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When most people think about major natural catastrophes, tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes come to mind.

However, there’s one other type of storm that, according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (the U.S. government’s climatology branch), causes $1 billion in damage to crops and property each year—hail.

So, how can you avoid being part of that large sum of money, and how can you make sure your coverage is ready in case your car is damaged?

  • Get covered parking

    —Covered parking can save you a lot of hassle and money, especially in the middle of the country. has a map highlighting states that typically receive the most hail. If you live in one of the bright blue states, you should evaluate your parking options.

  • Ride out the hail storm

    —If you don’t have access to covered parking, another option is to find temporary shelter. Local malls, for example, usually have parking garages where you could park if you know a storm is brewing. If you don’t have a covered place to store your vehicle, find those options for the big storms.

  • Use blankets or a hail car cover

    —If you don’t have a shelter option, and you know a storm is coming, get something over your car. Some companies sell car covers specific to this purpose, but you can use your own blankets, as well. Just make sure you duct tape them down—the winds can pick up pretty quickly during hail storms. The tape can leave a sticky residue on your car, but most likely won’t cause any damage to the paint.

    Prepare in advance for this. Opt for personal safety and don’t do this if the storm is happening within a matter of minutes.

  • Get Comprehensive and Rental coverage

    —With insurance, “Comprehensive” doesn’t mean “all encompassing.” Instead, it’s the specific coverage that helps pay for damage caused by things like weather or fire. In most cases, Comprehensive will cover hail damage, too. Also, make sure you have Rental coverage—one in 10 Progressive policyholders who have a total loss (meaning their car is damaged beyond repair) do. And it’s an option that helps pay for a rental car if your car is being fixed or replaced.

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The 1977 Chevrolet Camaro Z28

In 2016, the firm IHS Markit released a report on the lives of American-owned vehicles, and the results were surprising. Of the 264 million light vehicles registered in the U.S., the average age of of each one worked out to be 11.6 years old, with owners keeping their cars an average six and a half years. By 2021, the firm predicts that a full 20 million cars on the road will be over 25 years old. If its projections are accurate, then there will likely be more old cars on the road than ever before.

With so many antique cars on the road — the official designation for cars 25 years or older in most states — preventative maintenance is as important as ever. For people who don’t have the luxury of a bumper-to-bumper warranty, it’s important to keep on top of the basics so that they don’t add up to something bigger and costlier.

The truth of the matter is, there’s really no such thing as a car that runs forever without a little help. So for even the most reliable old cars on the road today, we came up with 10 things you can do to keep your car running like a top for as long as possible.

1. It’s all about good timing

The LT4 V8 found in the 2015 Corvette Z06

Most modern cars have a timing belt or chain, which makes all the moving parts of your engine run smoothly. But when these go wrong, it can kill your engine in a matter of seconds. While chains are more robust and need to be changed far less frequently, belts need to be replaced every 60,000 to 100,000 miles, depending on your car. If you’re going to a mechanic, this isn’t going to be a cheap job, but once you get it over with, you won’t have to worry about another one for years.

2. Play it cool

Check your radiator hoses for cracks

Your engine is making thousands of explosions a day to keep you moving down the road. Understandably, things get pretty hot in there, which is why your car has a cooling system. And while it doesn’t need to be swapped out as often, antifreeze is just as important as oil. Make sure you’re topped off with coolant, and if there are any leaks coming from your radiator or hoses, get them taken care of immediately. A car with no coolant is not long for this world.

3. Find bulletproof suspension upgrades

The 2017 Chevrolet COPO Camaro -- a factory-built drag car

This isn’t universal, but it’s a common enough issue that it’s worth mentioning here. Say you’ve got an older sporty car and are ready to make the jump and modify it to get that nice, low, mean look. There are plenty of easy ways to do this — cheap aftermarket kits on eBay, actually cutting your car’s springs down and reinstalling them, among others — but there are really only a few ways to do it right, and they’re rarely the cheapest options. Your car was designed to drive and handle the way it does by a team of engineers working for years on a multibillion-dollar program, so don’t be surprised if your car drives a lot differently after questionable suspension mods. Stick with performance parts from the manufacturer or upgrades from trusted aftermarket companies that have a relationship with the automaker. After all, if you’re into modifications, you want your car to look as good as it drives.

4. Blood transfusions save lives

An unscrewed engine oil cap

If you can’t remember the last time you changed your oil, go do it now. The key to a healthy car is keeping up with regularly scheduled maintenance, and the easiest and most important of these routines is a regular oil change. Consult your owner’s manual for the recommended type, then take it to a trusted mechanic (quick lube places do the job, but a lot can go wrong too) for some of the fresh stuff. Or if you aren’t afraid to get your hands dirty, oil changes are a great way to enter the world of DIY auto repairs.

5. Less is more when it comes to longevity

Production of Lucas Oil additives

There are a whole lot of products out there that promise to make your engine faster, stronger, and more powerful as it gets older. Sound too good to be true? That’s because, by and large, they are. Stick to the stuff that works, like high quality oils and fluids, genuine parts, and common-sense preventative maintenance, and avoid the snake oil altogether.

6. Bi-annual inspections are your friend

An employee of an automobile garage at work

Some states don’t require annual safety inspections. And while the potential for getting slapped with a bill for repairs once a year is tough for anyone to deal with, we think it’s essential to get your older car looked at by a fresh set of eyes — read: a better mechanic than you — at least once a year. The last thing you want is an unexpected problem to pop up at the worst possible time, so do yourself, and other drivers on the road a favor and make sure your ride is safe.

7. Get ready, it’s going to burn oil

Old engines like this rotary found in a Mazda RX-7 will burn oil

Old engines burn oil — they just do. What’s important is to keep an eye on it, watch for any leaks (lower-engine leaks could mean old gaskets, upper-engine could mean head gasket troubles), and make sure to keep it topped off with high quality oil. This is one of those things that may seem like a big deal, but can be managed safely and responsibly.

8. Invest in the best wheels, tires, and brakes

New tires for sale at a tire store

We’ve all been there before: You ran over something on the highway and you shredded a tire. Now you need new ones, and you really don’t feel like spending hundreds of dollars on the best. But going cheap on things like that could cost you more further down the line. Tires are one of the most important parts of a car. They’re the only things connecting you to the road, and are supposed to be able to keep you safe even in the worst driving conditions. Cheap tires can wear faster, or unevenly, throwing your car’s suspension out of whack and causing wear-and-tear on vital components. This rule also applies to replaceable things like wheels and brakes. If you love your car, pay a little more and get the best. It could even save you money over the long haul.

9. Drive it like you own it

An old Mercedes 230 SL

Say you have an older, high-mileage car. Chances are it’s going to have its quirks, but believe it or not, the difference between an aging runner and a basket case usually comes down to how often it’s driven. A warm car is a happy car, and while essential fluids like oil, antifreeze, and brake fluid keep vital metal parts lubricated, they also keep things like hoses and gaskets from drying out. Park an old car for a while, and chances are you’ll start seeing leaks. When you can’t even tell what’s leaking from where anymore, it may already be too late. So do your car a favor, and drive it regularly.

10. When all else fails, conduct a heart transplant

Sometimes you need to do a full engine replacement

Here’s some interesting food for thought: Extensive repairs on an aging engine or transmission can potentially cost you thousands in parts and labor at your local garage and take your car off the road for days, if not weeks, especially if your repair shop is booked solid. So as scary as it may sound, sometimes an entire engine or transmission replacement is the way to go. Ask your garage for help in sourcing a healthy powerplant, and they could have your car running with a brand new heart in a matter of days. If you love your old car and can’t bear to let it go, this may be the easiest way to give it a new lease on life.


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Planning a road trip? Here are 10 tips for improving your car’s fuel efficiency

Gas costs can be a drain on your wallet – especially if you have a long commute.
Here are 10 ways to help improve your car’s fuel efficiency and save you money.


  1. Check the pressure


Check your tire pressure at least once a month. Under-inflated tires burn more fuel. If tires are 8 pounds underinflated, rolling resistance of the tires increases by 5 percent. That added friction results in the engine pumping harder to push the car, and more gas being sucked out of your tank.


  1. Get what you paid for


When you are filling up, keep the hose in the tank until after the pump shuts off and make sure you allow all the fuel to pour out of the nozzle. As much as a quarter of a cup can pour from the hose. That’ll be what gets you to the next pump when the needle is on E.


  1. Use your cruise


When you can, use cruise control. Keeping your vehicle’s speed consistent can save you up to 6 per cent in fuel consumption on the highway.


  1. Clean your battery


Corroded battery cables cause the alternator to work harder, which means you’re using more gas. Have them cleaned with each engine check-up.


  1. Keep it moving

An idling car consumes half-a-gallon to one gallon of gas per hour and pumps needless CO2 into the atmosphere. The modern engine will consume less fuel turning off and re-starting than idling for extended periods.
To effectively warm an engine, simply start the engine, wait for 20 seconds, (this builds the oil pressure,) and drive away.


  1. Change the filter


Change the air filter at least the set number of times outlined in the owners manual, more if you drive in dusty conditions. If you live in an area that gets a lot of pollen, this can also clog up your filter.


  1. Check the sensor


If your car was built since the mid-1980s, it more than likely has an oxygen sensor in its exhaust system. It should be replaced just as you would spark plugs, following the manufacturer’s recommendations.
This little device trims the fuel delivery and has a profound effect on fuel economy in the process.


  1. Drive smoothly


With a light touch on the throttle and avoiding heavy braking, you can reduce both fuel consumption and wear and tear. Research suggests driving techniques can influence fuel efficiency by as much as 30 percent.


  1. Lighten your load


It doesn’t seem like much, but thinking about what you have in the car (and on the car) can make a big difference.
If you do not need something, do not pack it. Remove roof racks if not needed – they create extra wind drag. An extra 100 pounds in the trunk reduces a typical car’s fuel economy by 1 to 2 per cent. Carrying excess weight wastes gas.


  1. Choose the right octane gas for your car


Check the owner’s manual to find out what octane your engine needs. Octane ratings measure gasoline’s ability to resist engine knock. But the higher the octane, the higher the price.
Only about 6 percent of cars sold need premium gas. Still, premium gas accounts for about 10 per cent of all gas sold. Resist the urge to buy higher octane gas for “premium” performance.


Joshua Trudell, Rare Contributor

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Why is car leasing so popular now?


car leasing popularSince the end of the Great Recession, car leasing has leaped in popularity by over 40%, and with millennials it’s even higher. Almost a third of all new cars now are leased, not purchased.

Leasing was popular before the economic downturn, but sunk to a low point of about 18% during the recession. Since the recovery, the numbers have climbed to record levels.

Why has leasing become so attractive and popular just in the last few years?

There are several contributing factors.

First, the prices of new cars continues to climb every year. The average price of new vehicles is now well over $35,000. For most people, this makes new cars less affordable. Monthly payments, even with long loan terms, are higher than many people can afford.


Second, car manufacturers and their dealers have fueled the attraction for leasing by offering outstanding special lease deals with low monthly payments that customers couldn’t possibly expect to negotiate on their own. Payments are significantly below loan payments for the same vehicles, even with special 0% interest rate loans. These kinds of limited-time deals are now offered every month by nearly every car company. Before the recession, such deals are offered much less often. Although some deals are restricted to certain models and styles, companies such as BMW offer genuinely good lease deals on nearly every model in their product line, every month.

Third, one of the largest segments of our modern consumer population is made up of millennials, those people who now in their mid-20s to mid-30s in age. Sometimes called Gen Y, they have different views about life, jobs, and money than their parents and grandparents. They tend to have fewer savings, more debt (often student loans), and tend to rent instead of buy their homes. Home ownership is not as important as it once was.

Millennials like to have new things, new styles, new technology, and spend more time on the move. However, they are also cost conscious and watch their budgets. Being able to have a brand new car every 2-4 years at the lowest monthly payment amount is important to them. This is why car leasing is especially popular for this rising segment of the population.

What leasing offers to modern automotive consumers

As has already been stated, leasing offers a relatively short-term commitment (2-4 years) to acquiring and driving a brand new car with all the latest styling, technology, and safety features, at low monthly cost, with no end of term “baggage.”


Furthermore, it eliminates the cost and hassle of car repairs since the manufacturer’s warranty can cover the entire lease term.  Every 2-4 years, there is an option point that provides an opportunity to change directions and 1) return the car and begin another lease in another brand new car, 2) return the car and buy another car, or 3) purchase the car and keep driving it.

Car leasing is an attractive option for many modern consumers. While it’s very popular and right for many, it’s not for everyone. Our Lease Guide provides everything needed for you to make the right decision for your particular lifestyle and objectives.


Contact us today and let’s lease your next vehicle.

‘A client for life’: Centennial Leasing & Sales offers unique auto-buying experience

on: In: Business, Front Page of the Villager Newspaper

Centennial Leasing & Sales, located at 7150 S. Joilet St., houses an amazing indoor warehouse, featuring cars and SUVs.

Submitted by Centennial Leasing & Sales

More than 30 years ago, Gary Pranger and Steve Perkins embarked on a business endeavor that has seen expansion surpassing what they had imagined.

The two men knew that they wanted to start a different concept then that of the traditional dealership, a different way to acquire a new car or truck. They believed Centennial Leasing & Sales should be built on integrity and honesty.

Although the market has gone up and down in the last three decades, the company has weathered the storm, moving in June 2015 from its prior location on Inverness Drive East to a larger building at 7150 S. Joilet St., allowing for significant growth.

In 1984, Centennial Leasing & Sales was one of the first independent leasing companies to open in Colorado. Today, it has expanded into a regional leader in the vehicle leasing and sales business, while still being locally owned and operated. It’s also among the largest independent auto-buying organizations nationwide. Despite the growth, the firm has not lost sight of making every customer a client for life.

page1.Centennial-Leasing.New-BuildingGreeted with a warm welcome from the receptionist, one instantly feels comfortable in the establishment. From the art tastefully placed throughout to the well-kept consultant offices, everything at Centennial Leasing & Sales is a white-glove experience.

There are no pushy salesmen and no one is shuffled from office to office before finally reaching the finance department. The entire transaction is handled by a single consultant who is dedicated to giving the customer individualized attention for an important purchasing decision.

Centennial Leasing & Sales is committed to providing an exceptional level of service to each of its clients, whether it is a daughter or son buying or leasing his first car or a large corporation in need of a 200-vehicle fleet. 

The company houses an amazing indoor warehouse, featuring cars and SUVs, loaded with all the bells, whistles and technology an auto buyer might be looking for.

One client said viewing the Centennial inventory is like visiting a Dumb Friend’s League: “If you go to Centennial, you’re likely to come home with a car.” But if for some reason a customer does not find what he or she wants, consultants are able to locate
vehicles and provide services anywhere within the continental
United States. The team is familiar with the features of all foreign and domestic models, so trade-ins are always welcome.   


Because of Centennial’s long-standing and trusted relationships with its partners, the firm is poised to flourish and grow exponentially. The company’s view on the client’s importance has not changed in 31 years.

The belief that the clients and staff form a relationship based on trust and respect is what business in Colorado is about.

Centennial Leasing & Sales is located at 7150 S. Joliet St.  Hours are Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. For more information, call 303-233-2277, email or visit

Introducing the New Centennial Leasing & Sales Home

Introducing the New Centennial Leasing & Sales Home

Centennial Leasing & Sales is excited to present you with our brand new building!  We are so proud to be able to give our clients an even better auto-buying experience, with an even larger selection of inventory.

When you step in to Centennial Leasing & Sales, you will immediately see that we provide a remarkable, one-of-a-kind experience.  You can trust you will receive a friendly and outgoing greeting…a welcoming you deserve when making such an important purchasing decision.

Before browsing our new vehicle warehouse, relax in our beautifully finished lobby, equipped with a wide-screen TV, coffee and tea.

Our warehouse stocks 70+ vehicles and provides you with both the accessibility and comfort to explore our latest and greatest inventory.  With Colorado’s temperate weather and colder months approaching, Centennial Leasing & Sales gives you the convenience of anytime car shopping.

One client stated that viewing our indoor inventory was like visiting the Dumb Friends’ League…”If you go to Centennial, you’re likely to come home with a car!”

We also have plenty more inventory in our back lot, offering you the extensive selection you are looking for, while searching for your next dream vehicle.  If for some reason you are not seeing what you want, our staff is highly experienced in locating both new and used vehicles, utilizing our most trusted partners, nationwide.

Additionally, we offer a wide assortment of commercial vehicles and have helped thousands of companies succeed by fulfilling their automotive needs.

When you step in to our consultant offices, you will witness the energy and passion they have for the automotive industry and will be reassured by their commitment and dedication in finding your next vehicle.

Visit us today at our new facility, where we will introduce you to “your BEST automotive buying experience.”


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