Ask for tips buying a car

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daniel2304
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Postby daniel2304 » Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:50 pm

I don't think I'm capable of doing maintenance myself. So I have to rely on dealers or auto shops. Ford models after 2013 are really nice guys. Even the basic trim already designed with a lot of technology, such as sync in, rear camera, sensor etc. The Escape Titanium looks like a spaceship inside. I'm so in love.
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darkguy2
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Postby darkguy2 » Fri Mar 07, 2014 11:54 am

Changing your oil really is easy and just about anyone can do it. The same oil change that would cost you well over $100 only costs $35-$40 and that is with the best oil and filter you can get. So is changing your air filters. That just involves popping of a cover and taking the old one out and putting in the new one. Other stuff is harder like brakes. It really can add up and save you a ton of money.
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rockyrock
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Postby rockyrock » Fri Mar 07, 2014 10:57 pm

I only pay $30 for an oil change, and that is at the dealership...
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JoDa
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Postby JoDa » Fri Mar 07, 2014 11:45 pm

Yeah, if you're paying $100 for an oil change, you're getting ripped hard. I never spent more than $30, and by finding the garage with a weekend special, usually paid just over $20. If you drive a large truck, it will be more, but still not $100. My brother drives a BAT (big-ass truck), and his is $50.

But other stuff you can do to avoid a mark-up, even if your skills are weak. Changing air filters is easy and sometimes doesn't even require tools (my last car just had 2 clips that could be opened and closed by hand). A "grease job" just means putting some lubricant on things you can reach. You can tighten fasteners to make sure nothing vibrates off with just a screwdriver. Windshield wipers take, literally, 5 minutes to put on yourself. Topping off fluids is a piece of cake (sometimes this is complimentary, but do make sure the fluids are free, not just the labor, because if they're charging you for the fluids, they're charging you 2-3x or more what you'd pay to just buy a jug of them). Even fuses are a piece of cake to replace should one blow.

Go to YouTube and watch some "how-to" videos. You'll be set to do a lot of basics in no time.

ALSO: BEWARE OF "FREE." The garage I went to advertised "free" air filter changes. I inquired and they said "yep, free labor, just pay for the filter. For your car...it's $18." B-FIN-S, that same filter was $6 at AutoZone. Considering no tools involved, I laughed at them and just kept changing my own.
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darkguy2
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Postby darkguy2 » Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:46 pm

When I change my oil I always go with the full synthetic that cost more than conventional oil along with the high-performance filters. The $20 oil changes come with the cheapest oil that is sometimes recycled and a basic oil filter. If you look at their prices I am sure you will see that they have a "premium" or "high-millage" oil change that gives you the more expensive oil but it will cost more. The full-synthetic oil change usually goes over $100. That is what I saw when I would go in to get my car inspected. While it may not make sense to do it yourself if you are only putting the cheapest stuff in I still do not like to rely on others to do it properly when I can easily do it right myself. Unless you have a trusted mechanic that you have gone to for awhile there are many places that will try to scam you and can actually do damage to your car.

But that said make sure to check your car's manual as some manufacturers do not recommend using full-synthetic and to use a blend.
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MemberSince99
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Postby MemberSince99 » Sat Mar 08, 2014 6:17 pm

That depends - synthetic costs more. It also lasts longer. So that wouldn't necessarily be getting ripped off. Now if it's conventional oil, yeah you'd be getting ripped a new one.


I wouldn't do oil changes myself anymore. I did them all when I was younger but at my age the last thing I want to do is crawl under a vehicle with crap falling in my face, trying to get the plug out without it falling into the drain pan and spilling the hot oil all over, and then mess with removing the filter in cramped quarters, and finally trying to hit all those greasing points. It's just not a fun thing when you hit your late 40s, in fact it wasn't much fun when I was in my 20s but I had to do it myself then as I couldn't afford to pay someone. Now that I can, I'm not eager to do it.

JoDa
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Postby JoDa » Sun Mar 09, 2014 7:46 pm

I don't think full-synthetic is really called for unless you really beat your car up. Now, I will admit that, at the time I was doing the "discount" oil changes (every 6 months regardless), I was driving my car less than 5K miles/year and it had barely 50K miles on it (I sold it with 58K miles on it, after buying it with 19K and owning it for 6 years, driving fewer and fewer miles each year), but unless your car is old or you're doing tons of "hard" (stop-and-go, cold start) driving, conventional will usually do.

If it's worth it to save your time or your back, by all means pay for the other stuff. For me, it wasn't. I could spend 30 minutes twice a year topping off fluids, doing a grease job, replacing the air filter, replacing the wipers, and tightening up all of the fasteners for 1/3 what the garage would charge me for "free" services. No two people have the same situation. I'm young and vital enough (and have small enough hands) that those things were never a big deal for me to do, but my mom (in her mid-60's) pays for them and I don't blame her for it. She also drives more than I did, so those things would be more frequent than mine were (even though I over-did it on the maintenance to the point that when I sold my car the dealer came back and said "your car is in better maintenance than most of what WE sell used...you really take maintenance seriously, don't you? We can't find a single thing that needs fixing to ding you for on the price...").
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JoDa
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Postby JoDa » Sun Mar 09, 2014 7:51 pm

And, yes, I was fully aware that selling to a dealer meant I got less than full boat for the car, but my car was large enough to not be a popular choice for city dwellers (i.e., limited market where I lived) and I got to avoid the hassle of doing a private-party sale. I got about 2/3 its used retail, which was perfectly fine with me for the convenience of dropping it off and handing over the keys and letting someone else deal with finding a buyer (especially someone else who could offer on-site financing).
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darkguy2
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Postby darkguy2 » Sun Mar 09, 2014 11:09 pm

The main benefit of synthetic is that it last longer. If you do a lot of long-distance driving then you can go up to 7,500 miles before changing mineral oil and 5,000 if you do a lot of stop-and-go travel. Compare that to synthetic which can go up to 10,000 miles before needing to be changed. And if you use a high quality filter that will also increase your millage. So while it may cost 100% more if you change it yourself it actually costs around 50-60% after you take into account the decrease in the number of oil changes. Also synthetic is good for all engines as it greatly reduces the friction in the engine and helps keep it from wearing down and increases the horsepower of the engine. Actually most cars recommend using mineral oil at first to allow the engine parts to wear down and be broken in. I am not sure if that is true with new car engines as the last two cars my parents have bought both require synthetic oil or it will void the warranty. But they are also both hybrids so they need all the extra horsepower that they can get.
Discover IT - $5,700
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Costco Citi - $13,000
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Citi Double Cash - $6,500
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