Category Archives: How To

How To Buy A Used Car

Buying a vehicle is expensive! Especially if it’s a new vehicle right off the lot. For that reason, many people choose to buy vehicles that are used. If you’re not careful, however, your used car buying experience could end in nightmares. In order to help you make a decision that doesn’t come back to haunt you, we’ve put together these 5 simple steps to buying a used car:

tips for buying a used car1. Decide What You’re Looking For – Before anything else, what exactly are you looking for? Is it something cheap and affordable, or are you looking for more of a long-term vehicle? Do you want a small car, a truck, or possibly a van? Are there certain features you are looking for in a vehicle, such as 4-wheel drive, a hatchback, or a stereo with a USB? In addition to deciding what you want in a car, decide exactly how much you’re willing to spend. It is important to define your budget, whether you plan to pay in cash or take out a loan. This will narrow down your options drastically and make the search much more manageable.

 

2. Do Your Homework – Once you know what to look for, it is time to do your homework. You never want to make a big purchase without having made an informed decision. Start by looking for cars online. Most used cars that are for sale will have online listings, whether that’s on the website of your local used car dealership or on nationwide sites such as cars.com or autotrader.com. Shop around (a lot), talk to others with experience in buying used cars, read reviews, compare prices, view the vehicle history reports, and come up with a list of 3-5 cars that you are seriously considering.

 

3. Go Check Them Out – Contact the seller and confirm the availability of the car. When you’re on the phone, don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions – you may find things out about the car that you previously didn’t know – things that could change your mind. Arrange a time for the two of you to meet and look at the car.  Take it for a test drive. Use your senses, well, 4 of your 5 senses (not taste – you don’t need to lick anything). How does everything look, both the interior and beneath the hood? While are driving, how does the car sound and feel? Are there any unusual smells? If everything still appears good, arrange to have it checked by a professional mechanic. We’d be happy to give you our expert opinion here at Plains Tire!

 

4. Make Your Decision – After you’ve driven a few different cars, and haven’t eliminated all of your options, it’s time to make a decision. Weigh the pros and cons of each vehicle, talk to a trusted friend or family member, take your time, and make your choice.

 

how to buy a used car5. Negotiate -Some people hate negotiating, but when you’ve done all this work and research, you are likely to be able to get the car for less than what’s listed. Your initial offer should be less than the amount you’re willing to spend. Be reasonable and realistic. When both sides are happy, close the deal, do the paperwork, and enjoy your new vehicle.

 

These 5 steps may seem pretty simple, but following them will help you be extra careful in your decision to buy a used vehicle. If you end up needing any car maintenance or repair needs, you know where to go. Come see us at any of our 9 locations throughout Wyoming and we’ll take care of you.

6 Things All Drivers Should Be Able To Do

Most people drive a car (or truck) every single day, and have been doing so since their teenage years. Surprisingly, many still haven’t learned some basic car maintenance tasks that are crucial to keeping your vehicle running!

No matter your age or level of experience driving, you should be able to confidently do the following 6 things. If you are a parent, make sure your teenagers can too.

  1. Check the oil – Whether you plan on changing the oil yourself or not, you should at least know how to check the oil,  read the dipstick, and determine if more oil needs to be added, or if you are due for an oil change. Time between oil changes varies depending on the year and model of your vehicle, as well as how much you drive. You may need an oil change change every 3-6 months. The engine is the heart of your vehicle, so knowing how to care for your engine is important.
  2. Flat tire repair wyomingChange a flat tire – You never know when or where your tire might go flat. It might happen when nobody else is around to help, so it’s important that you know how to change a tire by yourself, and that you have the all the necessary tools. Know how to safely lift the car up using a jack, remove the flat tire, and replace it with a spare.
  3. Check fluids – In addition to engine oil, know how to check and refill the coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, brake fluid, transmission fluid and windshield washer fluid. Each fluid has its own location beneath the hood. Check your vehicle’s owner’s manual to learn which is which.
  4. dead battery wyomingJump start the car – Knowing how to jump a car will be helpful and maybe someone else who needs your help. If your battery is dead, retrieve the jumper cables (which you should always have in the back of your car) and hook up the cables to another vehicle. First attach the red positive clip to your battery, then the other red clip to their battery. Third, attach one of the black clips to the negative terminal on their battery, and lastly clip the last black clip to an unpainted metal surface on your car that isn’t near the battery.
  5. Know what to do after an accident – If you experience the misfortune of being in a car accident, try to handle the situation as calmly as possible. If you are able to, move the car off the road to a safe spot. Check on the others involved. Call the police. If nobody is injured, start collecting as much information as you can (driver’s name, phone number, driver license number and license plate number). If you have a camera, take pictures of the accident scene.
  6. Know who to call – Last, but certainly not least, is knowing who to call when you need help. With nine locations throughout Wyoming, Plains Tire has been providing the Cowboy State with a wide variety of car maintenance services for many years, and our experienced mechanics can help with any of your car needs.