Mistakes When Buying a Car

A car is one of those possessions that can mean a lot to people in terms of how they present themselves to the world. Your car choice may be a representation of your personality, status, or individuality. Owning a car can give you a sense of freedom, of responsibility and maturity. When you get the chance to buy a new or used vehicle, it can be a like a clean slate. You will get to paint a new or upgraded picture of how others see you. You get to choose a new color, more technologically advanced options, or add a unique blend of your personality to the car through accessories. Whatever the reason, buying a vehicle is exciting, but it can also get some people in trouble. CarLife can give you the best services for car repair in the Scottsdale, Glendale and Gilbert areas, as well as help help educate you on some important factors to consider while car shopping. When it comes to buying a car, there are several areas people often forget to consider that we will look at in this article.

Not Researching

People frequently walk into dealerships without any idea of what a car is worth, what they are looking for, or what they can afford. This is a recipe for getting a poor deal on a car that you will end up unsatisfied with. To avoid buyer’s remorse and get a deal you are thrilled about, you need to first gain an understanding of your wants and needs in a car, and then look at your budget to see what you can comfortably afford. Then, you need to do your research! What are the safety ratings on the car you are interested in? Will the car require repairs, and how much will that be? Check out competitor pricing on your desired vehicle. Resources like Kelly Blue Book and CarFax will help you get a better understanding of the type, value and history of a car you are interested in.

Not Evaluating Your Budget and Finances

It is best to go over your finances in detail before you even walk into a dealership or start researching the kind of vehicle you would like. Exploring your finances will help you understand what you can afford monthly for a car payment, including taxes and insurance. Do not make a decision based on what you are approved for or what the dealership would suggest. You should know your budget, what you can afford monthly. Do not let yourself be swayed from that amount! It is great to get a new vehicle, but it is terrible to get one you cannot afford.

If you plan to trade in your current vehicle, research beforehand how much it is worth and what you owe on it. Coming to the dealer with your numbers aligned will help you get the best deal possible.

You will also want to research possible scenarios for financing. Find out from a credit union or your bank what kind of financing you could get so you will be able to compare rates when you get to the dealership. Considering insurances is also beneficial. Call up several car insurance companies for quotes on the new vehicle you have chosen.

Impulse Buying – Bad Idea

When we see something we like, it can be hard to not let the excitement take over. The worst thing you can do when buying a car is to impulse-buy. This is when you have not done any research on the car or scouted around at different dealers for the best price. It is very possible you will find a better deal if you wait instead of buying what is right in front of you, right now. A car is the often second largest life purchase behind a home, and it is important to make a wise decision.

The best thing to do when purchasing a vehicle is to take your time, consider all your options, know your budget, and do the research. Do not let anyone push you into a vehicle you don’t like or know anything about. Make sure you leave feeling empowered in your decision by being prepared.

Carlife not only wants the your car to run extremely well, we also want to see owners who are happy with their vehicle choices. See us today for all your repair and servicing needs!


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (10/11/2017) Kevin Cabral (Flickr)

Get Your Car In Line!

When our lives are out of alignment, we feel unsteady. The same goes for our cars. We need them to be in alignment for safety and a smooth ride. CarLife, located in Gilbert, Glendale and Scottsdale, knows the perfect balance for your car! We are passionate about keeping cars running as smooth as possible.

Importance of Good Alignment

When it comes to keeping your car maintained well, having great wheel alignment is important for your tires, gas mileage, and maneuverability. Driving on poor road conditions, hitting large bumps in the road, having erratic driving, or getting in an accident can cause your tires to come out of alignment.

How to Tell If Your Car Is Not Aligned

When you are driving, it is easy to tell if your car is out of alignment. If you let go of the steering wheel for a second or two, and your vehicle starts to move to the left or right, there is a good chance there is misalignment. Your car, when aligned to its precise design, should continue to steer straight without pulling one way or another if you briefly let go of the steering wheel. Another telltale sign of misalignment includes feeling vibration while driving, especially in the steering column.

Getting Aligned

CarLife has professional tire technicians who are more than capable of tackling the intricate systems in your car to get the proper alignment. Our professional staff is extremely knowledgeable in all the systems that work together to keep your vehicle running in tip top condition. We are able to conduct tire alignment efficiently, so only a quick visit is needed. Tire alignment is recommended every time you get new tires for your vehicle, when you feel your car pulling to one side or the other, when you feel vibration, or every 6,000 miles to stay safe.

CarLife knows how busy life can be, and we want to be there to help you take care of your vehicle while avoiding any inconvenient time constraints or costs. Come see us today for a proper tire alignment, a tune up or any other services you need for your vehicle.


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (9/14/2017) (Flickr)

Car Battery Basics

When your engine isn’t running quite right or if you feel power leaving your car when turning it on, you may have a battery issue. Just like when a body is not being fed and it tires out, you need to ensure that your car battery is charged with the energy it needs to help run the vehicle. CarLife knows how important excellent service is for all your automotive repair needs. We are dedicated to helping the Scottsdale, Peoria, Glendale, and Mesa areas get the best car service possible. Batteries play a critical role in keeping your car running in tip top shape and, unfortunately, Arizona’s heat can take a toll on them. Let’s look at some of the basics of batteries.

A Few Basics

It helps to start off with the basics of knowing your battery and how it functions. For over a 100 years, the lead acid battery has been consistently used to power vehicles. The lead acid battery is made up of lead oxide, lead, plates, and has 35% sulfuric acid with 65% water solution. The solution is called electrolyte which creates a chemical reaction resulting in electrons. When testing a battery, you are looking for the amount of sulfuric acid that is in the electrolyte. If the acid is low, it means the reaction creating the electrons is lacking. At this point, the rest of the sulfur ends up resting on the plates of the battery so that, when it is recharged, the sulfur returns to electrolyte allowing your battery to run smoothly again.

Battery Lifespan


With the high energy output needed for vehicles these days, the battery lifespan of lead acid batteries has been decreasing. The average battery, however, can last from 6 months to 48 months. If you are maintaining your battery to what is required, your battery will have a longer life span. Some maintenance tips to improve your battery life include:
*Clean out the cable connections and tighten them since dirty and loose connections often cause battery issues.
*Check the fluid level of a serviceable battery. Ensure you are using distilled water for the best results.
*Prevent corrosion of the cables on top-post batteries by using silicon sealer for the post, petroleum jelly for the washer, and grease exposed cables at the end.
*Don’t overfill battery cells due to natural expansion with warmth.
To get the most out of your battery, maintaining it to its specific requirements is key. Taking care of your car is just like taking care of your body; you do certain things to ensure long life and health along the way.

Carlife knows what is best for your car and can help you care for your engine and battery. Come see us today.


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (8/22/2017) Andy Armstrong (Flickr)

Ways to Improve Your Gas Mileage

Who doesn’t want to have better gas mileage? Everyone. We all want to save money and not be constantly affected by the rise and fall of gas prices. We shouldn’t have to live on the whims of the oil company. While cost effective automotive repairs can help keep your gas budget in check, there are other ways you can deliberately improve your gas mileage. For all you folks driving the freeways in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Gilbert, Carlife wants to provide some useful tips on how to improve your gas mileage and keep your gas budget in line.

Know Gas Mileage

The first thing to do in order to improve your gas mileage is to measure your current gas input and output. This will give you a baseline so that you can tangibly see the positive improvements in your gas mileage. While the newer cars have an automatic mpg counter on the display, these are usually not completely accurate and can give you a skewed view of the reality of your car. The best way to gain knowledge of your gas mileage is to track it yourself. This is an easy process. First, fill your car up fully and turn your trip counter to zero or write down your mileage. Second, when you fill up next, make a note of the amount of gallons you put in as well as stop the trip counter or write down your mileage again to calculate the miles driven. Divide the mileage by the gallons and you will get your mpg. Then just keep note of it each time you fill up. When you have five calculations, you will have an average of your total miles per gallon and you can start to see the improvements in your mpg when you start making some changes.

Saving Gas

There are several ways that you, as the driver, can affect your gas mileage. The following tips will help you see what will work best for you and how you can save money on gas.

*Hitting the Gas: When you gun the gas pedal as soon as the light turns green, you are wasting immense amounts of gas. Let up a bit, you are not racing. Allow yourself to gradually pick up speed and then stay at a consistent speed.
*Gas Type: If your car says to use regular gas, there is a reason. The premium is not necessary and therefore is just a waste of gas.
*Internet: Using the internet will help you find the gas stations in your area with the cheapest gas prices. This will save you money overtime and allow you to increase the money for your mileage.
*Tire Pressure: Checking your tire pressure to ensure that it is staying at the desired number will help with gas. When your tires are getting low, it increases rolling resistance and takes up more gas.
Roof Rack: Getting rid of your roof rack actually helps with the aerodynamics of the car. When there is added pressure against the wind and air resistance, it increases the need for gas to be consumed.
*Air Filter: Changing your air filter can seem like a random thing that would have no effect. In reality, if your engine is working to get air ingested, it is using the fuel to do so. Having clean airflow will positively affect your gas mileage.
*Spark Plugs: When your car has over 80,000 miles, your spark plugs can become filled with carbon deposits. Having fresh spark plugs can help with better gas mileage.

As there are several things you can do to increase your gas mileage, a lot of them have to do with good care of your car engine. The engine is like your mind. When you are feeding it junk food or not feeding it at all, it won’t be working to the best of its ability and it will take more energy to function. But when you feed your body and mind healthy foods regularly, the firing capacity is highly increased.

Contact Carlife today to learn more about improving your gas mileage and getting a regular tune up through the quality services we provide!


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (8/08/2017) We have moved!Please visit /highwaysengland (Flickr)

Cutting Edge Car Technology

With the first car being invented around 1885, we have come a long way. Technology for cars have become more efficient, effective and exciting. When driving the streets of Scottsdale or Phoenix we see this technology come to life in the Ferrari’s, Lamborghini’s, and other luxury cars that pass you by. Carlife believes in continually moving forward, being able to create custom services for your automotive needs, and is excited for the advanced technology coming out. There is no way to stop the progress that the car industry has be capitalizing on, and it will continue to get better and better. We love that those with the smartest minds are set to build vehicles with new, unique, safe and fun enhancements. As the tech industry becomes more inventive on their tech, the automotive industry is close behind.

Where It Happens

A lot of the big innovations for the car industry come from specific power centers. The places that employ the smartest minds focused on the automotive advancement include Detroit, Michigan; Austin, Texas; Portland, Oregon; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Phoenix, Arizona; Tokyo, Japan; and Stuttgart, Germany. Manufacturers are touching base with the creative intellectual minds to reach new and higher heights with automotives. From these center spots, they are creating simulated roadways to test out the ideas that come up in their high tech meetings.

Most Cutting Edge Technologies

With the prospects we can all dream up from flying cars to self driving cars, there are some of the most impressive technology advancements that have already been created. These include:
*Advanced Dashboards-fully customizable digital panels are starting to replace the digital gauges.
*Video Mirrors- A high resolution camera has been placed the back of some vehicles to increase visibility behind the car.
*Parental Controls- The location of the car and systems of how the car is working are able to be sent back to the parents so they can keep watch on their teenagers.
*Sensors- Our eyes are limited in what we can see so having sensors on the car helps to lessen collisions.
*Driver Override Systems- For when drivers get distracted, there is technology for automated braking to avoid collisions or hitting pedestrians.
Along with the above technology, there are so many positive advancements and too many to list. It is amazing the type of creation that is coming up to improve driving, safety and air quality.

To stay on top of the latest and greatest technology coming out, Carlife researches the engines, and works to know how to best service the new automotives being released.

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (7/18/2017) Mic (Flickr)