Auto Show Features Hot New Cars

Looking at two, very opposite, popular market trends, the next few years’ car models seem to be offering either alternative fuel technology or massive horsepower.

This article, from Auto Reviews Online, looks at the North America International Auto Show this year and offers some fascinating highlights from the models showcased:

Mitsubishi showed production models of the Raider and Eclipse Concept cars of last year. The Raider was an "imported brand’s" variation of the Dodge Dakota pick up truck, on which it is based. The styling is more Asian influenced on the exterior and the interior is more car-like than the rugged truck like interior of the Dakota. Factor in the incredible warranty advantage Mitsubishi has on the Dakota, the Raider is sure to attract attention in the showrooms later this year. The Raider will be offered with V6 and V8 power plants. The Eclipse was shown as a gas/electric hybrid at last years show, however it has been introduced as a gas powered model offered with 2 engine choices, the 162HP 2.4L 4 cylinder and 3.8L 260HP V6 motors. The styling is quite bold and should appeal to younger buyers who identify with its street rod persona.

For heavy car buffs, this is a must read. It will be interesting to see whether the market goes the way of the environmentalist or the heavy-duty horsepower route.

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Refinancing your auto loan

Whether you can’t manage the monthly payments or your credit has improved, there are plenty of reasons to consider a refinance. While there are different motivations for replacing your current loan, it is important to understand the outcomes of an auto refinance. Here are some of the benefits that could help you save.

Lower your monthly payments

If you are struggling to make your monthly payments, you may consider a refinance. A refi can increase the term of your loan, giving you more time to pay off the note. This extension can help you better manage other monthly expenses by lowering your car payments.

Reduce the length of your loan

Some borrowers look to shorten their loan term to help pay off the vehicle faster. While this increases your monthly payment, it can decrease the overall interest you pay which saves you money down the line.

Decrease your interest rate

If your credit score has improved since you purchased your vehicle, it might be time to shop around for a new interest rate. A lower rate can reduce your total interest charge which can help you pay off the vehicle faster. A good rule of thumb is to seek rates in the low single digits.

Let the Travis Credit Union be your resource for buying or refinancing your vehicle. We offer great low rates for auto loan purchases or refinancing. We also offer quick loan processing, an easy online loan application, and other great options when financing your auto loan. Visit Livauto.com/autorefinance to learn how you can start saving today.

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How Much Auto Insurance Do I Need?

 

Auto insurance can be broken down into three main types: vehicle, liability, and medical coverages. While you'll want to carry the minimum as required by state law, you'll also want to carefully consider the value of your car as well as additional coverages to protect yourself, your passengers, and your assets from accidents. When determining how much coverage you'll need, make sure you're covered for an amount equal to the total amount of your assets. Additionally, if you lease or have a lien on your vehicle, your lender may require for you to carry both comprehensive and collision coverages.

The following coverage packages are not specific coverage packages offered by carriers, rather, they illustrate common package types. This is more of a broad overview of what insurance carriers offer.

Keep in mind, you can mix and match coverages depending on your carrier and your specific needs. While you might want minimal coverages for your vehicle, you might want the maximum coverage for liability. Similarly, the health insurance you carry might factor into what choices you'll make when selecting personal injury protection (PIP).

Insurance carriers can be flexible and offer a wide range of products. We recommend speaking with agents to better dial in what you're looking for and tailor a policy that best suits your needs.

MINIMUM

This is the state required minimum coverage. Experts advise protecting your assets by purchasing more coverage than the state-mandated minimums, as these limits tend not to keep pace with the ever-increasing costs of car repair and medical bills. For example, repair of modern bumpers with motion sensors can cost upwards of $5,000. In some states, the minimum liability amount is only $5,000. Any damages over that amount could cost you out-of-pocket. We recommend purchasing more coverage, but if the state minimum is all you can afford and you don't have any savings or assets, this coverage level may suffice.

LOWER LEVEL

Consider this level of coverage if your car is valued under $10,000 and you can afford to pay out of pocket for repair, but you want higher liability and medical coverages to protect your assets. We recommend at least $25,000 for Property Damage, $50,000/$100,000 Bodily Injury, and $50,000/$100,000 for Under/Uninsured Motorists.

TYPICAL LEVEL

This level of coverage is purchased most often. It includes both collision, comprehensive, and higher amounts of liability and medical coverage. Generally, consumers choose $50,000 worth of Property Damage, $100,000/$300,000 Bodily Injury, and $250,000/$500,000 Under/Uninsured Motorist.

HIGHEST LEVEL

This level of coverage is a good choice if you have a lot of assets. While it will include both collision and comprehensive coverages for auto repair, it will generally have the highest level of liability and medical coverages available. Typically, $100,000 Property Damage, $250,000/$500,00 Bodily Injury, $250,000/$500,00 Under/Uninsured Motorist.

As previously stated, these coverages are indicative of packages that are common amongst consumers, but by no means are these examples exhaustive or restrictive of what you can purchase. Now that you have an overview of what's available, you can shop around and begin to get a sense of how carriers compare to one another for similar coverages.

From there, you can begin to compare differing products and discounts that each carrier offers. Not all carriers are the same, and to be competitive, they offer widely different products and policies. Take advantage of this.

For example, some carriers offer accident forgiveness, while others do not. Some carriers offer multiple products like renters, life, and homeowners insurance, which offers bundling opportunities.

Some carriers offer discounts that others do not. You might be interested in a low-mileage discount. You might qualify for a good student discount, a military discount, or a safe-driving discount. Some carriers offer discounts for anti-theft devices or if you use an electronic funds transfer to pay your premium.

It helps to shop around and compare quotes amongst carriers. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. You may want to speak with an independent agent, as well. They're knowledgeable of the industry and they understand what the multitude of carriers offer and their philosophies. An independent agent can help set you up with a carrier that's the best fit for you.

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KEEP YOUR CAR RUNNING LONGER WITH THESE 5 PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE TIPS

 

Anyone can consider an automobile as an important investment – one that’s expected to stand the test of time as it serves to transport people from point A to point B. However, cars are as perishable as they can get – they’re meant to be replaced after years of constant usage, and wear and tear. If you’re the type who would stick with your old faithful through thick and thin, you’re expected to deal with numerous repairs as you adhere to a fixed maintenance schedule.

Now, if you wish to make your car useful for longer, you must practice ways on how to prolong its life. Check out these five tried and tested ways to lengthen your car’s lifespan, and you won’t have to worry about purchasing a replacement vehicle anytime soon.

  1. Don’t miss your scheduled car service

Have your car checked regularly to ensure that even the smallest ailments can be dealt with preventively. After all, there’s nothing like dealing with the problem immediately before it happens. It’s even more economical to take on a preventive approach to car maintenance than wait for greater damages to happen, which can reduce your car’s lifespan considerably. This means going in for your oil change when it tells you to, not waiting a couple thousand more miles just because it feels like you just got one!

  1. Keep your fluids in check

Check the condition of your car’s fluids so that you won’t expose it to greater chances of damage. Cars typically have transparent vessels for fluid storage, so it should be relatively easy to check whether your car’s fluids are at their right levels. Also, make it a point to conduct oil change at least every 3,000 miles or three months, so you can provide greater protection to your engine. Do the same for all other fluids as well, though make sure to consult your owner’s manual or a professional technician on when to replenish them. Technicians usually check this when you go in for your oil change…we’re serious about your oil changes!

  1. Take good care of your tires

Your tires are integral to your car’s overall operation. For that, make sure to take good care of your tires. Check if your tires are regularly inflated to the right pressure and rotated accordingly to ensure smooth and worry-free drives. Otherwise, you’d expose your car to unwanted accidents due to tire blowouts or worse, crashes.

  1. Go for smooth engine startups

Don’t just step on the gas the moment your engine hums after startup. Allow your car to reach suitable operating temperature after you start your engine. By letting your engine heat up after starting, you’re ensuring that the oil becomes hotter and thinner. With that, your engine won’t have to push itself too much, which in turn would ensure lesser chances of damage to your car’s other components.

  1. Replace your air filter

Think of having a dirty air filter as a car with polluted lungs. To avoid having your car choke on performance, make sure to have your air filter replaced with a new one once it accumulates much dirt. You don’t need much tools or specialization to have your air filter replaced. All you need to do is to consult your owner’s manual, and you don’t even need to worry about purchasing a replacement from any auto parts store since air filters are pretty much generic in design.

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Get An Aftermarket Auto Warranty The Covers Wear And Tear

 

People usually purchase an aftermarket auto warranty or an extended auto warranty for their cars when their factory warranty is up. When you purchase an aftermarket auto warranty, you warranty provider will cover the costs of bills for replacement and repair of certain parts of your car. Here are some things to keep in mind when planning on buying an aftermarket auto warranty:

An aftermarket auto warranty generally does not cover the costs of repairs that are in relation to wear and tear. An aftermarket bumper-to-bumper warranty will cover expenses for repair and replacement of most parts of your car, but usually, this warranty will not cover your brakes, tires, etc. However, there are companies out there that will provide you with a warranty that covers wear and tear parts in addition to the other parts. It is smart to purchase a warranty that covers wear and tear parts even if it is more expensive than a regular mechanical warranty. This is because approximately 80% of your car repair expenses are due to wear and tear issues. You can save a good amount of money with an auto warranty that provides coverage for wear and tear problems, especially if you have an older car.

 

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Avoid Paying Unnecessary Car Expenses With An Auto Warranty

 

People love their cars. Cars become our babies and we are constantly washing and waxing them to keep them looking shiny and new. Some people love their cars so much they talk to them and give them an affectionate pat every so often. However, as much as we love our cars, we should not have to pay for unnecessary expenses. Here are some things that you may be wasting money on:

First off, it is not always necessary to buy premium gas instead of regular gas. You can purchase regular gas, which is cheaper, if it does not cause your engine to knock. The purpose octane serves is to prevent engine knocking. Therefore, if your car is not knocking when you use regular gas, it is fine to use.

Generally, car manufacturers suggest that you should get an oil change done every 5,000-7,500 miles. Many motorists think that oil changes need to be done every 3,000 miles. However, this is only absolutely necessary if you are very hard on your car.

In addition, people tend to waste money by getting repairs done by a dealer. Independent shops do a great job and for less money. Also, make certain that you have an auto warranty that can help you to save money on any unnecessary repair costs.

Being aware of where you waste money can help you to save some money. Do not let others convince you that certain car expenses are necessary.

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Should A Car Be Inspected By A Professional Before Purchasing?

 

Purchasing a used car is an exciting experience through a bit intimidating for the average person. Once you find the vehicle that you’d like to purchase you need to be cautious that you are not inheriting somebody else’s previous problems. Whether you are purchasing the vehicle privately or from a dealer, it is always advisable to have a professional mechanic trained to perform used vehicle inspections check it out prior to completing your purchase. This can be done for a nominal fee and can save you many headaches you may run into later on if you haven’t had the car checked out first.

Dealers sometimes claim that they have thoroughly checked the vehicle and that it is road ready. The fact of the matter is dealers are not always honest and sometimes have not done anything other than drive the car onto the lot and offered for sale.

Buying the car privately is no better as there is a reason the person is selling the car. In many cases, because they don’t want it because it has been a problem and would rather somebody else have to deal with it.

All of that being said, there are still some excellent values out there and many of the vehicles for sale will end up being reliable transportation. Your job as a consumer is to make sure you don’t get stuck with one of the problem vehicles. The best way of doing this is to have a professional used vehicle inspection service check out the vehicle before completing the purchase.

Of course once you’ve purchased the vehicle it is also an excellent idea to purchase an extended used car warranty to protect you from the inevitable failures that will occur, even on quality vehicles as time and mileage. To find out about extended auto warranty coverage find an auto warranty company that has been around at least 10 years and has a solid rating and accreditation with the Better Business Bureau. Also, make sure that the company is directly underwritten by a US insurance carrier. One such company to check would be Auto Advantage Inc. found at www.autowarranties.com. Auto Advantage can also provide a professional inspector to check out the vehicle for you prior to completing your purchase.

 

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10 Tips to Avoid Car Theft

 

According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, 1.09 million motor vehicles were reported stolen. While auto theft has decreased, it still means that every 28.8 seconds, a vehicle is stolen in the United States.

These statistics are especially important to keep in mind because of car theft, according to the Insurance Information Institute, peaks in July and August.

One of the biggest misconceptions about auto theft is where they occur. Did you know more than 33% of all vehicle thefts occur near the car owner’s residence and around 20% of thefts occur in parking lots? Do these numbers have you worried?

Well, you should be vigilant in securing your car and luckily there are many preventive measures you can take to keep your car safe.

Here are 10 things you can do to help protect your car from theft:

  1. Don’t leave your car unlocked
  2. Never leave your car running, especially while it is unattended or unlocked
  3. Do not leave a spare key near your vehicle
    Many people keep a spare key under the car, just in case they get locked out and thieves know exactly where to check for an extra key. While getting locked out of your car is a pain, think about the potential hassle of your car getting stolen.
  4. Never leave your windows open
    Even during the summer when it is scorching hot, don’t leave your windows open or slightly cracked when you are not in the vehicle.
  5. Park in well-lit, public areas
    Avoid parking in areas that are poorly lit or places that are not immediately seen by the public. This will not only keep you safe when you exit the car, it will also help keep your car safe because thieves tend to avoid areas that are highly visible.
  6. Install an audible alarm system and a visible anti-theft device
    Car thieves tend to avoid cars with alarms or anti-theft devices because they attract attention when they go off. These devices are well worth the investment.
  7. Install a vehicle immobilizer system
    Thieves can bypass your ignition by “hotwiring” your car. You can prevent this by using a vehicle mobilizer system such as fuel cut-offs and smart keys
  8. Consider installing a GPS tracking system
    When your car is stolen, this tracking system will emit a signal to the police of your vehicle’s location. This may help the police recover your vehicle faster and may minimize the damage to your car. This may be a good investment if you live in an area with high auto theft rates.
  9. Don’t leave valuable personal property in your car
    The best way to attract a thief is to leave your purse or another high-value item in a highly visible area of your car. If you must put something of value in your car, keep it in the trunk or under the seats, where it is not visible to others.
  10. Use Common Sense
    If you are wary of the safety of your car or see someone loitering around the parking lot, it’s best to park somewhere else. It’s better to walk a few extra steps than to have your car stolen because you ignored your instincts.
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