Avoid expensive bills from the mechanic : 100 Best Car Tips for Men - Part 5


80. Be Specific

Mechanics want to have a dialogue. Never just say, "I hear a noise," and drop off the keys and leave. Describe the what, when, and where. For instance, say, "I hear a high-pitched squeal when I accelerate, and then it stops after 30 mph." A good mechanic immediately knows to check your belts.


81. Buckle Your Seat Belt

One in five men thinks airbags make seatbelts unnecessary, when in fact going unbuckled turns an airbag into a deadly weapon. After reviewing 12 years-worth of car crashes in which airbags had deployed, University of Pittsburgh scientists found that the incidence of neck or spine injury was 70 percent higher for drivers who'd gone sans seatbelt. That's because if you aren't buckled up during a collision, you're likely to be propelled headfirst into an airbag coming at you at 200 mpg, say the study authors.


82. Fix Your Footing

Most people use their toe on the accelerator, which makes it harder to keep steady pressure and leads to excess gas consumption. Drive with your foot flat on the pedal, ease up on the accelerator a bit, and lower your top speed on the freeway.



83. Play Tough

If your car gets scratched in a parking garage, start by negotiation with its management. While almost any garage has a disclaimer purportedly limiting its responsibility, that probably won't protect it against negligence. If that doesn't work, threaten legal action. Often just a letter saying that you're considering a lawsuit will make them cave.


84. Fight Overheating With Heat

To slow the rate at which the car overheats, open the windows and turn on the heater. It may sound counterintuitive, but doing so will draw heat away from the engine and into the car's cabin.



85. Brake, Then Park

Putting a car into park and then activating the parking brake causes the car to settle back, putting unnecessary weight on the transmission. With the car still in drive and your foot on the brake, activate the parking brake. Then put the car in neutral and release the foot brake. It should stay at rest with only the parking brake. Shift to park and all is good.


86. Have a Watchful Eye

If you can't trust your teenage driver, install a tiny device called a CarChip. It plugs into your car's onboard diagnostic port and records speed, fuel consumption, as well as hard accelerations and decelerations. There's also an optional alarm feature, which can be set to go off when the driver exceeds a specific speed, acceleration, or braking limit (carchip.com).


See Also : How to Find and Fix Air Leaks in your Tubeless Tires



87. Use Your Fog Lights

These beams can cut through water vapor better than regular headlights can, says Rae Tyson, formerly a spokesperson for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Fog lights are mounted low on the grille to prevent bounce-back glare off the mist—which is why high beams are your worst choice.


88. Be Defensive

Surveys indicate there's a nearly 80 percent chance the average driver speeds regularly, a 53 percent likelihood that he talks on the phone while driving, a 4 percent chance he runs red lights—on purpose—and a 2 percent chance he has driven after he's had too much to drink. How important is evasive maneuvering? For every actual crash, drivers experience 11 near crashes, according to a study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. Yet close to 30 percent of drivers involved in car crashes take no evasive measures at all, according to one study.


89. Stop a Spreading Crack

If a rock has chipped your windshield, you can act fast and to avoid the $200 to $500 cost of a replacement. So long as the chip is smaller than a dime, a glass shop can fill the crevice with an optically matched resin that should forestall the spread of cracks. Most insurance companies waive the deductible and cover this cost-saving procedure. But anything larger and you might need a new pane of glass.



HOW TO...BUY A CLASSIC CAR



90. Distinguish Yourself

James Bond had an Aston Martin DB5. Steve McQueen, a 1968 Mustang. You have—a used Kia? Your salvation: a classic sports car, says Joe Lorio of Automobile magazine. "It looks really cool, and nobody knows you paid the same as somebody who bought a new Ford Explorer."


91. Be Realistic

Don't think of your first classic car as an investment. "The best you can hope for is a minimal loss or maybe a maintaining of its value," says Karl Brauer, editor-in-chief of the car-advice site Edmunds.com.


92. Shop at the Fringes

Stay away from cliches and you can buy a good, low-mileage muscle car for as little as $2,500 online, says Chris Jacobs, the former host of TLC's Overhaulin'. For example, look for muscle cars made just after the "golden age" ended (in 1971, when emissions and safety laws changed) or consider a V-6. "What does 600-horsepower mean anyway?" asks Jacobs.



93. Get Educated

There isn't one way to get the best price. Whether buying at auction, off eBay, or in person, just go in armed and educated. If you're bidding sight unseen, money should not change hands until you've seen the car in person.


94. Think About a Dealer

You will pay more, but they offer security and you'll have recourse. Even if the dealer says the car has no warranty, you're buying from a business with a reputation to protect. Cooper Classics Collection is a great place to start and even provides financing (cooperclassiccars.com).


95. Navigate the Actions

Know what you're looking for: Pick a few models and year, then study. The National Automobile Dealers Association appraisal guide, which lists all classic-car values in a variety of conditions, is essential. The leader in terms of volume is Kruse, which auctions more than 13,000 cars annually at more than 30 events around the country (Kruse.com).


96. Go South

Barrett-Jackson throws two auctions a year, and they're the baby boomers' beating automotive hearts, with men (and some women) quite literally strolling down memory lane, past the cars that defined their youth. The main event is in January, in Scottsdale, and then a slightly smaller affair is held in Palm Beach every March. If you were in the market for a Ferrari, this would not be your auction. Though exotic imports will pepper the grounds, these are whole-hearted displays of American muscle (barrett-jackson.com).


97. Seek Power

Mecum Auctions is a big player in the pony and muscle-car market, so come here for Corvettes and Camaros. It has less flash than the others, but plenty of content, with auctions spread across the Midwest throughout the year (mecumauction.com).


98. Find Art

Legendary auction house Christie's premier event is the Exceptional Motor Cars auction, featuring an exclusive group of about 50 classics. It's held every August in Monterey, California, to coincide with the annual Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, and it is also held in Paris, in February, and in Connecticut, in June (christies.com).


99. Look for Growth

RM Auctions runs an ever-growing number of events, including the Monterey Sports & Classic Car Auction, in August; a sale held in conjunction with the Amelia Island (Florida) Concours d'Elegance, in March; the Ferrari-Leggenda E Passione, in Maranello, Italy, in May; and Vintage Motor Cars, held the same weekend as Barrett-Jackson, at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, in Phoenix (rmauctions.com).


100. Buy Insurance

Try Hagerty. It has no mileage limit and, like other classic insurers, uses "agreed value" instead of Blue Book plus depreciation. This means you assert the car's value and back it up with photos. If the car is totaled, the insurer will pay out the agreed value.



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See Also : How to Find and Fix Air Leaks in your Tubeless Tires


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