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Understanding Tire Warranties

Tires are possibly the most common automotive “replacement part” yet few people know much about them. Frankly, the vast majority of people buy them on price and recommendations from tire retailers. And very few pay any attention to the warranties that come with them. In this article we will focus on just that obscure factor of new tire ownership – the warranty.

Most tire manufacturers have determined that the usable life of a tire is either six years from the date of purchase or when there's just 2/32nds of an inch of tread left. Tire retailers have special gauge that they use to measure tread depth but consumers have a visual indicator. Tires sold in North America are required to have tread-wear indicators in the tire tread's grooves. The wear indicators look like small bars of tread that run perpendicular to the groove. If the wear of the tire has reached the depth of these indicators, it's time to replace the tire.

Another measure is the famous penny method. Put a penny in the groove of the tire, upside down and with Lincoln's head facing you. The distance from the top of Lincoln's head to the edge of the coin is about 2/32nds of an inch. So if “the top of Lincoln's head is showing”, you'll need to replace the tire.

Bet you didn’t know this: every tire manufacturer offers a warranty on their tread-life. Here’s how they work. Nearly every tire comes with an estimate of the number of miles that it will travel. This estimate is based on the type of tire and the number of miles that can be expected under normal driving conditions. You will find this estimate on the paperwork you receive when you buy the tires.

If a tire has worn out evenly across the tread well before its estimated mileage limit, it may qualify for replacement under the tread-life warranty. You must show proof of purchase and proof that the tires were rotated properly at the recommended intervals. In this situation, the manufacturer prorates the cost of the new tire based on the amount of remaining tread and the price of the replacement tire.

Road hazard warranties come into play if you get a flat tire. If the tire can be repaired, the company will pay for the price of the repair. If the tire can't be repaired, the company will prorate the remaining mileage toward the purchase of a new tire.

Road hazard warranty prices vary, but on average, they range from $10-$20 per tire. The warranties are a source of profit for tire shops so you will likely be offered one when you buy new tires. These warranties are essentially insurance policies. If you're considering whether to buy a road hazard warranty, think about how many times you've had a nail or a puncture in your tire in the last few years. Was the amount you spent on repair or replacement enough to justify the warranty? For many people they are.

The Workmanship and Materials Warranty protects the consumer from any defects in the manufacturing or materials used in the tire. explains that most manufacturers offer this coverage for the life of the tire.

Just as you can void your car’s warranty, you can void your tire's warranty, too. The big one to watch out for is improper maintenance. If the tire manufacturer does not see proof that the tires were inflated, rotated and aligned properly, chances are your warranty claim will be denied.

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Extended Vehicle Warranties

How much should I pay for my new car?

Are you thinking about getting a new car? Fortunately as a consumer, you have many resources that you can consult to help you get to a price that is fair for both you and the dealer you are purchasing the car from. Hopefully this article will serve as a useful tool! Let us explain four different vehicle pricing tools you’ll find online:

The MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is set by the manufacturer. By law, this price is displayed on every vehicle up for sale in the United States. Does anybody actually pay MSRP? Not often but it can happen. For example, where demand is higher than supply, buyers have been known to pay above the MRSP. Here is one occasion when that happened: when the Chrysler PT Cruiser first became available, they demanded prices well above MSRP. This happened with the Dodge Viper sports car as well. While looking to negotiate, many potential car buyers start with the MSRP. explains that the Dealer’s Invoice price is how much the dealer pays for the vehicle itself from its manufacturer. Knowing the dealer invoice price can be a helpful bargaining resource, but it does not tell the entire story; it does not include any of the dealership's costs for “keeping the lights on”; things like advertising fees, vehicle prepping, sales expenses, displaying or dealer-financing of the car. What may reduce the raw manufacturer’s price below the invoice are manufacturer’s “holdbacks” and incentives.

The “average dealership markup” is what the dealer is asking for the vehicle over what they paid for the vehicle--the dealer invoice. On most vehicles it is less than 10 percent. Compare that margin to other industries and you would find it to be quite low. The truth is, which is not popular opinion, dealers actually don't make much money on new cars. Dealers make most of their money on service and parts and by selling used cars. We suggest that you be sensitive to to average dealer markup if you would like a local dealership stay in business, because their workers--like yourself--need to make a living!

A very reliable and quite new resource available to vehicle buyers is the Fair Purchase Price (FPP). Based on clearly identified make and model vehicles, FPP pricing reports tell you a new vehicle's average selling price, it’s typical range of selling prices, and applicable market conditions. You should know that the FPP is actually not a number influenced by dealers or manufacturers -- it is real transaction data. It’s almost like the stock market, changing over time and reflecting on real market transactions. The Fair Purchase Price has become an invaluable resource for those exploring vehicle pricing.

You will now likely make a great decision about what to pay for a vehicle that will work for you after learning these facts about purchasing a vehicle. Now you are ready to do some research, decide for sure what you would like, and then make a deal!

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About Engine Noises

10 Things All Teenagers Should Know About Cars

When you have a teenager that’s about to get their license, it’s not a bad idea to have a “talk”. A talk about some of the things that can happen to new drivers and how to deal with them if they ever occur. In this article, we will look at several situations that could prove difficult for new drivers and should be discussed before they occur.

- When a tire goes flat, it’s an odd feeling. If it’s a tire in the front of the car, the steering wheel will start to shake and the tire will make a thumping sound. When it’s a back wheel, the rear of the car may drop a bit and it too will make a thumping sound. Either way, it can be startling but it’s not a panic situation. As soon as you sense that a tire is going flat, pull off to the side of the road. If you are going to change the flat yourself, be sure you know how to do it. It isn’t a complicated procedure but it can be a dangerous one the first time you do it. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, then call roadside assistance.

– The first time you see the flashing lights of a police officer in your rear view mirror will certainly be memorable but don’t lose your cool. Slowly pull off to the side of the road as soon as you safely can. Then put your car in “Park”, turn off the engine, roll down your window and keep your hands in plain view. The officer will tell you what to do next. If the officer upsets you, don't argue with him or her. That’s why they have traffic courts.

– If you have a car accident, and your car is drivable, turn on your flashers and pull safely out of traffic. Then immediately call the police (911). Next step is to take a deep breath, exit your car and exchange information with the other drivers and witnesses who are there. Its always a good idea to take lots of pictures with your cell phone too.

– The check engine light in a car illuminates when the car’s CPU (computer) senses a problem with a component or system. As explained to us, most of the time it’s not an emergency and you can safely drive home. If, however, you sense something more significant, like you see smoke or smell burning substances, then pull to the side of the road and seek roadside assistance.

– Please learn this as soon as possible: when you are driving when the weather is bad, reduce your speed and leave more room between your vehicle and those in front of you. It’s really very simple. By driving conservatively when the weather is bad outside, virtually all accidents can be avoided. - When someone offends you behind the wheel, take a deep breath and know that your anger will dissolve in a few minutes. Just relax. If you've accidentally angered another driver, don't get drawn into interacting with them. Just leave. Finally, repeat this phrase: It's not worth it.

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The Top Ten American Muscle Cars and What They Are Worth

What's the story behind the DeLorean automobile?

The DeLorean DMC-12 was made famous by the 1985 Bob Zemeckis movie: Back to the Future. In the movie, the car is turned into a time machine by one of the main film characters, Dr. Emmett Brown, and it plays a central role in the film. Besides the starring role in Back to the Future, few know that there is a fascinating history behind the Delorean DMC-12 and, as you might imagine, it revolves around its creator: John Z. DeLorean. Here’s the story:

John Z. DeLorean was born in 1925 in Detroit. As a young man, DeLorean was mechanically talented and tinkered with just about everything he could get his hands on. After high school he attended the Lawrence Institute of Technology and eventually earned a master's in engineering from the Chrysler Institute. After graduation, he worked for Packard for a while but soon left to go to work for General Motors. It didn’t take long before Delorean was thriving at GM and was quickly moving up the corporate ladder.

But, things weren’t so good at the top for Delorean. Part of the reason is that the 1970s were difficult times in Detroit. DeLorean in his autobiography, DeLorean, wrote that the ethical and business problems he had with General Motors and the way they did business had become so substantial, that he simply wanted out. Truth be told, this allowed him to become a well-paid independent consultant whereby he could make a lot of money which allowed him to raise funds build his own dream car.

In 1974, in pursuit of his dream car company, DeLorean founded Composite Technology Corporation (CTC) CTC was specifically developed to research and develop new, cutting-edge automotive construction materials. Many of these were based on projects of DeLorean’s at GM and involved exotic composite materials and construction techniques.

Then in 1975, DeLorean founded The Delorean Motor Car (DMC) to build his first dream car, the DMC-12. To make his DMC-12 cars DeLorean chose Northern Ireland to build his factory. The factory's formal opening was in 1981. As the story goes, the first 70-80 cars to roll off the assembly line were so bad they were parked, unfinished, along the factory's fence for weeks while rework procedures were worked out. In fact, still plagued with quality problems, DeLorean had to set up facilities on the East and West Coasts of the U.S. just to fix completed cars before they could be delivered to dealers.

Despite the setbacks, though, the DMC-12 was a major hit and there were orders for thousands of them. DeLorean soon tried to ramp production up to 14,700 a year to meet demand but cash flow problems developed. Then in 1982, John Z. pursued “questionable sources of funds” to keep his company afloat and ended up in a dramatic DEA cocaine bust that became a world-wide news event. By 1984, he was found not guilty of all counts against him, but his car company was gone by then.

For all the car collectors out there, the DeLorean Motorcar legend is being kept alive by the DeLorean Motor Company in Humble, Texas. They purchased the DeLorean trademark and most of the original parts left behind when the original company collapsed. Today, you can buy fully remanufactured DeLorean automobiles and maintenance parts from them.

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