Archive for August, 2018

What is Negative Equity and How Can I Get Rid of It

Friday, August 31st, 2018

If you’re stuck with a car payment you can’t afford or need to change the type of vehicle you drive; you may be out of luck if you owe more on it than it’s worth. It’s called having negative equity, and if you’re at risk of losing your vehicle, the lender can sue you for the difference if the sale of the repo doesn’t bring more than you owe. CrediReady gives the following example: “Let’s say you owed $13,500 on your auto loan before you defaulted. If the lender repossesses the vehicle and sells it for only $11,000, the lender can sue you for the remaining balance of $2,500, plus all fees.” The good news is that there are five solutions to being upside down on your car loan.

Refinance It with a New Loan

If you’re trading in, you can roll negative equity into a new loan if you qualify. The downside is that your payment and interest costs will be higher, and you may be starting out underwater with your new vehicle.

Absorb It with a Lease

To avoid committing to another car, incorporate your loan balance into lease payments. At the end of the term, exercise a buy-out option if you want to keep it, or walk away free and clear from both the car and negative equity.

Beg the Lender for a Short Sale

If a lender knows their money is at risk, they may settle for less than the full balance you owe. Gather proof of hardship and present a cash offer to the bank in writing. Do it before you miss a payment and make the offer generous enough to be attractive. It will negatively impact your credit for a while, but not as much as repossession.

Pay the Difference in Cash

If you have cash, find a buyer who will pay top-dollar. Add your own funds to the kitty and pay off the full amount on the loan. It’s going to hurt, but it frees you up to purchase the new vehicle you need without financing more than you have to.

Make the Math Work

Sometimes the best option is to dig deep and find a way to make the payments until the value of the car and the balance of the loan equalize. It takes time, but if you’re not danger of repossession, it could cost you less in the long run.

The circumstances that cause negative equity are tough to avoid, but understanding how to deal with it is the first step on the road to freedom. Explore your options carefully, and you may be able to get both the vehicle you need and keep your head above water.

If you have more questions regarding refinancing your car or wonder how to qualify for financing for a new car with negative equity, contact our professionals who can help you.

Who is Responsible For a Truck Accident?

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018

When a passenger vehicle collides with a truck, it generally means significant injuries for those in the vehicle. The accident can also result in significant damage to the vehicle and items inside of it. To be compensated for your injuries and other damages, it will be necessary to show that the truck driver was responsible for causing the accident to occur.

Did the Truck Driver Admit to Wrongdoing?

According to this lawyer, in many cases, the trucker could be the responsible party and would be held accountable for the crash. If the truck driving admitted to being tired, impaired or distracted when the accident occurred, he or she will likely be considered at fault for the accident. This is because this person had a duty of care to everyone else on the road to drive safely. Driving in a manner that is reckless or illegal breaches that duty.

Is There Evidence of Negligence on the Driver’s Part?

Let’s say that there is evidence that the truck driver failed to slow down prior to a collision. In many cases, the trucker could be the responsible party and would be held accountable for the crash. The same could be true if a chemical test showed that this person was drunk or high on an illegal substance. This evidence could be used in court to prove that the trucker was in the wrong even if he or she doesn’t directly admit to causing an accident.

Could the Other Driver Have Done Anything to Prevent the Crash?

In some cases, both parties will be deemed liable in an accident involving a truck and a passenger vehicle. For instance, if the passenger vehicle made an unsafe lane change, it could be deemed that it contributed to the accident happening. The driver of the passenger vehicle could also be deemed partially liable for the accident if he or she was impaired, distracted, or driving too fast for road conditions when the collision took place.

Poor Conditions Could Play a Role In an Accident

There are accidents in which neither driver is ruled to be primarily at fault for causing them. Instead, other factors like poor roads or bad weather are blamed. For instance, an icy road that wasn’t properly salted could be to blame for a crash.

Determining who is responsible for a truck accident depends on many different factors unique to a given incident. Regardless of how a crash happens or how serious you believe it to be, be sure to call the police for help and seek medical treatment as soon as possible.

Did you find this article useful? Then maybe you’d like some of the other related articles on our blog!

3 Jobs of Auto Maintenance You Can Do Yourself (and 3 you shouldn’t)

Tuesday, August 21st, 2018

Many people are intimidated when it comes to doing any maintenance on their vehicle. Also, some car owners are unaware that their driver’s manual has a section dedicated to do-it-yourself maintenance. These tasks are geared towards owners with no mechanical experience. Whether you want to save time, money or improve your skills, performing minor maintenance on your vehicle can be a rewarding experience. Below, I will discuss a few jobs you should and shouldn’t do on your car. If you have a garage, I will also recommend ways to keep it organized.

Do: Oil and Oil Filter

Image Credit: The Family Handyman

Changing your oil and filter is one of the easiest, yet most important tasks you can do on your vehicle. Typically, it takes less than 40 minutes to complete. You will need some basic tools like a ratchet, sockets, oil catch pan and an oil change wrench. Most oil filters can be removed by hand, so the wrench may not be required. Also, depending on your vehicle height, it may need to be jacked slightly.

Do: Wiper Blades

Image Credit: Allstate Insurance

Wiper blades are probably one of the most straightforward jobs you can do on your vehicle. Most wipers simply slide or snap in place without any tools. They are inexpensive at your local parts store and come with detailed instructions.

Do: Engine Air Filter

The engine air filter is another critical item that is simple to replace. In most cases, the filter can be changed in under 15 minutes. Most vehicles don’t require tools to do this job.

Don’t: Timing Chain or Belt

Image Credit: Angie’s List

The timing chain or belt requires expert skills and in most cases should be left to professionals. Also, this job involves a variety of tools and possibly more than one person.

Don’t: Shocks and Struts

Shocks and struts are a crucial part of a vehicle’s suspension and are not considered a novice task. They require raising the car and using special tools in most cases to replace them. It’s  recommended that you get your shocks and struts checked by a professional every 40,000 to 50,000 miles. Most of the time they don’t need to be replaced that often, but checking every so often is better than having them stop working or cause a more serious problem down the road.

Don’t Air Compressor

Image Credits: Buy Auto Parts

The compressor is the heart of the car’s air conditioning system. Special tools and equipment are required to remove and reinstall the refrigerant during replacement. Expert knowledge is needed to get your system back to factory specifications.

Helpful Tips: Garage Organization

Image Credit: Dragonfire Tool Cabinet

One of the best ways to keep your garage neat is to purchase cabinets to keep your tools organized. Cabinets allow you to have a designated space for all your tools. Also, take advantage of your walls and hang tools, bikes or other large items using hooks or pegboards. Invest in stacking bins to maximize space vertically. Use the most of your ceiling by installing track storage racks or hooks for bicycles and other larger items.

If you’re looking for ways to keep your car in top condition without breaking the bank, make sure you check out some of our other blog posts! Here are a couple to get you started:

5 Reasons Regular Car Maintenance is Essential to Driving Safely

What’s the Difference Between Synthetic Oil and Regular Oil

5 Maintenance Mistakes That Will Make You Mourn Your Muscle Car

Top Car Mods for Optimizing Your Ride

Tuesday, August 21st, 2018

Many people do not know where to start when they want to modify their car. For the ordinary person who is seeking to make their car stand out from other vehicles on the road, they will often choose a variety of parts that do not work well together or work well for their car. Not all modifications are good for your car, and some may actually worsen how your vehicle performs. You should refer to this list as a starting guide when you are looking to make your car more unique and more suitable to your tastes.

Wheels

One of the most commonly modified parts of a car are the wheels. Many people want to place different wheels on their vehicles to give them their own unique identity. However, people often do not pay much attention to the wheels that they are putting on their cars. If you want to modify your wheels, you should purchase high-quality, lightweight wheels that are an upgrade from the manufacturer’s wheels.

Ceramic Coating

Ceramic coating is a liquid coating that is applied externally and internally to protect your paint and engine parts from typical wear-and-tear. According to Jet-Hot High Performance Coatings, “When you coat the external and internal surfaces of your exhaust system with ceramic coating, you’ll improve their performance and longevity—and possibly avoid costly repairs later. These coatings improve horsepower output and protect other components in and around the engine from the heat that emits from exhaust components.” While you may think ceramic coating sounds expensive, it’s obvious that the cost is well worth it when considering potential costs for extensive repairs in the future.

Suspension Bushings

Bushings are located all over a car, from the engine mounts to the ends of a car’s suspension linkages. Though they are commonly overlooked, worn bushings can create a variety of small issues that can lead to more significant matters. If you feel as if something is misaligned, making a strange noise, or vibrating more than usual, it may be time to replace your bushings.

Car manufacturers optimize their parts to be both reliable and fit within their budget. When you are deciding to choose which parts you want to put on your car, make sure that you do research and purchase quality parts from manufacturers who are reputable. These reputable companies have gradually built their reputation off of providing durable and tested products. Though modifying your car may seem like a stressful process that requires a lot of research, it should be fun and rewarding for you. After installing each modification, you should be able to sit back and enjoy the work that you have done to make your car more unique. For more car maintenance tips, check out our blog!

The 5 Safest Luxury Car Models

Tuesday, August 21st, 2018

Staying safe on the road is the best way to avoid injury. Still, some cars do much better than others when it comes to keeping you safe in the event of an accident. Typically, car manufacturers are required to crash test their vehicles to obtain an accurate safety rating. Cars are then graded based on their performance. There are many factors that go into judging the safety of a vehicle, and a few of the most critical parts of a car when it comes to crash safety are the seatbelts, airbags, and the impact absorption rate. Here’s some quick info on each:

  • Seat Belts

A seat belt is designed to keep people in their seat upon crashing. A functioning seatbelt should be able to lock up quickly enough to prevent you from flying forward and suffering serious injury. Many consumers worry about children safety when it comes to seat belts, and in those cases, there are many child seat belt modifications available for just about every car model.

  • Airbags

Airbags are essentially padded areas for your body to hit if you are in a crash. Safe vehicles have high-quality airbags located in ideal spots. Properly functioning airbags can prevent injuries due to rapid deceleration. Many modern car models include smart Airbags, which are triggered by weight, and have been found to be quite effective for many consumers, especially where children were concerned.

  • Impact Absorption

Ever wonder why cars dent so easily? This is because they are made to fold in and absorb impact during a wreck. The more impact that the vehicle absorbs, the less that your body does. Cars with decent “crumple zones” have often been linked to higher survival rates for accident occupants, and can even help to limit injuries.

Five Safest Cars

Through safety testing and test crash data, scientists have come to learn which vehicle models are the safest to be in during a wreck based largely on the above safety feature performances. Below is a list of the five safest luxury model cars.

5. Lexus ES

The Lexus ES 350 has been identified as one of the safest luxury vehicles on the road. Not only did it perform exceptionally well in test crashes, but it also has forward collision warning, blind spot assistance, an auto-brake system.

4. Mercedes-Benz E-Class

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is very reliable when it comes to crash safety. Test dummies suffered minimal injury when crashing in this car. The vehicle has collision warning and auto-braking as well.  

3. Volvo V60

The Volvo V60 performed surprisingly well during crash tests, earning itself the title as one of the safest luxury models on the market. The car packs lots of useful safety features like a lane keeping system and rear cross traffic warnings.

2. Genesis G90

This vehicle has outperformed all of its competitors in test crashes and has proven to be a very safe vehicle to ride in. The Genesis G90 also has an exceptional performing forward auto-braking system.

1. Audi A4

The Audi A4 is arguably one of the safest luxury sedan vehicles you can find. Both the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave this vehicle a very good crash-safety score. Collision warning, auto-breaking, and more safety features come standard with the Audi A4.

Of course, these are only 5 of the highest safety rated luxury cars. Many other models have received high safety ratings and might be more affordable for you and your family, like the Audi A3 model for example. A little research will help you to decide what car is best for you and your family, and if you need a few more options to consider while browsing, check out our website for more.

5 Maintenance Mistakes That Will Make You Mourn Your Muscle Car

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

Many people are so excited about getting a muscle car that they forget about the maintenance basics. However, compared to cars with standard engines, a specially fitted car has higher risks of breaking down on the road. There are 5 mistakes that occur when you don’t maintain this car effectively.

1. Not Checking the Brakes

Many drivers have squeaky brakes but turn the other cheek. It’s rare for brakes to fail completely on modern cars, but the risks are still present for old ones. It’s worse when you’re driving a high-performance car that frequently goes 100 mph or more. The car takes longer to slow down and you have to pay more attention as you drive.

2. Not Cleaning the Glass

Auto maintenance is more than changing the oil, checking the brakes and maintaining the engine. Also, maintain the look of the vehicle’s exterior and interior. Clean the glass regularly, which includes the windshield and windows. Some of the best car glass cleaning products include Invisible Glass, Meguiar’s Perfect Clarity, and SprayWay.

3. Skipping Oil Changes

When you know the benefits of an oil change, and the frequency at which it should be done, you know that skipping it is a bad idea. Next to gasoline, the oil is the most crucial fluid to your car. Without it, the metal car parts dry out and wear down more quickly. The oil also protects the engine from building up debris. According to Cascade Collision, while newer cars may not require oil changes as frequently as some older vehicles, it’s still important to follow your vehicle manufacturer’s instructions in order to maximize your engine’s life. This is especially true for muscle cars.

4. Ignoring the Tires

At first glance, your car’s tires look fine on the outside. You cannot see the amount of pressure inside and don’t know if the tires are properly inflated. Low tire pressure makes it harder to remain balanced on the road. The tires are more likely to blow out and break down without proper care. When choosing tires for your muscle car, you’ll need to factor in your ride’s tire size, power, and grip for maximum performance.

5. Ignoring the Less Important Fluids

Any fluid that is deliberately placed into a vehicle is important. Although motor oil is the most important one, there are other types like coolant and brake fluid that also need attention. A professional checks that the fluid levels are adequate and is able to detect leaks.

Maintaining a hot rod is just as important as enjoying one. Without regular maintenance, you will mourn the muscle car when it becomes a useless, undrivable heap. Review the owner’s manual to know how and when to follow a maintenance schedule. Make sure that you or someone else is able to drive the car properly.

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