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Why buy a used car?

Purchasing a reconditioned vehicle at Murrysville Auto Sales is the right choice

For lots of people, the answer to the question ‘why buy a used car?’ is straightforward. A new one simply isn’t within their budget. However, depending on what you need and exactly what you can afford, other factors can come into the decision. In some instances, a used car might work out a better long-term investment than a new one, while there’s always the potential of driving a larger, sportier or more premium car than your budget would allow if buying brand-new. In general, drivers are proud of their cars, keeping and maintaining them well. New-car sales have been buoyant for many years, too, and taken together these factors ensure the used car marketplace is full of good-quality vehicles of all makes and models, at a variety of price points. New cars are obviously still appealing, of course, so what are the major advantages of going used?   Secondhand Cars: While the phrase ‘secondhand car’ may conjure up images of an old and battered vehicle with many previous owners, that’s certainly not representative of the whole market. All cars shed value over time, but this process doesn’t take place at a steady rate. Initially, there’s quite a steep depreciation hit, and this means ‘reconditioned used cars’ can be a great-value option for buyers. On occasion, high demand for a brand-new model can mean going previously owned will get you behind the wheel of the car you want sooner.   Finance Options: Car finance is no longer only applicable to new vehicle purchases these days. Some Used Car Dealers work with national and local banks, credit unions and independent finance companies that can often help with the purchase of approved used vehicles. The cost can therefore be spread over affordable monthly repayments, rather than having to dip into your savings or come up with a lump sum to buy.   Conclusion: The wide variety of options and offerings that secondhand buyers have available to them all mean that a used car can represent a fantastic choice. With detailed pre-sale inspections with a comprehensive checklist, reputable extended warranty companies and reassuring roadside assistance all available – along with the option of financing your purchase – there’s never been a better time to buy secondhand.

Great Article on the Difference of tires from Car News "Roadshow"

Posted 12/29/2018
  • Car News

Summer, winter or all-season tires: What's the difference? - Roadshow

So, your tires are worn out and it's time to replace them. What kind should you get? While it's generally a safe bet to to go with original equipment tires - the brand, model and size fitted to your vehicle by the manufacturer when it was new - maybe you want to switch things up a bit.

You've got plenty of options, but unless you've got an off-road rig, your decision will likely boil down to three basic choices: summer, winter or all-season tires. Each type have their own specific pros and cons, so be sure to know what each can and can not do, and compare that to what conditions you'll likely be driving in.

Summer tires

Usually marketed as performance tires, summer tires work best in warmer weather (read: over 45-degree temperatures). Summer tires are made from a softer rubber compound and are typically fitted with large tread blocks to give maximum contact with the road in warmer weather. As a result, summer tires generally have more grip in both wet and dry conditions and provide optimal cornering and braking capabilities.

However, once temperatures drop, their soft rubber compound hardens, and traction suffers greatly. Not only that, colder temperatures may cause chipping of the tread block edge or the tread compound rubber to crack. Since these failures are generally treated by tire companies as the result of improper tire use, they're rarely covered under warranty, meaning the replacement cost will be on you.

More importantly, however, summer tires just don't grip in cold weather, whether there's snow or ice present on roads or not. Cornering performance is greatly impaired, and stopping distances can be lengthened dramatically. Simply put, summer tires aren't just unsuitable for temperatures below 45 degrees, they're genuinely unsafe.

Don't believe me? Tire Rack has done extensive testing on summer tires performance on ice. In one test, a car wearing summer rubber took 47 feet to stop from only 10 mph, while the car wearing winter tires managed the same task in just 21 feet - well under half the distance.

Winter tires

When the thermometer dips below 45 degrees, you really should consider throwing a set of winter tires on your car. Winter tires are made with a deep tread pattern and a series of very thin cuts called sipes across the tread. The deep tread can help flush out excess slush buildup, while the sipes and other ridges help to pack the white stuff between the tread blocks, allowing for superior snow-on-snow traction. Meanwhile, sipes help provide a biting edge to keep things copacetic on icy surfaces. Winter tires also use rubber that's specially formulated to provide more grip on cold, dry pavement. Even if you don't regularly experience snow, winter tires are still your best bet when temps are low. 

Just be sure to put a full set of winter tires on your car. Mixing and matching snow tires with all-season or summer tires results in different levels of traction between your ride's wheels, which can be a recipe for erratic handling.

Studded snow tires, with metal studs embedded (or installed) right into the tire tread, are an option. However, be forewarned that they are much noisier than regular winter tires (which often already quite loud), plus they can do damage to local pavement. Some cities have outlawed them for exactly this reason, so check your local ordinances before buying a set.

If swapping out your tires twice a year sounds like a drag, consider investing in a second set of less-expensive steel or alloy wheels for winter, preferably in a size or two smaller than your summer tires. Even if they don't look quite as impressive, a smaller-size tire will provide better performance at a lower cost, plus they'll typically have taller sidewalls, which aid ride quality. Just make sure that the downsized secondary set of wheels you buy fit cleanly over your brake calipers.

And be warned, fellow procrastinators: Winter tires can be sold out by the time the snow flies. Buy them early to guarantee you won't be stranded waiting for your local tire shop to get a fresh shipment.

All-season tires

The vast majority of new cars are arrive at dealers equipped with all-season tires, since they can perform adequately on dry or wet roads, or roads that have a light snow. However, you should think of all-season tires as a "jack of all trades, master of none" solution. All-season tires may perform adequately on dry, warmer pavement, but they won't give you the handling and grip levels of a summer tire. They may have a longer life than summer or winter tires, and they can get you up to the ski slopes, as long as that mountain road is only lightly covered with snow. Even then, however, they won't stop and corner as well as winter tires can when the weather turns cold.

The best choice really comes down to your budget, convenience and the worst-case scenario. Figure out how much money you can spend, the worst weather you'll be driving in and whether you want the hassle of swapping out tires twice a year. Purchase tires to accommodate those factors.

For example, when I first bought my Mazdaspeed Miata, I lived in Washington, DC, an area that doesn't receive an overwhelming amount of snow. But its winter temperatures often dip below 45 degrees. As much I wanted summer tires for maximum fair-weather performance, I knew I'd have to spring for a set of winters, as well. I didn't have the cash for two sets of tires, so instead, I opted for Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 all-season tires. In warmer months, they provided enough grip to participate in a few autocross events and be fun on the street. In the winter, they performed well when roads got about an inch of snow - but anything over that saw me leaving my rear-wheel-drive sports car at home and taking the train.

Similarly, when I moved to California to join Roadshow, I immediately swapped those tires out for Michelin Pilot Super Sport summer tires, since I knew snow and cold weather wouldn't be a factor. Sure, I can't drive up to Tahoe in a blizzard, but I'm OK with that.

You may see all-season tires with "M+S" marked on the sidewall. This stands for "mud and snow" and means that the tire has performed well in packed snow and mud. It does not mean the tire has the same traction in the cold or on ice as a proper winter tire. These tires are more "all-season plus" than full-fledged winter tires, and if you don't want to pony up for the two-set solution, it might be worth seeking out a set of M+S-rated tires.

One last thing: Just because you have all-wheel drive doesn't mean you have all-wheel stop. Getting power to all four wheels certainly helps all-season tires accelerate in heavy snow, but it does nothing to help you stop or corner. If it snows more than a few inches regularly where you live, do you, your family and everyone else on the road a favor: Invest in some good winter tires. 

Good Advise on Picking Out a Lower Priced Used Vehicle

Posted 12/29/2018
There's an old adage among restaurant owners which says always eat where the chef eats. That advice can be applied to almost any profession, always go to the doctor your doctor uses; always use the hairdresser your hairdresser uses.

Then why not buy a higher mileage car that your car dealer would buy for his own personal use. If there is anybody who knows a good, safe bargain, it is a used car dealer. 'I'm looking for a cheap reliable used car, got any ideas?' is the most asked question I get from family and friends who know, from their bitter experience, the minefield that awaits the unwary buyer.

Let these three basics to guide you: First-choose a car for your needs and wants: Second-buy one with a known dependable engine; and Third-buy a car least prone to rust if kept outside (hard to do in the rust belt area of the northeast).

No matter how uncomfortable you feel, haggle with the seller to get the price down. If that is possible, you will always have $300-$500 set aside as a contingency plan for replacing worn parts.

Ask to see the CarFax. While not 100% reliable, it is a great guide while looking for the right vehicle. Check the car's history and when the last service was done, if over a year budget for a new service. Check for uneven tire wear, abnormal shifting and look for signs of leaking oil. This could make your bargain buy not so much of a bargain.