When you're behind the wheel, there are things that are within your control and things that are outside your control. The level of safety the vehicle you drive has is something you choose. Ever since car safety ratings started showing up in the late 1970s, consumers have been using them to make their purchasing decisions, and vehicle manufacturers have continuously worked to create safer vehicles. Staying safe on the road matters.
Since vehicle safety has come such a long way in the last few years and decades, here's a look at the evolution of seatbelt safety, crumple zones, and backup cameras.
Test drives are an unskippable portion of the car buying process. It's that time when you get to sit behind the wheel and drive a car you're interested in. It's an exciting time, but it's also important to stay focused. Staying alert and paying attention are musts.
Whenever you find yourself in the market for a new vehicle, it can be tough figuring out just where to start. Whether you're searching for a brand new car or something new to you, having your ducks in a row will help you get where you're going faster. Plus, if you use these questions to ask when buying a car, you're more likely to get a vehicle that meets your needs.
With every new year comes a new car buying experience. That's because every year brings with it newer technology, consumer preferences, and industry regulations. All of these things work together to influence what is and isn't included in the newest vehicle models. Since we're right at the beginning of a new model year, let's take a look at 2018's biggest vehicle trends.
There’s just a day or two left in 2017, and Miller Auto & Marine is like a lot of other central Minnesota companies preparing for the New Year. It’s both the perfect time to reflect on the year that’s about to turn the page, as well as look toward the future in terms of what we hope to accomplish and serve. Sure, I know the “numbers” that accompany end-of-year tallies, from inventory sold to talent hired to revenue earned. But none of that truly matters as much as the impact Miller Auto & Marine has in this community. I’m going to share some of our year’s best highlights – none of which have anything to do with the bottom line … just the bottom of our hearts.
Car problems sure can derail your plans, but thankfully they don't have to. Most of the time, your vehicle will let you know when something isn't quite right. Whether it comes in the form of a sound, a shake, a smell, or something else entirely, your vehicle has its way of letting you know it needs attention. To help you uncover any issues your vehicle might be dealing with, we put together an infographic on the most common car problems and how to fix them. Check it
To keep your car happy, healthy, and running well past its prime, preventative maintenance is critical. The infographic below outlines some items you should be doing on a regular basis.
Being taken advantage of during the car buying process is a real fear for a lot of individuals. Worrying that you'll be misled or lied to, sold a lemon, or overcharged can take all of the fun out of your experience. And yes, buying a car can be fun. I've outlined a few ways that you can identify a car buying experience you don't want to be in. If you're looking to buy a car without getting scammed, follow these tips.
One of the most exciting things about living in Minnesota is the opportunity to experience all four seasons. We get the growth and blooms of springtime, summer days by the lake, fall foliage people in other regions can only dream of, and winter snowscapes that are perfect for sledding, skiing, and sipping hot cocoa.
While every season in Minnesota brings its own joys and activities, they also come with their drawbacks. And, if you ask any Minnesotan about winter, they're likely to bring up driving and road conditions in their list of things they don't love about winter (it usually comes right after they talk about those days where the wind chill is -30 degrees).
Every once and a while, our staff members become our customers, too. So, we decided to ask a few Miller Auto & Marine employees what they drive and why they drive it. Then, we took their answers and put together a fun little video. Check it out:
For many people, vehicle ownership is simply a necessity. Priorities like getting to work, shopping for groceries, and getting children to and from school and activities are made much easier with the use of a personal vehicle. But when that vehicle needs service, what do you do?
For many drivers, the first line of defense out on the open road is ensuring your tires are in tip-top condition because where the rubber meets the road is the start of a safe journey. Understanding the basics of how long tires last, recognizing the warning signs of a dangerous tire, and knowing about maintenance and repair is critical for a safe ride.
It seems as if every stage of life comes with its own particular set of circumstances. We all face different hurdles and considerations, we become invested in different interests, and we find ways to share and grow. And as we change, the people and things in our life change too.
When it comes to making a vehicle purchase, your credit score is a pretty important number. That is unless you're paying for the vehicle in full at the time of purchase. But, since the majority of vehicles are bought through financing, most buyers will use their credit score to secure their finance agreement.
Here at Miller Auto & Marine, it's no secret that we want to provide our customers with a 5-Star Experience every time they visit. It's part of every department and it shapes the way all of our employees approach their day. To help you see what the 5-Star Experience looks like we asked a few of our staff to share what the 5-Star Experience means to them:
Whether you love it or would rather not think about it, auto insurance is a necessity. Beyond the protection it offers you, your passengers, your vehicle, and the individuals you share the roads with, auto insurance is required by law in the state of Minnesota - and other states as well.
While it's likely you already know if your state does or doesn't require insurance, you might not be aware of what variables affect your auto insurance premiums. Those variables are what I'll be covering below.
Budget constraints definitely come into play when you set out to purchase a new or new to you vehicle. Beyond the cost of the vehicle as a whole, buyers need to think about how much of a downpayment they can afford and how much they can set aside for monthly payments. While buying a brand new vehicle isn't in the cards for everyone, it's important to be able to get a reliable vehicle you want to drive and own at a price you can afford, but how?
Everybody hates dumping money into their vehicle to get it repaired. It's one of the necessary evils of life. So, we've put together this handy infographic for you. It outlines some of the most common car repairs and what you can expect to pay for them.
Because the 5-Star Experience is so important to us and the service we provide, we think it's pretty important for our customers to understand it, too. After all, it's mentioned in our radio ads, on our website, in our videos, and really any other place we promote our products, services, or people.
A flat tire typically shows up unexpectedly and catapults itself onto the top of your priority list. A flat tire can happen to anyone at any time. It doesn’t matter if you were already running late or if you’re wearing a cocktail dress. Regardless of your situation, the basic mechanics of changing a tire are the same whether you’re working with a car, truck, van, or SUV. Below, I’ve broken down how to change a tire in 10 simple steps.
Whether or not you have a good credit score will directly affect what interest rates you'll be offered when financing a vehicle purchase. Lending agents use a buyer's credit score to determine how likely they are to follow through with repayment. With a good credit score, lenders assume you will pay them back as agreed, and with a low or nonexistent credit score, lenders assume there is more risk associated with lending to you.
Here at Miller Auto & Marine, our auto technicians are typically behind the scenes. They're usually busy ensuring your vehicles are operating in tip top shape and diagnosing the source of that peculiar rattle you only hear during left turns. But for all that they do for our company and our customers, our Miller Auto Techs deserve a little time in the spotlight. Today, I'm featuring a Miller technician who's been serving up a 5-Star Experience for the past eight years: Michelle Bunnell.
Buyer's remorse is one of those unfortunate experiences some people go through after major (or minor) purchases. You may have even experienced it yourself. Imagine a time when you made a purchase decision, only to reflect on that decision later on and wish you'd done something different. That's buyer's remorse in a nutshell. Now, while this feeling is completely natural, there are ways to protect yourself from it.
The car you want and the car you can afford are often very different things. Not everyone has the kind of income to buy a new vehicle at a moment's notice. In fact, most Americans do not have the luxury (or budget) for such purchases.
Regardless, you can still get into the best possible vehicle for your budget. I'll share a few tips and strategies for determining how much you can afford to put toward a vehicle purchase. This will help you narrow your options when working with a dealership or independent seller.
When you hear about being "upside-down" or "underwater" on a car loan, that's in reference to negative equity. Negative equity on an auto loan means that the buyer owes more than the vehicle is worth. Since vehicles often depreciate faster than they are paid for, vehicle buyers often go through a period of negative equity at the beginning of their loan term.
When it comes to purchasing a vehicle, there are two popular options: leasing and buying. Both options come with their own benefits and drawbacks, so when you think about leasing vs buying a car, it's less about which option is the best and more about which option is the best for you.
When you enter into a car loan, you will have a set number of months to pay off the full balance. While it's perfectly normal to make regular payments and finish paying the loan back throughout the full duration of your loan, more and more vehicle buyers are finding ways to pay that balance back faster - and reap the benefits of doing so.
Staying safe out on the road comes down to more than vehicle safety ratings. Cars, trucks, SUVs, and other vehicle types all share the road, and arriving at your destination requires cooperation. And that means you, the driver, have a responsibility to abide by the rules of the road too. Think back to a time where you've seen a driver who is not paying attention or following the rules of the road - at times it can be pretty frustrating. Today, I'm covering some of Minnesota's most common traffic violations and sharing tips on how to keep yourself, your passengers, and other drivers safe.
With 43 percent of vehicle owners choosing to finance, financing your car is the most popular path toward ownership. For many individuals and families, financing is more accessible than paying the full purchase price upfront.
Despite the popularity of financing, many people are without a clear understanding of how it works. In order to clear up any misconceptions and ease concerns, I’ve answered some of the most basic questions about financing your vehicle purchase.
For someone who's not in the car buying business, the standard terms for vehicle type and pricing aren't always as clear. The average individual buys a car once every six years, and in those between years, it can be all too easy to get a little rusty. So, whether you're new to the car buying process, looking to brush up on your terminology before visiting a dealership, or just want to double check the terms you already know, I hope you enjoy this breakdown of common car buying terms.
Financing a vehicle purchase has numerous benefits. A finance agreement allows vehicle buyers to get into a new or newer car without having the pay the full purchase amount upfront. Additionally, making regular payments can improve credit scores, and driving a newer, more dependable vehicle can save plenty of money on repairs and maintenance. However, financing a vehicle oftentimes puts you in a position of negative equity, and it's important to know what that means before entering into a finance agreement.
When you're looking for a dependable, reliable, and trustworthy used vehicle, certified pre-owned cars are a great option. It's important to realize that used vehicles and certified pre-owned vehicles are different. Sure, both types have had previous owners, but they have more differences than similarities. Today, I'm going to give you a detailed breakdown on what sets certified pre-owned vehicles apart and explain why these vehicles are worth considering the next time you visit a dealership.
There's no two ways about it, brand new vehicles are appealing. They're beautifully designed, they have the newest features and capabilities, and they're factory warrantied. When it comes to new, the list of benefits seems to grow the longer you think about it. But, there's one caveat keeping a lot of folks away from brand new vehicles: financing. Luckily, that's not your only option. The top three ways people buy new cars is by paying cash, financing, and leasing.
Each of these options is different, and that's a good thing because there's lots of different kinds of customers as well. If you're asking yourself: "Should I lease a car?" you've come to the right place. Leasing is a good option for people who like to have a new car every two or three years and people who only want to pay for the portion of the vehicle you're using. If you're new to leasing, this blog is a great way to learn about the different components that affect the overall investment of a lease agreement.
Here at Miller Auto & Marine, we're dedicated to providing each and every customer with a 5-Star Experience. In an effort to ensure customers receive a 5-Star Experience whenever they work with us, we're putting together a 5-part series, focusing on one star at a time. Today, we're covering Star #5: Largest Selection. If you haven't had the opportunity yet, check out the Stars we've already covered:
Here at Miller Auto & Marine, we're dedicated to providing every customer with a 5-Star Experience. It's something we're very proud of, and it's something that sets us apart from the competition. In our effort to ensure customers receive a 5-Star Experience every time they work with us, we're putting together a 5-part series where we focus on one star at a time. Today, we're covering Star #4: Largest Indoor Showroom. If you haven't had the opportunity yet, check out the Stars we've already covered:
Here at Miller Auto & Marine, we're dedicated to providing each and every customer with a 5-Star Experience. It's something we're very proud of, and it's something that sets us apart from other dealerships. In an effort to ensure customers receive a 5-Star Experience whenever they work with us, we're putting together a 5-part series, focusing on one star at a time. Today, we're covering Star #3: "We Got Your Back". If you haven't had the opportunity yet, check out Star #1 here and Star #2 here.
We're not shy about our dedication to providing every customer with a 5-Star Experience at Miller Auto & Marine. After all, it's something we're very proud of, and it's something that sets us apart. In our effort to ensure customers receive a 5-Star Experience every time they work with us, we're putting together a 5-part series where we focus on one star at a time. Today, we're covering Star #2: Real-Time Pricing. If you haven't had the opportunity yet, check out Star #1 here.
We're not shy about our dedication to providing every customer with a 5-Star Experience. In fact, you may have heard us mention the 5-Star Experience on our website, in radio ads, and on television commercials. And while we oftentimes talk about all five stars simultaneously, people are always curious about what each individual star means. So, we've decided to put out a 5-part series on our 5-Star Experience. Each part in the series will focus on a single star. First up, Star #1: Non-Commissioned Salespeople.
In the financial world, your credit score is undeniably important, driving things like lending caps, interest rates, which credit cards are available to you, and, of course, your new vehicle's monthly payment. If you're paying too much a month and you're not sure why, learning a little more about your credit score may help you clear things up a bit – and help you learn what to do about it.
Safety matters. Being safe, feeling safe, and keeping others safe are important factors to keep in mind when you’re considering purchasing a vehicle. But how do you determine a vehicle’s safety? A lot of info comes from the crash test safety rating system, but what do those ratings really mean?
Driving a brand new car is exciting. It's a little hard to describe, but once you feel it, you never forget it. Luckily, there are a few different ways to become the driver of a new vehicle. Some people like the freedoms and benefits that come with ownership, while others prefer the security and luxury lease vehicles allow. If you're unsure which side of the lease vs. buy debate you land on, this blog is for you. We're looking at leasing vs. buying a car and weighing the pros and cons of each.
Messy cars. We've seen them, we've ridden in them, we've owned them. Depending on how you look at it, a messy car can mean all sorts of things. Memories of a day well-spent with loved ones can be marked by an ice cream on the upholstery, and a layer dust on the dashboard might mean you chose to make a homecooked meal instead of visiting the drive-through. Whatever your perspective on messy cars is, there are still times when you want a clean, pristine vehicle. And when that time arrives, follow these car cleaning tips to save time and money in pursuit of a center counsel you could eat off of.
At Miller Auto & Marine, we have fantastic staff members in all of our departments. They're the people who show up to ensure our customers receive a 5-Star Experience every time they call or visit. For the most part, we've covered team members who are a little more behind the scenes: meet our auto technicians Pete Stormo, Joe Sundermann, and Tom Nordland. Today, we're featuring a staff member who is front-and-center when you bring your vehicle in for service: Katie Dockendorf.
Some of you reading this probably remember a time before car seat safety was "a thing." In fact, some of you might remember a time when sitting on your mother's lap was the safest place to be in a moving vehicle. It wasn't until 1985 that car seat safety laws were passed throughout the entire United States. Up until that point, it was generally up to
With children, there are always these tiny changes signaling new stages of life. For instance, the time your little one traded in her rattle for building blocks and her first time riding the bus home to spend a few hours alone are both times when she entered a new stage of life. In an instant, things were different and there was no going back.
Life is a constant state of growth and change. While no life is the same, there are a few core phases most adults move through, too.
You may have seen or heard about our "We Got Your Back" warranty that comes with vehicles purchased from Miller Auto & Marine.* Today, I'm discussing what's covered under that warranty.
Paying an arm and a leg just to establish your credit score isn’t the only option for this generation of young adults. For teens and 20-somethings looking to finance their first vehicle purchase, having a parent co-sign can make the process a lot smoother – and much less expensive. I regularly work with parents who are struggling to decide whether or not to co-sign their kids’ vehicle purchases, and this is what I tell them.
When you finance a vehicle and drive it off the dealership lot, the vehicle you’re driving is yours, and it’s been paid for in full by your lending agent. At this point, you are responsible for repaying the lending agent for the purchase amount, plus interest. The majority of finance agreements are financed either through the dealership you purchased from or an independent bank. The lending agent you choose affects your timeline, your pocketbook, and your options.
When you set out to purchase a car, there are a few things you end up paying for beyond the sticker price. Now, some dealerships might try and hide these fees to keep you from understanding what you're paying for, but honestly, that approach doesn't make much sense to me. The additional fees added to a vehicle's purchase price are there because they have to be. If dealerships weren't required to charge for these extras, many wouldn't.
As a locally owned and operated Central Minnesota dealership, we take community pretty serious around here. We've been rooted here since
We've been in business for a long time, so when it comes to auto industry myths, misconceptions, stereotypes, or just about anything else ... we've heard it all. But there seems to be one topic that we hear the most feedback on, and that's the subject of leasing. It seems people just can't imagine a vehicle lease working for their needs or being a positive experience. I'm here to openly discuss the five most common myths of vehicle leasing. We believe there's an option for everyone looking for a vehicle at Miller Auto & Marine, and no single right way to go about it.
Everything about Miller Auto & Marine is different – and we’ve worked hard in our business to prove that. We’re no stranger to the misconceptions or clichés car dealerships have. We value relationships over transactions. We believe people make the difference. And, we want our customers to feel good about buying from Miller Auto & Marine … and that includes being worry-free. Here’s what that means.
At Miller Auto & Marine we sell cars and boats – that’s our obvious core of our business. But, with selling vehicles and recreational vehicles comes the need for customer service post-sale. The Miller Auto & Marine Body Shop is an extension of that service, should any vehicle you own need it. But did you know the Body Shop offers more than repair to a vehicle’s exterior? Here’s what you can count on when you visit The Miller Auto & Marine Body Shop.
Today we're fortunate enough to have Todd Nouis, a Miller Auto & Marine customer, Nissan enthusiast, and St. Cloud resident we've had the pleasure to work with on numerous occasions. We asked Todd to come in and share a little bit about his experience working with Miller Auto & Marine as his central Minnesota dealership. Watch the video to see his experience.
Buying a car takes trust. It's a huge investment, and it takes a little extra time and effort to get it right. When you're on the hunt for the perfect car, knowing where to start may not be easy. But, inding a dealership you can trust is much easier if you know what to look for. Not all dealerships are made equal - some put their customers first, and others put themselves first. Here are four signs you've found a trustworthy dealership worth your business.
When your vehicle is broken down or in need of routine maintenance, having a trustworthy mechanic you can turn to is priceless. For some, deciding where to bring their vehicle for repairs and maintenance causes discomfort, anxiety, or even fear. The uneasiness some feel around new mechanics is perfectly understandable, but it’s also unfounded.
Auto technicians are one of the groups constantly in a battle against negative stereotypes. However, the majority of mechanics are not looking to swindle. They’re doing vehicle repair because it’s what they love, and they take pride in their work.
When your vehicle is in need of service, the world doesn't stop and wait for you. You still have responsibilities and places you need to be. So, what do you do when your vehicle needs service or maintenance? With Miller Auto & Marine, we offer free shuttle service for our service customers, and when appropriate, we also provide loaner cars. Below I'll cover each option in more detail.
There is nothing quite like starting up your vehicle and hearing that comforting hum of the engine. Well, actually, it isn't as much a hum as it is a loud thumping. But that's okay because you've been hearing it for weeks now and it hasn't been a problem. Sure, there are also a few new icons lighting up on your dashboard, but that just makes it easier to read your fuel gauge at night.
I sat down with Bernie Frank recently who's been a Miller Auto & Marine employee for 10 years. Bernie is one of our courtesy drivers, and one of the most real, genuine people I've met. Our customers have plenty of good things to say about this gentleman - here's what makes Bernie Miller.
Perhaps the road was slippery or maybe you overcorrected when you swerved to save a squirrel, but the net result is the same: when last you saw the squirrel he was scampering into the brush as your car went headlong into the ditch on the other side of the road. Accidents happen, and while it is impossible to anticipate when that happening will occur, it is important to know what to do in the aftermath of a roadside mishap. Since winter is coming and bringing with it treacherous driving conditions, now is time to prepare in case you get stuck in a ditch.
Preparing your vehicle for winter doesn't take much effort or expense, but the benefits can be significant. In the video below, I'll walk you through the most important winter vehicle safety tips - these are things anyone who owns a vehicle or drives in winter weather should be aware of. Take a moment to watch these tips, and if you'd like, share it with someone you want to be kept safe this winter.
Purchasing a new, or new-to-you, vehicle is an exciting time for the whole family. Bringing your children along can be a great way to ensure everyone (and their cars seats!) will fit in your new purchase, as well as to teach them about buying and respecting vehicles. If you've brought your little ones along to an auto dealership, you might have learned that their excitement doesn't last as long as the car buying process usually takes.
Central Minnesota has been our home for over 80 years. We are proud to represent this community, meet the needs of area families decade after decade, and celebrate alongside our customers throughout all of life’s journeys. And, we take great pride in our ability to rise to the occasions where life offers challenges and celebration seems a distant memory. A year ago, we recognized an opportunity to connect our community in a way that really, didn’t have a lot to do with selling or servicing cars or boats. And that’s part of who Miller Auto and Marine is at our core. We wanted to make an impact with people and for people, and partnered with Coborn’s Cancer Center in St. Cloud to make it happen.
Pressing on a vehicle's brakes causes the tires to slow down, and eventually come to a stop. This is an expectation most drivers know very well, and they depend on it regularly. However, anyone who's familiar with winter driving in Minnesota knows that's not always the case. The majority of midwest drivers have a pretty clear memory of the first time they pressed their brake pedal and the car didn't react - I know I do. Follow these five winter driving safety tips to increase your odds of staying safe on the road.
Miller Auto and Marine has been launching new trucks yearly with the latest being 2017 Nissan Titan. The completely redesigned Nissan Titan is breaking the mold of all other full size trucks. With a warranty like no other in the business, Nissan went all in on the 2017 Nissan Titan. Whether you’re looking for a gas powered or diesel truck, Nissan has it covered. Read along for a closer look bout the new 2017 Nissan Titan.
At Miller Auto and Marine, one of the ways we set ourselves apart is our non-commissioned sales approach. While commissioned sales staff are common in auto dealerships and other industries, we find a non-commissioned sales approach to be more beneficial to our customers.
In our service department, we keep Miller Auto & Marine’s Five-Star Experience at the core of everything we do. Each time you bring your vehicle into one of our service departments, you can expect superior service from certified technicians, a free car wash, and a multi-point car inspection.
One of the first decisions you’ll make when you decide to finance a vehicle purchase is where and how you’ll finance the purchase. The most common ways customers finance is through the dealership they purchase the vehicle from, a credit union, private lending, or their banking institution.
Here at Miller Auto & Marine, we want to make sure you're staying safe on and off the road. While changing flat tires and checking each tire's air pressure are regular tasks for our service technicians, we understand that sometimes you're in a situation where you need to roll up your sleeves and change your vehicle's tire. If or when that situation occurs, we want you to be able to do it safely.
There is a myriad of details to consider when making a decision about your next vehicle purchase. Beyond the make, model, color, and gas mileage of your next new dream car, you also have to figure out what to do with your last dream car while paying for the new vehicle in your life. That is when you have to answer the question of whether it is best to trade your car in at the dealership or to sell it to a third party. The good news is that there is no wrong answer, but deciding might lead to a severe case of analysis paralysis, so here are a few of the pros of each approach.
Nobody likes to leave any money on the table, so determining the correct value of your car, truck, or van becomes critically important when it comes to sitting down at the negotiating table. Needless to say, a great many factors go into that final figure, but understanding the basics of car valuation will give you a strong notion of what you might expect when trying to figure out the value of your trade-in vehicle. While we all attach an emotional value to our cars and trucks, forged over years of driving it through all types of conditions, trying to determine the trade in value of those memories depends on a host of factors.
Sometimes, the search for a new vehicle is very specific, and other times it’s vague. I’ve had customers come to the showroom already knowing the make, model, year, and trim of their ideal vehicle. I’ve also had customers come in who know they want or need a new vehicle, and that’s about as detailed as they’ve gotten. The majority of the customers I see fall somewhere in-between those two examples, and trust me, whatever place you’re at is completely fine.
This is a common question we’re asked at Miller Auto & Marine. Potential customers wonder if they can have their vehicle serviced by our technicians, even if they purchased their vehicle at another dealership. It’s a pretty good rule of thumb that if some people are asking, even more people are wondering. So I thought, why not make things a little easier and answer this question for everyone?
At Miller Auto & Marine, we work to provide our customers the best possible experience. We do this not only to ensure your purchasing process is an enjoyable one, but also because we want you to come back! Today, I won’t be sharing our perspective on the sales and service you can expect from Miller Auto & Marine. Instead, you’ll hear from The Koehn Family – who’ve been Miller Auto & Marine customers for the past 20 years.
Truck owners typically have a specific set of needs and requirements when it comes to purchasing a new vehicle. After all, there are distinct differences between trucks and great trucks. Today, we’re not just talking about trucks that can be used to help someone move. We’re talking about two great trucks for getting things done. Lots of things.
Here at Miller Auto & Marine, we have talented auto technicians working in both of our service shops. Because our technicians stay busy keeping St. Cloud and the surrounding area’s vehicles maintained and running smoothly, they don’t get a lot of face-time with our customers. Which is understandable, since there’s always work to be done, but it’s also a shame because our techs are pretty great individuals. With that being said, I’d like to introduce you to Pete Stormo, one of our GM Service Shop Technicians.
When you finance a vehicle, it’s important to know what you’re agreeing to as you sign your purchase agreement. Since the average individual purchases a vehicle every six years or more, it’s important to stay current on common financing terms and understand how they work together.
It’s interesting how many of life’s milestones are accompanied by vehicle exchanges and purchases. When you prepare to welcome a new little one, when you change jobs, and when your teen becomes a driver, it’s common to look at your current vehicle(s) and assess whether a change is in order.
To be perfectly honest, I understand the allure of do-it-yourself auto repair. There’s something satisfying about discovering, diagnosing, and repairing a problem, especially when it’s your own vehicle. In fact, that sense of satisfaction has a lot to do with why I do the job I do. When you spend your day around a group of talented auto technicians, you learn just how specialized and valuable the work they do truly is.
In most cases, being in the market for auto parts means you already need them – like, yesterday. Because oftentimes, if your vehicle isn’t moving, neither are you. And in today’s world, that just doesn’t cut it. So, what’s a vehicle owner to do? If the part you need is available, take a moment to jump for joy and then schedule a service. But, if the readily available part is used, don’t jump too hastily.
35 years ago, a 19-inch color TV cost $399, the word “internet” was publicly mentioned, and Tom Nordlund began his career at Miller Auto Plaza. The world was pretty different back then, and vehicles were no exception. In our second installment of our Meet a Tech Series, Tom Nordland shares some insights he’s gathered as a lifelong auto technician.
When you love your car, it's easy to see it through rose colored glasses, disregarding what's wrong in favor of what's right. But at some point, there's no way around it: when repair costs are too high, gas prices have you down, and you're tired of leaving your ride at the mechanic multiple times a month, you need a new car. If you're seeing any of these six signs, it may be time to invest in an updated vehicle.
Do you like saving money on car repairs? Of course you do. Everybody does. However, just because an auto repair shop offers you lower than average rates, that doesn't mean you will actually save money on the repair work.
There is an old saying - if it looks to good to be true, it probably is. That saying definitely applies to businesses offering low auto repair rates. All too often what looks like a good rate is actually just an indication the repairs will be substandard.
Buying a car can be an overwhelming process, especially when it comes to negotiating costs. With the steep prices that often accompany new and gently used cars, taking on such a large financial burden can be a little stressful. The amount of a car payment is often a big determining factor when it comes to affording a car, and acknowledging what factors play a role can be a big part of that. By understanding how your loan term makes a difference, you can save yourself money while still getting behind the wheel of the car of your dreams.
How do you find out if a vehicle service shop has certified technicians? Don’t worry, they’ll tell you. I know, it’s cheesy, but it’s also true. When auto technicians hold factory certifications or the ASE Certification, it’s a talking point. After all, in order to become certified, technicians must receive training, pass exams, and stay up-to-date as new information becomes available.
But, what does this all mean for the customer? How do car repair certifications benefit those seeking auto repair services?
Whether you drive a compact car, a sporty coupe, a family-friendly SUV, or a rugged work-ready pickup truck, taking care of your tires is an important part of vehicle maintenance. With the right tires that are correctly inflated, you'll enjoy optimal fuel mileage and enhanced safety and control while on the road.
Ask yourself two very important questions:
Here at Miller Auto & Marine, we’re proud to be a Presenting Partner in the upcoming Women of Influence Summit. And our participation is about more than a dedication to community involvement. Keep reading to learn a little bit more about this local event, and a lot more about why Miller Auto & Marine is a presenting partner.
Quality and dependability are two things we focus on providing our customers on a consistent basis. We want our customers to know they can come to Miller Auto & Marine and trust us to keep their best interests at the core of what we do. In order to build that trust, we’re willing to put the work in.
When your car, truck, van, or SUV is in need of service and you’re on the lookout for where to schedule that service, we’re here to help. It’s been my experience that the difference between a smooth, easy repair process, and a slow, expensive repair process has less to do with what your vehicle needs and more to do with other factors.
At Miller Auto & Marine, we take extra care to ensure you can have your vehicle serviced and repaired at a fair, honest price and in a timely manner. One of the steps we’ve taken to bring a better service experience to our customers is having an on-site parts department. I know it might not sound like much, but small differences have the ability to make large impacts.
Beyond providing a way to get to and from our destinations, we look to vehicles to provide safety and the peace-of-mind that comes along with it. And even though it’s sometimes easier to just not think about it, auto accidents do happen. Vehicles with high safety ratings are more likely to protect the drivers and passengers if an accident occurs. Which is why I’ve compiled a few of the top SUV safety picks for 2016.
If you have a lease on your car, truck, van or SUV, and it is about to expire…now what? Do you return the car to the lessor and walk away, or do you pay the 'buyout' value and purchase it outright? Or should you simply re-extend the lease, or trade it in against a new lease?
Before scheduling a service appointment for your vehicle, there’s a few steps you can take to guarantee a better experience. While the majority of auto shops and mechanics do have your best interest in mind, just exactly what that means can vary from place to place. In order to get the best service and the best value, you want to do a little research to cover your bases.
If you've ever opened your glovebox expecting to find your owner's manual, only to discover that it's missing, you're not alone. Maybe your well-intentioned spouse went a little overboard when they were cleaning out the family van one day and wound up inadvertently throwing out the owner's manual, or you've purchased a used van, SUV or truck that was sold without a manual.
Whether you're heading out across town, across the state, or all the way cross-country, spending time in your car with the kids can be both fun and frustrating. What might seem like a nice, quick leisurely drive for adults can feel like an eternity for children who are stuck staring at the back of your head, strapped into a booster seat.
When you walk into a dealership looking to buy a car, your first point of contact will likely be a salesperson. If you’ve been primed by films and popular culture, you might have a few guards up, which makes sense. The common portrayal of a car salesman is anything but flattering.
At Miller Auto & Marine, our auto technicians spend most their time behind the scenes repairing and maintaining the vehicles we count on to get us from Point A to Point B. Since most of their work happens in the service shop, one thing our technicians don’t get is a lot of face-time with clients. As a way to bridge the gap between customer and technician, I’d like you to meet our tech: Joe Sundermann, Lead Technician in our Lincoln Nissan Service Shop.
Joe Sundermann started working with Miller Auto & Marine 18 years ago as a graduate of St. Cloud Technical College’s Auto Technician program. While his experience working with machines started at an early age, this Lead Technician wouldn’t describe himself as a “car guy.”
Did you know the average time a driver’s eyes are off the road during a distraction is five seconds? That’s long enough to drive the distance of a football field when going 55 miles per hour. Did you also know that nearly 25 percent of all car crashes involve driver distraction?
Sometimes life changes bit by bit with lots of time to readjust and reflect. At other times, life changes so quickly you might not have time to get your bearings before the next change occurs. With how rapidly life changes can occur, most parents I know experience life’s changes in the fast lane.
Growing families exist in a state of constantly shifting priorities. And because there’s always an important event, item, milestone, or need approaching, less immediate needs find their way to the backburner. However, sometimes giving those less immediate needs a little extra thought and attention can bring about long-term value.
Think of how often you rely and depend on your vehicle. Whether it’s going to work or school, running errands, or transporting others, most people use their vehicle on a daily basis. Vehicle ownership has become less of a luxury and more of a necessity. As we grow more and more accustomed to owning vehicles, the times when our vehicles are broke down or in need of major repair are inconvenient, plain and simple.
Automobiles are not self-maintaining. They require regular attention and maintenance in order to run smoothly. Regular vehicle maintenance is vital to avoiding major repairs and minimizing time spent at the mechanic.
It’s perfectly normal to be on the fence about purchasing a vehicle. There are so many variables to consider: Is the timing right? Will I choose a safe and reliable vehicle? Can my (or our) budget handle monthly payments? A great place to start is by narrowing your options with a few deciding factors.
For instance, today we’re taking two things into consideration the average consumer is aware of: budget and capacity needs. You see, sometimes researching vehicles can leave you with more questions than answers, but that’s not our goal. Below I’ve outlined the best vehicles that seat five or more individuals. They’re also all regularly priced at or below $15,000.
I get it. It’s not always easy to tell if someone has your best interests in mind. And when phrases like “that’s how they get you” and “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” dominate popular opinion, it takes a fair amount of effort just to prove you’re not trying to trick anyone or take advantage of them. Not that there’s anything wrong with being cautious, it’s just to say: I get it.
The world was a vastly different place ten years ago. In 2006, the Motorola Razr was the most popular cell phone, Pluto lost its planetary status, Taylor Swift released her first studio album, and automatic climate control was a top-tier vehicle feature. In fact, some of the most sought after vehicle features of 2006 include:
It’s not an uncommon situation. Your trusty ride is broken down, and you’re awaiting the mechanic’s prognosis. As you go about your day hoping for good news, there’s definitely some worry. While you hope it’s something small and manageable, there’s just no way to know for sure until your mechanic calls.
Krysta Roemeling has bought her last three vehicles from Miller Auto & Marine. You could say she’s a loyal customer – and there are a few reasons for her loyalty, which I’ll get to. But what makes her story unique is that she’s not driving the vehicle she had her heart set on. She is, however, in a vehicle she loves and knows is right for this season of her busy family’s life.
Wondering whether you should buy a new car, settle on a used one, or simply keep maintaining your current vehicle?
Thanks to recent advances in car technology, changes within the insurance industry, and the high costs associated with maintaining a used car, buying a new car could be the best option for you and your family.
Here's 5 reasons why many savvy car shoppers choose to buy a new car:
Buying a car is an enormous investment, requiring time, attention to detail, and research to get the process exactly right. Before heading to the dealership, you'll need to know your budget, your specifications, and a few makes and models worth considering. And, of course, whether you'll be shopping for a new car or a used car.
For those who aren't well-versed with the ins and outs of automotive care, car repair shops have more similarities than differences. After all, any technician can work on any vehicle, right?
The moment a child gets behind the wheel for the first time is one of the most critical times in any parent's life. Teaching your child to drive may be scary, overwhelming, and incredibly time consuming, but it's a rite of passage most teens eagerly await. As a way to protect young drivers taking the first steps towards independence, most states enact special laws designed to restrict teen drivers, and Minnesota is no exception. Here's what you need to know when your teen starts driving.
When it comes to servicing your car, van, or light truck, you have two basic options - head back to the dealership where you purchased the vehicle, or go to your local, independent garage. Both options have distinct advantages, and depending on your situation, disadvantages.
Car buying is rarely a quick, impromptu trip to the dealership. Although a spur of the moment visit can result in driving away in your dream car, this isn't a typical scenario. Rather than hopping in the car and hoping things work out, it is in your best interests to prepare for the shopping process before you even step foot in a dealership.
If you've always wanted to save money on your car maintenance bills by tackling some small, do it yourself car repairs, we're here to help.
We've put together a list of four D.I.Y. jobs that almost anyone can complete successfully with just a few tools and a bit of elbow-grease:
Road tripping is one of the greatest American pastimes, giving individuals, couples, and families the opportunity to explore the country in a face to face manner, putting aside cell phones and the mobile web for the sake of real life interactions. Planning a road trip can be very exciting, but deciding what's worth including on the final itinerary can be a challenge. When you're striving for an unforgettable road trip adventure, here are seven of the best road trip destinations in the U.S.
Thanks to the wide variety of vehicle maintenance apps for smartphones and tablets, it's easier than ever to keep track of your oil changes, fuel consumption, repairs, and maintenance. With the right app, you'll never have to wonder when you last changed your air filter, if it's time to rotate the tires, or worry if you've voided your warranty by missing a service interval.
Here are three of our favorite maintenance apps for vehicles:
Wondering if your car, van, or truck is covered under a recall issued by the manufacturer, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), or a third-party equipment or accessory supplier? Not sure how, or when, to check for vehicle recalls?
We live and breathe by our 5-Star Experience. Every employee is held to this standard of service for our customers. You've read about it on our website, heard it on the radio, and seen it on TV, but what does it all mean? And, more importantly, why should you care?
Phone: (844) 966-8900 - 9:00 PM
Phone: (844) 966-8900
Phone: (844) 361-8146
Phone: (844) 361-8146
Phone: (844) 361-8147