Archive for May, 2009
One way to combine summer and the fruits of looking for a used car in New Jersey is by making a road trip with a potential new purchase, but it may also get you prizes.
If you can describe it better than other competitors in 300 words or less on the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials website, you’ll be entered into monthly drawings for prizes to be determined.
“It might be a cross-country adventure to the Grand Canyon or a trip to the ocean for the very first time,” says John Horsely, AASHTO executive director. “And no matter what or where you traveled, we want to share your stories in the hopes that they’ll inspire others to discover America.”
The website may also be a good resource for those considering a used car in New Jersey but stumped for travel ideas, as they can check out others’ stories for ideas about future trips that may be possible.
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For those looking for used cars in New York who already use the internet to do research on car features or loan information, a new resource may allow further peace of mind.
Carfax is a website that allows consumers to find out about the repair history of most used cars in New York and other states, but a new partnership may allow potential buyers to find out even more information about cars in which they’re interested.
The company has announced that it is teaming up with the National Vehicle Certification Program Group, which provides independent inspections on everything from fluid levels to notes about the interior and exterior, as well as analysis of engine bay fluid levels.
“In times like these, many people are turning to pre-owned as a more economical choice,” said Rob
Gaither, NVCP president. “They want to know about the quality and condition of a used car before they make a financial decision.”
Interested consumers can click through from the Carfax website to see the inspection results and photos of used cars in New York and other states they may want to buy.
Consumers considering buying a used car in New York may not remember the costs of routine maintenance, but some experts say that car owners are making the decision to repair, rather than buy a new car.
“I’ve reached out to many of our members in recent weeks and months, and they continue to report an increase in business,” Angie Wilson, Automotive Service Association vice president of marketing and communications told AOL Autos.
She added that one way that people are saving money is to put off minor or optional repairs that don’t affect the safety of the car, or comparison-shopping among different shops.
When consumers who may be considering used cars in New York get their brake pads inspected, “if there’s 30 percent or more left, which means there might be about 5,000 miles left on them, they’ll wait and maybe do that when they get their next oil change or tire rotation,” Tom Torbjornsen, host of America’s Car Show told the news provider.
For do-it-yourselfers, regularly cleaning the upholstery and washing the car, especially after winters of road salt and other corrosives may also help the car to last longer, according to the Evening Telegraph.
The results are in, and those looking for used cars in New Jersey and other states say that the number one feature they want is… “something that gets me from point A to B.”
That’s what Ipsos Public Affairs found when they polled 1,000 Americans online to find out what they valued in cars and how they would describe its role in their lives.
“In today’s challenging economic environment, consumers are focused on making smart buying decisions,” said Tom Folliard, president and CEO of CarMax, a website offering research tools for used car buyers that commissioned the survey. “Buying a used car makes sense for shoppers looking for a vehicle that meets their transportation needs, yet remains affordable.”
Price was important for many, as 30 percent of respondents told Ipsos that their vehicle “has to do it all without breaking the bank.”
And that may mean choosing more affordable used cars in New Jersey and other states, as sales have continued to outpace those of new cars in 2009, according to financing company Consumer Portfolio Services.
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For those looking for used Hummers in New York, a governor from one of the most environmentally friendly states has one message: Hummers can be greener.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger drove a specially-modified Hummer H3 that uses hybrid technology near the state capitol in Sacramento to showcase the possibilities of a daily driver that has rugged looks and can reach up to 100 miles on a single gallon of fuel.
Citing fuel-efficient cars as the best move for the economy and the environment, Schwarzenegger said “I’m bringing cars like this one to the Capitol where we can show the world there is a market for smart and innovative technologies that will also create jobs in the auto industry.”
He has also worked to reduce his own carbon footprint, modifying one of the Hummers in his small fleet to run on biodiesel, according to Fortune.
For those looking at used Hummers in New York who may have the know-how, one tinkerer pushed a 2005 H3 to get roughly 60 miles per gallon, according to Fast Company.
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Those looking at used Mitsubishi trucks in New Jersey may be able to find a great deal, but they may not be able to take advantage of a promotion being offered by the company in New Zealand: a free goat.
Mitsubishi New Zealand is offering a free goat to every purchaser of a Mitsubishi Triton truck because, “Goats, like our Tritons, are hardy, versatile units, which will integrate directly into existing farm operations,” according to Peter Wilkins, general manager of sales and marketing.
He added that a “no goat package” is also available for those who may have no room for the farm animal.
Potentially interesting promotions like this may interest those looking for used cars in New Jersey, who have two options in looking for a used Mitsubishi truck.
The Triton was marketed in the U.S. until 1996 as the Mighty Max, but for those who want something a little more recent, the Raider came out in 2006 and is similar to the Dodge Dakota.
A used Mitsubishi Riader would offer potential buyers a “capable truck,” said Edmunds.com editors who highlighted the medium-size pickup’s good handling and spacious interior.
High School Musical star Zac Efron was recently seen in an Audi S6, the sporty version of the German automaker’s midsize sedan, which may height the profile of Audis in New York for buyers.
While Efron didn’t comment about his rationale for the sedan, it’s doubtful he’d have much to complain about with a car that puts out 435 horsepower, going from 0 to 60 in just over five seconds.
The S6 also has a variable all-wheel drive system that reacts to road conditions to push power to the wheels that needs the most power, as well as heated leather seats for comfort’s sake.
A used Audi A6 from 2003 may also interested those looking for used cars in New York, since it’s a more affordable version of the S6.
Buyers have a variety of engine options depending on the trim level, but those same leather seats are available in the more relaxed A6, along with the handling of all-wheel drive handling.
Noting the car’s “heavenly cabin furnishings,” Edmunds.com editors said the car was worth a look for buyers interested in a smooth riding vehicle.
For those looking at used Subarus as an option for spirited driving, DC Shoes owner and rally driver Ken Block is happy to show off what he’s done with a specially modified WRX STi.
He has been focusing on Gymkhana events, which are somewhat like autocross races but include reverses, spins and drifting, building on the experience he has in winning five Rally America Series races, according to autoblog.com
“Watching Ken run his car through its paces (always on a closed course!) usually elicits some extreme reactions,” says James Han, Subaru America motorsports marketing manager.
While those looking for used Subarus in New Jersey may not be as interested in seeing if their purchase can make a 171-foot jump like Block did, a used Subaru WRX, or the less expensive Impreza may be one option.
In 2004, the model got upgraded suspension struts for better handling, and a new style that made away with the former circular headlights, changes that Edmunds.com editors say make for ” a practical, fun-to-drive alternative to the typically dull cars” in its class.
A race-ready Ford Fiesta’s attempt to make the Pike’s Peak Hill Climb may help prove the compact cars’ versatility for those considering a used Ford Focus or other smaller Ford car.
The Pike’s Peak Hill Climb is a race up the Colorado mountain, over a 12.4 mile course with more than 150 turns that take drivers over gravel and paved roads as they make the ascent.
A Swedish team is hopeful that it will be able to take two Fiestas and finish the course in less than 10 minutes, which would set a record.
While those looking for used cars in New York may have seen some of the 100 Fiestas currently being used before a full rollout is expected next year, a used Focus also has a good racing pedigree.
Since 1999, the World Rally Championship has seen modified Focuses win 37 different races, earning Ford the manufacturer’s trophy in 2006 and 2007.
A street legal Ford Focus from 2006 would provide good handling and a “fun-loving character,” according to Edmunds.com editors, even if its not in full rally trim.
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Economical trips for those looking at used cars in New York
While those looking at used cars in New York may have the budget for their vehicle, some less expensive vacation ideas may help to provide summer fun on a smaller budget, especially if they pick up a used car with good fuel mileage, like a Toyota Yaris.
First, though, to have a home-based vacation, it helps mentally to act like it’s an overseas trip or at least out of state by having one’s mail held at the post office and letting calls go to the answering machine.
On drizzly days, some movie theaters may offer promotions for free tickets, or at least discounted tickets for children, while tours at factories like Crayola or breweries nearby may also offer some low-cost options.
For those looking at used cars in New York who want to be able to enjoy nature and stretch their funds, many state and local parks are free, or for the more athletically inclined there are minor league baseball teams that offer the chance to watch the stars of the future at a lower cost than at many big league parks.
Doing so in a used Toyota Yaris may also save money since it gets an estimated 29 miles per gallon in city driving, saving drivers up to $775 dollars a year over a comparable car that only gets 20 MPG, according to Greencars.com.
While the new Prius, as well as some other Toyota models, will have new plastics from plant material, a used Prius may offer environmentally friendly features for those looking at used cars in New York.
The Prius will now come with some of its plastics made from a combination of petroleum and plant materials, which Toyota says will help to reduce carbon emissions caused by producing the car by about one-fifth.
They say the goal is to have the new plant-based plastic make up about 60 percent of the interior of the car, as well as some Lexus models across the range in the next couple of years.
Since the plants help to trap carbon dioxide, the company says that it can be more green when it uses them to make the plastics used in trim and seat cushions.
But those looking at a used Prius may find a similar nod to the environment, especially in the first model released here in 2001.
Features like the anti-lock brakes that helped recharge its hybrid powerplant allow city drivers to use less gasoline, helping it to reach an EPA-estimated 52 miles per gallon in urban areas.
For those looking to purchase a used car in New Jersey, this summer may be a good time to bring a pet that’s part of the family on the road to the many areas that welcome man’s best friend, as well as cats and other animals.
But just as one wouldn’t leave without their spouse and childrens’ medications and insurance information, veterinarian Dr William H. Craig of PurinaCare says there are steps one can take to ensure that a vacation isn’t hampered by a pet’s malady.
If the four-legged member of the family prefers catnip to dog bones, Craig says that remembering to pack a box and litter may help prevent problems down the road.
Vaccination and medication records are also good to have on hand, since an ill pet may not be able to describe its medical history clearly, and a family may not remember every visit to a veterinarian.
For those looking for used cars in New Jersey who are used to taking pit stops, pets should be allowed the same time to get out, stretch and take care of eating and other needs, Craig says, to ensure a better trip for every member of the family.
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People who have followed the Mazda3 may have seen that the compact car, available in both sedan and hatchback variants, is getting a high-speed upgrade, but used Mazdas may offer similar sporty handling according to some reviews.
With a limited slip differential provided by GKN Driveline to help the car maintain its composure through turns, the new MPS will have a 2.3 liter turbocharged engine with air sucked in from a large hood scoop when it’s released in Europe.
“Thanks to its torque-sensing technology, GKN Driveline’s Super LSD enables Mazda to deliver excellent responsiveness and a sportier driving experience,” said Graeme Walford, GKN Driveline engineering and commercial director.
According to the company, the MPS will still have improved fuel economy thanks to an ignition system.
But for those looking at used Mazdas in New Jersey, older models of the Mazda3 are already available, and some have garnered their own accolades.
A used Mazda3 from 2004 is a good value for its exterior, handling and engine that “add up to an economy car that feels anything but cheap,” according to Edmunds.com editors.
Researchers at the Office of Law Enforcment Standards at the National Institute of Standards and Technology may have a new discovery that could leave lead-foots looking at used cars in New York with some concern.
They managed to make radar guns more accurate, by determining the uncertainty that different calibration method such as tuning forks, calibrated speedometers often mean for radar users trying to get accurate results.
Then researchers John Jendzurski and Nicholas Paulter developed formulas for officers to use when they reset their radar devices so they can be even more effective.
For those looking at used cars in New York, this might actually bring some safety to the roads, according to a study released by Purdue University civil engineers.
While they found that people have less respect for speed limits, lead author Fred Mannering says that “the faster you think you can go before getting a ticket, the more likely you are to think safety’s not compromised at higher speeds,” meaning that if people think they can get caught with the new radar, they may slow down.
Washington State may offer a good example for those looking for used cars in New York who may be frustrated by driving habits there.
Neighboring cities Seattle and Tacoma recently competed to see who had the “nicest” drivers, based on whether or not drivers speed, tailgate or use their cell phones while driving.
The effort began a year ago when a local driving school started the contest to promote safer driving habits, and now it’s a statewide effort with insurance companies and the state Highway Patrol all signing on to support the effort
“Our goal is to challenge drivers to take a close look at their own driving behaviors and inspire them to do better,” said Fred Wright, SWERVE Driver Training CEO. “Even good drivers can be great.”
Poor driving habits have lowered the two cities to the bottom one-eighth of safe cities in the country as ranked by Allstate, but this year’s winner will get a $10,000 grant.
In trying to modify how drivers behave, others in Washington are trying to dispel common beliefs, such as those associated with senior drivers.
What those looking for used cars in New York may not realize, according to a survey done by PEMCO Insurance, is that older drivers tend to have a better understanding of some traffic law than younger roadgoers.
It’s the first big travel weekend for many, but for those looking at used cars in New Jersey, some travel tips from long-distance drivers could help keep away future headaches.
Long-haul drivers put more miles on their bodies and their vehicles than many other drivers, and the American Trucking Association compiled the tips from some of its safest drivers to help passenger car users stay safe.
Memorial Day weekend “means additional cars on the road – making safe driving habits become all the more important,” says Jerry Charron, America’s Road Team captain.
Paying attention is a big one, they say, as looking away for even a moment or two could double the likelihood of an accident.
That same focus could help after people make rest stops for food or other needs, they say, since one in four accidents that are preventable come from people who aren’t watching where they’re going.
They themselves know the limits of trucks, so drivers who are in traffic with semis should realize that the trucks have blind spots for which they need to account, and are slower to react because they weigh more than used cars and other vehicles on the road.
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Those looking for used cars in New York may not realize it, but security is an important part of a potential buyer’s investment in the vehicle.
Just ask the father in Florida who had to press charges against his 12-year-old daughter who allegedly took his car for a joyride while the father was visiting another daughter, 19-months-old, in the hospital according to a Sun-Sentinel report.
According to police, the young girl allegedly took her father’s car out onto a highway, avoiding several police cruisers before the car allegedly collided with one, and she fled on foot, reported the news provider.
Those looking into protecting a used car in New York may also be interested to find that common technology aids repossession professionals, who can quickly get into many vehicles, according to the Cape Cod Times.
Brad Kam, who does repossessions in Massachusetts, told the news provider that those looking to be more secure may want to wrap their key fobs in aluminum foil when they’re not in use, to prevent people from hacking the system, and to not leave shopping bags unattended where thieves can access the information wirelessly.
For those looking to buy used cars in New York, there may be few things as annoying as being stuck in a traffic jam on a long trip.
It also can hamper fuel mileage, leading to higher operating costs as cars entering stop-and-go traffic experience conditions more like city driving which is fuel efficient.
One company is giving drivers the ability to check out the same cameras operated by state Departments of Transportation before they head out on the road, so that they can check for potential snarls and plan alternate routes as needed.
TrafficLand announced that it has now added traffic cameras from Florida, giving it coverage of wide swaths of Route 95 from Connecticut to the Sunshine State, and another option for trip planning other than scanning the AM dials for traffic news while driving.
“Our DOT partners recognize the importance of reliable access to real-time traffic video through a scalable, redundant network that can handle the demand spikes typically seen during extreme weather and other emergency events,” said TrafficLand CEO Lawrence Nelson.
Those looking for used cars in New York may be able to use the online interactive maps to find better routes that take advantage of the fuel efficiency of their purchases.