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2019 Acura MDX Safety Features

By Tom Kowalewski | July 19, 2018

Drivers nowadays have a better opportunity at staying safe while driving more today than ever before. As each year progresses, new car models seem to be coming equipped with safety features and technology that we could only dream about ten years ago. Here is an analysis of the 2019 Acura MDX’s safety features and why these features should be a must-have in any of your future car purchases!

It Comes Standard

The 2019 Acura MDX comes standard with:

  • Forward-collision warning
  • Auto-braking city speed/highway speed
  • Lane-departure warning
  • Lane-keeping assist

It also has the option to come with:

  • Blind-spot warning
  • Rear cross traffic

Why Does It Matter?

  • Forward-collision warning (FCW): This is a visual and audible warning intended to alert the driver to avoid a forward-collision.
  • Auto-braking city speed/highway speed: This feature uses sensors to determine whether or not to apply emergency brakes to your car to avoid a collision on both the highway and typical city roads.
  • Lane-departure warning: This is a visual, audible, or haptic warning that alerts the driver when they are crossing lane markings.
  • Lane-keeping assist: This feature automatically corrects steering input or breaking in the event the car is drifting into another lane.
  • Blind-spot warning: This is a visual and audible notification that alerts drivers if there is another driver in their blind spot. Many cars that use blind-spot warnings enable the sensor once the blinker is activated.
  • Rear cross traffic: This is a visual, audible, and haptic notification that notifies the driver of a vehicle or object that is out of rear camera range but could potentially be moving into it.

Your Safety Matters

While it is amazing that many models come standard with these safety features in the base model, you should always try your hardest to equip your car with the maximum amount of safety features. Not only can these features potentially save your life, but they can also save other’s lives when on the road. Accidents are called “accidents” for a reason – and in many cases, it can become too late for both parties involved once an accident is set in motion.

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Top 3 Ways to Save Money on Auto Insurance

By Tom Kowalewski | July 11, 2018

Auto insurance is something we all are required to have as American citizens if we’d like to be behind the wheel. It can seem pretty overwhelming as you try to decide which insurance company can provide you with the lowest possible price. Here are the top 3 tips we’ve organized that will save you money on auto insurance:

1. Understand Auto Insurance

Your auto insurance will be either your best friend or your worst enemy in the incident of an accident. As you decide which company to commit to you should take a step back and understand the entire concept of auto insurance itself. It should be understood that like all insurance, auto insurance rates are assessed based on risk. Auto insurance providers calculate your likelihood of making a claim, therefore basing your premium on the level of that risk.

You should understand that auto insurance providers do not only base your risk on your driving history or experience, but also consider:

  • Your credit history (unless your state prohibits this)
  • Your occupation
  • Your age, gender, and marital status
  • Your vehicle’s make, model, year, and color
  • How many miles you drive per month or year

By understanding that the price you will pay is determined by these factors as well, you may be able to make decisions such as choosing a car that is considered “less risky” by insurance providers, or even wait until you have restored your credit score.

2. Raise Your Deductible

If you choose to raise your deductible on your car insurance, you will be able to lower your premium costs! The only downside of this is you will need to have enough cash set aside to pay the higher deductible if you do have to file a claim – but let’s hope that day never comes.

3. Bundle Your Insurances Together

Many companies can provide you with a discount if you purchase two or more types of insurance from them. These insurances can include life or homeowners as well as the auto insurance plan in question. This method can only be applied to those who offer it – so make sure to inquire with potential insurance companies to find out if this is something they offer!

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Quiz: How Much Do You Know About Tesla, Inc.?

By Tom Kowalewski | June 21, 2018

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8 Big Mistakes New Car Buyers Make

By Brandon Griner | June 19, 2018

By simply understanding these mistakes, this may help you avoid making them.

8. Not thoroughly researching the vehicle.

You have the most powerful/fastest way of obtaining information: the internet. Therefore, put it to good use and search every car dealership in the state selling that car. Look around for prices, build a profile on the car, and print out proof of all competitive prices – this is a great practice for when you decide on visiting car dealerships. Most importantly, do not forget to research the worth of your current car’s trade-in value!

Dealers everywhere express how far below MSRP they price their vehicles. MSRP stands for manufacturer suggested retail price; the window stickers on cars must show the MSRP to break down the costs. With that said, once you find the ideal low price on the vehicle, you could either go to the dealership with the lowest price or take that ad to another dealership that’s more convenient for you and ask them to meet/beat it. Keep repeating the process until you get what you want for a reasonable price.

7. Not knowing your vehicle’s trade-in value.

Finding the value for your trade-in car is easy. Automotive guides have a range of values that explain what you can realistically get for the car depending on the car’s condition and to whom you sell it. Most people prefer to trade in their old vehicle at the dealership and will almost always offer a price that is less than what the car is worth – this is because you’re paying the dealership to handle the hassle of selling your car for you. By doing prior research, this prevents you from giving up the vehicle for an underpriced value.

6. Not using your research for your trade-in.

There are three industry standards used to determine the value of used cars: the automotive guides Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, and NADA Guides. The majority of all dealers and lenders will use these standards to determine vehicle prices and worth. If the price listed in one of the guides is below the car’s sticker price, then the car is overpriced.

Bring the proof to the dealer/seller. The car should always be priced around what the guide states is the fair market price based on location and condition. If the dealer/seller doesn’t agree to offer you a price near that figure, find another!

5. Not understanding if the car is greater than the loan.

Ultimately, the ending purchase is that nice smelling car, but remember you’re not just paying for the vehicle – you’re paying for the loan on it. It’s sad, but people will bring a loan offer to a dealership and refuse to talk to the dealership financing office. By not asking the dealership to beat a loan offer is just throwing away money.

In any case, the dealership wants you to finance through them. Lenders often give dealerships a finder’s fee for each customer who gets a loan from them through the dealership. This way works to your advantage, as the dealer will want to beat the loan offer because the lender they partner with will pay them for it. It never hurts to ask!

4. Not setting a reasonable budget.

If you know you can only afford $300/month in car payments (not including insurance), then completely ignore anyone trying to change that. If the only qualifying loan is $400/month, it’s time to find another car. Having to skip meals to prevent it from being repossessed is not worth it.

The two biggest factors are the monthly payments and the down payment. However, if you focus on monthly price instead of total price, you’re giving the dealer an opportunity to overprice the overall price.

3. Speeding up the buying process.

Buying a car is stressful, so it’s understandable why you would want to be done with it as quickly as possible. But it needs to be treated carefully and not be rushed. If you’re unsure about a car or an auto loan and want time to think about it, take the time! Leave the dealership and take a break. Make sure you’re making the right decision for yourself and your future.

A salesperson might say, “The car you want today could be gone tomorrow if you leave without buying it!” It’s true, that specific car could be sold. But keep in mind that manufacturers make thousands of vehicles a day, so you can always find another car to suit your needs. This would be better than getting stuck in a financial situation you haven’t prepared for.

2. Being rude to salespeople.

Ultimately, the salespeople at the dealership are the people you’re relying on to provide a service, which is being honest and willing to go the extra mile and help car buyers.

The best veteran salespeople in the car business are there because they specialize in helping make one of the largest financial decisions in your life. Typically, if you’re rude to them, it may very well take longer to do everything, and it may be harder to negotiate a better price. So, take advantage of a good salesperson’s expertise and don’t allow the others to take advantage of you.

1. Passing up on an extended warranty.

An extended warranty would give you the ability to save or invest your money into something other than your car. A commonly used term to describe what you get from buying a protection plan is “peace of mind.” Most consumers choose to go with a reputable company, like DriveSmart, who will always put the customers’ needs first. DriveSmart is often compared to another successful company, Amazon, who has a similar customer obsession that dedicates value and convenience around customer needs. By putting the customers’ needs first, consumers are always being informed and educated while they’re shopping for a car, in the market to refinance, or enrolling in a protection plan. What truly separates DriveSmart from the rest of the industry is their revolutionary Car Payment Reimbursement program. If your vehicle is in the shop for seven days or more, DriveSmart will pay up to 300% of your car payment. Now customers don’t have to make car payments on a vehicle they can’t drive because it’s in the shop.

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The End of an Era: Volkswagen Halts Production on Iconic Beetle

By Kris Pedersen | June 14, 2018

Throughout the automotive industry, there has only been a few legendary vehicles that have been able to surpass the test of time that can truly be classified as an iconic figure throughout all of the world. From conception in 1933 to post WW2 production, the Beetle quickly became a popular means of transportation. In 1949 the first Volkswagen Beetle arrived in America and by 1956 Beetles became so rare owning one had nostalgia about it, Bug owners waving and honking at each other.

In 1969, twelve years later the VW Bug was one of the world’s best-selling vehicles, with the help of the loveable character full of personality and character develop by Disney, named Herbie. Shortly after the success of the featured film the iconic vehicle’s production reached over 15 million surpassing the Ford Model T as the most produced single model in history.

Volkswagen stated, “production of the U.S.-spec Beetle ended in 1979, the last air-cooled Beetle rolled off an assembly line in South America in 2003, ending a record 65-year run, with over 21 million Beetles produced.”

The original Beetle was an instant success from its iconic look; its ladybug shape, smile-like hood, and bug eyes all made the VW Bug what we know of it today.

Keeping the iconic Beetle shape and features with slight modern modifications, in 1998 and again in 2012 the Volkswagen Bug had successful retro relaunches.

As an iconic figure to a catalogue full of conventional time period American Muscle, the Beetle was a victor in the long-lasting David versus Goliath saga, sparking countercultural interest from East to West.

The Bug was customizable, expressive, reliable, easy to fix, and an inexpensive alternative for the 1970’s non-conforming hippy movement. You can say the Beetle was there for it all, experiencing and participating in over half a centuries history, pop culture, movements, and memories. Not only has the Bug been a stable in America’s culture, but has also shared memories across Europe, South America, Asia, Australia, and South Africa.

Although it may be upsetting to many, the ending to the Beetles production will not make the Icon disappear into the darkness of history. As Beetle enthusiasts demand for anything and everything Bug related continues to grow so does its community. With countless vintage and present day Bug owner clubs, it’s clear the universal popularity for this automobile will continue its life on the road for multiple decades to come.

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Quiz: 10 Movies That Have Unbelievable Car Scenes

By Dante Christensen | May 9, 2018

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Graduation Day Essentials

By Kris Pedersen | May 8, 2018

As you gear up and get ready for the big day that you’ve spent countless hours working towards, make sure you have all the essentials to make Graduation Day that special day you will never forget. Here at DriveSmart Warranty we know the anticipation leading up to Graduation may feel like a lifetime, but the excitement from that moment will make the day come and go in the blink of an eye. Take a look at these tips and tricks so you remember this day forever.

During this time of year, the chance of sitting outside in the blaring sun for Graduation is a fact. Do yourself a favor and bring some shades with you. Not only will you be able to see but you’ll also look cool. Depending where you live, we recommend putting on some sunblock too.

Light Clothing
What you wear under your cap and gown can play a huge part in how much you enjoy your day. Wearing heavy, bulky clothing will not only make your gown look awkward, but also make you sweaty. As the weather for May and June are heating up, do yourself a favor and wear light, breathable clothing. The more you show in this instance is a good thing as your gown will cover you up.

Disposable Cameras
Although you may have never used one of these in your life, a disposable camera is a great way of making sure you capture every moment of the day. Pick up a few at your local drugstore – you can pass them down the aisles, give some to your friends, and you won’t have to worry about your phone dying throughout the day. When you go to get your film developed, you can have your pictures saved digitally on a UBS drive as well. A disposable camera will capture your big day in a way that you never could with your cell phone.

Graduation ceremonies can be a very long process. Make sure to grab a little snack and water to keep those sugar levels up. No one wants a picture of themselves looking like a Diva because, “you’re not you when you’re hungry.” So please at least grab a Snickers.

Bobby Pins, Makeup, & Deodorant
Make sure you keep these essentials on you or with your family. You don’t want to smell like you just played four quarters of Football or look like Chewbacca.

Plan a road trip with your friends
Whether you’re graduating high school or college, you may be saying goodbye to your closest friends as you go to explore the new opportunities life has ready for you. But before that happens, we strongly recommend hitting the open road and make one more great memory. Road trips are the best way for a group of friends to explore new horizons, spend quality time together, and create new experiences.

Important Tip: Never go on a long-distance road tip without the right coverage. All DriveSmart Warranty plans come standard with roadside assistance, trip interruption, and national coverage.

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How to Keep Your Car as Eco-Friendly as Possible

By Kris Pedersen | May 2, 2018

Maintain properly inflated tires
Having deflated tires, even at the slightest bit can directly affect in your cars performance and gas mileage efficacy. Under-inflations can put unnecessary strain on your tires causing friction which will eventually lead to a rupture. An US average price of a new tire is anywhere from $80-$150 per tire depending on the quality of tire you choose. On the high end some tires can cost up to $300 dollars. On the other hand under-inflated tires can decrease your fuel economy by 0.2% for every drop in psi (pound per square inch), increasing additional fuel waste over a year time which exponentially adds up to a staggering amount over your lifetime. USA Today Reports, “A tire 25% below its recommended pressure is three times as likely to be involved in a crash”. So buy a tire pressure gauge at your local auto supply store for a few bucks and check you tire pressure weekly. Standard recommended psi inflation range from 30-34 psi depending on your make and model so everyone should check their owner’s manual before inflation.

Remove extra weight
Each additional 100 pounds in your vehicle can reduce your miles per gallon by about 1% (fueleconomy.com). It’s important not to use your trunk space as a storage unit and only keep the essentials in there such as jumper cables, road flairs, spare tire, jack, tire iron and any emergency/first aid kits. Comparable to excess weight, adding cargo roof accessories can significantly decrease the fuel consumption efficacy by increasing aerodynamic drag and overall weight to a vehicle. Fueleconomy.com says the reduction in fuel economy in city areas are between 2% – 8% and from 6% – 25% depending on highway speed.

Drive smoothly
The way we drive directly affects how much gas we burn, especially off the highway. Be delicate with the pedal and the brake and don’t drive aggressively. Fueleconomy.gov states “Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gas. It can lower your gas mileage by roughly 15% to 30% at highway speeds and 10% to 40% in stop-and-go traffic.”

Air Conditioning
Air conditioning is a important function in our cars which can help people, especially the elderly avoiding complications from the scorching heat throughout the summer time. Although they add benefits to us, it also has harmful negative effects on the environment as well. Running the air conditioning requires a vehicle to produce more energy which results in burning more gas.

Tune ups
As a car gets into its later years, the importance of getting a tune up is enormous. Cars in need of tune ups will sputter, choke, and guzzle more fuel than necessary. Tune ups include replacement of spark plugs, testing compression of each cylinder, inspect and replace distributor cap if needed, timing and idle setting (if applicable) and the usual replacement of filters, belts, hoses, and fluids.

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Disclosure: DriveSmart offers Protection Plans or Vehicle Service Contracts (VSC) may be referred as “extended car warranty”, or “auto warranty”. A VSC is not a warranty but provides repair coverage for your vehicle after your manufacturer’s vehicle warranty has expired. The VSC contract is with you and the vehicles owner and the VSC provider or administrator that will state what is covered in each plan.