Buying A Car – New vs Used


Thad: I’m Thad.

Todd: I’m Todd.

Thad: We’re the Watters boys.

Todd: You may be struggling with whether to buy new or used.

Thad: We’re here to tell you, it’s ALWAYS better to buy underwear brand new.  

Todd: Fresh off the shelf and outta the package undies beat garage sale skivvies, every time.  

Thad: As for a vehicle, well that’s a fruit of a different loom.


New or used? This guy's thinking about it...


Todd: There are obvious advantages to buying a vehicle new.

Thad: You get a full dealer warranty.

Todd: There’s no previous owner, so no worries about how they treated it.

Thad: A new car will typically have more and better safety features.

Todd: And better features overall, bumper to bumper.

Thad: New cars also typically get better gas mileage, depending on the model.

Todd: There are also tax incentives to purchasing certain new vehicles.

Thad: And the automakers have incredible incentives right now for you to buy new, including GM, our flagship company.

Todd: In addition we also have our own local dealer incentives here at Watters Autoland.


There are financial incentives to buying new


Thad: Yes – like, buy a new car and get my brother for half-price.

Todd: Or a brother of equal or lesser value – that’s you.

Thad: Plus a new car smells new, looks new and runs new, which makes you feel good.

Todd: Which is one of the most enjoyable things about owning a new car.

Thad: And something else to think about – without new cars, there would be no used cars.

Todd: Which means we would all be riding horses to work.

Thad: And this post would be titled, “Buying A Horse? New vs. Used.”

Todd: “Watters Equineland”…kinda has a nice ring to it.

Thad: I’ll park ’em if you clean ’em.

Todd: From the financial horse sense perspective however, used cars win, hooves down.

Thad: Used cars typically cost less than new.

Todd: Used cars lose less of their value.

Thad: While new cars lose about 40% of their value after the first three years.

Todd: It slow down after that, but you obviously don’t take that big of a hit with used.

Thad: When you buy used, you’re also entering the lowest operating expenses phase of the vehicle – depending on its age.

Todd: There’s usually lower financial costs

Thad: Lower registration and license fees…

Todd: And a lower cost to insure the vehicle.  

She paid less for her used car - see how happy she is?


Thad: So, for dependability, safety, a full warranty, incentives, lower maintenance costs and that new car smell, go with new.

Todd: For lower financing costs, less depreciation and better overall value, go with used.

Thad: If you want to compare the numbers of new vs. used, there are lots of online calculators.

Todd: There’s one we particularly like – go to it by clicking here.

Thad: You can also contact us at Watters Autoland for more information on the benefits of buying new vs. used.

Todd: Whatever you do, don’t stop buying new.

Thad: I’d hate to ask a horse to carry my brother around.

Todd: Do you actually have to ask, first?

Thad: Wouldn’t you want me to ask you first before I climbed on your back?

Todd: Good point.

Todd and Thad Watters own and manager Watters Autoland in Indianola, Iowa. Visit them at


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Do Tires Really Matter?


Todd: I’m Todd.

Thad: I’m Thad.

Both: And we’re the Watters boys.

Todd: There’s something I see on the roads that drives me crazy.

Thad: Those “If you can read this, you’re too close” bumper stickers?

There's something on the roads even worse than this...


Todd: Yeah – except sometimes I get bored while driving and need something to read.

Thad: Why don’t you just stick one on the inside of your own car’s window?

Todd: Hmmm…good point. I’ll think about it. 

Thad: Don’t bother. I already did it for you.

Todd: What really my wears my treads is seeing cars that have different tires on each hub.

Thad: We’re talking different sizes, different constructions, even different stages of wear.

Todd: Nothing is more dangerous than putting un-matching tires on your car.

Putting un-matching tires on your vehicle can lead to this


Thad: Now there are some vehicles that are intentionally fitted with different sizes in the front and rear, but that’s by design.

Todd: Otherwise, we see a lot of people mix and match, starting with radial and non-radials.

Thad: That’s a bad idea. It’s kind of like putting a Felix the Cat slipper on one foot and a high-heeled steel-toed boot on the other and then trying to jog a mile.

Todd: I think jogging in general is a bad idea, but okay.    

Thad: And if you have to mix radial and non-radial, never put them on the same axle.

Todd: Radials go on the front axle, non-radials on the back.

Thad: Same thing with size. Never put different sized tires on your car.

Todd: See the “slipper-boot” analogy, above.

Thad: Different sizes are harder to drive, harder on your car and decrease your gas mileage.

Todd: Also avoid mixing tread patterns, like all terrain and all-season.

Thad: All of these differences add up, over time, as you drive your vehicle.

Todd: At best you’ll get dramatically uneven wear.

Thad: At worst you’re creating an unsafe driving environment for yourself and everyone else in your car.

Todd: We’ll often see cars brought in where drivers have tried to save money by purchasing a used tire that’s not the same as the others, in size or tread or anything else.

Thad: We understand that economics can dictate these decisions.

Todd: But seriously, where the rubber meets the road, you’re really playing with fire.

Matching tires are happy tires


Thad: So avoid mixing tires, and metaphors, as my brother just did.

Todd: Me…ta…

Thad: Just imagine that a “metaphor” is a new tire from Michelin.

Todd: Cool!

Thad: Just like you match the colors you’re wearing to work today…

Todd: My brother notwithstanding.

Thad: Make sure you match your tires.

Todd: Same size, same tread, same, construction.

Thad: You’ll have a safer drive and peace of mind.

Todd: Two things that are worth the investment.

Thad: Speaking of investment, are we still doing the $18.99 oil changes?

Todd: We’ve gotten a lot of response – do we still have oil left?

Thad: No, that was your job.

Todd: Actually my job is to make sure you are doing your job.

Thad: I thought that was my job.

Todd: Okay – we’ve established that we both get paid to stare at each other.

Thad: Luckily, we have plenty of oil at Watters Autoland.

Todd: Which means you can still take advantage of our oil change special.

Thad: Just subscribe to our “Talkin Cars” blog via email, and we’ll send you a coupon, good for a $18.99 oil change at Watters Autoland in Indianola.

Todd: It’s our way of saying thank you for your tremendous response to “Talkin Cars.”

Thad: Just click on the “subscribe by email” thingy on the right side of this page.

Todd: Which probably has a more technical term, but okay.

Thad: Submit your email address, and we’ll send you an email in return, with your coupon. It’s that simple!

Todd: Just like you!

Thad: Shut your thingy.



Todd and Thad Watters own and manage Watters Autoland in Indianola, Iowa. Visit them at 

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5 Tips For Getting Your Car Ready For Spring

Todd: I’m Todd.

Thad: I’m Thad.

Todd: We’re the Watters Boys.

Thad: Spring is in the air!

Todd: In the air in Hawaii.

Thad: Here, it’s still cold and miserable.

Todd: But that beats bone-numbing and uninhabitable.

Thad: And that miniscule improvement can only mean one thing…

Both: Spring is almost here!

Todd: So it’s time to get your car in Spring-shape.


Spring car cleaning means a bit more than this

Thad: Here are five good tips we’ve put together.

Todd: That will guarantee your vehicle makes a smooth transition from bleak arctic tundra to Wizard Of Oz in color.

Thad: Can I be the scarecrow?

Todd: Yeah, cause you’re already scarin me.


1. Remove road salt from underneath the vehicle.


Thad: People have no idea how bad this stuff really is.

Todd: You can go through a regular car wash and press the “clean the undercarriage” option, but even that won’t really remove the built-up gunk.

Thad: Remember, you’ve been driving through thousands of slushy pot holes.

Todd: And gunk-filled pot holes.

Thad: And pot holes with pot holes.

Todd: We recommend you take it to a mechanic or professional detailer and really have it cleaned.

Thad: Everyone in Iowa should have this done – it’ll help prolong the life of your car.


2. Check the tires.


Todd: Believe it or not, tire pressure changes up to a pound per square inch for every 10 degrees in temperature change outdoors.

Thad: And that’s assuming my brother isn’t riding in the car with four of his larger friends, eating buckets of fried chicken.

Todd: Talk about deflating the tires.

Thad: That’s why the tire pressure sensors in newer cars tend to go off in cold weather.

Todd: Underinflation allows your tires to wear unevenly on the sides.

Thad: Plus your gas mileage will suffer.

Todd: So check the pressure when it’s cold, then fill it accordingly.

Thad: And if my brother and his posse are ridin, give it a few extra shots of air.

Todd: There is also a product called Nitrogen tire fill , which will help keep your tire pressure normal during cold weather which will also help your gas mileage.

Thad: It’s available at Watters Autoland for $20.

 Todd: About the amount my brother spends daily on peanut M and M’s out of our little snack machine.

Thad: One quarter at a time, baby. One quarter at a time.


3. Change your wiper blades.


Todd: How much abuse have your wipers taken this winter?

Thad: They’ve been ensconsed in ice…

Todd: There’s your thesaurus!

Thad: Battered by snow, sleet and wind…

Todd: I think I saw my wipers on-line, looking for cheap air fare to Florida.

Thad: Wiper blades are designed to last about a year, and this year’s been particularly brutal.

Todd: So get them changed as soon as possible, for safety’s sake.

Thad: Plus I can’t stand the sound of bare metal scraping a windshield.

Todd: I wish I could make that sound with my mouth, just to see you squirm.

Thad: You make me squirm without trying.


4. Change the spark plugs, oil and coolant.


Todd: Just like your wiper blades, your engine’s spark plugs also take a beating.

Thad: Ole’ Sparky can fire as many as 300,000 times in just 100 miles.


Your engine needs a Spring cleaning, too

Todd: So get them changed – along with your oil, oil filter, air filter, coolant and wiper blades – as part of an overall vehicle spring cleaning.

Thad: One of the worst things you can do to your engine is just keep driving it into Spring like everything’s cool beans.

Todd: This winter has been tough on just about every part of your vehicle, especially the engine.

Thad: So, like our grandma used to say, blow the stink off of it.

Todd: Did literally blowing the stink off of anything, ever work?

Thad: I don’t know – as hard as I blow in your direction, I can still smell your cologne – so I guess not.

Todd: Please keep blowing until you feel light-headed…then really blow hard.

Thad: Get your oil and filter changed, flush your coolant, get a tune-up and check your battery connection – trust us, your car needs it.


5. Completely clean the interior


Todd: As we’ve talked about in previous “Talkin Cars” posts, keeping the inside of your car clean means a higher trade-in value when it’s time.

Thad: So don’t settle for running a car wash vacuum across your floor mats.


Detailing the interior will add to your car's value

Todd: Take it to a professional detailer and really have the inside and outside thoroughly cleaned.

Thad: This small investment will reap rewards when you sell it or trade it in.

Todd: Plus it’s so much more fun to ride in a car that doesn’t smell like old french fries.

Thad: Although I do love the smell of new french fries.

Todd: Can you get that in a dangling air freshener?


Here’s a great offer!


Thad: We talked earlier about getting your oil changed.

Todd: And now we’d like to help you with that part of your Spring car cleaning.

Thad: Just sign up for our “Talkin Cars” blog via email, and we’ll email you a coupon good for an $18.99 oil change at Watters Autoland in Indianola.

Todd: That’s a savings of 50%!

Thad: Plus you’ll be taking a great first step into spring, with a happy car.

Todd: Don’t forget the fries.

Thad: Mmmmmmm.


Todd and Thad Watters own and manage Watters Autoland in Indianola, Iowa. Visit them at 

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Filed under Auto maintenance, Spring Car Care

How Often SHOULD You Change Your Oil?

Todd: I’m Todd. 

Thad: I’m Thad. 

Todd: And we’re the Watters boys. 

Thad: One of the most hotly debated questions among car mechanics is, how often should a person change their oil? 

Todd: It’s right up there with “grease monkey or wrench wizard?” 

Thad: I prefer “motor maven.” 

The shorter you drive, the more often you should change your oil

Todd: Most quick lube places will tell you to change your oil at least every three months or 3,000 miles. 

Thad: While garages that rebuild engines for a living will tell you, hey don’t bother changing it, it’ll change itself. 

Todd: Not that we’re implying that some of these places MAY have an agenda. 

Thad: The truest truth is that it really depends on how much you drive your car. 

Todd: If you drive less than 10 miles at a time, or take a lot of short trips during the day and therefore are starting up and turning off your engine a lot, then you should change your oil a lot more often. 

Thad: At least every 1,000 miles. 

Todd: That’s because short trips are harder on your oil, because it never gets hot enough to perform at peak efficiency. 

Thad: And nothing’s harder on your engine than when you first start it. 

Doing this a lot, is harder on your oil

Todd: So if you’re doing that a lot, you really need to keep the oil as new as possible. 

Thad: If you drive 20 miles or more at a time, then you can wait longer to change your oil. 

Todd: We recommend three thousand miles between changes. 

Thad: Which for most of us is really four thousand miles. 

Todd: That’s because we all tend to push it, because, reasonably enough, we don’t want to pay to have it changed any sooner than we have to. 

Thad: It’s the same reason why I wait to get my hair cut. 

Todd: I’d also recommend having the oil in your hair, changed. 

Thad: The main thing to remember is that, in general, the longer your journey and the fewer times you start your car, the better it is for your oil and the longer it can go. 

Todd: But you should really never go past the three thousand mile mark. 

Thad: Oil’s viscosity breaks down and eventually creates sludge. 

Todd: Your car’s engine light usually reflects this by coming on, but you can’t just depend on the “idiot” light. 

Thad: Named in honor of my brother… 

Todd: Because your engine’s heat can crystallize that sludge into something very unpleasant, and very expensive to fix. 

Thad: It’s much cheaper to just change your oil regularly – and much better for your car. 




Thad: Oil changes are cheap maintenance, and now we want to make it even cheaper.  

Todd: We’re making this special offer to email subscribers of “Talkin Cars.” 

Thad: If you subscribe to our blog via email, we will send you a coupon good for an $18.99 oil change at Watters Autoland in Indianola. 

Todd: That’s a new filter and up to five quarts of oil, for just $18.99! 

Thad: You save 50% off the normal Watters Autoland price! 

Todd: Just subscribe to our “Talkin Cars” blog via the email subscription option and we’ll then email you your coupon. 

Thad: It’s our way of saying thank you and for apologizing for the way my brother writes.  

Todd: Remember, they have to read your writing, too. 

Thad: But I’m cute so that helps. 

Todd: Get your hair oil changed.



Todd and Thad Watters own and manage Watters Autoland in Indianola, Iowa. Visit them at 

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Why Kicking The Tire Is A Good Thing!

Todd: Hi, I’m Todd.

Thad: I’m Thad.

Todd: And we’re the Watters boys.

Thad: What we’re about to tell you will sound stupid on the surface

Todd: Unlike other things we tell you that will sound stupid way down deep.

Thad: Like, The Colts are a sure bet to win the Superbowl. 

Todd: It sounded smart at the time.

Thad: How much money did you lose on that bet?

Todd: Let’s just say I need to sell a LOT of cars in February.

Kicking the tire can tell you a lot

Thad: So here’s the stupid sounding thing; kicking the tires on your car is actually a very smart thing to do.

Todd: Wow – that does sound stupid.

Thad: I tried to warn you.

Todd: No one is exactly sure when or how this “myth” started.

Thad: Some believe that back when tires were made of solid rubber, people used to kick them to see if they would crack or break, which they sometimes did.

Todd: Pneumatic, or air-filled tires, eventually replaced the solid rubber variety.

Thad: Which didn’t prevent people from continuing to kick tires.

Todd: Maybe human beings were just bored back then – this was after all before cable.

Thad: I think Mediacom now offers The Tire Kicking Channel as part of their basic package

Todd: Kicking tires eventually developed a bad reputation.

Thad: The assumption was that the person who did it really didn’t know why they were doing it, or much about cars in general.

Todd: But there are some very good reasons to kick the tire of a vehicle.

Thad: A rattling sound can mean issues with the springs, suspension, shock absorber, wheel bearing or caliper.  

Todd: Plus, kicking the tire can alert you to loose lug nuts.

Thad: Believe it or not, tires can and do come loose.

Todd: Also, when you kick the tire – or better yet, put your foot on the top of it and step down, you can feel if the tire is underinflated.

Thad: Of course, kicking the tire can’t tell you about a gazillion other things that could be wrong with your car.

Todd: If your friendly grease monkey uses this as a diagnostic method, you may want to consider taking your car somewhere more reputable.

Thad: Like, to a witch doctor.

Todd: Which witch doctor?

Thad: Don’t go there.  

Todd: Meantime, we hope sharing the truth about the myth brings tire-kicking back into vogue.

Thad: Much like we’re hoping that us wearing leisure suits around the dealership will bring them back as a fashion statement. 

Todd: Although so far, the results have been disappointing.

Thad: Just like the Colts.

Todd: Don’t make me kick you.


Todd and Thad Watters own and manage Watters Autoland in Indianola, Iowa. To find out more, visit them at: 

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Getting The Most For Your Trade-in

 Thad: Hi I’m Thad.

 Todd: I’m Todd. 

Thad: And we’re the Watters Boys. 

Todd: So you want to get the most you can for your trade-in? 

Thad: Thanks but that’s okay, I already own a dealership. 

Todd: Not you – I was addressing our readers. 

Thad: Which is also just me. 

Todd: I think mom finally started reading it. 

Thad: She wants to make sure we don’t sound stupid. 

Todd: Too late, Mom!  

Thad: When people ask us how they can maximize their car’s trade-in value, we tell ’em it’s all about common sense. 

Todd: Car dealers are people, too. 

Thad: Insert joke here. 

Todd: And so we are moved by first impressions, just like anyone. 

Thad: Most dealers don’t have time to go over your trade-in with a fine tooth comb. 

Todd: What they are really focused on is getting you into your new vehicle. 

Thad: And so our best advice is to think like a seller, because you are. 

Todd: You are “selling” us your car and we are selling you ours. 

Thad: Make sure you put your best foot forward. 

1. First and foremost, wash your car, inside and out 

A clean trade-in is worth more

Thad: You’d be shocked at how many people bring us a dirty vehicle. 

Todd: You’d be even more shocked at how dirty Thad’s car is. 

Thad: Which is why I park in the back. 

Todd: We react the same way to a dirty, smelly car the same way you would. 

Thad: It suggests that the owner has neglected it. 

Todd: And that’s going to almost certainly reduce the amount we’re willing to pay for it. 

Thad: So our advice – take it through the car wash, remove all the debris from the inside, vacuum all the surfaces, shampoo the carpet and floor mats and Windex the windows, inside and out. 

Todd: Also remove contents from glove compartment and trunk and, if possible, shampoo the trunk area. 

Thad: You may even want to consider detailing the vehicle. 

Todd: It’s an expense, but it can really pay off at trade-in time. 

Thad: Remember, that first impression is the most important! 

2. Have a maintenence record to give to the dealer. 

Keep good service records

Thad: Whether you’ve kept one for the life of your car or if you have to write one out from memory, this will show that you’ve been a thoughtful owner and will likely increase the value of your vehicle’s trade-in. 

Todd: The record doesn’t have to include every oil change or tune-up (although this should be included if possible) but it should have a list of any major work done on the vehicle, including engine and body work. 

Thad: It’s also a good idea to do small maintenance before you take it to the dealership. 

Todd: Replace wiper blades, top off fluids, get a tune-up – the dealer will notice these things and they will have a positive impact. 

3. Be honest about the car’s issues. 

Honesty will pay off

Todd: Vehicles get driven and used. 

Thad: Unless you’re my great great aunt whose AMC Gremlin hasn’t left the garage since 1992. 

Todd: Didn’t we sneak it out when we were 13 to see how fast it would go? 

Thad: Shhh! You want to get us busted? 

Todd: Hey, you drove – I just sat in the back and hid my eyes. 

Thad: If the car has a light out, or scratches, or a dent, or a hole in the seat, tell the dealer. 

Todd: He’s going to find out anyway – remember, we’ve seen literally thousands of vehicles brought in for trade-in over the years. 

Thad: Yep – if it’s there we’ll probably find it. 

Todd: Which is nothing to feel guilty about – like we said, cars get driven, that’s what we’re supposed to do. 

Thad: Auntie notwithstanding. 

Todd: Being honest about your vehicle’s blemishes will create a level of trust with the dealer. 

Thad: As will bringing in a clean, well-maintained car with good records. 

Todd: Follow these steps and you’ll be a happy seller… 

Thad: …and a happy buyer, come trade-in time! 


Todd and Thad Watters own and manage Watters Autoland in Indianola, Iowa. To find out more, visit them at: 


Next time: Why kicking the tire is a good thing  

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Filed under Car shopping, Trade-in value, Uncategorized

Dispelling The Biggest Myths About Cars

Todd: I’m Todd.

Thad: I’m Thad.

Todd: And we’re the Watters Boys.

Thad: There is a lot of great information out there about buying, selling and

operating a car.

Todd: You’ll find some good advice in books, newspaper articles and

automotive web sites and blogs.

Thad: Like this one – at least that’s the idea of Talkin Cars.

Todd: However you do have to take some of my brother’s ideas with a grain

of salt – like when he thought that stopping a car by sticking your foot out of

the door and sliding it on the ground would prolong the life of the brake


Thad: I was nine years old – and I still think that idea could work.

Todd: Except you’d lose money with all the emergency room bills.  

Thad: But for every good idea, there are others floating around out there…

Todd: Like Thad’s “brake with your foot” concept.

Thad: …that are not so good.

Todd: In this blog we’ll focus on myths about buying a car. Here are the

most common ones that we’ve heard over the years:

Myth #1: I have three days to return the car

Todd: The idea is that whether you’re buying new or used, you have three

days to change your mind and return the car.

Thad: The term is called “rescission,” or “to rescind.”

Todd: The dictionary definition-

Thad: I lent him mine.

Todd: -is: “The right of an individual involved within a contract to return to

the identical state as before they entered into the agreement, due to courts

not recognizing the contract as legally binding.”

Thad: This is one of those myths that’s kind of true but sort of not.

Todd: You can bring the car back only if a dealer has deliveried it to you,  or

made the deal at your home. 

Thad: If you come to your dealership and buy the car, you own it –

otherwise, the three days is to protect you for when a salesperson

comes to your home and strong-arms you into buying a car.

Todd: Otherwise, Caveat Emptor.

Thad: My brother is going crazy with that dictionary!

Todd: At Watters Autoland that’s exactly why we go over our pre-owned

vehicles with a fine tooth comb, before a customer drives it or buys it.

Thad: We want to make sure that the car you buy from us runs right, and is

right for you.

Myth #2: The best car deals are at the end of the month.

Thad: This myth probably started as a marketing tool.

Todd: Leave it up to those wacky advertising guys!

Thad: Hey, we’re wacky advertising guys.

Todd: Yeah but we’re not that wacky. Remember when some ad guy 

suggested we do a “We’re strippin down prices” TV ad campaign,

with all of us walking around without any clothes on?

Thad: I think that would have worked better on radio.

Todd: While it’s true that we do have monthly sales quotas we try 

to meet…

Thad: It’s also true that we pay the same price for our vehicles, whether it’s

at the beginning, middle or end of the month. And the same goes for our


Todd: Our bottom line at Watters Autoland is that we try to charge a fair

price, make a fair profit and pay our employees fair wages.

Thad: So they can all afford to buy clothes.

Myth #3: Extended Warranties Are Just Overpriced Scams

Todd: Wow. If I had a nickel for every time I heard a consumer say this.

Thad: How many nickels would you have?

Todd: Can I borrow your calculator?

Thad: Only if I can have my dictionary back.

Todd: Cars are built incredibly strong, to withstand all the years of driving

abuse we dish out.

Thad: But the more we drive a car, the better the chance for


Thad: That’s just a fact of life, with anything we buy and use.

Todd: So we always always always recommend customers get

extended warranty insurance, especially on a used car.

Thad: The price is reasonable, especially for what it covers, which is a lot.

Todd: Road Hazard Insurance can also really pay off because it covers

tires and rims.

Thad: Especially with this Iowa weather and the effect it has on our roads.

Todd: All it takes is driving one time into a pothole the size of my brother’s

swimming pool, and the insurance has paid for itself and then some.

Thad: There are a lot more car myths, misconceptions and out and

out horse hooey that we’ll address in future blogs.

Todd: If you’ve got a myth you’d like us to talk about, just post it in a

comment on our blog!

Thad: Meantime, drive safe and remember – only six weeks till spring!

Todd: Yea! Then we can start running around without clothes!

Thad: Remind me to be sick that day.

Todd and Thad Watters own and operate Watters Autoland in Indianola, Iowa. To find out more, visit


Next time: Getting the most for your trade-in

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Filed under Car shopping, Trade-in value