Archive for the ‘Tips’ Category

SAFETY RECALLS

Thursday, January 11th, 2018

 

Beach Auto Brokers is committed to your safety regardless of the vehicle you drive.

An auto recall occurs when a manufacturer (or the NHTSA) determines that a car model (or several models) has a safety-related defect or does not comply with a federal safety standard. When this happens, the automaker will alert owners to the problem and usually offer a free repair.  Many owners, however, may not know that their vehicle has a recall and is in need a repair.

You can find up to date safety recall information online for your vehicle.  AND… The good news is that safety recalls fix problems recognized by the manufacturer with no cost to the consumer.

The bad news is that the majority of consumers ignore recalls, or don’t know about them all together.  A 2012 study done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that 25% of problems covered by recall notices still remain unrepaired. We want you to be safe on the road.  Checking for safety recalls on your vehicle is as easy as 1-2-3…

Step 1:     Locate your VIN and use the link provided below to check your vehicle for recalls through the NHTSA.
Step 2:     If you have an open recall, schedule a service appointment with the local dealership for your vehicle make to have the work performed.
Step 3:     Go in to have your recall work done FREE of charge.

Need help locating the VIN on your vehicle?  Check out this helpful illustration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consumer reports recommends that if you notice that something seems wrong with your vehicle, say something. Get involved. If your car develops a problem that you think could put you or someone else in danger, such as a fuel leak or a serious steering or braking defect that’s not related to wear and tear, report it to the automaker’s customer-service department and NHTSA’s safety hotline (www.safercar.gov). Automakers and the government depend on consumer complaints to find out about safety concerns and do something about them. If no one reports a problem, it’s as if it never existed.

Traveling This Fall!

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

This year’s Road Trip season is extending into the Fall, according to AAA*.  Friday, September 22nd, marks the official end of Summer and the Beginning of Autumn, but American’s don’t seem ready to stop traveling and taking vacations.

Traveling between Labor Day and Thanksgiving has its advantages…

  • You tend to get better value for your money since most vacation destinations are now in their “off-season”.
  • The weather is not too hot and not too cold – its just right!
  • Smaller crowds since its not the peak travel and vacation season.

So your probably wondering where to go… here are a few ideas:

  • Go see the Fall Foilage. Great places to visit are the NorthEast, New England, and the mountains of North Carolina or Colorado.
  • Get to one of the top 5 stateside mainland destinations:
    1. Orlando, Fl
    2. Anaheim, CA
    3. New York City
    4. Las Vegas
    5. Boston

If you decide to take your vehicle and hit the road this Fall, remember your travel safety!  Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Wear a seat belt every single time you’re in the car.
  • Restrain children in age-, height- and weight-appropriate car seats.
  • Don’t drive drunk or drugged; use a designated driver… or Uber or Lyft.
  • Get plenty of sleep before a car trip, and take regular breaks to stave off fatigue.
  • Avoid distracted driving by refraining from using smartphones or other devices while driving.
  • Check your vehicle’s tire pressure, wiper blades, fluid levels, lights and air conditioning before you hit the road.
  • Check for outstanding safety recalls on your car using the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s vehicle identification number lookup tool.
  • Pack an emergency roadside kit containing a mobile phone and charger, first-aid kit, flashlight, flares, jumper cables, drinking water and blankets.

Beach Auto Brokers has been in business since 1985, Driven by excellence and proudly serving the Hampton Roads community for over 30 years. The Beach Auto Brokers full inventory of vehicles is available for you to look at, test drive, and ask questions about.  And our knowledgeable staff is ready to help you.  And while you’re here, we’ll take a look at your current vehicle and tell you what it’s worth – on the retail market and the trade-in value.

*According to a new survey from roadside-assistance provider AAA, more than a quarter of respondents have at least one more big vacation planned for fall.

MOBILE BILLBOARDS!

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017

Politics… Colleges/Univerisites/Alma Maters… Family… Military… Musical Interests… Humor… Pop Culture… Sports/Fitness/Leisure… Pets… Brands… Controversial Issues/Positions…

Whatever your position is, people are using their vehicles to express themselves.  And others are leaving their vehicles to remain a blank canvas.  Those who love bumper stickers use their vehicle as a roving billboards to declare their love of god, country, schools, kids, dogs, or occasionally clever aphorisms.

It’s surprising to find that geographically, there are trends as to what people will put on their vehicle, whether men or women are more likely to put a bumper sticker on their vehicle, and the perceptions of other drivers in relation to those bumper stickers. A recent survey of more than 2,000 drivers nationwide provides us with some interesting data. The survey found that women were far more likely to have bumper stickers than men, with 63 percent saying they’d slapped one on their car. Men, meanwhile, were evenly split on the matter, with 50 giving in to the urge and 50 showing restraint.   In regional terms, folks from the South–particularly Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee–were the biggest fans of bumper stickers: 68 percent admitted that they had one or more on their car. The content of those bumper stickers varied, but the most popular fell into the broad category of sports, fitness, and leisure activities, followed closely by politics. Gun-themed stickers were the least popular, making up just four percent of the total.

Living in Hampton Roads, we are happy to report that bumper stickers showing support for the military were the most appreciated: 88% of study participants gave them a thumbs-up.  Marathon-related stickers came in second, with 80% saying that they approved of long-distance runners.

So “whether you’ve placed a witty slogan on the back of your whip or you’re using the rear of your ride as a billboard for political campaigns, bumper stickers help car owners add a layer of expression to their vehicles. Bumper stickers allow drivers to share their humor, successes, and allegiances in the form of adhesive statements.”

Beach Auto Brokers has been in business since 1985, Driven by excellence and proudly serving the Hampton Roads community for over 30 years. The Beach Auto Brokers full inventory of vehicles is available for you to look at, test drive, and ask questions about.  And our knowledgeable staff is ready to help you.  And while you’re here, we’ll take a look at your current vehicle and tell you what it’s worth – on the retail market and the trade-in value.

 

To read the entire survey results :  https://www.cheapcarinsurance.net/bumper-sticker-perceptions/

CARS, TRUCKS, & PET SAFETY!

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

Warm weather is here!  As the summer arrives, the temperatures go up, and we are all out enjoying the weather!  Lets take a minute to think about whether or not we’re taking our furry four-legged friends with us everywhere we go.  While we love to keep our pets with us, we need to think about their safety.  It can be dangerous to leave an animal in an unattended car, even with the windows open.  For certain outings, you may want to leave your pet at home.

Every year, hundreds of pets die from heat exhaustion because they are left in parked vehicles.  The temperature inside your vehicle can rise almost 20º F in just 10 minutes. In 20 minutes, it can rise almost 30º F…and the longer you wait, the higher it goes. At 60 minutes, the temperature in your vehicle can be more than 40 degrees higher than the outside temperature. Even on a 70-degree day, that’s 110 degrees inside your vehicle!

Your vehicle can quickly reach a temperature that puts your pet at risk of serious illness and even death, even on a day that doesn’t seem hot to you. And cracking the windows makes no difference.

So next time your headed out, and thinking of taking your furry four-legged friend along, consider if they will have to be left in the car at any time.  If so, you may want to rethink your decision and leave them in the comfortable A/C at home.

Beach Auto Brokers has been in business since 1985, Driven by excellence and proudly serving the Hampton Roads community for over 30 years. The Beach Auto Brokers full inventory of vehicles is available for you to look at, test drive, and ask questions about.  And our knowledgeable staff is ready to help you.  And while you’re here, we’ll take a look at your current vehicle and tell you what it’s worth – on the retail market and the trade-in value.

 

 

 

TAX SEASON IS AUTO SEASON!

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

It seems as though as soon as people find out how much money they are getting in their tax refund, the first thing they do is start thinking about how they are going to spend it… A wise choice might be to make a long-term investment for oneself… and buy a used car or truck.

It’s a simple fact, tax refunds and car loans are a good match*.  One of the main reasons is the chance for qualified buyers to use their tax refund for a down payment on a car. The average income tax refund in recent years has been around $3,000, and buyers may decide to use all or part of that check as money down.  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau tell us that a down payment may help when purchasing a vehicle because lowering the amount of money that needs to be borrowed may also lower the monthly payment and the total cost of financing.

Here’s why we think this could be a great idea for you!

Affordability: Generally speaking, with a used vehicle you’ll get more bang for your buck than you would by purchasing a brand new one – you are paying a lower purchase price for the same car model used rather than new.  Someone else already took that big depreciation hit, so you are more likely to get a car and maintain value!

Lower Long-Term Costs: Typically, when you purchase a used vehicle, monthly interest rates on a car loan for a used car will be lower, resulting in a lower monthly payment. In addition, your insurance rate on a used car is likely to be lower than on a new car.

Reliability: Today’s cars, trucks, SUVs and vans last longer than they did 30 or 40 years ago.  In 2015 (2 years ago!), IHS Automotive reported that the average car driving on American roads had reached a record high of 11.5 years of age. The auto industry think tank also predicts that by 2020, the number of 12-year-old vehicles still in operation will rise by 15 percent.  Modern vehicles are built to last longer than ever, which means you can save thousands and expect a long service life from a used car.

So now you may be wondering how to use that tax refund towards your used car or truck purchase… well, here’s a quick step-by-step guide that will help you drive away in your new pre-owned vehicle.

1 – Get your check from Uncle Sam.

2 – Calculate what you can afford.

3 – Decide whether you would be more comfortable with applying your tax refund as the down payment or using it to cover monthly payments.

4 – Identify what you want and what you can afford within your budget.

5 – Visit your local dealership to look at and test drive vehicles.  Most can help you with financing as well.

6 – Sign on the dotted line and drive away in your car or truck!!!

Beach Auto Brokers has been in business since 1985, Driven by excellence and proudly serving the Hampton Roads community for over 30 years. The Beach Auto Brokers full inventory of vehicles is available for you to look at, test drive, and ask questions about.  And our knowledgeable staff is ready to help you.  And while you’re here, we’ll take a look at your current vehicle and tell you what it’s worth – on the retail market and the trade-in value.

* These statements are informational suggestions only and should not be construed as legal, accounting, or professional advice, nor are they intended as a substitute for legal or professional guidance. Please consult a tax professional.

Traveling With Kids For The Holiday?

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

cute little boy driving a car

Are you looking forward to the aromas of a turkey roasting in the oven, stuffing, gravy, and all the fixings??  Don’t forget the pumpkin and apple pies that you’ll have for desert!  Thanksgiving is just around the corner!

Many people stay home and have family visit… and many travel to visit family.  If your traveling with kids, there are many challenges you may encounter… the first and foremost is probably how to entertain those kids in the car while you’re on the road.  Nothing derails a family car trip faster than bored kids in the backseat. A well-stocked activity bag can mute the “Are we there yet?” melody from the rear and help you log some serious miles in peace. Here are a few of our top picks of ideas to keep those kids occupied while you’re headed to visit your family and friends this holiday!

Tablets, laptops, and smartphones: At home, you probably limit access to these devices. But if you need to make some serious mileage, it’s okay to relax the rules on screen time. Download plenty of educational and just-for-fun games, music, and movies before leaving home.

White board and dry-erase pens: Kids can draw, play tic-tac-toe and hangman, or write notes to each other, wipe it all away, and start over.

Sticker and activity books: Extra great for toddlers. They allow kids to express creativity without using pens on the upholstery.

Crayons or markers: Markers are best for kids 3 and up, crayons for kids under 3. If you’re worried about your child drawing on the seats, try Color Wonder markers – they only leave marks on special paper.

Colored pipe cleaners or Wikki Stix: Make animals, people, jewelry, or just crazy shapes.

Busy boxes: Fill a few shoe boxes with flash cards, card games, Matchbox cars, Legos, little figurines and dolls, and other items. Your child can use the box’s lid as a playing surface, and decorate the box using stickers and crayons or markers.

Crafty toys: Drawing on an Etch-A-Sketch, Magna Doodle, or Aquadoodle can keep kids busy for miles. Toys that let them draw using a magnetic “magic wand” (like Wooly Willy) are also absorbing. All are easy for kids to hold in their lap and can be used again and again.

Beach Auto Brokers has been in business since 1985, Driven by excellence and proudly serving the Hampton Roads community for over 30 years. The Beach Auto Brokers full inventory of vehicles is available for you to look at, test drive, and ask questions about.  And our knowledgeable staff is ready to help you.  And while you’re here, we’ll take a look at your current vehicle and tell you what it’s worth – on the retail market and the trade-in value.

AUTUMN IS OFFICIALLY HERE

Monday, September 26th, 2016

AUTUMN VEHICLE MAINTENANCE

The lazy days of summer are over… for many of us, its back to the grind… and for others it never stopped.  The seasons are changing and the temperature is starting to drop.  With the crisp Autumn mornings come a good pumpkin spice latte and some fun festive fall decorations!

While you’re getting ready for the changing seasons, don’t forget that your vehicle needs to make sure it’s ready as well. Different temperatures and weather patterns can affect your vehicle’s abilities, so it’s important that you take this time to get your automobile checked out to ensure it’s safe. When you make a maintenance service appointment, we recommend that you make sure your mechanic checks these items.

  1.  Heaters & Defrosters – Fall morning frosts can come out of nowhere, so it’s important that you make sure your car’s heaters and defrosters are working. There’s nothing more annoying than being right on schedule to get to work on time, only to go outside and see your car’s windshield completely frosted over!
  2.  Windshield Wipers– Check to make sure your vehicle’s windshield wipers are streak and squeak-free now. Typically, drivers discover their wiper blades aren’t good when they really need them in the middle of a thunderstorm – don’t be one of those drivers.
  3.  Tires – Changing temperatures cause your tire pressure to fluctuate. Any time your tires aren’t properly inflated you are losing fuel efficiency and drivability! Check your tire pressure as well as tire tread. Slippery roads only intensify when the temperatures drop, so good tire tread of at least 3/32 inches is necessary.
  4.  Cooling System– While it may seem strange to check your cooling system when winter is coming, your cooling system is still very active when the temperatures drop. Especially make sure to have your mechanic look at your radiator, belts and hoses, as cold temperatures can especially affect these parts.
  5.  Steering and Suspension–Ask your mechanic look over your steering system, suspension and front-end alignment. We recommend getting this done at least once a year, and before winter sets in is a perfect time.
  6.  Oil Change– most vehicles require an oil change every 3,000-5,000 miles. Since your automobile is already going to be at the shop getting these other fall car maintenance services performed, there’s a good chance it’s due for an oil change as well! Make it easy on yourself and get this completed now as well, rather than having to make a special trip later.

Beach Auto Brokers has been in business since 1985, Driven by excellence and proudly serving the Hampton Roads community for over 30 years. The Beach Auto Brokers full inventory of vehicles is available for you to look at, test drive, and ask questions about.  And our knowledgeable staff is ready to help you.  And while you’re here, we’ll take a look at your current vehicle and tell you what it’s worth – on the retail market and the trade-in value.

It’s That Time Again… Back To School…

Saturday, August 6th, 2016

School books with apple on desk

It seems like only yesterday we were cheering for the last days of the school year and the lazy summer days to come. Unfortunately, time flies when you are having fun and the back-to-school season has somehow arrived! We know you are busy checking school supply lists and shopping all the back-to-school sales for great deals on the trendy must-haves for your little ones, but have you considered what you need to do to get your vehicle ready?

Now is the perfect time to make sure your car is at the top of its class. Whether you are preparing for busy mornings and afternoons full of activities, or sending your child off to college – Be prepared and get ready for this busy time!  Here are a few simple guidelines we recommend you follow:

  • Know your vehicle. And make sure that your child knows the vehicle as well.  Whether they are going to be in it with you on a daily basis, or if they are heading to college – make sure they know where safety equipment is located, how to get to and use the spare tire, and they know where the owner’s manual is located.
  • Check your dash. And make sure that your child knows that the dash board is an information center for the vehicle!  Don’t ignore warning lights!  If one is lit up, have it checked sooner rather than later.  If your child is taking the vehicle to school, make sure they know if something lights up they need to get it checked out immediately.
  • Always be prepared. Basic safety equipment should be kept in your vehicle – you never know when you’ll need something!  Jumper cables, a pair of gloves, flashlight with extra batteries, extra washer fluid, and a stocked first aid kit are a few items that we recommend you have on hand.  If you’re in an area with colder weather, you might want to also have a blanket, ice scraper and/or winter shovel, some bottled water, and a non-perishable snack.

Beach Auto Brokers has been in business since 1985, Driven by excellence and proudly serving the Hampton Roads community for over 25 years. The Beach Auto Brokers full inventory of vehicles is available for you to look at, test drive, and ask questions about.  And our knowledgeable staff is ready to help you.  And while you’re here, we’ll take a look at your current vehicle and tell you what it’s worth – on the retail market and the trade-in value.

Its HOT Outside

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

Every year we hear about winter driving conditions and how cold weather affects a vehicle’s performance. But summer heat can also wreak havoc on a vehicle and its function. The warm weather, hot roads, extended trips, and dry air combine to create a hostile work environment for your car.

A hot engine needs all the lubrication it can get, so keeping on top of engine oil changes is especially important during the summer months. Though some people believe it’s necessary to use a thicker grade of oil for summer (and a thinner oil for winter), this isn’t really the case with modern motor oils. The most important thing is to change the oil at regular intervals and use the oil viscosity recommended in the owner’s manual for your car. With the extra miles many people put on their vehicles during summer road trips, this may mean more frequent changes.

You can change your oil yourself!  Here’s how:

  1. Place an oil recovery pan (drain pan) underneath the engine. Let the car sit for 10 minutes to cool down before beginning.
  2. Open the hood of your vehicle and locate the oil cap on top of the engine. Remove the oil cap.
  3. Find the oil pan. Under your car, look for a flat metal pan closer to the engine than the transmission. Locate the drain plug.  Verify that is the engine oil drain plug, not the transmission drain plug. If you are unsure which is which, look for the exhaust. The exhaust is always attached to engine, as is the tube that travels from the front of the vehicle to the back. The oil pan and drain plug will be located below the engine.
  4. Remove the oil plug. Loosen the plug counter-clockwise using the proper sized socket or a crescent wrench if you have room to maneuver.
  5. It will take several minutes for all the oil to drain out of the car. When the oil has ceasing running out of the crankcase, replace the plug.
  6. Locate the filter assembly. Filters are not put in a standard position, so they can be on the front, back or side of the engine depending on the model.
  7. Unscrew the oil filter. First, try by hand to get a good grip and twist slowly and steadily, counter-clockwise. Make sure the drain pan is underneath the filter before fully removing the filter, this will help prevent spillage.
  8. Prepare the new filter. Dip the tip of your finger in the new replacement oil and smear it on the gasket ring of the new filter.
  9. Carefully screw on the new, lubricated filter, being careful to not cross the threads.
  10. Back on the top of the engine, place a funnel in the hole where the oil cap was.
  11. Begin to pour oil into the funnel until you’ve added the correct amount specified by your particular vehicle’s owner’s manual.
  12. Replace the cap and hand-tighten.

*Be sure to properly dispose of your old oil at a locally designated collection site in your area.

Fresh motor oil

Thanksgiving Travel Tips

Friday, November 20th, 2015

With Thanksgiving next week, a number of people are making their travel plans to visit family.  Spurred by cheap gas prices, millions of Americans plan to travel away from home by driving.

Traveling by car remains the preferred mode of travel for Thanksgiving.  Even a slight increase in people on roads might wreak havoc on families’ holiday plans — even Google Maps is trying to help travelers reach their destinations.  The organization released travel tips Tuesday using data from Thanksgiving 2014.

So what are travelers to do this busy time of year?  For starters, keep track of traffic trends.  Google Maps can report to you which day of the week is the worst traffic day, and you can plan your travels on the other days or at times when traffic will be the least crowded.

Here are a few more tips for families planning to travel for Thanksgiving.

– Don’t overpack.  Most travelers know not to haul too many belongings with them — but that doesn’t mean they won’t.  The more weight you put in the truck of your car, the harder your car has to work to get you where you are going.

– Utilize apps.  You never know what you might encounter on the road.  Apps aid in booking hotels, checking finances and keeping track of scheduled events.

– Be an early bird.  Not all people have the option of kicking off their Thanksgiving break early, but those who can avoid issues.  Not only should you think about getting on the road early in the morning, but if you can consider traveling a few days early.

– Consider alternative routes.  There aren’t really any undiscovered shortcuts during the holidays – at least none that we know of.  But those routes of the “alternative” sort might be the next best thing.  Here’s where those Apps could come in handy.  Use an App like Waze to get you moving on a new, less trafficked route.

– Think strategy.  Always have a plan B.  There might be an accident ahead of you and you need to be prepared to possibly be stuck in traffic.  Have a stash of necessities ready in the car with you.

– Keep your wits.  People might forget potential dangers like identity theft during the holiday bustle.  That’s why safeguarding devices before traveling, making sure passwords are unique and avoiding public Wi-Fi should remain top priorities even when arriving at a destination on time seems most important.

– Account for the kids.  Snacks go a long way in keeping kids from getting cranky.  If treats fail to keep youngsters calm, you might need to pull to the side of the road and just take a break.  Be sure to choose a state rest area or safe exit, don’t pull onto the side of an interstate.

– Keep pets hydrated.  Families taking furry friends on trips don’t have to worry about summer heat, but they should pack a cooler, blanket and harness.

Beach Auto Brokers has been in business since 1985, Driven by excellence and proudly serving the Hampton Roads community for over 25 years. The Beach Auto Brokers full inventory of vehicles is available for you to look at, test drive, and ask questions about.  And our knowledgeable staff is ready to help you.  And while you’re here, we’ll take a look at your current vehicle and tell you what its worth – on the retail market and the trade-in value.