5 Tips To Buying Your New Pick Up Truck

5 Tips for Buying Your New Pickup Truck

February 3, 2018 | Tips & Info

Pickup trucks are a popular driving solution for people who want more than just a way to get from A to B. If you need to vehicle to help you carry important equipment for your business, support your brand, and even act as an off-road warrior when you need to travel off the beaten path, then you may have considered buying a pickup truck in the past.


1. Remember that Pickup Trucks are Different to Cars

This might seem like an obvious thing to say, but driving a pickup truck is a completely different experience to using a car. Pickups are heavier, and they don’t handle in the same way as your standard sedan. You might find that you need to invest in extra accessories to give you more confidence while you’re getting used to the new shape, such as backup cameras and additional safety features.

2. Know How You’re Going to Use Your Truck

Many vehicle owners are surprised to learn that pickup trucks come in a lot more varieties than the standard car, with different numbers of doors, different bed lengths, and a range of powertrains too. The configuration you choose will depend on how you’re going to use your pickup truck, and it’s important to figure this out in advance because your selection can have a huge impact on handling, fuel economy, price, and a lot more. For most people, the ideal solution is a four-door vehicle in mid-trim.

3. Consider Buying from the Dealer

While there are plenty of great fit-out options to help you make the most of your new pickup truck, it’s still a good idea to buy the car itself from a dealer. This can help to ensure that you get the guarantee you need, for long-term peace of mind. What’s more, buying from a dealer doesn’t mean that you can’t customize your truck the way you like. You can still go and search elsewhere for fiberglass Ute canopies for pickup trucks after you’ve made your purchase.

4. Don’t Buy Too Much

With so many different accessories and extras to choose from, it’s easy to get carried away when you’re picking your first pickup truck but remember that you shouldn’t spend money on something that you’re not going to use. Don’t overbuy just to get a truck that’s bigger and more impressive than your neighbors. Make sure you choose something that’s right for you.

Read also: New Car Insurance Grace Period in California: Car Owner Should Know This!

5. Think about Options Carefully

Finally, a pickup truck can come with many more extra “options” than a car. Upgraded packages for your trim and functional add-ons can quickly add up to a huge bill. Just remember to think about what you need carefully and decide on the extras you can live without in advance. If you know you’re going to want more than the standard package, it might be a good idea to make a list of the things that are most important before you go buying.

The Car You Wish You Never Sold!

The Car You Wish You Never Sold

Everyone has one.

For my dad it was a 1967 Mercury Cougar. My wife’s was a 1974 Porsche 911 Sportomatic. Personally, I just let go of a 2002 911 Targa in favor of a 2006 Dodge Ram 3500 Mega Cab, which has a little more towing capacity and room for the family.

Will I regret it later? Only if the unthinkable happens.

The ’02 911, part of the 996 generation of cars from Porsche, remains the ugly duckling of 911s. It’s the only generation to lack Porsche’s distinctive round headlights and has the infamous Intermediate Shaft Bearing problem. The IMS bearing, should it break, blasts metal shrapnel into the engine and, in most cases, requires a new motor. Some people say up to 10 percent of bearings go bad, while others claim the problem affects about 1 percent of cars.

Needless to say, people tend to avoid the 996 generation, and thus values haven’t climbed like they have for other classic Porsches. Plus, the 996 was the first of the 911s to be water-cooled and the first to be mass produced rather than built by hand. It’s a fun car to drive and remains the most affordable 911 a person can buy, but so far, it’s not a car to buy as a collector’s item.

My wife’s 911, on the other hand, would be worth far more than the $12,000 she sold it for.

That’s the nature of car ownership, though. Unless you’re buying cars for the specific purpose of collecting, you’re buying them to enjoy and use while your circumstances allow.

Once your needs change, the Porsche goes to a new home and you’re welcoming a giant pickup into the family.

Will I regret selling the Porsche? I don’t think so. I won’t miss its expensive maintenance and cramped quarters, but if values skyrocket, you can be sure I’ll add it to my list of the ones that got away.

What car do you regret selling?

-tgriffith

Summer Car Car Tips

Summer’s sweltering temps amplify the effects that daily driving can have on your vehicle. From making sure that your air conditioning unit is ready to keep you cool to ensuring that your engine is prepped to keep you off the shoulder, summer car care should always be a priority.

Keep your vehicle in tip-top shape this summer with the following car care tips from the expert techs at Automotive Training Center!

1. Keep Your Engine Cool

Rising outdoor temperatures further heat your car’s engine, so it makes sense that an overheated motor is the number one cause of summer breakdowns. A liquid mix made up of antifreeze and water known as coolant is at the center of your vehicle’s internal cool-down process.

In the summertime, keeping an eye on coolant levels under the hood becomes exponentially important. To stay en route over roadside, make sure that you check and top off coolant levels every few weeks (at a minimum!).

2. Get Your Car’s AC Unit Inspected

Top car care tipsOne of the last things we all want to be without is cabin air conditioning during our summer drives, so this tip may already be top of mind. The reality is, an AC system that’s on its way out won’t last through the heat of the summer. It pays to get it inspected by a certified technician now to see if it will be able to stand up to July and August scorchers.

3. Replace Your Windshield Wipers

Summer thunderstorms are known for their monsoon-equivalent rain-dumping nature. Spring is the logical time to switch out your wiper blades for a new set, especially if the same pair has already served as your winter wipers as well. And don’t forget to keep your washer fluid full throughout the season!

4. Increase Oil Change Frequency

Our schedules tend to shift in the summer time and our car’s maintenance schedules should too. If you’ve got long road trips on the horizon, a stint of towing a boat or camper in the works, or just tend to drive shorter trips more often in the summer, your oil change frequency needs to adjust accordingly. During summer travel, follow your manual’s elevated maintenance schedule. The summer schedule for your car can be found inside its owner’s manual.

5. Really Check Your Tires

Car Care Tip Check Tire PressureAs temperatures climb into the 80s and 90s, your tires are at a higher risk for a blowout. This makes monitoring pressure levels paramount. Using your vehicle’s onboard monitoring system is great, but you also want to use a manual gauge to check the pressure at least once a month during hotter weather.

Make sure that you keep up with your scheduled tire rotations and always perform a visual inspection along with your tire pressure to evaluate wear and tread life.

You may complete these fixes and checks at home or rely on a trusted automotive technician. 

Perfect Spring Break Road Trip

 Essentials for the Perfect Spring Break Road Trip

The snow has begun to melt, the sun is sticking around longer each day, and for thousands upon thousands of college students, the next few weeks will be some of the year’s best. For many, Spring Break means precious days away from school and the opportunity to hit the road and get out of town. Every road-trip car needs plenty of space for food and snacks, a couple of pillows, and enough room to make sure the travelers on board don’t murder each other. But there are a few other essentials, without which an interstate odyssey could easily become a terrible long haul.

Music
Embarking on a road trip without the requisite Spotify playlist might as well be suicide. Two hours in a car with only conversation to entertain can strain relationships; make it a trip down the coast or across the country, and you can be all but certain that you’ll have had enough of your traveling companion(s) by the time you reach your destination.

Silicon Valley entered the vehicle infotainment business with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto two years ago, and accessing Spotify, Pandora, and other music players has never been easier. The proliferation of both systems has been rapid and expansive, with cars ranging from the Honda Civic Hatchback to the Maserati Levante sporting Apple and Android’s interface—although you won’t find either one in a Mazda or Toyota anytime soon.

Go Pro Dash Cam

A Camera
The world is big and beautiful, and no road trip would be complete without some way to document the sights seen along the way. While the incredible cameras built into our phones now make hauling bags of camera gear unnecessary, even they pale in comparison to a GoPro action camera.

GoPro offers higher quality video—up to 4K—and using one means you won’t be chewing up valuable space on your smartphone (SD card storage is quite a bit cheaper than upgrading to a larger iPhone). The Toyota Tacoma now includes a built-in mount, but GoPro also has an entire product line dedicated to camera gear specific for car videos, and the CarGurus video team never leaves for a shoot without a couple GoPro cameras in their bags.

Gas Money
Even if you’re driving a Ram 1500 EcoDiesel or any other of the longest-range vehicles made today, you’re gonna need some cash for gas (it’s not a true road trip unless you burn through a full tank). Some cars will certainly take you further than others, and almost none will do it more cheaply than a Toyota Prius Prime, although the Hyundai Ioniq is expected to soon take that crown from the world’s favorite hybrid.

“But what if I drive an electric vehicle,” you ask? Well, although Tesla’s free supercharger network was long a benefit for early adopters of that company’s luxurious EVs, the free-ride days are coming to a close. Tesla announced last year that it would start charging drivers to charge their cars, ranging from 11 to 21 cents per kWh, rather than offering the juice for free.

A Map
Most of us use just our phones now to navigate, and there’s nothing inherently wrong with that. Indeed, both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto make navigating from point A to point B easier than ever before, and some OEM navigation systems, such as Audi’s virtual cockpit on the A4 and TT, deliver stunning visual displays.

But road trips aren’t about only traveling from point A to point B—particularly when the interstates start getting congested. They’re about finding that cool truck stop off Highway 1 or the world’s largest yo-yo, 30 minutes east of I-5. And if you’re driving from Minneapolis to Mount Rushmore, your GPS might tell you to spend the night in Rapid City, but then you’d miss the Buglin’ Bull Bar in Custer. A GPS helps somnambulic road trips trundle along from A to B, but to make your trip memorable, wake up and use an old-fashioned map to find the long way through points C, D, and E.

Breakdown in a country road

A First-Aid Kit…for Your Car
Finally, no one should embark on a long trip without making sure his or her car is up to the challenge and prepared for any mishaps along the way. Driving with low tire pressure is incredibly dangerous and will kill your fuel economy (and possibly you, too), so check yours before leaving, and bring along a tire-pressure gauge (we recommend a dial gauge with a bleeder valve, rather than a cheap pen-style gauge) and a can of Fix-a-Flat. Keep in mind that while Fix-a-Flat may seem like black magic, it’s a temporary solution at best.

It also wouldn’t hurt to bring along jumper cables, a flashlight, and some extra transmission, brake, and windshield-washer fluid, to be safe. If you’re driving a car for which breakdowns are more “whens” than “ifs,” you should also invest in some reflective warning triangles. Finally, spring may have arrived for many, but some of America’s corners are still enjoying winter weather, so if you’re heading north, pack some tow straps and a shovel, too.

What extra things do you put or bring in your car when you take a road trip?

-Matt Smith  Car Gurus

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