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Question, Do You Need To Break in A New Car

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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. 

 

 

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. 

How do car recalls benefit buyers?

recallsSo far, for this decade there have been less than half the number of car recalls from the previous decade. Yet, from all of the hype, one would think that there is nothing but safety problems on the road and that any car that is recalled is a potential death trap. But that just isn’t true. There are a couple of developments that are causing this phenomenon and it is actually good news.

Car recalls are a common part of car-ownership and it is a sign that the safety system is working the way it should. True, there are more recalls than there used to be, but safety and the quality of cars have both improved in recent years. In general a recall notice provides peace of mind, it means the manufacturer or the government agency involved have decided that the defect in the vehicle is of concern and they want to make sure it never causes an issue.

Cars are more complex, so there are more components that can fail and Consumers have more ways to complain. We have access, electronically and instantly, to a global network that wasn’t available in the early ’90s.”
           Sean Kane, President
Safety Research & Strategies Inc.

Most car recalls, aren’t a big deal. For instance, in 2013, automakers recalled almost 22 million vehicles — that’s about 40% more than all the new cars sold last year. However, almost none of those recalls made the news, since most required a quick trip to the dealer for a routine fix at the manufacturer’s expense. Interestingly one major manufacturer led the list with about 5.3 million vehicles recalled in 2013. That same manufacturer also faired well in Consumer Reports and J.D. Power surveys, so you could make the case that there is little to no connection between recalls and poor quality. If anything, a higher number of recalls might indicate the opposite.

In 2013 the total number of vehicles recalled by major automakers was the highest it’s been since 2004. In the ‘90’s recalls were relatively uncommon, but in the mid part of that decade they hit an elevated level and stayed there ever since. Some people feel that this reflects a greater attention by regulators, however, other trends may have more to do with it: an increase of new technology in cars and an increased availability of information to consumers on the Internet.

Recall HistoryThe digital revolution transformed automobiles improved performance, efficiency and safety, but also made cars a lot more complicated. Cars have become mobile computers that use millions of lines of code. That code affects the throttle, braking, steering, transmission and any other systems that have gone from mechanical (analog) linkages to electronic controls. This has improved performance, efficiency and safety, but it’s also made cars much more complicated.

Case in point a recent analysis shows that about 20% of the recalls in 2013 were for air bags — which barely existed 20 years ago and are large complex systems.  Also, up to one-third of the 2013 recalls were related to electrical systems, things like seat heaters, automatic tailgates, sliding doors, and video systems. Some of the recalls were for things owners might notice — interior lights, blurred digital readouts, or weak A/C systems — these are not things that can cause harm.

Automakers are also more eager to fix issues due to social media and quality rankings. With the advent of third party rating sites like Edmunds or KBB it’s very easy for a buyer to get up-to-date info on how other owners regard their vehicles.  These new “dis-interested third party” rating sites have become a greater factor in the purchase process.  The availability of ratings and in-depth vehicle info has giving automakers more reasons to fix issues.

So, yes, there have been a few attention getting car recalls along with news grabbing manufacturer oversights and they’re obscuring the fact that driving is getting statistically safer. For the record the total number of traffic deaths in the U.S. peaked in 2006 at over 43,000, but since then it has fallen to less 33,000. Due in large part, to life-saving new technologies and perhaps even more aggressive recalls.  So as consumers we should all be happy when our manufacturer recalls our vehicle, it means the system is working and we are more safe than ever. 

 

 

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.  ♛