Here at Ottawa Dodge we get many questions about many aspects of the automotive industry. We have decided to try to shed some light on the mysteries of the automotive industry. If you have any other questions, or want to clarification on any topic please feel free to contact us and ask for more information.

Leasing and Financing

Do I need to make monthly payments when buying a new vehicle?

Unless you’re in the position to pay cash for a new or pre-owned vehicle, you’ll need to establish a payment plan to obtain that vehicle. Two options exist – taking out a loan or leasing. You can choose to pay monthly, bi-weekly, or even weekly when negotiating your deal.

How loans different than leases?

When you take out a loan, all of the money used to pay it off applies to your eventual ownership of the vehicle. The initial down payment and principal on the loan cover the total cost of the purchase. Lease payments, however, apply only to the use of the vehicle. The total sum of payments covers the vehicle’s depreciation over the time you drive it and is usually less than the outright price of the vehicle. At the end of a lease you are given the option to buy out the vehicle, but if you do not buy out the vehicle, you do not own the vehicle.

When is ownership transferred when purchasing a vehicle?

If paid by cash/certified funds, you assume ownership when all funds have been received by the dealership, the legal documents have been executed, and ownership is transferred to you.  If financing is secured in the form of a loan, ownership of the vehicle is transferred to you when all documents have been executed and the dealership transfers ownership to you; note that the institution that provides the financing will most likely hold a lien on the vehicle until the outstanding balance is paid, which means you cannot legally transfer ownership until the lien is cleared. When a lease period ends you forfeit the vehicle to the lessor, unless the lessor offers to sell the vehicle afterwards. During the entire lease period the lessor maintains ownership and simply allows you to use the car. Ownership is only transferred if you chose to buy the vehicle after the lease terminates.

How are finance rates determined?

The size of monthly loan payments depends on the amount borrowed, the length of the loan, the interest rate, and other factors such as your credit history. Paying more money initially lowers the principal of the loan, thus reducing individual payments. At any period during the loan you may opt to pay off the principal in its entirety, at which point the title of the vehicle is transferred to you.  Special financing rates may be available to you if the dealership is able to successfully negotiate on your behalf; most new vehicles often come with special finance rates like 0%.

Can I finance a used vehicle?

Yes, although the term of the loan can be dictated by the age of the vehicle.  For example, a 1-year old vehicle can be financed longer than a 5-year old vehicle.

Will I be charged any extra fees to finance a vehicle?

The only additional charge to finance a vehicle is a small loan setup fee, usually around $75.  Generally, offering a “cash deal” to a dealership will not result in a lower price.  Whether funds for the purchase comes from the bank or from the customer, it is all the same to the dealership.

Is financing better than leasing?

The answer to this question depends on how you plan to use the vehicle. If you like the idea of driving a more expensive vehicle for a smaller monthly payment, leasing is a great option. However, if eventually owning the car is important, financing with a loan is the way to go.

Are there any restrictions when leasing?

Annual kilometers restrictions are a major limitation for customers who choose to lease. A typical yearly figure is between 18,000 and 25,000 kilometres. Beyond the established limit, fees accrue on a per-kilometer basis, usually in the range of $0.10 to $0.25 per kilometre. So if most of your driving is local, leasing makes sense. However, if you consistently tack on 500 or more kilometres a week, definitely look into a loan.

What are the benefits financing a vehicle rather than leasing?

Loans are also sensible for those who want to customize their vehicles, plan on keeping their cars for long periods of time, and plan to re-sell their vehicles to help recoup the costs of ownership or expenses of additional cars. For those who quickly wear vehicles out, loans may be safer bets as lessors often add “excessive wear” charges if the car is returned with wear over the limits established by the contract.

What are the benefits of leasing?

Leasing ensures that you’ll always drive a late-model vehicle, won’t have to pay for warranty-covered repairs, and won’t have to bother with re-selling at the end.

Warranty

How do I know what is covered under my warranty?

All new and many used vehicles arrive with a warranty covering unexpected repairs. Be sure to understand the duration and covered components of the warranty. A typical warranty might be written “36/60,000” meaning that coverage lasts either 36 months from the vehicle’s initial in-service date or until the vehicle has 60,000 kilometres, whichever comes first. Consult your vehicle’s maintenance guide to determine its needs.

Why are multiple periods listed on my warranty?

Depending on what is being repaired, the length of a factory warranty varies. Often a comprehensive “bumper-to-bumper” warranty covers everything outside of schedule maintenance. This is generally the shortest warranty period. Usually a longer powertrain warranty covers engine and transmission defects. Anti-corrosion protection often lasts even longer. Finally, some manufacturers offer roadside assistance for a limited time. Check your vehicles maintenance guide to determine your vehicle’s needs.  New Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, and FIAT products include a 3-year/60,000km comprehensive warranty, a 5-year/100,000km powertrain warranty (160,000km on Cummins diesel engines), and a 5-year/100,000km 24-hour roadside assistance coverage.

Are used vehicles covered under factory warranty?

Warranties are often transferable, meaning that a vehicle inside its kilometre and duration caps will maintain its factory warranty. Consult your vehicle’s maintenance guide to determine its needs.

How do I be sure to not void my warranty?

By performing required service at the proper intervals and responding if something clearly goes wrong. Your owner’s manual explicitly lists service intervals, although cars are often equipped with “check engine” dashboard lights that signal needed maintenance. Consult your vehicle’s maintenance guide to determine its needs.

What is my responsibility to maintain my warranty?

You just need to take the vehicle in for service when the time arrives. Factory-authorized technicians must perform service and any other outside maintenance which could potentially void a warranty. Consult your vehicle’s maintenance guide to determine its needs.

What will my warranty pay for?

Many warranties cover the parts and labour costs involved in fixing unexpected repairs but place the responsibility of expected maintenance on the customer. Certain repairs may be covered by some manufacturers and not by others. Consult your vehicle’s maintenance guide to determine its needs.

How often should I change my oil?

Changing your engine’s oil and filter is one of the most vital maintenance procedures possible. Oil minimizes friction in the engine and prevents the motor from seizing up. Typical intervals for new cars are between 5,000 to 15,000 kilometres; vehicles equipped with a diesel engine may have a intervals up to 20,000 kilometres. Consult your vehicle’s maintenance guide to determine its needs.

How often should I change my engine coolant?

Water and antifreeze keep your engine from overheating and freezing during extreme temperatures. Intervals for flushing the system and replacing coolant vary, as some manufacturers promise long lasting antifreeze good past 100,000 kilometres. A general timeframe would be every few years or 30,000 to 40,000 kilometres. Consult your vehicle’s maintenance guide to determine its needs.

Should I replace my Spark plugs?

Older vehicles required the replacement or adjustment of spark plugs much more often than new vehicles do. Manufacturers today promise over 100,000 kilometres before a tune-up that includes changing the plugs. Still, checking the plugs at 50,000 to 60,000 kilometres is not a bad idea. Consult your vehicle’s maintenance guide to determine its needs.

Do I need to replace my Air filter?

The interval for changing the filter depends on the quality of filter, type of vehicle, and environment in which most driving occurs. Travelling on dirt roads will surely clog a filter faster than paved highways. Also, local pollution can determine filter life. Consult your vehicle’s maintenance guide to determine its needs.

How long does a car battery last?

Again, the interval of changing a battery depends on the type of battery, type of vehicle, and local climate. Super cold regions may require a more powerful battery for cold starting, or a block heater. Also, rechargeable batteries that have completely lost their charge at some point often never reach full potential again. Consult your vehicle’s maintenance guide to determine its needs.

When should I replace my windshield wipers?

Wipers need to be replaced, especially in climates with ice and snow. Sometimes just the blade needs replacing, while other times the entire wiper unit should go. Some customers may choose different types of wiper blades for better performance. Consult your vehicle’s maintenance guide to determine its needs.

How do I know when to replace my tires?

The type of vehicle, specific tire and driving style determine the life of a tire. Many are rated to last 30,000 to 70,000 kilometres, but an aggressive style can wear out tires in as little as 15,000 kilometres. Customers may deviate from OEM specification in the interest of better looks or performance. Consult your vehicle’s maintenance guide to determine its needs.

How do you know when to replace the brakes on my car?

Like tires, brake life depends heavily on driving style. Lots of stressful braking will significantly shorten the life. Replacement requires new rotors and sometimes, new pads. Consult your vehicle’s maintenance guide to determine its needs.

How do I find the right snow tires?

No tire is perfect, as extra competence in one category often means compromise in another. For example, a tire that is great in snow may be so-so on dry pavement and average in the rain. Try to find reviews on a tire to determine if it meets your criteria. Consult your vehicle’s maintenance guide to determine its needs or ask one of our knowledgeable Service Advisors.  Current pricing for tires of all makes and models can be found at  tires.OttawaDodge.com.

Replacement Parts

Where do I get replacement parts for my vehicle?

Through Ottawa Dodge, the premium-quality yet competitively-priced Magneti Marelli replacement parts is available. With the Magneti Marelli all makes automotive parts program, we are able to supply parts and service all models of makes such as Alfa Romeo, Acura, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Ford, Geo, GMC, Honda, Hummer, Hyundai, Infiniti, Isuzu, Kia, Lexus, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury, Nissan, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Scion, Suzuki, Toyota, Audi, Subaru, Volkswagen, Daewoo, Infiniti, Lotus, Mini, Mitsubishi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Land Rover, Jaguar, Porsche, and Volvo. Magneti Marelli supplies a full line of maintenance parts including Brake Pad Kits, Brake Shoes, Rotors and Drums, Oil Filters, Cabin Air Filters, Fuel Filters, Transmission Filters, Shocks and Struts, Spark Plugs, Spark Plug Wire Sets, Timing Belts, as well as Wheel Bearing and Hub Assemblies.  Magneti Marelli also supplies a full line of repair parts including Starters and Alternators, Oxygen Sensors, Fuel Pumps, Power Window and Regulators, Ignition Coils, Ball Joints, Control Arms, Tie Rods, Water Pumps, as well as Catalytic Converters.  Full product details are available online at MagnetiMarelli.ca

Trade-Ins

Why should I trade-in my used vehicle instead of selling it on my own?

Trading in your current vehicle towards another can partially offset the cost of the new vehicle. The trade-in’s net value goes towards the purchase or lease of a new vehicle. You also will receive the tax value of the vehicle when you trade your vehicle at a dealership, giving a monetary advantage over selling it privately. Conditions of a trade-in vary depending on who owns the vehicle. If you own the vehicle, trading-in means that you’re selling the car to the dealer for some determined price. As a result, the price of the new car goes down, only. If you are leasing a vehicle and do not own it, trading-in means that the seller of the new car agrees to pay the outstanding costs associated with the lease. Depending on the financing of the new vehicle and the outstanding balance on the old one, trading-in can either raise or lower the new car’s price.

What is the benefit to trading-in my vehicle?

When you trade-in you don’t have to worry about selling the vehicle yourself or any of the associated costs (advertising, showing the car, etc). A dealer may offer a price you could not get yourself as an incentive to purchase a new vehicle. If the trade-in has known problems that could plague you later (when the buyer returns complaining), selling the car to the dealer eliminates the bother. Trading-in a lease car may relieve you of, in the long run, monthly costs you cannot afford. Sometimes people trade in lease vehicles because of poor gas kilometer or lack of practicality. Plus you could qualify for a tax savings when you trade in your vehicle to a dealer that you would not get if sold privately.

What happens to my vehicle after I trade it in to a dealership?

Some are kept by the dealer and resold as used cars. Some are sent to auction and purchased by other dealers for resale. Dealers know that auction prices often will not match the sum credited toward a new vehicle, but they absorb the losses as sales incentives.

What is my vehicle worth?

Check used car values in guides, websites, or by outside appraisers. You can also ask your Sales Consultant for trade-in value of your vehicle. Often both trade-in and private sale values are listed. Factors such as kilometres, overall condition, damage, and known mechanical problems heavily influence the trade-in value.  You can find the current wholesale value of your vehicle online at BlackBook.OttawaDodge.com