Road Trip Travel Tips

The great America road trip is a standard summertime tradition for many friends and family. If you plan on packing up your car and venturing out on the open road this summer, then check out our trips for smooth sailing—err, driving—to your destination.

Car Maintenance

Technician. Consider stopping by one of our Service Centers to have your vehicle checked before a long trip.

Tires. Check your tires monthly for tread wear. Make sure all tires (including the spare) are properly inflated.

Coolant. Check the coolant level and condition, making certain the proper 50/50 mixture of coolant and water is present.

Oil. Check the level and condition of the engine oil. Your owner’s manual should have specific directions.

Belts and Hoses. Look for worn, cracked, blistered, or soft belts and hoses. Of course, always perform this check with the engine off.

Battery. Hot weather can shorten the life of a battery. You can have it tested by a qualified technician.


Travel Planning

Emergency Kit. Carry an emergency kit with a flashlight, batteries, warning devices (such as flares or reflective triangles), jumper cables, a first-aid kit, and extra water.

Fuel. Don’t let the gas level get below one-quarter of a tank.

Route-Planning. Use any mobile app to plan your route ahead of time (a paper map works great too!). Plan for stops every 100 miles or 2 hours to avoid drowsy or fatigued driving.

Accommodations. Reserve all accommodations in advance, but be flexible if you need to stop an extra night due to traffic a change of plans.

Security. Lock your car when you leave it, and keep your valuables out of sight.

Safety. Secure children and adults in car seats, booster seats, or seat belts.

Entertainment. Bring books, games, and music for the ride, but don’t forget to take in the beautiful scenery.

Information. Bring information on your destination to make the most of your trip.

travel plans


How To Schedule a Service Appointment Online At Jim Shorkey Kia

If you’re like many of our busy service customers, it can be difficult to find time to call into the dealership and schedule a service appointment. So, what can you do? The good news is that we recently added a redesigned and enhanced Service Appointment Scheduler to our Jim Shorkey Kia page—eliminating the need to call into the dealership altogether.

Scheduling an appointment with the new system can be completed in a few quick steps outlined below:

  • Simply go to and click on the Schedule Service Appointment in the middle of the page:

Step 1

  • This will then take you to the page below. Click on the tab across the top that best suits you and follow the prompts to schedule an appointment at the most convenient time and date.

Step 2

Finally, check out Andy White, our Service and Parts Director at Jim Shorkey Kia, as he walks us through the step-by-step process in this short, helpful video:

How to Sync a Smart Phone with a Car’s Bluetooth

Chrysler became the first North American car company to offer Bluetooth connectivity after it introduced the system on its 2004 Pacifica line. Initially, this option mainly supported hands-free calling, but as the technology improved, so did the functionality. Today, most new cars are Bluetooth-enabled and offer an assortment of functions, from streaming online music to performing vehicle diagnostics. Unfortunately, one of the most common questions we hear around our showrooms is: How do I connect my smart phone to my car? While the answer to this question may vary, we’ve put together a list of the basic steps you will need to sync your phone with ease and convenience.

  • Turn on your car’s stereo and your cell phone.
  • Press the Bluetooth-pairing button on the car stereo to enable the discoverable mode.
  • Go to your phone’s main-menu selection.
  • Select the “Settings” option to view the options that are available.
  • Select the option for “Bluetooth” or “Bluetooth Menu” from the list.
  • Select the “Add” or “Sync” option to detect the car stereo. Select the “Connect” or “Start” button to begin the connection process.
  • Wait while the phone searches for devices that are in range.
  • Select your car stereo from the list of Bluetooth devices that are displayed on your phone.
  • Enter the pairing number for the car stereo. This can be found in the documentation for the car stereo.
  • Wait while your phone is synced with the car stereo.


This involves a brief initial setup, but when you’re done, your phone will automatically connect each time you get in the car. After a few hands-free commands, you’ll never want to handle your phone while driving again.

How to Save Money at the Pump

With road trip season upon us, prices at the gas pump are heading in the wrong direction in Southwestern PA. But don’t let this keep you from enjoying the wind in your hair and sun on your face this time of year—here are some basic tips to help squeeze the most miles from your fuel dollars.


Avoid High Speeds. As your speed increases, so does your aerodynamic drag. Some experts say driving 62 mph versus 75 mph can reduce fuel consumption by about 15%!

Do Not Accelerate or Brake Hard. By anticipating the traffic and applying slow steady acceleration and braking, fuel economy may increase by as much as 20%.

Keep Tires Properly Inflated. Ensure your tires maintain a pressure level recommended by your vehicle manufacturer. A single tire under-inflated by 2 PSI can increase fuel consumption by 1%. This may not sound like a lot, but depending how many miles you drive, it could make all the difference.

Use A/C Sparingly. This may be more difficult during peak summer months, but try turning your air conditioner down. It causes your engine to work harder, which in turn uses more fuel—sometimes by about 20%. Side note: The defrost position on most vehicles also uses the air conditioner.

Close Your Windows. Windows open—especially at highway speeds—can increase drag and result in decreased fuel economy of up to 10% in some cases.

Service Vehicle Regularly. Proper maintenance avoids poor fuel economy related to dirty air filters, old spark plugs, or low fluid levels. Keeping your car in top shape will save you in the long run.

Use Cruise Control. Maintaining a constant speed over long distances often saves gas, as the engine doesn’t have to work as hard.

Avoid Heavy Loads. Remove the sand bags from your trunk in the spring and pack lightly for long trips.

Avoid Long Idles. If you anticipate being stopped for more than 1 minute, shut off the car. Restarting the car uses less fuel than letting it idle for this time.

Purchase a Fuel Efficient Vehicle. When buying a new vehicle examine the vehicle’s rated fuel efficiency. Usually choosing a small vehicle, such as the Mitsubishi Mirage, Mitsubishi Lancer, Kia Forte, Kia Optima or Kia Optima Hybrid, Kia Rio, Kia Soul, and Dodge Dart, with a manual transmission will provide you with better fuel economy than larger models.

Who Knew: Waxing your vehicle

Wax on, wax off. Wax on, wax off. Most people associate this phrase with Daniel, training for the All-Valley Karate Tournament with Mr. Miyagi circa 1984 more than an activity they periodically perform on their vehicle. However, if you want to protect your pricey investment, we suggest you familiarize yourself with this oh-so popular catchphrase.


Failing to occasionally apply wax or another protectant to your vehicle’s exterior finish can lead to the breakdown of the clear coat that protects the paint from oxidation, wear and tear, road grit, and more. The idea of waxing is to provide a “sacrificial layer” to take abuse that might otherwise damage the clear coat. In addition, properly applied wax can cover small scratches or light blemishes, as well as enhance the paint’s natural shine and gloss.

Therefore, it’s important to keep your car clean and to apply wax at least twice a year, possibly even three to four times a year due to Southwestern PA’s exposure to intense sun in the summer and excessive road salt in the winter.

For a professional vehicle waxing, contact one of our friendly service advisers to schedule an appointment. We have ultra-convenient evening and weekend hours that make scheduling around your priorities a breeze. If you have the time and energy to wax your vehicle yourself, then we recommend you first make sure it is freshly washed, rinsed, and allowed to thoroughly dry. Apply a thin layer of wax, buff off the excess, and repeat. It’s important that you do not over-apply because a thin application will actually bond and cure better.

After a few applications, we’re positive your vehicle will be gleaming in the sun—and you may even find yourself entering a karate competition.

Jim Shorkey Cares: A quick service tip

Wintertime can be rough, and venturing outside can be unreasonably painful. Therefore, most people neglect their vehicle until the sun triumphantly breaks through the clouds and flowers harmoniously burst through the soil. As this time of the year draws nearer and nearer, we would like to bring you a quick service tip that will have your vehicle driving like a beacon of spring in no time.

Cabin Air Filters. The cabin air filter helps remove allergens and contaminants, as well as trap pollen, bacteria, dust, and exhaust gases that may find their way into a vehicle’s air conditioning and heating and ventilation systems. The filter also prevents leaves, bugs, and other debris from entering these systems.

A dirty or clogged cabin air filter can cause musty odors in the vehicle and can cause contaminants to become so concentrated in the cabin that passengers actually breathe in more fumes and particles when riding in the car compared to walking down the street. A restricted cabin air filter can also impair airflow in the HVAC system, possibly causing interior heating and cooling problems—important for staying comfortable during the excessively hot summer months. Over time, the heater and air conditioner may also become damaged by corrosion.

It’s generally recommended these filters should be changed every 12,000 to 15,000 miles, or per the owner’s manual. Check out our Kia Service Manager, Andy White, below as he explains the importance of changing cabin air filters and compares a clean air filter with a dirty counterpart.