Tips on Buying A Car In College

October 18, 2018 / 217 / Blog

A lot of us buy our first car in high school after getting the freedom of a driver’s license. We hope that that the fifteen year old Toyota Camry we cruised around in high school lasts through college, but sometimes it just can’t make it another day and we find ourselves having to go through the buying process in college, broke. Here are a few short tips every college student should have when on a budget

 

  • Buy Used

When you’re living on a $10 per hour part time job and paying for school expenses, buying a brand new car is not a good use of your limited funds especially since the value of a new car drops significantly as soon as you drive it off the lot. So check out used cars around two to three years old (after that time period the value of a car greatly depreciates).

Bonus, the car insurance for a used vehicle is much less expensive reducing your overall cost of owning a car.

 

  • Buy From a Dealer or Mechanic

Some people can buy straight from the owner and have a great experience, but it is more risky. Sometimes you can buy straight from the owner only to later put thousands of dollars of work into a car later on. You can sometimes get a great deal from an owner, but its not really something you want to risk in college when your cash flow isn’t regularly coming in.

 

  • Pay the Smart Way

Whenever you can pay cash for a car, and not take out debt, do. Ultimately, when you finance a car you end up paying more for it. If you pay cash, you pay less. Even if you can’t pay cash now, it may be a better deal for you to hold off until you can.

If you have to finance, make sure you shop around and know your options.

 

  • Bring a Keen Eye or Get a Report Before You Buy

Google what to look for when buying a used car, there are a lot of great articles out there that can help you learn what you should be looking for. Additionally, if you know someone who has experienced eyes–bring them along! Older folks have usually bought a car before and know what to look for from their previous experience and mistakes. So whether its a dad, mom, uncle, aunt, friend, grandmother or grandfather ask them to come along and give a second opinion.

Don’t go broke buying a new car to get around in during college. You can splurge once you get that degree. Remember, you can look just as good in an Audi as in a sedan.

How To Get Your Car Ready for Thanksgiving Break

October 18, 2018 / 256 / Blog

During the Thanksgiving holiday season thousands of students pack up their cars and head home for stuffing, turkey and awkward family discussions about what major they chose or what they’ll be doing post-college. Here are some tips from us that will get you home safely so at least you get one less lecture this holiday season:

 

  • Inspect Your Vehicle

One of the simplest things you can do before you head off on a long road trip is inspect your car. You should look for any noticeable damages: ensure all your lights, tires and safety features are operational. Check your vehicle’s fluids such as your oil, antifreeze and gas. If your trip is super long, consider getting an oil change (we have a discount going on right now!). And don’t forget to check your wiper blades, the holiday season can bring on severe weather and you need your wipers to operate at your very best.

Not sure how to inspect your car properly? Have us do it for you.

 

  • Test Major Components

There are a lot of moving parts on your vehicle, so it would be tough for you to check each one individually but make sure to have an auto mechanic check out the major systems. Ensure that they your starters, alternators, batteries and check engine lights are all working properly.

Contact us to see what tests we can do for you to make sure your car is running smoothly.

 

  • Emergency Kit Prep

Whether your trip is an hour, a day or longer you never know what can happen. There is nothing worse than being stuck on the side of the road in a broken-down car and not having emergency supplies to keep you and your loved ones safe. Your emergency kit doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but a few basic things should always be in there:

  • Flashlight(s)
  • Spare batteries
  • Flares
  • Water
  • Blankets
  • Snacks
  • Pet essentials (when you travel with your four-legged friends)
  • Electronic accessories like a phone charge

 

  1. Invest in a Emergency Service

When you are heading out on multiple road trips over the holiday season investing in an emergency roadside service like AAA or Geico can make sure you are prepared for anything. That way, if something happens and you aren’t sure what to do you always have someone to call.

Stay safe and have a great holiday with friends and family!

Get Your Car Ready For Fall Semester

August 17, 2018 / 381 / Uncategorized

Maintenance Checklist For College Students

This year, do not get stuck in the freezing weather on the long drives home for thanksgiving and winter break! Complete the following checklist, and experience smooth sailing all the way through Fall semester.

1. Get an Inspection

Get a complete vehicle inspection by your local mechanic. The inspection will give you peace of mind: any big or small issues should come up during an inspection so there are no surprises later on. Make sure the technicians give you recommendations on things you need repaired or replaced now, as well as give you an idea of what you might need to get done throughout the year so you can budget ahead of time.

If you are looking to schedule one through us, click here.

2. Check and Refill Fluids

You should have your local mechanic check all the essential fluids in your car. A few of the fluids to pay particular attention to are the: motor oil, radiator fluid, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, brake fluid, air conditioning coolant and windshield wiper fluid.

Some of these are simple enough to check on your own at home (for example wiper fluid), however many require a technician (such as the coolant). Making sure your fluids are up to date, will make sure that whatever you put your car through it will get you to where you need to go. If the fluids run low or out, the car could stop running, become damaged or very difficult to drive so make sure check all fluids frequently. If you would like to schedule one of our mechanics to take a look, click here.

3. Test and Clean Your Car Battery

There’s no bigger bummer than getting to your car and it not starting. Getting a battery test will allow you to find out how much longer your battery will last. If the battery still has a lot of life left, clean the terminals of debris or corrosion safely to keep it in great condition. If the test shows that the battery is almost dead, invest in a new one in order to keep your engine healthy and to make sure you don’t come across a dead battery on the morning of a big exam. The average battery lasts about four years, so if yours is already around that age absolutely get yours checked!

If you would like to make an appointment with us, click here.

4. Inspect All Five Tires (Yes, Five!)

One of the most cost effective and most proactive ways to keep a car safe is to check the tire pressure and tread. Check that the tire pressure in each tire is at the recommended level, which you can find in your manual.

To look for signs of tread wear, you can try the penny trick: you place a penny head first into several tread grooves across the tire. If you always see the top of Lincoln’s head, your tread is too shallow and is worn. If that is the case, your tire(s) needs to be replaced.

Also check if there is any damage, leaks and/or bulges on the tires. Any type of aging on your tires can prevent the tires from performing as they are intended, which can be a serious safety risk since it increases the chance of your car getting into an accident or hydroplaning.

If you would like to make an appointment with us, click here.

5. Clean the Car

This one is always difficult, but keeping your car clean will not only make drives with your friends more pleasant but it will also increase the resale value when you decide to upgrade your car. You can either take this to a professional or save some money and do it yourself!

6. Go Over Car Maintenance

Make sure to stay on top of the following by getting them/it checked regularly by your local college mechanic (or learn how to check some of these on your own):

    • Keep track of tire pressure
    • Check battery regularly
    • Stay vigilant on car fluids
    • Keep your car clean

If you would like to make an appointment with us, click here.

7. Go Over Car Safety

Make sure you are equipped with an emergency roadside assistance kit so you can be prepared for anything that might come your way. This should include items like: jumper cables, fix-a-flat, a flashlight and batteries, a phone charger, a first aid kit and some cash.

Double check that there is a spare tire as well as a tire jack/lug wrench and that it is in good working condition in case you come across a flat. Make sure you know how to change the tire, jump start a car and what to do and don’t do if your car overheats.

Lastly, you should write down the contact information of a local car mechanic near your school with good reviews so you know exactly who to turn to in case of a car emergency (or in case your phone’s data doesn’t work).

Now, you’re ready to be safe and have fun this semester!

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May 15, 2018 / 594 / Uncategorized

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