When You Should Have your Oil Changed

By alyssa | Posted in Uncategorized on Friday, September 7th, 2018 at 7:31 PM

Of all the maintenance you perform on your vehicle, none will extend its life more than regular oil changes. But, that begs the question, “what is a regular oil change?” Most manufacturers recommend changing the oil somewhere between three and five thousand miles. But, depending on what you drive, and how you drive it, those numbers may actually be far too low. You might be able to get more than twice the recommended mileage, especially if you use synthetic oil. While it never hurts to err on the side of caution, replacing perfectly healthy engine oil three or four times a year doesn’t make sense either. There are several methods to determine if your oil still has enough viscosity.

The simplest method is to visually inspect your oil to determine if it needs changing. Pull the dipstick out, clean it, reinsert it, then pull it out again. Healthy oil looks transparent and amber in color. You should be able to see the dipstick through it. Oil that looks black needs changing. A muddy brown color indicates the presence of water, a potentially serious problem.

High mileage vehicles may burn oil. A low oil warning light usually indicates that you are down at least two quarts and it might be a good time to change the oil, as well.

Although it costs more, synthetic oil can last up to twice as long as traditional oil. It also handles extreme hot and cold climates better, too.

Even if you don’t put many miles on your vehicle, change the oil at least twice a year as motor oil becomes less effective with age. An oil change also removes excess moisture that tends to form in engines that see light use.

With regular inspection, you’ll soon get a sense of your vehicle’s oil life. It may be the same as the manufacturer’s recommendation, but then again, you may be able to save yourself one or two changes a year and hundreds of dollars over the span of your ownership. Not bad for a few minutes of effort every so often.

Tire Rotation: What You Need to Know

By alyssa | Posted in Uncategorized on Monday, August 20th, 2018 at 4:10 PM

If you have just purchased a new car, you will want to properly maintain it. This helps to extend the life of all of the parts of the car. One important part on your car is the tires. The tires need to be routinely rotated to help maintain them and extend their lifespan. Unfortunately, many people do not know much about tire rotation. Here is everything you need to know about rotating the tires on your car.

What is Tire Rotation?

Tire rotation is the process of moving tires from one position to another. The tires are typically rotated in a diagonal fashion. As such, your left front tire is typically rotated so it becomes your right back tire and your right back tire becomes the left front tire. However, rotation may vary based on the age and condition of the tires you have, their size, and whether you have front- or rear-wheel drive.

Why Should Tire Rotation Be Done?

As a general rule of thumb, front tires work harder than back tires. As such, they tend to wear out faster. Having your tires rotated routinely helps to ensure that all of your tires wear evenly and consistently. This helps to prevent blowouts and tread problems. It also helps to prevent you from having one tire that wears faster than the others, allowing you to replace all four tires at the same time.

How Often Should Tire Rotation Be Completed?

It is recommended that you either rotate your tires every six months or every 7,500 miles, depending on which you hit first. If you drive on rocky or unpaved surfaces, you may need your tires rotated sooner, typically after every 5,000 miles.

Maintaining a car helps to extend its life while also maintaining its value. Selecting the right car from the get-go can also help to ensure the longevity of your car. If you are looking to purchase pre-owned cars in Rochester, let Auction Direct USA help you find the right car. Visit our dealership today to get started.

 

 

The Best Used Vehicles of 2018

By alyssa | Posted in Uncategorized on Tuesday, July 17th, 2018 at 2:48 PM

When you are looking to purchase a used vehicle, there are many factors that you need to look at to help you find the right automobile for your needs. Some of these factors include the price of the car, the longevity of the car, the price to maintain and repair the car, the resale value of the car and the features the car comes with. Taking the time to weigh all of these factors will help you find the right used car for your needs. Here are a few of the cars that consistently rank among the best used vehicles to buy in 2018.

Honda Civic

For over 20 years now, the Honda Civic has remained one of the best used vehicles to purchase. And in 2018, this vehicle once again tops the list. Used Honda Civics get great gas mileage, hold their value and are relatively affordable to repair and maintain. These types of cars are perfect for high school students, young professionals or those who are looking for a commuter vehicle. The price of a used Honda Civic will vary, based on the year you are looking at. But, keep in mind, when properly maintained, used Honda Civics can last hundreds of thousands of miles.

Toyota Camry

Another used car that consistently tops the best used vehicles to buy list is a Toyota Camry. Just like Hondas, Toyotas last a long time when properly cared for and hold their value. The Camry is larger than a Honda Civic, making it a great family car. The parts for a Camry are also readily available, making it affordable to repair and maintain. And because this is a family-based car, it comes with a wide range of features designed to keep your family comfortable and safe.

Dodge Challenger

The last vehicle that rounds out our best used vehicle to buy in 2018 is the Dodge Challenger. A Dodge Challenger is a sportier looking automobile. However, Dodges do not tend to hold their value as well as Toyotas or Hondas. However, this means that these used cars are more affordable than those other options. If you want a sporty car, that gets good gas mileage and is affordable, consider looking into one of these used cars.

With so many different used cars on the market, finding the one perfect for you can be a challenge. But at Auction Direct USA, we are happy to help you find the vehicle of your dreams. Visit one of our lots today to check out our current selection, take cars out for a test drive, and ultimately, go home in the right car for you.

Tips for Making Your Car Last 

By alyssa | Posted in Uncategorized on Wednesday, June 6th, 2018 at 10:06 PM

 

At Auction Direct USA, not only are we here to help you buy or sell a used car, we’re also here to help with service considerations in Rochester. Everyone wants to make their car last longer, whether they’re planning to ever sell it or not, and we’re here to help. 

Some of the tactics we recommend in our shop are the kind you can pay attention to even when you aren’t in the mechanic’s garage. Let’s look at a few basic hacks for getting maximum value of your car.  

Wash It 

Washing and waxing your car may not seem like value-add processes, but they absolutely are. Washing the car is about more than aesthetics – when you don’t wash it, foreign bodies in the air latch onto the body of the vehicle. Over time, that coat of dirt will eat through your clearcoat, and before long, paint will oxidize and turn into rust. If rust gets into metalwork, it spreads like wildfire – and lowers the value of your car, and can often render it unsafe to drive if it spreads to the frame and the chassis.  

Engine Bay 

Getting to know your engine bay can go a long way. It helps to be able to identify basic parts of the engine – our technicians can help here.  

Tire Pressure 

You’d be surprised how many drivers neglect tire pressure despite the low cost and hassle involved in maintaining it. Not only will properly inflated tires improve your gas mileage, they’ll also make your car last longer by extending the life of your suspension components and lowering stress on metalwork. There are stations at virtually any gas station that offer cheap air fillups – take advantage of these.  

Know Limits 

Always know the limits of your engine. Some are built for speed, some for efficiency, and others for smoothness. Some are more sensitive than others. If your car has a 1.6 liter, 4-cylinder engine, for instance, you probably shouldn’t be hauling trailers around – this will tax the engine and risk issues earlier than normal. 

Scheduled Maintenance 

Finally, the best way to maintain the value and life of your car over time is adhering to regular maintenance schedules. Ask our professionals about what kind of schedule you should be on for your vehicle.  

For more on extending car value, or to find out about any of our used cars for sale, speak to the experts at Auction Direct USA today.  

Basic Stages of a Used Car Sale Process

By alyssa | Posted in Blog on Thursday, May 3rd, 2018 at 6:13 PM

For some looking to buy a used car, the process may seem intimidating. There are plenty of budget and maintenance concerns to consider, and for the busy worker, arranging these can seem like a lot.

At Auction Direct USA, we’re here to tell you that this doesn’t have to be the case as you search for used cars. Our pros can help you through every step of the process and make things as simple as possible. Here are the basic steps to a standard used car search process.

Budget

For starters, you have to lay out your budget for a larger purchase like this. The way to do this is to calculate monthly net income after taxes, then subtract all your other bills and expenses – with what’s left over, are you in good financial shape to take on a car loan? Most experts recommend staying below 20 percent of your disposable income each month on a car payment, and you have to consider things like maintenance as well.

Wish List

Once you have your budget set, you have an idea of the kinds of features you can look for. Narrow down your must-haves versus your basic desires.

Shopping Around

There are tons of options available to you out there, so take the time to look around. Our online resources are an excellent place to start. Make comparisons as you shop, asking about things like warranties and performance features.

History and Maintenance Reports

As you narrow your list down to specific vehicles, keep a careful eye on CARFAX and other vehicle history reports. Look for cars that have bad accident histories, have changed hands several times, or have a spotty maintenance history – these might be options to avoid. In person, ask about test driving the vehicle as well.

Fair Price, Finalized Deal

Once you’ve settled on a choice, it’s time to set a final price and get the deal finalized. The rise of vehicle history reports has made it so there’s less haggling in this process than ever before, and you can get a good deal without making enemies of your dealer.

Paperwork

Finally, there’s a good chunk of paperwork to complete to finalize the sale – luckily, your dealer can help with lots of this. This will include things like a final inspection, a bill of sale, a title transfer, valid payment, maintenance record transfer, key transfer, and the seller removing their insurance policy.

For more on the process of buying a used car, or to view any of our used cars for sale, speak to the pros at Auction Direct USA today.

Why Haggling is in the Past

By alyssa | Posted in Blog on Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018 at 6:11 PM

For many who bought a used car more than a few years ago, the “haggle” is a big part of the process they remember. This is a negotiation tactic that became associated with used cars some time ago, and many buyers would come into a lot looking for the best ways to drive a dealer’s price down.

At Auction Direct USA and throughout the rest of the industry, however, the haggle is on the way out. Used car values simply don’t have the kind of uncertainty they used to, and dealers like us are looking to reduce combative, hard-selling techniques that really just put a divide between us and our valued customers. Let’s look at why the haggle is a thing of the past.

Online Options

In the past, a used vehicle’s value would be much harder to ascertain. Sites like Kelly Blue Book weren’t around yet – you had to do a lot more research to determine true vehicle value, and even after this, there might be areas that weren’t visible to you.

Today, the internet offers you a plethora of options for this kind of thing. You can quickly learn about everything from car value to the reputation of a dealer – for this reason, many buyers cross shady dealers off their list before even setting foot in the dealership. With everything out in the open like this, there’s simply less reason to haggle.

Commissions Going Away

Another big change from the past is the way used car salespeople are compensated. In the past, this was largely based on commissions – today, a movement sweeping the industry is pushing for less commission-based compensate. This promotes an environment with less haggling and the shared goal of getting you, the buyer, behind a great vehicle that meets your needs. It also eliminates any need for us to slightly inflate the price of the vehicle to offset a commission to be paid to that salesperson.

No Need to Haggle

As you can see, there’s no need to haggle at Auction Direct USA. Our knowledgeable salespeople are here to match you to a great vehicle, not to pull the wool over your eyes. For questions about our used cars or any part of the transparency of our valuation process, speak to our friendly staff today.

Getting a Used Car With Subpar Credit

By alyssa | Posted in Blog on Saturday, March 3rd, 2018 at 6:09 PM

When it comes to searching for used cars, having bad credit can be a difficulty – but it doesn’t have to be a total obstruction. While bad credit may narrow your financing options for certain used car options, it does not have to stop you from getting a used car.

At Auction Direct USA, we’re here to help. Here are a few basic tips for how to get a great used car even with subpar credit, plus how you can look to improve that credit and move forward.

Big Down Payment

In many cases, the loans you’ll be able to qualify for with bad credit will have very high interest rates. This means that the more you’re able to put down up front for your down payment, the better of you’ll be – you’ll have less principal loan amount collecting interest at that high rate if you pay off more to begin with.

Now, this can be easier said than done in many cases. For many people, the same reasons they’re struggling with credit speak to their ability to get a large down payment together. But look at areas large and small to tighten up your belt, including limiting creature comforts and focusing on essentials.

Credit Score Improvement Areas

Leading up to a used car search, consider quick ways to raise your credit. Try to pay bills on time, and avoid any big purchases that can be put off until later to keep your debt ratio down. Also, don’t forget to factor in maintenance costs for a potential new vehicle – if you can’t afford the basics that come with the car down the line, it could be repossessed.

Stay Reasonable

Used car values vary based on a variety of factors, but if you’re in a budget crunch, you should be focusing on only on the most important factors. Resist the urge to look at luxury models or trick yourself into thinking you can afford more car than you really need.

Voice Issues

This is an issue for after your purchase as much as beforehand – don’t be afraid to voice financial issues to your lender if they come up. If you run into problems making your payments, communicate and be honest about your situation. Lenders always prefer to help find a workable solution rather than take the drastic step of repossessing a car, so they’ll do what they can to help you out.

To learn more about buying a used car with less than stellar credit, or for any of our used car services, speak to the pros at Auction Direct USA today.

Tips For Keeping Used Car Resale Value Up

By alyssa | Posted in Blog on Saturday, February 3rd, 2018 at 6:07 PM

If you have a used car for sale, one of your most obvious priorities will be getting the highest possible value out of it. But as anyone who has dealt with the sale of used cars in the past will know, this process often begins long before you actually put the car up for sale.

At Auction Direct USA, we’re here to help. Here are a few tips our experts can offer when it comes to increasing your car’s potential resale value.

Keep Your Paperwork

As you move through your car’s life, keep all documents you have that relate to the vehicle. Do not keep these in the car themselves – keep them in a separate folder, and organized by basic dates and relevance. Items in this folder should include your title, purchase receipts, finance contract, all service records, your owner’s manual and your window sticker. The more documentation you have of everything that’s taken place with your car, the more you can prove about its value.

Don’t Abuse the Car

It’s common to hear drivers talk about preventive maintenance, and while it’s indeed vital, the one area that’s most important is often overlooked: Drive safely and stay alert. Reckless driving leads to higher chances of an accident, but also can damage the chassis and cause more fluid leaks, oil burning, and engine part failure.

New Tires

One area that can be particularly valuable when it comes to pre-sale replacement is the tires. Tires are a big part of curb appeal on the car, which has shown to be an outsized factor in seller interest – even if other elements of your car are in tip-top shape, a buyer who sees worn down tires is less likely to show interest. In most cases, the cost of simply replacing the tires is easily worth the increase in resale price you can demand.

Proper Maintenance

Finally, the top tip we can offer for upping resale value on your car is simply keeping up with your recommended maintenance. Little repairs that can be handled for virtually no cost during scheduled maintenance can torpedo into far more costly issues if this maintenance isn’t done properly, and your car’s overall value could plummet in the process.

For more on how to keep your car’s resale value high, or to learn about any of our used cars, speak to the pros at Auction Direct USA today.

Interpreting Used Car Mileage Figures

By alyssa | Posted in Blog on Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018 at 6:06 PM

When you’re considering a variety of used cars for your next purchase, one of the primary areas you’ll look to for some general clues about the vehicle’s history is the mileage. At Auction Direct USA, we have a wide range of miles on our huge selection of used cars for sale, depending on your preferences.

How important should mileage be when you are browsing our selection? Let’s take a look, plus view some examples of when mileage can be misleading.

Basic Assumptions

In a very general sense, it’s good to assume that the average driver logs about 12,000 miles on their vehicle per year. If there’s very little other information about the car available, this can be a good baseline for determining roughly how long and how frequently the car has been driven for. If a car has significantly more or less mileage than this based on the number of years it’s been in circulation, this is something to look into.

However, there are situations where relying only on the mileage can get you a misleading idea about a car. Our next section will discuss a few examples.

Mileage Can Be Misleading

  • In some cases, a car will have a standard number of miles and only a single ownership, plus good maintenance. In these cases, this is a great car to pursue.
  • Rental cars, in many cases, can sometimes be had for less money and with better mileage.
  • On the flip side, a similar car to our first example, but with multiple owners and more years in circulation, might not be as good an option. This is particularly true if you can’t find a good maintenance history.
  • Also consider the inverse, however: A car with the same year and make as our other examples, but with just 3,000 to 5,000 miles per year on the odometer. Cars like these are usually garaged, and while they may appear well-maintained due to rarely being driven, they can come with elements like dry-rot, weakened batteries and dried-out oil seals. These are all threats to the longevity of the car, so you should be wary.

For more on interpreting a used car’s mileage, or to view any of our cars for sale, speak to the pros at Auction Direct USA today.

Clearing Up Basics of Certified Preowned Cars

By alyssa | Posted in Blog on Sunday, October 15th, 2017 at 11:25 PM

Within the world of used cars, the term “certified preowned” has begun to take on a very exclusive feel. Also called CPOs, these cars are generally more expensive and considered the highest standard for a used car.

At Auction Direct USA, we have a wide selection of certified preowned cars along with other used vehicles. We’ve found that many of our customers don’t fully understand what this term means when we use it, and what standards a CPO vehicle is being held to. Here’s a primer on some of the basics here.

Certified Criteria

As the name suggests, CPO involves someone certifying the vehicle in question. This certifier is using a set of standards or criteria to carry the CPO label. Where many folks become confused is in which set of standards is being used.

At a brand-name dealership, the manufacturer sets CPO standards – each vehicle of its make will have its own criteria. Ford has a 172-point inspection, for instance, and many manufacturers also include a mileage factor. Chrysler, for instance, requires that a vehicle is under five years old and has fewer than 75,000 miles for it to even be considered as a CPO vehicle – and this is before the rest of the inspection.

Independent Programs

Independent used car dealerships have also developed their own CPO programs by devising a set of standards that can be applied across all makes of vehicles. These standards and applied processes will be different from a manufacturer, but if the dealership holds itself to high standards in general, the quality here will be just as high. Good independent dealerships should be willing to share their standard for certification with you, so you can determine if their CPO vehicles are good enough to justify raised prices.

Best Alternative to New Car

As long as you’re using a reputable vendor, a CPO vehicle is the highest-quality option available as an alternative to a brand new car. They meet a rigorous set of standards, and are very close to new in many cases – but with a lower price tag. As long as you’ve done your research on the standards applied, you can feel confident you’re getting a great car when you shop CPO.

For more on certified preowned cars, or to learn about any of our used car selection, speak to the pros at Auction Direct USA today.