The Auto Shoppe on When It’s Time for a New Car

The Auto Shoppe and your old car

The Auto Shoppe Asks – Is It Time for a New Car?

The Auto Shoppe is all about finding the right car for the right person, so we also understand how attached you can get to your vehicle. Some of us will drive our car, truck or SUV into the ground before even thinking about getting a new one.

Eventually, though, the time will come to hang up the keys for one and pick up the keys for another, and The Auto Shoppe has some obvious signs that it’s time to get a new, or new used car.

Breakdowns and Problems Are Mounting Up

Are you finding yourself constantly breaking down on the side of the road? Or maybe having to be more delicate with your car to avoid those kind of situations? Does the car shudder sometimes at certain speeds? Maybe you’re having to get your tires rotated more frequently than before?

If you’re having issues like these, or any other persistent, repeating problems that are affecting the way you drive, it could well be a sign that it’s time to pick up a new used car at The Auto Shoppe.

It’s No Longer Safe to Drive

Speaking of your driving habits, if you’re having to change and adapt them due to problems with your car, you might be taking some unnecessary risks with both you and your passengers. Even some of the lesser problems with your car have the potential to be dangerous if they’re distracting enough on the road.

Do you have a faulty old radio player in your car that needs constant attention in order to work? Fiddling with dashboard gadgets is a frequent cause of accidents, whether it’s a radio, cassette or CD player (if you remember any of those), or a temperamental A/C or heater.

If you’re also feeling the shudder as you drive that we mentioned before, you may well have a faulty or worn out transmission. Driving with a transmission that isn’t working properly, especially long distances, is extremely dangerous, and replacing it can often cost more than the car is worth.

Repairs Are Getting More Frequent and More Expensive

If you find yourself having to take your car into The Auto Shoppe more and more frequently for different repairs – or the same problem over and over – it might be a sign that it’s time to get a new car.

The more often you’re having to get your car serviced, the more it’s going to cost you. An older car that’s been on the road for longer is likely to have more severe issues, which means that you may end up having to pay more each time, too.

It might be time to decide whether it’s worth regularly paying to have things checked out and fixed up, compared to just paying for a used car from The Auto Shoppe.

It Just Doesn’t Fit Your Lifestyle Anymore

A less dangerous, but no less frustrating problem that can arise with clinging to a car beyond for too long is that it just doesn’t suit you anymore. If you got the car many years ago, you might have made some significant changes in your life since.

Someone who is young, single and relatively poor has very different needs to an adult with a family and some disposable income. If you’re trying desperately to find space for car seats and extra luggage, you might want to just look into a bigger car.

If you’ve moved, you might also find that you’re old car might not fit the environment – whether it’s now too big for an urban area, or too small for long trips from the suburbs to holiday destinations.

Used Cars at The Auto Shoppe

There are a lot of reasons to consider getting a new car, or a new used car and The Auto Shoppe is a used car dealership dedicated to finding the right car for you. Whether you’re shopping for something safer, bigger or more modern, we have your next ride ready and waiting – contact your used car dealer today!

Safe Shopping Online: Used Cars

Safe shopping for used cars

Tips to Stay Safe Shopping for Used Cars Online

We’ve all heard warnings about shopping for anything online. As it gets easier, faster and more convenient to quickly buy from the internet, it’s also getting easier for scam artists to bilk you for your money or personal details.

Shopping for used cars online has the potential to be even more dangerous, and The Auto Shoppe has some advice for staying safe if you’re looking for deals online.

Where You Do Your Shopping

If you do decide to shop for used cars online, you need to be careful in choosing where you decide to browse. There are plenty of websites that offer private sellers the opportunity to list their cars or anything else they might be selling.

Unfortunately, while this is convenient, it’s also risky. A lot of online listing websites are less stringent about safety checks, which is especially dangerous if you’re going to be meeting owners before you buy.

Do the Research

If you are using a site that caters to private buyers and sellers, make sure you do your homework. Search elsewhere for the car that’s been listed to make sure the information and the picture matches the listing.

One of the red flags to look out for is a lack of pictures – using stock images, rather than actual photos, is a pretty good sign that you’re putting yourself at risk of a scam.

Don’t Give Everything Away

Whether you’re using a smaller site, or a larger, mainstream auction website, you need to be absolutely sure that you don’t give away personal or sensitive information. Whether it’s your address or your bank details, giving information away is a huge risk, and being caught up in a phishing or identity theft scam.

Don’t click any external links that look suspicious, and be wary of any sites or URLs that are unsecure. You can tell a site is secure when the address at the top of the page begins with “https”, rather than “http”.

Once You’ve Verified the Seller

If you’ve done your research on online used cars, found your car, and contacted the seller to verify they’re the real deal, it’s time to start thinking about safety when you actually meet them. One of the most important pieces of advice to remember here is to not go alone.

Even if you’ve spoken to the seller and feel sure there’s nothing suspicious, you should avoid going without a friend. You can also arrange to meet the seller in a public place. When you do arrange to meet, let someone else know you’re going, along with where you’ll be and what time.

Try Before You Buy, and Buy Safely

Once you’ve safely met your seller, you need to check the car itself. As with buying used cars from anywhere, the same rules apply. Take the car for a test drive, check it inside and out for damage and wear, and all the other tips we’ve previously given on shopping for used cars.

If everything checks out, you’ve found the perfect used car for you, and you’re certain you can trust the seller, then it’s time to safely exchange money. If you’re paying for the car with cash, remember that you have less legal protections than you usually would. You also need to make sure you know the true value of the car, and that you’re prepared to negotiate.

If the seller offers other options to pay online, be sure that you’re doing it through a verified, well-known payment site. Don’t use any site you don’t recognize, and don’t use any payment side that doesn’t have “https” in the URL. The Auto Shoppe advises that you do some extra research on the best, most trustworthy money transfer sites and apps before you go down this road.

Used Cars and Staying Safe

The Auto Shoppe’s advice on buying used cars from independent sellers listing on the internet is to do a lot of research first. Verify the car, the seller, the listing, even the website is on if it’s lesser known.

Alternatively, you could make this much easier for yourself by using a used car dealer. The team at The Auto Shoppe can help you find the right car, for the right price, and answer any questions you have. Contact The Auto Shoppe today.

Reasons Mileage Matters for Your Used Car

Mileage in used cars

Why Does the Mileage on Used Cars Matter?

When you’re browsing used cars to look for your next purchase, plenty of people will tell you that you need to check the mileage of whatever vehicle you’re looking at. Have you ever wondered why? If you’re a new or less experienced driver, The Auto Shoppe can give you a brief, simple rundown of why it’s important to make sure you get the accurate mileage before you buy.

The Wear and Tear of the Road

When you’re looking at used cars, the odometer is going to be what tells you about the kind of life your car has lived. High mileage means that a car hasn’t gotten a lot of use, while low mileage means the use has been fairly light.

It might seem like an obvious thing to say, but the higher the mileage, the more likely it is that there’s been some wear and tear either internally or externally on the car. External wear is fairly easy to spot and, as long as you’re not too picky, ignored, but internal wear is much more insidious.

The engine, suspension, transmission, steering, even the on-board extras like the radio or the A/C are all subject to breaking down over time from the sheer amount of use they get. If a car shows a high mileage, check that the different components are working like they should. If you decide on buying the car, keep in mind that you might be risking having to take this car in for service sooner.

How Did Those Miles Rack Up?

If the used cars you’re looking at have high numbers on their odometers, you might also want to think about finding out how they got those miles. The amount of travel a car has under its (fan) belt differs in the effect it can have depending on where the car was driven.

Used cars with lots of miles mainly from city or highway driving are less likely to show significant signs of their use. Smoother, straighter roads will make less of an impact overall, although high traffic might take its toll on the transmission of a manual car.

The other side of this coin is that a used car with higher mileage predominantly used on country roads or back roads, with less even surfaces and more varied terrain, might need more work, or have a shorter lifespan.

What the Mileage Tells Us About Used Cars

Beyond the bigger or smaller numbers of a used car’s mileage, there are some things you need to think more carefully about when assessing a car’s use. If it’s been well taken care of, a used car with a lot of miles could be in practically brand new condition, while a new car with lower mileage might have been put up for sale for a reason.

The most important thing you need to remember is to find out the history of the vehicle – through maintenance and repair history, along with the history of ownership and whether it was ever a rental car – and take this into account when you’re looking at the mileage. If you need helping shopping for used cars, then The Auto Shoppe is always here for you – contact us today!

Your Auto Mechanic on Types of Tires

Auto mechanics list tire types

Auto Mechanics and Tire Types

Tires are a typical feature of every car unless your auto mechanic did something horribly wrong the last time you took yours for a service. But, how often do you really put much thought into your tires beyond whether they’re still there and still properly aired. You might check the tread now and then, but you probably haven’t ever thought about all the different types available in much depth. The Auto Shoppe can give you a quick overview of the different types of tires, and what they’re for.

Grand Touring Tires

Grand Touring tires are designed for all-around performance – offering a smooth, comfortable ride, traction suitable for all seasons and responsive handling. The asymmetrical pattern of the tread on this tires is what gives their good standard grip, which means they also have a fairly high-speed rating.

A Tire for All Seasons

All Season tires are a type designed specifically for being adaptable to different weather conditions, whatever the (you guessed it) season. Wider grooves on certain parts of the surface offer better traction for slick roads and wet conditions. Density and extra weight also improve handling and grip in different conditions.

Summertime Tires

An expert auto mechanic might recommend you tires specifically designed for the summer if you’re looking for new tires at the right time of year. Summer Performance tires are especially designed with hotter weather in mind, with the ability to adapt between wet and dry conditions and withstand heat and humidity.

Tires for Winter Endurance

In the winter, especially in the midwest, the weather can get pretty severe. With snow, ice and frequently freezing rain, road conditions can change quickly. Again, an auto mechanic with an eye for safety might recommend you some winter tires, which are designed to withstand low temperatures and can come with studs to allow a better grip on icy surfaces. Even without studs, these tires are made to keep traction in snow and ice. Just remember, if you are looking at studs, that they can only be used in Missouri between November 2 and March 31 each year.

Rugged Tires for Rugged Use

If you’re someone who likes to venture off-road, your auto mechanic can also recommend a few varieties of tires specifically for tougher terrain. Performance, mud terrain and all-terrain tires are designed to give heavier vehicles the grip and handling they need to navigate rough, wet and inhospitable conditions without sacrificing power and speed.

Specific all terrain vehicles, such as dune buggies, will come with their own specially optimized tires with much deeper, more separated treads and rounded sides. Even the tires on your riding mower, or your wheelbarrow, are made differently to ease handling and movement.

Auto Mechanic Advice on Tire Types

If you have a specific purpose in mind, or if you’re just curious about how you can improve your ride, ask your auto mechanic about tire options. You’re not just limited to what we’ve listed here since these are just a few examples – there are huge variety of tires available. The Auto Shoppe is always happy to help, so contact us today for more.

The Auto Shoppe on Auto vs Manual

The Auto Shoppe on transmission types

The Auto Shoppe Looks at Auto vs Manual

Experienced drivers and auto enthusiasts always seem to be debating the pros and cons of manual transmission cars versus the more typical automatic. As experienced used car dealers in Springfield, MO, The Auto Shoppe knows a little more about the ins-and-outs about the pros and cons of automatic and manual vehicles.

Price on Purchase

First and foremost, The Auto Shoppe knows that price is what matters to most car-shoppers. Buying a car with a manual transmission is often cheaper than an automatic, depending on the car and its condition.

Not only is there a difference when you’re buying, but in the long run, a manual transmission may cost you less through needing less service overall. Some garages might also charge more for servicing issues relating to an automatic transmission since it’s often more complicated to work on.

Cost is important, but it’s definitely not the most important factor in this debate. The Auto Shoppe has a few more for you to consider.

Convenience vs Control

The real difference between a manual and an automatic transmission comes when you’re behind the wheel. The way you drive and how the car handles are both pretty substantially affected by the type of transmission, and The Auto Shoppe suggests you think about how confident you feel on the road.

First of all, having an automatic transmission will make things easier overall. A manual transmission means you’re having to actively shift gears yourself as you drive – requiring more focus and concentration on both the road, traffic and your car. If you’ve never driven a manual before, you’ll need to get familiar with what to listen for to know when the gear needs to change. It can also be tedious and frustrating in heavy traffic to have to keep shifting gears, and you’re at an increased risk of stalling.

Driving an automatic will mean less distraction from keeping your hands on the wheel, although it might increase the temptation to let your attention wander on long trips. For less experienced drivers, drivers who find driving kind of stressful, or just a driver who prefers to enjoy the ride, automatic can offer a less challenging experience.

If you’re a motorist who likes to feel truly in control of your ride, automatic might not be for you. For some, the finer control and increased concentration in a manual transmission is part of the charm.

Differences in Fuel Economy

Coming back to the financial side of things, another difference between manual and automatic transmission is the long-term fuel economy. Overall, manual cars will get better gas mileage than automatic. It’s important to remember, though, that manufacturers are always striving to make vehicles more fuel efficient, so automatic cars may soon overtake manuals in this respect.

The Auto Shoppe Verdict

In fact, the problem with this debate is that, ultimately, it all comes down to preference. The differences in cost can be significant over time, but you also need to think about what kind of driver you are, and what you feel comfortable with.

At The Auto Shoppe, we appreciate the pros of both manual and automatic cars, and our team is more than happy to give you some guidance on which one might compliment your driving style better. If you looking for a used car in Springfield, MO, contact us today.

What Makes a Good Used Car?

A deal on a good used car

How to Identify a Good Used Car

If you’re looking for a used car, whether it’s from a dealership like The Auto Shoppe or from an independent seller, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. What is it that makes a good used car? Can something with a few miles on the clock and a few years on the road offer the same value and reliability of a brand new car? We can let you know what to look for.

Pure Reliability

If you’re buying a used car, think of it in an investment in something that already comes with a guarantee of being reliable. If a car has been driven extensively, serviced many times and then, if you’re buying from a dealer, inspected and refurbished before the sale, then a lot of work has gone into keeping it in good shape.

A good used car will have a proven track record of being durable over long distances. If any work has been done on it, as long as it’s been done right, it will only add to the ongoing lifespan of the vehicle. What can also contribute to this is how recent the model is. Many manufacturers are making their vehicles to be more durable and long-lasting than ever, and getting a recently-released model will add years to how roadworthy it is.

Knowing the History of Your Vehicle

Another sign of a good used car is being able to get hold of records of work that’s been done on it. Through different auto-checkers, of which there are many available online, you can find out how many previous owners a car has had, whether it has been both owned and rented in the past, and validation of the mileage, along with repairs and services that have been done professionally.

Being able to get hold of this information is a great peace of mind for the new owner, and can offer reassurance about how reliable your car is, as well as how much longer it’s likely to last. It’s also a good way to find out whether you’ve been misled about the vehicle’s history.

Judge Your Car by its Cover

A good used car will also have little-to-no signs of wear and tear. If the car has been well maintained, taken care of, and properly service, it can practically look brand new, which is a great addition to the perks we’ve listed above.

The interior of the car is even more important. It won’t be the first thing you see, but it will be where you’re spending most of your time. Stubborn stains and even lingering smells can be off-putting, even if you don’t notice them at first, and thorough cleaning by the previous owner or the dealer can remove these kind of problems. No signs of stains or smells are a good sign that the car has been taken care of properly.

Find a Good Used Car Dealer

The best way to guarantee that you’ll find a great deal on a used car is to find the right dealer. The Auto Shoppe can help you find the best fit, whether you’re a new driver, or have been on the road for years. Contact The Auto Shoppe today.

How to Become an Auto Mechanic

An educated auto mechanic

How Do I Become an Auto Mechanic?

So, you’ve decided you want to be an auto mechanic. Or, even if you haven’t decided, you’re at least thinking about it. Becoming an auto mechanic can be a really lucrative career option. Having a car is still practically essentially today, and cars, trucks and SUVs are always in need of inspections, maintenance and repairs. If you’ve got the dedication and passion for vehicles, and you’re willing to put the work in to get good, you can set yourself up for life. The Auto Shoppe’s team of mechanics can give you a little guidance on how to get started.

Knowledge is Power

In any profession, knowing your stuff is important. Being an auto mechanic is no different. Before you even invest in education or training, you should do your own research into motor vehicles.

This will not only give you a good foundation to start with, it’s also a test of just how deep your passion runs. Getting bored at this point probably means you should focus your career goals elsewhere, but devouring the history of the modern motor-vehicle and being left looking for more means you’re made for the job. There are endless resources available online for reading up on the history of what’s become a day-to-day item.

Get Certified

Educating yourself isn’t enough – you need to get certified. If you’re post-high school with a GED, seek out vocational courses that will start teaching you the specifics of being an auto mechanic. Tinkering and toying with the ins-and-outs of a car is certainly an immensely useful way to learn the ropes, but it’s unlikely to get you a job.

Community colleges, vocational schools and even manufacturers themselves offer a range of different courses for budding mechanics – from certifications to degrees. When you’re looking into these, you also need to remember that you’re going to have to sign up for classes in basics like English and math (especially math), as well as newer courses focused on computers. More and more now, vehicles are coming equipped with a slew of modern gadgets, and you need to know not only how to work – but how to fix them.

Get Some Experience

Whether you’re looking at courses, enrolled in one, or have just gotten an auto mechanic certification, practice makes perfect. Outside of school, you should nurture your passion for motoring at every opportunity. The more you know, from both education and experience, the better an auto mechanic you’ll be.

Feeding your own enthusiasm also makes it easier to learn. The more you know, and the better you can explain some of the more complicated aspects of vehicles, repairs and fixes, the easier it will be for you to provide great customer service, as well as high-quality technical work.

Career Prospects for Auto Mechanics

As we said, a qualified, talented and passionate mechanic can effectively have a job for life, wherever they might go. Just remember that your knowledge will always be evolving with the industry, so keep up with changes in cars, trucks and SUVs and practice, practice, practice! If you’re looking for a skilled auto mechanic, rather than to become one yourself, contact The Auto Shoppe today.

Insurance – The Auto Shoppe on What You’re Paying For

The Auto Shoppe explains insurance

The Auto Shoppe Explains What Your Insurance Pays For

Auto insurance is a requirement for every driver, but some of the terms and types of coverage that insurance office can go over our heads. If you’re someone who finds themselves sometimes confused by your contracts, coverage and bills, The Auto Shoppe can offer some simple breakdowns of what the words mean.

Personal Injury and Medical Costs

We’ll start with the most obvious one – personal injury. No one goes out of their way to get involved in an auto accident but, as the cliche goes, accidents happen. If you’re involved in an accident on the road, the first thing you’ll be checking afterwards is that everyone is okay.

As much as we don’t like to think about it, it’s easy to get hurt in a car accident. And injuries of any kind, from whiplash to broken bones, will mean medical bills. The personal injury and medical costs part of your auto insurance will cover these bills. Some types will also cover lost wages as a result of having to take time off work.

Underinsured or Uninsured Drivers

Although insurance is a requirement of being on the road, some drivers will risk getting behind the wheel without it. Being in a car accident in this scenario can be even more complicated than when everyone is covered.

Depending on who is found to be at fault in the accident, underinsured or uninsured coverage will pay for expenses that would normally be paid by the other motorist’s insurance plan.

Liability Insurance

The Auto Shoppe doesn’t judge, so if you’re the one found to be at fault in an auto accident, we’re not going to give you a lecture. But, we will tell you how important liability insurance is in this situation.

Liability insurance is what covers damage to vehicles and injuries to drivers or passengers. The insurance company of the person found to be at fault in the accident pays some or all of the bills, which is now a requirement, at least to some degree, in most states.

Collision or Comprehensive Insurance

Collision and comprehensive insurance is an insurance policy that isn’t a requirement, although it can be a real money-saver if you chose to pay for it. This type of insurance covers the full cost of the damage to your vehicle – whether you need it repaired or replaced entirely.

The “comprehensive” option also goes above and beyond, much like the team at The Auto Shoppe. This option covers things like left, damage from severe weather, or damage from running into a larger animal, among many other possible scenarios.

Some Extra Insurance Perks

Depending on your provider and how much you’re willing to spend, you can also get some additional coverage for things like the cost of a rental car, roadside assistance, and glass coverage that covers breakages and even minor chips and cracks.

The Auto Shoppe Says Shop Around

The major factor in car insurance is the cost. Again, depending on your provider, what you get for what you pay will vary. What you need might also change depending on what state you’re in, your age, the car and so on.

The best thing you can do is your homework. Much like browsing for your next car at The Auto Shoppe, shopping around for insurance can help you get the right coverage.

Read up on what kind of insurance is available, what different providers offer and for how much. This is just a simple guide, if you’re still looking for used cars in Springfield, MO, contact The Auto Shoppe today.

How Auto Repair Costs are Determined

Calculator for Auto Repair Costs

Determining Auto Repair Costs

It’s an old cliche. You go to the auto repair shop, and they overcharge you. You go home frustrated, but what can you do? Unfortunately, sometimes this cliche has merit. There are definitely auto repair shops out there that will take advantage of you and charge you more than necessary. When you come to the Auto Shoppe, you don’t have to worry about exorbitant prices and shady practices. We’ll give you a fair estimate for your auto repair service, and we’ll break down the pricing for you. You don’t have to be afraid to ask questions at the Auto Shoppe, because we’re happy to answer them! To understand how pricing for repair services work, read on!

Labor Charges

Labor charges are what any given auto repair shop will charge for labor hours. The rate will vary by location, but they’re generally close to the same based on where you live. You can always ask what the shop’s labor rate is before agreeing to repair services. This way you know upfront. Some services will be a flat fee. This is when a flat rate is set for services that should almost always take an industry standard amount of time. Services such as oil changes and alignments usually warrant a flat fee since the time they take has little to no variation.

Auto Parts

If your car needs a new part, you will be charged to put that part in. Depending on if you want OEM or aftermarket parts, it will be more or less expensive. OEM or Original Equipment Manufacturer parts are priced higher because they are guaranteed by the manufacturer of your vehicle. Aftermarket parts will be inevitably cheaper. No matter what your decision is, the Auto Shoppe does our absolute best to find you the least expensive part that is still high-quality and long-lasting. We can break down the pricing of parts for you as well.

Come to an Auto Repair Shop You Can Trust

The Auto Shoppe values our customers, and want them to return to us for auto repair services in the future. You don’t get loyal customers by overcharging them for service. Not only that, it’s unethical. We pride ourselves on being an auto repair shop that you can trust. We also have a wide selection of used cars for sale. Come to the Auto Shoppe today or view our website for more information. Call to schedule an auto repair appointment.

What to Look for in Local Used Car Dealers

Shop at Local Used Car Dealers

Why Local Used Car Dealers are Better

Shopping local is always a great way to help the local economy and community. The Auto Shoppe truly appreciates the business that our community gives us. We are one of the few local used car dealers in Springfield, MO who truly care about our customers. When you shop with local used car dealers, you can rest assured that you’re getting the best service and vehicles possible. Come visit the Auto Shoppe today and give us a chance to help you get the perfect vehicle! Here are a few reasons why shopping at local used car dealers is better than going to the big dealerships.

We Care About Our Customers

When a customer does business with us, we treat them like family. We want our customers to feel comfortable coming back to us for all their automobile needs in the future. Whether you need a used car or auto repair services, we will do everything we can to give you a fair price and fantastic service.

We Don’t Have a Corporation Above Us

Local used car dealers are run by members of your community. We don’t have a corporate structure to answer to, which means we can give you the best price possible on our used vehicles.

We Have the Widest Selection

Another downside of bigger dealerships is they usually restrict themselves to a few different makes. Here at the Auto Shoppe, we supply a wide variety of makes and models. As long as the car is high-quality, we can carry it on our lot. Whether you’re looking for a Jeep, a Ford truck, or a Hyundai, we have it all. We can also do our best to try to find you the vehicle you’re looking for. This kind of dedication and service is rare in the bigger dealerships.

You’re Helping the Community

When you shop local, you know your money is circulating back into the local economy. We love Springfield, and we know our customers do too. That’s why we think shopping local is so important!

Shop Local Used Car Dealers & Shop at the Auto Shoppe

The Auto Shoppe prides itself on being one of the few trusted local car dealers in Springfield, MO. We imbue the spirit of Springfield into the work we do and the customers we help. Whether you need an auto repair or a quality used vehicle, we are here for you. Support local used car dealers and come into the Auto Shoppe today!