Archive for Vehicle Maintenance Schedule

Buying Your Child’s First Car

Buying a car is a hefty responsibility, regardless of who it is! The initial purchase is not only a monumental one, but the aftermath of car upkeep, perhaps a monthly payment, and of course weekly commitments such as a full tank of gas can be overwhelming.  And of course, the unforeseeable car mishap—needing a new transmission, the random breakdown, or maybe just a twist of poor fate needing a new car altogether. Needless to say, purchasing a car is a financial responsibility from the moment you sign the title.

teen-driver

So what happens when your new driver has this responsibility so that they can have transportation for school, work, or a social life? Should you help with  this, or chalk it up to a  learning experience and have them pay for it all on their own? Here are some tips and things to consider as your kid moves towards the purchase of their first car, and the involvement you may or may not have with it.

Do they have a job?  Take a step back and reflect on where your kid is at in life. Are they pulling their weight with their finances? Are they holding down a job, and showing responsibility? If they are focusing on school and academics, how are they fiscally contributing to their present and their future? It’s so important to hold your student responsible for fiscal burdens, even if it’s not entirely—this allows them to wean into the pressures and predicament of adulthood so that they can mature properly. It’s also a hope that your student has been able to watch your smart fiscal decisions as well,

 

Bryan Camper, certified financial planner and wealth manager with Camper Rogers explains, “Parents don’t always understand how their example sets the tone their kids will follow. If they spend more than they make, their kids will too. If they live frugally, so will their children. Their ‘financial DNA’ is established early.” (via MSNMoney)

What has been the “Financial DNA” in your family? How is your child’s? Are they ready for such a big step?

Is it safe?  Most kids who purchase their first car look at one thing: the price tag. This being said, it’s typical and logical (in their mind) that they would search for a car that’s cheap, perhaps a used car with 200,000+ miles and a dent or…..five. But is it a safe vehicle? Is your student driver sacrificing their safety for a steal of a cheap buy? It’s important to have this conversation with your kid and make sure they know and understand the possible risks of purchasing an older car with more miles on it—more miles usually means more problems.

Can you negotiate? There are plenty of terms you can come to with your student as they move towards the purchase of their car. Consider negotiating with your child as you work towards assisting them or coming to an agreement on the car of their choice. Can you match what they’ve saved for this purchase? Can you assist with the car payment (if leasing/taking out a loan for their vehicle) or perhaps allow them to make the initial purchase of the car and help with maintenance issues along the way? Or, maybe, for whatever reason your child will be purchasing their car solo and you can offer your support and wisdom in the car shopping part of this process. That can sometimes be just as helpful (so that they don’t purchase a lemon!) as fiscal support can be.

We’re curious, how did your parents handle you first car purchase? How do you plan on helping your student with their first car? What has worked with your other children?

And as always, a friendly reminder: for all of your student’s car needs, turn to the Car People for help!www.thecarpeoplellc.com

 

Posted in: Auto Repair, Car Repair, Vehicle Maintenance, Vehicle Maintenance Schedule, Vehicle Repair

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Tips for Winterizing Your Car

Ah, Mother Nature, we love you so. One thing we don’t like so much? The cold, winter weather. Our cars aren’t the biggest fans of it, either. winterize_car-300x230Regardless or not if there’s snow on the ground, the harsh winter temps can implode havoc on your car, causing both long and short term damage. Here are four tips to help keep your car in the best condition possible admits the winter months.

1. Replace wiper blades. This is obviously an issue of safety just as it is maintenance. It’s important to have your wipers working during the rain, snow, or ice that may be hitting you this winter so that you can see the road clearly. Changing the wiper blades around every six months is optimal, and will prevent scratching from worn out blades. This usually is a car maintenance task you can do yourself. However, we’re here to help if needed!

2. Car Battery. It’s important to make sure you keep your car’s battery in excellent condition, especially in these winter months. According to Consumer Reports, at about 0° F, a battery has only about half the cranking power it has at 80° F, so it’s critical to make sure you have enough battery life, and you’re checking it regularly. We can test this at our shop, just call us!

3. New Tires. If your area is prone to ice and snow, it may be time to look at other tire options. There are various types in a broad range of price points, so those who hold off on this part of their usual car maintenance need not worry, there are plenty of affordable options, just check the safety and quality ratings first. And of course, know it’s best and safest to change all four at once. We’re happy to offer this service to you.

4. Check & Change Your Oil.  Cold weather can take a toll on your engine, so it’s important to monitor your car’s oil supply and quality. Keep in mind that cold weather thickens the motor oil, thus making it difficult for the engine to turn over. According to AutoTrader.com, it’s important to keep a 50/50 ratio of antifreeze and water. This will keep your coolant from freezing until temperatures are well below zero. Colder conditions, however, can call for a 60/40 or 70/30 ratio.  We’re happy to check this for you, and provide you with an oil change as well!

How have you prepped your vehicle for the winter months?

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Vehicle Maintenance Schedule

Avoid major repairs by keeping up to date with a vehicle maintenance schedule

Have you ever gone to an auto repair shop to have a simple repair done and out of nowhere comes a huge list of what your vehicle needs done for it to be completely fixed? There’s a reason for that. This type of situation normally happens if the garage you take your car or truck to for service hasn’t been doing their job correctly. Chances are they haven’t been keeping up to date with what has been going on with your automobile and now it’s your problem to deal with. Vehicles normally don’t develop a list of things all of a sudden. In fact, they’ll usually start small and eventually grow into multiple into bigger problems over time. By the time you discover the “small”problem, it may already have turned into a “BIG” problem.

For example, if something as simple as an oil leak goes undetected or not repaired, it can saturate the motor mounts and eventually weaken them over time and in some cases and destroy them. The wiring can also get saturated and cause major problems. So now you have an oil leak, motor mounts and wiring that need repair/replacement and these problems can seem “all of a sudden.” However, If you had been told or made aware of it when it first started, there would not be this long list of repairs that need to be addressed. Most people procrastinate on the repairs hoping that they will disappear or go away over time and nothing could be further from the truth. A good auto repair shop is one that takes care of your car while looking out for your checkbook as well. It is important to trust the people that work on your car and look out for it’s durability in the long run. Nowadays, cars last longer than they used to but only if the maintenance is done properly and mostly that has to do with how much often it has been looked at by professionals. Here at The Car People, LLC we strive for excellence and one of the ways we do that is keeping our customers up to date and in the loop about the repairs they need taken care of in the short term to make sure they’ll be driving their vehicles stay durable for the long term.

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