Blog Archives

Why do Car Batteries go bad in cold weather?

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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!

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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.

 

 

Roads are slippery when wet (or covered in snow)!

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Last week the weather in DC Metro areas took a turn for the worst!  Freezing temperatures, snow, and ice almost shutdown the government…Well it actually did for a few hours.  The driving conditions caused by the winter storms were horrendous.  Cars were slipping and sliding all over the road.  Unfortunately, not every car is equipped with four-wheel drive and even if you do have four-wheel drive, if your tires tread is worn down you may find yourself in some trouble.

Did you know most states require your tires to have more than 2/32” of tread depth?  Don’t worry; if you are not sure how to check for your tire treads depth, there is an easy way to figure it out, all you’ll need is the loose change in your pocket!

To find out your tread depth you’ll need a penny.  First: Turn the penny perpendicular to the tire surface and parallel to the tread.  Place the penny in several tread grooves across the width of the tire and in as many places as you can around it. If you can always see Lincoln’s head (as shown in picture 1 below) you only have about 2/32” of tread depth left.  That’s the minimum depth of tread that is legally allowed by most states safety inspections.  Anything less than that and you’re playing with fire.  A tire with the bare minimum of tread is on the verge of failing you in wet conditions of any kind.  It’s even worse in these wintery road conditions, so you might want to think about coming to one of the 19 Koons locations to make sure your tires are both safe and legal.  One other way to tell is if you’ve driven more than 30 thousand miles on them you may want to have them looked at professionally.

If your tires passed the test in picture 1 turn the penny around (as shown in picture 2) and try getting a more accurate measurement.  If the top of the Lincoln Memorial is always covered by the tread, than your tires have more than 6/32” of tread remaining.

tread_depth copyTo help make sure you’re safe and to have a qualified technician go over your vehicle use the coupon below for a Complimentary Multi-point Inspection (that includes tire wear). at any of our Koons locations and we will check your tire tread for you at no charge!

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Caution: Potholes Ahead!

pothole

Every year over 3 million potholes nationwide will appear and be reported. They will cause millions of dollars in damage to your car and cost millions of dollars for DOT teams to fix.  I don’t know about you, but it feels like every year my car hits every single one of those 3 million potholes. Each impact is a teeth-jarring wallop to my tires, rims, balance, alignment, and shocks that will leave my car a rattling hulk of what it once was!

For those of you that don’t know how a pothole is formed, here is a description:

pothole_graphic

Potholes are caused by the expansion and contraction of ground water after the water has entered under the pavement. When the water freezes, it expands. The frozen water will take up more space under the pavement, and the pavement will heave, expand, bend, and weaken. When the ice melts, the pavement contracts and leaves gaps in the surface. Water gets into these voids and when water freezes and thaws again, the pavement will weaken further and crack.

As the weight of cars and trucks pass over this weak spot, pieces of the roadway material weaken more, which will cause the road material and substrate to be displaced or broken down further thus creating the pothole.

When salt is brought into the picture the pothole effect will get worse. Water will freeze at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. But when salt is used, it lowers the temperature that water will freeze at. This creates an artificial freeze-thaw cycle that permits more occurrences of the damaging cycle outlined above to occur.  

Potholes can happen on any road surface but tend to happen more along the edges and shoulders of roadways than in the center of them, they also tend to occur more in asphalt than concrete surfaces since they tend to be more porous.

Ok science class is over; economics class is now in session.  Koons is very aware of the fact that your car will inevitably come in contact with these pesky “craters” this winter.

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We know your car is your baby and you can’t stand the idea of it being hurt, so Koons Service is here to help.  If you’ve recently had a run in with one of these bone rattlers, make an appointment with us, show the technician this coupon, and let them to do the rest. Afterwards you will drive away knowing that your car is in better shape than when you dropped it off and it is definitely capable of handling whatever the road may throw at it.

When is it time for new windshield wipers?

windshield

The other day I had my car serviced here at Koons and during my complimentary 27 point inspection my Service Advisor pointed out my wiper blades needed replacing, so I took his advice and had them replaced.  As I was driving home that day it began to rain and I couldn’t believe how much better I could see with my new windshield wipers.  It made me think, how often should someone get their windshield wipers replaced?

After a quick Google search I found a lot of different pieces of wiper advice.  Most experts recommend having your windshield wiper blades replaced every 6 to 12 months.  Depending on where you live you may even need to replace them even sooner.  The winter months put your windshield wipers through a lot between the cold weather and the wear and tear of wiping snow, sleet and mud off your windshield.  The scorching heat of the summer months can put extra wear on the rubber part of the wiper blades.

Although most experts recommend getting your wiper blades replaced every 6 to 12 months your best bet might be letting your eyes and ears be the judge of when they need to be replaced.  If your windshield wiper blades begin to leave streaks and are having trouble clearing water, snow and slush it might be time for a replacement.  Also, if you begin to hear them scrapping and chattering on the window it may be time as well.

One more bit of advice, before you go and spend the money on new wiper blades try wiping the rubber part of the blades with a clean wet rag and readjusting the wiper arm on the glass so it is fitting properly on the glass.  If that doesn’t help then it is time to check out Koons service and find the dealership closest to you to buy new wiper blades.

With a new set of wiper blades you will be ready to face whatever conditions the weather brings your way.  Safe Driving!