What You Need to Know About North Carolina Lemon Law if You Are Having Repeat Car Problems

North Carolina Lemon Law permits the first owner of a brand new motor vehicle that was purchased or leased in North Carolina and weighs less than 10,000 pounds to petition the manufacturer for a replacement vehicle or a full refund if one of three conditions is met during the first two years of ownership, or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first.

Car Lot

How Accurate Are CARFAX Vehicle History Reports And The Various Types of Data They Contain?

If you've ever purchased or looked into purchasing a used car, chances are you've either seen or at least heard of CARFAX, a service that provides historical information on used vehicles. But just how reliable is the information that CARFAX reports provide?

changing oil

Let's Bury the 3,000 Mile Oil Change Myth. You're Changing Your Oil Too Often!

Are you changing your car's oil too often? The days of changing your oil every 3,000 miles are gone, yet many consumers are still wasting money on far-too-frequent oil changes.

driving a rental car

Avoiding Charges for Damage to Rental Cars That You Didn't Cause

It sometimes happens to the best of us. You pick up a rental car, sign the paperwork and drive off only to notice that there was some damage that you didn't see. Will you be charged for it? Sometimes you might.

auto emissions

Federal Emissions Warranties Are Often Forgotten or Overlooked

Many consumers pay for or put off needed auto repairs because they don't realize the problem is covered by this warranty. So what is the federal emissions warranty and what exactly does it cover?

buying a new car

How to Buy a New Car: Surviving the Sales Process with Your Wallet Intact

Buying a new car? No one really enjoys talking to salespeople or the negotiation process, and many feel compelled to buy more when pressured by a salesperson looking for a higher commission.

Car Mirror

Car License Plate Registration Renewal Late Fees in North Carolina Causing Confusion

Vehicle owners have been seeing unexpected additional charges when renewing their vehicle registrations. While late fees for vehicle registration had been planned for some time, some consumers have either missed or forgotten about the changes. To add further confusion, consumers still think there is a registration grace period.

gas pumps

Increasing Fuel Economy: Tips, Tricks and Myths

Looking for ways to save money on fuel costs? These days, it seems that everyone is trying to stretch a gallon of gasoline. There are a number of ways you can get better fuel economy!

car vent

The New Car Smell We Love Can Be Toxic, Studies Say

That new car smell can be causing serious health problems for drivers, such as headaches, lung irritations, an inability to focus and a feeling of fatigue.

Car Dealer

When Can Your Car Dealer Void Your Vehicle's Warranty or Deny Auto Warranty Service Claims?

Can a dealer void your car's warranty if you have someone else do routine maintenance on your vehicle? What if you use aftermarket parts to make repairs or to perform your maintenance? What if you have made upgrades to the car, such as installing a new audio system or new lighting? What if your vehicle has undergone body work. The answer is usually no, but it could be yes depending upon the work done.

nc auto inspection

North Carolina Vehicle Safety Inspection Checklist

The annual vehicle and emission inspection process in North Carolina can be a simple 30 minute inconvenience for most consumers, or a nightmare for others. This checklist can help!


Does Your Car Have Small Scratches in Its Clearcoat Finish? Use Toothpaste to Remove Them!

Who knew that toothpaste could be so versatile? You use toothpaste to clean and polish your teeth. But have you ever considered using toothpaste to polish out those small scratches in your car's clearcoat finish? We're guessing that you haven't. So, the next time your car gets a small scratch, consider reaching for a damp cloth and your favorite tube of toothpaste before more expensive solutions.

Instrument Cluster

Extended Warranties: Get the Pros and Cons of Extended Auto Warranties Before You Spend the Money

Do you really need an extended warranty on your new (or new to you) car? A decade ago, it was simple. You probably didn't need an extended warranty unless you were getting a vehicle that typically had a lot of problems or was the first model year. Today, the answer is not so simple since vehicles have made leaps and bounds in reliability, but also have a host of new gadgets that can cost money to fix.

car refueling

High Octane Gasoline Doesn't Always Equal Better Performance or Even Better Fuel Economy

Your car's manual and gas cap both say to use regular unleaded gasoline. But would you get better performance and better fuel economy by switching from regular octane fuel to mid-grade or even premium fuel? Probably not. If your car was designed to run on regular unleaded gasoline, the only thing you'll notice by using a higher grade fuel is that it costs you more to fill up your tank.

Crashed Car

Your Car Was Totaled? What Does It Mean and How Does the Insurance Company Make That Decision?

When it comes to car crashes, you often hear that a vehicle was declared a total loss by an auto insurance company. Many people believe that a total loss declaration relates to the amount of damage or the severity of the crash. But vehicles can be declared a total loss as a result of both a major collision or even something as insignificant as a minor dent or ding. It's all about the vehicle's value.

working on car brakes

Don't Let Your Insurance Company Steer You From Genuine Parts and Glass to Aftermarket Parts

The last time you needed body work done to your car or needed a new windshield, did you get Original Equipment Manufacture (OEM) parts or did you get parts from a mystery parts manufacturer?

Gas Pump

Fuel Injector Cleaner: Should You Believe All the Hype and Advertisements or Steer Clear?

We've all seen the advertisements on TV, in magazines, and in the automotive section of the local store for fuel injector cleaner. The advertisements typically promise performance gains and better fuel economy, not to mention a very convincing before and after comparison photo showing how much cleaner your fuel injectors can become. But how much truth is there to all the hype and advertisements?

Tail Light

North Carolina No Longer Requires An Annual Emissions Inspection for Newer Vehicles

People are still confused as to whether they qualify for an emissions exemption. Owners of vehicles produced within three years of the current year with less than 70,000 miles are exempt from the annual auto emissions inspection.

Car Engine Compartment

Certified 'Like New' Pre-Owned Cars Can Have Major and Costly Problems

You hear ads about certified like new pre-owned vehicles going through detailed inspections. But is the hype about peace of mind and reliability worth the higher price tag? You may be surprised to hear that vehicles with extensive repairs sometimes receive this distinction.

car door handle

How to Find Hidden Damage on a Vehicle Before You Buy It

With the increasing reliability of vehicles today, the used car market is becoming a viable alternative for consumers who want good, quality cars for a less-than-new price. But what should you look for to avoid buying someone else's problem car?

Ten and Two Driving

The 10 and 2 Driving Position Isn't a Safe Practice Anymore Due to Life-Saving Airbag Technology

There are a number of different credit scoring models and they vary from one place to another. So it's important to realize that the credit score you see, whether it be from one of the major credit reporting agencies or from your credit card company, isn't necessarily the score that's used for your credit decisions.

Car Crash

Do You Need Supplemental Coverage and Waivers Pushed by Car Rental Companies?

When you rent a car, you have a lot of decisions about supplemental insurance, damage waivers, loss waivers and more. But should you get them? For most people, it isn't worth the money. Insurance policies cover most damage done to the rental. But as more rental car companies are charging fees for minor blemishes, loss of use, and depreciation, you might be reconsidering supplemental coverage.

You Should Not Ignore These Lights If They Illuminate on Your Car's Instrument Cluster

You Should Not Ignore These Lights If They Illuminate on Your Car's Instrument Cluster

Ignoring these critical warning lights on your car's instrument cluster could leave you stranded on the side of the road or cause extensive and expensive damage to your vehicle. Know what to watch for!

Buying a car with bad credit

There Are a Bunch of Things You Shouldn't Do if You Are Buying a Car With Bad Credit

We know that not everyone has great credit. Some of us even have really bad credit. If you are one of the unlucky people with bad credit and you're looking for a car, there are some things you should never do.

flood damage

Beware of Flooded Cars Resurfacing for Sale on a Car Lot Near You

We've all seen images of cars submerged under several feet of water following severe storms and natural disasters. Have you ever wondered what happens to those cars once the floodwater recedes?

Car Door Handle

Title Loans Are Never a Good Option if You Need Quick Cash

Some lenders advertise short-term loans, called title loans, that use the collateral of your car. It's similar to a home equity loan, only a title loan can be much riskier and cost you a significant amount of interest charges. It can even cost you the car itself!

inflating a tire

Are Your Tires Inflated Properly? A Simple Device Can Save Money and Lives!

How often do you check the air pressure in your vehicle's tires? Regularly checking to make sure that your tires are properly inflated could save you a significant amount of money in the long run.

car dealer

Consumers Beware: Don't Let Car Dealers Take You In with a Yo-Yo Auto Sale Scam

You've finally filled out all the paperwork for a new or used car and drive it off the lot in triumph. Then, only a few hours (or days or weeks) later, the dealer calls and says that you have to return the car.

Automotive 101: Everything You Need to Know About Your Car's Battery

Automotive 101: Everything You Need to Know About Your Car's Battery

The battery is the life force of your car. Without it, you would not be able to have power to do anything from starting the engine in subzero temperatures to cruising down the highway on a sunny day.

Car Door Handle

Beware of Graduated Payment Plans When You Buy Your Next Car

Through a variety of ads and paid programming, some dealers will advertise vehicles that can be purchased with no money down and exceptionally low monthly payments that quickly skyrocket.

Dealership Service

Don't Be Too Hasty to Agree When a Car Dealer Service Department Recommends Services

Dealership service departments have a bad reputation, which is why many people don’t get routine maintenance performed there unless they have to for a warranty repair. While the technicians (hopefully) know your car better than the local mechanic, you often spend more money for this expertise. But some of this extra money comes from dealer recommended services, most of which you probably don't need.

Car Repair

Getting Money for an Unwanted Car When a Dealership Won't Pay You a High Trade-In Value

It happens to everyone at one point or another. An old car that provided years of reliable driving was pushed to the side of the driveway in favor of a new model. This often happens when we want a backup vehicle or if the dealership's trade-in offer was abysmally low. If you have an old clunker that isn't worth much, you still might be able to make some money by donating or recycling it.

Backup Camera

Do You Know the Basics of Auto Insurance Coverage and the Minimum Requirements in North Carolina

What do you know about maintaining the right amount of automobile insurance in North Carolina? If you're like most people, you set it and forget it. That might be perfectly fine, but you should get in the habit of checking your coverage limits and adjust them accordingly. Even if you have the minimum auto insurance coverage to be legal in North Carolina, you might not be carrying enough to be protected.