10 worst used vehicles on the market today

I found this article, and had to share it. I can agree with a lot of the points, although I would put the Chrysler 2.7 liter V6 engine directly on this list, not as an after thought. I also disagree with the author’s view of older Kia models, as the ones I’ve had are some of the most reliable I’ve seen.

So, without further ado, here it is:

A car dealer’s scientific guide to the 10 worst used vehicles

 

3 Tips for Financing Your Used Car Purchase: Guest post by Andrew Dean

If your vehicle is a few years old and you’re thinking of upgrading to a newer model, it’s important to understand the options that you have when it comes to financing. Many people find that they can afford a better car than they might have thought. Your ability to finance a used car purchase is influenced by numerous factors including your household income, credit history, and amount of cash available for a down payment—as well as the type of car being financed. Here are a few things to consider when beginning to shop for your next vehicle.

1. Consider a newer car.
Many times, car buyers believe that they cannot afford a newer car. However, banks generally offer more favorable financing terms for newer vehicles than they do for older ones. For older models of cars with higher mileage, a bank will typically require a higher down payment as well as a shorter payback period. This means that, for example, you might have to pay back your loan in three years instead of five or six years, resulting in a significantly higher monthly payment. Also, dealers are often able to offer cash
back and other incentives on new car purchases, which can make a new car more affordable than you might have expected.

2. Run your credit report.
If you haven’t run your credit report recently, make sure to do so before shopping for your vehicle. Running your credit report is important because it will ensure that you know the reality picture of your credit before applying for a loan. If you have a false derogatory entry on your credit report, there are steps you can take to get it removed. In any case, it’s to your advantage to be informed about your credit beforehand to eliminate the possibility of discovering a nasty surprise at the car dealership. You are entitled to receive one free credit report per year from each of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian) and you can request your credit reports directly from their web
sites.

3. Work out your budget.
There are two numbers you need to know when you walk into a car dealership: your total amount available for a down payment and your maximum monthly payment including interest. See what you can do to come up with as much as possible for a down payment. If you can borrow some additional money from family or friends and pay it back in a few months, this will help you to reduce the amount you have to pay to the bank in interest later on down the road. If you know realistically what you can afford, this will help a dealer figure out what options you have, and this can save you some time.

Financing a new or used vehicle is a relatively simple process—and you’re likely to find yourself pleasantly surprised by just how nice a vehicle you can drive off the lot without breaking the bank.

This article was written by Andrew Dean of National Transport, LLC, a leader in the US car shipping industry. You can view additional articles at their blog, or you can become a fan of their Facebook page to keep up with the latest transportation/travel news from around the country.

Car Features of the Future, Today: guest post by Chris Mustaine

Do you know who is believed to have first drawn up theoretical plans for motor vehicles? Not anybody directly related to engineering – it was Leonardo da Vinci. The modern-day automobiles that we drive today are believed to be a result of more than 100,000 patents. As automobile manufacturers keep innovating, the cars of the future are bound to allow you greater utility, comfort and safety. Here are a few such features that are still in the developmental phases, but which could well become the norm in the near future.

Easier and Better Navigation

If you thought the Sat Nav that is available on new cars is the coolest thing, think again. Quite a few car makers are looking at making it even easier for a driver to do very little driving and instead, just enjoy the ride. As research goes into building better sensors into the car’s machinery and using radar to prevent colliding with other moving vehicles, we will soon be seeing cars where the driver does not need to do anything, except watch the car drive itself.

Internet in the Car

With our growing appetite for staying connected on the go, it is not long before Wi-Fi in cars is a common feature. Soon, we may be witnessing a situation where the dashboard of the car offers as many options as a laptop to allow you to stay connected to the Internet for work, relaxation or social networking. Quite a few carmakers have begun offering such technology through apps in their high-end cars; soon, we may be seeing it feature in the less expensive cars, too.

Safer Drives

Pedestrian hits are one of the common causes of accidents, as are collisions due to poor night-time vision. Some auto makers are coming up with pedestrian detection systems that can sense the presence of a pedestrian directly in the car’s path and cause the car to brake to a complete stop. Night vision systems that make use of infrared radiation are also being incorporated to allow drivers detect pedestrians who are out of line of the headlights, but may find their way into the car’s path.

Rewards for Driving Safe

Now, this is something that will appeal to those who always feel let down because no one recognises them for being well-behaved drivers. In a first of its kind, we now have cars that come fitted with a black box to record your driving style and those who drive carefully may be looking at an enticing reward – lower car insurance premiums. If you are sure about your driving skills, you can now try performance-related insurance.

With advancements in technology, automobile research is also veering towards intelligent systems based on Wi-Fi technology to help track locations of other vehicles on the road. Some of these systems are going to be designed to flash warnings of other cars on the road that are moving in a way that could pose a danger to your car. Whether it is comfort or greater safety, all these systems – that were at one time unimaginable – are soon going to be the order of the day to give you the ultimate driving experience.

Bio
Chris Mustaine is a writer and designer who’s passionate about cars, specifically riding them across foreign landscapes. When he’s not off somewhere burning rubber down the autobahn he’s indulging his passion for sharing his experiences across the web. He’s working on a book on foreign cryptozoology.

Not Getting Enough For Your Trade-In? Try a Pass-Thru: guest post by Jason Lancaster

We all know that the car buying process is tough. From sorting thru hundreds of different models, trim levels, and features to find the car you want, to finding the best price, to arranging financing…just thinking about the process is enough to overwhelm many consumers.

One of the most dreaded – and poorly understood – parts of this process is figuring out what to do with your existing vehicle. Most consumers are only aware of two choices:

1. Trade-in your existing vehicle to the selling dealer

2. Sell your existing car yourself

Many people dislike the first option because trade-in values are always below market. No matter how much you get the dealer to give you, they’re going to make money off your trade. It feels like a bit of a rip-off.

There are also challenges with the second option. Preparing your existing car for sale takes work, the paperwork requirements can be confusing, and some vehicle owners are understandably concerned about their safety when they list a car for sale on a website like Craigslist. There’s also the fact that taking money from a stranger isn’t foolproof – con artists have been known to use fraudulent checks.

While there are things you can do to get more for your trade or make selling your car easier, there’s also a little-known third option called a “pass-thru” transaction.

What’s A Pass Thru, and Why Should I Bother?

A “pass-thru” transaction is conceptually very simple. First, you list your car for sale just like you would if you were going to sell it yourself. However, when you find a buyer, you don’t sell them the car (at least not directly). Instead, you trade-in your car at the agreed-upon purchase price, and then your dealer turns right around and sells your trade to the buyer you’ve found. Hence the term “pass-thru,” as the car basically passes thru the dealer’s hands.

A pass-thru transaction is a win-win-win transaction because:

1. The dealership wins because they get to charge you a processing/handling fee to take care of your paperwork, and then they get to sell you a new car too (you can’t trade-in a car unless you buy something, right)?

2. You win because you found a way to get market value for your trade-in.

3. Whomever buys your car wins as they get the opportunity to use dealership financing, include accessories in their purchase, etc.

While a pass-thru transaction is more work than a simple trade-in, it’s also more money in your pocket, and you don’t have to worry about doing paperwork, your safety, or getting paid.

If there’s a problem with pass-thru transactions, it’s that some state dealership regulators don’t like them. For sales tax revenue reasons, many states would rather see consumers trade-in vehicles for less than market value, which means that your local dealer might not be willing or able to complete a pass-thru transaction for you.

It never hurts to ask, however.

Author Jason Lancaster is a veteran of the retail automotive industry with nearly a decade of dealership management experience. When Jason isn’t offering consumers automotive advice, he’s helping to promote Anderson Ford Motorsports, a company that specializes in performance parts for Fox-body Mustangs. Check out Anderson’s website here.

There are only losers in the Tesla Motors v New York Times dispute, guest post by Mark Benson

Despite the fact that all parties involved in the Tesla Motors and New York Times dispute have claimed the upper hand and claimed victory, there are no winners in this hotly disputed disagreement. The situation revolves around a test drive by New York Times journalist John Broder which was covered in great detail by the newspaper, creating a running commentary which has been the centre of attention for many weeks now.

Why the big controversy?

When New York Times journalist John Broder approached Tesla Motors about test driving one of their electric vehicles, in the shape of the popular Tesla Model S Sedan, it seems that the company was more than happy to assist. Indeed such was the initial level of interest from all parties that Tesla Motors gave the journalist specific advice so that he would be able to obtain maximum capacity from the vehicle and maximum journey time. The end result was not expected by any party although there were some unfounded allegations that perhaps the New York Times was looking to downplay the electric car market even before stepping into the vehicle?
The task was simple, drive the vehicle between two quick charging stations, one in Delaware and one in Connecticut, and comment upon the driving experience and performance of the vehicle. What could be more straight forward?

The journey!

John Broder himself drove the vehicle and gave a very downbeat assessment of the overall performance and journey capacity. Indeed he suggested in his article that the car ran out of power between the two charging points, which should have been within the vehicle’s journey capacity, and lost charge much faster than expected. There was also a suggestion that various in-car services had to be curtailed as the battery charge began to wane.

In what many might see as a journalistic dream, the vehicle is alleged to have run out of power and the journey had to be completed on the back of a flatbed tow truck. This was where the fun and games began and accusations and counter accusations flew from all parties involved.

What damage has been done to the industry?

The truth is that the parties involved in this particular dispute will never agree on a variety of different points. There is criticism of the vehicles charging ability, there is criticism of the journalist’s style of driving and in all honesty there is no middle ground. Elon Musk, the chief executive officer of Tesla Motors, refuted various allegations, promised to make public the statistics from the journey although delays and misunderstandings further clouded this situation. Even today the two parties are still in disagreement and indeed Tesla Motors is adamant that the overcritical analysis of the vehicle has cast a shadow over the company with an alleged commercial loss in the region $100 million.

The reality is that whatever the truth in relation to this particular episode there are no winners – only losers. Tesla Motors has been dragged into a situation highly critical of one of its award-winning vehicles, the New York Times has been left open to allegations of rogue journalism and the electric car industry has yet again been hung out to dry. At a point when the electric car industry is making strides forward, but needs some support for the future, this New York Times v Tesla Motors fight has come at exactly the wrong time.

How will this impact the future?

The reality is that we could see one or both of the parties backtrack on various allegations in the short to medium term, publish a full apology and even suggest that the electric car industry has not been tarnished, but it is all too late. This is an industry which has flattered to deceive for in excess of 200 years, this is an industry which has attracted billions of dollars of public and commercial investment of late although in reality this is an industry which does have a future in the car market – albeit with a slower rate of development seemingly likely after this debacle.

We may look back in 12 months time and this particularly sour episode will be forgotten but at this moment in time it is fresh in the minds of consumers who are not exactly being incentivised to acquire electric vehicles!

Conclusion

To those not privy to the inside information, the inside statistics of the journey in question and indeed the “real” views of those involved, this looks nothing but a complete mess. Car enthusiasts are left high and dry and no better off with regards to their understanding of the electric vehicle market. Indeed, if Elon Musk is right then this sad episode has cost his company around $100 million in lost revenue.

You could argue that Tesla Motors added fuel to the fire with various rebuttals of the initial review or you could argue that the New York Times was allegedly looking to ridicule the electric car market. Perhaps the reality is that we have two parties at very different ends of the electric car spectrum having an open disagreement? Whatever the truth, unfortunately yet again, it is the electric car industry which has suffered most.

The disappointing dozen, according to Consumer Reports

I don’t usually put a whole lot of stock in reviews of cars, as people’s tastes and opinions tend to differ, but I thought this article was worth a read:

The disappointing dozen: Cars that fail our tests

In an unusual move coming from the Consumer Reports gang, there were several Japanese models on the list. I must admit being a bit surprised.

The two complaints that stood out to me were common on just about every vehicle on the list; ride and noise. This is important when speaking of used vehicles, because generally speaking, a vehicle’s ride is going to be best when it’s brand new, and will decline as it gets driven more. So although I usually roll my eyes at Consumer Reports articles, this is one that may have some merit.

If a vehicle is noisy with a poor ride when new, it will be a noisy, poor riding used car as well. It’s certainly something to keep in mind if you’re looking down the road for resale value if you’re considering purchasing one of these cars.

How to spot a flood damaged car, guest post by Eric Muhanji

In recent years there have been numerous floods all over the world. These deluges have destroyed houses, roads, and vehicles. If one is buying a used car; it is imperative that one takes extra care to ensure he/she is not inadvertently sold to a car that has been damaged by floods. There are several ways to spot a flood damaged car, they include but not limited to the following:

Make a formal inquiry in writing.
Inquire from your dealer whether the car in question has any flood damage, it is important to do this in writing and receive the response in writing too. A look at the car title or log book will also be necessary; this will enable you to see if the car is from a flood hit region. Certain areas will have the documents stamped flood or salvage if the car has any damage to that effect. Lack of the said documents, alterations in the documents or a written confirmation regarding flood status of the car should have your alarm bells ringing.

Look for signs of corrosion and rust.
Signs of corrosion and rust are always visible. A keen eye will detect these signs either inside or outside the car. Rust on door hinges, under the dashboard and on screws are usually a straight giveaway that the car has had extended contact with large amounts of water. A look at the trunk latches and the springs beneath the car seats is also important; corrosion keeps on eating away the vehicle long after the exposure, making these signs very difficult to hide from a keen observer.

Check the car fabrics and upholstery
An exposure to above normal water levels or quantities will have an effect on the car seat fabrics and carpet. In a flood damaged car the upholstery will have some brown and patchy water stains. A car that has a completely new interior should raise eyebrows. It is also important to check if the car carpet and the seat fabrics, upholstery on both the door and roof have aged together; they usually do. An instance where one is newer than the other should pique your curiosity and make you pose the necessary questions to ascertain that you are not being given a raw deal.

Check the car’s electrical system
One of the easiest ways is to check for brittle wires. A quick look at the dashboard and a gentle bend on the wires will easily show brittleness. This is a sure sign that the car was exposed to water for a long time. To fully confirm the condition of the car it is advisable that takes the car for a test drive; this will enable a test on the electronics. Listen for any funny noises when you turn the ignition, check whether all the lights on the dashboard come alive. Try all the signals and emergency lights, listen to the radio for any static or distorted audio.

Perform an Oil Check
In most instances a flood damaged car will have its oil being pale instead of dark. The oil may also feel sticky when touched. A quick check on the air filter at this stage is also important; a flood damaged car will have water stains in its filter. The above are just a few of the many ways to spot a flood damaged car and save yourself and loved ones from incurring heavy losses.

Author’s bio:
Eric Muhanji works at ServicingStop.co.uk – a nationwide online automotive MOT and Service network with over 1,000 garages in the UK.

Buying a second-hand car, guest post by Parkers

If you’re thinking about buying a brand new car, then consider this fact: new cars depreciate in value by as much as 20% in the first year you own them. Meaning if you bought yourself a beautiful brand new Audi TT Roadster for around $45,000, by the time you’ve had it a year it could have lost over $9000 of its value.

Figures like these show that buying a second-hand is a much more cost effective option then buying new.

When it comes to buying a second hand car it’s important to take your time and work out exactly what you can afford to spend and what model you are interested in. The best deals involve cars that are less than 3 years old and that haven’t been driven too hard by the previous owner.

Once you have settled on your budget and the car you’re after, you can start looking. Obviously there are a lot of different options when it comes to buying second-hand, from specialist dealerships to private sellers – the choice of used cars available is not in any way limited.

Buying from a dealer is usually a safe option, as the cars will have been inspected before being put on sale. However if you do choose to buy from a private seller then you need to more cautious and inspect it carefully.

Ask to see all the paperwork so that you can check it all matches and nothing has been tampered with. This will also allow you to see if there is any paperwork relating to previous work carried out as well.

Always take the car out for a test drive and try to drive it on a variety of roads, so you can see how it handles in different conditions.

If the paperwork is all good and the car drives well, then do a complete inspection of the entire car, checking the bodywork, the engine, inside and underneath the car, the tires and testing the suspension and brakes.

If there is anything you are unsure about you can ask if an independent mechanic can check the car over for anything you might have missed.

It might seem like a lot of hard work just to buy a car, but it will be worth it if it saves you money in the long run.

Parkers is a UK-based site that offers plenty of advice on buying used cars, as well as a
significant list of them if you’re looking to gauge prices. Visit their site for any more used car related information.

Retaining Your Cars Value, guest post by Vince Evans

Vince Evans was a light mechanic and used car auctioneer until he went back to his old love, writing. Rather than shouting at North Easterners about them, he prefers to write about New Jersey used cars.

It’s an unfortunate truth that a new car starts losing its value the second you drive it off the lot, and maybe even as soon as you sign the papers. This is frustrating for owners who will eventually want, or need, to sell the vehicle down the road and will end up getting only a fraction of the cars original worth in return. There are some important steps to take if you don’t want your vehicle to depreciate quickly or significantly.

Buy a Car That Retains its Value

You’re probably thinking “well no duh,” but this step is often overlooked when buying a new car. Look at the Kelly Blue Book value of your favorite makes and models and see which ones command a higher price percentage to their original price after they’re used. Some makes and models can get up to 65% of their original price, four years later, while others only get 20%. That’s a huge difference and one worth paying attention to in the buying process.

It’s also important to note that “classic colors” like black, white, and silver sell better, and unique paint jobs or bright colors can devalue to the car. I personally am not a fan of this trend, and you can read more about my opinion when it comes to car color at this post: The Most Popular Car Colors Are…Awful.

After the Purchase

No matter what vehicle you end up with, there are some steps you can take across the board that will help you get a better price when you go to sell or trade in the vehicle.

  • Seat Covers: Purchasing seat covers right away will help protect the material, especially if they’re leather, and also helps to keep your car cleaner.
  • Feet Pads: Upgrading the foot pads from fabric to a more robust rubber mat also helps to keep your car cleaner and protects the fabric. This is doubly important if you live in an area where you’ll be tracking in gravel or other rough materials.
  • Don’t Smoke: Cigarette smoke smell is borderline impossible to remove from a car interior and is an instant turn off to buyers. Refrain from smoking in the car (no, cracking the window doesn’t count).
  • Park with Care: If you can, always park under a covering to keep your car out of the elements. Sun can crack vinyl, tree sap can build up on the roof, hail and other items can fall on the car causing damage, and a host of other things can happen. If you have to street park your car (like I do) consider parking on a quieter side street with less traffic to lower the risk of your car getting hit, even if it means a farther walk. Also be mindful of cars you’re parking next to in parking lots. Large SUVs or trucks have a wide turn radius, respect it and give them room to move and give your neighbors room to open their doors without dinging yours.
  • Regular Maintenance: The most important step is making sure your car is in good repair. Follow a regular maintenance schedule with oil changes and other fluid checks. If something sounds or feels wrong, have a trusted mechanic take a look ASAP before a small problem becomes a big one. Most importantly, keep track of everything you do so you can back up your claims that the car was maintained well and with care. I suggest having a file designated for receipts and other documents – this helps to negotiate a fair price, especially if your trading in or leasing a car with a dealer.

Even with all of your care, there are circumstances that are out of your control when it comes to maintaining your cars value. If your car’s year becomes known to have issues or a lot of recalls, is widely used in rental companies, simply doesn’t age well, or a host of other factors, influence how much you’ll be able to sell the car for. However, keeping care of the car will always let you get a higher price than the same make, model, and year that didn’t take precautions.

Drive in Green, Guest Post by Apple Aviles

Ecofriendly cars are now growing in numbers, though they have different specifications when you browse them one by one. So now, what exactly do ecofriendly cars mean? In this article, we will list the things you should look when considering a vehicle as one that is green and friendly to the environment.

Types of Green Cars

1. Hybrid Electric Vehicles

Hybrid electric vehicles are a result of combination of electric propulsion system and a conventional internal combustion engine propulsion system. This type of car uses electric powertrains to have more efficient fuel consumptions for the car owners. There is also better performance experienced when driving this car. There are many luxury cars being manufactured and converted to hybrid, including sedans, SUVs, pickup trucks, buses and tractors.

2. Battery Electric Vehicles

Another type of electric vehicle is powered by batteries. This utilizes chemical energy that is inside rechargeable battery packs. Rather than using internal combustion engines for propulsion and unlike hybrid cars, battery electric automobiles make use of electric motors and motor controllers where it derives its power. So you won’t need to locate a gas station or fuel supplier to drive your vehicle.

3. Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles

The plug-in hybrid electric vehicle uses batteries as well but this one specializes in another energy storage device. Rechargeable batteries are used up to regain a fully charged vehicle by plugging the vehicle to a power source. If you have a garage that has an electric outlet, that will suffice to supply power to the car and make it move.

4. Compressed-air Vehicles

Fired by air engines, compressed-air vehicles come with a tank that consists of a mixture of air and fuel. The idea is that the efficiency of the engine is powered by expanding compressed air to drive pistons. This type of car is not manufactured in high volumes yet, but it will be incorporated as a type of hybrid car or those with battery electric propulsion.

5. Natural Gas Vehicles

Not to be confused with cars fueled by propane, natural gas vehicles are ran using ordinary gasoline, compressed natural gas or liquefied natural gas as opposed to using other fossil fuels. So among all of these five vehicles in the list, this one is probably the most used currently, particularly in countries like Pakistan, Iran, Brazil, Argentina, India and other locations in the Asia-Pacific region.

Alternative Ways to Drive in Green

If you don’t have the money to pay for these special cars, you can do the following with your pre-owned cars to drive the green way:

1. Plan Your Route

Knowing which route to take before your travel is aimed at going through roads with smoother traffic that will reduce your gas consumption. This route may be the shortest distance to get to your destination or the one where you can avoid the heaviest traffic down the road.

2. Metal Stamping

Car manufacturers now use lighter metals to shape metals on cars. This is called metal stamping, a technique that makes good use of electromagnetic pulses to create lighter and more fuel-efficient vehicles. Incorporating aluminum parts, cars are stamped into shape with electric currents that produce magnetic field that repel the metal into a mold. This then can translate a steel automobile to an aluminum based body, talking about half the weight out of a regular car.

3. Don’t Go Over-speeding

You’re not driving a race car and you are not being chased by anyone. Don’t pretend that you are the king of the road when you are not. When driving, it’s better to avoid hard braking and accelerating rapidly to consume less fuel. In regular driving conditions, you should not drive beyond the automobile manufacturer’s suggested optimum speed for the car. Not only will this practice enable you to have environmental-friendly measures, but your vehicle will tend to also wear out in a slower rate.

To save fuel consumption, improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions, you can purchase hybrid and green cars that are now available in the market. Else if you can’t afford these luxuries, you can still drive in green by following the alternatives shared above.

Author Bio:
Apple is a clayist, band vocalist and OPM enthusiast. Also likes interests, driving, metal stamping, art,skin tattoos and photography – learned some of it. She is currently working for a company as a social media specialist.