Navigating the world of vehicle purchase can be daunting, especially when you are not well-versed in automotive jargon or the ins and outs of the industry. One crucial player in this journey is your auto dealer, who can guide you through the process and help you find the perfect vehicle that suits your needs and budget. However, there are certain aspects that they may need to tell you more readily. This article highlights 10 things your auto dealer may not tell you, providing crucial insights to make informed decisions on your next car purchase.
1. Find Specific Help For Your Car
Many car owners might need to be made aware. Still, an independent auto body shop often provides more specialized and cost-effective services for your vehicle than a dealership. Like those specializing in Lexus repair, these shops often work on a wide range of car models and make, which can be a more efficient solution than returning to your auto dealer for every minor issue.
Independent auto body shops focus on repairs and maintenance. As a result, they tend to have experienced mechanics on hand who are experts in their field. They can quickly diagnose and fix a problem using their in-depth knowledge, saving you time and potentially reducing costs.
Contrary to popular belief, using an independent shop for maintenance and repairs will not void your new car warranty. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act ensures that car owners can use the repair shop of their choice. Be sure to ask a professional about this. They may not highlight this choice, as most dealerships have their onsite repair services. But the bottom line is you have options, so choose wisely.
2. Be Careful with Potholes
While you all may be aware of the apparent damage potholes can do to your vehicles, what car dealers may not tell you is their potential to wreak havoc on your car’s tires and suspension system. Potholes, especially those that appear in winter and spring, can significantly damage your car’s wheel alignment, steering system, shocks, and tires. Continuous encounters with potholes can even lead to more severe problems, such as a damaged exhaust system or a compromised car body.
Avoiding potholes whenever possible is the best defense, but sometimes, they are unavoidable. In such cases, it’s wise to have your driveway and roads inspected by a sealcoating company, especially following a harsh winter. They can assess and repair pothole damages before they cause significant problems.
3. Follow the Laws
It’s important to remember the role of law enforcement in maintaining safe driving conditions when you own a car. Your auto dealer may not emphasize this, but abiding by traffic laws is crucial in avoiding legal complications. An example of this is DUI (Driving Under the Influence) laws.
DUI attorneys often witness the grave consequences of disregarding these laws, from hefty fines to suspension of driving privileges and, in severe cases, imprisonment. It’s also important to note that a DUI conviction can lead to increased insurance rates and, in some cases, difficulty obtaining future employment. Prevention is always better than cure – so make safe driving a priority.
Remember, your actions on the road affect you and other road users. Being informed and aware of the state laws can help you steer clear of any legal issues and ensure a smooth driving experience. While a dealer’s primary objective might be to sell you a car, it’s your responsibility to understand and adhere to the laws of the road.
4. Properly Store Your Car
Just as your vehicle needs regular maintenance while on the road, it also requires proper care when not driving it. Other auto dealers might not have informed you, but how you store your car dramatically affects its longevity and performance. For instance, if you have a second car that you don’t use regularly, or you’re planning a long vacation away from home, leaving your car idle for a prolonged period can lead to issues like a dead battery or flat spots on your tires. Long-term storage can also harm your vehicle’s exterior if it’s not adequately protected from elements like sunlight, rain, or snow.
Furthermore, the garage door is a frequently overlooked aspect of car storage. If your garage door is faulty, it could allow pests, dust, or moisture into your garage, potentially damaging your vehicle. Therefore, ensuring that your garage door is in good condition is essential. Consider getting a professional garage door repair service to fix a damaged door and ensure your car stays safe.
If your garage door is already beyond repair, you should consider getting a garage door replacement to maintain the quality of your car. This way, your vehicle will be ready to hit the road wherever you are. Remember, your auto dealer’s role ends once you purchase the car, and it’s your responsibility to take good care of it afterward. Knowing how to store your car and maintain your garage properly can prevent unnecessary repair costs and keep your vehicle in top condition for a long time.
5. Keep Up with Regular Maintenance
Routine maintenance is an integral part of car ownership that your auto dealer may not stress enough. Regular maintenance activities such as oil changes and auto dent repairs help keep your vehicle in optimal condition, prolong its lifespan, and enhance your driving experience. Regular oil changes, for instance, are essential to ensure the smooth operation of your car’s engine. Old or dirty oil can cause significant wear and tear on the engine, leading to costly repairs or a complete replacement.
On the other hand, an auto dent repair may seem merely cosmetic, but leaving them unattended can lead to further problems. For example, a dent can chip away the car’s paint, exposing the metal underneath to elements like rain and humidity and potentially causing rust and corrosion. Regular visits to an auto repair shop can help you catch these issues early, prevent more significant problems, and maintain your car’s value. Remember, a well-maintained car is more reliable and safer to drive and can fetch a higher resale price.
6. Take Care of Your Cars Aesthetic
Just as your car’s mechanical health is crucial, its aesthetic appeal cannot be overlooked. While your auto dealer might emphasize the under-the-hood features, your car’s appearance significantly affects your driving experience and resale value. Maintaining the car’s aesthetic starts with regular inside and out cleaning. Regular washes keep your vehicle looking sharp but also help to protect the paintwork from damaging substances like bird droppings or tree sap.
Furthermore, consider investing in a local ceramic coating service. Ceramic coating, a liquid polymer that bonds with your car’s paint, protects against external damage and wear. It not only enhances the look of your car but also makes future cleaning easier, as dirt and grime find it harder to stick to the surface. Besides, it acts as a barrier against UV rays, preventing your paint from oxidizing and fading.
While most car dealers may not share this insight, keeping your car clean and investing in a ceramic coating can go a long way in preserving its appearance and value. Remember, a well-maintained car isn’t just about a smooth engine – it’s also about a gleaming exterior that turns heads on the road. So, don’t forget to look at your car from the outside to see where it will need improvement.
7. Be Ready for Emergencies
Being prepared for roadside emergencies is an essential part of car ownership that your auto dealer might not mention. Despite our best efforts, unexpected situations like a flat tire, dead battery, or mechanical breakdown can occur. Having a roadside emergency kit in your vehicle can be a lifesaver in such instances.
This kit should ideally include essential items like a first-aid kit, flashlights, jumper cables, a spare tire, and basic tools for minor repairs. It’s also advisable to keep emergency contacts readily available, including a reliable towing service or roadside assistance. Roadside assistance services can be invaluable in emergencies, providing professional help when needed most, from towing your vehicle to a service station to delivering fuel if you run out.
8. Understand Your Car Insurance Policy
While your auto dealer can guide you through purchasing a car, understanding your car insurance policy is a critical aspect they may not delve into. A car insurance policy is a contract between you and your insurance company that protects you against financial loss in the event of an accident or theft. Most states require car owners to have at least some form of auto insurance. However, understanding your insurance policy is not always straightforward, and many owners often overlook the nuances, which can lead to confusion or issues down the line.
An insurance policy typically covers liability insurance for property damage and bodily injury, collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Each element provides a different type of protection. For instance, liability coverage pays for the damage you cause to others if you’re at fault in an accident. Collision coverage, on the other hand, helps pay for damage to your car if you hit another vehicle or object or if another car hits you.
Understanding the details of your policy can help you make the most of your coverage and avoid surprises when you need to make a claim. For example, knowing your deductible – the amount you’re responsible for paying before your insurance coverage kicks in – can help you prepare for potential out-of-pocket costs. Also, being aware of the limits of your policy, such as the maximum amount your insurer will pay for a claim, can prevent unexpected expenses.
Lastly, it’s essential to review your policy periodically. As your life changes, so too might your auto insurance needs. Perhaps you’ve moved, changed jobs, or added a teenager to your policy. These changes can affect your premium and coverage needs, so make sure you stay updated about any changes in your policy.
9. Stay Informed About Recalls
One aspect of car ownership that your auto dealer might not highlight is the importance of staying informed about recalls. Vehicle recalls are issued when a manufacturer identifies a defect or problem with a part of a vehicle that could affect its safety or performance. These recalls can involve everything from minor issues to serious defects that could potentially lead to accidents or damage.
By law, manufacturers must fix the problem free of charge, which usually involves repairing the defect, replacing the faulty part, or, at times, replacing the entire vehicle. Therefore, keeping up-to-date with any recalls affecting your vehicle is crucial. By registering your vehicle with the manufacturer, you can ensure that you receive direct communication regarding any recalls.
Also, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) maintains a regularly updated database of vehicle recalls, which can be accessed online. Keeping informed about recalls helps ensure your vehicle remains safe and reliable, protecting you and your loved ones on the road. So check out these resources occasionally to keep track of it when necessary.
10. Equip Your Car with the Right Tools and Accessories
Equipping your car with the right tools and accessories that enhance its performance and aesthetics is essential, a fact that your auto dealer might not elaborate on. For instance, having a good-quality, dependable GPS can save you from getting lost on unfamiliar routes. At the same time, a dash cam can provide valuable video evidence in the event of an accident.
Moreover, investing in accessories like seat covers or floor mats can protect your car’s interior from spills, pet hair, or mud, keeping it clean and enhancing its durability. Similarly, a roof rack or cargo box can significantly increase your vehicle’s storage capacity, making it ideal for long road trips or camping adventures. Remember, it’s not just about buying a car; it’s about personalizing it to suit your needs and lifestyle, so you feel more confident and comfortable with your ride.
Car ownership is more than just the thrill of controlling a powerful machine – it’s about taking responsibility for its maintenance and well-being. From finding specific help for your car and being cautious about potholes to obeying the laws and being ready for emergencies, there’s a lot your auto dealer might not make you privy to. However, being aware of these aspects can help you maximize the lifespan and performance of your vehicle, all while enjoying a smooth and trouble-free driving experience. After all, knowledge is power, and the more you know about your vehicle and its needs, the better equipped you are to take care of it effectively.