Jim Shorkey Brand SUVs, Crossovers Top Most Affordable to Insure List

With their versatility, dependability, and ability to accommodate an entire family, SUVs and crossovers have been dominating new-car sales for years. Still, many people think they cannot afford one, let alone insure one.

Believe it or not though, on this year’s Insure.com cheapest-to-insure vehicles list for 2015, 7 out of the top 10 least expensive vehicles to insure were SUVs or crossovers. And the news keeps getting better: You can get 6 of those 7 vehicles at Jim Shorkey! (For the 7th one, you’ll have to browse our extensive used car inventory.)
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So which SUVs and crossovers are the cheapest to insure? Leading the pack—as it usually does—is the Jeep Wrangler Sport, which is followed by its cousin, the Jeep Patriot Sport. A few spots down is the Dodge Grand Caravan SE Plus and the Jeep Compass Sport. Ford also makes an appearance with the Edge SE and the Escape S.

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Schedule a test drive with one of these surprisingly affordable SUVs or crossovers today!

 

 

Bye Bye Salt Stains, Hello Spring!

After the winter we’ve had, more than likely your car floor is covered in salt stains. And with Pittsburgh getting a small covering of what we’re hoping is the last snow of the season this past weekend, we’re glad we decided to hold off on our car spring cleaning. But with temperatures picking back up, we decided to get in the spring cleaning mood and give you a 3 step how-to on getting rid of those salt stains once and for all!

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To start, you need some water, vinegar, a brush, absorbent rags, a vacuum and a little TLC.

1. Vacuum the area carefully, getting as much dirt and dry salt out as possible. Do not press too hard as this will force the salt further into the carpet and perhaps damage the fibers.

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2. Spray and soak again, this time using an absorbent cloth to wipe the area. If you have a wet/dry vacuum use it to remove the remaining moisture. (Do not use the family household vacuum – there will be expensive results from ingesting the salty water!) If you do not have a wet/dry vacuum use absorbent towels. Press down on the damp area with as much weight as possible.

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3. Repeat as necessary, the salt will eventually come off and the vinegar smell will go away as well. Leave the windows open and enjoy the Pittsburgh spring air!

How to Save Money but Still Get that V8 Engine

 

Very often drivers find themselves torn—they want to feel the need for speed with that V8 engine, but they also don’t want to spend a lot of money. Unfortunately, it’s usually a give and take; you can have one, but not both. However, the good folks at Automobile Magazine recently ranked the 10 cheapest cars with a V8 engine, and low and behold, you can many of them at Jim Shorkey! Check out which ones made the list and what the mag had to say about them.

2015 Ram 1500 Tradesman, 5.7-liter V-8, 383 hp/400 lb-ft
You might think the stripped-down, $27,420 Ram Express is the go-to pickup for cheap power, rugged capability, and no nonsense. The heart and soul of that brutally basic pickup is the iconic 5.7-liter Hemi V-8, but there’s actually an even cheaper route to get the Hemi. Opt instead for the Ram 1500 Tradesman and tick the box for the 395-hp Hemi with 407 lb-ft of torque, and you’ll walk out the door paying $690 less than you would for a Ram 1500 Tradesman with a V-6. The secret is that the Hemi can be paired with an old-school six-speed auto; it undercuts the cost of the newfangled eight-speed automatic, which is included as standard on the V-6 to eke out every last MPG. More power, less money. What more do you want?

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2015 Ford F-150 XL, 5.0 V-8, 385 hp/387 lb-ft
The cheapest way to get a V-8 engine in the new, aluminum-bodied 2015 Ford F-150 pickup is in a regular-cab, short-bed XL model with rear-wheel drive. The 5.0-liter V-8 itself costs $1,595 over the base 3.5-liter V-6, meaning that it slots in between the F-150’s two Ecoboost V-6 engine options, price-wise. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard, but not much else—the bare-bones XL does without a CD player, power windows and locks, and cruise control, making for a no-nonsense work truck with old-school V-8 power (385 hp to be specific).

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2015 Ford Mustang GT, 5.0 liter V-8, 435 hp/400 lb-ft
There’s been a lot of buzz about the 2015 Ford Mustang’s new EcoBoost four-cylinder turbo engine, but America’s original pony car still comes with a honkin’ V-8 engine to please traditionalists. The cheapest Mustang V-8 is a base GT, which comes standard with the 435-hp 5.0-liter Coyote engine and a six-speed manual transmission. This 2015 AUTOMOBILE All-Star winner comes decently equipped to start, with features like HID headlights, a backup camera, and Ford Sync as standard, but at this price you’ll miss out on the appealing GT Performance Package ($2,495) that gives the ‘Stang a tighter suspension, better brakes, and upgraded wheels and tires.

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2015 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack, 6.4-liter V-8, 485 hp/475 lb-ft
People tend to lose their minds over the 707-hp Challenger Hellcat, but the real gem of Dodge’s muscle-car lineup is the Challenger R/T Scat Pack. Reviving a 45 year-old package, the R/T Scat Pack brings the monstrous 6.4-liter naturally aspirated V-8 from the $46,990 Challenger SRT 392 into sub-$40k territory. With 485 hp and a swift 4.1-second sprint from 0-60 mph, it combines the affordability of the R/T line and the performance of the SRT line. Take your pick of either the standard Tremec six-speed manual or the optional, $1,400 eight-speed automatic, and leave your opponents in the dust. The R/T Scat Pack would be even cheaper if it weren’t for Uncle Sam, who takes a $1,000 bite out of your wallet for the gas guzzler tax.

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Do You Know When Your Brakes Need a Little TLC?

We cant stress enough the importance of routine brake inspections! Executive director of Car Car Council, Rich White, stated “When it comes to vehicle safety, the brake system is at the top of the list, so have your brakes checked by an auto service professional at least once a year. Knowing the key warning signs that your brakes may need maintenance will go a long way toward keeping you and others safe on the road.”

But how do you know when you should get your brakes checked? Below, we have listed seven signs that your brakes need to be inspected.

Noise: screeching, grinding or clicking noises when applying the brakes.7 signs to inspect brakes

Pulling: vehicle pulls to one side while braking.

Low Pedal: brake pedal nearly touches the floor before engaging.

Hard Pedal: must apply extreme pressure to the pedal before brakes engage.

Grabbing: brakes grab at the slightest touch to the pedal.

Vibration: brake pedal vibrates or pulses, even under normal braking conditions.

Light: brake light is illuminated on your vehicle’s dashboard.

If you have encountered any of these signs, schedule your appointment here, and our technicians will switch your breaks and get you back on the road!

Take a Road Trip Without Leaving Your Home

We talk a lot about road trips on this blog—from where to go depending on the season to how to get your car ready for an upcoming adventure.

But what if we said you could take a road trip without leaving your house?! While we always advocate spending as much time in your car possible, LEGO artist Jeff Friesen has you covered if you cannot hit the road this summer. Using his daughter’s LEGO collection, Friesen has designed 50 delightfully cheeky dioramas for each of the 50 states. Check it out here

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Even though Pennsylvania is represented with a Rocky lookalike eating a cheesesteak (we’d much prefer the Pittsburgh Pirate eating Primantis), we still think this is awesome.

Are you inspired for your next road trip?!

7 Things You Have to Explain to Non-Car People

There’s two kinds of people in this world. There’s car people, and then there are non-car people. Car people see and experience the world in different ways. They live for that new car smell, breath for windy roads, and dream of hemi engines. And while car lovers can talk for hours about their passion, here are 7 of the basic things you have to cover to the non-car people.

1. A tiny scratch makes a HUGE difference
That “little” scratch you have from when your friend “accidentally” opened your car door into the one parked beside you will be a constant reminder that you no longer have a “perfect” car.

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2. The sweet, sweet smell of new tires
FRESH TIRES TRUMP ALL. Enough said. (Check out our tire special here!)

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3. Focus on the details
When you’re a car lover, your car is better kept than you are. Constant cleaning and detailing is the equivalent to a facelift in the automotive world. By detailing your car properly it can take years off its age and keep it looking brand new.

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4. Part of the family
Some people see cars as just a means of transportation. But if you have a good car, it becomes part of the family.

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5. “V”
NOT ALL ENGINES ARE V-SOMETHING! The “V” refers to how the engine is laid out. For example, instead of a V6, you can have a starlight six, a flat six, both of which are completely different.

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6. A car is not a restaurant
Eating and drinking in a car-lovers sacred territory is forbidden. Okay, maybe, you can have a bottle of water when its a 100 degrees outside, but only if you’re careful. Not to mention grease goes everywhere and the smell lingers for days.

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7. If you don’t care about driving, you’ll never be a good driver
Being attentive isn’t enough. Learn where to look, what to do with your hands and feet in an emergency, and how to properly handle your car in snow, you need to study and practice.

green-hybrid-car-driving-down-road-jpgWhat do you have to explain to  the non-car people you know?

What Are the Best Cars for New Graduates?

Graduation season is about to start, and what new graduate doesn’t need a new car?! From driving to interviews to starting a new job to moving across town or the country, new grads need reliable transportation. Yahoo Autos recently compiled a Best Cars for Recent Graduates list, and to no surprise, some Jim Shorkey cars made the cut! Check out what they had to say about each one.

Jim Shorkey New 2015 Ford Fiesta Pittsburgh North HuntingdonNew: 2015 Ford Fiesta

Used: 2012 Ford Fiesta

Another compact car that comes in both a sedan and a hatchback and is fun to drive is the Ford Fiesta. For 2015, a base Fiesta starts at $14,455, and can be priced up to the super sporty Fiesta ST for $21,435, Like the look but not the price? A 2012 Fiesta still can bring all of the fun but will set you back $5,000 to $6,000 less than a brand new version — although you won’t find a Fiesta ST older than 2014 because that was its first year of production.

 

Jim Shorkey New 2015 Kia Optima Pittsburgh North HuntingdonNew: 2015 Kia Opima

Used: 2011-2014 Kia Optima

If a midsize sedan is what you are seeking, look no further than the Kia Optima. For 2015, the Optima’s styling has held it’s own and is still as sleek, sophisticated, and sporty as the day it was first revealed in 2010. While a used 2011-2014 Optima can be found at discounts from the original MSRP, it’s probably a good idea to keep an eye on the 2015 model year which will soon be marked down to make way for the newly redesigned 2016 Kia Optima coming out later this year.

 

Jim Shorkey New 2015 Jeep Renegade Pittsburgh North HuntingdonNew: 2015 Jeep Renegade

Used: 2011-2013 Jeep Patriot

Looking for a modern looking SUV and the brand that epitomizes American off-road driving? For 2015, Jeep has introduced the five-seater Renegade. Starting at $17,995.00 for the front-wheel-drive version, the Renegade is a sophisticated new look for Jeep that compliments the elegant Grand Cherokee, but on a smaller scale. It even comes in the dirt-loving Trailhawk 4X4, starting at $25,995. The older, less well-liked Patriot will have more cargo room and can be found used for under $15,000, although Jeep quality has been iffy in the past; as with any used car, a thorough inspection is recommended.

 

How the Jim Shorkey Car Brands Got Their Names

As most of you know or could guess, The Jim Shorkey Auto Group is named after the man who started it as just a 3-car showroom – Jim Shorkey. Now decades and dealerships later, Jim Shorkey Auto Group is still a family run business and has become one of the most recognized automotive names in Western Pennsylvania.

But how did the car brands we sell get their names? Just like Jim Shorkey, Ford, Chrysler and Dodge we’re named after their founders. While Mitsubishi, Kia, Jeep and Ram have a different story. Check out below as we break down how these iconic brands got their names!

Mitsubishi
It’s not often that a company is named after its own logo, but that’s been the case with Mitsubishi since the 1870s. Mitsu is Japanese for three, and Hishi (pronounced Bishi at the end of a word) means rhombus, or diamond. The logo is a combination of two familial crests: that of the founder, and that of his first employer.

Kia
According to Kia Motors, the name “Kia” derives from the Sino-Korean words ki (“to come out”) and a (which stands for Asia), it is roughly translated as “arise or come up out of Asia” or “rising out of Asia”

Ford
Ford Motor Company’s name pays tribute to the man, the myth, the legend himself – Henry Ford. Henry Ford was an American industrialist, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, and sponsor of the development of the assembly line technique of mass production.

Chrysler
Chrysler falls into the same category as Ford and Dodge in naming their company after themselves. Walter P. Chrysler was an American automotive industry executive and founder of Chrysler Corporation.

Dodge
Dodge owes its name to the two founding brothers – Horace and John Dodge, who were both automobile manufacturing pioneers.

Jeep
Everyone always assumes Jeep comes from the slang version of the army term “general purpose,” or GP. That’s not entirely wrong, but it runs deeper than that. The Willis Overland was more frequently called the “Peep,” since it was a reconnaissance vehicle. As such it was coded GP, which meant it was a government vehicle with a wheelbase of 80 inches.

Ram
Although Dodge had produced trucks since 1917, the 1981 pickups were the first to sport the Ram name. Dodge actually used a Ram’s head hood ornament back in 1933 to characterize its trucks as rugged vehicles. The symbol was dropped in the 1950s and then resurrected for 1981 when Lee Iacocca (then President and CEO at Chrysler Corp.) and Dodge’s marketing team decided to name Dodge’s trucks after the tough beast and brought back the old mascot.

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Stop by any of our dealerships and take these iconic car brands out on a test drive today!

 

Keep Fido Safe on Your Next Road Trip with These Simple Tips

In just a few short weeks, people will start planning their summer road trips. Or maybe you’re ahead of the game, and already have your trip planned. Either way, one thing is evitable: you WILL be taking a road trip this summer.

But before you hop in your car and take off, give Fido some consideration. Instead of leaving your pooch at home or dropping him off at doggie day camp, think about taking him with you! And here at Jim Shorkey, we can help! Check out some tips below on how to protect your dog (and car) on road trips.

Buy a Ramp. It can be difficult for dogs to leap into SUVs and trucks. Consider investing in a ramp that extends from the ground to the vehicle’s load floor. This easy stroll into and out of your car can prevent unexpected injuries and expensive vet bills that may keep you in park for longer than intended. Bonus: Most ramps currently on the market fold up for easy storage.

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New Threads. Consider a tight-fitting, Velcro-closing shirt specifically designed to calm anxious canines by making them feel hugged and comfy. Therefore, if they start to panic on the road, you can calm them down without any major catastrophe.

Harness your Hound. You (hopefully) wouldn’t let a child ride in the backseat without a seatbelt, and your pooch is no exception. Keep your dog safe with a harness—most include some sort of padded vest with dog-to-car anchor points that distribute crash forces evenly over a dog’s body. They also offer several options for securing your dog in place, from a single lockdown for riding in a cargo area to two latch child-seat anchors with a human three-point seatbelt looped through the harness.

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Ahhh, That’s the Life. If your dog is traveling on vacation with you, chances are he is already living the dream. Why not make his time in the car even better with a hammock! If you can believe it, there are various hammocks for dogs available on the market that provide a comfy, waterproof berth for your dog while keeping the backseat clean.

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Keep your Distance. As all dog owners know, dogs are very excitable, especially when out of their element. To keep them from treating your car like their playground, you may want to confine them to the backseat with a partition. Most partitions currently on the market are model specific, but offer adjustable feet and sliding crossbars that allow you to customize the partition to your liking.