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

Jim Shorkey lights, Christmas, season greatings

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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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!

Spring Forward and Drive Safe, Everyone

Don’t forget, Pittsburgh: We’re springing forward this weekend! And while setting your clocks forward an hour can be painful in the morning, it’s one of the first signs of Spring. With the changing the seasons, comes new weather patterns. Below we have some driving tips from AAA to help you battle Spring weather. Fingers crossed it will be here soon!

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  • Slow down on slick roads, and increase your following distance even when mist begins to fall. Keep in mind that even a small amount of water can mix with oil and road dust to create slippery conditions.
  • Be sure your vehicle is ready for rain by replacing your windshield wipers at least once a year. Don’t drive faster than your wipers can clear water from the windshield.
  • Avoid driving through large puddles, which can impair your brakes, cloud your vision, or cause you to hydroplane and lose control of your vehicle. If you can’t avoid a puddle and find your vehicle hydroplaning, gently ease your foot off of the accelerator; do not brake.
  • Share the road. Warm weather brings motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians out on the roads. Because more and more pedestrians have developed habits of texting, talking on cellphones, and listening to music, they can be unaware of the traffic around them. Be extra cautious around intersections and in residential communities.
  • Understand the impact of medications on driving. New spring growth often causes seasonal allergies, so keep in mind that over-the-counter allergy drugs can have side effects or interact with other medications to cause drowsiness or diminish your driving ability.
  • If possible, go around potholes. Potholes-an after-effect of winter weather-can hurt your tires or throw your car’s front end out of alignment. If you can’t avoid a pothole, try to slow down, as the damage can be costly to fix.
  • Keep your tires properly inflated. Doing so can reduce damage from potholes, uneven pavement, and other road hazards.
  • Change your car’s cabin air filter if you suffer from seasonal allergies. The cabin air filter, which removes pollutants before they enter your vehicle, can be essential in minimizing the amount of dust or pollen that enters your vehicle, thus relieving your allergies during travel.
  • Spring weather can be temperamental, so be prepared for quick changes by taking the proper precautions. To learn more about protecting yourself, your family, and your vehicle all year round, consider registering for a driver-improvement course, such as the classroom or online courses offered by AARP Driver Safety.

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

How to Make the Most Out of Your Road Trip

  1. Make a SET plan, not a rigid one

Most road trippers are on a set time limit, so it is in your best interest to plan out which city you’ll sleep in each night before setting off. We recommend planning your driving time to eight hours or less per day.

  1. Don’t research your stops beforehand

The whole point of a road trip is to explore new things! When you don’t know what to expect at a stop, you cant be let down by what you discover. When you’re not in a rush to visit the most touristy locations, you leave the door open for the little discoveries, which are the city’s true gems.

  1. Bring an actual map and a Sharpie!

We get it, every new car comes equipped with navigation, or you have your tom-tom mounted on the dashboard. But it’s more of an adventure to plan out your route on a map that you can keep afterward for memories.

  1. Pack light!

Picking up souvenirs is always a must when on a road trip! You would hate to leave the year’s supply of syrup you got in Vermont behind, since you just HAD to bring that extra suitcase full of shoes that you never wore!

  1. Get a gas card

You’re going to be buying a lot of gas, which can turn into a lot of fuel perks, cash back, and discounted groceries!

  1. Carry cash for tolls

Toll roads can pop up in the most unexpected places, and the fees may be higher than you would expect! Keep your middle console loaded with dollars and coins! It’s cheaper to pay the toll than it is the ticket!

  1. Ask a local where to eat

Sure you want to stop at all the restaurants you saw on on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, but your best advice on where to dine will be from a local. They will recommend a tastier, cheaper dinner with better ambiance than a TV show could ever suggest.

  1. Bring a spare car key

This one is self explanatory. You don’t want to be stuck on the side of the road with your years supply of syrup because you locked your keys in the car.

  1. Follow those strange billboards you’ve been seeing

You know, the ones that say “Free Chocolate Samples This Way” or “Second-Friendliest Yarn Store in The Universe.” You never know what you’ll find!

  1. Take pictures

And lots of them! We don’t mean Instagram ones, we’re talking the Polaroid kind! Road trip pictures are the best kind for scrap books and bulletin boards! Take a photo in every city you stop in and then pin it on the map you saved! How’s that for a Pinterest idea!

Reasons Why Driving a Van Is Awesome

In a day and age of sleek SUVs, stylish sedans, and sporty crossovers, vans are typically last on a person’s list of favorite cars, if even on the list at all. It’s a shame no one gives these passenger-hauling vehicles a chance—we actually think driving a van is awesome.

kia sedona, kia sedona pittsburgh, kia sedona north huntingdon

The 2015 Kia Sedona

  • You make friends quickly: People always need things hauled and transported, and will frequently come knocking on your door and buying you thank-you gifts in return.
  • You will see a reduction in road rage: Other drivers are less likely to cut you off because they think you have kid in the back.
  • You get a free pass if you take up two parking spots: So if parking isn’t you’re thing, no one will ever have to know.
  • Pick Your Poison: With all those cup holders, you’ll have room for as many coffees, energy drinks, or water bottles your heart desires.
  • You improve your driving skills without realizing it: After parallel parking a van, you could practically parallel park a sedan blindfolded.
  • Not as iconic as the Jeep wave, but van drivers look out for other van drivers: If you need to pull out into traffic, our money is on another van being the first one to wave you on.

And now that we have you thinking, may we suggest the Dodge Grand Caravan, Kia Sedona, or Chrysler Town and Country?

Tips for Making the Most Out of Your Test Drive

More and more, people are researching vehicles they’re interested in online, browsing online inventory, and even beginning the financing process before even entering our dealership. However, no matter how technologically advanced our lives become, there is one aspect of the car-buying experience that cannot be replicated online: the test drive.

test drive, test drive pittsburgh, test drive north huntingdon

And most drivers are so excited to get behind the wheel of the car they’ve spent days, weeks, or months researching, that commonsense usually goes out the window. Well here at Jim Shorkey, we want you to make an informed, logical decision, so here are some tips to making the most of our test drive, whether your shopping for a new or used vehicle!

  • Schedule an Appointment. Admittedly, it can get a little hectic in the showroom, and we want to make sure you do not waste your time. Schedule an appointment with us, and we can have a car or cars ready for you to step into within minutes of arriving. You can find our contact information here.
  • Get to Know the Vehicle. Prior to getting behind the wheel, your sales associate will walk around the vehicle and talk about it with you. Pay close attention to make sure the features on the vehicle are the ones you are specifically looking for. If something’s missing from the vehicle (or there’s something extra), don’t be shy when asking about it.
  • Familiarize Yourself with the Captain’s Chair. Before you drive off, make sure you know where the headlight and windshield wiper controls are located, make note of how easy it is to access radio and climate controls, and check out the size of the glove compartment and center console storage areas. Glance in the mirrors and make sure your lines of sight are optimal.
  • Make Adjustments Before You Go. Adjust your seat, steering wheel, mirrors, and sometimes even the foot pedals before you drive off the lot. The last thing you want to be doing is trying to make adjustments on the fly in the middle of traffic.
  • Turn Off the Radio. Although a quality sound system is important to many shoppers, save testing out this feature until you have sufficient time behind the wheel. You’ll want the cabin environment to be as quiet as possible so you can better hear the engine, the smoothness of gear change,s and wind noise.
  • Parking and Turning Radius. How easy is it to maneuver your vehicle into a tight parking spot? As you wrap up your test drive, find a place to parallel park the vehicle and test out its turning radius.
  • Test Comparable Models the Same Day. If you plan on driving multiple vehicles before making your final decision, do your best to test drive each of the vehicles in the same day. This way, you’ll be able to easily compare each vehicle you drive so you can make an educated decision on which you’ll ultimately purchase or lease.

Bizarre Traffic Laws Around the World

Generally, laws establish order and make places safer to live and thrive. But what happens when laws don’t make sense? Check out these bizarre traffic laws that will have you scratching your head! What’s the weirdest law you’ve ever heard? Let us know in the comments.

bizarre traffic laws, traffic laws, laws

United States

In Denver, Colorado, you cannot drive a black car on Sundays.

In California:
1.Women are prohibited from wearing a bathrobe while driving.

2.It’s illegal to shoot at wild game from a moving vehicle, unless your target is a whale.

In Milford, Massachusetts, you’re not allowed to peep into another car’s window.

In Alabama, you’re not to operate a vehicle barefooted or blindfolded.

Asia

In Singapore, it’s against the law for a driver to come within 50 meters (approximately 164 ft.) of a pedestrian.

In Thailand, shirts are required when driving.

In Japan, if you splash muddy water on a pedestrian while driving, you will be heavily fined.

Europe

In Switzerland, you can’t wash your car on Sunday.

In Russia/Romania, you’ll be fined if you’re driving a dirty car.

In Spain, if you don’t have extra pair of glasses in the car at all times, even if you’re already wearing a pair, it is against the law.

What to Do If Your Car Starts to Overheat

We’ve all been there—driving down the road and suddenly your car is overheating. Don’t panic! Just remember these helpful tips as you steer your scorcher of a car to one of our Jim Shorkey Service Centers.

what do to if your car overheats, overheated car, overheated car Pittsburgh

1. The first, and most important, step is to make sure that you always carry an extra bottle of coolant (antifreeze) in your car, as well as a jug of water. Engines typically overheat because the coolant is low, so topping off the coolant will usually solve the problem.

2. If your air conditioner is running and you see the temperature gauge slowly creeping into the red, or a notification goes off, turn off your AC immediately.

3. If the problem continues, crank your heater to full blast. This may make the next few miles brutal but the transfer of heat away from the engine may save your car and wallet’s life!

4. If the previous steps fail, and the problem still persists, pull over as soon as you can and turn off the engine. If you can, pop the hood from the driver’s seat. Do not pop the hood by hand, until the engine has cooled, especially if you see steam rising off of the engine.

5. Once the engine has cooled, check the coolant tank. If the coolant tank is empty, you may have a leak. Take a look under the car, if you notice a drip or a puddle, chances are the coolant tank is leaking.

If you do have a leak, carefully open the radiator cap. Place a cloth over the radiator cap to protect your hand, and tilt the cap away from you as it opens. Refill the cooled radiator with your spare coolant or water. Do not pour cold water into a still-hot radiator — it could cause the engine block to crack due to the sudden change in temperature.

If the coolant tank is full, the problem may be electrical or mechanical in nature, in which case a tow to the nearest Jim Shorkey Service Center is definitely in order. A leaking hose, worn or broken fan belt, bad water pump, or malfunctioning thermostat may be the culprit.

How to Store Your Car in the Winter: Tips and Advice

Do you have a car that you store away for the winter? Don’t worry, Jim Shorkey has you covered. Follow our advice, and your car will wake up in the spring with birds chirping and the bees buzzing.

car care tips, storing car for winter around Pittsburgh

Clean it Up. Your hot rod has accumulated dirt and road grime from driving it all summer long. Make sure before storing your car that you clean the interior and exterior of your vehicle. All that road grime can lead to corrosion and damage.

Keep it Covered. The ideal space to store your vehicle would be in a heated indoor space. If you don’t have a garage available, consider renting a storage facility. If that is not an option, you can also purchase weatherproof car covers that will keep your car clean and dry while it is stored.

Fill up the Tank. Don’t leave your car thirsty all winter long. Filling up your tank before storage will prevent moisture from accumulating inside the fuel tank and keep the seals from drying out.

Keep the Battery Charged. A battery that is not in use will eventually lose its charge. Start your car every two weeks and if possible, drive around for a few minutes. This will allow the battery to recharge and the car to maintain good working order.

Don’t Use the Parking Break. Although it is a good thing to use your parking brake, don’t use it when your car is in storage. If the brake pads are touching the rotors for too long, there is a chance that they might fuse. Instead of putting on the parking brake, you can use a tire stopper.

Prevent Tire Flat Spots. Make sure your tires are inflated to the recommended tire pressure. If a vehicle is not driven for a long time, the tires can develop flat spots from the weight of the vehicle.

Need a second vehicle while your car is in storage? We’ve got you covered! Take a look at our inventory!