to haul campers, boats, and other water craft, they remain a top choice. Most have optional 4WD and loaded interiors that rival any luxury car.  Don’t rule out minivans; they’re still one of the smartest choices available for growing families today. They offer ample room, comfort, and have great features for transporting the little ones like power sliding doors, entertainment systems, and built in window shades. Fold-flat third row seating is often standard and they are low to the ground for easy passenger (and toddler) loading. When comparing gas mileage to similar sized SUV’s, the minivan is the clear winner. Multi-passenger vans are the ultimate “Family Haulers” with room for 8-9 and then some. These thirsty beasts are built for travel, cargo, and lots of people. From traditional body styles that seat up to 15 to modern tall vans seating 7-12, they are all rock solid options. These hefty transporters are a little lean on luxury, but hey, it’s all about family.

            My car suggestions for growing families starts and ends with practicality. The Honda Odyssey is impressive on all fronts; an ideal choice. Equally popular is the tried and true Chevy Suburban. You may prefer instead, something a little smaller like the top ranked Toyota Highlander. Whether you want big, really big, or just a step up, make the best choice by doing a little test driving with your crew first. Everyone’s situation is different so feel free to call or text 757-560-4252 and ask for Mike Love. I’ll be happy to walk through your current situation with you!

    Posted 06/16/2016 in TM AUTO Update

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