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FINDING THE RIGHT RIDE Factors to consider when buying a new car

MARCH 2019 A SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT TO THE

FUN AMENITIES to consider for your next vehicle

PROTECTING YOUR INVESTMENT How to preserve your car’s resale value

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March 14, 2019 • TC Extra Extra

Factors to consider when looking for a new car

to and from a full slate of extracurricular activities may not only want a car with enough room to accommodate their brood, but also one that’s fuel-efficient so all those trips to the soccer fields and dance recitals won’t break the bank. Singles who don’t often have passengers and don’t have a driveway or assigned parking space may benefit from a small vehicle that’s fuelefficient and easy to park. Whatever your needs, try to avoid buying more or less car than you really need.

prove worth the investment if not a necessity, while drivers who live in warm areas where the temperatures remain mild year-round can likely skip the four-wheel drive option. When buying a new car, envision the weather that car will eventually encounter. A flashy sports car may be fun to drive and surely looks great in the garage, but if safety concerns force you to leave it in the garage for several months a year, then it might not be the best car for you. What else is in the driveway?

Driving habits

requires a careful consideration of budget, but also a thorough examination of what you want out of your next vehicle. The following are some factors prospective car buyers may want to consider as they begin to look for new cars.

Your personal driving habits are another factor to consider before buying your next car. When driving, are you traversing the nation’s highways or sticking mainly to city streets? Stop-and-go city driving can be taxing on vehicles, and drivers may find manual transmissions are less enjoyable in city traffic. Drivers whose daily commutes are mainly done on highways may be able to live with a car deemed less fuel-efficient, as highway driving tends to consume less fuel than city driving.

Passengers

Local climate

Parents who drive have different needs than drivers who don’t have children. When shopping around for your next vehicle, consider how many passengers you typically have in the car. Parents who drive the kids

Drivers should consider their local climate as they try to decide what their next vehicle will be. If you live in a region where ice and snow is common, then four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive is a feature that will likely

Buyers should consider a host of factors before purchasing their next vehicle.

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pring is a season of rebirth, and this rejuvenating time of year can be a great time for motorists to re-examine their vehicles and start looking for new rides. With spring road trips and summer vacations on the not-too-distant horizon, drivers who have been eyeing a new vehicle may feel the time has never been more right to sell or trade-in their current vehicles for ones more suited to their current needs. Once drivers have made the decision to get a new car, they must then decide which car is right for them. Such a decision not only

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Parents or couples buying a new car together should consider what their significant other has sitting in the driveway. If one parent already has an SUV or minivan, then a second such vehicle may not be necessary, and buying a new car may be an opportunity to purchase a smaller vehicle that still fits the whole family but won’t need to carry athletic equipment or chauffeur the middle school basketball team. The same principle can be applied to couples without children. Such couples may want to keep one sports car in the driveway and have a more practical vehicle that can better handle road trips or weekend getaways. Buying a new car is a fun process that’s made even more fun when drivers consider their needs and target vehicles that best meet those needs.

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March 14, 2019 • TC Extra Extra

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The first steps toward financing your next vehicle

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hen purchasing a new car, many buyers decide to finance rather than buying the car outright. Financing allows drivers the opportunity to drive a new car after making an initial down payment and then making monthly payments until the loan has been paid in full.

be approved. Get a copy of your credit report from a credit reporting agency and scour it to determine if there are any discrepancies or blemishes that need to be addressed. If your credit score is low, try to delay buying a new car until you can take steps to improve your score. Such steps may include paying down existing debt, establishing a history of paying on time and making certain that any inaccuracies are removed.

Determine how much you can afford. It might be your dream to tool around town in an imported sports car, but if you need to finance your next car, chances are the highWithout the option to finance, many drivers may not be end imports or luxury automobiles are more than you can able to afford a brand new car or even a pre-owned car with afford. The greater the down payment you make, the less relatively few miles that’s more reliable than an older used car your monthly payment will be. So if you have a substantial with a considerable amount of miles. But before prospective amount of money in your savings, you may want to put more buyers visit the financing departments of any dealerships, down at signing so your budget is more flexible month-toit’s best to first take some steps to ensure they get the best month. Calculate the cost of all of your monthly expenses financing deal possible. to determine how much you can afford to pay for a car each Address your credit score. Your credit score will go a month. And don’t forget that insurance costs on a brand new long way toward determining both your eligibility to finance vehicle will be more than the costs of insuring a pre-owned a car as well as the interest rate on the loan should you car or truck.

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Seek pre-approval for a loan. Much like you might get pre-approved for a mortgage, you can do the same with regard to an automotive loan. Walking into a dealership preapproved for a loan can make the process less of a hassle, and it also might compel a dealer to make a more attractive offer than the lender who pre-approved you. Don’t pressure yourself. Many buyers are their own worst enemies when it comes to buying a new car. If you were preapproved for an auto loan, you might feel like you need to go out and buy a new car immediately. While a pre-approval may mandate that you buy a car within a certain amount of days before you have to reapply, that still gives you a considerable amount of time to find a car. If you pressure yourself to buy a new car, you may end up driving the wrong vehicle or paying too much. Be patient when shopping for the best deal, and you’re more likely to find it. Financing is a great way to get behind the wheel of your next vehicle. Some careful planning before visiting the dealership can make a financing deal even better.


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FUN AMENITIES to consider for your next vehicle

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oday’s automobiles come with more gadgets than ever before. New car buyers can now choose from a host of amenities geared toward making roads easier to navigate and long trips more comfortable. Whereas nonessential amenities once cost buyers a substantial amount of money, nowadays many auto manufacturers include options once considered luxuries in their standard packages, meaning more drivers have the chance to enjoy their new vehicles in style. While not all amenities are free, and some may still cost drivers a considerable amount of money, the following are a handful of features drivers may find too irresistible to ignore.

Satellite radio: Satellite radio has been around for awhile, but only recently did it begin to become a standard offering in new vehicles. Drivers who buy a new car may find a deal where their initial satellite radio subscription, whether it’s a few months or a full year, is included in the cost of the vehicle. Many new cars are satellite-compatible, which is good news to drivers who want to expand their musical horizons beyond the offerings of their local terrestrial stations. Television: The vehicles of today often mimic mobile entertainment systems, and no such system is complete without television. Built-in televisions are nothing new, and many

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Today’s new vehicles boast more amenities than ever before, making for a more comfortable and enjoyable driving experience. a parent has expressed gratitude that in-car televisions and DVD players can serve as mobile babysitters when taking the kids on long road trips. But some auto manufacturers have begun to offer broadcast television in their vehicles, which is made possible by a built-in television antenna that is capable of picking up nearby channels. Massaging seats: Heated seats have a reputation of being a luxury well worth the extra investment when buying a new car. But motorists with some extra cash to spend may want to consider massaging seats. Such seats are typically limited to the backseats, but they work in similar fashion to massaging armchairs. Passengers or even drivers taking a break on a long road trip can jump into the back of their cars, recline the backseat and

then enjoy a massage to iron out all those aches and pains that developed over the last several hours traversing the highways. Adaptive lights: If you’re the type of driver who prefers his or her amenities be more about function than luxury, then adaptive lights might be the perfect feature for you. Adaptive lights may swivel as an automobile turns a corner, making it easier for drivers to see. Some adaptive headlights also can sense darkness, protecting drivers who may be distracted by the amenities inside their vehicles and forget to turn their lights on the moment twilight arrives or the sun sets. Today’s automobiles are a testament to innovation, and drivers may find that certain amenities make driving more enjoyable than ever before.

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How to protect your car’s resale value ew drivers start thinking about resale value when driving a new car off of the dealership lot for the first time. Still enamored with that new car smell, drivers can be excused for not thinking of resale value as they put the pedal to the metal and speed off in their brand new ride. But it’s never too early to start protecting a vehicle’s resale value, especially if you hope to recoup as much of your vehicle investment as possible when the time comes to sell your car or trade it in for a newer model. The following are some ways motorists can protect the resale value of their vehicles from the moment the dealer tosses them the keys.

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vehicle buyers who want to avoid buying a lemon or a car that has not been taken care of.

Keep all maintenance records. New cars typically do not require much maintenance. But drivers should keep records of all work and maintenance done on their vehicles, even if that work does not extend beyond routine tuneups or oil changes. Keeping maintenance records shows prospective buyers you prioritized taking care of the vehicle over the years, and that makes the car or truck more attractive to pre-owned

Keep a clean interior. New car owners typically maintain some strict rules with regard to food and beverages in their vehicles. After all, no one wants their brand new car to succumb to stains or spills. But the longer drivers have a car the more lax they tend to become with regard to allowing food and drinks into their cars, and that can ultimately hurt the resale value of the vehicle. Maintain a clean interior whether

Don’t overlook looks. Looks can be deceiving, but new car buyers who eventually plan to sell their vehicles should do all they can to keep the car looking as new as it did the day it was first driven off the dealership lot. Much like homeowners benefit when selling a home with curb appeal, a car that looks good gives buyers the impression that it was well taken care of. But a dirty car or one with lots of dings and dents is a red flag to pre-owned car buyers.

you just bought the car or have driven it for a few years. Much like an impressive exterior leaves a lasting impression, a clean interior that has not succumb to coffee stains or muddy boots is more likely to impress buyers than a car with an interior that has seen better, cleaner days. Invest in a Ceramic Coating. A ceramic coating chemically bonds to the vehicle’s paint and acts as hard, very durable shield protecting it from light scratching, contaminants like bird droppings, sap, fallout and harsh chemicals all while offering amazing gloss, water beading and slickness. Never wax again, and regular washing is all that’s needed for upkeep. Lifespans range anywhere from 2- 9 years, which means you are locking in that freshly detailed or brand new appearance for longer, thus maintaining your vehicle’s overall value.

can have any issues corrected. That won’t necessarily happen overnight, but you can avoid dealing with a host of issues all at once by periodically examining the vehicle history report. Any discrepancies on the report can be brought to the attention of your insurance company, who can then work with you to correct the issues and restore your vehicle’s reputation.

Periodically examine the vehicle history report. Today’s pre-owned car buyers know to ask for a vehicle history report before buying a car. If your vehicle history report contains any suspicious or inaccurate information, you may be forced to sell the car for less than it’s worth or delay selling until you

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March 14, 2019 • TC Extra Extra

Keep tires road-worthy for safer driving Maintain the right pressure

Caring for tires not only improves safety, but also it extends the life of the tires, saving drivers money as a result. Michelin Tires says that simply checking the tires’ inflation pressure can make a significant difference in how long tiåres last. For example, a tire that is consistently 20 percent under-inflated may see its life expectancy reduced by 20 percent. Tires that are not properly inflated also can have a high rolling resistance. In such instance, the engine must expend more effort to move the vehicle — thus eating up fuel. Pressure should be checked at ambient temperature before driving, states CAA. The recommended inflation pressure can be found in the drivers manual or on the tire.

M

Check tire tread

aking driving more safe can come down to ensuring that the vehicle is in good working order — starting from the ground up.

Taking tire maintenance seriously can greatly reduce the

chances of blowouts, accidents and fatalities.

Tires rely on good tread depth to maintain traction and shed water during wet conditions. CAA recommends checking tread with a visual inspection and with the “Toonie test.” Insert a $2 coin into a tread groove with the polar bear’s paws facing down. If the tread reaches the bear’s paw, your tires are pretty new. If it reaches all the

way across the silver, they are approximately 50% worn. If they only reach into the letters on the word ‘Dollar’, it’s time to replace.

Learn about tire aging

Check the owner’s manual for specific recommendations concerning replacing the spare tire for the vehicle. Some manufacturers state after six years, while others say 10 years is the maximum service life for tires. While most tire centers will use newly manufactured tires when replacing tires, you can double check the age of any tire by looking at the sidewall for the tire identification number (TIN). The last four digits are the week and year of manufacture.

Keep up on maintenance

Wheel alignment, tire rotation and tire balancing are all key to minimizing wear and extending the life and safety of tires. Each vehicle has specific recommendations, and drivers should consult their manuals to find those specifics. Tire function is an important part of maintaining vehicle safety and performance.

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Seing the sights with motocycle tours

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otorcycles are a great way to travel. Motorcycles provide a multisensory experience that many riders feel cannot be rivaled. Motorcycles have a come a long way in comfort and features since creators Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach debuted the first motorcycle in Germany in 1885. The popularity of motorcycles has fluctuated over the years, and the people who ride them have changed as well. In 2014, for example, women represented 14 percent of all motorcycle owners. Generally speaking, motorcycle ownership has become a pursuit of the financially solvent, married and well educated. According to the finance and investment resource The Motley Fool, most new motorcycles sold are onhighway bikes, rather than off-roading styles. These bikes are ideal for motorcycle tours. Speaking of motorcycle tours, they can be an ideal way to see the country or the world. Motorcycle tour companies are popping up on just about every continent and can help make for extraordinary road trips. Pairing a motorcycle ride with a touch of history can treat riders to hidden details of the places they visit and offer an up close and personal look at many sights and attractions. With motorcycle tours, there’s

Motorcycle tours provide an ideal way for riders to witness history or experience adventure on the open road. often something for everyone. Riders can take in sumptuous landscapes, zigzag on mountain roads, ride along coastal vistas, and even explore areas featuring medieval architecture or other historical locales. Motorcycle tourists can ride as a group or strike out on their own. Many tours put together an impressive package that includes elegant accommodations, breakfasts and dinners, support vehicles to carry luggage and other necessities, custom maps and route sheets as well as admission to special attractions at stops along the tours. Certain tours also may be personally guided. Motorcycle tours can be well worth the effort of research and booking for those who prefer to travel around North America, Europe or Asia on two wheels. A quick search online will yield motorcycle tours close to home or at many popular destinations.

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Air filters need to be changed regularly to maintain the right flow of air into the engine and to protect the engine from debris.

Why a clean air filter is important in your vehicle

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otorists routinely check their tires for proper inflation, top off engine fluid levels and maintain oil change schedules. But some drivers do not understand the importance of keeping engine air filters clean. Engine air filters are a relatively inexpensive vehicle part, but they perform a very important job. For every 4 litres of gas a car burns, it uses the equivalent of 45,000 litres of air, and that air must be filtered to help keep an engine clean. Air filters catch all of the dust, grime, insects, sap, leaves, and any other debris that may get sucked up past the air intake of the vehicle’s grill and into the engine itself. Without the air filter, those contaminants may compromise the engine, causing corrosion and abrasion. If the air filter in the engine becomes too dirty and is not changed regularly, the engine is starved of air. Clean air filters allow just the right ratio of air to fuel to enable the engine to function properly. Engines need adequate air for the combustion

process to take place. Without the proper combustion levels, vehicles cannot perform properly or efficiently and the engine may burn more gas or get fewer KMs to the litre. A dirty filter also can rob an engine of power. Drivers may notice sluggish acceleration. Air filters also can get so dirty that the engine stalls completely. But such a problem only develops after considerable neglect. Air filters may not need to be replaced at each and every oil change service call. Many technicians advise replacing the filter every 12,000 KMs. However, drivers who live in particularly dry and dusty regions may need to replace filters more frequently. Mechanics can often detect when an air filter needs to be replaced. If he or she notices the air filter is particularly dirty, then it’s probably time to replace it. Replacing the filter is a relatively inexpensive repair for the amount of performance and peace of mind a new filter provides.


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On The Road  

A special supplement to the Times Colonist

On The Road  

A special supplement to the Times Colonist