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Buying A Used Car

With the high price of new cars and how quickly they depreciate, you’re not alone when comes to looking for a used vehicle. Whether you are making that purchase from a dealership or a private party, finding the right car can be a real challenge. There are more that 250 million used cars on the road in the United States, and every year, close to 40 million used cars change hands every year.

And while buying a used car may seem like a sensible option, when you make that purchase you need to be smart in your choices. Used cars that have problems or damage can become expensive complications for the unsuspecting buyer. Taking your chosen car to a mechanic can help find any mechanical issues, but what about the things you can’t see or feel. You don’t know who previously owned that car – were they heavy smokers, did they have pets, recent illnesses leaving behind germs, bacteria, and viruses? Has the interior of the car ever been flooded?

The Just Gone Sanitizing and Deodorization System sanitizes and deodorizes by first using an advanced “Dry Fog” system that gets everywhere to remove harmful germs, bacteria, odors, allergens and indoor contaminants without leaving any harmful residues. It doesn’t use harsh toxic chemicals, fragrances nor does it require time consuming manual wipe downs or rinsing. Even delicate surfaces and the heating and cooling systems can be sanitized against a multitude of germs, allergens, odors and indoor contaminates in a fraction of the time and with the highest degree of effectiveness.

If you’re buying a vehicle from a dealership most likely that vehicle will be completely detailed. If you are buying it from a private party who knows what they will do. Most of the time if it needs to be deodorized the service providers utilize ozone or other foul-smelling odor bombs that don’t work and in some cases, make the problem even worse. That’s where the Just Gone odor elimination services come in. With the Just Gone Sanitizing and Deodorization System we can remove all odors in any type of vehicle – Autos, Vans, Buses, Trucks, SUV’s, Recreation Vehicles, all types of Watercraft, Semi-Cabs) 100% of the time – Guaranteed. Most vehicles can be deodorized in as little as 1 hour. (PLEASE NOTE: The source of the odor must be removed once that has been determined, wipe down all hard surfaces, vacuum any debris from the seat, carpets, headliner, and under the seats, and have the seats, and carpets professionally cleaned if they are heavily soled.)

The Just Gone Sanitizing and Deodorization System sanitizes and deodorizes by first using an advanced “Dry Fog” system that gets everywhere to remove harmful germs, bacteria, odors, allergens and indoor contaminants without leaving any harmful residues. It doesn’t use harsh toxic chemicals, fragrances nor does it require time consuming manual wipe downs or rinsing. Even delicate surfaces and the heating and cooling systems can be sanitized against a multitude of germs, allergens, odors and indoor contaminates in a fraction of the time and with the highest degree of effectiveness.

Second, utilizing our Patented Zoono Technology, our surface protector provides a defensive shield against mold, bacteria, and viruses. Zoono is antimicrobial nanotechnology that uses intelligent molecules to actively and consistently reduce pathogen loads on surfaces by using physics to kill germs instead of chemistry. What does that mean? It means that Zoono Technology is less toxic than Vitamin C, yet providing you with the Peace of Mind that your vehicle is odor free, and all odors and bacterial problems are effectively eliminated for up to 90 days. Nothing works as well as the Just Gone Sanitizing and Deodorizing System.

10 Tips on Buying a Used Car

Step 1: How Much Car Can You Afford?

A rule of thumb: If you’re taking out a loan to pay for your car, your car payment shouldn’t be more than 20 percent of your take-home pay. If you’re sticking to a tight budget, you may want to spend even less. Used cars will need a little extra attention from time to time: new tires, maintenance and the like. And then there are the other ownership costs shoppers sometimes forget to account for, such as fuel and insurance.

If the car you’re planning to buy is out of warranty, it might be a good idea to set aside a “just-in-case” fund to cover any unexpected repairs.

Step 2: Build a Target List of Used Cars

It’s no secret that the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry make for good used cars. But they might cost a few thousand more than a comparable Ford Fusion or Kia Optima, even though these are good cars, too. So if you’re looking to save money, consider more than one brand. We suggest making a list of three cars that meet your needs and fall within your budget. Edmunds reviews have great information to guide your choices.

If you’re planning to buy a vehicle that is less than 5 years old, consider one that’s certified pre-owned (CPO). CPO vehicles have long-term warranties that are backed by the carmakers, not just the dealership selling it to you. Franchised dealerships that sell that same brand new are the only ones who can sell a CPO car of the same brand. So if you wanted a CPO Chevy Cruze, for example, you’d need to buy it from a Chevy dealer.

Step 3: Check Prices

Prices are driven in part by where you’re shopping. You’ll find used cars in used-car sections of new-car dealerships, independent used-car lots, used-car retailers such as CarMax and websites where private-party sellers list their cars. Of the four, private-party cars will usually have the lowest selling price. CPO cars will usually cost the most, but for the reasons we’ve noted. To see what other people are paying for the models you’ve picked out, Edmunds offers a quick way to see the average price paid for the car in your area.

Step 4: Locate Used Cars for Sale in Your Area

One easy place to start building your target list is the Edmunds used-car inventory page. To find exactly the car you want, you can filter your search by many factors including the miles on the car’s odometer, its price and features, and dealer’s distance from you. Use the websites for other used-car marketplaces mentioned to save time.

Step 5: Check the Vehicle History Report

Unless you’re buying the car from a close friend or family member who can vouch for its history, plan to get a vehicle history report. This is an essential early step. If the car you’re looking at has a bad history report, the sooner you know the better.

AutoCheck and Carfax are the two best-known sources for vehicle history reports, which can reveal vital information about the car, including whether the odometer has been rolled back or if it has a salvage title, which means it has been declared a total loss by the insurance company. You’ll use the car’s vehicle identification number (VIN) to get this information, and in some cases, all you need is the license plate number.

Step 6: Contact the Seller

Once you find a good prospective car, don’t run out to see it. Call the seller first. This is a good way to establish a relationship with the seller and verify the information about the car. You can ask private-party sellers why they’re parting with a car, or whether it has any mechanical problems. And if you’re buying from a dealership, a phone call (or text) is the best way to ensure the car is still in stock.

Sometimes the seller will mention something that wasn’t in the ad that might change your decision to buy the car. If you want to go deeper, our used car questionnaire is a good reminder of what to ask. You will notice that the last question on our list is the asking price of the car. Although many people are tempted to negotiate even before they have laid eyes on the car, it’s better to wait. Once you see the car, you can tie your offer to its condition.

If things are going well, set up an appointment to test-drive the car. If possible, make it for daylight hours. That makes it easier to see the car’s condition.

Step 7: Test-Drive the Car

Test-driving a used car is the best way to know if this is the right car make and model for you. It’s also a good way to assess this particular car’s condition. So tune out distractions and focus on the car. Here are some things to check:

  • Is it easy to get in and out of the car without stooping or banging your head?
  • Is there enough headroom, hip room and legroom? Remember to see how these feel in the backseat, too.
  • Is the driving position comfortable? Do you sit too low, too high or just right in the car? Can you tilt or telescope the steering wheel for a better fit?
  • Are the seats comfortable? Are they easily adjustable? Is there a lumbar support adjustment for the driver? How about the front-seat passenger?
  • Do you see a lit “check engine” light? If so, get that problem checked out before buying.
  • How is the visibility? Check the rearview mirror and the side mirrors. Look for potential blind spots.
  • Use your nose. Do you smell gas, burning oil, or anything amiss?
  • Check out the tires. How old are they? Is there enough tread left?
  • How are the brakes? Are they doing the job of stopping the car? Do they squeak?
  • Pop the hood. You don’t have to know a lot about cars to see if something looks wrong. If something is leaking, steaming or covered in oil, it’s time to ask questions.
  • Does the air-conditioning blow cold? Do headlights, brake lights and turn indicators work? Test them to be sure.

After the test drive, ask the owner or dealer if you can see the service records. These will show you if the car has had the scheduled maintenance performed on time.

Step 8: Have the Car Inspected

If you like the car, consider having it inspected by a mechanic before you buy it. If you don’t have a mechanic, Google and Yelp are good places to read local shops’ reviews. A pre-purchase inspection costs about $100 and can alert you to problems you may not find yourself. It’s a smart investment.

A private-party seller will probably allow you to do this without much resistance. Most dealerships will let you borrow a car to take to be inspected by an outside mechanic. You’ll be paying the inspection, of course. If it is a CPO car, there’s already been an inspection and a warranty is in place, so there is little reason to take it to a mechanic.

Step 9: Negotiate a Good Deal

Does the idea of “talking numbers” fill you with dread? It shouldn’t. Negotiating doesn’t have to be a drawn-out, traumatic experience. If you are reasonable and have a plan, chances are you can make a deal pretty quickly and easily:

  • Decide ahead of time how much you’re willing to spend to get the car. But don’t start with this number in your discussion.
  • Make an opening offer that is lower than your maximum price, but in the ballpark based on your average price paid research in Step
  • 3. Explain that you’ve done research on Edmunds or wherever else, so you have facts to support your offer.
  • If you and the seller arrive at a price that sounds good to you and is near the average price paid, you’re probably in good shape.
  • And remember, the people on the other side probably hate negotiating too (even if it’s their job).

Step 10: Get the Paperwork Done

If you are at a dealership, you’ll sign the contract in the finance and insurance office. There, you will likely be offered additional items, such as a warranty, anti-theft devices, prepaid service plans or fabric protection.

Some people want the peace of mind that comes with extended warranties, so this is something you might want to consider (unless the car is still under the manufacturer’s warranty or is a CPO vehicle). Review the dealership sales contract thoroughly. In most states, it lists the cost of the vehicle, a documentation fee, possibly a small charge for a smog certificate, sales tax and license fees.

If you are buying a car from an individual owner, make sure the seller properly transfers the title and registration to you. It’s important to close the deal correctly to avoid after-sale hassles. Before money changes hands, ask for the title (which is sometimes called the pink slip) and have the seller sign it over to you. Rules governing vehicle registration and licensing vary from state to state. If possible, check with your local department of motor vehicles to make sure there are no past-due registration fees you’d be responsible for should you buy the car. Whether you buy from a dealer or a private party, make sure you have insurance for the car before you drive it away.

Once you’ve done the paperwork, it’s time to celebrate your new purchase – maybe with a drive-through dinner. You deserve it!

by MATT JONES

Matt spent 12 years working in car dealerships before joining Edmunds as a senior consumer advice editor. He now offers car shoppers tips for saving time and money.

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Top rated FAQ Questions

How does Just Gone Sanitizing & Deodorizing System™ (Chlorine Dioxide) Work?

Most people have never heard of Chlorine Dioxide (Clo2). Or else they think its bleach (which is Sodium Hypochlorite or NsCIO). Like bleach, Clo2 is used as a sanitizer and bleaching agent. Unlike bleach, Clo2 is safe to use, does not leave toxic residue. Chlorine Dioxide oxygenates products rather than chlorinating them. Clo2 is considered a “friendly” Deodorizer, Sanitizer and Disinfectant.

There are a lot of pathogenic organisms out there that can cause chaos.
Clo2 is highly effective on most bacteria, virus, fungi, mold spores, algae, and blood borne pathogens, protozoa, yeast and biofilms.
Some names you might recognize are;

Legionella – Salmonella – Cryptosporidium – Giardia Cysts – Coliforms
Listeria – Shigella – Staph – Norovirus – Influenza – Anthrax – Cholera
E-coli – Hepatitis – Hepa Virus – EBOLA – C Diff – MARS – MERSA

Is Chlorine Dioxide non-toxic? What about residue?

Chlorine Dioxide is residue free as the active ingredients break down to naturally found products in the environment, primarily salt and water. It is environmentally friendly and has no harsh reactions on your skin.

Can Chlorine Dioxide be used on hard Surfaces?

Absolutely, it is ideal for use as a hard surface cleaner because with minimal surface time it is highly effective against many different organisms.

 

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Zoono Mini-Fogger

The Zoono fogger is a quick drying formulation that incorporates the proven, unique Zoono antimicrobial technology.

This product is ideal for occasions where a fast acting, antimicrobial product is required in order to minimize downtime when treating computer keyboards, desk phones, photocopiers, printers, headsets and microphones plus touch points such as door handles, light switches etc.

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Each fogger covers 200 square feet – $29.99

Zoono Hand Sanitizer GermFree24

As it’s name implies, Zoono’s Hand Sanitizer GermFree24 utilizes the unique Zoono technology and incorporates it into the Ultimate Protection Hand Sanitizer.

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This is important news especially when you consider that our hands are the #1 vector for germ transmission. In other words: clean hands = healthy family.

Better still, Zoono is a FDA Compliant nontoxic*, water based antiseptic – it is less toxic than Vitamin C and won’t dry hands out like alcohol-based products.

Nothing works better and lasts longer to protect your family’s hands than Zoono.

Active ingredient is less toxic than Vitamin C

Hand Sanitizer – 5.07 oz. Bottle $11.99

Swamp Juice Beads.

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Formulated using Eco-Solutions’ patented process, SwampJuice provides a safe alternative to common, chemical-filled bug sprays. SwampJuice is safe for kids and pets. SwampJuice can protect your entire family from mosquito-borne illnesses like Zika virus and encephalitis.

Laboratory tests from Serra Research show that SwampJuice exhibited outstanding repellency. After 45 minutes both LIB and BF reported 100% Repellency. To clarify, LIB stands for mosquitoes that “Land with the Intent to Bite” and BF stands for “Biting and Feeding.” In other words, SwampJuice is highly effective at preventing mosquito bites.

Each small, but concentrated, bottle of SwampJuice has the power to safely and effectively repel insects without harsh chemicals.

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*SwampJuice cannot be sold in Alabama.

Swamp Juice Beads – 2 Jar Pack $17.98

Swamp juice 

Swamp Juice Insect Repellent Spray. Need an alternative to harsh chemicals or toxic alcohols in your bug spray? Try our all-natural SwampJuice spray!

Formulated using Eco-Solutions’ patented process, SwampJuice provides a safe alternative to common, chemical-filled bug sprays. SwampJuice is safe for kids and pets. SwampJuice can protect your entire family from mosquito-borne illnesses like Zika virus and encephalitis.

Laboratory tests from Serra Research show that SwampJuice exhibited outstanding repellency. After 45 minutes both LIB and BF reported 100% Repellency. To clarify, LIB stands for mosquitoes that “Land with the Intent to Bite” and BF stands for “Biting and Feeding.” In other words, SwampJuice is highly effective at preventing mosquito bites.

Each small, but concentrated, bottle of SwampJuice has the power to safely and effectively repel insects without harsh chemicals.

  • DEET-free
  • GMO-free
  • Non-irritating

*SwampJuice cannot be sold in Alabama.

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Air-Fresh 101

GOT MOLD, MILDEW, ODORS?

When you’re looking for an air freshener that can kill odors at their source, chlorine dioxide gas is a smart choice. While producing chlorine dioxide (ClO2) used to require expensive generators, Eco-Solutions has developed a unique product, AirFresh 101, which can create this chemical quickly and for an affordable price. When the contents of AirFresh 101’s are activated in water, they produce a slow release ClO2 vapor which can produce and release chlorine dioxide for up to 30 days.

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In addition to AirFresh 101, we also offer Aqua-Tab tablets that can produce ClO2 solutions perfect for eliminating odor on many surfaces or in small-scale water treatment operations. All of these stabilized chlorine dioxide products ship in airtight packets.

Air Fresh 101 – 3 Pack $12.00