car blogs

Old vs New - The Benefit of Keeping the Car You Have

The battle scars are everywhere which often proves your car is paid in full! I personally prefer to refer to them as car character. There’s a story for each one, such as the green stained dent in the back-left corner of the bumper: that’s the one that reminds me of the time my mother in law borrowed the car and backed it into a giant trash bin. Or the massive dent on the front right bumper, the time my husband’s truck met my car as I was pulling up the driveway and he was backing out. Of course, there are interior marks of character on the inside as well such as the hole in the floorboard of the drivers side from way back when I used to wear high heeled shoes and apparently dug my left heel into the floor. Or the giant stain in the back seat from unknown ice cream spill by a child. Sure, it isn’t pretty, but it is paid for so each time a new knock or rattle or sputter brings me back to the mechanic I continue to answer his same question, “Are we keeping it?” with “Yep, still cheaper to fix than buying a new one.”

 At what point will the answer change? Well, obviously an extremely high cost repair will quantify an evening of math to decide but for the most part there are many of us that drive our cars until the wheels fall off.  

The average American keeps their car for around 6 years and the average age of American’s cars is a little over 11 years old.[1]

The average yearly repair cost on a ten year old vehicle ranges anywhere from around $300 a year to over $1000 a year.[2] With the average car payment around $550 per month this math works out quite well the keep the old dinged and stained car around a little bit longer.[3]  Even new cars often require repairs that go above and beyond the monthly payment.

With all that said, if you’re thinking about keeping your car as long as possible here are a few tips from the experts at Car Talk:

  • If buying a car with the intention to keep it long term, do as much research as you can before deciding on which one to take home.

  • Stay on top of recommended maintenance (especially fluid changes), don’t ignore concerns and never ignore engine warning signs.

  • Avoid keeping heavy items in your vehicle if possible, plan errands ahead of time to avoid short trips to and from home and when you can, simply keep your car at home.

  • -Find a trustworthy mechanic and take the time to communicate how long you hope to keep your car running.

Knowing the possibility that the day may arrive that you and your vehicle are forced to part ways, start saving now. As long as you don’t have a car payment, put a similar amount in savings each month to make that future transition much less financially painful.

In the meantime, be proud you kept that character filled payed off auto on the road. Besides, nothing gets a conversation going like a car scar story!

Blog by: Allison Green

New Road Designs, Crazy or Crafty?

If you have ever driven through a traffic circle or found yourself driving on a road that suddenly forces you to cross into what feels like the wrong lane there is a good chance you have wondered, what were they thinking?

As it turns out there’s a method behind all that road twisting madness and an intention to get everyone from point A to point B with a few less crashes than our highway designs of the past. There is one thing for sure, any unexpected turn, twist or curve certainly slows us down a bit, and right there my friends is the entire reason for the new designs.

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Obviously, we all know by now that driving while distracted is a terrible idea. However, even if you are an exemplary example of the fully focused driver, there is a good chance that many of the other drivers sharing your route are engaging with their smart phone or their vehicles built in technology. As a society we have tried just about everything imaginable to convince people to keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road. Public education on the dangers of distracted driving to laws that prohibit the use of cell phones/smart phones while driving have both helped the situation but by no means solved the problem of well, humans being human.

The unfortunate statistics show that this situation is only growing. 3,450 people were killed in accidents in 2016 that were caused by distracted drivers and 391,000 injured from the same cause in 2015. The World Resource Institute created a “Safe System” design approach that has begun to be implemented around the world. This system is already proving to significantly reduce crashes and fatalities.  Whether you love them or hate them, roundabouts or traffic circles provide the following benefits that have shown to make driving safer:

1.     Vehicle speeds are typically reduced to 10 to 20 miles per hour.

2.     Because there are no traffic lights, accidents normally caused from someone trying to get to the others side of a stale yellow are eliminated.

3.     Traffic flows one way only resulting in a reduction of head on collisions.  

Of course, as these designs only work so long as everyone follows the rules, which just like the rule of putting the phone away before starting the car is not exactly followed by everyone. Our world is constantly changing, as is our technology, our vehicles and even the infrastructure we travel on. Who knows what the roads of the future may look like. For now, if anything, we at least know why they are the way they are.

As we embark on the holidays we at Richards’ Collision Center wish everyone a Safe & Happy Holiday and Journey! https//:www.richardscollisioncenter.com

 Blog by: Allison Green

 

 

 

American Made Ford Mustang Icon Races through Time to 2018!  

For over 50 years the American made Ford Mustang has delighted young and old alike.  The first generation (1964 ½  to 1973) production of the Ford Mustang was revealed to the public in the Ford Pavilion during the New York World’s Fair on April 17, 1964, the very same day that it would go up for sale around the Country.  

To everyone’s surprise the Ford Mustang was affordable and loved right out of the lot.  Ford anticipated selling approximately 100,000 models the first year, but phenomenally beat their own goal selling close to half a million! 

From the 1st generation Ford Mustang to the present 6th generation there is no stopping the fame of this beloved American made icon. To learn more about the history of the Mustang visit Edmunds.com who have an excellent article showcasing all the generational history up to 2005 in superb detail. 

How about the 2018 Mustang? Amazing like most previous generations with a slightly sportier redesign in comparison to the 2017 model. As the photo above displays, Ford offers another brilliant new color to dazzle us: Orange Fury Metallic Tri-Coat.

Yahoo.com Daniel Howley, Technology Editor, showcases an interesting informative video of the 2018 model along with an article with extra details including: 

"The biggest changes to the new Mustang’s front end include all-LED lights and updated hood vents. Around back, the Mustang’s rear lights have been reshaped to look like large parentheses. Ford has also outfitted the rear of the Mustang with a new quad-tip exhaust, which just plain looks cool."  

As far as cost this American icon remains beautifully and powerfully affordable for most. The 2018 base 2.3L EcoBoost will cost about the same as the 2017 model at around $27K with the GT V8 costing close to $35K.  Ready to buy one?  The wait will not be long as the 2018 models will be made available for purchase this fall. See Ford.com to receive updates and prepare for the ride of your life! 

By Gina Sifers, Bella Media Services, LLC

 

 

Sand Land Rover – 1 Mile Long Sketch!

At Richards’ Collision Center we continually seek new innovations and seek out interesting stories to share in the automotive and auto body industries. The Land Rover story is drawn out for us in the sand.  

Evidently the initial design for the original Land Rover shape was sketched out in the sand by the engineering director of Rover, Maurice Wilks, to show his brother his idea in 1947 at Red Wharf Bay in Anglesey, UK while on vacation.  A simple sketch in the sand 68 years ago was the beginning to the world’s most iconic vehicle.  

In reflection and memory of this profound moment in automotive history:   “A unique 1km sand drawing at Red Wharf Bay in Anglesey, UK, marks the launch of three exclusive limited edition models and the beginning of an exciting new chapter in the Defender story.”  The sand sketch is the largest ever created in the sand in the UK.  Family members of Maurice Wilks, participated in creating the huge drawing with a fleet of six Land Rovers.

Click this link to see the awesome YouTube Video that shows the creative sketch in the making.  Learn more about the inspiring story and the new innovation in the Land Rover Autobiography, Heritage, and Adventure Editions at TheAutoChannel.com.   

Rusty Grave Yard Cars… Get Yours Now!

From once fast and furious race cars, to vintage European models, to over 700 abandoned Dodges, all the way to the end of the earth car collectors can find some of the most sought after discontinued cars and their parts. Autos.Yahoo.com and other countless sites offer many resources for vintage car collectors to find the parts and cars that they need for their projects.   

We have eons of beautiful country littered with abandoned, rusty, damaged vehicles, once vibrantly useful, even loved and if only a car could talk?   We would hear of countless joyous travels with few happy endings in a cluttered sea of debris.  At Richards’ Collision Center we encourage people to collect these forgotten cars and their parts for restoration projects, each car once a jewel in the crown of the owner.   

For collectible car hunters salvage yards can hold a valuable diamond in the rough.  The popular show on the History Channel, Counting Cars, is a team based in Las Vegas who successfully bring life back to abandoned vintage autos among other interesting restoration projects.  Auto restoration is a rewarding hobby or business that truly cleans up our fields and restores the beauty in vintage cars. 

Where can you go to find that unique vintage car or find that one part that is no longer made?  Search online at various salvage yard sites to see if the car or part is available and can be mailed or travel to the destination salvage yard to personally rummage through the clutter.   

For instance, I have a friend from Raytown, MO who is currently searching to find an outdated Volvo part.  He may travel to Chicago from a lead that he found online.  No guarantee but they may have the part in an abandoned Volvo that he needs. That particular salvage yard does not search the yard or mail the parts.   

Social media is an excellent place to look as well:  be sure to check out the Collector Cars Facebook Page  in Taylor, Missouri, to find vintage cars/parts that date back as early as 1918.  Another fine example is an article I found online at Zeb’s Salvage Yard in Wisconsin.  This salvage yard is one of the few left in the Wisconsin area holding valuable vintage cars making it a collector’s paradise:  “2,000 cars, at least 1,500 of them range from the ’20s to the ’70s. There are over 100 cars from the ’30s alone in the collection.”   

Lastly, define your online searches for your specific target car or part including geographic location using quotes.  For example, I input:  “vintage Dodge car parts in missouri” and I found an excellent page of parts specifically in the Missouri area to reduce my online search and driving time.  If you don’t find what you need close to home simply broaden your geographic search and you will certainly find a grave yard car or part to revive!  Get yours now!