Local TV ads for used car sellers usually have a couple of things in common: they are low budget and they star a salesman who is selling cars so cheaply that he must be out of his mind. It's been this way for years, but why? Who came up with the idea to feign insanity for the sake of car sales?Earl Muntz Capitalized on Wartime ShortagesThe answer is Earl "Madman" Muntz. Muntz began selling used cars in 1941 in southern California. Because of World War II, no new cars were manufactured, so the used car business was coming into its own.Muntz bought cars in the midwest and then paid servicemen to drive them to California on their way to report to military service. California prices were significantly higher than midwest prices.In addition to a brilliant business model, he worked with advertiser Mike Shore to come up with an attention-getting campaign. The "Madman" was born.Billboards depicted Muntz as Napoleon (apparently, that was a thing) and claimed he was crazy for selling automobiles for such low prices. Newspaper ads read, "I wanna give 'em away, but Mrs. Muntz won't let me--SHE'S CRAZY!" Manic radio commercials filled the airwaves and "Madman" Muntz became a household name.Woofers and TweetersLater, Muntz went into the TV business and popularized car stereos. He was continually innovating in the fields of electronics. and automobiles. But his greatest cultural legacy will always be the crazy pitchman persona that keeps local television interesting.If you are looking to buy a used vehicle from either a crazy person or a sane one, bring it to us at I-86 Truck & Auto Repair. We can give you a used vehicle inspection to help you make a good decision on which automobile is right for you. We would also be happy to assist you with all of your auto care needs. Call us at 716-665-2501.http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/crazy-ads-car-stereos-how-earl-madman-muntz-changed-car-and-american-culture/https://www.hemmings.com/magazine/hcc/2017/04/Earl--Madman--Muntz/3750693.html
You probably only consider your car's lights when a bulb needs to be replaced or when your headlights get covered in thick snow (or mud, for you adventure seekers). But the lights on your car are worth another look.HeadlightsDid you know that your headlights are specifically aligned for the country you are driving in? It's true! For those of us who drive on the right-hand side, the light that comes out is aimed down and a little to the right. This allows for visibility to see road signs and helps you avoid blinding oncoming drivers.High BeamsIt's important to only turn on your high beam or full beam headlights on vacant stretches of road. If any other car appears, turn them off.Fog LightsLike high beams, you should only use fog lights in certain conditions. Can you guess which conditions? If you guessed foggy conditions then you are right! These lights are very helpful, but when used when there is no fog other drivers can be blinded.HazardsHazard lights are typically used when your car is stopped on the side of the road. These lights will help other drivers notice your vehicle and adjust their driving accordingly. The usage of hazard lights while driving differs from state to state, so be aware of the laws where you live.Interior LightsLights inside of the car are so nifty, especially when you are traveling with a child who seems to drop their favorite toy on the floor roughly every three minutes. While these lights can save you from a tantrum, you should not use them for extended periods of time.If you have any questions about the lighting systems in your car, please come and visit us at I-86 Truck & Auto Repair. Ask us about a headlight restoration service.
At I-86 Truck & Auto Repair, occasionally we carry out a used car inspection on a car with a salvage title. When talking to people who are considering whether to buy a vehicle with a salvage title, we have discovered that there is some confusion regarding the issue. In today's article, we review the subject of salvage titles. What Is A Salvage Title?Salvage titles can be confusing because state laws vary on many issues concerning motor vehicle titles. Adding to the confusion, auto insurers have different policies regarding salvage titles.A title that has been marked as "salvage," "rebuilt," "totaled," "junked," or a similar term, could designate one of the following scenarios: The car was involved in a flood, fire, vandalism, or serious collisionandthe cost of repairing the damage would be more than 70%-90% of its value prior to the event in questionoran insurance agency has deemed the car a complete loss due to the damage.Note that state motor vehicle agencies and auto insurers may have different definitions of what constitutes a total loss.Most experts discourage used automobile buyers from buying a car with a salvage title. However, if the price is very, very low, say, less than half of the blue book value pre-accident, and the buyer fully understands what the car has been through, a salvage title vehicle may make sense for some buyers. Remember though, the price needs to be really, really low. Bring the car into I-86 Truck & Auto Repair and we will perform a thorough used automobile inspection and tell you exactly what condition the automobile is really in. What Is Salvage Title Fraud?Suppose you are looking at a used auto with an unusually low price that does not have a salvage title. This doesn't necessarily mean the clean title is legit. Unscrupulous auto scammers can misrepresent a salvage car by moving it to another state, reporting a missing title, and re-registering the automobile with a clean title.If the scammer is hiding the true history of the car, you can bet he/she doesn't have high standards when it comes to the repairs necessary to make the vehicle drivable. Unsuspecting buyers who think they are getting the deal of the century can end up losing a lot of money and/or driving a car that is extremely unsafe.Car clipping is a related scam. Unethical auto repair operations piece together damaged autos and fail to disclose that they are composed of parts of salvage cars.You Will Probably Need To Pay CashBe aware that it may be difficult or impossible to obtain financing or insurance for an automobile with a salvage title. Buyer BewareBottom line? Be very, very wary when shopping for used autos. Always order a vehicle history report. Scrutinize the title and compare it with the history report. If the vehicle has been shipped from overseas, be skeptical. If something seems fishy, it probably is.As was mentioned before, protect yourself by bringing any used vehicle you are contemplating into I-86 Truck & Auto Repair so our experts can examine it. We will give you a professional opinion regarding the car's true mechanical condition so you will know exactly what you are getting into.
Remember when the dashboard of your auto only had an AM/FM radio and a heater? (If you are younger than 40, you probably don't.) Can you harken back when you could only see a speedometer and odometer through the steering wheel? Those days seem to be long gone as car manufacturers continue to add smart features to our cars.To avoid a mess of knobs and buttons all over the place, consoles are usually designed around a central touchscreen. There is a screen to control the stereo, navigation system, paired devices such as cell phones, the air conditioning, and more!This configuration lets you access everything in one location. But is there a disadvantage to these touchscreens? Many safety experts say yes. Your Fingers Can't Feel What Screen You Are OnThe main issue with these onboard computer screens is that they aren't physically intuitive. Knobs and analog buttons can easily be operated without looking at the unit you're controlling. When you turn a knob and hear the fan get louder, you know you've cranked up the AC.The main touchscreen lets you control the stereo, but you probably have to navigate to the climate control screen before you can control the AC or heater. It's hard to know which screen you are on unless you glance over at it. It's virtually impossible to memorize every screen.Carmakers are working to improve touchscreen design and interface. Haptic controls and voice command features can increase safety without sacrificing convenience. Be Safer TodayBut what can you do today to be safer with the touchscreen you have? Take twenty minutes and familiarize yourself with the screens and how they work while parked. Pair your phone and try to use voice command when available. Also, make it a habit to set up your navigation system and choose a stereo setting before you pull out of your garage.At I-86 Truck & Auto Repair we want all of our customers to be safe and comfortable in their cars. For infotainment system service, call us at 716-665-2501 to speak with a service advisor!