Consumers have the tendency to watch out for car dealers. The common consensus is that salesmen set out to deplete pocketbooks and offer disadvantageous prices to their customers. This assumption is far from the truth, however. Dealers expect and welcome their customers' negotiation, and they look forward to striking deals that allow both sides to prosper. The negotiation ball is in the consumer's court. It's up to the consumer to know how to negotiate to find the very best outcome possible. The following are three important tactics to keep in mind when sealing the deal over a vehicle.

Car dealers make the bulk of their benefit from commissions. This is an useful tidbit to consider when negotiating for your dream vehicle. It is not in the seller's best interest for you to leave the deal, so if you negotiate within reason, you will likely be able to drive that car off the lot with a price that works for you. Don't hesitate to drive a hard bargain. Shoot below your preferred price variety to see how much of a discount you may be able to score. Quote an offer equal to 25 percent off of the asking price. The seller won't choose to withhold the sale on principle if your suggested price is lower than expected. His profession dictates that he should expect you to negotiate a lower price, and he is trained to counter your offers until you meet in the middle. Don't pay too much for what you want, but don't leave it either.

The first lesson you learned in kindergarten was to use your manners. This rule applies to buying cars as well. Stick to that priceless lesson when making your purchase, and you will develop a good rapport with each seller you encounter. Being courteous counts for a lot, even if you and your car dealer don't see eye to eye. Even the most ruthless salesman is more likely to relent on his asking price if your behavior is down-to-earth and you treat him with respectful consideration. When you have to disagree, do so diplomatically. You can be a firm negotiator without pulling out the punches.

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When you drive over to the showroom, be prepared and know what you need. It is risky to buy a vehicle when you know nothing about them generally. Make it your business to familiarize yourself with at least the most basic terminology, and find out what constitutes "bad mileage" and a "sound transmission," for example. If you have no idea the difference between horsepower and mileage, it's your own fault if you get duped. When you use proper car lingo in your negotiations with a dealer, he gets the message that you are an informed consumer. You are then on an equal playing field. Also, it is much easier to justify your offer when you can back it up with rational arguments about features or a lack thereof.

Car dealers are only intimidating if you face them unprepared. Sure, they are driven by the living they have to earn, thus their hard negotiation tactics. However, as a smart consumer, a well-mannered individual, and an informed bargain hunter, you can hold your own when buying a vehicle.

Virtually every modern engine in cars and light industrial vehicles features an electronic control unit (or ECU for short), alternatively referred to as an engine management computer. This specialised and complex unit contains a number of computer chips and basically governs the running of the engine. It is connected to various sensors that detect basic factors such as temperature (both in the engine and externally), speed and exhaust gas composition. In more sophisticated units, that are becoming increasingly common, many other conditions are taken into consideration. The ECU then controls various engine functions, primarily fuel injection, ignition timing and boost pressure if a turbocharger is fitted. The aim is obviously to ensure smooth running, optimal fuel consumption and performance, and minimal exhaust gas emissions.