1. 5 Used Car Mechanical Checks to Never Forget

    By Mia Bevacqua, ASE master mechanic with YourMechanic.com


    Buying a used car can be a stressful experience. After all, your car is one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make—second only to purchasing a home. The stress level is often compounded by a pushy salesman, doused in cologne, buzzing in your ear. Price haggling and mounds of paperwork can also make you sweat like a summer afternoon in Arizona. Distractions abound, and you can easily forget to check the basics. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of mechanical checks to never forget when inspecting a used car. Just keep this list handy and you’ll have no problem distinguishing a cream puff from a lemon. Check under the hood This is one of the most important steps when performing a pre-purchase inspection. Check all of the accessible fluids—not just the engine oil. Uncle Bob probably warned you to check the oil in that 1995 Dodge Neon you drove to college. But he may have forgotten the rest of the fluids. When inspecting your future ride, you’ll want to take a look at the coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid and automatic transmission fluid. Some modern vehicles have electric power steering and lack a dipstick for the transmission, but check what you can. While you’re poking around under there, you’ll also want to check for fluid leaks. It’s harder to check fluids on a piping hot engine. Hot exposed metal can reach temperatures hot enough to burn errant hands, and opening a hot radiator cap could burst off and cause severe injury. Before your test drive, pop the hood while the engine is still cool. All of the fluids should be filled to their full marks and clean. You can read up on how to check car fluids, but in general, this is what good fluids should look like: Oil: should be honey colored. It should not smell burnt Brake fluid: should be clear to honey colored Power steering fluid: should be honey colored Transmission fluid: should be pink and not smell burnt Coolant: should be green, yellow, blue or red depending on the manufacturer Pay attention to the gauges Not all drivers pay close enough attention to their vehicle’s gauges. Gauges aren’t just there to light up and look pretty—they provide valuable information about the health of the vehicle. During the test drive, pay particular attention to the oil pressure and temperature gauges. Allow the vehicle to reach operating temperature and drive it at different speeds and on a variety of roads. Be sure to idle the car and observe its behavior. Engines are more prone to overheating at idle and low oil pressure is also more likely to be apparent. This is because the oil pump is driven off either the crankshaft or camshaft, meaning the oil pump turns faster at higher RPMs, and builds more pressure. Listen for noises Turn off the radio and instead listen to what the car has to say. Listen for clunks, rattles, groans and any other abnormalities. Make sure to test drive the […]

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  2. The Master Checklist for the Used Car Test Drive

    Never risk getting stuck with a lemon again

    Used car test drive checklist

    It’s likely that everyone will buy a used car at least once in their life. It can be an exciting, maddening, and intimidating experience. But if you do it right, it can mean the difference between a lemon and a true cherry of a ride (zing!). We here at Shift know a thing or two about used cars, and we want to pass on our test drive checklist and tips so you have the best chance of buying a great used car.

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  3. What’s My Car (Really) Worth? The Mushy, Inexact Science of Car Pricing

    The Joker may have a hard time selling this car

    A simple question with a not-so-simple answer: What, exactly, is my car worth? Though we drive everyday, most of us think about buying or selling cars far less frequently. Since the car market isn’t usually top of mind, it can be hard to think about value of your car. So in general, we reference one-size fits all car pricing guides like Kelley Blue Book to act as a stand-in for a more precise pricing picture. In a perfect world where every market, every car, and every buyer are all the same, they can be good price anchors. But one-size-fits-all car pricing guides tend not to capture every element that could affect a car’s true value. So we put together three real-world considerations that can impact car value that every buyer and seller should have in mind the next time they’re in the market.

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  4. How to Sell Your Car on Craigslist

    Sell your car

    Selling a car yourself is not only a good way to beat the dealer’s offer, it’s actually easier than you think. Shift specializes in selling your car for you, but for sellers looking to do it themselves, Craigslist is the most popular option. It attracts a large number of car shoppers and gives you the best shot of quickly selling your car. It isn’t always seamless, but if you follow these steps, you’ll avoid the typical Craigslist hassle and cash your check in no time.

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  5. Shift Engineering: How we work

    20151204 Shift 2800 Photo by Job Portraits

    One of the core tenets of the culture at Shift is personal responsibility, and that comes through in the way that we organize our engineering team. We’re a small, growing team (21 engineers as of this writing) that have come from Google, Dropbox, Facebook, Twitter, and other great places to build the future of car ownership. We strive to leave code better than we found it, enjoy building tools to make the whole team more effective, and we emphasize both autonomy and accountability.

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  6. We’re Bi-Coastal! Shift DC Now Open for Business


    District of Columbia, we’ve arrived. Shift is ecstatic to announce the opening of our first East Coast branch–and we couldn’t think of a better place to kick things off than in our nation’s capital. It makes perfect sense: cars are undeniably American. Cars are what Shift does. DC is America. Shift is in DC. See what we did there? It was meant to be.

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  7. From Toyotas to Touchdowns

    Are You Ready For… the Year’s Best Car Commercials?


    The Super Bowl is upon us, which means many things. A leather ball will be thrown, fumbled, lunged for, and carried. People will eat and drink at an alarming rate. Cheers, gasps, and sighs will emanate from homes and bars across America. And at halftime, everyone will crowd in front of the screen to watch commercials, with an anticipatory awe saved specially for this occasion.

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  8. The Rain Rundown


    Over the past month or so, El Niño has been sweeping the nation. No, it’s not a hip boyband, although it did make a famous appearance back in 1998. Reactions to this millennial incarnation of El Niño are mixed. Flourishing gardens, wicked surf, and the perfect atmosphere for days-long cuddle sessions have left many Americans singing El Niño’s praises. But drawbacks to this unique weather pattern are serious, especially when it comes to driving. Slick, puddle-filled highways and byways may be an unfamiliar and dangerous challenge to California drivers.

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  9. We’re Hiring in Virginia!


    Who says the West Coast is the best coast? While our roots will always be in California, we’re proud to announce that we’re heading east — by bringing 100 open tech and engineering jobs to the state of Virginia.

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  10. The Datsun 240Z: My Car Story

    How a little time and TLC turned a diamond in the rough into a dream car...


    This is the first in a series of odes to the cars we’ve known and loved. Here, Kyle Clark – a Shift Car Enthusiast – pays tribute to the Datsun he refurbished in college and still drives today.

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