That snow isn’t sticking around. Spring arrives tomorrow (Saturday) and many Iowans get car-buying fever when the weather turns warmer. A company known for advocating auto safety is also offering advice on auto-buying. Kathy Backdahl, corporate financial analyst for Triple-A Iowa, says do -not- go car-shopping without being pre-qualified for a loan.She says to secure financing before going to the dealership because the dealership will try to pressure you into buying the car today and “that’s one of the biggest place where they make money.” Backdahl says Iowa consumers could save thousands of dollars if they get the bank business nailed down before they get their hearts set on a particular new vehicle. If you’re pre-qualified, you can have a blank check in hand the next day and go into the dealership as a cash buyer and circumvent the financing process and their high-pressure tactics. Some dealerships offer buyers the option of getting a rebate versus a low-interest rate. Backdahl says there’s only one way for smart shoppers to go.Take the rebate option as it will significantly lower the overall cost and how much you’ll have to pay in the long run. Triple-A says new vehicle sales topped the 16-million mark in 2003 for the fifth straight year and are projected to reach 16-point-seven million this year. The average car loan today is 63 months, compared with 48 months just five years ago.