Before You Buy A New Car

We can give you an education in what upgrades can cost, what you should expect from warranties and what better quality levels are available from a qualified local accessories, electronics and protection dealer.

Why come see us first?

  • Talking with us first will give you the ability to compare any updgrades that will be offered at the dealership
  • You will have the confidence to ask better questions and get real answers.
  • With the knowledge we can provide, you can potentially negotiate a better deal by getting a higher quality product, installation and/or warranty. Most improtantly, you can get what you paid for!

Things To Know About "Upgrades"

1. Vehicle Protection Packages

99% of Vehicle Protection Packages (including Undercoating, Rust Proofing, Paint Protection and Fabric Protection), Vehicle Accessories and Electronic Upgrades (such as Alarms, Security Locks, Remote Starters, Keyless Entry, Sun Roofs, Heated Seats, Cruise Control, Video Systems, Audio Upgrades and many others) are not installed by the dealership but they ARE installed by dealership approved companies like CarSmart! and others. You just pay more than retail for them.

Unfortunately, the "dealership approved companies" are often approved not on their "high quality of workmanship" but on their "lowest cost to dealer." This only encourages short-cuts and poor workmanship. It is true that the dealership and the vendor doing the poor quality work MUST honor their warranties but these are more of an "insurance policy" than actually doing the job the right and complete way. Do you want the job done thoroughly and correctly or a "warranty"? Our answer - BOTH!

2. Factory Remote Starts - BEWARE!

Our customers who have purchased the have one major complaint….their factory remote start has no range! Isn't that is the whole point of a Remote Start? See our section on Remote Starters to learn the truth about them.

Factory Remote Starts

  • Have limited (short) range by the FCC (work the distance that keyless entry does).
  • Have a 3 year / 36K mile warranty
  • Are just as expensive if not more than aftermarket (and aftermarket systems have better range & warranty with better technological options)!
  • Once out of warranty, terribly expensive to repair. Don't even consider fixing it, just get an aftermarket remote start added to the vehicle.

3. The Warranty Act of 1975

Legislation was passed in 1975 that makes it Illegal for a new car dealer to tell you that "If you don't buy your upgrades, protection packages and electronics from them, IT WILL VOID YOUR WARRANTY". Again, it is illegal to tell you this. See the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975. Click here for more information on this.

What is true about this statement is that if YOU, the customer, take your vehicle to have some aftermarket upgrades, accessories an/or protection performed/installed and the company you use DOES do a BAD JOB that whatever what was installed and what it relates to on the vehicle, damage to those factory items WILL be not covered under warranty.

FOR EXAMPLE: You go out and have a remote starter installed on your own and the company does a poor job and your vehicle does not start or perhaps damages an item related to the ignition system. Your new car warranty will not cover the damage to factory parts of the car that the remote starter is associated with.

HOWEVER, if you have a remote starter installed, and it works just fine and your TRANSMISSON stops shifting properly, your new car dealership CANNOT hold the installation of the remote starter (in this example) responsible for the failure of an unrelated item like the Transmission UNLESS somehow they can prove it, which in this case will never happen.

If your dealer service department cannot not unequivocally prove the problem with your vehicle as it relates to the item in which you had installed or upgraded to your vehicle, they need to repair your vehicle under warranty.

Car Dealer Service Departments are, unfortunately, notorious for blaming everything that is going wrong with your vehicle on something that you had done to the vehicle. They look for aftermarket accessories on the vehicle to attach blame too very quickly.

Now, to be fair to dealership service departments, there are a lot of companies in the aftermarket industry that should not be in business because their installations are not good and they DO cause malfunctions in vehicles and dealership service departments have every right to be frustrated by this. However, there are many good quality installers in this aftermarket industry and are unfairly "lumped in" with the bad ones.

4. Undercoating, Rustproofing & Paint Protection


(Protecting the underbody of the vehicle from rust and corrosion) that actually addresses "Critical Rust Areas". Most dealer expeditors put the undercoating where you can see it. That looks nice but you need the product applied where you cannot see it and frankly they just don't get it there.

Rust Proofing

This is the Rust Protection material that is applied to the upper body of the vehicle inside of the doors, fenders, quarter panels, trunk lid, hood and other critical rust areas. Dealers do not let most expeditors drill any holes into your vehicle for access (not a problem when properly done) and they don't pay them enough to take panels apart or lights out to gain access. There are no factory openings significant enough to use properly for application…..SO GUESS WHAT… paid for "Rust Proofing" but you did not get it. What you got is a Warranty that if you keep the vehicle long enough and remember that you actually have the warranty when you do have a Rust problem, they (the expeditor) are gambling that you won't recall the warranty. The dealer does not care because they will refer you to the expeditor who did the work to satisfy your warranty.

If you have rust protection applied properly, you will NOT need a warranty.

We still give you a 10 year warranty on new vehicles. Your dealer is typically less.

Paint Protection


The corrosive nature of road salt used during our winter months is so powerful that NOTHING applied to your paint will last, endure or be present on your vehicle come Spring time! Sorry, nothing.

We have a good customer who works on the inside of the Illinois Road Department and confirmed that the formula for road salt was yet INCREASED to be stronger and longer lasting in 2009 in an effort to keep streets free of ice longer which is:
  • Destroying our roads faster
  • Destroying our bridges faster
  • Destroying our vehicles faster

NOTE: vehicles still rust. Give them 5 years and you will begin to see critical rust problems that have been developing and now it is TOO LATE. Vehicles do not rust out like they used to but they still do AND the things that hold your vehicle together, panel seams where welded together (like the inside bottom of your doors for example) still rust if not protected and cleaned properly annually.

Here are some simple truths:
  • The paint on vehicles today is much more durable that it was 20 to 25 years ago.
  • You can do nothing to your paint for the first 3 years and probably not worry too much about it. It may not look great but it won't get destroyed.
  • After about 3 or 4 year,s if not proactively maintained by paint sealants or waxes, paint WILL begin to oxidize (dry out) and this is a manageable YET irreversible condition.
  • After 5 years or more, oxidation can be permanent damage (paint looks dull, chalky-white, dry).
  • WAX, the best waxes, last 90 days MAXIMUM. That is why you have heard that you should wax your vehicle 3 to 4 times A YEAR..MINIMUM.
  • Paint Sealants (Polymers and Teflon) last up to 2 years IF there is NO road salt encountered. Encounter road salt, come spring it is diminished.
    • They are a great 1 year (no waxing needed) product if applied 1 time annually in the Spring of each year.
  • Dealers sell you a "Paint Protection" package that is typically guaranteed for 5 years. Again, dealers and expeditors are gambling that you won't seek them out on a warranty claim, honestly hoping you don't keep your car that long. IF you do, they will typically take care of the damage because so much money was made on the front-end, that the few who claim on warranty, they pay it out.
    • Again, what do you want? A warranty or products that actually perform and do what you want them to? Our answer "BOTH!"

Paint Sealants and waxes need to be applied annually. That is the simple and understandable truth.

Paint Sealants are more protective and actually chemically bond with your paint and seal it. Waxes are less durable, static in nature which draws dirt to your vehicle. (Ever wax a car? The most difficult part is getting the final "wax dust" off your car because it is clinging to your car "static clinging"). Paint Sealants have a repelling nature, not static. Road Grime is not allowed to stick to sealants like they do to wax.

5. Financing Upgrades

If the only what you can afford these upgrades, accessories and electronics is to roll them into your monthly payment and finance them that is fine, understandable and honorable but you are then at the mercy of the dealership and their finance department.

If you can afford to consider not financing these items you can gain

  • Better quality brands and products. Most dealer expeditor companies will cut a corner wherever they can to save a buck because the dealer is not paying them enough to do the job with top quality product. You however are paying ABOVE retail in most cases but not getting what your money should be getting you.
  • Better and potentially Longer warranties. For example. A remote start installation from your new car dealer will be good for 3 years OR 36,000 miles whichever comes first. Buy direct, from CarSmart! for example, and get a lifetime warranty on parts and labor.
  • Lower prices AND better quality – a double bonus.
  • Better quality installation, especially with electronics. Dealer expeditors (these are the companies that dealerships contract with to outsource the work to who typically win the bid for the work on low price, nothing to do with quality) companies are notorious for not soldering the wire connections because it takes too long. Nonsense! Anything other than a soldered wire connection is the fastest way to create future problems and failures that will likely happen once your 3 year 36K mile warranty has expired.