To lease, or to buy?

 CRO_cars_main_car_buyingguide.jpg Buying Leasing
Ownership You own the vehicle and get to keep it as long as you want it. You don’t own the vehicle. You get to use it but must return it at the end of the lease unless you decide to buy it.
Up-front costs They include the cash price or a down payment, taxes, registration and other fees. They typically include the first month’s payment, a refundable security deposit, a down payment, taxes, registration and other fees.
Monthly payments Loan payments are usually higher than lease payments because you’re paying off the entire purchase price of the vehicle, plus interest and other finance charges, taxes, and fees. Lease payments are almost always lower than loan payments because you’re paying only for the vehicle’s depreciation during the lease term, plus interest charges (called rent charges), taxes, and fees.
Early termination You can sell or trade in your vehicle at any time. If necessary, money from the sale can be used to pay off any loan balance. If you end the lease early, early-termination charges can be almost as costly as sticking with the contract.
Vehicle return You’ll have to deal with selling or trading in your car when you decide you want a different one. You can return the vehicle at lease-end, pay any end-of-lease costs, and walk away.
Future value The vehicle will depreciate but its cash value is yours to use as you like. On the plus side, its future value doesn’t affect you financially. On the negative side, you don’t have any equity in the vehicle.
Mileage You’re free to drive as many miles as you want. (But higher mileage lowers the vehicle’s trade-in or resale value.) Most leases limit the number of miles you may drive, often 12,000 to 15,000 per year. (You can negotiate a higher mileage limit.) You’ll have to pay charges for exceeding your limits.
Excessive wear and tear You don’t have to worry about wear and tear, but it could lower the vehicle’s trade-in or resale value. Most leases hold you responsible. You’ll have to pay extra charges for exceeding what is considered normal wear and tear.
End of term At the end of the loan term (typically four to five years), you have no further payments and you have built equity to help pay for your next vehicle. At the end of the lease (typically two to four years), you’ll have to finance the purchase of the car or lease or buy another.
Customizing The vehicle is yours to modify or customize as you like. Because the lessor wants the vehicle returned in sellable condition, any modifications or custom parts you add will need to be removed before you return the car. If there is any residual damage, you’ll have to pay to have it fixed.
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Squeaky Belts

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Squeaky belts in in cars are very common. Make sure that the belt that is squeaking is inspected and replaced if necessary!

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Intake Filter

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Make sure to replace your intake filter as the owners manual requires. A dirty filter could be causing poor MPG’s!

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What to do if Your Car Overheats

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When the mercury begins to rise outside, it’s common for car engines to get overly toasty too. Thankfully, there are plenty of things you can do to make sure a temporary jump in temperature doesn’t lead to long-lasting trouble. To help you know what to do if your car overheats, here are 5 easy steps.

  1. First, always carry an extra bottle of coolant (also called antifreeze) in your car, as well as a jug of water. Engines typically overheat because the coolant’s low, so topping it off will usually solve the problem. Failing that, water will also temporarily do the trick. Plus, that water could be a lifesaver on long, sweltering summer drives. Just don’t drink it all.
  2. When you see the temperature gauge creeping into the red or a notification light glowing, immediately turn off your air conditioner (since the AC puts a lot of strain on your engine).
  3. If the problem persists, crank your heater up to full blast. It could make the next few miles a pretty brutal experience, but the transfer of heat away from the engine might just save its life.
  4. Should the preceding steps fail, pull over as soon as you can. Turn off the engine. If you can pop the hood from the driver’s seat, do so — but don’t risk opening it by hand until the engine has cooled, especially if you see steam wafting off the engine. It typically takes a solid 30 minutes for an engine to cool down enough for it to be safe to handle. If you’d rather let a professional handle the problem, it’s time to call for a tow truck.
  5. Once the engine has cooled, check the coolant tank. It’s usually a translucent plastic tank near the radiator. If the coolant tank is empty, you may have sprung a leak. Take a quick look under the car. If you notice a drip or puddle, chances are the coolant tank is leaking.
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WHAT IS A TURBOCHARGER?

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A turbocharger is an exhaust-driven air pump consisting of a pair of turbine wheels, not unlike pinwheels, on a single shaft. One turbine is positioned in the exhaust stream; when the engine revs, the exhaust makes it spin. This turns the second turbine, which is part of the intake system that directs air into the engine, and acts as a pump.

In order to develop boost, the engine must be working hard enough to produce significant exhaust pressure to spin the turbocharger. This results in “turbo lag” — the engine does not get a power boost at lower engine speeds, and it feels as if the car is hesitating instead of accelerating. Newer, more technologically advanced cars have less turbo lag than older cars. The advantage to using turbocharging to boost power is that when the turbo is active, the engine uses fuel, whether it be gasoline or diesel.

The benefit of turbocharging is that carmakers can use smaller, gas-sipping engines to get the same power and acceleration as a larger gas guzzling engine.

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Types of Exhaust Smoke

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Blue/Gray Smoke: Blue/gray exhaust smoke is an indication of oil burning in the combustion chamber. These are possible symptoms and causes:

Valve Seals: Leaking valve seals will cause blue/gray exhaust smoke.

Valve Guides: Excessive clearance between the valve stem and the valve guide allows oil to leak past the gap into the cylinder.

Piston Rings: Worn or damaged piston rings will cause blow-by, resulting in blue/gray smoke.

Worn Cylinder Walls: Worn cylinder walls cause blow-by, resulting in blue/gray smoke.

PCV System: A stuck closed PCV valve causes excessive crankcase pressure, resulting in blue/gray smoke.

Black Smoke: Black exhaust smoke is an indication of a rich fuel condition. These are possible causes:

Fuel Injectors: A leaking or dripping fuel injector will cause a rich fuel condition.

Fuel Pressure Regulator: A stuck closed fuel pressure regulator will cause a rich fuel condition.

Fuel Return: A restricted fuel return line will cause a rich fuel condition.

White/Gray Smoke: White exhaust smoke is an indication that coolant is burning in the combustion chamber. These are possible causes:

Cylinder Head: A crack in the cylinder head (around the coolant jacket) will cause coolant to enter the combustion chamber.

Engine Block: A crack in the deck of an engine block near the coolant jacket will cause coolant to enter the combustion chamber.

Head Gasket: A damaged or blown head gasket will cause coolant to enter the combustion chamber resulting in white/gray smoke coming from the tailpipe.

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