CLASSIC CAR COLLECTORS C A R R Y I N G O N A F A M I LY L E G A C Y
SOUR DEAL HOW NOT TO BUY A LEMON
5 UNIQUE ROAD TRIPS I D E A S F O R T R AV E L I N G A R O U N D M A I N E
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ROAD TRIPPIN’ MAINE 5 UNIQUE ROAD TRIPS ACROSS THE PINE TREE STATE
GOOD DOG SAFETY FIRST WHEN TRAVELING WITH PETS
PHOTO: ©KOSZIVU / ADOBE STOCK
THE HISTORY OF THE SNOWPLOW MAINE’S SURPRISING CONNECTIONS TO THIS WINTER NECESSITY
WAX ON HOW WAXING BENEFITS A VEHICLE
CARRYING ON A FATHER’S MOTORING LEGACY
RECOGNIZE AND AVOID BUYING A LEMON
SHARING IS CARING
WHAT CAR COLORS MAY SAY ABOUT DRIVERS
THE INS AND OUTS OF SHARING THE ROAD WITH BICYCLES
THE HASSETT FAMILY CAR
TRADE IT IN
FROM SIMPLE PROJECTS TO TIRE MAINTENANCE TO CLEANING AIR FILTERS
HOW TO IMPROVE THE VALUE OF YOUR TRADE-IN
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ROAD TRIPPIN’ 5 U N IQ UE R OAD T R IPS AC R O SS T H E P IN E T R E E STATE BY ALLISON MARKEY
Now that the snow has melted and the sun is shining again, it’s time to take a Maine road trip! Maine has so many beautiful roads and byways featuring the coast, the mountains, the meadows, lakes, and more. It’s difficult to make a limited list of road trips, but here’s a great selection, in no particular order.
WEST QUODDY HEAD MACHIAS COLUMBIA FALLS ROQUE BLUFFS MILBRIDGE
GOULDSBORO PROSPECT HARBOR LIGHTHOUSE WINTER HARBOR
1. EASTERN MAINE COAST
This trip meanders through the inlets along Maine’s rugged, scenic coast. Starting in the quaint town of Winter Harbor, this route picks up US Route 1 in Gouldsboro and travels east. Bed and breakfasts, inns, and lodges line the coast, so you can choose one section for a day trip or plan an entire multi-day adventure. 4
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A hiking trail leads to viewpoints on Pond Cove in Roque Bluffs State Park.
MAINE WINTER HARBOR: Filled with coastal cafes and seafood restaurants. PROSPECT HARBOR LIGHTHOUSE: Highlighting the picturesque, rocky Maine coast.
GOULDSBORO: Stop by Bartlett Maine Estate Winery and Distillery for a taste of Maine’s spirits
MILBRIDGE: Whale watching, puffins, lighthouses, and other tours. (OPTIONAL DETOUR): See the blueberry fields of Maine in Deblois on Route 193.
COLUMBIA FALLS: Home of the National Wreaths Across America Museum and the giant blueberry at Wild Blueberry Land, featuring everything blueberry.
PHOTOS: AISLINN SARNACKI / BDN FILE
JONESPORT/BEALS ISLAND: Copious islands speckle this coastline, making it a beautiful spot to take in the beauty of Maine. Drive farther south and hike the Great Wass Island Preserve for stunning views. For a bite, visit one of the lobster pounds on the island.
ROQUE BLUFFS: Roque Bluffs State Park—a scenic crescent beach and swimming areas, perfect for a picnic or afternoon walk. Great for kids! MACHIAS: Cafes, inns, and diners line the main street. Every Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. there’s a farmers’ market across from Helen’s Restaurant. The Machias Valley Farmers’ Market has a view like no other, as it’s right on the water (and offers plenty of parking, too). LUBEC: North Water Street hosts a myriad of watering holes, artisan gift shops, inns, and restaurants. The Mulholland Point Light on the Canadian side of the Lubec Narrows is a perfect backdrop for a coastal photo!
WEST QUODDY HEAD LIGHTHOUSE: This iconic Maine lighthouse offers tours and a visitors center. There’s also a short hike to Gullivers Hole which should not be missed. Perfect for a picnic lunch.
BONUS: Cross over into Canada from Lubec (passport needed!) and explore Campobello Island, where President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his family loved to spend their summers.
OPTIONAL: From Whiting, head north rather than east and dip down into Eastport, the easternmost city in the US. West Quoddy Head Lighthouse, which has served as a beacon for ships off the rocky coast of Maine for more than 200 years, is one of the key features of Quoddy Head State Park.
GRAND LAKE ROAD PATTEN
MEDWAY NORTH WOODS TRADING POST
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NORTH FROM MEDWAY:
2. KATAHDIN WOODS AND WATERS
The Katahdin Woods and Waters Scenic Byway offers beautiful scenery and a great taste of rural Maine. Whether you want to hike, bike, boat, kayak, fish, hunt, or sightsee, the Scenic Byway is a great way to see all of what Maine has to offer. For the more adventurous, there’s even skydiving – an even more unique way to see the state! Check out these two options for exploring the area.
GRINDSTONE FALLS: North on Rt. 11 is found this scenic place for a picnic along the Penobscot River. STACYVILLE: Approaching Stacyville, Katahdin shows its mighty peak. PATTEN: Historic, quaint town featuring local eats and the Lumbermen’s Museum. Several lodges and camps are around, too, for an overnight. UPPER AND LOWER SHIN PONDS: Gorgeous fishing and boating area, complete with campgrounds and lodges, in the shadow of Katahdin.
SEBOEIS RIVER AND TRAIL: Rest area with picnic tables and a trail entrance that runs parallel to the river. MATAGAMON: Campground, and the end of the Katahdin Woods and Waters Scenic Byway. Roads north of this point are closed in winter. Check road conditions before you go! This area is a great place to camp and to kayak. There’s also a restaurant onsite. WEST FROM MEDWAY: MILLINOCKET: For a unique perspective of the area, check out the Millinocket Historical Society. Here, artifacts illustrate how the area has developed. Millinocket is full of unique restaurants and lodging choices. NORTHWOODS TRADING POST:
PHOTO: AISLINN SARNACKI / BDN FILE
Known to outdoor-persons as the last store before Baxter State Park. Stock up on food, beverages, gas, and recreation gear in this quaint backwoodsthemed general store! Due to its location between two lakes, this area is a prime spot for water sports, including whitewater rafting, kayaking, boating, fishing, and more! Campgrounds and lodging available.
KATAHDIN AIR SERVICES/ MILLINOCKET SEAPLANE BASE: Offering daily, scenic airplane rides of the Katahdin area. Large granite boulders scattered throughout the Wassataquoik Stream at Orin Falls makes for a stunning scene in Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument.
UPPER TOGUE POND: The end of the KWW Scenic Byway in the west. A beautiful park is part of this area between Lower and Upper Togue Pond. Full of Katahdin beauty with boating, hiking, and more. BANGORDAILYNEWS.COM
ROAD PORTLAND HEAD/CAPE ELIZABETH LIGHTHOUSE: Iconic lighthouse located east of
3. COASTAL LIGHTHOUSE TRAIL
This road trip follows the Maine coast from Portland to Rockland, and while it doesn’t hit all of Maine’s iconic lighthouses, it visits a variety along the way. Best planned over a long weekend or as part of a weeklong, coastal road trip.
Portland. Located at Fort Williams Park, this lighthouse on the rugged, rocky coast features a museum and gift shop. Built in 1787, it is open to the public year-round from sunrise to sunset.
BUG LIGHT: A few miles from Portland Head lighthouse, the Bug Light offers harbor views of downtown Portland. Easily accessible, it features a park with benches and parking. DOUBLING POINT LIGHTHOUSE: South of Bath, this lighthouse is small and secluded. It was built in 1898 on the Kennebec River. Beautiful grounds and perfect for a sunset photo.
BUG LIGHT PORTLAND HEAD LIGHTHOUSE
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PHOTOS: ©ALESSANDRO LAI, ©COACHWOOD, ©EQROY, ©LIGHTNINGBOLDT, ©MICHAEL / BDN FILE
Portland Head Light and Fort Williams Park. (Left) Marshall Point Lighthouse.
HENDRICKS HEAD LIGHTHOUSE: This lighthouse is on private property, but it can be viewed from an adequate parking lot on Beach Road. The parking lot is right on the beach and offers both views of the lighthouse and a small beach area. Please mind the no trespassing signs near the lighthouse!
PEMAQUID POINT LIGHTHOUSE PARK: Built in 1827, the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse Park is open to the public and features a Fishermans Museum. There is a seafood restaurant and gift shop next door and a picnic area near the parking lot.
OWLS HEAD LIGHTHOUSE: An active, 30-foot-tall lighthouse located in Rockland Harbor. The lighthouse is part of Owls Head State Park. Built in 1825, it has been named the most haunted lighthouse, as at least two ghosts have been “seen” on the grounds and in the lighthouse.
MAINE LIGHTHOUSE MUSEUM: Located in Rockland, the
ROCKLAND BREAKWATER LIGHTHOUSE: At the end of the Rockland Harbor Granite Breakwater, the lighthouse offers seasonal tours. From its location in the harbor, the city of Rockland and the Owls Head Lighthouse can be viewed. Watch your step on the breakwater, but well worth the walk for the awesome scenery.
Maine Lighthouse Museum offers exhibits of lighthouse lenses, lighthouse artifacts, and U.S. Coast Guard historical items. Open daily and a must-see attraction while touring Maine’s lighthouses.
MARSHALL POINT LIGHTHOUSE: Open only in summer, ROCKLAND BREAKWATER LIGHTHOUSE
this lighthouse features a restored keeper’s house, beautiful grounds, a museum, and gift shop.
MAINE LIGHTHOUSE MUSEUM
OWLS HEAD LIGHTHOUSE
DOUBLING POINT LIGHTHOUSE MARSHALL POINT LIGHTHOUSE
HENDRICKS HEAD LIGHTHOUSE
PEMAQUID POINT LIGHTHOUSE PARK Pemaquid Point Lighthouse.
Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse.
Hendricks Head Lighthouse.
ROAD SUGARLOAF SADDLEBACK MOUNTAIN
4. WESTERN MAINE FALL FOLIAGE TOUR
As the seasons shift from summer to winter, all of Maine takes on fiery shades of red, yellow, and orange. This vibrant palette is welcomed by locals and visitors alike. Practically every road trip this time of year is rewarded with Mother Nature’s fireworks. The hills and mountains of western Maine provide a perfect viewing area for the spectacle. This is perfect for a multi-day trip.
SUNDAY RIVER RESORT
BELGRADE LAKES: Situated in a narrow piece of land in Long Pond, Belgrade Lakes is a perfect starting spot for “leaf peeping.” The town offers many cafe options to pick up a hearty breakfast or lunch. The pristine blue waters paired with the fall colors make for excellent photo opportunities. FARMINGTON: Dotted with cafes, coffee shops, and restaurants, Farmington is a nice place to stretch your legs and grab a bite before heading north. SUGARLOAF AIRPORT TRAIL: Just north of Carrabassett, there is a parking area (before Old Huse Mill Road). Park here, and a scenic walk takes you along the Carrabassett River and onto the Narrow Gauge Pathway. The Pathway parallels the river for several miles for a nice fall walk with plenty of foliage.
SADDLEBACK MOUNTAIN: After passing through the town of Rangeley, Saddleback is only a few miles east. The mountain landscape here is vibrant with color. Saddleback also has an extensive trail network for day hiking. SUNDAY RIVER: From Saddleback to Sunday River, the road meanders south then west, passing through Mt. Blue State Park before reaching Route 2 in Dixfield. Paralleling the Androscoggin River, Route 2 offers flatter road, but still a lot of beautiful fall color. Upon reaching the Sunday River area you’ll find a plethora of food options. Have a cold beverage and enjoy the evening looking out over the brilliantly colored Maine countryside as the sun goes into hibernation for the night! 10
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Visitors enjoy a scenic chair lift ride on Sugarloaf Mountain in Carrabassett Valley, a fun way to see the Maine fall foliage.
PHOTO: JOHN HOLYOKE / BDN FILE
SUGARLOAF: Bustling with skiers come winter, Sugarloaf Mountain is also a stunning sight in fall. If you’re craving comfort food, check out The Rack BBQ nearby.
5. THE MAINE WINE TRAIL
Sure, Maine is known for its lobster, but it’s also becoming increasingly known for its wineries. Just like the people of Maine, its wines are full of character. Many of Maine’s wines highlight the state’s delectable berry crops. Grab a designated driver and check out some of these excellent Maine wineries. The Maine Wine Trail starts in the north and heads south. It’s best experienced as a multi-day trip.
WINTERPORT WINERY Holly Savage harvests Frontenec Gris grapes at the Savage Oaks Vineya rd & Winery in Union.
CATHERINE HILL WINERY BARTLETT MAINE ESTATE WINERY BAR HARBOR CELLARS
SOW’S EAR WINERY SAVAGE OAKS VINEYARD SWEETGRASS FARM WINERY
CATHERINE HILL WINERY, CHERRYFIELD: Catherine Hill holds daily tastings from May to October. Tastings range from complementary to $5. Wines include berry wines like Cranberry Isle, Cherryfield Blues (Blueberry), and Bramble Rose (Blackberry).
CELLARDOOR WINERY, LINCOLNVILLE: Picturesque setting in the hills of
wine since 1975, the Bartlett family opened its doors in 1983 with a variety of quality fruit wines. Wines range from aperitifs, whites, and reds to dessert wines like blueberry, raspberry, and loganberry.
Maine, the Cellardoor Vineyard and Winery features a board range of wines that is sure to suit everyone. The tasting room is in a 200-year-old barn and offers wine tastings and local cheese. White wines include Chenin Blanc, Pinot Gris, Perfect Stranger, and Stone Tower; reds include Cantina Rossa, Dolcetto, Iron Gate, and more. Cellardoor’s specialty wines range from the 100% Concord grape “Sweetheart” to a wild blueberry and maple syrup dessert wine.
BAR HARBOR CELLARS, BAR HARBOR: Bar Harbor Cellars offers a large variety
SAVAGE OAKES VINEYARD & WINERY, UNION: Maine-themed wines include
of red, white, and specialty wines. Fruits featured in their specialty wines include cranberry, apple, black currant, and blueberry. A local cider house also has apple cider tastings. Sweet Pea’s Café is adjacent the tasting room and offers wood-fired pizza and farm-totable entrees.
Blushing Moose (White), Bard Red, Ruffled Grouse (Red), and Katahdin Red. In addition to wines, Savage Oaks offers naturally-raised beef and pork products.
BARTLETT MAINE ESTATE WINERY AND DISTILLERY, GOULDSBORO: Making
PHOTO: GABOR DEGRE / BDN FILE
WINTERPORT WINERY, WINTERPORT: In addition to wine, Winterport Winery is paired with the Penobscot Bay Brewery. Features a wide variety of wines including Sparkling Pear, Berry Chocolate, Raspberry Rain, Sparkling Apricot, and more.
SOW’S EAR WINERY, BROOKSVILLE: Unique tasting room features a tasting table crafted from tree limbs. Full of Maine character and excellent, high-quality wines like chokecherry, wild berry, rhubarb, and blueberry.
SWEETGRASS WINERY & DISTILLERY, UNION: Offers a wide variety of Maine berryinspired products. Wines include Cranberry Apple and Beaujolais Blueberry. In addition to wines, the distillery offers a succulent list of spirits like “Maple Smash Brandy,” “Cranberry Gin,” and “Three Crow Rum” featuring cane molasses fermented and distilled during the long, cold Maine winter. BANGORDAILYNEWS.COM
GOOD DOG SAFETY FIRST WHEN TRAVELING WITH PETS love is unconditional, so it’s no wonder that pet parents want to keep their beloved animals by their side as much as possible. Pet owners whose pets spend ample time in the car should brush up on some safety precautions to ensure the roadways are safe for all travelers, including those covered in fur. Driving while distracted is a significant safety concern. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety notes that simply taking one’s eyes off the road for two seconds doubles the chances of being involved in a crash. Recent data from Kurgo, a leading supplier of quality dog travel supplies and accessories for active dogs, found that 60 percent of respondents had driven with pets in the last month, and more than half admitted to being distracted by their pets. Although the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does not track how many accidents are attributed to pets, it’s easy to see how pets can be a distraction on the road. Drivers should never allow their pets to sit on their laps or ride in vehicles unless they are restrained. Doing so puts all passengers, pets and humans alike, in danger. AAA says a 10-pound dog that’s not restrained can generate 500 pounds of force in a 50 mile per hour crash. Pet owners can heed these safety guidelines to make trips with their pets less dangerous.
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RECOGNIZE THAT AIRBAGS CAN CAUSE INJURY. Airbags are designed to protect people, not pets. It’s always recommended that pets ride in the back seat or the storage area of an SUV in vehicles equipped with airbags. WATCH THOSE WINDOWS. Although riding with their heads out of the car window is a quintessential image of dogs in car, such situations put dogs in danger. Fastblowing debris or litter can injure the dog, and heavy airflow can damage the animal’s respiratory system, warn veterinarians. Dogs also may attempt to jump out. INVEST IN A RESTRAINT SYSTEM. Vehicle restraint systems keep pets safe. Small dogs may benefit from being inside crates that are secured to the vehicle. Harnessing a pooch is another option, and many harnesses connect directly to seat belts. Dog gates and guards can be installed between the back seat and the storage bay area, which is great when traveling with multiple dogs. AVOID TRUCK BEDS. The American Humane Society says pets should never be transported in the bed of pickup trucks. Dogs should only ride in pickup trucks with extended cabs that allow their owners to secure them in the backseat.
PHOTO: ©KOSZIVU / ADOBE STOCK
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FA M I LY C A R
CARRYING ON A FATHER’S MOTORING LEGACY STORY AND PHOTOS BY TODD R. NELSON
They don’t make them like they used to.
Just laying hands on Dave Hassett’s 1929 burnt-orange Model A Ford ragtop, you’re reminded cars were once made of steel. The Model A rolls easily out of his garage in Castine, yet it has a stolidity unlike, say, my 2010 Subaru. The Subaru does, however, exceed the Model A’s top speed of 45 miles per hour. “You can drive them anywhere,” says Dave. “The only problem is the speed. It’s a very simple car—just won’t go fast. The low compression engine can burn anything.” Life in 1929 moved at the speed of a speeding Model A. This car is more than the sum of its refurbished parts, more than a 90-year-old artifact from the dawn of American car culture, due to its family provenance. That’s because Hassett inherited the car from his father, Dr. John Hassett. The Ford Model A had special significance for the elder Hassett, growing up in Depression-era Great Barrington, Massachusetts. It was the era’s “family car,” though not for his family. When his mother was widowed, she converted the family home into a boarding house, and walked five miles to her job at a local school. As a kid, John admired the vehicles passing them by. In adulthood, he yearned to purchase one of those cars. He ended up with two: a green four-door hardtop and a burnt-orange touring convertible. They were possessions that redeemed a childhood want. “Since my grandfather died young,” says Dave, “my father struggled with other people having cars. The Model A symbolized success—something from childhood he couldn’t have.” The cars also became the currency for their father-son relationship. Dave remembers crossing the Housatonic to New York to buy the car with his father, and driving it to car shows in New Hampshire—a long trip at 45 miles per hour. John Hassett had been a Navy dentist in WWII, and among the first U.S. troops to arrive in occupied Japan. His wife was a DAR-member with the temerity to marry a Catholic from across town, for which she was disowned. In 1968, the opportunity arrived to buy a green hardtop Model A from its original owner, a patient who wanted to keep the car out of his divorce settlement. John Hassett bought the green car “for his wife.” However, it was Dave who drove it to school every day. The 1971 yearbook of Berkshire Academy shows senior Dave Hassett with the rather untraditional wheels. It made an adventurous dating vehicle, too. On one first date with a female classmate, the Model A headlights arced. His date had to ride home on the running board while 14
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Dave Hassett with his father’s restored 1929 Ford Model A. Hassett holds a photo of his father with the car back in Great Barrington, MA.
illuminating the road with a flashlight. No second date. Later, John Hassett purchased a Model A ragtop from the original owner and had it repainted from Navy Blue to burnt orange. Today, Dave’s brother Stephen owns the green hardtop. But when John Hassett died in 2009, Dave inherited the burnt-orange Model A. “The car was central to my relationship with my father,” says Dave. It arrived in Castine on a flatbed while Hassett was away on business. Friends rolled it into his garage where it sat awaiting the right guy to restore it. That “right guy” was John Jones, owner of the award-winning Kool Kustoms, just up the road in Orland.
Dave Hassett’s restored 1929 Ford Model A.
AFICIONADOS ARE “AN OLDER GROUP OF OWNERS... MOST PEOPLE ARE FOCUSED ON THE C O O L C A R S T H AT ARE REMINDERS OF BEING YOUNG.”
The Model A ran well, but needed to be disassembled and repainted. Jones and his partner, Ed Weirick, brought back the luster and kept the burnt-orange color. Jones and Weirick, partners for 16 years, do only two or three full restorations a year. They’re booked a year in advance and most business is repeat. “I know what my customers expect,” says Jones. He has already worked on two other Model As in adjacent towns. A car must be 35-40 years old to qualify for his attention. Aficionados are “an older group of owners,” Dave says, “generations older than me. Most people are focused on the cool cars that are reminders of being young. I remember an upperclassman at Berkshire School with a ’57 Chevy, and another with a GTO. I should have a ’57 Chevy with a 4-speed Hurst shifter. But I bonded with this older generation car.” Certainly, those guys with the Chevies and the GTOs wistfully recall the classmate driving the green hardtop Model A. And John Hassett, the boy named for his grandfather, is destined to drive the back roads of Maine in his father’s 1929 Model A, channeling the family’s slowdriving legacy. 16
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IT’S A CLASSIC E XP LO R ING THE C LA SSIC C A R HO BB Y
PHOTO: ©MARIUSZ BLACH / ADOBE STOCK
enthusiasts appeared as soon as the automobile was introduced to the general public in the 18th and 19th centuries. Through the years, certain vehicles have proven more desirable to customers than others based on their looks and other attributes. Auto hobbyists devote substantial time and effort to purchasing, restoring and displaying classic cars. While the hobby of restoring classic cars is not necessarily for everyone, its popularity suggests it’s an activity that’s here to stay. According to an article in The Economist, in the wake of the recent recession, investors were increasingly pulling their money out of stocks and converting assets into tangible items, such as classic cars. As late as 2013, collector cars were outperforming other tangible investments like art, wine, stamps, and coins by large margins. Those ready to dip their toes in the classic car waters should understand a few
key factors that can affect how much they enjoy this potentially rewarding hobby. ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS. Some collectors face challenges when attempting to restore classic vehicles because the cars do not meet today’s stringent clean air initiatives that govern automobiles. With the increasing number of new, clean cars on the road, vehicles that fail to meet modern emissions standards may pose a costly problem to classic car collectors. INTRODUCTION OF ALTERNATIVE FUELS. As governments increasingly emphasize the importance of clean fuel options, classic car owners may find it challenging to find more traditional fuels or face the added expense of adapting their vehicles to run on alternative fuels. LACK OF MECHANICAL EXPERTISE. Workers in the automotive trade are
trained to manufacture and repair new vehicles. As a result, classic car owners without much mechanical ability of their own may find it difficult to find mechanics with the skills necessary to repair and restore classic cars. HISTORIC REQUIREMENTS SHOULD BE HEEDED. Each state has its own requirements governing classic cars. To qualify for historic vehicle registration, vehicles may need to be 25 years or older, owned solely as a collector’s item and used exclusively for exhibition and educational purposes. When driven for personal use, such vehicles may not be allowed to exceed 1,000 miles per year. Classic cars continue to attract hobbyists from all over the globe. Restoring classic cars can be a rewarding pastime, but one that involves dedication and an investment of both time and money. BANGORDAILYNEWS.COM
COLORFUL CARS W HAT CAR COLOR S M AY SAY ABO U T D R IVER S Cars
and trucks may be modes of transportation, but many people see their vehicles as extensions of their personalities. The color of a vehicle can say a lot about its driver. In fact, automotive experts say color affects drivers’ decisions when they’re buying new vehicles. In 2015, a survey from PPG Automotive Coatings found the color palette of black, silver, gray, and white makes up 75 percent of new cars on the road. White has been the most popular car color for
years, perhaps because neutral tones tend to look new for years, improving resale value as a result. The Pantone Color Institute periodically highlights popular trends in colors for home decorating, graphic design, fashion, and much more. Their experts know a thing about what color can say about a person. Here’s a look at how drivers may perceive themselves (and how others view them) based on their color choices in vehicles, courtesy of Pantone, NerdWallet, Thrillist, and Today.com.
WHITE: This color can often project a persona of a diligent, hardworking person. White is a dependable color that also is sleek and modern. Many people who prefer white also like the purity of the color and its perceived cleanliness.
SILVER: Silver cars may have futuristic connotations because of their metallic hues. Silver vehicles also can be elegant and prestigious. A certain element of modernity is associated with silver cars and trucks.
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GRAY: People who choose gray vehicles may be less concerned about status and more interested in a vehicle that blends in with the crowd. This no-nonsense hue could be ideal for cautious, even-keeled drivers who like to go with the flow.
PHOTOS: ©PIRKE / ADOBE STOCK
BLACK: Black vehicles have stood the test of time as status symbols. Those who purchase black cars may view them as classic and powerful. Black also conveys elegance. That’s why limousines and hired cars are often black.
BLUE: Light blue to mid-blue cars convey a sense of calm and coolness. Blue is a dependable color and may indicate the person behind the wheel is friendly. Dark blue can be a confidence-booster and also signal authority, as many police cruisers and law enforcement uniforms feature deep blue.
BROWN/BEIGE: These earthtoned shades may indicate a person who is not pretentious, but easygoing and fiscally responsible. Reliability and comfort is prized above flashiness for those who go brown and beige.
RED: People who own red cars probably like flash and attention. Theyâ€™re likely magnetic personalities who enjoy standing out in a crowd.
GREEN: Green cars indicate owners who have a very strong sense of self and care little about what others think of them. They may be the people who march to the beat of their own drums. But the popularity of green cars peaked in the 1990s, so fewer green cars may be on the road today than in the past.
PHOTOS: ©NUT, ©SMSPSY, ©DIRIMA, & ©HIGHWAYSTARZ / ADOBE STOCK
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S M O O T H O P E R AT O R S IM PL E M A INTENANC E PR O JEC T S T O K EEP C A R S R U NNING SM O O TH LY One
of the ways to keep vehicles running strong for years on end is to adhere to the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule. Although there are many factors drivers cannot control, including recalls, weather and road conditions, proper maintenance is something drivers can control, and maintaining a vehicle can be very simple. OIL CHANGES Motor oil lubricates the engine and keeps it in good working order. Old oil becomes more viscous and can lose its efficacy. While changing motor oil is important, motorists should follow the owner’s manual or the factory maintenance schedule regarding how often it needs to be changed, as all vehicles are not alike. The old myth that cars and trucks need oil changes at set intervals has changed as digital check capabilities have evolved. Car computers can now keep track of more than just mileage. Computers now track starts and stops and trip durations to determine when cars need oil changes. COOLANT LEVELS Coolant helps prevent vehicles from overheating and also prevents the water that it mixes with in the radiator from freezing or boiling. Coolant is nearly as important as motor oil in vehicle maintenance. Coolant is typically comprised of a 50/50 mix of distilled water and antifreeze. These two substances work together to maintain a proper ratio of heat energy and prevent eventual breakdown and destruction of the engine. Coolant is usually changed once per year or at 30,000 miles. This keeps the coolant working properly and will help prevent corrosion and deposits from forming inside the cooling system. Coolant levels might be checked during a full-service oil change appointment. CHECK BATTERY CONTACTS Many modern car batteries do not require a lot of maintenance. However, one problem that may occur is a buildup of minerals or corrosion from leaking battery fluid on the contacts. In such instances, use a battery cleaning brush to clean the contacts and then replace the cables. TIRE MAINTENANCE Properly inflated, balanced and rotated tires make for a smooth, safe ride. Check that tires are wearing evenly and that the vehicle is not pulling to one side. A lack of tread on tires requires they be replaced. Because tires can be expensive, many drivers put off routine tire maintenance. But this can be a costly mistake. Tires that are worn or not properly inflated can cause skidding, problems braking and accidents. Blowouts also may occur, putting drivers, their passengers and fellow motorists in danger. It’s best to be proactive with regard to tire maintenance. Maintaining a vehicle in adherence to manufacturer guidelines can prolong the life of the car, improve its safety and increase its trade-in or resale value. BANGORDAILYNEWS.COM
GOOD TREADS TIRE MAINTENANCE A KEY COMPONENT OF SPRING CHECK-UP warm weather arrives, many people enjoy a collective sigh of relief. Just as people welcome the end of the cold, snow and ice, cars and trucks also can benefit from more moderate temperatures. Salt, grime and potholes can take a toll on tires over the course of a typical winter. Drivers will not get far this spring and summer without tires in good repair, which is why tire maintenance should be part of any seasonal repair checklist. INFLATION LEVELS Now is the time to use a tire pressure gauge to see if tires are at the ideal inflation levels. Many tires indicate the recommended PSI (pounds per square inch) on their sidewalls. Cold temperatures may cause tires to deflate a little. Esurance states that winter weather can cause tire pressure reduction at about one PSI for every 10 degrees the temperature drops. Driving on improperly inflated tires can be dangerous, potentially affecting handling and braking distances. Check tires when they are cold for the most accurate reading. Properly inflated tires also will improve fuel economy, so drivers may even save a little money by inflating their tires.
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TIRE ROTATION/ALIGNMENT Examine the tires for tread wear. Any uneven or abnormal tread wear could indicate that the tires need to be rotated and the wheels realigned at the very least. Take the vehicle to a qualified mechanic to get their opinion on how to remedy the situation. Mechanics may recommend rotating tires every 6,000 to 8,000 miles, or about every six months for the average driver. Wheel alignment may be necessary after a season of driving over potholes and other irregularities in the road. Misaligned wheels can cause handling problems, like the car “pulling” to one side. TIRE REPLACEMENT Drivers may discover extreme tread wear, bulges or even cracks in the sidewall during a tire inspection. These signs indicate that it’s time to replace the tires. Failing to replace old, worn down tires can increase the risk of automobile accidents. THOROUGH CLEANING Once tires are inspected and possibly serviced or replaced, treat the car or truck to a washing and thorough detailing. This will help tires shine and get the vehicle road-ready for spring trips.
PHOTOS: ©BILLIONPHOTOS.COM & ©CHUTIMA CHAOCHAIYA / ADOBE STOCK
NOT TO BE IGNORED WH Y CLE AN AI R F ILTER S A R E IM PO R T A N T Vehicle
owners likely know to check fluid levels and get their carsâ€™ oil changed, but air filters may not be at the top of their maintenance checklists. Despite being a relatively inexpensive part, air filters often go overlooked. Air filters have an important job in a vehicle, prolonging the life span of engines and helping cars run more smoothly and efficiently. THE PURPOSE OF VEHICLE AIR FILTERS Vehicle combustion engines operate with a mixture of fuel and air. Without oxygen, gasoline or diesel fuels cannot burn properly and power the engine. The air filterâ€™s job is to prevent dirt, dust and other debris from being sucked into an engine. Otherwise, grime can build up and impede engine performance or cause erosion of parts under the hood. It is much more cost-effective to routinely change air filters than replace expensive engine parts. Rather than ignoring air filters until the last minute, drivers can take steps to keep filters clean and functioning at peak performance. IMPROVE FUEL EFFICIENCY. Clogged air filters reduce air flow to engines, resulting in an improper ratio of air to fuel. As a result, spark plugs can be negatively affected and the engine may idle roughly or misfire. These scenarios can greatly affect fuel efficiency as well as cause engine deposits from
rich fuel. To save money and trips to the fuel pump, replace filters regularly. According to GearHeads, for older cars, studies have indicated that by replacing a dirty air filter, one can improve gas mileage by as much as 14 percent. REDUCE STRESS ON THE ENGINE. Because of the air-to-fuel mix in engines, even a mixture that is slightly off balance can affect what is going on under the hood. That means the engine must work harder to get enough clean air into the chamber to complete the combustion cycle, says the Automotive Training Center. ENJOY MORE POWER. A filter that is saturated with dirt will restrict air flow. In such instances, drivers may notice a lack of power during acceleration. Replacing the filter can easily restore that pep. REDUCE VEHICLE EMISSIONS. Environmental concerns are a priority for many people. By keeping the engine working properly, with the advantage of clean, unobstructed air entering the chamber, a vehicle may produce lower emissions. Replacing air filters is an easy fix that many drivers can do themselves, or ask their mechanics to do during oil changes or other repair shop visits.
THE HISTORY OF THE
SNOWPLOW MAIN E ’ S S UR P RI SING C O NNEC TIO NS TO T H IS WINTER NEC ESSITY BY ALAN CROWELL
European settlers arrived in northern New England, they were confronted by frigid temperatures and snow storms that could dump a foot of snow in hours. As the New World’s population expanded and roads and then railroads were built connecting towns and cities, snow removal remained a problem without a solution well into the 20th century. Much of the snow removal was done by hand in the 1800’s, but shifting huge volumes of snow with shovels took far too long following major storms. An estimated 400 people died along the east coast during the great blizzard of 1888. Many of the casualties were caused when huge drifts stranded travelers and commuters. City dwellers who depended on roads and railways for deliveries of food and fuel were isolated during heavy storms. In rural areas, such as northern Maine where selfreliance was a way of life, people developed unique solutions based on the resources and tools they had at hand. Francis Fitzpatrick, past president of the Southern Aroostook Agricultural Museum in Littleton, said often farmers built or improvised their own plows. Growing up on his family’s farm in the years after World War II, Fitzpatrick remembers his father would build a plow by bolting together two maple saplings and fashioning a blade using iron and wooden planks. 24
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While many rural Maine towns developed unique snow removal solutions by either improving on existing pieces of equipment or designing and building their own in barns and blacksmith shops, the long, isolated roads linking northern Maine to the rest of the state remained unplowed and closed in the winter months during the first part of the 20th century. Solving that problem took both improved technology and sheer determination and grit on the part of the plowing crews who braved huge drifts and frigid conditions at a time when equipment was unreliable and backup nonexistent. At the Cole Land Transportation Museum in Bangor, exhibits cover at least a century of snow plowing, from horse drawn wooden plows to huge wooden rollers that some Maine towns used to pack down snow after storms. Jim Neville, the director of operations at the Cole Land Transportation Museum, said the museum has wooden plows, and plane plows, which were drawn behind a horse, as well as a comparatively modern Oshkosh plow circa 1970s. One of the first, if not the first, major manufacturers of snow removal equipment was Union Iron Works of Bangor, which produced snow plows under the brand name of Sargent Snow Plows beginning in 1827. Advertised as the largest producer of
snow plows, the Maine company sent their equipment as far west as South Dakota. Albert J. Cole, founder of Cole’s Express delivery company, was the first to plow the major arteries linking Northern Maine to the rest of the state beginning in the 1930s using Sargent snow plows on REO trucks, according to a video produced by the Cole Land Transportation Museum. While Sargent brand plows are no longer manufactured, Maine’s snow plow legacy lives on in companies like Fisher Engineering. Founded in 1948 in Rockland, Maine, by Dean Fisher, the company started by producing small snow plows for fourwheel-drive Willy’s Jeeps. In the company’s first winter, they made 50 plows. Seventy years later, the company is still based in Rockland and is a market leader in snow and ice management on the east coast. The equipment the “plowmen” of old used was nothing like today’s, however. Jim Neville said the equipment Albert J. Cole and his crews used to plow the roads was neither reliable nor anything like comfortable. A crew of as many as four men was sometimes needed to operate one plow truck, with one man driving, another operating the “V” of the plow and two men operating either wing. Clearing the roads took days and with no heat in the cabs, the men were guaranteed a miserable time.
Breakdowns were a near-certainty, which meant that at least some of the crew members had to be competent mechanics. In the video produced by the Cole Land Transportation Museum, one former driver recounts those early plow trucks were “hung up” about as often as they were operating. With no radios or tow trucks available to haul the trucks back to a heated garage, mechanics had to fix them where they were. Gerald Cole recounts, in the video, how one mechanic would keep his hands warm by waving them in front of a blow torch while replacing a broken “back end” on one of the old plow trucks. Sometimes the snow was packed down so hard that dynamite was needed to clear drifts and at other times, Neville said two trucks were used in train to move the snow, with one truck pushing the lead plow truck from behind. It took days to plow the main roads but when the roads were clear the impact was felt not just in Aroostook county but statewide. Anyone interested in learning more about the history of plowing can contact the Cole Land Transportation Museum at 990-3600 or colemuseum.org.
Fisher Engineering of Rockland, Maine, has been manufacturing their iconic yellow snow plows for over 70 years. COURTESY FISHER ENGINEERING
The plane plow was a rudimentary version of the mammoth snow plows now hauled by big trucks in northern states and Canadian provinces. COURTESY COLE LAND TRANSPORTATION MUSEUM
WAX ON H OW WAXIN G BENEF ITS A VEHIC LE Car and truck owners recognize that a certain measure of upkeep is necessary to maintain safe, efficient and good-looking
vehicles. Making sure what’s under the hood (and under the chassis) is in excellent condition is important. So, too, is safeguarding against damage to the exterior of a car or truck. One of the ways to protect against environmental damage is to wax the vehicle. Bird droppings, rain, salt, and sun can take their toll on a vehicle, and waxing can help combat these often inevitable environmental factors. The experts at Popular Mechanics say that even though modern paint jobs have improved considerably in recent years, wax formulations have improved as well. Both can work wonders with regard to defending against color erosion, scratches and dullness. Furthermore, waxing increases resale value at trade-in time and can make it easier to clean vehicles. The consumer advocates at Angie’s List recommend that vehicles be waxed not less than twice a year. However, many detailers advise drivers to have their vehicles waxed once every three months, or one time per season. In addition to protecting a vehicle from the elements, waxing provides the following benefits. DEEP SHINE: Wax is the easiest way to make a vehicle look brand new again. While a carnauba-based wax may be recommended, many synthetic waxes are now available, and such products provide excellent shine capabilities as well. FILLS IN SCRATCHES: While wax will not remove scratches, it can fill in shallow scratches to make them less visible. REDUCES FRICTION: Car wax smooths the surface of the paint and will reduce the friction between debris and the car’s exterior. This means debris will be more likely to slide right off than cause paint to chip. CATCHES CONTAMINANTS: Airborne contaminants will be trapped in the wax rather than settle into paint and etch the car or truck. A number of tests can indicate when a car needs a new coat of wax. The water-beading test is one such test. If the water beads up nicely while washing or during a light rain, the wax is still performing. If the water runs in sheets, it’s time for a new coat of wax. Drivers can conduct the towel test as well after the car is washed and completely dried. Fold a 100-percent cotton terry cloth towel until it’s hand-sized and thick. Apply firm pressure to the car’s surface and twist the cloth back and forth in a clockwise and counter-clockwise direction. If you hear a squealing noise, then it’s time for a wax job. Before waxing, the vehicle should be clean, dry and free of contaminants. Afterward, work in a shady area. Work carefully, but do not go so slowly that the wax dries too quickly. Do not apply the wax too heavily; a little goes a long way. Try to keep it even during application. Buff the wax with a microfiber towel when done. Waxing remains an important part of vehicle maintenance, safeguarding a vehicle from the elements while also keeping the car or truck looking new.
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T A K E T HE
I F T H E W AT E R B E A D S U P N I C E LY W H I L E W A S H I N G OR DURING A LIGHT RAIN, THE WAX IS STILL PERFORMING.
TWIST A TERRY CLOTH TOWEL CLOTH BACK AND FORTH. IF YOU HEAR A SQUEALING NOISE, THEN IT’S TIME FOR A WAX JOB.
PHOTOS: ©ZONETEEN, ©TRENDOBJECTS, & ©ROMANRUZICKA / ADOBE STOCK
SOUR DEAL RECOGNIZE AND AVOID BUYING A LEMON New
One way for buyers to reduce any anxiety they may have about preowned vehicles is to learn as much as they can about automobiles and spotting potential lemons. Despite the availability of vehicle history reports, some lemons still make it onto used car lots. The following are a handful of ways buyers can protect themselves from buying lemons.
PHOTOS: ©NAKOPHOTOGRAPHY, ©POLOLIA, ©SOMPONG_TOM, & ©ANDREY POPOV / ADOBE STOCK
or preowned vehicles are significant investments. New cars might be more expensive than preowned models, but according to Edmunds, the average cost of a preowned vehicle is around $16,000. Preowned vehicles seem and often are consumerfriendly options. However, preowned vehicles always carry some measure of risk. Unless a vehicle is covered by a warranty, consumers take that risk on themselves.
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RESEARCH VEHICLES THROUGH REPUTABLE SOURCES. Investigate the reliability ratings of certain vehicles on reputable sites such as Edmunds.com, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website (NHTSA.gov) and Kelly Blue Book (kbb.com). ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS. Once you find a vehicle that interests you, ask pointed questions about its condition and features. Relatively new cars with high mileage may raise red flags, so ask how many owners such vehicles had and if maintenance records are available. Consumer Reports says a high-mileage car used on a long highway commute is better than if the car does many short trips or stop-and-go driving. Also ask if a vehicle you’re considering has been in an accident or if there are any recalls on the make and model. REQUEST A VEHICLE HISTORY REPORT. Ask to see a copy of the vehicle’s history report. Such reports may include information about major accidents, mileage counts, number of owners, airbag deployment, and many other clues that can shed light on the condition of the vehicle. The report also may included warranty information and whether the car or truck was branded a lemon. CONDUCT A VISUAL INSPECTION. Look at the vehicle for certain telltale signs of wear and tear that may indicate you should not buy the vehicle. Such indicators may include prematurely worn pedals or a sagging driver’s seat. Check for dents, chipped paint, mismatched body panels, body filler, or sloppy repair work. Inconsistent welds around the hood also may indicate the car has undergone significant repairs. When looking under the hood, Consumer Reports suggests paying attention to the level of grease and corrosion on the engine, radiator and battery. Check for wet spots that may be indicative of leaks. Melted wires or blackened areas can be a sign of an engine overheating or even a fire. RELY ON A TRUSTED MECHANIC. Ask a mechanic you trust to give the vehicle a thorough, professional inspection. He or she may be able to spot signs of a lemon more readily than amateurs. Purchasing a car can induce some anxiety. Research and patience can calm buyers’ nerves and ensure they find the right vehicle at the right price.
SHARING IS CARING T H E IN S AN D OUTS O F SHAR ING THE R O A D WIT H BI C Y C L ES BY HANK GARFIELD
is in the air, and bicyclists are on the road. And while that’s great for public health, the environment, and the community at large, interaction with bicycles can cause confusion for drivers unaware of the rules. Legislation pertaining to bicycles exists to maximize the safety of everyone on the road. As more and more people discover the benefits of bicycling, Maine’s summer and shoulder seasons have seen (and will continue to see) a proliferation of bicycle traffic. An informed driver is a safe driver. Here are some things you need to know. 3 FEET OF SPACE The law requires at least three feet of space, and sometimes more, between a motor vehicle and a bicyclist, according to Lauri Boxer-Macomber, an attorney with Kelly,
Remmel & Zimmerman of Portland, and a member of the national Bike Law network of lawyers who are legal advocates for cyclists. Three feet must be given from side mirrors and trailers that are wider than the vehicle. “You can’t pass a bicyclist until it’s safe to make that pass,” Boxer-Macomber said. RIDE ON THE RIGHT Maine law requires bicyclists to ride as far to the right as they can, “except when it is unsafe to do so as determined by the bicyclist” (Maine statute 29 A.M.R.S.A. § 2063). The law also provides for several exceptions, including at intersections, when avoiding hazards, and when passing or traveling at the posted speed limit. While there is no state law against bicycling on a sidewalk, this can create problems for pedestrians, and some municipalities have ordinances against it.
PHOTO: ©MARIUSZ BLACH & ©GOLUBOVY / ADOBE STOCK
LANE CONTROL Bicyclists also have the right to control a lane of traffic (by riding in the middle of the lane) at certain intersections. (Local examples include Route 1A just south of the Cross Center in Bangor, and the junction of Kelley Road and Route 2 southbound in Orono.) In these scenarios, the right thing for the driver to do is wait for the bicyclist to clear the intersection. “Polite is not always safe,” BoxerMacomber says. “If a bicyclist tries to make it so that cars can squeeze by, the bicyclist could be making it more dangerous for everyone. Drivers sometimes see that as the bicyclist being rude. But aggressively seizing the lane is often the safest option.” NO SHARP RIGHTS It’s also against the law to make a sharp right turn after passing a bicyclist. The
driver is often unaware of how fast the bicycle is going, and the bicyclist cannot stop in time to avoid crashing into the turning vehicle. Many police in Maine are enforcing this law, which is primarily designed to protect bicyclists, but can also result in a fine of over $100 and other consequences for drivers. FULL STOP Maine does not yet have an “Idaho stop” law, so named for legislation in that state that reflects the way most bicyclists ride. The Idaho law allows bicyclists to treat stop signs and some red lights as yield signs. Most states,
however, including Maine, require bicyclists to come to full stops – a practice that is observed in real life with about the same frequency as drivers obey the posted speed limit. It’s really all about safety, for everyone on the road. It takes seconds, not minutes, out of a driver’s day to make room for a bicyclist. It could save somebody’s life. BANGORDAILYNEWS.COM
TRADE IT IN HOW TO IMPROVE THE VALUE OF YOUR TRADE-IN When the time comes to purchase a new vehicle, many drivers explore trading in their
existing cars or trucks. Trade-ins can reduce the cost of buying new vehicles and save drivers the hassle of selling their vehicles on their own. Motorists who think trading in is the best way to unload their current cars can take various steps to improve the trade-in value prior to visiting the dealership. KNOW THE TRADE-IN MARKET. Some trade-ins may be more valuable than others, even if the cars are relatively similar with regard to mileage. For example, preowned vehicle buyers typically prefer late model vehicles as opposed to cars that are older. This is even more apparent now that many car buyers want smartphone-friendly vehicles that afford them access to the apps and GPS systems on their phones. Drivers who want to get maximum value for their trade-ins may benefit by trading in a year or so earlier than they initially planned, as this will make their cars or trucks more attractive to prospective buyers, which should make it easier for dealerships to sell the vehicle. ADDRESS ANY ISSUES. Dealerships will offer to tend to any repairs trade-ins may need, but that will come at a cost, which will be reflected in the trade-in value of the car. Vehicle owners should address any issues before taking their vehicles to the dealership. Fix any doors that stick or minor scratches on the vehicle’s exterior, remembering to have the car detailed, washed and waxed. Investigate if any major problems, such as engine troubles, are worth fixing on your own, or if you’re better off receiving less for your trade-in and letting the dealership address such issues.
SHOP AROUND. Drivers who are not satisfied with the trade-in value assigned by a specific dealership can shop around until they find better offers. Some dealerships may not offer much for a vehicle because they already have a similar car or truck sitting on their lot, while others may jump at the chance to make their pre-owned inventory more diverse. Exercise patience when shopping around to reduce any frustration that might develop during the negotiation process. Various factors impact the trade-in value of cars and trucks. When purchasing new cars, vehicle owners can employ various strategies to get the most money for their current automobiles.
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PHOTO: ©MIRKO/ ADOBE STOCK
KEEP MAINTENANCE RECORDS. Maintenance records illustrating that the vehicle was taken care of can help owners get more for their trade-ins. Drivers who intend to trade the vehicle in to the same dealership where the vehicle was purchased should still keep their own maintenance records to eliminate potential problems as they negotiate the trade-in value of their vehicles.
5 E ASY STEP S TO FIN DIN G THE R IG HT CAR LO AN COURTESY CHANGING SEASONS FCU KNOW YOUR CREDIT SCORE. Your credit score matters! It determines what your interest rate will be, which affects your payments. It also affects whether or not you will even get a loan. Credit scores range from 300-880, and the higher your score, the lower your annual percentage rate and the lower your monthly payments. You can check each of the three major credit reports (Experian, Transunion, and Equifax) one time for free each year at annualcreditreport.com. Review yours, make sure that all their information is right, and report any problems right away. HOW MUCH CAN YOU AFFORD? This is not necessarily the cost of the vehicle, but how much you can afford to pay each month without breaking your budget. Make sure your budget includes costs for insurance and vehicle maintenance. If you’ve never insured a vehicle before, be sure to shop around for insurance and get quotes ahead of time as some cars are more expensive to insure than others. Check online for typical maintenance costs for the vehicle you want
or ask a mechanic. Don’t have a budget yet? It’s a great idea to put one together before you sign on the dotted line. APPLY FOR YOUR CAR LOAN. When you know how much you can afford, or how much you want to spend, make an appointment to sit down with a financial representative at your local bank or credit union. At Changing Seasons, we’ll work with you to determine what your credit and financial standing is, the type of loan you’ll need, and the terms that work with your lifestyle and budget. Pre-approval gives you extra buying and negotiating power when you’re talking to a dealer. You’ll know the highest price you can go, and you won’t be dependent on the dealer for financing. SHOP FOR YOUR VEHICLE. Once you know what you can spend and have your pre-approved loan amount, you can start the shopping process. No matter if you are buying from a dealership or a private party, knowledge is power and being preapproved gives you some buying power. Do
your research and choose a vehicle that best fits your needs; don’t fall for the big new truck when your budget calls for a used compact car. Be smart. If you are buying a used car it is a good idea to have a mechanic check it out to make sure there won’t be any hidden expenses. Don’t let yourself be rushed; you can always say, “No”. COMPLETE THE PURCHASE. After test driving, shopping, and negotiating, it’s time to complete the vehicle sale and go to your bank or credit union to complete the financing. We will help you complete the paperwork, evaluate beneficial payment protection products such as GAP (which may pay off your loan in the event of a total loss) or Debt Protection (which may help make your loan payments in the event of disability, illness or death). Like anything else, do your homework to see if these items are right for you. Follow these steps and you can make your car buying and financing experience easy and less stressful and hopefully a positive one as well.
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