5 Things to Look Out For When Buying a Used Car

While buying a used car has become incredibly viable due to the price of new cars, the price could come with a few surprises. Hidden damage could cost a fortune in repairs. We here at Brighton Honda have five things to look out for when buying a used car.

  1. Leaks – If a car is leaking oil, anti-freeze, or any other type of fluid, it could be a cause for worry. To check to see if the car you’re considering has any leaks, take a test drive and stop on a clean, dry part of the road. Idle for a minute or two then pull forward. If you see any liquid on the ground, it may be a good idea to pass on the car.
  2. Reviews – Checking out the model as a whole is a great idea when buying a used car. Reviewers often list common problems, defects, and overall impressions and experiences.
  3. Vehicle History Report – Any seller should have a vehicle history report available. If they don’t consider shelling out a few bucks to get one. The report will list any accidents, major repairs, ownership history, and more.
  4. Interior – Before buying, make sure you do a full inspection of the car’s interior. Look for tears in the upholstery, stains in the carpet, and use your nose. The smell of cigarette smoke isn’t something you can get rid of just by opening the windows.
  5. Exterior – Give the car’s exterior a good inspection. Rust and leaks could be signs of major problems sooner rather than later. Minor scratches and dents are common and aren’t too much cause for worry. Larger damages are something to take into account when negotiating the price though.

Three Simple Reasons to Buy a Used Car

Buying a vehicle is one of the most important financial decisions that people have to make. The right car will provide you with many years of value, while the wrong car can continue to cost you more and more money with each year that passes. Here are three simple reasons why you should buy a used car.

Depreciation

This is maybe the biggest reason why you should avoid purchasing a brand-new car. The minute that you drive your new car off of the lot, it loses approximately 20% of its value. After one year of driving it, it will lose another 10% of its value. Purchasing something that loses value that quickly simply is not a strong investment.

Reducing Hidden Costs

When purchasing a new car, many people think that the sticker price is the only thing that they have to pay. However, both insurances fees and registration fees are generally higher for new cars. Buying a used car can help you keep those prices down.

Finding Real Value

While buying a used car may have once had a stigma attached to it, there are now so many ways to check a vehicle’s history to ensure that you are purchasing a quality vehicle. Also, many new models of cars are almost exactly the same as the previous year’s model, so purchasing a two year old car will essentially be the same as a brand new car.

Why It’s Better to Service Your Vehicle at a Dealership

Your car is one of your most important assets. It allows you to travel to work, take your kids where they need to go, see friends, get food, and all other kinds of important life activities. Unfortunately, many people do not treat their cars as they should. Here is why you should service your car at a dealership.

Quality

Dealership mechanics are backed by major car companies, which means the car companies put their word behind their service technicians. Local mechanics range from very good to very bad, but you know exactly what you’re getting when you take it to a dealership.

Better Tools

As they are backed by major corporations, dealerships often have the latest and most effective tools for their mechanics to use. Local garages can’t always afford access to these tools right away.

More Organization

Dealership garages are generally much cleaner and more organized than local garages, which leads to efficiency and less problems. There are also usually nicer waiting areas for customers at dealerships to allow you to wait in comfort.

While it’s always good to support locally owned business, you simply don’t always know what you’re getting at a local mechanic. When you’re talking about your car, one of your most important investments, it’s often better to go with the sure thing.

Getting Your Car Ready for Winter

As one of the northernmost states in the US and surrounded on three sides by the Great Lakes, Michigan gets some seriously bad winters. Here are some tips for getting your car ready for winter so you can keep your car on the road in any conditions.

First of all, make sure your car is running at its best. Check the fluids and make sure your antifreeze is at the right level. If you haven’t had your oil changed in a while, now is a great time to get that done, since you’ll want fresh oil to keep your engine running well in the cold weather. Get your brakes checked for thin brake pads, leaks in the lines, and so on.

It’s a good idea to get your battery tested—cold is harsh on batteries, so if it’s already having problems it may not last through the season. Check your tires for worn tread, cracks, bulges, and leaks. If your tire pressure is low, it reduces traction, which is less safe for you and uses more fuel. If your tread is low, you may want to get new tires. Otherwise, check the pressure regularly and add air when necessary—cold weather reduces tire pressure.

Put together an emergency kit with warm clothes, blankets, flares, flashlights, nonperishable snacks and water, basic tools, and anything else you might need to get help and stay warm if you do break down.

Why Michigan is the Best State to Live In

If you’re a Michigan native, you know that our awesome state is the best state to live in, hands down. If you’re not a resident and you’re looking for a new place to call home, here are a few of the many reasons why Michigan is the perfect choice!

First of all, most of Michigan has an incredibly affordable cost of living. Homes that cost thousands of dollars to rent in more expensive states are hundreds of dollars in the biggest Michigan cities. If you live in Michigan, you can afford to enjoy your close proximity to all four of the Great Lakes—buy a boat, go on frequent weekend trips. Michigan is your oyster.

The lakes, and all the other beautiful nature you can see in Michigan, are another reason to make the state your new home. Day trips to the beach, hiking in the forest, and picnics in the park are all just a few minutes away from any given place in the state.

Michigan also has a rich culture of sports and arts. Few states have football fans as passionate as the fans of the University of Michigan Wolverines and Michigan is home to the Detroit Electronic Music Festival and the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Whether you want to live in a big city, a bustling college town, or somewhere more rural, Michigan has something for everyone.

Guide to Buying a Used Honda

Buying a car is an important investment, and doing your homework beforehand can potentially save you thousands of dollars. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best options for used Hondas.

2009 Honda Fit

While it is a small car, the 2009 Honda Fit has as much space as many compact SUV options. In 2009, it was named US News and Ranking’s Best Subcompact Car for the Money, and it’s still a great value.

2011 Honda Civic

Honda Civics are known to be reliable, and this year’s model was named the US News Best Used Small Car between $10k-$12k. It was also named the 2011 Best Compact Car for the Money.

2012 Honda Accord

The 2012 Honda Accord is a fairly economical car for its class, getting up to 34 MPG on the highway. It was named the Best Used Midsize Car $15k and up.

2014 Honda Accord Hybrid

The 2014 Accord Hybrid comes standard with a four-cylinder engine that switches easily to an electric motor. It gets up to 50 MPG, so it’s very economical, and it comes standard with a lot of great technology features.

Honda cars are known to hold their value over the years, so choosing Honda for your pre-owned vehicle is a great choice.

Fun Upcoming Events in Michigan

Fall is filled with so many fun things to do that it’s hard to break it down into one list. However, here are some of the most fun events in Michigan going on this fall.

Tuba Bach Chamber Music Festival- Big Rapids (October 9-16)

For anyone interested in classical music, the Tuba Bach Chamber Music Festival provides free shows every Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon from September-October.

2016 Season!- Beaverton (September 17-October 30)

Get outside and enjoy some family fun with corn mazes, fresh donuts, and animals that will eat right out of your hands.

Hell-O-Hollow Weekends- Hell (September 17-October 31)

What better way to get ready for the Halloween season than by going to a festival in Hell? You receive a Death Certificate when you try the Grave Digger Sundae, and there’s free kiddie cones for those dressed in costumes.

Kent Harvest Trails- Grand Rapids (September 8-October 31)

There will be over 20 farms participating in this year’s Kent Harvest Trails program, giving families all kinds of country fun. Kent Harvest Trails provides all kinds of classic fall fun activities like pumpkin picking, trail riding, and other fun activities for all ages.

There are all kinds of different fairs and festivals this fall, so get outside and enjoy all that Michigan has to offer.

Go Exploring in Your Honda: Check Out This Epic US Road Trip

Are you an outdoors sort of person with a sense of adventure? You should get to know the name Randal S. Olson. It’s the name of a data scientist, researcher at University of Pennsylvania, and avid search path fan who likes to plan the best-ever cross-country road trips. On the list of his latest hypothetical trips, he pinpointed 47 of the 59 US national parks along the best possible route. Are you up for this wild US road trip?

Spanning 14,498 miles, Olson’s latest tribute to the National Park Service, which turns 100 this year, runs through a number of memorable and famed parks, including landmarks like California’s Redwood National and State Parks, home to the largest trees in the world.

Olson created the route using an algorithm known as the Gurobi TSP solver. TSP stands for “traveling salesman problem,” which alludes to the algorithm’s purpose – to find the fastest, best, and most efficient route through multiple destinations, with the end of the route looping back to the origin point where the traveler began.

The loop-shaped design of this national park packed US road trip is made to make it easy for anyone anywhere in the States to hop on the route and go. The question is, are you brave enough to take this estimated two-month-long trip?

Honda Ridgeline Review Takes You Through a Test-Drive

Midsize trucks like the Honda Ridgeline occupy a niche, in-between market that can be hard-pressed to find an audience. However, since its inception in 2005, the Ridgeline has continuously impressed critics and found itself a good reputation as a more unconventional truck. In a recent Honda Ridgeline review by Car and Driver that test drove the latest 2017 model, the Ridgeline was confirmed to still hold true to its quirky ways while still coming out on top as one of the best trucks in its class.

The Honda Ridgeline comes standard with a single engine in its range, a 3.5-liter V6 that cranks out 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. That may sound average for its class, but the Ridgeline’s nimble performance allowed it to reach 60 mph in as little as 6.6 seconds during the test-drive. Additionally, the 2017 Ridgeline is the first to offer front-wheel drive, which provides a lower base price and better fuel economy unless you choose to opt for the AWD version. Either way, the Ridgeline gets up to 26 mpg on the highway in the FWD model, or 25 mpg on the highway in the AWD model, so AWD doesn’t affect fuel consumption that much.

The Honda Ridgeline review goes further into the details of the truck, including its unique two-way tailgate design that makes loading the cargo bed easier and the well-appointed interior that is packed with comfort and technology.

Brighton High School Ranks Among Top 25 Public Schools in State

Brighton High School was recently ranked among the best in Michigan. The annual US News & World Report High Schools ranks the high school 21st in the state, as well as 777th in the nation. With more than 21,000 public high schools in all 50 states, that’s pretty impressive.

According to the Brighton Patch, the top 25 schools were determined based on things like graduation rates and standardized testing. Brighton students perform among the best in the state, as well as in the top percentiles in the nation. Not only that, but Brighton students have gone on to perform well in college as well.

“Schools were awarded gold, silver or bronze medals based on their performance on state assessments, their graduation rates and how well they prepare students for college,” according to U.S. News & World Report, which looked at curriculum, test scores and student demographics.

The number one high school in the US was the School for the Talented and Gifted in Dallas, Texas. The number one school in Michigan was the International Academy in Bloomfield Hills, which also ranked number nine overall. Nonetheless, we here at Brighton Honda couldn’t be more proud of our local high school students. Not only that, but the faculty and staff also deserve recognition for their ability to teach and inspire students.