The Importance of Vehicle Inspection in Searching for Used Cars

Man inspecting a used car

Used Cars: Tips on vehicle inspection

When searching for used cars, the process can be extensive, and rightfully so. You want to make sure that you are getting the highest quality car for the most reasonable price. With that comes the necessity for quality assurance, as searches for used cars are typically done with third-party dealers and sellers. One aspect is getting a proper vehicle inspection and The Auto Shoppe blog wants to help walk you through the process, as well as giving you tips on how to make that process easier.

Why do I Need a Vehicle Inspection?

Vehicle inspections are very standard exercises, obviously, because you need them to get a car licensed. So, regardless of what you read here, you will need to get your new vehicle inspected. However, inspections are also useful in the buying process when searching for used cars. Buying a car used is always riskier than buying a car new, simply because you are getting a car that was already owned by a consumer and driven for a given period of time. When you buy a new car, it is fresh off the assembly line with no wear and tear on it and it usually comes with a shiny dealer warranty

Buyers don’t get that with used cars. Before you buy a used car, you have to make sure that it is in good condition and worth the price. And unless you are a mechanic, that isn’t always easy to do. So a vehicle inspection is not only used as a means to get your car licensed, but also to determine if it is a car that you should be buying in the first place.

How I Should Get a Potential Car Inspected

The most important thing to remember when getting a prospective new car inspected is that you are doing for the sake of the car and your, not simply to get it to pass inspection. Typically, sellers for used cars aren’t also auto repair shops, so it is smart to get an inspection from a third-party mechanic. This helps to ensure that your car is at all systems go and that you are purchasing a car that is healthy and dependable.

If you have a regular mechanic, this would be a good time to utilize them. It’s very easy to inform them that you are looking for used cars and that you would like an independent inspection before you purchase. The Missouri state inspection fee for cars caps out at just $12, so this is an inexpensive step you can take to making sure you are purchasing the highest quality car. Most dealers will allow you to get an independent inspection and you can do this during an extended test drive.

Let The Auto Shoppe Help With Your Used Car Needs

Making sure you get a reliable and durable car is a stressful ordeal and we want to make it easier. If you are purchasing a used car and want an independent inspection, bring the vehicle down to The Auto Shoppe and let us make sure you are getting a square deal. If you are still in the market for a used car, we can also help you with that too. Our selection of used cars is one of the finest in the midwest and our team wants to help you find your dream car today. For more information, contact us at (417) 889-6555 or visit our website.

Our Auto Mechanic’s Advice on If You Need New Brakes

Auto Mechanic check vehicle brakes

Auto Mechanic Advice: Do I Need New Brakes

Even if your auto mechanic greets you with a friendly smile, the shop is never the place that a car owner wants to be. We all know the stress and the sudden weight in your wallet that a visit to the auto mechanic can cause, including The Auto Shoppe. Unfortunately, in the life of your vehicle, trips to the shop are inevitable and one of the most common repairs all car owners will face are brake replacements. There isn’t a piece of equipment more important to the safety of your vehicle’s occupants as the brakes and The Auto Shoppe blog wants to help keep the ones you love safe by helping you determine when you need new breaks.

Warning Signs from Your Auto Mechanic

Often when I’m driving in the rain or snow and I hit a steep hill, my brain wanders into thinking what would happen if the breaks of my vehicle cut right now. This isn’t an uncommon fear, and while brakes rarely just cut out from under you, they do give you warning signs as they begin to age and need replacing.

These warning signs will often present themselves to you, via sight or sound. Namely, sound is a very helpful tool in self-diagnosing brake problems, because it is often the first external sign given by your car to you that the brakes are laboring. High-pitched screeching when applying the brakes is a tell-tale sign that you need to take a look at your brakes. If you are hearing it regularly, you should schedule an appointment with your auto mechanic sooner rather than later. If it isn’t yet regular, go ahead and check your brake pads yourself by looking at the pads through the spokes of your wheel. If you see less than ¼ an inch of pad, you should get your brakes inspected and possibly replaced.

Some other warning signs include if your brake pedal vibrates when applying the brakes and if your vehicle pulls to one side or the other when braking, as well as a lack of responsiveness from your brake pedal when braking.

How Much Is a Brake Repair Going to Cost Me?

This is a very nuanced question with, as you would expect, a very wide variety of answers. A simple brake line repair can sometimes run under $100, while an extensive brake job can run anywhere from $300 to $1,000, depending on the price point of each axle and the severity of the problem.

Typically, your average brake pad replacement will break around $150 per axle, so as is true with most cases of wheel and/or tire repair, the cost completely depends on how many pads are affected. As was stated at the beginning of this section, the cost question is a very nuanced one because very rarely are two brake jobs the same. The price of having an auto mechanic replace your brakes will vary wildly, depending on the extent of the repair needed.

The Auto Shoppe Wants to Help

Brake repairs are a very serious and stressful aspect of car maintenance and should be handled as such. The auto mechanics at The Auto Shoppe are here to help ease you through the process and get you back on the road safely at the most competitive pricing.

The Auto Shoppe’s selection of Used Trucks for Sale

Used Trucks for Sale at The Auto Shoppe

Used Trucks for Sale at the Auto Shoppe

Searching for a used car can be a difficult, especially if you are looking for a durable and dependable truck. Finding used trucks for sale is hard enough without considering quality, price and even location. Fortunately for you, The Auto Shoppe blog reader, The Auto Shoppe has a wide selection of used trucks for sale in our garage. Let us help you get back on the road.

Why search for used trucks for sale at The Auto Shoppe

Since 1989, The Auto Shoppe has proudly served the people of Springfield, Missouri, providing quality vehicles to people all over the midwest. Our exceptional sales and service team is dedicated to finding you and your family a vehicle that is not only affordable and dependable, but also desirable. We want to put you in the truck of your dreams.

To do that, we will help walk you through all the used trucks for sale at The Auto Shoppe, whether it be online on our easy-to-navigate inventory page or in person, Monday through Saturday. We boast a selection of used trucks with years as far back as 2006 and as new as 2016, while not having a truck that has eclipsed 120,000 miles.

We are also committed to getting you into your dream truck while keeping the venture financially viable. We proudly offer financing as a car dealership that will help get you into your new truck today with less of a financial burden on your wallet. At The Auto Shoppe, we make our money in sales, not in loaning or financing as a bank does, so we can often help find a financing solution that meets your needs better.

Used Truck Selection at The Auto Shoppe

The Auto Shoppe’s qualification for being your used truck supplier goes beyond just our character and service. The Auto Shoppe inventory of used trucks for sale is one of the largest and most diversified in the area, giving you more options and competitive pricing. We offer a wide range of trucks, from a 2006 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 at just over $11,000, to a 2016 Toyota Tacoma SR5, starting at $32,000.

We feature Ford, Chevy, Toyota, Dodge and GMC trucks, that range from 22,000 miles to just under 120,000 miles. We also offer a Carfax report with each truck, as well as listing all relevant equipment options for each truck.

Let The Auto Shoppe Put You In Your New Truck Today

The Auto Shoppe’s inventory of used trucks for sale is one of the best in the midwest and we are committed to putting you in your dream truck today. Contact us at (417) 889-6555 or visit our website for more information.

How Rotating Your Tires Can Prevent Auto Repairs

Auto repair mechanic rotates tires

Avoiding Auto Repair: Tire Rotation and Balance

One thing that makes auto repair so difficult and stressful is its unpredictability. We are all at the mercy of our vehicle, for better or for worse. However, the best way to avoid inconvenient and expensive auto repair is to preventive care, such as regularly rotating your tires. Tire balancing is one of the easiest (and cheapest) preventive care measures you can take, but it also has very real money saving potential. The Auto Shoppe blog is here to fill you in on when and why you should take rotating your tires seriously.

How Does Rotating My Tires Prevent Auto Repair?

While tire balance remains one of the easiest and least expensive ways to keep your vehicle up to snuff, it is also an oft-forgotten tactic. This is in large part due to cars not having a light that flashes at you when it’s time to get your tires rotated, as you do when you need an oil change or air in your tires. Despite this, tire rotation keeps your car healthy–and saves you money–in several ways.

First off, rotating your tires extends the life of your tires, saving you from having to buy new tires more often. Think of this like a Jenga tower. If you continue to remove blocks from only one side, the whole tower will collapse, even if the other side was completely intact. Failing to rotate your tires and allowing excessively uneven wear can do just that and force you to purchase new tires prematurely.

On top of keeping your tires alive longer, rotating your tires also helps maintain fuel economy and keeps your vehicle riding smoothly, reducing potential handling issues.

When Should I Get My Tires Rotated?

This question is often the golden question when it comes to all things auto repair. If you are reading this, it is very unlikely that you are a mechanic, which means that you aren’t privy to the ebb and flow of car maintenance. While many of these questions are complicated, the question of how often you should get your tires rotated isn’t. Most tire manufacturers’ recommendation for tire rotation falls between every 5,000-8,000 miles.

While this is a pretty broad stroke to brush with, it is narrowed with your specific tires. Once you have a pretty good number to go on, you just have to monitor the vitality of your vehicle’s tires, especially as you get closer to the magic mile marker. A good rule of thumb is to get your tires rotated when you get your oil changed because the duration in between tire rotations and oil changes are roughly the same.

Let The Auto Shoppe Help

The goal of all preventative care is to avoid auto repair, which is just what The Auto Shoppe wants to help you do. In fact, we are so invested in keeping your car out of the auto repair shop that we will give you a free brake inspection with your tire rotation. Give us a call today at (417) 889-6555 to schedule an appointment or visit our website for more information.

Should We Be Trading or Selling Used Cars?

Man trading in his used car

Should We Be Trading or Selling Used Cars?

So, it’s time for you to upgrade your car, and the fact that you are visiting this page means you are patrolling the market for used cars. This is an exciting time, no doubt, but it also likely leaves you with a vehicle that you no longer need or perhaps even need gotten rid of to purchase your new car. There are so many variables that play into this process with each individual person, but your options are likely narrowed down to two choices: do you sell your car or do you trade it in? While there isn’t one distinctive answer to this question, The Auto Shoppe blog is here to help you weigh your options.

What Used Cars Are You Getting Rid Of?

When searching for a new car, most people are thinking of the car they want, rather than the car they are getting rid of, and rightly so. Again, this is an exciting time. However, when it comes to getting the most out of your money, the car you are moving on from is just as important. When it comes to selling or trading used cars, you are almost always going to get the most money when you sell the car. However, selling a car is almost always more time consuming and difficult. The margin between convenience and financial viability, however, is completely dependent on the car.

Let’s say you are looking to upgrade from the beater car you have had since high school. Odds are, there isn’t a highly competitive and lucrative market out there for your beater car, making a trade in more financially viable. However, if you are looking to upgrade from your 2015 Chevy Cruze, selling makes more sense.

Value is everything and when it comes to selling or trading, you have to remember that you are trading to a company trying to make a profit, like you. With an old beater, take what you can get and value convenience. With a newer car, the value is in the cash.

What Car Are You Looking to Buy?

This is a variable that is almost completely dependent on whether or not you are searching for used cars. One of the most tedious factors of trading in is that you are at the mercy of the dealer’s selection. Meaning, if you have your eyes on a specific model or make of a car, you can only trade your car in with a dealer that has that model and make.

This is also where you can run into some problems if you aren’t looking for used cars. If you are looking to upgrade to a new car, trade in’s become much more unlikely. After all, you would be hard-pressed to convince a Ford dealership to give you money for a Chevy that they can’t sell on their lot.

How Much Time Are You Wanting to Spend?

Time and effort are valuable things and should not simply be shrugged off. Trading a car is, without a doubt, the easier route. In the best instances, it can take less than five minutes and requires very little paperwork in comparison with selling a car.

Selling, on the other hand, is much more hands on. You have to gauge the market and see if there is even demand for your vehicle, and it is not as if you are a used cars salesman. You likely don’t have the time to actively sell your car, leaving you at the mercy of potential customers finding, showing interest and making an offer on your car, which can take weeks or even months.

Visit the Auto Shoppe and Let Us Help

As this post has noted, there is an endless number of variables when it comes to this decision. Fortunately for you, The Auto Shoppe can both buy your car from you or make a trade with you. We can walk you through your options and help find the best solution for you in your search of used cars. Contact us at (417) 889-6555 to schedule an appointment or visit our website.

The Auto Shoppe: Detail Cleaning Your Interior Like a Pro

Detail Cleaning Your Interior

The Auto Shoppe Explains How to Detail Clean Your Interior

Professional car detailing can be an expensive venture. Unlike washing your vehicle’s exterior, cleaning the interior takes much more time and attention to detail, which is why you can’t just take your vehicle to the gas station with a car wash to detail clean your interior. The Auto Shoppe blog would like to help you out and show you some affordable, do-it-yourself ways to clean your interior.

Start with Your Doors and Your Dash

One of the more frustrating things that comes with interior cleaning happens if you grab the vacuum first. You get your floors looking nice and pretty, only to dirty them right back up as you wipe down door panels, cup holder and other random car extremities, not to mention the dirt and grime that you put back on the floors as you maneuver around the car. A good rule of thumb from yours truly at The Auto Shoppe for cleaning out the interior of your car is to clean from the top down.

Start with your door panels and the dash. Armor All Auto Surface cleaning wipes should do the trick, demanding just $7 from your wallet. Since you aren’t vacuuming until later, feel free to just push those crumbs and dirt particles to the carpet. You’ll get those soon. Don’t forget your console, either.

Onto the Seats

Now, if you have cloth seats, you can go grab the vacuum. If you have leather seats, you can still grab the vacuum, but you could just as easily do this next part with those Armor All wipes as well. Go after all crumbs and particles on the surface, but make sure to get in between the seats as well, where the bottom and the backrest meet. After you have cleared the seats of debris, your seat type will once again determine your next step. If you have leather seats, just grab another Armor All wipe and give it another once over for good measure.

If you have cloth seats, however, it’s a little more complicated. If you are happy with seats free of debris, feel free to move onto the next step. If you are feeling ambitious, The Auto Shoppe suggests you go buy some Turtle Wax Oxy Power Out Upholstery Cleaner. Once again, this won’t hit your wallet hard, costing just under $6. This cleaner comes with a detachable micro-scrubbed brush that allows you to brush out stains with a professional strength formula, all in one stroke.

Finish with Your Carpets

While tidying up your leather and upholstery certainly make your car look good, simply vacuuming will give you the most noticeable change. The Auto Shoppe understands the rigors your vehicle’s carpeting experiences, whether it be from children in the back seat or a college student with Chipotle remains littering the passenger seat. It’s amazing what a simple vacuuming does to the vitality of your interior.

What is even more amazing is that this is the easiest part. Step one is to remove your floor mats and shake all the dirt and grime off of them.You can go ahead and vacuum them while they are out of the car, as well, if they’re carpeted. Now it’s on to the main carpeting. You’re going to want to push your seats as far back as possible, giving you as much surface area as possible before having to go under the seat. Getting under the seat, reaching the corners and getting behind your gas and brake pedals will give you the most trouble, but nothing too extreme.

Let The Auto Shoppe Help

Next time you have questions about your car, the people at The Auto Shoppe would love to help walk you through it. Contact us at 417-889-6555 to schedule an appointment with our auto mechanic or used car dealer, or visit our website for more information.

What You Should be Looking for When Choosing Between Used Car Dealers

Used Car Dealer Lot with Sedans

How to Find Good Used Car Dealers

The process of finding a new car can be daunting, especially when you are buying used. Buying a vehicle used can often be a wild west venture, so it is always important to know what you are looking for, not only in a car but also in a dealer. In today’s post, The Auto Shoppe blog breaks down how to find the best used car dealers

Finding the Right Pricing

The one factor that unifies all car shoppers, new and used alike, is money. While there are many contributors into what car a buyer purchases, they all funnel back to price. With new cars, pricing is pretty simple, with the manufacturer price being mostly set, with less room for negotiating.

Used car shopping is trickier. Pricing is more subjective, and while it probably tougher to sell a used car to a dealer, it is also difficult to find the right price as a buyer. The most important thing you can do as a buyer is be educated. Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds True Market Value are great tools to use when it comes to pricing. Knowing the price points can go a long way into knowing which used car dealers are legit and which are in the wild west.

Finding the Right Service

If you are reading this blog, you probably already know that used car dealers aren’t often known for their customer service skills. However, finding a dealer that does this side of the business well is very important, and not just to the buyer’s feelings. In a market as subjective as used car sales, customer service is a key factor in the dealer-buyer trust barrier.

An easy way to ensure good customer service is to patrol review sites such as Yelp and Cars.com, as well as utilizing the Better Business Bureau. However, you also have to take these reviews with a grain of salt. Look for overlapping patterns, rather than identifying the one Chevy driver who hates Ford and wants to let them know it.

Identifying Used Car Dealers With Your Car

There are several factors that play into finding the right used car dealer, but the best way to filter out the endless Yellow Page entries is to know what your car is. A Seinfeld scene comes to mind, when a used car dealer is attempting to sell George Costanza different makes and models of used cars, but Costanza is set on the ‘89 Volvo.

If you can narrow your search down to a particular vehicle at a particular price, the search for used car dealers becomes less and less stressful. Always factor in what the dealer is doing for you, but you can offset many concerns and struggles by educating yourself and walking into the dealership prepared.

Find Your Used Car at The Auto Shoppe

Fortunately for you, diligent car buyer, the best used car dealers in the area authored this blog. Stop by The Auto Shoppe to browse our selection of used cars and allow our top shelf customer service walk you through the process. Contact us today or visit our website for more information.

How Often Do I Need My Oil Changed? Your Auto Mechanic Explains

Auto Mechanic Changing Oil

Auto Mechanic Advice: How Often Should I get my Oil Changed?

Are you one of the many people who still aren’t entirely sure how often you should be taking your car to the shop for an oil change? Well, you certainly aren’t alone. Luckily for you, our auto mechanic is here to help. There are several factors to consider when determining how frequently your car needs an oil changed, such as how old the car is and how much stress it is put under. Today, on The Auto Shoppe blog, we break those factors down.

New Car, Low Stress

When it comes to new cars, this process will always be easier, regardless of the stress put on the vehicle. As automotive technology continues to evolve, cars are progressively developing stronger automated systems to help you maintain your car with ease. Hypothetically, you should be able to simply wait for the change oil light to flash before taking your vehicle in for an oil change.

If you are only using your vehicle primarily for short commutes, you are even less dependent on, for lack of a better phrase, the eye test. If this is you, getting an oil change every 9,000-10,000 miles is a good mark. If that many miles makes you nervous, research what your manufacturer recommends for good measure.

New Car, High Stress

Stress will always change your maintenance needs, even with a new vehicle. Simply having a new car does not exempt you from your need of professional auto mechanic work, so it is important to monitor your vehicle if it is being put under high levels of stress.

Look out for the change oil light, but pay closer attention to your milage. When your vehicle is subject to a more intense work load, figuring out if it needs an oil change becomes much more about how many miles have been driven, rather than the time passed since your last change. Our auto mechanic recommends that you get the oil changed for every 7,500-9,000 miles.

Old Car, Low Stress

It is conventional wisdom that as a car gets older, it requires more upkeep, as is true with virtually everything on this planet. One of the biggest differences between maintaining an older car and a newer car is the stakes. A newer car can take the bumps and bruises that one with significant miles on it cannot, so not keeping your car healthy as it gets up there in age could prove fatal.

This is even true for cars with low stress. Do you know what AAA defines as extreme driving conditions? Here are a few:

  • Driving on short trips of less than five miles in normal temperatures or less than 10 miles in freezing temperatures
  • Driving in hot weather stop-and-go traffic
  • Driving at low speeds of less than 50 miles per hour for long distances.

The reality is that as your vehicle ages, the more mundane commutes become stressful. Getting an oil change is the easiest preventative care that can keep your car away from the auto mechanic for repairs. We recommend these cars to get the oil changed every 5,000 miles or six months, whichever comes first.

Old Car, High Stress

At this point, your car has earned its keep. It is truly a workhorse and deserves to be taken care of. Even with proper care, older cars that are still logging heavy mileage are going to be at risk. This is where keeping your car healthy requires more effort than just regular oil changes. Maintaining the braking system and tires, checking radiator hoses and regularly replacing fluids are some helpful practices.

Keeping an old car running is doable, and until something like a transmission failure happens, it can be financially viable. But with these cars, the old rule of thumb for oil changes applies, with changes needed every 3,000 miles or so.

Speak to an Auto Mechanic Today

If you are in need of an oil change or simply want some help with maintaining your car, come to The Auto Shoppe and let us take care of it. Our auto mechanic team will give you top of the line service at a reasonable rate. Contact us today to schedule your oil change.

The Auto Shoppe Explains What Creates a “New Car Smell”

The Auto Shoppe on New Car Smell

How does “New Car Smell” Happen? The Auto Shoppe Explains

We all know that feeling. You slip into the driver’s seat of a car on a dealer’s lot, you grab the wheel and feel the leather, then you breathe in that new car smell. There’s nothing quite like it. But wait, the car you’re in is a couple years old, so how does it still have that smell? Today in The Auto Shoppe blog, we’ll break down how that “new car smell” happens.

The Science Behind It

There’s actually a scientific explanation behind what we recognize as the “new car smell”. And it’s not something that you probably want to hear. The truth is, you’re smelling the gases coming off of what are known as “volatile organic compounds” or VOCs.

VOCs are actually pollutants, and they’re not really great for you. These volatile organic compounds aren’t detrimental to your health, especially since they’re not highly concentrated, but you’d probably still prefer to not breathe them in on a regular basis. The gases from these compounds break down quickly, which is why new car smell only lasts for a few weeks.

But that doesn’t answer another question we brought up. How does a used car from The Auto Shoppe have that new car smell? Don’t worry, we’re not pumping our cars full of volatile gases!

Keep in mind, when you’re perceiving “new car smell” you’re also smelling the clean leather and other clean components of the car. At The Auto Shoppe, we make sure the cars on our lot are detailed and cleaned thoroughly. What you’re smelling is simply a very clean car!

On Its Way Out

The pure definition of “new car smell” is actually on its way out. Car manufacturers don’t find volatile organic compounds ideal, and they’re trying to greatly cut down on them.

They’re doing this by trying out a variety of different natural materials that won’t cause this buildup of gases. This is a slow process, as it’s not necessarily at the top of the list for auto manufacturers when it comes to technological advancements.

So, while new car smell may be a thing of the past someday, it probably won’t be going anywhere for a little while longer.

Contact the Auto Shoppe Today

If you’re in the market for a quality used car, come to The Auto Shoppe. Our expert team of automobile professionals will work to get you the perfect used car for your wants and needs. For more information, contact us today, or come visit the Auto Shoppe used car lot to see what we have available for sale!

Making Your Used Car Your Own: Custom License Plates

Used Car Plates

Ideas for Custom License Plates for Your Used Car

After you buy a used car from us, you’ll probably be looking for some ways to really make it your own. One great way to customize your car and put your personal stamp on it is to customize your license plates. This adds a nice touch of personality and style. Today in the Auto Shoppe blog, we’ll talk about getting custom license plates for your used car.

Ways to Customize License Plates

There a few different ways you can customize your license plate. The first, and easiest change you can make is getting a frame. Frames don’t require you to go to the DMV or anything. You can order them online or get them from most major stores with auto sections.

These are simply borders for your current plates, and they come in a variety of colors, designs, and themes. You can get one that has your favorites sports team on it, or maybe one that advertises your business or favorite charity. You can even get ones that light up!

The other major change you can make to your plates takes a little more effort. You can get special plates with designs on them, and you can even choose what letters you want on your plates, but there are some things to keep in mind if you go this route.

How to Get the Plates from the DMV

If you decide you want a different license plate number or design, you’ll have to go through your local DMV. Although most states have relatively the same process for this type of transaction, you might want to go to your state’s DMV website to see if there’s anything different.

For the most part, all you need to do is go to the DMV or your DMV’s website, and fill out an application for special license plates. Keep in mind, you may not always get exactly what you want when it comes to the letters and numbers you want to put on your car. If the combination is already taken, you won’t be able to use it.

Once you get your new plates, it’s time to put them on your used car and give it that personal touch!

Contact the Auto Shoppe for Your Used Car Needs

If you’re in the market for a quality used car, choose the Auto Shoppe. We have a wide selection of vehicles for you to choose from. We listen to you to get an idea of exactly what you’re looking for in a used car. We do our absolute best to find you something that perfectly suits your wants and needs. Contact the Auto Shoppe for more information, or come to our used car lot today to see what we have in stock!