Spring is a time for new beginnings, and there’s no better way to start fresh than with a new car. Maybe your current ride is approaching its twilight miles. Perhaps you’re ready to embark on your first car-buying adventure. Whatever your situation, a new car is in your future.
But can you afford it? If so, how do you go about saving up for it? Here are a few tips to help you get started.
5 Tips to Help You Save Up for a New Car
Figure out your ideal car payment
First thing’s first: You need to have an idea of your buying power. Unless you’re planning on paying in full, you’ll have to come up with a car payment plan. Calculate your down payment, term, and interest rate options. If you have a car currently, you’ll want to factor in its trade-in value. If you don’t know where to begin, the finance professionals at Zimbrick can help.
Account for car-related expenses
The work isn’t over once you secure your loan and begin monthly payments. Like most other goods, cars require basic ongoing expenses. Gas, insurance, and maintenance are all things you’ll have to budget for, so don’t shop above your price range without considering what you’ll need to keep you on the road.
Decide on a timeframe
Timing is everything. Once you know which make and model you can afford, the next step is determining a realistic timeframe to make it happen.
Maybe you’ll need to save less over more time. Perhaps you’ll want to buckle down and penny-pinch to reach your purchase goal sooner. Whatever you do, make sure you have a nice cushion before you rush into anything.
Now it’s time to get down to business and start putting money away. Budgeting requires a lot of discipline, but you’re ready. Open up a savings account and set aside a specific figure from each paycheck. “Test drive” that figure for a few months to see if you reach it without negatively impacting other parts of your budget.
Buying isn’t for everyone. Leasing is a great alternative for those who don’t want to be tied down by ownership. It’s also a good option for those who desire lower average monthly payments.
If buying isn’t your style, check out the lease deals and specials at Zimbrick. If you want to know more, our finance experts are here to answer your questions.
Start Saving for Your Ride Today in Madison, WI
Once you’ve reached your savings goal, it’s time for the fun part. At Zimbrick, we have a variety of competitively priced vehicles in our inventory of new cars for sale. We also carry an array of affordable options at our used car dealership. Visit one of our 16 convenient locations to put the stamp on your car-buying journey.
With the weather warming up, your house isn’t the only thing in your life that needs a little spring cleaning. Don’t forget about your car.
With milder temperatures on the horizon, you’ve got places to go and fun things to do, so you’ll be spending plenty of time on the road. That’s why you’ll want to keep your car as squeaky-clean and clutter-free as possible.
But where do you get started? Read our list below to find out.
A List of Things to Tidy Up When Spring Cleaning Your Car
The winter precipitation has likely taken a toll on your windshield, so cleaning your glass will increase your visibility for the season ahead. Apply glass cleaner, wipe with a microfiber cloth, and buff with a clean rag.
Once the windshield has dried, you can take it a step further by spraying rain repellent solution and buffing again.
Most of last fall’s leaves are gone — except the ones stuck in your cowl, which is located at the base of your windshield. Any unwanted debris there can clog your fresh air intake and lead to a slew of other problems. You’ll want to clear out your engine compartment and the surrounding area.
Unless they’re an all-weather grade, your floor mats have probably taken a beating from the slush you’ve dragged in with you during the winter. Freshen them up with stain remover and throw them in the washing machine — unless the manufacturer advises otherwise.
Floorboards and storage compartments
Everyone can relate to finding a stray water bottle — or ten — in the floorboard. Go through your cabin and remove all disposable and recyclable waste. You’ll be happy you did so — and so will your passengers.
If your upholstery is vinyl, a toothbrush is a good trick for removing any embedded dirt. You’ll want to use dish soap or something equally non-abrasive so that you don’t damage the material. Speaking of toothbrush…
A toothbrush also comes in handy for getting the pesky dirt from between your cushions. Once you’ve loosened the particles from the cracks and crevices of your seats, you’ll want to go behind with a vacuum to make sure nothing lingers and resettles.
Toothbrushes aren’t the only improvised cleaning tools that can help you with your car. A cheap foam brush is perfect for dusting your AC vents. Spring is difficult enough for a lot of people — thanks to pollen — so you don’t want to be breathing in any unnecessary irritants. Be sure to vacuum as you go so that the dust doesn’t settle elsewhere.
Spring Into the Days Ahead With a Clean Slate in Madison, WI
Ready to roll up your sleeves and get to spring cleaning? Zimbrick can help. Our Service Center can do everything from replacing your cabin’s air filter to changing your engine’s oil. Schedule an appointment today, and let us show you how we do spring service.
To learn more, contact us at one of our 16 convenient locations in the Madison, Wisconsin, area. We can’t wait to hear from you.
Let’s talk about dashboard lights. It’s only natural to fear the worst when you see one of them light up on your dashboard. But there’s no need to fret. Many of your dashboard lights — such as your parking brake icon or your headlights indicator — are present on a daily basis. Others may signal trouble, but not usually something that puts you in immediate danger.
So take a deep breath because we’re here to shed some light on common dashboard symbols and their meanings. And if it turns out that you need to have your car serviced after reading our infographic below, we’ve got you covered there, too.
Dashboard lights and their meanings vary from brand to brand and vehicle to vehicle. That’s why it’s a good thing that we have experience with up to 15 different manufacturers at Zimbrick. Contact us online, schedule an appointment today.
Your car is important to you, but your pets are irreplaceable. Like any responsible pet owner, you want to make sure that you’re protecting them at all times. Making sure they’re comfortable and secure in the car is a great place to start.
Unlike you, car rides are not your pet’s best friend — but they are unavoidable. You have vacations, trips to the park, and visits to the vet still in the making. That’s why Zimbrick is here to give you some advice for peace of mind. Read it below.
5 Tips for Driving with Your Pet in the Car
Get your pet acclimated
“The more time, the better” isn’t necessarily the best mindset for getting your pet used to the car. Rushing into lengthy rides can give your critter anxiety. Work your way up gradually with short trips to build their confidence. Some pets will never become fans of the car, but giving them positive experiences will make commutes less stressful.
Pack a travel kit
For extended drives, your pets require just as many if not more supplies than you do. Bring their favorite toy along for the ride to give them a sense of home. Stock up on plenty of food, water, and essential items like bowls, leashes, medications, and waste care products. You’ll want to be prepared for anything.
Exercise caution when driving with your pet up front
It’s tempting to let your cuddly pal ride in your lap, or at least the passenger seat. It can also be extremely dangerous. Deployed airbags can seriously harm your pet, especially if they’re on the smaller side.
You also want to avoid letting your pet to hold its head out the window or ride in the bed of a pickup truck.
Properly secure your pet
A well-ventilated carrier or crate is always the best way to go, depending on the size of your pet. For your smaller furry friends, a traveler cage should suffice. The most important thing is that your pet has plenty of room to stand, turn around, and lie down.
If you opt out of the crate route, make sure your pet is fastened into the back seat with a harness.
Never leave your animal unattended in a parked car
A car can become a boiler or ice box in a matter of minutes, depending on the weather outside. If it’s hot out, your pet could succumb to heat stroke — even with the windows cracked. If temperatures are on the colder side, they could develop hypothermia.
Bringing your pet with you when you exit the vehicle is the only acceptable solution, no matter how inconvenient it may seem at the time.
Keep Safety First in Madison, WI
At Zimbrick, we understand that your fuzzy companion isn’t just another possession — it’s a part of your family. That’s why we provide plenty of safe and cozy options for you and your pet at our Madison car dealerships. Browse our inventory of used cars for sale or contact us for more details.
We’ve all heard them one way or another: tricks for improving gas mileage that sound like they could be true. But how do we separate the phony from the legitimate? Doing right by your gas tank ensures that you get the most bang for your buck. So let’s take a look at the facts. Here are five myths about gas mileage that could save you time and trips to the pump.
5 Common Misconceptions about Your Gas Mileage
Premium gas is the only way to go
We’ll classify this claim as mostly myth. Since premium gas contains a higher octane level than regular or mid-grade, it does help to prevent pre-ignition on luxury and high-performance vehicles. But for most cars, depending on make and model, regular gas should work just fine. Otherwise, you could be wasting your money.
Independently-owned stations offer bogus gas
Buying the brand name doesn’t always offer any particular benefit, and gas is a great example. In fact, smaller stations are generally supplied by larger companies, so their products are very comparable.
Filling up in the morning gets you more gas
Have you ever heard that buying gasoline before daytime temperatures have peaked will help stretch your dollar? It probably sounded too good to be true — and for good reason. Cooler gasoline is denser. But since most stations keep their gas underground, any temperature change above ground has no effect on the quality of the product.
You should “warm” your car before you drive it
Letting your car run for an extended period of time before driving it is old news, thanks to modern fuel-injected drivetrains. Cars are most efficient at regular operating temperature, so if you’re taking a considerable amount of time to let your car warm up, you’re just wasting gas.
Driving with the windows up spares fuel economy
You probably know that using your air conditioner decreases your car’s fuel efficiency. But you’ve also heard that driving with the windows down affects your car’s aerodynamics, and thus drains your gas tank at an accelerated rate. Thankfully, there is no evidence that suggests your car performs more efficiently with the windows up. So let them down and enjoy the breeze.
Boost Your Fuel Economy in Madison, WI
Of course, none of these debunked myths are going to matter much without a fuel-efficient car, truck, or SUV. Luckily, we carry a wide selection of new and used cars for sale at Zimbrick. Contact us about availability or visit any of our Madison dealerships today.
5 Signs That Your Car Needs an Oil Change
You can’t remember your last oil service
It’s easy to let things fall through the cracks every now and then, especially when you lead a busy lifestyle. You should have your oil changed every 3,000 to 10,000 miles, depending on the make and model of your car. But if you’ve fallen off track of your maintenance schedule, it’s a good idea to have your levels checked.
The check engine light is on
As obvious as it seems, a check engine light can mean a number of things. Still, it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your oil since having an insufficient amount can damage your engine. Getting your car evaluated will rule out an overdue oil change as the reason for the sudden appearance of the check engine light.
Engine runs louder than usual
Your engine should sound robust and even, so if it’s making a knocking noise, you know something’s not right. The racket could be the result of an engine worn down by friction. An oil change now could save an engine replacement later.
Oil is silty or dark in color
Your oil should be a rich brown color, somewhat like tea. If it’s unusually dark and contains floating particles, it’s likely an indicator of sludge buildup. Replenishing with fresh oil will facilitate circulation and help your engine stay healthy.
Oil levels are lower than recommended
If the amount of oil in your engine is low on your dipstick, so is the extent of lubrication. You’ll need to maintain a sufficient level to guarantee a continuous flow to your engine’s moving parts. Having your levels restored and asking us to check for any leaks will help improve the long-term health of your engine.
Get Your Oil Changed in Madison, WI
Have you noticed one or more of the above signs? Zimbrick can help. We offer oil change services every day Monday through Saturday at our Madison, Middleton and Sun Prairie Wisconsin, car dealerships. Schedule an appointment today.
Winter is seen by some as an opportunity for downtime, thanks to colder temperatures and shorter days. But it doesn’t have to keep you cooped up — especially if you live in Madison, Wisconsin. Dane County offers plenty of exciting winter activities, even after the holidays have come to pass.
From outdoor sports and recreation to indoor festivities, there’s an adventure in store for everyone. Read about five of our favorites below.
3 Activities to Help You Enjoy This Winter Season
Who says extreme sports are only for the warmer months? Ice fishing in the nippy weather is a tradition for anglers and those who can’t stand to be kept indoors in Madison, Wisconsin. Bluegill, northern pike, panfish, and walleye all await to be reeled in when you partake in this wintertime classic.
It just wouldn’t be winter in Dane County without ice skating with the family. There are a dozen facilities across Madison for you and yours to lace up and chisel out your best figure eight impressions. Elver, Tenney, and Vilas parks supply several activities and amenities at their rinks.
Hitting the slopes is a favorite winter pastime for many. That’s why it’s a good thing that there are a variety of lodges and resorts within driving distance of Madison. Devil’s Head Resort boasts the capacity for 600 skiers, cross-country skiers, and snowboarders. It offers courses for beginners and seasoned skiers alike. Plus, it’s only an hour up the road from the Madison-Metro area.
If skiing or snowboarding don’t get your blood pumping enough, why not try your hand at snowmobiling? Dane County is home to over 500 miles of snowmobile trails that link to the greater Wisconsin statewide trail network. A scenic, sparkling white landscape is never more than a corner away.
Share Your Winter Memories with Zimbrick
With all there is to do this winter, spring will be here before you know it. Follow us on Facebook, and make time to share your winter experiences with Zimbrick. If you need something special to make this season one to remember, we’ve got you covered there, too.
Best Ways to Spend Your Tax Refund
Once again, it’s tax season. While it can sometimes be frustrating or annoying to file your taxes, many of us will be receiving a tax refund to lift our spirits. While some people like spending their tax refund on something nice and some others like to save it for later, there are many things you can do with the money you receive. Read on to see why saving money on a vehicle at Zimbrick is one of the best ways to spend your tax refund.
Buying a car is a big step for all parties involved, so you want to make sure you’ve got all the answers to the most important questions. So where do you begin?
Zimbrick is a great place to start. We help car-buyers make the best decisions every day. Below, you’ll find a series of questions you’ll want to ask yourself when searching for a car in 2018.
5 Car-Buying Dilemmas to Answer this Year
Is buying or leasing the better decision?
Answer: The answer to this question isn’t a matter of which option is better, but rather which one is more appropriate for you. Both buying and leasing have their respective benefits. If equity in your purchase is a must-have for you, then buying is the way to go. But if you’re after lower average monthly payments, leasing might be the route to take.
Should I buy new or used?
Answer: It all boils down to your preference and your budget. New cars provide a clean slate and carry the latest and greatest features — but at a higher price point. When properly serviced and maintained, used cars offer a more practical alternative. Whichever way you go, Zimbrick carries an extensive selection of quality new and used cars for sale.
How do I find the right brand?
Answer: Car shoppers generally fit into one of two categories: Those who are brand loyalists, and those who just want a great deal regardless of the nameplate. We cater to either at Zimbrick. We also understand that research, in-person examination, and test-driving are all pivotal steps in selecting the right car brand.
Is a certified pre-owned (CPO) car worth it?
Answer: In short, the answer is yes. If you have your heart set on a brand new car, then go for it. But if you want a like-new car with a cheaper price tag, buying CPO is something you should give some serious thought. CPO cars are thoroughly inspected, and many are still under warranty. That’s why we stock a large selection of CPO cars for sale at Zimbrick.
Should I buy a luxury car?
Answer: If you have the budget, you can’t go wrong. Luxury cars boast exhilarating road manners and lavish comfort features. But since they do come with a higher cost, you’ll want to make sure you get one from the right place. It’s a good thing Zimbrick offers a wide selection of luxury brands.
Make the Right Call in Madison, WI
At Zimbrick, we want to use our Loving Care Service to help you answer these questions. Contact us now for professional consultation that keeps your best interest in mind. If you’re ready to take things a step further, visit us at one of our 16 dealerships in the Madison, Wisconsin, area.
Glass and Windshield Repair Near Madison WI
It is an unfortunate fact that our vehicles will need to undergo some kind of fix or maintenance at one point or another. However, it can sometimes be the unpredictable issues that are the most bothersome. A vital part of being safe on the roads is visibility, and with a cracked or broken windshield, you’re further putting yourself at risk. Read on to learn about the reliable glass and windshield repair near Madison, WI, at Zimbrick.