Fall Happenings Around the ‘Burgh

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The first day of Fall is right around the corner, and Pittsburgh is known for having some of the best Fall festivities around. Check out this list of happenings around the ‘Burgh.

Event: 2015 Pittsburgh Pierogi Festival
Date: September 19, 2015
Location: Stage AE

Pittsburgh is known as the #CityofDumplings. So what better way to celebrate with the returning Pittsburgh Pierogi Festival! This years festival is bigger and better than ever! With more vendors, more music, more fun, and of course, more pierogies! Enjoy live music, paint your own pierogi, and indulge in pierogi from over 30 different vendors! Tickers are only $12.50 and kids 12 and under are free!

Event: Come Out and Play Pittsburgh
Date: September 18 – 19, 2015
Location: Schenley Plaza

Come Out & Play Pittsburgh is a two-day, donation-based festival of games that turns the city into a playground for grown-ups. The festival will feature brand-new sports, street games, and social games on Friday September 18th and Saturday September 19th in Schenley Plaza and surrounding areas of Oakland. This year’s featured games include: -Circle Rules Football, an incredible new sport with a circular field and a yoga ball; -Scattershot, a video game hundreds of people can play at once; -Nashville, a real-world wild-west dueling game played with a deck of cards, -Counter Squirt, a late-night live-action squirt gun battle throughout the streets of Oakland, -Territory Oakland, a massive urban capture-the-flag style game, and many, many more. CO&P Pittsburgh is produced locally by City of Play, a Pittsburgh-based organization that enhances interactions between people, places, and ideas through play, to support healthier, happier, and more fulfilling lives.

Event: Fall Fest
Date: September 26, 20015
Location: The Waterfront

The Famous Fall Fest takes place on September 26th from 1pm-5pm featuring the 6th Annual Running of the Wieners puppy fun run! A special kid-friendly performance from Pittsburgh’s own Josh +Gab Free Live music from House of Soul Cheer on over 75 pups in the 6th Annual Running of the Wieners Painting activity with Paint Monkey Free pumpkin painting for kids Arts, crafts, giveaways and more!

Event: Hickory Apple Festival
Date: October 3 -4, 2015
Location: 106 Main Street (Route 50), Hickory, PA 15340

32nd annual event sponsored by the Mt. Pleasant Township VFC. Enjoy homecooked foods, apple products of all kinds, craft demonstrations & sales, children’s activities, & live entertainment. Free admission, parking & shuttle service from extended lots. 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Event: 2nd Annual Autum Splendor Tour
Date: October 16 – 18, 2015
Location: 507 Seventh Avenue, Beaver Falls, PA

Multiple Art & Specialty Shops in Beaver, Butler & Lawrence Counties. Engage the local art scene through Gallery Exhibits, Unique Shops, Performances, Make-Your-Own-Craft events & classes, Restaurants & Scenic Drives.

Event: Brews & Brats Festival
Date: October 10, 2015
Location: Nemacolin Woodlands Resort

Craft brews, German food and FUN for the whole family at the 1st Annual Brews & Brats Festival at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. Bring the kids for a good time with fun activities for all! Stein and barrel races, adventure activities, live music and a kids’ corner are just some of the fun going on. You won’t want to miss our traditional festival favorite as the craft brewers are back to compete for the People’s Choice Best Brew Contest!

Event: Haunted Trail
Date: October 24, 2015
Location: Camp Guyasuta

Haunted Trail at Camp Guyasuta Activities include Haunted Trail, Hayride, Climbing Wall, Zip Line Rides, Pumkin Patch, Games, food for sale and more! From 3pm-6pm it will be “No Scare” but from 6pm – 9pm it will be “Scare”

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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!

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.