What to Look for When Buying a Used Car

Buying a used car is a great way to go if you want to save money. Whether you’re looking at a used vehicle at a dealership or from an individual seller, you’ll want to get it checked out by your trusted local mechanic first. Since you might not have your mechanic with you or be able to take the car to them, you should know some basics about what to look for when buying a used car.

Price

If you’re going to a dealership they’ll likely have their prices listed on their website. Either way, you can do your homework by looking up the Kelley Blue Book values for the used vehicles you are interested in. At a dealership, you should also look at the window sticker for information including whether the car is being sold “as is” or with a full or partial warranty and other valuable info.

Body Condition

Inspect the roof and each body panel for dents, rust, or scratches. Look at the lines of the doors and fenders to make sure there are no misaligned panels or big gaps which could indicate repair issues. Also be sure the color and finish of the paint are the same on each panel. While minor cosmetic issues aren’t necessarily a cause for concern, rust is more serious. You should also open and close each door, the trunk, and the hood.

Suspension

Inspect the vehicle by walking around it and making sure it’s level. Gently bounce each corner up and down to ensure the shock absorbers are in working order (they should rebound only once and no go up and down multiple times).

Lights

Bring a friend who can confirm that each light is working including headlights, high beams, break lights, and turn signals. Be sure the lenses and reflectors are not cracked or fogged with moisture.

Tires

A sign that the odometer may have been rolled back is when a vehicle without very many miles on it has new tires. Check that each tire matches the others and that the tread levels are about even.

Interior

Take plenty of time when test driving the vehicle. In addition to paying attention to how it runs, feels, and sounds, you’ll also want to check that everything inside is working correctly. Test out the seats, seat belts, pedals, knobs, controls, sound system, air conditioning, heating, and anything else that the vehicle features.

If any of these seem off or suspicious, you should move on to another vehicle, or at the very least be certain to have it checked out by a trusted mechanic such as those at Fast Eddie’s.


The Five Most Reliable Car Brands

Cars are a big investment, so you don’t want to spend your hard earned money on something you won’t be able to drive for very long. Knowing which car brands are the most reliable can help you know what to look for the next time you’re in the market for a new or used vehicle.

5. Mercedes

Car buyers expect luxury cars to be reliable, and they’re in good hands with Mercedes. Almost all of their 2017 models earned a four out of five rating, and their E-class luxury midsize sedan scored a 4.5.

4. Buick

Buick’s LaCrosse earned a five out of five from J.D. Power, making it the most reliable large model car on the market. The rest of their vehicles earned a four rating except for the Enclave and Regal which each received a 3.5.

3. Porsche

None of Porsche’s models received less than a four out of five rating by J.D. Power. The automaker’s most reliable vehicles include the 911, Macan, and Panamera.

2. Toyota

This automaker has been consistent over the years with providing reliable vehicles. Their Camry and Camry Hybrid models both earned perfect ratings in reliability from J.D. Power, with the Avalon, Avalon Hybrid, and Corolla all earning 4.5 out of five. Even their Sienna minivan is more reliable than most.

1. Lexus

This luxury vehicle maker was ranked #1 by both Consumer Reports and U.S. News & World Report. The models Lexus GS, GS Hybrid, and LS each received a perfect reliability score from J.D. Power as well.

Other car brands rated as the most reliable include:

  • Lincoln
  • GMC
  • Kia
  • Hyundai
  • BMW
  • Honda
  • Audi

How to Prepare Your Car for Fall

Autumn means many things to many people including cooler weather, leaves falling, going back to school, and football season getting underway. It also means winter is around the corner, and your vehicle will need to be prepared. The following tips can help you prepare your car for fall.

Heat – Once the weather cools down you’ll need to switch over from using the A/C to taking advantage of the heater. Fall is a great time to make sure the heat is in good working order so you have plenty of time to get it fixed if it needs it.

Antifreeze – The coolant in your vehicle may be diluted during the summer months. It’s important to have it filled up and ready to go once temperatures drop.

Tires – The changing temperatures can affect tire pressure. Your tires are likely to lose some air pressure with the changing of the seasons, so you’ll want to have them checked and filled to the proper inflation rate. You should also have the tread checked because you’ll want good tread on icy roads.

Emergency Kit – Just in case you get stuck in a winter storm you’ll want to be prepared. Some things you should keep in your vehicle include:

  • Gloves
  • Ice Scraper
  • Blanket
  • Candles
  • First Aid Kid
  • Flares
  • Jumper Cables

Headlights – As the days start to get shorter in the fall, you may find yourself making your daily commute in the dark. That means you’ll want to be sure your headlights are working correctly.

Wiper Blades – During the fall you’ll likely be driving out in the cold rain and snow and maybe even ice. You’ll want your windshield wipers in tip top shape to deal with the weather. Wipers can wear out from hot, dry weather over the summer. They should be replaced every six months or if they start to streak or chatter.

Fast Eddie’s is the place to bring your vehicle for a variety of preventative maintenance services to help prepare you for fall including:

  • Oil Changes
  • Wiper Blades
  • Headlights & Bulbs
  • Battery Replacement
  • Transmission
  • And Much More

A Brief History of Motor City

Detroit has long been known as the Motor City, but how did the city earn its nickname and what does it really mean? Today Detroit is home to more than four million people, but the city had humble beginnings.

The Motor City was founded in 1701 by French explorer Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac and was captured by U.S. forces in 1796. Detroit would come to be known as the Motor City due to its association with the automotive industry.

There are a variety of reasons that Detroit was a good location for the industry. The city is close to major centers of iron, coal, and copper mining, and is easily accessible by land and water. The first auto manufacturing plant in Detroit was opened in 1899, and Henry Ford founded the Ford Motor Co. in the city in 1903.

During the early 20 th century there were some 125 auto companies in Detroit, including the “big three” of Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler. Ford introduced the famous Model T in 1908, and in 1914 the “five-dollar day” was introduced, which dramatically increased pay for automotive workers.

People flocked to Detroit from across the United States as well as other countries just for a chance to work in the auto industry. By the mid-20 th century, one in six working Americans were employed either directly or indirectly by the auto industry.

During the Great Depression, the United Automobile Workers union battled to gain recognition from auto producers. After violence and lots of patience, the big three offered generous wages to their workers, which included benefits. By the 1940s, auto workers became some of the best-paid laborers in the country.

Detroit’s economy improved and featured many first time homebuyers. Many workers were even able to purchase lakeside summer cottages, leading to the rise of blue-collar resort towns around Michigan. Around the time of the 1950s, the auto industry was at its peak.

The honeymoon would not last forever, as auto companies started to decentralize production and build new plants in suburban areas, looking for places to hire low-wage workers. Technology was used to create automation which replaced several assembly-line jobs. The Dodge Main plant lost nearly 90% of its workers, going from 30,000 to just a few thousand.

While Detroit remained the Motor City, times got tough and in 2008 President Bush earmarked more than $17 billion to bailout GM and Chrysler, who both filed bankruptcy a year later. The city and its automotive industry are working on making a comeback to the glory days that they once enjoyed. Fast Eddie’s is proud to have multiple locations in Michigan. Visit us today for a car wash, oil change, or preventative service.


Your Roadmap to Annual Car Maintenance [INFOGRAPHIC]

Car owners never like the idea of repair bills—but if you skip regular vehicle maintenance, that is exactly what you will be facing. Like preventive health care physicals for you, your car needs regular checkups to make sure it is in good condition and to make any necessary repairs that could prevent a costly breakdown in the future. To find out what kind of annual maintenance is necessary for your car, check out this infographic from Fast Eddie’s Car Wash and Oil Change. We provide extensive car maintenance services, including oil changes and windshield wiper replacement. With 16 locations across Michigan, we’re sure to have a location near you that is ready to help you keep your car on the road for longer. To find out which of our locations is closest to you, contact us, and don’t forget to ask about our unlimited wash program. Help your friends and family avoid expensive vehicle repairs as well by sharing this information.


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