Check back soon – as we’ll be adding lots of FAQ’s in this section.
Q: Do I really need AWD or 4WD?
A: Many of Dr. Ron’s clients live and drive in New England, so they are concerned about snow and ice. 4WD helps when driving up hill or off road on ice or in deep sand, snow, rocks or mud.
All trucks and most traditional truck based SUVs are either Rear Wheel Drive (RWD) or 4WD. RWD is terrible in the snow, ice or mud, so 4WD is necessary in these conditions.
Most cars these days are either Front Wheel Drive (FWD) or AWD. FWD with four snow tires is great on ice and snow (even on many hills). You only need an AWD car for the following reasons: You have a steep long or twisty driveway that is not kept snow and ice free. You live in a hilly snowy area, and you need to drive before the plow trucks do their work. You live in a snowy area, and need to commute to work or school before the plow trucks do their work. If you can wait till after the storm when the roads are cleared, FWD with four snow tires should be fine.
Q: Any other advantages to AWD or 4WD?
A: Yes. If you drive like a Finnish race rally driver in the winter, AWD might get you there faster.
Q: Why not just get AWD and be done with it?
A: AWD costs more to buy, maintain, and feed gas and tires. It also limits your choice to certain vehicles.
Q: Are there any good compromises to know about?
A: Yes FWD with four good snow tires and a patient cautious driver.
Q: Any misperceptions about AWD and 4WD?
A: Yes. They dont help you stop any faster than FWD. (But they do propel you faster). Also, a FWD car with four snow tires should stop better than an AWD without.
Q: Are there many bad cars and makes out there today?
A: Most cars made since 2000 are well designed and built, and quite reliable. Of course some cars will always be better than others, so it is a relative question.
Q: What about Japanese VS American cars?
A: Industry studies show that in the last 8 years, American cars are as reliable as Toyotas were in 1988. How reliable was a ? Very.
Q: How long have you been
A: Since about 1981 when I was 20 years old. I bought a Subaru Wagon with 6000 miles. (We had a steep snowy driveway).
Q: How did you learn to buy cars?
A: I learned from my father. He has been buying cars since 1941. I think his first car back then cost him $600 dollars (like new). But it had one scratch in the paint which cost him $3 to have repaired. (Times have changed).
Q: What are some of your earliest lessons in car buying?
A: I learned how to talk to people and how to gauge their answers. I guess the trade goes back to horse trading and camel trading before that. I also learned how to inspect the vehicles.
Q: What does your Ph.D. in
A: My training allowed me to develop a method to screen millions of cars for the right one that fits my client’s needs.
Q: Please explain:
A: When you are hunting for a gene in a laboratory, you may be screening millions of bacteria, each containing a unique . You can’t individually test each cell. (Research is slow enough as it is). You need to develop a test that will enable you to identify a needle in a haystack. This is what the revolution in Molecular Biology was all about.
Q: Does this relate to car buying?
A: Of course. I have developed such a test to screen cars for my clients (buyers). I can simultaneously search for cars for many clients with different needs. Only the cream rises to the top.
Q: So you have a system?
A: Yes. And once the cream rises, I taste it with the personal touch of the . It really works.
Q: You told us how you have applied lessons learned from Biology and your father to car buying. Were there any other influences on your business practices?
A: Yes. from 10 years of working with talented , I have learned the art of making a deal. After all I am a car broker.
Q: How do you mean?
A: I have to listen to my clients car buying needs and assess their budget. I then advise them on the realities of what is out there. Once I find the right car, I need to get the best deal for my client, but also not let him or her walk away from a well priced vehicle.
Q: What else is in your background?
A: I spent 7 years as an international trade analyst. I learned the most basic lesson of commerce that helps my clients every day.
Q: Please explain:
A: It’s about the transaction. You don’t fork over the money without getting the car AND the title! I can’t tell you how often my clients want to FEDEX a bank check to the seller, hoping to get the title back two days later. (All this is to save three hours of driving). I don’t let them.
Q: Why not?
A: Stuff happens! People disappoint. One part of my job is to protect my clients. It’s a jungle out there.
True or False?
1. When you buy a used car, your investment will not plummet the day you drive it off the lot.
FALSE: If you buy a used car from a dealer, without bargaining the price down to the bottom, your investment will unfortunately plummet when you drive it off the lot. (The same as for a new car). Why? Because you are buying at retail, but you can only resell or trade it in at close to wholesale. In fact if you total your car, thewill only pay you the wholesale value. So in order to avoid the "plummeting value syndrome" (PVS) you need to buy the car close to wholesale. Dr Ron can help you with this.
2. If a used car has a clean CARFAX, then it is a good deal and a good car to buy… (Yikes!!!!)
FALSE: A car with a clean CARFAX could have any or all of the following problems:
-Improperly performed maintenance.
-A rough life. (This is the most common and significant problem with many used cars, they have been driven hard).
-The mileage is too high for the year.
-The mileage is too high for the vehicle regardless of the year.
-The price is too high for the year, make, model, equipment, and condition.
3. If a used car deal looks too good to be true, then it probably is. (Too good to be true, that is.)
TRUE: There are lots of scams and dishonest sellers out there. The car market is liquid and public, so there is no reason for an honest seller to dump a car below market value. If he or she is, BE SUSPICIOUS!!!!!