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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
  • 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!

    Things to know… WINTER ALERT

    tm-auto-winter-alert

    While it looks like the weather might get a little warmer around February 15th, we’re bracing for a bit of a cold front in the next couple of days, and this can be bad for your car! Luckily, your friends at TM Auto Wholesalers have got you covered with 6 great tips on winter weather maintenance preparedness!
    1. Antifreeze (Coolant): Antifreeze should be flushed and changed at least every two years. If you have any questions on how to perform this task on your own, be sure to consult the first in our handy Every Driver Should Know series, How to Change Antifreeze.
    2. Oil: Be vigilant in changing your oil according to both the guidelines set out by your owner’s manual, and by the changing of the seasons. As a general rule of thumb, you should consider dropping to lower viscosity oil in the cold winter months. For example, if you are currently using 10-30W oil, switch down to 5-30W oil.
    3. Brakes: As the old saying goes “we are all the sum of our parts.” Your car is the same way. Indeed, it is very unsafe to drive a car when you are unsure of the quality of its braking system, so remember to have it checked first!
    4. Batteries: Unfortunately, batteries don’t give much of an early warning sign before they die, so replace any batteries that are over three years old. If your battery is under three years old, be sure to charge it before driving in the winter since cold, wet weather can have a seriously adverse effect on battery longevity.
    5. Wipers & Lights: Most drivers won’t check before every drive that wipers and lights are in good, working order, but it is good practice to do a full check once a month. Replace any bulbs that have gone out and check that the wiper fluid reservoirs are topped off.
    6. Tires: Inspect your tires to ensure uniform tread depth and tire pressure. Tires are prone to losing air during winter months, so pump more air as needed on a weekly basis. This goes for the spare tire as well!
    If you follow all of these tips, then you will minimize your risk of accident during the season known for some of the nastiest ones. Don’t worry if you aren’t sure how to accomplish all of the items outlined in this blog post, that’s what your friends at TM Auto are for, and you should never be afraid to ask for help! If you haven’t bought a quality used vehicle through us yet, then what are you waiting for? Check out our inventory, and be sure to note that every vehicle comes backed with a Carfax vehicle history report so that you know that know your prospective vehicle doesn’t come with any unseen burden! If you would like to make an appointment, or would just like to chat before deciding further, then please contact us by email mike@tmauto.com, or by phone at 757-560-4252. Ask for Mike, and make sure you’re prepared, because you have never bought a car this easily!

    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

    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

    Tips for buying your teen their first car

    Is it time to buy your “teen” their first car? Be ready for significant expenses beyond the purchase price: You’re also on the hook for, fuel, maintenance, repairs, insurance, and taxes…  Here’s a few tips!

    Establish your budget?

    Establishing a reasonable budget is critical. The money you have available for a down payment and potential for making monthly installments on a loan will determine your car choices.

    Is this is a car just through high school or whether it will be their traveling companion through college. That distinction will determine how new and reliable the car must be.

    No question, the best way to save money is to buy used. By purchasing used, you can buy more car, meaning you could afford, say, a midsized sedan rather than a tiny econobox. A new car loses almost half its value in the first five years, on average but has more than half its useful life left. Letting someone else take the depreciation hit is a smart bet. But try to buy the newest car you can, in order to get the most up-to-date safety features. And

    Do your homework

    With a budget in mind, now comes the fun part: creating a short list of target vehicles. Focus on practical choices—cars that will minimize ownership costs and suit your needs for the next few years.

    To right-size your costs, resist the temptation to target sporty, luxury, or large vehicles. They can be costly to maintain and insure, and tend not to get good fuel mileage. Look to small sedans and hatchbacks from mainstream brands, or even better, midsized sedans. The insurance company will penalize a young driver in a sporty car; big engines cost more to fuel and maintain; and gee-whiz features tend to carry reliability risks. Plus, financed new cars will command higher insurance premiums to cover collision protection. Simple is best.

    To reduce the risk of purchasing a trouble-prone vehicle, identify models with a good reliability record before you begin shopping. Consumer Reports collects data on more than a million cars a year to present reliability information covering the past decade. Such data can point you to cars that have been shown to hold up well over time. Reliability is a key factor, as it speaks to potential costs and inconvenience.

    Read online reviews of the cars you’re considering from both automobile publications and owner forums. Balance the different perspectives against your preferences, and use the feedback to highlight aspects that warrant closer attention. For instance, complaints about the seat comfort or ride quality can be evaluated on a test drive. Your opinions may differ from those held by others. And ultimately, it is you who will live with the car.

    Inspect and test-drive

    With a used car, every example has led a different life. Some may have been pampered, others abused, potentially by a teenager just like yours! The best used cars tend to be owned by a trusted friend or family member who can share details of the car’s history. When shopping used, carefully look the car over inside and out, top to bottom. Always inspect 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. For used cars, the real trick is having the car inspected by a professional mechanic. They will usually charge for the service, but it can be money very well spent.

    Here are some used cars that rate high on the list for teens owning their first vehicle:

    • Ford Focus 2009-2011
    • Ford Fusion 2010-2012
    • Chevrolet Malibu 2009-2012
    • Hyundai Sonata 2006-2014
    • Toyota RAV4 2004-2012

    Need help? Feel free to call me, we’ll get them driving!

    (757) 560-4252 Ask for Mike

    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

    Get Top Dollar – Preparing to sell your car

    Is it time to sell your car? Having no car payments is nice, however, if the odometer says you’re approaching big repairs and hefty maintenance bills, then it’s time to do the math. It just doesn’t make sense when you’re beginning to spend more on your old car than it would cost to purchase a replacement. Each car has it’s life, yet there’s really no specific mileage that determines it. Many of today’s vehicles routinely exceed 100,000 miles without experiencing major mechanical problems. But sooner or later… it’s time.

    So how do you prepare your car for a buyer? The first thing you’ll want to focus on is passing a buyer’s inspection. If you and your car are properly prepared, it will be easier to show,  advertise, and even command a better price for your automobile. First, consider the cleanliness of your car. What condition would it need to be in for YOU to be impressed? Most buyers are turned off by messy, dirty cars. When given the choice, they almost always choose the clean, tidy one. Thoroughly cleaning your vehicle is absolutely crucial; you can do this yourself for just a couple hours and a few bucks. Make your car look its absolute best; the buyer is more likely to see it as their best choice!

    Next, show the buyer how well you’ve taken care of your car. Pull out your maintenance records and organize them neatly in a folder so that prospective buyers can review them. This is documented proof that you’ve kept your car in excellent condition. Keeping your car clean and waxed is also good for your car and impressive to potential buyers. Consider that buyers may have browsed sites like Cargurus.com to get a idea of what your car is worth in its current condition; you want it to look its best. Those who start thinking about the resale of their car when they purchase it, will have a much better shot at getting their price. If you’re one of the majority of car owners who don’t meticulously maintain your car then it’s time to get to work on “reconditioning”. Start fixing, cleaning, and replacing whatever is needed to bring your car’s condition up to snuff. The bottom line is that when presenting your car to a potential buyer, it should be perfectly in order. A clean, well maintained car with the original keys, manufacturer’s owner’s manual, and all maintenance and service documentation will impress most any buyer. The checklist below will help you prep your ride for a potential buyer’s once over. Our inventory may also give you an idea of what buyers expect when shopping for a used car. Give your car a fighting chance even if you haven’t planned ahead! Get to work & good selling!

    THE USED CAR SELLER’S CHECKLIST

    1. Have the oil and other mechanical fluids serviced. Smart buyers check

    2. Clean the battery. If the battery is more than a few years old, replace it.

    3. If the car was not regularly serviced, have the belts replaced and the hoses inspected.

    4. Service the tires and replace if worn

    5. Replace the windshield wiper blades if they are more than 6 months old.

    6. Replace burned out lights (interior and exterior)

    7. Replace cracked and damaged headlight and tail lights lenses

    8. Get all of the trash out, including the greasy French Fries between the seats

    9. Remove everything from the glove box except the owner’s manual, insurance papers and the registration (buy a replacement owner’s manual if it’s missing)

    10. Remove ALL devices that did not come with the car from the factory (radar detectors, GPS, MP3 players, cell phones). Less clutter and less likely to disappear.

    11. Fix all switches, knobs, handles, etc. that do not work properly (shows improper maintenance)

    12. If the parking brake does not set firmly, have it adjusted

    13. Make sure the A/C blows cold, If not, have it serviced. Also, if the A/C smells bad, have it treated

    14. Lubricated door hinges and trunk hinges

    15. Clean and treat door, hood and trunk seals and trea with a vinyl & rubber protectant

    16. Clean the engine compartment and treat all plastic and rubber surfaces

    17. Clean out the trunk. There should be nothing in the trunk that did not originally come with the car. Make sure the spare tire and jack are clean and stowed where they belong. A rusty jack should be cleaned and repainted or replaced. Remove an moisture from the trunk

    18. Vacuum the interior until every last crumb is gone

    19. Shampoo cloth seats, carpets and floor mats

    20. Clean and condition all vinyl surfaces and leather seats

    21. Make sure the dashboard , console, arm rests, cup holder, ash trays and steering wheel are spotless

    22. Clean the interior glass until there are no streaks or smudges

    23. Scrub the exterior, paying extra attention to the bumpers, area around the gas cap, door jambs and other soiled areas.

    24. Make the tires and wheels look like new

    25. If your alloy wheels are damaged, have them repaired

    26. Remove all bumper stickers and personalized license plate frames

    27. Repair all minor nicks, chips, scratches and dings

    28. Make your paint perfectly smooth and clean by using a detailing clay bar

    29. Polish the paint until i is free of swirl marks, water spots and fine scratches

    30. After polishing, wax the paint to protect the shine and dress all of the trim

    Sources:

    http://guidetodetailing.com car ownership tips, preparing your used car for selling

    http://www.forbes.com  most important things to do to prepare your car for sale

    4 easy ways to build & rebuild your credit

    credit-approval

    Whether you’re a bright-eyed youth or an experienced buyer who’s fallen on hard times, the necessity to build good credit is a fact of life. Bad credit is not the end of the world! Here are 4 easy ways you can build a good credit score. Although they are mainly for young adults trying to build their initial line of credit, they are sure to be of help to those of you whose credit scores have suffered a hit or two in the past as well.

    1. Budget for a Credit Card – So, you’ve opened a checking account and maybe even got a debit card, but have stayed away from credit out of a fear of going over your limit. Congratulations! You’re already thinking more money-consciously than most people, but you don’t have to fear credit! If you budget correctly, then a credit card becomes an easy way to boost your credit rating monthly. It’s not much at first, but if the maximum payment is made every month, then your credit rating will go up accordingly.

    2. Always Pay on Time – Paying off the maximum balance on a credit card is all well and good, but it means nothing if payments aren’t made on time. Payment history is the most important tool in establishing your credit score, and it certainly doesn’t hurt to establish yourself as a trustworthy buyer!

    3. Keep that Balance Low – Credit limits vary from card to card, and it can be tempting to use close to your monthly limit. As a rule of thumb however, you should only utilize 10-30% of your credit at any one time. It’s okay to go over this occasionally, but consistently going over this self-imposed limit can indicate financial irresponsibility.

    4. Regular monthly payments on a car is another way to improve or establish credit and since TM Auto Wholesalers has Guaranteed Credit Approval on its entire inventory, almost anyone can make a purchase and get started building or rebuilding your credit today! So what do you do if you have bad credit, no credit, or need to rebuild your credit but need a car now? Check out our great selection of cars, trucks, and SUVs! Whether you have good credit, bad credit, or no credit, TM Auto Wholesalers will work with you to find the vehicle that best suits your needs and get you approved!  For a free appointment contact Mike on the web at mike@tmauto.com, or by phone or text at 757-560-4252. We’ll show you how easy buying a car can be!

    TM Auto Social Media Managed by Pixel Lab Designs

    Sources:

    1. http://www.bankrate.com 7 simple ways to improve your credit score Author: Dana Dratch (Article) Retrieved From: http://www.bankrate.com/finance/debt/7-simple-ways-improve-credit-score-1.aspx

    2. http://www.myfico.com How to repair my credit and improve my FICO scores Author: Unlisted (Article) Retrieved From: http://www.myfico.com/CreditEducation/ImproveYourScore.aspx