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Wheels Central

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Rapid City Journal

February 14, 2013

A Great Time To Buy Low interest rates, financing options make new cars affordable

istorically speaking, there may never have been a better time to purchase a new car than right now.

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Not only are cars more advanced than ever before -- with new technologies and reliable, fuel-saving drivetrains that can save drivers money -- but they're also available during a "perfect storm" of financial conditions that make it a great time to consider purchasing a new vehicle. LOW INTEREST RATES Everyone knows that interest rates can make a big difference over the life of a loan. A few short years ago, top-tier car buyers may have had to pay 10-percent interest or even higher to purchase a new vehicle, while people with lessthan-perfect credit would have to pay even more. Today's interest rates, though, are drastically lower than they were just three or four years ago. The financial crisis of 2008 caused central bankers to lower interest rates, and they've kept them near record lows ever since. That means buyers can save thousands of dollars compared to what

they would have paid before 2008. It makes new cars more affordable for more people, and it lowers monthly car payments for everyone. AVAILABLE FINANCING Another reaction to the 2008 financial crisis was a tightening of lending standards. For a brief time, unless you had spotless or nearperfect credit, it was all but impossible to qualify for a car loan. Fortunately, the auto financing world has returned to a more reasonable place since then. Car makers and banks reported making more loans to people with lower credit scores in 2013, and dealers are saying that it's easy to find financing for people with all types of credit histories. Between the historically low interest rates and more reasonable lending standards, now may be the perfect time to shop for a new car. There's no way of knowing how long these current financial conditions could last.

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February 14, 2013

Rapid City Journal

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Wheels Central

Connectivity for All Digital life being integrated into newest vehicles Smart phones and tablet computers mean there is no such thing as an offline life today. People are always connected. The same thing applies to new vehicles, too, as many 2013 models are rolling out new connectivity features that let you use your phone or other devices to stay informed and entertained while on the go. And, while technology like this used to be unveiled for only the most expensive luxury cars, many of today's carmakers are reaching out to younger, more tech-savvy buyers by offering their best connectivity features across their full lineup of vehicles — including

their least expensive compact cars that young people can most easily afford. PHONE CONNECTION The vast majority of today's cars, including many compact cars, offer some way to connect your phone to the car wirelessly. The advantages are obvious: Instead of having to pull your phone out of your pocket and fumble with the small keys or touch screen on it, you can keep your hands on the steering wheel and eyes on the road by letting your car do the work. When you get a phone call, for

I’m your agent for that. On those crazy days, just know that I have your back. With my help and the backing of my great team, I’ll have you back on the road and driving happy in no time. Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.® CALL FOR A QUOTE 24/7.

example, many cars will just let you press a button on the steering wheel to take the call. You'll talk naturally, using the car's built-in speakers and microphone, without having to even pick up your cell phone. VOICE, MUSIC Most of today's cars offer some type of voice command, too. Depending on the particular car and phone you're using, you might be able to say, "Call Mom" and have the phone call go straight through. The same thing applies to your music collection. If you've got

thousands of MP3s on your phone, many new cars will let you access them — and often control them by voice — wirelessly using a Bluetooth connection. Some offer a USB port to let you download your entire music collection onto a hard drive in the vehicle. The bottom line is that carmakers are staying on the cutting edge of digital technology to remain competitive. If you want your vehicle to seamlessly integrate with your digital life, take a look at the latest 2013 models to see how far they've come in terms of integrating with consumer technology.


Wheels Central

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Rapid City Journal

February 14, 2013

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February 14, 2013

Wheels Central

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Rapid City Journal

A Better View Rear-view cameras make backing up easier SUVs, crossover vehicles and minivans have long been the most popular types of cars for families. They offer plenty of space, but they have an inherent problem: it's not always easy to back up in a vehicle that big. Large vehicles often have equally large blind spots when driving in reverse, which is an especially dangerous problem for people with young children. In some cars, it's all but impossible to see what's directly behind the rear bumper when backing up. The solution: put a video camera behind the vehicle to give the driver better visibility.

BECOMING STANDARD What started out as a sci-fi dream and high-end luxury for a few wellhealed buyers has now become standard equipment on a wide range of vehicles. Rear-view cameras are so useful that many crossover vehicles and SUVs offer them across their lineup, at no extra charge. Most luxury cars, whether big or small, also offer rear-view cameras as standard equipment or as a nominal upgrade. OTHER CARS While they're most common in

large family vehicles, these backup cameras can also be useful in smaller cars. Little two-door coupes, for example, usually have a big blind spot in the back. Their curved rooflines, thick back pillars and high door lines make them look sexy, but they also can limit visibility when backing up. In cars like this — or any car with poor rear visibility, for that matter — it makes sense to spring for the backup camera system if it's offered as an upgrade. Just one avoided fender-bender could pay for the added cost, which is usually minimal.

1999 Oldsmobile Aurora $3,900

1992 Buick Century $1,800

2000 Ford Taurus $3,500

2001 Volkswagen Passat $4,900

2003 Chevy Cavalier $3,800

2004 Chevy Impala $4,500 2004 Dodge Neon $3,900

1994 Buick LeSabre $3,200

1997 S-10 Blazer $3,800

1994 Ford Ranger $3,600

COMMON UPGRADE Why are rear-view cameras becoming such a cheap, popular option? Because they're easy for the manufacturers to install. Most camera systems take advantage of a digital screen on the dash that is sometimes used for the navigation system and sometimes simply for controlling the radio station. Adding a rear-view camera is an easy thing for manufacturers to do when these digital displays are becoming available in virtually every car today, which is one reason the cameras have proliferated so quickly and affordably.

2006 Ford F-250 Diesel 4x4 $9,500

1972 Chevy Pickup $3,500

2000 Chevy 1 Ton Dually Flatbed $4,200

1999 Chevy Suburban 4x4 $2,300

r oto wM e N

1991 Chevy 1 Ton Dually $5,900


Wheels Central

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Rapid City Journal

February 14, 2013

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'Right Turn Ahead' Navigation systems make it easy to get where you're going

t was a common scene from many a childhood road trip: mom and dad struggling with folding and unfolding a giant map to figure out where they're going.

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Those bulky paper maps have all but disappeared now that navigation systems are becoming the norm in new cars. From affordable compact cars to pickup trucks and SUVs, high-tech, easy-to-use navigation systems are becoming available in virtually every new vehicle for 2013. And it's easy to see why. BETTER THAN HANDHELD Handheld GPS units and smart phones have put the power of navigation systems into the hands of just about everyone, but navigation systems are still among the most popular and useful options on today's new cars. Why is that? Because they're better and more convenient than anything you can fit in your pocket. Most in-car navigation systems have a large digital display in the center of the dash that makes it easy for anyone — driver or passenger — to see information about where they're headed. Car companies make the controls as easy and intuitive to use as possible, which results in a much better experience — and possibly much safer — than trying to fiddle with a tiny handheld device from the driver's seat. MORE THAN MAPS The other advantage of in-car navigation systems is just how much they can do. All navigation systems can show you maps and give you directions to your destination, typically with a friendly voice that offers turn-by-turn instructions, but most of them can do a lot more than that. Thanks to mobile internet integration on many new cars, the newest navigation systems can do things like show you the weather forecast, re-route you around known traffic problems and even use some mobile applications, much like the apps on your cell phone.


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February 14, 2013

Rapid City Journal

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Wheels Central


Wheels Central

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Rapid City Journal

February 14, 2013

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Tips to buying a preowned vehicle Men and women purchase a preowned vehicle for many reasons.

ou can oftentimes find really good deals on preowned vehicles, and a preowned vehicle will likely cost less to insure, making it an even bigger bargain.

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In addition, many manufacturers and dealers have recognized the growing appeal of preowned vehicles and, as a result, offer warranties, something that was unheard of as recently as a decade ago. But buying a preowned vehicle is still a nerve-wracking process for some consumers, who no doubt recall the horror stories of yesteryear when previously owned vehicles were sold as-is and the risk of buying a lemon was enough to scare consumers away. That risk has dwindled considerably, but there are still some things prospective buyers can do to ensure the process of buying a preowned vehicle is less stressful. * Research the vehicle you want to buy. The Internet has made it easier than ever before to conduct research regarding certain vehicles. In a relatively short period of time,

consumers can learn about a vehicle's standard features, safety records and warranty information, and may even find opinions about the vehicle online from past or current owners of the same model. * Determine your price range. Settling on a price range is an important part of the process when buying a preowned vehicle. If you will be financing the vehicle, then you likely won't save as much on insurance as if you buy the vehicle outright. That's because lending institutions typically mandate that a vehicle be fully insured while it's being financed. * Test drive the vehicle. It might seem simple, but consumers have the right to test drive a preowned vehicle just like they would a brand new car on the lot at a dealership. In fact, the test-drive is perhaps more important with a preowned

vehicle than a new vehicle. A new vehicle will likely feel good no matter what on a test-drive, but testdriving a preowned vehicle may reveal certain issues. When testdriving, take the vehicle on a long enough ride to accelerate from a stop, get a feel for the vehicle's visibility, braking, cornering, and ability to climb hills, and see how the vehicle drives on the highway. The ride should be long enough so you

‘07 Nissan Versa

$$$$$

9,500 9,500

95k, only 12k on new engine

‘05 Toyota Camry

$$$$$

6,500 6,500

‘03 Mazda MVP

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can get a true feel for how the vehicle drives, and you should pay attention to any noises along the way, such as noises coming from the engine or any creaks, rattling and squeaks that tend to be commonplace with older vehicles. Buying a preowned vehicle is a lot less stressful than in decades past, and buyers who do their homework can find the right deal if they stay patient.

Loaded & Sharp!

‘04 Pontiac Grand Prix

$$$$$

5,500 5,500

‘05 Chrysler 300M

$$$$$

9,900 9,900

1989 Ford F-150 Ext. Cab . . . .$2400 2001 Suzuki Grand Vitara . . .$3,900 1999 Volvo S-80 . . . . . . . . . . .$4,900

Low Miles, Sharp!

V6, Auto, Loaded!

‘03 Subaru Outback

$$$$$

6,900 6,900

4x4, Runs Great!

2000 Dodge Durango SLT . . . .$4,900 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee . .$5,600 2001 Ford Explorer Sport . . .$6,900


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February 14, 2013

Rapid City Journal

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Wheels Central

2007 Ford Police Interceptor Pursuit

2007 Pontiac G6 1SV Value Leader

2006 Dodge Stratus Sedan SXT

1999 Ford Super Duty F-250 Lariat

$7,900

$6,995

2005 Chevrolet Uplander LT AWD

$6,995

2004 Chevrolet Impala

2004 Chevrolet Malibu LS

2004 Chrysler Town & Country Limited

$8,995

2005 Toyota Corolla LE

$4,995

$5,995

1999 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS

$11,995

$8,995

2003 GMC Yukon SLT

$15,995

2003 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS

2003 Ford Super Duty F-250 Lariat

$6,995

2004 Nissan Titan LE

$9,995

2003 Honda Pilot EX

2002 Chevrolet Corvette

1999 GMC Jimmy SLT

2002 Dodge Durango SXT

2002 Ford Excursion Limited

2001 Dodge Ram 2500 SLT

2001 Lincoln Navigator

2008 Chevy Imapla LS

08 Dodge Magnum SXT

$13,995

$8,995

1997 Chevrolet Blazer LT

1995 Nissan Truck 4WD SE

$7,995

$4,995

2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser Touring

$3,995

2008 Pontiac Vibe

$4,995

$6,995

$17,900

$4,795

1999 Mercedes-Benz ML320

1999 Lincoln Town Car Signature

2001 Buick LeSabre Custom

$6,995

$4,995

$2,995

$3,995

$5,995

$6,995

$8,995

$6,995

$7,995

$5,995


Wheels Central

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Rapid City Journal

February 14, 2013

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New Cars Get a Boost Turbochargers becoming a hot trend to save fuel, increase power

n the 1980s, one word symbolized automotive power and excess: turbo.

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Turbochargers were fitted to everything from Porsches to Nissans to Mercedes-Benz diesel sedans in the '80s to boost their power output. It's a terrific idea, using a car's exhaust gasses to power a turbine that forces more air into the engine, which can dramatically increase the horsepower. Emissions regulations and consumer tastes changed, though, and the turbocharger fell out of favor in the 1990s and 2000s, with only a handful of models offering a forced induction engine. Turbos are back with a vengeance on 2013 cars, though, and there's one big reason why.

The Ford F-150 is one of many vehicles that have turbocharged engines available in the 2013 model year. FUEL ECONOMY Today's car buyers want good fuel economy without sacrificing performance. That's not an easy thing for engineers to do, though, because there's always a tradeoff. Big engines can make lots of power but also use lots of fuel. And small engines use very little fuel but also make less power. The solution: strap a turbocharger to a small engine, which gives you the fuel economy of a four- or sixcylinder while producing horsepower more like a V8.

WIDE APPLICATIONS Today's turbocharged vehicles aren't limited to sports cars. Sure, Porsche still sells its classic 911 Turbo models, but the concept has extended to other cars. Hyundai, for example, offers a turbocharged engine in a big portion of its lineup, including the popular Sonata and Veloster. Buick is rolling out a turbocharged Verano for 2013, and the all-new Dodge Dart is available with a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine. German brands continue to use turbocharged diesel engines to get

fuel economy that rivals many hybrid cars. Perhaps the most innovative use of a turbocharger, though, is in the Ford F-150. A turbocharged sixcylinder engine has become one of the most popular versions of this pickup, better known for its V-8 engines, because it offers a big improvement in fuel consumption without sacrificing the power or performance truck drivers demand. One thing is certain: turbos are back in a big way for the 2013 model year, and it's a trend that is likely to continue for years to come.


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February 14, 2013

Rapid City Journal

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Wheels Central

2012 Ford F250 Crew Cab 4x4 6.7L Powerstroke, Lariat, Auto 19,000 Miles, Just like New! - $45,995

2006 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 5.7L Hemi, AT, SLT, 69,000 Miles 20” Wheels, Local Trade - $19,495

2005 Chevy 1500 Crew Cab 4x4 5.3L V8, AT, LT Trim, Leather Has it All! - $15,995

2007 Chevy Colorado Crew Cab 4x4 3.7L, Auto, AC, Tilt, CC, New Tires Only 67,000 Miles! - $16,995

1996 Chevy C3500 Service Truck 5.7L V8, Auto, Rebuilt Engine, Nice Utility Box, Fuel Tank in Back! - $6,495

2007 GMC Yukon XL Denali 6.0L V8, Auto, Leather, 3rd Row Auto Start, DVD - $27,995

2004 Dodge Durango 4x4 Limited 5.7L Hemi, Auto, Leather, Alloys Only 77,000 Miles! - $10,995

2004 Nissan Pathfinder SE 4x4 3.5L V6, Auto, Extra Clean! Only 91,000 Miles - $9,995

2009 Chevy G3500 Cube Van 12 Ft. Box, V8, Auto, AC, Hydraulic Lift 12,000 Miles, Hard to Find! - $13,995

2010 Dodge Gid Caravan SE 3.3L V6, Auto, Rear Buckets Rear AC - $14,995

2009 Chrysler 300c AWD Hemi V8 Heated Leather, Power Sunroof, Navigation 20” Wheels, Only 31,000 Miles - $25,995

2010 Dodge Avenger R/T 2.4L , Auto, Heated Leather Seats Only 34,000 Miles - $16,995

2007 Cadillac DTS 4.6L V8, Auto, Leather, Alloys Local Trade - $10,995

2008 Ford Mustang Convertible 4.0L, Auto, Tilt, Cruise, AC, Alloys, New Tires Sharp! - $12,995

2007 Volkwagon Passat Wolfsburg Edition, 2.0L Turbo, Auto, Leather, Sunroof, Only 60,000 Miles! - $14,995

2010 Nissan Altima 2.5L 4 Cyl., Auto, AC, 37K Miles, Sunroof . . . . . . .$14,99500 2008 Honda Accord LX 2.4L, Auto, AC, Black Beauty, Only 39K Miles . . . . $14,99500 2008 Chevy Malibu LS 4 Cyl., Auto, AC, CC, Alloys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $12,99500 2008 Dodge Caliber R/T AWD 2.5L, Auto, AC, PW, PL, AC, Sale! . . . . . . . . . . . . $11,99500 2007 Mazda 6 i Series 2.3L 4 Cyl., Auto, Alloys, Beautiful Black . . . . . . . . $10,99500 2008 Ford Focus SE 4 Cyl., Auto, 47K Miles, Local Trade, Bright Red . . $10,99500

2004 Buick LaSabre Custom 3.8L V6, Auto, 82K Miles, Super Clean . . . . . . . . . 2007 Chevy Cobalt LS 2.2L 4 Cyl., Auto, AC, 4 Door, Great Fuel Mileage 2005 Chrysler Pacifica AWD Touring, V6, Auto, Leather, Local Trade . . . . . . . . . 2006 Pontiac Vibe 4 Cyl., Auto, 81K Miles, Local Trade . . . . . . . . . . . 2006 Dodge Dakota ST 4x4 Quad Cab, V6, Auto, Only 65K Miles . . . . . . . . . . . 2003 Chevy K1500 Silverado 4x4 Ext. Cab SB, LS, 5.3L V8, Auto, Extra Clean . . . . .

$7,99500 $7,49500 $9,49500 $8,99500 $14,99500 $9,99500

2002 Dodge Dakota Ext. Cab 4x4 SLT Trim, 4.7L V8, 5 Speed, Only 68K Miles . . . . . 2002 Jeep Liberty Sport 4x4 3.7L V6, Auto, AC, 77K Miles PLO, PL, Tilt, Cruise, Alloys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2006 Ford F150 Supercrew 4x4 5.4L V8, Auto, XLT Trim, Alloy, Only 51K Miles . . . 2009 Chevy G1500 Cargo Van Adrian Shelving Kit, Ladder Racks, AC, 59K Miles 2006 Pontiac Montana AWD Ext. Van, 3.5L V6, Auto, AC, Power Seats, Only 67K Miles, Hard to Find! . . . . .

$9,99500 $8,49500 $19,99500 $13,99500 $11,49500


Wheels Central

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Rapid City Journal

February 14, 2013

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Trade-in versus private sale Vehicle owners know they will someday need to replace their current automobiles.

ome people are interested in getting the highest resale price for their current vehicle, while others just want to make the process of getting rid of their current vehicle as easy as possible.

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There are advantages and disadvantages to selling privately and trading in, and the choice often comes down to personal preference. Private sale A person interested in getting the best price possible for his or her vehicle might benefit from selling it privately. However, it is important to note that this will take more time and effort than simply trading in the car at a dealership. To get started on a private sale, you must first establish a value for your car. This can be done by using a reputable used car pricing guide. You also can scan the automotive section of the newspaper to see what similar vehicles are selling for and price accordingly. The goal is to entice buyers with a realistic price. Once you have established a price, it is important to keep the vehicle clean and running smoothly. This way anyone who contacts you about the vehicle will form a good first impression. Therefore, routinely wash and detail the car and make sure to stay current on oil changes and tune-ups. In terms of advertising the sale,

there are many different options available to sellers. Buyers regularly check the classified section of the newspaper (both print and on their Web site), so that is a start and perhaps the most effective way to reach local shoppers. Some people like to post a message on social media or online classifieds. There also are automotive sales sites where you can advertise your car for a cost. Because researching, advertising and maintaining the vehicle can cost a substantial amount of money, selling it privately may negate the profit you earn in lieu of trading it in. This is the chance you will take if you go this route. Trade-In Trading in your vehicle is the other option that you have if you are looking to recuperate some of the cost of your vehicle. The dealership where you are buying your new car will make you an offer for your older car and then put that amount toward the down payment on the new one. Oftentimes people find that tradingin is the sensible and easy way to go when replacing an older vehicle,

particularly because the dealership does most of the work for you. They then will clean and fix the vehicle for resale on their lot or send it elsewhere. The dealer who accepts your trade must be able to add in a margin for profit; therefore, you are not likely to get the full book value for your car. Rather, you will probably receive what has been dubbed "wholesale value" for the vehicle.Therefore, you are paying for the convenience of having the dealer do the work when trade in. However, you will not be responsible for the condition of the car and anything that should happen to it once it is sold.

Donation Donation is another option for motorists looking to unload a vehicle. Individuals who have a vehicle that is so old it may not be worth much in a trade-in or through a private sale should consider donating it to charity. While you will not make a profit on this or have money to put toward the down payment on a new car, you will typically receive a receipt that can be used for a tax deduction. So it can be financially advantageous in that respect. Choosing whether to trade in a car or sell it privately depends on personal preference and how much time sellers want to devote to unloading their vehicle.


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February 14, 2013

Rapid City Journal

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Wheels Central

TOURING ALL-SEASON The Solus KR21 is a all-season premium touring tire for compact cars, SUVs, minivans and crossover vehicles. Few tires offer the Performance, incredible mileage and peace of mind of the Solus KR21. A truly outstanding value and perfect choice for family transportation. This tire is backed by Kumho’s Quality Assurance Warranty, which includes road hazard service for the first 25% of wear.

AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION

FLUSH

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WITH DEXTRON III

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Most Cars, Vans & Light Trucks

94

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With Coupon

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Exp. 2/28/13

69

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BRAKE SPECIAL Front or Rear

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We Service National Accounts 600 E. Omaha • Rapid City, SD — Phone 343-4424

For Front Disc Brakes We Will:

Install new pads (Ceramic pads extra) • Bleed System if needed (Turning rotors if needed for $10 each extra)

For Rear Drum Brakes We Will:

Most cars & light trucks Additional parts extra. Rear disc brakes extra. Price is per axle for most vehicles with front disc and rear drum brakes, 4wheel disc systems slightly higher. Grease seals wheel bearing re-pack extra, if needed.

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Wheels Central

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Rapid City Journal

February 14, 2013

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How to conduct a test drive When shopping for a new vehicle, some drivers know exactly which model of car they want to buy.

hough price and features often carry the most weight when making a decision, a test drive can narrow down the prospects as well.

T

It can be confusing when comparing the dozens of statistics and numbers associated with a car - from price to horsepower to gas usage ratios. One of the best ways to judge a car is to take it out for a test drive. There are many things that a test drive can tell you about a car or truck. A test drive shouldn't be a quick jaunt around the block. It should include a thorough examination of the vehicle, and the drive should be long enough for you to get a feel for the vehicle. It is important to take your time on a test drive and not feel rushed. There are also many other tips that can help you find the right buy. * Pick a time when you feel focused. Doing a test drive on your lunch hour or right before you're expected at a meeting or carpool is not the ideal time to make an assessment of the vehicle. You certainly may feel rushed and distracted by the other tasks you have to accomplish. Rather, pick a time when you are well rested and well fed and able to concentrate on the job at hand. * Avoid distractions. Sometimes schedules conflict, and you may have to bring other people, including children, along on the test drive. However, when possible, only include those people who will be driving the vehicle in the test drive. This way you will be able to focus solely on the car and not worry about what the other passengers are doing as well. It is also perfectly acceptable to ask the salesperson to be quiet during the test drive and reserve explaining the features and attributes for before or after the drive. This way you can focus on the driving experience. * Research the vehicle. It helps to go into a test

drive already knowing the majority of the specifications on the vehicle and what the car or truck is capable of doing. This way you'll be able to tell if the sales information you are receiving is accurate or embellished. * Try out different terrains. Most test drives consist of a short jaunt to and from the dealership. Salespeople also may recommend certain routes, but these could be tailored to get the best response out of the car. But if you're familiar with the area take a test drive on your terms. Try different road surfaces and speeds. Also be sure to make turns to gauge the turning radius. This can be as simple as making some turns in a parking lot. * Change lanes. Take the opportunity to change lanes so you can judge the visibility of the vehicle.

* Adjust the seating. This will help you determine the comfort level of the vehicle and if it will fit your frame. You don't want the car to be uncomfortable to drive. * Test the radio and the climate control. See how the car functions, including whether it takes a long or short time to reach a comfortable temperature. * Have a passenger ride in the back. If you won't be distracted by it, have a friend or family member ride along and pay attention to the things you might be missing while focusing on the road. These may include road noise, suspension and the general comfort of the vehicle. A test drive is an important component of buying a car. It can often make or break a sale, so be sure to include it on your must-do list.


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February 14, 2013

Rapid City Journal

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Wheels Central

Get the best deal on auto insurance Owning a motor vehicle is not cheap. In addition to the purchase price of the vehicle, owners must also pay for routine maintenance as well as fuel. Insuring the vehicle likely won't come cheap either, especially for those drivers with less than perfect driving histories. But even drivers with poor track records behind the wheel can find ways to reduce the cost of insuring their vehicles. The following are a few ways to avoid overspending on auto insurance. * Choose the right vehicle. The vehicle you drive goes a long way toward determining the cost of your auto insurance. According to Insure.com, minivans had long had

a stranglehold atop the list of the least expensive vehicles to insure until the model year 2013, when crossovers and sport utility vehicles took control of the list. Drivers hoping to save on insurance costs might want to avoid buying a Mercedes-Benz, as the top eight spots on the most expensive 2013 vehicles to insure list were all products of the German luxury auto manufacturer. When choosing your next vehicle, keep the make and model of the vehicle in mind if you're looking to minimize the cost of your auto insurance. * Fix your credit. Drivers with

average or below-average credit, regardless of their driver history, are likely to pay more for auto insurance than those with aboveaverage credit. That's because insurance agencies take credit history into account when determining their rates. A suspect credit history or a history of paying bills late will be a red flag to prospective insurers. So before buying a new car, address any issues on your credit report so your insurance application is as glowing as possible. * Consolidate your coverage. Oftentimes, consolidating coverage is a great way to lower your insur-

ance costs. Homeowners who consolidate their homeowners insurance with their auto insurance can expect to save a significant amount of money as a result. Though figures vary as to just how much consumers can save by consolidating their coverage, it's not unrealistic that consumers can save as much as 15 percent by consolidating their coverages. An insurance carrier with a strong rating is a much better bet when consolidating, as such firms are more financially sound and more capable of offering better deals.


Wheels Central

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Rapid City Journal

February 14, 2013

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