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Car Buying Tips: Feeling Used

Every year over ten million vehicles pass through U.S. auto dealer auctions. This decades old free market has always been dependent on you, the consumer. Dealers will bid up those models that are popular with buyers, while those with a limited audience are stuck in what’s commonly called ‘wholesale heaven’. This is a place where… Read This Article

How We Figure Out The Score

Back in 2012 when we first launched the Long-term Quality Index site, Steve and I worked on putting together the Quality Index Rating (QIR). We made it simple. 50 was the average score which was then a Chevy Impala. 100 represented the best model which turned out to be the Toyota Land Cruiser,  and those that hovered… Read This Article

Brougham of the Week: 1992 Cadillac Fleetwood

Time for a new feature here on Dashboard Light, to appear promptly whenever I feel like it: Brougham of the Week! In this most excellent new venue, I shall report on a Brougham-type motor car that is for sale and which someone should snap up should that someone be within, oh, say 50 miles of… Read This Article

What Is ‘Quality’ When It Comes To A Used Car?

  Twenty-five years ago, a book called, The Machine That Changed The World, offered a roundhouse dope slap to those automakers who were just preaching the quality gospel. Today I am honored to offer a new long-term quality study, over two years in the making and over 1,200,000 data samples strong, that is answering this… Read This Article

Auction Day: Freeze Your Vital Organs Off Edition

A half-inch of snow and Tecumseh Sherman have only one thing in common. They can completely destroy the South without any resistance. Georgia simply doesn’t have any plows. You want to get from Point A to Point B when it snows here? You better have a toboggan or an incredibly high tolerance for idiots who… Read This Article

How To Buy A Great Used Car: The Inspection

Most mechanics that perform inspections fall into three categories: The Shadetree Hobbyist The Used Car Nazi The Independent Professional   Shade-tree mechanics are hobbyists on limited budgets. Due to the lack of equipment and experience, they can only take a small dive into figuring out the true condition of your vehicle.  The shade-tree mechanic will… Read This Article

The Test Drive

Some guides offer 72 things you absolutely should do to a car before buying it. The problem is many folks can’t remember even 7 things at any given moment. It’s intimidating to meet a stranger and figure out the dozens of little things that may indicate big trouble. Such as identifying uneven tire wear that… Read This Article

Why Most Used Cars Should Be Sold As-Is

  Last Friday I sold a 15 year old Pontiac Grand Am for all of $2000. Yesterday I got a call back from the new owner. New Owner: “My car won’t start.” Me: Are any of the lights turning on? New Owner: “No. The car is dead. Hey, are you going to pay for whatever’s… Read This Article

A Gearhead’s Night Before Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas And my kettle was a boil Cuz I was in the ice cold Changing my motor oil   I bought the quarts cheap And the filter was a Pronto Thanks to end of year closeouts At Advance and Rockauto   Two dollars a quart And a dollar a filter Those… Read This Article

Hammer Time! Financing An Overgrown Kid

Customer on phone: “What about that silver sports car with the stickshift you got on your lot?” Steve: “That’s $4500” C: “Are you financing it?” S: “Nope. That one’s a cash deal fella’ but I have finance companies that will usually work with you to get the car bought. Is this for you or a… Read This Article

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