Friday, May 25, 2018

Spring Car Care Checklist 


We all know that Wisconsin winters aren’t easy on vehicles. Potholes in the road may have caused your tires to lose pressure, road salt may have accumulated on your brakes, your wheel alignment may not be correct after driving on slick roads, and your car may be covered in a mixture of leftover snow, grime and salt.
Now that the snow has gone away and the temperature is climbing, it’s a great time to give your vehicle the inspection and care it deserves. Here are some things you may want to take into consideration this spring.

A few things you can consider doing yourself may include: 

1. Replacing your windshield wiper blades: Admit it; you’ve used a combination of wipers and fluid to clear snow and ice off your windshield when it was a job for the ice scraper. No judgment, we’ve all done it, but it does lead to premature wiper wear. Treat your car and yourself to a new set of quality wipers and bring on those April showers.
2. Check your lights: So important, but yet often times neglected. Have a friend help you by turning on the head lights, blinkers, and hazard lights and stepping on the brakes while you are in front and behind the vehicle to take a look and make sure they are all in proper, working order.
3. Noises: When you roll down your windows to enjoy the warm weather, you may notice a few squeaks or rattles coming from your vehicle that weren’t there last fall. To make the noise easier to pinpoint, try driving alongside a warehouse or large building with your windows down. The wall will reflect the sound and make the noise easier to describe to your technician.
4. Wash the interior and exterior of your vehicle: Washing your vehicle isn’t just important for aesthetic reasons, leaving road salt on the vehicle for too long can deplete the color and corrode the metal. While you are cleaning your vehicle, we recommending waxing it for a glimmering finish. A good wax will protect your vehicle and keep it looking like new. If you are not feeling up to the challenge of a spring vehicle wash, you can give Eau Claire Ford Lincoln & Quick Lane a call to schedule one of our professional detailing services and leave the dirty work to us!

Shop services you should consider: 

1. Suspension and alignment: You can only dodge so many potholes. Checking and replacing suspension components is better left to the professionals. While you are here, don’t forget about getting a four-wheel alignment as well, especially after investing in a front-end repair or a new set of tires.
2. Brakes and fluids: Fluids break down over time and are prone to contamination, especially brake fluid as it is hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs moisture. The moisture can eventually lead to internal rust and corrosion that damages brake components. Winter weather and road salt can also wash away the lubricants needed to keep your brakes performing the way they should, so be sure to have your brakes inspected when you are in for service.
3. Tires: If you have all-season tires, be sure to have them checked for irregular wear patterns, sidewall cracks and tire depth. If you have winter tires, now is a great time to switch over to your summer driving tires. Don’t forget to have the condition of your spare tire checked as well!
4. Replace your cabin air filter: Spring is prime allergy season, and the cabin air filter can contribute to your sneezing and sniffling. Replacing this filter can prevent allergens like dirt, dust, and pollen from getting trapped in your car.
5. Air conditioning performance test: Having a trained technician check over your vehicle’s air conditioning will save you from being stuck in the summer heat.
6. Schedule an oil change: Most vehicles should get their oil and oil filter changed every 5 months or every five thousand miles, whichever comes first. Motor oil is an essential fluid in your engine that keeps it running smoothly and efficiently while extending the life of your vehicle.


Budgeting for spring vehicle services: 

The great news is that most of the services we just talked about can be done right in our Quick Lane! With The Works package we will change your vehicle’s oil and oil filter, top off your fluids, rotate your tires and perform a multi-point vehicle inspection. The multi-point vehicle inspection will check your brakes, fluids, bulbs, and more. Currently, The Works package is only $39.95 and can be scheduled in advance or we welcome walk-ins as well. The Quick Lane can also mount and balance your tires, perform alignments, brake services and more!
Stop by at 2909 Lorch Avenue or give us a call at 715-852-1000 today to get your vehicle ready for summer driving.



Sources: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-drive/culture/commentary/spring-car-care-heres-your-checklist/article29695169/ https://independentmotors.net/spring-car-care-checklist/

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Should I buy or lease my next vehicle?

Leased vehicles accounted for 31% of new vehicle sales in 2016, according to Edmunds. Leasing can be a great option to get you lower payments and get you into a new car, but you will have to factor in how much you drive and your goals to decide if buying or leasing is right for you. 

Let’s go over a few benefits of buying and leasing to help make your decision a little easier.

Benefits of Leasing

Leasing a vehicle allows customers to trade into a new vehicle usually much faster than they would be able to if they were purchasing a vehicle. This means they are always able to get the latest and greatest in safety and technology.

How leasing works: When buying a car, you are responsible for the entire purchase price. When you lease, you only pay for the difference in the vehicle’s price and the vehicle’s expected value at the end of the lease. This amount is also known as a residual value. Essentially, you just have to pay for the depreciation that occurs over the term of your lease agreement.

Small Down Payment: Leasing is perfect for customers who do not have a large down payment or do not have a vehicle that gives them much back as a trade-in. Many leases do not require money down at signing and it is easy to find one that only requires a couple thousand dollars down, but it is important to remember that just like purchasing, more money down will lessen your monthly payment.

Warranty Coverage:  The average lease term lasts three years, which means when leasing a new Ford or Lincoln vehicle, you will be covered under the bumper to bumper warranty for the entirety of your lease. Some leases can even include basic maintenance, so the only costs you are left with is insurance and fuel.

Tax Savings:  Leasing may save you money in sales tax as well! In Wisconsin, and some other areas, you’ll only have to pay sales tax on the amount you spend at signing and on your monthly payments (and you don’t pay taxes on the residual value.) When you purchase a vehicle, you are responsible for paying tax on the entire purchase price.

What happens at the end of my lease? There’s no need to worry about selling your vehicle or trading it in as you have options versus obligations.
Option 1: Buy the vehicle for lease end value and keep it.
Option 2: Buy the vehicle for lease end value and sell or trade the vehicle with equity.
Option 3: Simply drop the car off at the dealership and walk away!

Benefits of Buying

No Mileage Restrictions:  When you buy, there are not restrictions to how many miles you can drive each year, though some lenders may put restrictions on use of a vehicle as an Uber or Lyft driver. If you live in a rural area, commute to work, or travel long distances, buying may be a wise choice.

No Monthly Payments After the Loan:  When you pay off the vehicle, you won’t have any more monthly car payments. Leaving you with only fuel, maintenance, and insurance costs. If you are the type of buyer who likes to drive your vehicle for a very long time, leasing may not be the best choice for you.

No Customization or Excess Wear Fees:  Car buyers can customize their vehicles as much as they like. Some of these customizations may even add value when it comes time to sell the vehicle. Any changes to a leased car may cost you at the end of the contract. Buyers who miss a regular service interval or two also do not have to worry about any fees when they sell the car but a lease customer might.

Final Thoughts

Every car buyer is different, so there is no single answer to whether buying or leasing is better. We advise you to look at the costs and benefits of each choice and align them with your needs and budget. Your choice may depend on the current incentives that are available on the vehicle you are considering as well, so be sure to talk with our knowledgeable sales consultants about all of your options.

Whether you choose to buy or lease your next vehicle, Eau Claire Ford Lincoln & Quick Lane will be happy to assist you in your car buying and service needs! If you have questions, please contact us at 715-852-1000 or stop in at 2909 Lorch Avenue to see us in person.



Sources:
Vincent, John M. “Buying vs. Leasing.” U.S. News & World Report, U.S. News & World Report, 2 Feb. 2018, cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/buying-vs-leasing.

Lease Market Report. Edmunds, 2017, pp. 2–2, Lease Market Report.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Use Your Tax Refund Wisely



Use Your Tax Refund Wisely

Let's be honest, we know that some people put off their vehicle's maintenance for as long as possible. But, this tax season might be the best time to let us take care of your vehicle's needs so your vehicle can remain reliable and perform at its best.

Simple things like regular inspections can help identify potential issues with your vehicle and many times are complimentary with your oil change or other service. For example, when you schedule an oil change or Works Package in our Quick Lane or another service in our main shop, we offer a complimentary multi-point inspection that includes checking your tires, brakes, battery and more!

It's also important to choose the right kind of oil for your vehicle and get it changed on a regular basis. Motor oil is an essential fluid in your engine that keeps it running smoothly and efficiently while extending the life of your vehicle. Whether you use a full synthetic oil or conventional motor oil, changing the oil and filter before it loses its viscosity can mean the difference between ruining your motor or it running for many more miles. When you service your vehicle in our main shop or Quick Lane, we'll always be sure to check the exact type of oil your vehicle requires.

If your vehicle is in need of maintenance or repair, please call us at 715-852-1000 or click here to schedule your next oil change. Our experienced team is happy to help and answer any questions you may have!


Thursday, January 25, 2018

Built Ford Tough Sleigh Ride at Super Bowl LIVE


It's the toughest sleigh ride ever and it's coming to the Super Bowl LIVE experience in downtown Minneapolis! As the official truck of Super Bowl LII, Ford Trucks will be pulling sleighs filled with football fans through the downtown area. Registration for the free sleigh rides will be available at the stops on 8th Street (at Marquette,) and 12th Street (at 2nd Avenue.) In addition, fans will have the chance to enter the Toughest Ticket Sweepstakes with a chance to win season tickets to their favorite team's home games in 2018! No purchase necessary. Must be legal resident of 50 U.S. or DC, 21 years of age or older. See official rules for details.


Click Here for more information!


Friday, January 19, 2018

2018 Northwest Wisconsin Winter Fest and Games in Altoona, Wisconsin


Winter Fest is back for 2018 and it promises to be a wild two days of winter activities and entertainment. This year, highlights will include ATV and motorcycle races, auto ice racing, live music, an ice fishing contest, softball, broom ball, family skate, ice bowling, a softball tournament, and more. See it all on frozen Lake Altoona on February 2nd and 3rd!

When: Friday, February 2nd & Saturday, February 3rd 


Click Here for tickets and more information!

Find more information on this event at VolumeOne.org



Wednesday, January 10, 2018

January 2018 'Making The Difference Award' Winner


Congratulations to Tom Michels for winning the 'Making The Difference Award' for January 2018!

Thank you for your dedication to Eau Claire Ford Lincoln Quick Lane! Your hard work and extra effort is part of what makes Eau Claire Ford Lincoln Quick Lane great! Keep up the great work, and thank you for 'Making The Difference!'

Friday, December 22, 2017

Annual Holiday Party 2017 at Eau Claire Ford Lincoln Quick Lane


Thanks to our awesome team for making this so much fun each year. White elephant gifts, great food, and plenty of ugly sweaters! Congratulations to the winners of the ugly sweater contest. Dan Huettel got first place with his "Let it Snow" sweater (far right.) Adam Olmstead won second place with his llama sweater (third from the left.) Third place went to Adam Rocksvold with his lightup holiday sweater (second from the left.) The holiday season is in full swing at Eau Claire Ford Lincoln Quick Lane!


Click Here to see the full album of photos on Facebook!