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TOP 10 TIPS FOR MAINTAINING YOUR CAR


TOP 10 TIPS FOR MAINTAINING YOUR CAR

 

Some vehicles may be more reliable than others, but generally speaking, you should be able to keep a car running long well into the 100,000 mile range by keeping it well maintained. There are lots of maintenance tricks that will keep your car running smoothly, some obvious, others less so. Here are ten maintenance tips that we at Eden Autos highly recommend.

 

Keep Fluids Topped Off

Just as we need the perfect balance of nutrients to keep our bodies going long into old age, your car will benefit from always keeping each of its fluids topped off. On top of gas, the main fluids include engine coolant, oil and window washer fluid. There are also other fluids that can benefit from being checked regularly in order to keep specific parts working. Brake fluid will keep your brakes responsive and should be changed every two years. Meanwhile, transmission fluid will keep your gears working smoothly and power steering fluid will keep your steering sharp; both of these should be checked monthly although you may never need to fill up either if you’re lucky. Most modern cars will generally offer warning lights when these fluids are low, while older cars may need to be manually checked.

 

Don’t Drive On Worn Tires

Evenly worn tires with a good amount of tread will make your driving smoother and safer. You should keep the air in your tires at the manufacturer’s recommended pressure. Too low or even too high can affect the tire wear and balance of your vehicle, and even cause damage to your suspension and brakes, not to mention making your steering less responsive or causing pulling to one side. In addition, you should periodically check the tread depth. Worn tires could potentially affect how they grip the road and can make your car more likely to skid and swerve. If there’s little or no tread left, you shouldn’t wait too long to buy new ones. And having them balanced and getting a wheel alignment will help to keep them from wearing unevenly.

 

Preserve Your Battery

Your car battery is the power source for your vehicle’s electrical system, affecting everything from being able to turn on the headlights, to starting the ignition. The battery receives continuous charging from the alternator while the engine is running, but extended use of electrical equipment when the car is turned off, such as lights and radio, can cause the battery to drain. Cold weather can actually freeze the chemicals in the car battery, causing the battery to fail. Save yourself the hassle of having to use jumper cables, or calling for road service, by not using the car regularly in the cold winter months. Even if you don’t want to drive it, at least start it weekly and let it idle for about 15 – 30 minutes.

 

Brake The Bad Habits

Do you drive your car like a Formula 1 race car driver? In other words, do you accelerate hard and then have to slam on the brakes? On top of wearing out your brake pads faster, this type of driving will use up more fuel and affect other engine parts. Accelerating more smoothly and braking earlier will put less pressure on your car.

 

Keep Your Car Clean, But Not Too Clean

Excessive dirt and grime on and under the car could eventually cause some exterior areas to rust, and a dirty car just doesn’t look very good. If you are in an area that does a lot of salting the roads in winter, that could also cause the car to develop rust. Washing your car, or running it through a car wash, will help both these issues. However, be careful of over-cleaning. Too much soap and scrubbing, especially as the result of overusing car washes, can start to give your car a dull appearance by wearing down the finish. Find the right balance to keep your car looking its best and maintaining its finish, without overdoing it.

 

Lubricate

Some parts under the hood will wear down because of a lack of lubrication. Even though many of the under-carriage parts on today’s cars are self-lubricating, there are still some that can benefit from a little lubrication. Applying grease to these parts will stop them from grinding away, giving you many more years out of them. You can buy auto grease at any auto supply store to apply yourself, or get a mechanic to do it for you.

 

Park In The Shade

Did you know that excessive direct sunlight on a hot day could be damaging your car? The sun can damage paint, cause the rubber lining on your doors to become brittle, and even make tires weaker. There are many waxes and finishes that you can buy to prevent sun damage, but if your car is parked outside for many daylight hours, one of the easiest and least costly solutions is to simply keep it parked in the shade; under a tree, in a garage or use a protective cover for times your car is in the hot sun for very extended periods. 

 

Don’t Ignore Warning Lights

The moment you get a warning light on your instrument cluster, you should consult your car’s manual to find out what it means. Warning lights are there to alert you that your car needs some form of servicing or maintenance, and ignoring these lights could cause damage. Although sometimes a warning light might be faulty and may illuminate even when nothing is wrong, you should always check to find out the nature of the problem. You may have been ignoring a faulty warning light related to the brakes, but what happens if your brakes do one day decide to fail and you have no warning?

 

Get Your Car Serviced Regularly

Even if you do consider yourself a car wizard, it takes a professional with specialised equipment to find and repair many of the problems that your car can develop. The manufacturers recommended service schedule is designed to keep your vehicle running properly, and to catch any potential problems before they turn into expensive repair jobs. It’s also a good idea to get your car checked before you go on a long roadtrip.

 

Don’t Put Off Needed Repairs

If there is a recommendation to replace a part that’s showing signs of wear, but for now, it’s still okay to drive, it may be forgotten about until it turns into a more serious problem. By having the part taken care of then and there, it could be a lot less costly and time consuming in the long run.

 

We hope that our Top 10 Tips will help you keep your vehicle running well for many safe and repair-free miles, but when you’re ready for a new car or truck, Eden Autos will be ready to help you find the right one for you. At Eden Autos, we are always ready to help you get the right vehicle, at the right price, with the right financing in place. Call us at 215-977-4772, or stop in at 6213 E. Roosevelt Blvd, Philadelphia to meet our friendly, professional staff and see our extensive inventory of quality pre-owned cars, trucks and SUV’s.

 

7 Misconceptions About Getting a Car Loan with Bad


Seven Misconceptions About Getting a Car Loan with Bad Credit

 

Millions of Americans depend on their cars every single day. Monday to Friday, you drive back and forth to work. You take the kids to school and after-school activities, and take them later. You go to the store to stock up on much-needed food, drink, and household goods. On the weekends, you go shopping or maybe to the beach. You give friends and relatives a ride. You enjoy leisurely drives with the wind in your hair and the open road ahead of you.

 

We all have our own responsibilities and pleasures, but access to a car dictates whether you’re able to accommodate them or not. In the modern world, even with public transport and car-pooling, your own vehicle is a gateway to freedom, flexibility, and independence.

Still, countless drivers take having a car for granted, and may not realize this until they find themselves without one.

 

Buying a new car is often easier said than done, of course, especially if your credit score has dropped over time. With a poor credit score, trying to secure financing for your new vehicle can be incredibly difficult, which leads more of us to used cars instead. Considering how much of a credit-based world we live in today, there are many myths and misconceptions out there about getting an auto loan with bad credit. People having no idea whether it would be possible to secure an auto loan can be daunting enough to prevent even thinking about it, and that may result in missing out on that new car they need so much.

 

Here are seven common misconceptions about getting a car loan with bad credit. If your score is poor, look at the myths explored below for the peace of mind and inspiration to start applying!

 

Large Down Payments are a Must

The prospect of having to make a very large down payment on your new car is daunting, especially if you’re struggling to gather the money required. You may believe you’re expected to set thousands of dollars aside just to be considered for an auto loan, and feel your inability to do so puts you out of the running. It can be an unnecessary source of stress and frustration, on top of the challenges you already face.

 

The reality is that you can still apply for an auto loan without having to make a huge down payment. A bad credit score may prompt some lenders to insist upon larger down payments, but this is dependent upon their own policies, the terms of the loan, and how much of a risk they consider you to be. Of course, the more money you do put down, the smaller your monthly payments will be, but you may not be pressured into a bigger down payment. Certain dealerships, especially those specializing in used cars, will be more willing than others to accept your application without a large down payment.

 

Banks are likely to place a major emphasis on bigger down payments, especially if you have bad credit. Shop around at different dealerships and discuss what type of upfront costs you would be expected to cover if your application were successful, and you may be pleasantly surprised. Not every business follows the same rules regarding financing or payments.

 

Buyers with Bad Credit Cannot Expect Instant Approval

It’s generally believed that only people with good or excellent credit scores can walk into a car dealership and receive instant approval. This seems like a true luxury reserved for those with years of experience making every payment on time that comes their way, but you may still be given instant approval for an auto loan even if you have a low credit score.

 

It’s important to remember that having a bad credit score doesn’t mean you’re unemployed, unable to make any payments, or generally untrustworthy. There are all kinds of reasons behind a low credit rating. For example, you may have slid further and further into financial difficulties after having your hours reduced at your job, after having to take a lower paying job after being laid off, or because of having unexpected medical or household expenses.

 

Being unable to make timely payments is a common reason for poor credit, and anyone can get into debt, even people with high incomes. If you can show that you are currently employed and generating a steady salary, it’s more likely that a dealership will grant you instant approval.

 

Certain businesses specializing in pre-owned vehicles are dedicated to working with customers facing bad credit scores. These companies guarantee instant approval to everyone who applies for a car loan, and base their acceptance on how likely buyers can now cover their future payments, rather than how they managed in the past.

 

Short-Term Loans are Your Best Option

Your loan period is a vital factor to consider. After all, when you apply for financing to buy your new car, the prospect of being stuck with payments for years and years can be a challenge. It’s instinctive to want the shortest loan-term possible, to avoid paying more interest and getting the debt paid off as soon as you can. However, there are a couple of things to bear in mind here. First and foremost, your budget; agreeing to pay more than you can afford every month isn’t going to do you any favors. In fact, missing payments is more likely to cause you to fall into even more debt, potentially dragging your credit score down even further.


Secondly, you need to think about how this plays into rebuilding your credit for a better rating overall. The more payments you can make on time, the better your score will continue to improve over the coming years. By spreading manageable costs across multiple plans, such as your mortgage, car loan, and credit cards, you’ll prove yourself trustworthy and reliable. A long-term auto loan might not seem too desirable right now, but people with bad credit ratings should consider this to keep your monthly expenses as balanced as possible. Don’t forget the other financial commitments you may have, or those that might pop up in the near future, when applying for an auto loan.

 

Bad Credit and New Jobs are a Lethal Combination

Another common misconception about getting a car loan with bad credit is that new jobs will hamper your chances. It makes sense, of course. Starting a new job can mean your finances are a little unsteady for a month or two, as you adjust to a different income level, and there may be a chance that your new employment doesn’t work out. However, there’s no reason that having a new job and bad credit rules you out of getting a car loan.

 

If lenders can see that you a steady work history in the past, they will be more likely to consider your application. Having years of experience in one or more positions, with minimal or no periods of unemployment, demonstrates that you’re capable of supporting yourself and meeting your financial obligations. Simply starting a new job, and having little to show for your time at a new company, is not going to undermine your work history.

 

Some lenders will want to see at least three months’ worth of pay slips for your new job. This might not be so important if you have an extensive history of employment to point to, while others may even take an employment contract as reassurance that you will be able to manage repayments. If this is your first job, then you might find proving yourself a low-risk applicant a challenge, but certain lenders may still offer you instant approval.

 

Your Auto Loan Will Not Help You Build a Better Credit Score

Building your credit score and establishing a more stable rating for the future is essential, but some believe an auto loan won’t help you do so. It turns out that auto loans are one of the best options for starting to repair your credit, even if you do have a low rating. When credit agencies are assessing your credit score, debt type is one of the areas they focus on.

 

Car loans are generally referred to as an ‘installment loan’, which means they have rates of interest and a fixed term. This is different to credit cards, where payments are considered ‘revolving debts’, with variable rates and terms. Unlike credit cards, installment loans are come to an end after a specified number of months or years, which makes it easier for you to plan ahead. Getting a car loan with fixed monthly payments you can afford on your budget, taking possible lifestyle and work changes into account, is a smart, simple way to repair your credit rating. Manage your money so you can always make your payments when they are due, and minimize the risk of over-spending by eliminating non-essential purchases. Having a credit card or two, in addition to your car loan, can also help to show you can be trusted to pay your debts, as long as you make those payments on time.

 

No Credit History is Better than Bad Credit History

First-time car buyers, especially those of a young age, may have very little or no credit history. With no credit cards, no mortgage, no previous loans, younger people essentially have a blank slate when starting out. It’s a common misconception that someone walking into a dealership with no credit history is better than having a bad credit history to your name. It’s fair to assume that lenders would look at this, understand the situation, and be receptive to offering that person a car loan. But that is simply not the case. After all, if you have little or no history of making timely payments on a regular basis, how can lenders be sure you will manage your finances and stay up to date with your monthly car payments? They can’t be.

 

Even if you have a bad credit score, lenders can look at the story behind your personal circumstances of financial difficulties and evaluate your current situation. If you have been dealing with a string of unfortunate circumstances, such as unexpected medical bills, or were forced to take a lower paying job, they may take this into account and still offer you a loan.

 

You can Only Have an Auto Loan on One Vehicle

Let’s say you have bad credit because you lacked the money to make payments on time, but your situation has changed. Perhaps you now have a better-paying job or fewer monthly expenses. You may have a need for two new vehicles instead of just one, or perhaps you already have a car loan but now need a pickup truck for work. You might think that people with bad credit are limited to just a single car loan, but that’s not the case. Even if you have poor credit, you might still be able to get approved, for more than one, or for a second auto loan. Of course, this might seem like taking on too much and setting yourself up for more debt than you can handle, but if the funds are available and you can demonstrate that you have a stable income, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to juggle multiple payments on a regular basis. Having two auto loans you pay off each month could help you repair your credit score faster, too, as you would be showing an ability to manage multiple debts in a responsible way.

 

Having bad credit can be frustrating and even upsetting. You may feel like it’s holding you back, or as if you have let yourself down by failing to make timely payments in the past. However, credit scores can be rebuilt and improved over time, if you choose a sensible auto loan you can afford to pay it off on a regular basis.

 

As the above misconceptions suggest, you may not realize how good your chances of securing a loan may be, especially at Eden Autos. Eden Autos is a dealership that has a long history of getting customers with bad credit ratings, even those with no credit history, instantly approved for loans that are within their budgets.

 

Our friendly, experienced, staff of financial professionals are always available to help you find the perfect pre-owned car or truck at a fair price, with a guarantee of instant credit approval. With our extensive inventory of quality pre-owned vehicles, we’re sure to have a vehicle to match any auto needs and budget. Call us at 215-977-4772, or stop in to see us,  we’re conveniently located at 6213 E. Roosevelt Blvd in Philadelphia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Checking and Maintaining Your Car’s Brakes


Checking and Maintaining Your Car’s Brakes

We all know that brakes play a vital role in automobile safety, but do we all spend as much time checking our brakes as often as we should? All car-owners should inspect their vehicle on a regular basis, and take care of any little flaws or faults immediately. Sadly, though, brakes can be overlooked; you might focus on your engine and your tires, but often take your braking system for granted.

 

Nobody can afford to do this, not when your proper brake performance can literally mean the difference between life and death. So, with that in mind, how can you check and maintain your own brakes to keep yourself, and fellow drivers, as safe as possible when behind the wheel?

 

Is Your Brake Fluid Healthy?

Your car brakes feature five core parts: the brake pads, calipers, rotors, brake lines, and the master cylinder. The brakes operate with hydraulics, using fluid to maintain control from your foot as it presses the pedal to the brakes on your car’s wheels. This entire transfer of power starts with a piston in the master cylinder; applying pressure to the pedal causes fluid to run through the brake lines to the calipers, slowing the movement of the wheels to ultimately bring your vehicle to a stop.

 

This brake fluid is stored in a reservoir under the hood, and maintaining its proper level and performance is quite simple: check for any clear leaks or cracks in the reservoir and the lines, and be sure to check the fluid level at least once a month. Your car’s manual will tell you how much fluid is required, so familiarize yourself with this information for quick checks in the future.

 

Brake fluid attracts water and can absorb water molecules from the surrounding area. This can occur no matter how tightly you screw the cap onto the reservoir, running the risk of creating rust along your brake lines, leading to potential ruptures over time. To help avoid this, ensure your reservoir’s cap remains tightly closed, and it’s generally best to replace the brake fluid once every two years, or for approximately every 25,000 miles.

 

Is Your Master Cylinder Working As It Should?

The master cylinder is at the heart of your entire braking system, so keeping it in the best possible condition is very important. How do you know when to check this if you don’t already on a regular basis? Usually, the brake pedal itself will start to feel different, kind of spongy, when you apply pressure, or the ‘oil” or “oil can” light on the dash will come on.

 

When checking your master cylinder, examine it, and the surrounding area, for any signs of leaks. Any escaping fluid means it’s time for a replacement, though this may be a little complicated; anyone but the most experienced drivers would be advised to contact professional mechanics for this job. It may cost more, but it’s best to avoid any potential errors with your master cylinder, no matter how small it may seem.

 

Are Your Bake Pads in Good Shape?

As the brake pedal is depressed, the brake pads make contact with the rotors (brake discs) to bring the car to a safe, steady stop. If the pads start to wear and go unchanged, you can find yourself facing one particularly dangerous side-effect; the vehicle’s inability to stop when needed.

 

Certain cars allow you a clear sight of the brake pads without needing to remove the wheels, but in most cases, each wheel will need to be taken off the vehicle. Healthy brake pads will have at least 5mm density, with balanced wear across both. Check the brake pads once every 5 to 7,5000 miles, but pay attention to common warning signs: a sudden high-pitched or grinding noise when the brake pedal is depressed is an immediate clue. Struggling to slow down normally when the pedal is pushed, or an unstable steering wheel are equally telling. If you find yourself being pulled more to the left or right, one brake pad could be more worn down than the other. Worn-out brake pads may also create an unusual vibration in the pedal.

 

Given the tremendous heat generated as pads and rotors press together, it’s not surprising that these components wear down over time, and brake fluid may actually start boiling in the calipers. If this happens, braking may be more difficult than it should be, potentially leading to complications or, at worst, accidents. Some manufacturers do produce pads designed to better handle high heat, though these tend to under-perform when driving in lower temperatures, or when you have little need to use your brakes much during your trips.

 

You can make your brake pads last longer by avoiding high speeds, thereby minimizing needing to brake quickly and heavily; this puts incredible pressure on the pads and the rotors alike. Stay focused on the traffic ahead and around you too, to help reduce sudden braking from other drivers’ unexpected behavior.

 

Have You Inspected Your Rotors?

As mentioned earlier, your rotors (brake discs) are integral to your car’s braking system: these metal disks are what your brake pads need to press against to bring the car to a stop. Check your rotors for any indentations or grooves, and be sure they’re not broken. If they’re not completely rounded, invest in replacements. However, this should always be done in pairs: get new front or back ones together, never one of each.

 

Why? Because then you can rest assured that your new rotors will wear with balance, keeping an even grip on both sides of the vehicle. This stops you from being pulled to one side or another when applying the brakes. As with brake pads, try to extend your rotor’s life by keeping your driving at a measured pace, so you’re not slamming on the brakes more often than is necessary. Heavy braking for a sudden stop again and again will lead tp your entire braking system wearing down faster than if you take things a little more slowly.

 

Though the responsibilities of everyday life can make it hard to find time for checking your car’s brakes, make the effort to do so as recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer. Stay on top of your maintenance, either by doing the work yourself or taking it to a qualified professional. In short, take care of your braking system and your braking system will take care of you.

 

At Eden Autos, we encourage our customers to stay up to date with basic vehicle maintenance and repairs that can keep their vehicles in good running condition and that can save them money. We hope you find this information helpful.

 

Preventive Maintenance You Should Do on Your Car


The Preventive Maintenance You Should Do on Your Car

 

Driving might well be one of the greatest skills that anyone can ever learn, but car ownership doesn’t come cheap. By the time you’ve bought and insured your vehicle, it’s likely that you’ll have spent quite a sum – and that’s before you’ve taken the price of gas and maintenance into account.  

 

Consequently, the last thing any driver needs is to face the crippling costs of expensive repair jobs. Prevention is always the best form of protection, which is why all motorists should familiarize themselves with the jobs below. While some are quite simple to do yourself, others may require special tools and a car lift, which may be better left to a professional. But even if you can’t do the job yourself, it’s important to have them done when required, to save on costly repair bills down the road. They’ll enhance your experiences behind the wheel, while saving you a lot of money in the long run. In some cases, they might just save your life too.

 

Tire Pressure

Your tires cover a lot of miles, and that constant contact with various terrains means that they need more attention than most parts of the vehicle. Given that they have a huge influence on safety, comfort, and fuel economy, you’d be a fool to ignore the air pressure any longer.

 

Checking tire pressure is as easy as unscrewing the cap and putting a tire pressure gauge into the valve. Simply set the recommended PSI for your vehicle (found on the side of the driver’s door and in the manual) and most air pump machines will indicate once you’ve reached that level. Screw the cap back on, and your drive will instantly feel smoother. This can slow the general wear and tear on treads to extend the tire life too. Keep in mind the tire pressure will increase when the tires are hot, such as after a long drive, and will decrease in cold weather.

 

Many late-model cars will indicate when there is an issue with air pressure. Other maintenance jobs can include alignment and balance. This way, you’ll be far less likely to encounter the need to change all four at once – which is very expensive indeed.

 

Oil Changes

Late model cars don’t require oil changes as often as they once did. Nonetheless, ensuring that you do this job when it is recommended will keep the engine parts properly lubricated. This keeps the whole car performing as it should for a far longer lifespan. If you are physically able to do the job yourself, it’s not very difficult. And if that’s not the case, there are often discounted prices available at many service centers.

 

Before completing an oil change, you must let the car cool down. Locate the oil pan and drain the old oil while also removing the filter. Replace with a new filter, filling it to around the two-third mark. Fill the engine’s oil using a funnel and check the levels using your dip stick. Job done.

 

Fluid Levels

In addition to the oil, there are various other fluids that need to be monitored. From transmission fluids and brake fluids to windshield washer fluids, those elements are crucial for smoother running. Not only do they aid comfort and safety, but they can prevent small issues from escalating into something worse.

 

Most of those things can be seen either directly or via dip sticks. Meanwhile, checking antifreeze can go a long way to protecting the vehicle throughout the colder months. Given that this is the time of year where those annoying problems are likely to surface, taking those precautions is key.

 

Battery Maintenance

Falling victim to a dead battery is usually something that only happens once. No driver is foolish enough to let such a simple issue ruin their experience twice. However, it’s far better to avoid the problem altogether. Being vigilant for the signs, such as white residue around the terminals, will allow you to do just that. Battery maintenance involves removing the terminals and replacing them with new ones. While doing this, you should clean the posts with a suitable solution. Make sure that they are dry before inserting the new terminals, and the battery will be sure to keep performing. There’s no denying the importance of the battery’s condition, and this simple job could prevent a breakdown and the subsequent trip to a repair shop.

 

Spark Plug Maintenance

As a rule of thumb, spark plugs should serve you anywhere from about 30,000 for copper tip plugs to 100,000 miles for platinum and iridium tip plugs, which are used in later model cars. But even the longer lasting plugs will generate less spark well before they reach 100k miles.

 

To do it yourself, you’ll need a socket wrench with an extension, and buying pre-gapped plugs makes the job much easier. Remove the wire before taking out the old spark plug and installing the new one. Make sure that you do this one spark plug at a time, in the right order. The number of spark plugs will be determined by the number of cylinders, which vary between car models. So, if it seems slightly different to what you’ve seen friends do, this is probably the reason.

 

Windshield Wiper Replacement

The importance of the wiper blades is often overlooked by many vehicle owners. However, visibility is integral for safe driving, which is why wipers must be kept in great health. Thankfully, it’s a very easy job that does not need the help of an expert. Lift the wipers and disconnect the blades from the arm. Simply fix your new blades to the arm, ensuring the connection is suitably secured. Do this annually, testing that they work before taking your next drive, and you’ll be just fine.

 

Timing Belt Replacement

While this is a job usually left to the professionals, it is something that should not be overlooked. The timing belt is made of high-quality rubber with teeth that will eventually wear down, causing a variety of engine-related problems. If the belt breaks while the engine is on, costly damage to the engine itself usually occurs. So, at whatever mileage the manufacturer recommends replacement, (usually 60,000 miles) it is wise to have it done.

 

Cabin Air Filter

Not all jobs are focused on the car’s performance. You should also take your comfort and general health into consideration. With this in mind, keeping the air ventilation system working properly is one of the most crucial jobs you could ever complete. Replacing the cabin air filter is an easy task that makes a huge difference, and cleaning the drain should help too. Finish the job by swabbing the external areas and spraying a disinfectant. Do this once a year to avoid that stale smell forever. The owner’s manual should provide instructions on how to replace the filter, but if not, do a google search for your year and model car, and you’ll find plenty of instructional sites.

 

Following these few recommendations should help keep unexpected repair costs at a minimum, and give you more enjoyment from your vehicle.  

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