Certified Used Cars May Pose Risks For Buyers Car Maintenance Cold Weather S Coming Is Your Car Ready A Guide To Car Alarm Systems Replacing Your Steering Wheel Lights Lamps And Bulbs Oh My

With the price of a new car getting higher and higher each year, many buyers choose to buy used cars instead. The price of a new car can easily equal a year’s pay for many people, so buying a used car makes sense. But there are risks associated with buying a pre-owned vehicle.

What if is defective? What if it is a lemon law buyback? Once should always be a bit suspicious of a used vehicle. After all, if it is a great buy, then why did the original owner choose to part with it?

To resolve some of these issues, as well as to compete with volume dealers of used cars such as Carmax, the major auto manufacturers have introduced the concept of a “certified used car.” These cars are inspected for problems, repaired if necessary, and offered for sale with a warranty that is better than the one typically offered with sales of used cars. In exchange for this added peace of mind, the buyer pays a higher price than he or she otherwise might.

This program is good for dealers, who find the cars easier to sell, and for the manufacturers, who get a fee from the dealers in exchange for certifying the vehicles. The problem for the consumer is that there are cars being sold as certified used cars that may not really be certified. Worse, some of these cars have problems that are so severe that they possibly shouldn’t be sold at all.

Some states have rigid laws that prevent cars with certain types of damage, such as from fire, flood, or a severe accident, from being sold within that state under any circumstances. And yet there are reports of such vehicles having been transported to neighboring states, where their titles can be “laundered.” Some of these cars have then been sold as certified used cars. There are several lawsuits pending in California over the sale of such cars, and the problem will continue to exist as long as there is no national standard regarding the sale of used cars. Does this mean that buyers should steer clear of certified used cars? Of course not. What it does mean is that buyers should exercise caution when they shop for a used vehicle, whether it is certified or not. And that is just plain common sense.

We all avoid maintenance on one pretext or the other but forget its core advantages, like low recurring expenses and optimum product utilization, especially in the case of Car Maintenance. By doing regular maintenance on our car, not only we can save money on car repair, but also enjoy more pleasant drives.

Car Maintenance is not a big technical job, and a novice with minimal car-related knowledge can also do it easily. You can initially start with tires. Tires are among the most expensive, regularly replaceable and neglected items on the car.

One must follow some basic rules for tire maintenance. The first and the foremost are checking tire tread for abnormal wear patterns. On finding any symptoms of abnormal wear in specific areas, tire alignment needs to be done to prevent further deterioration. Along with it, you must check tire pressures once a week, for longer tire life. Tire experts also suggest rotating tires and wheel balancing on every car’s regular service.

The other important aspect is oil, filter change and chassis lubrication. Car experts always advice car owners to change them after every 4,000-5,000 miles or every 3-4 months, to ensure longer engine life and optimum performance.

It is also important that lights are in working condition. One must check and replace all fuse bulbs every month, to ensure your journeys at nights are smooth and trouble-free. Besides this, we also advise you to check for any fuel leaks by looking for fuel drops below the car every morning, before you start your car. Washing the car and checking the battery once a week will also help you keep your car in perfect condition. By following these small instructions, you can easily say, “Let’s go for a long drive, honey!”

Pretty soon, the frost will be on the pumpkin and that should signal it’s time to start thinking about getting your vehicle ready for the colder weather ahead.

Here are some fall car care tips from the experts at the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), who warn motorists that winter is a dangerous time for an automotive breakdown.

* Begin with the basics. Review your owner’s manual and follow the manufacturer’s service intervals.

* Replace worn wiper blades and keep plenty of washer fluid on hand. Check that all lights and bulbs are working.

* If you’re not a dedicated do-it-yourselfer, find a repair shop with a courteous staff, ASE-certified technicians and modern equipment.

* Replace worn tires with all-season radials or snow tires, as conditions warrant; don’t forget to check the spare tire and jack. This is a good time to have alignment problems corrected.

* Correct engine performance problems (rough idling, poor acceleration or hard starts) before cold weather sets in.

* Have a qualified auto

technician check the condition of your battery and cables, plus the radiator, and all hoses and belts.

* Make certain the heater and defroster are in good working condition; have the exhaust system examined for leaks, a potentially deadly condition in closed vehicles.

* Carry emergency gear: flares, boots, gloves, ice scraper, high-energy snacks, a blanket, shovel, flashlight, tire chains, a few tools and a cell phone.

For a free brochure with winter maintenance tips, send a self-addressed, stamped business-sized envelope to: ASE Winter Brochure, Dept. NUW-304, 101 Blue Seal Drive, Suite 101, Leesburg, VA 20175.

ASE was founded in 1972 as a nonprofit, independent organization dedicated to improving the quality of automotive service and repair through the voluntary testing and certification of automotive technicians. ASE-certified technicians wear blue and white ASE shoulder insignia and carry credentials listing their exact areas of certification. Their employers often display the blue and white ASE sign.

In the United States alone, a car is either stolen or broken into every 20 seconds. It is therefore not surprising that car alarm system manufacturers are constantly finding ways to improve the theft deterrence abilities of their products. But while it’s amazing how car alarm systems have evolved form their simplest beginnings, it’s even more amazing how car thieves still manage to get around them. Are car alarm systems really too simple to provide any protection?

Basic car alarm systems work by using simple circuitry technology – if someone forces the car door open, the circuit is closed and a siren sounds off. More sophisticated car alarms have added more sensors to capture every possible threat by being more sensitive to light vibrations or pressures. Shock sensors cause the alarm to go off when someone or something hits or moves the vehicle. The alarm will go off in patterns dependent on how strong the shock is – the sounds go anywhere from a short beeping sound to a very loud, nonstop alarm. Because shock sensors are very sensitive to any movement in and around the car, it often goes off accidentally; when someone leans on your car while waiting for a cab, for example, or when a huge truck passes by and causes the ground on which your car is parked to vibrate.

Whether they effectively deter thieves or not is subject to debate. Some experts say that shock sensors make car alarms go off unduly, and that this has caused people to become immune to them. Studies show that car alarm sounds have become so ordinary that almost nobody notices them anymore.

Manufacturers of car alarm systems are going full speed on their development of new and more innovative alarms that are more proactive. These alarms have the power to stop a stolen vehicle or send signals by themselves so that the owner and the police can track its location.

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An important part of your whole vehicle is the steering wheel. Imagine your vehicle without it and it would seem like you could go nowhere. That is because the steering wheel is a steering control. It is manipulated by the driver and it becomes a channel that directs that control towards the rest of the vehicle.

Upon purchasing a vehicle, you could actually note that some vehicles contain a good looking steering wheel while for other vehicles the steering wheel simply looks dull. That is why many people often try to replace their vehicle’s original steering wheel with one that would not only suit their tastes and would suit their vehicle, but they would also try to find the right kind of steering wheel that could respond and perform excellently according to the directions given by the vehicle’s driver.

If you would like to replace you vehicle’s original steering wheel, it would be best if you are armed with ample and the right kind of information regarding the original one. You should know the measurements of the original steering wheel so that when you purchase a replacement, you would be able to find a new one that would fit and work well with your vehicle. Keep in mind that when you choose the new one, you should make sure that the new steering wheel would not actually obstruct your view of the gauges on your dashboard.

Locate the right kind of store to purchase the steering wheel of your choice. If you have no idea yet as per what kind of steering wheel you would like to have for your vehicle, ideas are available in automobile magazines, in auto shops and auto parts stores, and online as well. You can also ask your friends and family where they purchased new steering wheels.

Remember that steering wheels come in various styles. There are four spoke steering wheels, three-spoke ones, multi-color, boomerang-style, ultra-tech style, and even Formula One style racing steering wheels. Try to choose the right one that would not give you much confusion yet would give you satisfaction. Also, you have to choose what kind of finish you would like your steering wheel to have. Some of the choices to choose from include wood, vinyl, leather, and carbon fiber.

Can you imagine driving down the road at night with barely a flashlight bulb to guide your way? The first cars were outfitted with headlights that were just about that dim. Fortunately, lighting technology has improved to the point to where your car’s lights can cut through the darkness allowing you to see and to be seen from great distances. Headlights are a terrific and important part of your car, without them driving one be reserved to daytime travel under optimum conditions. So, why do people sometimes neglect them?

I used to own a Ford Escort. A basic car for a person like me who, at the time, was on a budget. The car served me well and was still running great when I sold it just after it had clocked 90,000 miles. Hey, it was time for me to step up in the world and the Ford Taurus was a Lincoln Town Car in comparison. Okay, back to the Escort… the only problem I ever had with the car was with its headlight assemblies. You see, they leaked…and then some.

I first knew something was wrong when I took a trip on an interstate and had my headlights turned on. Oddly, I noticed that the lights seemed to be fading in and out. This happened for several miles before — POOF! – the right bulb blew. Fortunately, I was near home by that time and I simply pulled into my driveway and took a look. To my shock and dismay both headlight assemblies were clouded over with moisture and a small amount of water was sitting inside at the bottom of each assembly. So, what I was seeing on the road was the water sloshing up and down before one “wave” took out the right bulb.

My next step was to drain the two assemblies and caulk them both to keep out the water. 15 bucks for one halogen bulb and a few more dollars for the caulk and the job was done. So I thought.

To make a long story short, eventually both headlight assemblies had to be replaced because the corrosion in each unit made them virtually inoperable. Yes, I took it to the garage and they cheerfully did the work for me. Some five hundred bucks later, I had all-new assemblies in place and enjoyed them for about six months before I traded the car in.

Is there a lesson to be learned with this story? Yes, keep an eye on your headlights and make them an important part of your vehicle’s regular check up. My car had gone through a pair of snowy winters and my mechanic and I determined that road salt ate away at the headlight sealant and exposed my highlights to further moisture. I since learned that this was a fairly common problem for many cars and that I wasn’t alone. Small consolation!

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