How To Prepare Your Car For Winter In Eight Easy Steps

You probably wouldn’t dream of facing a long, cold winter without a coat, boots or at least a scarf. It would be ridiculous to assume that you could simply continue to wear your summer wardrobe even after the temperature outside drops below freezing. And yet, too many of us expect the equivalent of our cars. It’s easy to take your vehicle for granted and assume that it will continue to deliver the same level of performance even in the harshest conditions. However, it’s crucial to know how to prepare your car for winter if you want to get the most out of it. Likewise, it’s best to take a few extra steps as the weather gets colder so you’ll be ready if the worst-case scenario comes to pass. With that in mind, here are eight tips to help ensure that you and your ride will make it through safely to the spring.

1. Check Your Coolant

Coolant can become dirty after a while, which impacts how well it works. It also may become contaminated with water that can freeze in your radiator. Checking the levels and replacing it every few years is important to keep everything running smoothly.

2. Top Off Your Wiper Fluid

You’ll be cleaning a lot of road salt off your windshield over the next few months, so make sure you have enough wiper fluid to last a while. This will prevent you from having to drive with reduced visibility.

3. Replace Wiper Blades

Worn-out blades can lead to streaking, which can be dangerous when it’s freezing outside. Water left behind on your windshield can freeze quickly, blocking your vision. There are a number of heavy-duty blades on the market today that are made specifically for handling wintry conditions.

4. Check the Battery

When the mercury falls, your car’s battery can have trouble generating the power you need to start your engine. Perform a load test or ask your mechanic to do one so you can tell whether or not it’s time to get a new one. Also, look to see if there are any visible cracks in the cables or terminals.

5. Prepare an Emergency Kit

You don’t want to end up stuck in the snow without essentials, so it’s a good idea to prepare a winter driver’s emergency pack to store in your trunk. This should include winter tools for a car, such as an ice scraper and jumper cables, as well as personal items such as spare gloves, hats and a first aid kit.

6. Clean Out the Interior

It’s best to get a fresh start with your interior before you add all of the dirty snow and mud from your boots. Keeping the car clean in the winter will save you a lot of work when the summer comes and help protect your detailing from salt and sand. Buying a fresh set of winter floor mats for a car can go a long way to keeping the inside clean.

7. Inspect Your Brakes

It should go without saying that you’ll be counting on your brakes when the roads get slippery. Have them inspected — and replace worn pads as soon as you find them.

8. Check Your Tires

Likewise, you want your tires to be in top condition when they have to hit the road. Make sure they’re properly inflated and have enough tread to give you the traction you will need.

Facing the colder months without being prepared is a recipe for disaster. If you’re looking for another car to carry you safely through the cold and snow and then beyond, look no further than Capital Auto Auction. We have an extensive selection of good-quality used vehicles that you can buy at an auction at prices you can appreciate. Browse our online inventory or check the schedule of our live events to get started.

Can You Retitle Repairable Salvage Cars?

Insurance companies are in the business of weighing pros and cons, and it all comes down to the bottom line. If, for example, the cost of repairing a car becomes greater than its value, logic dictates that the vehicle is no longer worth fixing. It typically then is labeled as a “salvage” vehicle.

Many lots are filled with cars matching this description. If you’re in the market for a used ride that you can drive straight home, these are not for you. If you’re mechanically inclined, however — or if you love to tinker and want to save yourself a lot of money — you should know that you can buy salvage vehicles at a deep discount.

However, before you jump into buying repairable salvage cars with both feet, there are some important facts you need to know. Even if you know how to repair a salvage car and get it running in perfect condition, you still may not be able to take it out on the road legally. In most states, you’ll have to go through a process to remove the salvage title before you can show off the fruits of your labor.

How to Buy a Salvage Car and Drive It Legally

Finding a great deal on something everyone else has written off can be exhilarating, but there’s more to restoring one of these vehicles than parts and labor. Although most of the hard work to make the vehicle street-worthy again will happen in the garage, repairs are not the only task you’ll have to accomplish. When a car or truck is slapped with a “salvage” designation by the insurer, it means you won’t be able to drive it at all, at least not immediately, even if you can get it to run. So, for starters, you’ll need to have the vehicle transported from the lot to your property.

As you go through the rebuilding process, make sure to save all receipts for any parts you purchase. It’s also a good idea to document your progress with photos or videos showing your work. Once you’re finished with everything, you most likely will need to obtain paperwork from your state’s DMV requesting an inspection. Having photos and receipts will make this part easier.

With all of your documentation in order, it’s time for the inspection. Again, you will need to have the vehicle towed to the facility because it won’t be legal to drive it. If it passes, you can move on to apply for a rebranded title. If all goes well, the title designation will be changed to “rebuilt” or “reconditioned” — and, finally, you will be allowed to put the vehicle back on the road.

Start Your Journey at Capital Auto Auction

Whether you want to buy a salvage car for parts or purchase a vehicle to repair, there’s no better place to start than Capital Auto Auction. We have an extensive selection of quality vehicles in perfect condition as well as those that have seen better days. With so many to choose from online and at our regular live events, you’re sure to find something that suits your needs and your budget. Take a look through our inventory today and see if there’s something in drivable shape or ready for rehabilitation. Armed with this knowledge about the retitling process, you should be ready to tackle just about any rehab project.

Your Guide To Buying And Selling Used Cars In Maryland

Under the right circumstances, a sale involving a used car or truck is a win-win situation. For the seller, it’s an opportunity to recoup some of the investment he or she has made in the vehicle before moving on to a newer model. The buyer, on the other hand, benefits from getting a favorable deal on a perfectly good ride. Of course, before either side can take full advantage of the opportunity, they need to understand what’s expected of them. Selling a used car in Maryland is, in many ways, no different than doing so anywhere else. However, knowing Maryland’s car sale regulations is important for buyers and sellers to ensure they both benefit from the transaction. Here’s a brief overview of the process and what you can expect.

What Should the Seller Do?

If you’re curious about how to sell your car in Maryland, you should be aware that the car must first be inspected. This must be performed at a licensed state inspection station, which may include some dealerships or service centers. Once the inspection is complete, the verification certificate is valid for 90 days.

When completing the transaction between you and the buyer, it is essential to print your name as well as the buyer’s name and address on the back of the Certificate of Title under the “Assignment of Ownership” section. If this is not done, the new registration will not be recognized by the state. If you no longer have the original title document, you must request a duplicate through the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA). If there is no space on the title for the final purchase price, you must provide a bill of sale.

Finally, if you are not transferring the license plates, you must return them to the MVA. This must be done before you can cancel your insurance policy on the vehicle.

What Should the Buyer Do?

It is important to note that whenever buying used cars in Maryland through private sales, buyers must register their vehicles before driving them on the road. Failing to do so can result in penalties. You must present the Certificate of Title bearing your name and address as well as the seller’s name, along with a release or letter from the financial institution that financed the car. In addition, you are required to present proof of inspection and your insurance information. In certain cases, you may need to present a bill of sale, as well.

Avoid the Hassle at Capital Auto Auctions

As you can see, there are several terms and conditions to consider when engaging in a private auto sale in Maryland. If you’re still hoping to take advantage of the savings that come with buying a used vehicle without all the hassles, your best bet may be attending an event at Capital Auto Auctions. We have regular auctions featuring hundreds of quality pre-owned cars, trucks, vans, motorcycles and other vehicles at unbeatable prices. To learn more about what we offer, take a look through our inventory on this website before perusing the classified ads or online listings. We offer you the easiest and most exciting way to find your next ride.

A Guide To Shipping Cars To Nigeria


It may not be common knowledge, but Nigeria is one of the most popular destinations for cars exported from the United States. Thousands of vehicles make their way each year to the port of Lagos, the largest city in the country. If you have used cars, trucks, motorcycles or other vehicles, you may be able to take advantage of the booming Nigerian market. Before you do, however, it’s important to understand some of the ins and outs regarding shipping cars to Nigeria. What follows is a brief guide to help you understand what is involved in the process.

How Can I Import Cars From USA to Nigeria?

You have two options. You can either store a vehicle in a shipping container or choose the roll-on/roll-off (RORO) method. Choosing the former means the car will be protected from the elements during transit, and you can ship multiple vehicles in the same container for one price. However, this option may be more expensive. With RORO, you can simply drive the car onto the ship and have it driven off when it arrives at the port. The only caveats are that the car must be in drivable condition and you may have more limited routes and schedules.

What Documentation Will I Need?

As might be expected when selling anything to a party in a foreign country, there’s a lot of documentation required for this process. In addition to the usual documents such as the title, registration and insurance papers, there are a number of additional items you will need to produce. These include the original purchase invoice, your passport, a certificate of value and origin, and a packing list for the shipment. You also need to complete special import documentation from the Nigerian government before loading your vehicle onto any vessel headed there.

What Are the Shipping Regulations?

When selling to someone in Nigeria, the shipping regulations are important to know. For example, cars must be no older than 14-1/2 years past their original date of manufacture. However, no such restriction currently exists for trucks or vans. You also may be restricted from importing vehicles that are damaged or fail to meet certain quality standards.

What Should I Expect to Pay?

The cost of shipping a car from the USA to Nigeria will depend a great deal on how many vehicles you are exporting and when you want them to get there. That said, in general you can expect to spend a relatively high amount, even under the most favorable circumstances. This is due to the simple fact that the cars will travel a large distance. Also, there are a limited number of routes and accessible ports, making the process a bit more complicated than shipping to other countries.

Start With Capital Auto Auctions

If you’re ready to take advantage of this unusual opportunity, there’s no better place to start than with Capital Auto Auctions. With regular auctions held in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New Hampshire and Maryland, you’re sure to find high-quality used vehicles at exceptionally affordable prices. To get started on the process today, take a look through our online inventory.

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