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Auto Repair

Car Loans & Leasing Are Your Biggest Hidden Expense

Car Loans & Leasing Are Your Biggest Hidden Expense

I get a lot of questions from people about car financing. And it makes me wish that more people were educated on how owning new cars can be the biggest destroyer to their personal net worth. I don’t mind automotive manufacturers earning a lot of profit, and I know of one that earns the majority of their money by financing and leasing cars. It just doesn’t have to be your money, all the time.

There is a spectrum of two extremes that you can follow for car ownership. You can hold brand new cars for only a couple years (buying or leasing) or you can hold each vehicle for well over 5 years (and maybe buy them used in the first place). You can already guess which one is financially healthier, but it will help if you know why.

It is my observation that owning a brand new car for less than 4 years is the biggest destroyer of anyone’s net worth. I have a lesson plan for you if this is your preference of car ownership. Each year, you should be forced to withdraw the cash equivalent of the amount that your car depreciated over the last year. Then you take that wad of cash, and in front of your parents, spouse, kids, and financial planner – you feed it all into an industrial paper shredder that turns it to dust. It is just a little helpful tip from me to illustrate what you are doing to yourself.

When billionaire Warren Buffett was young, he refused to replace his old Volkswagen for many years even when he had the money to buy a new one. Why? Because over his lifetime, he knew that having $20,000 invested over decades would grow into millions of dollars in net worth to him.

Car owners also shouldn’t hold on to them forever, because there is an inflection point where the longer you hold onto a car, the better it would have been to replace it. How can this be? It occurs when the annual repair costs of the car outpace the drop in value of a newer car. Let me explain: let’s say that you are driving your 25-year-old-junker and are paying $4,000 a year in repairs to keep it loping along. Now, if instead you had replaced it with a newer car (maybe still under warranty), and it only dropped $3,000 in value – you’d be $1,000 ahead, happier with a newer car, and relieved at many fewer trips to the dealership over breakdowns.

It is too foolish for me to even begin addressing the financial damage of leasing a car, or getting an auto loan for more than three years and getting upside down (when you owe more on the car than what it is worth). Just avoid leasing and +4 year loan payment plans because these are the money-makers for the companies on the other side of the transaction.

Taking all this information into account, it is my opinion that the following is the financially optimum car ownership model: buy a car that is about two years old with less than 20,000 miles, and keep it for at least 5 years until the repair costs start exceeding $2,500 a year. As a general guide, this will help you avoid the sharp depreciation in the first two years and give you a car under warranty for a while, and then you bail out when the expenses start getting out of control.

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Auto Repair

Tips on Preparing Your Car for Summer Driving

Tips on Preparing Your Car for Summer Driving

Spring is the perfect time to get your vehicle ready for the busy summer driving season ahead. It’s wise to have your vehicle checked out before summer’s heavy vacation traffic and stop-and-go conditions begin in earnest.

The experts at the nonprofit National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence offer the following tips on getting your vehicle ready:

* Read the owner’s manual and follow the recommended service schedules. Pay attention to “regular” vs. “severe” schedules listed, and determine which is appropriate for your driving conditions and habits.

* Look for an orderly repair facility with modern equipment in the service bays and qualified automotive technicians on staff, as evidenced by trade school diplomas, certificates of advanced course work and training, as well as national certification of the individual technicians by ASE.

* Flush and refill the cooling system (radiator) according to the service manual’s recommendations. The level, condition and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. Make sure the engine has cooled down before removing the radiator cap. Engine overheating is the most frequent summer breakdown.

* Have engine performance problems corrected, such as hard starts, rough idling and stalling. You’ll get better gasoline mileage, and you could prevent more expensive repairs.

* Don’t neglect your transmission and brakes. Costly repairs can be prevented by routine service. Neglected brakes can create safety issues, too.

* Seek out a qualified auto technician to check the condition of belts, clamps and hoses, but be proactive by looking for signs of wear, cracking or fraying.

* Have a marginally operating air conditioner system serviced by a technician qualified to handle refrigerants. Older units often contain ozone-depleting chemicals that could be released into the air through improper or incompetent service.

* Change the oil and oil filter as specified in the owner’s manual. This simple, inexpensive service can increase the life of your vehicle.

* Replace other filters (air, fuel, PCV) as recommended in the service manual.

* Check the condition of tires, including the spare. Let the tires “cool down” before checking their pressure. Uneven wear, “cupping,” vibrations or “pulling” to one side indicates problems with your tires or suspension system.

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Auto Repair

You Can Replace Your Car’s EGR Valve

You Can Replace Your Car’s EGR Valve

Located smack dab on your car’s intake manifold, an EGR [Exhaust Gas Recirculation] valve functions by sending exhaust gas back into the combustion chamber as “exhausted air” is much hotter than intake air. By bringing warmer gas into the combustion chamber, your engine operates much more cleanly and efficiently.

Like any part, your Ford EGR valve or Toyota EGR valve is subject to getting clogged with dirt or crud. A clogged unit may cause your car to stall, hesitate, or idle roughly. Sometimes, simply cleaning the EGR valve with a product like STP carburetor cleaner will resolve the problem. Still, if you take your car in for its MV inspection and the diagnostic tests shows that your EGR valve is not working, you will fail inspection and be forced to swap out the device before bringing your car back in for a follow up inspection. What a hassle, but something you just don’t want to forget about.

Prices on replacement EGR valves are all over the place: some parts are reasonably priced while others will cost you a mint. Your Ford or Toyota dealer will charge you a mint if you purchase one through their parts department, as buying through any dealer can quickly turn into a financial nightmare. Instead of going through all that aggravation, you can save big money by shopping online through a quality wholesaler such as All EGR Valves. As is common with all high quality auto parts wholesalers, you can purchase an EGR valve at a huge discount and save a bundle over dealer mark up prices. Leading wholesalers deal directly with manufacturers, buy in gigantic quantities, negotiate the lowest prices, and pass big savings on to you.

Replacing an EGR valve is a simple process and can be accomplished with standard automobile tools. With your handy Chilton repair manual at your side, you will quickly remove and replace the device and have a strong sense of accomplishment on a job “well done.” Best yet, you will have saved yourself plenty of money which you can use for other parts, like the K&B cold air intake that you always wanted!

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Auto Repair

Rate Rises Leave Savers Happy

Rate Rises Leave Savers Happy

Interest rate rises across board leave many savers very happy as they rake in some historic returns. As news of hikes filtered through the media, there were concerns that the average debt-burden will even worsen. Neverthesless, savers are in for some very attractive rates. For instance, the National Savings & Investment index-linked certificates which offer tax-free inflation beating returns, is now offering the highest ever rates on one year fixed-rate bonds – more than 6%. This is the first time this is happening in 5 years.

Although, inflation increase is not seen in a positive light, higher rate taxpayers can now enjoy the equivalent of 9.25% per annum which is 4% more than normal savings accounts. For base rate taxpayers, this figure is around the 7% mark. Returns from fixed-rate bonds is also increasing. Birmingham Midshires, has now launched a one-year fixed rate bond which will pay 6.05% gross. This is better than some of the best margins offered on normal products which stands at around 5.5% oon average and 5.9% at best. With further interest rate hikes expected this year, savers are bound to be laughing all the way to the bank, as there is likely to be more products or deals with 6% or more as rate of return. With these tax-free, index-linked accounts enabling savers to save a certain fixed sum every year, tax-free they are a good option for any serious would-be saver.

While rate hikes may be have a brighter side, it is more of bad news than good news for the average credit consumer. Already, some retail shops have suffered over the Holiday period as the consumer reigned in due to higher bills and expenses overall. Bankruptcies have also increased as inflation rates combined with a myriad of factors have forced small businesses out of the market. Business insolvency is dwarfed by the number of personal bankruptcies. Going bankrupt can cause untold amount of stress both for businesses and individuals. Even when the ordeal seems to be all over, one realises that a record of it is available on your credit report for seven years or more. This means that during this period, most major lenders will decline giving you any credit including home loans and auto laons leaving you to the vagaries of loan sharks.

Good credit repair advice can go a long way to improving your credit score, should you happen to be in this situation to enable you to borrow at lower rates in the future. In short, meaningful credit repair can take a while. There are immediate things that can be done to improve credit rating, such as avoiding late payment, honoring all your bills on time and many more. In the long run, you have to build trust so that future lenders can risk their money on you. Although, some people may recommend not borrowing at all this time, that advice may be a bad idea as it can result in no credit history for that period. The best is to borrow small manageable amounts and make payment on time when the moeny is due. This way, there will have a record of your new and improved credit behaviour leading to easy and cheap loans in the future.

All in all, rate rises affect people in two different ways. If you are a saver, you win. If you are in debt, it’s bad news.

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Auto Repair

What Do You Do If Your Car Acts Up?

What Do You Do If Your Car Acts Up?

You can actually never predict what will happen to you and to your car each time you drive around the vehicle. Sometimes, despite regular maintenance and repair of your Jaguar, there still are times when problems decide to act up just as when you are in the middle of the highway or in the middle of a deserted road. However, keeping your calm and keeping yourself cool would give you the chance to be in control of the situation.

If you do encounter car trouble or an accident, try to pull over. Stay on the side of the road. Make sure that you are out of traffic’s way. However, also make sure that you are easily seen by other motorists once you have brought your vehicle to safety. As much as possible, do it quickly. Dallying could just make traffic situations worse especially if you are trying to move over the side of the road very slowly.

Automobile experts and traffic authorities suggest that you should avoid stopping on the left should if that is very much possible. That is plainly because you surely would not want to run across traffic if you need to go somewhere else – like to look for gas or a payphone. And once you stop on the side of the road, try not to get out. Remember that it is safer for you to stay inside rather than stand outside with the cars rushing by you.

If your car acts up during a night drive, try to stop underneath a street lamp. That way, you are very much visible to all who passes by. That would give you more safety and security and the chances of people seeing you stranded could also increase your chances of getting help.

And in any time that this happens to you, do not forget to turn on your car’s hazard lights.

Meanwhile, for any Jaguar parts needs, you can simply access Jaguar Parts and Jaguar Auto Parts. It has in its stock a wide range of specially crafted Jaguar parts for Jaguar vehicles like Jaguar 340 parts among others

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Auto Repair

H-F-L-Team: 3 Must Haves For Your Website

H-F-L-Team: 3 Must Haves For Your Website

Today we are going to discusss Three must haves on your website for your business. Theses are often very obvious key components. Some people miss adding them or don’t realize how important they are.

The websites that I am focusing on deal with sites for brick and mortar businesses. Such as restaurants, beauty salons/spas, Auto repair shops, retailers of all kinds. The tips can also relevant for other types of sites. Check through them and see if they can improve your site.

Okay let’s start.

One big must is your contact information. Would you take out an ad in the yellow pages and not put in your phone number and address? Of course you wouldn’t. But often on websites they omit it or hide it. What you want to do is have that information be very visible. You want your customers to be able to contact you.

Now a word of caution if you have a way for customers to email, “Which is recommended” you must return the email promptly. Think of it as you would your business phone, you would always answer the phone and return calls right? So do it with your email.

For many people that use a computer most of the day it can be one of their primary sources of communicating. Have a way so that when they send the email yours will automatically respond back with a message. Such as “thank you for your inquiring we will get back to you within 24 hours”. I f you give them a time “shorter the better” be sure to do it. People will shy away from a business that can’t keep a simple promise.

Capture their name and email. Ask if they would like to be added to your sales, special promotions, or newsletter, whatever fits your business.

Next up Information.

People are looking at your site for information. Studies show that when people call a restaurant they are asking for location, hours, directions and prices. So give it to them in a place on your site that is easy to find.

Post your menu and prices. I f you own a watch or shoe repair shop state prices for your service. People are shopping/looking for this information. Place your location and directions on home page. Include mapping like Google Maps so they can get directions. Remember state your hours of service. If you have parking challenges give your customers tips on where to park.

Last but not least. Photos.

Photos are very important to the success of your site and business. People love to look at pictures. Remember the saying “A picture is worth a thousand words”. Its true. So show off your business. A photo of the storefront puts a visual into the customer’s head, so as they drive down the street it will trigger a memory and help with locating your business.

I f you have a restaurant have photos of your food. For a beauty salon/spa show the inside and those comfortable chairs your clients will be using. Take pictures of your friendly staff and owners. Show people that “hey you will enjoy being here”. Photo will help create a connection between your business and customers.

I hope this has been helpful and informative in your journey to fulfilling you Hundred-Fold Life.

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Auto Repair

Easy Steps For Getting Home Owner’s Insurance (2)

Easy Steps For Getting Home Owner’s Insurance

Home owner’s insurance isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. It may even be required if you have a mortgage on your home. In the case of a disaster, your home owner’s insurance might be the only thing that gets you back on your feet. Here are some tips that can help you in selecting a home owner’s insurance policy that suits your needs.

Make sure you don’t have too much coverage if you are trying to save money. Remember valuable items depreciate over time and you should look over your policy once a year to make sure you don’t have too much insurance. Reevaluating this can save you money on your policy.

There can be many things that can be done to help lower your homeowners insurance. Most people will think about what they have done in regard to safety in their home but most don’t think about the neighborhood around them. For example, if a fire hydrant was put in within 100 feet of your home it might be used to lower your premium. It never hurts to call and ask.

Consider raising the deductible on your home insurance policy. A higher deductible on your insurance policy can significantly lower your annual home insurance premiums. Unfortunately, by raising the deductible, your home insurance company will no longer pay for small claims, such as broken window repair, leaky pipe repair and minor wind and flood damage repairs.

If you were thinking about relocating to another area, this auto insurance tip might just be the icing on the cake. If you are located in an area with a lower crime rate, you will receive favorable coverage and will ultimately pay far less per month than people who live in high-crime areas.

Keep one or two fire extinguishers in the kitchen and around the house. Depending on your home owner’s insurance provider, having functioning fire extinguishers handy might lower your rates. It is also great to have one handy in the event of a fire. They could end up saving your life.

Keep your homeowners insurance policy up to date. If it’s been a few years since you purchased your policy, you might be under insured. If you’ve made improvements to your home, your policy might not reflect the increased value. Building costs have gone up too, so review your policy yearly, and if needed, make changes to be adequately covered.

Don’t under-insure the items in your household to save a few bucks on your insurance premium. This seems like a good idea when you take out your policy, because no one really thinks a disaster is going to happen to them. The problem is, if and when a disaster does hit, it’s tough enough already without having to come to terms with the fact that your insurance money is not enough to at least replace some of the material items you’ve lost.

As mentioned above, a home owner’s insurance policy is a necessary safety net in case of fire, theft, or other disasters. Having a good home owner’s insurance policy in place will benefit you in case the worst occurs. Having read the advice in this article, you should be better prepared when selecting a home owner’s insurance policy.

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Auto Repair

The New Realities Of Used-Car Shopping – Good Car Deals Possible With Internet Marketing

The New Realities Of Used-Car Shopping – Good Car Deals Possible With Internet Marketing

A flood of fresh vehicles and the explosion of Internet marketing greatly improve your odds of getting a goodness deal. When Olga Humblias slips behind the wheel of her silver BMW 740iL, she knows a couple of secrets that no one seeing her sleek driving machine would suspect. One: She bought it secondhand–it’s a ’97 that started its life with a two-year, 26,000-mile lease. Two: Her monthly payment for the $70,000-plus beauty is just $240.

Not at all surprising is that once she hits the roads around her home in Upper Saddle River, N.J., the 4.4-liter, 32-valve V-8 performs so wellspring that Humblias might as fountainhead be driving in the venerable Le Mans auto race. “The cable car rides and handles so swell you rich person to constantly watch the speedometer,” says the real estate agent, smiling. She besides has to keep a close eye on her husband, Charles, himself a BMW enthusiast, who jumps at any chance to drive her auto.

The couple’s satisfaction with the automobile–the first exploited they wealthy person ever purchased–symbolizes how the remainder of the millennium is ushering in the best of times for ill-used-machine buyers. One reason is the phenomenal growth of leasing. Nearly 33% of the 1999 vehicles rolling out of showrooms will be leased, not purchased. When leases remnant, relatively new to(p), good-cared-for models come back to the market, often with their prices showing more wear and tear than their tires.

To earn the manufacturer’s stamp of approval–and the extensive guarantee that goes with it–these cars must pass a thorough inspection and undergo any necessary reconditioning. The dealer does the work which, according to Moody of Swope Honda, adds approximately $500 to the price of the –$370 for mechanical repairs and the rest for cosmetics. “These cars are in mint condition,” he says. Approved vehicles carry a limited warrant for up to 6 days or 72,000 miles, the cost of which is too passed on to the buyer. Honda dealers, for example, earnings $329 for the company’s certified imprimatur for cars.Luxury brands, including BMW and Lexus, routinely offer 24-hour roadside assistance for their approved put-upon cars. What if the victimized you’re drawn to hasn’t been so blessed. Should you spring for an wide warrantee.

It can make sense if the ‘s original has expired or is close to to. “The client needs the full benefit of a overhaul contract the is five or VI old age old or has 70,000 to 85,000 miles on it,” says George Weber, marketing manager for elongated-inspection and repair plans for Ford’s -serving division. A beneficial should cover major components such as the engine, transmission and axles, as easily as the brakes (not the pads), air conditioning, heater, blower motors, compressors, evaporator, suspension and steering components.

The electronic system–critically important to nowadays’s technologically advanced cars–should likewise be covered, including emission controls. Expect to remuneration between $700 and $1,200 for coverage that extends the warrant), to 75,000 or 100,000 miles, but remember that prices are negotiable. Many plans now allow deductibles of up to just about $200. Answers: Nissan: A; Infiniti: A; Chevrolet: B; Honda: B.

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Auto Repair

Visa Business Credit Cards

Visa Business Credit Cards

The Visa Business Credit Card is one of the most popular business credit cards serving the business market today. Recognizing that businesses appreciate the need for good cash management, Visa offers business credit cards designed to provide business people with purchasing convenience, cost savings, instant access to credit when they need it and complete, detailed reporting of all business expenses charged to their Visa business credit cards.

Visa business credit cards can be obtained from any one of the many issuers that are affiliated to Visa. The credit card packages are likely to vary from one issuer to the next, but there are certain features that are universally applicable to any business credit card issued under the Visa brand. These universal features, privileges and benefits, will typically include the following:

Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
All Visa business credit card holders are covered for damages due to collision or theft, at no added cost. This benefit reimburses you for the costs incurred to repair or replace covered losses on a hired vehicle that you paid for with your business credit card. The only condition is that the vehicle should have been exclusively used for business purposes. When you rent the vehicle on your eligible Visa business credit card, remember to decline if the rental company offers its own collision damage waiver. This will activate your Visa coverage. If the rental company is adamant and insists that you buy their policy, call your benefits administrator. In the case of theft or damage to the rented vehicle, you will first call the Visa benefits administrator before speaking to anybody else. He or she will then advise you how to proceed.

Purchase Security and Extended Protection
The purchase security benefit entitles the business credit card holder to replacement, repair or reimbursement for eligible personal property that you completely paid for with your Visa business credit card (up to $10,000 per claim and up to a total of $50,000 per business credit card holder). Extended protection doubles the original manufacturer’s warranty period. This period is capped at 12 months.

Gifts purchased for others on your business credit card are covered by this benefit. The only challenge is that you will be requested to file a claim, and that the intended recipient will be required to provide documents in substantiation of the claim. You must develop the habit of keeping your copies of the Visa business credit card receipts as well as the store receipts, since these will be required as supporting documents to any claim you may file.

There is a host of exclusions on the items or situations that are not covered by the Visa purchase security and extended protection business credit card benefits, so you should review these with care.

Travel Emergency Assistance
Visa business credit card holders are assured of 24-hour assistance from appropriate emergency services when these are required. The benefit covers you, your immediate family members and your business associates. This special service for business credit card holders provides contact assistance and referral. You will still be responsible for all costs and expenses incurred with the suppliers of these emergency services, which could include ambulances, doctors, hospitals and towing. The upside is that you can pay for these with your card as the vast majority of emergency services know and accept the Visa brand.

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Auto Repair

Have A Problem With Your Power Steering?

Have A Problem With Your Power Steering?

Has your power steering suddenly stop working? Maybe it is because you your power steering pump is broken or died. Maybe there isn’t anymore steering fluid or a bad hose that is causing the problem. Either way it will be difficult to drive.

Before it becomes obvious that something is wrong, you will hear some buzzing or whining noises coming from under your hood. But you may also encounter a gradual loss of power, which is more prominently seen when parallel parking. Or you can even notice the problem when you first start your car. That would indicate that your steering rack it finished.

Steering racks fail slowly at a gradual rate, but you should take action before it’s completely gone. That’s when you loose all control over your car and it can happen at anytime. That will become very dangerous for you and your passengers.

You should check the power steering fluid to see if in fact you steering rack is the problem. Be on the look out for small metallic pieces of metal floating in it. If there are some then your steering rack is wearing out, the metal pieces are prove that the rack is deteriorating piece by piece.

Now the only thing that’s on your mind right now it the hefty bill that awaits you. But not necessarily, you could take your car to your local garage or dealer, which would probably cost you quite a bit. Or you could decide to do the repair yourself; it’s not as hard you might think.

You can purchase to part on the internet, there you will most likely find better deals, then at your dealer or local auto shop. A good place to check out would be Steering Rack Pros. They will have what you’re looking for and save you a great deal of money.

So now there are no excuses to not change your power steering pump or rack. It’s possible to do it yourself and it won’t cost you as much.