The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 23, 1998 · Page 3
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 3

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Salina, Kansas
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Saturday, May 23, 1998
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Page 3
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THE SALINA JOURNAL CONSUMER SATU RDAY, MAY 23. 1998 A3,, T CONSUMER CORNER Be advised: Buying a used car requires special care Attorney general offers consumers guidelines for an informed decision Dear Attorney General StoVall: I am a single parent with two young sons. A few days ago my car expired of old age and too many miles. I have been told by a mechanic I trust that the car is not worth fixing. I really need a dependable car for going back and forth to work and for taking my boys to all of their school activities. I cannot afford a new car but am afraid to invest in a used car. I have heard horror stories about people who purchased a used car that needed so many repairs it cost more than the purchase price to get the car running properly. T WATERCRAFT SAFETY Watercraft probe pegs operators NTSB study finds lack of user-safety training cause of most deaths By The Associated Press WASHINGTON — The vast majority of accidents and fatalities on personal watercraft involve operators who have had no boating safety instruction and who were riding for less than an hour, according to a study released today by the National Transportation Safety Board. In some cases, the accidents were caused by riders who sensed danger but dealt with it improperly. They let off the throttle in an effort to avoid an obstacle, not re• alizing that doing so diminished their vessel's steering ability, the NTSB found. ". Personal watercraft, widely known by Kawasaki's trade name, •"Jet Ski," are steered by redirecting water that travels through a jet mounted on the vessel's underside. Letting off the throttle diminishes the vessel's agility. The board said such inexperience shows the need for revamped boater safety programs and closer scrutiny of personal watercraft operators. The vessels account for one-third of all new boat sales. Last year, 170,000 were sold, down from a peak of 205,000 in 1995. •• The board's findings were challenged by watercraft manufacturers. They noted that the study included no valid statistical study. It also had several findings favorable to the industry: 97 percent of the riders were wearing a life vest when they were involved in an accident, and only 5 percent definitively could be linked to alcohol. One maker noted that 98 percent of all new personal watercraft sold are multi-seat models, not the stand-up variety frequently shown skipping boat wakes. "Our average consumer is a 41- year-old man who has 1.3 kids," said Glyn Johnston, spokesman for Bombardier. "He fits all the characteristics of the family man. It's much more of a family sport than it's ever been." The safety board analyzed state reports for 814 accidents occurring from January to June 1997. Thirty-seven states submitted the reports and replied to supplemental questionnaires from the NTSB. In the span covered by the report, there were 27 fatalities, including six drownings. Analysts who prepared the report said that while the data collection stopped before the summer it was a representative sample because the findings mirrored a spot check of accidents for all of 1996. I am not a mechanic, so I do not know what to look for to distinguish a good car from a bad car. Are there any guidelines for consumers that you can suggest? Dear Kansas Consumer: Of all ^ the consumer com-. plaints received by my office each year, problems with used cars and used car dealers usually rank at the top of the list. Consumers who spend a little time and effort to make an informed decision can save money and future' regrets. Take the **" time to check out the vehicle and its history before you decide to buy. CARLA STOVALL Kansas Attorney General Consumer Reports magazine gives an account of various tests on vehicles determining overall model reliability and maintenance trends. The monthly National Automobile Dealers Association (N.A.D.A.) book or "Edmund's" can help you determine the. current value of the used car you are considering, as well as the value of your trade-in. These publications are available at many bookstores or public libraries. Inspect and test drive the vehicle to the best of your ability. If you are not car smart, ask someone who is to go with you. A visual inspection in the daytime will reveal dents, dings, scratches or other damage to the paint. Check to make sure all the features such as lights, heater, air conditioning and turn signals are functioning. Look to see if the amount of wear on the upholstery, carpeting, accelerator and' brake pedals corresponds to the number of miles shown on the odometer. Have a reliable mechanic test drive the car with you, and have a diagnostic test performed. The charge for this service is minimal compared to the cost of buying a car that needs substantial work. This knowledge of potential problems also could help you bargain the price down with the seller. If you are buying the car from a dealer, insist that a title history be performed and that you are provided a copy. Never buy a used car without researching the title. A lot of information can be obtained from the title. For example, if the BILLS ^HKff JD^^H HBJRP' Hi Ml CONSOLIDATE $10,000 -$110/mo $50,000 - $550/mo NO EQUITY REQUIRED Homeowners Only \VIION\\ 11)1. C OUPOfl ATlON 1-800-819-7010 Or Visit Our Websltel www.natlonwldelending.com MAURE WEIGH Auto - Home Insurance Phone 827-2906 115 East Iron CARROL HAMILTON Roofing Company IV1EIVIAO f.800-864-4637 • 785-452-9224 car had a salvage title at one time, it probably has been substantially damaged in a wreck. If the title shows the car has been owned by an insurance company, it may have been damaged by flood or hail. If the dealer refuses to do a title history, walk away and find a dealer who will. These precautions are not guarantees that you will not experience problems when purchasing a used car. However, taking these precautions will help you make an informed decision and should help you avoid many problems which arise in used car purchases. WORLD WIDE WINDOWS, INC. IREPUCEMENT WINDOWS MADE IN SAUNA Where windows are our Business, not just a side line. FREE ESTIMATES 826-17O1 1-8OO-783-1711 736 N. 9th, Salina About the column This public service is , , offered to help you avoid becoming a victim of- ,. consumer fraud. For furthe/ k information, .please write: * Attorney General Carla J. , Stovall , Consumer Protection Division -v* Kansas Judicial Center . > Topeka, KS 66612 /*-* SIOUX S For Hay • Hogs - Machinery 24', 30', 36' or 42' wide by any length 15 Year Warranty on 10 oz. Cover NORTH CENTRAL STEEL - MINNEAPOLIS, KS Call I-800-382-0106-Anytime PRICES REDUCED EVEN FURTHER OUR INVENTORY MUST BE REDUCED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! Special Financing Available 6 months S.A.C. W.A.C. "TIME IS RUNNING OUT Because of the recent highway expansion, we have lost our customer parking. This has created a hardship for our business, resulting in the need to reduce as much of our inventory as possible. This reduction of inventory will put us in a good position to make the right decision for our business. Our options appear to be: 1. Relocated our business - approx. cost $800,000 - $1,000,000 2. Refashion the neighborhood to accommodate our parking needs - approx. cost $250,000 3. Go Out of Business Completely. (Least likely option) HELP US REDUCE OUR INVENTORY NOW AND WE'LL GIVE YOU AN ADDITIONAL 10°/o-30°/o OFF OUR ALREADY SUPER LOW SALE PRICES THIS SALES EVENT WILL END WITHOUT NOTICE BASED UPON INVENTORY LEVELS! The FURNITURE STORE 915 W. KANSAS, MCTHERSON, KS -241-7967 • 1-800-466-7967 In our 9th Year of Serving Central Kansas IKS. UNTIL SAT. l >:()0 AM - (v.OOI'M

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