Aug 16

Replacing Brake Pads: When Should You Perform Maintenance?

Replacing Brake Pads

Replacing the brake pads on your vehicle will help prevent long-term damage and also help to keep you safe behind the wheel.

Notice squeaking or squealing when you come to a stop? It may be time for new brakes. While many drivers keep up on oil changes and regular service, some are hesitant to get new brakes because it can be more expensive than other basic maintenance. Nevertheless, it’s still key to replace your brake pads before they wear out. Not only do bad brake pads cause you lose stopping power, but they can also ruin the brake rotors, lines, and tires, among other things. If you are looking to save money in the long run, replace the brake pads when the time comes; don’t put it off.

How do you know you need new brake pads? According to, the first indicator is squealing brakes. While brakes might make noises after it rains or after a car sits for a while, if you notice consistent noises, you should bring your car in for a checkup. Additionally, if you notice pulsing, grinding, or thumping, your brake pads are likely wearing thin.

There is no rule of thumb for mileage between brake pad replacements. In some urban places, brakes only last 5,000 to 8,000 miles; however, in rural areas, you may make it up to 30,000 miles before you need a replacement. If you’re lucky enough to have a brake warning light, that’s also an indicator that you need new brakes. Additionally, brake fluid tends to deplete if there is an issue with brakes, so be sure to check fluid levels regularly.

Think you might need new brakes? Stop by Pfeiffer Used today for service. Replacing brake pads will help prevent long-term damage and keep you safe behind the wheel.

Aug 16

Back-to-School Tips for College Students

Back-to-School Tips

From preparing your calendar to finding a ride to and from campus, these are some great back-to-school tips for college students.

If you’re a college student heading back to school, this time of year can be especially hectic. Not only do you have to worry about living arrangements, books, and scheduling, but college life can also be stressful itself. That’s why we’ve put together a list of back-to-school tips for college students. From preparing your calendar to finding a ride to and from campus, there are several ways to make life a little easier.

First, according to advice from the Huffington Post, you should get your school supplies before you head back. While it can be tempting to wait until after the first day to see what you need, it’s not advised. Get the basics like notebooks, pencils, pens, and highlighters. Get a binder to stay organized, and find a hard-copy of a calendar for you to write out your plans.

Next, try to read the syllabus beforehand. Many colleges offer online platforms through which courses operate, and professors often post syllabi before the semester begins so you can get familiar with policies and expectations. If you don’t have access to a syllabus before the start of classes, try to find similar syllabi from another school posted online to get a general idea about the type of course you’re taking.

Additionally, take some time for self-reflection. Figure out what type of learner you are (e.g., visual, auditory, etc.) and make adjustments. If possible, you may want to get a recording device and ask permission to tape lectures so you can concentrate while you’re in class. You should also figure out your academic goals. What do you want to achieve this semester? How will you set yourself apart? Will you visit office hours more often? Read a book not on the syllabus?

Finally, figure out how you’ll get around campus. Staying active in the community outside of school is important for academic and personal growth. Pfeiffer Used can help you find an affordable car and financing to help you get to and from campus. Whatever you choose, just be sure you don’t get stuck in your dorm or apartment the entire semester!

Jul 29

Certified Pre-Owned vs. Used Cars: Which is Right for You?

certified pre-owned vs. used

In recent years, more and more dealerships have started offering Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) models in addition to their lineup of used cars. However, not all car shoppers know the differences between CPO and used cars, including which might be better for them. That’s why the team at Pfeiffer Used has put together a guide on certified pre-owned vs. used cars.

CPO models must meet certain age and mileage restrictions, they must be inspected by a certified technician, and they have to pass vehicle history reports. In particular, most manufacturers insist on rigorous inspections over the entire vehicle to ensure cars are like-new. Plus, CPO cars come with added warranties and perks, like roadside assistance or special service.

According to Edmunds, some buyers prefer CPO cars because they want added peace of mind and warranties. However, there are still several perks to buying used. For instance, you generally save more when buying used as opposed to CPO. With the rise of digital technologies, it’s fairly simple to get a vehicle history report online through Carfax or other websites.

Which is right for you? That depends on your driving habits and how much you want to spend. If you’re still unsure, stop by Pfeiffer Used and we can help you learn which type of car is best for you!

Jul 14

Tips for a Long Drive: Staying Alert on the Road

tips for a long drive

Whether you’re driving across the country or simply taking a day trip, there are important things to remember when going on a road trip. Aside from packing the right supplies, there are safety and convenience elements to consider, from eating the right food at the right time to planning your sleep schedule.

According to Nationwide, sleep is essential for a road trip. You should never drive if you got less than seven hours of sleep the night before. Generally, you should avoid driving early in the morning. For most people, this is a no-brainer. However, many doctors also suggest that you avoid driving from 1pm to 3pm, as this is also a naturally drowsy period for most drivers. You can also “stock-up” on sleep by ensuring restful sleep up to two days before a trip.

Avoid eating fast-food on the road. Instead, opt for healthy snacks like carrots and almonds. You can bring these along to ensure you make good time (nothing is more frustrating than waiting in a drive-through line), and try to drink plenty of water. You need about 8 glasses of water per day, and staying hydrated will keep you awake. However, it may increase bathroom stops.

Finally, sit up straight. Though it seems too simple to be true, good posture ensures proper blood flow. This reduces the risk of “zoning-out” when you’re driving, while also preventing back and hip pain.

These are some of the basics for long trips. Always check your car’s maintenance status and if it’s that time, service your car at Pfeiffer Used before you head out as well to make sure your car is ready to go!

Jun 26

Fun Summer Activities

Fun Summer Activities

Fun Summer Activities

Soaking up the summer sun is a great way to spend three months, so long as you remember sunscreen. Yet, finding other fun summer activities to partake in could be a little more of a challenge given how many options there are. So, we here at Pfeiffer Used Cars would like to share a few of our favorite fun summer activities that make for great ways to spend the day.

Spend Time at a Local Fair

While state fairs can be crowded ordeals with long lines and expensive prices, local fairs are quite the opposite. Odds are you’ll run into someone you know, the lines are manageable, and the prices are much more affordable. There’s usually games, fair food (like funnel cake), and prizes to be won, too!

Get Some Ice Cream

Even small towns tend to have a local ice cream shop that opens sometime in late spring. Affordable prices and great choices are usually the norm, too. On the off-chance that your town doesn’t have an ice cream shop, keep your eyes and ears open for an ice cream truck instead!

Take a Nap

Hammocks are a great way to both enjoy the summer sun and take a nap without lying in the grass or on a porch. Most are simple to set up and are comfortable enough for you to fall asleep in for hours at a time. Pick a shady spot, lie down, and sleep the summer days away!

Jun 23

Best Safety Features in Used Cars

Best Safety Features in Used Cars

Best Safety Features in Used Cars

The average vehicle is around 11 years old which means many lack modern safety features. While airbags are generally the golden standard of safety features, new technologies and techniques have made vehicles even safer. Check out some of the best safety features in used cars recommended by us here at Pfeiffer Used Cars.

Electronic Stability Control

As of 2012, all vehicles sold in the United States were mandated to have an electronic stability control system. The system works by checking to see if the car is traveling in the direction you’re steering. If it isn’t, the system applies the brakes and reduces torque output to help straighten the vehicle out.

Anti-lock Braking System

A vehicle that comes equipped with Electronic Stability Control will also come with an Anti-lock Braking System. The Anti-lock Braking System pumps the brakes automatically to prevent them from locking when the gas pedal is fully pressed.

Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems

Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems were a requirement in new vehicles as of the 2007 model year. As the name implies, the systems monitor tire pressure and warn drivers if pressure drops too low. A tire pressure monitoring system can help increase fuel economy and prevent flat tires as well as extend a tire’s lifespan.

May 22

Spring Car Maintenance Tips

Spring Car Maintenance in Byron Center, MICars deal with every season differently just like people do, so it’s important to help vehicles adjust to the changing weather. Winter is harsh on cars, so spring car maintenance is mostly about helping cars recover from the winter and transitioning them into the hot summer months. Here are some essential maintenance tasks to do in the spring.

One important part of spring maintenance is cleaning the underside of your car and making sure you remove any built up salt and mud leftover from the winter. You should also clean your wheels and any other places that are hard to reach. You don’t want any part of your car to start rusting!

Winter is also harsh on your windshield wipers, so now is a great time to replace them—especially since you’ll need fresh ones for the rainy spring weather. You should also inspect your tires for damage and make sure your thread isn’t too worn.

Check all your fluids to make sure none are low and get your oil and oil filter changed. Cold weather makes your engine work harder, which means your oil gets dirty faster. Check your AC even if it’s not hot yet to make sure it’s working, and if it’s not, take it to a mechanic—you’ll definitely want that cold air when summer comes.

For more information on spring car maintenance, give us a call at Pfeiffer Used!

May 12

Tips for Buying a Used Car

Used Car Buying in Byron Center, MIBuying a used car can be tricky if you don’t know what to watch out for. Whether you’re buying from an independent seller or a dealership, here are some tips to make sure you get the best deal possible.

First of all, it’s a good idea to have used cars independently inspected before you buy them. You should be able to take the car for a test drive, at which point you can go to a mechanic and ask them to look it over. If they notice serious damage or costly repairs that need done, you may not want to buy that vehicle.

Always pay close attention on the test drive. It’s even more important than with a brand new car. You can listen for damage, feel how the ride quality is, and make sure none of the dashboard indicator lights are on. To be as safe as possible, you should get a vehicle history report and check for accidents in the past or anything that might cause concern.

Before you do any of this, though, you have to determine your budget and decide what kind of car you want. Buying used is great because it means you have a wider selection to choose from within your budget, but it can also be overwhelming. Think about how old of a car you’re willing to buy and what kind of car meets your driving needs—this information should help you narrow it down.

For more used car buying help, give us a call at Pfeiffer Used!

Mar 27

See the Butterflies at Frederik Meijer Gardens

Frederik Meijer Gardens

Frederik Meijer Gardens

The Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park is a magical place filled with stunning exhibits and gardens with a five-story tropical conservatory. Regardless of what time you visit, there is plenty to see in the scenic gardens, from beautiful sculptures to temporary events. One of these events is the annual butterfly show, Butterflies Are Blooming, which began on March 1st and will continue until April 30th. The show is sure to present a family-friendly, once-in-a-lifetime viewing experience.

Taking place inside of the tropical conservatory, which is kept at 80 degrees year-round, you’ll get to experience lush, tropical plants, flowers, and trees while also being surrounded by butterflies that have been set loose in the building–more than 50 different, exotic species of butterflies and moths! Admission to the event is included in normal hours and rates and is ongoing every day until the end of April. Make sure to stop by in the next month or so to see this incredible display.

If you go to the Frederik Meijer Gardens, we at Pfeiffer Used recommend that you look in high places, under leafy shrubs, along the stream bed or waterfall, or any of the many feeding stations in the conservatory in order to find the most butterflies as possible. Plus, if you have small children, make sure not to miss any of the many educational classes about butterflies!

Mar 22

Choosing a Safe Used Car for Teen Drivers

safe used carIf you’re a parent whose teen just got a driver’s license or is in the process of earning it, you might be thinking about getting them a used car. Used cars are great options because they’re more affordable and are oftentimes just as reliable as newer cars if they’ve been well maintained. Here are some things to look for when choosing a safe used car for your teenager.
Go for bigger and heavier vehicles: Your first instinct might be to go for smaller cars because they are cheaper, are easier to park and maneuver, and cost less to fuel up, but when it comes to safety, having a heavier vehicle is a must.
Look for electronic stability control: Also called ESC, this system reduces risk by giving the driver more control on curves and slippery roads.
Don’t go for higher horsepower: Every teenager wants to be the cool kid with the sports car, but a more powerful engine can tempt them to get into more trouble. Opt for a milder engine instead.
Check safety ratings: This is an obvious one, but often overlooked. If you have a certain model year of a nameplate in mind, check the safety rating from both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) ahead of time.
Buying a safe used car for your teen driver can be a complicated process, but we here at Pfeiffer Used are ready and willing to help you through it. Just call or come by today.