Helping the Community: Announcing the 4th annual Drive for the Kids™ event

What do you get when you add a Chrysler Town and Country, Jim Shorkey Family Auto Group, and HW Good Elementary School in Herminie? Hint: It’s not a trick question!

You get our 4th annual Drive for the Kids™ event, of course! The festivities will be held Friday, April 11 from 6 pm–8 pm at HW Good Elementary School on Herminie West Newton Road in Herminie. The concept is simple: Chrysler will donate $10 to the school for every Town and Country test drive. Last year, we were fortunate enough to help fundraise over $1,000, and we are hoping to not only meet but exceed that mark this year.

Why should you participate in Drive for the Kids™? Everyone knows schools are chronically under-funded for student enrichment and extracurricular activities; and parents are often called upon to make up the short fall. Chrysler recognized this need, and in 1993, implemented the program—making it possible for Chrysler dealerships, such as ourself, to work with parents and educators in support of our community’s children. Over the lifetime of the program, Chrysler has made direct cash contributions totaling over $4.5 million to local schools.

Still have some questions? Check out our very own Beth Robosky for more details below. Then check out video from Chrysler explaining this unique fundraising concept.

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Who Knew: Waxing your vehicle

Wax on, wax off. Wax on, wax off. Most people associate this phrase with Daniel, training for the All-Valley Karate Tournament with Mr. Miyagi circa 1984 more than an activity they periodically perform on their vehicle. However, if you want to protect your pricey investment, we suggest you familiarize yourself with this oh-so popular catchphrase.

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Failing to occasionally apply wax or another protectant to your vehicle’s exterior finish can lead to the breakdown of the clear coat that protects the paint from oxidation, wear and tear, road grit, and more. The idea of waxing is to provide a “sacrificial layer” to take abuse that might otherwise damage the clear coat. In addition, properly applied wax can cover small scratches or light blemishes, as well as enhance the paint’s natural shine and gloss.

Therefore, it’s important to keep your car clean and to apply wax at least twice a year, possibly even three to four times a year due to Southwestern PA’s exposure to intense sun in the summer and excessive road salt in the winter.

For a professional vehicle waxing, contact one of our friendly service advisers to schedule an appointment. We have ultra-convenient evening and weekend hours that make scheduling around your priorities a breeze. If you have the time and energy to wax your vehicle yourself, then we recommend you first make sure it is freshly washed, rinsed, and allowed to thoroughly dry. Apply a thin layer of wax, buff off the excess, and repeat. It’s important that you do not over-apply because a thin application will actually bond and cure better.

After a few applications, we’re positive your vehicle will be gleaming in the sun—and you may even find yourself entering a karate competition.

If It’s Good Enough For Jimmy Fallon…

“Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon recently announced to the world that he wants to buy a pickup truck. With assistance from Larry Webster, editor-in-chief of Road and Track, Fallon announced his top four choices, including the class-exclusive and back-to-back winner of Motor Trend’s Truck of the year, the 2014 Ram 1500. The Toyota Tacoma and two Ford F-150s, the Platinum and King Ranch editions, round out Fallon’s short shopping list.

fallonLarry Webster (left) and Jimmy Fallon (right) holding an image of a Ram 1500

While Fallon insists that he is truly interested in a pickup truck, the New York native and veteran of “Saturday Night Live” is clearly not a real truck guy. Case in point, he claims he intends to use the pickup to haul pumpkins and his baby — which probably won’t exceed the trucks’ cargo capacity. Ram cleverly capitalized on this statement by sending the late-night TV host a video of its 1500 pickup in a pumpkin-throwing competition.

Fallon’s professed interest in pickup trucks also raises the question: Has he ever tried to drive or park one of the 5,500-pound beasts in car-unfriendly New York? To which Ram playfully parked a coveted silver Hemi-powered 2014 Ram 1500 crew cab outside 30 Rockefeller Center in New York, where “The Tonight Show” is taped. On the back of the truck was a sign that read, “Big enough, Jimmy? Test it out.”

BiEhJGWCIAABRSpRam 1500 parked at 30 Rockefeller Center for Fallon

Whether or not Fallon follows through with the purchase of a pickup truck remains to be seen. In the meantime, we at Jim Shorkey Family Auto Group would love to offer our own personal advice to Jimmy Fallon. We may be partial, but here is “Why We Love the 2014 Ram 1500.” #GUTSGLORYFallon

For all local Southwestern PA-ers, come on out and see why the Ram 1500 made Fallon’s short list at our Ram Jam sales event at Jim Shorkey Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram with more than 150 clearance-priced 2013 and 2014 Ram trucks at our Route 30 location in North Huntingdon now through March 31st!

Five Reasons to Love the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage

With its diminutive size, the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage is quite nimble, allowing for excellent maneuverability on busy roadways, in tight spaces, and when (groan) trying to parallel park on busy streets. Keep in mind, the Mirage may not win any drag races, but it will get everywhere it needs to go, and it will save money the whole way. In particular, the 2014 Mirage is an all-new model for the Mitsubishi line. It’s a 5-door subcompact vehicle, available in two trim models, and powered by a tiny engine that helps make big EPA-estimate numbers.

Gas (And Money) Saver. The 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage 5-door hatchback has been listed as the highest ranked non-hybrid vehicle on the prestigious “Greenest Vehicles” list of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (www.aceee.org) and is featured on the Greenercars.org website. This translates to a direct savings to your wallet—which we can all appreciate heading into the sweet summertime.

Surprising Cargo Space. This lightweight subcompact vehicle may look like the Chihuahua of cars, but its extra room in the back for stowing and going may surprise you. There’s 47-cubic feet of maximum cargo space with the rear seat folded, while competitors like the Chevrolet Spark and Scion iQ only offer 31.2 cubic feet and 16.7 cubic feet, respectively. Check out the cargo animation below to see for yourself how well the Mirage carries various everyday items.

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Fun Color Palette. Black cars are fine, white cars are common, but colorful cars are twice as nice. The 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage covers all of its chromatic bases with color choices that range from Sapphire Blue to Kiwi Green to Infrared to Plasma Purple. Even it basic colors choices of Thunder Gray, Mystic Black, and Cloud White are anything but ordinary.

Price, price, price. If the real estate saying goes, “Location, location, location,” then many car buyers live by the mantra, “Price, price, price.” The introductory MSRP of the Mirage is just $12,995, making it one of the least expensive new cars available in the country.

May the Safe Be With You. On the safety front, standard safety features of the Mirage include seven air bags; Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS); 4-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD); and Brake Assist. Hill Start Assist (HSA) is also standard on all continuously-variable transmission-equipped (CVT) models. Active Stability Control (ASC) with Traction Control Logic (TCL) is also included on all models. The ASC/TCL helps stabilize the vehicle when it detects skidding and/or when the system detects a loss of traction on slippery road surfaces.

What others are saying:

“With an impressive list of standard and optional features, the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage is a practical and fuel-efficient subcompact.”Edmunds

“The diminutive, affordable hatchback does offer a surprising amount of passenger space, excellent maneuverability and combined fuel economy of 40 mpg – that’s tops among non-hybrid cars in the United States.”Left Lane News

Siri, Take the Wheel: Apple’s new infotainment system revealed

Apple continued to dominate the tech-savvy mainstream last week by unveiling its CarPlay infotainment system at the Geneva Motor Show. While the system hasn’t made its way into any current vehicle on the market, it will debut later this year in some Volvo, Ferrari, and Mercedes-Benz models. Apple also claims to be working on future deals with Kia and an assortment of other vehicles.

In operation, drivers can connect their Lightning-equipped iPhone via a hardline, allowing for charging while pushing phone operations to the on-board infotainment system. A steering wheel-mounted voice control button can activate Siri, though users can also interface with iOS 7-inspired controls if a car comes equipped with a touchscreen. According to Apple, CarPlay can access all knobs, buttons, and dials controlling an in-car display. Further, drivers can place phone calls, listen to voice mail messages, access contacts, and have Siri read text messages. Mapping is also integrated into CarPlay, including turn-by-turn directions that show up on the car’s screen.

Entertainment options include access to an iPhone’s music library, podcasts, audiobooks, iTunes Radio, and music streaming apps like Spotify, Beats Music, and iHeartRadio. CarPlay will also come as an update to iOS 7 and works with Lightning-enabled iPhones, including the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, and iPhone 5.

The system is garnering mixed reviews. Those none-to-pleased with the juicy fruit’s new system are safety advocates. They argue distracted driving is a huge concern on modern roads with more vehicles allowing drivers to use their smartphones through Bluetooth and infotainment systems. A Texas A&M study found that drivers’ reaction time doubled while dictating text messages, according to CNN Money. They believe this new technology is certainly not making drivers pay more attention to the road.

Conversely, Apple knows that inattentive drivers are a major cause of concern and addressed it in their press release, saying: “CarPlay lets drivers use their iPhone in the car with minimized distraction.” Still, none of the models with the tech are available yet. It’s hard to make quality judgments until it is actually on the road.

Check out these images of the CarPlay, courtesy of Apple. Then let us know, would you want CarPlay in your vehicle?

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Jim Shorkey Cares: A quick service tip

Wintertime can be rough, and venturing outside can be unreasonably painful. Therefore, most people neglect their vehicle until the sun triumphantly breaks through the clouds and flowers harmoniously burst through the soil. As this time of the year draws nearer and nearer, we would like to bring you a quick service tip that will have your vehicle driving like a beacon of spring in no time.

Cabin Air Filters. The cabin air filter helps remove allergens and contaminants, as well as trap pollen, bacteria, dust, and exhaust gases that may find their way into a vehicle’s air conditioning and heating and ventilation systems. The filter also prevents leaves, bugs, and other debris from entering these systems.

A dirty or clogged cabin air filter can cause musty odors in the vehicle and can cause contaminants to become so concentrated in the cabin that passengers actually breathe in more fumes and particles when riding in the car compared to walking down the street. A restricted cabin air filter can also impair airflow in the HVAC system, possibly causing interior heating and cooling problems—important for staying comfortable during the excessively hot summer months. Over time, the heater and air conditioner may also become damaged by corrosion.

It’s generally recommended these filters should be changed every 12,000 to 15,000 miles, or per the owner’s manual. Check out our Kia Service Manager, Andy White, below as he explains the importance of changing cabin air filters and compares a clean air filter with a dirty counterpart.

Why We Love the 2014 Ram 1500

How do you enhance an already class-leading truck? That’s the question the good folks at Dodge faced when they conceptualized the 2014 Dodge Ram 1500. Luckily for truck drivers everywhere, their answer led to a world-class, attention-demanding pickup truck that dominates the competition with its distinction as the first ever back-to-back Motor Trend Truck of the Year® for 2013 and 2014. This heralded truck also boasts best-in-class 25+ HWY MPG and an available class-exclusive TORQUEFLITE® 8 eight-speed transmission. But don’t just take our word for it:

“The 2014 Ram 1500 is our top pick in the full-size pickup segment, thanks to a winning combination of strong powertrains, a smooth ride and a well-trimmed cabin.” – Edmunds

“The 2014 Ram 1500 offers something for just about any full-size truck buyer.” – Kelley Blue Book

“Already gifted with capable handling and handsome interiors, the Ram 1500 lineup is now even more unique and appealing with the addition of the EcoDiesel option…Its combination of low-end torque and efficiency will undoubtedly win over many hearts and wallets. We expect Ram will have little problem achieving its goal of a 15 percent take rate for the EcoDiesel.” – Left Lane News

Why We Love It—

Start Your Engines. The 2014 Ram 1500 features an optional EcoDiesel, turbodiesel V6, which delivers smooth, refined power. Dubbed “revolutionary” and “game-changing,” this engine produces 240 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. A V8 engine is also an option for anyone who plans to do lots of towing and hauling. An eight-speed automatic transmission is available with all engines that delivers quick shifting and definitively maximizes fuel economy.

Speaking of Fuel Economy. The redesigned engine offers 18 city MPG and 25+ HWY MPG. Compare that to Chevrolet’s highly-touted 4.3-liter V6 with 285 horsepower and 305 lb-ft of torque and an estimated 18 city MPG and 24 HWY MPG. Ford’s V6 doesn’t even do that well: Ford’s 3.5-liter V6 gets 16 city MPG and 22 HWY MPG.

Options. The 2014 Ram 1500 is a full-size pickup available in multiple body styles. The regular cab seats three and is available with either a 6-foot, 4-inch or 8-foot cargo bed. The extended cab (“Quad Cab”) can seat up to six and comes with the 6-foot, 4-inch bed. The Crew Cab increases rear-seat legroom, and is available with either a 5-foot, 7-inch or 6-foot, 4-inch bed. There are six main trim levels: Tradesman, HFE, SLT, Sport, Laramie and Longhorn.

Interior. With plenty of high-end materials, solid construction, and overall quietness, the 2014 Ram 1500 has one of the best cabins in the class. Its front seats are long-haul comfortable, and both Quad and Crew Cabs offer ample rear-seat space. A six-speaker stereo and a USB port are standard. Major options include Ram’s voice-activated Uconnect infotainment system with Bluetooth, as well as an 8.4-inch touch screen, navigation, and a 7- or 10-speaker stereo system. The available voice-activated Uconnect infotainment system, which offers smartphone app integration, is one of the best in the business, with legible touch-screen buttons and corresponding buttons and knobs for the stereo and climate systems.

Be Safe. Standard safety equipment on the 2014 Ram 1500 includes four-wheel antilock disc brakes, stability control, hill-start assist, trailer-sway control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. A fully integrated trailer brake controller is also optional, as well as a rearview camera and front/rear parking sensors. Models with Uconnect Access have an emergency telematics system that connects you with 911 operators at the touch of a button and provides stolen vehicle tracking.