The Best Kia Models for College Students

studentWhen you are going off to college is the perfect time to buy a new car. This car will follow you through your college experience and make it much easier to get around your new town. With a car comes freedom, and especially if you are going to school somewhere far away from your home, having a car makes it much easier to travel back and forth and to get where you need to go, even if you are unfamiliar with the city or town where your university is.

While we know that any of our Kia models will be great for a new college student, there are some cars in our showroom that are going to be better for younger drivers. Whether you are going off to college for the first time or you are in between semesters right now, now is the perfect time to buy. We’ve picked these five vehicles specifically because they are fun to drive, stylish, and safe. They are also affordable, which makes them ideal for college students who might be strapped for cash. Here are the best Kia models for college students:

1. The Kia Soul This vehicle is perfect for the college student that loves to stand out. There are simply no other vehicles on the market right now that look like the Kia Soul. This vehicle is all about attitude, with unique styling that makes it perfect for your unique student. While it’s true that style is important, safety and functionality are just as important, especially to your parents. On these fronts, the Kia Soul still succeeds. It has some of the best safety features in the industry and an interior that is focused on the driver. This means that everything you need is within reach and that you can easily tune the radio or adjust your settings, without taking your eyes off of the road. It is one of the most affordable models in our showroom, despite the angular, unique styling and the range of great safety features and it also boasts up to 31 mpg. It is inexpensive to purchase and it is also inexpensive to drive. While it is a compact care, you will never feel claustrophobic in this vehicle!

Image

2. The Kia Forte This is the smallest vehicle in our showroom, but it definitely does not lack the power that most young drivers are looking for. It prides itself on being zippy, and with up to 37 mpg, it is going to be a very economical choice. It is also one of the least expensive options, which, especially when buying your first car, can be a huge bonus. It’s a great starter car that can easily adapt to your life after graduation. The Forte comes in a number of different varieties, including the standard four door design and a hatchback variety, which gives you just a little bit more storage room and a different look to the vehicle overall. This can be the ideal choice for anyone who wants a high quality sedan or hatchback, but doesn’t want to pay the high prices other brands are demanding even for their cheapest options.

3. The Kia Sorento A sedan might feel like the most obvious option for a young driver, but sometimes they just do not provide enough room for the student that often needs or wants to drive around large groups or haul gear. This is where the Kia Sorento comes in. Still much less expensive than your average SUV, the Kia Sorento provides much more seating (up to eight people) and also provides you with much more power. If you are a student who also likes to get away from the university on the weekends, either to hike or camp or just explore, this could be the very best option for you.

4. The Kia Sportage An SUV, especially one as economical as the Sportage, can be the perfect vehicle for a college student. You’ll have a little bit more room, which is always appreciated when driving around friends and roommates, and the bold styling of this vehicle is certain to turn heads. As great for hauling skis as it is for toting art supplies, you cannot go wrong when you choose this vehicle. It starts at just over $20,000 for the most basic trim, which comes with all of the safety features and infotainment features that you need. Higher trim levels will give you more features. While it does not get as stellar gas mileage as one of the sedans might, it still gets up to 30 mpg, which could still help you save at the pump.

5. The Kia Optima The Optima is one of the most popular cars on our lot and across all Kia dealerships. Why? Because the Optima is so versatile. It is styled to be both bold and sleek, without losing any of the practicality of a traditional sedan. It is bigger than the Forte, so those who need a little bit more cargo space and leg room might want to choose the Optima over something smaller like the Forte or the Rio. You’ll find luxury accents and plenty of safety features, so that you always feel like you are safe on the road, in addition to having fun while driving. It gets up to 37 miles per gallon, so you do not have to worry about paying through the nose for gas as you go on weekend adventures.

How to Get Your Car Ready for Summer

summer vehicle tipsYou likely already know that you need to take steps to get your vehicle ready for seasons like winter, when the cold temperatures and harsher weather can take a toll on your vehicle. But what about season like summer? Like winter, there are extreme temperatures and harsh weather, both of which can damage your vehicle or make driving dangerous is your car is not properly prepared. Here are some tips for getting your Kia ready for summer:

1. Take off the snow tires or prep your all-weather tires. Most people do not spend very much time thinking about their tires—but they should. The tires are one of the most important parts of your vehicle. They impact its safety and how well it performs. Right now, before summer gets here and you hit the road for your summer road trips, is the perfect time to make sure that your tires are ready to go. Check to make sure they are inflated properly. If you have snow tires, switch them out for normal tires. Rotate your tires to make sure that all four wear evenly. And take a little extra time to make sure your spare is still in proper working condition.

2. Have your brakes checked. When was the last time you went in and had your brakes checked? Many shops will do this service while your oil is being changed, but if they don’t, make sure to make a special appointment to have them checked. The water and cold that comes along with winter could wreak havoc on your brakes, cracking them, wearing them, and making them prime for failure. Don’t wait until you start to hear your brakes squeal or feel them shudder and slip. Check them before you start to experience any serious problems with them.

3. Time for a car wash. During the winter, and even during the spring, it can be difficult to find the time to have your car washed. If you still have deicer and road grime on your car from the winter, give your car a thorough washing, both inside and out. While the automatic car wash might do some good, a hand wash is usually a better option, as it will ensure that you really do get all of the dirt and grime off of your vehicle. Pay special attention to your wheels and to the underbody of your vehicle.

4. Have your oil checked. Depending on how often you drive your vehicle, you might need to have your oil checked every three months or every six. Your vehicle will likely tell you when it needs an oil change, but it’s still a good idea to check. Check not just its level, but the color, too. If the oil is black and grimy, it’s time for it to be changed. If it is amber, it is still good. Make sure your oil is filled to the right fill marks.

5. Check your coolant levels. While your vehicle uses coolant all year round, it is most important during the hotter months of the year. Low coolant during the summer months could make it impossible for you to drive your vehicle. You should be able to see the container when you lift the hood of your car and there should be marks on the container that show you what level your coolant should be. Refill the coolant or take your car to a shop where they will refill it for you. This will probably need to be done at least once a year, for most vehicles.

Image

6. Check your power steering fluid. Are you starting to feel that your vehicle is a little less responsive to your navigation? Is it starting to groan when you turn the wheel? Even if it is not doing either of these things, don’t be afraid to take a look at your power steering fluid. This is one of the most important fluids in your vehicle. Look in your owner’s manual to make sure you are using the right type of fluid or, alternatively, take your vehicle in to your dealership or a maintenance shop to top it off for you.

7. Test your battery. Batteries might be more likely to fail during the winter, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have any trouble with them once temperatures start to rise. If you are familiar with the composition and construction of your battery, you might want to open its lid and check its fluid level. At the very least, look at your battery and make sure that is no discharge or any kind of leakage from the battery’s top. Many vehicles, especially new Kia vehicles, will have sealed batteries, which means you cannot open them up. In this case, you can take your vehicle to our maintenance department and ask them to test your battery to make sure it is still in prime working condition.

8. Change your windshield wipers. This small, very simple piece of maintenance is one of the most overlooked. Your windshield wipers should be changed at least once a year. After the harsh conditions of winter, it is likely that the rubber on your wipers is cracked or has become rigid, making it difficult for the wipers to adequately clean your windshield. Most summers bring heavy rainfall, which means you are going to want to have wipers that work properly to clear water, road grime, and mud from your windshield.

What to do if…. – Common Car Problems and What to Do

The first time I ever got a flat tire, it was while my car was parked at my house. At some point, I’d run over a construction nail, but the tire didn’t start deflating until I’d gotten home and parked the car. At least I wasn’t stranded somewhere when I had to change a tire for the first time. The driving school I attended didn’t teach us how to change a tire—I only had the owner’s manual to rely on. Luckily, I had the manual in my car and the instructions were thorough. Not every is as lucky. Here are some of the most common car problems that regular drivers encounter and what to do if you encounter them:

The Flat Tire

You can probably feel and hear when you get a flat tire. The car starts to wobble and there’s a loud thump as the tire goes around. If you’ve never changed a tire before, this might seem difficult, but the process is actually pretty easy. Your manual will have detailed instructions customized for your vehicle, but in general, you take out your spare, you put the jack under a metal part of your car near the wheel you need to replace, and remove the nuts, take of the wheel, and replace the nuts, then slowly lower the car back onto the road. If you don’t have a full-size spare, drive immediately to the closest place you can get your tire repaired.

Image

CWas_BDXAAAoQaQA Light Goes Out

Annoying, but not necessarily dangerous—though you could be pulled over and given a ticket if a cop notices that you’re driving at night and one of your headlamps is out. If your light is starting to go out or is already out, your blinker may blink extra fast. Like changing a flat tire, the instructions for how to replace bulbs in your lights will be in your manual. If you don’t feel you’re car savvy enough to do this task, you can usually find someone at a car parts store who can do it for you for a small fee.

Your Battery Dies

There’s nothing more annoying than getting into your car, turning the key, and hearing nothing but clicks. If your electrical systems are not working, that probably means that your battery is dead. The best way to fix the issue is to get a jump from a kind stranger or to call a friend or family member to come jump the car or pick you up. Jumping a car is neither as difficult nor as scary as it initially seems—just follow the steps in your manual and you’ll get your battery working again. Keep in mind that this might be an indication that you need a new battery or that you’re leaving lights or other electrical systems on.

Your Alternator Is Dead

The symptoms of having a dead alternator are the same has having a dead battery—your car just won’t start and none of your electrical systems will light up. If jumping your car doesn’t work, but the car is still acting like you have a dead battery, your battery might just be too dead to revive (not just mostly dead, but all dead), or you have a real problem with your alternator. Calling a tow truck and having the alternator checked out and maybe even replaced is usually the best course of action here.

Squeaky Brakes

Squeaking is how your brakes tell you that they need to be replaced. If you can hear your brakes squealing as you glide to a stop, it’s time to have them checked out. You can change your own brake pads, or you can bring your car into our service department to have them professionally looked at. Because there are a lot of moving parts when it comes to your breaks, there are a lot of things that can go wrong. Your rotors might be worn, your pads might be worn, there might be uneven wear that is causing uneven friction, etc. Most of the time, problems with brakes can be solved simply by installing a new set of pads, but if you do this and the problem persists, it might just be best to let a professional take a look.

There’s A Puddle under the Car

Unless you live in an apartment complex and do not always park in the same spot, it is generally pretty easy to tell if your car is leaking something. Oil is pretty easy to identify—it looks like oil. It leaves a big oil stain on your concrete. But that’s not the only thing that your car might be leaking. Among the fluids it could be leaking are brake fluid and antifreeze, too. You don’t want to lose too much of either of those two fluids. Antifreeze is usually green, while brake fluid has a slight amber tint and will be slightly oily. It is pretty corrosive, so if your car’s drips are eating a hole under your car, this could be the cause. Unless you know exactly where the leak is coming from and how to fix it, take your car in for an inspection and a repair.

Overheating

Most cars, especially new ones, do not overheat for no reason. It usually indicates that they’ve used up their coolant or that the coolant has leaked out. If you suddenly notice that your car is running hotter than it usually is, don’t ignore it until it becomes a serious problem. Have this issue checked out by a professional, too.

10 Things All Car Owners Should Know

car tipsOwning a car is a responsibility—I’m sure all of our parents told us that when they first handed us the keys to a car, whether that car was just the family car or a car specifically for us. We’re all older and wiser now, and if you’re bought yourself a Kia, you’ve already take one great step to stay safe on the road. Here are ten things that all car owners should know that they won’t teach you in driver’s education:

1. When your oil needs changing – One of the biggest benefits of buying a new Kia from our New Jersey dealership is the ability to get a car that will tell you when it needs an oil change. These cars have advanced monitoring and diagnostic features that will send a signal up when your oil is getting low. In general, however, knowing that most cars need an oil change every 5000 to 10,000 miles, or every three months, depending on how often you drive and how far you drive, can prevent you from driving off on a long road trip and having it ruined by a break down.

2. What your check engine light means – When my check engine light flipped on, just as we were leaving New Jersey, I was first, worried and second, annoyed. It had to turn on now? While we were leaving the state on a road trip? Your check engine light doesn’t always mean that disaster is eminent, however, which is something I wish I’d known at the time. What it does mean is that the diagnostics systems have detected a problem and that you should have the car looked at as soon as possible. If the light is flashing, this usually indicates a more serious problem than if the light is simply solid.

3. How to replace the windshield wipers – I was away at college the first time I needed to replace my windshield wipers and I was so pathetically bad at it that my attempts to remove the old ones and put on the new ones attracted the attention of my dorm’s RA, who came out and showed me how to do it and gently chided me for not looking in my car’s manual for the instructions. Knowing how to do this quickly will prevent you from losing a windshield wiper when you need them the most.

4. What’s under the hood – You don’t have to know what everything under the hood is, but you should know, at the very least, where the oil goes, where your radiator is, and what your normal fluid levels look like. When I bought my first Kia, I was lucky enough to buy it from a salesman who wanted to make sure I knew what a pristine engine and correct fluid levels looked like. This information will help you quickly diagnose a problem if your vehicle is giving you trouble.

Image

5. Your ideal tire pressure – I recently took my car to have its oil changed at a local quick-oil-change shop. When they were done changing the oil, they told me that they had checked my tires and inflated them all to 32 psi. Great—except that my tires are supposed to be at 38 psi. Knowing what your tire pressure is supposed to be can prevent you from driving around on tires that are either too low or too high. Both of these situations can be dangerous. You can find the right tire pressure for your Kia vehicle in your owner’s manual.

6. How to replace your headlights and taillights – This is one of the more complicated processes, but it can prevent you from getting a ticket because you are driving around with burned out taillights or headlights. The specific steps for your car in the manual, and most new cars come with LED bulbs that are much less likely to burn out, but this is still good information to know if you drive your car a lot.

7. Where your spare is – Where does your vehicle keep its spare tire? Is it underneath the body of the car? In the trunk? On the top or back? This may seem obvious, but when you have a flat tire, the last thing you want to be doing is searching for your spare and for the gear that you need in order to replace your tire. Know where all of these items are before you start driving.

8. What’s in your owner’s manual – The first time I cracked open my owner’s manual was because I needed to change the time on my car’s radio for Daylight Saving’s. These manuals are full of great resources. They tell you what all of the lights on your dash means, how often you need service, the brands of parts used in your vehicle, how to change your tire, etc. This information can be integral in an emergency so take some time to familiarize yourself with the manual.

9. How to jump start a car – I got “lucky.” There was a summer when I was a teenager when the car I was driving had to be jumped about eight times. I got really good at jumpstarting cars that summer and it’s a skill I’ve relied on since then. Even the best cars can be stalled by a dead battery. Knowing the basic steps can make getting back on the road much faster.

10. How to get out when you’re stuck – Getting stuck on ice, in snow, or mud can be scary and frustrating. Knowing how to get even the smallest, lightest of cars to move can be helpful. The most effective is the rocking technique. Shifting between drive and reverse and going as far as you can in either direction before you get stuck again will usually help you get out of a sticky spot.

Why Families Should Drive a Kia Sedona

The minivan used to carry a very uncool stigma. Today, with the wide variety of options available, it’s easy for even the coolest of parents to find a van that meets their needs and their style. The Kia Sedona is definitely at the top of that list. With a number of great features, even at the most basic trim level, it is extremely easy to get a car that is functional and stylish. Here are just a few of the reasons that all families should have a Kia Sedona.

Image

1. Plenty of seating – Even if you don’t have a large family, you still might want to have a vehicle that has more than three comfortable seats. When you want to go somewhere with your friends or your children want to invite their friends somewhere, it is always convenient to have a vehicle that has plenty of seats for everyone. The Kia Sedona has up to three rows of comfortable seating, with four bucket seats and a bench that can even be folded down to make more room for cargo. This means that even if you normally only have three of four people to drive around, you can easily tote three or four more, without cramming or sharing seatbelts.

 

2. Comfort – Having climate control for all of the rows of seating makes it easy to keep the entire vehicle cool or warm, especially if each person has their own needs and expectations about that climate. The seats in the Kia Sedona have also been designed to be comfortable, with ample padding and even foot rests in the back bucket seats, so that if someone wants or needs to take a nap, they can get the most comfortable position possible.

kia sedona3. Great for road trips – Road trips were always the highlight of the summer during my childhood, and partly because as a family of five, we had a great van with three rows of seating. That meant that we all had our own space. If we’d been crammed into the back of a sedan, we probably would have been at each other’s throats the entire time. The extra space, the dual moon roofs, the reclining seats, etc. are all perfect for even the most extended of road trips.

4. Great safety – When choosing a vehicle for your family, especially if you are going to be driving that vehicle until your children are old enough to drive, you want to focus on picking something safe. One of the best ways to do that is with the Kia Sedona. The Sedona was the 2015 IIHS Top Safety Pick, making it one of the safest vehicles on the market, and with a wide variety of safety features, including airbags for the second and third rows of seats, it is definitely a great choice if you want to get an extreme safe and still versatile and stylish vehicle.

5. Expert design – What pushes people away from minivans is the frumpy styling that usually comes along with them. The Sedona bucks the trend, not just in interior design, but also exterior design. It looks more like a crossover than a minivan, so even though it has the traditional sliding door and long-body construction, its design sets it apart completely from the rest of the minivans being offered up by other brands. The minivan often feels like an afterthought in most brand’s lineups, but not Kia’s.

6. Easy in and out – Any parent will tell you that getting kids in and out of the car can be time consuming and difficult. The Sedona makes it easy with power-sliding doors that are also equipped with built-in sensors that detect if something is blocking the door. That means that the kids can easily open and close the doors themselves and there is no danger of getting a hand, foot, or leg caught in the door, since the door itself will sense and stop moving if there is an obstruction.

7. Adjustable seats – No other minivan on the market has the adjustability that the Sedona has. The second row of seats can be adjusted in an almost infinite number of ways. They can be moved both closer and farther apart, they can be leaned back, footrests can be kicked up, and there are even adjustable armrests so the passenger can decide exactly how they want to sit. If you need more space to get into the third row, you can slide the seats forward, or if the passengers need more leg room, you can slide the seats back again.

8. Easy open for full hands – The sliding doors can be controlled from the fob, as can the liftgate, which also has an easy-open feature, which is great for parents who might be carrying groceries or children in their arms. You don’t even have to wave a hand, all you have to do is have your key in your pocket. It’s the smartest liftgate on the market and is a much easier open than any of the Sedona’s competitors.

9. Fabric that resists stains – Whether you get the trim level with fabric or whether you choose leather, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to clean and how resistant the fabric is to stains—which is great for families with small children that are prone to making messes, even when they are trying to keep the vehicle lean. The fabric is actually designed to repel moisture, so that spilled coffee, soda, and just about anything else won’t actually soak in and cause a stain on your seats.

Do I Need Snow Tires? And Other Winter Car Prep Questions Answered!

In the winter, your tires can prevent you from slipping and sliding on snowy, icy roads. Having the right tires will protect you from many of the dangers of winter driving, but only if you properly maintain them and take the necessary steps to make sure you have the right tires for the right time of year. Many Kia owners wonder if they need to invest in snow tires, or if their all-weather tires will be enough to protect them in the winter. Here is everything you need to know about snow tires and how to get your car ready for colder weather:

When Should You Invest in Snow Tires?

Twenty years ago, it was very difficult to find functional snow tires for your vehicle. If the roads were ever going to be cleared or simply just wet, it was very dangerous to have snow tires on your vehicle during the winter. Without snow on the road, they had terrible handling and would actually make it more difficult to stop on dry or even just wet roads.

Today, snow tires have been developed that are just as safe to drive on dry and wet roads as they are to drive on icy and snowy roads. But if you have all-weather tires, do you really need snow tires? If you are concerned about losing traction on a cold, snowy road, you may want to consider snow tires. Here in the east, we get plenty of heavy, wet snow and even icy storms throughout the winter. Being prepared for those storms by having snow tires can prevent tragedy on the road. If you’ve ever lost traction while driving, especially at a high speed, you know how scary it can be and why snow tires, that have a lower chance of losing their grip, are necessary in the winter.

The savvy driver will take the time and spend the money to get snow tires installed on his vehicle. The best time to do this is before the first serious snow of the year. Here in the east, once the snow starts coming, it usually does not stop until the spring, so you can usually be safe getting snow tires mid-November.

Image

When Should You Retire Your Snow Tires?

The most basic answer to this question is that you should remove your snow tires when the snow has finally melted in the spring. How often you should buy new snow tires, however, is a different matter. You should avoid keeping your snow tires on year round, as the hot weather can wear away the deeper tread much faster than the cold weather will. Take them off in the spring and put the all-weather tires back on.

It is also important to routinely check the tread on your snow tires in order to make sure they are still functioning as they should. Most snow tires start with a tread that is 11/32 of an inch deep. By the time half of that tread is gone, they are probably not functioning as they should be any more. Your tires may not even look that worn at this point, but at 6/32 of an inch, they are doing very little to keep your car on the road.

What Other Preparations Do I Need to Make?

Besides getting snow tires, what other preparations should you make to your car in order to get it read for winter? Here are just a few of the things that we recommend not only for New Jersey Kia vehicles, but for all vehicles, in all parts of the country that get snow during the winter.

First, it is worth your time to check your battery and to make sure it is still charging and discharging properly. Nothing is scarier than getting out to your car after a long day of work, discovering that it won’t start, and you are abandoned in a dark parking lot without anyone to give you a jump. Most dealerships and auto parts stores will test your battery for you, and will help you select a new one if your battery is not performing as it should.

Check your heaters, defrosting system, and windshield wipers. Before the first frost of the year, it is worth your time to make sure that all of these components are working correctly. While you might be able to survive a drive to the office in a cold car, if you do not have a way to clear the snow and ice from your windshield and to keep that windshield clear, it is unlikely you will be able to make it to your destination safely.

Another tip that every car owner should follow is having their brakes checked. Your brakes are going to be extremely important during the cold season, and while your tires will ultimately determine who capable your car is of stopping on an icy road, the last thing you want is jolting or shaking in your braking system, which can worsen any sliding or skidding you are doing.

Last but not least, have your car tuned up before winter really sets in. Right now is the perfect time to do this. Cold weather can quickly worsen any lurking issues, and bad weather makes it difficult to get into the shop if you need a repair. Don’t let cold weather harm your car; take it in now for the tune-up you’ve been putting off.

Getting Your Kia Ready for Winter: Cleaning and Organization Tips

Now that it is officially fall, it’s time to start looking forward to winter. Winter means a break from school and fun family holidays, but it also means harsh weather conditions and difficult driving. Driving a Kia means you have plenty of safety features that can make driving on cold days much less dangerous, but that doesn’t mean that your car doesn’t need a little bit of preparation in order to be read for colder weather. Here are some cleaning, organization, and maintenance tips that will make sure you and your Kia are ready for winter:

1. Clear out anything left in the car from the summer. If you are still toting around pool toys, swimsuits, or luggage from summer adventures, it’s time to take those things out of your car. While you might want to weight the trunk of your Kia down with other items, use the fall to make room in your vehicle for winter gear like hats, heavy jackets, shovels, ice melt, snow scrapers, blankets, and more. This gear will not only help you clean off your car when it is covered in snow, it will also keep you safe and warm if you are ever stuck away from home on a snowy night. As a third benefit, it can start to weight the rear of your car down, which will help to prevent sliding and slipping on snowy or icy roads.

Image

2. Put a bag of sand in your trunk. Why bother with a bag of sand in your trunk? Not only can you use it to give your car some traction if your tires are stuck in mud or snow, it will also give the rear of your car some much-needed weight. Most cars carry the majority of their weight under the hood, which keeps the front of the car from slipping and sliding. Adding extra weight to the rear of the car can have the same effect. Adding a few bags of sand to the trunk of your car, along with some ice melt and shovels, just in case you ever need to dig yourself out, can provide more than enough weight to keep your Kia gripped to the road.

kia3. Clean off summer dirt and pollen. During the summer, most cars collect dirt, pollen, mud, and road grime. If allowed to stay on your car during the oncoming snows, the cold weather and wetness can actually grind that dirt and grit into your car’s paint job, causing micro scratches that dull your paint job and invite chipping and rust. If you’ve had adventures in your Kia this summer, now is the perfect time to get rid of all of that dirt, before the moisture at the end of the year has the opportunity to damage your vehicle’s surface.

4. Clean out the dirt and pollen from the inside, too. Cars also accumulate dust, dirt, and pollen inside the vehicle. During the spring, summer, and fall, you might be able to air out your vehicle simply by rolling down the windows when you drive. This doesn’t always work in the winter. Not only will it be too cold to drive around with your windows down, there is always the danger of leaving your window down and returning to find your car full of snow or sleet. Taking a few moments to clean out your vehicle’s interior, even by just running a wet wipe over the dashboard, arm rests, and other plastic or composite components can make your car a much more pleasant place to be in the winter.

 5. Suck it up. Fall is also the perfect time of year to give your car a thorough vacuuming. This will help to remove any lingering dust and grit that could be plaguing your car’s carpeting and upholstery, and will also help to remove pollen that can linger on in your car for months after the spring and summer are over. You’ll have a fresh clean car that is ready for the winter snows.

6. Clean your windshields inside and out. Having clean windshields is perhaps more important during the winter than during any other time of the year. During the winter, the days are shorter, and that means more driving in the dark, when dirty and smudged windshields are very dangerous. Grab your favorite glass cleaner and some paper towels and make sure that the interiors and the exteriors of your windshield are free of dirt, fog, smudges, etc. New cars, especially, will see a build-up of grime on the interior of the windows, that can only be removed by heavy duty glass cleaners and a thorough wipe down. Doing this can prevent glare from streetlights and passing cars from blinding you while driving in what are already dangerous conditions.

7. Have your vehicle serviced. Before winter is the perfect time of year to have your car thoroughly checked out by our qualified service department. We’ll perform any necessary tune ups or repairs that should be made before colder weather hits. It is especially important to have your windshield wiper fluid refilled (as this can help melt and break up ice on your windshield), your wipers checked for efficacy, and your batter checked. Cold weather and the snow and ice that comes along with it effect these three things most often. It’s also a good idea to check the tread on your tires to make sure it is deep enough to handle a little snow on the road.

A Very General Car Service Schedule

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

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

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

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

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

Image

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

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

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

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

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

10 Awesome Gifts for Kia Owners

gift for kia ownersIt might not quite be time for the holidays yet, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to start thinking about presents for the car lovers in your life. Those who have birthdays or other occasions during the fall will definitely appreciate one of these gifts just as much as those who receive them during the winter holidays. If you’re looking for a great present for someone who drives a Kia (or any kind of car), here are ten awesome gifts any car lover would definitely appreciate:

  1. Gift certificates for service – While servicing a car is rarely expensive, giving someone a gift certificate to cover an oil change or another type of service that you know their vehicle needs is a great way to show them that you care about them and their car. Most Kia service departments sell gift certificates, but you can also simply take their car in for the service and pay for it as your gift. Either way, someone who loves their car will love that you took the time to think about that car and get it the service it needs.
  2. A travel bag – It’s always a good idea to have a spare bag in your car, whether for toting groceries or simply for throwing a few things into for an impromptu road trip or day trip. If you have a Kia lover on your gift list, you might consider getting them a branded Kia travel bag. They’ll have a bag that matches their car, which is a great way to keep track of that bag and so that even when that bag is empty and being stored in the car, they never have to worry about it feeling like clutter.
  3. Sunglasses – You might not think that sunglasses are an appropriate gift for the driver in your life, but if you have someone in your life that loves to drive, they are probably in need of a great pair of sunglasses. Sunglasses are as useful during the winter as they are during the summer. Glare from the sun can be as blinding off of snow as it is off of other cars. Grab them a stylish, functional pair of sunglasses to keep their eyes protected during all weather and all driving conditions.
  4. A great travel mug – Just because someone is on the road a lot doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be able to enjoy their morning coffee. A great travel mug that keeps hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold is the very best way to make sure someone who loves to drive is also able to get their caffeine fix. Look for a mug that closes securely, but is also easy to open and close, so the driver can drink their coffee even while driving.
  5. A GPS – If your driver has a one of Kia’s newer models, he might already have GPS built right into the vehicle. This isn’t always the case, however, depending on what trim he went with and what model year he purchased. If he doesn’t have GPS, having a dedicated one can be a great way to avoid traffic jams, beat construction, and find new locations. Smartphones might include some of these features, but they are rarely as accurate as real GPS.
  6. Battery jumper – You can now buy little packs of energy that you can simply clip onto your battery to jump it back to life if it dies. With cold weather approaching, it is always a good idea to have something on hand that will kick start the car if it refuses to start one cold morning. While Kia vehicles are at the head of the class when it comes to reliability, most people don’t change out their batteries on a regular schedule, but then do not have any recourse when that battery refuses to produce a spark. A jump pack can be a great way to make sure your car lover is never stranded.
  7. Driving gloves – Driving gloves might be a little old school, but if you are trying to find a gift for someone who seriously loves their car, it might be exactly what they are looking for. Even if your car owner doesn’t have a vehicle that sports the old wooden steering wheel that is often associated with these gloves, the gloves will make driving on very hot and very cold days alike—he’ll never burn or freeze his hands on the steering wheel again.
  8. Driving shoes – Like driving gloves, driving shoes aren’t something that you see very often, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t still applicable to the modern’s driver. The right pair of shoes can make switching from gas to brake easier and more accurate, and can just simply make driving more fun.
  9. Road kit – There’s nothing that can make driving safer or more fun than having the right tools. That means jumper cables, tape, a flashlight, some band aids, charging cables, and screwdrivers. In case he ever needs to make a quick repair, change a tire, or jump his car or another, he’ll have all of the tools he needs.
  10. Kia maintenance journals – If you have someone on your gift list that loves to keep track of their maintenance, mileage, gas usage, and more, there’s no better gift than a Kia branded notebook. These little journals fit right in a Kia vehicle’s jockey box and can help the car-obsessed keep that car healthy and happy.

15 Car Hacks Every Driver Should Know

Keeping your car clean and functional isn’t always easy. Here are fifteen car hacks that you can use to make taking care of your car a little bit easier:

car hacks

1. Park facing the sunrise. How often do you get up in the morning and realize, just as you’re leaving for work or school, that your windshield is iced over? You can prevent having to remember to go out early and turn your car on by actually parking towards the sunrise. That way, the rays of the sun will melt off the frost for you!

2. Use hand sanitizer to unfreeze your handles. If your door handles and locks are so frozen that you cannot even use them, pouring a little bit of hand sanitizer (as long as it contains alcohol) onto the door will melt the ice and allow you to get your key into the lock or to pull open the door itself.

3. Use your floor mats to get traction on icy ground. If your car is stuck in a parking spot because it cannot get traction on the frozen ground, you can actually use your floor mats to get a little traction. Wedge them under your front tires and reverse, very slowly and carefully, onto them in order to gain the traction you need to move your car.

Image

4. Store some cat litter in your trunk. Not only will the weight of heavy duty cat litter help to prevent your car from sliding on icy roads, you can always sprinkle a little bit of litter around your tires if you are having trouble getting your car moving again on icy or snowy roads. This is an inexpensive and very useful hack for those living in cold climates!

5. Toothpaste can clean your headlights. Over the years, your headlights will begin to look cloudy and dull. This can make your lamps dim and ineffective. You can clean your headlights with plain old toothpaste, on a paper towel. Just spread it onto your lights, rub it around, and carefully clean it off. They’ll be clearer and brighter!

6. Use newspaper to get rid of stickers. Here in the east, many drivers have toll stickers or other adhesives on their windshields. These can be very difficult to scrape off, even with a razor blade. Instead of using a razor blade, use a piece of wet newspaper. Press it against the adhesive that you want to remove and let it sit for about ten minutes. It should wet the glue enough that you can just peel the adhesive and the glue away.

7. Use a razor blade to combat stubborn bugs. During the summer, windshields can become littered with dead bugs. These dead bugs might not easily wash away with wiper fluid or even with scrubbing. You can use a razor blade to actually scrape away the residue of these bugs. Follow up the blade with a damp cloth to remove any lingering goo.

8. Use a plunger to pop out small dents. We all get small dents on our cars from hitting our doors against poles or very minor run ins with other cars. These dents are enough to take the car to the body shop, but they can be annoying. You can actually use a clean plunger to pop out those dents!

9. Fingernail polish can touch up small scratches. If you can find a shade of fingernail polish that exactly matches the color of your car, you can actually use this polish to fill small scratches in your paint. Because small scratches can still cause serious damage to your car, including creating an inlet for rust and more paint chipping, filling it with nail polish can actually protect your car from further damage. Just make sure that the color is close enough to the color of your paint or it will probably do more harm than good.

10. Get rid of extra weight. If you are storing something heavy in your car or are simply driving around items that you haven’t taken out yet, it’s time to get them out of your vehicle. The more weight you drive around, the worse your gas mileage is going to be. So, while that box of cat litter might be great during the winter, come spring, it’s probably best to take it out and not to lug around the extra weight.

11. Put a candle in your car to dispel stink. A candle in your cup holder is a great way to refresh the smell of your car while you’re not in it. The max will melt and give off its scent when your car heats up in the sun. When you get back in and turn on the AC, it will solidify again.

12. Put a dryer sheet in your vent. Lots of car air fresheners can be overpowering. You can add some subtle freshness to your car by sticking a dryer sheet in your vent. It will make your car smell like a fresh load of laundry, without being to fragrant.

13. Use your head to amplify the reach of your fob. If you’re wandering around a parking garage, trying to find your car, put your fob under your chin to amplify it’s reach.

14. Get rid of extra keychains and keys. A heavy keychain can put strain on your ignition, which is one of the most delicate components of any vehicle. Unburden it by getting rid of extra keychains and keys that are weighing it down.

15. Keep your change in an old mint container. Instead of just letting your change accumulate in a cup holder, hold on to an old mint container and fill it with your change, instead.