Tips on How to Select Used Cars

Cars are considered an essential assets to most people due to the benefits they offer. Most people would love to have new cars but due to different situations they cannot, in this case, used cars come to the rescue. There are quite a number of dealerships who sell used cars and therefore it is important for the buyer to check out as many as possible before selecting one.

Before selecting any car, it is essential for the client to look at some of the areas of the car. The buyer should first of all check the engine of the car for any conditions as this determines how the previous owner looked after it. Any sign of rust indicates that it was not well taken care of as well as any oil leakage would indicate the same. The oil should be clean and of the right amount as this would show that it is in good condition.

The buyer should also check out the tires and even below the car. Any tire that looks worn out is a no-no as this would show that either it is old or has covered a long mileage. Look under the car for any signs of rust and extreme wear and tear. Make a visual inspection of the tailpipe and have the car under go an emissions test as this would save the client a lot of money in repair expenses.

As any other car, used cars also need to be taken for a test drive. When doing this, the buyer should check the handling in the street and highway as well as the engine performance in terms of noise and body motion control. Check out the ease of operation of the steering and any vibrations. Also look out the brakes for parking, stopping gradually or suddenly and also the brake pedal pressure. Having checked all this, now it is time for negotiating the price.

Toyota’s Recall is Exactly What Detroit Needs

For years, it has been a common perception – or misperception as the case may be – that Japanese cars, particularly Toyota and Honda, were of better quality than their American counterparts, Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler.

Don’t get me wrong, American cars did plenty to substantiate those perceptions, especially considering they were behind the curve when it came to moving from massive trucks and SUVs to more fuel efficient sedans, compact cars, and hybrids.

However, with the news the Toyota has recalled 2.3 million vehicles – including some of its best selling models –due to a problem that could make the vehicle’s gas pedal stick, and its announcement that the company will halt sales of all affected models for the time being, is the tide finally starting to turn in Detroit’s favor?

Over the past several years, American car makers – Ford in particular – have received praise for drastic improvements in reliability and quality. In fact, the Ford Fusion was recently named Motor Trend’s Car of the Year for 2010, which is a pretty big deal.

I think when you couple Detroit’s momentum with Toyota’s huge setback, I think we’re on the verge of viewing American cars as being at least as good as, if not better than, their foreign counter parts.

What do you think? Leave your comments below!

12 Greenest Cars of 2010

Looks like even though we’re out of the 2000’s, we’re not going to be able to get away from the word “green.”

The American Council for Energy Efficient Economy has released their list of the 12 Greenest Cars of 2010. You can view pictures of each of the models listed below by clicking here.

For the sake of brevity, here’s the list of cars, as well as a breakdown of each model’s gas mileage:

1. Honda Civic GX – The cool thing about the Civic GX is that it runs on Natural gas, and gets an equivalent of 36 MPG highway
2. Toyota Prius – Most well known Hybrid on the road, gets 48 MPG highway, 51 MPG city
3. Honda Civic Hybrid – The hybrid version of one of the best selling cars in the U.S. gets 45 MPG highway, 40 MPG city
4. Smart ForTwo – Has tiny 1.0 liter, 3-cylinder engine which allows it to get 41 MPG highway (I’d be afraid to take this out on an interstate), 33 MPG city
5. Honda Insight – Honda’s equivalent of the Prius gets 43 MPG highway, 40 MPG city
6. Ford Fusion/Mercury Milan Hybrids – first American car on the list, and the Detroit Auto Show 2010 Car of the Year, gets 36 MPG highway, 41 MPG city
7. Toyota Yaris – Tiny and cheap, and gets 36 MPG highway, 29 MPG city
8. Nissan Altima Hybrid – Just another hybrid on the list. 33 MPG highway, 35 MPG city
9. Mini Cooper – Fun, zippy car gets 37 MPG highway, 28 MPG city
10. Chevy Cobalt XFE – Small, 2.2 liter, 4-cylinder engine gets 37 MPG highway, 25 MPG city
11. Hyundai Accent Blue – A new car under $10 grand that gets 36 MPG highway, 27 MPG city?
12. Honda Fit – 33 MPG highway, 27 MPG city. Really nothing much else to say.

So, if you’re in the market for a new car, be sure to check out all of the cars listed above!

Ford Wins in Detroit – More Sales Next?

So much for American cars being unable to shake their “not good enough” image!

Kicking off what it hopes will be a strong year, Ford won both the Car and Truck of the Year awards at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show. The Ford Fusion Hybrid won Car of the Year, while the Ford Transit Connect van won Truck of the Year.

I know you’re probably saying to yourself, “I’d hope a domestic car maker would win awards in the Detroit Auto Show.” 

Truth be told, despite being a domestic car guy, that thought definitely crossed my mind.  So, yes, to some degree Ford winning both awards can be taken with a grain of salt.

That being said, it’s undeniable that the American car manufacturers – especially Ford – have made considerable improvements in reliability, design and quality over the past several years.

(Please note, Daily Fuel Economy Tip does not have any affiliation with any car maker, domestic or foreign.)

Unfortunately, these improvements haven’t necessarily translated to much better sales. As was reported in USA Today of the 10 best selling vehicles in 2009, all but four were Japanese vehicles. The Ford Fusion was the only domestic sedan (read: non-truck) that made the list.

Let’s hope that for the sake of the U.S. economy – in particular, the manufacturing sector – the awards for Ford are a precursor to higher sales across the board for domestic vehicles.

American Cars Can’t Shake Their “Not Good Enough” Image

For many years it has been widely believed that if you wanted to buy a quality car that would be reliable for years to come, you should avoid the big three American car manufacturers and buy something foreign.

While the American car makers did little to help themselves by mostly producing inferior products, over the past couple years it seems as if they have done a good job of got their act together and have started making better quality and better value vehicles.

In fact, just this past year, it was Ford, not Honda or Toyota, that scored the highest for quality and reliability.

While this is certainly good news for the American automotive industry, the bad news is all of the shoddy work of prior years makes it hard to shake the “just not good enough” image.

Here’s how nearly 500 people responded when asked: Do you believe American cars are the same quality as foreign cars?

  • 60% said “No, I think they are worse quality.”
  • 25% said “Yes, they are on par.”
  • 13% said “No, I think they are better quality.”
  • 2% said they had no opinion

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Did You Get a Good Deal on Your Car?

Thanks the popular and controversial Cash for Clunkers program, and in spite of “The Great Recession,” many Americans have begun to build up the courage to buy a new vehicle, especially over the past month or two.

With the auto industry suffering from the recession and eager to move cars off lots, there are many good deals to be had.  That being said, with a most new cars costing at least $15,000, it’s not as if people have been, or should go into their next car purchase without having done plenty of research.

Based on recent data, it certainly appears as if many Americans were well informed the last time they walked into a car dealership.

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Is a Nano the Right Car for You?

Back in March of this year, the Tata Nano — dubbed “The People’s Car” due to it’s affordability — was unveiled in India, causing quite a stir around the globe.  During the booking period, which ran from April 9 through April 25, nearly a quarter million were sold, with actual delivery beginning in July.

While the basic model of the Nano is relatively stripped down, the car has been widely hailed as revolutionary due to it’s most important feature: it’s $2,500 price tag.  This price makes the Nano the cheapest/least expensive production car in the world.

Considering the tough economic times many of us our facing, coupled with the general woes of the U.S. auto industry, the idea of a small, fuel efficient and very cheap vehicle is certainly very appealing to the American consumer.  That being said, would these factors be enough to make it worth it to Tata to sell the Nano in the United States?

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Hybrid Sales Fall Nearly 10% in 2008

It seems even popular and trendy hybrid vehicles were unable to buck the downward trend experienced in 2008 by the automotive industry.

Despite record high gasoline and diesel fuel prices, sales of hybrid vehicles fell nearly 10% during 2008, according to numbers released by the Automotive News Data Center.  However, in spite of the over-arching bad news, there was some good news for one of the Big 3: General Motors increased their hybrid sales by almost 200 percent.

The “headline news” regarding a 10% decrease in hybrid sales seems pretty bad.  After all, in the first half of 2008 we had both the release of several new hybrid models and saw the U.S. national average gas price climb above $4 per gallon for the first time ever.

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A Big Three Resurgence? Don’t Hold Your Breath.

The Big 3 American car manufacturers – General Motors, Ford and Chrysler – used to be the backbone of the American economy.  They were the prototypical blue collar, middle class employers, where a hard day’s work meant putting together a great American product for a good wage and benefits.

Now, these companies are more of a running punchline than American icons.  While all three are working hard to stay afloat and adapt with the times, it appears that they’re going to face very strong headwinds in order to keep their heads above water.

While I certainly have faith that all three companies will make it through their current problems in some form or fashion, I think it’s going to take a while before they’re able to completely turn it around and become profitable businesses again.

According to a recent poll on Daily Fuel Economy Tip, I’m certainly not the only one who thinks this way.

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Who Should Pay For Fuel Efficient Car Plants – Big 3 or the Federal Government?

It’s no secret that higher gas prices have hit America pretty hard.  While higher gas prices have placed quite a financial strain on the American public, at the end of the day, the “group” that might be effected the most might not be Americans in general, rather the Big 3 American car makers – General Motors, Ford and Chrysler.

After spending years building up the infrastructure to produce profitable trucks and SUVs, higher gas prices have really hurt sales at the Big 3 American car makers.  In an effort to stop the financial bleeding, many truck and SUV plants have been shut down, costing thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in lost sales.

These current conditions have led the senior management of these car companies to ask the Federal Government for some financial help in the form of low interest loans to help convert truck and SUV plants into facilities which produce smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles.

While this Federal intervention may seem like a good thing – after all, a healthy manufacturing sector has always been good for the American economy – according to a recent poll, Americans appear to be pretty torn over whether or not the Federal Government should help the Big 3.

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