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Moody Blog


January 2017

What to do after an auto accident


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On a daily basis, we face few threats. Auto accidents, however, are one of them. Because of how much we drive and our inability to control all elements when doing so, this threat is magnified by its likelihood and power to disrupt numerous aspects of our lives.

Even when you walk away physically unscathed, you still face the headache of dealing with repairing your car at a Niobrara collision center, or replacing it altogether. The process varies greatly based on the insurance companies and policies of both parties involved, as well as the nature of the accident, but here are some general guidelines to help you get started.

Who is at fault?

After an auto accident, the first thing to do is determine who bears the fault for the crash, according to DMV.org.

If the other driver is at fault, they are responsible for covering repair costs with their auto insurance. They can do so only up to the limits of their policy, though. That means if the crash causes $14,000 worth of damage to your car, and their policy has a property damage limit of $10,000, you are left with $4,000 worth of uncovered repairs, according to DMV.org. Purchasing uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage can help protect you in these events.

If you are at fault for the accident, you have two options: Using your collision or comprehensive coverage, or paying for repairs yourself to avoid filing a claim with your insurance company.

Most people choose to tap into their coverage. Specifically, collision coverage is meant to help you in the event of an accident where you are at fault, even if the incident involved only yourself. A comprehensive policy covers repairs for accidents that occur when your car is parked. In either case, you likely must pay a deductible before the insurance will cover the rest.

If you want your insurance to help with repairs, start by contacting your company and filing a claim. Doing so, however, will likely cause your premium payments to increase. That is why some motorists choose to pay for repairs out of pocket, regardless of whether they have collision and/or comprehensive coverage.

Repairing your vehicle

Once you've determined how you will pay for repairs, head to a body shop in Niobrara for a vehicle inspection. If you are filing a claim with your insurance company, they may send a trained inspector to handle the process or require you to use a specific repair shop. Regardless, the designated inspector or the body shop then makes an estimate of your car's damage.

According to DMV.org, the mechanics at the shop and the insurance company's inspector may not agree on the damage estimate in some cases.

"If this happens, usually the inspector and auto repair mechanic will meet to discuss the situation and come to a fair estimation," the agency states.

Once an agreement is reached, you can have your vehicle repaired at your Niobrara collision center.

There are a few ways to handle payments. Again, check with your insurance company's policy to see if they require a certain method. In general, you can either pay for the repairs out of pocket, and then get reimbursed by your insurance company; or, you can have the insurance company pay the auto repair center directly.

While not all car accidents can be avoided, you don't have to struggle through the repair process. First, discuss policy requirements with your insurance company before making decisions and then take your damaged vehicle to a body shop in Niobrara with a knowledgeable, trained staff. Once there, they should work efficiently, both with your insurance company and doing the actual repairs, to get you back on the road as quickly as possible.

 

February 2017

7 Questions to Ask Before Purchasing Pre-Owned Vehicles


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As you start your hunt for the perfect used car, the task may seem daunting. After all, there is no shortage of pre-owned vehicles on the market. There are, however, numerous pre-owned vehicles that aren't worth considering.

That's why it's essential to start the process with a foundation of knowledge and to take your time sifting through used cars in Niobrara. You should do research before stepping onto a lot to peruse vehicles or meet with a private seller.

Here are seven important questions to ask before purchasing a pre-owned car. Not all sellers will address each of these and other critical questions without you bringing them up, so be prepared.

1. Does the car have a clean history, service records and clear title?

This may be one of the most important questions you ask. Fortunately, there are ways to verify the answer. You can obtain a vehicle history report through Carfax or AutoCheck using the vehicle identification number (VIN). If a car has been in an accident, ask about the extent of damage and the cost of repairs. Be cautious about purchasing a vehicle that was in a serious wreck. Additionally, prioritize finding a well-cared for car. Ask the seller for service records and receipts as proof the car received routine maintenance, repairs and part replacements according to manufacturer specifications.

2. How many miles has it been driven?

Ask this question even before seeing the car, and then check the number with the odometer. Inconsistencies are a red flag. You also should be curious about the kind of miles put on the car, or its primary use, according to Consumer Reports. Miles racked up through highway commuting have less impact on a car's lifespan than those added through multiple short, stop-and-go trips or when towing heavy equipment. Keep in mind, though, "low mileage is nice, but it is no guarantee of gentle care," the Consumer Reports article states.

3. How many previous owners?

If a car has been passing from owner to owner over a short lifespan, beware. That often warns of a reoccurring problem with the vehicle. Additionally, if the owner doesn't know or isn't willing to disclose a list of previous owners, that's a bad sign, as well, according to Digital Trends. Single-owner vehicles are preferable, and pre-owned vehicles with two or more previous owners are "less than desirable," the article states.

4. How is it equipped and do all those features function properly?

Get a rundown of the vehicle's features, including locks, windows, lights, wipers, stereo, turn signal, cruise control and more. Then, make sure they're functioning properly. Ask first, giving the seller a chance to disclose problems, but also check for yourself. You may be fine with certain features or parts needing work, but you should know what you're negotiating over and make an informed decision.

5. Has it been in extreme weather?

Extreme weather events, or even long-term exposure to certain climates, can harm a car. Many vehicles exposed to inclement weather suffer from rust perforation, pitting and rock cracks, according to Huffington Post's blog. Besides the exterior, check the interior for mildew or other flood damage. Additionally, if you are looking at an older car, find out if the car has been driven consistently in extreme temperatures, such as summers in Florida or winters in Minnesota, as doing so can decrease the lifespan of the car, according to Digital Trends.

6. Why are you selling your car?

This simple question is a good place to start a conversation, especially with a private seller. You are looking for them to provide a legitimate reason, such as the vehicle no longer being needed by the primary driver or the desire for a newer model. If the seller can't give a legitimate reason for attempting to sell the car, they might be trying to unload a lemon.

7. Can I take the car for an independent inspection?

There should be no reason the seller won't allow you to take the car for an independent pre-purchase inspection, or bring a trusted mechanic with you to look at the car before purchase. If the seller is hesitant, it could be a warning there's something they don't want you to know, according to CARPROOF. For your sake, receiving an expert, unbiased opinion about the car prior to purchase can help ensure you make a smart decision.

Do your homework. Ask questions. Your car, even if pre-owned, may be one of the largest investments you make. Getting as much information from sellers as possible while looking at used cars in Niobrara will help you make the right purchase.



March 2017

The Importance of Car Maintenance


http://d2e17bkrkslpjg.cloudfront.net/getty/full/getty-13566-504271634.jpgIt's common knowledge, thanks to Benjamin Franklin, that "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." While people generally associate this phrase with physical wellness, it also applies to your vehicle's health.

Performing regular maintenance through a certified auto service in Niobrara is crucial to extend the life and performance of your car. Addressing small issues as they arise, or better yet, taking preventative measures, can help you improve your vehicle's safety and durability in the long term.

As Rich White, the executive director of the Car Care Council, stated in an article on ConsumerAffairs.com, "neglected auto care almost always means much higher costs down the road in the form of more extensive repairs or lost resale value."

A few items that are extremely important to maintain - particularly because not doing so can eventually require more costly repairs, and also endanger you and your passengers - include your car's engine, transmission, tires and brake system.

Whether you purchased a used or new car, you should have received an owner's manual including detailed maintenance schedules designed specifically for your make and model. In general, for newer cars, you should go in for an inspection about every 5,000 to 7,500 miles. This is a good chance to get an oil change and, at times, get a thorough check of your engine system and features, such as sensors, belts and gauges. Having your oil changed every few thousand miles is crucial to prevent the build-up of grime and debris, which can detrimentally impact your engine and cause it to seize. Besides your motor oil, make sure to have your other fluids checked every couple thousand miles to see if they should be replenished or replaced.

Every 7,000 miles or so, take your car to have the tires rotated. As the only part of your car that actually makes contact with the road surface, it's important the tread does not wear irregularly and that it has proper depth. You can survey the tires yourself every so often to check for these problems, but don't hesitate to have a professional technician periodically rotate and balance your tires. Maintaining proper tire pressure can help your tires - and your car in general - perform better for longer and mitigate the risk of a tire blow-out.

Other features to check regularly include all interior and exterior lights and your seatbelts. Burnt out lights or worn down seatbelts may seem like minor issues, but quickly addressing those problems can play an important role in preventing accidents or keeping you safe in the event of one.

For the sake of preserving your car's value, you also should keep it clean and looking nice. Scrapes in the paint, minor dents or small fractures in the window won't be matters of life or death, but they can negatively affect the resale value of your car.

While some maintenance, such as replacing windshield wipers or replacing light bulbs, can be done at home, there are benefits to having professional automotive technicians perform the trickier actions, such as tuning up your engine or replacing fluids.

Moody Motors is an industry leader when it comes to auto service in Niobrara. Staffed by highly qualified technicians, the company offers a range of services to keep their customers' cars running well. Some of the services include brake checks and adjustments; air conditioner repairs; balancing and rotating tires; engine tune-ups; muffler replacements; transmission and coolant flushes; and interior cleaning.

Next time you are in need of auto service in Niobrara, contact Moody Motors to schedule a consultation or appointment.

April 2017

Trading in Your Car? Here's What You Need to Know

The time has come for you to get rid of the old and move onto the new. As you look forward to purchasing your next car, you probably are considering how to make the most out of your old ride.

Many car dealerships look for ways to boost their used-car inventory and often engage in trade-ins for old vehicles. If you want to attempt this process, though, there are a few important things to know along the way.

First and foremost, you will need to figure out your car's fair trade-in value to determine what a reasonable offer is for it. When you go to value your trade, be honest and accurate about its condition, equipment and features, and remember that sentimental value means nothing to a dealership. According to a post on Edmunds.com, few cars will truly be in "outstanding" condition - even the most well-kept vehicles are generally considered "clean" or "good" - so set your expectations modestly. Print out the results page containing the estimated trade-in value.

Next, you should call Moody Motors in Niobrara and talk with a salesman to schedule an appointment. You don't need to worry about bringing in a freshly cleaned car or making minor repairs on the vehicle. The truth is, neither will greatly affect its trade-in value, and large companies generally can fix up your car for less than it would cost you as a private owner. At the dealership, a staff member will appraise your potential trade-in and give you a quote for what the company will pay in cash or, more often, in credit toward buying a new car, according to an article on DMV.org.

It's good to remember the dealership will consider a variety of factors when deciding whether to make an offer and at what price. Some variables may include your car's condition, the model's age, how probable it is the car will sell and the dealer's current inventory. For better luck, Edmunds.com suggests taking your potential trade-in to a dealership that doesn't specialize in that brand. For instance, if you want to trade an old Honda Accord, you could take it to a Ford or other non-Honda dealer, and they may offer more for the vehicle. In short, you are likely to get a better offer if your car isn't competing with numerous other identical or similar vehicles on the lot.

Your final step will be negotiating a deal using information from the appraisals done on your vehicle, as well as maintenance records and other documents. The dealership's first offer probably will be low, giving you room to negotiate if you want to invest time and effort. Industry experts advise that if you are debating among multiple dealerships, you will find it often makes the most sense financially to take it to the dealership where you intend to purchase a new car - that way you have more leverage when bargaining. If you go this route, "it's best to be up front about the trade-in from the very beginning," according to Edmunds.com.

Something else to keep in mind is waiting for the right time to trade in your vehicle. Many dealerships will occasionally have special promotions or trade-in events where they offer extra incentives for people to bring in their used cars. Going in near the end of the month or when the dealer's used-car inventory is running low also is a good strategy.

Trading in your car can be a time-efficient and convenient way to make some money on a no-longer-useful vehicle. You won't have to worry about taking out ads, meeting with potential buyers and other tasks that accompany private sales. By determining the value of your vehicle before heading to a local car dealership in Niobrara, you will be poised to make the best deal on your trade-in.  


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