4910 Lima Rd Fort Wayne, IN 46808 260-212-1111

Car Warning Lights & What They Mean

We’ve all been there: You’re driving along the freeway, enjoying the views, and suddenly, you hear a beep—you look down, and a symbol appears on your dashboard. You start to wonder what could be wrong. Some symbols on your car’s dashboard are more obvious than others. However, it’s important to know exactly what they mean in case you need to pull over and call for help.

Here are 15 Common Warning Lights on Your Car’s Dashboard
  1. Oil Pressure Light. This old-fashioned oil can image indicates that there is an issue with your car’s oil pressure system. Either you’re running low on oil or your oil pump isn’t circulating enough fluid to properly lubricate the surfaces inside your vehicle. This should be addressed as soon as possible, as your engine can wear quickly without proper lubrication.
  2. Tire Pressure Warning Light. Also known as the TPMS symbol, this image signals that the pressure in one or more of your tires is too low or too high and needs to be addressed. Driving on low- or high-pressure tires is unsafe and can cause additional damage to your vehicle. Usually, tire pressure should be between 30 and 35 psi (pounds per square inch).  
  3. Engine Temperature Warning. If you see this symbol pop up, it means that your engine is overheated. This most likely has to do with your coolant (also called antifreeze), but it can happen for a variety of reasons. It’s important to address this immediately to avoid further damage.  
  4. Traction Control Light. This indicates that your vehicle’s traction control system is activated. The traction control system utilizes your anti-lock brake system to determine if one wheel is spinning faster than another. If it detects that a wheel is slipping, it applies the brakes until it regains traction. This is most helpful if you’re driving in rain or snow.
  5. Anti-lock Brake Warning Light. Speaking of your anti-lock brakes, if this “ABS” warning lights up while you’re driving, it means that something is wrong with the system. As you know, your anti-lock brakes work to keep your car in contact with the road safely, so it’s important to diagnose the issue as soon as possible. Keep in mind, every time you turn on your vehicle, the system does a self-check, and may light up for just a few seconds. If it goes away immediately, your system is in working order.  
  6. Traction Control Malfunction. This light indicates that your vehicle’s traction control system might have a broken or damaged sensor or some other malfunction. In some cars, the same control module operates the anti-lock brakes and the traction control system, so the light sometimes comes on when there are problems with your ABS.  
  7. Engine Warning (Check Engine Light). Your check engine light may appear for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, it can indicate a serious issue and require you to pull over immediately. This could indicate low oil pressure or overheating. Other times, this light will appear if your gas cap is open, loose, or cracked, causing fuel to evaporate. If this light appears, it’s wise to pull over and check your gas cap and other systems in your vehicle. If it’s flashing, you should stop driving! In most vehicles, a flashing check engine light signals that you have a serious problem that could cause serious damage if ignored.  
  8. Battery Alert. This symbol indicates that there is an issue with the vehicle’s charging system. The culprit might not be your battery though. While it might indicate that you have a loose or damaged battery cable, it can also signal that your alternator belt is broken. If it is your battery, occasionally you’ll notice that your clock is fading, or your headlights are dimming. If you wait too long, your vehicle can completely conk out. This is what has happened when you see fellow drivers “jumping” each other’s cars.  
  9. Low Fuel Indicator. Most drivers are very familiar with this symbol. It simply means you’re running low on gas. It’s not a good idea to see if you can make it home if you have a way to go. You never know how weather or traffic patterns will play out, so it’s best to stop at the nearest gas station and fill up!  
  10. Automatic Shift Lock or Engine Start Indicator. If you see this symbol, you’re most likely trying to shift gears or start your ignition without engaging the brake. The automatic shift lock will lock your vehicle in park or neutral until you engage the brake.  
  11. Seat Belt Reminder. This symbol is simply reminding you or your passenger to buckle up!   
  12. Airbag Indicator. The airbag indicator signals that something is wrong with one of your airbags or the system. Your car’s airbags keep you safe during accidents, so it’s important to address this issue immediately.  
  13. Security Light. If your vehicle has an anti-theft system, this image means that something could be malfunctioning. This symbol also briefly lights up when you turn your vehicle on, which isn’t an indicator that something is wrong.  
  14. Fog Lamp Indicator. This symbol is telling you that your fog lights are on. Fog lights should only be used if your visibility is less than 100 meters. If you turn them on unnecessarily, this can be detrimental to other drivers on the road.  
  15. Washer Fluid Indicator. Imitating the motion of your windshield wipers, this symbol means that you’re low on washer fluid. You’ll want to fill up the reservoir with fluid as soon as you can.
Keep in mind that every car is different, so the symbols on your dashboard may vary slightly from the 15 we’ve mentioned. If in doubt, consult your vehicles owner's manual! Big City Cars is located at 4910 Lima Road, just down from Costco. Or give us a call today at (260) 212-1111. We look forward to helping you get into a quality preowned vehicle that fits your lifestyle & budget. 

Why Regular Maintenance is Important

Keeping up with your vehicle’s maintenance services is an extremely important part of keeping your car running right. But oftentimes it’s these maintenance services that seem to get the backseat! “Life” just seems to get in the way.   The truth of the matter is, however, that a good car owner knows getting regular auto maintenance services performed is the best thing that you can do for your vehicle – and for your busy schedule! On average, maintenance services take much less time, and cost much less, than a major auto repair service. Still need more convincing for how keeping up with your car’s maintenance services can make your life easier? Check out these great reasons below.     

Longevity: You’ve probably seen a car that is older than, well, dirt. But surprisingly, it doesn’t look like it. I’ve seen vehicles with over 400,000 miles on them that run & look great! In fact, a well-maintained old car can outlive a newer car that’s been neglected without proper care. Quite often, it’s the little things like regularly checking your tire pressure, brakes, fluid level, battery and lights that make the big difference in the long run.

Boost Your Safety: Did you know that some road accidents are directly caused by poor car maintenance? For instance, you can forget to service your brake system and when you need to slow down, it malfunctions causing an accident. Another scenario would be a worn-out tire that was supposed to be changed that bursts when you’re driving at high speed. You get the picture, right? Anyway, maintaining your car can improve your safety and potentially save your life.

Enhances Reliability & Performance: If you drive a car for long enough without maintenance, you start to notice a decline in the performance. It could be that it doesn’t accelerate fast like it did when it was fresh out of the dealership. Maybe the fuel economy worsened, or it coughs when you start it. This happens because it is normal for car components to wear out if they aren’t serviced or replaced on a regular basis.

Increases the Resale Value of Your Vehicle: Ever wondered why some classic cars are auctioned at a higher resale value decades later after they were purchased? This is usually quite common among rare limited car models that are out of the market, but the owners kept them in mint condition. However, even if your vehicle is not one of those scarce types, ensuring that it is well-maintained will increase its resale value when you go to trade it in at a dealership or sell to a private buyer.

Saves You Expensive Repair Costs: Prevention is better than cure! Regular maintenance of your vehicle ensures that little issues are caught before they become BIG issues. It’s like going to the doctor for an annual exam. You can take care of your body...take care of your vehicle in the same way.

Minimizes Roadside Emergencies: It can be annoying when your car engine won’t start on a cold winter morning or it suddenly breaks down on the roadside due to overheating problems. It’s even more frustrating when you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere with no strong network signal and you have no choice but to abandon your vehicle to go seek help. You can minimize the risk of roadside emergencies if you take good care of your vehicle.

We hope that you found these auto tips useful...and that if your vehicle to the “doctor” lately, we hope that you schedule an appointment soon! Big City Cars is located at 4910 Lima Road, just down from Costco. Or give us a call today at (260) 212-1111. We look forward to helping you get into a quality preowned vehicle that fits your lifestyle & budget. 

Interior Car Care Tips to Make Your Car Look Great

The interior of your car is one of those first impression details that are left lingering on most people’s mind. Obviously, if your car interior is filthy, it will depreciate your car’s value when you go to trade it in. But besides that, who wants to sit in a filthy car all the time? Not me...that’s for sure! And probably not your spouse or significant other either. Sure, little children or pets can make it hard to keep up with the interior cleaning of your vehicle. But with a few simple tricks and a bit of work you can have your car’s interior looking great in no time!

Clean Your Seats Regularly. You see, if you don’t clean your car seats regularly, the dirt will accumulate and the next thing you know, your car interior turns into a pigsty. For what it’s worth, you should clean your car interior at least once a month to avoid the dirt build up. If you’re too busy to do it, you can bribe your kids (or the neighbor’s kids) to do it.  

Apply Protective Creams. Just because your car windows are tinted, it doesn’t mean the vinyl or plastic-coated interior parts can’t become brittle, dry, or vulnerable to cracks due to sun exposure. You do open your windows, don’t you? Even if you rarely open the windows, those parts can just wither due to old age. Anyway, you can apply a protective cream to safeguard those parts. Note: Don’t apply the protective cream on the steering wheel and pedals since they would become slippery and be a hazard while driving.

Use a Vacuum Cleaner. You vacuum your house every week. Doesn’t it make sense that you should vacuum your car on a regular basis as well? Also, it doesn’t make practical sense to clean those far-reachable parts under your seats or carpet with your hands. If you do so, you will only end up wasting your time. By using a vacuum cleaner, you can suck up the grains, sand, or stones that you probably won’t even notice with your eyes. The best part? There are small handheld car vacuum cleaners that run on batteries. Are they worth the investment? You bet!    

Remove any Stains Immediately. Stains can be a pain in the ‘you know what’; the faster you do it, the easier it will be for you. Leather seats are the easiest to remove stains from; but, if you want to remove the stains on cloth-lined interiors or carpets, you must sweat it and put in a little of elbow grease. For instance, to remove coffee stains, you must dilute the stain with cold water and soak it with glass cleaner. On the other hand, you can remove grease stains using paint thinner, salt, and a vacuum cleaner.  

Headliners and Visors. The headliner is that protective cover on the ceiling of your car. The visor is what you use to block distracting sun rays when driving. Both the headliners and visors are prone to wear and tear if left neglected (and most people neglect these 2 parts of their vehicle). Make sure you keep a close eye on both parts to foresee and fix any small rips or other issues that may turn into a bigger problem.  

Keep a Trash Bin in Your Vehicle. A car trash bin is not much of a necessity, but it can help to keep your car interior cleaner than a whistle. Where else are you going to throw those candy wrappers, used tissues, and empty pop cans? Remember, you can get fined for throwing trash out of your window.  

We hope that you find these interior car cleaning tips useful! As always … safe journeys on your trips around town or that family vacation that you may be planning.    

Big City Cars is located at 4910 Lima Road, just down from Costco. Or give us a call today at (260) 212-1111. We look forward to helping you get into a quality preowned vehicle that fits your lifestyle & budget.  

Exterior Car Maintenance Tips

The exterior of a car is delicate and if you don’t take care of it with soft hands (not literally), you may damage the paintwork. It’s not just about the cleaning but making your car look like it just came out of a showroom. Here are some helpful tips to ensure that your car is looking great for years to come!    

Wash & Vacuum Your Car Regularly. Maintaining hygiene is a routine habit. If you’re one of those people that drive to work every day, washing your car weekly is crucial to get rid of the accumulated dust, mud, bugs, and dirt. A point to note is that you should strictly use cleaning formula designed to wash vehicles since some household liquid detergents and dish cleaners can do more harm than good on your car’s paint. 

Wax at Least Twice a Year. There is something about a waxed car that makes it very attractive. Maybe it brings back that aura or glow of a brand-new vehicle. Apart from making your car pretty and shiny, the car wax protects your vehicle from UV rays. Not to forget, those bugs will just slide off your paint. On average, you should wax your vehicle at least twice a year. 

Schedule Annual Professional Car Detailing. Professional detailing involves cleaning your car thoroughly both inside and out – every inch of your vehicle that can be cleaned or washed is covered. Sure, it is more costly than a typical car wash but it’s worth it.   

Keep Your Vehicle Under Cover. If it isn’t the direct sunlight that gets your car, it could be the storm, snow, or hail that damages your exterior if you don’t cover it. Beyond that, you also know what those birds drop from above. A car cover is an ideal method of shielding your car against such scenarios especially if you don’t park in a garage. 

Spot Check the Paint Frequency. It’s normal for car paint to fade after years of exposure to rain, sunlight, snow, dirt, and wind. Even oxygen plays a role in speeding up the paint deterioration process and there is nothing you can do about it. However, you can spot check the paint and schedule the car for a painting service before it gets too serious. Some common signs your car may require a basic paint job include discoloration, dark spots, peeling, dents, and scratches. 

We hope that you found these Exterior Car Maintenance tips useful and happy washing, waxing, & vacuuming to you! Big City Cars is located at 4910 Lima Road, just down from Costco. Or give us a call today at (260) 212-1111. We look forward to helping you get into a quality preowned vehicle that fits your lifestyle & budget. 

 

6 MORE Gas Saving Tips for YOU!

It’s the one thing that most of us dread about owning a car. The weekly trip to the gas station! We’ve already discussed 5 Gas Savings Tips in a previous article (if you haven’t read that yet we suggest you do!). But we thought that this was a topic worth exploring even more! So here are 6 more gas savings tips that we hope you find useful in your journey around town or wherever your travels take you.   

  1. Drive Less: Seems simple right?! And it’s not so hard to do either. Combine your errands into one trip to avoid repeat drives into town. Consider walking instead of driving for nearby pick-ups or drag out that bicycle that’s gathering dust in the garage or shed. 
  2. Warm Up Your Car for Shorter Lengths of Time: If you wake up to a cold morning, don’t warm up the car for longer than 30 seconds (up to one minute if you must). If you idle the engine for more than a minute, you waste fuel and pump nasty greenhouse gas emissions into the air. Engines of modern cars do not require the extensive length of time that older models needed to warm up. 
  3. Buy Gas Early or Late in the Day: Purchase gas early or late in the day, especially during warm months. Gas is cooler earlier in the day, and denser. As temperatures rise, gas density falls, and you get less of it when you pump. Also, buy gas early in the week. Prices typically rise between Wednesday and Saturday but stay lower during the early days of the week. 
  4. Turn Off the Engine: If you’re waiting outside for your spouse to finish getting ready for your night out, or you’re waiting at a railroad crossing for the train to cross, turn off the engine. Idling is a major waste of gasoline and contributes massive amounts of pollutants to the atmosphere. 
  5. Avoid Gas Stations Near the Highway: The first gas station that you encounter after a long stretch of highway will usually be pricey. If possible, plan ahead or drive a little farther toward the nearest town to find a cheaper station. 
  6. Don’t Wait Until Your Tank Is Almost Empty to Fill Up: If you wait until your tank is almost empty, you may be stuck paying for whatever gas you find conveniently located nearby, as you won’t be able to search for the best deal. 
We hope that you find these gas saving tips useful! As always … safe journeys on your trips around town or that family vacation that you may be planning.   

Big City Cars is located at 4910 Lima Road, just down from Costco. Or give us a call today at (260) 212-1111. We look forward to helping you get into a quality preowned vehicle that fits your lifestyle & budget. 

 

End of Summer Driving Tips

Though summer is nearing its end, many people are looking to cram in that last-minute road trip. Everyone is different when it comes to preparation: what foods to bring, what music to listen to, or who’s doing most of the driving. Regardless, safe traveling is ultimately paramount when prepping for any trip short or long. You may be driving into a state in which you have never been before, so get familiar with your route ahead of time, grab your friends or family, and hit the road to capitalize on the end of summer! 

Here are some driving tips that we hope you will find useful:  
  • Before taking a long road trip, make sure you have had plenty of sleep and something to eat before heading out. Though you would think coffee or energy drinks will help you, ultimately, they will initially perk you up, then you will be sleepy again. 
  • Pull over frequently and share driving responsibilities. If you pull over frequently to stretch your legs, grab a bite to eat, and get some fresh air, you will be much more alert while driving. When planning your trip ahead of time, try to divide driving times evenly. This allows you to nap while another person is driving, or simply keep an eye on them. 
  • Know the laws of the states in which you will be traveling. Police officers typically do not accept ignorance as an excuse, so be sure to hone up on different state laws before it is too late! 
  • Never drink alcohol before a trip. Although you may not be intoxicated after one drink, the alcohol and sugar from the drink will make you sleepy. This is the MOST important item on this list and is pretty much self-explanatory. 
  • Be sure to familiarize yourself with your location. Sure, GPS devices are a great way to navigate your routes, but they often get travelers lost. Bring along road maps for the areas along the way to your destination; believe it or not, road maps are fun to use! 
  • Check the weather along your planned trip before heading out. Just because it’s not raining here in Fort Wayne, doesn’t mean you won’t run into a nasty storm along the way. Preparation is KEY!   
  • Try not to use your cruise-control at night. You may be saving a fraction of fuel, but ultimately managing your speed will keep you more alert while driving at night. 
  • Have a small cooler packed. This will minimize the amount of stops you’ll have to make. Also, it will save you money for the rest of your trip. 
  • Make sure everyone wears their seat belt. Though another obvious recommendation, this is also highly important. It will also prevent you/your passengers from receiving a ticket! 
Along with these helpful driving tips, you also need to make sure that your vehicle is up for the journey. Here are some helpful car care tips to help ensure safe travels on your end of summer road trip.   
  • Check both the level and condition of the car’s motor oil. Consult the owner’s manual for the recommended oil change interval and suggested grade of oil. 
  • Make sure the battery terminals and cables are securely attached and free of corrosion. 
  • Check the antifreeze/coolant level and top off with a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water if needed. Do not remove the radiator pressure cap when the engine is hot. 
  • Check your tire(s) air pressure and look for damage, bulges, and excessive or uneven tread wear. 
  • Make sure your wipers can keep your windshield clean and streak-free. 
  • Check headlights, brake lights, and turn signals. Keep all lights clear of dirt, especially headlights. And always make sure to use your headlights so others see your vehicle more easily. 
  • Include and/or restock your Emergency Kit. This should include water, non-perishable food items, jumper cables, a flashlight with extra batteries, road flares or an emergency beacon, basic hand tools, and a first aid kit. 
We hope that you if you are planning an end of summer road trip that you have safe travels & a great time with your friends and family! Remember to always be safe & alert as well as follow local county and state laws.   

Big City Cars is located at 4910 Lima Road, just down from Costco. Or give us a call today at (260) 212-1111. We look forward to helping you get into a quality preowned vehicle that fits your lifestyle & budget. 

Tires...the MOST Important Part of Your Vehicle

Your tires are the only part of your vehicle that have direct contact with the road. And arguably the most important part of your vehicle (yes, even more than the engine!) Tires affect your vehicle handling, ride, braking, and safety. For the best performance and longest life, tires must have the correct air pressure, tread depth, balance, and the wheels of the vehicle must be properly aligned. 

Checking your tires on a regular basis (to find a small problem, before it becomes a big problem, such as a nail in your tire) is an important step in protecting your safety and your automotive investment. Ideally, tire inspections should be performed monthly. And if you drive over a pothole / debris in the road or drive long distances regularly, then you should inspect your tires more often.  Poor tire maintenance can lead to premature tire wear, a flat tire, or even a blowout...leaving you stranded on the side of the road.    

Tire Problems to Look for During a Visual Inspection 
  • Over inflation: Too much air pressure can cause mostly the tire’s middle section to contact the road. This creates wear primarily in the center of the tread, with less wear at the tire’s edges. 
  • Under inflation: Too little air pressure can cause mostly the tire’s outer edges to contact the road. This creates wear primarily on both edges of the tire tread, with less wear in the center. 
  • Tread wear on one edge of the tire: This typically occurs when the wheels are out of alignment. 
  • Erratic tread wear: This may mean the wheel is out of balance, or that the shock absorbers or other suspension components need to be replaced. 
  • Raised portion of the tread or sidewall: This condition may indicate that one of the belts in the tire has separated from those next to it. 
Tire Problems to Look for While Driving 
  • Unusual vibration or thumping noise: A vibration or thumping noises can indicate an out-of-balance tire, a tire that has gone flat, or a tire with a separated belt. 
  • A pull to one side: While driving at a steady speed, pulling to one side may indicate an underinflated or damaged tire on the side of the car to which the vehicle pulls. If this is not the case, a brake problem or poor wheel alignment may be causing the pull.  
Tires depend on good tread depth to maintain traction and to shed water on wet roads. The tread should be checked at least once a month for excessive and uneven wear. The most accurate tread depth measurements are made with a simple tread depth gauge available at any parts store. Or you can use the traditional penny tests. Insert a penny into your tires tread. If you can see above the top of Lincoln’s head your tires have less than 2/32” of tread, which is below the legal minimum and cause for immediate replacement. Tires worn to this level will also have visible wear indicators (or thin bald strips) running from side to side across two or more tread segments. 

Keeping your tires properly inflated is one of the easiest ways to help maintain good gas mileage and extend the life of your tires. Check your car’s tire pressure at least once a month with a quality gauge. Keep in mind that recommended tire pressure is for cold tires (meaning you should check your tire pressure BEFORE you drive anywhere such as 1st thing in the morning; or after your car has been sitting in your garage or driveway for a few hours after getting home).     

There are several tire maintenance procedures that automotive repair professionals should do because they require special tools and knowledge. However, understanding these procedures will help you feel more confident in dealing with a repair provider. 
  • Tire Rotation: Tires on the front and the rear of vehicles operate at different loads and perform different steering and braking functions, resulting in unequal wear patterns. To gain maximum life and performance from your tires, it is essential to rotate your vehicle’s tires. Refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual for mileage recommendations. Usually tire rotation is performed between 5,000 and 7,000 miles.  
  • Tire Balancing: Properly balanced tires help minimize uneven wear and extend their life. When tires are balanced, small weights are attached to the wheels to limit vibration of the tire and wheels as they turn. Newly installed tires should be balanced, and thereafter whenever a vibration is noticed. Balancing is also called for whenever a tire is removed from the wheel, for example to repair a puncture. 
  • Wheel Alignment: Wheel alignment is the measurement of the position of the wheels compared to specifications that the vehicle manufacturers recommend. Each vehicle has specific wheel alignment settings. If any alignment measurement falls outside the specified range, uneven tire wear can result, vehicle handling may be effected, and fuel economy can be diminished. 
Spending a few minutes with your tires every month can help protect your family, improve your vehicle’s performance, and lengthen the life of your tires. 

Big City Cars is located at 4910 Lima Road. Or give us a call today at (260) 212-1111. We look forward to helping you get into a quality preowned vehicle that fits your lifestyle & budget. 

Should You Buy a Car from a Vending Machine - P3

Lots of things belong in vending machines. Candy bars, soda, and maybe even sandwiches. But cars? We aren’t so sure. This is our final installment of “Should You Buy a Car from a Vending Machine.” If you haven’t read Part 1 & Part 2 yet, we suggest you do. There’s lots of great information contained in those articles including vehicle pricing, the purchase process, & financing. Today we will explore trade-ins, out of area delivery, negotiating your best price, and referrals.   

Trade-ins: In order to remain fair and completely unbiased (I don’t want you to think I got a better trade-in allowance because I am writing this article), I went to KBB.com & carvana.com to get the trade-in value of my car. Now my car is good shape, I would say very good shape mechanically speaking and it has a little minor cosmetic damage (it’s a 12-year-old car so that is expected). Here are the trade-in values that I received:  
  • KBB.com with very good condition had an average trade-in value of $3,726 
  • KBB.com with good condition had an average trade-in value of $3,325 
  • Carvana.com gave me an offer of $2,426 for my car 
That's quite a difference in trade-in value between KBB.com and carvana.com (between $900 – $1300 difference!) depending on the condition of the vehicle.   

Out of Area Delivery: This information was a taken straight off www.carvana.com. And while Fort Wayne is a local delivery market, we would like to note that there are only 4 delivery markets in the whole state of Indiana. Here are the Carvana options if you DON’T live within these 4 cities:  
  • Update your delivery address to an address of your choice within the Local Delivery Market. We assume by this statement we can have a car delivered a Pizza Hut and do the paperwork there while having lunch? Seems like our privacy is bit invaded with other people around on this one.  
  • Fly and Drive option. Carvana will subsize $200 of your flight & Uber charge to fly to one of their vending machines. But you only receive the $200 once your 7-day money back guarantee period has expired. This option seems a bit pricey. I didn’t look up flight pricing; but I am going to guess that it’s going to cost me a lot more than $200 for a flight and Uber ride from the airport to get my car.     
  • Hire a 3rd party transport company to deliver the vehicle directly to you. This option seems the best to me; but I am responsible for the full cost of delivery. So, is it worth it?       
After looking up this information, it just seems that Carvana does not have the network in place to deliver cars across the country like their advertising claims. It all just seems a bit misleading.   

Negotiating your best price: Again, this is straight from www.carvana.com, “We don’t negotiate on pricing; our vehicles are priced as competitively as possible and we don’t add on any dealer or doc fees.” If you read “Should You Buy a Car from a Vending Machine Part 1”, you already know that Big City Cars beats Carvana’s pricing on the 3 vehicles that we compared. If you haven’t read that article yet, please do!   

Referrals: Currently Carvana’s referral program is ONLY offered in Texas. But here is the good news. Big City Cars DOES have a referral program. And pays a $100 referral bonus for each customer that you send in who buys a car from them. So, if you want some extra cash in your pocket send in your friends, family, or that stranger off the street (the guest must tell their sales person about the referral during the delivery).  

Big City Cars is located at 4910 Lima Road. Or give us a call today at (260) 212-1111. We look forward to helping you get into a quality preowned vehicle that fits your lifestyle & budget. 

Should You Buy a Car from a Vending Machine - P2

Lots of things belong in vending machines. Candy bars, soda, and maybe even sandwiches. But cars? We aren’t so sure. In “Should You Buy a Car from a Vending Machine Part 1” we discussed the difference in pricing between vehicles for sale at Big City Cars and www.carvana.com. (If you haven’t read that article yet, we suggest you do).   

In this article, we are going to discuss some other factors to consider when purchasing a vehicle out of a vending machine. This information is straight off www.carvana.com and not our opinion. As Sargent Joe Friday in the TV show Dragnet said, “Just the facts, ma’am.” 

Purchasing a car from Carvana.  Carvana offers a website for vehicle shopping (and that is the ONLY way to shop). You can browse their entire vehicle inventory (the same that you can do for any car dealer here in the Fort Wayne market). But what got our attention was Carvana’s 100 day / 4,189 “Worry Free Guarantee.” This is a limited warranty that Carvana offers on their vehicles that expires whichever comes first (days or miles). This limited warranty covers Basic & Powertrain components (and has a co-pay to open a warranty claim). Carvana uses SilverRock for their warranty work. A quick search on the Carvana website showed no authorized service provider within a 100-mile radius of Fort Wayne. You can do the search yourself at www.yourvehiclecarcare.com. At Big City Cars, we stand behind our vehicles. If an issue comes up with one of our vehicles after purchase, we will of course investigate the issue and make any necessary repairs (within a reasonable time frame). We also offer extended warranty protection on every vehicle that we sell. Because of course, mechanical things like cars, sometimes need repairs. We think that you should always be protected.   

Next, we looked at Carvana’s “7-Day Money Back Guarantee."  Basically, if you don’t like the car that you purchased sight unseen, you can return it (with a maximum of 2 returns). From the Carvana website, it appears that you are stuck with the 3rd vehicle that is delivered to you, again, sight unseen. And delivery fees are NOT refundable. While Big City Cars does not offer a 7-Day Money Back Guarantee, we are confident that you will LOVE the vehicle that your purchased. Why? Because you went on a test drive and had any questions answered by one of our team members. Seems simple, right?  

Financing from Carvana.  After the test drive and deciding on which vehicle that you would like to purchase, financing is always the next step in the car buying process. We looked at how Carvana does financing. And it opened our eyes a bit. We are sure that you will feel the same. When you finance thru Caravana, your terms are non-negotiable and determined by your credit history, individual income, and terms will vary based on the car you are deciding to purchase. Down payments are also, and always, required and are non-negotiable. Finally, your first payment is due 28-30 days after purchase. A lot of this doesn’t seem right to us. At Big City Cars, your finance rates are determined by your credit history and income level. That’s it. We work with over 30 different banks & lenders and can get 99% of our customers approved for an auto loan. Also, at Big City Cars you can purchase a vehicle from us with little to NO MONEY DOWN. Finally, we offer credit terms that can extend your first payment on your vehicle in most cases to 90 days, and sometimes up to one full year. 

Next week in “Should you buy a car from a vending machine” part 3 we will finalize our discussion of Car Vending Machines and look at trade-ins, out of area delivery, negotiating your best car price, and referrals.   

Big City Cars is located at 4910 Lima Road. Or give us a call today at (260) 212-1111. We look forward to helping you get into a quality preowned vehicle that fits your lifestyle & budget. 

Should You Buy a Car from a Vending Machine - P1

Lots of things belong in vending machines. Candy bars, soda, and maybe even sandwiches. But cars? We aren’t so sure. We decided to compare prices of 3 vehicles (a car, a truck, & an SUV) on 07/16/2020; so, some of these vehicles might have been sold at the time this article was written. All prices were found on either cars.com or on carvana.com (so it’s not like we got some special deal or anything). Here is what we discovered on the price difference and any associated shipping fees.     

2018 Ford F-150 XL Super Crew 5.5ft bed with 4-wheel drive 
  • Big City Cars had this vehicle listed on cars.com for $36,995 with 38,485 miles. We found this same vehicle on carvana.com with a listed price of $37,990 with 41,899 miles and it includes an additional $390 shipping fee. So, to get the same Ford F-150 XL Super Crew from Carvana instead of from Big City Cars, you would pay about $1400 more (including the shipping fee) & it has 3,000 more miles on it.   
2019 Chrysler Pacifica Touring L 
  • Big City Cars had this vehicle listed on cars.com for $20,993 with 44,813 miles. We found this same vehicle on carvana.com with a listed price of $22,990 with 45,813. This vehicle did have free shipping from Carvana. So, if you were to buy this Chrysler Pacifica Touring L from Carvana instead of Big City Cars, you would pay almost $2,000 MORE for the same vehicle with the same options & miles.   
2019 Hyundai Sonata SE 
  • Big City Cars had this vehicle listed on cars.com for $16,695 with 20,427 miles. We found this same vehicle on carvana.com with a listed price of $16,990 with 20,835 miles. Again, this vehicle had a $390 shipping fee associated with it. This was the closest price match we found in our searches with only a difference of around $300 in price … that is until you add the shipping charge which pushes the price for the vehicle from Carvana to about $700 more for the exact same vehicle. 
So, in the case of these 3 vehicles, buying a vehicle from Carvana where “Car buying shouldn’t suck” (www.carvana.com) instead of Big City Cars doesn’t make much sense. And in our opinion, paying more than you should for a preowned vehicle does “suck.”  But let’s look at some other reasons why we don’t think buying a car from a vending machine makes sense to us. We all know that buying a car, in most cases, is the 2nd biggest purchase a consumer will make (after the decision to be a homeowner). Would you buy a home sight unseen? If the answer is no, why would you purchase a car that way? Most of us also like to test drive a car before purchasing it. You know, to make sure that we are comfortable in it and it handles the way we expect it to. What about service after the sale? Financing? Warranty work? 

Next week in “Should you buy a car from a vending machine” part 2 we will take a deeper look at these aspects so that you can make a well-informed decision when purchasing a quality preowned vehicle.   

Big City Cars is located at 4910 Lima Road. Or give us a call today at (260) 212-1111. We look forward to helping you get into a quality preowned vehicle that fits your lifestyle & budget. 
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