7 Easy Ways to Save at the Pump

With the constant rise in gas prices and the downfall of the economy, even the most wasteful consumers think twice. Conserving our natural resources is not only important to the well-being of the human race but also our wallets. Regardless of whether you do it for the environment, our well-being, or your wallet, here are some gas-saving tips to help you out.

Check your tires. Every time you drive your car you should take a quick stroll around it to check for low or flat tires. The actual pressures should be measured monthly especially when the outside temperature starts changing drastically. Low tire pressure will decrease your fuel mileage significantly. Having properly inflated tires will not only give you optimum mpg's (miles per gallon), but extend the life of your tires.

Lighten up. Remove any unnecessary items from the car and the trunk. Decreasing the weight of the car will increase your mpg's.

Tire Safety: A Simple Way to Keep the Roads Safe

With many years of experience in this field you come across a lot of upset customers when it comes to tires. How can you blame them though? It seems like they don't last as long and are more expensive than they used to be. No one enjoys spending money on tires. However, they are the only thing that allows our vehicle to hold the road. Knowing what is safe and what is not is in your best interest.

The Penny Test - The general rule growing up has been that if you stick a penny upside-down in the tire tread and it doesn't come up to the top of President Lincoln's head, than you must replace your tire. This is a good tool to use for the average consumer who may or may not have a tire tread depth gauge. The actual measurement as described by the department of transportation is 2/32 of an inch. Below this tread depth your vehicle is at high-risk for hydroplaning during wet seasons. However, numerous studies by major companies such as Michelin have shown that even with double that tread, your chances are still exponentially greater than usual.

Easy Car Care Tips for the Busy Women

The life of your typical woman has gotten increasingly hectic through the years. A lot of women today are still responsible for child care and household duties, while maintaining full-time positions in our nation's workforce. Many women even take on the role of "car care manager" in their families. Typically thought of as a "man's work", research by the Car Care Council suggests that women actually account for more than 60 percent of the auto service customers today. In fact, according to American Women Road and Travel (AWRT), women spend over $300 billion annually on maintenance, repairs and purchase of used vehicles.

According to the United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2002 almost four out of five mothers of children attending school were also in the paid workforce. In 2003, nearly 3.7 million of these women were working multiple jobs. More astonishingly, the number of employed women in the workforce has risen from 18.4 million to over 65 million from 1950 to 2011. In addition, 63 percent of women work 40 or more hours per week according to the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).

Which Brake Pad Is Best For You?

In my last article titled "What Are You Using to Stop Your Car?", I went over the different compounds used in brake pads as well as provided a brief description of their advantages and disadvantages. Some brake pad applications work better with some vehicles while others are superior in other cars. With all these choices available today, it can be a bit mind-boggling trying to decide which is best for you. Usually the type of vehicle you have and what it's used for will determine the answer.

Light compact cars - It doesn't take as much force to stop a compact car as a truck. For applications such as the Nissan Versa, Toyota Yaris or Honda Fit, organic compound brakes would work just fine. They have enough stopping power, will be much quieter than other brake pads available, and are inexpensive. If you will be bothered by potential brake dust build-up you can also substitute in a ceramic brake pad for more money.

Synthetic Oil or Conventional Oil? Let the Environment Decide

We are all educated on the risk factors of oil on the environment. In the perfect world we would all have viable transportation without the adverse effects of it. Unfortunately, this is not the world we live in, at least not yet. Between synthetic oil and conventional oil, which product has less of an impact on our environment? 5 key items come into play when determining how our maintenance habits impact the environment.

1) How often do you dump and fill your oil? The average consumer changes their oil every 3-5000 miles with conventional or standard oil. Most car manufacturers recommend changing your oil every 5-7500 miles. Increasing that mileage increment from 5000 to 7500 will result in a 33% decrease in the quarts of oil dumped per year. Furthermore, this mileage can be increased significantly with the use of these new and improved synthetic oil products in the market today. Some claim to be able to go up to 35,000 between oil changes which would suggest potential savings in your pocket and a positive impact on the environment.

How Do You Use Jumper Cables?

If your vehicle is unable to start due to a dead battery then jumper cables can be a real saviour. If you turn on your car's engine and the vehicle makes a click but fails to start then this is usually a clear indication that you need jumper cables. Question is; how do you use them? A brief checklist to talk you through the jump-start procedure while you're in your hour of need...

    * The first factor to the jump-starting procedure is to get a car with a fully charged battery to help you out.

    * Straighten out the jumper cables and make sure there are no knots or ties in either cable.

    * Make sure the vehicle with the fully charged battery is parked right next to your vehicle so that the jump cables can reach both engines. You could also park both vehicles with both engines facing each other. Next, open both bonnets in order to expose the engines.

Heated Seats Are Awesome In Cold Weather

Heated seats in a car or truck can be a nice warm comfort in the cold winter weather. They are easy to operate and can keep you warm on your cold winter drive to work.

Most often people consider this a luxury that is only available in higher end vehicles. With today's automotive advances, you can find heated seats on more vehicles than you did ten years ago.

Now days, many vehicles come with heated seats. For an example, the Subaru Outback offers this feature in all its standard models.

How Can You Tell If Your Car Has a Faulty Engine Speed Sensor?

Vehicle speed sensors are part and parcel of modern car technology these days. Every car and motorised vehicle will have one, though some will be more refined than others. Generally speaking the more expensive the car, the more refined the speed sensor. However, this extra refinement can come at a cost. Speed sensors have a habit of going wrong, and when they do they can cause all sorts of problems.

So what does a vehicle's sensor do?
A vehicle's engine sensor or vehicle sensor as it is better known, sends information to a car's computer and tells it how fast the car's engine is spinning at any given moment. The speed sensor does this by recording how fast the crankshaft of a vehicle is spinning. Unfortunately speed sensors are not infallible and do go wrong from time to time.

How Does an Engine Speed Sensor Work?

Engine speed sensors, which are not to be confused with a vehicle speed sensor, are sensors that are attached to the crankshaft of a car's engine. The purpose of an engine speed sensor is to assess the speed at which the crankshaft spins. These speed sensors are electronic control devices which are used in automotive internal combustion engines. This component sends crucial information to the engine control module (ECM). Crankshaft sensors are used to measure the speed of the crankshaft rotation. The information from a crankshaft speed sensor is used to control the engine management and ignition timing systems. These devices first appeared on engines when distributors were eliminated in the early 1990s. The crankshaft sensor serves the same purpose as the ignition pick up and trigger wheel, which is to adjust the spark timing of the spark plugs. The ignition coil is connected directly to the spark plugs.

Bad Credit Auto Loans Should Not Keep You Off the Road

Bad credit for auto loans has always been a problem for would-be car owners. Even before the Great Recession hit in 2008, those in the market for a car found themselves unable to realize their dream simply because someone, somewhere, sometime ago gave them a poor credit auto loans rating.

If that made it hard to buy a car then, just imagine the nightmare people had when they tried to buy a new car with a bad credit auto loans rating in this recession-ravaged economy.

If you have poor credit, auto loans will be difficult. If there is no financing approved, you cannot buy a car unless you had the cash to purchase one in full.

Why Do You Need a Car Service Plan?

You've probably heard of a Car Service Plan before, but do you know exactly what a Service Plan is and how it can benefit you? Without knowing what it is, it can sound a bit like a luxury, but nothing could be further from the truth. If you want to spend a small amount of money every month (we're talking approximately R150) and be covered for your car servicing needs in the future, we suggest you read on.

What is a Car Service Plan?

First of all, let's talk about what exactly, a Car Service Plan is. Basically, it's a plan that will pay for the regular services of your car. The exact parts of the service that it covers will be stipulated by your car manufacturer, as most service providers of these plans will stick to what is recommended by the manufacturer. Parts, fluids and labour are the general elements that are covered. The plan can run over a certain time frame, or according to a certain amount of kilometres driven. Whenever your car is due for a service, the elements stipulated will be covered, no hassles.

How To Lease A Car And Understand The Process

You think you've decided to lease, but you'd like to make sure you know HOW to lease a car! What exactly do I do after I see the newspaper ads that tell me what deal is available. At first, there may be a sense of overwhelm but leasing can be clearly made simple and understood. What exactly is the process of leasing? Leasing is not renting, but rather paying for the depreciated value of the automobile during the period that the leasing company allows you to drive it. All major manufacturers have a parent leasing company that seems invisible as they work side by side with the dealership. Most leases are for a period of 24, 36 or 48 months although some use an odd number like 39 months. This is referred to as the term. You are responsible for paying the depreciated value of the car along with an interest rate (they bought the car for you remember?). There is always a limit to the number of miles per year you can drive usually 12,000 (sometimes 10,000 or 15,000).

How Do Car Leases Work? A Guide To Understanding Car Leases And Terminology

Understanding Car Leases and Terminology

So, you're thinking, this time around maybe I'll lease instead of buying. I don't drive that many miles to work, it would be nice to get a new car for less than buying and keeping it in warranty! It sure is difficult to get good info especially looking at the ads in the auto section of the newspaper. And dare you ask the salesman and let him steer you?

So here we go:

Firstly, Leasing is not renting. When you buy a new car on the dealer showroom floor either you (or your financial company) owns it. When you lease a car from a major manufacturer, you aren't leasing from the dealer. You are leasing from a lease company affiliated with the dealership (usually a parent financial company connected to the manufacturer). The leasing company buys the car from the dealer and agrees to let you drive it for a specified time with a maximum number of miles ie: 36 months, 12,000/year max. This is called the term and is set by the leasing company up front (sometimes the miles are more/less-10,000 or 15,000 and the month amount could be more or less 24, 48).

Avoiding Car Theft

It is a sad fact that car theft happens on a daily basis. There are some cities where cars being stolen is more common than not, but are we to blame for these crimes? Sometimes, the answer to that question is yes. We are usually at fault for stolen vehicles for a number of reasons. Read on to find out how best to avoid car theft, because no one wants their car stolen.

The first thing to keep in mind is that carjacking is an incredibly lucrative business. There is a reason why there are so many Grand Theft Auto games and movies about car theft. While it is illegal, stealing vehicles makes the big bucks.

You should know to never leave your keys in your car, but some people have decided that this is okay, for some reason. Leaving your keys in your car is basically like handing them over to the criminal and telling him, "Enjoy!" A related scenario is leaving your car unlocked, or even hiding another set of car keys somewhere within your vehicle. These are among the worst things you can do, because you are practically waving a flag and telling people to steal your car.

How To Get Out Of A Car Lease Without (Too Much) Regret!

You've loved your leased car but the payments are steeper than you thought to manage. Or maybe you've just been transferred overseas. Or, maybe you just decided you really just don't like driving this car as much as you thought you would! You know that getting into the lease was pretty easy but getting out maybe be a bit more difficult.

It's true that getting out of a car lease is not as easy as paying a penalty fee (like you might if you wanted to end a cell phone agreement) and giving back the car. Those payments that you make every month were calculated on a legal binding agreement and breaking that agreement will be costly. However, the closer you are to the end of the lease, the less it will cost to end it. Find your lease agreement and read ALL the fine print on the back to find out how your leasing company will charge you. The fees will likely be heavy and it may cost up to thousands of dollars to rid yourself of your agreement.

Often the best option is to transfer a lease to someone else. It might seem easy to just let a friend or family member take the car and make the payments but you must transfer the agreement legally to be able to be free and clear of all liability in the event the car was in an accident.

What Makes A Car Safe? Part 3

For most people, cars today are just like most other appliances and commodities. We pay precious little attention to maintaining them, and are always surprised when they break. So what should you be doing to make sure your car is as safe as it can be?

Well, there are the completely obvious things first, which get overlooked with surprising regularity:

    * Clear your car interior of any objects which are not firmly secured. Anything which can roll around under the brake pedal or could go flying under braking is a real danger and should be safely stored in the glovebox or boot

    * Make sure your windows, lights and mirrors are clean from dirt and bugs at all times. How many dirty cars have you seen with a rear windscreen that is completely covered in dust or mud? (Here's a clue - if kids can write "Clean Me" on your rear window, take their advice). If you can't see properly through the windows, or the headlights can't light up the road properly, your ability to judge what's going on around you is impaired and you are more likely to have an accident

    * Strange noises, vibrations and warning lights need to be attended to rather than ignored. Chances are that they will not simply go away, and you don't want the engine to cut out just as you are pulling out into a busy road.

Mobile Auto Services Should Look Into Hybrid Work Trucks and Vans to Stay Green

Okay so, it obviously costs more to own a hybrid work truck or van, but sometimes it can pay dividends in more than just the fuel economy saved. Generally, when business people make a decision to invest in business equipment they consider many factors such as; tax depreciation, reliability, cost, insurance, maintenance, operational expenses, performance, capacity, and most of all will it do the job they need it for. Now then, I'd like to discuss a mobile auto service type business and the decision to buy a hybrid vehicle over a regular vehicle.

Besides all the criteria in the decision matrix above, one should also consider the advertising and marketing value of being a "green company" when it comes to customer and client perception because if you have a hybrid it speaks volumes about your business and beliefs, thus, it could very well add business to your book. Most US citizens and therefore, most of your customers do care about the environment or have bought into the whole environmental movement.

How To Negotiate A Car Lease!

You have decided to lease, you've seen those great ads in the newspaper and you are ready to head to the dealership to get that deal!


You might be able to save quite a bit of money by knowing what you can negotiate and what you can't.

First, know that the term of the lease (how long the agreement), the limit on miles, and the interest portion of the lease are formulas set by the leasing agent. Although you might have some choices, these items are set by the company.

Also, the residual value of the car, (how much the car is worth at the end of the lease-measured in percentage), is set by the agent. The higher this amount, the better for you! 50% or above is considered excellent!

Why Learn to Drive?

For many, learning to drive is an unnecessary expense - something that takes away from the fun that they could be having with their money when they are a teenager. But the fact is that, although driving lessons can be costly, they are vital if you want to make your way successfully in the world. Below are a few reasons why this is truly the case...

The first reason why learning to drive is very important for a teenager is because it provides freedom from having to rely on parents for lifts everywhere - something that they won't be able to rely on when they fly the nest and head to university, or move out on their own. Many people without driving licenses are forced to use public transport, which has a couple of massive drawbacks in comparison to cars - it is notoriously unreliable and also it is incredibly expensive. A bus ticket for a 5 minutes journey, for example, can cost as much as £2.50 in some areas! This is far more than the cost of petrol for this distance!

3 Things to Do When You Have Your New Car

Purchasing a new car is one of the most exciting times in a person's life. I'm sure everyone has a story to tell when they bought their first car. Many would agree that we live in a time where our economy is up and down and buying a car is now a major personal investment. With that knowledge you want to keep your car looking its best as long as you can. There are some inexpensive methods that you can do without the help of an outside company to keep your car looking brand new. Like anything that is made it will lose its original look over time; however, you can slow the process down with a few helpful hints.

The first method for protecting your car is purchasing a traditional car cover. Depending on where you live, the outdoors can be inviting to some, but it can be very harmful to your vehicle's exterior and interior finish. Using a car cover helps maintains your vehicle's appearance and at the same time keeps all of the attention on how good it looks. The sun plays a huge factor in how long your car looks good. Just imagine going to the beach or pool and not wearing sun screen lotion. Our skin will start to peel and lose its smooth touch. The same goes for a car. Due to the intensity of the Sun you must protect your car from blemishes and minor cracks. When a car is affected by this, you often see a break in the paint as if it was painted in layers. The cover helps prevent dirt and dust from penetrating the vehicle's paint, and the hard to wash cracks and crevices.

Why Do You Need a Car Extended Warranty?

Let's talk car damage. Your gearbox falls apart. Your engine explodes. The electrical system in your car stops working. There is a lot of mechanical damage that could happen to your car and unfortunately, your Car Insurance won't cover these damages. If you're in a car accident or your car is stolen, your insurance will have you covered, but mechanical and electrical damage won't be. This is where a Car Extended Warranty will cover the costs of the damage.

What is a Car Extended Warranty?

A Car Extended Warranty exists to protect certain car parts once a Manufacturer's Warranty has expired. A Manufacturer's Warranty covers unexpected mechanical damage or electrical failure that occurs to a car, thereby saving the owner money and boosting the car's re-sale value. In a nutshell, once a car's Manufacturer Warranty expires, an Extended Warranty will continue to cover the car for any major mechanical damage or electrical fault. These are factors that are not covered by a Maintenance Plan or Service Plan.

Making Driving a Little Easier

As we age, our physical condition naturally starts to decline. It's said that between the ages of 30 and 70, our range of motion declines by 20 to 30 percent. After age 70, this declination accelerates to around 50 percent less spinal mobility. This might not seem like a big deal at first, but it really is, especially when it comes to driving. Poor spinal and neck movement ranges can increase the risk of getting into an auto accident. Lessened mobility in the neck can more than double the risk of a car accident amongst these folk. Luckily the majority of these accidents are not fatal. Still, the risk is high enough that something needs to be done to help the elderly maintain their independence.

Advances in automobile technology have come up with a solution to this. Automatic car parking systems can help to eliminate the need for an elderly driver to keep turning their head. If the driver truly has poor mobility, this feature in a car is undisputedly a huge benefit for them.

Tow Truck Services and Car Lock Outs

Being locked out of your car is not only a stressful obstacle, but it can be scary (and dangerous!) if you are in the wrong part of town. Do you have a plan "B" if you find yourself on the outside looking in? It is always smart to have a backup plan in order in case you end up in this situation. If you need help with car lock outs or roadside assistance, a tow truck company can help. That's right, not only are they your worst enemy when illegally parked, but they are your best friend in time of emergency.

At some point in your life you are bound to have an experience with a tow truck. Businesses and homeowners are two examples of people who personally appreciate their services. People who are illegally parked or taking up parking spots that are assigned for customers or guests SHOULD be moved. This is why there are blatant signs for areas that are protected by towing companies. If there is a sign, that company can legally tow your car. Homeowners have rights to call tow companies too! If there is a car blocking a driveway or in a paid/assigned parking spot, then the illegally parked car can expect that they will be removed with just one phone call to a tow company.

Leather vs Cloth Seats - It's a Personal Preference

Leather vs cloth seats is a choice each driver must make when purchasing their next vehicle. The choice of the interior comes down to cow versus manufactured cloth and can sometimes be a difficult choice.

This is because each offers benefits and pit falls.

Some of the benefits of leather...

Leather offers a soft, supple feeling while driving down the road. It is a comfy fit for your bottom.

Additionally since leather is a more expensive choice, it is often a sign of prestige and luxury. For those whose car is a reflection on their being or their status, leather offers a sense of class to the driver.

The additional cost of leather upholstery you pay up front can be a benefit when it is time to sell your vehicle.

Typically, leather brings a greater resale value.

Oh! And there is nothing better than the distinct rich aroma of new leather interior in a car, truck or SUV.

Yippee! Rawhide!

The downside of leather...

Fuel Prices Steer Consumers Toward Compact Cars

In Australia, the Holden Commodore was dethroned in 2011 as the continent's top-selling car for the past 15 years by the Mazda 3. And in the U.S., Ford announced that their world car, the Ford Focus, had become one of their top-selling vehicles. These are both fuel-efficient cars. It's apparent that people who buy a car nowadays have fuel efficiency foremost in their minds. Coinciding with this is the news that in the first quarter of 2012, fuel prices have breached record levels all around the world. A recent news article even revealed the results of a study which showed families eating less at mid to upscale restaurants just to accommodate their fuel budget.

Consumers are not abandoning their cars yet, and most cannot just switch to lifestyles that take a car out of the equation. We are too dependent on cars for that. Fortunately for people who need to buy a car, manufacturers from Toyota to Mercedes, even Porsche, have responded by offering much more fuel-efficient cars and, in Mercedes' case, even hydrogen-powered cars. So, we can rest easy that cars are here to stay. What is clearly evident though is that big thirsty V8s will disappear as a mainstream engine and that alternative fuels and technologies will combine to make gasoline a less critical factor in a car owner's budget.

Although people who buy a car for everyday commuting couldn't care less, it's noteworthy that even BMW, has downsized the engines on all their flagship performance cars like the new M5. The 2012 BMW M5 now has a V8, compared to its predecessor which was equipped with a V10 derived from the company's Formula 1 racing efforts. While having an output of 500 horsepower, the V10 was not one of the more fuel-efficient cars. Most owners described it as being a pig when it came to guzzling fuel. The latest M5 sports 560 horsepower yet consumes 40% less fuel. Even the Ford Explorer, which had an average fuel consumption rating of 17 MPG when it first came out is now rated at 28 MPG. At the other end of the spectrum, diesels are making a comeback and giving electric vehicles a run for their money. The benefit of the newest crop of diesel over EVs is that you don't need to hunt for charging stations and the performance of the latest diesel variants rival that of gasoline engines from just a decade back. As a fuel-efficient car, diesels have a lot going for them nowadays.

The Best Hybrid Cars - Why You Should Buy Them

The recent Political unrest in the Middle East have had a cascading effect on the global fuel supply and prices. The rising fuel prices have only added to the average consumers' woes, compelling them to resort to the use of fuel-efficient vehicles. To provide respite to consumers, the auto industry has introduced several hybrid cars, which are not only fuel efficient but environmentally friendly as well. These cars come equipped with a gas as well as an electric engine that allows you to alternate between the two. This unique trait makes it a very cost effective proposition for the average consumer. In this article, you will find 5 reasons why you should choose hybrid cars over fuel-powered vehicles.

1. Decreased expenditure - When you invest in a hybrid car, you no longer need to deal with the burden of fuel expenditure. These cars come fitted with two engines fueled by gas and electricity. When the gas supply in your car gets exhausted, it automatically switches to its electric power backup. The presence of an alternative source of energy in your car significantly cuts down on your fuel expenditure and you are able to save a lot of money in the process.

2. Better mileage and performance - Hybrid cars were designed with the objective of delivering a better output and mileage for the consumer. This is made possible by the use of a combined propulsion system in the steering mechanism of the cars. These cars are especially useful if you commute less than 40 miles a day, in that case you could save immensely on your gas consumption by utilizing the electric engine instead.

5 Hassle Free Steps to Buying a New Car

For most of us, buying a new car can be quite a daunting task. As consumers we are always on the lookout for the best deals, the best mileage, the utility factor and lastly a durable model that will serve our requirements for a good number of years. Given the surfeit of deals that are available in the market, there is always an underlying doubt at the back of our minds - have we chosen wisely? In order to allay all your boding anxieties we have come up with some hassle free ways of buying a new car. By following the tips mentioned below, you will learn to choose wisely the most suitable car for you and your family.

1. Devise a budget for yourself - Most people tend to make the mistake of going to the showroom and attempt to buy cars that are well beyond their means. This often results in embarrassment as although your heart might desire a Cadillac but your wallet can only afford a Civic. Take some time to evaluate your current financial status and accordingly come up with a suitable budget for your new car.

2. Decide on the model - Once you have arrived at a realistic budget figure in your mind, the next thing to do would be to decide on the make and model of the new car you intend on purchasing. Take advantage of the free test drives offered at your local dealerships to help you select the most suitable model. After selecting the car of your choice, you should proceed to choose the right trim level or package that is most appropriate for you.

5 Tips On How To Buy A Fuel Efficient Car

With the global economy on the downswing, there has been a sporadic rise in fuel prices over the last couple of years. According to industry experts, this trend seems to show no signs of abating and will continue, given the increasing demand for fuel. Hence, if you are planning on investing in a new car, it would make perfect sense to settle for a vehicle that consumes less fuel and delivers more mileage. Buying a fuel efficient car would prove to be a cost effective investment in the long run as it would help you conserve a lot of money in fuel costs. In this article, we have mentioned 5 tips that will help you make an informed choice in buying a fuel efficient car.

1. The size and engine - Take a moment to consider your daily travel requirements. Is the car meant for personal use or does your family also avail of it? If they do, then you should take into account the number of co-passengers that would be traveling along with you daily. In this regard, you should figure out the ideal boot space you need from your prospective car. You should also consider whether it would be a viable vehicle for making a short or long commute. All these factors would collectively determine the size of your car and its engine.

2. The model and make - Most of us have our own favorite car brands. However, it is best not to be biased by our individual predilections and stress on the utility and cost factor instead. Also consider how often you would require the use of special features such as two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. In this case always opt for the former as two-wheel drive vehicles are more fuel-efficient.

Why Run A Vehicle History Report?

Why run a vehicle history report? There is a lot of great information available to you through a vehicle history report.

If you are looking to buy a used vehicle there are many advantages of knowing the history of the vehicle. You want to know where it's been and any problems it may have had along the way.

Let's face it...

Buying someone else's vehicle is an experience that can bring up some fear and doubt.

A vehicle history report can give you peace of mind and put your concerns to rest.

Here are some of the things you can learn from running the VIN (vehicle Identification Number) through a history check using such services as Carfax or AutoCheck.

You can discover if the vehicle was in a prior accident and what damage was caused because of that damage. In addition because insurance companies can determine a vehicle "totaled" at their discretion, there is a possibility that the owner could still fix the vehicle and resell it.