Buy to keep: car tips

Choosing a car is as much an emotional decision as it is a practical one. There are some options, however, that you may want to avoid if you don't like bringing your car to the dealer for repair work. Keep this list in mind the next time you buy.

Buy to keep: car tips

Windows: Less can go wrong with manual window openers and mirror adjusters. Opt for tinted windows to cut down on UV light and excess heat that can damage interior surfaces.

Brakes: The parking brake in some models will automatically release when the car is placed in drive or reverse. This feature can slow the wear on brake shoes and pads.

Exhaust: Opt for a stainless steel exhaust system. It will put an end to visits to muffler repair shops and pay for itself in spades over the course of the life of your vehicle.

Transmission: Standard transmissions will generally last longer than automatic transmissions, and they are usually less costly to repair.InteriorLeather upholstery will look better and last longer than synthetic fabrics and vinyl. It's also easier to clean. Keep in mind that it does heat up more in the sun, though.

Engine: Demand long-life spark plugs for your new car. You won't have to worry about changing them for many years.

Bumpers: Choose a car with bumpers rated for an 8 kilometres per hour (5 miles per hour) impact or better. The mandated impact standard is only 4 kilometres per hour (2.5 miles per hour), but some makers give you more. Avoid low-riding bumpers. They're bound to snag on a curb or road debris sooner or later.

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