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In 1901 President William McKinley took a short ride in a Stanley Steamer. He was the first sitting President to utilize an automobile but certainly not the last. Automobiles soon became an integral part of presidential travel. Although Theodore Roosevelt continued to use a horse-and-buggy to protect his “image as a rough-riding horseman,” the secret service shortly began to use automobiles following behind the carriages for protection.

During President William Howard Taft’s time in office, he converted the stables into garages and purchased four automobiles for presidential use including the Pierce-Arrow pictured below.

Presidents continued to use consumer vehicles for travel until the attack on Pearl Harbor. At this point it was determined that presidential cars needed defense features such as bullet proof glass, flat proof inner tubes, and a compartment for machine guns. Up until 1961 Presidents enjoyed a lot of fresh air. Franklin D. Roosevelt especial enjoyed his convertible Lincoln which was dubbed the [...]

Pack Your Winter Survival Kit

Let’s face it. We like to think we are resourceful and able to handle the curveballs of life, but let’s be real. You are not exactly the type applying for the TV reality show Naked and Afraid. You’d rather watch it from the comfort of your living room. Besides glory and a good story, the contestants don’t even win any money!

Winter is brutal and whether the result of an accident, stall or no gas, you need to keep warm and calm. Even if you have a new or newer car, Mother Nature can always bring you back to earth with a wicked snowstorm. If you plan on traveling by car during winter, why not prepare a winter survival kit?

We’ve prepared an exhaustive list of items to keep in your car during the winter. If we’re missing anything, please let us know in the comments.

In no particular order, here [...]

Below is a list of winter ready cars noted for their high clearance and excellent handling. We utilized Edmunds and Consumer Reports for the specific ground clearance and miles per gallon. Note that all gas mileage is highway for 2016 models.

1. Subaru Outback

Is it a wagon? Or an SUV? It is so well-loved, it will be whatever you want it to be. With 8.7 inches of ground clearance, it is great for maneuvering snowy roads. New Outbacks have excellent gas mileage at 33 mpg. It’s a vehicle that has been described as “many things to many people.” According to U.S. News and World Report, it has the best-in-class cargo capacity. The only downside is that the standard engine is a little dogged, especially when heading up I-70 to the mountains.

2. Subaru XV Crosstrek

This is a great car if you don’t have to cart around a lot of stuff, including children, as [...]

Tips to Get Your Car Ready for Cold Weather

In Case Old Man Winter is Not Messing Around This Year!

Do you remember where you were during the 2003 March blizzard? Back then 31.8 inches of powder stopped the mail and snarled deliveries of food and beverages (including adult ones!) While this winter may not prove to be as wily as 2003, 2010 and even 2016, prepping your car for the worst before it gets cold is never a bad idea.

A few things to check:

Windshield Wiper Fluid: Look for one containing the words “winter or winter blend.” Make sure to top off your reservoir now and even consider storing one in your car. It can be very dangerous to be without wiper fluid during a storm.

Oil change: If you’re due for an oil change, consider a lower viscosity oil for the colder months like a 5W-30. Believe it or not, that ‘W’ stands for winter.

Windshield wipers:  When selecting an item like toothpaste, a lower priced brand like Aquafresh can be just [...]

windshield repair for AutoTrek Auto Club members

Windshield Cracks and Chips – Don’t procrastinate

When you have any pre-existing windshield cracks or dings, time is of the essence when it comes to replacement. If you keep putting it off, Winter will make you regret it! Glass expands and contracts in the brutal winter months and there’s a good chance harsh wintertime conditions will exacerbate any existing damage you already have.

Any crack that is at or very near the windshield’s edge, or any chip at or near the edge that has caused the windshield to start cracking, compromises the strength and integrity of the windshield and its bonding to the surrounding metal frame. This jeopardizes the driver and passenger’s safety. Any small crack or chip will grow significantly when temperatures fluctuate and we all know Colorado weather is as fickle as a pickle!

 

So when should you replace a windshield?

If your vehicle’s windshield has a chip of about one-inch diameter or [...]

How Dealers Value Your Trade

Getting rid of your old car is one of the oft forgotten pain points of buying a new car.

Getting rid of your old car is one of the oft forgotten pain points of buying a new car.  Most people essentially have two options, either they can sell their car privately or they can trade it in to the dealership. The problem with how dealers value trade-ins is the built in costs of the dealership. Many of us just want to offload our old cars as quickly as possible and the surefire way to do that is to simply trade it in – even if it means less cash in our pockets.

While almost all of us feel ripped off after we trade in our old cars, not all of us should.  This article explains how dealerships value trade-ins and why they do so in this manner so that you can better evaluate if you are getting a good or bad deal.  So let’s get into it.

Dealers buy cars at wholesale, including yours

Dealerships [...]

5 Red Flags of Used-Car Scams

Lots of legitimate good deals are available from private sellers, but there are also plenty of bad guys looking to rip you off. Be smart about which ads to pursue.

Lots of legitimate good deals are available from private sellers, but there are also plenty of bad guys looking to rip you off. Be smart about which ads to pursue.

The big advantage to buying a used car from a private party, rather than a dealer, is you’ll most likely save money on your purchase. The disadvantage is you could lose $1,000 or more in a car-buying scam. While most used-car sales conducted by individuals are perfectly legitimate, there are used car-buying scams out there, and they are on the rise — even for so-called local sales. This is because so much of the business has an online component. In fact, consumer complaints for car sales scams increased 25% last year, according to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, a U.S. government agency.

Here are five tips to avoid a used car-buying scam if you are shopping for a used car locally:

1. Prices [...]

Buying a Car Online? Beware

Used-car purchases often begin with an online advertisement, and, as a result, an increasing number of scams involving online car buying seek to dupe unsuspecting shoppers.

Used-car purchases often begin with an online advertisement, and, as a result, an increasing number of scams involving online car buying seek to dupe unsuspecting shoppers.

Online car-buying scams are also becoming increasingly sophisticated and, therefore, harder to detect, according to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, or IC3, a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center. From 2008 through 2010, the IC3 received nearly 14,000 complaints from car shoppers who have been targeted or victimized by an online car-buying scam. Victims lost $44.5 million over that period.

The scam typically starts with a used car that is being sold on a reputable website for automotive advertisements. The car is priced below value with some plausible story for the rock-bottom price, according to an IC3 consumer bulletin. Common reasons for the low price include the seller suddenly moving for work or for military deployment, or the seller needing cash quickly because of [...]

Lower Loan Rates

Who Has Better Loan Rates, Credit Unions or Banks?

Who Has Better Loan Rates, Credit Unions or Banks?

If you’re shopping for a house or a car, you typically run the full gamut of price checks and comparisons to make sure you get the right fit. The process of finding a loan should be no different; after all, it costs money to borrow.

As you search for the best deal possible, you’ll find that, in general, credit unions offer better loan rates. That means you’ll owe less in interest over the life of the loan. Here’s what you need to know to stretch your dollar when it comes to borrowing.

Auto loans

Loans cost money. And the difference of just a few percentage points can translate to hundreds of dollars in costs. The area where credit unions such as Horizons North Credit Union have the greatest advantage is in affordability of car loans. According to the National Credit Union Administration’s most recent data, the [...]

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