Autosite.com - A subset of Autosite.com with a maintenance and repair area offering detailed information. In the repair section, look for the garage link to All Data's TSBs (short for Technical Service Bulletins), issued by the car manufacturers. "TSBs contain up-to-date factory fixes for difficult to diagnose problems such as rough idles, intermittent stalls, hard starts, and all kinds of shakes, rattles and clunks. TSBs describe service procedures that may improve performance, reduce future breakdowns, or show a factory authorized modification for your vehicle." This will give you an idea of the the types of TSBs and recalls; you can purchase an individual or series of TSBS for that car.
- AutoTrader -
When someone totaled our car a few months ago, we used this
site to find the used car we bought. It had a wealth of choices
for the brand, year and model we wanted. According to the site,
more than 40,000 dealers list their inventories of used cars
on this site. Dealers pay a flat monthly fee to advertise their
listings. The also offer a selection of buying and selling
tips, car reviews, vehicle pricing and safety information;
and help with finance, insurance, warranty programs.
- Autoweb - Another site where price is determined through research. In this case price can be tracked as options are selected, feedback is available on models from both satisfied and unsatisfied customers, tips for test drives are also included.
- Comparisons of both new and used car options; questions are
posed about type of cars you're interested in and a contact
number is asked for, within a day or so a dealer meeting those
requirements is put in touch, you visit that dealer with a price
already determined, which is supposed to be discounted.
- A site cited for being among the best for used-car researching
and finding used cars. Included on the site is a selection of
buying and selling tips, car reviews, vehicle pricing and safety
information; and help with finance, insurance, warranty programs.
Its layout is easy to navigate and there are original articles,
comparison guides and a decision-maker feature.
- The site will let car buyers construct cars online to manufacturers'
specs and then have dealers compete for the sale. The WSJ: "using
the company's software, a buyer builds a car or truck online based
on possible manufacturer configurations. The request is then sent
by e-mail to dealers who have 24 hours to respond with a price
and delivery date...the buyer picks a dealer from the list of
respondents and then goes to the dealership to to close the sale.
- For any of you not already addicted to Click and Clack (Tom
and Ray Magliozzi), hosts of a weekly National Public Radio show
that answers call-in listener questions about their car woes,
this is the show's site. Their good humored banter may not come
across on the site, but cars for sale, model reports and news,
as well as their advice, does.
Automobile Buyer's Guide: - Advice on pricing, buying and
financial your new or used car. Road tests of new models, with
editorial views, safety information and other consumer advice.
First site on the internet to provide automobile pricing information
without cost. Town Hall feature for feedback and questions from
other auto shoppers.
- Department of Energy Fuel Economy - Find a particular make of car and then compare it with other brands you're considering. Helpful and quick way to rate autos using this criteria. These fuel estimates are the results of tests required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The site also gives tips for more efficient driving, hence, less fuel used.
Kelley Blue Book: - Used car values and new car pricing with specs, photos. Information on motorcycles, snowmobiles, mopeds in addition to insurance tips, car care and lemon checks.
MSN Autos - Microsoft's entry into the area of new and used cars. The links listed above are recognized as well established car critics and evaluators even before their sites appeared, so Car Point has formidable opposition. However, they've got all the bells and whistles with a virtual auto show and surround video features if your computer can support it.
N.A.D.A. (National Automobile Dealers Assn) - DriversSeat.com as it is known, NADA offers consumers access to invoice prices of new vehicles, an online inventory of new and used vehicles and links to used car trade-in values and dealer Web sites. The site provides consumers with the names of three dealers in their area that carry brands they're interested in and make those referrals at no charge.
Natl Highway Traffic Safety Administration - A comprehensive site with such features as vehicle and equipment information, driver performance, the all-important crash information, regulations and standards, child seat safety and injury prevention. There's also a section on recalls and a driving simulator.
Trailer Life - Departments include Technical Information, Clinic Performance, RV Glossary, and a compilation of practical online resources for RVers: campground listings, national park reservations, road closures, traffic information, trip routing, and weather conditions. Each month there's a test of a vehicle and regular features include the basics systems including electrical, plumbing, lp-gas system, tools needed etc. They will have a database listing of five years' worth of articles that appeared in the 1995-99 issues of Trailer Life magazine.
Woman Motorist New Car Buying Handbook - Articles such as: What Can I Afford To Spend on A New Car, Lease or Buy, Internet Help In Buying a Car, Test Drives and Dealerships, Dealing with Dealers: Negotiating A New Car Purchase.
Wrenchead.com - First recommended by the Washington Post, we asked the late Joanne Brickman her opinion: "This is what the Internet does best: finds stuff you can't anywhere else." According to Wrenchead, they check their 350,000 on-location parts, then the 1.5 million items available from its warehouse distribution system that stores, car, truck and tractor parts for models back to 1972. Wrenchead guarantees a "100% fit" for parts purchased with the correct basic info (year, make and model). Prices, they say, are competitive with traditional retailers and, on average, are roughly 12 to 15% below retail stores.