Tag Archives: Douglas Q&A

Should you buy a new or used car?

Should you buy a new or used car?

If your old vehicle is on its last tires, you may be wondering if you're better off replacing it with a new or used vehicle. That depends on a number of factors. Typically, car experts say buying used is a better deal. It's true that when you drive a new car off the lot, it automatically depreciates by thousands of dollars. On the other hand, you'll pay more in repairs for a used car. There are other things to consider, however, such as do you have enough cash on hand for a down payment? Do you have a trade-in that's worth the equivalent of a down payment? If you have good credit it may be easier to buy new with less down payment than if you buy used, according to Autotrader. There is a plethora of manufacturer incentives for new cars in the form of cash back and lower financing costs. By contrast, buying used means putting money down upfront or a trade-in with equity, so sometimes its is possible to find a new car with a manufacturer's incentive that will ... read more

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Douglas Q&A

Should you lease or finance your next car?

If it's time for a new ride, you might be wondering whether to buy or lease?  There's no easy answer, since both have their advantages and disadvantages. It boils down to your lifestyle and needs/wants. Financially, buying a car is better in the long run because once it's paid for, it's yours. You can do anything with it or to it and drive it as much as you want. When you lease a car, once your lease is up, you have nothing. However, there are advantages to leasing. Your monthly payments are lower when you lease, you don't need a huge down payment and repairs cost less because your car is under warranty. Plus, you get to drive a newer car. Automotive resource Edmunds lists pros and cons of both financing and leasing: Leasing Pros: Lower monthly payments; low or no down payment. Drive a better car for less money. Lower repair costs under factory warranty. A new car every two or three years with less sales tax and no trade-in hassle. Leasing Cons: You d ... read more

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Douglas Q&A

Memorial Day Weekend

Last year, heavy rain along the Fox River caused hundreds od homes and businesses to flood. In fact, the media described the torrential rains as "absolutely catastrophic". Memorial Day Weekend is the official launch of summer - and boating season. Currently, the status of the chain of lakes and the fix river is no wake boating only. Most likely this no restriction will be in place for most of if not all of the Holiday weekend. One thing for sure, or no boat, restaurants are open and welcome your business. This holiday weekend take time to enjoy one of the many fine establishments along our beautiful waterways with family and friends. YOU can play an important role in helping these businesses succeed despite this unpredictable weather. Need some suggestions? Visit: https://foxchainguide.com/    To check waterway status of the river visit: Foxwaterway.com

The importance of turn signals

The importance of turn signals

Your car's turn signal exists for a reason. Yet, many drivers hardly or never use their signals, which is a mistake. According to the Society of Automotive Engineers, two million vehicular accidents a year occur due to a driver's failure to use a directional signal, and the Society of Automotive Engineers says that more than a fourth of drivers don't use them. And, did you know it's illegal in all states not to? Turn signals let other drivers know your intentions to turn or change lanes. If you don't signal those intentions, others naturally assume you will continue on as you are. While switching lanes, you should activate your turn signals at least five seconds before merging, according to Traffic School Online. Always turn them off, after you've completed your lane change. When turning, activate your turn signal well before you start to slow down to make the turn. Waiting until you're already into the turn is not only frustrating to the driver behi ... read more

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Douglas Q&A

Check out these winter safety driving tips

Check out these winter safety driving tips

It’s been a cold, snowy winter so far in the Midwest, and unfortunately, there’s plenty of time left for more. With that in mind, the following tips can help you stay safe when you have to venture out in your vehicle in not-so-friendly weather. When you park your car overnight or for an extended period, make sure your windshield wipers are turned off. In other words, don’t just turn off the car with the wipers running. Cold temps and precipitation can freeze them to the windshield and they’ll try to work when you start the engine, which can damage the wiper mechanism. If you expect foul weather, stand your wiper blades upright, away from the glass. Likewise, to prevent damage to the blades, and so that you can see to drive safely, scrape your windows before you head out. Don’t have your car washed when the temperature dips down to the low teens or below. This can freeze the doors closed or freeze door locks. A winter driving checklist should includ ... read more

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Winter

Should I put money down when buying a car?

Traditionally, buying a car meant putting 20 percent down. However, the cost of new vehicles has risen dramatically over the years. In fact, according to automotive resource Edmunds, car buyers today put only about 12 percent down. But should you put any money down at all when buying a vehicle? Putting as much as possible down on a new or used vehicle has important advantages. It makes your monthly payments smaller, and, if you’re buying new, it can offset the depreciation that takes place when you drive off the lot, adds Edmunds. - a full 20 percent in the first year alone. If you put down very little or no down payment at all, you’ll owe more on your car than it’s worth, you’ll have higher monthly payments and higher finance charges. Simply put, it’s better to put money down when buying a car, but your down payment should be one you can reasonably afford. Depending on the condition of your current car, your trade-in can be your down payment, or at leas ... read more

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Douglas Q&A

Having Steering Wheel Issues?

Having Steering Wheel Issues?

​Q. When I turn my steering wheel right or left it makes noises. What could that problem be? I had it worked on last summer and a steering arm was replaced, but the noise is back again and very irritating. This happens intermittently, but more often than not. The temperature can be hot or cold; it does not seem to matter. When I drive down the road I hear this noise around the wheel area. It is very noticeable. Last summer I had the bushings replaced and the noise is back again and very irritating. I feel I am taken to the cleaners by mechanics and would appreciate your help. Suggestions? A. I am not sure if you are talking about two different noises or the same noise, but it sounds like you have a dried-out ball joint or tie rod end. These are steering and suspension components that used to be greaseable but in most cases today they do not have fittings that can be greased. You will have to have someone isolate which one it is and most likely it will have to be replaced. Occas ... read more

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Douglas Q&A

Best Car Advice Comes From Shop Owners

Best Car Advice Comes From Shop Owners

I've had a lot of calls lately from my clients either looking to buy or sell a car or truck. Have you considered speaking to your repair shop when you are in the market to purchase a replacement vehicle or sell your existing one? It's a great place to go for either of these transactions. When you are looking to buy, your shop may not only know of a client who is looking to sell, but you will be able to buy with confidence knowing no one will know the car or truck better than those at the shop who serviced it. They will have records for when various services were performed and would most likely pass any service guarantees on to you as the new owner. When you are looking to sell your car, no one knows it better than your shop and staff may just have a buyer looking for a car like yours. Everybody wins and the new owner can drive away with confidence. I always encourage my clients who are purchasing a replacement vehicle, if they don't know anything about it, to bring it i ... read more

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Douglas Q&A

Decisions, Decisions Decisions- Ethanol

Decisions, Decisions Decisions- Ethanol

Q: Hello Doug. Love your column every Sunday in the Daily Herald; it's helped me out a few times so thanks. I have a question regarding grades of gasoline. We travel to Iowa about 1-2 times a month. At one gas station, they sell gas with 10% ethanol and gas without ethanol. The price difference is 40 cents more for ethanol-free. Is there an advantage of using ethanol free as far as performance and mileage, assuming a car gets about 30 mpg? A: Thanks for the question. I don't know for sure if you would see a significant enough performance or mileage increase to offset the 40 cents per gallon. You may want to try it once and see if you notice any improvement. Today's cars tolerate the 10% ethanol fine; it is when you put the 15% or higher in where you could start having problems unless it is a flex fuel vehicle. I do not recommend using the E15 in your car or truck unless it is a flex fuel vehicle. Using fuel with 15% or higher ethanol could damage your vehicle and in fact, i ... read more

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fuel

Don't Cut Corners on Brake Lines

Don't Cut Corners on Brake Lines

Q: I have a 2001 Ford Pickup Truck that I am getting ready to sell, and I noticed that the brake line going to the rear is wet with fluid. Is there a way to splice in a line or is there a cheaper way to repair than to replace the line? A: Unfortunately, you will need to replace the line. Anytime you are dealing with the hydraulic side of the brake system, you don’t want to cut any corners. If you have a brake line blow out on braking, it could be catastrophic. The proper repair would be to replace all rusted brake lines as well as flushing out the system with new brake fluid. This type of repair can run between $500 - $1000 depending on how much of the systems will need to be replaced. On some vehicles, the brake lines and the fuel lines are bundled together; the minute you touch one of those lines, the others can be compromised and begin to leak, so be prepared. We have a big problem with this on older cars as they have been exposed to so many winter seasons with all the road s ... read more

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Brakes
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