Purchasing a Used Car – Things You Need to Do

Sometimes it may not exactly be a sensible decision for your family to purchase a new vehicle. With the extremely high costs of new cars and the drastic depreciation when they are driven off the lot, you could just end up breaking your bank. This is why used cars are proving to be a more economical and budget-friendly choice. Contrary to popular belief, secondhand cars offer remarkable value to buyers. You can easily find first-owner or two/three year old models that haven’t been driven much. However, while purchasing a used car may seem like a judicious option, you still need to be smart. So, without further ado, look at these tips below for purchasing a used car:

Analyze Your Budget

When it comes to purchasing a used car, it is imperative to figure out what you can afford. Whether you’re planning to finance or purchase the vehicle outright, have a budget set in mind. Also, factor in a little extra money for repairs and maintenance. Checking the Blue Book values and dealer prices is an easy way to determine the accurate budget for a vehicle you want to buy. Once you have determined a fixed budget, stick to it and avoid buying impulsively. Don’t hesitate on walking away from a deal if a car isn’t the right price. There are plenty more fish in the sea.

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Do Your Research

After you have analyzed your budget and settled on a fixed amount of spending, begin your research on the car you want to buy. You have plenty of options when it comes to buying a ride. From sedans, coupes, minivans, pickup tracks, to compacts, there is a vehicle for every taste. Consider researching on the best models for each vehicle type. Also, try gaining information about the most common problems with popular models. This helps in figuring out what warning signs you should be look for when you’re shopping around for a vehicle.

Vehicle Condition

Once you have completed your research and decided on a car purchase, it’s time to contact some sellers. Ask them if you can come visit and analyze the vehicle’s condition. You have to check every inch of the car, interior and exterior. Go over the interior upholstery in detail as well as check the condition of the paint on the exterior body. If there are any dents or a minor fender-bender, don’t hesitate on asking the seller to get it repaired or compensate in price. It is imperative that you also check the engine parts by lifting the hood. If there are any rusty or dirty parts, it indicates problems with the engine.

Get a Mechanic’s Inspection

After you have checked out different vehicles and settled on one that you plan to buy, it is vital that you get a mechanic’s inspection. Even if the service engine light isn’t on, used cars could have serious problems lurking under the hood. A seller should be willing to let you get the car checked out by a mechanic. If the seller refuses, it is a clear sign of a shady deal. For each minor problem the mechanic finds, ask the seller to reduce the asking price. In the end, the cost to have a car inspected by a professional will be well worth the price. A mechanic can easily help you in discovering hidden problems, while assisting in figuring out the car’s value.

Vehicle History Report

After you have analyzed the vehicle’s condition by hiring a mechanic, it’s time for you to obtain a CARFAX® history report. This document is crucial for helping you reveal information about service points, title problems, and ownership history. It can even help you in determining whether they car has been in serious accidents. You can get the CARFAX® history report online. The main website has a huge list of comprehensive car reports available to purchase. These reports are pulled from a database that consists of more than seven billion car records.

Take It for a Test Drive

Once you have performed thorough research on the car you want to buy, it’s time for the test drive. Figure out whether it’s comfortable for you to get in and out of the vehicle. Do you have enough leg, head, and elbow room? What features does the car have for infotainment? Bear in mind you will be spending a lot of time in the car, so you need to be completely sure that you’re comfortable. Inspect the vehicle’s drive carefully. Check the touchscreen, lights, tires, audio system, and all convenience features to ensure they are in good working order.

The Leak Test

Upon taking the car for a test drive, make sure to inspect for any kind of leaks. Take a moment to park in a clean area on the road and let the car run for at least 30 seconds. Pump the gas a bit and then move the car to do a visible inspection of any leaking substances. If there is a black fluid on the parked space, this means oil is leaking from the engine. If the fluid is greenish, it means the anti-freeze is leaking, and if the color is pinkish, it means the leak is in the transmission. All of these are clear signs for repair.

Get the Paperwork

Avoid buying a vehicle that doesn’t have a clean title. It is imperative that the used car you purchase doesn’t have any issues with the registration or title. For your protection, it is a wise decision to ask for a bill of sale if you plan to buy the car. Once you own the car, make sure to sign the title and update the registration and tags. Then, drive your new vehicle all over the city and highways!

Look into Certified Pre-owned

If you can’t find a good used vehicle that suits your budgetary needs and transportation requirements, consider looking for certified pre-owned models. These vehicles undergo a rigorous and thorough inspection process from dealers. As a result, they are mostly in very good condition. The exterior and interior of the cars are refurbished to look as brand new. These vehicles also come with extended warranties and roadside assistance.

So, if you are planning to purchase a used car, make sure to follow the tips mentioned above.

Be Proactive – 9 Tips on Protecting Your Kia’s Engine

car engineYour car deserves a lot of care, especially the engine that is the powerhouse of the house. Most people do not think about the condition of the engine. They just keep the interior and the exterior of the car cleaned and rarely look what is going under the hood. People start the car and head off to wherever they want to go. However, it is not until the engine starts making weird noises that the owner/driver wonders what could have possibly gone wrong. The new noises from your engine might make you to take the car to a workshop where you will surely have to pay a lot.

To keep the engine of your car updated and well maintained, you do not necessarily have to empty your wallets. You can do it yourself at home. All you have to do is make sure you observe the following tips and your engine will run better and smooth.

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1.     Check the Air Filter

Just like us, cars need to breathe in oxygen to keep working and running. Every car needs a clean and continuous air flow to keep the engine smooth. Air filters help keep all the dirt, bugs, leaves and other kinds of external junk from getting inside the engine. An air filter usually lasts a long time but that does not mean you stop checking it. Make sure you keep your air filter clean to prevent any debris and dirt getting in. If too much dirt and debris is allowed to get in the engine, it might seize the engine or weaken it, hence wildly affecting the performance and ultimately the driving experience. Check your air filter regularly and replace it with a new one if necessary.

2.     Check the Gas

Petrol has a certain amount of sediment that you cannot see. When you fill up the gas tank of your car, the sediment settles at the bottom. And over a span of years, a significant amount of sediment is collected. However, your engine is safe from the sediment as the fuel filter of your car lets very less or no sediment get in the engine if you keep your fuel at least nearly half full. If you choose to drive your car with very less fuel, the junk collected at the bottom of the tank will get sucked to and the fuel filter might fail. Once the fuel filter has allowed too much junk to get in, your engine might have to be fully checked.

3.     Replace the Fuel Filter

As mentioned above, the fuel filter keeps the junk in your gas tank from getting inside your engine and just like the air filter, the fuel filter has to be regularly checked. If the fuel filter already has a lot of junk collected in it, it would be best to get a new one so your car not only gets a smooth flow of fuel but also a clean one.

4.     Change the Engine Oil

One of the most important things you can do to keep your engine in mint condition is to check and change the engine oil whenever necessary. Engine oil helps in keeping the engine and its parts well lubricated so that less friction is created. This will also help in generating less heat. A permanent damage can be caused to your engine if the oil is unchecked. It is better to know exactly after how many kilometers or miles does your car needs the engine oil to be changed. Similarly, oil filters have to be checked regularly too. They collect the junk in from the oil inside the engine and keep the engine clean and well lubricated.

5.     Check the Cooling System

To keep the engine cool, you will have to make sure your cooling system works just fine. The system includes the radiator, water pump, radiator fluid and thermostat. Check the level of coolant in the radiator daily to make sure your car does not heat up while driving. Also keep an eye on the heat gauge while driving. If even after checking the coolant, your car gets heated up, you might have to get it checked.

6.     Check for Leaks

Due to the immense heat and pressure, engine hoses, usually made of rubber, tend to get cracked and therefore leak the oils that your engine needs. Be sure to check under the bonnet regularly to see if the engine is leaking any oil or not. The seals which keep your engine from leaking oil often get old and start leaking oil. Make sure you get such seals and hoses replaced with new ones. You can also smell the leaks but also look under the car and see if there is any fluid on the pavement.

7.     Check the Engine Belts

Engine belts are there to keep the fan, alternator, AC and various other things in your car running. Usually the belts last a long time but you have to make sure you do not have any cracked ones. As belts run the whole time you keep your engine on, they get a lot of wear and tear. Look for any visible cracks and get them changed if necessary.

8.     Maintain Speed

Your car will give you a better mileage and will run smoothly if you go easy on the start and stops. If you drive in the city you will have to stop every few minutes which will put more pressure on the engine. Make sure you maintain your speed, RPM and acceleration. Stick to the highway if possible.

9.     Clean the Spark Plugs

To make sure your engine is protected the whole time, clean or change the spark plugs. As they get used a lot, they can cause a lot of damage to the engine if they are left unchecked. They use the electric charge from the distributor to generate a spark which is used to ignite the fuel. Also, make sure you get the wires changed so the distributor can easily send electric charges to the spark plug.

Why Oil Changes Are Important

change-engine-oilWhen you come to Allentown Kia to get an oil change, we are always happy to do it. Getting an oil change is important, but people often don’t do it as often as they should. The thing is, people will get the oil changed, and then they will see the little tag on their car telling them when to get their oil changed again. Some follow that guideline, while others just do it when they find the time.

It is extremely important that you ensure you get your oil changed whenever you can because failure to do so can cause severe problems for your car and it can lead to your car having many problems down the road.

When you come to Allentown Kia, we love to see you and we love to talk to you. We want to help ensure that your car runs great for the future because we don’t want your car breaking down. Whether you come to Allentown Kia, Burlington Kia or Turnersville Kia, we want you to have a well-functioning car, and that comes down to ensuring you get those oil changes that are going to save your vehicle.

How do oil changes save your vehicle? Here are a few reasons:

  1. One of the biggest things that oil does for your vehicle is that it maintains the engine lubrication of the vehicle. Every part on your car needs to be lubricated or it is going to seize up. These components are going to wear down, and they are going to heat up, and that is going to happen a lot faster if you don’t make sure you keep the oil maintained. Each car is going to need a certain type of oil, and it is important that is done properly.
  2. Engine components also heat up. They heat up the more you use them and the longer you drive. Oil will keep the friction from becoming too bad and it will ensure that your engine parts do not overheat. If you maintain clean and sufficient amounts of oil, it prevents friction rom causing any sort of overheating.
  3. As you drive, particles and sludge begins to build up in your engine. These dirt particles can be a serious problem to your engine and they can lead to the engine’s life span decreasing because of increased corrosion. These particles eventually become sludge and that sludge will cause a severe decrease in performance in your engine components. To keep this from happening, you need to ensure you keep your oil clean and change it often.
  4. Gas mileage is important in the day and age when gas prices are high. The worse your engine lubrication, the worse your gas mileage is going to be. According to the Department of Energy, you can actually improve your gas mileage by two per cent with frequent oil changes. Add in proper tire pressure improving performance to three per cent, and you have five per cent improved mileage by just doing those two things. If it costs you $50 each time you fill up, then that is $2.50 every time you fill up. If you fill up eight times a month, that is $20 a month, $240 a year. That is no small number.
  5. Most importantly, oil changes done on a regular basis are going to improve the vehicle longevity. Don’t get us wrong, we love seeing you at Allentown Kia, and we want to see you often but we don’t want to see you losing your vehicle before you should because the oil wasn’t maintained. We want you to have a vehicle you love, for as long as you have it.

Now that you know why you should be changing your oil, the next thing to talk about is how often you should come in to Allentown Kia and have your oil changed. We don’t want you coming in too frequently when you don’t need to, but we also don’t want you having to wait too long to get your oil changed.

Usually, most places will recommend that you change your oil ever few thousand miles. Originally, owner manuals said that you should change your oil every 5,000 miles, but Consumer Reports did a study and found that there was little need to change your oil between 3,000 and 7,500 miles.

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In general, you will want to make it a personal choice about when you get the oil changed. You should get an oil change done every few months, especially if you are driving a great deal. In general, make sure you get an oil change at least once every four to six months, and you should get a change done every 5,000 to 10,000 miles if possible.

When you come to Allentown Kia, we will make sure that you get exactly what you need for your oil change. Not only are we going to do an oil change for you, we are going to make sure that you get everything your car needs. You are going to get everything done on your vehicle from the oil change to various other fluid changes. We will also make sure that your vehicle is going to run great after the oil change, and you are going to have a vehicle that runs great because of the oil change.

A vehicle is a wonderful thing. It can get you from point A to point B and it can do it in a way that ensures you get where you need to go in an efficient manner. The thing is, you need to make sure that you drive your vehicle in an efficient way and oil changes are a big part of that. It is important you get those oil changes, but get them on a good schedule to ensure you don’t do it too often or too little. You can always ask our expert staff at Allentown Kia as well about when is the best time to get that oil change done.

Driving During The Christmas Season

driving-safely-on-christmasAs we approach the Christmas season, families get ready to get out onto the road. Here at Burlington Kia, many of our employees and their families are going to be hitting the road and getting out to visit loved ones. That means more cars on the road, often during winter driving conditions, and that is why driving safely during the Christmas season is so very important.

When you head out onto the road, whether it is in a vehicle you bought at Burlington Kia or not, you want to make sure you are safe. You could be visiting family, you could be coming home from a Christmas party, or you could be working on Christmas. No matter what the circumstances, we want to make sure you are safe.

Here are the tips to make sure you drive safe during the Christmas season.

  1. If you are coming off a Christmas party and heading home, you may have had a couple of drinks. There is nothing wrong with having fun at a Christmas party, but there is something wrong with drinking and driving. This is why you need to make sure you have a designated driver on hand to drive you home.
  2. If you don’t have a designated driver, then before you go to any Christmas party, you need to ensure you have cab numbers in your pocket. That way you can call a cab before you leave the Christmas party and you won’t have to worry that something bad is going to happen.
  3. If you are a driver, and you are sober, there is still a danger when you are driving during the Christmas season and it doesn’t come from the weather. According to the US Department of Transportation, you should stay off the roads between the hours of midnight and 3 a.m. during the Christmas season because that is when drunk driving accidents are the most likely to happen.
  4. Before you drive anywhere during the Christmas season, because of the risk of bad weather, you should have your car serviced. We would be happy to do this for you at Burlington Kia, or our other dealerships of Allentown Kia and Turnersville Kia. We can ensure that your tire pressure and tread level are proper, that your oil has been changed and that all the important fluids are at their proper levels in your car. Remember, a car that is well-maintained is a car that is going to be safe. This is very important, especially when driving conditions are not the best.
  5. Naturally, you want to make sure you pay attention to the road conditions before you go anywhere. If you feel that chains are recommended when driving, then put chains on, or ensure you have good winter tires.
  6. Tailgating doesn’t get you anywhere faster and when conditions are icy, you are only setting yourself up for rear-ending someone. That can cause severe injury to you and to the other person, and set up years of financial headaches.
  7. Speaking of accidents, you should always watch your speeding when you are on icy roads during the Christmas season. We love to see you at Burlington Kia, but we don’t want you to come in with a damaged car. It is important to remember that it will take you 10 times as long to stop a car on an icy street than a dry one. Give yourself enough room to stop for the safety of you and everyone else on the road.
  8. When you are travelling to see family, you probably want to take a lot with you. There are presents, your own family, luggage and much more. That can begin to add a lot to the car and that can also mean you run the risk of overpacking your car. When you pack up the car too much, you are creating a lot of blind spots for yourself. You won’t be able to see behind you when you look in the rear view mirror for one. In addition, you will also run the risk of loose items in the car becoming dangerous objects that are flown around the car if there is an accident. The air bag can help when you are in a rear-ender, but it won’t help if a suitcase flies from the back of the car and hits you in the head.
  9. Driving with family can also mean a lot of distractions. Those distractions can add to the danger of the road when you are not paying attention to it. To combat this, always make sure you have something for everyone to keep their minds occupied. Put a movie on the car, or have the kids use their tablets. Whatever you can do to keep them occupied, you should do it. It will make the family happier, it will make you happier and it will make the entire trip much safer.

You are important to us at Burlington Kia. We want you to be safe and we want you to drive this year without worry of an accident. We want all our customers to have a great holiday season and that means making sure that they are safe this holiday season. We don’t want you coming to us with a damaged car, because that means someone was hurt. We don’t want you to be in a situation where you and your family are in danger on the road either.

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The best thing to remember when you are driving this Christmas season is that you should pay attention to the road, pay attention to the conditions of the road, and ensure you always give yourself time to get to your destination. Remember, it is fine to get somewhere fast, but it is better to be late than never when you are getting to a family gettogether. Your relatives would rather you were five hours late, than not arriving at all and that is something very important to remember.

Fall Road Hazards: What to Avoid

When most people think of a dangerous time of the year to be on the road, they think of winter. The truth is that every season presents its own dangers and challenges for the road. If you are going to be driving a lot during this fall season, here are some of the biggest fall road hazards that you should watch out for:

1. Traffic – You might not think of traffic as a hazard, but especially if you are driving distractedly, traffic can be very dangerous. There is usually an increase in traffic during the fall, first, because people have returned to school, which means more drivers on the road in the morning and afternoon as parents take their kids to school or teenagers and young adults drive to school. There is also going to be higher than average pedestrian traffic, especially if you have to drive through school zones during your commute. Many pedestrians, young children especially, will step out into traffic without looking both ways to make sure the road is clear, which puts the onus back on you to watch for them and avoid them.

 

fall-road-hazards2. Leaves – Can leaves on the road actually be dangerous? If you live in the northeast, where there are always plentiful fall colors, leaves falling from trees can present a serious challenge to drivers. The make roads slippery and a pile or mass of leaves can hold on to moisture for days or even weeks after the most recent rain. This means that even if it has not rained recently, the leaves might still be slippery. If you are going to fast or taking a turn too sharply, a pile of wet leaves could be just as slippery as ice on the road. In addition, leaves can hide other hazards on the road, like pools of water or potholes. Instead of zipping through every pile of leaves, make sure to slow down and approach them in the same way that you would approach ice.

 

3. Fog – While there might have been fog during the summer, fog is far more common during the colder mornings and days of fall. Fog will gather in the low places around large bodies of water or in between mountains and can reduce visibility to just a few feet, depending on how thick the fog is. Especially if you only encounter thick fog a few times a year, it can be difficult to understand how to drive in it. The two biggest things to remember are to slow down, so that you are able to see and react to anything in front of you with this reduced visibility and to not turn on your high beams. Your car might have a fog lights setting—choose this setting if you do have it. It is important for you to have your lights on so you can see and other vehicles can see you, but your high beams will just reflect off the fog and produce glare.

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4. Frost – It might not completely freeze at night yet, but it might still be getting cold enough for the ground to collect frost. You’ll most commonly find slippery frost on your lawn, but with enough buildup of frost on the road, it can be just as slippery as if it was completely iced over. In some areas, you might actually start to see your roads iced in the early morning, even if it is completely melted and dry once the sun is up. Be particularly wary of bridges and overpasses, as these areas are the first to freeze and become icy during colder weather.

 

5. The sun – The sun can be a problem when you are trying to drive during all times of year, but you are more likely to be on the road while it is going down more often during the fall, because it starts to set around six or seven and will only set earlier and earlier the later in the season it becomes. This sort of sun glare can make it very difficult to see what is going on while driving. If you feel that you are being blinded by the sun, it might be time to invest in some sunglasses or to use your sun shades more strategically. While you likely will not be able to completely block out the sun, you should be able to shield yourself from it enough that you can get home safely.

 

6. Low tire pressure – As the temperatures start to drop, the air in your tires will contract, which lessens their tire pressure. Why be worried about this? Because underinflated tires can become a potential hazard. If you have a new vehicle, it will probably tell you when your tires are underinflated, making it easy to know when you need to go to a gas station or service shop and have them filled. Older vehicles, however, will not have these warnings. It is a good idea to check your tire pressure and make sure all of your tires are at the PSI prescribed in your owner’s manual.

 

7. Animals – If you live in an area where wildlife is common, you have probably already started to see deer, elk, and moose on the sides of the road. As the temperatures drop in the mountains, they might be coming down in search of food. These creatures, while fun to see during your commute, can be as much a road hazard as ice. When you see an animal on the side of the road, slow down—not just to get a better look, but to make sure you have time to react if they dash out into the road.

 

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

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:

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.

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

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:

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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.

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.

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.

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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.

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:

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.

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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

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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.

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.