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Are you curious about what types of vehicles qualify for car title loans? Different types of vehicles are frequently considered for title loans, including classic cars, trucks, and in some areas motorcycles. The amount you may be eligible for with a car title loan is based on the equity and value of your vehicle1. Find out today!

You can submit information on more than one vehicle. Your agent will help you figure out which one will work in your favor and help you to get approved!

You have seen it before when you travel with multiple hotel sites offering different rates for the same exact room. We ask more about your vehicle and even look at pictures to get a decision on the amount. You might have a trim package on your vehicle that raises the value by thousands but unless the lender asks, and they typically do not, you will get the lowest value.

How Vehicles Are Valued for Car Title Loans

Your vehicle is considered an asset and can hold value that is used as collateral. To qualify for a loan one has to have equity in their vehicle. It is usually calculated by subtracting the amount that you owe the bank or the dealership from the actual value of the car. Those who own their cars outright are in a better position to get a car title loan because the equity of the cars is higher1.

Valuing used vehicles combines objectivity with subjectivity. Year, make, and model are all objective figures, while appearance and condition are subjective. As such, nearly all used cars have to be valued individually. The private party value is usually considered the baseline, and is the price one individual can expect when selling to another private individual. Trade-in values are typically 20% lower than private party values, while retail prices are typically 20% higher.

Below is the typical process of valuing a used car for private party buying or selling. Individuals may estimate the trade-in and retail price of a vehicle based on the private party valuation.

The first step is to gather the following information about the vehicle:

  • Model year
  • Make
  • Model
  • Trim level
  • Options
  • Mileage

Next, determine the condition of the vehicle:

  • Excellent– the car runs perfectly and looks like it could be placed in a showroom
  • Good– the car may have a few minor problems in terms of electrical or mechanical problems, as well as some routine wear-and-tear
  • Fair– the car has several issues internally, externally, and mechanically
  • Poor– the car has severe mechanical issues and exterior rusting

Check your car’s value online if you are looking for estimates without having to go to a physical location. There are some simple ways to know the actual value of your car. Having a good understanding can help get a good auto title loan offer. A reputable used car dealer can help you to appraise your car and get a current market quote. Another venue that provides real time information would be a car auction.

You can ask questions for clarification about the value of your automobile. They will inspect your car for any possible wear and tear and then compare it with others that have a similar make, model or condition. A manager at a dealership shop will also look at the demand for the car to help determine its current value. They should be able to tell you about both the trade-in value and the market value of the car. These two prices often differ and can comprehensively explain the various aspects of equity in your vehicle.

Lifehacks to Increase Your Car’s Value for Car Title Loans

We all consider ourselves to be great drivers (it’s the other people on the road that are scary, right?) and many of us have years of driving experience under our belts. But all of us could still learn a few things about our cars.

Lifehacks is a website about tips and tricks for managing our time and efforts in more ways that are efficient. That applies to our cars, too! We still like giving helpful hints to make our customers’ lives even better.

So with that in mind, check out these fun lifehacks for your car!

Cool a Hot Car – Quick!

No one likes having to climb into a scorching hot car in the middle of the summer. Cool things off quickly by rolling down one window completely, walk to the opposite side of the car, and open and shut one of the doors about ten times. This forces air to circulate throughout the car and flushes out the hottest air.

Keep the Ignition System Problem-Free

Did you know having a heavy keychain is actually proven to cause problems with the ignition systems of cars? It’s true! To prevent costly repairs, keep your keychain light. Take off anything you don’t need, or consider carrying two separate sets of keys: your car keys and all others.

Eliminate Car Dents

You can actually try using dry ice to pull out dents in your car. Be sure to take the proper safety precautions before handling something like dry ice (for example, wear gloves because direct contact with dry ice can cause damage to your skin). After washing the car, take the dry ice and apply it to the dented area. Repeat as necessary until the dent is gone.

It’s definitely worth knowing some of these fun and easy lifehacks for your car. Remember, keeping your car in good condition means it will likely retain value for longer. That’s important should you ever want a title loan, because the value of your car along with the ability to repay will help determine the loan amount you can get!

Why Should I Wash My Car?

Some people spend a significant amount of time on the appearance of their cars, making sure that it looks a certain way. Car washes are a necessity if you want to save a significant amount of money in the long run.

  • It just looks better.

We love new things. New cars look good and smell good. You can have your car looking brand spanking new if you had it washed regularly. It does not have to be a fancy hand car wash, or the most expensive drive-thru car wash, a regular wash will suffice.

  • It’s safer.

It is not good to drive with an obstructed view. You would not drive with ice, snow, or frost on your windshield, why is dirt any different? If your windshield is caked with dirt, and your windshield wipers and fluid are leaving horrible streaks, it’s time for a car wash. Don’t put yourself and others in danger by riding around with a dirty windshield, keep it clean.

  • Better fuel mileage.

Oddly enough, having a lot of dirt on your car can weigh it down and cause your car to do more work than necessary. This work is burning more fuel as a result. Clean cars are more fuel-efficient than dirty cars.

  • Prevents illness.

This sounds weird, but think about it, you wipe down your desk at work at the end of the week, you wipe down your bathroom fixtures, and you wipe down surfaces in your kitchen. Why? To keep the germs away. You should be doing the same for your car. You spend a significant amount of time in your car daily, and the same hands that are in your house are in your car. Your car is more susceptible to be filled with germs, especially your steering wheel. When you pump gas, go to the grocery store, a public restroom, etc., all the germs you encounter on a daily basis, are floating around in your car. Purchase some interior disinfecting cleaning wipes for your car today.

  • It can damage your car.

Dirt that is left unwashed off a car can cause a scratch. If your paint is scratched and left untreated, it can chip, and if the chip is also left untreated, it will rust. And rust is pretty ugly on a car. Dirt left to sit and fester on your car for extended periods of time can also lead to the paint on your car fading. Then, you would have to spend money to get your car repainted, when you could have just spent $3 on a light car wash.

Factors that may Contribute to Your Car Needing a Wash

There are several factors that go into how often you should wash your car:

  • Do you park your car in a garage every day? Do you park in a driveway covered by a huge tree? Is your car parked on the street?
  • Do you live in a place that has a lot of trees? Do you live in an industrial area, where there is a lot of smog? Do you live near a construction site? Are there a lot of birds near where you live?
  • Do you drive a lot? Is your car often exposed to the elements?
  • What kind of weather is prominent in your region? Is there acid rain, heat, snow, heavy rains, heavy wind, etc.?
  • Do you like your car having that “new car” look?

What Are All the Extra Features at the Car wash?

Most drive-thru car washes offer several different types of washes to their customers. The most basic wash would be the light wash, which is generously priced around $3. This wash just knocks the surface dirt off your car, it typically does not address the undercarriage or the tires.

Then, there is the step up from the light wash, which adds in rim cleaner and the undercarriage wash. This is the light wash, with two additional features. This wash will typically cost $6.

The third type of wash would include everything from the previous wash types, plus a tire shine, windshield treatment, and a clear coat protectant. This type of wash would typically cost either $9 or $10 dollars.

The last wash type is the most expensive. It usually costs around $12. This luxury wash includes everything from all the different wash types, plus a hot wax shine to finish the job.

The various upgrades and features each drive-thru car wash offers serves a purpose. Some are worth getting each time you take your car in for a car wash, and some are not. Most times, the basic wash is more than enough to have you driving off with a shiny and clean car.

If you don’t want to continuously pay for car washes, you can pull the hose out and wash your car yourself. Try making it a fun thing for yourself on a Saturday morning, weather permitting of course. That way, you are keeping the paint on your car safe, and spending a little quality outside time as well.

What Types of Vehicles Can Be Used for Car Title Loans?

We accept all types of vehicles. Classic cars, trucks, motorcycles and utility vehicles can be eligible for a title loan, while considering the mileage and the age of the engine when determining the equity1. Based on your unique situation and vehicle, we could accept new or old cars for a title loan application1. People with vintage classics and can get title loans as well.

The status of the title matters a lot when you are applying for an online car title loan. We check that you have a clear title, but can work with customers from all types of financial situations1.

How Do I Know if My Title Qualifies for Car Title Loans?

We invite title holders who may need a loan to apply. You can qualify for a loan even if your vehicle is not fully paid off. If you are a title holder, the vehicle may qualify1. Just submit an online application and our customer support representatives will be happy to address your concerns and help you to get the help you need.

If your car title has a zero balance and no one has a lien on your car title, then you will most likely be able to qualify for a higher loan amount than a car that is not paid off1.  There are only a few documents needed to apply. Will lend you the needed money immediately after the approval of your application.

Is a Car Title Loan Good for My Vehicle?

car title loan can be a good option if you are low on cash or need funds in an emergency. Our satisfied customers have benefitted from car title loans. Ultimately there are a variety of vehicles that can qualify for a car title loan. You can find out which vehicle is based on the equity or other value determining factors. Getting the help you need could be as simple as getting a car title loan on your spare vehicle1.

Only a few documents are needed and the application process takes place online. If you are planning to request a loan you can use your car title, while keeping your vehicle. That way you can keep driving your car throughout the loan period. We are aware of these concerns and are happy to help you understand the risks. Car title loans have advantages with our easy to use system and friendly support representatives. Find out how you can get the help you need today.

Top Cars in the US for Car Title Loans and their Gas Tank Size

Well, if you’re trying to get the best bang for your buck with a new car or truck but are fully intent on making the tank that hold your fuel a priority, you’ve come to the right place. Take a look at some of the top-selling cars in the United States this year and what their fuel capacity is.

Hyundai Elantra/MPG: 32 City, 40 Highway/Tank Capacity: 14 gallons

The redesigned Hyundai Elantra was the best-selling car in Hyundai’s lineup this year with an estimated 198,210 units sold across the country. Due to its reasonable affordability, it was one of the most popular car purchases in the month of December.

Ford Fusion/MPG: 23 City, 34 Highway/Tank Capacity: 16.5 to 17.5 gallons

Since the Fusion’s inception into Ford’s passenger vehicle fleet in 2012, the sleek sedan has been a favorite for those who want to drive a James Bond-esque car but are on a bit of a budget. The subtle design changes to the interior lead to a strong first half of the year for the company’s sale of the vehicle.

Toyota Highlander/MPG: 21 City, 27 Highway/Tank Capacity: 19 gallons

The seven-passenger crossover vehicle sold just over 215 thousand units in the fiscal year, this includes the Highlander Hybrid version that includes an electric drive motor generator as well as a 3.5 L V6 engine.

GMC Sierra 1500/MPG: 18 City, 24 Highway/Tank Capacity: 26 to 34 gallons

The full-size Sierra increased its sales number from the previous year by about 14%, due in large part to the new 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay capabilities. This truck’s fuel capacity is based on whether or not customers want to purchase the standard or long box models, with the latter having the bigger fuel tank.

Nissan Sentra/MPG: 29 City, 37 Highway/Tank Capacity: 13 gallons

With 218,451 units sold, the 35-year-old Sentra, who is in its seventh generation, exceeding expectations and lead Nissans fleet in sales for 2017. The automatic emergency braking was such a hit that it will be standard in all automatic Sentras moving forward.

Jeep Grand Cherokee/MPG: 19 City, 26 Highway/Tank Capacity: 25 gallons

Jeep’s flagship ride, the Grand Cherokee, help give the company a successful 2017 that featured their best sales of the vehicle since 2000. The off-road vehicle, complete with four-wheel drive systems and trim levels sold an estimated 241 thousand units this year.

Nissan Altima/MPG: 27 City, 38 Highway/Tank Capacity: 18 gallons

While the Nissan gets great mileage per gallon, and has an enormous gas tank, the sedan have experienced a decline in sales over the last few years, due in-large part to its cousin, the Nissan Rogue, and its hot streak.

Ford Explorer/MPG: 19 City, 27 Highway/Tank Capacity: 19 gallons

As always, this Ford SUV remains a steady member of the best-selling lists every year since 2005. Currently boasting twin EcoBoost engines, the Explorer sold 271,131 units in 2017’s fiscal year. One could imagine that its appeal for cross-country travel helped in those sales.

Honda Accord/MPG: 30 City, 38 Highway/Tank Capacity: 15 gallons

Even though the all-new Accord was better than prior generations in every way, sales declined after initial release, and even underscored in the month of December, leading to a 6.5% drop-off from last year, despite boasting its fuel efficiency and turbocharged 252-horsepower engine.

Honda Civic/MPG: 32 City, 42 Highway/Tank Capacity: 12 gallons

Like its cousin, the Accord, the Honda Civic had an up and down year, where it ended up losing its title as the best-selling vehicle in America. But judge this vehicle not by the size of its gas tank, but by the length of the journeys you’ll have while only having to stop for gas a fraction of the time as your neighbor.

Toyota Camry/MPG: 29 City, 41 Highway/Tank Capacity: 14.5 to 16 gallons

For the last fifteen years (including 2017) the Toyota Camry has been the best-selling passenger car in the United States. This eighth-generation vehicle is lower to the ground for a smoother ride, offers wider seating and has a fuel capacity of about 15 gallons—add this fact with a highway mileage of 41 miles to the gallon and it’s no wonder that is one of America’s sedans of choice.

Dodge RAM 1500 Truck/MPG: 20 City, 28 Highway/Tank Capacity: 26 to 32 gallons

In 2017, Dodge’s RAM Truck (1500) sold a whopping 500 thousand units. This full-size pickup truck comes in all shapes and sizes, and Dodge knows how to use that to their advantage. While numbers were down slightly before Christmas, it is the second year in a row that the vehicle has posted fantastic numbers.

Chevrolet Silverado/MPG: 18 City, 24 Highway/Tank Capacity: 26 to 34 gallons

Despite being the second best-selling vehicle of 2017, the Chevy Silverado had a quarter increase in its final month of 2017, which helped it achieve nearly 586 thousand units. As is with most pickups, the Silverado is available in several different configurations and editions that offer varying sizes in cab and trim-levels. The Silverado improved its sales for the second year in a row.

Ford F-Series Truck (150,250,350)/MPG: 20 City, 26 Highway/Tank Capacity: 23 to 36 gallons

Ford’s F-Series Truck line is about as American as it gets. The pickup has been the best-selling vehicle for nearly four decades and outsold the Silverado by a little over 300 thousand units. The innovative features and technology, impressive towing capacity of 8,000 pounds for a non-heavy-duty pickup, and spacious cabin and bed.

“Must Have” Car Options for Ultimate Comfort

There are so many cool features that cars offer nowadays. Check out these

Luxury in a car might not be necessary. But that doesn’t mean they don’t serve a purpose!  High end vehicles that have power and comfort will top selling charts time and time again, because they are responsible for valuable comfort and exclusive aspects within the industry. They also help to show what is possible and the directions that carmakers can take to make the finest vehicles.

These features used to be a preserved for high-end models before trickling down to all sorts of cars. While we may have to wait longer for bespoke oak veneers and lambswool carpets to be available in budget car, there has been a steady increase of high end features in basic models.  For example, the Peugeot 3008 SUV has a driver’s seat that will provide massages. Many more extravagant features are frequented too.

Luxury cars also share something else in common with their economy cousins; there are those that have significant power while others also have relatively cheap diesel engines. The technologies behind fuel economy and savings are frequently allocated better by carmakers. Here are must have features and the luxury cars they are already available in.

Mercedes S-Class Saloon

Mercedes S-class has some textbook examples of a flagship car model. For decades many cars have tried to beat it, but nothing has come close. Even the famed Audi A8 as well as the BMW 7 series have to compete for the top position. The S-Class has continually generated must have technology that we have come to know and enjoy amongst multiple vehicles. Comfort, prestige and heritage are the words that come to mind when you think of the Mercedes S-Class. This model is best known for its impeccable comfort and refinement. At 70mph, you can’t hear the engine or the wind rushing past. You might hear some tiny noise but otherwise it is so quiet that you can whisper to passengers in your car. You can also opt for temperature sensitive functions of seats accompanied by massaging capabilities. There are flat screens for watching TV, accessing internet and a Wi-Fi hotspot to boot. Along with these luxuries comes an incredibly comfortable suspension setup that shelters you from bumps or unevenness in the road.  Only the Rolls-Royce Ghost can match the S-class for comfort.

The BMW 7 Series

The BMW 7 series proves that luxury can be rewarding and comfortable to enjoy. The car offers plenty of entertainment but not while compromising comfort. The aim is clearly to dethrone the Mercedes S-Class from its lofty perch. The BMW 7 series has an incredibly pliant ride, with tactile interior technology. Top-quality materials and a stunning design put this car in a class of its own.

The BMW 7 series is so quiet that you can hear something as little as a pin dropping. The car has an incredibly soft ride, vivid design in the cabin and aesthetic materials that are incredibly comfort oriented. You can choose to have a standard rear bench seat but those that want full first-class experience may opt for two individual seats that have full massaging functions.  The BMW 7 series is one of the most quiet and accomplished motorway cars you can buy today. It gives the Mercedes S-class series a good run for its money.

Range Rover SUV

This car has been the preserve of wealthy owners especially members of the British royal family. But the latest generation has a wider appeal given its improved features and conformability. The Range Rover has one of the very quietest interior in the business.

It also has high seats to give you a panoramic view of the road. The seats are extremely comfortable and there is a massage function in addition to heating and cooling capabilities. Screens can be fitted to the headrests to give you a comfortable ride.

You can specify the smart dual view system that allows the driver and front-seat passenger to see two different things on one screen. The driver can focus on the sat navigation while the passenger watches a movie. The Ranger Rover also has a smart drive pack that has driver condition monitor to raise the alarm if the driver is showing signs of fatigue. It also has a blind-spot which automatically limits the speed.

Audi A8 saloon

The Audi A8 takes luxury to a whole new level. This flagship Audi model has gone the whole way with a beautiful interior that has temperature-controlled seats is double glazed.

Bentley Bentayga

If you are looking for a comfortable interior within a five-seat SUV then this is the vehicle that you should get. You can select multiple variations of the trim and upholstery that suits your taste. A wealthy family that wants something spacious or luxurious will find lots of comfort in a Bentayga. It has the ambience and spaciousness of flying first class. It has an event seat that comes as an added advantage, you can slide it out to provide space for two adults to sit under the tailgate. However, many people may not use it regularly because it takes up a lot of boot space.

The Jaguar XJ saloon

The Jaguar XJ strikes a fine balance between ride comfort and driver control as well as involvement. Being in an XJ is a very pleasant experience. For those who like to be driven rather than to drive, opt to for a version of the car with privacy glass. The long-wheelbase versions are fitted with a rear seat pack that has kit such as footrests, televisions screens and business tables.

The Rolls Royce Ghost

Rolls Royce-Ghost is the textbook Rolls-Royce in smell, taste and touch, which means it has unrivalled workmanship. This is a car designed to be comfortable; it features all top-quality materials you would expect in a Rolls-Royce car for instance, computer control system. Being behind the wheel is effortless and enjoyable.

These are just some of the exciting features that car manufacturers offer this year. The list of must have features is constantly growing and expanding!

The Different Types of Green Cars and Getting a Tax Credit

Advancements in cars and their technology these days not only try to focus on cleaner alternatives for the environment, but they also make different types of green cars to help you get the best mileage. Not only are they priced pretty reasonably compared to standard cars, but you can also get a federal and state tax credit.

There are 5 different types of green cars:

  1. Eco-friendly
  2. Diesel
  3. Hybrid
  4. Plug-in Hybrid
  5. Electronic

Different Types of Green Cars

With growing popularity with green and fuel-efficient cars has put many different vehicles on the market – so much that they have different types of green cars.

Eco-Friendly Cars

More standard cars are now equipped with “green driving”, which usually includes features that help improve the gas mileage. Some engine characteristics have changed to guzzle down less fuel. Some believe the green mode can make the driving experience duller, but it gives you a more miles to the gallon. One example of an eco-feature is the engine turning off when stopped instead of idling. Some examples of eco-friendly cars:

  • Toyota Yaris – $15,950, 32/40/35 city/hwy/combo
  • Hyundai Elantra Eco – $20,500, 32/40/35 city/hwy/combo
  • Honda Civic – $18,840, 32/42/36 city/hwy/combo
  • Honda Fit – $16,190, 33/40/36 city/hwy/combo
  • Toyota Prius Eco – $25,165, 58/53/56 city/hwy/combo

Diesel Cars

It may be shocking, but cars are also now being made with turbo-diesel engine. It can be a good option for fuel efficiency because the tech is proven, and diesel fuel is just as easy to find as regular. The fuel usage is also more efficient than for gas engines. Manufacturers are also making the latest diesel engine to be quieter and more reliable. Diesel cars that are fuel efficient are:

  • Jaguar XE 20d – $35,725, 32/42/36 city/hwy/combo
  • Chevrolet Cruze Diesel – $23,795, 30/52/37 city/hwy/combo
  • Chevrolet Equinox Diesel – $30,700, 28/39 city/hwy
  • BMW 540d xDrive – $62,000, 26/36 city/hwy
  • Jaguar FPace 20d R-Sport – $55,675, 26/33 city/hwy

Hybrid Cars

Hybrid cars run on both gasoline and electricity, but they don’t need to be plugged in because the gas recharges the battery as it runs. They are the cars that use the most gas and least electricity when it comes to any green cars that use any electricity. Some hybrid cars are:

  • Toyota Avalon Hybrid – $37,500, 40/39/40 city/hwy/combo
  • Lincoln MKZ Hybrid – $35,445, 41/38/40 city/hwy/combo
  • Ford C-Max Hybrid – $24,120, 42/38/40 city/hwy/combo
  • Kia Optima Hybrid – $25,995, 39/46/42 city/hwy/combo
  • Hyundai Sonata SE Hybrid – $26,000, 40/46/42 city/hwy/combo

Plug-In Hybrid Cars

Plug-in hybrids are similar to hybrids except they use gas and batteries that can be recharged using electricity. It runs on both the gas and electricity, so if you can’t find a place to charge it or you forget to charge it you can fill it with gas. Different plug-in hybrid cars include:

  • Kia Optima PHEV – $35,210, 103 e/40 combo
  • Kia Nero PHEV – $27,900, 105 e/46 combo
  • Chevrolet Volt – $33,220, 106 e/42 combo
  • Honda Clarity PHEV – $33,400, 110 e/42 combo
  • Hyundai Ioniq PHEV – $24,950, 119 e/52 combo

Electric Cars

These cars are run exclusively on electricity that’s stored in their batteries. The batteries typically need to be charged daily or more, depending on how much you use your car as well as the size of the vehicle. There are probably a few electric vehicles that come to mind when you think about electric cars, but some common ones are:

  • Tesla Model 3 – $35,000, 310 e-mpg
  • Chevrolet Bolt EV – $37,495, 238 e-mpg
  • Nissan Leaf – $29,990, 150 e-mpg
  • BMW i3 – $44,450, 118 e-mpg
  • Kia Soul EV – $32,350, 93 e-mpg

How Getting an Electric Car Tax Credit Works

The federal electric car tax credit is available for certain electric and plug-in vehicles, and the maximum amount available on any of the vehicles is based on the capacity of its battery pack. You can find the full list of tax credits for cars at the US Department of Energy’s Fuel Economy’s website.

The tax credit is only available in the year that you put the car in service, so you can’t carry the credit from year-to-year you own the car. It will only pay for any federal tax you owe, so if you are only required to pay a certain amount for the year you purchased the car, you can only take that amount of credit. If you have doubts about the credit advantage, contact your tax professional to discuss. You may also be able to claim as much as 30% of the cost of your home charger for your vehicle (if you needed one installed).

Keep in mind that the electric car tax incentive program is set to phase out for each car manufacturer after they sell 200,000 of that specific electric/plug-in model. Two quarters after the manufacturer hits the 200,000 units, the tax credit available to customers cuts in half. Two quarters after that, it is cut 25%.

10 Benefits of Buying Online Car Insurance

When you are seeking out car insurance, you have a plethora of options available to you. That being said, there are plenty of benefits to going with an online car insurance policy. Luckily for you, here are 10 benefits of buying online car insurance.

It is Easy to Do

Arguably one of the best parts of going about buying a car insurance policy online is the fact that it is incredibly easy for you to do. No longer will you need to make arrangements to leave work early, schedule appointments, get a babysitter, or visit an agent’s office in order to shop around for the car insurance coverage that you need for a price that you can afford within reason. In fact, you could do all of your car insurance shopping online from the comfort of your very own bed in your pajamas if you felt like doing so.

More Affordable Than the Traditional Way

In the long-run, there are quite a few reasons for online car insurance to be more affordable than going the traditional route. For one thing, you do not have to waste your time, gas to go and shop for it. For another, you can source for quotes rather quickly, thus allowing you to make a much more informed decision. Additionally, your payments can be made directly. You can also go straight to the company and not have to waste your money on some third-party insurance broker who will usually always give the insurance price a mark-up so that they can get their commission cut.

No Agents Needed

Another nice aspect of buying car insurance online is that you do not need to have any agents involved. For one thing, you will not have the higher premium cost that normally comes with using an agent for car insurance.

In addition, you do not have to call anyone and deal with anyone who has to source for quotes and then at times may withhold important information from you. Online you can compare different quotes from various companies with ease at the click of a mouse. Plus, you can avoid anyone who may be out there to scam you out of your hard-earned money.

Reviews Available to Help Guide You

One thing that has become an incredibly useful tool in the advent of the internet is the opportunity to reviews of just about anything and everything. This includes car insurance companies as well. You will want to go with a car insurance company who has a solid reputation, so this will definitely help.

You can find out from an unbiased source what the average customer rating, what the customer service is like, as well as all of the benefits and disadvantages of going with a particular company so that you can decide for yourself if they seem like they are a good enough fit for you and your current car insurance needs.

Offers and Discounts

You can often find that car insurance companies are willing to give you all kinds of great special offers and discounts if you do your shopping online. The reason for this is because it has not quite gained enough of the same kind of traction as going the traditional route just yet.


Many online car insurance shoppers can find their experience doing so to be pretty easy. Many companies have made their systems as user-friendly as possible, so as to give their customers the best service that they can. You can file a claim, pay your premium, and change your policy coverage with extreme ease online. Plus, all of your transactions are secure, so you do not have to worry so much about your money and/or identity getting stolen by some nefarious hacker.

Competition for Your Business

Because all online car insurance companies are all vying for your business to get a leg up, it works to your benefit. As a result, you can get some great deals on car insurance policies. In fact, you might get thrown some other bonuses as well depending on what car insurance company you end up deciding to go with.

Change the Way You Pay

As mentioned earlier, when getting your car insurance through online means, you can change the way that you pay your monthly premium much easier if you need to for whatever reason. All of this can be done at the click of a mouse. You end up getting a lot more flexibility to make your own decisions.

Buy a Policy Instantly

When you need car insurance coverage right now, going through the traditional routes can end up being an absolute nightmare. When buying car insurance online, you can get covered right away and be back out on the road without having to worry about getting pulled over and then getting a huge ticket. Nobody wants that.

Bonus Perks

Car insurance companies when competing for your business will usually be willing to offer more than just better premium. Some times they might even offer you free Carfax reports or other little bonuses.

What is No-Fault Car Insurance?

Each state has their own laws with regards to what kind of car insurance drivers must carry. The majority of states have what is called tort insurance, sometimes called at-fault insurance. Some though, require drivers to purchase no-fault insurance. It has many of the same components as tort insurance, but there are some notable differences.

What Are the Different Components of Car Insurance?

Most car insurance policies are made up of a few different types of coverage:

  • Liability – This is mandatory in most states. There is usually also a minimum amount of liability coverage drivers must have. It comes in two forms:
    • Bodily Injury Liability – This may help cover costs related to other people’s injuries if you are at fault in an accident.
    • Property Damage Liability – This may help pay for damages to another person’s property if you are liable for an accident.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist – This protects the policyholder in the event that they are involved in an accident where the other driver is at fault and doesn’t possess sufficient insurance to cover all your medical bills.
  • Collision – This helps the policyholder pay for damages resulting in the collision with an object, such as a wall, and another vehicle.
  • Comprehensive – This helps cover damage to the policyholder’s car from things like natural disasters, fire, theft, etc.
  • Medical Payment ­– This may help cover pay for medical treatment after the policyholder, passengers, or family members are injured in an accident.
  • Personal Injury Protection – PIP is only available in some states. It may help pay for medical expenses after an accident.

How Does the Insurance Claims Process Work?

The insurance process begins when you contact your insurance company after an accident. In most states, the process that follows is fairly consistent. You’ll need to give your insurance company whatever information they ask for, like an account of the accident and any resulting damages or injuries. Next, they will determine who is at fault, or what percent each person involved is at fault. While this is occurring, all parties involved are likely having damages and injuries assessed. Once fault is established, your insurance company will let you know what portion of any resulting bills they will cover. The rest, which includes at least your deductible if you have one, is your responsibility.

At this point, a lawsuit may materialize. There are a number of reasons this may occur, but one of the more common ones is that the insurance company of the driver not at fault didn’t offer them enough money to cover all their resulting bills. There can be a number of reasons for this:

  • Insufficient coverage by the policyholder
  • Cost considerations by the insurance company
  • Uninsured driver

If you are involved in a lawsuit, there’s a few things you should do immediately:

  • Document Everything – This is especially important if you are the one doing the suing. One of the most important aspects of this sort of litigation is evidence. You’ll need to justify not only the amount of money you should receive, but why you should receive it from the person you are suing. As such, you should take photos of the accident, get physical copies of repair quotes or medical bills. You’ll also need to do things like track missed hours at work and lost pay.
  • Get a Car Accident Lawyer – They will not only be intimately familiar with the law with regards to car accident litigation, but they will also be able to advise you on things like documents you’ll need to retain and how much money you’re likely to receive. As a bonus, they often work on a contingency fee basis. This means they take a portion of whatever you come away with after the court case.

Does that sound potentially expensive and tedious? If so, you’re not the only one. That process is the very reason for the creation of no-fault insurance.

How is No Fault Insurance Different than Regular Car Insurance?

One of the major differences between regular insurance and no-fault insurance is that nearly all claims are paid through the policyholder’s own insurance company. This means they are responsible for things like your medical bills and lost wages, no matter which driver was at fault. On the surface, this is much simpler. If your insurance is guaranteed to cover some portion or amount of any expenses and lost wages, there’s no need to sue the other driver. That’s true. However, you aren’t permitted to make a claim for pain and suffering against your own car insurance company. Additionally, you can only pursue such a claim against the other driver if a set of conditions are met. Depending on the policy, some of the conditions may be:

  • Medical bills exceed a certain amount
  • Broken bone(s)
  • Permanent, major disability
  • Substantial full disability lasting at least 90 days

While you aren’t required to do things like give statements to the other party’s insurance company, you are frequently required to cooperate with your own. This can include things like receiving a medical examination from a physician selected by your insurance company. Failure to cooperate may give the company grounds to not pay your claim. Note that no-fault insurance is designed to cover things like medical bills, there are things that it doesn’t cover. For that, you’ll need other types of liability insurance.

What Does No-Fault Insurance Not Cover?

No-fault insurance doesn’t cover the following:

  • Collision
  • Property damage
  • Medical expenses over your coverage limit

Normally, those are covered by the appropriate other components of your car insurance. This is because no-fault insurance is only one component of your coverage. Depending on state laws, you may be required to carry some or all of these other insurance components.

Auto insurance is complicated. A single policy has multiple components. And depending on the state you live in you may have to elect between tort and no-fault insurance, which can have major implications for the handling of any claims you make. Because of this, it’s important to research local car insurance laws when you get a new policy.

Valets and Liability. How Liable Are They?

You’ve seen it in movies like “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” about how irresponsible valets can be with your own car. What’s even scarier is how it doesn’t seem too far from the reality of valet parking. Looking up valets taking joy rides online will make you never want to consider bringing your car to a valet stand.

However, many legitimate valets are professional in their work, in fact some are necessary for elderly people who have difficult walking, or for large events in which parking becomes a hassle for hundreds of drivers. Valets just seem more convenient, but unfortunately their simplicity and management has made it a blooming easy-to-make business, creating yet another market that varies in quality.

But for those who happen to be shopping around a tourist location, if you are afraid of getting your car damaged by valets, then don’t bother. Not to mention that “extra fee” if you want valet parking in the front of a bar or restaurant. This (sometimes) shady business can certainly be one of the slimiest of slimy, but if you happen to get valet parking, maybe you are curious about how liable a valet parking business is when you notice a dent from your door that wasn’t there in the first place.

Here’s the scoop: whenever you bring yourself to a valet stand, they are sure to give you a small ticket that you must need to retrieve your car. This is not just valet parking ticket with a giant number, there’s words (who knew). This is what valet parking companies call their shield against liability coverage.

But depending on how liability coverage works with your insurance company and under state law, valets and their respective valet parking companies are liable to any damages that may have occurred to your car or someone else’s car as soon as you hand your keys to them. But the little things tend to be tougher to fight for.

Valet parking companies tend to have a reputation to deny claims of liability coverage for any “minor damages” or even scratches. Getting the valet parking companies to own up is hard. Understandably, the valet parking companies tend to be defensive about accusations of fault because of that small chance it might be a fraudulent claim.

This is where the claim-ticket comes through, which is where valets may tell you that the “release of liability” printed on the ticket keeps them from being responsible on the liability coverage. However, this tends to be the responsibility and decision made by insurance companies.

All in all, the fear of valet parking is palpable, which is why you should also take a dive on what makes valet parking companies tick, and what makes them liable for accidents and negligence.

Valets and Valet Parking Companies: How they Operate

Places like hotels and malls usually hire valet parking services from another company or manage their own valets, which could mean two things:

  • They have the right insurance for liability coverage in case something happens to a client’s car by the fault of their valets.
  • The valet parking company that had been hired has their own liability coverage and will be responsible for the damages.

There are two types of valet parking insurance that a business needs if they are offering valets and their services to be legally protected and have the necessary liability coverage.  The first one is known as Garage Liability. In this type of policy, it will protect their business from claims involving bodily injury and property damage that were caused by their valets if they were involved in an accident with a customer’s car.

Garage Liability coverage only protects the business from any damages like repairs needed for the other person’s car, as well as any medical costs from personal injuries sustained by the driver (and passengers) within the vehicle. However, the policy from this coverage does not cover any of the damages caused to a client’s car.

This is where Garagekeepers Legal Liability coverage steps in. This type of insurance policy will pay for the damages from a customer’s car due to negligence by any of the valets. Still not getting it? Here’s a breakdown of the two with examples:

  • Garage Liability: If one of the valet’s crashes into another car, that other car, its driver, and its passengers are covered by this policy.
  • Garagekeeepers: If one of the valet’s totals or does some damage to a customer’s car, this policy covers the customer’s car and any of the damages.

Another thing to note is that a major organization known as the Parking Management Services of America carries all the required insurance for their valet parking companies and protect these businesses from legal liability. Not to mention they screen their valets, and make sure every valet stands and valet company they have are of the utmost quality.

Now that you may seem a little less intimidated by the valet stands, valet parking companies, and valets, here are some tips in making sure you are in control of your car, even when the valets have it.

How Do Deal with Valets if Your Car is Damaged

These three simple tips will make valets wish they never crossed you, and always remember that they are liable. Be headstrong and clear on any problems you have with your car when you retrieve those keys:

  1. Inspect your car before you give valets your key: If you plan on using a valet stand often, then get used to walking around your car once a day, as well as looking into your interior. That way, if you see something that looks off, you are 100 percent sure.
  2. What to do if you notice damage: Don’t delay, as soon as you check your car before leaving, talk to the business or the valet parking company (whichever one that will end up being responsible) about the damage. Be firm. If they discredit your claims, be sure you document the damages to your insurance company and be ready to take them to court if they don’t have liability coverage.
  3. Be educated about liability coverage: Always know who is responsible for the damages your car may have suffered on the hands of valets. The more educated you are in valets and the valet stand, the more likely you will win!

Valets shouldn’t be all bad, but never get played like a fool if a valet parking company tries to sweep you under the rug. Now you know what you know, so enjoy valets for what they can do: Keep you from walking around packed parking lots!

Pothole Damage on Vehicles

Potholes have been causing major damage and stress to drivers all over the country for years and years. They come in all shapes and sizes, and can cause different types of damages.

These structural failures happen when the road fails to support the traffic on top of it. During the winter, snow, rain, and salt, seep through the pavement. This creates a wearing away in the foundation. As the seasons change, the ground freezes, then defrosts again. When water freezes, it expands. This expansion, expands the pavement, and as vehicles drive over it, it cracks and shifts.

Potholes can cause serious injury. Swerving to avoid a pothole can cause more damage than slowing down to hit it. But hitting a pothole straight on, at full speed can cause your entire tire to come off. If you do hit a pothole it is important to immediately check your vehicle for any visible damage, which may need to be addressed immediately.

The Damages that Potholes Can Cause:

Rim damage

Your aluminum-based rims are already prone to damage and dents. If you hit a deep pothole at a significant speed, it is likely that your rim will be bent as a result of that. You can take your vehicle to a professional tire shop, to have the damages assessed.

Suspension damage

Your car’s suspension is actually there to absorb impact, such as hitting a pothole, but there is only so much the suspension system can do. Damage to the suspension can cause your steering wheel to be misaligned, your car pulls away from you in one direction, weird noises, etc. The suspension can be realigned by a professional mechanic, because it is not always easy to identify the exact problem.

Tire puncture and damage

Damage from a pothole can result in needing to have your entre tire replaced, depending on the severity. A sidewall bulge or separated tread are examples of severe damage that would need immediate attention. To minimize the damage your tires could have when driving over a pothole, be sure to always keep your tires inflated properly.

Exhaust system damage

Your exhaust system is underneath your car, and hitting a pothole can cause some major damage to it. It is possible to hear strange noises and even complete shut off of the vehicle, if it is punctured. A hole in an exhaust pipe can also cause a leak that can allow fumes into you vehicle, and make you super sick.

Bumper damage

If you drive a sports car, or your vehicle’s bumper sits lower than most cars, you will likely have bumper damage if you hit a pothole. This damage is usually cosmetic in nature, so your vehicle is still drivable. The damage can cause a few scrapes, the worst case scenario, is that it causes the entire bumper to come off. That really depends on how hard you hit the pothole, how fast you were driving, and how deep the pothole was.

Living with Potholes

Potholes are such a big deal, that they have become a topic for politicians to discuss at their rallies. Politicians and government officials are in charge of the public’s safety at all times. Potholes make the roads unsafe. On average, Americans spend $3 billion a year to fix their vehicles after coming into contact with a pothole.  Therefore, it is up to you to make sure that yourself and your vehicle in safe driving condition. Make sure that your tires have the appropriate amounts of air in them. Always leave a good distance between your vehicle, and the one in front of you. And when driving in inclement weather, always be sure to drive slower than the speed limit, and use your bright lights if necessary.

Your local city clerk’s office or the office of the secretary of state, may be able to help you get some money back for your damages. Typically, you’d find and fill out a damage claim form, get a few written estimates from professional mechanics or receipt of the repair, and file a police report. You would then send all of these documents in to the office of the clerk/claim’s department. This is a long process, and can take some months to be sorted out. That’s why it might be best to get the damages repaired on your own first, if you can, then send the city a bill to reimburse you for it.

Also, check with your insurance company, to see if pothole damage is covered under your policy. Some insurance companies will cover any damage incurred by hitting an object. If you choose not to file a claim with the city, your insurance company is your next best bet to get your damage paid for. Generally speaking, insurance companies don’t usually cover damage to tires, but if your bumper is severely damaged and so is your tire due to the pothole, then the tire damage would most likely be covered.

Driving Your Car in a Sandstorm: What Should You Do?

Sandstorms or dust storms may seem incredibly cool, but the truth of the matter is that these powerful meteoroidal phenomena are incredibly dangerous and should be avoided at all costs, whether on foot or behind the wheel. When driving in a sandstorm, what should you do? First you must understand the storm itself.

Sandstorms/dust storms are common in arid regions and occur when a gust or other strong wind blows loose the particles of sand or dirt from the dry surface. The saltation that occurs is large enough to recognize or effect an area. It is common for a sandstorm or dust storm to occur after a thunderstorm or other powerful surge that occurs in a neighboring area, in-turn causing large gusts of wind to push the soil particles.

When differentiating the two similar occurrences, Sandstorm is used to pertain to desert situations, such as in the Sahara Desert, or places where sand is a more prevalent soil type than dirt or rock. In addition to this, sandstorms tend to obscure visibility a considerable amount, especially when larger sand particles are blown closer to the surface. Dust Storm is more likely to be used when particles are blown long distances, usually around urban areas. Essentially, a dust storm is thinner because it is spread out over some distance and contains some form of visibility, whereas a full-blown sandstorm may be thick with strong winds that cause a lack of visibility.

These storms can range from a few grains flying through the air and getting in your eyes, to the opaque monsters that can shut down an entire city or airport. While running into the latter may be a bit of a stretch here in the US, it could still be beneficial to know what to do if you’re ever stuck in one behind the wheel of your motor vehicle.

Outrunning the Storm

Outrunning the storm may be your first logical thought (depending on what direction you’re driving) and for good reason—you may be able to. Some of the highest recorded sandstorms/dust storms have hit 70+ mph, but more than likely you won’t be dealing with a goliath of a storm such as that.

If you’re driving along an urban area with a storm approaching, it is recommended that you seek shelter immediately.  However, if you are on a highway and see a storm off in the distance, the chances of you outrunning the storm are incredibly high. DO NOT put yourself at risk with your speed if you attempt to outrun the storm. If the storm proves to be faster than anticipated it would be the most effective and safe for a driver to pull off on an exit or off the highway in general and prepare for the impending raucous; once a storm envelopes a vehicle, within seconds it is possible to lose all visibility. (If you’re unable to see a few hundred feet in-front of you, jump to the next suggestion on this list.) This dangerous possibility would have you driving blind and the risk of an accident increases exponentially. If you’re able to outrun the storm at a safe speed and pace, then you’ve had quite the exciting day now, haven’t you?

Pulling Over

Another option is an expedited alternative to outrunning the storm and that is just to simply pull the vehicle over and waiting out the storm. As previously stated, if the storm seems like it’s coming up quickly, attempt to pull the vehicle over, ideally off of an exit where you can safely park and not be bothered by any other vehicles.

Wherever you’re able to stop, apply your parking break and turn off your headlights, break lights, and signal lights; only use your hazard lights while driving cautiously and incredibly slow if you’re unable to pullover (do not apply this method when driving in the rain). Use the road’s centerline if you can’t see in front of yourself, and let it guide you until you can find a feasible place to pull over.  Make sure all of your lights are off when you’re stationed on the road or side of the road, even your interior lights, for the safety of other drivers that may or may not be using you as a guide through the storm.

Taking Cover or Shelter

Now, if you’ve pulled over, the biggest mistake is to get out of the vehicle. Only do so if it is absolutely necessary. Roll up the windows, make sure no door is ajar, and turn off all of your vents that intake outside air. As this is an unexpected occurrence, you may not have a lot of supplies for the situation, so just sit tight and wait for the storm to end. Unlike the Middle East, Africa, or Central Asia, American sandstorms in the southwest and Mexico should only last for a few minutes, at the very most an hour.

If something has occurred that causes you to step foot outside and into the storm, make sure that you can mask your face by putting a mask over your nose and mouth will help to block small particulates from entering your system. More than likely, you will not have a respirator mask, so use a shirt, cloth, bandana or something else of that nature and moisten it a little bit as to trap the particulates. Make sure your nostrils aren’t exposed, as they can dry quickly and will lead to trouble breathing. The next concern is your eyes. Goggles are the easiest way to protect them. Glasses will not help much but can be useful if you don’t have access to goggles. Wrap your cloth around your ears as well, and make sure only a small slit is available for your eyes to maintain vision. If push comes to shove, put something like a purse or backpack in front of your face and look down towards your feet to gain some sort of visual guidance.

Common Car Problems: Which Cars Are at Risk

Whether you have bought a new car or a used one, at some point you may experience car problems. Some car makes and models are more susceptible to certain car issues, whether new or old.

CarProblemZoo is a site that provides analysis and statistics of car problems reported to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Every year, they update the list of common car problems faced across all makes and models.

According to CarProblemZoo, the most common car problem faced by 122,608 drivers is engine or engine cooling problems. The engine is one of, if not the, most important part of a car. So when engine issues arise, it is important to know the cause.

Common Car Engine Problems

We have broken down the most common engine car problems drivers face, and which cars are the most susceptible to these issues. Take a look and if these common car issues ever happen to you, you will have a better idea why.

These common car issues may not always have a straightforward answer, so make sure to call or reference a licensed expert mechanic to avoid any further damage to your vehicle or threats to your safety.

  • The Engine Won’t Turn On

This is one of the top engine problems experienced by drivers. The cause for engine failure can be attributed to a couple different factors. If the engine won’t crank, but rather makes a clicking sound, then the problem can be attributed to one of the following reasons: the battery is dead, the battery cables have become corroded and need to be cleaned, or the battery needs to be replaced. If the car cranks but won’t start, then the problem is most likely caused by either the fuel or ignition. There are a lot of reasons why a car engine may not start. A few reasons could be a faulty fuel pump, blocked fuel filter, or even a defective ignition switch.

  • Stalling

Stalling can be attributed to the fuel filter, fuel line, or spark plugs. If your call stalls while driving, don’t panic! Guide the vehicle to the side of the road using your hand signal, and stop the car using either the brake or the emergency brake. Try to restart the car once safe to do so. If the car doesn’t restart, turn on the emergency flashers and call for help.

  • Smoke

If your car’s engine starts smoking while you are driving, pull over as soon as you are able. The issue may be caused by worn gaskets, damaged rings, bad cylinders, or using the wrong oil grade. The color of the engine or exhaust smoke will indicate why, and what can be done. If the smoke is thick and white, the car may have a leaking gasket. If the smoke is blue or gray, then the car has an oil leak or the engine is burning oil. Black smoke is caused by the vehicle burning too much fuel, a clogged air filter, blocked manifold, or some other issue. It is recommended that drivers cease driving their vehicle when their engine starts smoking and consult their mechanic.

  • Noises

Engines can make all types of strange noises caused by differing issues. A vibration or knocking noise is most likely caused by a serious issue, so take your car in to see a mechanic. A whining noise may mean that the bearing is on the verge of failure. And a pinging noise could be caused by pre-ignition, which is caused by the premature combustion of the fuel-air combo in an engine.

  • Leaking Engine Coolant

If your vehicle is leaking engine coolant, then there may be a fault within the cooling system. The cause may be debris, or something more serious.

Cars Most Likely to Experience Problems

There are many car makes available to consumers. But according to CarProblemZoo, some car makes have more reported issues involving the engine or cooling system.

Ford has the highest number of reported engine problems with 23,863 reported issues. Engine and engine cooling were also listed as the number one problem experienced by Ford car owners. Toyota, Nissan, Jeep, and Honda had the highest number of reported engine problems. For a breakdown of their ranking and numbers, check out the chart shown below.

Car MakeEngine Problem Ranking per MakeNumber of Reported Issues

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Whether purchasing a new car or an old one, engine problems can occur to drivers of all makes and model years. It is important to address car issues as quickly as possible to avoid further damage to your vehicle and prevent any safety threats. If your car is experiencing engine problems or other mechanical issues, repair them or take your car to a trusted auto mechanic.

Remember, only a professionally licensed mechanic can pinpoint the exact cause of your engine issue and safely resolve it. Hopefully these top common car issues will help drivers be better prepared when they experience issues, and help them better understand why their car is having trouble at all.

Is it Really Important to Read Your Vehicle Owner’s Manual?

When it comes to owning a vehicle, many people may not know the importance of reading their vehicle owner’s manual. Reading the vehicle owner’s manual is an important aspect of car ownership. It details car maintenance, car safety, and vehicle personalization.

Being knowledgeable of your vehicle is an important part of car ownership—the vehicle owner’s manual has all the knowledge an owner may need to know about their car.

Car Maintenance: The Importance of the Vehicle Owner’s Manual

When it comes to maintenance, an owner’s manual can help greatly. There are specifics found in the manual when it comes to maintaining or repairing a vehicle. These specifics could mean the difference between a properly working car and creating irreversible damage during a botched repair.

The vehicle’s manual will have all the necessary information needed for finding the right vehicle parts. Here are some car repair moments where the manual will be helpful when repairing or maintaining:

  • The Battery: When it is time to change your battery, the manual will have the specifics needed for a new one. Everything from size to the brand of the battery.
  • Checking the Fluids: The fluids of the car can do everything from making sure a car runs smoothly to helping maintain visibility while driving. The manual will show a person how to check and replace these fluids.
  • Common Vehicle Issues: The manual will have information about trouble shooting common issues such as a flat tire or a dead battery.
  • Tire Pressure: The manual will show a person how to check their tire pressure, and what PSI (pounds per square inch) level their tires should be maintained at.
  • Warning Lights: When things go wrong during car maintenance or warning lights come onthe manual will have the information to understand what those lights mean, and then take the right course of action.
  • Cleaning Tips: The manual will have information about how to clean both the inside and outside of a car without damaging the fabric or the paint.

The Importance of Vehicle’s Owner’s Manual with Safety

When it comes to the safety of the driver, a vehicle owner’s manual is an important resource. It will have important information about safety. The owner’s manual will carry information about the safety features you will use while driving such as: turn signals, using the wipers, cruise control, hazard lights, hands-off features, etc. The manual will also give the reader information about crash safety features such as airbags or seatbelts. Before driving a car, it is really important to read the manual, as it protects the driver, others on the road, and the vehicle itself.

The Importance of the Vehicle Owner’s Manual with Personalization

When most people get a car, they like to personalize it in every way—inside and out.  Reading the vehicle owner’s manual could help a person do just that. A car’s manual will have every single detail about the vehicle in it, from comfort while driving to the dimensions of the car. Here are some ways in which the manual could be used for personalization:

  • When Looking to Change the Interior or the Exterior—If a person wants to change the color of their vehicle, a vehicle’s manual will have all the necessary dimensions that workers will ask for. If a person wants to change the interior fabric, the manual should also have dimensions of the interior.
  • When Adding Any Performance Packages—The manual will help determine what your vehicle can handle when it comes to performance. If a person is installing modifications themselves, the manual may also make the job easier by showing them all the parts that make up the engine.
  • When Using Bluetooth—Nowadays, most cars connect via Bluetooth to the driver’s phone; importing contact information, music, and GPS information. The manual will show a person how to set up their vehicle with their phone to make hands off calls and navigation easily accessible.
  • Implementing Keyless Entry/Keyless Start—Nowadays, many cars can be entered or started without using the actual key of the car. Some cars let a person choose between the two and the manual will have information to set up those preferences.
  • Adjusting the Sound System—The manual will show a person how to adjust the different parts of a sound system.
  • Adjusting the Seats/Steering wheel—Adjusting the height of both the steering wheel and the seats, along with the range of the seats is important for comfort and safety. This knowledge is useful for the driver and passengers of the vehicle—and can be found in the vehicle’s manual.

A vehicle owner’s manual keeps information about a car’s maintenance, safety, and personalization—and that is why it is really important to read a vehicle’s manual before driving it. A vehicle manual can be useful throughout the life of a car and for many different reasons. So it is important to keep the manual safe and accessible for whoever is driving the vehicle.

Where is Car Suspension, and What Does the Suspension Do?

Located between the frame and the wheel of the car; the suspension is a vital component to any vehicle.  A suspension serves many different functions that you may not expect. One purpose is to withstand any stress the car may endure, be that the weight from the passengers or items you store in the trunk.

The suspension also absorbs bumps in the road to provide a smoother ride for the passenger.  Its function is also to keep the wheels connected to the road at all times. This is why high speed turns are possible—because the suspension distributes the weight of the car (otherwise cars roll more easily).

The Different Types of Suspension

There are different types of suspension out there, but they all essentially boil down to two different types: dependent and independent.

  • Dependent: Used mainly to reduce cost while serving the basic function of a suspension system.
  • Independent: Allows for full control of the wheels while providing stable wheel alignment.

Independent suspension systems are used by most manufacturers these days and carry less drawbacks than the dependent suspension system, which can increase the magnitude of the vibrations and bumps in a vehicle. The dependent suspension system also provides less handling the less traction the vehicle has.

The Two Parts of the Suspension System

A suspension can be broken down into two separate components, each of which perform critical roles in the system’s performance.

First there is the springwhich allows the car to correct any irregularity on the road and support any additional weight without having the car sway too much—something we all definitely want to avoid on the road!

Then there are the damping mechanisms, which help control the inertia created by bumps on the road.

Breaking Down the Two Parts of the Suspension

Now that we have identified the two parts that make up the suspension, let’s break that down even further to truly understand what each system does. Let us start with the spring again; this particular system can be broken down into three different types:

  • Coil Spring—The most common of the three, this type of spring uses cylinders of wire wrapped tightly together that compress and expand in order to absorb the wheels motion.
  • Leaf Spring—These are stacks of curved metal that bend up and down to allow for a smooth ride over bumpy terrain. This is also the oldest type of spring in existence. As such, it is easy to assemble and is used on most heavy duty trucks and vehicles.
  • Torsion Spring—Made from stiff pieces of metal that turn on their own axis. This type of spring is similar to that of a coil spring.

There is one more type of spring, known as the air spring. However, this particular type of spring is not common in most vehicles and is primarily found in buses or luxury cars.

Now, let us look at the next part of the suspension the dampening mechanism. This part too has three different types:

  • Shock Absorbers: This piece reduces the vibrations caused by the springs as well as slowing down the bounce of the spring.
  • Suspension Strut: This is essentially a shock absorber that is mounted in a coil spring. It provides structural support for the suspension and softens the impact caused by the spring.
  • Anti-Sway Bar: Also known as an anti-roll bar, this piece is designed to create an even and level trip, while distributing the movement one-wheel experiences to another on the same axel.

The Cost of a New Suspension

There are many different parts to your cars suspension, and there is no standard price when it comes to repairs—as not every piece may be broken, and every mechanic charges different rates.

However, if you do find yourself in need of an entirely new suspension system, then be prepared to shell out some serious cash.  The price can start as low as $1,000 for the simplest of cars and work its way up to at least $2,500.

So, why is your car suspension so important?

  • It withstands any stress the car may endure
  • It absorbs bumps in the road to provide a smoother ride
  • It keeps the wheels connected to the road
  • It allows high speed turns to be possible

Most people don’t truly know how essential their car suspension actually is until it needs to be replaced.  So, the next time you are crossing a set of train tracks or going over a speed bump; take it slow and protect your car suspension!

How Do I Jump Start My Car?

Everyone show know how to jumpstart a car. It is an important facet of driver safety, and should probably be getting taught in driver’s education classes all over the world. Knowing how to jump your car, yourself, can save you time and money.

If you’re like most people, and you aren’t technologically savvy, these steps may cause you some anxiety. Not to fear, it is highly unlikely, and practically impossible, that you will electrocute yourself while attempting to jumpstart your car. Now, there is a possibility that you will shock yourself, but it’s not anything that’ll result in your untimely death. There is, however, a possibility of causing the car battery to explode. So whatever you do, do not attach the black, negative cable to the negative terminal of your car, under any circumstances. Attaching that negative cable to your car will cause an explosion. This explosion will send battery acid and pieces of the battery flying into the air.

Tow truck companies make the majority of their money on people who do not know how to perform the basic things their car needs to keep driving: jumps and flat tires. A tow truck can charge anywhere between $35-$75 just to put it on the flatbed, but will then charge $2-$5 per mile to drop it off. Those miles will add up, depending on where your car stopped, and where your mechanic is located. Your best and cheapest option may be to jumpstart your car yourself.

The only things you need to successfully jumpstart your car yourself is a pair of jumper cables and another car.

To safely jump your car, follow these steps:

  1. Position both cars so they are facing each other, but not touching.
  2. Make sure that both cars are turned off.
  3. Engage the parking brake on both cars.
  4. Open the hoods of both cars.
  5. Locate the batteries.
  6. Pull out your jumper cables.
  7. Attach one positive (red) cables to the positive terminal on your battery.
  8. Attach the other end of the positive (red) cable to the positive terminal on the other car.
  9. Attach one of the black cables to the negative terminal on the other car.
  10. Attach the other end of the black cable to a metal (unpainted) surface, away from the battery.
  11. Start the other car and let the engine run for a few minutes.
  12. Attempt to start your car.
  13. If it works, unhook the cables in the reverse order that they were connected, but do not turn off your engine.
  14. Drive or just let the car run for at least 30 minutes, to recharge your battery.

Why Do Car Batteries Need a Jump?

If your car won’t start the next time you attempt to drive it, you may need to replace your battery, because it should hold a charge. Most batteries have a lifespan of 4-6 years. If yours is past the 6 year mark, it’s safe to say you may need to go ahead and replace it as soon as possible.

If the battery is in good health, but your car still isn’t starting properly, there may be another issue:

  • Starter connection
  • Battery corrosion
  • Old spark plugs
  • Cracked fuel pump
  • Alternator
  • Fuses
  • Ignition switch
  • Wheel lock
  • Ran out of gas
  • Frozen fuel line

This is a list of things to see your mechanic about. You should only allow a certified professional mechanic to do work on your car. It is probably more appealing to go the cheaper route and hire an alley mechanic to take care of your car problems; however, if something goes wrong, you will have a leg to stand on. Plus, you can trust that the person will actually know what they are doing, since they actually went to school for it. Professional mechanics are reliable, they will present you with all of the issues and allow you to make the best decision, and they consider the safety of you and your car.

What Should I Do After I Jump My Car?

Keep in mind that some mechanics will try to bombard you with more problems than you were prepared to handle, but an honest mechanic will tell you what is pertinent to your safety and what will get your car back up and running. It is best to know the basic information about your car, to avoid being swindled and told misinformation. If you allow an unlicensed mechanic to work on your vehicle, you run the risk of voiding the warranty on parts, and maybe even your entire vehicle.

When searching for a licensed mechanic, a great place to start is your car dealership. Most car dealerships have service stations attached to them for your convenience. If you did not happen to buy your car from a dealership with a service center, you can use a search engine to find thousands of listings of professional mechanics in your area.

Knowing how to jumpstart your own car is an important skill to have, it can essentially save you time and money. It is important to always be safe and make good decisions while working under the hood of your car. If your car still won’t turn over after you have jumped it, take it to your local licensed mechanic, and figure out what the actual problem is.

Tips for Selling Your Car or Alternatives to Selling

Selling a vehicle may be challenging depending on the market, as well as the condition of the car. Individuals who are selling primarily for access to money may want to consider a title loan. Title loans allow owners to use the title of their vehicle as collateral for a loan1. Once approved for the loan, the owner usually receives the money within a few days, while still being able to use the vehicle3.

Individuals who still want to go through the process of selling their car should:

  • Price the vehicle according to market value, but keep a bit of wiggle room for negotiations from a serious buyer
  • Wash and wax the vehicle to make it look as good as possible on the outside
  • Clean the interior by vacuuming the seats and floors, polishing the dashboard, shining the windows on the inside and out, and emptying out bulky and unnecessary items
  • Complete minor repairs, such as dirty air filters and broken taillights
  • Prepare a folder detailing all past car repairs, maintenance checks, and servicing

When it comes to selling the car, advertising is important and can be done in one or more of the following ways:

Online – Sites such as Craigslist, Facebook, etc. allow car owners to post details about their vehicle to a wide audience, not just locally, but statewide and even nationally. The advantage of listing a vehicle online is the ability to post photos of the car at various angles to narrow inquiries down to serious buyers only.

By mouth – Sellers may let friends, family, and co-workers know that their car is on the market. Word of mouth mentions at social gatherings are also effective. These may include church service, a barbeque, happy hour, or even a networking event. Chances are, someone will have a friend who’s in the market for a used vehicle.

Bulletin boards – Sticking a flyer on bulletin boards throughout the community is another easy and free method of informing locals about the car. Cafes, libraries, community centers, grocery stores, daycare centers, and gyms are high-traffic areas where people may see the ad. In addition to the standard details about the vehicle, include a photo on the flyer if possible.

Sign on the car – Also free and easy, placing a “For Sale” sign on the car will allow sellers to attract attention wherever they go.