What Are the Best Safety Add-Ons for Cars?

Car manufacturers are deep into the technology game, constantly trying to outdo one other to come up with the latest and greatest gadget that sways car shoppers in their direction.

Unfortunately, this technology isn’t always found in used cars. And while you can rest assured that each used vehicle we sell at Jim Shorkey has undergone rigorous safety and mechanical inspections by our knowledgeable and trained mechanics, these cars may not match the same technological level as their new counterparts. But never fear, here at Jim Shorkey, we found this Consumer Reports list that details three of the best a la carte safety systems you may want to consider.

  • Radars, cameras, and other sensors are used by forward-collision warning systems to scan the area in front of your car and then warn if they calculate that you’re closing in too fast on a car. The leading aftermarket purveyor is Mobileye. A top product in their line is the Mobileye560. Using a miniature camera installed behind the inside mirror and a small display with a built in speaker that mounts to the dash, the Mobileye 560 gives audible and visual warnings if you are following too closely, begin leaving your lane without signaling, or are approaching a pedestrian or bicyclist. It can even read speed-limit signs, monitoring your speed, and dip your high beams automatically. You can also use a smart phone as the display for its various warning functions.
    Mobile eye

  • Looking where the driver may struggle to see, blind-spot warning (BSW) systems provide alerts when vehicles are lurking in the blind zones in adjacent lanes. Several aftermarket kits are available to add this useful feature, complete with sensors, electronics, and LED warning lights that are installed near the outside mirrors. When the system detects a vehicle in one of the blind zones, it lights up LEDs mounted near your side mirrors. An audible warning chirps if you start changing lanes into the path of a vehicle or some other obstruction alongside

    maxresdefault

  • Backup cameras are both a safety and a convenience item. With their bumper-level view, they can help prevent back-over accidents, and they’re also very handy for parking in tight spaces and for lining up a trailer with your hitch. Prices start at around $100, with many name-brand systems available in the $300 to $500 range. The easiest to install are wireless systems, which use a small transmitter to beam a signal from the rear-mounted camera to a display screen on or near the dashboard. That’s simpler to install than a wired system, which involves running concealed cable from trunk to cabin. Features to look for include a wide angle of view, night-vision capabilities, and guide lines that overlay the video image, showing the car’s path. To minimize interference from other devices, look for a system that uses a digital rather than analog signal.

History Lesson: The Muscle Car

We know that its spring, which means its almost summer, which means school is almost out! But trust us, this is a history lesson you wont want to miss! And since Jim Shorkey is home to two of the most famous muscle car manufacturer’s (Dodge and Ford), we decided to pay tribute to these American classics.

The year was 1964, Beatlemania had taken over the US, NASA was training for the unthinkable, and the automotive industry launched something that would change history – The muscle car.

Due to the hot rod movement, brash, fast cars was nothing out of the ordinary. But after three decades of the same, America was left wanting more. A manufacturer’s attempt to amp up the automotive industry took the world by storm, capturing the imagination of car enthusiasts with speed, style, and the desire of the open road
.GTO

With a simple “A ha!” moment from General Motors, the muscle car was born. Pontiac Lead Engineer John Z. Delorean, had this “A ha” moment in a brainstorming meeting with his team on a spring weekend in 1963, when he realized that the midsize Tempest’s 326 cubic-inch V8 could be switched out with a torquey 389 from one of the marque’s large cars. This amped up vehicle got the name “GTO” or Gran Turismo Omologato.

The GTO had inspired many other manufacturer’s to pony up their vehicles, including auto guru, Ford. In 1964, Ford introduced the big engine/lightweight vehicle – the Mustang. The Mustang boosted an impressive appearance but also had the capability of seating four. The Mustang had paved the way for competitors like the Chevy Camaro, the Pontiac Firebird, and the AMX Javelin. Dodge had stepped up their game the most with the introduction of the Challenger and Plymouth Barracuda, which offered a more luxurious, larger footprints, sleeker styling, and massive Hemi powerplants.

The cars capabilities alone appealed to enthusiasts, but another factor also played apart – the visual. Automotive Journalist Matt Stone stated: “A big part of the muscle car fun was the image. The image, graphics, and colors went along with it. Mopar had the high impact colors [like Hemi Orange and Top Banana Yellow].”

2790_1967_Shelby_Mustang_GT350_front_view_red

With the muscle car movement in full swing, independent tuning shops wanted in on the action. Among the most famous of this lot was Carroll Shelby, the former chicken farmer who raced for Aston Martin before convincing Lee lacocca to supply might Ford V8s, which he jammed into the bodies of AC Aces roadsters, yielding the legendary Shelby Cobra. Shelby also went on to modify Mustangs.

2015-dodge-challenger-srt-hellcat_100473531_l

Today, muscle cars are producing outrageous amounts of horsepower. With Ford currently offering track-ready versions of its Shelby-branded Mustangs, Chevrolet building powerful Camaros and Corvettes, and Dodge producing the roaring 707 horsepower Hellcat Challengers and Chargers under the SRT banner, there is one thing we know for sure, America will always crave the need for speed.

On the Horizon: Three Automotive Trends to Look Out for This Year

Things are constantly changing—from the seasons to the latest fashion trends to the menu at your favorite restaurant. And the automotive industry is no exception. Like clockwork, a new crop of cars, crossovers, SUVs, trucks, and subcompact cars enter the market, each one trendier than the next.

And here at Jim Shorkey, we like to stay up-to-date on all things car related. So here are our best guesses on what to except this year and beyond.

Techs and Specs Are Standard. As the times change, so do the cars. Automakers are constantly trying to stay one step ahead of each other, much to the benefit of drivers everywhere. And it’s our guess that cutting-edge technological advances are just around the corner, with even more breakthroughs coming in the form of better electric vehicle technology, first ever dirt-repellant car paint, fuel-economy saving transmissions, web-connected in-car experiences, vehicle-to-vehicle communication (V2V), high tech safety technology, and so much more. The industry is even looking at energy-storing car body panels for hybrid/EV usage.

Just the Way You Like It. Automakers understand everyone wants a vehicle designed for them. So get ready for a more customized, design-shifting experience over the next few years in the automotive industry.

Lots of automakers already offer such a customized experience, but moving forward you’ll be able to fine tune the way your car drives, glows (yes, glows), holds things, and potentially even the way it looks with relatively little effort.

Cozy Cabin Quarters. Already apparent in cars like the 2015 Chrysler 200, in-car cabin quality is being forever changed through feedback from user experiences and a higher class of materials being used. Thank you, carbon fiber and beautiful wood trim.

There also seems to be a trend appearing to unfold that makes the passenger and driver experience more pleasing inside the vehicle – partnerships with companies, including Beats by Dre, Bose, Siri, and Google Maps.

2015-Chrysler-200-int
Look for this to continue with an emphasis on infotainment applications (apps), entertainment (USB backseat ports), and even comfort (a la NASA-inspired seating).

Become a Master Technician with These How-To Videos

Do you need help checking your tire pressure? What about changing your cabin air filter? If so, you’ve come to the right place! Our master technician, Johnathan, is here with quick and easy how to tips on common car questions. Click the videos below and find out how to become a master technician yourself! If you haven’t mastered the craft, and need to make a service appointment, click here, and we can do it for you! We’re always looking for suggestions! Leave your car questions in the comments below!

Power Days at the Jim Shorkey Auto Group

The Jim Shorkey Auto Group has teamed up with CBS Radio to bring YOU tons of great prizes, including two box seat tickets to a ‪#‎Pirates‬ baseball game, a $50 gift card to Grille 36, a $50 gift card to a sporting goods store, and an autographed baseball! To enter, simply stop by one of our Jim Shorkey locations, fill out an entry form, and drop it into one of our ballot boxes! Contest ends 3/30/15. Good luck!

!cid_163AF60A-1451-4087-9A69-0A9592F73B18

Things Families Should Look for in SUVs

The family car has come a long way in recent years, from station wagons to souped up SUV’s, the family car has been equipped to make for a perfect road trip. If you’re in the market for an upgraded family vehicle, take a look at these tips on what to look for.

Maneuverable Second- and Third- Row Seating
When dealing with kids and child-safety seats, your car needs to accommodate it. In a two-row SUV, a sliding backseat, like the Jeep Cherokee has, allows you to move the seat forward when more cargo room is needed. You can also so it in the mos rearward position to create more space for rear-facing infant seats or those growing teenagers. In three-row seating SUVs, such as the Mitsubishi Outlander, a sliding second row is essential for the second-row passengers. This allows them to slide their seat forward to create more legroom for grateful third-row occupants.

2015 Jeep Cherokee Jim Shorkey Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram

Low Step-in Height and Easy Third-Row Access
One of the most desired features in an SUV is the higher seating position that gives drivers a more commanding view of the road. Although the higher seat position is desired by the driver of the vehicle, the height can make it challenging for younger kids to climb inside. Look for a low step-in height, which refers to the distance between the ground and the bottom of the door opening.

Low Cargo Floor
In addition to a low step-in height, parents should also look for a low load floor in the cargo area. The Kia Sorento has a low load height that makes it easy to lift kids equipment, like strollers and sports gear.

2015 Kia Sorento Jim Shorkey Kia North Huntingdon

Child-Safety-Seat-Friendly Cars
Since children will be in a car seat for a few years, it’s worth making sure your SUV will work well with them. Look for easy-to-find lower Latch anchors. While all cars with a backseat are federally mandated to have two sets of lower Latch anchors in the backseat, some automakers go above that and offer three or more sets.

We’ve got the best selection of family friendly SUV’s at the Jim Shorkey Family Auto Group! Stop by our showroom and take one for a test drive today!

Ways You May Be Prematurely Aging Your Car

We all know that the winter weather takes a tool on your car, but bad habits could be making it worse. Here are the most common habits that may be increasing the wear and tear on your car.

Warming your car up or leaving it idling
It’s been an urban legend for many years – you must warm you car up in the winter before driving. But today’s cars have been proven to bust that myth, since their engines have enough lubrication that they don’t need to be warmed up. If you heat your car up just to get the inside nice and toasty before heading out in the brisk morning, just keep it to a minimum. Engines aren’t designed to sit idling for long periods of time. Keeping it idling for too long can cause a buildup on your spark plugs, which can make them less efficient, which wastes gas.

idling car

Poor tire maintenance
Driving a car with improperly inflated tires wastes fuel and wears down your tires’ tread. Check out Master Technician, Johnathan, as he demonstrates how to check your tire tread depth.

Putting the pedal to the metal
The speed limit signs you see on the side of the row are there for a reason! When you driving over the speed limit, you are forced to break hard, fast and abruptly, which cant take a toll on your tires’ tread. Allow some space between your car and the car in front so you don’t have to brake as hard, and scan the road far ahead so you can react with plenty of time.

speed sign

Baking the dashboard
Those sunshades you see in windshields isn’t just to keep the car cooler inside for those hot days, but to keep the dashboard from blistering, cracking, fading or getting otherwise damaged by the harsh rays of the sun.

Car window shade Jim Shorkey

Most Efficient Five-Year-Old Cars: Ranked

We love our car brands here at the Jim Shorkey Auto Group, but admittedly, we are a little biased. So, for impartial and unbiased opinions, we suggest looking at resources outside the dealership, such as ACE, Automotive Content Experience. Recently, they ranked the most fuel-efficient five-year-old cars, and to no surprise, some of our beloved brands are on the list. Check out which cars made the list and what ACE had to say about each one.

Ford Fusion Hybrid
Price: $14,425
Combined Fuel Economy: 39 mpg
Ford redesigned the midsize Fusion for 2010, and as part of that change introduced the Fusion Hybrid. With room for the entire family, the Fusion Hybrid offers comfort and great drivability in a very fuel-efficient package.

2010_ford_fusion-hybrid_sedan_base_fq_oem_2_500

Ford Escape Hybrid (2WD)
Price: $17,625
Combined Fuel Economy: 32 mpg
As the most fuel-efficient SUV on the road in 2010 (with the exception of its two siblings in the following slides), the Escape Hybrid offered great utility as well as impressive fuel economy. The newest Escape design is quite a departure from this five-year-old version, and the hybrid is no longer an option.

Ford-Escape-2010-Specs

Kia Rio
Price: $6,050
Combined Fuel Economy: 31 mpg
One of the least expensive fuel-efficient vehicles, the Rio offers reliable transportation in a small but useful package. The interior is not as sparse as you might expect, but it is pretty basic — given the price.

2010-kia-rio-2

What the Window Sticker Really Means

If you were asked what a vehicle’s window sticker contained, what would you say? Most would respond with “the sticker price” without thinking twice. Although that is correct, you would also be making an understatement. In addition to the MSRP, the window sticker contains information about vehicle to help ensure buyers get their money’s worth for whatever price they actually end up paying. That’s why we’re breaking down where the information is and what it all means!

1. Model Information

This is where you will find the basic model information for the vehicle. The section is usually located in the top left or right corner. It tells you the engine and transmission combination, exterior and interior color, the year and trim level of the vehicle. Checking this part of the sticker is the best way to quickly ensure that the car in front of you has the engine and color configuration you’re looking for.

2. Standard Equipment

This section of the window sticker lists all items and features that are included in the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP). Items listed here should be consistent with any other vehicle in this trim level. These items are grouped into such categories as: Exterior, Interior, Safety/Security, Comfort/Convenience and Mechanical/Performance.

3. Warranty Information

This section lists the length of the new car’s bumper-to-bumper and powertrain warranties and notes any roadside assistance package that the manufacturer offers. Some new cars also come with free maintenance programs, and that coverage is also listed here.

4. Optional Equipment

In this section, you’ll find information on the car’s factory-installed options. Some carmakers bundle them into packages. Others offer them à la carte. Knowing a vehicle’s options can help you price it correctly and make apples-to-apples comparisons with other cars on the lot.

5. Pricing Information

This is where you’ll find the base price of the vehicle and a breakdown of options and fees. Other items that would appear here are the destination charge (cost of transporting the vehicle to dealer) and any gas-guzzler tax (levied on cars with a combined MPG of 22.5 or less). The total price of the vehicle is sometimes located here, but it often occupies its own space.

6. Parts Content Information

The parts content section lists where the vehicle was assembled and often the percentage of U.S. and Canadian parts it contains. Our sample window sticker doesn’t have the percentages, but many others do. For more information on this question, shoppers can turn to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NTHSA) Web site, which has the percentage breakdown of domestic and foreign content in cars from 2007 to the present.

7. Total Price

This section shows the total MSRP for the vehicle. That doesn’t mean you have to pay this price, but it does give you a point of reference in your negotiations. Depending on the demand for the car, sometimes this “sticker price” is a fair price.

8. Fuel Economy Label

The fuel economy label, also called an EPA label, gives you estimates of the vehicle’s fuel efficiency. This block helps you compare the MPG numbers on one car versus another. The combined MPG number is the most prominent and most important figure to note.

9. QR Code

Scanning this pixelated square with a smartphone camera links shoppers to the mobile EPA Web site. They can then customize their driving stats to get personalized fuel economy data.

10. Safety Ratings

NHTSA tests a number of new vehicles every year and issues star ratings based on the results. This information is in the safety rating section of the window sticker. Occasionally, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) scores also are displayed on the window sticker. Because NHTSA doesn’t test every car on the market, the safety-rating section will sometimes be blank. If this is the case, consumers can check the IIHS Web site.

2015 Mustang EcoBoost Jim Shorkey Ford

Get You Car Clutter Free in 5 Easy Steps

As embarrassing as it is, we all have had it at least once – a cluttered car. For most, your car is an extension of your house. You have items in there that have out worn their welcome. From clothes and shoes to that fast food bag you forgot about, your car has become the bearer of all things. But there comes a time when you realize that enough is enough, you have to clean your car! But where do you start? Well, that’s where we come in! Here are some steps to help you achieve a car that’s clutter free!

6a00d83451b3c669e201bb07bfcd33970d-800wi

1. Start in the trunk
This is the part of you car that you’re most likely going to find the most mess. The truck is the go-to storing space in your car since you don’t have to look at the clutter. When you fo through the piles of clutter in your trunk, sort them out using the five-box method: donate, sell, keep, store, and throw. Only the items that go in the keep box should remain in the trunk. But make sure that after you figured out what to keep, you organize the items in a way that won’t clutter up your trunk.

2. Move to the back and front seat.
Just like the trunk, you can organize your backseat with the same five-box method. Sort through all items and put them in the appropriate places. After you have tackled the backseat you can move to the front. The glove compartment is another area that needs some attention.

3. Collect loose change
Most cars have tons of loose changing rolling around. To prevent this, put a small coin box in your car. This will also make coins more accessible when you need them for parking, toll fees, and more!

4. Leave an empty bag inside the car
To help prevent your car becoming a cluttered mess all over again, leave an empty bag inside your car for trash. At the end of the day, take the bag out of the car so you don’t accumulate trash.

5. Impose a “no food” rule
This rule is great to keep the clutter and smell out of your car. If you do need to eat inside, just be sure to throw the trash away immediately and clean the inside of the car thoroughly.