car repair http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/3793/all en-US 8 Things That Are Cheaper to Replace Than to Fix http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-that-are-cheaper-to-replace-than-to-fix <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-things-that-are-cheaper-to-replace-than-to-fix" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/broken_fridge_902703032.jpg" alt="Finding things that are cheaper to replace than to fix" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Before you hire a handyperson to fix what's broken, consider the cost. The truth is, some things are cheaper to send to the scrap heap and replace with new or refurbished models, than to repair. From wonky TVs to cordless vacuum cleaners (and a few other everyday items), here are eight things you're better off parting with before it becomes a money pit.</p> <h2>1. Most appliances</h2> <p>On average, appliance repair services charge between&nbsp;<a href="https://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/kitchens/repair-an-appliance/" target="_blank">$100 and $250 an hour for labor on major appliances</a>, according to HomeAdvisor, and that's before you factor in the price of parts and other service fees and taxes. Smaller appliances, like microwaves, can be repaired for around $70 an hour (plus the cost of parts), but when you consider the cost of a <a href="http://amzn.to/2Hhh6nI" target="_blank">new microwave</a> &mdash; most decent models of which fall in the $50 to $100 range &mdash; you'd be silly not to just update the broken machine. HouseLogic.com provides a tip on&nbsp;<a href="https://www.houselogic.com/organize-maintain/home-maintenance-tips/when-to-repair-or-replace-large-appliances/" target="_blank">how to decide to repair or replace</a>. It's called the 50-percent rule, and it suggests that if an appliance is more than 50 percent through its life span, and if the cost of one repair is more than 50 percent of the cost of buying new, then you should replace rather than repair.</p> <p>You could, of course, try to DIY the fix, like I did with a dishwasher that stopped draining water efficiently. I went online to research the problem, and I found a helpful YouTube video that walked me through how to remove the parts. Working through it, I discovered a rogue screw in the chopper element of the dishwasher, which was clogging it up. The 20-minute project from start to finish saved me a few hundred dollars.</p> <p>Before you take drastic measures, however, check to make sure the appliance is actually broken. Is it plugged in? Have circuit breakers tripped? Has flooring become uneven? (This can stop some appliances from turning on.) Are the vents and filters clear of lint, dust, and debris? Once you've assessed the situation appropriately, make your next move. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-ways-to-help-your-appliances-retain-their-value?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Smart Ways to Help Your Appliances Retain Their Value</a>)</p> <h2>2. Car parts</h2> <p>Across the board, it's almost always cheaper to replace a broken car part than repair it.</p> <p>&quot;Unless you're driving a much older car whose replacement parts are very hard to come by, parts are abundant for modern vehicles,&quot; says Richard Reina, product training director of CARiD.com, an online aftermarket auto retailer. &quot;In addition to being more readily available, new, mass-produced parts tend to cost less than more custom replacement parts of the past. Finally, repairing a broken element of your vehicle, no matter how simple, can come with incredibly high labor costs. It is not cost-efficient to pay a technician $40 an hour or more to spend four hours removing a component and rebuilding it, when the total cost of replacement is less. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-easy-diy-car-repairs-to-save-big?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Easy DIY Car Repairs to Save Big</a>)</p> <h2>3. TVs</h2> <p>I never buy the warranty when I get a new television, because reliable brand-name TVs are relatively inexpensive these days, especially when they're on sale. I've never owned a TV that has malfunctioned in any way. That's probably because I tend to upgrade every five years or so (picture quality, sound, and size changes so drastically over that time that I can't help myself), but even if the TV did break somehow and it was out of warranty, I'd just replace it.</p> <h2>4. Coffee machines</h2> <p>At the high end of home or office coffee machines, you're looking at a $200 to $250 investment, but most in-the-middle models cost around $150. However, you can definitely get a perfectly fine coffee machine for around $20, which is why replacement over repair makes sense here.</p> <p>A friend told me a story of her work coffee machine breaking down, and since it was a crucial part of the office, they wanted it fixed ASAP. Initially, they researched if they could fix it themselves, but it became clear how expensive it would be. Since it was out of warranty, they would've had to buy replacement parts to try to fix it. After hopping on eBay and other local suppliers, they noticed that the prices were ridiculously high to buy new parts. There were also no guarantees that the machine would work after buying them. To save time and money, they decided to buy a brand-new coffee machine, which was cheaper than the individual parts collectively, plus it came with a brand-new two-year warranty &mdash; an added value you should always consider when contemplating a repair versus replacement.</p> <h2>5. Cordless vacuum cleaners</h2> <p>ModernCastle.com, a site dedicated to reviewing vacuum cleaners, recently did a test of cordless vacuums that it identified as more expensive to repair than replace. The most common issue is a dying battery, because most of the batteries are lithium ion, which only last two to three years.</p> <p>Editor-in-chief Derek Hales provided a few examples of the research.</p> <p>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2EF4c4G" target="_blank">Shark Pet Perfect 2</a> has a replacement battery that costs as much as a brand-new unit (about $50). The <a href="http://amzn.to/2HgzMUH" target="_blank">Black &amp; Decker V16 Cordless</a> and <a href="http://amzn.to/2CjjuXr" target="_blank">Bissell Pet Hair Cordless</a>, on the other hand, don't have replacement batteries available, forcing you to buy a new model every couple of years. Repair isn't even an option, and that's problematic for an appliance with such a short life span. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-long-these-6-appliances-should-last?ref=seealso" target="_blank">This Is How Long These 6 Appliances Should Last</a>)</p> <p>It's worth noting that some companies that sell battery-operated appliances will replace the battery for free if you reach out to customer service and explain your issue.</p> <h2>6. Clothing</h2> <p>If you have expensive designer pieces, especially handbags or shoes, repair is probably worth the investment, mostly because these accessories have a respectable resale value. Otherwise, the only thing I consider is how much I love a piece, which isn't much since I don't have any attachment to specific items in my closet, and I welcome the chance to buy new ones. For example, I had a few sweaters taken in a few years ago after I lost a bit of weight, and the bill was up there. Almost as much as buying the sweaters brand-new, and I would have if they were available in a smaller size, but they weren't. Everything else, I just toss, donate, or learn to love with its new imperfection. I buy everything on super sale anyway, so repair isn't worth the consideration.</p> <h2>7. Hot water heaters or boilers</h2> <p>Boilers pose a dilemma when it comes to replacing or repairing. It ultimately comes down to what the problem is (which will likely only be solved with a service call) and how badly the unit is affected.</p> <p>Older boilers that haven't had many issues are prime candidates for the scrap yard, especially if they haven't been serviced regularly. Older models also are likely to cost more to repair than their newer counterparts; newer models eventually become the standard to consider, as well as the age and pressure through the years.</p> <p>The initial costs of a repair won't match new installation. But while it may seem cheaper now, additional damages and inefficient running costs should be a consideration for boilers that are more than 10 years old.</p> <h2>8. Gaming consoles</h2> <p>You're more likely to spend more on repairing a PS4 or Xbox One than replacing. Repairs to these systems can take some time, and when you factor in shipping costs (because have you experienced shipping costs lately?), you're probably better off buying a new console altogether.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-things-that-are-cheaper-to-replace-than-to-fix&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Things%2520That%2520Are%2520Cheaper%2520to%2520Replace%2520Than%2520to%2520Fix.jpg&amp;description=8%20Things%20That%20Are%20Cheaper%20to%20Replace%20Than%20to%20Fix"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Things%20That%20Are%20Cheaper%20to%20Replace%20Than%20to%20Fix.jpg" alt="8 Things That Are Cheaper to Replace Than to Fix" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-that-are-cheaper-to-replace-than-to-fix">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-6-shopping-challenges-will-keep-you-stylish-without-breaking-your-budget">These 6 Shopping Challenges Will Keep You Stylish Without Breaking Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-to-do-now-to-prepare-your-home-for-summer">5 Things to Do Now to Prepare Your Home for Summer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-big-on-indoor-and-outdoor-greenery">How to Save Big on Indoor and Outdoor Greenery</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-household-fixes-you-should-stop-paying-others-for">5 Household Fixes You Should Stop Paying Others For</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-home-and-houseware-upgrades-that-prove-youre-finally-a-grownup">11 Home and Houseware Upgrades That Prove You&#039;re Finally a Grownup</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Shopping broken appliance car repair Home repair saving money shopping tips Mon, 19 Feb 2018 09:00:06 +0000 Mikey Rox 2105464 at http://www.wisebread.com Bookmark This: Save Money With an Easy to Follow Car Maintenance Checklist http://www.wisebread.com/bookmark-this-save-money-with-an-easy-to-follow-car-maintenance-checklist <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/bookmark-this-save-money-with-an-easy-to-follow-car-maintenance-checklist" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_car_mechanic_578100924.jpg" alt="Man saving money with car maintenance checklist" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I was in college, I had a big problem with car maintenance &mdash; mainly, I didn't do much of it. As a result, I burned through cars like there were plenty more coming off the assembly line with my name on it. That wasn't the case, of course, which meant that I had to hit up my parents and grandparents regularly for money to resolve my automotive neglect. When I bought my first new vehicle with my own hard-earned money a couple years after graduation, however, you can bet I took care of that baby. But while I was keen to take it in for regular oil changes, I still wasn't exactly sure of the timeline for other issues.</p> <p>If you're not 100 percent clear on when your car needs a checkup or lights replaced, this checklist if for you. Memorize it, bookmark it, and keep it handy. Staying ahead of your car's issues will save you a ton of money over its lifetime. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-these-5-car-maintenance-tasks-and-keep-your-car-on-the-road-forever?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Do These 5 Car Maintenance Tasks and Keep Your Car on the Road Forever</a>)</p> <h2>Changing your oil</h2> <p>You probably have it in your head that your car needs its oil changed every three months or 3,000 miles &mdash; whichever comes first. That used to be standard practice back in the day, but most cars can go at least 5,000 to 7,500 miles before having to pull into a Jiffy Lube. You can drive even longer if you have a modern car that runs on synthetic oil, which requires an oil change every 10,000 miles. The cost of the synthetic oil change is a bit more than a regular oil change on the front end, but it'll conserve cash on the back end because your vehicle doesn't require the change as often. Consult your owner's manual to find out the type of motor oil your vehicle requires.</p> <p>You also can usually find coupons for oil changes in your junk mail, by the way. If it's about time to take your car in, keep an eye out or search your favorite oil change provider's website for promotions.</p> <h2>Changing your battery</h2> <p>As a preventive measure, you should replace your car's battery every three to four years. This is an area where it's better to be ahead of the game so you're not stuck in a mall parking lot with a dead-as-a-doornail battery because you sucked every last bit of juice out of it. Having AAA or another on-demand car maintenance service will help you get out of that bind &mdash; they'll come to you wherever you're broke down &mdash; but you'll pay more for the replacement battery, plus service, than if you proactively replaced it with a battery from a discount big-box store that carries automotive batteries, like Sears or Walmart.</p> <p>If you're careful enough, you can avoid the service fee altogether by changing the battery yourself.</p> <p>&quot;When you're ready to tackle this task, you can replace the battery at home with a wrench kit, being sure to remove the black negative cable <em>first </em>when taking out the old battery and replacing the negative cable <em>last </em>once you have installed the new battery,&quot; says Richard Reina, auto expert and product training director at CARiD.com. &quot;Be careful when switching cables as a mistake could lead to a short circuit.&quot;</p> <p>Also, it's wise to carry jumper cables in your car. Most of the time, your battery will at least get enough charge from the battery of a helpful driver to get you to a safe place. From there, you can have your car towed to the mechanic the next day if needed, or straight to the mechanic if your battery dies during normal business hours. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-easy-diy-car-repairs-to-save-big?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Easy DIY Car Repairs to Save Big</a>)</p> <h2>Changing your brake pads</h2> <p>It's best to check your brake pad thickness every 10,000 miles, but look out for excess wear and tear that will depend on external factors, such as frequent use and driving style.</p> <p>&quot;Your pads should never drop below 2 to 3 mm in thickness,&quot; Reina says. &quot;DIY brake pad maintenance is simple and quick, requiring only a [lug nut] wrench, some [other] basic wrenches, pliers, a jack, and a set of jack stands.&quot;</p> <p>Personally, I'm not confident enough to start poking around the brakes. If you feel similarly, it's best to take this issue to the professionals.</p> <h2>Changing transmission fluid</h2> <p>Most of us know about the importance of regular oil changes, but what about transmission fluid? People seem to underestimate &mdash; or are completely unaware of &mdash; the importance of changing transmission fluid. Changing transmission fluid allows your car to operate more smoothly and helps it to last longer. Change your transmission fluid every 30,000 miles, or once every two years.</p> <h2>Checking tire pressure</h2> <p>Tire pressure is the unsung hero of car maintenance. It's inexpensive yet incredibly valuable. It helps improve gas mileage and it's integral to maximizing the life of your tires.</p> <p>&quot;Tire pressure can fluctuate with the temperature, so it's smart to carry around a pressure gauge in your vehicle just in case,&quot; says Joshua Lombardo-Bottema, CEO of GoWrench Auto, a mobile mechanic service. &quot;Remember, your tire's ideal pressure is written in the owner's manual, not the tire wall. The number written on the side of the tire describes that particular tire's maximum pressure, which may not be ideal.&quot;</p> <p>A good rule of thumb, according to one of Los Angeles' top mechanics Charbel Radi of Full Service Automotive in Hollywood, is to check your tire pressure with the change of seasons.</p> <h2>Keeping your coolant topped off</h2> <p>I was the king of overheating my jalopies when I didn't know any better. Smoke everywhere while I'm on the phone with my dad telling him I did it <em>again</em>. I usually didn't have any water in the car with me, so one time he told me to pee on the radiator to cool it down, but I prefer this advice from Bridgestone.</p> <p>&quot;Just as motor oil has vital engine performance additives, coolant has additives that prevent boiling, freezing, and corrosion,&quot; explains Jamie Bullis, lead technician at Firestone Complete Auto Care in Minnetonka, Minn. &quot;When these additives are depleted, contaminants and debris can begin to build up on your vehicle's radiator, affecting its performance. Basically, coolant fluid is a warm blanket in the winter and a misting fan in the summer. Radiator repair and maintenance is essential to the health of your engine and your vehicle.&quot;</p> <h2>Getting a basic auto tuneup</h2> <p>The traditional timeline of an annual tuneup is not always necessary with modern vehicles since they're programmed with electronic controls that will notify drivers when maintenance is necessary. If you have an older car, it may be in your best interest to follow the once-a-year rule, but don't let the mechanic take you for a &quot;ride.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;Some professionals will try to push service beyond what is recommended by the manufacturer, which should be an immediate red flag,&quot; says Reina. &quot;Instead of focusing on a yearly tuneup, base this schedule on mileage and your manufacturer's suggestions. For example, modern spark plugs should last about 100,000 miles on average.&quot;</p> <p>Lombardo-Bottema adds, &quot;Getting a regular tuneup means that you catch minor problems before they become major ones, which can make a huge difference in your wallet. I would suggest a tuneup every 30,000 to 40,000 miles for optimum results.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-common-car-repair-mistakes-that-can-cost-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Common Car Repair Mistakes That Can Cost You</a>)</p> <h2>Cleaning the fuel system</h2> <p>The Car Coach, Lauren Fix, who provides up-to-the-minute automotive information and car and product reviews on her website, says you can save hundreds of dollars by cleaning your fuel system.</p> <p>&quot;It can restore and improve fuel economy, increase horsepower, reduce deposit-related engine knocking and pinging, and it's a superior corrosion and oxidation inhibitor. A fuel system cleaner and stabilizer for all gasoline and diesel vehicles will save you money and time at the mechanic.&quot;</p> <p>This doesn't take much effort, either. Just add a premium formula fuel system cleaner to your gas tank, according to the directions.</p> <h2>Checking the rubber parts</h2> <p>We worry about the major parts of our vehicles when it comes to maintenance, but there are dozens of little things that need TLC, too.</p> <p>&quot;Damaged wiper blades, tires, hoses, and belts can both leave you on the side of the road and with a large maintenance bill,&quot; Fix warns. &quot;Windshield wiper blades should be replaced every six months. In winter, use a beam wiper blade or winter blades.&quot;</p> <p>This is especially important considering that 80 percent of your driving decisions are based on visibility. If your wiper blades crap out during a heavy rain or snowstorm, the only safe choice is to pull over to the side of the road and wait it out. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-car-parts-that-are-safe-to-buy-used?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Car Parts That Are Safe to Buy Used</a>)</p> <h2>Replacing headlights</h2> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/1Ofx1mGgqLM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>Headlights are an often-overlooked safety component, but they're the first line of defense to avoid the hazards associated with nighttime driving. In fact, a survey conducted by Sylvania Automotive found that more than one third (34 percent) of drivers have never changed their headlights, although the majority of respondents (83 percent) agree that better down-road performing headlights are definitely connected to increased vehicle safety. Every second counts when reacting to a situation on the road &mdash; the farther down the road the driver can see the obstacle or oncoming vehicle, the quicker the ability to react. Check out these<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ofx1mGgqLM" target="_blank"> video tips on headlight maintenance</a> from Sylvania to keep you and your family safe when driving at night.</p> <h2>Get your car winterized</h2> <p>There are several pre-emptive measures you can take to best prepare your car for the harsh conditions of winter. For instance, you want to ensure that your battery and connections are in good condition, defrosters are in working order, tires are properly inflated (underinflated tires can mean disaster on icy roads), and that you carry a survival kit in your vehicle in case you're stuck in snow or ice without immediate rescue. Bullis adds, &quot;When driving in snow and ice, you may use a lot of washer fluid in an effort to keep your windshield clean. In order to properly winterize your car, maintain a nearly full washer fluid reservoir and consider keeping a spare bottle or two in the trunk.&quot;</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fbookmark-this-save-money-with-an-easy-to-follow-car-maintenance-checklist&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FBookmark%2520This-%2520Save%2520Money%2520With%2520an%2520Easy%2520to%2520Follow%2520Car%2520Maintenance%2520Checklist.jpg&amp;description=Bookmark%20This%3A%20Save%20Money%20With%20an%20Easy%20to%20Follow%20Car%20Maintenance%20Checklist"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Bookmark%20This-%20Save%20Money%20With%20an%20Easy%20to%20Follow%20Car%20Maintenance%20Checklist.jpg" alt="Bookmark This: Save Money With an Easy to Follow Car Maintenance Checklist" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bookmark-this-save-money-with-an-easy-to-follow-car-maintenance-checklist">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cheap-ways-to-make-your-car-look-awesome">12 Cheap Ways to Make Your Car Look Awesome</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-tell-if-a-car-service-plan-is-worth-it">How to Tell If a Car Service Plan Is Worth It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-these-5-car-maintenance-tasks-and-keep-your-car-on-the-road-forever">Do These 5 Car Maintenance Tasks and Keep Your Car on the Road Forever</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-reasons-why-i-love-public-transportation">Five Reasons Why I Love Public Transportation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-cut-car-ownership-costs">How To Cut Car Ownership Costs</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Cars and Transportation bookmark this car maintenance car repair Cars changing oil flat tire tuneup Tue, 29 Aug 2017 08:30:08 +0000 Mikey Rox 2011518 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Tell If a Car Service Plan Is Worth It http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-tell-if-a-car-service-plan-is-worth-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-tell-if-a-car-service-plan-is-worth-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_73183307_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="is a car service plan worth it?" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Considering the purchase of an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-extended-warranties-ever-a-good-deal">extended warranty for a vehicle</a> can lead to serious mockery from the frugal. Everyone <em>knows </em>that dealerships tack large markups to these policies, extracting hundreds of extra dollars from customers. Consumer Reports warns that more than half of people who buy an extended warranty never use it, and even the minority that do use it end up, on average, spending more on the warranty than they save on repairs.</p> <p>But suppose you are able to purchase a warranty at a <a href="http://www.edmunds.com/car-buying/secrets-of-an-ace-negotiator-part-ii.html">low markup over the dealer's wholesale price</a>? Should you buy a warranty if it's a great deal?</p> <p>I recently found myself in this position after getting offered a price on a Toyota Extra Care Vehicle Service Agreement so low that a friend who worked at a different dealership urged me to snap it up. But still, I worried. Because even at a good price, coverage that I never used would still be money down the drain.</p> <p>I wished for a crystal ball that would tell me whether the used car I was buying &mdash; a late model Highlander Hybrid &mdash; would ever need the services covered by this plan. Seeing the future is impossible, of course. But with some digging, I found resources that helped me make an educated guess by answering the following questions.</p> <h2>How Long Would the Warranty Cover My Car?</h2> <p>The dealer was offering me an eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty, which sounded like a lot of coverage. But when I looked closer, I realized that the mileage limit was based on the odometer's mileage, not the miles I drove. Since the car already had about 60,000 miles on it, that meant this warranty would cover 40,000 miles of my driving. And since the certified preowned car came with a free one-year warranty, the VSA, if I bought it, it would kick in on year two. Assuming that the car would hit 100,000 miles after four years of driving, this meant that the supposed eight-year policy would really cover me for about three years. I used this information to calculate the cost per year.</p> <p>If you're not sure if a vehicle you're buying is already covered by a warranty, you can check by calling a dealership of that brand, or by getting a VIN-based report from CarFax or CarMD.</p> <h2>What Is the Rate for the Car I'm Buying?</h2> <p>When buying a VSA, it's like betting against the company that your car will break down. Of course, the carmaker and dealership know more about the car's reliability record than you do, so it's a bet that's stacked against you. However, it would help to know how likely it is that you'll need to repair your car during the warranty period, and fortunately, that information is available.</p> <p>One step you can take is to consult the reliability rating of your car's make and model on ConsumerReports.com. My particular car got high marks in this area, which was a strike against buying the warranty. In surveys, Consumer Reports has found that owners of more reliable vehicle makes tend to be less satisfied with their purchases of warranty plans.</p> <p>You can get more specific by ordering a Vehicle History and Title Report from CarMD, a company that sells a diagnostic tool that plugs into the car to tell you why the check engine light is on. You can order a report by typing the VIN into <a href="https://www.carmd.com/wp/how-to-run-a-health-and-history-report-without-a-tool/">CarMD's site</a>, and in addition to useful information about the car's history, CarMD will draw upon its large database to tell you whether a check-engine light repair is expected within the next year. CarMD showed me a report for a car with the same make, model, and mileage as the one I was buying, and the report indicated that no such repair was expected in the next 12 months.</p> <p>That was another strike against buying the VSA.</p> <p>What repairs can cause that light to go on? About 85% of the systems in the car, says CarMD spokeswoman Kristin Brocoff.</p> <p>&quot;It's not just a handful of parts. The car's check engine light can alert you to anything as small as a loose gas cap and serious as engine failure,&quot; she said.</p> <h2>What Are Car Repairs Likely to Cost Me?</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5170/reviewing_car_service_plan.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>CarMD can help answer this question too, using data from repair shops nationwide. The vehicle history includes a five-year cost of ownership estimate, which includes fuel, maintenance, repairs, insurance, and depreciation. For my vehicle of choice, Brocoff broke down the $50,433 cost listed on the report, and revealed that repairs over the next five years are expected to run $1,689.18, or $337.80 per year. This was more than the per-year price of my warranty, so, if all those expected repairs were covered by the warranty I was offered, maybe I would come out ahead by buying the warranty.</p> <p>Another way CarMD can help you predict your car's future is its regularly updated <a href="https://www.carmd.com/wp/vehicle-health-index-introduction/2016-carmd-vehicle-health-index/">Vehicle Health Index</a> reports, which are free dispatches on the cost and incidence of repairs for <em>all</em> cars. For instance, the 2016 VHI says that the typical &quot;check engine light&quot; repair in my region, the West, costs $403.42. Knowing that, I know I would have to get hit with at least two such repairs that were covered by my warranty to make the coverage pay off.</p> <h2>Will the Warranty Even Cover the Expected Repairs?</h2> <p>Up until this point, things have looked good for buying the warranty, because the data predicts that I'd spend a few hundred dollars a year on car repairs. But this is where things get head-scratchy. Some potential repairs would be covered by two <em>other </em>warranties that would come free with my car, and those that aren't might not be covered by the VSA, either.</p> <p>Like many certified used vehicles, my car came with a limited powertrain warranty, which covers &quot;major engine, transmission components, and all internally lubricated parts,&quot; up until my odometer hits 100,000 miles, i.e., for about the same amount of time as the VSA they want to sell me. Because it's a hybrid, Toyota is required by law to also provide a warranty for the hybrid battery, covering about the same period. So, only repairs that don't involve the powertrain or the hybrid battery could potentially be covered by the VSA. Then, of course, the VSA has a specific list of components it covers, and anything not listed there would cost me out of pocket.</p> <p>How do you know what parts are most likely to break? Again, I got help from CarMD's 2016 Vehicle Health Index, which told me that the <a href="https://www.carmd.com/wp/vehicle-health-index-introduction/2016-carmd-vehicle-health-index/#stats">most common check-engine-related repair</a> for all cars was replacing the oxygen sensor (average cost $250), followed closely by replacing the catalytic converter ($1,153!), and replacing ignition coils and spark plugs ($390 for both). Searching for these repairs on the list of items covered by&nbsp;<a href="https://www.sc.toyotafinancial.com/web/tfs/pub/contents/vsa/TFS_VSA_Platinum_VSA_eBrochure.pdf">Toyota's powertrain warranty and the Toyota Extra Care Platinum VSA</a>, I found the O2 sensor listed on neither, the catalytic converter and ignition coils listed on the VSA, and spark plugs listed on neither. The high cost and high ranking of catalytic converter replacement was definitely a point for buying the warranty; then again, even at the second most likely repair, this job only accounted for about 7% of all car repairs. And despite all the data I'd read, I could not really predict how likely it was that my car would need a new catalytic converter during the warranty coverage.</p> <p>After investing multiple hours researching the likelihood of needing the offered VSA, I came to the frustrating conclusion that buying it or not buying it was basically a toss up.</p> <p>My educated guess based on my research is that my car may need one or two of the smaller covered repairs during the coverage period, but that the out-of-pocket cost would be close to what I paid for the warranty. On the other hand, reading CarMD's reports made me feel more secure that the odds of a really expensive repair hitting me in the next few years was probably not very high.</p> <p>One actionable thing I learned from this experience is that if you opt to buy a VSA, you should absolutely not pay the first price offered by the dealership. My dealership's finance guy first offered me the plan at twice the price he eventually ended up offering it at. All it took to cut the price in half was telling him that I didn't want to buy it.</p> <p><em>Have you purchased a similar warranty on your vehicle? Share your experience with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-tell-if-a-car-service-plan-is-worth-it">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bookmark-this-save-money-with-an-easy-to-follow-car-maintenance-checklist">Bookmark This: Save Money With an Easy to Follow Car Maintenance Checklist</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-drop-collision-coverage-on-your-car">When to drop collision coverage on your car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-does-it-cost-every-time-you-get-into-your-car">How Much Does it Cost Every Time you Get Into Your Car?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers">Ask the Readers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-that-affect-your-car-insurance-rates">7 Things That Affect Your Car Insurance Rates</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation car car insurance car maintenance car repair car service plan mechanic saving money service plan Mon, 18 Jul 2016 09:30:37 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1753054 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Jump Starter Kits http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-jump-starter-kits <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-jump-starter-kits" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_car_repair_000013809202.jpg" alt="Couple using best jump starter kits to get car started" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are few things worse than getting in your car only to realize that you can&rsquo;t get it started. While there may be a complicated underlying problem, sometimes, the battery just needs a quick charge. Unfortunately, there isn&rsquo;t always someone around to give your car a jump start when you need it. That&rsquo;s when a good jump starter kit can come in handy.</p> <h2>What Is a Jump Starter?</h2> <p>Whether your vehicle won&rsquo;t start thanks to extreme weather changes, because you left the lights on, or because you just don&rsquo;t drive your car often enough, a jump start kit can help you safely start your vehicle in no time. Some jump starters can also serve as a backup power unit, which you&rsquo;ll be happy to have in the event of a power outage. You&rsquo;ll be able to get the power you need, right when you need it most.</p> <p>If your battery dies, you just need to hook the clamps to your vehicle&rsquo;s battery, turn on the switch to the jump starter, and wait for your vehicle to power up again. You don&rsquo;t need to worry about hooking it up to another vehicle or searching for jumper cables. Everything you need will be included in your jump start kit. Compare that experience to standing on the side of the road waiting for AAA or for another driver to pass by that might be willing to give you a jump.</p> <h2>Top 5 Jump Starter Kits</h2> <h3>Antigravity Batteries Micro-Start Jump Starter/Personal Power Supply</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FDYYK4A/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00FDYYK4A&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=MLDJUGVINDPDXDSD"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/antigravity%20batteries.jpg" width="245" height="132" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FDYYK4A/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00FDYYK4A&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=MLDJUGVINDPDXDSD">Antigravity Batteries Micro-Start Jump Starter/Personal Power Supply XP-1</a> is Consumer Reports&rsquo; top choice for jump starters. The 12000mAh jump starter can start any automobile, truck, motorcycle, ATV, or UTV with ease. Along with getting your battery going again, it can also charge your electronics when you&rsquo;re in a bind. It offers unmatched device charging capacity with two USB ports and several laptop connection options. With dual USB ports, you can charge two electronics at the same time.</p> <p>It comes with 12 and 19-volt DC outputs, battery clips, and a cell phone charging cable, all housed in a small, soft-shelled case. It also includes a set of mini jumper cables, eight different charger tips to fit most laptops, and two tips to fit most 12V accessories. It also has a battery indicator light and a hi-power LED light with two flash patterns, including an SOS pattern.</p> <p>The jump starter and personal power supply is only around six inches long, so you can easily fit it in your glove compartment, backpack, or emergency kit. To preserve the battery life, it has an automatic power off when not in use and built-in over-charge and over-discharge protection. You can also prolong its useful life by recharging it just once every six months when not in use. It has outstanding reviews online, is one of Amazon&rsquo;s bestselling jump starters, and was selected as one of the best jump starters of 2015.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FDYYK4A/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00FDYYK4A&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=MLDJUGVINDPDXDSD"><em>Currently $103.95 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Stanley Peak Amp Jump Starter with Built-in Compressor</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002X6VXL4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B002X6VXL4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=UDQWN5EVZ3LYJIQX"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/stanley.jpg" width="180" height="200" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002X6VXL4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B002X6VXL4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=UDQWN5EVZ3LYJIQX">Stanley Peak Amp Jump Starter</a> will be your best friend in an emergency. With 1000 Peak Battery Amps and 500-Amp Instant Starting Power, it can power a car, truck, motorcycle, boat, RV, tractor, or any other vehicle with a 12V battery system. It holds a charge well and is simple to recharge. You simply pull back the cover on the back of the jumper, plug in any household extension cord, and charge it until the indicator light turns green.</p> <p>It includes a high-powered, ultra bright LED light that rotates 270 degrees, allowing you to safely power your vehicle on the side of the road, in the middle of the night. It also includes heavy duty metal clamps and a top-mounted, easy-grip rubber molded handle. It also features an alarm that will sound if the clamps are not attached properly, making it even easier to use.</p> <p>It features a built-in 120 PSI air compressor with a brass tipped SureFit nozzle, so you can easily inflate your tires or pump up your sports equipment. This will help you better maintain your tires and vehicle over time. Along with serving as a jump starter and compressor, it can also serve as a portable power unit, so you have the power you need in the event of a power outage. It has a USB power port and 12-volt DC outlet, so you can charge whatever you need to, whenever you need to. In fact, you can even charge two devices at once. It offers an incredible value and can even save you money by allowing you to fill up your tires at home, instead of wasting money at the gas station air pumps. The Stanley J5C09 1000 Peak Amp Jump Starter is Amazon&rsquo;s #1 best seller in jump starters, one of the &ldquo;most wished for&rdquo; items on Amazon, and was selected as one of the best jump starters of 2015.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002X6VXL4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B002X6VXL4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=UDQWN5EVZ3LYJIQX"><em>Currently $79.88 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Jump-N-Carry Peak Amp Ultraportable 12V Jump Starter with Light</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000XQ9MGE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000XQ9MGE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=EOPD4SJJMOG3N24V"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/jump%20n%20carry.jpg" width="245" height="179" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000XQ9MGE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000XQ9MGE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=EOPD4SJJMOG3N24V">Jump-N-Carry JNC300XL 900 Peak Amp Ultraportable 12V Jump Starter</a> is one of Amazon&rsquo;s bestselling jump starters for a reason. With more than 1,000 five star reviews on Amazon, it&rsquo;s helped a lot of people out of binds over the years. The reliable jump starter weighs only nine pounds and is very small, so it is easy to store and effortless to use for men, women, and teens. It&rsquo;s very powerful, with 12-volt operation, 900 peak amps, and 225 cranking amps. It can power most vehicles: four cylinders, six cylinders, and larger vehicles. The 12V socket will allow you to easily power a number of accessories. It has an impressive 27&rdquo; cable reach and full size clamps to penetrate battery corrosion. It also has a battery indicator light and a flashlight to help you quickly jump start your car, even on the side of the road.</p> <p>Along with being ultraportable, it is also the most affordable option on our list. It can last for years, as long as you maintain it by plugging it in once every three months, if you aren&rsquo;t using it. This was selected as one of the best jump starters of 2015 because it provides a strong electrical connection and can easily recharge even a corroded battery. If you&rsquo;re looking for something a bit larger, consider other bestselling jump starters from the brand, such as the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000JFJLP6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000JFJLP6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=ZVBHYUQKIMPZXHOI">Jump-N-Carry JNC660 1700 Peak Amp 12-Volt Jump Starter</a>.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000XQ9MGE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000XQ9MGE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=EOPD4SJJMOG3N24V"><em>Currently $64.95 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>PowerAll Rosso Portable Power Bank and Car Jump Starter</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00D42AFS8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00D42AFS8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=R6IBG5HQ5WDPEBNA"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/powerall.jpg" width="200" height="183" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00D42AFS8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00D42AFS8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=R6IBG5HQ5WDPEBNA">PowerAll PBJS12000R Rosso Red/Black Portable Power Bank</a> is a 400 Peak Amp Jump Starter and 12,000 mAh High Capacity Battery. It can charge your battery in a matter of seconds, while some other jump starters can take up to 20 minutes. This portable battery charger and charging adapter has built-in protection against short circuit, over current, overload, over-charge, and over voltage. At just over one pound and six inches long, you can easily store this in your glove box, backpack, or emergency kit.</p> <p>While it is a very small, portable size, it is powerful enough to jumpstart your vehicle 20 times on a full charge. It includes battery indicating lights and a bright LED light on one end with three different modes: a flashlight, strobe light, and SOS light, which can last for 120 hours. There is also an AC adapter, 12V DC adapter, a set of clamps and jumper cables, and two USB ports, so you can easily charge your devices in an emergency. It also includes eight different charging adapters to fit all your portable electronic devices.</p> <p>This can get you out of a number of jams. Whether your car won&rsquo;t start up or you need to charge your smartphone, this can do it all. With dual USB ports, you can even charge two devices at the same time. After the devices are fully charged, this will enter sleep mode so you don&rsquo;t lose the charge. It can last for years, if you maintain it properly by charging it at least once every three months when not in use.</p> <p>This is one of the &ldquo;most wished for&rdquo; items on Amazon and one of Amazon&rsquo;s bestselling jump starters, with nearly 1,000 five star reviews. Consumer Reports selected this as one of the best jump starters because it offers strong performance and good accessory charging options. It has been selected numerous times as the best compact battery booster, including by CNET, who selected it as one of the best pocket-sized jump starters. It was also selected as one of the best jump starters of 2015.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00D42AFS8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00D42AFS8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=R6IBG5HQ5WDPEBNA"><em>Currently $89.75 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Schumacher DSR ProSeries 2200 Peak Amps Jump Starter and Portable Power Unit</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000N4UQL6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000N4UQL6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=2P2NWIXNQEBE36H4"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/schumacher.jpg" width="198" height="220" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000N4UQL6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000N4UQL6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=2P2NWIXNQEBE36H4">Schumacher DSR ProSeries 2200 Peak Amps Jump Starter</a> portable power unit is one of Amazon&rsquo;s bestselling jump starters, commonly recommended by professionals, used in professional auto shops, and is even used by AAA representatives when you need a jump. It has 2200 peak amps, 330 cranking amps, and 275 cold cranking amps. It also has a three-amp built-in automatic charger, reverse hook-up alarm, heavy duty clamp with replaceable copper jaws, four-gauge 50 inch cables, high impact rubber base, and a durable polypropylene vented case. It&rsquo;s sturdy, safe, and easy to use. Along with serving as a backup jump starter, it can also power 12V DC accessories. If you charge the professional grade, high output battery once you receive it, it can hold the charge until you need it.</p> <p>Most reviewers agree that this durable jump starter will last for years, even if you use it multiple times throughout the year. It can jump several cars multiple times with no problem. If this doesn&rsquo;t provide the amount of power you need, Schumacher offers jump starters ranging from 1800-4400 Peak Amps. Both the Schumacher PSJ-2212 DSR ProSeries 2200 Peak Amps Jump Starter and Portable Power Unit and the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004EIAADG/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B004EIAADG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=XNLJPUFNDQDDU4EP">Schumacher XP2260 1200 Peak Amp Instant Portable Power Source</a> were voted some of the best jump starter kits of 2015, so you are sure to love either of these bestsellers.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000N4UQL6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000N4UQL6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=2P2NWIXNQEBE36H4"><em>Currently $150.34 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best jump starters. As always, be sure to check <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar">Wise Bread's Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthe-5-best-jump-starter-kits&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThe%25205%2520Best%2520Jump%2520Starter%2520Kits.jpg&amp;description=The%205%20Best%20Jump%20Starter%20Kits"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/The%205%20Best%20Jump%20Starter%20Kits.jpg" alt="The 5 Best Jump Starter Kits" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-jump-starter-kits">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-car-battery-warmers">The 5 Best Car Battery Warmers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-tire-pressure-monitors">The 5 Best Tire Pressure Monitors</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-car-parts-that-are-safe-to-buy-used">9 Car Parts That Are Safe to Buy Used</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-electric-bicycles">The 5 Best Electric Bicycles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-winter-tires">The 5 Best Winter Tires</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Shopping auto repairs car kit car parts car repair jump starter kit product reviews Thu, 21 Jan 2016 10:00:04 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1634657 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Car Battery Warmers http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-car-battery-warmers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-car-battery-warmers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_driving_winter_000017948081.jpg" alt="Couple using best car battery warmers on winter drive" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Winters can be harsh on your vehicle. If you&rsquo;re struggling to battle the cold winter weather, keep in mind that your car is too. It can become more difficult to start your vehicle during these cold months because the battery fluid can freeze over if you don&rsquo;t take precautionary measures now.</p> <h2>What Is a Battery Warmer?</h2> <p>A battery warmer can keep your battery insulated and warm throughout the cold winter months. This will help to prevent the battery fluid from freezing over and will allow you to get your car started much more quickly in the morning. They are very easy to install and should make your life a lot easier. Typically, the warmer can be plugged into any standard outlet and can be easily wrapped around your car battery.</p> <p>Having a jump starter kit can help to get you out of a bind when your car won&rsquo;t start in the morning. However, having a battery warmer in place will help prevent a problem from occurring in the first place. Auto fluids can thicken at cold temperatures, but battery warmers will transmit the heat continuously, to ensure the liquids stay fluid, so you can start your vehicle right away.</p> <p>Along with keeping your battery warm in cold climates, it can even help extend your battery&rsquo;s life, deliver better fuel economy, reduce wear, and protect your engine from cold weather damage. To ensure you choose the correct battery warmer, simply measure the distance around your battery and select the warmer length closest to that distance.</p> <h2>Top 5 Car Battery Warmers</h2> <h3>Kat's 22200 Battery Thermal Wrap</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000I8XD9E/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000I8XD9E&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=YSXUVIEMST4XIOAF"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/kat%20battery.jpg" width="245" height="172" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000I8XD9E/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000I8XD9E&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=YSXUVIEMST4XIOAF">Kat's 22200 80 Watt 36&quot; Battery Thermal Wrap</a> can help protect your vehicle from the cold weather, and all the associated problems it brings. This is one of the most widely recommended battery warmers and has exceptional reviews online. It offers easy installation and can perfectly fit most batteries. It is also vinyl covered to protect against oil and acid, ensuring a longer life.</p> <p>Kat&rsquo;s offers some of the most popular battery pad heaters on the market, so you really can&rsquo;t go wrong with any Kat&rsquo;s battery warmer. You may also want to consider the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000I8XDAS/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000I8XDAS&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=L6YXP6NJT6HCNMAA">Kat's 22400 60 Watt 5.5&quot;x 8.5&quot; Battery Pad Heater</a>, which can fit most car and truck batteries.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000I8XD9E/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000I8XD9E&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=YSXUVIEMST4XIOAF"><em>Currently $29.24 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Zerostart 280-0063 Blanket Style Battery Heater</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002UNASS4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B002UNASS4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=3LVQZOAC2UJP7ANU"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/zerostat.jpg" width="245" height="134" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002UNASS4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B002UNASS4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=3LVQZOAC2UJP7ANU">Zerostart 280-0063 Blanket Style Battery Heater</a> is an Amazon bestseller. The 160-Watt heating unit can help you quickly start your car, even in the coldest climates. It features a molded rubber cord, flexible heater sheathing, and is flame retardant and oil and acid resistant.</p> <p>The battery heater is really easy to install on a clean, dry battery with up to a 36&rdquo; perimeter. You simply wrap it around your battery and hold it in place with the included ties. The cord is installed into the blanket with a brass grommet, designed to prevent tearing and prolong the heater&rsquo;s useful life.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002UNASS4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B002UNASS4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=3LVQZOAC2UJP7ANU"><em>Currently $37.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>GM # 10952544 Battery Heater Blanket</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FE7IIS/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000FE7IIS&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=NVJD2572IZYIGQRP"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/gm.jpg" width="200" height="200" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FE7IIS/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000FE7IIS&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=NVJD2572IZYIGQRP">GM # 10952544 Battery Heater Blanket</a> is a genuine OEM factory part. You simply wrap this around your battery to help you start your vehicle in no time, even in the coldest climates. It can keep your battery warm year-round and is commonly chosen for snowplows in the middle of winter. The 80-Watt battery blanket fits batteries with a 32&quot;-38&quot; perimeter. It is easy to install and plugs into any standard outlets.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FE7IIS/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000FE7IIS&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=NVJD2572IZYIGQRP"><em>Currently $25.36 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Kat's 1160 Magnum Handi-Heat Magnetic Heater</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000I8YOR4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000I8YOR4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=ZONMOWHKENJN6AVL"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/kats%20magnum.jpg" width="245" height="203" align="right" alt="" /></a>If you want to protect your vehicle and ensure that it starts up faster during the coldest times of the year, then you need the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000I8YOR4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000I8YOR4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=ZONMOWHKENJN6AVL">Kat's 1160 300-Watt Magnum Handi-Heat Magnetic Heater</a>. It is easy to install and will fit securely, with a universal fit for all cars, trucks, vans, SUVs, farm equipment, snowmobiles, motorcycles, snow blowers, and chainsaws. Along with warming your vehicle battery, it can also warm hydraulic systems or thaw frozen gutters, livestock feeders, locks, and pipes. It heats about 20 square inches of surface area and features two powerful magnets.</p> <p>For smaller applications, such as snowmobiles and small engines, consider the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000BOABS6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000BOABS6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=WSAEOUFEUPW4F655">Kat's 1153 Handi-Heat 200 Watt Magnetic Heater</a>. Kat&rsquo;s offers some of the most popular battery pad heaters on the market, so you really can&rsquo;t go wrong with any Kat&rsquo;s battery warmer.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000I8YOR4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000I8YOR4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=ZONMOWHKENJN6AVL"><em>Currently $44.51 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>DEI 010480 Cell Saver</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000MY0MQ6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000MY0MQ6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=H6UVDZVMYPEZ44VI"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/dei.jpg" width="220" height="188" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000MY0MQ6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000MY0MQ6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=H6UVDZVMYPEZ44VI">DEI 010480 Cell Saver</a> can do more than just warm your battery; it can also help to protect it from overheating. With a reflective layer on the outside, it can absorb and neutralize any leaking battery acids and can withstand radiant temperatures of up to 2,000 degrees. It can protect your battery against heat and vibration that could cause premature failure and hazardous leaks during the summer, while keeping it warm during the winter. You can use this on its own or use it along with a battery thermal wrap, if you live in particularly cold climates.</p> <p>It comes with a complete battery insulation kit and everything you need. It is easy to install and should fit like a glove. You can trim the wrap to fit your battery and use the supplied edge sealing tape to secure it in place. It also comes with a base mat.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000MY0MQ6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000MY0MQ6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=H6UVDZVMYPEZ44VI"><em>Currently $20.28 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best car battery warmers. As always, be sure to check <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar">Wise Bread's Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthe-5-best-car-battery-warmers&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThe%25205%2520Best%2520Car%2520Battery%2520Warmers.jpg&amp;description=The%205%20Best%20Car%20Battery%20Warmers"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/The%205%20Best%20Car%20Battery%20Warmers.jpg" alt="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-car-battery-warmers" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-car-battery-warmers">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-jump-starter-kits">The 5 Best Jump Starter Kits</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-windshield-de-icers">The 5 Best Windshield De-Icers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-tire-pressure-monitors">The 5 Best Tire Pressure Monitors</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-electric-bicycles">The 5 Best Electric Bicycles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-winter-tires">The 5 Best Winter Tires</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Shopping car battery car battery warmer car repair product reviews winter Thu, 31 Dec 2015 10:00:02 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1629637 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Questions to Ask Before You Buy a Used Car http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-to-ask-before-you-buy-a-used-car <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-questions-to-ask-before-you-buy-a-used-car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/8135309893_9a82eb9dc3_z.jpg" alt="car" title="car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Spring is a time when the used car market sees an uptick in activity. Tax refunds are in hand, the sun is shining, the open road beckons, and folks start to stroll through used car lots with a gleam in their eyes. But before you start test driving and haggling, take a moment to prepare and clarify what kind of car you need and what you can afford. Here are five questions to ask yourself before you buy. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/guide-to-buying-a-used-car-without-going-crazy">Guide to&nbsp;Buying a Used Car Without Going Crazy</a>)</p> <h2>1. Have I Done My Research?</h2> <p>There are volumes of information online about specific automobile makes and models. If you have a particular car in mind, check out sites like <a href="http://www.edmunds.com/">Edmunds.com</a> or <a href="http://www.kbb.com/">KBB.com</a> for expert and consumer reviews that include safety features, performance, dependability, fuel economy, etc. Pay close to attention to the qualities that matter most for you and your family.</p> <h2>2. How Much Can I Really Afford?</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-car-can-you-afford">Determine how much you can afford</a> for your new set of wheels. Remember to factor in tax, title, and license fees; costs related to changes in insurance coverage; and any immediate upgrades the car may need such as new tires. Whether you&rsquo;re paying cash or financing, err on the side of a conservative estimate and always leave room for contingencies.</p> <h2>3. What Best Suits My Lifestyle?</h2> <p>A great value is always tempting, but don&rsquo;t lose sight of what fits your lifestyle.</p> <ul> <li>Will you be transporting precious cargo (people, pets, or stuff)?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Do you have older parents or in-laws who may need a car that sits a bit higher and is easier to get in and out of?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Do you need a hatchback for hauling?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Or maybe a four-wheel drive for steep terrain or challenging winters?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Do you have a small business that might benefit from a mini-van or small truck?</li> </ul> <p>Explore all the available options and find what suits you best now, with an eye toward the future.</p> <h2>4. What Will the Maintenance and Repair Costs Average?</h2> <p>Many people focus only on the upfront costs of buying a used car and don&rsquo;t really consider the unplanned or recurring costs. No car runs perfectly all the time, so factor in repair expenses as you shop for what you can afford.</p> <ul> <li>What are the repair cost averages in your area for foreign and domestic models?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Would finding a regular mechanic for a non-domestic car require a long commute?</li> </ul> <p>Also, earlier model cars typically have fewer frills and creature comforts, but that means fewer high-tech engineering features under the hood that can be expensive to maintain, repair, and replace. Take a comprehensive look at the total cost of ownership and decide what works best for you and your resources.</p> <h2>5. Is the Dealership Reputable?</h2> <p>If you&rsquo;re <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-things-car-salesmen-dont-want-you-to-know">buying from a dealership</a>, a bit of research can go a long way. Do some online sleuthing to see what customers are saying about their experiences with a particular used car dealership.</p> <ul> <li>What has the post-buy customer experience been like?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>How has the business responded to customer complaints and helped to resolve issues?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Are there any pending legal issues with the business?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Are customers willing to refer friends and family?</li> </ul> <p>Once you know the answers to these five questions, you&rsquo;re in the driver's seat and in a much better position to make the right choice. Remember, a bit of due diligence and strategy ahead of time will help ensure that your new car is a perfect fit now and still a great value when you decide to sell it later. Drive safe!</p> <p><em>Have you purchased a car from a used car dealership? What was your experience like?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-to-ask-before-you-buy-a-used-car">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-things-car-salesmen-dont-want-you-to-know">17 Things Car Salesmen Don&#039;t Want You to Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-used-car-salesman-reveals-dirty-tricks-and-how-to-beat-them">A Used Car Salesman Reveals Dirty Tricks (and How to Beat Them)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bookmark-this-save-money-with-an-easy-to-follow-car-maintenance-checklist">Bookmark This: Save Money With an Easy to Follow Car Maintenance Checklist</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-jump-starter-kits">The 5 Best Jump Starter Kits</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/car-buying-part-2-into-the-devils-domain">Car Buying Part 2 – Into the Devil&#039;s domain.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation buying a used car car dealerships car repair Mon, 01 Apr 2013 10:24:29 +0000 Kentin Waits 971381 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Sites Every Car Owner Needs to Bookmark Now http://www.wisebread.com/6-sites-every-car-owner-needs-to-bookmark-now <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-sites-every-car-owner-needs-to-bookmark-now" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/driving_a_car.jpg" alt="Woman driving a car" title="Woman driving a car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="149" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Owning a car is very convenient. From buying groceries to making weekend trips to IKEA, when you own a car, it&rsquo;s a lot easier to get it all done.</p> <p>One thing that does suck is when your car breaks down. Unless you&rsquo;re a car nut, how do you know if you&rsquo;re being scammed? Does a busted Johnson Rod really cost $1,400 to repair? Who knows. That&rsquo;s why so many car owners are at the mercy of unscrupulous mechanics around the country.</p> <p>But if you use these six sites, you&rsquo;ll be able to find someone you can trust and save some money in repairing and maintaining your car. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/disguise-your-stuff-to-prevent-car-break-ins">Disguise Your Stuff to Prevent Car Break-ins</a>)</p> <h2>Facebook</h2> <p>The first thing car owners need is a shop they can trust. You can&rsquo;t stay on top of maintenance and repairs if you don&rsquo;t have a mechanic to take the car to.</p> <p>What better place to start than <a href="http://www.facebook.com">Facebook</a>? Ask your friends and family who they trust and where they&rsquo;ve had good experiences.</p> <p>If a couple people mention the same place, then that&rsquo;s a great place to try.</p> <h2>Yelp</h2> <p>Facebook is a great starting point, but unless you have a million friends (sad trombone noise), the odds are you won&rsquo;t get a ton of feedback on a whole bunch of shops. What <a href="http://www.yelp.com">Yelp</a> does is bring some scale into the equation.</p> <p>Look up each place that&rsquo;s near you or was recommended on Facebook, and see what the rest of the world thinks of it. It&rsquo;s a lot easier to decide between a few places when one has an average of two stars and some horror stories versus another with solid reviews.</p> <h2>Angie&rsquo;s List</h2> <p>I&rsquo;ve never used <a href="http://www.angieslist.com/">Angie&rsquo;s List</a> because they charge a membership fee, but I&rsquo;ve heard good things about them. They&rsquo;re kind of like Yelp in that they compile user reviews on different contractor services (including mechanics).</p> <p>If you want to be really thorough or if you&rsquo;re already a member, definitely check out all the shops you&rsquo;re considering on this site.</p> <h2>Repairpal</h2> <p><a href="http://www.repairpal.com">Repairpal</a> will take your make, model, zip code, and specific type of repair and spit out a range of what it might cost to get the repair done. They also break it down by parts and labor.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s like getting a second opinion in two minutes, and it&rsquo;s awesome.</p> <p>Granted, these are estimates. But they do take your location into account, so they shouldn&rsquo;t be too far off. The way they compile their data is <a href="http://repairpal.com/methodology">pretty thorough</a>, so this is a really good resource.</p> <p>If a shop&rsquo;s estimate is way off, ask them why and mention you&rsquo;ve gotten a second opinion...they may have a valid answer. And they may not...</p> <p>Another cool feature is that you can create an account and save all the information on your car. You can keep track of when your next oil change is due, any work done to the car, etc. Staying on top of your regular maintenance is HUGE if you want to save money by preventing bigger problems from developing.</p> <p>You can also try <a href="http://www.automd.com/">AutoMD</a> and <a href="http://www.driverside.com/">DriverSide</a> to get additional estimates on a repair.</p> <h2>Carmaker&rsquo;s Website</h2> <p>For one reason only &mdash; they&rsquo;ll usually have the car&rsquo;s manual available online. I know people <a target="_blank" href="http://www.thewriterscoin.com/read-the-manual-stupid/">don&rsquo;t like reading manuals</a>, but I recently discovered something pretty interesting when it comes to cars &mdash; everything you need to know is in the manual.</p> <p>I was trying to figure out if some of the repairs the dealership had quoted me were B.S. or not, and everything I read pointed to one source &mdash; the manual.</p> <ul> <li>How often should I change the oil?</li> <li>Do I really need to change the air filter?</li> <li>What maintenance should I do at 90,000 miles?</li> </ul> <p>All this stuff is in the manual. Forget about what the &ldquo;experts&rdquo; say &mdash; don&rsquo;t you think the people that actually built the thing would know better?</p> <h2>iTunes/Android Market</h2> <p>Apps are cool. We love apps. So what better way to stay on top of your repairs and checkups?</p> <p>No one likes spending the time and money to get a car checked out when nothing obvious is wrong, but regular maintenance can keep your car running longer and better. So why not get all your car&rsquo;s information loaded up into an <a href="http://www.apple.com/itunes/">iPhone</a> or <a href="https://market.android.com/">Android</a> app? That way the app can tell you when to get the tires rotated, the oil changed, and all that good stuff.</p> <p>For the iPhone, I like <a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/car-minder-plus-car-maintenance/id310809791?mt=8" target="_blank">Car Minder Plus</a>, and for Android <a href="https://market.android.com/details?id=com.zonewalker.acar&amp;feature=search_result" target="_blank">aCar</a> is a good free one &mdash; although I use <a href="https://market.android.com/details?id=com.cooloy.OilChangeSchedulePro&amp;feature=search_result" target="_blank">Car Maintenance Reminder Pro</a> ($1.99).</p> <p>These six sites should help you find a place you can trust and stay on top of your regular maintenance. That alone should save you a fair amount of money and stress. For more ways to save, check out these <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-slick-tools-to-save-money-on-car-repairs">six tools to save money on car repairs</a>.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carlos-portocarrero">Carlos Portocarrero</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-sites-every-car-owner-needs-to-bookmark-now">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-to-ask-when-buying-a-used-car">8 Questions to Ask When Buying a Used Car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bookmark-this-save-money-with-an-easy-to-follow-car-maintenance-checklist">Bookmark This: Save Money With an Easy to Follow Car Maintenance Checklist</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-car-was-recalled-now-what">Your Car Was Recalled. Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-easy-diy-car-repairs-to-save-big">8 Easy DIY Car Repairs to Save Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-hidden-costs-of-a-luxury-car">4 Hidden Costs of a Luxury Car</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation car repair maintenance mechanics websites Thu, 16 Jun 2011 10:24:12 +0000 Carlos Portocarrero 582091 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Household Fixes You Should Stop Paying Others For http://www.wisebread.com/5-household-fixes-you-should-stop-paying-others-for <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-household-fixes-you-should-stop-paying-others-for" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000006796079S.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Spring is right around the corner, and with it comes the season for cleaning, fixing, and repairing things around the house. The problem is that many people simply open their wallets and pay for work that they could probably handle themselves, from leaky faucets and downed tree branches to pest control.</p> <p>You don't have to be a professional handyman to take care of common hiccups. In fact, a little bit of patience and diligence can eliminate repair and maintenance costs and help heal your bottom line. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/diy-home-improvement-10-free-options-for-training-and-advice">DIY Home Improvement: 10 Free Options for Training and Advice</a>)</p> <p>Given that, here&rsquo;s a look at five household fixes and chores you can probably handle solo:</p> <h2>Landscaping</h2> <p>Hiring somebody to rake your leaves, mow your lawn, fertilize, and mulch your shrubbery isn't always worth the cost. Instead of getting an itemized list of tasks done by a lawn service, you&rsquo;ll get physical activity and money to put in your savings. Plus landscaping your yard gives you the freedom to do whatever you want creatively with the peace of mind that it&rsquo;ll be done to your specifications. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-best-lawn-mowers">The 6 Best Lawn Mowers</a>)</p> <h2>Vehicle Maintenance</h2> <p>Minor car maintenance and repairs don&rsquo;t require a new skill set. Changing your oil, replacing a dead battery, and installing new headlight bulbs all take a few minutes to learn but can save hundreds of dollars in the long run. Beyond repairs, clean your cars at home. Washing your cars inside and out lets you scrub every nook and cranny. Now there won&rsquo;t be anybody to blame if crumbs litter your passenger seat, except your messy passengers.</p> <h2>Plumbing Repairs</h2> <p>Leaks and clogged drains happen. They&rsquo;re inevitable. But don&rsquo;t call a plumber who solves the problem in 10 minutes and charges you for an hour. O-rings, plumbing tape, and clog-removing chemicals easily save you a bundle of money. If trying to fix simple plumbing problems sounds intimidating, at least give it a try before diving for the phone. Worst case scenario, you have to call a professional. At the same time, avoid exacerbating problems by taking on projects beyond your means. There's no shame in knowing your limitations.</p> <h2>Pest Control</h2> <p>Pesticide sells for less than $15 at hardware stores and comes with spraying mechanisms. Pay close attention to the directions and clear areas you plan to spray beforehand. Be sure to mind the pets, too. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pesky-pests-easy-homemade-mosquito-and-insect-traps-and-repellent">Killing the insects</a> yourself keeps the pesky ones away, but you still need a hired hand to take out termites. Don&rsquo;t let a termite bond lapse, and keep a pest-control company under contract for termite extermination if termites are prevalent in your area.</p> <h2>Mending Walls</h2> <p>It&rsquo;s common for drywall nails to pop out, be an eyesore, and ensnare clothes. Use a nail set to hammer obtrusive nails back into the stud. Then, about two inches above or below the loose nail, tap in another nail flush with the wall. Spackle the dents, let dry, and sand smooth. Paint as necessary.</p> <p>These are just a handful of do-it-yourself fixes. Please feel free to share your tips below.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chris-birk">Chris Birk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-household-fixes-you-should-stop-paying-others-for">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-problems-you-can-solve-with-duct-tape">13 Problems You Can Solve With Duct Tape</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-that-are-cheaper-to-replace-than-to-fix">8 Things That Are Cheaper to Replace Than to Fix</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-cheap-ways-to-dress-up-your-garden">17 Cheap Ways to Dress Up Your Garden</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-the-greenest-lawn-on-the-block-naturally">How to Get the Greenest Lawn on the Block — Naturally</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Home car repair Home repair landscaping Fri, 18 Feb 2011 14:00:08 +0000 Chris Birk 491468 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/broken_car.jpg" alt="broken car" title="so sad ;(" width="360" height="214" /> </p> <p>Usually, I have a lot to write about. But today? Today there&#39;s only one thing I can write about, because this thing is driving me crazy. </p> <p>Dave and I are responsible with our cars. We take good care of them, do all of the maintenance they need, etc. One of our cars, though, is having problems. Now, I know that car problems happen no matter what you do. I know that pieces of the car get older and need to be replaced. However, we spent over $700 on this car last week and it&#39;s still not working. Today, we took it to a different mechanic (recommended by a friend) who tried some things but couldn&#39;t get it to work right. He recommended us to a Honda specialist, who will look at the car on Thursday.</p> <p>At this point, I&#39;m worried. If the easy things don&#39;t fix it, it&#39;s probably going to cost a lot to fix it. What if they can&#39;t find the problem? What if we bought a car that&#39;s a lemon? </p> <p>All of this got me to wondering: what are the best ways to save money on car repairs (short of &quot;knowing people&quot; or doing it yourself)? Does anyone have anything in particular that they would recommend Dave and I do or say to avoid spending all of our tax return on the car? I would really appreciate any input and I think other readers would, too! (I&#39;ve already thought of showing up with puppy-dog eyes, a couple of tears trailing down my face, wearing a string bikini, so that one&#39;s taken!) </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-tell-if-a-car-service-plan-is-worth-it">How to Tell If a Car Service Plan Is Worth It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bookmark-this-save-money-with-an-easy-to-follow-car-maintenance-checklist">Bookmark This: Save Money With an Easy to Follow Car Maintenance Checklist</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-jump-starter-kits">The 5 Best Jump Starter Kits</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-car-battery-warmers">The 5 Best Car Battery Warmers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-earn-extra-money-with-your-car">7 Ways to Earn Extra Money With Your Car</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation buy a new car car car problems car repair string bikini Tue, 10 Apr 2007 22:25:17 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 487 at http://www.wisebread.com