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Free Fixes and ‘Cash For Clunkers’

August 3, 2009

Money-Guy 07-31-2009

Today is a prime example of how quickly things change in our current economic environment! We recorded this show on Thursday afternoon, 07/30, and planned on releasing it Friday morning, 07/31. To our amazement, when we came into the office on Friday, one of the very topics we did the show on no more than 24 hours before was no longer in existence. That topic, of course, was the ‘Cash For Clunkers’ stimulus program. While the program may not be gone for good, it is currently in limbo. But don’t worry, there is still some great content in today’s show!

I tell you guys over and over again that the way we come up with show ideas are through everyday life experiences. Well over the past few months I have noticed that the tires on my car are in desperate need of replacement. This upset me, though, because these tires did not last near as long as I felt like they should have. So I did some research…

It is absolutely AMAZING the things that you can find on the internet! I had never heard of this before, but I learned about something called a ‘Technical Service Bulletin’. If you are not in the automotive industry and haven’t heard of these TSBs before, then I bet this will blow your mind. A Technical Service Bulletin is something that the manufacturer of your vehicle knows is wrong with your vehicle, but it does not pose a safety concern. Many times these are rattles, or hums, or any number of slight annoyances you may notice on your vehicle.

What is unique about these TSBs is that the car company is not required to contact all owners and tell them about these ‘bulletins’. HOWEVER, if you go to the dealer and explain to them an issue you are having with your car, and it just so happens to have been one of these bulletins, it is fully covered under your warranty!

So what steps would an educated well-informed consumer take? They would hop on the internet and try to find every ‘bulletin’ they could, and that is exactly what I did! If you are like me, then you will find yourself saying things like, “wow, my sun roof does rattle at low speeds”, or ” I do notice a slight hitch in my passenger window”, etc. Did I mention, by the way, that this is at NO cost to you?!? It is covered under your warranty!

The one caveat to this, however, is that these TSBs aren’t the easiest things in the world to find. Some sites may require you to pay $15-$20 per vehicle for access to these bulletins. Or, if you just happen to be extremely lucky like I was, you may find a free site that lists every bulletin availalble for your vehicle. Since I was so fortunate to stumble across this great site for Lexus automobiles, I want to pass it on to those of you who also might own a Lexus. The website that I used is: LexusTSB.com. Happy searches and I hope you can use this as just one more way to stretch your dollars just a little bit farther!

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