Suspension

Keeping Your Leased Vehicle, or Buying an Off-Lease

Leasing has become a popular way of acquiring a vehicle. For those who face the decision regarding turning the vehicle in at the end of a lease versus taking ownership, the Car Care Council offers a suggestion: Invest in a comprehensive inspection by an independent expert before the lease has expired. This is especially important in the case of a high mileage vehicle.

Maintaining Your Present Vehicle May Make Financial Sense

Although you may want to get rid of your present vehicle in favor of a new car, taking better care of your current set of wheels may make much more sense in the long run-helping you achieve a goal of financial freedom.

"We advise our clients that if they want a 10 percent increase on their investments every year, they need to cut down on their expenses," said Terry Mulcahy, vice president of investments for R.W. Baird.

Keeping Up with Proper Vehicle Maintenance is Easier Than You Think

Motorists can protect their family’s safety by meeting their vehicle’s maintenance needs. While it’s easy to be car care aware, too many people are putting off simple preventative maintenance and repairs that could make their vehicles safer and more dependable.

If It Looks Like A Flat, Feels Like A Flat, And Sounds Like A Flat, Guess What…!

A flat tire shouldn’t be reason for panic. “In schools where drivers’ education isn’t available,” observes one educator, “tire changing ought to be included in home economics.” The Car Care Council suggests that motorists who are unprepared to deal with a flat tire are faced not only with added expense and inconvenience; they also are more vulnerable to foul weather and roadside crime.

It’s All in the Timing

With automotive engines as with many aspects of daily life, timing is critical. One vehicle component often overlooked during routine maintenance is the engine-timing belt. If it fails, the engine will stop and the car will coast to a stop. The lucky motorist will only have the inconvenience of being stranded on the side of the road until the car can be towed to a repair facility to have the timing belt replaced. On the other hand, the engine might suffer severe, if not catastrophic, damage to its internal components.

How NOT To Save Money

It doesn’t take an accountant to recognize that it costs more money to operate a vehicle than it did a few years ago. This may cause some motorists to try saving a few dollars by using cheap gas delaying needed maintenance. “That’s a classic case of false economy,” says Rich White, of the Car Care Council, “and it’s no surprise that these ‘money-saving’ measures can cost big money in the long run.”

Drivetrain Quiz

Your car's drivetrain is a vital power-transmitting component, and key to dependability. It's responsible for transmitting the flow of power from the engine to the wheels. The components include the clutch, torque converter, transmission, driveshafts (or axle shafts in front wheel drive), U-joints, CV joints, differential and axles.

Consumers Can Avoid Problems by Watching for Warning Signs

When it comes to your car's safety, brakes top the list of systems that need monitoring. However, many people are unaware of the signs that indicate a car's brakes may need maintenance or repair.

For routine maintenance, it's important to check the vehicle's braking system at least once a year. A thorough inspection should include brake lining wear, brake fluid level, rotor thickness, condition of hoses and brake lines, brake and dash warning lights, as well as taking the car for a test drive to detect other potential brake system problems.

Comprehensive Pre-Trip Checkup Can Pay Off

Tow truck operators in resort areas or along Interstate highways see all too many travelers forced to return home ahead of schedule. Car trouble, usually due to neglected preventive maintenance, brings an abrupt end to vacation plans.

The situation usually means more than just a repair bill. It can involve towing charges, lodging and possibly a rental car. Add to that the cost of extra phone calls, meals and general inconvenience, and the ordeal becomes expensive.

Botox for Your Car

America’s growing obsession with younger looking faces evidenced by the Botox craze, is inspiring car owners to prolong the appearance of their automobiles as well. Four billion dollars were spent last year in the United States on enhancements to keep the interior and exterior of vehicles looking like new, according to the Car Care Council.

“As consumers spend more time in their vehicles and drive more miles each year, they are placing more importance on comfort, luxury and appearance,” said Rich White, spokesperson for the council.

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