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Your Questions About How To Find A New Car

Sharon asks…

What is a really good car that saves gas besides hybrids?

I am wanting to buy a new car around 20,000, I have thought about a Honda Civic and a Toyota Carolla, which is better? and are there any other cars that are similar that are good cars. I have been told both of these are really good cars.

New Niche Finder answers:

All the data you need is right here.


Any small car will get decent fuel economy. All of these get at least 30 mpg on the highway.


John asks…

Is it dangerous to leave cars air conditioning on while car is off?

My mom says if you leave your cars air conditioning on when you turn the car off, so it automatically is on when you turn your car on, that it hurts the engine. Is that true or is she full of BS? It sounds like complete BS to me.

New Niche Finder answers:

No. It isn’t dangerous. When you turn the key to “start” all electrical circuits which are wired through the ignition switch are disconnected, except those which are used for starting the car. When the engine starts and you release the key, from the start position, then all the circuits are again connected. I know a lot of people, most of who don’t know the starter from the distributor, who insist that the AC needs to be switched off before starting the car. I don’t switch it off and never have had a bit of trouble, with either the engine or the AC on any of my cars.

Ken asks…

How do you negotiate with used car sales associates and with individuals selling preowned cars?

I’m going to buy a used car soon. How do you negotiate with a used car sales associate for the best price? And how do you negotiate with an individual that’s selling his/her used car? Thanks.

New Niche Finder answers:

Have an idea what the car is worth first so you know if the selling price is in the ballpark. Don’t fall in love with that particular car; there are thousands and thousands of used cars out there. Get a carfax report if you can and be prepared to walk away immediately if you can’t come to an agreement or if the seller balks about having your mechanic check it out.

Joseph asks…

What is the torque and horsepower of a car?

Which car is fast, a car with more torque or a car with more hp? What is the releation b/w them?

New Niche Finder answers:

Ok, ok, ok. Torque is not power, and horsepower is not a force.
A force is a push or a pull on something. Torque is a rotational force. It’s a force experienced at the fulcrum of a lever as a force is exerted upon the end of the lever. Torque is the only mechanical force that an engine produces. Horsepower is a measurement of energy. In the context of an internal combustion engine, it’s a measurement of how frequently torque is output to the crankshaft. So, saying that a car’s 2.0 liter engine produces 180HP, is the same as saying that the engine produces X amount of torque Y times per minute. Now, lets say you have a much smaller engine that still produces 180HP. We’ll use a 1.0 liter motorcycle engine for this example. How can such a tiny engine produce as much power as another engine twice its size? The 1000cc motorcycle engine will most definitely produce MUCH less torque, we’ll say about half as much torque because it’s half the size. So, the 1000cc engine produces X/2 units of torque BUT it can rev nearly TWICE as high. So you could say 180hp may equal X torque being produced Y times per minute while at the same time, 180hp might also equal X/2 torque being produced 2Y times per minute. I’ve made these numbers up just for the sake of explaining the concept. The actual equation is HP = lbs-ft * (rpm/5252). Lbs-ft is a measurement of torque, not a subtraction of ‘lbs’ by ‘ft.’ So if and engine is producing 174 lbs-ft of torque at 3200 rpms, that engine is producing 174 * (3200/5252) horsepower at 3200 rpm’s, or about 106hp at 3200 rpm’s. The feeling of being pushed back in your seat when you step on the gas is torque that you’re feeling. The more torque an engine produces, the harder it will accelerate. Horsepower is the energy required to sustain a given speed for a given amount of mass. So to put it simply, more torque yields to quicker acceleration and more horsepower yields to a greater potential top speed.

James asks…

I am interested in buying a car to restore. Car does not have a title, it was lost. How do I get a title?

Car is in Texas and does not have a motor or transmission.

New Niche Finder answers:

Contact your local DOT office. There is one in Longview Texas but I am sure that there are more. Notice I said DOT (Department of Transportation.)

If you don’t know where to go, go to your local tax office where you pay your registration or taxes. They will instruct you as to what you need to do next.

Then, the DOT office will supply you with a packet to apply for a lost title. In the packet, there is a STATEMENT OF FACTS page that you complete with “what, when. Who, where” basically telling the State WHY you need to apply for a lost title. Then, you need to have an appraisal of the value of the car for tax purposes. You might have purchased the car for $500 but it might really have a tax value of $4000 (just picking numbers here for example.) Typically, if the value is less than $6000, the bond shouldn’t cost you more than $150.

Then, you send all of this info to DOT and they will send you back a letter granting permission to buy a bond for a set amount. This amount will be the value of the auto and tax. Then you need to contact a local insurance agent that will sell you a surety bond for lost titles.

Once he has the bond for you, you will then take the entire packet (PLUS proof of insurance on the vehicle) to your local tax office where you pay your registration and taxes on the vehicle and they will give you new plates if required or a new sticker if that will suffice.

The above process may vary from State to State, but, that is how it works in Texas.

Takes a little time but it is NOT a hard process.

Good luck and I hope this helps!

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