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Are Dealer Service and Maintenance Plans Worth It?

Posted on 04/17/2018

Are Dealer Service and Maintenance Plans Worth It?

New car dealers are selling maintenance plans for new vehicles to keep the vehicles coming back for service. In principle, they are good but you need to read the terms carefully. If you have leased the vehicle it may be a good purchase because the plans follow the new vehicle maintenance schedule which always has extended service intervals associated with them. This way you are fulfilling your obligations of the lease. If you purchase the vehicle your maintenance plan should be different. You should plan to get more service work done annually. Oil changes for instance are cheap insurance and adding one more oil change annually will be much more beneficial to the life of the vehicle. A leased vehicle is under warranty during the maintenance plan so there are not many worries. At the end of the lease you turn in the vehicle. On a purchased vehicle, you want a third party set of eyes looking at your vehicle with respect to potential warranty claims. Most people who purchase new vehicles plan to keep them well past the warranty period so an aggressive early maintenance plan will end up saving you money in costly repairs. Before making a decision on a service plan get some advice. Remember a new vehicle is your second largest purchase (home being the first) so you will want to protect it better to make it last.

Tire Storage Do’s and Don’ts

Posted on 03/20/2018

Tire Storage Do’s and Don’ts

What do with my off- season tires?  Where is an ideal place for them? Try not to store them out in the open.  The elements really cause problems. The sun attacks the rubber causing it to dry out and crack. The rain/snow causes corrosion on the rims which shortens their life substantially. Putting them under a tarp captures a lot of condensation. They need to be in a cool dry place out of direct sunlight. Garden sheds typically are not a good place for storage unless they are well ventilated and out of direct sunlight. Sometimes they can be difficult to handle because of their size and weight. Shops now offer climate controlled storage which is the ideal place. You never have to handle the tires again. Putting them in and taking them out of your trunk can be a pain literally. If you select a place to store your tires make sure they are put where they are not susceptible to extreme temperatures like in storage containers. You often have a substantial amount of money invested in tires and wheels so be picky where you trust them. 

I Can See Clearly Now!

Posted on 02/20/2018

I Can See Clearly Now

There are a few commercial grade windshield treatments available that really benefit vehicle owners. They have several benefits:

  1. They can fill in small scratches.
  2. The film on the windshield actually repels water. The water runs off the windshield very easily reducing the need for wiper operation.
  3. The drag on the wipers is reduced causing less wear and tear on the wiper components.
  4. Frost comes off the windshield easier.
  5. Wiper blades will last longer.
  6. Dirt and debris is removed easier from the surface of the windshield.

When driving in heavy rain the wipers will be able to clear the windshield easier. If a big truck is approaching, as it passes the sudden spray simply blows right off the windshield so you do not lose your vision but for a second. When properly installed it can last several months. Your vision in poor weather is dramatically improved with this type of treatment.

Running Your Vehicle With Low Fuel

Posted on 01/23/2018

Running Your Vehicle With Low Fuel

How many times have we run our fuel low or until the low fuel light comes on? Can anything happen when we do this? Simply Yes. By running the fuel low we can develop a problem with condensation in the tank from temperature fluctuations especially in the winter months. The fuel in the tank also keeps the fuel pump cool and by running it low the pump can run hot leading to premature failure. Most importantly, if your luck is like mine when you do need fuel the price is high.

While we are on the subject of fuel, did you know not all fuel is the same? Brand name fuels have additives the unbranded fuels do not. New vehicles require top quality fuel. Cheaper fuels will leave deposits in the engine which can rob it of power, fuel economy and performance. These deposits that build up in the fuel system need to be cleaned regularly to maintain fuel economy and performance.

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