Monday, January 23, 2006

Used Car Loan

Tips on Financing Your Used Car :
Used cars are not as easy to finance as new cars. Lenders are more hesitant of financing vehicles with unknown pasts. However, you can find reasonable rates on auto loans by lining up your financing before you go car shopping. A down payment of 10% or more, plus shopping with a car dealer can also improve your rates.

Get Financing First :
Pre-approved auto loans have a number of advantages. First, you find out what you qualify to borrow before you get stuck in a contract. You can also play around with loan terms to find a reasonable monthly payment. And sellers are eager to close a deal with a buyer that has secure financing.Used cars loans often require a slightly higher rate, usually .6 or more, than new car loans. However, rates vary widely between lending companies, so it pays to shop around. Processing your loan before your car purchase relieves you from the pressure of signing with the first lender you find. It also saves you money in lower rates.

Plan On 10% Down :
10% is most often required for a used car loan. It signals to the lender that you are investing in this purchase and are willing to make payments. A larger down payment can improve rates and offset low credit scores.Another way to save money is to choose a short term loan. Since a used car probably won’t last as long as a new car, five and three year loans make the most financial sense. You save on interest costs and can start saving for your next car.

Shopping With A Dealer :
Some lenders also offer better rates when you purchase through a car dealership, even with used cars. You should weigh all your options when applying for this type of car loan.Dealerships usually provide a partial warranty for their used cars; they also charge more. You may be able to find an excellent deal in the classifieds, but there is a level of risk with that purchase. However, the difference in interest rates between these types of loans is more than 1%.

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Saturday, January 21, 2006

Where To Find an Easy Car Loan

An easy car loan can be found on the internet. Online car financing is actually the most simple, easiest and less time consuming way to get financing for your vehicle purchase and in addition, you are able to do a thorough comparison between the best offers on the market. According to reliable sources (Consumer Federation of America), vehicle buyers are often overcharged by 3% or more on loans they are taking through a dealership. This can mean an extra loan cost of $1,000 or more. The best loan websites are the cheapest, your job is to find those sites and select the loan that fits you best with regard to interest rates, fees and other terms. On these quality sites you don't have to pay application fees, or down payments and your new or used auto loan is approved in minutes.

Here is how you do it:
You must decide which vehicle you are looking for, what it cost and how much you need to borrow. Also, do some calculations upfront to find out how much you are able to pay on a down payment and what monthly payments can be, along with interest and fees. Then determine how long a period of time you'll need to pay it back. Use an online car loan payment calculator.

With these figures written down, go to the internet and
either look for a recommended online car finance company or
do a search for ["car loans"+review]. Then you will get a list of loan companies and references from other people that have dealt with these companies before.

Select 3 to 5 of the companies that appear to have the best offers and apply. The application process is very easy; in most cases you only have to fill in 4 to 5 cells of information, that's all. Then sit down and wait a few minutes and you will receive their offers either by email or directly on the website.

With all the offers in front of you, start the comparison process: You should compare interest rates, fees, and other terms that might affect your loan costs, especially the part in small print.
When this is done select two lenders and contact them over telephone. This will give you a feeling of which people you deal with; whether they are friendly and service minded; ask yourself "would I like to do business with them?"

Then you should have a good platform for choosing your vehicle lender. Choose the one you like best. Give them a feed back either by phone, email or via their website.

Now, sit down and wait for your money to come; it will take only a few days.
In the mean time, go to the dealership and start the price negotiation. When you know you have the money, you are in a much better position for negotiating a really great auto deal.

Terje Ellingse

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Friday, January 20, 2006

Best Car Loan Rate

Your credit score is the most important factor to getting the best car loan rate. Many shoppers make the mistake of going to the car dealership and applying for a loan before checking their credit report and score. By checking your credit score ahead of time, you will know where you stand before seeking a lender. If you have an excellent credit score, you should expect the best car loan rate possible. Do not expect the lender to tell you that you could save money by applying for a loan elsewhere. Make sure you do your homework before applying for the loan. The little time that it takes to receive your credit report from the three major agencies could end up saving you a lot of money.

Understanding Your Credit Score
Your FICO credit score is more than just a number. Understanding how your credit score is determined can help you to maintain or improve your credit rating. Most credit scores will range in number from 300-850 points. The higher your number, the better your credit rating. Your credit score will be determined by five different categories. Some items will have a greater affect on your credit score than others.

1) How timely you pay your bills carries the greatest amount of weight on your credit rating. While it is a good idea to always pay your bills on time, lenders will look more at your recent payment history.

2) Amount of debt- lenders will look at your total debt and the outstanding debt on your credit cards. It is a good idea to keep credit card balances well below the maximum amount allowed.

3) Length of your credit history- how long have you had open credit accounts? Do you use credit on a regular basis.

4) How many credit accounts do you have open? What types of credit accounts do you have?

5) Recent credit inquiries and newly opened accounts – lenders will look unfavorably upon your credit record if you have had numerous recent credit inquiries or if you have opened several new credit accounts in a short period of time.

By :
Carrie Reeder

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Thursday, January 19, 2006

Modern Materials in Hubcaps and Wheel Covers

Our father’s and grandfathers’ wheel covers were gleaming orbs of chrome plated steel, glittering wire spoke patterns, or flat chrome Frisbee look-alikes. Before 1980, chrome plated steel was the only material light and strong enough to do the job. Unfortunately, plated steel thin and light enough for hubcaps was easily dented, and if scratched or driven in winter, i.e., in salt conditions, was likely to rust.

ABS plastic (Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene) was introduced as a standard material in plumbing pipe in the 1970s, and became the universal material in hubcaps by the mid 1980s. ABS has the attributes of rigidity, strength, and high resistance to salt, chemicals, heat, cold, pressure, and impact. It has excellent resistance to breaking, scratching and chipping, even at low temperatures.

Parts made of ABS plastic weigh only a fraction of their steel counterparts. They can be painted or chrome plated to produce a range of visual effects. Scratches or dings on the surface of plastic are stable, and look the same years later as they did the day the scratch occurred. Whereas, when chrome plated steel is scratched, it will then rust. These qualities make ABS plastic an ideal material for hubcaps, wheel covers, and many other automotive parts.

Today, nearly all wheel covers for passenger vehicles, including original equipment and aftermarket replicas, are made of ABS plastic. In fact, the majority of non-structural auto trim items, including company logos, lettering, grills, cowlings, bumpers, frames, light reflectors, bezels, etc, have been made of (chromed) plastic for nearly 20 years.

One category of modern hubcaps still made of metal is known as ‘Wheel Simulators’, which are made of highly polished stainless steel. Wheel simulators are designed primarily for the larger wheels supporting heavy utility vehicles, dual wheel trucks and RVs. A few models are available for single wheel trucks and trailers. ‘Simulators’ are so named because they look like, but they are much less expensive than, chrome plated wheels. Further, stainless steel is highly corrosion resistant, which can not be said for chrome plated wheels.

By :
Phil Sollecito

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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Buying: How to Buy a Car DVD Player

Nowadays, there isn’t a home without a DVD player, but one of the latest and coolest ways to electronically enhance your life is installing one into your car! Car DVD players come in all different varieties and prices, but even the cheapest ones will send you into movie viewer heaven!


1. Look for a car DVD player that you can afford. Car DVD players can be simple or very extravagant. Portable units that sit between the seats and plug into the cigarette lighter are generally more reasonable as opposed to a full-blown in-car theater system (from $100 to $3,000 and more).

2. Most people who are looking to add electronics to their vehicle will want to future-proof their purchase by choosing car DVD players. Anything else that is not as advanced will simply be outdated.

3. Inspect your car for the best place to install a car DVD player. You'll want your car DVD player to take advantage of the best-quality inputs available.

4. Bring a DVD with you when you shop. There are three competing, incompatible formats: DVD-R, DVD-RW and DVD-RAM. Even if a player says it takes your format, make sure to test it.
5. Buy an all-in-one car DVD player or individual components if your budget is small (under $250) and your needs are simple. An all-in-one unit includes a videocassette player (VCP) or a DVD player, speaker and screen.

6. Component systems tap into your vehicle's stereo and pipe sound directly to headphones for quiet viewing. Most high-end car stereo retailers carry these systems. Choose a component system ($400 and up) where a single video source can run several screens, usually liquid-crystal displays (LCDs). The car DVD player screens can pop out of the dashboard, drop down from the car's ceiling or mount in headrests.

7. Make sure any component system is expandable, so you can adjust your system in the future for more or different screens and input devices.

8. A diversity antenna, also known as a dual-antenna, is used for better TV reception when the car is moving and is recommended.

9. Making sure that your vehicle's electrical system can handle the demands of a mobile entertainment system is very important. You may need a professional installer to determine this for you.

10. Remember that the audio encoding-Dolby Digital or digital theater system (DTS)-on the DVD itself is critical.

Car DVD players can also play audio CDs. If you burn CDs on your computer, bring along a homemade disc to test it.

-A laptop computer with a DVD drive can serve as an entertainment system for smaller cars with one viewer. Mobile entertainment systems are theft targets. Invest in a good car alarm.

Front-seat viewing is illegal, not to mention idiotic while a car is in motion. Make sure to install your car DVD player in a proper place!

Daniel Urmann

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Add-on Accessories To Enhance Your Ride

There are many add-on devices and gizmos for cars that can provide features to make your ride better. A power cord plugged into the cigarette lighter socket will keep your cell phone running without draining its battery. An iceless cooler will conveniently keep a drink cold. A heated mug will keep coffee hot as long as the car is running. There are other useful functions that add-on accessories can provide to make time in your car more enjoyable. Many car accessories are low enough in price so that they may be well worth installing. This article concentrates on accessories priced under $50.

Below is information and comments about each type of accessory. At the end of the article is a link to a web page that provides online sources to purchase each product mentioned in this article. Details on each individual product are given at the purchase sites.

12 volt heated mug
A mug with a plug for getting power from the cigarette lighter socket. It keeps a liquid, such as coffee, hot for as long as the vehicle is running. Some models have a thermostat to set the temperature.

Example models:
Wagan Tech Heated Travel Mug,about $30.NexxTech™ Travel Mug with Thermal Control, about $20.Power Up Thermal Mug, about $20.

These give the choice of keeping food or beverage hot or cold. Some are sized to hold a can of soda or a mug of coffee, larger units might hold a six pack or more.
Wagan Car Cooler/Warmer, about $75Koolatron 8 quart Food Cooler/Warmer, about $80Vector 6-can Portable Food Cooler & Warmer Chest, about $50.

Cell phone charger
Plugs into the cigarette lighter socket to power or charge your cell phone. Example models: Custom Accessories Deluxe Power Cord Charger - Motorola, about $20. Custom Accessories Power Cord Charger - Motorola, about $10. Radio Shack 273-1288 Car Power Adapter for Hitachi SH-P300 Wireless Phone, about $30. Quick Cell 3900 Car Charger Nokia, about $15 12 volt coolers - These range in size to hold 2 soda cans up to full size refrigerators for recreational vehicles.

Example models:
VDP Road Chill 2-pack Cooler, about $30. Multipurpose lights - Can be incandescent, flourescent or led. Some plug into the cigarette lighter socket, some are wired directly into the car's power circuits, and some are battery operated and portable. If used while the vehicle is not running, a consideration may be that LED models will drain the battery the least (but in general produce less light).

Example models:
Bonatrade International 6-Watt Single Tube 12V Fluorescent Light, about $15.Custom Accessories 10716 Power Lite: Magnet Mount. Plugs into cigarette lighter jack, about $10. Custom Accessories 76665 Utility Light 12v, about $3. Voltec Industries 0800255 Trouble Light: 12 Volt, about $4. Alert HC20 Halogen Worklight 12v, about $20. Compass - Some are mechanical; some are electronic and battery powered with digital displays, some are lighted to read at night, some have additional features such as time, date, and/or temperature.

Example models:
Wayfinder V100 Digital Compass, about $24. NexxTech™ Digital Compass with Calendar, Clock and Temperature, about $30. Radio Shack 63-1221 Digital Vehicle Compass, about $20. Custom Accessories 18100, about $10. Custom Accessories 55558, about $5. Type S Compass, about $5. Flashlight - Dozens of types available including windups that don't require batteries, solar rechargeables, flourescent tube (bulbs last much longer), and LED models that will run many hours on one set of batteries.

Example models:
Energizer Folding LED Compact Mini Lantern Model # LED4AA1BP, about $15. Dorcy Waterproof LED 4AA Flashlight, about $15. Dorcy Mini LED Zoom Spot or Area Hanging Lantern, for about $15. Himount Windup LED Flashlight, about $20. 4 point safety harness - Has four anchor points with a restraint for each shoulder. These are more likely to get you through a crash with less injury than if you had been using a standard belt (across one shoulder and across the lap). Many are made to attach to a roll bar, so make sure the one you are getting is appropriate for your vehicle. example models: Peak Racing Equipment PEK-507-2, about $75.

Power inverter
Plugs into the cigarette lighter socket, clips to battery, or wire it in. The vehicle's 12 volts dc is changed to 120 volts ac to power things like laptop computers, coffee makers, cell phones, camcorder battery chargers and other small appliances. Don't go bigger than 400 watts unless you want to go directly to the battery with heavy wire. Even then, using high power devices will drain your battery quickly and could fry the alternator if the engine is running.

Example models:
Coleman Powermate CMN-PMP400 400 watt, about $60. Motor Trend power inverter HDL-MTI-12-3716, about $60. Xantrex X Power Mobile Plug 75, about $30. Go Power GP 175 Modified Sine Wave Inverter, about $30. Other accessories that can be used to enhance your car include seat covers, floor mats, steering wheel covers, sun shades, head rest covers, litter bags, can and cup holders, inside/outside thermometer, gps/map devices, extra loud or novelty-sound horns. Items to keep in your car for repair, emergency, safety - Jack, lug wrench, trouble light, flares, jumper cables, maps, cell phone and phone numbers, emergency alert radio, coolant for radiator, drinking water, long storage food, empty container for gasoline, various hand tools, gloves, coat, hat, blanket, rain poncho, and a first aid kit.

By :
Alan Detwiler

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Monday, January 16, 2006

Clutch Kit Essentials

If your vehicle’s clutch has failed, then you could be faced with an expensive repair bill depending on the make and model of your car and the garage doing the work. Between high parts prices and labor costs, you could easily face a bill of $500, $700, or even $1000 or more. Perhaps you should consider doing the job yourself? If so, let’s take a look at clutch kits and the best way for you to obtain one at a reasonable price.

All clutch kits come with three items standard, with a fourth item included with some kits.

Your clutch kit will contain:
Clutch friction plate
Clutch pressure plate
Release bearing

Some clutch kits also come with pilot bearings or bushings.
For the performance car driver, there are specialty kits available that contain superior friction materials, stronger springs, and more exact engagement than stock clutches. Without a doubt, a stock Acura clutch kit or BMW clutch kit would be adequate as they meet all stringent OEM requirements.

Popular manufacturers of stock and performance clutch kits include: Valeo, Sachs, Centerforce, ACT, and Exedy. Most of these types of kits are what your garage will use for your vehicle and they are available through your dealer’s auto parts department as well.

To save money, you can also purchase clutch kits from wholesalers. A wholesaler deals directly with the manufacturer which ensures that you receive the best price without the mark ups and the parts you receive are genuine.

Wherever you choose to purchase your parts, make sure that you can return them if there is a problem and, that the manufacturer stands by their product. Unfortunately, with counterfeit parts “industry” is a multi-billion dollar per year problem. It goes without saying that you should avoid generic or no name brands when shopping for any automotive replacement parts.

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