Monthly Archives: February 2014

Hybrid Cars – Why Do We Have Them?

Hybrid cars and electric cars will ultimately help the countryMy brother is an avowed “tree hugger.” No joke he is as green as green can be. I can remember a debate I had with him a little over 8-years ago about fuel cell cars and hydrogen.  His whole premise was that, “They’re keeping the fuel cell vehicle from us, we could have them right now if it weren’t for them.” I responded to his claim by saying, “The concept of a fuel cell car is great, but there is no infrastructure in place for it and there won’t be for a long time. What do you do when it breaks?  That’s why we have hybrid cars and all electric.” And I continued, “Who are these ‘They’s’ you keep referring to?”

Koons carries several different manufactures and many of them have hybrid vehicles, stop by any of our showrooms to get more information on them and take one for a test drive today

For the record I am over-dramatizing our discussion, but in all fairness I am trying to make a point, and the discussion did happen but it wasn’t so much of a debate as it was just a conversation.  That said, he had no answer on the infrastructure issue, but as for “the They’s”? That was “the man, man!”  Whoever that is…

Hybrid vehicles answer the infrastructure questions very nicely for many different reasons not the least of which is, availability.  I’ll explain, so you’re driving down the street in your bright shiny new fuel cell car, when suddenly it has an issue with the “quevo-disc” (for you Seinfeld lovers you know what that is) and you need to bring it in to fix it, but alas the nearest technician is a 5-hour drive away and parts are going to take sometime to get there as well, now what do you do? You wait, that’s what you do.  You wait for the infrastructure to catch up with the technical advancement that is the fuel cell.  You see, although we could have fuel cell cars right now they’re a technology that outpaced reality.  No one knows how to care for them, hydrogen is not readily available and it’s expensive to manufacture, and parts are based on an entirely new type of engine so they aren’t readily available or warehoused and stocked around the country.

Some background:
Hybrid cars have both a standard gasoline engine and an electric engine in them.  This is the blending of two worlds; the gas engine is great for quick starts and long hauls at highway speeds.  The electric engine is great for short trips and slow starts.  Both hybrid cars and all electric are  perfect for around town driving, and with hybrids the act of driving recharges the batteries.  For those of you with all electric cars, charging stations are being built in major cities around the nation so refueling them is getting easier as well.  The other good thing about hybrids and electrics is that if something goes wrong with either the gas or electric engines, their parts are so ubiquitous and technicians are so abundant that you can get your car fixed by just about anyone.  In hybrids they have the added benefit that if the electric engine has an issue it may take a bit of doing to get it fixed but you at least can get the car to the tech that is 5 miles away for a look see by using just the gas engine.  Oh! and the parts needed to fix the gas engine are available at every major auto parts store in the country.

A hybrid vehicle is the perfect tool for the job right now, that job being, getting us from total reliance on the internal combustion engine to an all-electric vehicle dominated economy.  They are referred to as a “Bridge Technology,” as in they bridge us between those two different states, mostly what it does in this case, is allow the realities of the world to catch up with the pace of technology.  We all know that gas powered vehicles are here to stay and they will have their place along side hybrid cars, all electric, clean diesel & biodiesel but for now you have a choice and they are readily available.

Koons carries several different manufactures and many of them have hybrid vehicles, stop by any of our showrooms to get more information on them and take one for a test drive today, Mother Nature will thank you for it. ♛

 

Why factory recommended services are better than just oil changes…

engines and oil, a guide to why getting your oil change at the dealership is for the best

Getting your oil changed regularly is important, very important.  Without oil your car will die.  Oil allows for your engines metal parts to press against each other without causing damage.  Not getting your oil changed can be just as harmful as not having any oil, because dirty oil becomes thick and collects microscopic dirt and metal shavings that are abrasive and that’s what causes engine wear.

I know what you’re thinking, of course they want us to follow their schedules because it’s to their advantage.  It’s really to your advantage and your cars.

The old conventional thinking of getting your oil changed every 3 months or 3,000 miles is a thing of the past.  Car Manufactures know their vehicles power plants inside and out, they’ve created engineering masterpieces that adhere to high tolerances and output incredible power.  But there is a trade off with these engineering marvels, they demand consistent attention in order for them to preform at their best.  To aid in that effort the manufacturers created recommended maintenance schedules that support that consistency and help to: extend the life of your vehicle, prevent high-cost auto repairs, and keep it running at its optimal best.  You, the vehicle owner, are the beneficiary of all of that new technology and planning, you get all the power that these higher tolerances yield, along with the benefit of owning an engine that has a much longer life, more residual value, and is easier to maintain, provided you follow the manufacturers maintenance schedule.

I know what you’re thinking, of course they want us to follow their schedules because it’s to their advantage.  It’s really to your advantage and your cars.  Things have changed, with the introduction of these better engines, better service and maintenance has also been developed, better because its less expensive, more intuitive, and better integrated.  Wouldn’t you want to take advantage of all of that?  You can by seeing a registered trained technician at your dealership.

With the emergence of better technology and Synthetic oils cars can now sometimes go as long as 5,000 to 10,000 miles without getting their oil being changed (each car is different please consult your Vehicles Maintenance Guide).  By coming in to the dealership for recommended service you get access to all of their diagnostic and maintenance options and you also get piece of mind.  You can be certain that the right parts, consumables, and training are being applied to your vehicle.  Small things like regular tire rotations for even tire wear, topping off fluid levels, or filter replacement are now expected with any regular maintenance.  But while they’re taking care of those regular items technicians are also hooking up your vehicle so they can talk with your engine using manufacturer developed proprietary software, this allows them to head off developing issues before they become a major problem.

So as you can see, a simple oil change doesn’t cover all of the items your vehicle needs in order to run for years to come.  It does go a long way to keeping your car on the road, but keeping it in top form requires a bit more.   With advancements in technology, training, better parts, more intuitive diagnostics, and by following your vehicles Factory Recommended Maintenance Schedule you are helping maintain your vehicle for years to come.  Koons has a whole army of trained and dedicated vehicle technicians to make sure that your car is always running at its best.  ♛

 

 

Does your car reflect who you are?

red_carFor some people the act of buying a vehicle is the ultimate statement of their personality, who they are, and that they have arrived. Sometimes they buy a certain vehicle consciously, like a flashy sports car to gain attention and to feel young and trendy. Sometimes people buy unconsciously, like when they buy the same car over and over again, every model year, or out of habit because that’s what their parents always drove. 

So which one are you?  Functional, practical, powerful, respectable, dependable, or adaptable? Doesn’t matter, right? It’s just great to have a choice!

Whether purchased with a purposeful eye to make a statement or purchased without conscious knowledge of why, the type of car you choose says a lot about who you are.

No matter what you see yourself in; a sports car, minivan, station wagon, SUV, or a crossover, we offer the following guide to body styles and what they say about the driver.

  • sedanSedan: The 4-door sedan’s three-box configuration appeals to folks who are more comfortable with familiar forms. This is especially true in the executive class where longer overall car lengths benefit from the sedan’s balanced look. It also appeals to car owners who prefer to have the cargo area completely sealed and out of view in a separate compartment.  — Functionality is who you are if you buy a sedan, comfortable and easy going, no statement here beyond wanting to get from point A to point B.
  • stationStation Wagon: Long a favorite of drivers who needed more cargo capacity, the wagon has declined in popularity, due to the versatility of minivans and SUVs. Nevertheless it’s a good choice for buyers who prefer sedan-like handling and accommodation. With the rear seat folded flat, the station wagon can handle everything from a sheet of plywood to an antique hutch. With the seat up, it performs like a sedan. The wagon has been making a comeback lately, especially in European models.  — You care more for practicality than style and you want a vehicle that will change with your needs kind of like a reversible jacket or belt.
  • SUVSport Utility Vehicle (SUV): More utilitarian than sport, the SUV’s popularity is due to a number of factors including a “command” seating position, spacious cargo capacity, and the availability of four-wheel-drive. Highly recommended for those who must drive through snow, mud and sand and, of course, for participants in the off-roading hobby. — You’re real person here with a desire to be seen but also get around town and the farm. You want the ability to go where you want when you want, and you want to carry all of your stuff with you.
  • hatchHatchback: Arguably the most sensible passenger car yet devised. A sedan with a lifting rear door where the trunk would be, it allows for the carrying of large items when the back seat is not in use. The smaller the car, the more you need one because of the hatch’s ability to look, drive, and feel like a sedan while carrying all sorts of odd-shaped cargo. With lifestyles demanding more versatility, the hatchback concept is enjoying a rise in popularity.  — You’re a bit on the green side, you like being able to day trip here and there, you want to carry your stuff with you. But you don’t want to necessarily have to be conscience of how many will go with you, how much it will cost, or how far you can go on a tank. You’d rather spend money on the destination than the trip.
  • vanMinivan: It’s been said the minivan is the station wagon for today’s families; at least large ones. A minivan can transport up to eight passengers in three-row seating and still leave room for cargo. Parents like the walk-through space between the front seats. Kids like the way video screens provide on-the-go entertainment. — You love family and the idea of taking a trip is about making sure everyone is accommodated, you enjoy driving and the idea that you could transport a large dresser or eight of your kid’s teammates really intrigues you.
  • coupCoupe: If you subscribe to the “door for every seat” theory a coupe is not for you. Basically, a coupe is nothing more than a 2-door sedan but its appeal lies in the sporty look. That image will cost you more, though coupes actually cost less to manufacture. Getting in and out of the rear seat is secondary. In spite of all these negatives, coupes remain popular because there’s more to driving than just transportation and a coupe says something about its owner. — You’re transitioning, you’re in between things and you want style but you can’t quite let go of functionality, that said you like power and you like performance and you will not go quiet into that night.
  • convertConvertible: If a coupe is not the most practical conveyance, a convertible is even less so. Rear seats are often more cramped than a coupe’s and the trunk is inevitably smaller due to the space needed for a folding top. And you will definitely pay a premium for the privilege. Yet, for all its inconveniences, driving with the top down, especially on a warm spring day, makes the convertible worth every penny. The feeling is glorious, the all-round visibility wonderful. — For you, the idea of driving is having the wind in your hair, it’s like feeling the sand between your toes on the beach, you don’t want anything to come between you and the experience, it’s all about things that are good for the soul.
  • sportsSports Car: In the beginning they were all sports cars, for you had to be a sport just to drive one of those early automobiles. Later, the sports car became a vehicle built solely for the fun of driving, often quickly, and has remained so to this day. A true sports car puts handling, steering, braking, and agility first, passenger comfort and convenience second. In most cases it will have only two seats, as size and weight are the enemies of performance. — Fast fast fast… did we say fast?  ‘Nuf said here.
  • crossoverCrossover: “Crossover” is just one term manufacturers are coining as they attempt to name a new breed of vehicle that combines the virtues of several categories. Take a sedan, for example, and mix in equal parts of SUV, station wagon, and minivan, and you get a crossover. They come in all sizes and a variety of shapes as designers continue to experiment. — You don’t settle, never have never will, with that in mind you do enjoy versatility and change and you find a dash of practicality is good for the soul, in the end you as much about change as you are about functionality.

So which one are you?  Functional, practical, powerful, respectable, dependable, or adaptable? Doesn’t matter, right? It’s just great to have a choice!  Come down to Koons and we’ll help you figure it out. We carry every single one of these and some that aren’t listed (pick-up truck for instance). Either way you will make a statement with your new vehicle from Koons.  ♛

Why do Car Batteries go bad in cold weather?

battery

During the winter months The Koons Automotive Companies changes more batteries than any other time of year.  It might feel like a coincidence every year, but I can assure you it’s not!

According to Battery Council International: When the outside temperature is 80 F, a fully charged battery has 100 percent of its power available to start the car.  When the temperature drops to 32 F, a fully-charged battery has two-thirds of its power available.  At 0 F, that same fully-charged battery has only 40 percent of its power available to start the vehicle.

So in other words, the cold seeps the current away, it slows the chemical reaction that creates electricity and replenishes the power in it.

So as you can see cold weather limits a batteries’ effectiveness and to top it off, just driving during the winter season puts added strain on cars with older batteries.  For starters, during the cold weather we use our defrosters for the windshields, the heaters to warm up our cars, and with the shorter days and wintery conditions we use our headlights more often.  Other added stressors on a battery include a GPS Navigation Systems, Satellite Radio, and Bluetooth Technology.  Factor in all of this and you’re diverting current away from the battery, leaving a deficit after each trip, which eventually can lead to the battery not being able to start the car at all!

But wait there’s more!

alternatorIfcar-battery 7 your car is having trouble starting it could be the alternator.  To determine if that’s the issue there is a couple signs to look for.  First, if you notice your headlights are starting to dim and brighten occasionally, your alternator could be on its last leg.  If your car is slow to turn over and start but everything seems normal once it is running, your battery is most likely the issue.  Both the alternator and the battery work together to start your car and keep it running from point A to point B, being aware of each’s warning signs will help you head off trouble before it’s too late.

So, to help prevent battery failure during the winter months there are a few steps you can take to safeguard yourself from getting stuck out in the cold.  If you have a garage, use it to help keep your battery warm.  If you can, limit your use of additional accessories while driving to help keep your battery from being drained.  Lastly, feel free to come to any Koons locations and receive a Complimentary Battery Test with Printout.  Just mention this Blog to receive your Complimentary Battery Test!

Hiring Our Heros!

Hire_our_heros

Veterans account for approximately 9.5% of the adult U.S. population. This equates to 22 million men and women between the ages of 20 and 65. Not all of them are looking for work, but a disproportionate group of veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts are and we need to help them find jobs.  It is the least we can do for those Americans who put their lives on hold to protect and defend our country and Koons wants to help.

While millions of veterans have transitioned out of the armed forces over the last ten years, the number of post-9/11 veterans transitioning from active duty service to civilian life will significantly increase over the coming years. Koons Automotive, in concert with Hiring Our Heroes program, is committed to hire top talent from our armed forces. Koons is joined in this effort by many other business and government entities—non-profits, for-profits, civic organizations, institutions of higher learning, community-based efforts—we’re all committed to assisting veterans as they transition out of the services and pursue civilian careers.

Tom Donnegan, Director of Training and Recruiting for Koons Automotive Company stated, “Koons typically likes to hire former military because they’re very disciplined, hard working, tech savvy, friendly and organized and in this business that’s the skill set needed for success.”  Working in the automotive industry requires a wide variety of skills, not the least of which is good people and listening skills. Employees that have been hired in the past that came from the military have excelled with us because of that.

A recent military hire Tim Welton put it bestI thought the transition from a military to a civilian job would be difficult, but Koons helped me to transition smoothly. The quick thinking, leadership, and problem solving skills I learned while serving fit perfectly as a sales consultant! I’ve become one of the top sales consultants at my dealership and I credit my military training and the mentorship I’ve received here at Koons for that success!”

Here is a current list of the openings in sales, service, and customer support, click here to apply:

Sales Representatives
Responsibilities:

  • Sell new and used automobiles
  • Maintain knowledge of inventory, features, accessories, etc.
  • Demonstrate automobiles, take test drives, and explain warranties and services
  • Prospect daily for potential customers; maintain contact with previous customers

Service Technicians
Responsibilities:

  • Diagnose automotive problems quickly and accurately
  • Install new equipment repair broken or worn auto components
  • Test vehicles before and after repair
  • Maintain manufacturer training

Service Advisors
Responsibilities:

  • Greet customers obtain vehicle information and accurately record vehicle problems
  • Take service calls from customers to schedule appointments
  • Maintain positive customer relations

If you’re part of the military and you want to join a progressive challenging and supportive company come and see us online at Koons.com or at the career fairs at Fort Belvoir on Feb 19th or at Verizon Center April 9th.  Contact Tom Donegan directly.  Good luck in your search and thank you for serving our country.