Fixing Your Old Car vs. Buying a New One

As drivers, there comes that inevitable time in which we are faced with a dilemma: Repair our current car or purchase a new one?

It is at this point in history, coming out of a recession, when we are starting to see more and more used cars on the road.  These drivers have the right idea; all evidence points toward going with a used car, repairing and maintaining it as you go along. The Car Care Council (CCC) and Engine Repower Council (ERC) both highly recommend repairing over buying new.

There is a general rule of thumb stating it is better to fix/repair your current car if it is less than ten years old, or has less than 150,000 miles on it.

Why? New cars can be very expensive, while older cars are mostly or fully paid off.  An argument against sticking with one’s old car is that repairs are expensive. But the fact is even pricier repairs come out to be about the amount of a year’s worth of payments on a new car. Plus, the cost of auto repair has significantly decreased over the past several years, and some shops even offer financing options. Finally, let’s not forget one of the most attractive reasons to choose a used car over a new car: cheaper car insurance.

Some people’s current car is in dire need of replacement. If this sounds like you and your car is in bad shape, it is best to replace it with a newer, but used car. There are several reasons to go this route. Even routine maintenance costs are much higher for new cars as opposed to older cars. Another thing to keep in mind is that today, automobiles are designed to last much longer than in the past, on average 200,000 miles. This means that even if you are purchasing a newer used car, even though it is used you will still get great usage for thousands of miles. Finally, when purchasing a newer used car, it is best to get needed financing through your bank, not the car dealership, because you will incur lower interest rates.

Having a well-maintained used car and a little extra money in your pocket is a great feeling, and a choice that will continue to grow in popularity.

Easy Transmission Maintenance

Transmission repair is one of the most costly and time-consuming car repairs. The transmission is what allows the automotive to move and shift gears. However, there are preventative steps you can take to minimize transmission problems. Car-x offers a free visual inspection of your system. Take advantage of the offer because it will save you money and time in the long run!

Extending the life of your transmission is easy! The MOST important thing to do is to keep your transmission fluid clean and to never let your fluid levels get low. Metal from gears and extreme heat generated by the transmission will contaminate transmission fluids over time and can lead to costly repairs. It’s essential to not only replace your fluid but your filter because it helps to keep your transmission fluid clean. Additionally, low fluid levels can lead to serious damage to your transmission.

So always keep your transmission fluids clean and full. Make sure you don’t have any leaks and that your filter is clean. Stop by Car-X today for your free visual inspection, and keep your transmission running smoothly!

To Change My Oil or Not?

Frequent oil changes, free inspections and regular changes to your oil filters will save you money in the long run! In order to get the best gas mileage out of your car and prevent problems before they arise, we highly recommended that you change your oil and get a free inspection at Car-X every 3 months or 3,000 miles. If you put off oil changes, it can lead to engine damage. The free inspection also helps you spot small car problems before they turn into bigger more expensive problems. One of the most common mistakes drivers make is postponing their oil changes.
In addition to regular oil changes, it’s highly recommended that you change your oil filter frequently. The oil filter protections your engine from abrasive particles such as dirt and other solid contaminants. If you wait too long to change the filter it can become clogged, and then as a result unfiltered oil will be circulated through your engine and can cause easily prevented corrosion or damage to your engine. To find out just how often you should change your oil filter, make sure you consult with our well-trained Car-X employees during your next oil change and free inspection!
During your regular oil change we offer a FREE inspection of the following:
Fuel , oil and air filters
Tire pressure and wear
Leaks
Electrical system- alternator, battery, ignition and starter
Cable connections
Alternator drive’s belt
Headlights and other exterior lights
Windshield wipers
 Other problems
 ALSO ASK ABOUT a FREE inspection of your braking system and free tire rotation

Essential Expert Brake Service

Being able to stop quickly and smoothly is essential in a car. Quality breaks that function in top condition are fundamental to a driver’s safety. That’s why Car-X takes the matter seriously and offers free, no obligation brake system inspections, and doesn’t even require appointments! With our offer, you should never neglect your break system again.

Car-X has offered tested, top of the line, affordable breaks for over 30 years! We offer only the best products and well-trained technicians for your service. Trust in our years of experience, because we will make high quality breaks and safety top priority.

Car-X is so confident in the quality of products and service that we even offer a lifetime guarantee on brake pads and break shoes for as long as you own your car. Key components in the breaking systems, shoes and pads provide the majority of the stopping power by creating friction, absorbing heat and energy. Every time the pedal is pressed to stop the car, the shoes and pads bare the brunt of stress and wear. However the lifetime guarantee allows for easy maintenance so that you can stop worrying about saving money to fix the natural wear on your break pads or shoes.

Your Teen Behind the Wheel

Teenagers are dangerous enough when they’re on solid ground. Imagine what kind of havoc they can wreak at 45 mph! To calm your (and their) nerves, follow these tips on how to prepare your teen for his summer driving.

The freedom of the open road is exciting, but sometimes it can lead to reckless driving, especially among teens. Vehicle accidents are unfortunately the number one cause of death among teenagers. With this in mind, it is important to learn how you can prepare your teenager and his or her vehicle for a safe summer.

  1. Make sure the driver and all passengers wear seatbelts. In most states, law requires seat belt usage because of its effectiveness.
  2. Check the status of the car battery. If it is an older car, it might require a battery repair or an entirely new one. It is also a good idea to supply your teenager with a set of batter cables and proper instruction on how to jump-start a car.
  3. While it may sound insignificant, the quality of the vehicle’s windshield wipers is crucial to safe driving. Ask anyone who has dealt with faulty wipers during a storm- or even a sprinkle. Having a blurred vision is a hazard to the driver’s safety, as well as to others on the road.
  4. Make sure your teen is aware of the dangers that come from texting while driving. While he or she may feel invincible, the reality is that driving is a privilege that requires full attention. Losing focus can result in a horrible, even fatal, accident. Even talking on the phone can often be a major distraction, and in some states it is illegal for minors to do so behind the wheel. If you are concerned with not being able to communicate to your teen while he is in transit, consider setting this rule: if someone calls once, let it go to voicemail. If someone calls twice in a row, code for “important,” find a place to pull the vehicle over and return the call.

Whether it’s a drive across town to his summer job or a road trip across the state to visit friends, your teen’s experience behind the wheel should be taken seriously, and with absolute caution. A confident driver is a steadier driver, so give him the freedom he desires and the rules he needs to have a fun, safe summer.

Why Are Oil Changes Important?

Even the most inexperienced driver knows that engines have a lot of moving parts. If not properly lubricated, these moving parts begin to wear down as friction increases. A driver that does not have his oil changed on a regular basis may damage vital engine parts. In fact, the number one reason for engine failure is wear and tear that is caused by an increase in viscosity, which means the oil becomes thick and sticky, like mud. This worn-out oil clings to moving engine parts and instead of lubricating them, it destroys them.

What happens next?

If a vital engine part breaks, the vehicle will not move. It’s really that simple. Because these parts are intricate and replacing them requires a professional, it is often cheaper to simply buy a new engine or a new car. They are cheap and they only take a few minutes.

How Often?

Even the experts disagree about oil changes. Some say that you should get them every 3,000 miles, while others say every 7,000 miles is fine. Who’s right? That’s hard to say. But what we do know is that most drivers do not get their oil changed every 3,000 miles.

The average American drives about 10,000 miles each year. According to the purists, that average motorist should get his oil changed at least three times per annum. Most drivers do not follow this advice. Not because they cannot afford frequent oil changes, but because most folks don’t believe that oil is dangerous after only 3,000 miles.

The best advice we can give you is to follow the manufacturer’s recommendation. The manufacturer only benefits if he is honest. Since he wants the customer to buy more of his cars in the future, it is better for him if the customer is satisfied with his purchase. All manufactures thoroughly test their cars and trucks and they know exactly how long they can go between preventative maintenance appointments.

This article was brought to you by Car-X Auto Service.

 

Cincinnati Area Quadruplets Get Accepted To Ivy League Schools

Wade quadruplets in their Car-X team sponsored soccer jerseys
Wade quadruplets in their Car-X team sponsored soccer jerseys

All four Wade brothers, who go to high school outside Cincinnati, have been accepted by Harvard and Yale, among other top schools. Car-X is proud to support the local community, including youth athletic and academic programs, like the Wade’s soccer team. Their inspirational story was featured nationally, including on the NBC Nightly News & in the New York Times.

Read the full New York Time’s article here.

What To Do If Your “Check Engine” Light Turns On


We all know how pesky the Check Engine light on your dashboard can be. It is inconvenient and troublesome to take your car in to get this checked. There are a few common triggers for the Check Engine light that all drivers should be aware of. Check Engine lights can be complicated to repair – knowing how they work and what to check for will help you take the best care of your vehicle, as well as avoid unnecessary trips to an auto mechanic.

Understanding the Check Engine light
This light serves as a warning indicator. It is a response of your vehicle’s computer to changes or hindrances in the emission control system. When the light comes on, it is a result of one of many trouble codes stored in the system. These trouble codes are what auto mechanics use to determine the cause of the light.

Every U.S.–manufactured vehicle must pass a Federal Test Procedure – an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) test, which sets allowable limits of deterioration of your emission control system. The Check Engine light was created to indicate that your emission control system is failing, causing your vehicle to pollute the air. However, many other factors can cause the light to turn on, which makes diagnosing the cause tricky.

Tips to keep in mind
• Is your gas cap closed tightly? – This is an extremely common trigger for the Check Engine light in many vehicles. If the cap is not sealed properly, the pressure is not correct, which signals the light to turn on.
• Are you carrying a heavy load? – It is possible for heavy loads combined with high speeds to effect how your car’s computer views the emission control system.
• Do you have OnStar? – If you have a 1997 or later General Motors vehicle equipped with OnStar and an active OnStar subscription, advisors can read the code and give advice on what to do.
• Is a serious problem causing it? – Check your dashboard gauges and lights to see if there are issues such as overheating and low oil pressure. Problems such as these are critical, and indicate that you should pull over and shut off your engine as soon as possible.
• Is your car performing differently? – Your vehicle should be inspected if you notice a change in how your vehicle is running.
• Do not confuse a red Check Engine light with a yellow Service Engine Soon light. This is a warning that indicates your should proceed with caution, and can be caused by anti-lock brake systems, faulty sensors, safety restraint systems, or emission components. These issues typically require an experienced technician to fix.

Texting while Driving – What you can do to Help

We continue to see staggering statistics about texting while driving. A new study conducted by Consumer Reports found eight in ten young drivers admit to talking or texting on their phone while driving. Furthermore, 5,000 people die each year from distracted driving in the United States alone. Studies show texting while driving can impair a driver similarly to being legally intoxicated.

The Consumer Reports study found that forty-eight percent of the young drivers surveyed said they had seen a parent talking on a cell phone while driving and 15 percent said they had seen a parent texting on a cell phone while driving within the last month.

The survey also found that parental and peer pressure can have a genuine influence on such behavior, such as peer passengers asking the driver to delay using a cell phone until they’re done driving. The takeaway from this study is that parents have a greater role than they realize in setting an example for their children’s driving behavior. Additionally, we can all do our part as a passenger to politely ask the driver to hold off on texting or calling while behind the wheel.

At Car-X we recognize the serious danger that comes from texting while driving, which is why Car-X of Champaign teamed up with No Text Illinois. The new program is meant to get all Illinois drivers to pledge never to text while driving. Help us put the brakes on texting and driving. Take the pledge here.