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?

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
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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].”

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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

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

Common Car Problems in the Winter

With the temperatures warming to the 40’s and 50’s this past weekend, everyone was thinking spring. Unfortunately, those thoughts were short lived with the return of snow showers and single-digit temperatures at the beginning of the week.

And the wrath of winter weather doesn’t stop with us. It extends to our cars. The good news is, though, there are a number of things you can do to safeguard your car.

Batteries

One of the most common problems faced by drivers in the winter is failed batteries. Some contributing factors to a battery’s demise in the winter are how long you’ve had the battery and the quality of the battery going into winter. At Jim Shorkey, we suggest stopping by one of our Service Centers and having your battery checked before the winter starts.

According to AAA, your car’s battery can lose about 35% of its efficiency when the temperature is around 0 degrees.

Frozen Lines

The fuel lines carry gasoline from the tank to the engine. When you drive, the gasoline runs through the lines and keeps them clear. Sometimes, condensation can build up in these lines and, if left in cold weather too long, can freeze. To prevent this, you should take special care in keeping your gas tank at least half full, or between 3/4 to full throughout the cold months.

Winter Car Breakdown

If you have questions about how to keep your car safe in winter, contact our maintenance experts at any of our Jim Shorkey locations. If you run into problems, our service professionals can help.

 

Do You Know What Influences Car Insurance Rates?

One Pennsylvania city is reported to have one of the highest average car insurance rates in the nation…and it’s not Pittsburgh.

Philadelphia, Detroit, and Brooklyn claim this status, according to online quote-comparison website CarInsurance.com. Good or bad, where you live does affect how much you pay in car insurance. Relative theft and crime rates in cities play a large part in influencing insurance rates as well.

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Rounding out the top 10 were Providence; New Orleans; Los Angeles; Woodbridge, Connecticut; Baltimore; Miami, and Royalton, Kentucky.

So if you’re thinking about buying a new car, you can relax knowing that you’re going to most likely get a better rate than if you lived 6 hours in the other direction. Start your engines!

10 Car Hacks You Need to Know

We know times can be busy and hectic, and car maintenance is far from your mind. That’s why we’re bringing you 10 car hacks that will immensely improve your car.

1. Hand sanitizer is a fast and easy way to unlock a frozen door.

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2. Toothpaste helps get rid of scuffs

3. Dryer sheets help keep your car smelling fresh

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4. Use a shoe organizer to keep important items nearby

5. Make a trash bag holder from an empty canister

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6. A cereal container makes for a portable trash can

7. A coffee cup makes a great tissue holder

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8. Invest in a swivel tray for all your dining needs

9. Use an empty gum container to keep loose change

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10. Add a hanging tennis ball to the top of your garage to help prevent bumping into the garage wall

Do you know any other car hacks to improve your car? Share them with us in the comments below!