- Take it in at the right season (ie. a car that’s good in the snow should be traded in during the winter months)
- Bring your maintenance records
- Be wary of extremes. (You shouldn’t go for an offer that’s too low or too high)
- keeping your eyes moving
- looking ahead and to the sides
- not expecting other drivers to behave as they should
- staying in control of the wheel and your speed
Tires, like most things on your car, eventually need to be replaced. Very often, when you go to get your alignment done, the auto shop will let you know if if you need a new set of tires. However, it’s good for you to know the status of your tires so that you aren’t buying four new tires unnecessarily. There are three things that can help you decide if you need new tires: tread wear, exposure to the elements, and the age of the tires. Here are some good ways to check your tires:
The Penny Method. Tried and true, using a penny to check the wear of your tire tread is a great way to go. Just take a penny, and dear, ol’ Lincoln’s head upside down, stick it between the tread block of the tire. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, the tire’s treads are shallow and worn and you should probably consider replacing the tires. If part his head is covered, the tires should probably be fine..
Tire Age. You should be replacing your tires around every 10 years. Of course, it depends on the model you drive, the type of tire you have, and where you’re driving.
Exposure to Elements. If your tires have been exposed to extreme amounts of heat or cold, there’s potential for problems. In most places, the weather is not extreme enough to cause damage, but it is a good thing to keep in mind.
Check Your Tire Pressure. If you’re wondering if it’s time for new tires, check your tire pressure once a week for a couple of weeks. Tires deflate at a rate of about one pound per square inch per month. If you are losing an excessive amount of air, your tire either needs to be fixed or replaced.
Do a Visual Check Up. Whenever you are checking your tire pressure, take a moment and do a visual check up. Look for cracks in the sidewall, a sign your tires could be close to a blowout, as well as for bulges and blisters.Keep a record of when you get your tires replaced and any time you have them repaired. Make sure you check your tires a couple times a year at the very least to make sure they are still safe to use!
- If you plan to trade in your car. Oftentimes, the trade-in value is low enough that you’ll save more money by leasing a car rather than buying and then trading in!
- If you need a car immediately, but don’t have the money for a down payment. Down payments on a leased car are significantly lower than on purchased vehicles. So if you’re in need of a car quickly and don’t have a lot of money saved up, leasing is a great option.
- If you need low monthly payments. The monthly payments on a leased car are lower than on a car you buy. This is because the payments are based on the decreased value of the car as time goes on.
- If you want the latest and greatest. If you frequently get the urge to change up your ride, leasing is the way to go. You’ll have lower payments and not have to worry about depreciation. Most car lease agreements last three years, meaning you’ll never be stuck driving an old clunker. Instead, you’ll experience all the newest technology and features.
- If you want a tax break. When owning a car, you pay taxes on the overall price of the vehicle. But if you lease a car, you’ll only have to pay taxes on the total value of the payments, which will be significantly lower than the price of the car.
- If you don’t drive much. People who lease a car usually have a 10,000 to 15,000 mile annual limit on their car, so leasing is a better option for people who aren’t going to go over that limit.
- If you want to always drive under warranty. Most cars are under warranty for just about three years, which is the usual duration of a car lease. Therefore, people who lease a car will always be under warranty and be covered for unexpected repairs needed on the car.