Go-Part.com Debuts VIN # Verification System

 

button_gopart_04

 

Our team has always done its best to ensure transparency in every aspect of our business.  And, while there are unfortunate instances of the need for restocking fees, many are paying these with other providers without realizing it.

 

Several companies factor “loss” into their prices, meaning that ALL customers are paying a few percentage points more in price to compensate for the “average losses” in a quarter or year.  We, on the other hand, do not ask every customer to absorb these losses, and instead, attribute the costs associated with “loss” WHEN and ONLY WHEN they apply to a particular situation.

 

We have never enjoyed this aspect of the business, and do not make a profit on these fees.

 

But, we have just launched something that will change everything for our customers – VIN # Verification!

 

Upon checking out, patrons will now be prompted to double-check the items in their cart using the vehicle’s VIN # to ensure that all parts selection will, indeed, fit their vehicle.  All parts that WILL fit are highlighted in green.  Those that WILL NOT are highlighted in red.  Parts that have been verified will not be subjected to any restocking fees, because we know that any return is not due to an ordering error.

 

vin number verification

 

Again, we believe in transparency, and are excited to share this technology with our customers.  Because we are always working to improve your experience, we sincerely hope that our customers find this step to be convenient, as it will assuredly help us keep our incredibly low prices intact!

 

Thank you to everyone to patronizes our organization, and we look forward to meeting your automotive needs for many years to come.

 

The Go-Part.com Team

Autoparts

Driving Less? Younger Americans Sure Are…

As recently reported by The Washington Post, younger Americans are shunning the driving habits of the previous generation and opting for more cost-conscious means of transportation.  While we can speculate on what is causing this shift, the information provided by the article listed below sheds some light on some dynamics that are creating the need for alternative transportation methods:

 

Driving Less

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/04/22/why-arent-younger-americans-driving-anymore/

 

Rising Ownership Costs

 

The rapid increase in fuel costs is likely one of the dominate reasons that young drivers are migrating away from vehicle ownership.  But, when we also factor in the sharp increase in repair and maintenance costs, the current decline should come as no surprise.

 

A bad economy, coupled with mounds of collegiate debt, is creating a “perfect storm” of sorts for young drivers.  Many have realized that $30,000 for a vehicle is simple too much to shell out in today’s economy, and are electing to take lesser-paying jobs that are closer to home.

 

Increase is Telecommuting

 

Another reason outlined in the article involved the emergence of telecommuting.  Because Skype has opened up the door to a variety of new employment opportunities for young professionals, there is little reason to travel downtown for employment (provided that you’re in the right industry).  And, while some of these positions may include a lessened pay rate due to the lack of traveling responsibility, this is a dynamic that many younger workers are willing to absorb.

 

What are your thoughts on the decrease in younger drivers?  Is it a sign of things to come, or simply a knee-jerk reaction to the sharp uptick in automotive ownership costs?

 

Feel free to weigh-in below.

Autoparts

PARTS Act is Well Underway

As automotive manufacturers continue to lose their grip on patents associated with the production of auto parts, it would seem that another movement in Congress could land a decisive blow in favor of aftermarket parts companies.  H.R. 1663, otherwise known as the Promoting Automotive Repair, Trade, and Sales Act of 2013 (PARTS), was brought before Congress on April 23, 2013.

 

Parts Act is Well Underway

This bill, which is supported by representatives on BOTH sides of the proverbial aisle (how often do we see that these days?), is also receiving important backing from the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA).

 

The PARTS Act involves the amount of exclusivity that automakers have, in terms of patents, on the parts associated with new model releases.  As of now, repair part patents can last up to 14 years before other companies have access to the design specifications.  However, if this bill gets through, that time frame would be reduced to less than 3 years.  And, during this window, other manufacturers could begin testing and developing parts, readying them for sale once the exclusivity window expires.

 

As the cost of vehicle ownership continues to increase, the introduction, and subsequent support, of this bill is welcomed news for families across the country.  As Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) mentioned to the AAIA (per their website):

 

“The decision to purchase an automobile is one of the biggest investments a family makes.  With the average sticker price of a new car now exceeding $30,000, and repair costs continuing to rise, hardworking American families deserve access to as many repair part options as possible.”

 

Increasing competition within the auto parts industry will only benefit consumers, and while there is still a long way to go, the PARTS Act is a great start!

Autoparts

Right to Repair – Is Maine Next?

Maine is the next state that will hear the “Right to Repair” arguments, as consumers push to gain more control over the amount they pay to repair their vehicles.  As consumer rights have become a hot-button issue in a variety of industries, it comes as no surprise that the legislation recently seen in Massachusetts is now finding its way to other states in the region.

 

Right to Repair - Is Maine Next

Considerable support has been mustered, as the AAIA testified at the preliminary hearing in support of the bill’s passage.  Countering the argument, of course, were the large auto manufacturers and the ASA.  Also entering the fray are insurers such as AAA, and a bevy of repair shops in the state that recognize the importance of “options” when it comes to parts procurement.

 

The presence of repair shops in this argument is incredibly important.  Many shops in the industry cannot compete with the dealership repair facilities, as they do not have the necessary tools or information to offer an alternative to high-cost manufacturer repairs.

 

Maine is using the Massachusetts “Right to Repair Act” as a model for its own legislation.  All of these debates are centered on creating a national policy that limits the patent time frame on new or existing part designs.  By allowing secondary manufacturers to create, test, and eventually sell alternatives to dealership parts, consumers will have the choices necessary to keep repair costs low.  This dynamic can lead to a “domino effect” that impacts the insurance industry, and its costs, as well.

Autoparts

2013 Long Beach Grand Prix Coverage – Friday’s Practice Runs

2013 Long Beach Grand Prix Coverage 1

When we woke up on Long Beach, California on the morning of April 19th, it was obvious that we were in for a fantastic weekend.  With the weather forecast at the hotel reminding us that the high-60s morning temperature would quickly rise to a comfortable 85 degrees, we couldn’t eat breakfast fast enough.

 

There are always elements of a job that feel like, well, a job.  But, when you get to cover Toyota’s Long Beach Grand Prix, it certainly doesn’t feel like work.  This was the 39th annual running of the Indy Series event, and anyone in attendance (and believe me, there were quite a few) can attest to the fact that the track’s location makes you feel like you’re watching an event in Italy.

 

The Backdrop

 

As we walked down Pine Avenue, on our way from the hotel to the venue, we could already hear the sound of the early practice runs.  With Helio Castroneves and Marco Andretti in attendance, there was little doubt that there would be plenty of entertainment.  The causeway that leads to the front gates passes right over one of the final turns of the course, so the stage is set from the moment you hand the counter your ticket.

 

The 11-turn course runs along Shoreline Drive, which mirrors the coastline, is absolutely gorgeous.  With the marinas lining the coastal side of the track, a seat in the grandstands can provide quite a view.  And, because

 

The first practice runs were the Le Mans series races, and take it from me, if you haven’t seen Porches and Corvettes blasting through a street course up close, you haven’t lived!  Again, these were just practice runs, but when you can hear the air ratchets in the pits and smell the burning motor oil, there’s nothing like it.

 

Indy Series

 

2013 Long Beach Grand Prix Coverage 2

2013 Long Beach Grand Prix Coverage 3

After strolling around the facility, and getting some great look-ins at the Le Mans pits, it was time to fire up the Indy Cars.  These open-wheel beauties have always given me pause:  How on Earth is this sport not more popular?  I mean, is it a marketing thing?  The cars are a lot of fun, and the courses, in my humble opinion, are more entertaining than the standard ovals seen in other events.

 

As expected, the drivers took these Friday practice runs with caution.  Although, it is worth noting that everyone seemed to get a kick out of seeing them “open it up” after the final turn (by the “Dolphin” – if you don’t know what that is, definitely look it up!), as they headed down the straightaway.

 

Passes were few and far between, obviously, but the morning runs were plenty fun.  After a short break, the second round of practice runs began, and we elected to wander around a bit more, taking in the scene.

 

Other Festivities

 

2013 Long Beach Grand Prix Coverage 4

Shoreline Village, which is an on-the-water complex, is inside the event’s gates, so heading over to grab some lunch (and a beer, if you’re into that sort of thing) was a snap.  Food trucks were aplenty, as well, giving visitors a bevy of options.  The backdrop of water, boats in the marina, and of course, loud engines in perfect weather, really helped to set the stage for what would be an incredible weekend.

 

For those that are interested, here’s a video of HelioCastroneves discussing the 2013 Toyota Long Beach Grand Prix:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aq6wE3ruQ_A

Autoparts

AAA: Cost of Vehicle Ownership on the Rise

AAA  Cost of Vehicle Ownership on the Rise

AAA has revealed some startling information about vehicle ownership in the United States.  As reported by USA Today, the American Automobile Association released information that outlines just how much it costs to own a vehicle in the United States on an annual basis.  The cost is calculated via a “per mile” system, which is a great way to assess the true cost of ownership.

 

Today, the average cost of vehicle ownership is $9,122 for those driving 15,000 miles annually.  On a per mile basis, expect to spend right around 60.8 cents per mile.  This is an increase of 1.17 cents from 2012.

 

Figures for this cost analysis involve the average sedan.

 

The details of calculation are as follows:

 

These conclusions are based on 5 different categories.

 

(1)    Vehicle maintenance

 

(2)    Fuel costs

 

(3)    Tires

 

(4)    Vehicle depreciation

 

(5)    Insurance costs

 

Of these categories, vehicle maintenance saw the largest jump, increasing more than 11% to 4.97 cents per mile.  This is attributed to the trend of owners keeping vehicles for much longer in a down economy.  All of this makes perfect sense, when you consider that auto parts sales are UP, in addition to revenues at repairs shops across the country.

 

The national average for a gallon of gas came in at $3.49, but surprisingly enough, it was INSURANCE costs that came in second.  Annual fuel costs came in third, with vehicle depreciation finishing fourth.

 

The trends regarding automobiles are always interesting, as they can help give a much better cross-section of the TRUE state of the American economy.  As consumers become more cost-conscious, the need for repair increases, given the sluggish NEW car sales.

 

One thing we really enjoyed from the USA Today piece was the mention of AAA’s history in releasing this information –

 

When the study debuted in 1950, the average annual cost of vehicle ownership was $900 and gas was a paltry $0.27 a gallon.

 

Ah, the good ol’ days…

 

Autoparts

DIY Auto Maintenance: Fluid Edition

 

Routine automobile maintenance is something that can get confusing for those that don’t regularly spend time under the hood.  While it’s become incredibly easy, and admittedly, cost-efficient, to take your car or truck into a local garage for a “15 minute oil change”, understanding how to properly check or top-off the crucial fluids in your vehicle can save you quite a bit of time, money, and frustration.

 

DIY Auto Maintenance  Fluid Edition

There are several fluid reservoirs within arm’s reach of your engine, and knowing which should be closely monitored can help prevent serious damage to vital components.  So, in the name of providing you with information that SAVES YOU MONEY, we’re going to outline some of the most important fluids to your vehicle, and how you can ensure that there is enough of each fluid in the reservoir.

 

Shall we?

 

Oil

 

OIL IS CRUCIAL.  Ok, we’re going to say it again, just to be sure the point is made…OIL IS CRUCIAL!!  Necessary for lubricating your engine’s cylinders, and helping to reduce the amount of friction occurring internally, motor oil is something that your engine simply cannot do without.

 

Lots of misconceptions exist regarding the proper mileage/timeframe between oil changes.  While it largely depends on your particular vehicle year, getting the right information from someone OTHER than a company that will profit from your oil changes is paramount.

 

For more information regarding the importance of oil for your engine, check out these resources:

 

http://www.f1technical.net/features/10123

 

http://www.mechanics.com.au/features/the-importance-of-the-oil-change/

 

http://www.cars.com/go/advice/Story.jsp?section=maintenance&story=why-oil-matters&subject=oil

 

And, to clear the air regarding proper oil change frequency:

 

http://www.theautochannel.com/news/2011/12/23/019198-how-often-should-you-change-your-oil.html

 

Coolant

 

While oil tops the list, engine coolant isn’t far behind!  We all know that overheating can lead to disaster for a vehicle’s engine (if you didn’t, now you do!), but far too often, the radiator’s contents go unnoticed by vehicle owners.

 

Because the cooling system is contained, for the most part, many do not realize how much coolant can be lost due to aging.  Radiator hoses, for example, are designed to withstand SERIOUS heat, but over time, they can become brittle, leaving small, sometimes unnoticeable cracks.  Coolant can slowly leak from these openings, leaving your radiator and coolant reservoir BONE DRY.  When this happens, you’ll know it, because your temperature gauge will spike without warning, and if you aren’t careful, so will your maintenance bill!

 

We would like to extend one nugget of knowledge your way before you lift the hood and start checking your radiator fluid:  MAKE SURE THE ENGINE IS COLD!!  If you don’t take our word for it, you’ll wish you did.

 

More information regarding your coolant, and how to maintain proper levels, can be found here:

 

http://autorepair.about.com/od/regularmaintenance/a/coolant_chk.htm

 

http://www.cdxetextbook.com/engines/cool/coolingSystem/adjcool.html

 

Here’s a video on the subject for you visual types out there:

 

http://www.ehow.com/video_2326879_check-engine-coolant-levels.html

 

Brake Fluid

 

Your brakes are important, aren’t they?  Sure they are.  Otherwise, we’d all be plunging headlight into guard rails across the country!  So, if they’re so important, why do so many owners fail to double-check the brake fluid level in their vehicles?

 

Because your brake system is pressurized, a lack of fluid will lead to a lack of braking.  In older cars, small brake line leaks are common, so checking these components regularly can go a long way toward on-road safety.  When you hit your brake pedal, the fluid forces the cylinder to squeeze the caliper and pads onto the rotor.  This slows you down, ensuring that you don’t run into that flock of geese electing to cross the road on a beautiful Tuesday afternoon…

 

For more information on properly managing the brake fluid in your vehicle, visit these sites:

 

http://www.smartmotorist.com/car-accessories-fuel-and-maintenance/checking-and-maintenance-of-car-brake-system.html

 

http://autorepair.about.com/od/regularmaintenance/a/brk_fluid_add.htm

 

We aren’t saying you’re a “Dummy” but this “For Dummies” resource is pretty sweet:

 

http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-check-a-vehicles-brake-fluid.html

 

Power Steering Fluid

 

The power steering system is somewhat of a mystery to most owners.  Many younger drivers have no idea how much more difficult steering would be without our underappreciate power steering technology!  But, I digress…

 

For our purposes here, we will skip the system analysis, and move right to the fluid’s purpose.  In a design that is slightly more complicated than the brake fluid purpose outlined above, a lack of power steering fluid can render your system useless, while creating issues within the components.

 

Have you ever turned the steering wheel only to hear that annoying “grinding” sound?  Yep, that’s a lack of power steering fluid.  Topping the reservoir off SHOULD do the trick…unless, of course, a more serious system issue is afoot.

 

Learn more about checking fluid levels and maintaining the system here:

 

http://www.wikihow.com/Check-and-Add-Power-Steering-Fluid

 

http://www.cdxetextbook.com/steersusp/steer/steeringSystem/adjpwrfluid.html

 

And, just for those of you that WANT to know more about the system design and function:

 

http://www.howstuffworks.com/steering4.htm

 

Transmission Fluid

 

The last time you tried to pull away from a stopped light, did your transmission slip?  For many, this would incite fear that a costly transmission repair is looming.  And, while we can’t wave our wand and make that possibility COMPLETELY go away, there is a reasonable chance that you’re just running low on transmission fluid.

 

Some newer transmissions, like those found in recent Ford Explorers, are self-contained, meaning that there isn’t a way to add transmission fluid to the system.  In our opinion, this is a terrible idea, as it just facilitates more trips to the local dealership, but we aren’t transmission designers, we’re auto parts guys…

 

Checking your transmission fluid regularly can help you save wear and tear on one of the most expensive components in your vehicle!  For more information, check out these links:

 

http://www.essortment.com/check-cars-automatic-transmission-fluid-level-17572.html

 

http://www.diybuildingandrepairs.com/auto-repairs/how-to-check-transmission-fluid.html

 

Washer Fluid

 

We saved this one for last with good reason.  Though it won’t leave you scratching your head while staring at a ridiculous repair bill, not having washer fluid can create an issue if you have old wiper blades.  Why?  Well, once the rain starts, try clearing what is now MUDDY dirty from your windshield with older wipers.

 

Washer fluid is inexpensive and easy to check, as most reservoirs have the “level” labeled right on the outside of the tank.  Check this regularly, because it’s REALLY frustrating when you need it but don’t have it.

 

So, that pretty much sums up our fluid checklist.  Did we miss anything?  If so, please let us know, so we can run out and check our cars right now.

 

Properly maintaining the fluid levels in your vehicle can go a long way towards reducing maintenance costs and ensuring that many of the critical engine components are functioning properly.  And, just to make this great habit…well…a habit, we recommend checking fluid levels while filling up.  Instead of standing there, taking in the beautiful scenery of a gas station pump, the lovely scents of exhaust, and tantalizing sounds of honking horns and screeching tires, try popping the hood and taking a moment to check your levels.  Your car, and your wallet, will be REALLY happy you did.  We guarantee it!

 

Until next time…

 

Autoparts

Go-Part.com Joins the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA)

Staying true to our continued efforts to ensure the satisfaction of our customers, while maintaining the high performance specs on all of our replacement parts, we have jointed the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association!

 

GoPart Joins AAIA

 

By increasing the knowledge of our own staff, while gaining the ability to contribute to our industry in new and inventive ways, we are excited for this new opportunity.

 

Just to give you some background of what the AAIA is, for those of you who do not know…

 

The Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association is an organization that helps bring aftermarket parts providers together.  Through these efforts, the AAIA has helped to elevate the overall QUALITY of the non-OEM parts being made available to consumers, while working diligently to protect YOUR ability to repair your own vehicle.  This is made apparent by their unwavering support of the Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act.

 

If you’d like to learn more, you can check out the AAIA’s website here:

 

http://www.aftermarket.org/Default.aspx

 

From individual shops to global distributors, we are eager to join the ranks of the elite in our field, and intend on parlaying this opportunity into improved service for our own customers.  In addition to an enhanced experience through Go-Part.com, we are also excited about sharing our own unique perspective on the industry, and helping to improve the overall landscape for auto owners everywhere!

 

Autoparts

Road-Trip Destinations Across the United States

Road-Trip Destinations Across the United States 1

Child 1:  “Mom, Dad…he’s hitting me…”

 

Child 2:  (Waving hands 2 or 3 inches from sibling’s face) “I’m not touching you.  I’m not touching you.”

 

You turn up the radio in the hopes that you can drown out the backseat madness long enough to answer the next “Are we there, yet?” with an enthusiastic YES!

 

Ah, yes…it’ll be road trip season soon, which means that within a couple of months, many of us will be setting out on the cross-country journeys that are designed to offer some reprieve from the daily grind of work, traffic, home…rinse and repeat.  Granted, by the end of the road trip, I’m sure that we’ll be longing for work as a reprieve from the grind of “I have to go to the bathroom”, stop, repeat…

 

Road trips have long been an American tradition as they can be easily facilitated, provided that you know where you’re going and what you’ll encounter along the way.  We have covered the important elements of preparing for a road trip in another segment, so today, we’ll point out some of the great road trip destinations across the United States.

 

For our purposes here, we’ve divided the country into four segments, so when we say “Southeast”, for example, remember that it may stretch as far as Arkansas.  Got it?  Great, let’s get this show on the road, shall we?

 

 

The Northeast

 

The Northeast

The Northeastern United States is rich in history.  From the first European settlers to the creation of our government, vacations to this region of the country can be fun for Mom and Dad, while remaining incredibly educational for the kids.  Our recommendations include:

 

Washington, D.C.

 

Washington, D.C. has several great attractions that can be enjoyable for just about anyone.  From the various monuments to the White House and Capitol building, tours can help you “wear out” the kids during the day, while including some perspective that they won’t soon forget!  I’d recommend dropping by the Smithsonian, as well.  When it comes to documenting American history, few places are better!

 

Here are a few resource links about Washington, D.C.:

 

http://vrc.dc.gov/vrc/site/default.asp

 

http://washington.org/

 

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g28970-Washington_DC_District_of_Columbia-Vacations.html

 

New England

 

Why did we use a sub-region of a region of our national road trip map?  Well, because we don’t have all day here, and there’s plenty to note!  From ordering high-quality but cheap (and we mean REALLY cheap) lobster in Maine to enjoying an autumn drive through New Hampshire, you can find something for everyone in New England.  Boston, New York City, and a wide variety of attractions are all within striking distance once you make the journey north (or east, depending on where you’re starting from)!

 

Here are a few links that can help you find attractions in New England:

 

http://www.discovernewengland.org/

 

http://www.newenglandtravelplanner.com/go/info.html

 

http://www.boston.com/travel/

 

 

The Southeast

 

The Southeast

The southeastern United States is underrated, in my opinion, as a road trip destination.  Is that because I spent a large majority of my childhood throughout the region?  Yes, yes it is.  But the fact remains…if you haven’t visited the South, you HAVE to check it out!  Great food, nice people, and unbearable heat always make for a solid trip.  Although, with that last point in mind, I’d recommend heading there in the Fall or early Spring.

 

Charleston, South Carolina

 

Now, I’ve spent some time in Charleston, and I must say, it is probably my favorite city in the country!  But, don’t take my word for it!  Nestled on the coast, the downtown vibe feels like you’ve gone back in time.  Visitors can stroll through “The Battery”, which is a city park area complete with cannons from the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, or take an informative tour of Fort Sumter, which is the location of the first shots fired to begin the American Civil War!  Cobblestone streets and a friendly atmosphere make Charleston a great road trip destination.  For more information:

 

http://www.charlestoncvb.com/

 

Here’s a great video that gives you a brief tour of the city:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltvRWhsgaYU

 

Florida

 

Do you like beaches?  Do you like great food?  Do you like affordable prices?  If not, then don’t waste your time going to Florida.  If so, read on!

 

Florida is one of the nation’s most popular retirement destinations for a reason.  While many will discuss Miami or Orlando (due to Disney World), we like to remind you that there’s an entire state to explore!  Try visiting St. Augustine (on the Atlantic coast) for a nice change of pace that delivers some historical value.  Or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, venture out into the “panhandle”, and see what some of the rural Floridians are up to.  Either way, Florida is great – and remember, it’s a cliché destination for a reason…because it rocks!

 

Here are a few links that can help you explore Florida before you embark:

 

http://www.myflorida.com/taxonomy/visitor/

 

http://www.visitflorida.com/

 

 

The Southwest

 

The Southwest

Though the southwestern United States is spread out, it can be a great road trip location for families.  The coastal cities like San Diego or San Francisco are beautiful, while some of the other, more rural destinations can provide a unique, educational experience.  We all know about the Grand Canyon, and while some may not have visited, going into detail about it just seems a bit redundant.  Instead, we’re going to point out a couple of gems that you may not have considered…

 

Tombstone, AZ

 

Do you love “westerns”?  Did you watch Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday in “Tombstone” and wanted to see what life was like back then?  If you answered “yes” to one or both of these questions, then Tombstone, Arizona is your place!  Visitors can enjoy a re-enactment of the OK Corral shootout, while basking in the beautiful, warm weather (provided that you aren’t there in the summer – it’s just brutal, then).  It should be noted, however, that Tombstone isn’t very big, so it makes for a great “layover” location on your road trip!

 

Want some more info?  We’re glad you asked:

 

http://www.tombstoneweb.com/

 

http://www.tombstonechamber.com/Tombstone-Overview

 

Four Corners

 

Interested in a map-making anomaly?  You can stand in four states at the same time, when in the right spot!  “Four Corners” is a location that is the boundary of Colorado, Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico.  The area is quite scenic, and it’s a fun experience for children and adults alike.  Navajo culture abounds at this national park, so be sure to take some time to relax and enjoy!  For more information, check out the following resource links:

 

http://navajonationparks.org/htm/fourcorners.htm

 

http://www.utah.com/playgrounds/four_corners.htm

 

 

The Northwest

 

The Northwest

We’ve reached the final quadrant of our cross-country road trip!  Still with us?  Great!  The northwestern United States is ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL if you enjoy outdoor scenery, wooded areas, and of course, some refreshing precipitation.  But, there’s a lot more to this region than nature hikes…

 

Portland, OR

 

Portland, Oregon is a beautiful city located in the northwestern corner of the state.  Visitors enjoy scenic drives, a great downtown area that includes shopping and nice restaurants, and of course, the ability to take a quick jaunt into Washington.  Outdoor loving families should always consider Portland to be the perfect road trip destination, as the drive can be just as enjoyable as the destination.

 

Learn more about Portland, OR here:

 

http://www.travelportland.com/

 

http://www.portlandonline.com/index.cfm?c=25782

 

Mount Rushmore

 

National monuments are great learning experiences for kids, which is why Mount Rushmore remains one of the most popular family road trip destinations in the country.  Located in South Dakota, the mountainous carving of four of the most popular American presidents is truly something to behold.  The park is fun and informative, while the surrounding area is gorgeous.

 

Interested in Mount Rushmore?  Check out these links:

 

http://www.nps.gov/moru/index.htm

 

http://www.travelsd.com/Attractions/Mount-Rushmore

 

 

The Home Stretch

 

Well, that’s what we have for you here!  Taking road trips can be an incredible experience for the entire family.  Sure, they can try your patience, but in the end, anytime we get to spend time with our families while touring some of our country’s hidden gems, we all win.

 

And, if you want some more information about road trips, watch “National Lampoon’s Vacation”.  It’s all in there…

Autoparts

Used Car Issues – Stay Away From Water Damaged Vehicles!

When shopping for a used car, one has to be careful regarding the vehicle being considered.  While the seller may seem nice, who isn’t when they’re trying to sell you something?  Water damage remains one of the worst possible issues involved in purchasing a used car or truck.  Flooding can damage the vehicle’s frame and interior in a variety of ways, which is why anyone currently in the market for a used vehicle should know the warning signs, and steer clear of any vehicle exhibiting any of them!  After all, though you may be walking away from a great deal, it’s always better to be safe when making this kind of investment!

 

Used Car Issues – Stay Away From Water Damaged Vehicles!

 

The electrical system can also be permanently damaged when water damage has occurred.  And, if you thought auto repairs were already expensive, try chasing down an electrical problem during diagnosis…

 

Water Damage Warning Signs

 

The next time you’re considering purchasing a used car, remember these warning signs:

 

(1)    “Musty” smell in the car

 

Cars that have been exposed to a flood will often carry signs of the damage.  But, one of your best assets to determine such a thing isn’t your eyes – it’s your nose!  The musty smell will be a dead giveaway that you need to move onto the next vehicle.

 

(2)    Rusting

 

Rust occurs over time, whether we like it or not.  However, excessive rusting in the wheel wells or along the underside of the chassis can be a HUGE indicator that something isn’t right.  Run your hand along the edges of the vehicle, just to see if you can feel where any “cover ups” have been applied.

 

(3)    Wiring and Lighting System

 

The electrical system is usually one of the common casualties when a vehicle has been subjected to a flood.  Though many components can dry out over time, the wiring will often dry out with it, making the wires brittle.  If show signs of cracking when you handle them, run!

 

Also, take note of the dashboard lights and head/tail light assemblies.  Do they work properly?  When you turn the battery on, does everything appear normal?  Taking a few minutes to check out the vehicle’s electrical system can save you quite a headache in the very near future.

 

Scrutinize Everything

 

Don’t be afraid to take your time and check the vehicle thoroughly.  While you may get met with some impatience from the seller, remember…it’s your money!  Heck, it might soon be YOUR car.  It never hurts to take the extra time to explore the chassis, and search for any signs that the car or truck has been submerged in flooding water!

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