Buying a Car? Should You Purchase New or Used?

Many factors go into your decision to buy a used car over a new car. Many car buyers assume the main point of difference between new and used cars is the price and condition. Clearly a used car will be more worn, and be in less perfect condition. For that sacrifice you can expect to pay significantly less than price of a new car.

However, there are many important variables must be factored into your selection. Below are a few.

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Common Car Repairs | Extended Car Warranty | Ensurall | Canada

10 Common Car Repairs to Watch Out For

The average lifetime of a car today is 11.5 years. That’s the longest ever, a testament to technological advances made by carmakers. In over a decade, a few things are bound to go wrong with a complicated piece of machinery like a car. Some of the issues you run into are easy fixes and some may require a little assistance from a certified car repair shop. The average car owner will spend $300 to $500 per year on car repairs. That can quickly add up over the years.

Here are the ten most common car problems that car owners run into:

1. Car Battery Dies

We’re not just talking about running down your battery by leaving your lights on overnight. That’s an easy, albeit frustrating, fix that can be handled with jumper cables. We’re talking about actual battery replacement. The average car battery has a shelf life of 4-6 years, depending on the model. So chances are, changing your car battery is one of the first car repairs you’ll run into.

2. Tires Need Replacing

Tires take quite a beating, so they’re bound to need replacing. Experts say most quality tires should last 60-80 thousand miles. (Though they’ll wear over time regardless of use, because the rubber breaks down.) Proper alignment and suspension will help prolong their life, so make sure your car is getting regular check-ups at your car repair shop to get the most out of them.

3. Water Pump Breaks

Your car’s water pump circulates coolant to keep your car from overheating. After 70,000 miles, instances of coolant leaks increase sharply. The first sign your water pump is broken is coolant seeping out of the vent hole or around the pump. While it may be possible to fix some leaks with sealant, if the pump itself is broken, it will have to be replaced entirely.

4. Gaskets and Rubber Parts Harden

Like any rubber product, gaskets will harden or break down over time. This causes them to lose efficiency and can lead to larger problems if not fixed. Though replacing gaskets may seem like a simple fix, it can be more complicated than it seems at first glance. Some engines may need to be taken apart to replace them, making the task more time-consuming and expensive. Other rubber parts that will harden over time include any number of hoses, valves and seals found throughout your car. Rubber breaks down faster when exposed to heat and sun, but for the most part wear and tear is unavoidable after 10 or so years.

5. The Clutch Breaks

Manual transmissions will typically last as long as your car does. However the same isn’t true for the clutch. Depending on how tough you are on your clutch, it may need to be replaced anywhere from 30-100 thousand miles. Replacing a clutch is labourous task, so be prepared to pay a chunk of change for repairs.

6. Automatic Transmission Fails

This is one of the most feared car repairs for good reason. Most car repair shops won’t even bother with repairs. If a transmission fails, it will likely be replaced, plain and simple. This will easily run you a bill for thousands of dollars. Most transmissions should last for the lifetime of the engine, but should and do are different matters! Instances of transmission failure steadily increase after your car hits the 60,000 mile mark. Keeping up with car maintenance and replacing transmission fluid at the recommended intervals will help keep your transmission in good shape.

7. Break Pads Wear Down

Break pads are built to wear down. How quickly they wear will depend on your driving style and how often and how forcefully you use them. Heavier cars will also chew through break pads faster, as well. Expect to change break pads somewhere between 30,000 miles and 70,000.

8. Muffler and Exhaust Parts Rust

Your exhaust is exposed to corrosive liquids, both internal (gas fumes) and externally (water and the elements) which can lead to rusting and leaks. Stainless steel often lasts up to a decade or more in these conditions. However when it does break down, it should be fixed immediately. When the exhaust leaks, it’s not only noisy; it can cause dangerous levels of carbon monoxide fumes to be released.

9. Spark Plugs Need Replacing

Spark plugs are what an engine uses to start, and therefore a pretty crucial part of a working car. Since they’re inside the engine, a lot of labour can go into replacing spark plugs, making getting them repaired at a certified car repair shop cost more than you might expect.

10. Air Conditioning Breaks Down

In the balmy summer months, many car owners would argue A/C is a necessity. When your cooling system breaks down, it’s a relatively complicated (and therefore costly) fix, which is best left to a certified car repair shop.

Protect yourself from unexpected car repairs with an extended car warranty. An extended car warranty ensures your car continues to be covered in the years when it matters most, when car problems and breakdowns frequently occur. Check out Ensurall’s extended car warranty plans <LINK:> to learn more about purchasing a warranty for your car.

Keywords: extended car warranty, car repairs, car problems, car repair shop, certified car repair, common car problems,

Discounted car warranties. The Internet has revolutionized how we car shop to save money.

Thornhill, Ontario – (May 03, 2012) – The internet has revolutionized how we shop for cars, allowing consumers to take control of the car buying process to save money. Whether comparing features and prices of various auto makes and models, arranging for car loan financing and insurance, to ordering a new car or purchasing a pre-owned vehicle online, consumers can now find the best deals using the internet.

An essential auto product consumers should also research when purchasing a car is an extended car warranty. “Warranties are sold by many dealerships but when buying a vehicle privately on web sites, such as Kijiji, Lease Busters and Auto Trader, extended warranties are usually not offered as part of the sale,” says Shadi Jarjoura, director of sales for Ensurall, Canada’s only online direct to consumer auto warranty provider.

By cutting out the middleman and selling directly to consumers, Ensurall is able to sell comprehensive and extended warranty contracts that are competitive with those sold by car dealerships and other warranty providers at a huge discount of up to 60% less. A diverse range of extended auto warranties are available – from specific component coverage, such as Powertrain, to complete bumper-to-bumper coverage.

As part of the car buying process when deciding to buy a new or pre-owned car, consumers can easily request a quote for an extended warranty on Ensurall’s web site. In addition, consumers should also research the history of the vehicle, whether buying online or from a dealership. “This is especially important when buying a pre-owned vehicle to make sure you aren’t buying a lemon, to find out if the vehicle has been properly maintained, or if it’s been involved in an accident,” advises Jarjoura.

Consumers intending to buy pre-owned vehicles can access this essential information at, Canada’s leader in providing car history reports. Services range in price from $34.95 to $64.95 for the most comprehensive report of a vehicle’s past.

Which Car Brand is Most Dependable?

J.D. Power and Associates released its Annual Survey of the Most Dependable Vehicles. J.D. Power surveyed the owners of 2008 model year vehicles, and asked the participants to report back on problems they experience with their vehicles over a 3 year period. The problems included, excessive wind noise, noisy brakes, vehicle pulling to the left or right, issues with the instrument panel/dashboard, and excessive window fogging. J.D. Power concluded, for the first time, Fords’s Lincoln Brand is the most dependable vehicle by their standards.

Speaking with the President of The Veri-Cheque Group of Companies, Ronald Renwick, regarding the J.D. Power & Associates Report, Mr. Renwick finds the report interesting but, “the devil is in the details” says Renwick, “as a warranty provider our main interest is in whether a transmission or brake calipers will hold up beyond the manufacturer’s initial warranty period, not so much if there is excessive noise in the cabin at high speeds. Although this type of measure can give you an indication of a vehicles overall engineering quality–if the radiator has a history of breaking down– this is much more important to us, than cabin noise.” Over the last 10 Years Ensurall and its partner divisions, have sold many tens of thousands of contracts on just about every make and model vehicle available in North America. A huge amount of information is gleaned from this extensive experience, including which components on what makes or models have the greatest tendency to break down, as well as which components in what makes or models are the most expensive to fix– both in terms of dealership labour rates, and cost of replacement parts. Renwick explains, if you want his best advice regarding vehicle reliability an examination of Ensurall’s prices for different makes and models is his best indication.

Below is a comparison of Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai/Kia, Nissan, and Toyota makes. We compared 5 categories of cars from each fleet, compacts, full sized sedans, mini-vans, SUVs and pick-up trucks. We used the actuarial pricing of a 5 Year/105,000 KM Ensurall Essential Warranty on 2008 model year vehicles with 60,000 KM on each vehicle for our test.

Ensurall’s Reliability List:

1.) Toyota: Narrowly edges out Honda for our top spot. Toyota has no star performers, however has no real weak spots either. Consistently reliable across all their models. Warranties on these vehicles are the most affordable.
2.) Honda: Would have scored better, but the Honda Pilot brought Honda’s overall score down a bit. In every category except SUV the Honda is as good or outperformed the other makes. Honda’s SUVs were tied with Ford’s SUV line-up.
3.) Kia/Hyundai: Korean makes have made giant strides in the area of dependability and reliability. The newer the model the more reliable. **Note: Do not have Truck line-ups.
4.) Nissan: Japanese cars are great balance of reliability and low cost for repairs. Nissan is close behind the top three spots.
5.) GM: Historically a large gap existed between US and Japanese makes but GM is best among American makes, and making strides to get better. GM’s compact models perform almost as well as the Japanese makes.
5.) Ford: Consistently mediocre. American cars generally have a higher failure rate, however “cost per repair” are lower, and therefore warranty prices are still very economical.
6.) Chrysler: In the Sedan category Chrysler is better than Ford otherwise they bring up the
rear in all vehicle categories.

How to Shop for an Extended Car Warranty

9 Key Questions to Ask Before Purchasing an Extended Car Warranty

Once you have chosen the right car for you, choosing the Extended Vehicle Warranty Package is the next most important task a car buyer has to complete.  The first thing to note is that not all warranty contracts are created equal, and there are important questions you need to ask before signing up.  So here goes:

1.) Where are the Terms and Conditions?  The answer to most of your questions can be found with a careful study of the Terms and Conditions.  Always get a copy of the Terms and Conditions of the warranty contract before purchasing.  If this cannot be easily obtained there is a problem.

2.) Is there at least a 30 day money back guarantee written into the contract?  All warranty contracts have a waiting period for making claims; it is only fair there should be a money-back guarantee for the same amount of time written in as well.

3.) How much coverage do I get?  Make sure you are aware of the level of coverage you are receiving.  Many dealers and sales people have a tendency to over sell their warranty offerings, and so it is important to really examine what level of coverage they are offering; is it a comprehensive warranty, or merely powertrain coverage?  Knowing this is important to compare one offering to next.  Again, not all warranties are written the same, and the lowest priced warranty is not always the best.

4.)  Where can I get my car fixed under warranty?  Contracts that restrict you to taking your vehicle to “Approved Mechanics” should be looked at very carefully.  It is in the consumer’s interest to be able to take their vehicle to a mechanic of the consumers choosing.

5.)  Can I take my vehicle to the dealership for repairs?

6.) What are the maximums?  There are two maximums to look out for.

a.) The first is the maximum allowable payout per claim.  Many contracts will have set amount as their maximum “Per claim”, for example, no single claim will exceed $1000 or $2500, or $5000 per claim.  The most generous per claim maximum you will find is, “the retail value of the named vehicle at the time of the claim”.

b.) The second maximum to look out for is the maximum liability of the contract for the full term of the warranty.  This should read “the value of the vehicle at the time of registration” of the warranty contract.

**Also some warranty contracts will cap warranty claims for individual repairs; for example, engine repairs will be capped at $1500, transmission repairs will be capped at $1000 etc.

It is important to know the limits of liability for two reasons, first, to know the value of what you are paying for, and second so you are not surprised when it comes time to making claim.

7.) How are deductibles applied to my repairs?  You might think it is very easy to live with a $100 deductible, however if your contract applies the $100 deductible to every item on the repair bill there could be very little coverage at all.  Deductibles should be applied “Per Claim” or “Per Visit”, not “Per Repair”, contract language can be vague so it is important to clarify this important point.

8.) When does the warranty begin and when does it end?  This may seem like a silly question, but make sure when you are offered a 5 year warranty, you know whether the 5 year begins at the registration of the warranty, or the expiry of your manufacturer’s warranty, or is it from the original inservice date of the vehicle?  Also make sure you know how much if any warranty coverage still exists on the vehicle, and the warranty you are purchasing does not overlap with that coverage.

9.) What is the warranty company’s reputation?  This is where you will have to do some digging.  The internet is the place to go.  Check reliable sources like the Better Business Bureau for consumer complaints, and Dunn & Bradstreet for the company’s financial strength.  Also, how long has the warranty company been in business?

Canadian Dollar Reaches Virtual Parity

On October 13 2010, the Loonie reached parity with the US dollar, and is currently trading at 97.04 cents against the greenback…  That sound you are hearing is Canadians racing back to their computers researching the benefits of purchasing all sorts of things in the United States.  Weekend shopping trips to Buffalo and Seattle are being planned as we speak.  While most Canadians plan to make a stop at the nearest Target or Bloomingdales stores, a sideline trip may take them to the any of the major auto dealerships to explore the possible savings of purchasing a new or used vehicle in the United States.  Once the savings are calculated, including the cost of an extended warranty, Canadians are finding the process to import vehicles into Canada is not as simple as clothes shopping at the department store. 

Here is a link to Registrar of Imported Vehicles website on how to complete the process of importing a vehicle into Canada from the United States.  This is a must read for anyone who wants to take on the task.