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Archives for December 2012

Tips to Buying a Used Vehicle from a Private Party

tips to buying a used car or vehiclePurchasing a used car from a private party can be financially beneficial. Frequently, the price is 15% to 20% cheaper than with car dealerships. There are definitely pro’s and con’s with the options you have for who and where you buy a used vehicle. Nonetheless, what precautions should you take when buying from a private party to make sure you are not driving away with something you don’t want? Here are a few tips to get you off to a good start.

 What You Should Ask the Seller

This is contingent on the age and the number of miles on the vehicle. If the car is reasonably new, with little mileage, you can ask if the car has been in an accident, are there any issues, and ask for all oil-change receipts. If the vehicle is more than a several years old, ask if the one selling the car is the only owner, if not, inquire about who is. In addition, an individual who gathers paperwork scrupulously may take care of their car in the same manner. Lastly, ask why they are selling the car, if they get nervous or give you a nonsensical answer, beware before buying.

 What to Look for on the Initial Viewing

Try to check for proof of repairs, lack of upkeep, and needed repairs. Look for bent wheels, worn tires, oil leaks, and dirty fluids. Be suspicious. If the car is parked on the lawn, why is that? Maybe so you cannot see oil leaking on the pavement! In addition, in the body and paint area check for lackluster paint, uneven body gaps, and swirl marks.

Consider an Inspection

Ask the seller if it’s possible to take the car to someone you trust or to a dealer for a total vehicle inspection. If the seller seems annoyed, there may be a hidden reason. Things you can inspect yourself are body gaps, pulling in the steering, tires, mechanical noises, paint condition, and any things you can easily see or hear.

There are many great tips out there from people experienced in buying and selling used vehicles. What tips would you add to this list?

Purchasing a used car can save you money. It is a clever move, as long as you take the necessary precautions. The TireZoo tire technicians can help you determine the quality and safety of tires on a vehicle you are considering purchasing or have recently purchased. Stop in and see us today!


Happy Holidays from The Tirezoo!

TireZoo in Bloomington, MN and Anoka, MN

Over or Under Inflating Your Tires

proper tire pressure is importantIt’s important to periodically check your tire pressure. This is something that changes over time, and isn’t something that you can “check and forget it”. Get in the habit of checking your tire pressure at every oil change and each time you head out for a long road trip.

Driving with your tires under-inflated is dangerous because it wears on the outside of your tires faster. Under-inflated tires aren’t good for your gas mileage either.

Over-inflated tires will also wear on your tires more quickly, causing unnecessary wear, hazards, and expense.

With winter here, be aware that cold weather can affect your tire pressure too. Recheck to make sure they are properly inflated, no more or less than 5 PSI of what is recommended for your tires. Check your vehicle manual for specific information or stop by the TireZoo to have a technician make sure your tires are safe for all the winter driving ahead. Remember, if you have one tire that is bad, we can help you replace just that tire to match the existing tread and life of the remaining tires on your vehicle.

Driving Here and There for the Holidays

driving during holidays, roads and snowMany people each year take to their cars and head off for a Holiday destination. It’s a rite of passage in America. Who doesn’t recall at least one long holiday family road trip as a kid, or college return-home trip? Below are a few holiday traveling suggestions for a safe and easy road trip.

Vehicle Maintenance

Prior to your road trip, schedule a car maintenance appointment to ensure the car is in good working condition. Having a certified mechanic check car vitals helps avoid unforeseen issues that may potentially cause a break down. Have the brakes, fluids, lights, battery, and tires checked. Tires must have adequate tire tread and safe pressure. The TireZoo can help you determine if your tires are safe for winter road travel!

Winter Weather Possibilities

It’s best to be prepared for any winter weather driving conditions, so toss the snow shovel, tire chains, and emergency gear in the car. A car safety kit is indispensable in a time of need. Your car safety kit should include, a tow rope, jumper cables, ice scraper, flashlight, blankets, water, and traction supplements like sand or kitty litter.

Before You Leave Home

Getting out of town early gives you jump start on holiday traffic. Gas up the car and go over the house shut down list the night before. Set and convey the travel schedule “to the travelers,” and print a hard copy of the directions and a map. If your children are young and use a safety seat, check the safety seat for proper fitting.

Entertaining the Kids

Today’s vehicles are loaded with built in digital or electronic systems that help pass the time. Keeping the family entertained on long road trips is effortless with built in DVD’s for movies, iPods for hosting music, an other amenities. If not, there are many affordable portable options you may consider investing in, if not already own. Ipads are great for wireless streaming of films and gaming. Cell phones keep you in touch and pass time- remember the cell phone charger!

In case electronic gizmo’s and gadgets fail, you’ll be prepped with a special backpack created the night before. Include backpack basics, favorite books, cards, non-electronic games, paper and pens, and snacks. Snacks save time and money on the road, so have pantry treats and water available. When entertainment ideas or creature comforts conclude, try the old fashion art of communication. Take this time to connect and communicate with your family, or fellow travelers. Telling a story, or striking up a conversation easily passes the miles.

If you need help checking your tires before you head out, stop at either our Bloomington or Anoka, MN locations.