Five Safety Features Every Vehicle In North Huntingdon Should Have

Traction Control (TC) Systems

The traction control is also known as ASR or Acceleration Slip Regulation. This is especially useful for Pittsburgh drivers, when the roads are slippery and wet in the harsh winters. When the driver moves at an accelerated speed, this feature will help cope with the torque. The result is that friction of the tires against the pavement will be reduced.

Automatic Headlights

When driving at night, with little to no light, it is important to be cautious of your surroundings. You won’t be able to clearly see other vehicles around you. Instinctively as an experienced driver, you may turn on the bright headlights. In some updated cars nowadays, however, you don’t have to do this manually. A lot of newer car models have light sensors that detect the necessity for more light.

Tailgate Step

Tailgate steps are needed for all truck owners who are relatively older and those who have a hard time getting on the back of pickup trucks.

Anti-Lock Brakes

When you often jam the brakes, you may find the anti-lock braking system a lifesaver as the car uses electronic controls to stop your wheels from locking. So without rotating, you can steer around with longer braking distance even while applying maximum brake force. Same as the TC systems, these anti-lock brakes are more effective when driving on slippery roads. Keeping them handy gives the benefit of steering around obstacles during emergency braking.


Airbags are essential in any car to avoid injuries when driving. When head-on collisions occur, airbags protect your head and chest as they provide buffer by instantly inflating during a frontal collision. There are also side airbags that protect your upper body, and these are deployed when there’s impact on the sides.

Fall Festivities and Activities in the Pittsburgh Area

Fall is right around the corner in Western Pennsylvania, which means its time to pick the perfect pumpkin, get lost in a corn maze, and enjoy hayrides with friends and family. Pittsburgh holds many events in the fall season, from festivals to dog parades, and so much more! There’s never a dull moment, so here’s a list of some of the happenings around the ‘Burgh.

fall pittsburgh, things to do in pittsburgh in the fall, fall activities pittsburgh, pumpkin patch pittsburgh

Penn’s Colony Festival & Folk Art Marketplace: September 20-21 & September 27-28

Penn’s Colony Festival features artists and musical entertainment reminiscent of the historic time period of the French and Indian War. Held in Saxonburg, Butler County, celebrating its 29th year and set on 12 easy-walking, tree-shaded acres, Penn’s Colony brings history to life. Through arts and crafts, entertainment, and family activities such as games and pony rides and more, Penn’s Colony has something for everyone. The marketplace features 150 exhibits from juried artisans offering quality, handmade in America crafts and jewelry to food, furniture, and functional items from their shops nestled along the village streets.

DogtoberFEST 2014: October 04-05

DogtoberFEST is an adopt-athon presented by CARMAA (Coalition to Adopt, Rehome and Match Abandoned Animals) on the first Saturday of October, now in its fifth year! Over 20 breed-specific rescues and shelters join DogtoberFEST to showcase their adoptable animals and find their forever homes. Join them at 11 am for the Pooch Pride Costume parade and win prizes for Dog-Owner Lookalike, Most Original and Most Creative costumes. Bring your own dogs, shop, listen to live music, and celebrate adoption.

The Delmont Apple ‘n Arts Festival: October 4-5

The Delmont Apple ‘n Arts Festival is a craft show in Western, Pennsylvania that recently celebrated its 30th Anniversary (1982 – 2012). Featuring over 100 arts and crafts vendors and 30 food vendors, you can find handmade items from local crafters, delicious food, hot apple cider, and home-made apple treats.

Oakland Forever: October 10-11

Oakland Forever is a celebration of the people, places and things that make Oakland a fantastic neighborhood. This truly community-driven event is being organized and led by Oakland community organizations, residents, institutions, and businesses. 2014 is a special milestone year, marking the 175th anniversary of when the community was first identified as “Oakland”! Drawing on the profound history of Oakland, the current culture of innovation among institutional partners, and the strong sense of community pride, this weekend will highlight and mark Oakland’s unique and vibrant character. Oakland Forever attendees will enjoy live music and performances, art and photography exhibits, lectures and symposiums, outdoor activities, family fun, an artist and craft market, historical retrospectives, access to Oakland’s world-class cultural amenities, and much more!

Schramm’s Fall Festival: Weekdays and Weekends in October

Starting the last weekend in September and running through the end of October, they fill the fields with a huge selection of pumpkins for your choosing. To add to the autumn atmosphere, they decorate with scarecrows and other festive displays. There is something for the whole family to enjoy. They have play hay, two corn stalk mazes, pony rides, hay rides, a corn box, and much more. There is also a wide selection of refreshments, including fresh cut French Fries made from their own potatoes, apple cider slush, and homemade candy and caramel apples! To assist with your fall decorations, they have cornstalks and straw for sale, as well as gourds and ornamental corn.

Pumpkinpalooza Fall Fest – September 27 – October 26

Activities include- all new Kiddie Village, Corn Slide, Barrel Train Rides, Pumpkin Slingshot, Hay Tunnel, Corn Maze, Bounce House and Slide, Face Painting, Pumpkin Painting, all new Pumpkin Bowling many fun games and much, much more!!

fall pittsburgh, things to do in pittsburgh in the fall, fall activities pittsburgh, pumpkin patches pittsburgh

Car Facts You May Not Know

1. Your fuel gauge tells you which side your gas tank is on. If you’re driving a rental or other new-to-you car, you may not know which side to fill up on. In newer models, car makers have begun to include a “secret triangle” to show you just that. Next time you hop in the car, look on your car’s fuel indicator for this small arrow beside the gas pump icon. This is an easy way to show drivers which side to pull up to the pump.

2. Your car requires just a quick drink to get going. It doesn’t take much gas at all to get your car started; experts have found that the average car takes about half an ounce of gasoline to start. As a comparison, the average shot glass filled at your local bar gets somewhere in the neighborhood of one ounce poured into it.

3. One horse does not have one horsepower. The number of “horsepower” that comes advertised with your vehicle represents a basic unit of mechanical power that can be assessed in various ways. Some technical ones involve converting one horsepower to 745 watts, or in a physical conversion, 33,000 foot-pounds of torque per minute. By these measurements, a real horse averages only about 0.7 horsepower.

New car Pittsburgh, used car Pittsburgh, jim shorkey north huntingdon, jim shorkey pittsburgh

4. Your car is an elaborate puzzle of parts. Estimates show that the average car has over 30,000 parts. It might seem incredible, but when you start counting things like side panel pins and interior handle screws, you can see how the numbers can start to add up. That’s a lot of little pieces to put together.

5. Seat belt usage laws still vary by state. The first seat belts were installed by auto manufacturers in the 1950s, but adoption of seat belt usage was very low until the early 1980s as a result seat belt use laws passing in more states. Even today seat belt laws vary from state to state, though adoption of their usage has greatly increased nationally – in 2013 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported national seat belt usage at a rate of 87% — the highest ever.

6. The car of the future needs a driver’s license. We’ve heard of self-driven cars being tested, but did you know that they will need their own special license to be used on the open road? Nevada was the first state in the US to authorize self-driven cars for their state’s roads, and issued the very first

Dashboard-Mounted Signs: A Reality for North Huntingdon Drivers?

It’s not uncommon for drivers around Pittsburgh and North Huntingdon to see other drivers run stop signs or fail to yield to oncoming traffic. And if you are being honest with yourself, you may be guilty of this a time or two as well. But what would happen if those traffic signs didn’t exist and were replaced with electronic signs and warnings via an in-dash screen? And the warnings would only be shown if another vehicle was present at an intersection?

This is exactly what researchers at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute want to find out in an experiment that relies on technology rather than metal signs. The research is designed to not only provide safe traffic flow, but also save time and fuel for drivers and cut down on emissions caused by cars stopping or slowing for no reason—something any driver can appreciate.

dashboard mounted traffic signs, traffic signs Pittsburgh, traffic signs North Huntingdon

“The idea is there would be no physical stop or yield signs on the side of the road, but they would be inside the vehicle,” Alexandria Noble, the Virginia Tech master’s student leading the research project, recently said. And it’s more than just an idea since Noble and VTTI conducted real-world trials with vehicles and drivers to test the concept.

VTTI conducted its own 17-week trial by eliminating road signs on its closed-course facility. Two tests involved dozens of participants aged 18 to 25 and also over 50 driving cars equipped with small dashboard screens. The screens were used to alert drivers to either stop or yield via a flashing display or to continue through the intersection unimpeded.

The technology could be beneficial since physical stop and yield signs are often not only overlooked or ignored but are also costly, noted VTTI. Signs have to be maintained and can be easily covered by trees, and they need to be replaced when damaged or stolen. The researchers also pointed out that signs such as “Bridge Freezes Before Road” aren’t needed most of the year and that adaptive in-car warnings would be better in such circumstances.

Buying an Older Car: Things to Look Out For

Most of us have that “dream car” we’ve always wanted—that orange 1969 Dodge Charger from Dukes of Hazard or the 1993 Jurassic Park Jeep Wrangler. Whatever you picture when you imagine yourself driving around Pittsburgh, it is important to know what to look for when purchasing an older car. Here, we offer five tips to help you get started!

dodge charger, dodge charger pittsburgh, vintage charger, dukes of hazzard

Leaking Engine Seals

Pittsburgh weather changes as fast as the Dodge Hellcat drives. And with changes in pressure and temperature, engine seals expand and contract. If a car sits for a long time without being driven, the seals can deteriorate even faster because they dry out and become brittle. Eventually, worn-out engine seals will start to leak oil. It is important to check engine seals frequently when driving an older vehicle.

Body Rust

Pittsburgh and North Huntingdon have seen some harsh and long winters, and cars that spend time in rough climates tend to exhibit rust in the undercarriage and around the window seals. Salt and moisture can be devastating to a car’s chassis, and the cost of proper repair can exceed the car’s purchase prices.

Fading Or Peeling Paint

A car that has a cheap paint job or has spent its life outside can have faded and cracked paint. To avoid another bad paint job, the solution is to completely repaint the car, which can be expensive but worth it if done correctly.

Cracked and Sagging Interior

All those days your car spent sun bathing can be devastating to its interior, causing seats, dashes, and outdoor panels to crack and fade. Finding original replacement parts for an older car can be challenging, and new reproductions can be pricy.

Electrical Issues

Although older vehicles don’t have all the bells and whistles of today’s cars, they still have their fair share of complex electrical components. Some electrical problems are relatively simple to diagnose and remedy. And if you do have any electrical issues, then schedule a service appointment with us, and we can properly diagnose the problem!

jeep wrangler, jeep wrangler pittsburgh, vintage jeep wrangler, jurassic park

Stay Fuel-Efficient in Pittsburgh With These Green Driving Tips

If you’ve made more than a few road trips this summer and are looking to save a little money on gas going into the fall, then Jim Shorkey in North Huntingdon has you covered. Besides buying a fuel efficient vehicle, like the Mitsubishi Mirage or Kia Optima Hybrid, we’ve got some tips to increase your fuel efficiency in no time.

Lighten your load

Extra weight in the car means more energy consumption. Removing items you don’t need from your car can really improve fuel efficiency. It may be convenient to have those items on hand, but it’s costing you money to haul it around.

Take care of your tires

Underinflated tires are not only bad for fuel efficiency but are also dangerous. Tires that are properly inflated will have less friction on the road, which reduces the energy required to run the engine. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), maintaining tire pressure at the automaker’s recommended level can improve gas mileage by up to 6 percent. Check your tires at least once a month and before going on a long trip.

Be easy on the road

Smooth driving is the key to fuel efficiency. Abrupt acceleration and braking not only deplete fuel efficiency by 33 percent, but also result in excessive amounts of pollutants. Research shows that 1 second of putting the pedal to the metal produces as much carbon monoxide as 30 minutes of normal driving does.

Install window film to keep cool

We know Pittsburgh summers are hot, but using the air-conditioning drastically increases fuel consumption and emits harmful substances in the atmosphere. Parking in the shade and leaving the windows down are a great way to reduce the use of air-conditioning. You can also keep your vehicle cooler by installing window film. It is relatively inexpensive to install and extremely durable.

The Best Family Cars for Pittsburghers

Automotive choices often mirror our progression through various life stages. Case and point, sporty coupes and hatchbacks are frequently traded in for SUVs and minivans. But family-hauling doesn’t have to mean frumpy and unrefined. Recently, MSN Auto ranked the top great-handling family cars, and it was no surprise to us that more than one Jim Shorkey vehicle made the list. Specifically, the Chrysler 300, Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT, and the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat were called out for their handling, smooth ride, and capacity for a crowd. See below what MSN Autos says about each vehicle.

Chrysler 300

chrysler 300, chrysler pittsburgh, chrysler north huntingdon, new chrysler pittsburgh

Detroit created the muscle car in the 1960s and that tradition continues today. The difference is that today’s cars go around corners just as well as they accelerate in a straight line. The full-size Chrysler 300 SRT8 seats five comfortably and boasts 470 horsepower from its 6.4-liter V8 engine. Performance-tuned suspension and large-diameter Brembo brakes bring its power and mass under control while still delivering a smooth ride. A base 300 SRT8 runs $48,900 plus a $1,000 gas-guzzler tax.

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT

jeep grand cherokee, jeep grand cherokee pittsburgh, new jeep grand cherokee pittsburgh, jeep grand cherokee north huntingdon

Fine-handling vehicles aren’t limited to cars. Some of today’s crossover utility vehicles do a great job of combining room for the family with canyon-carving handling. Few do that better than the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT. It is motivated by the same 6.4-liter 470-horsepower V8 engine as other SRT models, but it has even bigger brakes and offers a commanding view of the road typical of a crossover. Plus it has room for five passengers and all the hockey equipment they can carry. A base Grand Cherokee SRT costs $64,380.

2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

dodge charger hellcat, charger hellcat, dodge, new dodge charger pittsburgh, new dodge charger north huntingdon

The Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat is due later in 2014, and like its younger sibling Challenger SRT Hellcat, the heart of this beast will be a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine that produces a ludicrous 707 horsepower. But power won’t be the Charger Hellcat’s only calling card. Dodge hasn’t released technical specifications, but the Charger Hellcat will certainly get the adjustable performance suspension and big brakes from the Challenger Hellcat, which will allow this big 5-seater to corner and stop almost as well as it blasts down a quarter-mile.

The Jim Shorkey Family Auto Group in Irwin Takes On the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Last week, the Jim Shorkey Mitsubishi Accounting Department nominated the entire Jim Shorkey Family Auto Group in Irwin for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

To accommodate that many people, we called in the Hartford Heights and Larimer fire departments to help with the soak. When all was said and done, we donated $20 for each employee who participated and $1,000 to both fire departments. We want to send a big “THANK YOU” to everyone who was involved and came out to support this worthwhile cause.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord, and is more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons  die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.