Question, Do You Need To Break in A New Car

inst_cluster

Breaking in a new car isn’t the same as it was 30 or even 15 years ago… Yep, just over a decade ago, manufacturers recommended new owners follow certain ways of driving to “break in” a new car. However, the old lessons they ascribed to don’t hold true today.

while you’re driving your new car for the first 1-2,000 miles, take it easy.  Don’t wind it out and then come to screeching stops, that’s not good, no matter how old the car is. 

So how did they break in a new car?
The old rules told new owners to follow some simple instructions over the course of the car’s first hundred miles to break in their new vehicle’s engine. The guidelines included: drive at 50 mph for a short time, vary your speeds on side streets, and sit and idle for a time before moving. After going through this process, the driver was instructed to shut off the engine and let it cool down before driving it again.

So why would you go through this process? Well, according to engineers: “to establish new internal mating surfaces of mechanical parts, to seat new piston rings, to establish new seal surfaces, to condition new mechanical parts–to make sure all the moving parts were working together as smoothly as possible.”

WOW!  That’s a mouthful, so after the break-in period, which could last for about 500-1000 miles, the vehicle could be driven without concern.  So basically it’s so that the engine could ease itself into being a collection of parts working together smoothly with all the little parts sliding off each other easily.

But do we still have to break in a new car today?
In a word, no, lubricants and engine oil have come a long way, compared to the products of old; the new synthetic oils of today cling to and protect metal parts much better than their predecessors. In addition, the steel and aluminum used for the engine parts come from the factory already conditioned and treated, thus ready to run, they’re already broken in! Not to mention the fact that the production methods used these days, create tolerances of a much higher quality and closeness, that’s why these engines can run for over 100,000 miles and remain sealed from the factories they came from.

The only caveat comes with that first oil change. You need to make sure you change your new car’s oil and filter at 1,500 miles (unless otherwise recommended by the manufacturer). Why? Because metal has worn off while they were settling in with each other, the working surfaces were being establish, and those metal filings and scraps need to be removed from the oil pan and oil supply before they cause any long-term damage.  Come in to any Koons Service Department and we’ll help you take care of that first oil change.

Now one thing you should note is that with most vehicles there are two service schedules compiled for new passenger cars: Normal and Severe. Manufacturers define them differently, but in essence, normal covers a wider range of operation, while severe can include lots of short-distance commuting. Be realistic about which condition applies to your vehicle. Finally, while you’re driving your new car for the first 1-2,000 miles, take it easy.  Don’t wind it out and then come to screeching stops, that’s not good, no matter how old the car is.  Take your time remember you’re getting to know this new vehicle just like its getting to know you.  That’s not breaking the car in that’s just being a smart new car owner. 

 

 

School Bus Safety Every Driver Should Know

As you get back in the swing of fall and the closing of the beaches, as drivers we need to make sure that all children get to school safely. That’s right school buses are back on the road and for many parents, this means getting their child to the bus stop and aboard it safely. Over the course of the summer it can be easy to get lax about making sure you and your child follow all the proper school bus safety rules. So, it’s especially important this time of year to remind drivers, parents, school children, and pedestrians about the most important rules of school bus safety.

To make it easy to remember, Ameriprise shared the infographic below that not only highlights the safety of school buses, but also details how you can be a responsible driver now that buses are back on the road and school children are running around in force.

School Bus Safety

The Best Car to Buy for Back to School!

Best Car Back to School

Every year around this time two momentous things happen.  First, the kids go back to school! Second, Kelly Blue Book (KBB) releases its list of the best back to school vehicles!

So KBB has been releasing this list for the past few years and it’s become pretty popular with consumers.  Why?  Well it’s the best time to buy a new car and most families are looking for larger vehicles to take the kids, teams, and friends to all the activities, meetings, and gatherings associated with the new school year.  Koons represents over 22 manufacturers in 16 locations and all of them are here to help you find your new car for whatever time of year it is.

Couple that with current Koons offer of 125% KBB value on your trade-in and you can see why getting a new car now for the school year is so great!  So not only do you get the best vehicle for your little ones but you also will get the best price on your trade-in!

Here are some of the vehicles that made the list:
This year’s wide-ranging list includes a small SUV, a 50-mpg hybrid and an all-wheel drive option, and every car here starts under $20,000.

Back to school sonic#7. 2014 Chevy Sonic – 26/35 MPG:
The well-rounded Sonic is one of the most fun-to-drive and most comfortable sub-
compact cars out there. Available in sedan and hatchback flavors, the Sonic was also one of the first cars to offer next-level iPhone integration via Siri Eyes Free. As a bonus, it’s also the most affordable car on this list. 

Back to School Prius #5. 2014 Toyota Prius C – 53/46 MPG:
The easy-to-park and amazingly fuel-
efficient Prius C is an ideal choice for
students living far off campus. Likeable
looks, hatchback versatility and Toyota
reliability make its combined fuel economy
(both city and highway driving) rating of
50 mpg even more attractive.

Back to school Mazda#4. 2014 Mazda 3 – 30/41 MPG:
The stylish and sporty Mazda3 isn’t just a smart choice for students; it’s also one of this year’s 10 Coolest Cars Under $18,000. Available in sedan and hatchback versions, the totally redesigned 2014 Mazda 3 is also more efficient, more tech-savvy and more comfortable than ever.

Back to school Kia Soul#2. 2014 Kia Soul – 24/30 MPG:
The redesigned-for-2014 Soul is loaded with personality, yet at its core is wonderfully
practical. The fuel-efficient hatchback seats
five comfortably and has a large and impressive cargo volume to ace a trip to IKEA for dorm room furniture.

The list has been fairly consistent over time and has been a helpful guide to base your buying decisions on.  In the coming years the list will become more and more popular and we’ll keep an eye on it here.  But, just remember you’ll get the best deal around from Koons no matter what you buy or when you buy it. 

Is The Gas Cap on The Left or Right Side of Your Car?

Gas Cap Arrow

I have a friend who does a great deal of traveling for his job so he’s always in a rental car.  Last week while on the road for his job, he pulled up to a gas station and had that dreaded moment of, “Oh no! I have no idea which side of my car the gas cap is located.”  He went on to tell about how the initial “Uh-oh!” is typically followed by a few minutes of craning his head out the window to see (or not see) if the gas cap cover is on his side of the car. More often than not, he would guess and just pull up to the pump – only to back up and circle around when the guess was wrong. Auto Manufacturers to the rescue!

Arrow Indicators on New Cars
Admittedly, mistaking which side of the car the gas cap is on is not a big deal, I think it straddles the line somewhere between having to reach too far for the TV remote and setting the microwave for 10 seconds too long. But, what if there was a way to always know for sure…

Good news: The secret to the gas cap location has been on our dashboards all along, at least within the past 8 years.  If you’re driving a newer car, take a look at the gas gauge on your dashboard. Depending on your car, there may be a little triangle or arrow pointing to the left or right. It’s actually a directional indicator that identifies which side of the car the gas cap is on!

What about older cars?
Older cars may have a gas pump icon located on the gauge. The pump handle either extends to the left or right, so does that correlate to the cap?

Sadly, no, the handle doesn’t always indicate which side the cap is located.  Some manufactures did do just that; some did not, and worse yet? Some models within brands did and some did not. So unfortunately, this Internet rumor is false and we’re here to officially shoot it down, sorry.

A Fuel Indicator Myth Debunked
Not everyone is satisfied with this explanation of the mysterious gas gauge arrow. So leave it to the Internet to think up some crazy ideas ­about alternative meanings. One rumor says the arrow will light up when a car is driven a certain distance after its last refueling. Supposedly, this is a way for you to determine how “full” the gas tank is.  News flash!  That’s what the “E” and “F” and all the little lines in between indicate. Sorry, folks, but there’s no truth behind that rumor.

Did you know what the gas gauge arrow meant? What symbols or controls on your car remain mysteries?  If you need any help deciphering them stop by any Koons Dealership and we’ll help you figure them out.

 

 

Is August the best month to buy a new car?

summer_savingsSales data from the last 12 months suggests it is!

The economy has been wheeling and dealing so far in 2014, it has been driving the GDP to higher highs, which is strengthening the recovery. While each month shows better numbers in all sectors for consumers, the automotive industry being one of them, August has always historically been the month to visit a new car showroom.

Here’s why – a quick study of car sales for the past 3-5 years shows the average price for buying a vehicle in August is more than $150 lower than any other month. On average, that’s $500 less than the other 11 months.

August is the best month to buy a car or truck because dealers are cleaning out older inventory as the new models roll in,”
Mirza Thomas
VP, Koons Automotive Co.

What may be more surprising is that average prices in August are $1,000 less than December! Even though conventional wisdom suggests December is one of the best months of the year in which to buy a new car, the data suggests it’s actually one of the most expensive.

So Why is it better in the “Dog-days” of summer?

“August is the best month to buy a car or truck because dealers are cleaning out older inventory as the new models roll in,” said Mirza Thomas VP of Koons Automotive Company. “This change-over means late-model vehicles are priced to be quickly sold off the lot. August is definitely the time to buy if you’re looking to save money.”

Let’s just take this concept for a test drive around some of Koons.com web sites; here are a few of the incentives for the month:

I would say that as a representative sample?  August has some large savings offered!

How much are you likely to spend for a new car this August? According to data from the last 4 years, the average August transaction price was $28,950. February, with its Presidents Day sales, is second, at $29,109

So you’ll definitely find good deals on new cars in August, that’s a given, but you’ll also be able to find some good buys on used cars, especially three year-old models from turned in leases. The automotive site Edmunds.com reports the average price of a used car at franchise dealerships was down $313 for all of 2013 to $15,791.

Buying a new car is always a great experience with Koons no matter what time of the year.  But when you ad in great savings on top of the great Koons service you get an experience like no other!