Cincinnati Cars: Lemons Make Good Tea…Not Cars

You’ve heard everyone talk about them at one time or another. We’ve even see a few come into our Superior Automotive service departments and we hope you never have the misfortune of owing one. The Lemon. They are rare, but they do exist. A lemon is that car, truck or SUV that you just can’t get running right. When you fix one problem, another rears its ugly head. The sad part is that it may look gorgeous on the outside, but it’s what’s under the hood that determines whether, or not the car will be a money pit. Here are a few tips that I look for when taking that potential used car for a test drive:

1) Pull out the oil dipstick while the engine is running – DO NOT rev the engine! Watch the dipstick’s hole as the engine idles; if you hear or see any air, gas or oil escaping the dipstick holder it means the rings are worn. A slight escape of air from the dipstick is the first stage of ring failure which is not a serious problem but will get worse until gas and oil start escaping the dipstick holder. The result is less power and leaking oil in the pump.

2) Look at the exhaust pipe while the car is running. White smoke from the exhaust indicates there’s engine oil remaining on the bore that the rings haven’t scraped off, which means oil could be leaking. Black smoke means the fuel injectors are dirty on a diesel engine.

3) Remove the radiator cap and check for oil. Oil in the water also means a cracked cylinder head.

4) Have a pre-purchase inspection performed! A compression test should also be done for failing rings on any used vehicle. This test requires a trained mechanic because of the equipment used and the test is complicated. The readings must be done ‘dry’ and ‘wet’, and it even depends on if you are above or below sea level.

The bottom line is, “Do your Homework!”

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to see and Superior Automotive Group location and take a look at our great selection of pre-owned.

Cincinnati Car Dealer: Are You Prepared For A Breakdown…In The Dark?

All of us here at this Cincinnati car dealer group, know  that there’s nothing more frustrating than being stranded after a breakdown, or a flat. Throw in pitch black darkness, and now you have a frustrating situation mixed with absolute danger. How do you alert on-coming traffic that you are there? For the sake of argument, let’s just assume that you are a prepared traveler and have a few road flares in your trunk “somewhere”.  Road safety lighting can be invaluable. Of course I hope you never have to use them, but if you do you’ll want the most noticeable lighting you can get…that is not necessarily traditional flares. Ever heard of Duroflares? I haven’t, until today. The unit is roughly four-inch-square of aluminum with an LED tinted red or blue, it’s waterproof and can support up to 20,000 pounds. In other words, it would take a loaded semi to crush them.

Powered by a rechargeable lithium ion cell, the Duroflares come in a box that acts as both a charger and the on/off switch: take them out, they come on, plug them back in, they turn off. They’re a little on the pricey side at $180, but if you spend a lot of time on the side of the road these might be for you.

Pretty cool, huh? What do you think? Is your roadside worth $180? Would you carry these? The Superior Auto Group is always concerned about driver safety. If you have any other products or suggestions you can share with the rest of our readers, please do.

Cincinnati: How important is the air intake system in your new or used car

The safety, security, and performance of your new car Superior Auto Group car is crucial if you desire to travel without fault.  In order to ensure that each of these elements are at their highest quality you must ensure that you are constantly maintaining every element of your new car or truck.

The problem is that many people will neglect to follow up on common vehicle problems unless these problems hinder the operation  of their vehicle.  This is the worse thing you can do.  A problem which may seem small right now could erupt into an even larger scale problem that could ultimately cost you a great deal more money than if you would have corrected the issue when it first was revealed.

One problem that many people attempt to avoid dealing with is issues with their vehicles air intake system.  If you remember one thing about this article it should be this:

“The air intake mechanism in your vehicle can’t be ignored!  Ignoring this element could cause additional damage to your vehicle and could also render it useless.”

What Can Happen If I Don’t Repair Or Replace My Damaged Air Intake System?

Deposits can accumulate on air intake valves, fuel injectors, and combustion chambers.  When this happens, your vehicle could lose power and be rendered useless.  You could also experience a misfire, knocking, or a rough idle.   Finally, you may have avery hard time starting your car.

What Do I Do If I Am Experiencing Issues With My Air Intake System?

If you are experiencing issues with your vehicles air intake system you should immediately stop driving the vehicle and should immediately correct the issue.  You can attempt to clean the air intake mechanism on your own or you can take your vehicle to a trained specialist who can repair and clean or replace your vehicles air intake mechanism for you.

The good news is that a new air intake system is inexpensive and can generally be replaced with little effort.  Even if you choose to carry out this task on your own, you will quickly discover that it is a very simplistic process.  Additionally, you will quickly be pleased with the manner in which your vehicle will operate once you have cleaned, repaired, or replaced your damage system.

Here’s a fun little video to show you how easy it is to clean your new car’s air intake system: (Yes, I know the steering wheel is on the wrong side of the car.)

If you have any more questions or need a little assistance, just see any Superior Auto Group location.

Watch for Flooded cars Flooding the Cincinnati car Market

While some parts of the United States were dry as a bone this Summer and Spring, the North and East got some significant rainfall. Catastrophic in some cases causing flooding. While the water will eventually  receded, much of the damage the heavy rains have caused will linger for  months, or even years. If you are in the market for a used car, you are going to need to know how  to spot a vehicle that may have been through a flood.

The fact of the matter is that flood damage can be hard to spot, but it can permeate the vehicle and cause ongoing problems for the rest of the car’s service life. Flooding will also ruin electronics, contaminate lubricants, and threaten mechanical  systems, many times without leaving outward signs. It can take months for corrosion to find its way to the car’s computer systems or  air-bag controllers.

The really scary part is that flood damaged vehicles can be and often are moved out of states where the damage occurred, and resold in another state. The  reason is that some states make it easier to re-title a car that has  been written off as a total loss, a process known as title washing.  Those cars can end up with a clean bill of health, with no indication  they were declared wrecks in an earlier life.

So, how do you spot flood damage? What should you look for? Check out the video below:

From Consumer Reports:

If you’re shopping for a car, make sure to check with your state’s  Department of Motor Vehicles to see what the laws are regarding  re-titling used vehicles. Websites like Carfax can help learn a  vehicle’s history, but our experience indicates they don’t always tell  the full story. Consider a free VINCheck from the National Insurance Crime Bureau or the federal government’s National Motor Vehicle Title Information Systems database. (Read: “Don’t rely on used-car-history reports.”)

My advice is to have any used car inspected by a trusted  mechanic before you buy it. And here are some tips to help you look for  telltale signs yourself.

  1. Look under the carpets to see if they are wet, damp, or muddy.
  2. Check the seat-mounting screws to see if there is any evidence that  they have been removed. To fully dry the carpets, the seats must be  removed–not something that would occur with as a part of normal  maintenance.
  3. Inspect the lights. Lights are expensive to replace, and a water  line may still show in the housing on the lens or the reflector.
  4. Inspect the car in difficult-to-clean places, such as the gaps  between panels in the trunk and under the hood. Water-borne mud and  debris may still cling in these places.
  5. Look for mud or debris on the bottom edges of brackets or panels where it couldn’t naturally settle from the air.
  6. Look at the heads of any unpainted, exposed screws under the dashboard; they can show signs of rust.
  7. Check the rubber drain plugs under the car and on the bottoms of  doors. If they look as if they have been removed recently, it might have  been done to drain floodwater.
  8. If you need to dig deeper, remove a door panel to see if there is a water mark on the inside of it.

Another thing to keep in mind is that if you are from an area impacted by a flood and have a car for sale that was not damaged, buyers may  still suspect that it was. You may want to consider having a Superior mechanic inspect the car  before you sell it so that you can easily show potential buyers with a clean  bill of health.

Buying A Used Car or Truck in Cincinnati? Here Are Some Questions To Ask.

When you are ready to buy a used car or truck you should take a list of questions with you. Here are a few good ones to remember.

Buying a used car or truck in Cincinnati does not have to be scary. You want the best deal and little to no accidents on the car, and you hope the previous owner loved it right? There’s nothing wrong with asking a lot of questions. You should feel 100% comfortable about your purchase. Don’t be shy… Ask away!

Where did the vehicle come from? This is the first question that you should ask. You don’t want to have a car that has had 2 or 3 owners. Simply because the more times the vehicle has changed hands means possibly more problems that could arise later. Try to stick with a vehicle that has only had one owner. Now you could get a pretty good deal on a car that’s been owned by a few people but why take the risk in inheriting problems with the car? Most dealerships are familiar with a car fax report and you should ask them if one is available. A car fax report will show you the entire history of the life of that vehicle.

What are you willing to sell this car for? This question automatically tells the dealer that you are wanting a better deal than what’s on the sticker. Not that anyone who doesn’t ask this question isn’t wanting a good deal but this question helps. You understand that the price on the car is the highest price that the dealer can get for the vehicle. Which is a reasonable price. However if you are wanting a better price they now know.

How much “work” has this car had? Has this vehicle been in an accident and if so how bad was it? Trust me you want the answer to be NO. It’s true that some of these cars can be in serious accidents, and dealerships have amazing mechanics that can make these vehicles look brand new. If you decide to purchase a car that has been in an accident you need to prepare yourself for the possibility of having issues with it down the road.

Can you take it to your mechanic for an inspection? You should have your mechanic look at the car you are interested in before making the purchase. Even if you don’t have a mechanic, you can find someone that’s friendly and local to take a look at it for pretty cheap. The biggest reason is this, if the dealership tells you no then you now know this dealer is possibly hiding something and you can not take the risk of buying a used car that you can not have inspected yourself. Just be smart, there are no excuses that should make you change your mind at that point.

Is this a certified used vehicle? 

“The only reason a car is ever listed ‘as is’ is because the dealership has looked at the car and decided the car will cost more to repair than they can possibly make on the deal, so you should always make sure a warranty is available. If one isn’t, chances are there is something wrong with the car that the dealer doesn’t want you to know about.” From Shane Smith and

What are certified used cars?

It’s good to ask questions so you are aware of everything. Can you guys think of anything we forgot? If so, let us know… We are here for you!

Help yourself avoid being ripped off at the mechanic

It is never a good thing when your vehicle suffers some kind of failure and you know that you have to take it to a mechanic to get it fixed.   Not only are you going to be without your car for a short period of time, but you know that you’ll have to deal with the people at the repair shop.  It’s happened to all of us at some point.  You take your car in for one problem and are told that there is a long list of other things that need to be fixed on your car.

Well I found a great list from the National Motorist Association about how to avoid being ripped off:

1) Always get a second opinion.

As with shopping for a car, rush decisions when it comes to authorizing repair work can come back to haunt you — especially if your car has developed a sudden problem and you feel panicky about getting it fixed as soon as possible. That can lead to a hasty decision — and possibly, paying too much. A dishonest shop may even try to play on your fears by over-stating the dangers of not getting the car fixed “right away.” It may be that the car does need work; but don’t let yourself be pressured into anything. A hard sell is often a dishonest sell.

Getting a second opinion before you authorize any work will protect your interests in two ways:

First, if both shops independently agree on the nature of the problem, you can feel pretty confident that the problem has been identified correctly.

On the other hand, if one shop tells you the car needs the entire transmission replaced while the other says the problem is a minor electronic glitch, you may have just dodged a massive rip-off. It might be time for a third opinion!

The other upshot to getting a second estimate is you’ll get a better feel for what constitutes a fair price for the work. If the second shop’s quote is much higher, you can go back to the first one — or ask the second shop why their estimate is so much higher.

If the estimates they give you are close to each other, that’s a good sign the price is probably fair.

2) Pre-shop repair shops.

For the same reason it’s good to research the credentials and reputation of the doctor you’re about to trust with your physical health, it’s smart to research the credentials and check the reputation of a repair shop before you take your vehicle in to be worked on.

The two main things to look into are a history of consumer complaints (check with your local Better Business Bureau as well as the state/county office of consumer regulatory affairs) and whether the technicians are factory-authorized or Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certified. Such technicians have undergone formal training and passed specific tests establishing their knowledge of your car’s various systems. This will decrease the odds of having your car worked on by someone who just keeps pulling parts — and handing you bills.

Most shops that employ ASE-certified techs will display the blue ASE symbol and the techs themselves will usually wear their ASE certification on their uniforms. (See for more information about ASE.) Dealerships that are factory certified will display this fact prominently, too. The upshot to factory-backed service is not just better odds that the person working on your car knows what he’s doing. If he doesn’t — or you have an issue — you can pursue it up the food chain to the manufacturer, who has a definite interest in making sure its dealerships and service people treat customers honestly.

It’s also a very good idea to ask current customers of the shop (or dealership) you’re thinking about taking your car to about their experiences. Most shops will have a waiting room and usually there are customers inside waiting to pick up their vehicle. You can casually ask them if they’re happy with the shop, the work done and so on. If people are unhappy they will usually be quite ready to tell you — and the reverse is just as true.

3) Trust (But Verify).

It’s not unheard of for a dishonest shop to charge a customer for work they didn’t do — or for parts they didn’t replace. To guard against this, you can discreetly mark the part — for example, put a chalk mark on the left front tire if you’ve taken the car in to have all four tires rotated.

Then, when you pick your car up, you can check to see whether the shop actually did rotate your tires. Similarly, check the dipstick after an oil change to make sure you got what you paid for (fresh oil) and, if you can, mark the oil filter (before you go in for the oil change) so that you can be certain a new one was actually installed.

You may have heard people recommend asking to see the parts that have been replaced as evidence the work was actually done, but it’s not hard for a dishonest shop to just pick up an old part from the junk pile out back and present it to you.

The only way to be sure is to mark the part yourself — before it’s removed — then check to see whether the part you’re shown has that mark on it.

4) Don’t accept “estimate overages”.

Your final bill should always be within 10 percent of the estimate; never tolerate a final repair bill that’s significantly higher than what you were quoted unless you specifically agreed to something after the estimate was written. It’s neither ethical nor (usually) legal for a shop to charge you for additional work you didn’t specifically authorize.

If you do receive a bill that’s significantly more than the original estimate, contest it.

If it’s a dealership, ask to speak with the service manager and if that doesn’t work, the owner of the store — and from there, complain directly to the affiliated automaker.

If it’s an independent shop, try the owner.

If you don’t reach an acceptable understanding, head straight for your local town/city’s government offices and lodge a complaint with the consumer protection department.

It may take a little time (and hassle) to get it all sorted out — but that’s preferable to paying too much, or paying for work you didn’t authorize.

So if you need to take you car in, use these steps, or come to people you can trust at Superior Cars.

Hey Cincinnati, get some shine with proper car waxing

In the spring and summer months, weekends are usually spent washing the car.  While regular washes are a great way to keep your car looking great as well as protecting your exterior from damage, it may not be enough.  Waxing your car every few months is another way to keep your car looking great, and it will also help in fighting off the elements.

If you are about to wax your car, you should first read some of these tips from Yahoo! to make the job easier and get the most out of your wax.

Once you’ve selected a wax, here are some tips to make waxing easier:

1. Always work in a shaded area. Elevated paint temperatures cause waxes to dry too quickly. this may cause hazing or streaking.

2. Apply waxes using as thin a coating as possible.

3. Remove wax and buff using clean, dry terry towels.

Tightly woven material (like diapers) can trap particles between itself and the paint and cause fine scratches. New microfiber towels like the Magic Towel work unbelievably well as a final wipe towel. I keep one Magic Towel just for use as a final wipe towel and honestly believe that it creates a better shine.

4. If you have difficulty buffing the wax to a uniform shine, switch to a clean wipe towel.

5. Hazing, streaking, and uneven gloss can result from using too much wax or waxing a surface that’s too hot. If the gloss is uneven, mist the waxed surface with distilled water and re-wipe with a fresh towel. (A spray bottle with distilled water and 1/2 teaspoon of Isopropyl alcohol is a great solution for removing problem streaks and cloudy patches.) Eagle One Wet Wipe & Shine, and  Eimann Fabrik Clear Pearl, also work wonders on problem cars with streaking and uneven gloss. Simply mist the surface with one of these products and wipe with a clean towel.

So next time the weather is great outside and you want to make your car look great, follow those waxing tips and you’ll be sure to have one of the best looking cars on the block.  If you regularly wax your car, what are some of the secrets you have?  Let me know in the comments!

Cincinnati, when was the last time you changed your oil?

At risk of sounding like your Father the day you got your first set of car keys:

“This is a machine. Machines need oil. CHANGE YOUR OIL!

Here’s what happens, your filter becomes clogged with contaminants overtime as your oil breaks down. Regular oil changes can significantly increase the life of your automobile’s engine. On top of the oil losing viscosity, over time it can collect tiny metal shavings that eventually either clog up the oil filter or continue to circulate through the engine, marring cylinder walls and other components. Old, contaminated oil may also plug up the screen on the oil pump, reducing its integrity. Now, the actual miles and or months that you need to have your oil and filter changed in your new or used car will solely depend on not only the manufacturers suggestions, but all in your own driving habits. Consult your service technician for the actual miles if you have misplaced your owner’s manual.

If i were a betting man, I’d bet it’s been a while since you’ve changed your oil. In the words of dear old Dad, “CHANGE YOUR OIL!”

Are You In The Market For A Convertible? When Is The Best Time To Buy?

As summer comes to a close you’re wondering why you didn’t purchase that convertible you wanted at the beginning of summer aren’t you? You had dreams of riding around with the top down, your hair blowing in the wind. It was just out of your price range and there was nothing you could do about it. So you thought….

A used convertible is what you are looking for and now is the time to start looking. Why? Well, when you are buying at “peak” times in the spring and summer you are going to be paying way more than you would if you were looking in the fall and winter. If you purchase your used convertible in Cincinnati in December chances are you won’t be able to take the top down and let your hair blow through the wind without catching frost bite. If you can hold steady through the winter then when summer comes around again you have your new convertible to cruise the streets in and you saved a ton of money!

Keep this in mind this winter when the demand for the convertible you wanted goes down…. So will the price!

Need A Car But Have Bad Credit? No Need To Worry!

Just because your credit is less than stellar does not mean that you can’t get a new car. In fact you really shouldn’t worry all that much about it. Russell over at Car Loan Pal explains how bad credit car loans are very prevalent in today’s society. Our economy isn’t at it’s best but there are still things you can do. We know you want a new or used car and trust me you don’t need to be so stressed out about it.

So you need a car but have bad credit? Don’t worry; bad credit car loans are highly prevalent in today’s world so you are not the only person in this boat as nearly 25% of Americans have issues with their credit. As long as you prepare yourself and follow the right course of action, you should be able to purchase the car you want as well as receive a bad credit car loan.

As I just mentioned, preparation is the key. Your first course of action should be to review your credit history so that you can ensure that there are no errors. There are many free credit websites out there you can use to help you.

The next important step to obtaining a bad credit car loan is to determine how much you can truly afford to pay for your car. It is absolutely essential that you be honest with yourself about how much you can afford and don’t let your eyes get bigger than your wallet. You should have a number in mind for how much you can afford for both a down payment and monthly payments.

Now that you have taken care of the preparation, you must be prepared to provide proof of employment and income so that the lender can have all of the information in front of them, which will facilitate your bad credit car loan. The lender may not always ask for these documents but it’s better to be safe than sorry when applying for a bad credit car loan.

Once you have followed the aforementioned steps, you must take extra steps in the future to ensure a clean credit history. You must make it a priority to make on-time payments for your bad credit car loan so that there are no bad marks on your credit history. You will also want to avoid car title loans or any other type of loan for that matter in the event that you need cash. It is much more logical to consider a refinance car loan.

If you still have questions about bad credit car loans, you can find answers and other great information on the blog and through other mediums such as forums and reviews of companies. You can also get a lot of help through loan companies. Although your credit may be a little worse than you would prefer, these companies still want to be able to make loans work since that is how they make money so they will certainly be willing to discuss bad credit car loans with you.

So take a deep breath and don’t worry! You can still get a car.