SIX CARING GIFTS FOR THE CAR MOM

Car detailing is a great gift – even a do-it-yourself one. A clean car is like a clean house – or a clean pair of underwear – as a mom, you just feel better about yourself being in them.

Music- a family-friendly playlist of music is an effective way to bring a family together – it is really hard to tune out a car full of people singing.

Car Lashes – for the fun mom who wants a fun car.

Family Car Stickers – for the super proud mom.

Car First Aid Kit- for the practical mom.

Fluid Checks- for the mom that doesn't know much about car maintenance. You could help her avoid costly repairs by having the oil changed and the coolant and other fluids checked.

April is National Car Care Month

Each spring vehicle maintenance is a trending topic across the country because April is National Car Care Month. Automotive technology has advanced at warp speed in recent years. But no matter how complex our cars have become, they still need regular service to keep them running safely and efficiently and at full power. That means carefully maintaining motor oil and other fluids, items such as hoses and filters and tires. These are some basic assessments you can make that are universal to just about every car, and that could help you prevent costly and time-consuming repairs down the road. As a suggestion, your regular oil change interval is a good time to give your car some additional attention:

Check all fluid levels (engine oil, transmission, coolant, brakes, differential, windshield washer) and top off as needed with the correct fluids – and look for evidence of leaks
Check tire condition and air pressures – uneven wear could indicate wheel misalignment
Check the battery for corrosion and loose cables
Check all lights for proper operation
Check wiper condition and operation
Check the condition of belts and hoses
Check the engine air filter
Check the fuel lines and filter (if visible/accessible)
Check the cabin air filter
Inspect the brakes (pads and rotors, shoes and drums, brake lines)
Inspect suspension and steering components
Inspect the chassis and lubricate as needed
Inspect ignition components (wires, plugs, coil packs, etc.)
Check the exhaust for holes and leaks, and loose hangers. If all of this seems too much then feel free to drop your car off at our service department for a complete check up.

What are the best used trucks under $25,000?

The best-selling vehicle in the U.S. is a pickup truck, and it’s easy to see why. Trucks are available with four-wheel drive, have spacious cabins and can be used for a wide variety of tasks. In recent years, trucks have become much more luxurious – and much more expensive. For example, the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 starts at more than $50,000. However, if you consider a used truck, you can save a significant amount of money compared with the cost of buying new.
Full-size trucks can tow or haul just about anything that you'll ever throw at them, and a wide variety of cab styles and bed lengths means there are different configurations to suit what you'll most likely be using your truck for. There are a number of good choices if you're shopping for a used truck under $25,000. The 2012 and 2013 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and 2012 and 2013 GMC Sierra 1500 all perform well. Most reviewers recommended models with the available 5.3-liter V8 when these trucks were new, which they said have ample power. With this engine, the 2012 and 2013 Silverado and Sierra 1500 use less fuel than models with the base V6 engine or larger available V8.
The 2012 and 2013 Ram 1500 and 2011 thru 2013 Ford F150 also rank highly among full-size trucks under $25,000. Reviewers said the Ram 1500 has one of the most comfortable rides in the class, and they liked its available RamBox storage compartments built into the bed rails.
The best used compact trucks under $20,000 are 2010 thru 2012 Nissan Frontier, 2012 Toyota Tacoma, and 2012 Honda Ridgeline. Compact trucks typically can't tow or haul quite as much as full-size trucks can, and they don't offer as much cabin space, but because they're smaller, they're usually more maneuverable, and it is easier to park them in close quarters. 
In each class, these used trucks rank highly because they had the best combination of positive reviews from professional auto critics when they were new, good safety and reliability ratings and low operating costs.

How To Choose The Perfect Family Car

Determining the best family car depends largely on what kind of family you have. For example, if you and yours are the outdoorsy types, an SUV may be the best way to go. Urbanites might benefit from a minivan or sedan. Those in between, well, that's what crossover SUVs are for. The good news is that the days when station wagons were the only choice for families are long gone. The market has responded to these different circumstances with a plethora of shapes and styles to suit virtually any need.

Comfort plays a key role in any car, and it goes double for a family car. After all, if you, your spouse and your kids aren't comfortable, it's going to be a long, long drive to Grandma's, no matter how nifty the features may be.

Virtually every car on our lot boasts very good crash test scores. More importantly, active safety systems are becoming commonplace on more and more vehicles, and at more reasonable prices. That means things like collision and blind-spot alerts, backup cameras, lane-keeping assists, and other computerized systems are an important consideration. In fact, it's gotten to the point where if features like backup cameras and blind-spot alerts aren't standard, we're a little surprised.

While not every family needs to carry baby seats everywhere, how well they fit is an important consideration for many buyers. After all, they're mandatory for smaller kids, and frankly, what kind of parent wouldn't use one anyhow, regardless of the law?

Rear-Seat Entertainment is an interesting category, as some on staff think that stand-alone rear-seat entertainment systems will soon go by the wayside as more cars adopt 4G LTE and wireless hotspot options. Still, there's something to be said for plugging in your family's Wii on a long road trip, and the inclusion of a built-in rear-seat screen is still an advantage.

Choosing a vehicle is a personal choice but be sure to bring your family along to the dealership for insights and opinions. You'll want them to try out the car in which they'll spend hours over the next few years. Maybe it's the one that will become their first car. :)

Things You Should Always Have In Your Car

It's always a good idea to get your car in order. Would you have what you needed if your car broke down? Or if you were stranded somewhere? Check out our list of things you should have in your car - then knock on wood that you never need to use them.

For roadside emergencies and repairs:
Tire changing supplies
The number one item on our list is actually a collection of items - a spare tire, tire iron, lug wrench, tire jack and some WD-40. If you've got these essentials on hand, then you've got everything you need to change a tire should one go flat. A can of fix a flat could also come in handy.

Jumper cables
A dead battery can take you by surprise, so don't rely on a good Samaritan to supply jumper cables.

Owner's manual
You know, that book that came with your car that you never looked at? Keep it in your glove compartment. You never know when it might come in handy.

Tire pressure gauge
So your tire needs air. Great! You pull up to the air compressor at your favorite gas station, and... wait, how do you know when you've added enough air? Did you add too much? How lucky that you've stashed a tire pressure gauge in your trunk.

Duct tape
Great for everything from temporary auto repairs to roadside first aid, duct tape is a no-brainer.

Gas can
Sure, you can walk to the nearest gas station when you run out of gas, but then how do you get the gas back to your car? It's probably not wise to keep a full gas can, though, so bring an empty one.

Windshield wiper fluid
I have two terrifying words for you: Winter Splashback. I can say with authority that there is nothing worse than driving across Virginia in a snowstorm with passing semi trucks constantly kicking road slush up onto your windshield, and then running out of wiper fluid. Been there, done that.

Fire extinguisher
Heaven forbid your engine ever catches fire, or a campfire jumps its boundaries. But if you're thinking of the giant, heavy wall-mounted fire extinguishers you see in schools and corporate stairwells, you'll be pleased to know there are much smaller, more portable options on the market.

For health and safety while stranded:

First Aid Kit
You never know when you're going to need a first aid kit.

Flashlight or mini-lantern
Ever tried to change a tire in the dark? Or lose your wedding ring under the seat?

Emergency food
If you might be traveling off the beaten path, it's a good idea to keep a few non-perishable, melt-proof, calorie dense food items in the car, like energy bars, granola bars, dried fruit

Water bottles
A couple of bottles of water can literally save your life when you're stranded and facing dehydration.

Reflective triangles
You're already having a bad day, so make sure that night drivers can see you when you're pulled off onto the shoulder to help prevent it from getting any worse.

Printed maps
Thick cloud cover, tree foliage, tall buildings and mountains all can block a GPS signal, and your battery isn't going to last forever.

Especially in the winter:
Ice scraper and snow brush

A traction helper
The debate over whether you should use a carpet remnant, kitty litter or sand seems to be way more heated than it needs to be, but whatever works for you, keep it handy.

Little stuff

Paper towels
Quick cleanup options are a good thing. Wipe bugs off of windshields, grape jelly off of little faces and fingers - you know, all the usual stuff.

Notebook and pen
Jot down directions when you're lost. Or your contact and insurance info after a minor fender bender.

A roll of quarters
For unexpected tolls, parking meters, etc.

Plastic grocery bags
Yes, these too. While the reusable totes are great for porting your stuff, you wouldn't want a carsick passenger to puke into one of them. Also great for cleaning out the car on the go - just fill up the bag and toss it in a dumpster. Or stashing muddy shoes you don't want mucking up your floor mats.

Blanket
I've gotten more mileage out of an old comforter that I stashed in the car than anything else on this list. It's warm on cool nights. It's a great picnic blanket, It covers the back seat when I have wet and muddy passengers or pets in tow. The ideal car blanket is one you've got buried in a closet somewhere.

When Is The Best Time To Buy A Car?

It might be tempting to run out and buy a car whenever the whim strikes, but timing your purchase could save you some money. Sometimes it’s not an option because your old clunker simply gives up, but if you can plan, then make sure you walk into the dealership at a time when you’re likely to get a good deal.

Shop During the Winter- You may think standing in a car lot checking out your new ride on a blustery winter day doesn’t sound like fun. You’re probably right, but it’s the perfect time to buy. Historically, the winter months see greater discounts as dealers try to lure people out into the cold weather.

Wait Until the End of the Month- Salespeople have performance goals, and those numbers are often tallied up at the end of the month. Walk through the doors late in the month, and you may find a salesman eager to hit his monthly quota and a sales manager just as ready to cut you a better deal.

Shop Late in the Day- Time of year isn’t the only thing to consider. Time of day is just as important. A new Google/TNS survey unveils some interesting trends in foot traffic during the day. Their analysis shows that the vast majority of consumers are walking through the door at or near lunchtime. For you as a shopper, visiting a dealership just after opening, or later in the evening may allow you more opportunity to ask questions, understand your options, and even get a better deal.

The takeaway? Consider your timing when purchasing a car. If you’re buying in December, you might be fighting for a place in line. If you’re buying in January or February, there are tumbleweeds blowing through the showroom.

How to Winterize Your Car

  1. Battery – Cold weather is hard on batteries, so it’s wise to check the battery and charging system for optimum performance. Because batteries don’t always give warning signs before they fail, it is advisable to replace batteries that are more than three years old.
  2. Antifreeze – Antifreeze (coolant) should be flushed and refilled at least every two years in most vehicles. As a reminder, do not add 100 percent antifreeze as full-strength antifreeze actually has a lower freeze point than when mixed with water.
  3. Brakes – Have the brake system checked. Brakes are critical to vehicle safety and particularly important when driving on icy or snow-covered roads.
  4. Tires – Check the tire tread depth and tire pressure, 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 as tires lose pressure when temperatures drop.
  5. Oil – Be diligent about changing the oil at recommended intervals and check the fuel, air and transmission filters at the same time. Consider changing to low-viscosity oil in winter, as it will flow more easily between moving parts when cold. In sub-zero driving temperatures, drop oil weight from 10-W30 to 5-W30 as thickened oil can make it hard to start the car.
  6. Lights & Wipers – Make sure all exterior and interior lights are working so you can see and be seen. Check the fluid level in the windshield washer reservoir and replace wiper blades that are torn, cracked or don’t properly clean your windshield.

Ford Fusion Review

From the moment it was introduced, the Ford Fusion made big waves. A big car that was attractive to look at and very satisfying to drive, the 2015 Ford Fusion impresses us with its beautiful design, roomy interior, and fantastic driving manners. And with a huge selection of models and powertrains -- including one naturally aspirated engine, a pair of turbos and two hybrid versions -- buyers have plenty of Fusions from which to choose.

The Fusion didn't change much between 2013 and 2015, aside from a bit of shuffling to powertrain availability the manual transmission was dropped for 2015) and the addition of a bit more standard equipment. The 2015 model year saw the addition of a standard-fit rearview camera and power front passenger seats for the SE (6-way) and Titanium (10-way) trims.

Also largely unchanged is our opinion of the Ford Fusion: Styling, interior space (particularly in the back seat) and the engaging driving experience are all high points. We like that Ford offers two hybrid variants, including a plug-in version that can drive up to 21 miles on battery power alone. Our biggest complaints: The MyFord Touch infotainment system can be difficult to use, especially while driving, and the plug-in hybrid's large battery pack eats up trunk space.

What We Like - Handsome styling; roomy interior; fun to drive; hybrid and plug-in options



What We Don't - Complicated infotainment system; hybrids compromise on trunk space

How to Buy a Good Used Car

 First things first when buying a used car: Who will be driving the vehicle? What technology and safety features are important to you? Where will you be driving it? How much can you pay? Answering these questions and being specific about the type of car you want will narrow your search parameters accordingly. For instance, you might be thinking, "I can pay up to $25,000 for a late model Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro or a Dodge Challenger equipped with a V8 engine, GPS and outfitted with leather seats. I will use this car as my daily driver." At this point, you have targeted your inventory to focus on only large, sports coupes. With your choices sufficiently narrowed, it is time to evaluate what is left in a bid to shrink your search parameters further. Do you want a car with good crash test ratings? Head over to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) website to see how the vehicles you're considering perform in crash tests. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also provides crash test scores and recall information. The more you know about a vehicle going in, the better for your ownership experience. Once you find a vehicle that interests you, arrange for an appointment to review the car in person. It is best to see a car during daylight hours to accurately gauge the body's condition, including the finish, trim and accessories. Raise the hood, check hoses, belts and the condition of the battery. Verify that the coolant is clean and that the engine oil and transmission fluid are clear. Look at the inside of the car and check the condition of the seats, the dashboard, and trim. Test every electronic feature for workability, including the seats, steering wheel, GPS, the audio system, power accessories and other features. Get behind the wheel of the car and take it for a drive. Take note of how the car steers and handles, as well as its acceleration and braking, ride comfort, sight lines, and other driving factors. One definition of a "great used car" is one with a detailed vehicle history. We offer a free CARFAX on all our vehicles. Many used cars come with a basic dealer warranty. We can offer extended warranties or service contracts that will increase your final price but may provide the protection you want.
If you need financing, your bank or credit union can provide this for you. We can also obtain financing for you through one of our lenders. We work with over 40+ financial institutions and are happy to assist you! We will complete the paperwork process by obtaining your tags and updated registration from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Should You Buy New or Used?

New or Used- Which is better?
When choosing between a new or used car, it pays to consider everything that is involved. The most cited reason for buying a new car is that there is a very small risk. True, the new car will have a full factory warranty that you will have for some years, and there is something to be said about the peace of mind that a warranty brings. However, that peace of mind that you are getting in a new car will cost you a lot of money in the form of heavy depreciation in the first years of ownership. In fact, as soon as you drive off the lot your “new” car will become a used car, and it will lose 10% from the total you paid for it. And that is just after you drive off the lot! Your car will have depreciated nearly 20% after the first full year of ownership, or 1/5 of its value. Each year after that it will continue to lose, especially in the first 3 years.

Buying a Used Car with Confidence

In short, buying used is most always the better value proposition. Cars are built so well these days that a 2-3 year old car is still looking, driving and behaving as though it is new. Our cars all come with a free CarFax report to minimize your risk. But what about the warranty that is set to expire? Isn’t that the problem you ask? Well, that problem is easily overcome with buying a warranty from our dealership, we offer a wide range of warranties covering all of your automotive needs and many of our cars come with factory warranties.