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Maintaining a Used Car
By Joanne Brickman
Many used cars available today give new meaning to the old used-car come-on, "Like New." A lot of them really are like new, thanks to the large quantity of high quality cars being returned to dealerships at the end of their lease terms. Whether you buy almost-new or truly-used, it is important to take good care of the vehicle. Once it's yours, the key word is maintenance.
Simply put, maintenance is keeping your car working well and looking good. There are basically two maintenance theories: do-it-yourself and let-someone-else-do-it. Most do-it-yourselfers have a fundamental knowledge of how an automobile works and how to keep it working. They can, and most prefer, to do routine maintenance like changing the oil or replacing spark plugs. They have an intimate relationship with WD-40 and seem to enjoy getting grease on their new sweat suits.
Used cars, as you might suspect, require more attention than new cars. Even those in the let-someone-else-do-it camp who have bought used cars have a number of tasks they must do regularly to keep that vehicle in good condition.
Even the person who has trouble finding the car's gas tank can do some simple, but essential, maintenance checks.
Belinda, who has trouble keeping track of which guy she's dating at the moment, is a stickler for keeping tabs on anything that could go wrong on her old Honda Civic. Every time she puts gas in the car, for example, she whips out her tire tester and promptly checks the air pressure in all four tires. Belinda bought this tire tester at a parts supply store and carries it everywhere with her. She's afraid the one at the gas station won't be accurate, or there may not be one there at all. This simple tire check ensures Belinda of the best possible steering and handling, equal wear on the tires, and good fuel consumption. Since she usually puts gas in her car first thing in the morning at a station close to where she lives, she checks her tire pressure at the most opportune time. After the car has been driven for awhile, the tires heat up and the air expands so the reading isn't accurate. Because outside temperatures affect tire pressure, it is important that this simple maintenance check be done regularly. Be sure to take a minute or two at least once a month to do a tire check. The recommended pressure for your car's tires is in the vehicle's owner's manual. No manual? Look on the tire's sidewall. You might also find the information in the glove compartment or on the driver's door.
Even if your tires are warranted under a protection plan such as that offered by Volvo Certified Pre-Owned Car Program , it is necessary to perform regular maintenance to keep the tires functioning properly and to ensure the validity of the warranty.
Another important maintenance check do-it-yourselfers will find easy is keeping an eye on the windshield wipers. Th...
59.1-207.9, et seq.
Title Of Act:
Virginia Motor Vehicle Warranty Enforcement Act
Definition Of Defects:
Nonconformity to all warranties which significantly affects the use, safety, or market value of vehicle
Replace with comparable vehicle acceptable to consumer or accept return and refund full purchase price, including all collateral charges, and incidental damages, less a reasonable allowance for consumer's use of vehicle up to first notice of nonconformity given
Time Limit for Manufacturer Repair:
Manufacturer's warranty period or lemon law rights period ending 18 months after date of original delivery to consumer of new motor vehicle