Archive for the ‘Automobile’ Category

1. Be sure your tires are inflated to the correct pressure. Your owner’s manual will tell you how much air you should have in each tire.

2. If you get a discount for using a store card, use it. If you get a discount for a credit card, use it only if you plan to pay off the balance when it’s due. Your savings on gasoline might be lost if you have to pay interest.

3. Keep your highway speed to around 55mph. Faster speeds can consume more gasoline.

4. Don’t accelerate up and down while driving. Try to keep a constant pressure on the gas pedal. (my note- this includes hills!)

5. Plan your trips. If you have to drive very far to the market, make sure you purchase everything you might need for several days.

6. Have your automobile checked by a reputable mechanic to be sure it is tuned up and running it’s best.

7. When possible, walk instead of driving. It’s healthier and will save gasoline. (my note- or ride a bicycle.)

8. Carpool whenever possible.

9. Keep your car clean and waxed. Dirt and grime can cause a small decrease in gas mileage. (my note- also try not to haul around things in your trunk or back seat that you don’t need in there.  I’m as guilty of this as anyone, but the added weight uses more gasoline.)

10. Watch for things that can obstruct the air flow on your automobile. Things such as the car top carriers can reduce gas mileage.

11. Use cruise control if you car is equipped with it.

12. Let the kids ride the school bus instead of driving them to and from school.

13. Never let your car run while you dash into the store, post office, etc.

14. Use your air conditioner instead of opening the windows while driving at high speeds.

It’s hard enough to save money for retirement without having to spend unnecessarily on the necessities of life. Almost everyone has a car and relies on gasoline or some type of fuel so it makes sense to try to economize whenever possible. We should really try to save on fuel even if it weren’t so expensive.

Wondering what prices are at some of the stations across the country? fueleconomy.gov is a handy web site that will answer your questions.

This was originally posted at About.com.

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Sorry it has been a while since I last posted. I will try to make up for it this week. Thank you for continuing to check in for new lists!

Here is a new list. 10 Lies of a Dirty Car Salesman. Hopefully this list will help you on your next car buying experience!

This was first posted here.

Lies, Lies, and more Lies. So you know everything there is to know about the car you plan on buying. From the true wholesale value to the estimated deprecation. You are armed with spreadsheets, references, ads, and competing bank interest or lease rates. So what is the one thing you are missing? How about a lie detector? That’s right, so here are ten sure fire signs your car salseman you are working with is feeding you to the scum:

1. “This is the lowest deal ever done in the history of this dealership” says the car salesman as he smiles and winks at you. Yeah right! This is your sign to push harder, you have not done good enough.

2. “This sale is the best they have had and it will never be repeated” says the manager of the dirty car salesman. If that is true then ask him to put that in writing and guarantee you that if a better deal ever comes along they will pay you the difference, and then say goodbye. The salesman obviously does not think you’re intelligent to speak out such nonsense.

3. The car salesman tells you he will give you private party blue book for your car. If they do, then you are paying to much somewhere else. Most dealers send cars to auction which is far less then private party blue book and the reason why they give you such a low amount on trade ins. Giving you Private Party blue book value is a losing proposition for them.

4. “We need 20% down”, says the car salesman. If this comes before they have checked your credit score get up an leave or tell him you want the car for $10 per month. No bank requires this unless you have horrible credit. They are conditioning you to make the real offers sound better. Your in for a long ride with this salesman if you don’t set him straight right away.

5. The words of a great Lying salsman: “We have a great 52-month loan” or substitute any loan that is different than 24,36,48, or 60 months. This is a big red flag! Off period loans are designed to maximize profits because people are usually not prepared to negotiate them. If you know how to, then by all means check the math and proceed, but if you don’t know how stay away.

6. “I have to check with my manager on that payment” says the eager car salesman. No they don’t. Fact is after they run your credit they have nice programs that tell them what various banks are going to loan you. If you are negotiating loan payments, you are losing the battle. You should always be negotiating the car price. For that they may need to check with the manager if you are driving a hard bargain. Once the price is determined, your car payment is a function of your credit score and any special promotions a bank is willing to give you. You need to know this information, if you do you will save yourself a lot of time and money negotiating your car.

7. “Residual values are set by the bank” said by the car salesman in the heat of negotiation. Well this is true, however, is that what they are giving you in your lease? A tactic that is used in leases is to up the payment and giving you a lower residual value at the end of the lease. This does you no good, it just means you are renting the car higher than what you should be renting it for. You should know the approximate residual value. I have not found any sites that reveal this information for free, but a good approximation is looking at the used car market 3 and 4 years out. A typical care can lose about 40% over the first four years ( 20% in the first year and then 7-10% in each subsequent years). By the way never do a 60-month lease. 36-month leases are optimal in most cases. More to come on leasing cars in future posts.

8. “This deal is only available today!” Probably not true unless it is a factory special that expires. If you have done your homework you will know this already and be able to know if the salesman if lying to you.

9. “We can’t match the same deal the other dealer has!” Probably not true. If it is, then leave and go to the other dealer.

10. “Our dealer sells the most cars and gets the best pricing from the manufacturer!” Hmm, it is funny that every dealer I have walked into says this. Perhaps they all sell the same amount of cars. If they are claiming this ask them to back up their offer. If you find a lower price have them give you the difference, after all they are suppose to get the biggest discount right?

Here is the good news. For every bad car salesman there is a great one! Key is to find them and work your deal. If you do get a bad salesman simply ask to work with someone else. If we all did this perhaps we could weed out the bad salesman and change the car buying experience.

At the end of the day, be careful about statements that seem strange or don’t correspond with your research. The more prepared you are the better you will spot the good from the bad and walk away with a great deal.

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1. Cleaning Antique Furniture

If we’re not careful with our beverages, we can cause damage to those things that mean the most to us. Before you put a beverage down on an antique table, be sure to use a coaster or you risk leaving a water mark behind on the wood. If this has happened to you, cleaning antique furniture of these marks if you act quickly. You have several options for removing water marks from wood. Mayonnaise left on the stain over night is usually enough to remove the stain as is a white, non-gel toothpaste. If you can get to the mark immediately, try to dry it with a hair dryer first. If you’re unsure about using any of these products on your wood, test it on a hidden area before you go about this type of house cleaning.

2. Tell Candle Soot Stains Goodbye!

If you have candle soot on your walls, you may want to think about moving your candles. They may be too close to your walls! You may also want to consider purchasing candles made from beeswax to cut down on soot stains.

•To remove soot stains, you should first use the upholstery attachment on your vacuum and go over the soot stains. This will lift any residue that is still on the wall.

•Add soap to water to a quart of water and mix well.

•Dip a soft sponge or cloth into the liquid and work the cleaner into a small section of the soot stain. Be careful that your sponge or cloth is not dripping because it can make the soot stain run down the entire wall.

•Rinse the clean area and dry with a soft cloth.

•If this does not remove the candle soot stains from your wall, you may want to purchase a soot sponge that is specifically made to tackle this tough stain.


3. Garbage Disposal Cleaning

When going about your regular kitchen cleaning, you don’t want to overlook your garbage disposal. Especially if food is scraped into the disposal when regularly washing the dishes. To clean grease and leftover food from your disposal and sharpen the blades at the same time, sprinkle liberally with baking soda and pour white vinegar over until it bubbles. Let set ten minutes. Rinse with hot water. Put two or three ice cubes in the disposal and grind. Rinse again with hot water. Now your disposal is clean and odor free.

4. Strong Odor Removal from Chest Freezer

Vinegar is not only a great product to use for general kitchen cleaning. It will also work to remove strong odors in your chest freezer by washing it out with vinegar. If any odor remains, fill shallow pans with either ground coffee, activated charcoal or baking soda and place on the bottom of freezer. Close the lid, and let sit for 2 to 3 days.

5. Cleaning Pet Hair And Lint

A good start is to be sure that you are using a clean, lint-free rag or paper towel when you wipe the toilet. Spray the rag with your cleaner and allow it to penetrate for a moment or two before wiping away the dirt. You don’t want the surface of the toilet or your rag to be too wet as that causes things to stick to the porcelain rather than come off onto your rag. Also wipe, then refold your cloth so that ever swipe you are using a clean side of the rag.
For floors, invest in a good Swiffer style duster mop with dry cloths or invest in a good vacuum with bare floor settings. For wet mopping I recommend getting a mop with a removable terry cloth cover. These are excellent and trapping leftover hair/lint. After mopping the cover pops right off and can be washed with your regular laundry ensuring a clean mop head every time. Regular mops tend to hold onto hair and other assorted icky things from previous cleanings. With the terry cloth covers you ensure a very clean mop and therefore a clean floor each time.

6. Bumper Sticker Removal

You can remove bumper stickers from your car by saturating them with hot vinegar, salad oil, or nail polish remover. If any residue remains, you can remove it with WD-40 and scrub with nylon netting or a stiff brush.

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