11-11-22

When Should I Replace My Car’s Air Filter?

Your engine air filter is something you should have replaced pretty regularly, but several factors affect how often your air filter should be changed. You can take a look at your owner’s manual for guidance, but it only gives you a rough idea of a timeline. There are several other factors to consider, so here are a few of them.

Change Your Engine Air Filter Whenever You Please

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Getting your dirty air filter changed is not as important as yearly servicing, oil changes, spark plugs, and things of that nature. It is one of those things that affect your car performance and fuel efficiency so slowly that it only becomes an issue when it becomes bad.

If your mechanic says you should change your cabin air filter or your car filter every time you change your oil or get a service, roughly 3000 to 5000 miles, then something is afoot. Even if you regularly experience far-from-perfect driving conditions such as unpaved roads in polluted areas, you shouldn't need a new air filter so often.

Regular Driving in Severe Conditions

A car with a reasonable maintenance schedule that is fewer than 15 years old will need an air filter replacement every 45,000 miles, or every fourth service. However, if you regularly drive through heavy traffic or severe conditions where your air filter is likely to receive various contaminants, then that number can drop to every 15,000 miles or every second servicing.

When you take your car to be serviced, which should happen every year if you are driving 8000 miles or more, then have them take a visual inspection of your filter. If you trust the mechanic, they can see if it is white/off-white, or dirty. Most new filters and clean air filters are white or off-white so that you can see how dirty the filter pleats have become.

What About the Cabin Air Filter?Free Photo of Black Steering Wheel Stock Photo

Just to avoid confusion, let us answer the question of how often you should replace the cabin air filter in your vehicle. They should be changed pretty frequently as part of your regular/routine maintenance. This is another situation where the 15,000 miles to 45,000 miles rule comes into effect. Luckily, cabin air filters are very easy to change. This means it is often much cheaper to change your cabin filters.

What About The Age of the Vehicle?

Older cars need their air filters changed more frequently. This is due to how modern cars are made. They want engines to maintain peak performance because the last thing they want people to see is their car’s brand being stranded on the side of the road. Modern vehicles have an air intake mechanism that is less likely to receive debris but air contaminants will still make an impact. Still, as a rule, older cars need their air filters changed a little more frequently.

Local Factors Affect Your Car Air Filter

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There are some things you don't think of at first, but it becomes obvious when you are confronted with them. For example, when farmers are cutting their crops on dry and dusty days, the contaminants in the air can go for miles.

The same is true during drier seasons when workers are constructing things. Even the dust from the ground dirt can be blown for miles. If you have ever driven near one and had to close your window to stop the debris from getting in, then you can easily imagine how those particles may get into your air filter.

Do you live by the sea? We all know that chipped paint means rusty cars when you live by the sea, but what about all the tiny particles that are finding their way into your air filters? If you consider your local area, there are probably several contaminant sources that your air filter needs to deal with.

What About Tell-Tale Signs Your Filter Needs Changing?

As a rule, try your best to keep track of your air filters rather than waiting for signs they need changing. The problem with the signs they need changing is that they can be misinterpreted by other problems. For example, even something as simple as reduced engine power isn't always as simple as reduced airflow from dirty filters. It could be your spark plugs, a mechanical problem, or even your tires that need a little air. Nevertheless, here are a few problems that dirty air filters may cause.

  • Gas mileage is reduced
  • Your car doesn’t start as easily
  • Dirty spark plugs
  • Your engine lights are on
  • Strange car engine sounds
  • The engine on your car seems to misfire
  • Your car doesn't seem as powerful
  • Sooty or black smoke is expelled from the exhaust
  • You can smell fuel when you start the car

As odd as it sounds, the flip side of these negatives is reasons to replace your air filters at least every 45,000 miles. Plus, along with the stuff above “not” happening, you also get reduced fumes and emissions, and perhaps even improved fuel economy and longer engine life. However, those are only in comparison to cars that have very dirty air filters.

Should You Change The Air Filter?

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Take a look online and take a look in your automaker’s user manual to see how easy it is. Some car and vehicle models make it no more difficult than changing the filter in your vacuum cleaner, especially if you are confident in doing your minor car maintenance. If it is a tricky job, then leave it.

If you can check it yourself, then perhaps take a look. You can see if all that heavy city traffic is causing a clogged air filter. Also, if you can check your filter and it is fine, then put it back and ask your repair shop to check the filter when you get your next service.

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10-20-22

The Benefits of Choosing An Electric Vehicle

There are several benefits to choosing an electric vehicle. This article covers the benefits of choosing an electric car, the true downsides of electric cars, and the fake (untrue) downsides. Firstly, let’s start with the upside to choosing an electric car and in this, we will generally include hybrid vehicles.

The Benefits of Electric Vehicles

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When thinking of buying an electric car, it isn’t just a case of wanting to do your bit for the environment and save on fuel costs. You have to weigh up the benefits and the costs. Some benefits impact your pocket while others impact your overall driving experience.

The Maintenance Costs Are Pretty Good

A gas-powered vehicle needs to manage the mini-explosion in the internal combustion engine to channel the energy and pump out the burning air. There are lots of pressurized and hot parts that may easily break down. Electric cars have no need to manage such hazardous scenarios, so they wear out more slowly and break down less frequently. EV models also have fewer moving parts and therefore fewer parts at risk of failure.

There are Several Tax Incentives

In many developed countries, you will find tax incentives. Get them now because Germany has just been exposed for “not” being as green as it claimed. World governments will soon start dropping the pretense of being eco-friendly and their federal tax credit incentives will be the first to go, so get your car and your tax break now!

There Are Plenty of Public Charging Stations

First-time buyers worry about charging their electric vehicle while out and about, but you soon realize there are quite a few places that now have chargers. They are not as plentiful as gas fuel stations, but ask any owner of a plug-in hybrid if they have ever been stranded and they will say “no.”

They Can Be Charged With Renewable Energy

If you have the money, you can set up solar panels on your garage roof, and have them charge batteries in your garage that are then used to charge your car. This is more expensive than charging from your mains electricity and currently, significantly more expensive than using fossil fuels in your car. However, if you have the money, you can drive around in your car knowing that it is powered completely by the sun. A major point if you are looking to be more environmentally conscious by using renewable energy sources.

There Are A Few Downsides

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Even though electric cars, your average plug-in hybrid, and electric motors, in general, are prime examples of next-level precision design and engineering, the fact is that electric cars are still an emerging industry. To compare, do you remember those old mobile phones that were massive, had power packs the size of three VHS tapes and only worked in major cities? Well, current electric vehicles are around the stage of Nokia phones. New EVs are still back in a time when the technology had become usable but was growing and being adopted slowly. They are good, but they are going to grow into places and areas we can’t even imagine. However, there are downsides, and here are the big ones.

Electric Cars Are Very Expensive

Are there cost savings on the retail price? As a whole; no. As with all new and emerging technology and trends, early adopters have to pay a bigger price tag. Some smaller and more economical PHEV models are appearing, but we are still a long way from cheap and plentiful electric cars.

They Damage the Environment

One of the perceived benefits of buying an electric vehicle is that they are more eco-friendly than gas-powered vehicles. The materials being used in the car’s batteries are incredibly damaging to the environment when they are harvested and processed. In addition, disposing of electric car batteries is also highly toxic and damaging. This is a problem until a safer way to make and dispose of them is thought up. For the record, Smartphone batteries also pose the same problems albeit on a smaller scale.

Their Use Causes More Greenhouse Gas Emissions

If every car owner in the USA went electric tomorrow, the USA would have to build over 2000 new coal power plants to keep up with demand. At the moment, power is produced with nuclear power and fossil fuels, which means your car will be charged with electricity that causes emissions and therefore contributes to air pollution.

Ignore The Fake Downsides

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This article isn't going to shy away from the genuine downsides of owning an electric vehicle, even if the problems they present will probably be solved within the next ten years. However, there are some fake downsides that the internet, especially Twitter, has been happily spreading. Here are a few of the fake downsides.

Their Batteries Die And You Are Stranded

This is not true at all. Most people only bother to charge their cars every three days simply because they have plenty of juice. There are charging stations everywhere (look it up, there are far more than you would think), there are many ways to charge your car, and there is no proof that people run out of juice. If they did, then companies like AA in the UK and AAA in the USA would be charging more to cover pickups for electric cars.

They Cost a Fortune to Maintain

This is not even close to true. If you have ever had a luxury branded car or even a cheap hybrid, you know how expensive repairs can become. Electric cars are no more expensive to maintain, and since they break down less frequently, they are usually cheaper to maintain throughout their lifetime.

You Don’t Have to Pay a Fortune

This article mentioned that electric cars are around the stage right now that mobile phones were during the Nokia period in history and therefore still expensive. This may put some people off buying an electric car, perhaps waiting for the world of things to come. However, you are better off being an early adopter. You are better off being one of those people who can claim they had an electric car ten years before everybody had one. 

If you’re looking to switch to an electric car, consider selling your vehicle to reputable Auto Centers like IMX Auto Group. IMX Auto offers the best deal for your unused, financed, or leased vehicle and you can earn cash toward an electric vehicle that will suit your needs. For more information, click here! 

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09-22-22

How Much Is My Car Worth?

Let’s assume you are selling a used car since few people run around selling their new car. Two of the most common FAQs are how do I know the value of my car and how do I set an asking price? Car values differ depending on hundreds of factors, but let’s clarify the five primary “value” factors:

  • Age and condition of the vehicle
  • Mileage
  • Make and model
  • Enhanced accessories and optional equipment features
  • Local market demand

Then you also have to consider who you sell to. The types of used car values based on who is doing the car buying are

  • Private resale value
  • Dealer resale value

Some people will put stock in the MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price) but given the issue of immediate depreciation as soon as a new car is driven, there is no correlation between a new car and used car prices.

Car sales get a little complicated because the main pricing guides use different calculations but here is how you find a vehicle’s value.

What is The Car’s Market Value?

Free Employee of Luxurious Dealership Standing in Front of Car Stock Photo

Forget the current market value. As you will discover in this article, there are many different prices for your car. It all depends on how you sell or trade your car, and to whom you sell your car. Trying to work based on “market value” is the wrong mindset.

Aim for a price that suits your circumstances, your timeline, the vehicle condition and how much money you want to make, save, and/or are prepared to lose. Also, market conditions and even the area in which you sell may affect the price. Establishing a car's value is a tricky business. There is no standard or average asking price when selling a car.

How Many Miles Are On The Car?

Free A Woman Buying a Car Stock Photo

There is a certain level of expected depreciation when it comes to mileage. However, this varies. For example, a small economy car with 100K on the clock has a far lower car valuation and retail value than a 4x4, jeep or SUV with 100K on the clock.

People who know about cars will also understand the nexus point on a car’s value. It is the point in the car’s lifetime when it starts needing some of its bigger repairs, like a gearbox, exhaust, etc. For example, the old Smart Car roadster needed its biggest repairs at around 70K miles. A savvy car buyer who sees a Smart Car roadster at 80K with a recently replaced gearbox and exhaust will value the car far more highly than one at 70K miles with no major repairs in the last few years.

The Wear and Tear Damage

Free Black Car Stereo Turned on at 4 00 Stock Photo

This is perhaps where all the car experts like to pipe up with their opinions on pricing information. They will tell you things about the wear on a steering wheel, and how rust in certain places means that the old driver used to speed. And, how you can tell if the previous owner used to hit the curb with the tires. Yet, simple wisdom is still the best in this case.

How Much is My Car Worth?

Getting a good price is often about finding the right portal for your sale. Back in the day, the portal of choice was classified ads. Then, for the longest time it was eBay. These days, the best portals and platforms are independent companies with easy accessibility and significant buying power. Companies like https://www.imxauto.com/ offer the best prices for people who do not have weeks and weeks to negotiate the best prices and are willing to pay more for your vehicle than other auto buying centers. Visit IMX Auto to get a fair and competitive price on your vehicle and sell it the same day you come in.

 

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09-12-22

Should I Be Charging My Electric Car Every Night?

There are a few things that bother us electric car owners. The first is that electric cars may soon be a fad, which means we are stuck with thousands of dollars worth of nothing in our drive. The second botheration is the fact that electricity prices are so high that it is cheaper to run a gas-powered car. Finally, we worry about range. We don't want to go driving and find ourselves stuck in the wilderness with nowhere to charge the car. When faced with the range conundrum, most of us figure we should charge our cars every day, but is this necessary? Are our charging cycles good for the car? Should we be doing something else instead?

What is Your Car’s Range?

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Should you buy an electric car? They are pretty polluting to manufacture and dispose of, and they add a significant amount to your electric bill. Another concern is that the car’s battery will run out of power too quickly. However, the “Range” concern is far less worrisome than most people realize. The range on your car, especially something like a Tesla, is pretty darn good.

Check out the manufacturer specs, and even if you knock 10% off their estimate because of the added weight of you and your family, and then knock a further 20% off their estimate because big companies lie, then you are still looking at over 150 miles per charge. When most people only travel around 40 miles per day, you are looking at a very tasty car range. In truth, you could probably go two or three days without charging your car.

Will Charging The Car’s Battery Damage Its Lifespan?

Free Close-Up Shot of an Electirc Car Charging Stock Photo

This is a tricky one because technically yes, charging lithium-ion batteries every night will damage their lifespan and long-term battery capacity. But, it sounds far worse than it is. Home charging every night is not the same as setting a firework off in your car’s battery. It only has a tiny effect on the overall health of the battery. You can think of it as wear and tear.

To put it more fairly, charging your electric car every night is not going to damage its lifespan in the traditional sense, but it may make it more difficult to super-extend your car’s battery life.

Recently, the US federal government mandated that manufacturers offer a minimum of an 8-year/100,000-mile warranty on electric car batteries. This policy was put in place to help stop the influx of cheap and nasty batteries that left people stranded and were an environmental hazard.

Even if you charge your battery every day, it must still survive at least eight years or 100,000 miles. Having to replace a battery after eight years may seem unfair, but almost every gas-powered car needs some serious mechanical work after 100,000 miles or eight years.

Should I Charge My Electric Car Every Night?

Free Monochrome Photo of Hybrid Car charging Stock Photo electric car

No, you shouldn't. Even if you rule out the point about battery degradation, electric cars, and plug-in hybrids have miles of range statistics that cover daily drives, and the Tesla Model 3 covers most road trips.

According to the US Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, the average driver clocks up 14,300 miles annually (roughly 275 miles per week). Data from the Environmental Protection Agency shows that the longest-range EV can reach or even exceed that distance on a single charge. Even electric vehicles with shorter battery ranges can manage the typical daily driving distance of 39 miles per day.

Plus, you can lower your range anxiety a little bit by remembering there are still plug-in charger stations dotted around the country. If you are super concerned, you could look up a few public charging stations in your general area and on the way to your road trip. You don't need a full charge in your EV battery every time you leave the house. Just like gas-powered cars don’t fill up their tank every day.

Your battery is under the most strain when it is having energy drawn from it at a massive and sustained rate. However, in terms of battery charging, fast charging, and so forth, two things are more stressful on your battery. When your battery is fully charged and when it is at zero charge, it is under tremendous stress.

It isn't battery breaking, but EV drivers who leave their car fully charged or fully emptied are not doing their battery any favors. It doesn't do your battery any harm in a realistic sense, but in terms of what is right and wrong for your battery, leaving it for too long at 0% or 100% is not great.

Should I Be Home Charging Every Night?

Free Black Charger Plugged-In on White Car Stock Photo electric car

If you are planning on using your car tomorrow, then do a little home charging tonight and get it to 100% if you wish. However, if you are not planning to use your car for a while, then don't charge it up to 100% tonight. Wait until the night before you intend to use your car. Don’t leave it at 0%, but don't be in a big rush to charge it to 100%.

Should you charge it to 100% at recharge stations, gas stations, and off-site areas? Yes, of course, you should (if you are able). When you charge at an electric car charging station, you drive off in your car and keep using your battery. It only stays at 100% for a few minutes, which is fine. Again, don't worry if your car is at 100% for too long, your car’s battery will still last 8 years. It is just not great for your battery over the very long term.

Should I Just Charge to 80% or 90%?

Free White Car Charging Stock Photo electric car

Yes, you may lower the life expectancy of your battery if you charge it too often and too much, but life is way too short to be worried about charging your car too much and too often. Take the advice of this article, charge to full power when you need it and forget the rest.

Range anxiety is only for new electric car owners. After you have had your car for a while, you will get to learn how far you can go, you will get to learn how far a 20% charge will take you, and you will learn all the places you can get rapid charging so that you never become stranded. Plus, in a few years there may be EV charging stations on every street corner, so seriously, try not to worry yourself about these sorts of things. At the very least, don't be that person who sets their timer to stop their charger before their battery reaches 100%. If you are cool enough to buy an electric car, you are cool enough to charge it when needed and quit your worry fussing.

Conclusion – The Power of EV Batteries

There is an uncomfortable truth that needs to be dropped here, and that is that electric cars are not good for your wallet or the environment. The cost of electricity is far too high at the current time of writing and is only getting higher, and the cost of alternative solutions such as solar panels to charge your battery will never pay for itself over the lifetime of your car battery. There is also the fact that car batteries are devastating the environment in ways that we will suffer for hundreds of years.

However, do not let this dissuade you from buying an electric car. The fact is that modern batteries and future batteries will come to the rescue. Just think about how far batteries have come over the last twenty years - from cellphones and battery packs the size of a brick that only held a charge for two hours, to batteries so powerful, small, and light that they can power drones that can reach the top of the tallest building.

Batteries are only going to get more efficient and lighter. Improvement in battery management systems will mean less charging in cars, fewer materials being used, longer-lasting batteries, and fewer charging sessions. We are currently at the cusp where EV batteries can last a good eight years and make electric cars expensive, but still economically viable.

In just five to ten years, electric cars may be less polluting and cheaper than fossil fuel cars. They may last longer, pull harder, speed up faster and go for longer, and this is all due to improvements in modern batteries. The innovative battery technology they use in your next Smartphone may one day build the groundwork for electric planes. The future of PHEVs is unclear, but thanks to innovations in battery tech, you shouldn't rule this pony out of the race just yet.

At IMX Auto, we buy and lease a wide range of electrical vehicles. If you’re looking for an all-electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid, we can help.

 

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08-25-22

10 Things To Consider Before Buying Your First Car

For many young people, buying your first car is seen as one of the great rites of passage that is a step into the next stage of freedom in your life. Once you have your own car, the world is quite literally your oyster and there is nothing to stop you from finally taking all of the trips that you never could before!

Even if you are not so young, your first car is still a milestone. As a mature adult, becoming a first-time car owner might be due to a significant circumstance that heralds a new chapter in your life.

Of course, securing your very first car is not something that should be taken lightly, as there are plenty of issues of ownership that you need to make sure you check out before putting pen to paper on any car purchase.

Car buying is one of the most fun and interesting things that a person can do for themselves, but at the same time, it is also a task that demands thorough care and attention with countless different details to consider.

From interest rates to down payments, credit scores to car prices and financing options to gas mileage to deciding on what kind of car you even what to test drive, there is so much to address!

We are here to help you through the process to ensure that you end up with a new vehicle that perfectly suits all of your needs, one that you will be proud to post all over your social media!

With all of this in mind, here are ten top things that you should be considering before you make the decision to buy your first car.

1. Set A Realistic Budget

It can be very easy to get carried away when you visit a car dealership and see everything that is on offer, but you definitely need to make sure that you select a vehicle that has a manageable purchase price for your personal circumstances.

You need to be realistic about your life situation right now because not everybody has a sufficiently good credit report to be accepted for a car loan that might make a more expensive purchase possible.

You will probably need to make the big decision of whether you can afford a new car or will have to set your sights on a used car as your first vehicle.

Have a good look at your finances and decide on a realistic figure you can afford. You shouldn't stretch yourself too thin just to become a car owner.

fan of 100 U.S. dollar banknotes

2. Be Aware Of Your Monthly Expenditure

Your realistic budget should be based on the monthly payment you are comfortable with. Remember, the finances of being a car owner aren’t just related to the purchase of the vehicle. There are running costs including insurance and fuel to add to your regular monthly expenses.

The last thing you want to do is fall in love with a new or used vehicle only to find that you can’t afford it, so relay your monthly payment information to the dealer and they will help with a selection of options that fall within your price range.

3. Figure Out What Your Transportation Needs Are

Don’t just go on the lot and find the best car, you need to make sure that you find the best car for you.

Think about your lifestyle and your day-to-day activities, and then find a car to match those needs. For example, if you need a car because you need to ferry the family around, then consider an SUV or minivan. If speed and solo travel is more your style, then perhaps a sports car could fit the bill. If you want a vehicle for your business, maybe a car with a large capacity trunk is what you look for.

The car buying process is all about find a car online or at the car dealers that will fit the best into your lifestyle, not necessarily just picking the most impressive model available.

 buying your first car

4. Prioritise Your Wants

Think about all of the things you are looking for as a first time car buyer and then rank them in order of importance. It might be fuel economy or a large engine, for example. Maybe you are dead set on an American-made model rather than an import.

Take the first three or four on the list and relay them to the car salesperson, and they will be able to point you in the right direction. There is no point in stretching your finances in order to afford a car that isn’t even the best fit for you.

5. Do Your Research Beforehand

It is always best to go car shopping with some knowledge of what you are looking for because that is the best way to protect yourself from being taken advantage of.

This is especially important if you choose to buy from a private seller rather than a car dealer. Private sellers are not necessarily as forthcomingly honest as professional car salesmen.

If you are clued up before you start the process, then you will at least be able to make a considered judgment.

If you are a complete novice, it is advisable to take someone with some knowledge or experience along with you. You can also engage a mechanic who can check over any vehicle for you before you make a decision.

person using MacBook Pro buying your first car

6. Use A Conveniently Located Dealer

There are literally thousands of car lots to choose from across the country, but the best thing to do is to pick a place located a convenient distance from your home.

There are a few different reasons for this. For example, it is helpful to be close by should you need to invoke the warranty for any reason. It is also easier to take a test drive.

Another benefit of being connected to a dealership nearby is that it is easy to get to if you ever want any upgrades.

If you are relying on finance of any kind, buying from a dealer is a much easier transaction than buying from a private seller. If you buy privately, you might be able to negotiate on price but you will have to have the money ready to make an immediate payment in full.

Dealers are most often affiliated with one or more lenders such as banks, local credit unions and finance companies so are able to deal with the transaction from start to finish with the option of an auto loan and monthly payments.

7. Always Take A Test Drive

You absolutely need to take a test drive of any car that you are seriously considering purchasing, this is just pure common sense!

It is good to be able to get a feel of the vehicle and experience all of the various safety features before you commit to a purchase.

If you wish to buy online, ensure the seller offers a test drive period. This is usually up to a week after delivery. Good and reputable online car sellers will deliver the car and pick it up should you deem it not suitable.

It is also important to see and comprehend the vehicle history report

8. Make Sure To Determine The Proper Purchase Price

Take your time to shop around and see what your desired car is worth before settling on the first one you see. You might find a better deal by looking through all your options!

man driving a car wearing wrist watch buying your first car

9. Understand All Of Your Financing Options

Compared to 50 or so years ago, financing options are much more varied and accessible now than they used to be.

Sure, if you can pay cash outright for a new car, then that is definitely the cleanest way to go about it, but that just isn’t a realistic option for most people who need to juggle their finances from month to month.

What kind of finance you are offered will depend on a number of factors including your credit history, amount of savings, job security, and what kind of deals and car payment options your dealer offers. If you want to add car insurance to the mix, then that can also be something to connect with your financing options as a wider package.

The thing to remember is that you should never let a dealer trick you into thinking that paying cash upfront is the only way to do it!

10. And Finally, Remember To Enjoy Yourself!

One of the biggest incentives for passing your driving test is to one day finally be able to buy your very own car, so make sure that you savor the moment!

There might be large amounts of money being transferred, more money than you have ever spent on anything in your life, but try to see the excitement in the process as well as the more serious parts. You are about to get your very first car, it is a huge, memorable moment!

If you want a hassle-free experience for your first car purchase, IMX Auto offers leasing on any make or model. Contact us today to get a quote! 

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08-15-22

5 California Road Trip Destinations for Summer 

With 865 miles of coastline and 164,000 square miles in total, California has no shortage of beautiful sights to see. There are 66 scenic byways you can cruise as you take in majestic redwoods, picturesque mountain ranges, and some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. As if that weren’t enough, California is also home to incredible food and wine, unique roadside attractions, and prominent art and history museums. 

There’s so much to see in the Golden State that it can be hard to know where to begin. To help you plan your next road trip itinerary, we’re sharing 5 of the best California road trips to take in the summer. 

 

  1. Wine Country

Wine Country in Napa and Sonoma  

Length: 161 miles 

Recommended Trip Time: 2 to 3 days

Free Blueberry With Green Leaves during Daytime Stock Photo

Northern California wine country is the perfect place for a relaxing road trip getaway. While you could explore wine country in a single day if you live in the Bay Area, we recommend taking several days to enjoy your stay and the wine tasting experience. Not sure where to stop and sample? There are many small wineries to explore alongside big-name wineries such as Beaulieu Vineyard, Clos du Val, and Mumm. 

Napa and Sonoma have some of the best wine tasting rooms in the USA, but there’s more to do than just drink in wine country. You can take a dip in the hot springs at Vichy Springs, sample the famous tacos at El Molino Central in Sonoma, or experience nature at one of the many state parks in the area, like Jack London State Historical Park or Robert Louis Stevenson State Park

 

  1. The Eastern Sierra Nevada via Highway 395

Lone Pine to South Lake Tahoe

Length: 232 miles 

Recommended Trip Time: 4 to 5 Days

Free Trees Near Mountain Stock Photo california road trip destinations

Highway 395 is the inland sister of the Pacific Coast Highway. Rather than running along the West Coast’s beaches, Highway 395 cuts through historic Gold Rush mining towns, ancient forests, and plenty of unique mountain scenery. The highway runs from Southern California all the way up through Oregon and Washington. But for this road trip destination idea, we’re sticking to a shorter stretch that ranges from Lone Pine to South Lake Tahoe. 

Starting in Lone Pine, there are two national parks to explore before heading out on your journey: Sequoia National Park and Death Valley National Park. You can also hike the nearby Alabama Hills, a popular filming location that’s well worth visiting. 

The Ancient Bristlecone Pine Pine Forest is heading farther along Highway 395, just off Highway 168, featuring ancient trees and amazing hot springs. When you get back on Highway 395, you can stop at Mammoth Mountain and Mono Lake. Yosemite National Park is to the west at this point on the route, while northward is the ghost town of Bodie. Continue up Highway 395 for a short while longer and you’ll start passing the tiny mountain towns that surround beautiful Lake Tahoe. 

 

  1. San Diego to Joshua Tree 

San Diego to Joshua Tree National Park

Length: 290 miles 

Recommended Trip Time: 5 to 7 Days 

Free An Island With Resort House Stock Photo california road trip destinations

This beach to desert drive could be a day trip, but we recommend taking things slowly to soak up all the beauty you’ll find on the way to Joshua Tree Park. 

From San Diego, head northeast toward Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. The park is known for its springtime wildflower blooms, but its cactus-covered summer landscape is equally majestic. From there, head north toward Palm Springs and stop at Santa Rosa and the San Jacinto Mountains National Monument for a shaded diversion. 

Continue through the Salton Sea toward Slab City, where you can check out the famous Salvation Mountain art piece. Move on to explore Palm Springs, a relaxing oasis full of mid-century modern architecture and plenty of unique rentals to stay in. Head onward to Joshua Tree and take in the area’s many natural attractions and boho art galleries. 

 

  1. Gold Chain Highway

Gold Chain Highway (Highway 49) 

Length: 295 miles 

Recommended Trip Time: 5 to 6 days 

Free Grass Field During Sunset Stock Photo california road trip destinations

A drive down Gold Chain Highway, Highway 49, is the perfect way to immerse yourself in the story of the California Gold Rush. Highway 49 gets its name from the many miners and prospectors who flooded the region during the Gold Rush of 1849. 

Starting at the Oakhurst end of the highway, be sure to visit the California State Mining and Mineral Museum in nearby Mariposa. From there, you’ll pass many historical Victorian buildings on your way toward the haunted Hotel Jeffrey in Coulterville and the preserved mining town of Sonora. 

Continue on toward Placerville, a top spot for river rafting, before heading to Coloma. Visit Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park and try out gold panning for yourself at Sutter’s Mill. Farther along Highway 49, you can explore more mining towns and the massive Empire Mine in Grass Valley. 

 

  1. Pacific Coast Highway 

Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1) 

Length: 656 miles 

Recommended Trip Time: 5 days minimum

Free Brown Cliff Near Body of Water Stock Photo california road trip destinations

No list of California road trip destinations would be complete without a scenic drive down the Pacific Coast Highway, also known as Highway 1. This world-famous roadway spans 656 miles of the California Coast. The PCH starts in Orange County, winds up through Los Angeles and Ventura Counties all the way through San Francisco and up to Mendocino County. It’s a tour de force that takes you on a gorgeous coastal drive past dozens of attractions you probably have on your bucket list. 

It only takes 10 to 12 hours to drive the entire length of the PCH, but this road trip is all about the many stops you’ll want to make along the way. There are hundreds of enticing destinations to explore along the PCH, so you can easily spend anywhere from 5 days to 2 weeks seeing the sights on this route. 

Starting down in Orange County, take in the Pacific Ocean in Laguna Beach or Huntington Beach before heading northward. Stop in Santa Barbara to take in local wines and Spanish colonial architecture before heading onward toward Hearst Castle in San Simeon. 

Hit the road again and enjoy the forested drive through Big Sur on the way to Cannery Row in Monterey. Continue north through Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay and into San Francisco as you cross the Golden Gate Bridge. If it’s your first time in San Francisco in the summer, don’t be surprised by the city’s frequently foggy summer weather. Finish your trip by spending some time exploring the city or continue on to the quiet beach town of Mendocino. 

 

Looking for a new car that’ll take you to all of your favorite road trip destinations? Look no further - IMX Auto is here to help! Switch to a vehicle with a better fuel economy and MPG to make all of your trips hassle free. Sell your lease or vehicle to us in three easy steps and get paid the same day you sell. We also offer lease specials on any make or model, just contact us for a free quote and for more information! 

 

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07-18-22

Should I Sell My Car? When To Sell and How To Do It

The modern motorist faces all kinds of issues and pressures, some obvious, others not so. The early 2020s have bought numerous challenges that prick every driver’s conscience every time they get behind the wheel.

These issues are:

  • scarcity of fossil fuels including oil - not a 21st-century problem but other issues have brought it into sharper focus
  • environmental issues of oil sources
  • impact of the worldwide microchip shortage and its influence on vehicle prices
  • the 2020 (and ongoing) Covid-19 pandemic

The combined effect of these has had a major impact on the current market, car prices, and gas prices at the pumps. It must appear that these days, owning a car is quite a hassle and many of us would give them up if there were suitable alternatives.

The fact remains that for many car owners, their vehicle is not a luxury but a necessity. It’s also a fact that at some point during the course of owning a car, you need to sell it.

The issues mentioned above will also come into play for car sellers with the added issues of when is the best time to sell and which method of sale is best.

Inevitably, you are going to ask the question “should I keep my car or sell it?“ The answer to this is always going to be down to the individual and it depends on your motivation for keeping your old car.

Let‘s look at the major factors of influence on the decision to sell or keep.

The Current Market

We’ve already mentioned the external factors and market forces that have influenced car prices recently. Car prices have climbed so much that at the end of 2021 the average cost of a new vehicle was more than $46,000. This was an incredibly sharp increase. In 2019, the price jumped by $1800, in 2020, it went up by $3300 and the jump in 2021 was $6220.

The 2021 increase was driven mainly by the pandemic’s impact on the global supply of microchips which inhibited automotive production, causing demand to exceed supply. 

Free Mercedes Benz Parked in a Row Stock Photo

Used cars also saw an increase in price with a 41 percent raise over the last two years. This makes it a seller’s market - an ideal time to sell or trade your car.

The Condition of Your Car

We’re sure you know that cars are one of the consumer items that depreciate very quickly. The industry states that by the end of its first year, a new car will have lost around 40 percent of its retail value. This doesn’t apply to all cars and it varies a lot. Those that depreciate the least may only lose 10 percent of their value. Generally, an average car with an annual mileage of 10,000 will lose around 60 percent of its value at the end of year three.

This points to their being specific times during your car’s life cycle that present better opportunities to get the best sale price.

Depreciation is one factor but so are warranties and mileage. If you want to sell with a mileage of under 60,000, the manufacturer’s warranty is still valid and that peace of mind is attractive to potential buyers. If however, your odometer reading is over 100,000 miles, the car-buying public is wary, even if your car is in excellent condition. Likewise, cars with faults that need repairs may also be of concern to prospective buyers.

Forgetting about the resale price for a moment, if you want to sell your current vehicle because it keeps breaking down or has needed a lot of repairs to keep it safely on the road, it might be time to think about getting a new car to remove the hassle factor. A reduced asking price or reduced value of your car may be offset by repairs or the inconvenience of it being in the shop for extended periods.

Your Requirements Have Changed

Having a car is great as long as it meets your needs. Even if it provides reliable transport, you may need to consider selling it for its best price.

Just some changes of circumstances might be:

  • You need to upgrade to a vehicle with an all-wheel-drive because you’ve moved to an area with significantly different winter conditions and your current four-door, front-wheel-drive car will not be able to cope so well.
  • The car is no longer suitable for your family size/age - you might want to upgrade or downgrade according to changes in family circumstances. For example, if you need to become a two-car family where previously one was sufficient.
  • Your current vehicle is a sedan but you need to change it for work purposes. You want to trade in your sedan for a pickup truck with improved utility and payload.
  • You simply want to upgrade. You want your next car to be more fuel-efficient or you want to upgrade make, model and value.Free Person in Grey Shirt Handing Keys Stock Photo

When is The Best Time to Sell Your Car?

According to US News, between March and August is the best time to sell your car. It seems the weather influences our consumer decisions but this should not be the only factor that you consider.

Let’s dig deeper into what circumstances might be the most favorable for you to get as close to market value for your car as you can.

  • Sell before you need to: If you leave it until you absolutely must sell you may have to take less money than you hoped for. If the vehicle has become unreliable, you could spend money on repairs.

 

  • When the time is right for a replacement: Unless you are giving up driving, you need to replace your old car. As well as planning the sale, you need to consider your new vehicle. Planning enables you to research the market not only for models of interest but also for the best way to finance your next car.

 

  • It’s the right time of year: Late spring and summer are generally the best times to sell a car. Major holidays are best avoided. The weather may also influence the types of cars that do better at certain times of the year, Convertibles are attractive during warmer months while SUVs and crossovers are strong contenders with the approach of winter.

 

  • You’re spending too much on repairs: If the cost of maintenance and repairs is significant, it can eat into the budget you have for your new car. Also consider future spending, for example, you need a full set of new tires.

 

  • You have a major service due: In most cases, it is not worth the expense of maintenance or repair costs before selling. Putting off repairs may reduce the value of your car but the loss is usually less than the cost of the repairs/service.

 

  • Before you hit a mileage milestone: There are a few mileage milestones that should trigger a sell decision. They are before the odometer hits 100,000 miles before the factory warranty expires (usually 60,000 miles or three years) and before the powertrain warranty expires.

 

  • If a new model is due: Every previous model year’s value declines with the debut of a new model year so it is best to sell before the new model is released.

 

  • You are at risk of defaulting on your car loan: Defaulting on an auto loan will seriously damage your credit score as well as put you at risk of repossession fees. It will also make getting your next car loan extremely difficult.

 

  • You are not underwater on your car loan: It is not good to sell your car when you owe more on the auto loan than it is worth. It is much better to sell when you have positive equity so you can pay off the loan and maybe still have sufficient funds to make a down payment on your next car.

 

  • You’ve lost some confidence in your vehicle’s safety: If you experience a loss of reliability, a growing tendency to break down or you think your car lacks advanced safety features, sell your car for one that offers better security and more driver-assistance features.

 

  • You might have positive equity: Having positive equity on the car (when the market value of the car exceeds the principal amount on your loan), you can take advantage of that by making extra money on it when you sell the car.

If any of these triggers the decision to sell your old car and buy a new one, you need to know the best way to do so.

How to Sell Your Car

There are various ways to sell your car. Each has its pros and cons so you’ll need to understand a little about each to decide on the solution that will get you the best deal. 

At IMX Auto we recommend our easy and instant 3-step process to selling your car. All you have to do is enter your information, receive a free estimate and complete a stop-by for a vehicle inspection, and cha-ching! Receive your check the same day you sell your car.

Simply visit our website for more information and to start your hassle-free car selling process today!

 

Free Woman in Black Blazer Holding Car Keys Smiling Stock Photo

Instant Cash Offer

If you want the freedom to buy your next vehicle from anywhere you choose, an instant cash offer is a hassle-free way to sell. This transaction is undertaken with a vehicle buying center or a dealer who presents instant cash offers.

Although it can happen in person, many of these deals happen online. You are asked to submit information to a webform and in return will receive a cash offer. The offer will be based on the VIN (vehicle identification number), mileage, age, and features together with your description and the photos you upload.

The dealer will make a preliminary offer usually of baseline market value that will be firmed up when the dealer has the chance to physically inspect the vehicle. The final price may be higher or lower than the initial offer and the deal is done when you transfer ownership paper, sign over the car title and receive payment.

For a fair price and a deal that can be achieved quickly, sell your car to IMX Auto, a specialist vehicle buying center.

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lauren, Author at IMX Auto Group

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