Purchasing a Pre-Owned Automobile

German Master Tech would like to explain the steps to successfully buying a used car. If you are looking to purchase a Pre-Owned BMW, VW, Audi, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Japanese Import or an American Automobile the same basic rules apply. There are thousands of Pre-Owned cars available in Atlanta, Alpharetta, Roswell and Cumming so do not buy out of desperation or love. As a buyer you must be objective. Here are several tips that may save you hundreds or even thousand of dollars:

1. Purchase from an Individual. Buyers normally get the best price from an individual as opposed to a Used Car Dealer. If your credit score allows, finance through your bank or credit union, normally dealers charge a higher interest rate. Furthermore, a private owner has typically driven the car and knows the history.

2. Research and Locate Pre-Owned Vehicles. Start by choosing what model you would like. Do you prefer a BMW, Audi or Volkswagen? Once you have matched the type of car you would like consider your budget. Remember to allow a tentative budget for any repairs which may be discovered through the Pre-Sale Inspection. Some great resources for locating used cars are EBay, Auto Trader or the local Alpharetta/Cumming papers. Once you have found several cars you would like to look at, find the estimated value so you do not overpay. A good source to find the estimated used car value is www.Edmunds.com.

3. Test Drive and Personally Inspect Car. Here is a checklist of items you can inspect as an individual:
A. Ask for the repair history and maintenance history from Seller. A good source is Carfax. If an individual is selling the vehicle ask them why they are selling the car.
B. Be sure to check both interior and exterior of vehicle. On the interior be sure to include the following on your checklist: heating/air, electrical windows, seats, mirrors, radio, seat belts, interior lights, mileage, windshield wipers and take note if any warning lights are on when engine is running. Include the following items on your checklist for exterior inspection: tires/tire wear, trunk and spare tire, exterior lights, overall body condition and any oil or fluid leaks under car where car is parked. Take the car for a test drive and make sure the car is running properly, no shaking is evident, the instrument panel is operating properly and car is not pulling to one side. Be sure to write down any concerns so you can have them looked at professionally.

4. Professional Pre-Sale Inspection. Once you decide on which vehicle you would like to purchase have a professional Pre-Sale Inspection completed. If you are purchasing a vehicle out of state bring the car to a shop where the car is not regularly serviced or maintained. Bring to a neutral party where they specialize in the make and model you are interested in purchasing. If you are purchasing within the Atlanta area bring to German Master Tech for a full Pre-sale Inspection where we inspect all makes and models. A Presale Inspection should include all of the following items: Test Drive, Diagnostic, Diagnostic Scan and overall evaluation including placing car on lift to inspect. Ask for a written estimate of any potential repairs.

5. Negotiate Contract Be sure to negotiate the purchase price with any repairs taken into consideration and with your overall budget in mind. If possible write into the contract that Seller is responsible for 2 weeks or 1000 miles for any repairs. This is due to the fact that check engine lights can be easily be turned off temporarily and it may take up to 2 weeks for them to turn on again. For example, the warning light can indicate a bad catalytic converter or other expensive repairs. Also be sure to have valid emissions and see when it expires. If purchasing from a dealer try to negotiate a 1 year emission.

6. Enjoy Your New Car. You have done a thorough job and hopefully you will enjoy your new vehicle for several years.

If you are in the market for a Pre-Owned Vehicle and are in the Atlanta area you can go Contact Us for Special Offer on Pre-Sale Inpsection

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Fuel Efficiency Tips

German Master Tech is pleased to announce we are starting our monthly blog. If you have any ideas or topics you would like to discuss please contact us and we will try to address.

We want to discuss How to Make Your Car More Fuel Efficient. Today regular unleaded gasoline crept up to $4.00 per gallon here in Atlanta so gas mileage is on most people’s mind.

Here are some pointers:

  1. Use the Correct Grade of Gas. Most European Cars are not made for low or mid-grade gas. Therefore, by using the incorrect grade of gas not only can you damage your engine but it actually diminishes fuel efficiency. Bottom line…higher grade equals better performance and therefore better mileage.
  2. The Correct Tire Pressure. The correct PSI that your tires need to be inflated will either appear on the fuel door or the side of the Driver’s Door. Make sure it’s correct because it creates less drag and better fuel efficiency.
  3. Remove heavy items from trunk. I know it sounds small but all the items in your trunk or backseat you are not using create extra weight which in turn lowers your miles per gallon.
  4. Drive Smooth. Pretend you have an open drink on your dash. Avoiding hard accelerations or braking saves a large amount of gas. Rather try to coast smoothly in order to save gasoline.
  5. Avoid the Drive-Thru.  C’mon-we can all use the extra walk into the store and vehicles use a tremendous amount of gas when idling.
  6. Avoid Roof mounted Storage Units. The aerodynamics will make the engine work harder and therefore use more fuel.
  7. Drivetrain. Make sure your Suspension, Wheel Bearings, Wheel Alignment and Drive Axles are in good order. If your vehicle is not properly aligned it creates additional resistance and therefore more gas has to be used.
  8. Maintenance. Make sure all Filters, Spark Plugs and service related items are in good order. If not- your car has to work harder and once again uses more gas.

Hope you find these tips useful, and should help you to spend a little less time at the fuel pump.

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