Fall Maintenance Checklist from Your Kia Dealership

checklistWinter is quickly approaching, which means that now is the perfect time to make sure that your vehicle is in prime working condition. The last thing you want to do is have to have your car serviced during the winter months. This checklist will help you make sure that your vehicle is completely prepared for winter:

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1. Check your heating. While it might still be warm enough during the day that you are not relying on your heater very much, in about a month, you will start to need to use your heater every single day, just to keep your vehicle comfortable. This makes right now the perfect time to make sure that your heating system is working properly. Turn it on and if it smells funny or seems to stutter to a start, take it in to our maintenance department to have your system cleaned out and maintained.

 

2. Check your wiper blades. The heat of the summer can do serious damage to the rubber blades of your windshield wipers. If you have not gotten new blades in the last six months, now is a really good time to replace them. You might even want to consider getting wiper blades that are specifically designed to deal with heavy snowfall. These blades are thicker and more durable, so they can sweep snow off of your windshield, making it even easier to clean off your car.

3. Check your lights. As winter approaches, the days are going to shorten. You might find yourself driving to work in the dark and home from work in the dark. You might never have occasion to get in your car without also needing to turn on your headlights. This makes it more important than ever before to make sure that your lights are still bright. Your vehicle will probably alert you when one or more of your lights are going to die, but there is no harm in checking your lights and replacing the bulbs if they are not sufficient.

4. Check your tires. Winter in most areas of the United States means heavy snowfall, which can mean dangerous driving conditions, especially if your tires are worn. If you have a set of snow tires, now is the time to put them on your vehicle, rather than waiting until the first heavy snow of the year. Alternatively, if you have all-season tires, now is a good time to make sure that they still have enough tread to be functional. Bald tires can be dangerous even on perfectly dry roads but they will certainly lead to more slipping and sliding when the roads are packed with snow and ice.

5. Check your brakes. You want to have reliable brakes coming into the winter season, when you are probably going to be relying on them more than ever before. Your braking system is the most important safety feature on your vehicle. If you have not had it checked recently or you are starting to hear squealing or feel rocking or shaking when you brake, have a professional look at your brakes and replace any of the components if they are not working properly or have bene worn down.

6. Keep your tank full. While it’s unlikely that it is going to get cold enough to freeze the gas in your tank, it is always a good idea to keep your tank above half full. This will prevent moisture from getting into any of your line and freezing, which could cause them to burst and require you to make costly repairs. Plus, it means you will never be short on gas if you ever find yourself sitting in traffic on cold, snowy highways where there are few chances to get off and get gas if you are low.

7. Check your battery. Batteries are more prone to die during the winter, which means that you should check to make sure that yours is in good health as winter starts to approach. You can often have your battery checked for free at auto parts stores, but if you want to have it checked by someone you trust, bring your vehicle to our maintenance department. If it is not putting out the right voltage, it is a good idea to have your battery replaced as soon as possible. You do not want to be stranded on a snowy evening with a vehicle that will not start.

8. Make sure you have your cold weather essentials. These are your jumper cables, flashlight, snow brush, and ice scraper. These are the items that you need to make sure that your car will turn on and is safe to drive, even if your battery does die. It is very important for you to have a snow brush and ice scraper. While your windshield wiper blades and defroster can do plenty to clear your windshield, only these tools can really allow you to make sure your car is completely clean and safe to drive.

9. Stock a few bottles of water, a blanket, and nonperishable snacks, just in case. You never know when you might be stuck somewhere with your car and cannot leave for a few hours. It might be on the highway, behind an accident up ahead or your car might get mired in a snow drift and you have to wait for someone to come pull or dig you out. In this instance, you will want to have some snacks, water, and a blanket to keep you warm in your vehicle.

Come visit us or one of our sister dealerships in Burlington or Allentown!

Car Buying Doesn’t Have to Be Scary! Here Are 9 Tips for Making Car Buying Fun

A car is one of the biggest purchases that you will make in your lifetime. This can lead many people have anxiety about this purchase. While they might be perfectly capable of affording it, the sheer size of the purchase is often enough to make some people incapable of making a decision. Car buying doesn’t have to be scary, especially when you show with us! Here are nine tips that will make choosing and purchasing your car much easier:

1. Don’t bank on your emotions. When first shopping for a car, it can be tempting to look for vehicle that you like the appearance of and to disregard its safety rating, comfort, or features. Safety rating should be one of the primary factors you look at when buying a car. While it is important to get a car that you actually enjoy driving, it is just as important to look for a vehicle that is going to protect you when you are in an accident. Don’t let your emotions trump your need for a safe, functional vehicle.

2. Make a list of desired features. If you already know what you are looking for in a vehicle, you will make your car shopping experience much, much easier. Seat warmers might be a necessity for you, but completely optional for someone else. You might have no need for a backup camera, while this might be something that someone else will not buy a car If you have specific features that you are going to be looking for, make a list of them.

 

3. Do your research. Every brand now has a website where you can go to see their vehicles and to get an idea of what features are available and their starting prices. It’s important to remember that most of the models at your dealership are going to be more expensive, because they come along with additional fees. Doing your research allows you to eliminate vehicles or even entire brands that do not offer you something that you want or can afford.

4. There is no “right time” to buy a car. Many guides will tell you that the best time to get a good price on a vehicle is at the end of the month or the end of the summer or just after Christmas. The truth is that just about every dealership runs sales and specials just about all the time. You are not necessarily going to get a better deal by waiting until the end of the month. Many guides recommend this because they claim that salespeople will be more desperate to meet their quota and will give in to negotiating. This may be true in some regards, but it’s also true that the salespeople might have already met their goals or quotas and will have no impetus to give you a better deal.

 

5. Make sure they have the cars you want to look at. If you have done your research, you should be able to walk onto the lot and tell the salesperson which vehicles you want to see. While they might not have the exact trim or a vehicle with the exact features that you want, they should have something analogous that you can test drive while they get the vehicle you do want to buy from another dealership. If you look at the dealership’s website and you already know they don’t have the car you want to see, you could call ahead to see how quickly they could get it for you.

6. Keep in mind that a lower monthly payment doesn’t necessarily mean a cheaper vehicle. When you finance through the dealership, you might be given the option to look at a few different options, some that will offer you a lower monthly payment. In some instances, because of interest, you might actually end up paying more for a car, even if you have a lower monthly payment.

7. Last year’s model will probably be cheaper. If you have to have the newest model year that the dealership has on their lot, you are probably going to pay more than if you opted for an older (but still new) vehicle. Many dealerships, for example, might have their 2017 stock already on the lot, along with some of their 2016 stock. If you are willing to not get the latest design and features, you might be able to get essentially the same vehicle at a lower price.

8. Consider whether or not you are going to buy again in the near future. If you are planning on buying another vehicle in the near future, you might want to consider buying something cheaper this time around. On the other hand, buying a vehicle that has better value, even after being driven for a few years, could make it a better option if you are planning on trading it in the near future.

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9. Don’t be afraid to call ahead. While summer is generally the busiest time for most dealerships, the dealerships you are planning on visiting might still be very busy. Calling ahead, first to make sure that they have the vehicles you want to look at and then to schedule test drives for those vehicles is a good way to make sure that you get personalized attention when you do actually arrive on their showroom floor.

 

These tips can make this big purchase a little bit less scary and a whole lot more fun! Buying a new car should be exciting! Come visit us or one of our sister dealerships in Allentown or Turnersville.

Trading a Car In? Here’s What You Need to Know

Trading in a car that you no longer need or no longer want is a great way to reduce the price of buying a totally new vehicle. That said, many people avoid trading in their old car, simply because they do not know if their old car is worth any money or how exactly to go about broaching the subject with the dealership or dealerships they are considering buying from. If you are interested in trading in your current vehicle, here’s what you need to know about the process:

1. Bring the vehicle when you are test driving. As you visit different dealerships, trying to decide which one you are going to buy from, bring the vehicle that you are considering trading in. Not only will this allow you to make the transaction if you decide that you are ready to buy a new car (instead of putting off the deal because you have to go home and get the older vehicle), it will also give the dealerships you are working with some time to look the vehicle over and determine how much it is worth.

2. Get an estimate before you go. A good way to get an estimate of the value of your older vehicle is to look online. There are several tools, including one from Kelly Blue Book, that will allow you to put in the make and model of your vehicle and then account for any wear, tear, and damage, before providing you with an estimate for how much that vehicle is worth. This should not be taken as a hard and fast value for your car, as your vehicle might be in better or worse shape than you think it is or the dealership you are working with might be willing to offer you more (or less) than the vehicle is worth, depending on how close you seem to buying.

trading-car3. Clean the vehicle. Before you take that car anywhere, make sure that you have cleaned its interior thoroughly and that you have washed the exterior. Appearances do matter when it comes to valuing a car. A dirty car will appear older and less valuable than a new vehicle. A car that is littered with trash or that needs extensive cleaning inside will probably put a dealership off of buying it from you. If the interior upholstery is stained, remove those stains as best as you can before trying to trade it in to a dealership. Remember, the less work they have to put into this vehicle before they can sell it, the more they are going to be able to give you for it.

4. Have the vehicle checked out. Is it really worth your time to pay for one last tune up before your take that vehicle to be valued by a dealership? The truth is, it depends. If the vehicle is in relatively good condition, but it needs a new fan belt, for example, it might be worth your time to pay for that repair yourself, so when you take the car into the dealership, it is not squeaking and squealing, which could cause the dealership some concern. If the repairs are going to cost you more than a couple hundred dollars and the car itself is only worth a couple thousand, it is probably not worth paying for the repairs. If your car that is worth seven thousand dollars, however, requires a hundred dollar repair, it might be worth the money.

5. Bring your records of maintenance. When trading in that vehicle to a dealership, bring along proof that you have taken care of that car. There is a huge difference between a car that only had an oil change every five years and one that had one every six months like clockworks. Vehicles that have been taken care of are going to be much more valuable than vehicle that have been driven into the ground. A vehicle that has been carefully looked after might have another fifteen years on the road, while one of the same make, model, and year might only have two or three more years if it was not cared for.

6. Don’t try to play games. Don’t first get a quote for the new car you want to buy and then mention that you have a vehicle to trade in, hoping that it will somehow give you some leverage. Trade ins will be one of the first questions that most salespeople will ask you, because of how the can affect the entire car buying process. If you are willing to trade in a car, you are offering the dealership something of real value, something that they want. Don’t hide the fact that you are thinking about trading your older car in. Tell them outright that you have a car that you want to have traded in and that you have done some research about the value of that car. Again, keep in mind that what you find online does not necessarily apply to your vehicle. Many 2002 Mazda Protégés will be worth $4000, but yours might only be worth $2000, depending on its condition.

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7. Close the deal. Once you and the salesperson have agreed on a price for your trade in and a price for the new car that you are going to buy, it’s time to close the deal! You might negotiate the two prices separately or they might simply give you a certain amount of a discount in return for the vehicle. It all depends on how the dealership operates. Most dealerships are more than willing to take trade-ins, so if you have an old car that you essentially want to replace with this new car, trading it in is a great way to offset the price of that new car!

Do I really need all these safety features on my Kia?

kia-safety-featureCars today are far safer than they ever have been before. In the early days, when cars were little more than carriages with engines attached to them, they were incredibly dangerous, for both pedestrians and drivers. Over the decades, efforts have been taken to make cars as safe as they possible can be, protecting more and more people from dangerous situations. Today’s vehicles are equipped not just with airbags, but with a huge variety of safety features that don’t just keep you safer in the event of an accident, but actually make an accident less likely.

But do you really need a car with these high tech safety features? Haven’t we been getting along fine without them for the past couple of decades? The truth is that airbags and seatbelts are not enough to really protect you on today’s roads. Kia has worked tireless to outfit their vehicles with, yes, the best seatbelts and airbags, but also many other features that make them some of the safest vehicles on the road today. Here are just a few of the features that you can expect when you buy from Kia:

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1. A high tensile steel body – A lightweight steel body might not sound like it is great for crash safety (heavier vehicles take less damage in the event of an impact), high tensile steel is lighter, but even more rigid than other metals used to make car bodies today. Why is that important? Because a rigid car body will crumple when it is struck. This means that the vehicle itself absorbs as much of the energy of the crash as possible, instead of transferring it to the bodies inside that vehicle. This type of body is actually designed to protect its driver and passengers, while also improving fuel efficiency (lighter cars use less gas to go).

2. Airbags – Every vehicle today is equipped with high quality air bags. They are required by law and can actually do a lot to protect you and your passengers from harm when your vehicle is involved in an accident. What makes a Kia airbag different? Unlike some vehicles that only put airbags in the front part of the cabin, Kia has installed airbags in the front and on the sides of all passengers. Airbags are designed to protect the body in a crash. They can prevent the individuals in that car from smashing their arms, knees, and most importantly, heads into the hard components of that vehicle. They are an absolutely necessity for any and all cars.

3. Seatbelts that tense – What good is a seatbelt if it simply unspools and lets your body fly forward in the event of a crash? The seatbelts in your Kia can sense when your vehicle is braking sharply and will put tension on the strap, so that you are held against the seat. This ensures that when the airbags deploy, the person is not leaning too far forward and will not be whipped backwards by those bags. More control is afforded to how the person contacts the airbags, which makes them much safer to use.

4. Autonomous emergency braking – Self-driving cars might be the way of the future, but they are not yet available to the mass market. The autonomous emergency braking system in our Kia vehicles is a great alternative that is designed to keep you safe. A camera is mounted to the windshield of the vehicle. It senses the other cars in the road and the lane that your vehicle is supposed to be in. If your vehicle is coming up too quickly on another vehicle (for example, if someone cuts in front of you or slams on their brakes), the car will take over, putting on the brakes to help you avoid hitting the vehicle in front of you.

5. Tire pressure monitoring – A vehicle with improperly inflated tires is a danger not just to itself and its passengers, but the other vehicles on the road, too. All Kia vehicles come with a tire pressure monitoring system, which will tell you not only that a tire is not properly inflated, but which tire it is. A low tire can be dangerous, no matter the driving conditions. Even on perfectly dry roads with great visibility, you might still experience sliding and wobble related to having low tire pressure.

6. Vehicle stability management – If you find yourself on bumpy roads, this system is designed to automatically protect you and your vehicle. It sense the conditions on the road and adjusts the steering wheel and the brakes to make sure that you are getting the best control out of your vehicle. If you often worry about poor road conditions or have to deal with bumpy roads, this system has you covered.

7. Emergency stop signal – It can be difficult to tell just how fast the car in front of you is slowing down. When you drive a Kia, the people following you will never have to worry about this. When you brake abruptly, your taillights will blink rapidly, letting the drivers behind you know that you are slamming on your brakes, so they can take appropriate action.

8. Lane departure warnings – Sometimes, if you are not paying attention to the road, either because you are drowsy or because you are distracted by your phone or other piece of technology, you might find yourself drifting out of your lane. This is extremely dangerous. The lane departure warning will make a noise and flash when you are drifting out of lane so you can correct your trajectory.

Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Kia Vehicle Fuel Efficient

Making the decision to purchase a Kia means that you have already decided that you want a more fuel efficient vehicle. Most Kia vehicles have much better fuel efficiency than their competitors, in addition to being less expensive, which means you will not only pay less for the car, but you will pay less to power that vehicle over its life. As with any vehicle, however, over time, a Kia will start to lose its fuel efficiency if it is not properly cared for. Here are some car maintenance tips to make sure your Kia stays as efficient as possible:

Use the Right Oil

car maintenanceHow do you know what oil you need to use in your vehicle? The very best way is to check your owner’s manual and see what it recommends for oil. Kia has carefully chosen a type of oil for your vehicle that will ensure that the engine is properly primed. While it might not endanger your vehicle to use natural oil, for example, if your owner’s manual recommends synthetic or a 50/50 split, or to use 10W-30 motor oil if your engine is accustomed to 5W-30 oil, it might reduce the efficiency of that engine, enough that you will start to notice a reduction in the number of miles per gallon you are getting.

Whether you change your oil yourself or you take your vehicle in for an oil change, make sure you know the right kind of oil for your car. Most shops will come out and ask you what kind of oil you want them to use in your vehicle. Some might already know what is best for your Kia, but it is still a good idea to know what your manufacturer recommends for your specific make and model.

Replace the Air Filter

Most people do not replace their engine’s air filters often enough. When it is difficult for your engines to get the air that it needs, you are going to see a reduction in the number of miles per gallon that your vehicle receives. Just as a clogged air filter in your home’s air conditioning system makes your air conditioner work much harder to push air into your home, an engine has to work harder when its air filter is dirty, resulting in an engine that provides your car with less oomph.

How do you know when your air filter needs to be replaced? If you bring your vehicle in for a checkup at our dealership or at our sister dealerships in Allentown or Turnersville, just ask us to check your air filter and to replace it if is dirty. If you take your vehicle in for an oil change, most shops will check your air filters as part of the service. In this case, however, you will want to make sure that they are showing you your air filter and not a dirty one that they keep on hand to scam customers.

Buy Better Parts

If your vehicle ever needs a new part, especially in its engine, don’t settle for used parts. One of the most common part replacements most vehicles need is spark plugs. You might try to make a spark plug replacement less expensive by opting for used spark plugs, but if you are going to be using a worn out plug, you’re only going to be making it more difficult for your engine to function properly. The spark plug will not fire reliably and you will have to worry about losing performance and needing to buy more gas, more often. Choose only parts that have been specifically made for your vehicle and which the manufacturer recommends that you use.

Keep Your Tire Pressure at the Right PSI

When your tires are properly inflated, you will not only see less wear on your tires, your vehicle will also be easier to drive and you will see improve fuel efficiency. Most people do not even think about their tire pressure until one of their tires gets very low or they have a flat. You should be checking your tire pressure at least once a season, as fluctuating temperatures could cause the air in those tires to expand or contract, leaving you with overinflated or underinflated tires, both of which will affect your ability to get good gas mileage.

Don’t Neglect Basic Maintenance

Today’s vehicles have become so low maintenance that most people forget that they actually still require at least a little bit of maintenance. This means keeping your tires at the right pressure, changing your oil every six months (or as often as is recommended by your manufacturer), and occasionally having a tune up. Don’t forget to undertake these basic tasks or you might find that you see your vehicle’s gas mileage slowly start to wane.

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Once you’ve lost your fuel efficiency, it can be very difficult to get it back. Cars need more than just to be filled up with gas and to have their oil changed occasionally. If you devote a little bit of time and money to taking care of your car, it will take care of you—that means getting better gas mileage and having fewer problems down the road.

Some other tips that can help you maintain your gas mileage include removing extra weight from your car (don’t tote around things that you don’t need to have in your car), using your cruise control at high speeds, and regularly replacing your tires so that you get the best grip on the road.

Drive Safer: Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Kia Vehicle

If you choose to buy a vehicle from our Kia dealership (or one of our partner dealerships in Turnersville and Allentown), you are already making a decision that could make you a much safer driver. All Kia vehicles are equipped with safety features that not only protect the driver and passengers in the event of an accident but actually also make those accidents easier to avoid. These range from back up cameras to lane diverging alerts to predictive braking systems. Here are some tips that will help you make the most of these safety features in your new kia:

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1. Put away the cellphone. This is something that might be difficult, especially for younger drivers. We’re so used to checking out cellphones these days that if we don’t do it every five minutes, we start to feel disconnected from the world. Even just looking down to check your text messages when you are at a stoplight is not a good idea. Make it a habit to not just put your cellphone in a cup holder while you are driving, but to actually put the cellphone away, where you cannot hear it or see it.

2. Slow down. Especially in areas where the speed limit is already low, it is important not to speed. Not only is speeding in a residential area very dangerous, for every mile an hour you are going, you have a 5% higher chance of dying in an accident. That means that if you are going 60 in a 55 zone, you have a 25% higher chance of dying if you are in an accident than if you were going the speed limit. Speed limits are not arbitrary—they are carefully calculated based on the road and its surroundings.

3. Don’t drive while drowsy. Driving while tired can be just as dangerous as driving while drunk. Even if you know the road well, if you are drowsy, your reflexes are not as fast as they might need to be in order to avoid hitting another vehicle or a person. You might even find yourself nodding off, which can lead you to causing a serious accident, even if yours is the only car involved. This is especially important if you are going to be driving at highway speeds, as falling asleep or not paying attention while driving at this high rate of speed can have disastrous and even deadly results, no matter how impressive your vehicle’s safety features are.

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4. Wear your seatbelt. The seatbelt is one of the oldest and most common safety features and you are going to find them in every single vehicle that you can purchase. It might sound cheesy, buy wearing your seatbelt can save your life. When in an accident, a seatbelt restrains you so that you are not thrown from the vehicle. While you might think that you can brace yourself before impact, the truth is that the speed at which most serious accidents occur ensures that individuals not wearing their seatbelts are going to be in for much more serious injuries than those who did wear them.

5. Slow down in bad weather. Bad weather doesn’t just mean snow (though if there is snow on the road and the road is not just wet, you should slow down significantly). Bad weather means rain, sleet, hail, fog, dirt, and smoke. If visibility is reduced, slow down. If the road has the potential of being slick under your wheels, slow way down. Just about any type of weather can cause a dangerous driving situation, so pay attention to the conditions and adjust your driving habits accordingly.

6. Don’t tailgate the vehicle in front of you. There are only a few outcomes of tailgating. In general, when you tailgate someone, it is because you think they are going too slow. It’s very rare that this person is going to suddenly realize that they are going too slow and pick up the pace, simply because you are riding their bumper with your vehicle. If they do happen to notice that you are tailgating them, they are probably just going to get annoyed, which means that they will continue driving slowly and might even slow down. This is a situation which can be very dangerous for you, as the tailgater, as you might not have time to slam on your breaks, if the person in front of you slams on their breaks. While most Kia vehicles do have advanced safety features that automatically apply the brakes if the vehicle sense that the car in front of you is suddenly slowing down, your vehicle is not going to be able to completely compensate for how close you are to the other car.

7. Pay attention to what the people around you are doing. One of the biggest mistakes you can make while on the road is to assume that everyone else is paying as much attention to the road as you are. Assuming that everyone else is doing their best to avoid getting into an accident and therefore letting your guard down is a good way to get into an accident. Take the time to pay attention to what the cars around you are doing. If the car in front of your is swerving in the lane and it is pretty obvious that they are texting or doing something else that distracts them from the road, it’s a good idea to get as far away from this driver as you possibly can.

How to Take the Stress Out of Buying a New Car

Buying a car is a big purchase, even if the vehicle itself is fairly inexpensive. This is one of the largest purchases that most people will make and they do not want to make the wrong choice or feel pressured into purchasing a specific vehicle. Buying a new car should be fun and exciting, not stressful! If you are feeling stress or anxiety about this purchase, there are ways that you can soothe these fears and prepare yourself to make sure you are making the right decision.

1. Shop at a dealership you trust. When you buy from us or our Burlington or Turnersville dealerships, you know you are working with salesmen and with dealerships that you can rely on. We are proud of the vehicles that we sell and we are excited to help you find the vehicle that fits your needs. When you trust the people you are buying from, it will be much easier to find a car that you are ultimately happy with. There is nothing worse than driving your car home and wondering whether or not you made the right decision. We will help you make sure that you did!

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2. Do research before visiting dealerships. If part of your stress stems from the fact that there are so many different choices, even within the same brand, you can save yourself a little bit of stress by doing research before you actually start visiting dealerships. This might enable you to not only eliminate certain models, but entire makes. If you go online and look at a certain brand’s lineup and discover that they don’t have any vehicles that you are interested in test driving, you can cross that dealership off of your list and move on to the brands that are offering you vehicles you want to look at in person.

buying a car3. Look for dealerships offering incentives or deals. The monthly car payment might not actually be that worrisome for you, but that doesn’t mean that looking for a dealership that is offering a deal, discount, or incentive isn’t a bad idea. Some brands will actually offer you discounts if you already own a vehicle from that same brand. Others might be running specials where they offer extra money on a trade in vehicle. Many dealerships have specialized offers on certain models. Take a little bit of extra time to see if the brands that you are interested in buying from are offering one of these specials.

4. Decide on your budget before you get to the dealership. If you want to avoid even looking at cars that you know you can’t afford, decide before you get to the dealership what the very ceiling of your budget is going to be and then do not budge. If you are not sure how much the vehicles you are looking at are going to cost you from month to month, it is worth your time to use the payment calculators that every single brand has to get a good idea of what you are likely to pay, were you to buy that car. Make sure, if you have a tight budget, that you take car insurance and the cost of gas and repairs into consideration when deciding how much you want to pay.

5. Pick the right time to shop. There’s no “best time of the year” to buy a car. Every brand runs sales almost year-round and each individual dealership will over different incentives at different times. You probably will end up paying about the same for a car no matter what time of year you decide to buy. That said, if you want a less stressful buying experience, it is worth your time to pick the right day of the week to shop. If you can shop during the week, when most people are going to be at work, there will be fewer people on the lot and less competition for the attention of the salespeople.

6. Look for loans before you go. Most dealerships offer their own financing for their buyers, but this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t shop around to see what sorts of loans and rates are available. Unless you are able to pay cash for a vehicle, you should spend at least a little bit of time familiarizing yourself with the loans that local lenders offer, as it is likely with one of these lenders that your dealership is going to work in order to finance that car for you. If you know what rates are considered fair, you’ll be much more prepared to negotiate when it comes time to buy.

7. Contact the dealership before visiting. If you know exactly what vehicles you want to test drive, it might be worth your time to call or email the dealership before you show up, asking if they have those models in the colors and with the features you need, so that they have them prepared for you. You’ll also establish a personal connection with the dealership, so when you show up, they already know who you are and you will probably already have a salesperson available and ready to help you find the perfect car.

8. Know when to walk away. If you are not one hundred percent ready to buy a car, the experience is going to be stressful, no matter what you do. If you really are not ready, be ready to walk away and take a few days to think about the purchase and which vehicle really is going to be the best for you and your lifestyle.

Ask Our Dealership: Common Car Maintenance Questions Answered

You can drive a car and not be an expert in their inner workings. That what our dealership’s maintenance department is for! But if you do want to be a more contentious car owner, you might be looking for a little more information about your vehicle to make sure you are driving it and caring for it the right way. Here are some of the most common car questions we are asked and their answers!

My owner’s manual says that normal gas is fine. Wouldn’t it be better to put premium gas in my car?

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car maintenanceThere are just about no consumer vehicles that need premium gasoline. There are some engines that are graded only for this higher octane fuel, but it is very unlikely that you are driving one of those vehicles. If you look in your Kia vehicle’s owner’s manual and it says that the regular unleaded gasoline is the gas of choice for your vehicle, there is no need to splurge and buy the more expensive gasoline.

So, why is premium gasoline even an option at the pump if you are not supposed to put it in your car? There are some engines that are graded to function better when they have higher octane gasoline in them. Every engine uses a combination of oxygen and gasoline to power itself. The gas that you put into your vehicle is compressed in your engine by a cylinder and is then ignited by a spark plug. The higher octane gasoline you use, the more compression the gas can take before it is ignited.

Your engine is probably graded to provide the amount of compression that regular unleaded gasoline can take before ignition, not for the higher amount of compression that premium gas can withstand. So, while using premium gasoline certainly won’t harm your engine, your engine probably doesn’t need it, and so buying it is just an unnecessary expense. And because gas prices are already so high, there is no real need to pay even more for “better” gasoline, when your vehicle doesn’t need it.

Is it helpful when I try to replicate the sound my car is making to the mechanic when I take it in?

Many people feel a little embarrassed when they try to replicate the noise their vehicle makes with their own mouth. Don’t worry, your mechanic is not laughing at you. The sound that you are making can actually give our maintenance department a lot of really good information about what is going on with your vehicle and what we need to do to be able to fix it, especially if there is nothing in your vehicle’s diagnostics and there are no dashboard lights on.

If you don’t feel comfortable trying to replicate the noise, it is still useful to try to describe the noise to our mechanics. Is it high-pitched? Does it sound metallic, like metal on metal? Is it a low rumble? A squealing sound? Your vehicle can make lots of weird noises and we know all too well that you might be having a problem out on the road that we just cannot replicate when we have your vehicle in the shop. Gathering as much information as possible from you, the person who spends the most time with this car, is very helpful, no matter how we get that information.

How do I know if my vehicle actually needs maintenance or if the shop is trying to scam me?

Unfortunately, there are some mechanics who will try to take advantage of individuals who do not know every much about cars. They will tell them that something is wrong with their vehicle and will hope that you, as the driver, will not be able to tell whether or not that is something that is actually wrong with your vehicle. Whether your car breaks down and you have it towed into the shop or whether you are simply taking that vehicle in for routine maintenance, you might be told that there is something wrong with your car that is not actually wrong with your car.

But, how do you know if you are being taken advantage of or if you really do need that repair? First of all, you should only take your vehicle to a shop that you trust. Our maintenance department is staffed only by the best mechanics, who have both extensive training and who are more than willing to sit down with you and explain in great detail what is wrong with your vehicle.

If you can’t bring your vehicle into our dealership’s maintenance department, you will want to look for a mechanic who has the right credentials and accreditation. Look for or ask to see their certificates. Watch out for secret fees, too. Do they charge you just for diagnosing your vehicle? If they do, they night also be willing to charge you for work they never intend on doing. Work only with mechanics that give you an itemized invoice that clearly shows what you are paying for.

If you’re not sure that your vehicle needed a certain service, ask them to tell you why they did that service and to show you the results. Learn a little about your vehicle and what type of maintenance it is likely to have. Learn a little bit about car maintenance and what certain issues sound and feel like when you are driving. The more involved you are and the more educated you are, the less likely you are to be scammed.

10 Questions to Ask Your Kia Dealership When Buying a New Car

When you are shopping for a new car, the salesperson helping you will probably ask you at some point during the process if you have any questions. While you definitely do not have to come with prepared questions, knowing some questions to ask that might not have already been answered by your salesperson can ensure that you buy the vehicle that is actually right for you. Here is a list of questions you might want to keep in mind to ask when you are shopping for a new car at our Kia dealership:

1. What is the best Kia for my lifestyle? Our goal is always to help you find the right car for you. For some, the Kia Optima is going to be the best pick. Others might prefer the Cadenza or the Sedona. It is all about finding the right vehicle for you and your needs. How many seats do you need? What kind of safety features would you prefer? What type of technology do you need? Discussing what you usually use a vehicle for with your salesperson can be a great way to make sure you are getting a Kia that is going to work perfectly for your lifestyle.

2. Should I buy or lease? There is almost endless debate over whether leasing or buying a vehicle is best for drivers. The simple truth is that whether buying or leasing is better depends entirely on the driver himself. If you are likely going to try to sell this car back to our Kia dealership and buy a new one in three years, a lease is usually going to be the better option. If, however, you plan on driving this car into the ground, until its wheels fall off, buying is almost always going to be the best option for you. Again, the best way to know what is right for your particular situation is to actually talk to a salesperson on our showroom floor.

woman asking questions3. How should I pay for this car? Very few people come in and are ready to pay cash for a vehicle, even one as inexpensive as the Kia Rio. In this instance, you have a few different options, including financing through the dealership or through a local lender. Financing through the dealership is usually going to provide you with the best terms.

4. What vehicles are in my price range? If you have a very concrete price range, you might want to ask the salesman you are working with which vehicles are even going to be in that price range, especially if you are interested in a wide variety of vehicles. Keep in mind that not every dealership has every single trim level of every single model in every single color on their lot. If you are looking for something specific, you might want to lead off your car shopping experience by asking what vehicles they have that are actually in your price range.

5. How does my credit history affect my ability to buy? Being upfront about your credit history is usually the best way to make sure that it is not an issue when you are buying a car from us. You do not have to have perfect credit to buy a vehicle. Dealing directly with us will give you a little bit of flexibility when it comes to financing that you might not get if you try to find your own loan.

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6. What kind of safety features does this trim level have? When looking at specific vehicles, it can be very helpful to learn about not just what general feature the brand offers, but which safety features are offered specifically on that vehicle at that trim level. When you purchase a Kia, you are going to find that every single vehicle has great safety features.

7. What other fees come along with purchasing? There are usually a few fees that come along with purchasing a vehicle, besides just what is listed on the sticker price. There will be, of course, a down payment that you need to make, but there could also be other fees that you might not know about until it comes times for payment if you do not ask. When negotiating the price of your vehicle, be sure to ask what other fees might be tacked on at the end of the process.

8. Are there any aftermarket additions to this vehicle? Sometimes, a brand might install a piece of technology on a car after it is technically finished. While it is less common for this to happen these days than even five years ago, you might still want to ask, especially if the dealership has installed an aftermarket alarm or other similar part, which might start to cause you trouble that a part installed during normal manufacturing would not.

9. What are my warranty options? Before you start the purchasing process, it is time for you to ask about your warranty options. When you are dealing with a brand like Kia, you are going to have a great warranty options, making buying one of these vehicles a no-brainer.

10. Can you get me this other car? Most dealership have only a limited stock, but this does not mean that they do not have the ability to get you the model that you want in the color that you want. This might take a few days, but you’ll only know for sure if you actually ask. Whether it is strictly a matter of color or whether you want a specific feature that they do not have on any of their models, ask if they have the ability to get you the car that you really want.

What Features Your New Car Needs to Have

car featuresIf you’ve never bought a car before, you might not know what features you want your new car to have. How do you determine what you really need in a car if you’ve never owned one before? When you visit
our Kia dealership (or our sister dealerships in Burlington and Allentown), you will find helpful salespeople that are just waiting to answer your questions and help you find the right car for you. Still, having a good idea of what you are looking for in a vehicle even before you come to our showrooms can be helpful. Here are some of the most important features for your new car:

1. Cruise control – Are there still vehicles on the market that do not come with cruise control? While every model will boast cruise control, some brands’ lower trim levels will not include it standard. They may offer you the ability to add it aftermarket, but, from our experience, this is never a good option. It will be buggy and neigh unto useless from the moment it is installed. Luckily, when you shop with Kia, you will be able to find cruise control even on the lower trims of all of our models. This is just a small bit of software that controls your electronic throttle to give you a little more speed or ease off the speed to keep you going a constant speed on the road. Kia also has a system called adaptive cruise control, that actually sense if there are obstacles (like cars going at a slower speed than you are) in front of you and automatically slows your speed to match that obstacle’s.

2. Four wheel drive – This is a situational feature. If you are an avid outdoorsman who wants to be able to handle any kind of terrain, four wheel drive is probably a necessary feature for you. Even if you just live at the end of a dirt road, you might find that you need four wheel drive to get to work on a rainy morning. There are lots of uses for four wheel drive, but the average commuter will not encounter them on a daily or even yearly basis. That said, if you know that you are frequently in situations where you need four wheel drive, it can definitely be a great feature to look for as you shop for vehicles. Even just cities that get lots of rain and occasionally have flooding might require four wheel drive, allowing you to get around, even when the streets are slick or packed with debris.

3. Heated seats – Do you live somewhere where it gets cold? If so, then you probably want to have heated seats. This might be considered a luxury by some, but it is a necessity for others, especially those who are easily chilled and find that a car’s heaters do not necessarily bring the cabin up to an acceptable temperature fast enough. Seat heaters might not be at the top of your list, but if you get cold and you want to be able to get warm as quickly as possible, this is a great feature.

4. Towing hitch – Do you ever need to tow anything? If so, you might want to look out for a vehicle that has a towing hitch. Even sedans can tow things nowadays, but if you are going to be doing a lot of towing (if you have a trailer, for example, that you take out every weekend to go camping), you probably will want a sturdier vehicle that is designed for towing. Just about every brand will have a vehicle that has the wherewithal to tow. On the other hand, if you can’t imagine a situation wherein you would need to tow something, you might want to mention this to your salesperson and let them know you don’t want to pay the little bit extra that these tow hitches add to the price of a vehicle.

5. Automatic transmission – Just about the only brand that offers manual transmission standard these days is Jeep. Every other brand is probably going to offer just automatic transmissions or manual transmissions only on special order form the factory. Automatic transmissions are more fuel efficient and are easier to drive. While some people prefer shifting their gears manually, it’s almost always better to let the car take care of the shifting. Unless you are shopping at a brand that still offers plentiful manual transmissions options, the automatic transmission is probably going to be your only option and you won’t have to worry about requesting it specifically.

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6. A third row of seats – Do you have a large family (or children that often need to be separate from one another) or lots of friends that you like to drive around? If so, you might want to look for vehicles that have an extra row of seats. Some models will have this option available, depending on which trim level you are looking at. A third row of seats can be a great way to get more people into your car safely or to separate squabbling children and given them all their very own space.

7. Navigational system – Just about every brand is now offering a navigational system in their vehicles, which can be extremely useful for finding your way around unfamiliar neighborhoods or in states and cities you’ve never been to before. While you might have an app on your smartphone that does this, too, a navigational system built right into your vehicle is the best way to get that vehicle where you want to go.