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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How the Jim Shorkey Car Brands Got Their Names

As most of you know or could guess, The Jim Shorkey Auto Group is named after the man who started it as just a 3-car showroom – Jim Shorkey. Now decades and dealerships later, Jim Shorkey Auto Group is still a family run business and has become one of the most recognized automotive names in Western Pennsylvania.

But how did the car brands we sell get their names? Just like Jim Shorkey, Ford, Chrysler and Dodge we’re named after their founders. While Mitsubishi, Kia, Jeep and Ram have a different story. Check out below as we break down how these iconic brands got their names!

Mitsubishi
It’s not often that a company is named after its own logo, but that’s been the case with Mitsubishi since the 1870s. Mitsu is Japanese for three, and Hishi (pronounced Bishi at the end of a word) means rhombus, or diamond. The logo is a combination of two familial crests: that of the founder, and that of his first employer.

Kia
According to Kia Motors, the name “Kia” derives from the Sino-Korean words ki (“to come out”) and a (which stands for Asia), it is roughly translated as “arise or come up out of Asia” or “rising out of Asia”

Ford
Ford Motor Company’s name pays tribute to the man, the myth, the legend himself – Henry Ford. Henry Ford was an American industrialist, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, and sponsor of the development of the assembly line technique of mass production.

Chrysler
Chrysler falls into the same category as Ford and Dodge in naming their company after themselves. Walter P. Chrysler was an American automotive industry executive and founder of Chrysler Corporation.

Dodge
Dodge owes its name to the two founding brothers – Horace and John Dodge, who were both automobile manufacturing pioneers.

Jeep
Everyone always assumes Jeep comes from the slang version of the army term “general purpose,” or GP. That’s not entirely wrong, but it runs deeper than that. The Willis Overland was more frequently called the “Peep,” since it was a reconnaissance vehicle. As such it was coded GP, which meant it was a government vehicle with a wheelbase of 80 inches.

Ram
Although Dodge had produced trucks since 1917, the 1981 pickups were the first to sport the Ram name. Dodge actually used a Ram’s head hood ornament back in 1933 to characterize its trucks as rugged vehicles. The symbol was dropped in the 1950s and then resurrected for 1981 when Lee Iacocca (then President and CEO at Chrysler Corp.) and Dodge’s marketing team decided to name Dodge’s trucks after the tough beast and brought back the old mascot.

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Stop by any of our dealerships and take these iconic car brands out on a test drive today!

 

Keep Fido Safe on Your Next Road Trip with These Simple Tips

In just a few short weeks, people will start planning their summer road trips. Or maybe you’re ahead of the game, and already have your trip planned. Either way, one thing is evitable: you WILL be taking a road trip this summer.

But before you hop in your car and take off, give Fido some consideration. Instead of leaving your pooch at home or dropping him off at doggie day camp, think about taking him with you! And here at Jim Shorkey, we can help! Check out some tips below on how to protect your dog (and car) on road trips.

Buy a Ramp. It can be difficult for dogs to leap into SUVs and trucks. Consider investing in a ramp that extends from the ground to the vehicle’s load floor. This easy stroll into and out of your car can prevent unexpected injuries and expensive vet bills that may keep you in park for longer than intended. Bonus: Most ramps currently on the market fold up for easy storage.

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New Threads. Consider a tight-fitting, Velcro-closing shirt specifically designed to calm anxious canines by making them feel hugged and comfy. Therefore, if they start to panic on the road, you can calm them down without any major catastrophe.

Harness your Hound. You (hopefully) wouldn’t let a child ride in the backseat without a seatbelt, and your pooch is no exception. Keep your dog safe with a harness—most include some sort of padded vest with dog-to-car anchor points that distribute crash forces evenly over a dog’s body. They also offer several options for securing your dog in place, from a single lockdown for riding in a cargo area to two latch child-seat anchors with a human three-point seatbelt looped through the harness.

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Ahhh, That’s the Life. If your dog is traveling on vacation with you, chances are he is already living the dream. Why not make his time in the car even better with a hammock! If you can believe it, there are various hammocks for dogs available on the market that provide a comfy, waterproof berth for your dog while keeping the backseat clean.

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Keep your Distance. As all dog owners know, dogs are very excitable, especially when out of their element. To keep them from treating your car like their playground, you may want to confine them to the backseat with a partition. Most partitions currently on the market are model specific, but offer adjustable feet and sliding crossbars that allow you to customize the partition to your liking.

 

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

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  • 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.

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.

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

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

Why Buying a Used Car Makes Sense

Everyone loves a new car, but sometimes buying a used car just makes more sense. Don’t let the uncertainty of a used car make you sweat. At Jim Shorkey Family Auto Group, we offer our exclusive lifetime warranty program, Warranty Forever, on every eligible used car we sell. We also have an impressive selection of value-priced vehicles if you’re shopping on a budget. Need more convincing? Here are a few reasons why it’s worthwhile investing in a used vehicle from the Jim Shorkey Family Auto Group.

used cars pittsburgh, used cars north huntingdon

  1. Affordability, Of Course: This is certainly one of the biggest advantages of a used car. Even if a vehicle’s only been out on the road for a short period of time, it’s still considered preowned, even though it still has new-like qualities.
  2. Better Value: This isn’t always the case, but preowned vehicles are much more likely to retain their value. New vehicles depreciate in value after the first few years of use. A used vehicle’s been there, done that.
  3. Insurance Rates: Used vehicle insurance rates tend to be less expensive.
  4. Low Registration Fees: Likewise, with insurance rates, registration fees tend to be lower with used vehicles.
  5. Reliability: Of course, our selection of new vehicles at Jim Shorkey Family Auto Group are known for their reliability, but used vehicles also do well in this department since they’ve already been tested and hiccups have been addressed.
  6. Safety: Some used vehicles are notably safe! The IIHS recently released a list of the safest used cars for teens, many of which you’ll find in our inventory.

There are other reasons to consider purchasing a used vehicle, so if you’d like to continue the conversation, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at any of Jim Shorkey locations on Route 30 in North Huntingdon or Pittsburgh Road in Uniontown.

Toys for Tots Is Back!

While you’re busy planning a Thanksgiving meal, making a holiday gift list, and planning get-togethers with family and loved ones, please set some time aside to drop off a new, unwrapped toy or two for children ages 0-12 at any Jim Shorkey location in North Huntingdon or Uniontown as part of the US Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots program. We are accepting donations until December 15. We are hoping to make this year’s haul even more successful than last year’s! Thanks so much for your generosity this season, and we look forward to making a child’s Christmas a little brighter this year!

For more information on the US Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots program, check out their website here.

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