4910 Lima Rd Fort Wayne, IN 46808 260-212-1111

Should You Lease Or Buy A Car

The Benefits of Buying a Used Car vs Leasing

Buying a used car can be an attractive option for many consumers, as it allows them to save money and still get the vehicle they need. On the other hand, leasing has its own advantages and can be just as attractive for some. Let’s  take a look at both options in more detail to help you decide which one is best for your situation.

The Advantages of Buying Used

One of the major benefits of buying used cars is the price tag. Used cars tend to be significantly cheaper than buying new, allowing for more affordable upfront costs with lower monthly payments. This can give buyers a much wider range of vehicles that may fit their budget better. Used cars are also usually less expensive to insure due to their lower value compared to newer models. Lower insurance premiums can mean substantial savings over time, depending on the type and age of your car. 

A wide variety of choices is also available when shopping for a used car; many dealerships carry newer cars that have only recently been taken off lease. These cars are typically returned in excellent condition but come with large discounts due to the fact that they were previously leased instead of bought outright. In addition, certain vehicles depreciate more slowly than others; meaning if you choose wisely, you could avoid significant losses when it comes time to resell your car further down the line.

The Advantages of Leasing

Leasing is another way to acquire a vehicle without breaking the bank on upfront costs or breaking into your savings account every month for years on end; since lease rates tend to run lower than loan rates, it's usually possible to pay less each month even if your credit score isn’t perfect (though this does vary depending on several factors).

Leasing also allows for greater flexibility in terms of vehicle selection; some luxury models cannot be fully purchased outright due to their high cost but may be available through leasing options from reputable companies that specialize in such products. This gives buyers access to cars that would otherwise be completely out of reach due to financial restrictions alone.

Leased vehicles require little upkeep and maintenance compared with used cars so long as regular service intervals are met according to the agreement—with no additional investments required beyond routine checkups during lease periods. At the conclusion of leases, customers may return their rented car or upgrade easily since ownership is not involved—allowing traders or leasers easy exits and freedom from long-term commitments if desired (or required).

 Final Thoughts

Buying a used car vs leasing depends entirely on individual needs and preferences; while some people prefer owning something outright, others may benefit more from renting and getting out quickly if needed down the road. Ultimately both options present advantages so long as consumers make wise decisions throughout the purchasing process regardless!


Why Now Is The Best Time To Trade In Your Car!

Get Top Dollar For Your Trade!

 If you are in the market for a new car, now is an excellent time to trade in your old one. Dealer inventory is low, as a result, dealerships are now offering better deals on trade-ins than they have in the past. 


What are some benefits of trading in a car for a newer model

  1. Trade-ins are at an all-time high, and likely to stay that way for the foreseeable future.

  2. You'll get a better deal now than you would in the past

  3. It will be easier to find financing for your new car since dealerships have less inventory on their lot

When you trade in your old car for a newer model, you can expect to receive a number of benefits. First, you'll get a newer, more reliable car. Newer cars have better fuel economy and safety features than older models. Finally, you'll have the opportunity to trade in your old car for a new one with the same or lower monthly payments.


What should I do to get my car ready to trade it in?

If you're thinking about trading in your old car for a new one, there are a few things you can do to get your car ready. Most importantly, make sure the car is clean inside and out. This will make it more attractive to potential buyers and help you get a better price. 

You should also fix any cosmetic damage and have the car serviced so that it is in good working condition. Finally, gather all of the paperwork related to the car, including the title, registration, and maintenance records. This will make it easier for the dealer to process the trade-in.

Do car dealers take trade-ins with out you buying one of their cars?

Yes, most car dealerships will accept trade-ins even if you don't plan to buy a car from them.  As a matter of fact this gives dealer's a faster way to increase their inventory without relying on the traditional auction route.

Spring Car Care Tips

Spring is in the air and it makes for the perfect time to get your car in shape for road trips and weekend getaways. Here are six simple steps to ensure that your vehicle is ready for the road ahead!

Thoroughly Clean your Vehicle, Inside and Out
There’s nothing like a good spring cleaning. After months of bad weather, a thorough wash and wax is the most important thing to do with your vehicle once winter ends. You will most likely discover that a huge amount of road grime, debris, and — worst of all — salt has built-up on your vehicle. A thorough cleaning, including the engine bay and beneath the car, will get rid of this accumulated dirt.

Also take this time to make the interior shine. Get rid of the trash, papers, and junk that tends to accumulate over the winter. A warm day is a great opportunity to take your time and do a thorough cleaning that includes vacuuming and cleaning the windows inside and out. And while you are at it...don’t forget the trunk!

Check Your Tire Pressure
Tire pressure is especially important in the spring. As air temperatures get cooler during the winter, tire pressures decrease, which probably caused you to fill up your tires. But as temperatures get warmer in the spring, tire pressures can rise. If the pressure increases past your manufacturer specification (because you added air during the winter), it can lead to overinflation, which can cause premature tire wear.

When checking the tire pressure, also take a look at the depth of your tread. You can use a penny inserted headfirst into the tread. If you can see any part of the top of Lincoln’s head, it means you should replace your tires. Also inspect the sidewalls for any cuts or damage that could weaken the tire & lead to a potential blowout in hot weather.

Inspect Your Wiper Blades
As spring starts and temperatures warm up, check your wiper blades for any signs of cracking or wear. The wiper itself could wear dramatically over the winter due to ice buildup or other issues on your windshield. Experts recommend changing the blades every six months to a year, depending on use and weather.

Check Under the Hood
Do a thorough check under your hood to make sure your car’s engine made it through the winter without problems. Specifically, check belts and hoses to ensure the cold temperatures haven’t rendered them brittle or heavily worn. Check your coolant to make sure it’s not too old — an important factor for avoiding overheating as temperatures start to climb. If you aren’t comfortable performing these checks on your own, contact your mechanic. Also, make sure that you top off your windshield wiper fluid.

Check Alignment and Suspension
Winter is known for being harsh on roads, which in turn can be harsh on your vehicle. If you find yourself frequently travelling roads with huge potholes or rocks that have emerged from the asphalt, it could ruin your car’s alignment or damage suspension components.
A sure sign that you may need an alignment is if your steering wheel isn’t centered or the car doesn’t track straight. Also, your shocks or struts may need attention if you notice that the vehicle feels like it has a loose or overly soft ride with an extra rebound when going over bumps.

Check the Filters
Spring is also known for pollen and allergies. You can keep them out or minimize their presence in the cabin by replacing the filter in your climate control system. Most manufacturers recommend changing the cabin air filter every 30,000 miles.
Spring is also a good time to check your engine’s air filter to ensure that the old one hasn’t been clogged by dirt or other impurities. A filter contaminated by oil or other fluids can also be a sign of larger engine problems and should be checked by a mechanic.

We hope that you find this information useful. And as always … safe journeys on your trips around town. Big City Cars is located at 4910 Lima Road, just down from Costco. Or give us a call today at (260) 212-1111. We look forward to helping you get into a quality preowned vehicle that fits your lifestyle & budget.

Driving in Winter Weather Tips

Driving in winter weather conditions can be very hazardous. If you live in an area that typically experiences snow and ice in the winter months (like Fort Wayne), you need to be aware of the extra precautions that drivers must take if they plan to drive in these conditions. The following tips will help you navigate snowy or icy road conditions.

1 The best tip for driving in severe winter weather conditions is to avoid it. If you do not have to travel to work or school, try your best to stay off the roads. There is no reason to put yourself in danger if driving in snow and ice is not necessary.

2 If you must drive in winter weather, be sure to allow extra time to drive from one place to another. Make sure that you are not in a rush to get anywhere. You will be forced to drive at slower than normal speeds and are more likely to be stalled by accidents when driving in winter weather conditions. You can’t expect to reach your destination within the same time frame as in summer

3 Slow down. Speeding is never smart but speeding on snowy or icy roads can be deadly. Be prepared to drive significantly slower than you normally would on dry roadways. Reducing your speed will allow you to have more time to react if you encounter a problem.

4 During normal driving conditions, it is recommended to keep 3 seconds between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. However, during snowy & icy conditions, you need to increase that distance to at least 8-9 seconds between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you in order to 
allow proper braking and any unexpected situations.

5 Drive with your lights on, even during the day. Winter weather conditions reduce visibility. Even if it is not snowing, sleeting, or icing now...your headlights will serve as an extra safety precaution.

6 Use a lower gear to provide more traction. Your vehicle will be less likely to accelerate quickly if it begins to slide on an icy road if it is being driven in a lower gear. Also, never use cruise control in winter weather conditions. Cruise control takes vehicle control away from you which is extremely dangerous on slippery roads.

7 Never pass snowplows. This is because when snowplows operate in tandem formation, multiple plows are staggered diagonally to cover all lanes and clear the entire roadway in one sweep. It is extremely dangerous for motorists to try and pass plows in this formation because you could encounter white-out conditions and ridges of snow between lanes. Also, never pass a snowplow on the right as some are equipped with a wing plow on that side. Finally, don't follow too closely behind a snowplow; stay at least 200 feet behind it.

8 Never overestimate your vehicle’s ability to handle winter weather conditions. While 4x4 and All Wheel Drive vehicles give you extra traction, they are still susceptible to loosing traction on snowy and icy roads. If you are skeptical, find another means of transportation.

9 People are often unsure of how to recover control of their vehicle if the wheels lock up because of icy or snowy road conditions. If your rear wheels lock up, take your foot off the accelerator, turn your steering wheel in the direction you want your front wheels to go, apply steady pressure to anti-lock brakes or gently pump standard brakes. If your front wheels lock up, allow the steering wheel to turn freely, remove your foot from the accelerator, shift into neutral, then slowly begin to steer the vehicle as it slows down from turning. The best thing to keep in mind if you lose control of your vehicle on an icy road is the importance of not making any sudden maneuvers. Allow your vehicle to slow down before attempting to regain control.

10. Even if there is no snow or icy to deal with, make sure that you completely defrost your front and back windshields before driving in the winter (you can read another blog from Big City Cars titled “How to Defrost your Windows FAST). Frost significantly reduces your visibility. Wait until it is completely melted before driving.

Again, if it is not necessary that you drive in winter weather conditions, do not get behind the wheel. Drivers who must brave icy roadways need to keep in mind that patience is necessary. Exert extra caution when driving in winter road conditions. It is also a good idea to stay prepared for accidents or stalls by keeping a warm blanket, bottle of water, a snack, and other emergency supplies in your vehicle.

We hope that you find this information useful. And as always … safe journeys on your trips around town. Big City Cars is located at 4910 Lima Road, just down from Costco. Or give us a call today at (260) 212-1111. We look forward to helping you get into a quality preowned vehicle that fits your lifestyle & budget.

How To Maintain Your Car’s Electrical System

Your car battery can go ignored for days until one chilly morning when you try to start your car and it does nothing but ‘click’. Want to make sure that never happens? Here’s how you go about it.

Drive Your Vehicle Regularly. It’s common sense but sometimes people forget that driving a car regularly keeps the battery charged. Even so, people will leave their car stagnant for weeks without any action, especially during their holiday vacation. If you won’t be driving your vehicle for a while, make sure you start it at least once or twice a week and leave the engine running for 20 to 30 minutes to power the battery. Otherwise, if you’re traveling and there is nobody around to help you out, you can disconnect the battery before you leave.

Don’t Leave Car Electrical Components on Without the Engine Running. If the engine is not running, don’t leave electrical accessories like the lights or the radio turned on for a long period. Doing so will only suck the battery charge and probably leave you stranded. Another thing: don’t leave the car key in the ignition or else you will kill your battery in a few hours.  

Keep the Battery Case Clean. It’s a fact, excess dirt and moisture can spoil your battery to the extent of disrupting the charge. In fact, it can even cause corrosion or acid to leak on the battery terminals. It should only take you about 30 minutes to clean the battery with water and apply grease to keep off the dirt and dampness.  

Properly Secure the Battery in the Engine Bay. The car battery is a very fragile part of the engine; if you don’t secure it, the engine vibration can disorient the battery plates. Moreover, the vibrations can also damage the terminals prompting the car to stop. All that trouble can be avoided just by locking the battery in the engine bay.  

Don’t Jump-Start A Flat Battery. Admittedly, most drivers break this rule. Now it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t seek help from a friend when your battery is dead but sometimes a flat battery can get overwhelmed with excessive current enough to spoil the electronics. If you must do it, leave your headlights on to absorb any excess electrical current. Most importantly, read the user’s manual to know how it should be done on your car.  

Park Inside A Garage in Winter. Do you know that car batteries discharge faster during winter? It’s even worse when there is water that freezes when you leave your car exposed in extremely cold weather. The most effective method of protecting your car battery during winter is to park it inside an insulated garage.   

Cut Down on Short Trips. Okay, you know that driving your vehicle regularly helps to charge your battery, but you would be doing yourself a disservice if you take short trips. If you really want to make it worth it, go out on a long trip, especially after jump starting and resurrecting your dead battery.  

Change the Battery Every 3 or 4 Years. Naturally, all car batteries dwindle with time and eventually die (just like the batteries in your TV remote control). Most car batteries should be scheduled for a replacement after 3 to 4 years of service. However, the average battery lifespan is dictated by the weather, driving habits and charge capacity.  

We hope that you find this information useful. And as always … safe journeys on your trips around town. Big City Cars is located at 4910 Lima Road, just down from Costco. Or give us a call today at (260) 212-1111. We look forward to helping you get into a quality preowned vehicle that fits your lifestyle & budget.   

Is Driving with Low Fuel Bad for your Car

We’ve all been there. You’re driving down the road and the low gas light comes on. Time to fill up! But have you ever stopped to think if driving with low fuel is bad for your vehicle? The answer is: YES!

Experts say you should always keep your gas tank at least a quarter of the way full. But why? Obviously, doing so will keep you from getting in a dangerous situation where you're low on gas and too far from a gas station to fill up, leaving you stranded on the side of the road. But there are other; less obvious, reasons to keep a little gas in your tank. Simply, driving on an empty tank can cause damage to your vehicle in several ways.  

You won't get very far driving on empty; but in the moments before you do stall out your car's catalytic converter, which is part of the exhaust system, can be damaged. You could also get debris stuck in your fuel pump by running your tank too low. That's because any tiny particles that find their way into the gas tank settle at the bottom, and they tend to stay there until your car is trying to grab the last bit of fuel it can. When the fuel pump sucks up the last of your gas, any debris in your tank will go along with it, and the particles can get stuck in your pump or in your fuel filter.

But getting nasty sediments stuck in your fuel pump isn't the only way that you could be damaging it. In some cars, the fuel pump is located in the gas tank, and the gas acts like insulation and a lubricant as it flows around the pump. If you're constantly running your gas tank dry, the fuel pump could be overheating, which will cause it to wear out prematurely.

So, now the BIG question. How far can you go when the gas gauge hits E? Well, that depends on your vehicle. Different vehicles have the gas light configured in different ways. Most cars will illuminate the light when there are about 2 or 3 gallons left. Some bigger vehicles, like trucks and SUVs, light up the empty indicator when there are about 4 gallons left in the tank. How far those amounts can get you is another variable that depends on your car's efficiency, your driving style, & whether you're in the city, on the highway, or stuck in a traffic jam.

We hope that you find this information useful. And as always … safe journeys on your trips around town. Big City Cars is located at 4910 Lima Road, just down from Costco. Or give us a call today at (260) 212-1111. We look forward to helping you get into a quality preowned vehicle that fits your lifestyle & budget. 

5 Windshield Wiper Tips for Better Driving

Windshield wipers are vital necessities that help keep you safe on the road. When neglected, dull wiper blades can cause problems during a sudden downpour (or snowstorm), which is why keeping them properly maintained is so important. Here are a few windshield wiper care tips to help ensure your wipers are always ready to go. 

Defrost and Scrape Before Using the Wipers. Windshield wipers tend to stick when there’s been heavy snow or ice, causing them to snap if you turn them on before defrosting the windshield. In freezing temperatures, run the defroster first and scrape away any snow or ice, if necessary. It’s helpful if you warm up the car ahead of time with the defroster on high, especially if you have an early morning commute. 

Reposition the Blades During the Winter Months. Dealing with frozen windshield wipers is the last thing you want to be doing before work on a cold winter morning. To prevent this problem, pull the wiper blades away from the windshield the night before a freeze. This keeps the rubber squeegee part of the blades from freezing to the glass, and it makes it easier to scrape away any ice and snow. 

Replace the Blades at Least Twice a Year. Wiper blades are only designed to last about six months. After that, you’ll start to notice a decline in your driving visibility. To help combat this problem, buy replacements every six months and change them on time. You’ll also need to keep an eye on the blades for signs of early wear, such as smearing, skipping, or squeaking across the glass. Replacing wiper blades is really easy after a little bit of practice.   

Keep the Windshield Clean. Your car’s wiper blades are going to wear more quickly if they’re wiping across filthy glass. To help prolong their longevity, clean your windshield every time you stop to fill up at a gas station. Most stations provide a squeegee specifically for this use, so take advantage of it! Just be sure to inspect the sponge before use and wipe it with a paper towel when needed, as communal squeegees can harbor small rocks and other debris that can scratch your windshield. 

Never Run the Wipers on a Dry Windshield. Windshield wipers are designed to be used when the windshield is wet. Operating them on a dry surface can cause the wipers to wear out much more quickly than they would normally, which only causes extras headaches. When you do need to clean a dry windshield, such as when there’s pollen buildup on the glass, press the washer button first. This will require you to keep your car topped up on windshield washer fluid, which is another thing to remember as part of your wipers’ routine maintenance. 

Taking care of your car requires paying attention to the little things. When it comes to your windshield wipers, getting into a routine and being vigilant can ensure they’re always ready to go when you need them. 

We hope that you find these tips useful. And as always … safe journeys on your trips around town. Big City Cars is located at 4910 Lima Road, just down from Costco. Or give us a call today at (260) 212-1111. We look forward to helping you get into a quality preowned vehicle that fits your lifestyle & budget. 


How to Defog & Defrost Your Windows Fast!

Running out to your car in the nick of time only to discover frosted and fogged up window glass is not a fun way to start the day (and explaining the reason why you are late to work to your boss is not very fun either). With the unpredictable fall weather and winter lurking just behind...it’s time to stop pressing your luck. But never fear! We’ve got a few tips on how to fight that fog and frost and get you back on your way fast this fall & winter season. 

How to Defog Your Windshield When It's Raining 

  • Turn Off Recirculate Air. When your windows are foggy, you need to get fresh air to quickly take care of the issue. Known as “Fresh Air Mode”, this button located on your dashboard is one of the easiest and quickest ways to defog your windshield in cold temperatures. The button has a car with an arrow that points into the car. Once turned on, this feature pulls in fresh air from outside but does not lower the temperature inside the car. Rather, the temperature is gradually balanced and the fog across your windshield will disappear. You will have to make sure that the “Recirculation Mode” is turned off which is the button with a car and a circular arrow inside it. This function recirculates the air inside the vehicle by closing the air ducts in front. 
  • Decreasing the Temperature Inside the Car. This might not be the best option, especially for those who try and stay away from the cold. But, if your windows are fogged up, you can simply lower the temperature inside the car to match the temperature outside. You can do this by either decreasing the air-condition temperature or by increasing the fan speed to lower the temperature inside. Once the temperature is reduced, the fogged-up glass windows and windshield should clear out. However, you will need to carry an extra layer of clothing to keep yourself warm
If you want to assist the above-mentioned methods and help prevent fogging up in the future, one of the best things you can use is a dehumidifier bag (or a couple of them) and place it on your dashboard near the windshield. These bags are filled with silica balls that absorb moisture from the air. If you can’t find a dehumidifier bag, you can put a handful of silica balls in a sock and place it in your car. 

How to Defrost Your Windshield Fast 

Obviously, one of the best ways to defrost your windshield is to turn on the defrost setting on high heat in your vehicle. But what else can you do to quickly defrost your windshields?   

  • Press the A/C Button. This may sound counterintuitive to the whole heater thing, but really what you’re doing is activating a setting on your car’s A/C system that helps dry the air within your vehicle faster with the help of the coils in your A/C system. 
  • Turn Air Recirculation Off. Just like with foggy windows, you need fresh air to enter the car as well to help with defrosting your windows. Winter air is cold, and as it does not hold much moisture, it is dry. Bringing it into your car ups absorption capacity to more quickly dry the saturated air trapped within.  
  • Crack your windows. This helps exchange the humid air in your car with dryer outside air, speeding up the defrosting process (this is a similar method to turning off the air recirculation mode in your vehicle).   
We have one last tip for defrosting your windows. This one takes a bit of pre-planning; but it is well worth it! All you do is take a simple mixture of 2/3 cup Isopropyl or Rubbing alcohol mixed with 1/3 cup cold water (DO NOT USE HOT WATER). Simply pour this mixture into a spray bottle and mist your windshield & windows with it & watch the frost clear up! And here is the best part. You can use this method ANYWHERE because the solution will not freeze (rubbing alcohol has a freezing point of -128 degrees Fahrenheit). This mixture can easily be stored in your car, allowing you to spray away windshield ice anyplace, anytime of day! 

We hope that you find these tips useful. And as always … safe journeys on your trips around town. Big City Cars is located at 4910 Lima Road, just down from Costco. Or give us a call today at (260) 212-1111. We look forward to helping you get into a quality preowned vehicle that fits your lifestyle & budget. 

Cold Weather Battery Tips

Car batteries don’t like the cold. And the colder the weather gets, the weaker the battery gets. Even a strong, fully charged battery won’t feel 100% if the temperatures drop enough. And if your battery is only half-charged, it’ll freeze solid at just -10 F.

And here’s the problem, you may only discover a dead battery the very moment when you want to get going. Let’s talk about what you can do to avoid a dead battery this winter.

GET YOUR BATTERY CHECKED. It’s simple and easy — and usually free at repair shops & service centers. The service technician will test your battery and let you know if your battery is good, needs to be replaced immediately, or let you know a time frame for replacing your battery. Knowing this information will help you decide when and where to replace your battery versus finding out the hard way (with your vehicle not starting).

DRIVING. Driving every day keeps the cold at bay. Your engine warms the battery when you drive (as long as you’re doing daily drives that are not short drives, like a mile or two and then you stop). A minimum of a ten to 20-minute drive will keep the acid moving and you will get a charge going into your battery. Here’s a rule of thumb: Drive the length of your commute every day, even if you’re on a holiday break. And the moment your start-up seems to slow down, get to a repair shop. That’s an early sign your battery is going to die...and driving won’t help bring a dead battery back to life.

PARK YOUR CAR INSIDE, IF POSSIBLE. Ambient temperatures can kill your battery if they drop too low. Instead, park in these places: in your garage, in parking garages with a lot of come-and-go traffic, near heated equipment, close to warm buildings, in spaces with lots of direct sunlight - which will warm the body of the car, or anywhere that can be warmer than a shaded area.

WRAP YOUR CAR BATTERY IN A THERMAL BLANKET. Battery warmers, insulators, electric battery blankets, thermal wrap — they go by many names, but they’re all a corrosion-resistant heat blanket for your battery. They’re available online or in stores. In a pinch, you can throw a dry, thick bath towel on the battery after you’ve driven enough to warm the engine. As soon as you park, pack the towel onto the battery — and the extra coating will retain the engine heat. Just be sure to remove the towel before you start the engine again!

IF YOU HAVE A FROZEN BATTERY, HERE'S WHAT YOU SHOULD DO. What if the worst happens? Batteries aren’t as easy to freeze as ice cubes in a tray, but it’s still possible. What happens then? And what should you do about it?  First, remember that water expands as it freezes. There’s only so much space inside the plastic battery case. As water expands into ice, it’ll warp the lead plates and crack open the case. Even when the battery and its inner liquids thaw out, the battery has probably already formed into a short circuit. After all, it’s frozen solid, and the negative and positive plates have most likely joined. In that instance, you need to replace your battery immediately!  At the end of the day, don’t try to crank or jump-start your battery if it shows bulges, cracks, icicles, or frost on the terminals or plastic case.

Following these guidelines will help ensure that your battery is winter-ready!

We hope that you find these tips useful. And as always … safe journeys on your trips around town. Big City Cars is located at 4910 Lima Road, just down from Costco. Or give us a call today at (260) 212-1111. We look forward to helping you get into a quality preowned vehicle that fits your lifestyle & budget.

Fall Car Care Tips

Fall is here! And seasonal changes can affect your vehicle in a multitude of ways. Therefore, it’s important to prepare for the transition to the cooler (and cold) weather ahead. You’ll want to keep up on regular vehicle maintenance, while also paying close attention to season-specific car care tasks.

Here are some essential fall vehicle maintenance tips to make sure your vehicle is ready for the rest of fall and the approaching winter weather.

  1. Check the Fluids. Checking your vehicle’s fluids is one of the most critical car care routines. The various fluids lubricate, cool, and perform other vital functions that help keep your car running and driving. Take a few minutes to check your vehicles fluids each month. If you have any questions or concerns regarding how to check your vehicles fluids, you can read an article that we published on October 5th titled "How to Check the 6 Essential Fluids in Your Car."
  2. Inspect the Tires. We get it — tires are about as exciting as an afternoon watching paint dry. However, that doesn’t mean they can be ignored. Tires are super important because they affect the braking ability, handling performance, and overall safety of your vehicle. Take a few moments to inspect your vehicle’s tires to ensure they’re in good condition. You will want to look for any damage to the tread & sidewall, check your tread depth, as well as the tire pressure.
  3. Make Sure All of the Lights Work. Sadly, the long summer days have come to an end...and it’s getting darker earlier each day. The best way to check your lights is to get a friend (spouse, neighbor, etc.) to help you make sure all of your car’s exterior lights (including the brake lights, head lights, and your reverse lights) are working correctly. A non-functional light usually indicates a burnt-out bulb. You will want to replace your light bulbs in pairs (if one has gone out, the other is sure to go out soon!).
  4. Check the Wiper Blades. The fall season often brings rain and sometimes even snow. You’ll want to make sure your car’s wiper blades are in good shape to deal with these conditions. A good set of blades should produce a streak-free sweep and leave the windshield clear. Replace the wiper blades if they do not perform well. You’ll also want to consider the washer fluid. There are winter blends, which are designed to resist freezing, and summer blends for warmer weather. When the temperatures start to drop, you’ll want to make sure you have a winter blend in your car’s washer fluid reservoir.
  5. Inspect the Brakes. You (or your mechanic) should check the brakes a least twice a year to ensure they’re in good condition. Right now, before the snow starts to fly, is the perfect time to take a peek! How do you know when your brake pads are worn out? When there’s 4mm of friction material remaining, most professionals recommend replacing the brake pads (and usually replacing or resurfacing the brake discs). A reading of 3mm or less indicates the brake pads are a safety hazard and should be replaced immediately.
  6. Make Sure the Heater is Working. If you’re like most drivers, you didn’t turn your car’s heater on at all during the summer. With the cooler weather we have been having, you probably have been using your heater (at least in the morning). But if you haven’t tested in yet this season...please do so NOW!  If your heater is on; but you are not getting any hot air, it’s time to see a mechanic to address the issue sooner rather than later.
  7. Take Care of Any Outstanding Maintenance. Is your car due (or overdue) for service? Then take care of it now. Lack of maintenance is one of the most common—if not the most common—reasons for mechanical breakdowns.
  8. Address Any Known Problems. Car problems left ignored often snowball into big-time concerns. For example, a leaking radiator hose can lead to a low coolant level, overheating, and catastrophic engine damage. Ignoring issues can also leave you stranded on a chilly fall morning. Address any known problems now to prevent further headaches.
Right now, it is also a good time to get your vehicle accessorized for the approaching winter with new floor mats and seat covers. You should also keep an emergency kit in your vehicle just in case it breaks down and include such items as a warm blanket, an extra coat, scarf, hat, gloves, emergency road flares, and a flashlight (just to name a few items).

We hope that you find these tips useful. And as always … safe journeys on your trips around town. Big City Cars is located at 4910 Lima Road, just down from Costco. Or give us a call today at (260) 212-1111. We look forward to helping you get into a quality preowned vehicle that fits your lifestyle & budget.
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