A Guide to Saving Fuel – Eco-Driving Tips

Guide to Saving FuelThe combination of global warming, economic recession, increased traffic loads, and current gas prices have created a unique situation in which people are suddenly finding themselves seek for ways to improve their vehicle’s economy and save cash on gas. Some may be concerned about global warming; others may need the extra cash. It doesn’t matter what the reason, but improving your car’s fuel economy and MPG is a good step towards going GREEN. It also shows that you are a responsible individual. Are you looking for ways to improve the fuel-efficiency of your ride?  Take the time out to read these fuel-saving habits and eco-driving tips below:

Habits to Adopt to Save Gas

Be Rational – Purchase an Eco-Friendly Vehicle

If you own a gas-guzzler, you can’t expect to save fuel – that’s a given. Therefore, consider ditching that old ride for a new and improved vehicle that boasts the latest fuel-efficient technologies. You can contact Turnersville KIA to buy a new ride for less or consider leasing. From the Kia Sorento, Sedona, K900, Rio, Forte, to the Cadenza, you have plenty of eco-friendly vehicle options available.

Assuming you exchange your vehicle that gives 20 miles per gallon with gas prices at $2.19 (currently) for one that gives 30 MPG, you can easily save up to $900 per year. You will also begin noticing that you are making fewer stops at petrol pumps. Subsequently, the first step to saving gas is to purchase in a fuel-efficient vehicle.

Get a Tune Up – Maintain Your Vehicle’s Engine

As time passes, the engine and mechanical components of your vehicle may experience wear and tear. This results in poor gas mileage. Maybe the air filter is clogged with dust, the spark plugs are not passing current properly, or the fuel-injection system is giving trouble. All of these issues, although small can drastically impact fuel economy. Get your vehicle tuned up by heading to the nearest car workshop. A simple tune up has the capability of boosting gas mileage up to 4%.

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Go Light – Don’t Carry Round Unnecessary Weight

Just as if your body requires more energy to move more weight, your car needs the same. Why put your car through so much? Consider travelling a little light instead to improve the fuel-efficiency of your vehicle. So, get that useless clutter out from your car and dispose of anything that may be increasing the weight of your vehicle. You will undoubtedly notice a significant improvement in fuel economy.

Check Your Tires – Underinflated Tires Create Drag

Before driving your vehicle, always make it a habit to check your tires. Underinflated tires can create a drag, which can decrease gas mileage up to 3% or even more. One of the best ways to monitor tire pressure is to purchase a tire gauge. Read the owner’s manual and find out the accurate tire pressure to maintain. Most tires should be inflated around 30 to 35 PSI. However, make sure not to overinflate the tires, as it may result in significant wear and tear.

Turn the Air-Conditioning Off

Most car owners have the silly habit of leaving the air-conditioning on even when it isn’t needed. While there is no harm in running the air-conditioning, it does make your vehicle consume more petrol. Yes, it is tempting to leave the AC on year round, as it stops the windows from misting up in the winters. However, it is advisable to turn it off, when it isn’t that hot.

How to Save Gas While Driving

The Best Way to Save Gas: Hypermiling

Hypermiling is the usage of simple driving techniques that enable drivers to leverage more mileage from their vehicle. If you are looking for ways to improve the fuel-efficiency of your vehicle, consider following these powerful gas-saving Hypermiling techniques:

  • Drive close or draft behind other vehicles to reduce wind drag and resistance.
  • Speed your car on an open road and coast with the engine turned off
  • Inflate your tires properly to improve fuel-efficiency and reduce drag
  • Don’t keep the engine running at stoplights.
  • Stick to 55 MPH when driving on the highway.

Drive Sensibly and Responsibly

Most people nowadays give into the road rage of driving a vehicle. You must resist the temptation of speed and avoid aggressive driving behaviors like hard shifting, accelerating, and sudden braking. All of these acts can lower your vehicle’s fuel efficiency by up to 20% or more. You don’t need to race every guy speeding next to you and neither is it necessary to show off when people are commuting with you.

Always keep a calm and relaxed nature when driving. Gradually accelerate and enjoy the drive. Keep in mind that you’re paying out the rear end for you vehicle, so might as well savor it. Maintain a safe distance, drive sensibly, and anticipate traffic conditions to save fuel and keep you and other road users safe and secure.

Practice Eco-Driving

Every time you accelerate rapidly or brake suddenly, your car burns more petrol. Get the most of your by following these simple eco-driving practices.

  • Streamline or customize your ride for improving its aerodynamics. This will result in overall improved fuel-efficiency and reduced drag. The easier your vehicle cuts through air, the more chances of saving petrol.
  • Switch to cruise control or Eco-Driving mode when going for a cruise or driving on the highway. Both of these techniques may reduce the speed of your vehicle, but it results in greater and better fuel-efficiency.
  • When travelling downhill, always take your foot of the gas. This sudden drag results in the fuel being sent to the engine, which can hinder petrol consumption.
  • To reduce wear and tear on your vehicle’s transmission, try skipping gears in possible circumstances. The higher the gear (regardless of speed), the more your car saves petrol.

Therefore, now that you are familiar with the habits and tips mentioned above, saving petrol while driving won’t be a problem.

The Ultimate Guide on Improving Your KIA’s Fuel-Efficiency

With the economy in recession and prices of fuel increasing, vehicle owners are constantly looking for ways to save money. Are you concfuel effeciencyerned about the prices of gas? Need to minimize the impact of your car’s emissions to the environment? You may instantly think of purchasing a hybrid or subcompact economy-friendly vehicle, but there are plenty of other ways for you to save money on fuel efficiency. With proper maintenance, you can leverage 30% better mileage. To help you get more miles for your dollars, follow these tips below:

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  • Check Tire Pressure – Under-inflated tires mean increased contact area between the road and tires. If your tires are 8 pounds under inflated (not a rare scenario), rolling resistance increases by 5%. This increases the friction, resulting in higher fuel-consumption. Over-inflated tires slightly improve consumption, but at the cost of less grip on the road. Therefore, it is advised to keep your tires inflated at the manufacturer’s recommended levels.

  • Use Cruise Control –
    Whenever driving on open roads like motorways/highways, don’t hesitate on activating cruise control. This feature is now available in almost all modern rides and can help you improve your car fuel economy by 6%. More advanced vehicles feature adaptive cruise control, which also saves you lots of fuel by limiting accelerator input.
  • Clean Battery Cables – One may never think that a simple thing as a battery cable could affect fuel economy, but in reality, it does. Corroded battery cables result in the alternator working harder to create electricity to power your car and charge the battery. This means, your car begins using more gas. Have the cables cleaned to improve fuel efficiency.
  • Regular Engine Checkup – Once computer controlled fuel-injection systems was introduced, old-fashioned “tune-ups” are no longer required. However, you need to get your engine checked regularly to ensure the fuel, oil, and air filters are in good condition. In addition, have your spark plugs, cables, and oxygen sensor checked, each of which have a great impact on fuel economy.
  • Inspect Chassis and Suspension – The suspension and chassis of your car play an important role in ensuring that your car is stable on the road and does not produce drag. Broken springs, worn out shocks, bent wheels, and misaligned axles can all contribute to drivetrain drag, along with increasing the risk of accidents. Have these parts repaired to increase safety and economy.
  • Drive Calmly and Steadily Always – Constantly speeding up and slowing down results in unnecessary wastage of fuel. By avoiding heavy braking and applying light throttle, you can reduce fuel consumption significantly, while also reducing the wear and tear of vital mechanical components. Research suggests that fuel economy is directly affected by the driving techniques you use by up to 30%.
  • Avoid “Revving” the Engine – Many drivers have this thing of revving the engine at traffic lights, after starting the car in the morning, or before switching the engine off. Revving your engine only wastes fuel unnecessarily. It also results in the oil washing down the walls of the cylinder. This can be bad for your next start up, as cylinder walls get dry, making it difficult for the engine to utilize the motor oil present.
  • Don’t Rest Your Left Foot on the Brake – Many rookie drivers of KIA vehicles with automatic transmissions often use their left foot to press the brake pedal when driving. This is not the right way to drive an automatic, as even a slight pressure on the brakes when you are driving creates drag on the components, which causes premature wear and tear. To overcome the “dragging” produced by this action, the engine will also demand additional fuel usage.
  • Avoid Taking Roads Filled with Dirt/Gravel – Try your best to avoid driving on rough roads whenever possible. Dirt and gravel can easily rob you of 30% on your gas mileage. Every time the wheels bounce up and down, forward motion energy tends to move away from the vehicle. Bumpy roads are also rather uncomfortable. Look for alternative routes for improving fuel-efficiency, while ensuring your car doesn’t suffer any damage.
  • Drive in the Highest Gear Possible – A driving tip that has been used for generations. If you want to improve fuel-economy, make sure you use the highest possible gear when driving to reduce the strain on the engine. For instance, a vehicle driving at 60 mph will use 25% more fuel in the third gear rather than the fifth. Just make sure that the throttle input isn’t going overboard. If your car has an “instant fuel economy” setting, watch the gauge and keep the liters per kilometers/miles low.
  • Lighten the Load Off your Vehicle – Take unnecessary bulky items out of your vehicle to remove excess weight. If you do not need something, do not pack it. The lighter the load, the lower the fuel consumptions and emissions. On the other hand, the more weight you put in your vehicle, the harder your engine will have to work. Carrying excess weight leads to rise in consumption.
  • Don’t Let the Vehicle Stay Idle For Long – Idling consumes almost half-a-gallon to one gallon of gas per hour (one of the reasons why your car consumes more petrol in heavy traffic). It also results in increased CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. Modern vehicles feature advanced technologies that shut off engine valves for saving petrol. However, if you have an older vehicle, avoid leaving the engine idle. Also, to warm your engine effectively, drive it, don’t rev it.
  • Ultrasonic Cleaning for Fuel Injectors – If you really want to boost the fuel-efficiency of your vehicle, have your fuel injectors removed and given an ultrasonic bath. Clean injectors will give a better and more even fuel-to-air mixture, which results in a more predictable burn in the cylinder, contributing to improved gas mileage. If your injectors have never been cleaned, it’s advised to get the job done from a professional.

So, if you want to improve your KIA’s fuel-efficiency, make sure to follow the above mentioned tips.

Top 7 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Used Ride

car questionsBuying a car is a huge investment that requires considerable financial planning and research, before walking into a dealership. New cars with the latest features and technologies tend to be incredibly expensive, especially if you want a vehicle like an SUV, crossover, or minivan for accommodating your family. Where some have the cash reserves to buy a new ride, others may face significant trouble. This is where buying a used ride proves to be a smart choice.

Besides, with the state of the economy, price of gas, and cars losing their value the minute you drive it off the lot, shelling out that extra cash for a brand new car is rather unwise decision. Used cars can be just as fuel-efficient, safe, and secure. It also saves you from tossing your cash into the car’s fuel tank. You can easily buy a vehicle in good condition from renowned dealers like Allentown Kia for under $20k or even $10k! However, it is imperative that you do all your homework before reaching a final decision.

So, look at these top 7 questions to ask before buying a used ride (from dealers or private sellers).

1.      “Can you tell me why you’re selling this car?”

If you’re buying a used car from a private seller, it is imperative that you ask them why they want to sell the car. Used car dealerships often do not know the reason, but all private sellers you find through car classifieds, Craigslist, or eBay are bound to provide you an answer. It’s sometimes rather interesting to learn about why a person might want to sell a particular car. Mostly, people sell their old cars for cash, but some vehicle owners might have registration issues, unpaid taxes, etc. Make sure you know if the price is fair and understand what you’re getting into.

2.      “How many miles has it been driven?”

If the mileage is lower than say 5,000 per year or higher than 20,000, make sure to ask why. Bear in mind that car mileage plays an important role in determining the value of a used car. However, don’t think that high mileage necessarily means the vehicle is in poor condition. If mileage is high because the owner had long highway commutes, it’s actually better than stop-and-go driving and short trips. Low mileage is good, but not a guarantee of proper vehicle care. In addition, odometers of cars can be tampered with. This is why you must always ask about mileage.

3.      “Will you allow a test drive? “

When it comes to purchasing a used vehicle, it is highly advised for you to take a test run. This should go without saying that if you do not drive a car; you never know what issues/problems it might be give after you purchase it. Used car dealerships shouldn’t have any problem in letting you test drive the vehicle around town to get a better idea. Private sellers, however, might be a little hesitant of the idea. This is why you must ask them to accompany you on the short test drive. This is essential for noticing problems, while also ensuring if the car is a good fit for you.

4.      “Will you allow me to make my own inspection?”

Most dealers like Allentown Kia ensure that each vehicle added into their inventory undergoes a rigorous and thorough inspection process to highlight any existing/potential issues and fix them immediately. Therefore, if any vehicle doesn’t meet the quality standards, they aren’t added to the list. However, not all dealers or private sellers follow the same protocol. This makes it crucial for you to bring your own licensed and trusted mechanic to conduct a thorough visual and mechanical analysis of the vehicle’s condition, engine, features, accessories, chassis, and other vehicle parts. This way, you can ensure the car you’re buying is in good condition, or requires certain repairs, which should be reflected in the overall price of the car.

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5.      “Is there a warranty on the car? “

If you are planning to buy a used car from a dealership, look for certified vehicles. Dealerships like Allentown Kia offer a 172-multipoint inspection process on vehicles that are under five years of age and have been driven for only 20,000 miles. Most of these cars can be purchased with extended warranties and roadside assistance. However, if you’re buying a used car from private seller, unless there’s an existing factory warranty, the car is typically sold as-is. This makes it crucial for you to find out whether the car you’re buying has warranty or not.

6.      “What is the vehicle’s history? “

Regardless of whether you are buying from a dealership or private seller, it is imperative that you ask for a complete vehicle’s history. Private sellers might have trouble providing you with the vehicle’s history. This is where you have to use the assistance of sites like Autocheck and CARFAX® to get a complete history report using the VIN# of the car. When you purchase from dealerships though, you do get a complete history report, minus the hassle.

7.      “Are you the original owner of this car?”

If you want to leverage quality, then make sure to ask this question from private sellers. It’s always best to choose a vehicle that is first-owner. If a car has been used by different owners over a short period of time, consider looking for another vehicle. First-owner vehicles guarantee that the vehicle is driven by only one person, meaning it would be better maintained. Dealerships like Allentown Kia offer an entire inventory of first-owner vehicles. Make sure to check the list out and find a vehicle that best suits your needs and requirements.

Also, make sure to ask about what features the car comes equipped with, does it have complete maintenance or service records, and if the car has ever been in an accident (think twice about buying a vehicle that’s been in a serious crash).

How Can I Know I’m Buying the Right Kia for Me?

right-decisionBuying a car is one of the biggest decisions that most people make and because most brands do not have return policies (at least not return policies like most other industries provide), many people put off buying a vehicle simply because they are not sure that they are making the right choice for their needs. How can you be sure, after just a little bit of research and a few test drives that you are making the right choice for you and your needs? The key is to work with a dealership that you can trust to have your best interests at heart. Instead of worrying about making a buck, they are concerned with helping get you into the right vehicle. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Figure out what you want a car for. Most people just want a car because it is the best way to get around, especially if you do not live in a big city. This might be your case, too. But in order to make sure that you are buying the right vehicle for your needs, you need to know what exactly you want that vehicle for. Are you going to drive around a lot of people (friends or family)? Are you going to be toting a lot of gear for sports or art projects? Or do you plan just on using your car for long distance trips and running errands? While many Kia vehicles can serve a number of different purposes, a sedan might work better for some buyers who just need a car to do grocery shopping or go on road trips, while an SUV is the better option for drivers that routinely need more space.

2. Get a good idea of your budget. Nothing conjures up buyer’s remorse faster than buying a car that you cannot ultimately afford. When deciding to buy a car, you will want to take a look at your finances, to make sure that you are capable of making the requested down payment and making your monthly payments. Whether you decide to buy or lease, there will still probably need to be some money put down for the vehicle and there will definitely be monthly payments that you need to make. You can talk to a salesman at our dealership to get a better idea of what you can afford or you can look on Kia’s website and use their payment calculator to determine how much the vehicles you are looking at are likely to cost you every month. This is also a good way to reduce the number of vehicles that you actually want to look at. You can eliminate the vehicles that you know are absolutely out of your price range.

3. Choose a color. While you probably spend more time looking at the interior of your vehicle than the exterior, you are probably going to regret buying a car with an exterior color you hate, just to get an interior that you like. The color of the vehicle you choose says a lot about you and the vehicle itself. White is professional and stylish, while black is sleek and classic. Red and blue are a little bit more fun, while colors like green or yellow are a little more quirky. One of the reasons many people buy a vehicle they do not love the color of is because the color they do want is not on the dealership’s lot when they arrive to buy a vehicle. Don’t let a salesman talk you into buying a vehicle that is not the exact color you want it to be. Most dealerships have the capability to find that car at a neighboring dealership and get it for you within a couple of days, if not hours.

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4. Consider your neighborhood and your environment. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is buying a sedan when you live in a rural area that is often plagued by muddy roads. While a sedan might look great in your driveway, if it is always going to be difficult to get out of your driveway and out onto a paved road, you are probably going to regret that decision eventually. Considering where you live and its environment is an important part of buying a vehicle. If you cannot use that vehicle for half of the year because of the terrain and its conditions, it is probably a good idea to buy a different vehicle that is more rugged. This goes the other way, too. While an SUV might be the style you are looking for, if you live in the city, you might never have an opportunity to utilize all of the expensive features you have paid for and you might eventually regret paying for them.

5. Consider your future. Are you planning on getting married or having kids in the near future? If so, a small sedan with a cramped backseat might not be the best option. On the other hand, if you are not planning on expanding your family any time soon, a minivan or an SUV might providing you with too much room, room that you simply do not need. Taking a little bit of time to think about how this vehicle will serve you as your life changes over the next few years is a good way to make sure you are buying a vehicle that is really going to fit your needs not just now, but in the future, too.

The Process of Buying a Kia, from Beginning to End

When it comes time to purchase a new vehicle, you might not be sure where to start. Here’s everything you need to know about buying a brand new Kia, from beginning to end:

CFPB Expands Supervision to Nonbank Auto Finance Companies1. Decide to buy a car. While you can certainly car shop even if you are not totally sure you need or want to buy a car, making the decision as to whether you actually are shopping to buy or just shopping to see what is available can save both your time and the time of the salespeople you are going to be working with. When you are a serious buyer, you can have a serious conversation with the salespeople about your buying needs. When you are not as serious, you might prefer simply to browse on your own and to let the salespeople help the more serious buyers on the showroom floor.

2. Know how you like to shop. Many people, when they shop for a new car, prefer to have a salesperson with them for the entire time. They want to know everything there is to know about the vehicles on the lot, from someone who works on that lot. Others people prefer to peruse the lot on their own, look up information online about the vehicles, and only talk to the salesperson when they are actually read to test drive a few of the cars.

3. Make a list of the most important features for you. Are looks just as important as what is under the hood? Is safety the most important feature? There are brands that are going to be able to offer you everything, from looks to safety to power and beyond, but you have to know what your priorities are before you start shopping or you are going to find it is impossible to narrow down the models you want to buy. Make a list of what features your perfect care should have. How important are those features? What are you willing to compromise? What are you not willing to compromise?

4. Do a little bit of online research. If you spend some time looking at the websites of the dealerships in your area, you are going to get a good idea of what is available to you immediately. In general, most dealerships have the ability to get you whatever model you want, but you might have to wait a little bit longer for that vehicle. Look on the websites of the brands that you are interested in. There are probably a few vehicles in each lineup that you can cross off of your list immediately. They might be too expensive, are simply not be the kind of vehicle you want, or do not have the features that you need.

5. Make a list of the vehicles you want to see. Once you start visiting dealerships, it can be helpful to have a list in hand of the vehicles that you want to see and potentially test drive. Save a little bit of room under each vehicle, so you can write down what you did or did not like about that vehicle, from how it looks, to its price, to how it drives, its technology, its safety features, etc.

6. Consider how much you want to pay. You might not necessarily have to have a hard and fast budget, but you should have at least a general idea of how much you are willing to pay for a vehicle. Not only will this be useful for negotiating, it will help you narrow down which vehicle you actually want to look at. It could also help you eliminate some brands entirely. For example, if you are interested in buying a SUV, but you want to pay less than $25,000 for it, you might want to look at Kia’s lot, but you probably will not find what you are looking for on a GMC lot.

7. Talk to the salespeople about your needs. If you are having trouble picking a vehicle that is right for you, you are going to want to spend a little bit of time at least talking to someone on the lot who really knows and understands the vehicles on that lot. When you talk to one of our salespeople about what you need in a car, they will be able to match you up with the right Kia for you and your lifestyle. For some, a sedan is going to be the best choice. For others, a SUV or a crossover is going to be more functional. You might not know exactly what is going to work for you until you have talked to someone who is knowledgeable about cars and the car buying process.

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8. Choose your vehicle. Once you have done your research, looked at your options, and selected the vehicle for you, it is time to pick the car you want to buy. After test driving, there will probably be one or two that you like the best. If there is more than one clear standout from the rest, you might benefit from making a pro and con list to determine which vehicle will ultimately be the best for you. Do not forget to factor in safety features, style, warranties, and brand offers when you are making this list. You might like two vehicles equally, but find that one brand offers a better warranty that makes buying from that brand the better option.

A Very General Car Service Schedule

car servicesEvery car and the kind of service it will need and when it will need it are a little bit different. Drivers themselves are different, too. Some will use all of their windshield wiper fluid until it is completely gone. Others will continually top it off so that they never run out. The same principles apply to just about every other bit of routine maintenance that occurs on a car. Some drivers will hold out until the car absolutely needs maintenance. Others will get that maintenance as soon as the owner’s manual tells them to, whether or not the car actually needs it.

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Many drivers might not know what kind of maintenance their car needs and how often the car needs it. This can lead to being duped by quick oil change places into maintenance you might not need or it can lead to putting of necessary service because you did not think that your car needed it. Here is a very general schedule of maintenance that your car might follow. Keep in mind that these dates will fluctuate depending on how often you drive your car, how far it is driven, the type of car you purchase, and other factors. In general, however, surveys of car service have shown that about a quarter of cars are driven with low or contaminated engine oil and that almost 90% of all cars on the road are in need of some kind of maintenance.

1. Tires – You should always be aware of how full your car’s tires are and how much tread they have left. This is something that can be done on your own, in your driveway, with a few simple tools. A tire gauge should be part of every car’s essentials kit, and should be used often to make sure that you have neither too much nor too little air in your tires. The tread on your tires can be tested with a penny (if you put the penny in, Lincoln’s head upside down, and the president’s head is covered, you have enough tread). Do this weekly or every two weeks. Tires should be replaced as soon as the tread is worn down below this point.

2. Windshield washer fluid – Some newer Kia vehicles will tell you when your windshield washer fluid is low. With an older model or different brand, you may have to actually pop open the hood and look underneath. Figuring out which container is your windshield washer fluid is usually very easy and it will have marks that tell you how full it should be and what level you should not let it get below. If you do not use your windshield washer fluid very often, you can probably do this check once a month or once every two months.

3. Engine oil levels – Again, if you have a newer Kia model, your vehicle will probably tell you when your oil levels are below acceptable limits. If your car starts to give you warning light or other indicator, this probably means that you should take your car to a service station as soon as possible. While many cars will give you a few weeks’ notice, many may not show you an indicator light on your dashboard until the problem is emergent. You can always check your own oil levels by following the instructions in your owner’s manual.

4. Battery – Most batteries need to be replaced every three to four years. Depending on where you live, how often you drive your car, how far you drive your car, and what type of batter you have, your battery might last much longer or might die on you every year. You can check your battery with a voltmeter (when the car is running). You should also check the connections (when the car is off) every three months or so to make sure there is no corrosion on the pegs or the connectors.

5. Rubber components – Your vehicle will probably have a few vital rubber components, ranging from your windshield wipers to your hoses and belts running in or around the engine. These components do wear out and they are susceptible to changes in weather. Check the hoses and belts in your vehicle every three months to make sure they are not cracked and do not need any replacements or repairs.

6. Air filters – No matter where you go to get your oil change, the service shop will probably check your air filters for you. Air filters, both for your air conditioning and for your engine are both extremely important and keeping these filters clean is a necessary part of keeping your vehicle running smoothly. Most air filters will need to be checked every six months. If you get your oil changed every three to six months, you probably will have this check automatically done for you.

7. Power steering fluid – Power steering fluid is that ensures that your car is responsive when you turn the wheel to tell it to do something. Like all other fluid in your car, it gets used up or contaminated over time. It should be checked every nine months to make sure the fluid is at the proper level and that it is not contaminated with anything.

Most vehicles will have a maintenance schedule in their owner manual. If you have not been recording your dates of service or you cannot find your owner’s manual, use this general guide to make sure that your Kia is getting the service that it needs, when it needs it.

What Are the Perks of Buying a Car With a Higher Trim?

Some people come in looking to buy the “right” car. Others are looking for the cheapest car. Kia has vehicles that will cater to both of these types of buyers, but for those that are looking for the “right” car, you might not be able to find all of the perks that you are specifically looking for in the most basic trim.

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What is a “trim?” Basically, a car’s trim is what level of features it has. For example, a basic trim (at least for Kia) will have many great features, including power windows and cruise control, but it might not have the most advanced infotainment system and definitely won’t have features like heated seats. What exactly comes with each car will vary from model to model, and it might even vary within the trims themselves, depending on what we’ve ordered or what another nearby dealership has ordered but wasn’t able to sell. Here are some of the most popular perks that you get when you pick a vehicle that has a higher trim:

  1. kia optimaPower-folding mirrors – These might not seem like a big deal, until you have them on your vehicle. Especially if you have to park in a garage or in a tight parking spot, there’s nothing better than being able to fold in your mirrors so you don’t have to worry about scraping them on the wall, a pole, or another car.
  1. Satellite radio – Satellite radio is pretty much standard on every vehicle now, but you will often get a better infotainment system (touchscreen, more options, more available connections), when you purchase a vehicle with a higher trim. This can make it much easier to access to media that you want to access.
  1. Back up camera – This is by far one of the most popular features that people want on their vehicles today, especially when purchasing one of the larger vehicles. Not only can this feature make it much easier and safer to back out of your driveway, it also simplified parallel parking and prevents you from ever hitting a child or animal that is too short to be seen through your back windshield but could still be harmed by your vehicle.
  1. Push button start – Another customer favorite, this feature allows you to start your car from inside the house—a great feature for the extreme heat of summer or cold of winter. You don’t even have to go outside to start your car cooling down or heating up, and because it doesn’t require you to put your key in the ignition or leave the doors unlocked, it’s much safer than actually going outside to start your car and leaving it running in the driveway.
  1. Navigation – While many Kia vehicles will come with OnStar, which can be used to navigate in a pinch, higher trim levels will give you a built in navigation system that works just like the navigation on your phone. Basically, you’ll be guided by a voice and show the path on a screen in your console, both of which can be a great perk for the directionally challenged.
  1. Blind spot detectors – This is still fairly new technology, but is technology that could save a life—both yours and the lives of others on the road. What this feature does is monitor your blind spots and if you try to change lanes while there is something in your blind spot, the vehicle will alert and will prevent you from hitting the vehicle or motorcycle that you would have otherwise hit.
  1. Sunroofs – Sunroofs are a great feature on any vehicle, and they usually only come on limited edition or very high trim level vehicles. If you’re a fan of the sun roof, whether for letting a little extra sun into your car on a warm day or for cruising under the stars at night, you can definitely get them, but they’ll very rarely be standard on a vehicle.
  1. Upgraded seating material – Most higher trims also come with better upholstery. This may be premium leather or just a more expensive type of cloth, depending on your preferences. While not everyone is a fan of leather, many find there is nothing more luxurious than beautiful leather seating in their favorite vehicle. This is definitely a luxury, but when you purchase a Kia, it’s usually a luxury you can afford.
  1. Power lift gates – Instead of having to actually get out of your car and pop the trunk, you can do it from a button inside your car. This feature is standard on most sedans, but might not be on SUVs and vans, which have a much larger lift gate. Why bother with a feature like this? Anytime you’re packing the car and your hands are full, it’ll be much easier to be able to press a button and have the gate open for you than having to put everything down to open it manually.
  1. Heated and ventilated seats – For both cold and warm days, this feature is one of the most sought after out of all of the premium features offered in higher trim levels. Heated seats will keep you warmer on cold days and ventilated seats will help keep you cool, even if temperatures are rising outside.
  1. Slide and stow seats – In SUVs and vans, being able to “slide and stow” extra seats if you need to haul something large or want a nice flat area for luggage or even for an animal, is a major perk. While some models may have this feature standard, most higher trim levels have better slide and stow features.

20 Things You Should Always Keep in Your Kia

Whether you have just bought your first car and want to make sure it is properly outfitted or you are heading out on a summer road trip and want to have all the essentials before you are miles from civilization, here are the twenty things you should always keep in your Kia:

1. A paper map of your tristate area. Don’t be duped into think you’ll always have service or that your phone will always have a full battery. It may seem archaic, but you will be happy to have that paper map when you’re lost and your phone has no reception.

2. Change and a few bills. Whether you’re the kind of person who gives money to people on the side of the road or you’re likely to have to pass a toll booth in your travels, having change and a few dollar bills on hand is always a good idea.

kia car3. A compact umbrella. This is a fact of life: it will rain at the most inconvenient time. If you have an umbrella, a little rain won’t get in your way.

4. A couple bottles of water. Put most of them in your trunk, but have one or two stashed in your Kia’s extra cup holders for when traffic stacks up or you have to wait on the side of the road.

5. Jumper cables. Not all new cars come with jumper cables. Many do, but if yours didn’t you’re going to want to go out and get a set. Not only will they save your car’s life if your battery dies (if you leave the dome light on all night, for example), but they give you the opportunity to be a Good Samaritan if you see someone else struggling with a dead car.

6. A roll of toilet paper. My sister-in-law always keeps a roll of toilet paper in her car, and it was a blessing when she was helping me move into my new apartment and we hadn’t done any grocery shopping yet. Plus, it will undoubtedly have plenty of other uses.

7. Granola bars. Keep a box of your favorite granola bars in your glove compartment or trunk. Why? Because going hungry in standstill, rush hour traffic is never a good idea.

8. Your registration. When it arrives in the mail, don’t just leave it on your kitchen table. Put it in your glove compartment. You might be a model driver, but that doesn’t mean you’ll never be pulled over.

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9. A mini first aid kit. Even if you don’t anticipate ever getting carsickness or cutting your finger on the road, it’s better to be prepared than wanting in your time of need.

10. A spare phone charger. Especially if you commute to and from work, you’re going to want to be able to charge your phone at the beginning and end of each day—just don’t text and drive, okay?

11. A flashlight. LED is usually the best way to go—they use less battery and are therefore last much longer in your trunk or stuffed under the seat. They’ll also be your savior when you’ve dropped your phone under your seat or have lost an earring down the crevice between seats or especially when you have to change a tire in the dead of night.

12. Ice scraper and small shovel. Those who buy cars during the summer often forget these two essentials and don’t remember to buy them until their car is already buried in snow.

13. A package of sand or road salt. Not only can you use these two things to get traction if you’re stuck in a particularly icy or muddy spot, the weight of them in your trunk can help to prevent sliding and slipping on icy or snow roads.

14. A multi tool. At some point, you will probably need a pocket knife, a pair of pliers, or even a wire cutter. Having a tool that has all of these components is the best way to be prepared.

15. Hand wipes. My mother uses a hand wipe every time she gets into the car, especially after grocery shopping or walking around the mall. She’s a germaphobe, but that doesn’t mean that everyone should have some hand wipes in their car, just in case.

16. A pair of sunglasses. No matter the time of year, you’re probably going to be on the road just as the sun sinks into that perfect spot that is just barely eclipsed by your visors. A pair of sunglasses will ensure you can still see, even if it seems like the sun’s mission is to blind you.

17. A bag for trash. It could be a sandwich bag or a plastic shopping bag, or a trash bag—something to put straw wrappers and receipts and all the other detritus cars seem to accumulate throughout the week. Now, you won’t have to scoop everything up, it’ll be confined in a little bag you can just throw away.

18. A blanket. Just like you’ll want water and a snack if your car is sidelined on a summer day, you’ll want a blanket if your car breaks down in the winter. Also good for impromptu picnics.

19. Paper towels. The durable, garage version, not the flimsy kitchen version—for cleaning up spills and cleaning your hands after changing a tire.

20. Your owner’s manual. A surprising number of people take the owner’s manual out of their Kia. Don’t do it—it’ll tell you how to jump your car, replace a tire, and even just change the time on your radio clock.

Avoiding Lemons: How to Buy the Best Used Car

The best way to avoid buying a lemon is to avoid the lemon lot. Still, depending on where you’re shopping, it’s still possible to find a lemon on a used car lot, even if it’s surrounded by reliable, functional cars. One of the perks of shopping on our used car lot is knowing that all of those cars have been serviced and certified—so you’ll never buy a lemon. Here are some other ways you can make sure you’re not purchasing a very used car.

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1. Ask to see the car’s history. It’s surprising how many people will buy a used car without asking to see its history. Every used car has a history, and even if the only thing on that car’s history is routine maintenance, at least you’ll know that whoever owned the car before you actually took care of it. If there is absolutely nothing on the car’s history report, that isn’t any reason to panic. Those reports only show what is actually actively reported on those numbers, so it’s unlikely they’ll have a record of every single thing that has ever happened to that car.

2. Look for damage. Some cars will come onto a used lot with a little bit of damage. They get discounted because they’re not in pristine shape. Sometimes, a car will show up on a used lot that looks pristine, but has actually been in a major accident. What’s wrong with having a car that’s been in a major accident? If it’s ever in one again, the occupants of that vehicle are more likely to be hurt, because the car’s frame may not have its original structural integrity. Evidence of repainting or uneven painting can be a good indication that the car has had massive body work done.

best used car3. Inspect the engine. Even if you’re not a car maintenance expert, you probably know what a clean, functional engine should look like. When you buy a vehicle from a used lot like ours, it will already have a maintenance check and be completely ready to go. If you’re not sure, you can always have it inspected again.

4. Check the mileage. Today’s cars are built to last and many will run perfectly smoothly even after 100,000 miles of asphalt. You’ll still want to take a look at the mileage. A two-year-old car that has hundreds of thousands of miles has probably been driven hard. This means it also should have had regular maintenance. If it hasn’t, you might want to stay away. However, an older car with low mileage probably means it didn’t see much action and will still have decades of good miles on it.

5. Research used car prices. Once you’ve found a used car that you want to buy, ask for the make and model and model year and run a quick search for similar cars. You can probably get a good idea of what cars like that are being sold for in our area. A used car is almost always a better deal than buying a new car, but if you don’t check the prices yourself, you might not be getting as great of a deal as you otherwise would. Don’t be afraid to take a moment and step out to make sure that car is properly priced and the seller isn’t trying to sell a used car for more than its worth.

6. Look for out-of-state titles. If you’re not buying a car from a certified used car lot like the one at our Kia dealership, you will probably want to be wary of out-of-state titles. Sometimes, criminals will steal cars and then they will ship them across state lines, where it is more difficult for the police to track them. Some people will also submit a car for salvage, but the buyer will transport it into another state to sell it, instead, as crossing state lines can “wash” the title of that salvage indicator.

 7. Ask the dealership to run a warranty check. If you take the VIN to a dealership that sells the make of the car you want to buy and ask them to run the number for you, they should be able to tell you if any work has been done on that vehicle that was covered by the warranty. For example, if the engine, transmission, brakes, etc. have been replaced within the warranty period, this could tell you that the car has an issue with that component or just that the car has a new transmission, engine, brakes, etc.

8. Watch out for cars that have no record of regular maintenance. Some people simply do not take their cars in for regular maintenance. While this is fine when the car isn’t experiencing any problems, it can devastating in the long run. Regular fixes and tuning can prevent more serious problems from occurring in the future—which is when you are going to be driving this car. Most people save the receipts from their oil changes and checkups, so ask to see them.

9. Consider purchasing an extended warranty. If you’re purchasing a car that still has some of its warranty left, you may not want to extend your warranty quite yet. However, if you’re buying a car that is already out from its warranty, you might want to consider purchasing a new one or an extension to ensure that you can benefit from this program. If you purchase a Kia that is less than ten years old, you’re likely to still have plenty of time left on your warranty.

Top 10 Car Buying Myths

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There are a lot of misconceptions about the car buying process and what you can expect when you show up on a lot like ours to buy a car. If you’re thinking about buying a new car, knowing what these car buying myths are and why they’re myths can help you have a much smoother, much faster car buying experience. Here are the top 10 myths about car buying that everyone believes but are totally bogus:

1. Extended warranties are just one more way for the dealership to make money.

Many people who come to our Kia dealership believe that we’re trying to milk every single dollar out of them that we can. In reality, all we’re trying to do is make sure they get the best deal on a car that is properly protected. Kia already has an amazing warranty program, but when we’re offering you an extension or promotion, this isn’t just to get more of your money. A warranty can save you from having to pay for some of the most expensive repairs (like for a new transmission). Paying for a new or longer warranty should ultimately save you money in the long run.

2. Kelley Blue Book knows all the most accurate prices.

KBB is a good place to start, there’s no doubt about that. However, Kelley, unfortunately, isn’t the be-all, end-all when it comes to car prices, especially if you’re not looking at an updated prices list and new models have been sent out to lots. The best way to find the average price of cars in your area is to look at dealerships and talk to salespeople to see what they are offering their cars at. Our dealership and other dealerships in the area do extensive pricing research before tacking any price onto our cars.

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3. You should never buy a car if this is its first model year.

This is advice often dispensed to people who are looking for new cars, and it’s just not true. Today’s car manufacturers would not send a car out to lots if it wasn’t fit to drive and wasn’t just as valuable as the other cars on that lot. This isn’t the age of the Ford Pinto any longer—every model goes through extensive safety, reliability, and performance testing before they are sent out to be sold, and if there’s ever a problem, recalls are always issued.

4. Online reviews are always to be trusted.

Here’s a secret about online reviews: the only people who leave online reviews without being prompted to are those who either love the car more than anything else they’ve ever driven or those who have problems with the car. That is why you’ll usually see a swath of extremely good reviews, and another swath of very bad reviews, with very few middle of the road reviews in between. Don’t just trust the rabble of reviewers. You need to look at official car reviewing websites (where cars are evaluated and reviewed by professionals).

5. You don’t need to test drive.

More and more often, we find people coming onto our lot who have done their homework and know what car they want to buy. That’s great! Some of them, however, don’t even want to test drive the car before they purchase it. They’ve read about how it drives, and they think they’re ready to make a purchase. You won’t truly know if you’re ready to buy a particular make or model until you’ve actually taken it out on the road, that’s just a fact.

6. If you pay in cash, you’ll get a better deal than if you finance.

If you have cash on hand to pay for your new Kia, you might as well just pay for it outright. However, if you don’t have cash on hand to pay for that new car and you have to finance, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to pay thousands more for that car than if you bought it with cash. Most of the time, a dealer will be more willing to negotiate if you are financing than if you are just flat-out going to pay for the car right then and there.

7. There’s a secret lower price that you can pay if you just ask for it.

Some people arrive on a lot to buy a car believing that all of the cars have been grievously marked up—much higher than their actual price—and that if you just ask for the secret lower price, you’ll be able to get that same car for an astounding deal. The truth is that there is no secret lower price. Car salespeople are ready to negotiate, but they’re not going to be able to sell you a car for lower than the invoice.

8. You can get a better deal online than in person.

While we might occasionally run a special on our website, you still have to come into the dealership in person to get that deal. Plus, there are usually many more promotions and deals available than are listed on the website.

9. You should secure your own financing.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with bringing your own financing, but as a dealership, there are financiers that we prefer working with because they give our buyers better rates, which allow us to offer better discounts. If you are buying a car on financing, it’s probably better to come in and check out our financing options.

10. The end of the month is the best time to buy a car.

Many “car buying tip” listicles with include a point about waiting until the last weekend of the month to purchase a car because the salesperson will be more desperate to make their quota. However, in general what you’ll find is a lot with fewer choices and that the best deals have already passed you by.