Posts from ‘Car Care’
By Tim Healey
You’ve just picked out your new car. You’ve decided on the options and the color, and now you’re sitting in the finance office while the dealership’s porters prep it for delivery. The finance manager is trying to sell you things like rustproofing, VIN-number window etching, and Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP) insurance, and now he or she has thrown another one at you: the extended warranty.
For years, American car owners have had the 3000-mile oil-change interval rule drilled into their psyches. Two powerful forces are at work keeping the 3000-mile edict so prominent in the public’s mind: inertia and marketing.
If you’ve gotten the sense that automotive technology—and specifically auto safety technology—is advancing more quickly than drivers are learning about it, you’re not alone. A recent survey conducted by the team at MyCarDoesWhat.org finds that a number of recently introduced automotive safety features and systems are not well understood by the general driving public.
It may not be your fault, but it’s embarrassing just the same. Like a random pimple on your forehead, or finding spinach stuck to your teeth after a staff meeting, cloudy headlamps are many car owners’ secret shame.
Many years ago, premium fuel was thought (and sort of advertised) to contain added detergents that helped keep fuel injectors clean. At the time, fuel injection was rather new, and the injectors’ tiny orifices could easily get clogged by dirt. Therefore, many people bought premium-grade gas for that reason, even though the engine didn’t really require it. But today, virtually all name-brand gasoline (and probably all gasoline, period) contains a sufficient amount of detergent to keep the fuel injectors clean, so that’s no longer a good reason to pay an extra 20 percent for your gas.
Selling cars is a cutthroat business. New-car dealers work hard to eke every penny out of each sale. Most shoppers know the routine and for that reason dread the prospect of negotiating the price of their next new vehicle.
According to a 2012 survey conducted by carfinance.com, 64 percent of recent new-car buyers described negotiating the price of their new car as the worst part of the purchase process. This really shouldn’t be surprising.