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Buying and Maintaining used car

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					Buying a Used Car
            Finding a Car
• Know what you want
  Read reports, e.g., www.consumerguide.com
I. Identifying the Car for your needs
              - Research
• ConsumerGuide.com/auto/used
• Or Edmunds.com
  – Sort by type of car: full size (sedan),
    compact, SUV
     • Provides recommended buy ratings and
       evaluations relative to other cars in same category
     • Informs the vehicle life – when it was made ‘04-’09
     • Primary Tech Features – ABS, Passenger Airbag
 Criteria for your Car - Research
Narrow Results By:
• Price Range
• Vehicle Category- Compact, full size sedan, sports car, luxury
• Consumer Guide
  Rating (?)
• Safety Features
• City MPG
• Fuel Type
• Engine
• Transmission
       • Your Selections
       • Year
           – 2004 Mazda
       • Model
           – 3
     Research - Highlights of Car
•   Pros - Acceleration (s models with manual transmission)
•   Fuel economy
•   Handling
•   Cons - Cargo room
•   Vehicle Highlights
•   Mazda replaced its Protoge subcompact for 2004 with a slightly
    larger new car called the Mazda 3. Mazda 3 came in 4-dr sedan and
    hatchback body styles. The sedan was available in base "i" trim and
    uplevel "s" form. The hatchback came only as an s model. Two 4-cyl
    engines were available: a 148-hp 2.0 liter for i models, a 160-hp 2.3
    for s versions. With either engine, a 5-speed manual transmission
    came standard; a 4-speed automatic with manual shift gate was
    optional. The i model had 15-inch wheels or optional 16s. The s
    sedan came with 16s; 17s were included in its Sport Package
    option. The hatchback had 17s. Front side airbags, curtain side
    airbags, and ABS were grouped in a single option package for all
    models. Air conditioning was optional on the i model, standard on s
    versions.
          Year to Year Changes
• 2005 Mazda 3: A new sp23 model included leather seating, and 17-
  inch polished alloy wheels.
• 2006 Mazda 3: The sp23 model was dropped, and s Touring and S
  Grand Touring were added. S Touring included front side airbags,
  curtain side airbags, and 17-inch wheels. The s Grand Touring
  added to S Touring leather seating, heated front seats, automatic
  climate control, trip computer, and xenon headlamps.
• 2007 Mazda 3: Mazda 3 added a performance model and
  traction/antiskid control became available for 2007. These 4-dr
  sedans and 4-dr hatchbacks came in Sport, Touring, and Grand
  Touring trim, and were joined by a MazdaSpeed hatchback for '07. It
  had a sport-tuned suspension, xenon headlights, leather upholstery,
  larger brakes, and 18-inch wheels. Other models got minor cosmetic
  changes for 2007.
• 2008 Mazda 3: The Mazda 3 was largely unchanged for 2008.
• 2009 Mazda 3: The 2009 Mazda 3 received few changes.
    Research – Road Test Review
•   Review Updated: 02.22.2005
•   Pros
•   Quietness, Ride, Passenger room
•   Cons
•   Automatic-transmission performance
•   Consumer Guide® Road-Test Evaluation
•   Acceleration is little-changed from the prior generation--in short, nothing to shout
    about. Our test GLE ran 0-60 mph in a so-so 10 seconds with automatic
    transmission. The 2000 models should be a bit swifter. There's also little change in
    the transmission's reluctance to downshift promptly, or in its abruptness when it does.
    Our test GXE returned a somewhat disappointing 20.3 mpg, while our GLE averaged
    23.4 mpg, despite hard city driving and performance testing.
•   Expect a smooth, absorbent ride except on washboard surfaces, where minor wheel
    pattering disturbs the calm. Alas, the ride exacts a tradeoff in mediocre body control
    over big humps and dips, plus more body lean in tight turns than we prefer. Even so,
    Altima handling is competently agile, aided by quick steering with good feedback.
    Braking with ABS proved to be safe and undramatic, if unexceptional by today's
    standards.
                Research Reliability
Trouble Spots
• Air conditioner: Overheating and/or lack of charging may result
  from a tensioner pulley that wears out and the tensioner; drive belt
  as well as A/C drive belt must be changed. (2004-05)
•
  Brakes: Rear brakes make grinding or squealing noises and revised
  brake pads have been issued, while front brakes squeal when cold,
  so new pads along with a revised caliper support have been issued.
  (2004-05)
•
  Check-engine light: The check engine light may illuminate even
  though there is no detectible drivability issues due to a valve in the
  intake system jamming. (2004-08)
•
         Finding a Vehicle
• Know what you want
• Know what you can afford
                  Car Budget
• New Cars = $20,000
• In 3yrs worth $10-12k
   – 3 to 3½ yrs = $10,000       35-50k miles
      • Usage cost $10k + tax + I for 3 yrs
   – Years 4-6     = $6,000      50-85k miles
      • Usage cost $4,000 + tax + I for 3yrs + maint $500
   – Years 7-10 = $3,000         85k+
      • Usage cost $2,000 + tax + maint $1,500
• Age is critical on cost, Years 5-7 are typically
  optimal => adequate depr & minimal repair costs
    Finding a Car - Useful Life
• Know what you want
• Know what you can spend
• Determine the car life and miles you need
  – 5,000 miles/yr for 3 yrs, you can handle higher
    mileage car
  – 15,000 miles/yr for 3yrs, you will need lower mileage
    car
  – Buy the portion of car you need (e.g., small town,
    older couple)
• Determine features you want
  – The used car market discounts heavily for manual
    transmission, 2 door e.g Toyota Solara or Fwd SUVs
       II. Shopping for a Car

 You are now ready to start looking
 for a car!

Good sites for car buying:
 - cars.com
 - autotrader.com
 - ebaymotors.com
    Finding a Car –Good Price
• Check the market price for the car –
  www.autotrader.com
   – Select about 100 mile range
   – Grade levels, engines, features
   – Write down prices to understand what the market is
     bearing
• Reference also Blue Book values:
  www.kbb.com or www.nada.com
• 3 price levels - Lender, trade-in, retail levels
 Shopping for a Car- Who to Buy From
• Choices
  1. Large Dealer – High margin, overhead, no history, easy to clean
  up car problems, higher accountability… reputation in town
  2. Small Lot Dealer - Medium margin, overhead, no history, easy to
  clean up car problems, low accountability…may move or go out of
  business tomorrow
  3. Private Owner –
   – A. Keeps car like a baby or pet, follows manual, utilizes same
      mechanic, keeps maintenance records
   – B. Functional maintenance, does not go the extra distance and
      is concerned about cost more than care
   – C. Irresponsible owner – no maintenance schedule, no records,
      careless, no clue about cars
• Private Owner type A is best bet to buy from!
Finding a Car via Phone Criteria
• Save time using phone interview
  elimination questions
• Develop a matrix to pull data from ads
  – Car model, grade level, year, miles, cost,
    main features, plus elimination questions
           Options to look for:
•   Air conditioning
•   Automatic transmission
•   Power windows
•   Power door locks
•   Power steering
•   Power brakes
•   More options = more potential problems
   Phone Interview Questions
1. Are you the original owner of the car? If
  not, how long have you owned it? Did you
  know the original owner?
2. Who drove the car most of the time?
3. How many miles are on the car? How
  many of those were highway miles?
4. Has the car ever been in an accident?
5. Do you have a file of all the maintenance
  and repair receipts on the car?
    Phone Interview Questions
6. When the car needed maintenance,
  where did you take it?
7. If you were going to keep the car, what
  repairs would you expect to have within
  the next few months? Years?
8. After I look at the car, and if I am still
  interested, may I take it to my mechanic to
  have it checked out?
9. How much rust is on the body?
10. Why are you selling the car?
    Phone Interview Questions

11. Was the car kept in a garage or carport?
12. How badly worn is the interior?
13. Is your asking price negotiable?
    If not, why not?
14. What options does the car have?
15. What is the VIN (Vehicle Identification
    Number) so I can check
    www.carfax.com?
             What to look for
• Interior
  – Condition sometimes indicates owner’s
    cleanliness and care
  – Condition gives overall feel for use by family
    or single person
               Torn Seat
• Duct tape
• Look under seat covers if you can
           What to look for
Exterior
• Dents, scratches, dings
• Tire wear – uneven
• Broken glass
• Lights
  - broken
  - water vapor on inside of lens
  - discoloration of lens
            What to look for
• Exterior Care - Dents, scratches, dings -
  look down side of car
          What to look for
• Tire wear –uneven
            What to look for
Function
• Oil leaks - look under car for oil
• White milky oil stuck under cap
• Check oil levels-Turn engine off to check
   engine oil
• Dirty engine = oil is black or dark
• Check smoke from exhaust at start up
   (Should not be blue)
           What to look for
Function

•   Check transmission fluid
    - Park on level surface
    - Leave engine running when checking
      automatic transmission
           What to look for
Function
• Is the Engine Check light on?
  Are there any other warning lights on?
          What to look for
Function
• Is the Engine Check light on? Autozone
  has free diagnostic service
  Are there any other warning lights on?
• Check all accessories for operation
  - all windows, locks, power seats, etc.
  - all door locks and handles (stiff?)
          What to look for
Function
• Engine smoothness - rough idle? Timing
  calibration?
• Noises/squeaks- belts
              Test Drive
• Transmission Check - Winding noise
  change when shifting to drive –
  transmission may be slipping – concern
  area – investigate.
              Test Drive

• Brake Check - Smooth steady breaking or
  pulsating squeaks?
               Test Drive
• Steering suspension - Pull car to each side
  in a circle and verify no noise -> cv joints
  and bearings.
         Important Principles
• Choose not to fall in love with the car or
  show that you are falling in love with it.
  This will affect your ability to negotiate a
  good price. As a seller, if I sense the
  person has fallen in love, I am not so
  willing to reduce the price, because I know
  they want to buy it.
• Trust that there will be other cars
  available!
            Buying the Car
• Talk them down!
  Asking price is not generally the least they
  will take! $500-$2,000 possible reduction.
            Buying the Car
• Talk them down
• Find flaws in car
• Complain about something
• Don’t go alone - bring a friend when
  buying the car
• Ask a mechanic to look at the car
• Have a few cars in mind
• Offer less and let them work up the price
     Car Insurance, Title, DMV
Car Insurance
• Once the price is settled, you will need car
  insurance to drive the car away
• You can check car insurance online

Title – see copy distributed
• Check for signatures, notary
• DMV - If title has not been notarized, then you
  both need to go to the DMV to process the title
  and get license plates
  Congratulations
     on buying
a suitable used car!

				
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posted:6/25/2012
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