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Buying new cars is something that can cause uncertainty. While the process does get easier each time, the first purchase can be quite intimidating if you aren’t sure exactly how to go about it. Here are some tips that can help you when it comes time to buy your very first vehicle.

The first thing you should do is establish a budget. Your budget should be realistic and reflect what you are able to pay monthly when looking at new cars. Unless you are able to pay cash for the vehicle, you will be financing the cost. Look at your cost of living when it comes to food, shelter, insurance, and other spending habits. Once you have taken a good look at that and your income, you will have a better idea of what you can afford to spend on a car payment, insurance, fuel, and maintenance.

After you have decided what you can afford, then you need to take a close look at your needs. While there are many fun new cars, purchasing the vehicle that is best suited for you and your lifestyle is a wise choice. Unless you have excess funds, buying a vehicle that is bigger, better, faster, or fancier can cost you more in insurance, maintenance, and fuel.

Now it’s time to research new cars. Luckily, learning more about the vehicles that you are considering is quite easy. You can learn more about cars and their features by looking at our site. After you have researched, you can have a more effective shopping process on our lot.

Are you ready to start looking at new cars in person? Come into our dealership and speak with one of our sales associates. The next thing you should do is take a test drive. While you may find all the information you think you need online, you still want to know how the vehicle feels when you sit in it and drive. Is the seat height adequate? How does the steering feel? Do you like the layout of the controls? There is a lot more to a vehicle than what it looks like and its ratings and features so be sure to do a test drive before making a final decision.

After you have shopped around and decided on a vehicle to purchase, you should learn more about your financing options. Depending on your credit history, the down payment you can afford, and other factors, you may have finance options. Speak with our dealership’s finance department about these, we can help you fit the car of dreams into your budget.

Purchasing a new vehicle is exciting, but it is something you should learn about before signing on the dotted line. Use the information shared here to help you make the most informed decision.

Car Emergency

If you have a car, prepare an emergency car kit and keep it in the vehicle. A car emergency kit is one of those things that you don’t think much about until it’s too late. Then you’ll wish you didn’t leave home without one. Every car should have some essential items in a location that can be easily reached by the driver in an emergency, but not so accessible that a child can get into it.

The basic emergency kit for cars should include the following items:

  1. Charged cell phone. It may make the difference between getting help fast and maybe not getting help at all.
  1. First-aid kit. It should include Band-Aids, adhesive tape, gauze pads, aspirin, antiseptic wipes, antiseptic cream or ointment, and anything particular to you or your family.
  1. Three reflective warning triangles to be placed 50 feet apart in case of emergency to warn oncoming traffic.
  1. Blankets or sleeping bags.
  1. Tire gauge to periodically check the air pressure in their spare tire.
  1. Properly inflated spare tire.
  1. Waterproof flashlights and extra batteries.
  1. Plastic bottled water for drinking.
  1. Non-perishable food, such as nuts and energy bars.
  1. Windshield ice scraper.
  1. Battery jumper cables.
  1. Warning light or roadside flares.
  1. Sanitation and personal hygiene items.
  1. Family and emergency contact information.

Be prepared for an emergency by keeping your gas tank full and if you find yourself stranded, be safe and stay in your car, put on your flashers, call for help and wait until it arrives.

October is Fall Car Care Month, and the Car Care Council reminds motorists that checking their vehicles before the temperatures drop is a sensible way to avoid being stranded out in the cold and the unexpected expense of emergency repairs.

“The last thing any driver needs is a vehicle that breaks down in cold, harsh winter weather. Winter magnifies existing problems like hard starts, sluggish performance and rough idling,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Whether you perform the check or maintenance yourself or go to the repair shop, it’s a small investment of time and money to ensure peace of mind, and help avoid the cost and hassle of a breakdown during severe weather.”

The Car Care Council recommends the following Fall Car Care Month checklist to make sure your vehicle is ready for cold winter weather ahead.

Heating, Wipers & Lights

  • Make sure heaters, defrosters and wipers work properly.
  • Consider winter wiper blades and use cold-weather washer fluid. As a general rule, wiper blades should be replaced every six months.
  • Check to see that all exterior and interior lights work and headlights are properly aimed.
 

Tires & Brakes

  • Check the tire tread depth and tire pressure of all tires, including the spare. If snow and ice are a problem in your area, consider special tires designed to grip slick roads.
  • During winter, tire pressure should be checked weekly.
  • Have the brakes checked. The braking system is the vehicle’s most important safety item.
 

Gas, Oil & Filters

  • Keep your gas tank at least half full throughout the cold weather to prevent moisture from forming in gas lines and possibly freezing.
  • Be diligent about changing the oil and filter at recommended intervals. Dirty oil can spell trouble in winter. Consider changing to “winter weight” oil if you live in a cold climate.
  • Check the fuel, air and transmission filters at the same time.
 

System Checks – Charging, Cooling & Exhaust

  • Have the battery and charging system checked, as cold weather is hard on batteries.
  • Clean, flush and put new antifreeze in the cooling system. As a rule of thumb, this should be done every two years.
  • Have the exhaust system checked for carbon monoxide leaks, which can be especially dangerous during cold weather driving when windows are closed.
 

Pack the Essentials

  • Make sure that your ice scraper and snow brush are accessible and ready to use.
  • Stock an emergency kit with jumper cables, a flashlight, blankets, extra clothes, bottled water, nonperishable food and a first aid kit with any needed medication.
Source – carcare.org

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People may know a lot about cars but when it comes to tires, it’s a big zero. Today we will be busting some myths about tires.

Myth: Tires should be inflated according to the pressure indicated on the tire sidewall.
Fact: Indication on the sidewall is the tire’s maximum inflation pressure, not the recommended pressure. Follow inflation pressure recommendations in the Car owner’s manual or written on the door post.

Myth: A tread pattern is required for great traction on dry roads.
Fact: A tire without any tread provides the best results dry traction due to the maximum amount of rubber touching the road. A tread pattern, with its groove voids, actually lessens this traction on dry roads. The role of tread is to act as a squeegee in wet conditions and removes water from under the tire and channels it through the grooves for improved wet traction.

Myth: Performance tires wear out faster because of the sticky compounds.
Fact: Partly true but tread rubber polymers aren’t the reason. In fact, advancements like new polymers and ultra-tensile steel constructions make performance tires last longer now. Performance tires average about 45,000 miles in tread life, comparable to the figures for family-car passenger tires. Fast wear is usually due to high speeds and aggressive driving.

Myth: Wide tires provide better traction under all weather conditions. Installing oversize snow tires on a car delivers better snow traction.
Fact: Completely wrong. Wide tires have a tendency float on deep snow, and the tread lugs are unable to dig through to the road surface and gain traction. Narrow tires provide better traction in snow conditions. Narrow tire cut through the snow easier and provides traction.

Myth: All-season tires sufficient for even winter season.
Fact: Can be true for certain regions but in places where snow remains on the roads for days winter tires are the best.

Myth: Tires should not be rotated from side to side, only front to back.
Fact: Radial tires can be crossed from side to side in the rotation pattern unlike the bias ply tires. Regular tire rotation every 6000 to 8000 miles ensures uniform wear for all tires on a vehicle.

Myth: New tires should be put on the drive-wheel position to get the most traction.
Fact: True only on a rear-drive vehicle. Always, install new tires on the rear axle. Most tire buyers purchase new tires for the drive-wheel position to get the most traction. However, by doing so they transfer most of their traction capabilities from the rear. The vehicle is more prone to over steer.

Myth: The government tests tires for traction, temperature resistance, and treadwear and assigns grades molded onto the sidewall.
Fact: Uniform Tire Quality Grading is a federal law that makes it mandatory for tire manufacturers to grade their own tires for tread wear, traction, and temperature resistance. Tire manufacturers test tires and assign their own grades and not some government authority.

Myth: An undulation on a tire sidewall is supposed to be a weak spot and can lead to tire failure.
Fact: An undulation is created where materials overlap each other in the tire carcass, and it actually is the strongest part of the tire.

changing-tire

This is a quick run-down on what to know and steps to take when changing a flat tire. We’re sure there are more tips than this, but these are good universal tips for all of us.

  1. Pull your vehicle as far over or even off the main road if possible for safety.
  2. Locate the jack and tire wrench in your vehicle. If you are unsure where it is, pull out the manual and look it up. Many times it is located in the trunk somewhere.
  3. Follow the instructions in your manual or on the jack to place the jack in the correct spot underneath and get it snug on the frame while not quite raising it up yet.
  4. Take your wrench and start to loosen each lug nut just a little so each is started.
  5. Once they are loose, go ahead and jack the vehicle up until the vehicle tire is off the ground.
  6. Once off the ground, loosen all the lug nuts until they come off. Pull the flat tire straight off. If you pull at an angle the rim may catch on the bolt threads and make it difficult to pull off.
  7. Roll the old tire off to behind the vehicle, and grab your spare tire. Many times the spare will look smaller than the original. That is because it is just made to be a temporary tire to get you to the tire garage and get the flat tire repaired or replaced.
  8. Take your spare tire and line up the bolt holes with the rim with the bolts or holes on the hub and try to put it straight on.
  9. Holding the tire on with one hand, take one of your tire bolts and start to screw it into the top hole. Once that is tight enough to hold the rim on, hand tighten the rest of the bolts on.
  10. Take your wrench and firmly snug them all up using a criss cross pattern instead of going clock-wise or counter-clockwise.
  11. Slowly lower the jack so the tire is now on the ground. Give each bolt a good turn to make sure they are all tight.
  12. Don’t forget to put the jack and wrench back in their compartments, and throw the flat in your trunk. Since most spares are temporary it is wise to head straight to the tire center and have your tire fixed or replaced as soon as possible.

Follow these steps to keep your frustrations to a minimum with your unfortunate circumstance. If you ever feel you are in an unsafe area, call a tow truck to either change it for you or tow you to a garage that can help.

 

speed_of_light_automotive_stock_photos_cci_websiteIn 2015, we have become accustomed to being surrounded by gadgets that would have seemed a fantasy 50 years ago. From inter-connecting smart phones to fully functioning robotics, we are at the precipice of a technological revolution. For many of us drivers, however, we are firmly rooted in the last generation, driving around in cars that haven’t changed much in many years, apart from some new bells and whistles. However, automotive technologies are being developed that will radicalize how we drive and experience driving. Here are 5 that are guaranteed to impress any motor heads.

Augmented Reality Dashboards

At one point, GPS technology would have seemed a million miles away from a trusty atlas or road map, but today we are closer to ever to having a full navigation system built into the windscreen. This will be displayed through different types of glasses that will display different information to the driver in real time. This will display not only directional advice, but will display the speedometer, parking sensors, rev counter, fuel gauge and other aspects of the cars computer. Through touch screen controls, drivers will be able to control every facet of their vehicle from the screen, including air conditioning, radio, windows and headlights. Perhaps the most futuristic is the ability to zoom in on parts of the road so drivers can see obstacles up ahead more clearly. If put into place, this could help improve drivability but also keep drivers and there passengers safer.

Solar Roadways

Solar powered LED roadways have the potential to change the world in a way that many other technologies could only dream of. Designed to not only illuminate our roads and display dynamic traffic information, but actually charge electric cars wirelessly whilst they drive. This would revolutionize how we fuel our cars and completely transform the automotive economy. This would make electric cars a true alternative to petrol and diesel powered cars, and lead towards us improving our carbon emissions by an inexplicable amount. Imagine never having to refuel your car manually while driving around on illuminated LED roads! There are even plans to make the panels heated that will melt any snow or ice that has accumulated on the LED panels, which will then be filter to a water treatment center to use within the water supply. However, there are some questions about how economically feasible these plans are and how the roads will be constructed and maintained. However, the city of Sandport, US, is going to become the first city to have the panels by installing them within a parking lot.

Fully Autonomous Cars

This has been speculated for a long time but, in 2015, they are finally testing fully autonomous cars on public roads. A recent report suggested that by 2035, nearly 75 per cent of vehicles sold will have automatic driving capability. Google have actually been planning to make it a reality within 5 years, so we could have driverless cars sooner than we think. Whilst we have had components such as self-parking cars, completely driverless cars would revolutionize how we navigate our roads and motorways. However, there have been some initial problems; for instance, Google’s attempt at a driverless car cannot tell the difference between a rock and a piece of litter that has drifted into the road and subsequently attempts to drive round both of them in the same way. Also, there are some moral questions about how much it will actually improve road safety and whether people will actually want to put their life in the hands of a computer program. Nevertheless, envisioning a future where we are essentially driven around by robots definitely seems like something out of science fiction.

External Airbags

Many of us have been involved in some form of accident on the roads, sometimes costing a lot of money in repairs. However, this could be all change if external side airbags are fitted on cars. Side crashes currently account for around 40 percent of all traffic accidents and we could now see a dramatic reduction in the damage these crashes cause. The airbags are designed to deploy in 20 – 30 milliseconds and protect the vehicle from the impact. This is being developed alongside cameras that will detect the moment the airbag needs to be triggered. When completed, this design could bring about a massive transformation in road safety.

auto-interior-cleaning1

Car detailing means going way beyond the usual washing and vacuuming. When accomplishing the job, you have to heed the tiny details, such as swirl marks, stain, scratches, dents and other surface imperfections. Removing these imperfections will result in making your vehicle look show-worthy and visually appealing. If you want to detail your car, begin with the interior. Here are a few tips on how you can accomplish interior detailing:

•    Remove floor mats and vacuum the floor, upholstery, rear space, trunk and mats. Slide the seat back and forward to vacuum the underneath carpet properly. While dusting, start from the top and slightly work your way down. Dust and dirt settled on the top will fall down.

•    Apply a foam cleanser to clean the carpets or upholstery stains. After cleansing the carpets, rub them with a damp piece of cloth or sponge. Repeat if the stains don’t remove properly. After your final cleaner application, wash the area and blot it properly. Try to get as much dampness from the fabric as much as you can. This is so because excesses of dampness may promote molding and/or mildew.

•    If required, repair carpet holes, burns or small permanent stains.

•   Use a mild all-purpose cleaner to wipe hard interior surfaces.

•    To remove dust from the buttons, crevices and tiny slots on the dash and interior doors, use compressed air.

•    Clean car air vent grilles using detailing brushes. Use a super-absorbent brush that picks dust and dirt efficiently, if you’re not going to use liquid afterward.

•    While cleaning seats, different methods are used as they can be made from different materials. You can either wash them or simply wipe with a damp piece of cloth or sponge, depending of the type of seat. No matter whatever you do with the seat, don’t forget to vacuum out the seat or surrounding after cleaning.

•    If you have an interior with nylon or other cloths, you can shampoo it with a wet-vac extraction machine. After extraction, dry the cloth properly.

•    Leather or vinyl interiors should cleaned with a leather or vinyl cleaner. Afterward, you can wipe away the cleaner with a microfiber cloth.

Interior detailing is a labor-intensive and time-consuming job, which requires utmost care and high efficiency. Can you do it on your own? Of course you can!

In these hot summer months, the temptation to search for shade in which to park is very high, especially if you have leather interior. Nobody enjoys the feeling of leaving a restaurant or returning to their car from running errands and then hopping in a scorching seat. To top it off, you have to sit in the sun while your car cools down because your steering wheel is as hot as a stove top! Everybody appreciates a chance at avoiding this discomfort.

Unfortunately, parking under trees is not a solution. While you can certainly park your car in the shade of a distant tree or nearby building, there are numerous reasons why you should never park your car directly under a tree, no matter if it is in your driveway or a parking lot. Here are the top 4 reasons to stay away from trees, no matter how shady they are:

 

1. Bird droppings are no fun. If you are like most people, you do not appreciate seeing a smear of droppings across your windshield or around your door. It almost seems as if birds do this on purpose, especially if your car is new or has just been washed and waxed. Not only are these gifts from above unsightly and gross, especially if they land on your door handles, they can also be harmful to your vehicle. Bird droppings can fade and chip paint over time, leaving stains that never go away, no matter how hard these areas are scrubbed. It is recommended that you wash off bird droppings as soon as possible. Parking under a tree invites feathered fiends–which love resting and nesting in trees, of course–to turn your car into a toilet.

 

2. When bad weather strikes, you should feel lucky to be indoors. You can be safe and dry inside a building and leave your car unattended in the storm. The most common case of foul weather, light rain, is no big deal to your vehicle. However, if you are parked under a tree, even the slightest winds and rain can lead to a major problem for your car. Loose branches and sticks can easily fall onto it, scratching your paint job or even damaging your glass. If the weather gets very intense, the entire tree could fall on your vehicle. A windshield replacement is simple and affordable enough, but what do you do when your entire roof or hood is smashed in?

 

3. The only perk to parking under a tree is its shade. However, there are simple solutions to beating the hot sun. You can have your windows tinted, replace them with pre-tinted glass, or put up a simple sun visor. These things might seem like relics from the 80s and 90s but they are still perfectly effective at bouncing sunlight away from your car, which keeps it cool.

 

4. Not only do birds love leaving their droppings on cars, but they will also love standing on your car. Trees do not only attract birds. Cats may venture by for a hunt and climb atop your vehicle with their dirty paws and sharp claws. Squirrels, mice, raccoons and other small animals may also climb onto your vehicle, eat atop it, and leave nutshells, dirt, and stray hairs behind as they participate in the little ecosystem around the tree. Heaven forbid one of these larger animals should urinate or leave droppings on your car.

 

While many of these problems seem unlikely, you could also say that car accidents are unlikely. Everyone knows, though, that when it comes to your vehicle and safety, you should do everything you can to prevent damage. Avoid parking under trees to minimize these risks.

Going-Green

 

Motorists can do their part to help the environment by practicing a few ‘earth-friendly’ car care habits, note the experts at the non-profit National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). It all comes down to timely vehicle maintenance and non-aggressive driving.

Here are specific suggestions from ASE:

  • Slow down. Speeding and hard accelerations waste gasoline. Use cruise-control on highways to maintain a steady pace. When waiting for friends or family, shut off the engine. Consolidate daily errands.
  • Lighten up. Remove unnecessary items from the vehicle to reduce weight.
  • Don’t pollute. Dispose of used motor oil, antifreeze/coolant, and old batteries properly. Some repair facilities accept these items. Or call your local government. Keep the engine running at its peak-a misfiring spark plug can reduce fuel efficiency as much as 30%. Replace filters and fluids as recommended by the owner’s manual.
  • Get pumped. Keep the tires properly inflated and aligned. Under-inflated tires waste fuel by forcing the vehicle’s engine to work harder. Moreover, properly maintained tires last longer, saving you money and lessening the burden at landfills.
  • Know your limitations. If you are not a do-it-yourselfer, find a good technician. Ask friends for recommendations. Check the reputation of the repair shop with your local consumer group. Check out the technicians’ credentials. ASE-certified professionals have passed one or more national exams in specialties such as engine performance and air conditioning.
  • Don’t try this at home. Your car’s air conditioner should be serviced only by a technician certified to handle and recycle refrigerants. The air conditioners in older vehicles contain ozone-depleting chemicals, which can be released into the atmosphere through improper service.
  • Instant karma. In addition to helping the environment, routine maintenance will help your vehicle last longer, get better gas mileage, and command a higher resale price. Pretty cool.

summers-

Summer’s heat, dust, and stop-and-go traffic, will take their toll on your vehicle. Add the effects of last winter, and you could be poised for a breakdown. You can lessen the odds of mechanical failure through periodic maintenance…Your vehicle should last longer and command a higher resale price, too!

Some of the following tips are easy to do; others require a skilled auto technician.

  • Air Conditioning

    A marginally operating system will fail in hot weather. Have the system examined by a qualified technician. Newer models have cabin air filters that clean the air entering the heating and air conditioning system. Check your owner’s manual for location and replacement interval

  • Cooling System

    The greatest cause of summer breakdowns is overheating. The cooling system should be completely flushed and refilled about every 24 months. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. (A 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water is usually recommended.) DIYers, never remove the radiator cap until the engine has thoroughly cooled! The tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps, and hoses should be checked by a pro.

  • Oil

    Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual more often (every 3,000 miles) if you make frequent short jaunts, extended trips with lots of luggage, or tow a trailer.

  • Engine Performance

    Replace other filters (air, fuel, PCV, etc.) as recommended more often in dusty conditions. Get engine drive-ability problems (hard starts, rough idling, stalling, diminished power, etc.) corrected at a good shop.

  • Windshield Wipers

    A dirty windshield causes eye fatigue and can pose a safety hazard. Replace worn blades and get plenty of windshield washer solvent.

  • Lights

    Inspect all lights and bulbs; replace burned out bulbs; periodically clean dirt and insects from all lenses. To prevent scratching, never use a dry rag.

  • Tires

    Have your tires rotated about every 5,000 miles. Check tire pressures once a month; check them while they’re cold before driving for any distance. Don’t forget to check your spare as well and be sure the jack is in good condition. Examine tires for tread life, uneven wearing, and cupping; check the sidewalls for cuts and nicks. An alignment is warranted if there’s uneven tread wear or if your vehicle pulls to one side.

  • Brakes

    Brakes should be inspected as recommended in your manual, or sooner if you notice pulsations, grabbing, noises, or longer stopping distance. Minor brake problems should be corrected promptly.

  • Battery

    Batteries can fail any time of year. The only accurate way to detect a weak battery is with professional equipment. Routine care: Scrape away corrosion from posts and cable connections; clean all surfaces; re-tighten all connections. If battery caps are removable, check the fluid level monthly.Avoid contact with corrosive deposits and battery acid. Wear eye protection and rubber gloves.

  • Emergencies

    Carry some basic tools — ask a technician for suggestions. Also include a first aid kit, flares, and a flashlight.