One of the biggest activities during the summer months is road tripping. Whether you are moving, visiting friends and family, or just exploring the country, it is crucial to be sure that your car is up for the job! Because if you take care of your car before the trip, it will take care of you while your out on the road! A simple pre-trip vehicle checkup could make all the difference during your journey. For those of you that don’t know the proper steps to preparing your car, here is a list of some nifty tips and tricks to getting your car ready for the big voyage!
One of the easiest ways to assure yourself that your car is ready is to bring it in to a mechanic so that they can preform a FULL safety inspection to your vehicle. Now, I cannot stress this enough: DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO GET YOUR CAR INSPECTED!! If the mechanic finds an issue with your car during the inspection then you will be very grateful that you did not wait until the last minute to bring it in. Because if you did wait until last minute, and their were issues with the vehicle, it could take days for the vehicle to get fixed. This could be because the mechanic is busy and there are other cars that came before yours, or the mechanic had to order parts and get them shipped to the shop, which could take a couple days.
In short: have you mechanic inspect your car a week or two before your trip in case there are issues that need addressed.
When getting your vehicle inspected, here is a list of everything your mechanic should cover:
- The mechanic should always check the fluids of your vehicle. The fluids that should be examined include the oil, transmission, antifreeze, power steering, brake, and windshield washer. And if any fluids are low, be sure that your mechanic tops them off, and remember to bring extra with you in case you need to top it off on your trip.
- Verify the efficiency level of your windshield wipers, brakes and tires to be positive that they will not bring you complications on your trip. Do the wipers clear the windshield well enough while you are driving through rough weather? Are the brakes worn down, squeaky when you drive, or not a strong as they once were? Do the tires have enough tread on them? Are they the correct kind of tires for the type of driving you will be doing? If any of your answers to these questions are negative, be sure to get the problems fixed before it is too late and you are stranded on the road with a blown tire.
- Inspect your vehicle to see if all of the lights are working on your vehicle. This includes headlights, taillights, break lights, turn signals, and brights. If any lights are out or dim, change them before your trip.
- Confirm that your vehicle is not due for a tune up. How old is the battery? How long has the timing belt been on? Be certain that these aspects of your car are up to date for your trip. Typically the battery will last 3-5 years and the timing belt will usually last between 60,000 and 100,000 miles.
As long as you follow the guidelines and check list above, you should have no problem on the road, which will make your journey that much more enjoyable! My last tip for you is to always prepare for the worst during a road trip. Your car could be in perfect condition before you leave, but that doesn’t always guarantee that you won’t experience problems on the road. A great item to have on hand during your voyage is an emergency roadside survival kit. These kits, much like a first aid kit for your car, can come in handy if an issue occurs on the road!
Many people who are in the market for a car don’t realize all of the different amazing specials and incentives they have at their fingertips! Whether you are searching for a new or pre-owned car, there are numerous opportunities for you to get your dream car without drying out your wallet!
Specifically, for Steve Hahn’s Mercedes-Benz of Yakima, Our services offered for Mercedes cars are a huge money saver because Mercedes can be a little pricey to service and maintain depending on the work being done. The services we offer are meant to save you a chunk of change, while also keeping you, and your Mercedes happy and healthy!
The two specials for Mercedes going on right now are 10% Savings on Brake Repairs and three different Transmission Service Specials depending on the year, make and model of your car. The best way to find out which price applies to your vehicle is to call our service department and speak to one of our service providers.
Here is the link to our service coupons page to find out more information on the amazing benefits each offers: http://www.stevehahnmercedesbenz.com/car-coupons-yakima-wa
So many dealerships that advertise their incentives for new cars usually only offer one of two incentives to choose from. You will always hear the deals on the radio or on TV and think how great the deal is because they are practically screaming at you through the speakers. But in reality, most of the incentives offered by other dealerships are not favored by a lot of customers buying new cars. Everyone lives different lives and prefers different ways of buying large purchases, like a new car. And the fact of the matter is that only offering one of two incentives makes it hard to make all different kinds of customers happy.
But guess what?!? At Steve Hahn’s Volkswagen, we offer not one, not two, but FOUR different incentives to choose from for the majority of our models! That means that we can meet the customer’s needs, on the customer’s terms! And the best part? We are willing to discover all of the incentives you are eligible for in order to save you the most money and have you driving your new car home in no time!
For example, at Steve Hahn’s we have four different incentives for our customers to be eligible for when buying a new Volkswagen Jetta. These incentives include: Low APR Financing for 60 months*, a $1,000 Loyalty Bonus for Returning Volkswagen owners toward the purchase or lease of select new 2017 Jetta models*, The College Graduate Program Discount, for qualified recent graduates that can get a $500 Contract Bonus when purchasing or leasing a new, unused Volkswagen vehicle through Volkswagen Credit, and Low Monthly Payment Offers for a 36 Month Lease*. As I mentioned before, incentives vary by vehicle.
The fact that Steve Hahn’s offers such great incentives that differentiate from each other and could possibly be combined is one of the factors that sets us apart from the other dealerships in the Yakima area.
*All offers end May 1st, 2017
For those of you that don’t know, April is National Car Care Month. There are actually two months that are recognized for this, with the Fall Car Care Month being in October. The purpose of this month is to remind drivers to service their cars and take care of any issues that may have occurred during the cold winter months.
So, the question is, why April? Well as the harsh winters around the nation come to an end, it is very important and a very popular time for drivers to get their cars ready for spring driving, and more importantly, SUMMER ROAD TRIPS!
But what are the most popular and important services to get done on your car? One of the most common services is changing your tires, whether it is taking off your snow tires, or putting all new tires on after they were beat up during the winter. This is an extremely important maintenance step because spring can bring wet, slick roads that can be a nightmare if your car does not have the appropriate tires for the weather.
A few other important car care services to get done are replacing your windshield wipers, and checking the efficiency of your brakes. Your car’s windshield wipers can become very worn down and torn up by the rough weather winter brings, from snow and ice to the salt that covers the roads. Being sure that your windshield wipers are efficient enough during the spring is very important because if they aren’t then you may not have clear enough vision while driving in the awful “spring showers”. Also, during the months of snowy, icy weather, your car’s brakes can take quite a beating from having to slam on your brakes or constantly use them on the dangerous roads. Making sure your brakes haven’t worn down too much is very critical because, although most people don’t realize it, the slick, wet roads that spring time brings can be just as dangerous as the icy roads during winter.
So remember, before April ends, be sure to bring your car in to your preferred mechanic to ensure that it is all ready for the ever-changing spring weather!
The Steve Hahn Auto Group is proud to support our local charities and hopes to help as many in need as possible. We know how important our community is, and not just our human community, but the pet community as well. That’s why we’ve selected the Wags to Riches Animal sanctuary as our February community partner.
During the month of February the Steve Hahn family has partnered with the Wags to Riches animal shelter for an animal supply drive. The Wags to Riches sanctuary is a no kill shelter providing safe refuge to homeless animals in the Yakima valley. They find foster families for animals until they can find a permanent homes and ensure good homes by requiring an application process and references. They also work hard to educate the public as to the consequences of over population.
While we are collecting items through the month of February, the shelter is always in need of supplies such as cat/dog food, collars and toys as well as cleaning supplies such as bleach and laundry detergent. If you’d like to donate or get involved the phone number to the animal shelter is 509-453-4155. Please note that there are no paid employees and all help is on a volunteer basis, as such you may have to leave a voicemail but someone will get back to you as soon as possible.
So, next time you at the store, pick up a bag of cat or dog food and give it to this amazing cause. There are so many animal friends that could use your help!
Well, the short answer is yes. But, the short answer probably isn’t what you’re after so let me elaborate. Your car has a lot of moving parts and pieces. Your car also has a lot of fluids that help those parts and pieces do what they need to do and also ensures that they survive as long as possible. So while you might be asking yourself if you can afford these services, I will go ahead and reassure that you can’t afford not to do them.
Now you might be asking yourself, “Can’t I just top it off?” and my answer will of course be, “Well sure you can” but let me tell you a little story. I have two beautiful Persian cats, one of which is seriously picky about her water. I discovered this because every day I would add water to her dish (keeping it full like a good kitty owner does) but she refused to drink it. Instead, she would wait patiently in the bathroom until someone turned on a faucet so she could get fresh clean water. So, I dumped out old water, scrubbed out the dish and put fresh water in. And, wouldn’t’ you know it, she would finally drink from the bowl (I’m getting the point, just keep reading a little farther). Now sometimes I just don’t feel like doing all that work so I just “top it off” without actually washing it out. And, what I’ve noticed is after a few days there is food particles in the water as well as a buildup on the sides of the dish that I have to us soap to get off (are you seeing where I’m going with this yet?) and it is really pretty disgusting.
My point is this, just like that nasty cat water your cars fluids become polluted with debris and buildup and need to be drained every so often (it varies depending on the system) and cleaned with special cleaning solution to get rid of all the nasty crud hiding out within the system and then filled with fresh new fluid. Topping it off with new fluid just mixes the clean new fluid with the dirty old fluid and does nothing to get rid of the contaminates you’ve got floating around in it.
We are used to changing out a fluid like oil, because we know if we don’t we could seriously damage the engine, rendering our vehicle useless and in need of costly repairs. But, oil isn’t the only fluid playing a vital part in keeping our cars running. The antifreeze/coolant for example, keeps all of those moving parts at the right temperature. Without it, our car would overheat in the summer, and freeze in the winter. Our brake fluid keeps us safe by ensuring our car can stop when necessary. So while it may seem like these other fluids are less important they are actually vitally important in keeping our families safe, and our cars in exceptional working order.
Fluid flushes may seem expensive, but the reality is they save you money. Replacing the radiator fluid is cheaper than replacing the radiator just as replacing your oil is cheaper than replacing your engine. Flushing your brake lines is cheaper than replacing the whole system etc. Check your owners manual for their individual recommendations on specific system maintenance or call your preferred mechanic and they can advise you on what to do and when.
If you’ve been in the market for a car or have purchased one in the past you may have heard this term but not really known what it means. Technically GAP is an acronym for “Guaranteed Asset Protection” but we aren’t trying to be technical here, so let’s move on to the simplified version.
Simply put, GAP insurance covers the “gap” between what you owe on a car and what your insurance company will pay in the event of a total loss.
Still not sure what it means? Here’s an example: Let’s say you get in an accident and your insurance company decides your car is worth $8,000 but you still owe the bank $10,000. So, you take your $8,000 check down to the bank and are faced with an ugly truth: you are still responsible for the payments on the remaining balance of a car you can’t even drive. The bank doesn’t care that you are stranded without a car and could really use that money to put toward a new car, they just want their payment.
This is where GAP Insurance would come in. Gap insurance would pay that $2000 off for you, leaving you free to worry about what car you’re going to buy next instead of how you are going to make 2 loan payments.
That being said, not everyone needs the coverage. The only time you need to worry about this is if you are going to owe the bank more than the car is worth. So, long term loans (over 48 months) would fall into that category (because cars depreciate much faster than you pay them off), as would high interest loans in which you only made a small down payment. Every situation is different, and only you can determine if it’s right for you.
Hopefully this helps you understand what GAP insurance can do for you. Check back for more articles like this one and comment if there are any topics you’d like to see covered.
First of all, lets be clear about what that term means. “Professional” does not mean they have a few bottles of something that say professional on it, nor do they qualify as a professional just because they say they are one. Professionals have things like a business license, Insurance that is adequate to cover your vehicle, a Facebook page, a website, and reviews etc. These are all things you can check that will tell you how professional they really are.
Did you know that a car is the second biggest investment most people will make other than a house? Hiring someone that doesn’t really know what they’re doing to scrub and apply chemicals to your vehicle can really do more harm than good. You worked hard to get the car you wanted, trust me, this is not where you want to go with the bargain basement option.
So, how do you choose a detailer? Here are some ways you can ensure your car is in the hands of a professional and will come back to you looking as great as the day you bought it.
- Check the status of their business license. Not sure how to do it? Don’t worry, I’ve got a nifty little link right HERE. Just type in the business name and there you go. If they don’t have one, move on and find someone else. If they were a true professional they would have one.
- Check out their website/Facebook page. Are there before and after pictures (be careful with this one, photos are easily stolen off the internet these days, do they have a reference from the owner of the vehicle in the photo) ? Reviews? And if so, are they good or bad? Tip: Try and read through more than one or two of the reviews. If there are bad reviews weigh the good against the bad, I will choose a business that has bad reviews mixed in with the good as long as it looks like it was a few isolated bad experiences and the rest seem positive.
- Price matters: A quality professional detailer may spend over $100 just on products on your car alone. If someone is offering you a full detail for $50, alarm bells should be going off in your head telling you to run. Expect to pay a fair price for the work being done. It can take up to 10 hours to detail your car (and sometimes more). Take that into consideration when you see prices that seem high (and also use it a red flag if the price is ridiculous low).
- Ask the professional for references. A great detailer should be able to provide you with plenty.
A true detail professional will treat your car like their own. A bad detail can end up doing a lot of harm to your vehicle, it’s just not worth it to go cheap here. I hope you find this article helpful
You’ve probably heard of the Lemon Law, but what does it really mean? A lot of people think it applies to used cars but it’s actually just the opposite. I’ve put together a list to help you better understand when it applies, and what you can do. This list is basic and meant to be easy to understand. If you’d like the detailed version of the lemon law (which I recommend reading if you think this applies to your car), Click Here.
- The law applies to new or nearly new passenger cars, mid-sized trucks, large motorcycles, and some motor homes that have had “continuing warranty problem”and applies only to defects which substantially impair the use, value, or safety of the motor vehicle”.
- The Lemon law does not apply to used “As-is” car purchases, which is a common misconception.
- It applies only to the original manufacture’s warranty as required by law. Warranties vary from vehicle to vehicle.
- The lemon law does not apply to service contracts.A service contract is NOT a warranty. It’s an agreement between you and the dealership (or third party agency) to make repairs.
- A “reasonable number of attempts must have been made to repair the vehicle under the manufactures warranty” within the first year or 12,000 miles, whichever comes first.
- It does not cover problems caused by abuse or neglect. It also does not cover problems caused by modifications added to the vehicle, even if it is in the warranty period.
- If you think you have a lemon you must write to the manufactures and ask for a repurchase or repayment of the vehicle, they then have 40 days to respond.
- If the manufacturer does not respond within the 40 day period you may make a request for arbitration with the attorney generals office. You may download a copy of the arbitration form HERE.
*Please note-Again, the law is much more complicated than this. This is a very basic overview to help you have a basic understanding of the law. Please click the link at the top of the page for a thorough explanation of the law.