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Car Buying Tips and Links
ake sure the next car  you buy 
is the car you'll be happy with.

Most Expensive
And the most expensive to insure

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Used Cars   New Cars

     New Car Buying Tips                                  Recommended link: AutoWeek     

A test drive around the block is not enough. 
To find out if you will like a car, rent it first. Most major airports have the new car you are looking to buy, usually at a great weekend rate. After a few hundred miles and three days in the car, you'll know if you are going to like it. 

Don't rent the car with the least miles on it.  Ask the rental agent for the car with the most miles so you can see how your new car will hold up 20,000 miles down the road.

Read and Learn. Avoid getting stuck with car about to undergo a major styling change by the manufacturer. Find out before you buy. Ask the dealer. Better yet, pick up some new car magazines. Most will  tell you what's ahead for the model you are looking to buy. 

Car and Driver

Car & Truck News

Automobile Magazine

Road & Track


Used Car Buying Tips

Recommended Link Auto Trader

Submit a Tip

Have a mechanic inspect the car before you buy. If you don't have a mechanic, find one. If your mechanic is too far away, find a local reputable garage nearby. Make an appointment on the day you will look at the car. Advise the owner you will have the car inspected.

Decide on the exact make and model before you buy. Then research the car in magazines and consumer reports. Learn the history of your car.

Test drive many cars, especially the beat up ones. Test drive as many used cars that are the same make and model as the one you plan to buy as possible, especially cars that are so used and worn you would never consider buying them. By test driving many cars, you are very likely to detect any recurrent mechanical problems, then see if you notice similar symptoms in that gem you are looking at.

Talk to people with the same car.  If you see someone with the same car you want to buy, ask them how they like it. Most people will be happy to tell you.

Look at the house, not just the car. Look around the house of the person you are buying the car from. If the house is not well cared for, chances are the car was not taken care of much better.

The regular stuff. Look at the oil on the dip stick. It should be golden, not black. Look before you test drive the car, then again after you drive it. If you notice any change in oil color after the test drive, chances are the oil was changed just before you got there. Check tires for uneven wear. Ask to see maintenance records.

Sell or buy used cars

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Car maintenance tips submitted by our visitors
Have a maintenance tip, share it.

Submit a Tip

Oil changes: Some people will tell you to change the oil every 3,000  miles. But, every 5,000 miles is a lot easier to remember. It's time for a change! 5,000, 10,000, 15,000, 20,000, 25,000. You get the idea. - Submitted by Ron Stephens, Pittsburgh, PA

Stopping Body Rust Spots: New car or old, rust happens. Use this easy trick to keep the rust for getting any worse: After you wash your car, take an extra minute to spray a light coat of penetrating oil (likeWD40)  on the rusty spots. You won't see the oil, but it will stop the rust. Pay particular attention to door jambs and exterior body moldings - Submitted by Sue Kamber, Eureka, CA.

Recommended link: Car Care Council


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This page was last updated on 08/27/05.