When it’s time to call it quits on repairs and get a new vehicle

By mdhoffman posted on 9/19/17

When it's time to call it quits on repairs and get a new vehicle

Sometimes we just have to give up on our faithful car. It’s been in the shop more times than you care to count and your wallet is a lot lighter than you anticipated it being because every repair seems to cost a fortune.

But how do you know when it is time to let it go…other than it completely giving up on you…yes, I’ve been there before.

So how can you figure out if it is time for a change?

How long should your car last you?

First of all let’s look at how long cars are supposed to last these days. Take these numbers with a grain of salt because we can’t cover every senario possible but here are the basics.

Many cars are designed to last for 10 and 300,000.

Many cars are designed to last for 10 and 300,000. Click To Tweet

If you take care of your car and properly maintain it can last for a long time. You may have some routine work or normal repairs but going back to the financials will help you make your decision. This routine work and normal wear and tear repairs can be frustrating but budgeting it into your plan and keeping on top of it will help keep your car running with a minimum number of repairs needed.

A new car can require repairs even though it is new. Yes, new cars come with warranties but they are relatively short compared to the life of the vehicle. Even a large repair like replacing an engine can still be worth doing based on the financial benefit.

It’s all give and take even with new cars or cars that you feel should last longer than the amount of time you’ve had them. Yes, this has happened to me too…

Finances

First off take a look at the finances. You don’t have gobs of extra money lying around to throw at new cars all the time. You’ve got kids to feed, school activities that require a new t-shirt what seems like every 3 months, and other unexpected expenses.

The finances of the situation are going to be a major factor in deciding if you are going to repair or replace your car.

The finances of the situation are going to be a major factor in deciding if you are going to repair or… Click To Tweet

Here is how to do that

  • Check out the residual value of your vehicle.
  • Then Subtract the cost of the repair. Now you can compare that number with the cost of a new car.
  • Now you can compare that number with the cost of a new car.

Be sure to compare apples to apples here if you really want to know how your car compares. Comparing a small compact car with the cost of a new super duty truck is going to put your estimates off. At least during this stage keep the car make and model as similar as possible so that you can get an accurate idea of how the repairs cost to replacing it with a new car.

Reliability

Many times the cost of repairs may not be the biggest factor.

Many times the cost of repairs may not be the biggest factor when it comes time to repair or replace. Click To Tweet

I spoke to a friend last weekend and we were talking about the new car their family purchased. While they were repairing the car with a higher frequency than they would like the biggest factor in their decision was reliability. The husband, who drove this particular car, was driving 2 hours on average a day to his job then had to repeat the trip home.

Going into winter they didn’t want him to get stuck on the side of the road or have to worry if he got to work but then was unable to make it home. They have two small children and stopping everything in their routine was not going to work so they decided to replace their car with a new one.

You may get frustrated at repeatedly having to take the car into the shop and deal with all that goes along with it. Or if you need to rely on your car to take you long distances and it may not get you there.

Your situation maybe similar to my friend’s experience but bottom line we expect our car to get us from A to B without a problem and if it can’t handle that reliably it’s probably time for a change.

As long as we are being financially responsible, it is OK to trade the car in before its useful life has expired.

As long as we are being financially responsible, it is OK to trade the car in before its useful life… Click To Tweet

Slow down

If you take good care of your vehicle it can last up to 200,000 miles or better. Just because something has broken doesn’t mean that it is time to get a new car right away.

Take some time and review all the information you gathered, look at your finances, and look at what the cost of new car costs and take some time to think it over.

Often, people act too quickly.

Vehicles today are designed to last 200,000 miles or better. In fact, many cars are designed for 10 years and 300,000 miles life. If we take good care of our cars, they will last substantially longer than most people are comfortable. Yes, you will have some routine and normal repairs. But again, buying a brand-new car always has a large depreciation day you take it off the lot.

Even a large repair like replacing an engine can still be worth doing based on the financial benefit.

Now it’s your turn!

Let us know what the biggest factor for your family is when it comes time to make that crucial repair or replace decision? Let us know in the comments!

Get unbiased advice on your next auto repair

Do you have questions about your car and its longevity? Ask our experts!

Download the mobile app from the App Store or Google Play and get expert feedback on your specific situation.

Don’t feel pressured into or at the mercy of what the mechanic says “needs” to be done. We are here to help give you the best-unbiased advice possible!

When it's time to call it quits on repairs and get a new vehicle
When it's time to call it quits on repairs and get a new vehicle
Posted In: Auto Repair

5 things you need to know about vehicle safety ratings

By mdhoffman posted on 9/12/17

Vehicle safety | women auto | what you need to know | stay safe | keep your family safe
Safety ratings… something you only think about when you are looking for a new car.

They are very important whether you are wanting to make sure you keep yourself safe or you are transporting little ones in your car and want to get them safely from A to B.

Your safety and the safety of those around you are of the highest importance when it comes to looking at a new car for your family.

Where can you find safety rating information

Knowing the safety rating is an important decision making point when it comes to buying new vehicles.

Knowing the safety rating is an important decision making point when it comes to buying new vehicles. Click To Tweet

Outside of calling the dealer for this information you can

  • visit Consumer Reports and get information on the safety ratings for new or used cars
  • go to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for safety ratings to get vehicle safety ratings as well as important vehicle recall information

Do you know where you can find information about the safety ratings on your vehicle or a vehicle that you want to buy?

Accident avoidance technology

Did you know the star ratings on vehicle safety do not take the accident avoidance technology into account when calculating the ratings?

Even though they don’t get included in the ratings they are good to take into account when considering the safety of a car. Things like lane departure warnings, automatic braking & forward collision warnings can help you keep safer in avoiding an accident.

What types of test do they perform & what do they look at?

There are so many tests that are performed to calculate the safety ratings for a particular vehicle. They text everything from passengers in the car to other vehicles & pedestrians around the car in different accident scenarios.

Even highly rated vehicles aren’t perfect

There is nothing in life that is perfect. If you haven’t accepted that you should get on it you’ll feel so much better. I promise.

But when it comes to you want it to be as close to perfect as possible!

Keep in mind that different systems of the car all get their own scores. And while some score high others aren’t as great.

In this situation you need to determine which factors are the most important for you and your family. For example headlights might score low for a vehicle but they get a high crash test rating. If you have trouble with night vision this may be an important factor to consider.

Similar ratings don’t mean similar safety

Similar safety ratings doesn't mean similar safety for each vehicle. Click To Tweet

This is because different vehicles are made differently. If all vehicles had the same dimensions and physical features similar ratings would be expected.

Take one look at the street and tell me how many different styles of vehicles there are on the road… a lot.

Some bigger vehicles, some smaller, and some vehicles you wonder if they should be driven at all…am I right?

Bigger vehicles have better crash test ratings because of all the structure and heavy materials involved but they may have a higher roll over rate affecting vehicle safety.

Interesting safety rating metrics

Designated seating position – the interior areas where people are supposed to legally sit.

Designated seating position – the interior areas where people are supposed to legally sit.
Bumper Standard – how well your bumper holds up during a collision.

Interior trunk release – making sure that the trunk opens in case someone gets trapped inside or a child happens to crawl in and get stuck.

There are so many more tests they perform on the structure and how a vehicle behaves during an accident these were some of the more surprising test they run.

Now it’s your turn!

What is the biggest factor you look for when you review vehicle safety ratings? Let us know in the comments!

We would love it if you would Pin this to Pinterest (we have vertical pictures hidden!)

 

Vehicle safety | women auto | what you need to know | stay safe | keep your family safe
Vehicle safety | women auto | what you need to know | stay safe | keep your family safe
Posted In: Lifestyle

Get to know your car – DIY repairs

By Dane posted on 9/5/17

Get to know your car and empower yourself to DIY repairs

Most of the time life is TOO busy for us to want to do anything with our cars other than getting from point A to point B. Am I right?

You’ve got kids demanding your attention, food to cook, errands to run, work….

I get that the last thing you want to do is spend some of your precious time learning about your car. But hear me out. Getting to know your car and learning which repairs you could do versus always being at the mercy of your repair technician for every little thing.

Sometimes your car needs an expert’s touch but sometimes you are just as qualified to take care of your vehicle’s needs.

Sometimes your car needs a little repair work was done that can be done at home by you! WINNING. This week we are going to talk a little bit about what those are. Stay tuned for more!

WINNING.  

How empowering will it feel to be able to take care of the minor repairs on your own? Just because it hasn’t been traditional for women to be involved with their car doesn’t mean that you can’t be.

Why should you start to get to know your car better?

Bottom line? The more you know the better prepared you are to handle whatever comes your way. And this is true about situations involving your car.

The more you know about your car the better prepared you are to handle whatever comes your way. Click To Tweet

You don’t have to go into get a repair for your car only to feel unconfident and taken advantage of. Getting to know your car is like having another tool in your tool belt for these unknown situations. Basic knowledge and a few skills are all you need to get started to prepare for getting the best service you can.

What are the DIY repairs you should start with?

Repair the wiper blades

SQUEEEK!! It’s time for new wiper blades. Not only is that constant scrapping annoying and can upset your little ones when they are trying to get in some zzz’s in the car. BUT it can also impair your visibility. It’s time to get them fixed.

Easy and cheap to do you should be replacing your wiper blades every six months. It becomes really obvious when it is time for a fresh pair when you see streaking as they wipe across your windshield.

One of the biggest reasons (outside of saving some money on labor costs) to do your own windshield wiper repair is because it saves you a ton of time. No more heading to the shop to wait for a tech to repair it for you. You pop over to the store grab the wipers for your car and in 10 minutes you can be done in the parking lot and on your way.

Replace your air filter

We often think about the air quality in our homes, there are a bunch of different air purifiers/filters/fans that help clean the air in our home but rarely do we think about the air filters in our cars. Out of sight out of mind right?

Review your car’s manual to see how often you should change your filter for your specific car. When it is time to change the filter it is a quick switch from the old to the new and you are good to go for another year…or how long your manual recommends.

Another quick and easy switch to save you time from heading into the shop.

Replace a light bulb

Sometimes we don’t think about how much of an impact our car’s light bulbs have on safety. You could spend valuable time searching in the dark for your house key if your light has gone out. Or you could spend a few minutes switching out your light bulb so you can quickly locate your key in the dark rather than hanging out in your car in the dark.

Cars have quite a few light bulbs. Many of them are easy to change in just a few minutes of time. Just locate the housing, remove the wires and connectors and switch out the bulb.

 

We want to hear from you…

What car related tasks do you handle or do you want to start handling for yourself? Let us know in the comments!

 

Get to know your car and empower yourself to DIY repairs
Posted In: Auto Repair

Tips to reduce stress if you are an anxious driver

By mdhoffman posted on 8/29/17

Are You Anxious when drivingLet me ask you are you an anxious driver? Driving can bring on a lot of unknowns and when you are a mom of little ones can make the stress even higher. You have this little person to keep safe while out driving and it seems like there is a target painted on your car!

You could be anxious because

  • you worry about others on the road
  • your partner is in the car
  • the weather is not optimal

But often the task of transporting your kids from one location to another falls to you. Sometimes having a little bit of anxiety can make you more cautious behind the wheel. Too much anxiety can make you worse or stop you from driving altogether.

Are You Anxious when driving Reduce stress

Tips to reduce stress if you are an anxious driver

  1. Breathe
  2. Try to let go of the worry about other drivers rushing you
  3. Reduce distractions
  4. Change the way that internal voice talks to you
  5. Practice smiling at fellow drivers
  6. Drive a different route

The mental aspect of anxious driving

Recognize that reducing your anxiety around driving is a work in progress and you have to work on it every day. It isn’t something that you just decide is better one day. You’ve got to make conscious decisions to reduce the stress and keep going.

Don’t forget anxiety can pop up when you least expect it and if you aren’t an anxious driver you may not understand what all the fuss is about. So if you aren’t the partner with the anxiety try and be patient with the one who is. You micromanaging, trying to help or offering unsolicited advice could cause the driver to become more anxious because they feel like they are doing it wrong.

But for those that do get anxiety around driving it can be crippling.

It can stop you from

  • social outings
  • getting to the grocery store
  • being on time
  • and more…

 

Dealing with your anxiety on a day to day basis is important for reducing your anxiety over the long run. Take small steps that move you forward to a place of peace while in the car.

And don’t forget to forgive yourself and don’t beat yourself up for being anxious, it will just make the problem worse.

Let us know below… what tip have you found works for reducing your driving anxiety?

Are You Anxious when driving Reduce stress

Posted In: Lifestyle

Your tires do more for you than you realize

By Dane posted on 8/21/17

Check Your tires before you weekend roadtripHey, ladies! News flash your tires are more important than just the rubber on the road! Your tires help your car keep you safe, protect your car’s parts and affect your fuel mileage.

Just picture it you’ve decided to head out for a girls weekend. And you are blaring music, the windows are rolled down and you are singing at the top of your lungs with your best gal pals.

That whole weekend would be headed for disaster if you hadn’t checked your tires before you left and noticed that the left front tire was way low. That pothole you just hit could have caused your entire weekend to be derailed but you check it first and you are still on your way to a perfect girls weekend!

How often do you check your tires? Let us know in the comments!

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Your vehicles safety and how your tires play into it
What do your tires actually do for your vehicle and driving safety?

🚙Cushions suspension. Your suspension is basically the system that connects your car to the tires and keeps them moving. So bad tires can cause more wear and tear on this system.
🚙Pressure effects winter driving safety. If you under inflate your tires a little bit you can get more contact between your tire and the road giving you greater traction especially when you are driving in bad conditions.

And on the other hand, if your tires are over inflated they could cause your tire to blow out when you hit a pot hole or small obstruction on the road.

Just think about how scary losing control of your vehicle would be because of a sudden blow out on the highway when you have your babies in the back seat. A little time spent before you take off checking our your tires and making sure they are safe will go a long way in keeping you and your little ones safe!

What questions do you have about how your tires affect your car? Let us know in the comments!

————

Care for your tires

How can you care for your tires?

Visually inspecting your tires. Does one look lower than the other? Is there a nail or other foreign object sticking out? —> Yup, we had that happen to us. A construction screw sticking out of the side of the tire… not pretty
Monitoring tire pressure. Make a note of how much the manufacturer recommends you inflate your tires to and keep a tire pressure gauge handy.
Test the amount of tread you have on your tires. A quick way to do this is the penny test. Place a penny into the tread with Lincolns head facing you. If you can see the top of his head it’s time to get new tires.

Do you make it a habit to inspect your tires regularly? Let us know your favorite tip in the comments!

———–

Care for your tires

Bigger problems caused by tire issues

If you don’t properly care for your tires you could be putting yourself and your family at risk.
You could lose control of your vehicle, you could damage your suspension causing costly repairs or you could have an alignment problem.

Check Your tires before you weekend roadtrip

Posted In: Car Maintenance

What you need to know about self-driving cars

By Dane posted on 8/15/17

Have self-driving cars been on your mind recently?

Yes, ours too.

They are causing quite the buzz with everyone wondering how it is actually going to work? Will they reduce accidents? What is it going to be like to be at the mercy of an autonomous vehicle?

Not all driverless cars are created equal different manufacturers are including different features like human faces to humanize the artificial intelligence of the technology. Or the ability to take the car out of driverless mode and make it manually controlled if the need arises.

Driverless cars will help with the national distraction disaster we are experiencing on the highways. Many drivers are doing more than one thing when they are in their car and more often we see people actively looking at their phones rather than the road when driving.

So let us know in the comments, are you excited for self-driving cars or not a fan?

Posted In: Lifestyle

You get what you expect at the shop

By Dane posted on 8/1/17

what to expect at the shop

How many times have you thought about self-fulfilling prophesies? Some? Never?

Well many times the reflect what you expect does come true. Even when you walk into an auto shop. You get what you expect at the shop.

If you go into the situation thinking you are going to be taken advantage of. Screwed over. Or treated poorly. Then chances are you are inviting that kind of behavior to actually happen. You don’t go in calm, confident and in charge. This is the opposite of what you want to do. And I’ll tell you why.

People make assumptions about others based on their behavior and interactions. It’s nothing they are doing wrong it’s the way our brain is wired. So if you enter your mechanics shop and are exhibiting confident behaviors the mechanics are more likely to treat you as a partner in the process rather than someone who doesn’t know what they are doing and needs to be lead through the process.

Often times this isn’t even something people are aware of and it just is an automatic response.

How do you pump yourself up with confidence when you need it? Let us know in the comments!

You get what you expect at the shop

How can you reflect what you expect when you go to your mechanic?

Walk confidently. Sometimes the fake it till you make it thing really works. And choosing to stand and walk in a confident posture helps you feel more powerful and confident.

If you don’t understand something, say so without fear. You aren’t the expert they are and if you want to learn more speak up and let them know. If you are standing there nodding along the mechanic is going to assume that you are following what they are saying and keep on going.

Connect with them personally by using their name in the conversation. Another subconscious thing happens when people use our names. We like it and we feel closer to that person. So get to know your mechanic as more than just the person at the desk who tells you what’s wrong and how much you owe. It will go a long way.

what to expect at the shop

Expecting to be treated well and like a partner in the car repair process can help tremendously but sometimes it just doesn’t work out. Know that you have options and if one mechanic doesn’t respond to you or treat you how you are treating them it’s time to move on and find one that will treat you the way you expect. Totally ok!

Posted In: Auto Repair

How to Keep Your Glove Box Organzied

By Dane posted on 7/25/17

How to Organize Your Glove Box

Your glove box is probably one area of your car that you give very little attention to. I know I’ve opened it before stuffed more in and closed it without another thought.  So this week we are going to talk about what should be there and how to organize it so when you open the door you don’t have to play a game of pickup and stuff to get it shut again.

How to Organize Your Glove Box

What should you have in your glove box?

  1. You may have other things that you like to include in your glove box but these are the essentials.
  2. Manual
  3. Insurance Card
  4. Registration
  5. Emergency Phone numbers
  6. Critical Medical Info if you or one of your family members are in an accident and can’t communicate

How to Organize Your Glove Box

Tips to organize your glove box?

  1. Take everything out of the space and vacuum or lint roll the space to start with a clean slate.
  2. Sort through everything that was there and throw away items that you no longer need.
  3. Use post it notes tabs to mark sections in the manual that you visit often for quicker access
  4. Create a mini first aid kit and stick all those items into a small bag to keep those items easy to locate.
    1. band-aids, ointment, tweezers, mini scissors, aspirin, emergency numbers.
  5. Mini Flashlight
  6. Tire pressure gauge

How to Organize Your Glove Box

Posted In: Lifestyle

Get to know your car: vocabulary

By Dane posted on 7/11/17

Spend a little time this week getting to know the basic car repair vocabulary that you might need to know when having your car repaired or serviced. It’s all about familiarizing yourself with the basics so you can focus on the more important details when the time comes. Have you ever felt like every word your mechanic used went right over your head? Let me know below!

The basic vocabulary list, I promise this isn’t a test 😃 But if anything on the list is unfamiliar or completely new to you take a minute and look up what it means.

  1. balancing
  2. diagnostic
  3. emission
  4. exhaust
  5. faulty
  6. filter
  7. gasket
  8. gauge
  9. gears
  10. ignition
  11. Precautionary
  12. pressure
  13. reservoir
  14. suspension
  15. synthetic
  16. torque
  17. transmission
  18. undercarriage
  19. valve

When you start learning about your car where is your favorite place to find information? Do you hit up the manual first? Do an internet search? Scour car specific forums? Let us know below!

Posted In: Car Maintenance

Tips to stress less during your next car repair

By Dane posted on 7/4/17

Stress Less During Your Next Car Repair

This week is all about stressing less during your next car repair. Heading into the shop to talk about a problem with your car can be intimidating, overwhelming, and stressful. Often because you don’t have the same level of knowledge about cars it can feel like you against them. Have you felt like that when getting your car repaired? What did you do to overcome it? Let us know in the comments.

Here are 4 tips to having a less stressful car repair visit

Remember to breathe.

Breathing helps you stress less in many situations so why not try it during your next stressful repair?

Ask questions.

Keep asking questions till you feel comfortable and understanding about what the problem is, how your car’s symptoms tie into, and what the repair entails.

Get it in writing.

Always get it in writing, it’s better to have when you think of questions later as well as having a document outlining what to expect. You’ll feel more in control.

Always get it in writing.

It’s better to have when you think of questions later as well as having a document outlining what to expect. You’ll feel more in control.

Plan to shop around and get a second opinion.

Not always will the first person you speak to have the best solution for your problem. You never know until you ask so why not just plan to get two opinions. Crunched on time? Become a member of the Car Savvy Society and get a second opinion without ever leaving the first shop. Save time, have

Not always will the first person you speak to have the best solution for your problem. You never know until you ask so why not just plan to get two opinions. Crunched on time? Become a member of the Car Savvy Society and get a second opinion without ever leaving the first shop. Save time, have a piece of mind and stress less.

Sometimes our actions and reactions at the auto shop can make our stress even worse

Don’t pretend you know what you are doing, they will know (because they are experts) and you’ll end up feeling more stressed than just being upfront about not knowing.

Be confident. You aren’t the expert they are and you should own it. Walk tall, talk clearly and directly and make eye contact. They aren’t the enemy, I promise.

Make sure they understand you want to be kept in the loop about your car and the repair process. Make sure they have a way to contact you and that you expect them to notify you of any changes/new information/price changes before the repair is done.
Half the battle is coming to the field prepared and the other half is having confidence in yourself.

Posted In: Auto Repair