Television and radio are FULL of advertisements trying to convince you that you neeeed to buy a new car, and TODAY !  But is it really worth it ?

Maintenance is a normal part of life……whether we are talking about your home, business, yard or vehicle, there are certain expenses that you must endure to maintain peak performance of your material object.  Often times, individuals forego the expense of scheduled maintenance and only “catch up” on the minimum when the car or truck gives them trouble or breaks down.  That is why we recommend regular maintenance to our customers – change your oil, transmission fluid, brakes, fuel filters, etc.  Whatever the case, the expense of maintenance is worth it.

For those that refuse to get on the regular maintenance bandwagon, those repair bills WILL come due to neglecting the vehicle for an extended period of time.  That is when many individuals toy around with the idea of selling a vehicle.  However, there are several points to consider when you debate keeping or selling your vehicle:

  • YOU know the history of your vehicle & you know if it’s dependable
  • You DON’T know the history of a used vehicle you are thinking about purchasing – did they change the oil regularly, is the Check Engine Light temporarily off for something crazy and expensive, is big maintenance due soon (timing belt, suspension, etc) ?

Example:  We have a customer that was recently involved in an auto accident – not her fault.  She was suddenly faced with having to go car shopping.  She got a “great deal” on a used vehicle and has unfortunately spent $2200 in the last month repairing that great deal.  She learned a very valuable lesson in the meantime.

  • Vehicle taxes and insurance are less $ on an older car vs a new car
  • Your car is likely already paid off.  You can take that money and put towards investments or other bills

Only you know your budget and whether a car payment is “do-able.”  If you are spending more to repair your vehicle than you’d put into a monthly car payment, it might be worthwhile to at least run the numbers on a new vehicle.  BUT, keeping your older vehicle may save you more money in the end !


How Far Do You Go ?

Have you ever played the game “How Far Can You Go with Your Gas Light On?”  As fuel prices are consistently creeping UP and summer travel is on the schedule, it is important to approach things with a level-head and a sense of urgency when needed.

Today’s vehicles do most of the thinking for us – they beep when we get too close to another car (or grocery cart in the parking lot), can park themselves in a parking space, correct us when we veer off course, and we can use the steering wheel to call a friend or loved one.   However, the dash lights illuminate in order to get our attention and alert us when there is a problem.  Brake pads have worn out, coolant is low, oil level is low and oh yeah, it’s time to get gas again.  What happens when you let that gas light ride just a littttle bit longer?

  • You can damage the fuel pump.  This pump operates based on lubrication.  You run it low on fuel, the pump can take in air and it can run hot, meaning premature replacement will be needed.  And fuel pumps are not cheap.
  • Sediment settles on the bottom of the fuel tank and when you run your vehicle low on fuel, you don’t want debris to get stirred up into the gas, circulate through your fuel system and cause problems with fuel injectors, fuel lines or the fuel pump pick up.

Here are a few good rules of thumb when it comes to fuel and your vehicle. 

  • Fill up when your vehicle gets to ¼ of a tank.  I know many folks that fill up at half a tank
  • When traveling, know where you are going and what your fueling options are along the way.  No one wants to get stuck on the side of the road on a hot SC road in the heat of summer.
  • Be as consistent as possible with the fueling stations you use to fill up your vehicle.  Whether you are running regular unleaded, mid-grade or premium fuel, consistency is key.  And just like oil, not all fuel is the same.  Just because a gas price is cheap does not mean that it’s good.

Be safe on the roads this summer and fill up your gas tank before your trip gets underway.  A little pre-planning goes a long way !!!

Warmer temps are certainly here, and we have received many calls regarding A/C systems that are not working.  Either it takes a while for the A/C to get cold or the air coming out of the vents is ambient temp = not good when it’s 85 degrees outside.  Take a look at a recent A/C repair on our customer’s 2006 VW Jetta TDI.  His compressor failed internally so the system was flushed and the condenser/drier was replaced as well.    His diesel is ICE cold now and ready for Summer !