20310 Mt Hwy East Spanaway, WA 98387 253-846-5955

Blog Page at Maple Leaf Motors in Tacoma, WA

Cars Get Cold Too

How To Check Your Antifreeze

It may not cross most people's minds, but checking your car's antifreeze protection level is an important part of regular maintenance. Anti-freeze helps protect your car from damage caused by cold weather, and keeping it at the proper level could save you from costly repairs down the road. In this article, we will show you how to check your car's antifreeze protection level and what to do if it needs to be adjusted.

What You Need

Before you begin, there are a few items you need for the job:

  • An anti-freeze tester: These are usually sold for just a few dollars at any auto parts store.

  • Paper towel or rag: This will help keep the anti-freeze off of surfaces like paint that could get damaged.

  • Ziplock bag: This will help keep dirt out of your anti-freeze tester while you’re not using it.

Step 1: Locate The Reservoir

The first step is to locate the reservoir where your car’s anti-freeze is stored. This is usually in the engine compartment, and it looks like a plastic container with a lid on top (as seen in Figure 1). There should also be a warning label telling you not to open the lid while the fluid is hot – so always make sure that your car has been sitting idle for at least two hours before proceeding! 

Step 2: Testing The Anti-Freeze

Now that you have located the reservoir, insert the end of your tester into the fluid (you may have to use a straw attached to the bottom of the tester). Then pump up and down until about half of the fluid has been drawn up into the glass chamber on top (Figure 2). Now look at how many “balls” are floating on top of the fluid; this number tells you how well protected your car is against extreme cold temperatures (see Table 1 below). Once done testing, pour any remaining liquid into its original container, then wipe off any residue with paper towel or rag. 

Step 3: Storing The Tester

After testing, take a ziplock bag and store your anti-freeze tester in it until its next use. This will help keep dust and dirt off of it when it’s not in use! And don't forget - always remember that antifreeze is poisonous so make sure none gets on any surfaces outside of its original container!   

Checking your car's antifreeze protection level doesn't have to be difficult or complicated; with these simple steps anyone can do it themselves! With regular testing every few months, you'll know exactly how well protected against extreme cold temperatures your vehicle really is - potentially saving yourself hundreds or thousands of dollars in repairs down the line!

High interest rate auto loans to rebuild credit

Anytime you look online for tips on buying or financing a car, the articles you see oftentimes focus on how to find the lowest interest rates. These articles are catered to people with good-to-excellent credit. But what happens if your credit isn’t so good?

If you’ve had credit challenges in the past then you are going to pay a higher interest rate than most other people, that’s just how it is and there is no getting around it (unless you spend years rebuilding your credit before you buy a car). I have had people sit right across from me and tell me that they are not going to pay 29.99% interest on a car loan, and I completely understand where they’re coming from, I wouldn’t want to pay that much either. The truth is, I have had to pay high interest rates like that multiple times. The first time was when I had absolutely no credit and the second time was when my credit was destroyed. Both times the only banks that would take a chance on me were banks offering 29.99% interest. 


Many people see these high interest rates and think that it’s the dealership who is just ripping them off. I can tell you right now that it’s not our fault, we are at the mercy of the banks we deal with. Oftentimes we have to pay them in order to get your approval processed. What can you do if you’ve got challenged credit but need a car? What is the most fiscally responsible way to go through the car-buying process? For starters, see if you’ve got a trusted relative or friend who will cosign for you. A cosigner who has decent credit is a great way to get a lower rate. 


If you have no way of getting a lower rate with a cosigner then you’ll need to be smart about your decision. Remember that this isn’t going to be your dream car and any decent car that will last a few years will do the trick as this is just a temporary fix while you build your credit back up. A loan at 29.99% interest will likely be for about 4 years. You should look at this as a 2-year loan. What I mean by that is you should plan on paying double every month to pay off this high interest loan much faster. Paying double on a 29.99% loan means you’re only going to end up paying 14.98% interest. 


Remember, YOU are in control, not the bank. You are in control of how quickly your loan gets paid off. The longer you take to pay it off, the more in interest you will end up paying. Also think of this high-interest loan as a test. If you can pass this test then the next time you need help from another bank or finance company they will trust you more. More trust means a smaller interest rate. So use these high-interest loans to your advantage to rebuild your credit and gain more trust with other lenders for your next car when the time comes. 

Improve your credit | Bad credit auto financing

It’s a new year and that means everyone is setting out to tackle their New Year’s resolutions, and hopefully they will be successful! Some may want to lose weight, others want to quit smoking, but their resolutions are almost always something that will improve their lives. Many people (myself included) get stuck attempting the same resolutions over and over, so why not try something different? 

How about a resolution to improve your credit score? Having a low credit score can be costly over time, so why not change that? Sure, you could open some small-balance credit cards, or you could try using a self-reporting, secured card like Chime’s credit builder or Discover’s IT card. This process certainly works, but it’s a long and slow process. These options, however, carry little weight for those who are seeking to outright borrow money from a lender, not just use up revolving debt. 

A lot of people (again, myself included) start off strong when they’re younger and do well with their credit. As you get older though, life almost always gets in the way. Whether it was an impulsive purchase, or kids came into the picture, or a medical emergency, there are tons of reasons why your credit may not look so hot. Whether your credit is suffering from poor spending habits, from taking care of kids, or from other unforeseen circumstances, you’re still able to improve it and it’s not as hard as you think!

Getting a secured installment loan, like an auto loan, is a GREAT way to improve your credit. If you ever need anything in the future, other lenders can look and see how well you did or how well you are doing with your auto loan, and are likely to lend you more money in the future. 

Back when my credit was suffering I had someone suggest to me that I get an auto loan, make my payments on time, and watch my credit score go up. So I listened, and I was shocked at how easy it was. I kept balances on my credit cards low (ideally below 30%) and I made sure to pay that auto loan on time EVERY SINGLE MONTH. 

With my credit being in bad shape the auto finance company gave me a pretty high interest rate, but you have to start somewhere! And as my credit improved I was able to refinance that high-interest loan and get a much lower interest rate on the same car!

Now, you might be thinking “My credit is so bad, how on Earth am I going to actually get approved for an auto loan?” At Maple Leaf Motors we’ve got unique relationships with multiple secondary lenders, the same types of lenders that helped me rebuild my credit, and we are much more likely to get an approval for you than just about any other dealership in the area. We have been able to get approvals for people with past repo’s, for people whose credit score is in the 400’s, and even for people who just started a new job and haven’t even received their first paycheck yet.

Improving your credit can be a daunting task, and it can sometimes even seem outright impossible, but I’m here to help. I have been in the same exact spot that you’re in right now. My personal experiences, my work experiences, and my relationship with local secondary lenders means I am more than qualified to help you improve your credit. Let’s rebuild your credit together so that in the future you can apply for financing and be confident that an approval is just right around the corner. 

You can submit an application online at MapleLeafMotors.com/creditapp or you can call me personally at 253-846-5955. Let’s make 2022 the year that you finally improve your credit!

Maple Leaf Motors - Best Midsize Sedans

Please Read Maple Leaf Motors - Best Midsize Sedans

Content provided by MotorTrend

MotorTrend tests more than 200 vehicles at the track every year. We rate cars using the same factors you do, including how they drive, interior space, efficiency, tech, value, and safety. Ratings are only applicable within each respective segment.

  1. 2022 Honda Accord - 9.1/10 - After a midcycle refresh for 2021, we're not expecting any major changes to the Accord for 2022. Barring any significant revisions, it will carry forward with two gas engines and a hybrid option. The Accord competes with other affordable four-doors including the Hyundai Sonata, Toyota Camry, Kia K5, and Subaru Legacy.

  2. 2022 Subaru Legacy - 8.6/10 - Subaru knows its buyers and delivers on their priorities with the Legacy. The midsize sedan offers a compelling blend of technology, safety, and performance in a roomy and comfortable vessel. Middling style and a vexing CVT are the Legacy's greatest Achilles heels.

  3. 2022 Hyundai Sonata - 8.5/10 - Hyundai has been selling the Sonata here in the U.S. for more than 30 years, and the current eighth generation is the best version yet. Redesigned for the 2020 model year, the Hyundai Sonata is among the better midsize sedans on the market. It's mechanically related to the Kia K5.

  4. 2022 Kia K5 - 8.3/10 - The midsize sedan once known as the Kia Optima has transformed into the K5. Introduced for 2021, the K5 stands out in the segment with evocative exterior styling. Yet despite those looks it remains a relatively normal car in terms of features and capabilities. The K5 is offered with a choice of turbocharged engines and available AWD. Like the Optima before it, the K5 targets sedan stalwarts like the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, and mechanically related Hyundai Sonata. The K5 is built in West Point, Georgia, alongside the Kia Telluride.

  5. 2022 Toyota Camry - 8/10 - Although it's no longer Toyota's best-selling model (that title now goes to the RAV4), the venerable Camry remains a go-to choice for those seeking a dependable midsize sedan. The current-gen Camry was introduced for the 2018 model year and sees a mild face-lift for 2021. The Camry sits squarely in the center of Toyota's lineup of sedans between the compact Corolla and full-size Avalon. Besides its longtime rival, the Honda Accord, the Camry also competes with midsize four-doors including the Subaru Legacy, Nissan Altima, and Hyundai Sonata.

  6. 2021 Nissan Altima - 7.7/10 - Positioned above the compact Sentra and below the full-size Maxima, the Altima is the middle child of Nissan's sedan lineup. Nissan issued a full redesign of the Altima for the 2019 model year, and the family sedan has been relatively unchanged since. The Altima competes in the midsize sedan segment alongside cars such as the Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Toyota Camry, and Subaru Legacy.

  7. 2022 Volkswagen Passat - 7.1/10 - Once one of Volkswagen's most successful cars in the United States, the Passat enters its final year of production with a Limited Edition trim. It rides on the platform that's been on sale in the United States since 2012, the same year it won our MotorTrend Car of the Year award. The Passat last received a major refresh in 2020. Although this midsize sedan no longer feels like a fresh offering, it comes with the traditional advantages of its segment, namely a comfortable ride, a large trunk, and spacious interior.

  8. 2021 Chevrolet Malibu - One of the longest-running nameplates in the Chevrolet lineup, the Malibu has been a mainstay in the midsize sedan segment for decades. Since its inception, the Malibu has evolved from a rear-drive car that's available in multiple flavors to a front-drive model offered only one body style. Chevrolet even offered a hybrid Malibu for a short time to lure eco-minded consumers to the brand. With only a short time left before it's discontinued, the Malibu lineup has been streamlined. A number of cosmetic packages are also offered.

  9. 2021 Mazda Mazda6 - As we wait for the rumored RWD, inline-six-powered, next-gen 6, Mazda adds some polish to its midsize sedan for 2021. The current-generation model debuted for the 2014 model year and saw a mid-cycle facelift for 2018, adding a turbocharged engine option. The 2021 Mazda 6 competes with other affordable midsize sedans including the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, and Hyundai Sonata.

Original Source: https://www.motortrend.com/style/sedan/

When is the best time to buy a used car

I have got over 20+ years of experience in the automotive industry. Over these last two decades I’ve been asked A LOT of questions about the industry. Whether it’s from friends and family or potential customers, the questions are almost always the same. One of the most common questions that I get asked is “When is the best time to buy a car?” Given the fact that it’s my job to sell as many cars as possible, my obvious go-to answer is always RIGHT NOW! 

Looking back however, that is a very simple answer to a commonly-asked question and it doesn’t quite give any insight into when the *actual* best time to buy a car is. If I really sat back and gave this question some thought, the correct answer would be some time between November and the end of January. But why is that?

Whenever you work in the same industry for multiple decades you start to notice trends that always hold true over time. In my experience the automotive sales market takes a drastic turn between the months of November and January. And when you really sit back and think about it, it’s obvious why this happens. It’s the holiday season and people shift their focus to the holidays. 

This can mean consumers are busy with holiday planning, decorating, dinner with family and friends, traveling to see distant relatives, or people are simply wanting to wait a few months for their tax refunds before making a large purchase. The last thing anybody wants to do is some (or all) or their holiday budget making a major purchase. And contrary to popular belief, people simply don’t buy cars as Christmas gifts. Over the course of 20+ years I can count on one hand how many people I’ve personally seen buy cars as gifts for a loved one.

This market downturn means that car lots are struggling to make sales which, in turn, means that dealerships are willing to be a little bit more lenient with their prices. This also means that finance companies that finance auto loans are struggling and are willing to venture a little bit outside of their normal guidelines in order to get sales and approvals. 

 A customer that might have been denied auto financing in April during tax season could very well find themselves getting an approval during the Winter and holiday months, simply because finance companies and car dealerships are fighting tooth and nail to get every sale they can. This also means you might get lower interest rates and you might be able to get an approval with less of a down payment than would be required before, or approved with no down payment at all!

If you want to feel like you’ve got an advantage over the dealer when buying a car, you need to be planning your purchase between November and January. As I mentioned above, I have been doing this for over 20 years. If you have any questions about the car-buying process please give me a call at 253-846-5955 or come visit us at 20310 Mountain Hwy E in Spanaway, WA

Taking the fear out of auto financing

Buying a car can seem like a daunting task for most people. It’s a major purchase and generally requires a long-term commitment. Getting financing for a car just adds to that stress and is oftentimes the part of the car-buying process that intimidates most people. The stress of obtaining financing is much worse whenever you’ve got past credit issues and sometimes just the anxiety of submitting a credit application can be enough to make you not want to do it at all.

Have you ever filled out a credit application, whether online or in person at the dealership? Did you hear back from that dealership? Depending on your credit situation it’s likely that you never heard a peep from them. A situation like that forces you to sit back and question what it is about your past that is holding you back from buying a car. Believe it or not, this is extremely common. Sadly, most dealerships do not have the ability to overcome certain credit challenges that many people face.

If you’ve got credit challenges that other dealerships have failed to overcome then you’re in luck! Maple Leaf Motors has partnered with a local lender who has a program that just about anybody can qualify for, regardless of derogatory marks on your credit. In fact, the lending process is so simple that you can see if you qualify by asking yourself 3 simple questions:

  1. Do I have a valid driver’s license?

  2. Do I currently have income?

  3. Have I lived in the area for at least the past year?


…it’s that simple! The credit challenges from your past likely do not matter if you’re able to answer yes to those three questions above. Well, what about a down payment? This lender does not require a large down payment. In fact, some applicants may be approved with no down payment at all!

This is not some fly-by-night company. This local lender was founded in 1922 and operates nearly 30 locations across Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and Idaho. With this local lender, and the knowledgeable staff at Maple Leaf Motors, we are confident that we can take the fear out of lending and help ease your worries about yet another rejection.

Fill out an online credit application today so we can help get you back out on the road again!

TacomaSpanaway BHPH 0 In-House Financing

Maple Leaf Motors has been in business for 37 years and our decades of experience have allowed us to offer our customers financing options that cannot be found at other nearby dealerships. We have one of, if not the best in-house programs in the used car business today. We can do zero interest in-house financing for customers that are able to put down half of the purchase price of the car and are able to pay it off in 12 monthly payments or less. Most of our local competitors that offer in-house financing will charge exorbitant interest rates and fees, but Maple Leaf Motors will never do that.

Qualifying for our in-house financing is very simple: your cash is you credit with us. In fact, we will never run a credit check for our in-house financing customers, so those with challenged credit are encouraged to come take advantage of our wonderful program. Our unique position in the industry allows us to work with customers who may have hit a few road blocks in the past while looking to finance a new vehicle. Are you considering a big purchase in the future, such as a new home, and the mortgage company does not want any new inquiries on your credit? Don't worry, there won't be any with Maple Leaf Motors. Are you missing certain forms of ID that are preventing you from getting a vehicle elsewhere? Maple Leaf Motors can still help. Are you currently on a fixed income? We've still got options for you!

In addition to our in-house financing, we work closely with numerous local finance companies and lenders for those who do not have 50% to put down for our in-house programs. Many of these lenders specialize in sub-prime lending so that means those with challenged credit or past derogatory marks on their credit history can still get approved!

Click Here to fill out a credit application online today to see what we can get you qualified for! Or stop by and see us today at 20310 Mountain Hwy E in Spanaway, WA directly across the street from Wal-Mart. If you have any questions you can give us a call at 253-846-5955. We're open Mon-Fri from 10am-7pm and 10am-6pm on Saturdays.

Low Mile Audi A3 Wagon

Are you hungering for a European sports sedan like an Audi A4, BMW 3 Series or Mercedes-Benz C-Class, but can’t quite justify the expense?
If so, we think our 2009 Audi A3’s taut handling, sophisticated design and hatchback versatility,
 at a price lower than those worthy machines, could make this car a keeper for you and your family.

 The picture hardly does this Aruba Blue car a justice.
 Don't take our word for it?
You'll just have to come see it for yourself, this car is located at our Spanaway Location.
 20310 Mountain Highway E
Spanaway WA. 98387

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