Deck the Halls… and your car!

Decorating your car can be a fun experience.  There are many ways to make sure that your car looks, and feels like Christmas.  Jim Shorkey has 5 recommendations to make your car festive for the holiday!

Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer Kit!

Kia Forte, Jim Shorkey Kia, Holiday ornaments

Nothing is cuter than seeing Rudolf drive beside you on the road.  This Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer Kia Kit comes with two antlers you put on your side windows and a big red nose for the grill.  We love the nose so much that we even display them in our showrooms!

Candy Cane Kit!

Kia Soul, Jim Shorkey, Dress your car

Similar to the Rudolf kit,  the candy canes attach to the windows and a peppermint on the grill of the car.  This kit provides a sweet ride.

Wreath!

Wreath, Jim Shorkey Family Auto,

The Wreath may have been the first Christmas decoration put on the car.  Traditionally, the wreath is attached to the grill. We recommend using a plastic wreath (the real ones don’t last very long). You can also add battery powered lights in and around your wreath to make it pop!

Christmas Music

There is so much you can do to bring cheer to you and your passengers. When you are driving around town playing Christmas classics, it’s hard not to see a smile from everyone.  Songs like White Christmas, Santa Claus Is Coming to Town and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas will make you feel nostalgic in all the right ways!

Putting Electric Lights Around Your Car

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This option is advance, with an inverter, your car will twinkle just like your Christmas tree.  If you want to know how, check out our blog at Jim Shorkey Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram to learn more.

Holiday Sticker Decals

Jim Shorkey, Decals

Afraid of putting something on your car that could fly away while driving?  Check out Christmas sticker decals that will sick on your car as long as you want.  They come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. From bells to angels, you’re sure to find one that’s right for you!

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Jim Shorkey Sales Associate Is Raising Money to Support Cancer Research

“My world exists where most people aren’t.”

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Sixteen years ago, Craig Stephan set out on the open road with nothing between him and the asphalt but his Harley. Craig would eventually end up at the Grand Canyon. And while this may sound like the trip of a lifetime, for him it was a way to cope with the loss of a person that supported, inspired, and most of all believed in him—his mother.

Upon return, Craig’s mission was clear: Help others cope with the loss of a loved one. Craig accomplished this by writing a book, Riding on Empty, a dream his mother had hoped for herself.

Craig’s trips across the country continued with a different route each time. Since his initial road trip, Craig has visited each state, with the exception of Hawaii, many times over. And while he travels through major cities, it’s the smaller towns in which he particularly enjoys.

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“Think about the farmer. He’s out there at 9:30 at night, working hard to provide food so that we can have easy access to it and can buy it for very little.”

Touched by the compassion of others, five years ago, Craig started a Bike-a-Thon to raise money for cancer research in his mother’s honor. This year, Craig will be riding his Harley from Pittsburgh to Colorado, beginning August 14. All proceeds raised will go to the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.

And while the destinations change from one year to the next, Craig continues to find the beauty in each trip.

“When you’re riding a bike, it’s so gorgeous, so relaxing. That’s all you want to do—keep riding.”

To purchase Riding on Empty or to donate to Craig’s Bike-a-Thon, please visit his website: ridingonempty.com.

Tune Up For What!

Has your car been sluggish, squealing, vibrating or has become completely unreliable? If you answered yes to any of the above – it’s time for a tune up! Check out these 5 signs that your car shows when its time for a tune up.

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1. Warning lights
Those little indicators on your dashboard aren’t there just for decoration. They illuminate for a reason – to indicate a problem or potential problem with a vehicle system or component. It’s important to pay attention to these lights, and when they light up or flash, get them diagnosed at your earliest opportunity.

2. Stalling
Your vehicle stalling in mid traffic is not only dangerous, but is also a warning sign of trouble lurking. Engines are designed to deliver reliable performance, particularly when you need it the most. Common causes: fouled spark plugs, clogged fuel filter.

3. Hard Start
It’s Monday, you’re allowed to be a little sluggish first thing in the morning. However, your vehicle isn’t. If your car won’t start when you need it to, and if it takes several turns of the key before it starts, you’ve got a problem. Common causes: weak battery, defective starter.

4. Poor gas mileage.
If you feel like you are filling your gas tank more frequently even though you’re driving the same distance, your vehicle may be experiencing a reduction in fuel mileage. A sudden decrease in fuel mileage indicates the vehicle isn’t operating as efficiently as it should. Common causes: improper tire pressure, sticking brake pad.

5. Vibration
We know that after a harsh winter Pittsburgh roads are bad, but when the sudden appearance of vibration that isn’t caused by rough road conditions is a red flag. You might only feel it in the steering when at a certain speed or it may seem to go throughout the whole vehicle. Common causes: worn or unbalanced tires, tire going flat, failing universal joint.

If you have been experiencing any of the above problems, click here and schedule your tune up appointment with one of our master technicians today!

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!

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?!

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.

 

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.

 

Where Are the Best Gas Prices Around Pittsburgh?

We enjoyed a drop in fuel prices a couple of months ago around the Pittsburgh and North Huntingdon areas, only to see it slowly creeping up again.

And while many of you drive our fuel-efficient Kia Optima and Optima Hybrid, Mitsubishi Mirage, Chrysler 200, Ford Focus, and more, climbing gas prices are always a sore sight.

But don’t let these hikes pinch your wallet; check out AAA’s fuel finder tool, which can be used to find the lowest gas prices around you.

Browse our inventory here, and check out AAA’s fuel finder tool for yourself at http://aaa.opisnet.com/index.aspx!

AAA Fuel Finder