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Smart Car Buying and Maintenance Tips

Smart Car Buying Tips

  • Secure financing before you start your search.  If you’re not paying cash, a loan approval will let you know where you stand.
  • Make a list of “must have” options and a list of those that are not as important.
  • Buy from someone you trust and definitely consider an extended warranty with your new purchase, especially if pre-owned.
  • Do your research.  Decide what’s important to you: MPG, seating, options, etc.
  • Set a payment and loan term that you’re comfortable with.  And remember, a car payment is a combination of the following four items: gas, actual payment, insurance payment and maintenance.
  • Set a price range that you’re willing to spend and don’t go outside that range as it will be harder for you to go back to the original price range you set.
  • Research your trade before you start shopping.  Know the value so you can make an informed decision when the dealer makes you an offer.
  • Ask for an AutoCheck report rather than a CARFAX report.  Why?  AutoCheck has an exclusive contract with auctions across the country.  You’ll receive additional facts with AutoCheck that you wouldn’t get from a CARFAX report.
  • Do not sign any paperwork that you do not understand.  Slow down the process if you’re pressured to sign.
  • If promised additional items from the dealer, insist they put them in writing.
  • Always ask for copies of everything you sign.
  • Check out online reviews to see how the dealer treats their customers after the sale because this is how you will be treated.
  • If buying from an independent dealer, research them as well.  Determine if they belong to their state association and the BBB.  Research them on the Secretary of State Web site to verify if they have any sanctions against them from the used car licensing board.

Smart Basic Maintenance Tips

  • Change your oil and oil filter every 3,000 miles.
  • Change your air filter every other oil change (unless you live in a rural area with dirt roads – if this is the case, the air filter should be changed with every oil change).
  • Rotate your tires every other oil change to insure proper tire wear.
  • Service your transmission once a year or every 25,000 miles.
  • The best tip is to follow the maintenance guide in your owner’s manual.  Doing this should result in many years of trouble-free driving.



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