And we are back! I has been a while, guys! A lot has happened since our last post and it is a completely new year! I hope it will be treating you and your cars as well as trucks well. With a new year people often start making plans, setting new goals and already looking forward to the summer time! If getting a new vehicle this year is a part of the goal, there are a few points to keep in mind in order to make the the best decision for yourself and be happy with it for years to come.
Decide what you want. It is good to have an idea what car you are interested in buying. Usually we all have an idea of what we would like to own even if it just looks of the vehicle, branding or maybe a good work put by someone you trust. If you do not have one picked, it is always good to do a research on particular feature that matter the most for you: gas mileage, reliability, safety, maintenance, warranty etc. There is no car out there that would be excellent on every aspect - otherwise we would all be driving the same cars. That is why when customers ask what I would personally recommend, what makes and models are the best of all, I always say 'get what you like and what you are comfortable with' . You can definitely dig into statistics and compare how different vehicle brands got improved over the year as well as how they have performed overall. But it all will remain statistics. Every car is different even if it is the same year, make an model and they will all brake. But when you get something you really appreciate and value - you will not mind keeping maintenance up to date as well as invest into repairs that inevitably will occur. As mentioned in previous posts, how long your car is going to last you depends mainly on you. We have seen different kind of cars make it over 200k miles and still going strong. Only one thing they had in common was regular maintenance and repairs addressed by the owner.
New or used. Another thing to decide on is whether to get a brand new vehicle from the dealer or look into something used. Whether you have already decided or not there are a couple of things to keep in mind for both options. If you are going to get a brand new car from the dealer, keep in mind that the minute you leave the premises of the dealership, the value depreciates tremendously and even if you decide to sell it in a couple of years for any of reasons - there is no way you will get you money back. Do your research and know what to ask the sales person. Do not let them talk you into what to think and how to feel about the vehicle. It is their job but every car has weak spots. If they stay honest and realistic about it - the more you can trust them. When you find out what particular vehicle you are looking at is notorious for - make sure it is covered under warranty for you to still have a chance to have it covered in the future. If, on the other hand, you are looking at something used - always and always get it inspected even if you get it at the dealer. I promise you, even if it is a dealership, it does not guarantee you a sound car. One or more owners, low or high miles, if it was not taken care of properly, you are increasing your chances of getting a lemon. Pre purchase inspection is your right before getting used car and it is usually very affordable and simply is a peace of mind to yourself. We have had a number of cars where people changed their minds when they looked under them when lifted. And they were about to buy them already. Small things like visual damage from hitting a curb, paint from repair after accident, forming seeps, newly replaced parts etc. It all tells a particular story. If it does not match what the personal selling the car is saying - you already have a reason to be more cautious. Another thing with used cars is title. Salvage and branded title ones will always be catchy price wise. But if you want to have an investment be careful with that. Even if the vehicle have been fixed and repaired in the end you cannot foresee hidden issues that may become a problem in the future. If you still decide to get one with any of those title - be prepared and do not be surprised if things start showing up with time. You will be driving the vehicle, as the weakest part is bound to show up, the time frame unfortunately cannot be told.
Test drive it. When you think you have chosen what you like, do additional research just to be completely sure about cost of the maintenance and the repair, the web is full of forums overloaded with information about particular cars that will give you at least an idea what people are going through with the cars at certain mileage and if it has any pattern of breaking to itself. We had a lady come in with relatively new car that had transmission go out before 100k miles and and with a little research we got to know that all models after year 2011 on those models would often brake as early as 30k miles. So the information is out there, you just have to look. Even you are just double checking, it is better to be sound than sorry. In addition to that, test drive it and make sure you feel comfortable inside. No matter how great is the car or how good is a deal, if you do not like how low, bulky and unmaneuverable it is, you will not be happy in the long run. You have to click but do not let emotions take over. A lot people can be dreaming of owning a Corvette, but how many can actually afford fixing it when only rims are around 2000$ each. And just for the record, there are people that admire Corvettes buy would not be able to drive them because of how low it is. So there are different aspects to consider.
Warranty. You might want to consider extended warranty purchase if you are getting the car that is out of original one or does not have clean title. Companies wary from one another but if you know it might be tough to do any necessary repairs in the next few years, extended warranties cover at least the biggest ones that are usually the most unpredictable. We had a few people that were in need of major repairs and if not for extended warranty they had - they simply would not be able to do it at that time. As we all know - cars do not brake at the most convenient time. And statistically and unfortunately new or low mileage car does not guarantee at least 100k miles of no repairs. When getting an extended warranty package make sure they have good reputation and reviews. Also make sure all the major components are covered, some people tend to concentrate on transmission and engine but forget other expensive components like suspensions or expensive gaskets.
Be realistic. If you got a salvaged title vehicle or a vehicle with a lot of miles, do not expect it not brake. The vehicle is new to you but it is not new. Or if you were happy with your previous one and got the same model but newer type - it does not mean it will serve you as good as like I have mentioned before cars are all different. Even if it is brand new out of the dealership deal - do not expect it to last you forever without any efforts put in it. We had cases of as early as 30k miles engine repairs. The worst part dealership did not want to cover it even still being under original warranty due to the lack of maintenance. I will not elaborate on setting a vehicle to 10k oil change intervals themselves or putting it into owners manual in the first place. Nevertheless neglected maintenance is a thing in auto industry is strict about it, even when car is under original warranty - make sure to check everything time to time in order to address the issue before it is too late or give manufacturer a chance to reject you a repair. Make you before all manufacturer warranties expire take it to a repair place or a dealership to double check if everything is in tact and repair the things that are still under warranty. It is sad to tell people that they need a X amount of work done and their bumper to bumper or power train warranty expired 6 miles ago. And what is related to repairs. It is nice to have certain repairs covered under warranty but keep in mind that it will expire and if you are not planning on selling the car afterwards, look into repair costs. We often get people that own luxury makes like Land Rover, or luxury brands of certain makes like Lexus, or European brads like Audi but when it comes to a repair the cost catches them off guard.
Educate yourself, ask people around you, ask us if needed. Here at Z Auto Service we always strive to help you make the best decision. WE do pre purchase inspections, work with extended warranty groups as well as offer you our honest opinion. Let us know if we can help and stay safe!