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Auto Warranty and Maintenance Blog

Buying a Car? Here’s How to Make the Most Out of Your Test Drive

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2013-Volkswagen-Jetta

Buying a car is so much more than showing up at the lot and picking one out of a lineup. You need to put in a considerable amount of work and research to narrow down the kinds of vehicles that work for your price range and check off all the boxes you're looking for in a car. Once you have the potential purchase narrowed down your next move is to take a test drive. However, you need to do more than just take drive around the block. Instead, here is exactly what you need to do to get the most out of your test drive. 

During a test drive, you need to:
  • Check Your Cables
  • Cup Holders
  • Stroller/Kid Seat
  • Climate Control
  • Turn Off the Radio and Listen
  • Parking Lot Test

Check Your Cables

If you spend any amount of time driving your vehicle you'll be charging your phone and other electronics on the go. To get a good feel of the new vehicle bring your current devices and see how everything connects. 

Cup Holders

Do you pick up coffee on the way to work? Maybe you bring a thermos with you. Test to make sure your cup not only fits, but that it's within a comfortable reach. These might be small aspects to a new vehicle, but you likely will spend a good amount of time in the vehicle, so you need to make sure it fits you perfectly. 

Stroller and Kid Seat

If you have a small child, you'll need to put in the car seat and stroller. Don't complete your test drive without seeing how easy it is to set up your child seat and fit the stroller into the trunk. If it's a problem now, just think how big of a headache it will be when you have other items in the trunk and back seat. 

Climate Control

Test out the climate control. Take note how how well it works. This is especially important if you're buying a used vehicle. If it takes a while on a used vehicle there might be problems under the hood. 

Turn Off the Radio and Listen

Take note of how noisy the drive is. Can you hear everything going on outside? Is it windy when you're on the highway? The salesman will probably want to show off the stereo system, which is fine. Take a good listen. But then take a hard listen with everything off. You can always upgrade the stereo later. You can't upgrade how quiet the car is when you're driving it. 

Parking Lot Test

You'll be parking the vehicle several times a day. So, take it to a parking lot and see how it handles. This is where you'll see if the vehicle makes wide turns or if it's difficult to see past certain blind spots. 

It doesn't matter if you're on the market for a brand-new pickup truck or for a used station wagon, you need to follow these tips and suggestions during the next test drive. As long as you follow these instructions, you'll have the knowledge you need to make a final decision on which vehicle works best for your needs. 

In order to ensure that you are not stuck with repair bills after your purchase, head on over to True Auto’s website. Check out how we can give you a piece of mind while on the road!

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Topics: extended warranty options, Vehicle, New Car, Test Drive

Why Purchasing an Extended Warranty from True Auto Makes Financial Sense

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For many people, the purchase of a motor vehicle is one of the most expensive investments they will ever make.  With that in mind, it pays to take whatever steps are necessary to protect that investment and make sure it provides a reasonable amount of returns.  This is where the concept of an extended auto warranty comes into play.

The Basic Idea Behind the Warranty

Since all new and most pre-owned vehicles that have been restored to factory standards come with a standard warranty, it is not unusual for consumers to question the wisdom of paying extra for an extended auto warranty.  The thing to remember is that this type of warranty picks up where the basic warranty leaves off.  As the provisions within the basic plan expire, our extended plan will continue for a longer period of time.

Why is the Extra Time So Important?

Basic warranties do cover a reasonable range of services and support, but there are limits in terms of time and total mileage on the vehicle.  The fact is that many motorists exceed the allotted mileage long before reaching the time limit. For people who use their vehicles extensively, it is possible to reach that mileage limit in less than half of the time frame.  At that point, the basic warranty is basically no longer in effect.

Since the extended warranty ensures that those benefits continue for longer than that initial time or mileage limit, the owner can retain coverage for more years.  The result is that if a component covered under the warranty terms breaks down due to a manufacturing defect three months after the basic warranty has expired, the part can still be replaced at little to no charge under the provisions found in the extended auto warranty.

What About the Expense?

Whether the extended warranty is purchased from the auto manufacturer or from a third party provider, there will be some expense involved with the transaction.  One way to keep that cost in perspective is to consider it a form of preventive maintenance for the vehicle.  While the hope is that there will never be any reason to invoke one of the clauses in the warranty plan, it is nice to know that there is coverage in place if it is needed.  That peace of mind will easily justify the expense of securing and maintaining the extended warranty.

Even if one covered event does take place, chances are that all the money paid toward the extended auto warranty will still be less than that one event.  This is true even if that event takes place several years after the purchase of the vehicle and the expiration of the basic warranty.  For people who tend to drive their cars for the better part of a decade before trading them in, having that extra coverage in place makes a lot of sense.

The bottom line is that securing an extended auto warranty with True Auto is the way to go. With our warranties in place, it is easier to relax, enjoy the ride, and know that help is there if any serious problem should arise.

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Topics: Best Extended Car Warranties, auto car warranty, vehicle warranty, extended warranty options, Extended Vehicle Warranty, Expensive Auto Repairs, Vehicle

Preventative Vehicle Maintenance That Will Save You Money - New Year, New Ways to Save

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Do you have a new year’s resolution to save more money this year? Well, start with your car. A vehicle is only as good as it is maintained. The best designed cars can falter without proper servicing and checkups. Simply waiting for something to go wrong on the vehicle is a recipe for expensive auto repairs. To avoid this, performing some general preventative car services not only extends the life of the vehicle but it helps cut down on expensive replacement parts. Here are a few preventative vehicle maintenance tips that will save any car owner both time and money:

Engine and Transmission 

The engine and transmission are essentially the heart and brain of the vehicle. If one fails, it not only causes significant damage to the vehicle, but these areas are some of the most expensive to repair and replace when either goes bad. Due to this, proper engine and transmission maintenance is a must. This starts with changing the oil when recommended. At this time, all other fluids can be checked and filled. Plus, serpentine and timing belts can be inspected and serviced as well. A coolant flush may be necessary to rid the engine of old and corroded coolant while filling up the power steering fluid keeps the vehicle turning properly. Should a driver feel their vehicle fighting them during snow speed turns, it likely means the steering fluid is low. A new spark plug can boost engine efficiency and safe on fuel economy as well. All of these areas of the vehicle can be looked over and inspected in one short visit to the auto shop, so having the car looked over during a standard oil change can help avoid more expensive repairs later on. 

Wheels and Brakes

Replacing brake pads is a must. Should the brake wear down to nothing, it may require additional repairs, including new tie rods. When new brakes are installed, having the tires rotated can help ensure universal wear on the tires, which in turn improves handling and driving performance (while also extending the life of the tires). Tires should be replaced on a regular basis as well. An easy way for any driver to know if it is time to replace their tires is to pull out a quarter and slide it into the tire tread. If the top of Washington's head can still be seen, the tread is too low and needs to be replaced.

Alignment problems should be addressed at this time as well. If the vehicle is turning to one side or the other instead of pointing strait (where the steering wheel is pulling to one side) it means the alignment is off and it needs to be straightened and corrected.

Let True Auto Help

If you would like to make sure that you are never stuck with an expensive vehicle repair bill, True Auto can provide you with an extended vehicle warranty. Call 877-397-1021 today to discuss your options with one of our representatives. Trust True Auto to take care of your vehicle!

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Topics: Auto Warranties, extended warranty options, Insurance car warranty, Automobile Safety, Preventative Vehicle Maintenance, Expensive Auto Repairs, Vehicle

When the warranty that came with the car runs out, then what?

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When your car warranty runs out, then what?

When buying a vehicle, it typically has some sort of warranty connected to it. The warranty may vary in length and what it covers, but it protects a driver from spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on expensive fixes when caused by manufacturer defects. 


For any driver who is eyeballing their current warranty and sees it is set to expire soon, they need to take advantage of the current warranty and then consider looking into an extended vehicle warranty. Each driver needs to make their own decision, but understanding what an extended vehicle warranty can do and how to use it remains extremely important. 

Take the Car In Before the Warranty Runs Out

A vehicle warranty covers different elements of the vehicle. Usually all of this sits under the hood, but it does depend on the kind of vehicle driven and the warranty itself. Some vehicles have different warranties that run out at different year and mileage points.

Either way, it is a very good idea to take the vehicle in right before the warranty is set to expire. Not all problems are readily noticeable. Sometimes there might be a problem building under the hood but no apparent signs are displayed while driving.

Due to this, it is important to have the vehicle looked at. A problem might be detected that is still covered by the warranty. By catching it now, the warranty is still good and covers the associated expenses. 

Is an Extended Vehicle Warranty Right?

An extended vehicle warranty can be purchased after the buy date of the vehicle. With this extended warranty, it does become possible to increase the overall protection of the car.

Now, an extended vehicle warranty is not something that lasts forever. Like a regular manufacturer's warranty, it has an end point, whether it is years, mileage, or whichever one comes first.

It is important for a vehicle owner to determine if the new warranty is right. Essentially, they need to consider whether or not their vehicle is going to break down during the course of the extended warranty. Insurance covers accidents and repairs associated with this, so that is not at issue. What is at issue is something breaking on the vehicle due to age, wear and tear and just failing to work properly. 

What to Look For in an Extended Warranty?

So what points should be considered?

  • A driver needs to look at the vehicle they drive.
  • The cost of the vehicle.
  • The cost of the extended warranty.

With several years of driving under an owner's belt, if they have run into several different problems while driving the vehicle, purchasing an extended warranty may be smart. They can talk with the dealer about the manufacturers extended warranty or search for a third-party offering online. 

Now, if they have not yet had problems, it doesn't mean something might break on the next turn. Modern cars are built extremely well, but they are also more expensive to fix than older vehicles. Newer vehicles rely heavily on computer aided technology, and whenever a computer is involved, the repair cost tends to skyrocket (instead of replacing a built on a 90s car, it requires a belt and a computer chip, which drastically increases the cost).

Looking at the vehicle and doing some research on possible problems can help an owner determine if they should go for the warranty. According to Consumer Report, the average extended warranty sits at $1,200, with more for more expensive vehicles. If the potential repair costs exceed this price tag, it is a good idea to get the warranty. 


Click HERE to request a free quote from True Auto and find out how we can make you and your vehicle a priority. If your current warranty is about to expire, please consider True Auto for your future automobile extended warranty. 

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Topics: car warranty, Warranty, Best Extended Car Warranties, Auto Warranties, auto car warranty, vehicle warranty, auto warranties used cars, car warranty quote, used car warranty, extended warranty options, Insurance car warranty

Making Your Car More Serviceable

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Making you car more serviceable

Having a vehicle break down can be inconvenient and expensive.  Auto warranty companies, such as True Auto Protection, provide a sense of security from such expenses but one should keep their vehicle in peak operating condition.  By doing so, potential problems may be spotted early and actions taken to prevent more costly repairs.

How to Make Your Vehicle Serviceable:

1. The Service Manual is Your Guide

A vehicle's service manual can be a valuable resource to obtain information.   Drivers can learn about the individual manufacturers' recommended service intervals, when parts such as wipers and brakes should be replaced and about the vehicle warning alerts.

Reading the service manual can be of assistance in planning for the cost of repairs and general maintenance. 

2. Watch the Dashboard

Drivers should never ignore the warning lights on the dashboard.   They can be the first indicators of trouble with the car.   Taking action when the lights appear may initially cost money.  But it is important to know that spending this money now can prevent much more expensive repairs at a later time.

3. Know The Timing Belt

The timing belt is a major engine component.   If it malfunctions, there can be serious, expensive damage to the vehicle's engine.   Depending on the type of car, replacing the timing belt can and will differ.   Check the service manual or research online to tell how the timing belt is going bad, or how the timing belt should be replaced.

4. Monitor the Tires

Tires play a significant role in vehicle performance and safety.   Drivers must ensure their tires have sufficient tread and are properly inflated to the manufacturers' recommendations. They should also be aware of the tires expected usable mileage.   Once the tires have exceeded this limit, they should be replaced.  

Take the average miles driven to calculate the remaining tread life for tires.   Doing so can help the driver budget their funds for tire replacement.

5. Drive Sensibly

While this may seem like common sense, it should be noted.    Do not make sudden starts or "burn rubber" upon acceleration.   Do braking gradually when stopping the vehicle.  Do not overload the vehicle with cargo beyond the recommended levels.

Drivers who take the time to learn about their vehicle and drive rationally can save money on costly, unnecessary repairs.   They can enjoy years of service from their vehicle.  

For drivers who are tougher on their vehicles, an Extended Warranty might be a wise investment.   Often times, extended warranty companies cover new and used vehicles; not to mention all makes and models -Acura, Chevrolet and Dodge, as well as Hyundai and more. 

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Topics: car extended warranty, extended warranty, car warranty, auto warranty, Warranty, Auto Warranties, extended car warranty, extend your car warranty, auto warranty quote, extended warranty options

Pricing a "New-to-You" Used Car

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Pricing a new to you used car

 

How exactly do you go about pricing a new-to-you used car?

Nothing beats the feeling of driving away in a new car. Even if the vehicle is technically used, when new to you, it offers an entire world of new opportunities. But how should someone price a new to them used vehicle? After all, it is not like going directly to the car manufacturer's website and pricing a vehicle before heading out to the dealership. Buying a used car requires a bit more investigating, but it also lends itself to helping car buyers save a considerable amount of money. 



Tracking Down the Right Vehicle

When shopping for a used vehicle, it is important to take note of having an idea for what kind of vehicle make and model you want. Do your research through services like Consumer Report and other vehicle review websites in order to determine what vehicles run into the fewest problems. Some vehicles are constructed to last a very long time, while others are designed more to impress immediately, but don't necessarily have a very long shelf life. For someone on the market for a used truck, they should look up how used Fords, Chevys, Toyotas and others fair over an extended period of time. This way, it is less likely the person will need to spring for expensive repairs immediately upon buying the truck (or shortly after). 

Once someone starts looking at the vehicle style they are interested it, they need to write down all of the general specs of the vehicle when one interests them. This doesn't just include the make, model and year, but also trim variations and any added upgrades. They should look at the tires to see if these need to be replaced soon. Also, they should take note if the wheels are steel or aluminum. Steel wheels are far less valuable than the aluminum wheels. Once all of this information is obtained, they can plug it into a service such as Kelly Blue BookKBB provides some of the most accurate pricing information on used vehicles. Here, the individual simply needs to plug in all of their findings, note any damages or upgrades and if they are buying from a dealer or independent seller. This way, they are able to come up with what the average vehicle is going for. 

Get the Car Fax

If the price is right and a potential buyer has found a lone vehicle they are interested in, it is time to check the Car Fax. To obtain this information, the VIN is required. The VIN can be found on several areas of the vehicle, ranging from the lower driver's corner of the windshield to the interior, driver's door panel or the glove box. The VIN records all work the vehicle has received, accidents and other possible problems. If the vehicle has seen a large number of drivers over a short period of time, it might reflect serious problems under the hood. It does cost money to obtain the Car Fax, but it is always a good decision before purchasing a vehicle as it gives the best idea at what it should cost.

Buying From a Dealer or Independent Seller

There are pros and cons with each. When buying from a dealer the vehicle is going to cost more, but usually comes with some sort of vehicle warranty. Typically there are fewer potential problems connected with the vehicle. On the other hand, an independent seller can offer a better price, but there is no warranty and there is always the problem of an expensive repair down the road. Always have the vehicle inspected when buying from independent sellers. 


If you are looking for a company that specializes in Automobile Extended Warranties, look no further than True Auto Vehicle Breakdown Protection. Coverage plans will protect your new, used and new-to-you used vehicle.  

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Topics: extended warranty, car warranty, Warranty, extend your car warranty, resale value, auto warranties used cars, automobile warranty, extended warranty options

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