How to Keep Your Old Car Running Strong

Over 17 million cars are sold in the United States on a yearly basis.

While buying a new car is a dream for most, this purchase is usually unwarranted. New cars depreciate in value as soon as they are driving off of the lot. A great way to avoid this depreciation is to fix a car instead of buying new and throwing money down the drain.

Are you trying to keep your old car running strong? Check out the following tips on how to keep your existing vehicle reliable.

Oil is the Lifeblood of Your Car’s Engine

The biggest mistake you can make when trying to keep a car running smoothly is neglecting to change the oil regularly. The longer you wait to change your oil, the more gunk your engine will inevitably be exposed to.

If the oil in your engine is low, the internal parts will not get the lubrication they need. This will generally lead to a variety of repair issues arising. Allowing professionals to change your oil regularly can help you avoid mistakes that could cost you dearly in the long run.

Service the Car’s Coolant System

If you are like most car owners, your coolant system is not something you regularly think about. As the components of this system ages, you may start to experience overheating issues. If a car is allowed to consistently overheat, it can lead to blow head gaskets and other costly repairs.

Hiring professionals to flush the cooling system is a good idea. This flushing will help to get rid of sediment in the rows of the radiator. With this sediment gone, coolant will be allowed to flow freely and keep the engine cool.

Listen Out For Brake Repair Problems

Having functional brakes is an essential part of staying safe while behind the wheel. Braking components will eventually wear out and will have to be replaced. Generally, you will have a number of warning signs when these repairs need to be performed.

If you start to hear a screeching sound while you are bringing your vehicle to a stop, chances are your brake pads are worn. Ignoring this warning sign will only make these repair problems worse. Taking your vehicle into a reputable mechanic is the only way to ensure new braking components are installed properly.

Don’t Ignore the Check Engine Light

Modern cars are equipped with very sophisticated computer systems. The ECM on a vehicle will detect when there is a problem with a sensor. When these issues are detected, the check engine light inside of your vehicle will be illuminated.

Failing to act when given this warning can lead to you getting stranded on the side of the road. With a trip to a trusted mechanic, you can find out what problems your vehicle has and what needs to be done to address them properly.

The money you invest in professional car repair and maintenance is well worth it. With the right level of care, your vehicle can last for a long time. Attempting to do your own car repairs is a disaster waiting to happen, which is why it should be avoided at all cost.


How a Vehicle Check Could Save You a Fortune

When shopping in the used car market, motorists will always be looking for ways to save money. This can be a dangerous game, as if you are not careful you could end up making a bad choice and drive away with an unsafe or even illegal car. This could end up costing you a huge sum in the long run, so it is always best to be patient and careful when shopping for used cars.

One of the best ways to protect yourself is with a vehicle history check from HPI. These cost just a small amount and could save you a fortune long-term, so they should always be used as part of your process when browsing for used cars.

Avoid Scams

One of the key ways that a vehicle check will save you money is that it will protect you from used car scams. If you were to buy a stolen car or one with outstanding finance, this could see the car taken away from you and your money gone forever. Scams like this can be hard to spot, but a history check will ensure that the car is legal, that there is no outstanding finance amongst other important factors.


The more that you know about the car’s history the better – how it performed in the past will determine how it performs in the future. These checks will reveal the MOT history – this includes the test date, recorded mileage, previous results, status, due date, refusal notes and advisory notes. All of this information will help to determine if the car has been looked after, if there are any recurring issues and whether or not it is roadworthy. If it is due an MOT, be sure to get the seller to get the vehicle tested before making the purchase as otherwise, you could find that you foot the bill for any costly repairs.

HPI finds that 1 in 3 cars that they check has some kind of hidden issue, so the value of these checks are clear. Without carrying out a thorough check, it is far too easy to purchase what seems like a fine automobile only for its past to quickly catch up with you and cost a fortune. Whether this is the fact that it has outstanding finance or simply a faulty clutch, this would be a nasty surprise and significantly impact your finances (and possibly leave you carless). The checks are quick, easy and affordable, so always carry them out before parting with any cash.

Car Title Loans for When You Need Cash Fast

There are many times in your life when you may need cash but don’t have the funds in your bank account. You may need money to pay for college tuition, home improvements, car repairs or a vacation. A car title loan can get you the cash needed, without the long application process required by banks and other types of lenders.

There may be other reasons keeping you from obtaining a loan from a traditional lender. Perhaps your credit score is bad, or since you haven’t had a chance to build up your credit score yet. A car title loan works a bit differently than a regular loan.

A car title lender will not take a look at your credit history when approving your loan. Instead, your loan is secured against the value of your vehicle. After your loan has been approved, you will receive your cash. You then pay back the loan to a payment plan, plus interest. Failure to pay back the loan means that you forfeit the title to your vehicle. However, most people are able to pay back their car title loans to deadline, so it can be a good way to finance your purpose. A car title loan will also have no bearing on your credit report.

To begin the car title loan process, you fill out an form if you’re applying online. The lending company will then determine the value of your vehicle.

The value of your vehicle will be based on wholesale prices. The lender will then give you a loan based on what they believe your vehicle is worth. They will hold the title of the vehicle until you have paid off the loan in full. At this point, the car’s title returns to you.

This type of loan is different than the car financing loan you obtained when you purchased the car. This type of loan is meant to be short-term. It’s a lot like a pawn shop type of loan where you hand over the item to get your loan, and pay it back over a set payment schedule. If you fail to pay the loan back, the lending company keeps the item, in this case the vehicle. Basically, you’ll have sold your vehicle to the lending company by default.

In order to qualify for the loan, you must own the vehicle outright, and have no other existing loans on it. In other words, the title must be in your own name. If the vehicle’s title is still in the hands of the bank, you won’t be able to use it as collateral for a loan.

To further qualify, you may also be required to be a minimum age, provide proof of residency, and proof of your income.

A car title loan is a good way to quickly pay off finances, or credit card debt that has exorbitantly high interest rates. Car title loans are also a great way to get some quick cash for personal purposes.

Updated January 13, 2018

However, car title loans are not for everyone. When used incorrectly, title loans can bury borrowers into further debt. According to Titlelo Title Loans, a title loan company in Ft. Lauderdale Florida, auto title loans are one of the most misused and misunderstood forms of lending. It is important for borrowers to familiarize themselves with how these short-term loans work. Although title loans are a source of financial relief, they must be repaid within 2 months before they become a financial burden. Overall, title loans are controversial lending products that have the potential to be a viable lifeline to subprime borrowers who use them responsibly.

Do you upgrade?

As I type this post, I’m sitting amongst the lowest of the low. The scum of the earth. The outcasts. That’s right. I’m flying coach. Gasp!

Let’s be real, flying first class is pretty awesome. Not only do they enjoy a couple of inches of extra legroom, but they also have the luxury of having their nuts warmed (I mean the airplane peanuts your perverts). But is it worth it? Not for this ninja. First class is nice, but I’d much rather save that $50-$100 and be slightly uncomfortable for a few hours.

For me an upgrade to first class just isn’t worth it. There are, however, a few things I will almost always upgrade.


I’m totally obsessed with photography and I’ve got to warn you, it’s an expensive hobby. I got my first digital SLR this last Christmas. I, like many others, decided to lose my dSLR virginity to the Canon Rebel. The camera comes in three different models: the XS, the XSi, and the T1i. The XS is the cheapest model at about $500 and the T1i is the most expensive at $706. Instead of being totally frugal and getting the cheapest model, I did a little research and decided the cost increase for the XSi was worth it to me. Even though it is about $100 more than the XS, it has some features I didn’t want to miss out on. Six months later, I’m still in lust with my camera and am glad I went with a slight upgrade. Here’s a picture I took of a friends baby this weekend…

Electric Toothbrush:

Unfortunately, I learned this lesson the hard way. I’ve always owned the normal $0.99 toothbrushes from Target, but a few months ago I decided to “upgrade” to an electric toothbrush. Only problem was, I was too cheap to drop the $80-$100 on a Sonicare. Instead I opted for the $20 no name one. Big mistake. It sucked. The motor in it was so weak that it would stall when I’d push the bristles up against my teeth. Let’s just say, I tossed that toothbrush a few days later. I’m still too cheap to fork out the moolah for a Sonicare, but if I do venture back in to the world of electric toothbrushes, I’ll be sure to upgrade to a legitimate model.


I don’t know if this technically qualifies as an upgrade seeing that I put regular unleaded in my car like most of you probably do. The upgrade isn’t in the type of gas I buy, but where I get it from. I’ve read some pretty interesting reports about the negative impacts “cheap” gas can have on your car. Filling up at Chevron or Shell may cost a couple bucks more than stopping at Arco, but good quality gas has a pretty significant effect on the overall efficiency and lifespan of your vehicle. I’ll gladly pay an extra $0.10/gallon if it means I’ll get better gas mileage and have less vehicle maintenance.

What are some areas of your life where you’re comfortable paying for an upgrade? Do you fly first class? Book nicer hotels? Pay for premium memberships? Buy the middle or highest grade models of a certain product?

Hypothetical questions are fun…right?

Forgive me PDITF loyalists, for I have sinned. It is way to late for me to really think of anything worth writing about, so on this glorious Friday morning, I ask a simple, but thought provoking question.

How much money would you have to be given tomorrow to go out and buy a new car?

I asked this question to the roomy and he said if he was given $200,000 tomorrow he would consider going out and buying a $50,000 car. He then turned the question around to me. I think I would have to be given a million bones before I would consider upgrading to a $30K to $40K car. My roommate and I had two very different answers, so I’m wondering how it would work for you.

I think this question is interesting for a few reasons. First, playing the hypothetical game is always fun. Second, good/reliable cars are a necessity for most of us as we spend a good chunk of time behind the wheel. But I think the most interesting piece of this question lies in the fact that cars are a depriciating asset. Wise investing says “D0n’t buy things that depreciate” but the materialist in us says “It would be so nice to have heated seats, gps, a microwave, and a wireless headset in my new car.” Cars are interesting because they are so important, yet counterproductive to our financial well being.

So here’s what I want to know…

1) What kind of car do you currently drive. (Year, Model, Street Value)

2) How much money would you have to win/inherit/steal before you would even consider changing vehicles? (Would you upgrade right away, or have to be given over $100K, $300k, etc?)

3) From that ideal amount, how much would you spend on a car? (i.e. would need to be given $500K in which I would spend $20K on a car, or would need to receive $200K in which $80K would be put towards a car, etc)

Drop your details in the section below. I suspect there will be a huge fluctuation in answers.