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6 Costly Car Repairs That Are Totally Avoidable

Little Mistakes That Can Lead To Big Car Repair Bills

Disclaimer: Nothing in this article should be taken as a replacement for following your owners manual or the advice of a certified mechanic. These tips are a culmination from various sources widely available on the internet.

As anyone who’s ever owned a car knows, they are a huge financial responsibility. Aside from the initial purchase price, there’s insurance, gasoline, and of course, repairs and maintenance.

While some car repairs are unavoidable, there are others that are totally avoidable if you take proper care of your vehicle. Here are a few of the most costly car repairs that are avoidable with some simple preventive maintenance.

Never Ignore The Check Engine Light

Ignoring the check engine can lead to major engine damage that could have easily been avoided had the problem been addressed immediately. There are many reasons the light comes on such as a loose gas cap, bad oxygen sensor, or failed catalytic converter.

Failing To Replace The Batter When Needed

Depending on the battery's condition, most last anywhere from three to five years. If you're still driving on the original battery that came with the car, chances are it needs to be replaced. Modern vehicles are full of electronic features that put a strain on the electrical system, and an old battery will struggle to keep up.

If your battery is drained, it will take longer for your starter to turn over. Your vehicle now draws more electricity, and the alternator kicks in to throw additional amps at the battery in order to recharge it. All those things drawing current can be affected by the spikes and lows over time.

It's easy to eliminate a lot of electrical problems by replacing the battery when needed

Not Maintaining Proper Fuel Level.

Electric fuel pumps are located in the fuel tank. Running the pump dry can damage it. The debris from the bottom of the tank will also get into the fuel filter and clog it. This will reduce fuel flow to the engine and cause all sorts of drivability problems.

If you allow the fuel level to constantly run lower than a quarter tank full, you run the risk of having  to replace the fuel pump sooner than necessary. It sounds weird but gasoline has a cooling effect on the fuel pump, and running low all the time could potentially shorten its lifespan

Unnecessary Transmission Flushes

If you know the history of your car, it may be okay to do transmission flushes just as your preventative maintenance suggests. However If you don't know the history and the car is running fine, then you might reconsider getting it done.

When you fill your car with new transmission fluid, it has specially designed detergent in it to keep a transmission clean. The issue is that it can break loose debris already present in the transmission resulting in a clogged filter. If the filter gets clogged, it will restrict fluid flow and cause all sorts of problems.

Not Using The Proper Tire Size

Whether it's a spare tire or just buying tires not rated for your vehicle, putting the wrong size tire on your car will cause problems. The spare tire is rated for a limited amount of miles and speed, so you should only use it in an emergency situation.

When you drive with mismatched tire sizes, it can cause the vehicle's differential to think that the smaller tires are slipping. It then tries to compensate by sending more power to the wheels, which can cause even more tire slippage and eventually lead to differential failure.

Kicking Ice & Sludge To The Curb

You may just do it without thinking but kicking ice and sludge off your car's bumper, fender and doors can cause cracks or damage to plastic moldings. Think about it this way. When the temperature gets below freezing plastic can become very brittle.

So if you're tempted to kick your bumper, Don't. It could easily crack and need to be replaced. The same goes for plastic moldings and door handles. If possible wait for warmer temperatures, spray it off with a high pressure water nozzle at a car wash or just gently use a soft bristle brush.

Diary Of A Car - Don't Bug Me

A Tough Day In The Neighborhood

I'm just a car trying to get from Point A to Point B minding my own business. The next thing you know a swarm of bugs come out of nowhere and start running into me. Now I'm covered in bugs. Aren't bugs supposed to be attracted to light, so why are they attacking me during the day.?

I try to shake them off, but they just keep coming. I honk my horn and swerve from side to side, but nothing seems to deter them. Finally, I pull into a parking lot and come to a stop.

I really hate bugs. They're always getting in my way and ruining my day. I wish they would just leave me alone. But no, they just keep coming and coming. I can't even go for a drive without them attacking me.

It's not fair. There's a big mess to clean up. I don't know why they did it, but it was really annoying.

Good thing my owner knows how to get rid of them.

How To Remove Bugs From Your Car

Keeping a car washed and clean can help some to prevent bugs from sticking to the paint and making a mess. Waxing the car will also make it harder for bugs to stick.

If your car is already covered in bugs, here are a few ways you can remove them:

  • Try to remove them as soon as possible. If they are left to dry, they will be harder to remove.

  • Use a garden hose or a high pressure sprayer to rinse off as many of the bugs as possible.

  • Apply a commercial bug remover that you can find at most auto stores. Typically you apply the solution to the bugs with a sponge and scrub until they come off.

Preventative Measures

It's always best to take preventive measures to avoid bugs in the first place. Here are a few things you can do:

  • Regularly clean your windshield and front of the car so that bugs are less likely to stick.

  • Keep your car waxed so that bugs have a harder time sticking to the paint.

  • Install a bug deflector on the front of your car.

Diesel vs. Gas Trucks Pros & Cons

Decision Time - Should You Choose A Diesel Truck Over A Gas Powered One?

Thinking of buying a truck? Start by choosing the engine type you want! ? Ultimately, your choice will depend completely on your needs. Diesel trucks can generally tow much heavier weights than gasoline vehicles but gas trucks have better acceleration. Diesel trucks also tend to be more expensive than their gas counterparts.

Back To Basics - What is a diesel truck ?

Diesel engines are compression-ignition engines, meaning that the fuel is ignited by compression of the air in the engine. This makes them extremely efficient, and they can run on a variety of fuels, including biodiesel, ethanol, or even straight vegetable oil!

Diesel trucks are more fuel efficient than gasoline powered vehicles because diesel engines create more torque, which allows the truck to move more weight with less power. Although diesel fuel is often more expensive than gasoline, the fuel economy of a diesel truck can offset this cost over time.

What are the pros of buying a diesel truck

  • Diesel engines have a longer lifespan than gasoline engines

  • Diesel engines are less expensive to maintain than gasoline engines

  • Diesel trucks are more fuel efficient than gasoline powered vehicles

What are the cons of buying a diesel truck?

  • They are more expensive to buy than gasoline trucks

  • They are more difficult to start in cold weather

  • Diesel engines are noisier than gasoline engine

What are the pros of buying a gas powered truck?

  • Gasoline-powered trucks have better acceleration than diesel..

  • The engines are typically less expensive than diesel engines.

  • They are easier to start in cold weather.

  • Gasoline engines are generally less expensive to maintain.

  • Trucks with gasoline engines can run on other fuels, such as ethanol, which is becoming more common.

What are the cons of buying a gasoline powered truck?

  • Gas powered trucks are cheaper to buy, but diesel engines have a higher resale value.

  • Diesel engines also offer better fuel economy and typically produce more torque than gasoline engines.

  • Gasoline engines experience engine problems more frequently. This means that you may end up paying more for repairs down the road.

The Bottom Line:

If you're frequently towing large trailers or hauling heavy loads, a diesel engine is likely a better choice. They have much more torque than gasoline engines and can handle more weight. Gasoline engines are better for acceleration and everyday driving, making them a good choice for people who don't need to tow or haul a lot of weight. Diesel trucks tend to be more expensive than gas trucks, so if you're on a budget, a gasoline engine may be the best option for you.

 

How Trim Level & Options Affect Trade In Value

What Is My Car Worth?

When you go to trade your car at a dealership, some of the more obvious things to consider is the condition of the vehicle, trim level and options of your car. The dealer looks at its resale value which is driven by factors such as how popular the model is, how much demand there is for that model and what the going rate is for similar models.

How does the condition of the vehicle affect trade in value?

Mechanical and cosmetic conditions are the two biggest factors that affect a car's value. If your car is in good mechanical condition, it means that it doesn't have any major problems and is safe to drive. A car in good cosmetic condition will have a clean interior and exterior with no major dents, scratches or rust.

Cars that need mechanical work means the dealer will likely have to spend money fixing it before they can sell it, so they'll give you a lower trade-in value. Likewise, if your car has cosmetic damage, the dealer will want to repair it or discount the price to sell it as-is.

How does mileage of the vehicle affect its trade in value?

According to an article on KBB

The United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration said that the average person drove 14,263 miles per year in 2019. That’s roughly 1,200 miles per month per driver or about 39 miles per day. By comparison, the DOT said the average annual miles was 13,476 in 2018.

If your car has more than that, it may have a lower trade-in value because it has been driven more than average.  A car with low mileage is typically worth more than a car with high mileage.  The reason for this is that cars with low mileage are less likely to have mechanical problems.

What are trim levels for a car?

The trim level of your vehicle can play a role in trade-in value because it indicates what features are included. For example, a lower trim level may not have certain features like power windows and locks, while a higher trim level will have all the bells and whistles. When it comes to options, things like a sunroof or navigation system can add value to your car.

The base model is usually the cheapest because it has the least amount of features. As you move up in trim levels, the price of the vehicle will increase because there are more features included. The most expensive trim level is typically the luxury model or the performance model.

How do options affect the trade in value of a car?

Options can add both practicality and luxury to a vehicle, making it more desirable and, as a result, increasing its resale value. Luxury models will have features like heated seats, leather upholstery and a premium sound system. Performance models will have a more powerful engine and better handling. 

Options that come standard on a particular trim level will usually have less of an effect on resale value than options that are available as upgrades. This is because cars that come with certain options already included are more common, so there is less demand for them.

How does demand affect the trade in value of a car?

The demand for a certain model can play a role in its trade-in value. If there is high demand for a certain model, the trade-in value will be higher because dealerships know they can sell it quickly. On the other hand, if there is low demand for a certain model, the trade-in value will be lower because it will take the dealership longer to sell.

What is your car worth?

Trade in value can depend on a number of factors such as  condition, mileage, trim level, options and demand. Dealers rely on these factors as well as industry specific resources to establish what they're willing to give you for.

Is it time to trade in your vehicle?

We would love to give you a great offer for your old car. We are always looking for new inventory. Selling a car can be a hassle, so we take care of all the paperwork for you. You won’t have to worry about haggling with buyers or setting up appointments for test drives.

Contact us today to learn more about the process.

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