Monthly Archives: March 2010

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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Filed under Car repair, Tires

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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Filed under Auto maintenance, Oil change