Best AWD SUVs in 2018

When the winter months are upon us, driving safety becomes a concern. Slick roads, poor road conditions, and rough terrain are all something to think about when you travel for the holidays or winter getaways.

Some of that concern can be alleviated by having an all-wheel drive (AWD) vehicle, especially a SUV.  Heavier vehicles operate better and are more reliable on poor road conditions because of their weight, which helps with traction support.

If you are in the market for an AWD SUV, here are some of the top ranking vehicles in 2018.

Best AWD SUVs in 2018

1. Nissan Rogue

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The Nissan Rogue offers value and comfort but doesn’t skimp on safety and all-terrain capabilities.  Because each trim level offers an AWD option, you don’t have to sacrifice safety for price.  Each option also comes equipped with a rearview camera and split-folding rear seats for convenience when you need additional cargo space.  The Rogue provides surprisingly ample leg and head space for taller passengers in its luxurious interior.

2. Jeep Wrangler

No surprise here, but the Jeep Wrangler is in this lineup since it’s frequently referred to by its loyal owners as a 4×4. But the new Jeep Wrangler offers more than just AWD off-roading abilities.  Full customization between 2- or 4-doors and 4- and 5-passenger models offer a wide range of compatibility for everyone.  If you prefer the more rugged style without all the bells and whistles, the Sport trim is for you – removable doors and roof, crank windows, and off-road tires.  If a more luxurious ride is your preference, there are optional upgrade packages that offer amenities like heated seats, remote start, and power features.

3. Jeep Grand Cherokee

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Essentially (and originally) built for off-roading, the Jeep Grand Cherokee offers optional AWD on all trim packages. But regardless of the trim you select, you’ll find features like rearview camera, parking sensors, an infotainment system, and keyless entry/start.  Drivers even have their choice between a V6 or V8 engine. The cabin is spacious to fit 5 adults comfortably.

4. Ford Explorer

Consistently topping most lists, the Ford Explorer is one of the most practical AWD vehicles on the market, year after year. Thanks to its V6 engine and large tires, it performs excellently in both dry and wet road conditions, and handles well on all terrains. The customizable Explorer has 3 different engines and 5 trim options to choose between, that can seat 5 to 7 passengers, so you are sure to find a model that suits you and your family’s needs.

5. Honda CR-V

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If an AWD vehicle with lots of options is what you are looking for, you’ll find it with the Honda CR-V. Honda offers 4 different trim options, all with optional front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.  Standard equipment and amenities include a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, Bluetooth connectivity, and 17-inch wheels. Upgrades like a leather interior and power liftgate are available to those who select a Touring trim.

AWD is becoming more standard as the auto industry is shifting toward a SUV-heavy consumer base. Automakers are opting to make new and improved versions of already high-performing SUVs to create a loyal customer base and win over those drivers who have yet to convert to an SUV lifestyle.

Find the SUV of your dreams at Trust Auto today.  Call to make an appointment or schedule a test drive.  Don’t wait – our best cars go fast!

4 Car Maintenance Repairs You Can Do At Home

With colder weather quickly approaching,  taking necessary precautions to prepare your car for snow, bad roads, and the change of seasons is an important step to keeping your car running smoothly.

Instead of taking your car to a costly mechanic, save a buck by doing some general maintenance repairs at home. You don’t have to be a car expert or even mechanically inclined to know how to  do basic repairs on your vehicle.

1. Oil ChangeImage result for car oil change illustration

Tools: Ratchet, oil pan, funnel, oil filter wrench

Time: 30-45 minutes

You’re supposed to change your oil every 5,000 miles, but before you start, take a few safety precautions:

  • Never change the oil while your car is still hot. Driving around the block may loosen up the oil and make it easier to change, but park, wait for your engine to cool down, then get to work.
  • You will most likely need to use a jack to get under your vehicle, so be sure you are comfortable using a jack.

Changing your vehicle’s oil is the messiest job on this list, so be prepared to get a little dirty!

  1. Using a jack, get under your car and find the vehicle’s oil pan. It should be easy to find.
  2. Unscrew the drain plug and drain all of the old oil into the oil pan.
  3. When all the oil is drained, put the drain plug back in place.
  4. Under your car’s hood, locate the oil filter and remove using your oil filter wrench (there will be some oil on the filter, so be careful).
  5. Lubricate the rubber gasket on the new oil filter and fill the new oil filter 2/3 of the way with new motor oil
  6. Screw in the new oil filter and tighten by hand.
  7. Using your funnel, fill the engine with new oil.
  8. Double check your oil levels to be sure you’ve added enough by using a dip-stick.
  9. Discard the old oil filter.

Most gas stations will recycle old motor oil, so check the gas station closest to you.

2. Changing Your Wiper Blades

Tools: None

Time: 5-10 minutes

This is very important as we enter colder months and start getting frost on our vehicle’s overnight and even some ice! Wiper blades are rubber, so they experience wear and tear a lot more frequently than other external parts.  Keeping your blades fresh and new for winter months will increase your visibility and make you a safer driver.

Changing your wiper blades varies between cars, so if you are unsure how to do this, always check your owner’s manual first.  But for the most part, this is a pretty simple task.

  1. Lift your windshield wipers and carefully remove the blades.
  2. While doing this, pay attention to how the blades were attached.
  3. On most vehicles, there’s a tab on the bottom of the wipers – push to remove the blade.
  4. Attach the new blades, being careful not to bend the metal frame of the wipers, and make sure they are secure.

(If you can’t figure out how to do this, most wiper blades packaging come with installation instructions.)

3. Topping Off Your Fluids

Tools: Funnel

Time: 15-20 minutes (for all levels)

One of the easiest maintenance tasks to perform on your vehicle is topping off your fluid levels – windshield washer fluid and antifreeze especially for winter.

Windshield washer fluid is as simple as lifting the hood of your car and locating the container and using a funnel, pouring windshield washer fluid into the container until it reaches the “fill” line. If there is no clear indicator, leave a few inches at the top.

Antifreeze is important for your engine so it doesn’t overheat. Locate the reservoir and loosen the cap. Allow the pressure to release before fully unscrewing the cap. If the coolant level is low, add the correct coolant to the reservoir (not the radiator itself).

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4. Replacing Your Vehicle’s Air Filter

Tools: None

Time: 10-15 minutes

It’s recommended that you change your vehicle’s air filter once a year, or every 12,000 miles, whichever comes first. This only takes about 10 minutes to do by yourself, making it a quick fix that shouldn’t go overlooked.

  1. Find your filter under the hood of your car. It is a rectangular box with metal clips on the side (if you can’t locate it, check your owner’s manual).
  2. Open the cover and remove the old air filter, taking note of how the filter fits inside the casing.
  3. Replace with the new filter and close the cover using the metal clips.

These 4 tasks can be done easily in your own driveway and will save you a boatload of money (auto mechanic costs can add up!). If ever you are unsure or uncomfortable working on your vehicle, read through the owner’s manual or call your local mechanic.  Most auto shops will be able to help you determine the best brands and types of fluids for your vehicle, what wiper blades fit your make and model, and what size air filter you need.

How the Internet Changes the Way We Sell (and Buy) Cars

A decade ago, it wasn’t uncommon for a car salesman to spend 6-8 hours with a single customer.  They would show the customer 3-4 vehicles, answer broad questions regarding the make, model, and basic amenities, and guide them through a very choreographed sales process.  

Fast forward to today, and the sales model has completely changed.  People spend approximately an average of 2 hours at a dealership when they go to make a purchase.  

Why?

Because of the internet.  

The Internet Changed the Process

Years ago, the sales process consisted of 5 clear and defined steps:

Enter → Research → Dealer Visit → Decision → Ownership

It was a very linear path and oftentimes, the research was done simultaneously as the dealers visit, when the salesman would inform the customer on vehicle stipulations and the differences between makes and models.

Nowadays, the process is much more fluent and the research is done independently by the consumer. There is a self-serve mindset that allows the customer to receive instant information about the vehicles they research and compare.

This is due to the rise of mobile devices.  

Over ⅔ of auto shopping is done on mobile devices because the consumer is always shopping. The average American touches their phone screen 3,000 times in one day, meaning the ability to look at cars and conduct research can happen all day. Anytime, anyplace. 

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The internet provides an immense amount of transparency when it comes to cars and MSRP pricing, so there is less haggling and negotiating and customers know that if a dealership won’t give them the price they found online, they can go somewhere else.  It’s a Buyer’s World, instead of a Seller’s World.

Old selling tactics won’t work in today’s car-buying society. So both consumers and dealerships need to understand how this process has changed and how the system works to be effective for everyone.

How Has the Sales Process Changed?

  1. Consumers start with more information

Thanks to the internet, auto shoppers start the process with more information than ever before.  In fact, 42% of customers know the make and model of the vehicle they want to purchase before even setting foot into a dealership. 32% know the dealership from which they are going to purchase a vehicle.  This means dealerships have gotten more competitive in their advertising because they aren’t just selling cars anymore – they’re selling their services, their sales team, and their dealership as a whole.  

Because users know more information before even starting the initial research step, the urgency to buy has increased.

2. Consumers look for maximum transparency

During the research portion of the car-buying experience (that is now a constant, ongoing process thanks to the “always shopping” mentality), people are visiting an average of 12 auto touch-points before making a final decision – and this doesn’t include advertisements seen on social media or online.

Because consumers are spending more time researching and conducting more thorough research on auto websites and 3rd-party platforms, it’s important that a website provides the most information possible – including pricing.  

80% of buyers are looking at prices first during their research process.

Most websites only provide approximately 40% transparency and consumers are being more selective about which dealership they use. So it’s crucial to auto dealerships that their website be top notch (and mobile responsive) in order to compete with other dealerships in their area.  

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3. Consumers need validation when choosing a dealership

Inventory variety and vehicle pricing make up for 50% of why a consumer chooses a specific dealership when going to make a purchase. And one of the most important factors is knowing they aren’t getting ripped off.  

Consumers need price validation.  

This is critical for locking down customers and creating loyalty in your buyers. Everyone wants to know they are getting a good deal. When a consumer is at a dealership, it’s likely they are looking at the same vehicle online, whether it’s on a  manufacturer’s website or a competitor’s website to make sure they are getting the best deal possible. And they aren’t afraid to go elsewhere if a dealership won’t match the price. Make sure your sales team is providing a coherent and comprehensive experience – your online information must match what is being presented in person.  

Dealerships need to be aware of how they reach out to potential customers during the early stages of the process, because that will ultimately affect their decision to make a purchase or not.  Consumers want to be contacted in a way that is most convenient and comfortable for them – if they reach out via text, email, or Facebook, respond to them using the same method of communication.  This puts the consumer in control, which is vital in converting a lead into a customer. They choose the method of communication – it’s the dealership’s job to present the right information at the right time.  

4. Consumers visit fewer dealerships and take fewer test-drives

The decision process is one that consumers make quickly after completing their own thorough research.  

In fact, on average, Americans contact 3.1 dealerships, physically go visit 2.1 dealerships and only 1.6 test drives before deciding which car to buy. Because they already know the make, model, and dealership before going to purchase a car.  This ties back into the first step of the new sales model, making sure you are selling the actual dealership instead of just cars.  Make your dealership appealing and trustworthy and the sales will come. Have a positive online experience that offers full transparency and the sales will come.  Provide your users with all the information required to make an informed decision, and the sales will come.  See a pattern?  

Because consumers are doing most of their car-buying process before even setting foot into a dealership, it’s important that dealerships offer a pressure-free environment and deliver a simple, fast purchase experience. All while providing full transparency.  

It’s simply a matter of how consumers are purchasing vehicles and how dealerships are adapting to those changes and how the sales process as a whole is changing to fit the needs of consumers.  

Dealerships are competing more avidly with local competitors and now, they’re even competing with interaction-free car-buying experiences.

How has this shift affected the way you buy or sell a car?

How to Trade In Your Vehicle: The Dos and Don’ts

So you want to buy a new or used car.

But you currently own a car that you still owe on. Should you sell it yourself or trade it in? How can you negotiate the best deal? What do you need to negotiate a good trade?

Truthfully, if you sell your vehicle privately, chances are that you will get more money. But it takes a significant amount of work and will take much longer to find a buyer and settle on a deal than if you trade in your vehicle at a dealership.  

Trade-ins at a dealership typically result in less profit than if you sell privately because the dealership takes into account how much any repairs or reconditioning will cost in order to resell. Plus, you are taking a hit simply because of convenience. Let’s take a look to see how a trade-in at a dealership can be handled and some tips to get the most out of your experience.  

Tips for Trading In a Vehicle

1. Appraise Your Vehicle’s Worth

Before stepping foot into a dealership, do some research.  Be sure to know how much your car is worth, and know that there is a wide range of accepted trade-in values.  Using tools like Kelley Blue Book and Edmund’s Car Appraisal Tool will give you a good indication of what you can expect to get back from your vehicle during a trade-in. Print out your appraisal and take it with you when you go to shop for a new car.

It’s important that you are honest regarding your vehicle’s service history, the amenities your vehicle offers, and the current condition of your vehicle in order to get an accurate estimate. Very few cars are in “outstanding” condition and most fall within the “good” condition category. If you are really unsure, it’s better to undersell the condition – err on the side of caution.

2. Shop Around

Not every dealership is going to offer you the same amount for your trade-in, so it’s okay to shop around until you find a dealership that offers you a deal you are comfortable with.  This will all depend on the dealership’s current inventory, their need for pre-owned vehicles, and how likely they feel the car will resell. Auto industry professionals recommend taking your car to a dealership that does not sell your make or model (For example, taking your Ford to a Nissan dealership) because then you are not competing against other vehicles just like your own.

3. Season Appropriate Trade-In

As crazy as it sounds, make sure you are trading in your vehicle during the correct season.  For instance, trying to trade-in a convertible during the winter will get you less money during the winter months than an all-wheel drive vehicle.  Following automotive trends and news can help you determine when the best time of year is to trade-in your vehicle, and can also help steer you in the right direction regarding where to take your car for a trade-in.  Car trends change weekly, so going to the dealership at just the right time could affect the value of your vehicle.

4. “Curb Appeal” is Real

Don’t take a filthy vehicle to trade-in.  The best advice is to detail, detail, detail! From top to bottom, make sure your vehicle is best aesthetic condition.  This will show a dealership that the vehicle has been well maintained and may get your a higher estimated value. Getting a fresh coat of wax, shiny tires and rims, and making sure your interior is spic-n-span clean make your trade-in vehicle much more appealing than a vehicle that has a dull exterior and crumbs all over the backseat.  

5. Have All the Right Documentation

Save yourself time and a lot of stress if you show up to a dealership with all your vehicle’s documentation.  Make sure you have your title if you own the vehicle outright, or if you still owe, bring all the loan documentation. This ensures you are responsible for the vehicle and have the legal authority to trade it in.  Also bring any and all maintenance documents you have from your vehicle’s service history – this can help your trade-in value by describing all the service that has been done to your vehicle. Have the documents that came with your vehicle on hand when you go to negotiate your trade-in.  This includes the user manual, any buyer contracts, and original information about the vehicle. This will all help the value of your vehicle and make the process much smoother.

 

Common Trade-In Mistakes

Overestimating Your Vehicle’s Worth

It’s common to have some sentimentality when it comes to your vehicle.  Perhaps it was the first car you ever bought. Or the vehicle that you took cross country after graduation where you started a new job.  Or maybe it’s the car that drove you to the hospital to have your first child. Regardless of the personal value the vehicle has to you, to a dealership, it’s just another vehicle. Overestimating the value of your vehicle will only hurt your chances of getting the best possible amount for a trade-in.  

Dumping Money into Repairs

Spending a ton of money on repairs prior to trading your vehicle in may SEEM like a good idea, but in reality, you will lose money in the process. Dealerships have access to make the same repairs at much cheaper costs, so whereas the trade-in value may be slightly less than a KBB estimate, it’ll save you money from making unnecessary repairs.  

Failure to Negotiate

Without negotiating your trade-in, you risk losing a good amount of money.  Go into a negotiation with an idea of how much you want for your trade-in and what you’re willing to bend on.  If you are not offered something within your range, then shop around and go to a different dealership. If you are unable to negotiate a price that you are happy with, try negotiating a deal for benefits like oil changes and other maintenance services.

 

Tailgating 101: How to Get Your Car Ready

Football season is back with a bang and that means spending time with family and most importantly, cheering on your favorite team and tailgating with other fans!

There are a few crucial necessities to tailgating, but equipping your car is something not everyone thinks about.  But think about it: Everyone crams their cars into a parking lot and parties and celebrates. That doesn’t always bode well for your vehicle.  Keeping a few things on hand will give you peace of mind and help keep your car looking pristine (no matter how rowdy that game of Flip Cup gets!)

Creating the Perfect Tailgate

Plan Ahead

Before you pack up the car, check the weather conditions and know what to expect.  Rain will make tailgating messier, so bringing a pop-up tent will keep everyone dry.  Also throwing in some extra ponchos and umbrellas can keep your grill master dry. Plan a menu a few days in advance so you can properly prepare and pack your food in the proper food-safe storage containers. This will keep your tailgating area cleaner and more organized once the party gets started.  

Tip: Using reusable plastic Gladware is perfect for tailgating because they stack well and come in lots of sizes.

Food Sanitation

While you are outside in all types of weather during football season, it’s important to keep your food properly stored to prevent it from spoiling. A high-quality cooler like Yeti or Orca can be pricey, but the investment is worth it. They can keep food cold for much longer than a soft-sided cooler bag or lower quality cooler.  Make sure you have some extra plastic storage containers or storage bags to help with clean up – especially your grilling utensils. They will be greasy and dirty, so keep your other things clean by putting them in a separate bag.  Check the National Fire Protection Association for more grilling safety tips.

Have plenty of hand sanitizer and paper towels on hand for easy clean up and to keep your hands germ-free (You’ll want to wash your hands before you eat!).  Paper towels clean up germs better than cloth towels after handling raw or undercooked foods at the grill. Be sure to pack a few extra trash bags to keep your area clean.  Throw away one bag of trash before the game and do some extra clean up around your area after the game before you head home.

Appointing a D.D.

What’s associated more with tailgating than throwing back a cold one (or two) before the game? Nothing! But before you go to the game, be sure to designate a driver to ensure everyone’s safety during and after the tailgate festivities.  Getting to your car after the game can be a hassle and dealing with traffic as you leave a tailgating parking lot can be very stressful, so having someone that hasn’t had any libations during the game will give everyone peace of mind.

Your Tailgating Kit

Keeping some tailgating essentials in your vehicle will make game day a little easier. Folding chairs, an extra blanket for when the weather gets cold, and some paper plates and utensils keep easily in your trunk and are things that you may forget while you are busy getting your food and drinks prepared for the day.  

A tailgate wouldn’t be complete without a grill, and fortunately there are lots of tailgating-friendly grill options that are compact enough to store in the back of your vehicle.  

 

 

Keeping Your Car Clean and Safe

After the game and you get back to your vehicle, walk around your tailgating area and clean up any trash, beer cans and/or bottles that could potentially damage your vehicle if you run them over.  Keeping a pack of sanitation wipes in your car are good to wipe your shoes off before getting in the car to prevent mud and dirt from getting inside. Pair this with rubber floor mats with deep grooves to contain dirt and mud.  Having some ArmorAll Clean Up Wipes in your car will carefully and gently remove any dirt or mud or grime that may get on or inside your vehicle – a quick “spot clean” can help maintain your car’s appearance.

 

What’s New: Cars to Look for in 2019

As we enter the cooler months, there’s a lot of excitement about the new models and cars that are appearing, and reappearing, in 2019.  Manufacturers are bringing models back from the dead, redesigning crowd favorites, and adding new models for consumers to enjoy.

The largest market in 2019 is following trend and there will be many new crossovers and SUVs that are introduced to the industry. The Acura RDX is being redesigned and the Subaru Outback is getting a big sister. Families who have outgrown the 2-row Outback will now have the option for a 3-row Ascent SUV.

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Truck buyer will have their pick of the litter. After 8 years of retirement, the compact Ford Ranger reappears and newly redesigned models of the the ever-popular Chevy Silverado 1500, Ram 1500, and GMC Sierra 1500 are hitting the scene.  

Regardless of your preferences, 2019 will be the year of ample choices. With fast-moving technology and invention, these makes and models are eons beyond their predecessors.  

New (and Improved) Cars for 2019

2019 Chevy Silverado –

The newly redesigned Chevy Silverado was created with 1 goal in mind: to give the Ford F-150 a run for its money.  This new model offers class-leading cargo volume, weighs 450 pounds less than the previous model, and offers your choice of 6 different engine options.  

2019 Infiniti QX50 –

The all-new QX50’s cabin is driver-centric, but offers passengers the same level of comfortability.  This model offers top-notch interior materials, a variety of convenience and safety features, and unparalleled interior space.

2019 Ford Ranger –

After being discontinued in 2011, the Ranger is back by popular demand.  The Ranger has a high-strength steel frame, 2.3 Liter EcoBoost engine, and 10-speed automatic transmission.  

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2019 BMW 3-Series –

A complete redesign, the BMW 3-Series constantly ranks for top luxury small sedan.  Not much has been confirmed regarding the redesign, but consumers can rest assured that multiple turbocharged engine options will be available.  A 2.0 Liter 4-cylinder engine will be standard in base models, but the M340i trim (or equivalent) can expect to have a 3.0 Liter 6-cylinder engine.  

2019 Cadillac XT4 –

In 2017, Cadillac introduced the XT5 – a midsize luxury SUV. For 2019, they are introducing it’s little sister – a small luxury subcompact SUV named the XT4.  Consumers will have their choice of 3 trim options – Premium Luxury, Luxury, and Sport. 4G connectivity, as well as an 8-inch infotainment console come standard. The XT4 standard engine will have a 237-horsepower inline-four and is expected to get approximately 30 mpg on the highway.

Meet Liberty Car and Truck Services – Offering Full Automotive Services

Did you know? Trust Auto has an on-site sister company – Liberty Car and Truck Services. Trust Auto proudly provides all of our customers access to a full service department and body shop, without the hassle of leaving the property.

Liberty Car and Truck Services offers a wide range of services that is carefully provided by our licensed technicians. From simple oil changes to transmission repairs to engine replacements, our team is dedicated to maintaining a high level of customer service and making all repairs in a timely manner.  

Restoring all vehicles to like-new condition is a top priority through the use of state-of-the-art technology. Out technicians stay current on new and effective techniques to repair all vehicles of every make and model.  See below to read all the services Liberty Car and Truck Services provides to their customers.

A Wide Variety of Automotive Services

General Maintenance

We understand that general services aren’t always easy to do on your own – that’s why we are here to help.

  • Oil Changes
  • Filter Replacements
  • Maryland Vehicle Safety Inspections
  • Maintenance Inspections
  • Vehicle Diagnostics

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Transmission Services

  • Rebuilt Transmissions
  • Axle Replacement
  • Clutch Repair
  • Automatic & Manual Transmission Repair
  • Differential Repair & Replacement

Engine Services

  • Engine Repair
  • Engine Performance Check
  • Belt & Hose Replacement
  • Ignition System Maintenance & Repair
  • Drivability Diagnostics

Tire Services

  • Tire Replacement
  • Tire Rotation
  • Wheel Alignment
  • Tire Mounting & Balancing

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System Repairs

  • Electrical System Repairs
  • Cooling System Repairs
  • Cooling System Repairs
  • Brake System
  • Steering System
  • Computer System Diagnostics

Other Services

  • Suspension & Steering Repair
  • Pre-Purchase Inspections
  • Chassis & Suspension
  • Power Steering Repair
  • Body & Trim Repairs
  • Power Accessory Repairs

See what services we cover under our Service Warranty.

Schedule Your Service Appointment Today.

 

End-of-Summer Car Maintenance Guide

Even if your summer car care routine was top notch, now is not the time to let up.  With temperatures and humidity levels changing as we enter fall months, there are some maintenance tasks that are practical and will save you time down the road.  Don’t wait until the leaves are falling or there is snow on the ground to check this simple, yet important, car maintenance guide.

3-Step Car Maintenance Guide

1. Start with a vehicle inspection

The first step in your fall-prep car maintenance guide to have an inspection done on your vehicle.  This will help you focus on exactly what your car needs and what should be prioritized.  Your inspection will include test and checks on your battery, fluid levels, lights, all belts and hoses, as well as general transmission work.  Issues with any of these components can get worse as the temperature falls and humidity levels lower.

2. Check your Exterior Accessories

Checking the tread on your tires and wiper blades are very important as the seasons change.

Ragged and worn out wiper blades can affect visibility in harsh weather. If your wiper blades are older than 6 months, give them a thorough check and consider replacing.  Find out what size wiper blades you need here.

Your tire tread should be monitored regularly, but especially during the change of the seasons when temperature levels can affect them the most.  Your tread depth should be 2/32″ deep, otherwise, you may not have decent traction, regardless of the road conditions.

An easy way to test your tire tread is using a penny.  Take a penny, and with Lincoln’s head facing downwards, place in the grooves of your tires.  If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, your tread is too worn down and it could mean it’s time to buy new tires.

Not sure if you should invest in Winter tires or All-Weather tires? Find out here.

3. Swap Out Your Old Floor Mats

After traveling and going to the beach all summer, it could be time for new floor mats.  Carpeted floor mats are harder to clean and can easily become moldy from residual moisture.  Instead, try rubber all-weather floor mats with grooves to capture dirt, dust, moisture, or anything else you might track in on your shoes.  These mats are easy to clean and perfect for the transition from summer to fall and into the colder months.

Get some of the top rated rubber floor mats here.

Kick off the cooler months with putting your best wheel forward! There are many places that offer free 29-point auto inspections, so it’s not hard to get started on making sure your vehicle is safe, reliable, and ready for whatever the coolers months throw our way.

Why August is the Best Time for Car Buying

Traditionally, when you ask someone when they the best time to buy a car is, they’ll tell you December. It’s common that automakers will offer end-of-year deals and incentives to boost sales for the final quarter.  But what is less known is that there are also incentives to purchasing a vehicle in August.

Historically, August has shown to have the lowest transaction price of the year (a 2.4% decrease versus the average).  The end of summer is when dealers are trying to clear out their aging inventory to make room for new inventory. With such a large volume of vehicles passing through car lots and showrooms, dealers can offer a great flexibility in price in August.  

Back-to-School Car Buying

For growing families, back-to-school time means carpool, soccer practice, and hauling kids around to after-school activities.  As kids get older and bigger, it only makes sense to invest into a larger vehicle that will fit a growing family.

Other families may decide that back-to-school time is a good time of year to buy a safe, reliable car for the new driver in their family or to a child who just got their learner’s permit.  Families may also decide that their new graduate needs a vehicle before heading off to college, so cars with good fuel efficiency, bluetooth capabilities, and navigation are in high demand.  

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Regardless of the situation, August is a peak time for families who are looking to buy cars. Automakers and dealerships can be motivated by the year end change to move their existing inventory.  

Model Year End Car Buying

With the new year inventory starting in October, many dealerships clear out their older models to make room for their new year models.  So in order to make room, they want to offer great deals to customers. Buying a car in August will allow you to take advantage of the specials that dealerships are running while there is still a good amount of current-year models available.  

SUV Deals

Families and buyers interested in SUVs are in luck if they purchase in August. On average, SUV prices are lower than any other month of the year.  Customers who have been holding out for better pricing will see the best options and availability for savings during this time.

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August offers historically high buyer incentives, great discounts, and larger prices drops than other months. Also keep in mind that purchasing a vehicle in the beginning of the month can result in a 1.3% decrease in price or an average of $390 in savings, compared to the rest of the month.  If you find a dealership that is open on Sundays – go then! The largest decrease in average transaction price occurs on Sundays – averaging 4.6% or $1,402 in savings.

Happy Car Buying!