There are various types of vehicles available in the market, but a good buying decision always stems from a thoughtfully prepared budget. Here, it is important to determine the return on investment, break-even, and the utility one can derive from the vehicle in the long run. All these factors have a direct implication on the budget.
Features – Needs Vs Wants
If one does not select the features of the vehicle cautiously, one may land up indulging in a costly proposition. It is important to note here that even minor adjustments to the truck might lead to huge costs. One should ensure that the features sought for, are an absolute requirement for the optimal performance of the vehicle.
What will be the primary use?
It is essential to outline the primary purpose of the vehicle. Once the primary attributes are defined, the rest of the features can be woven around those aspects. Will it be a heavy duty cargo carrying vehicle or a lightweight pickup van? Then, the frequency of use, mileage, and the safety facets, are to be considered in arriving at a prudent decision.
Will there be a secondary purpose?
At times, ice-cream trucks are also used to haul raw materials, such as milk and fresh fruits, to the factory. On similar lines, one should paint a long term picture for the possible functions the vehicle may be used for. This helps in reducing costs of making tweaks to the vehicle in the future. Of course, it also aids in increasing the return on investment.
The dimensions and build
After determining the budget, the primary job, and the secondary uses, one may now move on to the dimensions and build of the vehicle. Transporting medicines may not require much space, but it is essential that the entire system is refrigerated. On the other hand, transporting furniture may require a larger area as well as a decent payload handling capacity. Hence, it is important to know the contents of the cargo and the features required for securely delivering it to the clients. Accordingly, one may decide the dimensions of the vehicle to be purchased.
Light the way
If you don’t often drive at night, you may not have noticed that your headlights are not as bright as they used to be. Any vehicle inspection should always include a check on the condition of the head light lenses, since the lenses become clouded and pitted over time. If your headlight lenses are in a less than perfect condition replace them, and have the focus adjusted to make sure you can see what’s ahead of at all times.
Keep the engine cool
As with head lights, a vehicle inspection must include a proper inspection of the engine cooling system. Cooling system problems are the second biggest cause of road side breakdowns, so make sure that the coolant contains fresh anti-freeze, that the coolant level is up to the mark, and that there are no fluid leaks anywhere in the cooling system. Repair all leaks well before departure to give you enough time to confirm that repairs had been successful.
Service now, rather than later
Schedule a multi-point vehicle inspection before you leave. This type of vehicle inspection can uncover multitude of defects, or issues that you may not have been aware of, and if you have the vehicle inspection done early enough, you can get all faults repaired in good time. Choose a vehicle inspection plan that includes checks on the following as a minimum;
- suspension rubbers/bushings
- condition of the shock absorbers
- all hoses
- all drive belts
- wipers and windshield washer
- battery/charging system
- brakes- including the parking brake
If your vehicle is nearly due for and oil change, you may as well have it done during the vehicle inspection. There is no harm in changing the oil and oil filter a few hundred miles early; moreover, you will have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your engine is lubricated with fresh oil.
Check the electronics
Not all fault conditions will trigger a warning light on the first failure, which makes it very important that the vehicle inspection includes a thorough diagnostic check, since some fault conditions only become apparent after several fault cycles. In these cases, the fault may be stored as a pending code, which means that the fault can become active at any time. Be aware that some pending trouble codes can immobilize, or seriously affect the drivability of a vehicle when they become active, so schedule a diagnostic check-up for your vehicle to make sure that this does not happen to you.
Check the rubber
Of course, no vehicle inspection can be complete without a thorough inspection of the tires, including the spare tire. Just checking the outside of the tires is not good enough; have the wheels removed from the car to properly inspect the inside sidewalls for signs of damage like cuts, bulging, or tread separation on the shoulders.
Also, be sure to check the tread depth, but make sure that the tread is evenly worn over the entire width of all the tires. Uneven tire wear is a sure sign that something is out of alignment, bent, worn, or broken. Replace all tires that are not in perfect condition, and rotate the tires to make sure that all tires share the load equally.
- Battery – A thorough inspection of your battery, cables, terminals and fluid will help to make sure your car is ready for winter. The cold weather puts more stress on your battery. Many automotive parts stores will test your battery capacity free of charge.
- Inspect Your Tires – If you’re not mounting winter tires on your vehicle, be sure to examine your current tires for remaining tread life, uneven wearing and cupping as well as checking the sidewalls for cuts and nicks to help you to know if your tires are ready for the harsh weather. The colder weather will also reduce the pressure within your tires, causing them to perform poorly in the snow. You should frequently check your tire pressures.
- Coolant – Along with regulating the engine temperature, a vehicle’s coolant system is responsible for protecting your engine against corrosion. For the winter season you will want to make sure that you are using the right ratio of coolant to water in your system as well as using the right type of coolant for your car. If you are unsure, you can check the effectiveness of your coolant with a simple and inexpensive test found at any car parts store.
- Ice scraper – Keep your ice scraper in your vehicle and always clean off your car completely, not just a little peephole in the windshield. You must be able to see all your surroundings, your side mirrors and through your back window. Snow on top of your car could slide down and cover your windshield while you are slowing down or fly off onto someone else’s vehicle while you are driving. In some states it is the law that your vehicle is clear of snow and ice.
- Survival Kit – Especially during times of slick road conditions and below freezing temperatures, you will want to keep a survival kit in the car at all times in case of emergency. Some items to consider include extra gloves, boots and blankets, flares, tire chains, a flashlight and extra batteries, car charger or portable cellphone charger, and a whistle. Also check your spare tire and make sure that your car jack is in good, working condition.
- Keep Your Gas Tank Above Half – If you get stuck or stranded, the car’s engine will be your only source of heat and you will want to be sure you have enough fuel to keep you warm. In some cases, it may be necessary to remove snow from behind the tailpipe and keep it unobstructed to prevent lethal gas from accumulating in the vehicle.
Maintaining your car is your responsibility. Not only will it ensure that your car runs efficiently, it also saves you the cost of having to repair and install new accessories all the time. Here are some of the maintenance tips you can use for your vehicle.
Rusting starts from the inside of the pipes to the outside. This result from the moisture in the exhaust tubes which comes from the exhaust fumes that condenses in the tubes when the car is cooling off. Some aftermarket suppliers provide a chemical placed in the system to absorb moisture. It will help reduce rusting and you can always have the chemical replaced when it’s saturated.
When driving, always ensure that you do not straddle paths and pavements to prevent your tips from collecting particles that could block the system. Driving over bumps should be slow and calculated to prevent your exhaust tips from being hit. They end up becoming loose and will eventually hang out. The rubbing of the system causes holes that lead to loss of power.
As you drive, always listen to any noises coming from under your car. Loud clatter noises indicate a hole in the system; some clog on the other hand will show that the muffler has too much soot that will interfere with performance.
When the inside of the muffler is clogged, most times it needs replacement. The outside on the other hand can be cleaned together with the tips. Use a dry cloth to wipe off the soot and dirt from the outside of the muffler. If there is too much grease, use a wet cloth with some soap then dry off the muffler completely. It may not shine completely but maintains a good look on the exterior of your car and prevent clogging.
Fasteners and hangers loosen up over time and need to be tightened once in a while. There are faults that you cannot detect by merely looking under the car. Get a professional inspect your car once a year. They can either tighten the system or advice you on replacement of the faulty parts of the system. In the option of replacement, contact suppliers like magnaflow for advice on the best accessories for your exhaust system.
The military takes good care of its vehicles, so you can get a really good deal buying a military surplus vehicle, regardless of whether you want a Jeep, car, or truck. In fact, you may also be able to purchase surplus motorcycles, airplanes, or helicopters. The military is constantly replacing its vehicles and there is a steady turnover of each type of military surplus vehicle.
It is not uncommon for these military vehicles to have all kinds of new technology perks in them. The military gets bulk discounts when they contract for vehicles and all of the vehicles have to meet whatever the requirements of the users will be, so most of them will either come completely without features or with all available upgrades installed. The military doesn’t worry too much about how much they sell the vehicles for, only that the vehicles are sold at what people are willing to pay when the vehicles need to be cleared from inventory.
The military is starting to catch up to the technology of the day, with military surplus vehicles and equipment being sold at online auctions. The disadvantage for the buyer is that the vehicle cannot be pre-inspected. However, the military is not out to scam anyone, they try to let you know if there are any known problems with the vehicle on the auction website.
On the other hand, if you live in the vicinity of a large military base, you may be able to attend one of their live military surplus vehicle auctions. In this case you will be able to look over the military surplus vehicle first, before you decide to bid. You can either watch for advertisements of these auctions, which isn’t usually done very prominently, or you can call the base and try to get information about it and when they hold auctions.
It is not hard to find military surplus vehicle auctions. It is about like looking for anything else on the Web. Your average search engine will bring up plenty of military surplus auction options. Check them out. See which ones seem to carry the types of vehicles or equipment you may be interested in purchasing. Don’t jump right in and purchase, but watch the auctions for a few weeks and see what a good auction price is and how the auctions seem to progress. This will help you bid more wisely.
Look after the engine too. Avoid opening the bonnet unnecessarily so that it doesn’t get exposed to too much dust. Check the oil and water to ensure that it remains topped up for the efficient functioning of the vehicle. If you suspect that there is something wrong with the engine don’t be tempted to repair it yourself. Rather let a qualified mechanic check it and repair it for you.
Take care of the wheels and tyres. Make sure that you have the tyres inflated regularly to prevent it from running flat. This also optimises your driving if the tyres are sufficiently inflated. If you notice that he tread is low, then change the tyres. Don’t drive with them for long as this could lead to the car not being able to come to a stop as quickly as it would with new tyres.
Check the brakes often especially when you notice something unusual. If you hear the brakes squeak or whistle, or feel that the brake pedal is spongy, then get it checked. There could be a problem with the brake elements such as the brake discs. Rather be safe than sorry when it comes to this car part.
In general, you should take your car for a service every year or when the set mileage is reached for your particular vehicle. During a service all the parts of your car will be checked to ensure that it is roadworthy and safe to drive. Keep a record of the car’s service so that you build up a good history. This will serve you well when you want to sell the car. It will increase the value of your car, especially if you take good care of it.
Great choice of vehicle
When buying outright the choice of vehicle is a lot more limited because it needs to be within your affordable price range. But, with car leasing you aren’t buying outright, so the ability to find a perfect make or model is that much more feasible. If you have been after a particular car for a while, but it has been out of your price range, the option to lease the vehicle may be a great option.
The option to lease often removes the concern of taking out a loan or depleting the personal savings. Before signing a contract with a dealer, it is possible to see a full breakdown of future payments including the deposit and monthly fee.
With the option to drive a brand new car off the dealership forecourt there is a lower risk of mechanical breakdown. A used car with plenty of miles and years on the clock is a significantly greater risk for mechanical issues. Also, the leasing option is certain to be packaged with a vehicle warranty to give the desired protection in the event of unexpected faults. A warranty is a great way to avoid having to spend extra money on repairs or a regular service.
Most contracts give a certain degree of flexibility to make it easy to tailor the terms to match the specific needs. For instance, it may be possible to set the preferred time-frame of the contract or the annual mileage. Other options include the ability to include vehicle servicing or maintenance.