6 things your dad never told you about buying a car

Date: 03 Jul 2017
Category: Buying a car

Dads know a lot, but technology and the automotive industry has changed a lot since in the past few decades. Here’s some advice you should take with a pinch of salt (and why).

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Image from here.

Dads are fountains of knowledge - at least mine is, especially as he was a car dealer for many years.

I spent my childhood growing up amongst cars, and my still still has great advice on buying a car but times have changed and so have the things top look out for when buying a car.

Here’s some of his advice you can take with a pinch of salt:

  • YOUR CAR NEEDS A ‘RUN IN’ PERIOD Technically, your car still needs to be ‘broken in’ but it’s not nearly as important as it used to be. The component parts are much better machined than they used to be and therefore require less time and effort to break in. Therefore that first service between 1500km and 3000kms is no longer required to maintain your warranty. This is simply because the parts are simply better made than they used to be, with less rough metal shavings that make it into the oil during its first few kilometers on the road.
  • “YOU CAN’T BUY AN ENGINE SMALLER THAN A 1.6L” In the late 90s, a 2L engine had a 80 - 85kW output. These days, the Suzuki Swift Sport 1.6L has an output of 100kW. You just can’t compare the power of engines today to the power of engines even ten years ago. These days a 1.4 is more than capable of giving similar performance and much better fuel consumption than a 1.8 of a few years ago.
  • CAR WEIGHT When cars were first developed, safety features were non-existent, and it’s only in the 80s they really started to pack in air bags, ABS brakes, seatbelts and all the other safety features you now see as standard in a car. All these features, however, made the cars of the 80s and 90s extremely heavy, which impacted quite severely on power and speed. The new revolution is to make cars lighter and safer, which means the modern, more powerful engines, pack a lot more oomph in the lighter car frames. Suzuki’s current design trend, as we’ve seen with the Baleno and Ignis, is to create a much lighter frame, for exactly this reason. Naturally, a lighter car also means you have a more fuel efficient model on your hands.
  • MODERN FUEL CONSUMPTION is much better than it used to be! As Autotraining puts it, “Because of that increase [in the price of fuel], more and more fuel-efficient models have hit the market. Hybrids, electric cars, and cars with the highest mpg (l/100km) ratings are in demand. Fuel efficiency today is one the top priorities for automotive manufacturers.”
  • CAR FEATURES The minimum standard has changed since your dad’s times. Central locking, power steering and air conditioning are not ‘nice to haves’, they’re basic essentials, and your standard should be a little higher when you’re looking at a car. Now you need to consider ABS brakes, two airbags minimum, bluetooth, USB ports and other cellphone integrations as part of your car’s essential features package.   You deserve better than just the basics.
  • “YOU NEED A 10% DEPOSIT TO BUY A CAR” Everyone can buy a car now. The National Credit Act 2006 meant you don’t have to pay a deposit to get a car, you can start financing it from the dealer floor. OF course this all depends on each individual and their credit rating but you might be saving up that 10% for no reason.  Rather invest that money on something else.

Cars are just better made than they used to be, which means there are some pretty great benefits to modern cars today. Environmentally friendly with greater fuel efficiency; top-notch, and more, safety features; more powerful engines and greater comfort all await you in a vehicle today.

What’s the best piece of advice your dad ever gave you on buying a car? Let us know in the comments!

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