Archive for July, 2009
A tow-truck driver recently found out the hard way that using cell phones while driving can leave one all wet, and drivers of used cars in New York and other states may want to use his experience as a lesson.
Niagara County Sheriff’s deputies said that the 25-year-old driver was reportedly using two cell phones, one to make a call and one for texting, when he collided with another vehicle before continuing through a fence and into a swimming pool, according to the Associated Press.
Police said that the occupants of the car that collided with the truck were in good condition with minor injuries, and that the tow-truck driver was cited for several offenses, including using a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle, the wire service reported.
Although it is against the law in several states, drivers still operate cell phones and increase their risk for causing an accident more than 20 times the rate if they weren’t texting, notes a Virginia Tech Study.
“Texting while driving kills,” said NY attorney Steven J. Schwartzapfel. “Thousands of lives are being irreparably damaged every year as a result of driving distractions and texting is just one more deadly distraction.”
The VIN is like a social security number or a serial number for one’s vehicle, but it may not be as unique as it should be if owners aren’t careful to protect their used cars in New Jersey.
Scammers may break into used cars to steal documentation and VIN plates of one car. An owner may notice the break-in, but not report it because nothing looks amiss.
The problem occurs when the thieves then steal another car, and put the documentation into the second vehicle. It now appears to be a clean car, with no issues and is often passed off unknowingly to consumers.
“A Cadillac Escalade was stolen out of Canada,” Detective Scott Robideau of the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles told the Kennebec Journal. “There were actually two or three of those vehicles with that VIN registered.”
And while buyers should ask a reputable inspector to check for hidden VIN locations to limit the possibility of buying a cloned car, owners of used cars in New Jersey and other states should report break-ins to limit the need for future interviews from law enforcement, reported the paper.
Buyers who had been considering a new vehicle using refunds from the Cash for Clunkers program may want to take another look at used cars in New York as the program faces a funding shortage.
The appropriated money ran out in less than a month, and although the House of Representatives passed a bill authorizing a new infusion of money, there are some doubts that the Senate will allow for more than $2 billion to be approved before Congress goes on recess for a month, reported the New York Times.
Senators Dianne Feinstein and Susan Collins issued a bipartisan statement saying that they would not approve any more funds for the program unless the mileage numbers were increased, limiting the options of those who had been planning to make an upgrade from used cars in New York, reported the newspaper.
Car dealers had told buyers beginning on July 30 that the program had been suspended, and although the government has promised dealers that they won’t be asked to pay any refunds themselves, the head of the National Automotive Dealers Association is cautioning members to wait, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Buyers who find themselves in Tennessee this month with their children may want to take in a game featuring the minor league Chattanooga Lookouts if they have been considering used cars in New Jersey.
The baseball team has a variety of promotions, and one begins in the first inning on August 8.
Used Car Night means that one fan each inning will receive a used car as part of a promotion that the Lookouts say is hugely popular.
Families looking for vehicles that comfortable accommodate a bevy of children may not have to travel to the Volunteer State if they look at used Dodge Caravans in New Jersey.
The 2005 model was one of the most affordable minivans in its class, with seating for seven or enough space for 146.7 cubic feet of cargo if the back rows are folded down, noted Cars.com.
To reduce some stress for drivers trying to keep track of younger passengers, the van is more than 15 percent quieter than older models, the website’s editors added.
Parents who teach their teen children safe driving habits in used cars in New Jersey are more likely to find that younger drivers are operating vehicles more safely.
Geico says that while new GPS-based monitoring devices can help keep track of errant youth motorists and detect potentially dangerous driving habits such as speeding and large acceleration changes, teaching them to be responsible at the start may be the most effective choice.
The company cites a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety that found parents who took a hand-son approach in their children’s driving education had a larger influence on automotive safety.
“The more involved a parent is in the learning process, the less likely a teen is to be engaged in all the risky behaviors associated with the teen years,” says Geico assistant vice president Janice Minshall.
Those who are looking for a car that may keep younger drivers protected in case of an inadvertent mistake may want to consider a 2005 Honda Accord coupe, which earned four 5-star crash ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Buyers who would like the prestige of driving a luxury sedan but who only have the money for entry-level models may want to consider used Mercedez-Bens E-Classes in New York, according to Car and Driver.
The automotive enthusiasts there recommend the most recent generation, which was produced from 2003 to 2009, saying that the mid-size German sedan “will retain its status for some time.”
The base model comes equipped with an engine that offers good power throughout the RPM range, while all models offer drivers an interior that is “luxurious, roomy, and fitted with every safety feature,” added the magazine’s reviewers.
Potential buyers enticed by the magazine’s enthusiasm may want to check out a 2003 model of the used Mercedes Benz E-Class in New York.
That was the first year of the latest generation, and offers a “more elegant” exterior and a price point now that is less than the price of a new Honda Civic, notes Edmunds.com
Some used cars in New York can evoke memories of a bygone age because of styling cues or features not found in newer models, and one family is looking to take that retro concept a step further by making a road trip without several modern luxuries.
The Monteiths, including Mom, Dad and four children aged 5 through 9 will attempt to make a road trip through Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey in a van that will not be equipped with a CD player, and without modern road trip accessories like video games or personal music players.
“I have been preparing the kids for the road trips that I grew up taking, which will mean car games instead of game consoles or DVDs,” said mom Vonnette. “They are really excited to experience an old fashioned road trip.”
Once they get midway through, after stops at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and Philadelphia, the family will switch to a more modern van with various accessories including DVD navigation and an integrated entertainment system to compare the two styles of road trips using new and used cars in New York.
One company has become on advocate for consumers, calling for the government to explain how it will deal with used cars in New Jersey and elsewhere that were traded in as part of the Cash for Clunkers program but are no longer eligible because of revised fuel mileage numbers from the EPA.
Edmunds.com had previously shed light on the fact that the pool of less fuel-efficient cars had shrunk, even though many were originally listed at the maximum of 18 mpg when they were sold, because the federal government refreshed the numbers and made several models ineligible.
But the program was already running for three weeks when those updated ratings were announced, and Transportation Department spokesperson Rae Tyson said, “We’re evaluating our options, [although our] mandate is clear and based on fuel economy ratings.”
“Consumers acting in good faith should not be penalized for undisclosed and last-minute changes made by the government,” said Kevin Smith, Edmunds.com editorial director. The company wonders whether consumers will have to forgo the savings they had expected.
Buyers considering used Ford Mustangs in New Jersey can expect to see similar-looking vehicles competing in NASCAR’s second tier series next year, Ford North America Motorsports announced.
Unlike the Sprint Cup racers, which generally have graphics that look like mid-size sedans but contain few structural similarities, FNAM director Brian Wolfe says that the Nationwide series will include sports cars like the Mustang.
It’s the first time that the pony car has been included in NASCAR racing, Wolfe noted, although the car has competed in other events ranging from drifting to drag racing since it was first introduced as a 1964 1/2 model.
Those looking for an updated version may want to take a look at 2006 model year used Ford Mustangs in New Jersey.
The car offers the same looks that will soon appear on racetracks, but it may offer an affordable alternative to starting one’s own race team with “compelling performance” according to Edmunds.com editors.
In Newport, Delaware, the final car rolled off the line at General Motors’ Boxwood Road factory, and buyers considering used Pontiac Solstices in New York may be able to purchase a car that celebrates the plant’s history.
The final coupes produced at the GM assembly line in Delaware were two models based on the automaker’s Kappa platform, the Pontiac Solstice and the Saturn Sky roadsters, and it was a Pontiac Solstice that capped production activities after more than 60 years, reported the News Journal.
Saturn and Pontiac have both been cast aside by the struggling automaker as it looks to re-focus on core brands and increase sales, and the plant has been closed following GM’s bankruptcy hearing, according to the newspaper.
Enthusiasts of the convertibles may still find used Pontiac Solstices in New York, including the 2006 model which brought the car from concept to the salesroom.
Affordable when new, buyers may enjoy a car whose “stubby roadster proportions are perfect, with the compact aggression of a Japanese short sword,” according to an L.A. Times review.
Ciara’s Jeep Wrangler, which photographers recently found her driving, can be described in one word: black. Those considering used cars in New York may want to adopt the singer’s sleek style as their own, or at least her choice in transportation.
The open top is framed by gray roll-bars, and the interior is charcoal, but everything else is black, from the matte finish wheels up to the paint job.
Reports didn’t indicate the singer’s reason for choosing the affordable but sporty vehicle, but buyers may want to look at used Jeep Wranglers in New York for their versatility.
The 2003 model year included the introduction of the Rubicon trim line, which offered more off-road capability than the standard Wrangler and maintains the “classic, rugged styling” of a Jeep, according to a Detroit News test drive.
Like Ciara’s style, the Rubicon trim could also catch the eyes of passersby, with the reviewers finding pedestrians took note of the 31-inch wheels and the distinctive Inca gold paintjob.
One of the byproducts of the federal Cash for Clunkers program is that all qualified used cars in New Jersey that are given to dealers must be completely scrapped with their engines rendered unusable to prevent fraud.
Many of the vehicles that qualify for the rebates are SUVs and pick-ups, and some industry websites are finding that owners of these vehicles have been researching their options online.
For those who may want to get a Ram before they’re put out to pasture, the 2004 model was one of the first that offered a “Hemi” V8 engine that provided more power than previous versions, along with “sharp handling,” according to the editors at Edmunds.com
Owners of used Honda cars in New York can take advantage of a program sponsored by the automaker that offers amateur racers access to performance parts on an expedited basis.
While not everyone has the millions of dollars required to put together a race team for NASCAR or the IndyCar series, Honda knows that owners may want to take Civics or Accords to local autocross events or other races.
Its Honda Performance Development subsidiary will enable amateur racers to get aftermarket parts more easily by offering owners of used Honda cars in New York direct access to factory-supplied equipment under the Honda Racing Line program for licensed amateur racers.
“Thousands of our customers are racing Hondas or Acuras today with a need for regular access to parts,” said Erik Berkman, HPD president. “We are pleased to provide the [Honda Racing Line], and look forward to expanding the roster of benefits and services available to … members.”
HPD currently provides the engines used by Honda teams in the IndyCar and LeMans series.
One industry group says that car buyers who thought the Cash for Clunkers program would help make new cars more affordable are likely to find that they’re better off with used cars in New Jersey.
The program offers vouchers of up to $4,500 for owners with low fuel mileage who have owned their vehicle for at least a year and then trade it in for a more fuel efficient new car.
It would be just as easy to trade up to a newer used car or through better maintenance of existing cars, argues the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if there is a consumer backlash once car owners realize that ‘Cash for Clunkers’ is nothing more than a … program to fund a government subsidized vehicle trade-in to help new car dealers sell cars,” said Kathleen Schmatz, the association’s president and CEO. “Consumers will soon learn that they are simply trading in their vehicle and will still have to jump through all of the hoops to qualify for and purchase a new vehicle.”
Automotive financiers say that buyers considering used cars in New Jersey can benefit from making sure they understand the terminology surrounding loans and credit options before they sign their names to a contract.
Start by checking with outside loan agencies like credit unions or banks where one has an account to determine what interest rates are available, says industry group Americans Well-informed on Auto Retail Economics. Consider increasing one’s down payment as a way to lower the rate, or APR.
When one has an idea of what monthly payment is affordable based on his or her budget, AWARE recommends sticking to that number. It may be easier to negotiate the interest rate and lower monthly payments there as opposed to haggling over the purchase price of a used car in New Jersey.
Extras like credit insurance or extended service warranties are often offered at this point in negotiations, the coalition notes, but determine whether they are necessary beforehand and stick with that decision, it says.
Consumers “will get the most out of their vehicle financing experience if they do their homework,” says Eric Hoffman, AWARE spokesman.
Mitsubishi announced that in the past six months, overseas production and exports in markets like the U.S. has dropped significantly, and buyers may consider used Mitsubishi Lancers in New York because of reduced availability of newer options.
A three-month halt to manufacturing in North America has led to June production numbers that are one-quarter what they were the same time a year ago, Mitsubishi noted, and export sales from Japanese plants to the market were down 35 percent over the same period.
Since January, Mitsubishi has built roughly 80 percent fewer cars in North America, and sold one-third the number of vehicles in North America that were manufactured in Japan compared to 2008.
With a smaller number of new cars available, used models like the 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer could be worth considering.
The rally-inspired design includes a lower belt line and instrument cluster that can increase visibility for drivers of used Mitsubishi Lancers in New York, according to a Cars.com review.
While the engine is about average in terms of noise heard in the cabin, the reviewer noted that acceleration with the four-cylinder engine is “peppy.”
Buyers may be concerned about a recall of two new BMW SUVs due to rear brake issues by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. If they want to choose from the automaker’s other options, they could look at used BMW X5s in New Jersey that have received high safety ratings.
The NHTSA Office of Defects Investigation issued the German automaker a notice to recall 2009 BMW X5s and X6s because of faulty manufacturing in the rear brake discs, which provide the clamping force necessary to slow the wheels.
ODI said that the brake assembly could potentially reduce stopping ability, and in extreme cases the brakes could fail entirely.
Used BMW X5s in New Jersey, on the other hand, have good safety ratings, including 5-star crash ratings for the 2004 model, noted Cars.com.
Reviewer Jim Flammang wrote that the car-based SUV may attract buyers because of its “more distinctive, eye-catching shape” compared to offerings from other luxury automakers, as well as its strong acceleration when equipped with either a V8 or V6 engine.
Some used cars in New Jersey that have the mileage ratings required for use in the CARS program, commonly known as Cash for Clunkers, may not actually meet the guidelines for the program and buyers may choose to hold onto their vehicles instead.
Consumers who were considering leveraging their used cars for the discount found that the Environmental Protection Agency had “refreshed” the mileage numbers of several automobiles, making them ineligible for the program, reported Edmunds.com.
“It’s unfortunate that consumers who had been researching and planning to trade-in their vehicle with the new Cash for Clunkers program are now left in the dust,” said Karl Brauer, Edmunds.com editor-in-chief.
The site says that more than 30,000 used cars in New Jersey and other states may be affected by the changes, with examples including a 1993 Toyota Camry wagon that was sold with a combined mileage rating of 18 miles per gallon, qualifying it for the program. The EPA has now revised its rating to 19 mpg.
Other examples provided by the car website include the 1992 Saab 900s with automatic transmission and the 1988 Toyota 4Runner.