Category Archives: How To

5 Tips for Buying a Used Car

Many people prefer buying used cars over new cars. The price tag makes buying used cars much more viable. Buying a used car can also be scary – you don’t always know exactly what you’re getting into. We’ve heard the horror stories of undependable used cars. Following these 5 tips will make your experience purchasing a used car much more pleasant.

tips for buying a used car1. Decide What You’re Looking For – Before anything else, what exactly are you looking for? Is it something cheap and affordable, or are you looking for more of a long-term vehicle? Do you want a small car, a truck, or possibly a van? Are there certain features you are looking for in a vehicle, such as 4-wheel drive? In addition to deciding what you want in a car, decide exactly how much you’re willing to spend. Whether you plan to pay in cash or take out a loan, it is important that you have a defined budget, as this will make your search a lot more manageable.

 

2. Do Your Homework – Once you know what to look for, it is time to do your homework. You never want to make a big purchase without having made an informed decision. Most used cars that are for sale will be listed online, whether that’s on the website of your local used car dealership or on a bigger site such as cars.com or autotrader.com. Shop around (a lot), compare prices, view the vehicle history reports, and come up with a list of 3-5 cars that you are seriously considering.

 

3. Go Check Them Out – Call the seller and confirm the availability of the car. When you’re on the phone, ask a lot of questions – you may learn things about the car that you didn’t know before. Arrange a time for you to meet and see the car.  Take it for a test drive. While in the car, you’ll need to use 4 of your 5 senses (not taste – you don’t need to lick anything). How does everything look, both the interior and beneath the hood? As you are driving, how does the car sound and feel? Are there any unusual smells? If everything still looks good, arrange to have it checked by a professional mechanic. Bargain Tire can help give you an expert opinion.

 

4. Make Your Decision – After you’ve driven a few different cars, and you still have a list of 3-5 vehicles that you are seriously considering, it’s time to make a decision. Weigh the pros and cons of each vehicle, talk to a trusted friend or family member, and make your choice.

 

how to buy a used car5. Negotiate -Some people hate negotiating, but when you’ve done all this work to research the car, chances are you’ll be able to get the car for less than it is listed. Your initial offer should be less than the amount you’re willing to spend. Be reasonable and realistic. When both sides are happy, close the deal, do the paperwork, and enjoy your new vehicle.

 

Many people have positive experiences buying used cars. To make sure you are one of them, be sure to follow these 5 tips for buying a used car. For any vehicle maintenance or repair needs here in the Pocatello, ID area, come see us at Bargain Tire! Good luck shopping!

Car Basics: Checking Your Oil

Checking the oil in a vehicle is a very basic car-maintenance skill that all drivers should have. It’s not difficult, and all drivers both young and old can learn how.

The oil plays an important role in keeping your car running smoothly. If you fail to keep the oil level/quality where it needs to be, you’ll experience some serious problems with the engine. So, here’s how to check your oil (which should be done at least once a month):

Open the hood, remove the dipstick, and clean it with a rag

The exact location of the dipstick varies from vehicle to vehicle, but look for a circular handle (usually yellow). Pull the handle and remove the dipstick. Wipe off the end of the stick so that it is clean of any oil. Once it is clean, insert the dipstick back into the tube and push it all the way in.

oil change idahoOnce again, pull out the dipstick and check the oil level

The dipstick will have some type of markings on the end. You might see the words “MIN” and “MAX”, “Full” and “Add”, or there may just be a section of the dipstick that has a cross-hatched pattern. Whatever the markings, you are checking to see if the oil is below the minimum mark indicated on the dipstick. If so, that means the oil in your engine is low and more is needed. Find a cap labeled “Oil Cap”, or something along those lines, and add the oil there, NOT into the dipstick tube.

Now that you have checked the level of the oil, you will want to check the oil’s quality. Not only do you need enough oil, but you need clean oil. First take a look at the oil’s color. If it is light-colored or milky, you should take it to a mechanic such as Bargain Tire to have it checked. There may be a coolant leak. Also pay attention to how the oil smells – if it smells like gasoline it is probably time for a change. To finish, rub some oil between your fingers. If it leaves a dirty smudge it’s also time for a change.

Congratulations, you’re done!

Piece of cake, right? You’ll be able to finish this whole process in under a minute in no time! When adding oil, check the vehicle owner’s manual to make sure you use the right type of oil. For oil that needs to be changed, bring your vehicle to Bargain Tire in Chubbuck, Idaho for our top-of-the-line oil change services. We’ll have you in, out, and safely back on the road!

Give us a call, or visit our website to schedule an appointment

air conditioning repair

Diagnosing a Broken AC

Summer is just around the corner. As you get ready for all those summer BBQ’s, pool parties, and road trips with the family, we hope that you’ll also remember to get your car ready for the warmer months of the year. One of the common summer-time vehicle problems that people will encounter is an air conditioning unit that doesn’t work. Driving in the summer with no AC can be pretty miserable, so if this happens to you, you’ll want to know how to diagnose the problem.

There are two common problems when it comes to the AC. We’ll discuss how you can identify the problem and get it taken care of.

Symptom: Little or No Air Coming Out

If no air is coming out (cold nor warm), then one of the major components of the AC has likely failed. The vehicle’s AC system is made up of a compressor, condenser, evaporator, expansion valve and a bunch of tubes and fans. Each of these components is important, and if any one of them fails for any reason, you won’t get any air coming out of your vents. Newer cars have a safety mechanism that shuts down a component if their is a refrigerant leak detected. Check underneath the car for oil stains, which indicate their is likely a leak somewhere.

Symptom: Only Warm Air Comes Out

It’s normal for the vehicle to take a minute or two to start blowing cool air, but if it continues to blow nothing but hot air then you know something is wrong. This symptom is shared by a few different illnesses, and knowing how to treat it may require help from the pros over at Bargain Tire. It could be something simple, like recharging the AC unit, or something more serious such as a freon leak.

Whatever AC problems you have, you can rest assured that the certified technicians at Bargain Tire will take care of the problem at the best value in the Pocatello, ID area!