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Car Maintenance: Dealership or Mechanic?

Everyone dreads that moment when they realize there’s something wrong with their car. From weird noises to flashing lights on the dash, mechanical problems can really throw a wrench in your day (no pun intended). But deciding on where to take your car to get fixed can be another headache all on its own. Whether you have a new car or a used car, there’s a constant dispute over taking it to the dealership or the mechanic to get worked on.

Luckily, we are here to help end that internal debate! Deciding between dealership service and a mechanic is not as cut and dry as most people think. Because there are hundreds of types of cars and hundreds of things that can go wrong, certain situations might lend themselves towards one location over the other.

Mechanic

Taking your car to a mechanic means that you will get a more personalized experience because you will be talking directly with the person working on your vehicle. Some will argue that an independent mechanic will be less expensive; however, this can really depend on the work and parts needed. If your mechanic doesn’t have the necessary parts and has to order them, this can significantly increase the cost.

When choosing the mechanic that you’re taking your car too, it is essential that you look at reviews and do a decent amount of research beforehand. A bad mechanic can not only cause more problems than there was before, but they can also cause the price of a simple repair to skyrocket.

A trusted mechanic will ensure that all their technicians receive continuous training on new technology and manufacturer updates. One of the benefits of going to a mechanic is that they can offer less expensive alternatives. If you need a part replaced, they have the option to provide you with a variety of price points.

Dealership

While mechanical work at a dealership can be more expensive if it is outside of a warranty, they do have other benefits that can make it worthwhile. Because dealerships specialize in work on a specific car manufacturer, they are likely to have all the necessary parts on hand. And on the off chance that they need to order a part, dealerships offer loaner vehicles that you can drive in the meantime.

The newer your vehicle is, the more likely it is to have some form of smart technology in it. And while this can already be a difficult thing to work on, it can be even harder if you aren’t familiar with it. If your vehicle is having electrical problems or issues with the GPS or Bluetooth, it’s best to take it to the dealership. Not only are they going to have the necessary diagnostic equipment on hand, but they will also have direct information from the manufacturer about how all the different parts and systems work.

Another benefit that many people enjoy about taking their car to the dealership is quality control and ease of mind. Because the dealerships specialize in a specific manufacturer, all of their parts are also from that same manufacturer. That means when you have something replaced, the new part is designed for your vehicle. It was built for your car, passed all of the necessary quality control tests, and often time certain parts are covered by a manufacturer warranty.

Car Warranty

Used Car Dealerships Grand JunctionOne of the main reasons that people like taking their car to the dealership for maintenance instead of the mechanic is that their vehicle is covered by warranty. But several things can void your manufacturer’s warranty. It is essential to know about these to avoid any surprises and provide your vehicle with the best possible care.

Racing or reckless driving can void the warranty of your car because you are using it outside of its intended and normal use. Some manufacturers may even keep tabs on vehicles that are at racing events.

Flooding and other natural disasters can also void your car’s warranty because that kind of damage is covered by insurance and is not a defect on the manufacturer’s end.

Neglect of your vehicle maintenance is another way your warranty can become void. Timely oil and filter changes, along with alignments and other necessary maintenance, are all necessary to ensure your vehicle runs smoothly. Without the proper upkeep, your car can become damaged, and repairs may not be covered by warranty.

Customizing a vehicle is something that a lot of people enjoy. It can make your car look or perform better, but caution should be taken when making these modifications. If they are not done professionally, it can cause damage to your vehicle, which will void your warranty.

Odometers are used to help gauge the use and age of a vehicle. The numbers help inform you when it’s time for an oil change or other maintenance services and affect the price of used vehicles. Tampering with an odometer will void your manufacturer’s warranty.

There are various other ways your warranty can become void, including having a salvaged title, using fluids that are not approved in your owner’s manual, misuse of the vehicle, and more. It is essential that you read through your owner’s manual and warranty information to know what is and is not covered, and the things can cause your warranty to become void.

Car Repair

Our vehicles are valuable assets that require time and investments to remain reliable forms of transportation. The maintenance of a car is crucial and should not be performed at just any location. While independent mechanics may offer some benefits, it is ideal to stay with a dealership that can provide professional service, quality control, and dependable warranties.

At Grand West Kia, our service station strives to provide you and your vehicle with the highest quality care available. Our skilled technicians work closely with you to ensure each service is performed with the best products and attention to detail.

Whether you need an oil change, repair, or in-depth diagnostics, our team is here to help get you back on the road!

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Top 9 Reasons A Used Car is Great For You

Everyone loves the benefits of having a new car. Crisp new brakes, a brand new sound system, the rev of a fresh engine. And who can forget that new car smell?!

Getting a brand new car can make you feel like an entirely new person, like a completely different identity. However, that amazing feeling quickly fades away when you begin to see how much that new car is hurting your budget. High monthly payment, high insurance, maybe you just got a new vehicle that isn’t that great on gas mileage. The disadvantages pile up. Instead of deciding to splurge for that huge purchase and that financial burden, why not get a used car? 

“A used car? Gross. I don’t want some old, run-down piece of junk that probably still has someone else’s gunk in it.”

Stop thinking that way! Just because you’re buying a used car doesn’t mean you’re getting it from some sleazy sales lot in the bad part of town. A lot of big dealerships have plenty of great used inventory to choose from, at a much lower cost than buying a brand new vehicle. Here are some benefits to purchasing a used car:

Saves Money

#1 Used cars are on average 50% cheaper than new car purchases. You end up saving money in the long run because it takes less time to pay off the vehicle, which also saves you financing fees! There’s also no over the top fees that dealers try to sneakily add into the cost of your new vehicle. 

Depreciation Has Already Occurred

#2 When you drive a brand new car off the lot, it instantly loses value, almost as much as 11% right out of the gate. The benefit to a used car is that their value has already depreciated and they can even gain value over time!

No Add-On Fees

#3 When you look into buying a new car, you look at getting EXACTLY what you want. Premium sound system? Sure. Upgraded interior? Why not? Chrome wheels? Absolutely! These add-ons can end up costing $2,000-$3,000 more than the original cost of the vehicle! With a used car, if there’s anything that you want to install that is after-market, it will generally cost significantly less than having it added to a new car.

Inspected Thoroughly

#4 Most dealers have a specific inventory of used vehicles that they call “Certified Pre-Owned”. This assures customers that they’re getting a high quality and thoroughly inspected car at a much lower price than a new one. All Certified Pre-Owned vehicles are inspected, refurbished, and certified by either the manufacturer or by another higher authority. This means that you’re getting the highest quality of used cars on the market. They also usually come with an extended warranty and other benefits like unique financing options. 

Warranties

#5 With used cars, some may still come with their original warranties, but others may have the option to create an entirely new warranty. If you get an extended warranty from the manufacturer, it allows access to factory-trained technicians who can repair your car with higher quality parts with speed and expert service, leaving you with peace of mind.

Lower Insurance Premiums

#6 Insurance for new cars is usually much higher than with an older, used car. With a new car, gap insurance helps with the gap between the cost of the car at the time of an accident and what you originally bought the vehicle for, but it raises your insurance premiums. With a used car, depreciation of the car has already happened, so the insurance premiums do not go up as drastically.

Lower Sales Tax

#7 If you live in a state with sales tax (so anywhere that isn’t Oregon and Delaware), that sales tax will be applied to your purchase of a new vehicle. Sometimes, this can equal thousands of dollars. However, if you buy a used car from a private seller, you won’t get hit with such outrageous costs!

Lower Registration Fees

#8 In most states, your annual registration fee for your vehicle is based on the car’s value and the year it was made in. You can save a ton of money by avoiding the outrageously high new car registration fees!

Potential For No Monthly Payments

#9 When you buy a used car, rather than a new car, you have the potential to only pay for insurance, gas, and maintenance for the vehicle, without the large monthly payment stacked on top of it. If you are able to buy a good used car with cash only, you can save yourself the hassle of trying to keep that high monthly payment in your budget!

Difficult Choices

Looking for a car can be difficult, whether it’s for a new or used vehicle, but always keep an open mind about all of these things, especially if you’re on a tighter budget or looking for a particular type of vehicle. Always make sure that when you’re buying a used car, that you either get it certified or checked by a third party mechanic before you put a final offer on the car. It’s always a good idea to cover your bases and make sure that you avoid buying a lemon. 

Make sure to go to reputable dealers and don’t settle just for the cheapest option. Buying and owning a used vehicle has its benefits and can help save you money in the long run while still being a reliable tool to help you get to wherever it is that you need to go, just as well as a newer vehicle can.

Grand West Kia can help get you into a Certified Pre-Owned vehicle today with our extensive inventory of used cars! Whatever vehicle type you’re looking for, our experienced staff and sales team can get you in the right used car today and have you driving off pleased with the decision that you made!

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Common Used Car Pitfalls and How To Avoid Them

Need a Used Car in Grand Junction?

A car is one of the most stressful purchases a person can make in their lifetime. We rely on our vehicles to get us to and from work and school safely, so there’s a lot to consider when purchasing a vehicle. While there’s not as much to worry about if purchasing a car from a reputable used car dealership, buying a vehicle from an auction or the owner can come with some significant risks. Here are the most common pitfalls people find when purchasing a used car from somewhere other than a reputable dealership.

Flood Damage

Sometimes a price on a used vehicle is just too good to be true. Be sure to thoroughly investigate any vehicle that seems to be a steal of a deal, because it just might have deeper issues that will reveal themselves down the road. Sometimes, big storms total a bunch of cars. Unfortunately, dishonest car owners may jump at the chance to make a few bucks off of the catastrophe. Reports of flooded vehicles purchased at low prices to then be cleaned up and taken over state lines to switch the VIN and title are common after natural disasters such as hurricanes. The National Insurance Crime Bureau is aware of the issue and warns consumers to vet any used car purchase thoroughly.

How to Check for Flood Damage in a Used Vehicle

The most common indication of flood damage is the presence of mold or mildew in the vehicle’s cabin. However, it’s likely that a seller would replace all water-damaged materials. Make sure to pay attention to the vehicle’s upholstery and take note of any inconsistencies. These inconsistencies can be an indication that the car’s interior was taken apart and put back together again. Pay attention to the smell of the vehicle. If mold or rust hits the nose, that’s a red flag. Even if there hasn’t been a recent disaster in the area, dishonest dealers will send vehicles far away to avoid detection of the scam. If any of the car’s electronics work sporadically, this can also be an indication of flood damage. A flooded engine may work at first, but expensive repairs are ahead. Avoid this issue entirely by working with a reputable used car dealership.

Pickup truck swamped by flood water in Humble, Texas,US by Harvey Tropical Storm.

Leaks

In general, avoid leaky cars. Don’t buy them. Of course, some leaks are more serious than others, but in general, leaks indicate a bigger problem with the vehicle. If the leak is coming from the engine, check the oil. If the oil is low, this may be the problem. If the leak is red, it may be the transmission fluid. Make sure to have the vehicle checked out by a reputable auto repair shop if any leaks are present. Sometimes the leaks are just from an accumulation of moisture due to the car’s air conditioning. However, even “harmless” leaks can eventually degrade hoses and seals. Reputable car dealerships and sellers won’t try to sell a leaky car without informing the consumer. It’s best to run the other way if a leaky vehicle makes its way onto the list, especially if it’s presented as in good condition.

Rust

Buyers should be wary of any rust on any potential used car purchases. If that tell-tale orange-brown exists on a vehicle’s exterior, that’s a clear sign the car’s been subjected to the elements for quite a while without regular maintenance. While exterior rust that doesn’t affect the vehicle’s frame is mostly an aesthetic issue, it can also be an indication of more serious problems under the hood.