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Have you considered an auto service contract?

Have you ever considered buying an auto service contract? This can be acquired regardless if you still have a valid used car warranty or not, and it will cover the costs that are associated with repairing the car, including here not only the parts, but also the labor and/or sales tax. There are a lot of contracts available which offer various levels of coverage, depending on what you need and how much money you are willing to spend to get the necessary protection.

The repairs covered by your car warranty are valid up to a certain point, based usually on the age and mileage of the car. You would be surprised to find out how many things could go wrong with your car after this warranty expires and you can image how much money this will cost you. For this reason, many mechanics recommend buying an auto service contract so that you’ll be covered in the event that something will malfunction.

To point out the difference between a vehicle service contract and the warranty offered by the manufacturer of the car, you have to understand that the latter come with the product and is included in the price that you pay for the vehicle, whereas service contracts are agreements which are entirely separate from the contract or sale of the car. Such a contract is separate because it costs the customer a fee beyond the car’s purchase price or simply because the contract was signed at a later date after the car has been purchased.

You have to know that most of the used car warranties come with a lot of restrictions and are offered for a limited period of time. For these reasons, you will probably save more money during the period while you own the car, especially if we’re talking about an older model. You don’t have to worry about paying for the vehicle service contract upfront because most of the companies that offer such services will allow for a payment period of 12-18 months without any extra fees involved.

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Auto Protection Plan – Facts For Consumers Part 2

The second part of our article about auto protection starts by talking about what are your responsibilities after you have signed the contract. Under the contract, you might have to follow the recommendations made by the manufacturer regarding routine maintenance, like oil and spark plug changes. If you fail to meet these recommendations, the contract can become void. It is advisable that you keep detailed records (including receipts) in order to prove that you have taken care of the car properly.

You should figure out if the contract prohibits you from taking the vehicle for routine maintenance at an independent station or if you are allowed to perform the work yourself. In the contract it might be written that the selling dealer is the only facility which is authorized for servicing your car.

If you are told that you have to buy an auto service contract in order to qualify for financing, you should contact the lender to find out if this is true or not. There are lots of situations in which consumers have a difficult time at cancelling the service contract after finding out that the lender wasn’t asking for one.

If you make up your mind and decide to acquire such a service through a car dealership, and this contract is baked by the administrator and/or by a third party, you will have to make sure that the car dealer will forward your payment and give you a written confirmation. There have been a considerable number of situations in which the consumers have found out late that the car dealer did not forward their payment, thus leaving the customers with no coverage. If you have enough reasons to believe that something is not right and your contract has not been put in effect as agreed, it is highly recommended that you contact your local/state consumer protection office.

If you need assistance regarding resolving a dispute, you will have to contact the Better Business Bureau, the consumer protection office or the state attorney general. In addition, you could also get in touch with local law schools and ask if they have dispute resolution programs. Another way to go would be by contacting the FTC which works for the consumer in order to prevent deceptive, fraudulent, and unfair business practices.

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Auto Protection Plan – Facts For Consumers Part 1

If you have decided to get an auto protection plan, you should find out if the plan that you are about to purchase contains any warranty coverage. We recommend that you have a look at the warranty offered by the manufacturer of the car before making a purchase. If you buy a new car it will come with a manufacturer’s warranty, which in most cases offers coverage for at least one year or 12,000 miles (whichever comes first). Depending on where you buy a used car from, some dealers also offer warranty for pre-owned vehicles.

Some people decide to purchase a “demo” model – a vehicle that hasn’t been sold to a retail customer but it has been driven for other purposes other than a test drive. If this is your case, find out details about when the coverage starts and ends. Figure out if the warranty has started when the dealer first put the car in service or when you bought it.

A vehicle protection plan that is sold by a car dealer can be handled by an independent company called an administrator. These administrators act as claims adjusters and they authorize the payment of claims to the dealers under the contract. This means that you will have to deal with the administrator if you have a dispute over whether a claim has to be paid.

If that administrator retires from the business, in many cases the dealership will still be legally obligated to perform under the contract. The situation is valid also the other way around, because if a dealer goes out of business, the administrator will have to fulfill the contract’s terms.

It is advisable that you learn about the reputation of both the dealer and the administrator by asking for references and contacting your local/state consumer protection office, local Better Business Bureau, state Department of Motor Vehicles or you can check the local automobile dealers association in order to verify if they have public information about the companies. You should find out since when the dealer and the administrator have been in this business and try to figure out if they have enough financial resources to pay for their contractual obligations.

You should know that some of the dealer associations and individual car dealers have funds set aside or they buy insurance in order to cover any possible future claims. We recommend that you find out if the auto protection plan that you are about to sign is underwritten by an insurance company. In some states in the U.S. this is required by the law. If this contract is backed by an insurance firm, call the State Insurance Commission for asking about the company’s solvency and if any complaints have been filled.

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Top 5 Cars Unveiled At L.A. Auto Show

Most likely many of you will not agree with the cars featured in this top but nevertheless these are some of the most important cars that were revealed this week during the Los Angeles Auto Show.

On the fifth spot we’ve placed the Cadillac XTS. To be honest, we never were big fans of Cadillac but the all-new XTS manages to blend the best things that this brand has to offer, wrapped around in a luxurious sedan that is very spacious and has a lot of technology features to offer. Set to rival the BMW 5-Series or the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the new XTS is powered by a V6 3.6-liter direct-injection engine that fires 300 hp. Inside the cabin it sports an 8-inch high resolution display that has iPad-style controls.

The Fiat 500 Abarth is our number four in this top because it is 50% more powerful than the standard version. At the heart of this tiny sports car is a 4-cylinder, 1.4-liter engine that develops 160 hp and a peak torque of 170 lb.-ft. Aside from the extra oomph, it sports a lowered ride height, stiffer adjustable Koni shocks, beefier brakes and 16-inch alloys (17-inch optional).

To be honest, I’m almost fed up with the many concepts Subaru has released based on the upcoming BRZ model, but I have to admit that the STI Concept shown this week in L.A. is absolutely stunning. It has a huge rear spoiler, 18-inch alloy wheels, Brembo brakes and a carbon fiber roof. The production version of this model will (hopefully) be unveiled later on this month at the Tokyo Motor Show.


Our number two in this top is the Jaguar C-X16 which is perhaps one of the most beautiful cars revealed in L.A. Even though it was unveiled back in September during the Frankfurt Motor Show, it deserves this place in the top thanks to its gorgeous looks. When it will come out, it will carry a price tag of 55,000-70,000 pounds. The C-X16 will feature a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine that develops 375 hp and a maximum torque of 332 lb.-ft. This engine will be mated to a revised version of ZF’s eight-speed transmission which will have a built-in electric motor.

We’ve saved the best for last, the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Convertible, a very powerful cabrio that has a 6.2-liter supercharged LSA V8 engine under that vented hood. This power unit fires 580 hp (432 kW) and 556 lb.-ft (754 Nm). The car rides on the 3rd generation of GM’s Magnetic Ride suspension and benefits from the Performance Traction Management system. This is perhaps the best looking convertible right now. Feel free to disagree.

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Guide to 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show

At this year’s edition of the Los Angeles Auto Show there were some interesting cars unveiled, along with cool concepts and other vehicles that give us a preview about what we can expect from the future of the automotive industry. Here are the most important cars shown this year in L.A.

Nissan food truck concepts

Volkswagen CC

Ford Mustang Boss 302

Infiniti IPL G Convertible

Lincoln MKT

Lincoln MKS

Volkswagen eT!

Infiniti JX

Lexus GS lineup

Mini Cooper B-Spec

Subaru BRZ Concept STI

Jaguar C-X16

Lamborghini Gallardo LP550-2 Spyder

Jaguar XKR-S Convertible

2013 Mazda CX-5

2012 Honda CR-V

Ford Fiesta ST Concept

2013 Ford Flex

2013 Chevrolet Spark (U.S.-spec)

Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Convertible

Buick LaCrosse GL Concept

2012 Fiat 500 Abarth (U.S.-spec)

2013 Honda Fit EV

Cadillac XTS

Porsche Panamera GTS

VW Beetle Concept R

Dodge Charger SRT8 Super Bee Edition

2012 Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG

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What should auto protection plans include?

If you have made up your mind and decided to buy a vehicle protection plan for your vehicle, our recommendation is to search for those that offer an extended protection so that you will be covered in case something will go wrong with the car that you’re driving. It is best to go for those companies that offer policies which are backed by top rated providers so that whenever time comes to replace a part on the car, you’ll have the certainty that you will be getting a high quality replacement.

These auto protection plans can come in the form of an exclusionary policy that covers everything on the car, except for routine maintenance like changing brake pads, tires, oil, paint, glass, etc. Such a policy has to come with 24-hour roadside assistance, towing as well as rental car reimbursement. Some of the high quality policies also come with trip interruption coverage which means that you will be reimbursed up to a certain amount of the cost of meals & hotel if you have car problems at least 100 miles away from your home.

The full comprehensive coverage of a vehicle protection plan covers (but it’s not limited to) engine, gearbox, air conditioning/heater, electrical system, starter, alternator, brake system, fuel system, water pump, drive axle, power seats & windows, among others.

As far as the power train coverage of an auto service contract like this one, this will protect all of the internally lubricated parts of the engine, transmission, differential, water pump, turbocharger / supercharger, 4×4, etc.

Such a policy can be bought on top of the used car warranty which as we said in previous articles might not cover every component of the car. Even though you will spend some money at first, in the long run you will save precious dollars, especially if you have bought a used car.

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Cars we hate part 19 – from SEMA 2011

We’ve seen a lot of cool and interesting concepts at this year’s edition of SEMA, but there were also a few vehicles that looked simply ridiculous, including this convertible Porsche Panamera.

One of the other hideous vehicles is a yellow painted school bus Chrysler 300 pickup truck which has all the ingredients of a terrible car: oversized chrome rims, odd speaker housing and those scissor doors that only look cool on supercars, not a truck.

Here’s something odd, really odd – the Spiderman car. From what we can tell, this is a Toyota Celica that has a peculiar Spiderman theme that basically ruined what is a really cool car in its standard configuration. Why don’t they take some ugly cars, like the Nissan Juke for example, and work on them, leaving the cool cars alone.

We end with something rather spooky, the Mister Cartoon Ice Cream. This one looks like something taken out from a kid’s nightmare as it is a rather wildy-styled ice cream truck that is very sinister. The person who has done this is a graffiti and tattoo artist from Los Angeles by the name of Mark Machado (aka Mr. Cartoon).

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Top Least Fuel Efficient Cars In The World

Today we take a break from all those EVs like the Nissan Leaf or the Tesla Roadster, and we talk about which are the cars that drink the most fuel. Naturally, we begin with the all-mighty Bugatti Veyron that has an 8.0-liter, 16-cylinder engine linked to a 7-speed automatic transmission that can return only 8 mpg in the city and 15 mpg on the highway. This is of course the least efficient car in the world but since it can do more than 400 km/h, who cares?

We continue with two Aston Martins, the DB9 and the DBS. Both of them are powered by the same 5.9-liter 12-cylinder engine mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox. The DB9 is able to return 11 mpg city / 17 mpg highway, while the DBS will do 11 mpg city / 18 mpg highway.

Another car which isn’t suitable for longer trips would have to be the Bentley Continental GTC FFV which is motivated by a massive 6.0-liter, 12-cylinder engine that is coupled to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The car will do 11 mpg while driving in the city and 18 mpg on the highway.

We continue with two Rolls Royce models which are powered by a huge 6.7-liter, 12-cylinder engine that is linked to a 6-speed automatic box: Phantom Coupe and the Phantom Drophead Coupe. Both of them can do only 11 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway.

We have two more Bentley to talk about, the Continental Flying Spur FFV and the Mulsanne. The first one comes with a 6.0-liter, 12-cylinder engine linked to a six-speed transmission and it can do 11 mpg city / 18 mpg highway, just like the Mulsanne that is powered by a 6.8-liter, 12-cylidner engine mated to the same 6-speed box.

The same fuel ratings are achieved by the Rolls Royce Phantom and the Phantom EWB which are available with a 6.7-liter, 12 cylinder engine mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox.

Source: FuelEconomy.gov | Photo: TheSun.co.uk

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Advantages Of Having A Vehicle Service Contract

Let’s get straight to the point and mention that by acquiring a vehicle service contract (VSC) it can give you the much needed peace of mind because if something goes wrong with your car, you will be covered and won’t have to pay for the expenses, at least not for the entire amount, depending on the coverage that you have.

For most of us, our cars are one of the crucial assets as we need them on a daily basis, for driving to and from work, to drop off our kids or to pick up groceries. If an unexpected repair comes in your way, you will be pretty much covered by this auto protection plan. You won’t have to pay the full sum at first because usually for these VSCs you can make the payments over time, which is a crucial advantage. Imagine how much you would have to pay if one of the important parts of your car breaks down.

Moreover, to replace that part you will have to pay for it entirely as you probably won’t have the option to make monthly payments. And let’s not forget how expensive these car parts are nowadays, plus the labor is also pricey. Even if you own an older car, the costs of fixing it can get pretty high, especially if one vital component of your car needs to be replaced.

A VSC is also very flexible and even those who are on a tight budget can afford one. Keep in mind that not all contracts are the same and prices vary according to the coverage offered, just like a regular car warranty. Another advantage comes from the fact that the value of your car will increase in case you want to sell it. A potential buyer will find your car more attractive once he finds out that you have paid for such a service because this means that you have taken proper care of the car so it is in a good condition.

If you bought the car from someone else, sooner or later the used car warranty will run out so you will have more reasons to buy a vehicle service contract to protect yourself from upcoming repairs which sooner or later will certainly come, regardless of the car you just acquired. Even if that warranty has not expired yet you might want to consider this because that policy might not cover all the components that are important, plus in some cases these warranties are not transferable.

The last advantage worth mentioning is that you won’t have to wait for a long time or do a lot of paperwork in case something goes wrong with your car. In addition, you will not have to make a payment and then wait to get reimbursed. The necessary payments that have to be made in order to fix your car will go directly to the repair shop so you won’t have to worry about anything as it is a pretty smooth and fast process.

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What You Should Know About Vehicle Protection Services

Before you say that getting a vehicle service contract is a waste of money, you might want to read this article as there is more to these than you might have thought. In a recent article we’ve presented a general idea of these vehicle service contracts but today we will go a little bit more in depth to explain all the ins and outs of this topic.

The money that you pay will be put into an account for future claims and this pool of money will be used to pay the claims in case something malfunctions on your car. A large part of these contracts come with a deductible and usually this only has to be paid one time on each repair visit, regardless of the amount of parts that are fixed or replaced.

A car manufacturer has nothing to do with these auto service contracts in most situations. Usually, these are backed by a third party administrator and/or an insurance company. A warranty comes with a product, in our case a car, and is included in the purchase price, while a service contract is an agreement which is separate from the contract or sale of the vehicle. These are separate because are made after the sale of the product or due to the reason that they cost the customer a certain fee which is beyond the purchase price of the item.

If you have decided to get this type of contract, it is highly recommended that you acquire it from a reputable provider in order to stay away from additional telemarketing and mailings from sources that you haven’t solicited. Before you sign the papers, check the privacy policy so that you won’t get an unpleasant surprise later on.

You need to know that the NVPS – National Vehicle Protection Services have developed a two-pronged strategy: one where they educate the consumers regarding their rights and the second one by developing a strict set of industry standards that protects you, the consumer, from bad companies that are trying to get into the auto protection industry.

Regarding the specifics of cancelling such a contract, these usually vary from provide to provider, but in most cases if you do it within 30 days since you’ve signed the papers, they’ll give you a full refund. After that period, a pro-data refund might be available in case the contract wasn’t used and depending upon what’s written in the agreement. In some cases there is an administrative fee which will diminish the refund that you get. Before signing the papers, ask the provider of the vehicle service contract regarding the fees which are associated with canceling.

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Do You Need A Vehicle Service Contract?

First and foremost, let’s define the concept of a vehicle service contract. It has been designed in order to protect the car buyer against unexpected (and usually costly) repairs. It can be acquired by a customer to cover the costs associated with repairing the car, including here the necessary parts, labor, as well as the sales tax, for the components that need to be either repaired or replaced after the warranty offered by the automaker expires. There are different types of contracts that you can choose from, each of these offering different covering levels, depending upon how much money you wish to pay.

These vehicle protection services work this way: the holder of a vehicle service contract will be covered in the event in which the car suffers from a mechanical breakdown and/or failure which is addressed by the aforementioned vehicle service contract. Usually, the process varies throughout the industry but in most of the situations you will have the repair facility of your preference, employing an ASE-certified technician and getting in touch with the claims center of the provider for reporting the claim before making the necessary repairs which otherwise would probably cost you a small fortune. After that, the representative will collaborate with the service center to be certain that they receive the payment and most importantly, that your car is repaired. Those of you that do not know for sure where to take your car to get it fixed should contact the administrator of the service contract to obtain the suitable guidance.

We also have to mention that the terms of agreement should emphasize clearly which of the costs are covered as well as the ones that won’t be in case something goes wrong with your car. There are some situations in which the holder of the contract has to pay a deductible. Needless to say, the car components that are mentioned as being suitable for coverage have to be covered outright, provided that the vehicle has undergone regular maintenance and you have respected all of the terms & conditions mentioned in the vehicle service contract.

The big question is: do you need it? Well, our answer would have to be yes because such a contract can give you the peace of mind that a car owner needs. You probably already know that the costs of repairing a car have increased tremendously in the last few years and even the failure of a small and insignificant part can ruin your budget. Although you will be spending more money at first, in the long run you will most likely end up saving a considerable amount, especially if you buy a used car. Aside from the costs of the parts, you need to know that the current average hourly rate for mechanic labor is over a whopping $100.

When discussing about vehicle protection plans, you need to understand that an extended warranty is not the same thing as a vehicle service contract. The first one is a car service offered by a new or used car dealer to enhance the regular warranty of the car and extend its length. There is a misconception that a vehicle service contract sold outside of the car purchase is an extended warranty. However, you need to understand that there is a difference between these two, albeit a subtle one. The regular warranties are handed by the manufacturer of the vehicle and are included when you buy the car. On the other hand, those vehicle service contracts are bought separately and you get one any time you want to. We need to mention here that it would be best to buy it as early as possible in order to obtain better coverage.

Now you might ask: I have the warranty that came with the car. Why should I get a service contract? Well, the ones offered by automakers or the car dealers won’t last you a lifetime. In addition, the repairs will be covered only up to a certain point, usually depending on the age and mileage of the vehicle. There have been numerous cases in which the car broke down after only a couple of days or weeks after the original warranty expired. These vehicle service contracts have been designed not only to fill in the gap, but also to continue to cover the costs of repairs after the bundled warranty is no longer valid.

All things considered, it is entirely up to you to decide whether a vehicle service contract is necessary or not. You might hesitate buying it while your car is still covered by its original warranty, but even so you might need it. We have to mention that after the original warranty expires, the necessity of such a contract becomes imperative, unless you decide to sell the vehicle or trade it for another one.

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2011 rpmGo Facelift Revealed

As you can see, our new theme is up and running. We hope that you like it and if you have any suggestions or find any bugs, make sure that you contact us. In addition, you can send us ideas of subjects that you would like to read more about, or any other recommendations that you have for us. We will be more than happy to reply back as soon as possible. Have a pleasant visit.

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rpmGO Turns 4 Years Old

On March 18th, 2007, co-founder Vlad Balan wrote the very first blog entry on rpmGO.com.  Four years later, we continue to provide new and accurate info regarding the car industry. We hope that you enjoy reading our articles and if you have any suggestions feel free to contact us and we will reply as soon as possible. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

PS: A new theme should be up and running pretty soon.

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RoboCop Detroit statue is now funded!

Statues aren’t cool. That’s a fact. Unless they’re silly and you can make a funny picture alongside them, they don’t seem to be worth the attention. But what if you could have a very cool statue in your city? Of RoboCop, let’s say.

If it hasn’t reached your ears yet, Detroit’s citizens are trying to convince the local authorities that building a RoboCop statue in town would be a great idea. We’re behind them 100%. I mean, who doesn’t want their own supercool statue of a supercool superhero? :D We know we do.

The problem they were facing was lack of funding, but this issue was taken care of by a company called Omni Consumer Products, which donated the necessary amount of money, aka $25,000, it would take to get the statue built. It seems that the company’s owners are also huge RoboCop fans, since their business is named after the evil corporation featured in the RoboCop universe and they also happen to sell movie products. Pretty cool, eh?

Detroit’s mayor continues to oppose this initiative strongly, but the citizens might just get their way if they keep pressuring him. The needs of the people should be not, am I right or am I right? And having a RoboCop statue in your town is as important as an Internet connection. Or water. Or even more so.

Source: Autoblog.

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Child Car-Seats Recalled

Nearly 800,000 child-safety seats are recalled from the car-seat manufacturer Dorel Juvenile Groups because the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has observed that harness adjustment stray may loosen during use. It is a list of almost 50 different car seat models, manufactured from May 1, 2008, through April 30, 2009 which include Convertible child restraints Alpha Omega, Alpha Omega Elite, Enspira, Priori, Prospect, and Vantage; Infant child restraints Mico and OnBoard.

The car-seats’ problem
It has been found that, sometimes, the harness locking and release button doesn’t return to its locked position. The result of this problem would be the adjustment strap slipping back through the adjuster when the child moves in his car seat, which exposes him to injury in case of collision.

What is to be done
All the persons with affected car seat registered with Dorel will have their button fixed, receiving a free kit. If the child-safety seat that you use for your baby is on the recalled list of models, you should contact Dorel.

For more information about the models recalled and about the entire situation, visit the Dorel Juvenile Groups official webpage.

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