Keeping it Fresh: Ways to Keep Your Car Smelling Clean

With the amount of time you spend in your car, it can be a challenge to keep it smelling fresh. If you have one car and kids and pets, it can quickly start to smell like a garbage truck. Here are some ways to keep your car smelling clean and fresh.

Little Trees Air Fresheners – If you like the classic hanging tree air freshener, these come in over 36 different aromas. The downside of these fresheners is the overpowering immediate scent that only freshens for a couple of weeks. The plus side is that they are inexpensive, and you can enjoy a different scent every few weeks! Starting at $1.99

Febreze Air Freshener – These small, vent style fresheners come in several different aromas and can be adjusted to control the scent level. Left on the low setting, these can last for up to 45 days. Starting at $2.99

Ozium Vanilla Spray Air Freshener – Originally designed for use in hospitals, Ozium not only smells faintly of vanilla, but can also reduce airborne bacteria. It also works well to eliminate lingering smoke smells. Once sprayed, it almost immediately eliminates any odor and can linger for up to two weeks. Starting at $8.99

Chemical Guys AIR _102 Odor Eliminator – This odor eliminator is specifically for vehicles with leather interiors, restoring the original scent of leather. Use it sparingly, as it can leave a strong, overpowering fragrance if used too frequently. Starting at $9.99

California Home Goods Odor Eliminator – This is a small bag that can hung from the coat hook over the rear door. It contains carbon-activated bamboo charcoal that eliminates odors without a strong perfume scent. It can also help reduce mildew formation. To reactivate this freshener, simply place it in the sun for 2 hours every month. Starting at $13.49

PURGGO Car Air Freshener – This air freshener attaches to back of the front seat and contains no spray, gel, ionizers, plastic or fragrance. It contains 100% bamboo charcoal that acts like a sponge, absorbing odors and trapping them. It works around the clock and can last up to a year! Starting at $19.99

Sununitec Sun-C200 – This round, wooden model mounts to the air conditioner vent. It releases a lemon scent with the accent of wood. Once the scent is gone, this freshener can still be used by adding your favorite essential oil. Starting at $29.95

Top Trunk Organizers of 2019

With holiday shopping season fast approaching, finding ways to organize your trunk or giving the gift of organization to a loved one may be on your list of things to do. Here are some of the top-rated trunk organizers of 2019 to help you maximize your trunk space.

Honey-Can-Do Folding Trunk Organizer – a great, inexpensive option that has two roomy compartments with several pockets around the outside.

Dimensions: 13 x 25.5 x 13.25 inches
Starting at $10.00

Homeve Car Trunk Organizer – Suitable for any size trunk, the Homeve organizer is collapsible and has three inside storage compartment with several different size pockets around the outside. It also comes in several different colors.

Dimensions: 22.5 x 15 x 13.4 inches
Starting at $22.99

Higher Gear Car Trunk Organizer – This organizer was rated easiest to carry making it a great option for transporting items to and from your vehicle.

Dimensions: 23 x 14 x 12 inches
Starting at $24.99

Starling’s Car Trunk Organizer – This option is durable, collapsible and has a nonslip waterproof bottom. It comes in several colors. There are removable dividers inside and 10 pockets outside.

Dimensions: 23.5 x 15.5 x 12 inches
Starting at $29.99

Maid Max Cargo Trunk Organizer with Lid – Like to have your clutter hidden? Need a place to hide that special gift? This organizer is perfect – it has a lid! It comes with adjustable dividers for the inside and has several outside pockets with flaps.

Dimensions: 14 x 23 x 13 inches
Starting at $35.99

Rola M.O.V.E. Rigid-Base Trunk Organizer– This is a solid organizer that is ideal for small, compact cars. The dividers can be adjusted to make the inside compartment any size. This is one of the pricier options, but reviewers state that it is well made and built to last.

Dimensions: 38 x 15 x 7 inches
Starting at $59.99

Ways to Improve Your Gas Mileage

With gas prices constantly fluctuating, it never hurts to know some ways to improve your gas mileage. While you may not be able to practice all of these all the time, here’s a few simple ways to increase your gas mileage whenever possible.

Refuel in the morning – Did you know that a gallon of gas in the morning is not the same as a gallon of gas later in the day? Why? Most large fuel tanks are buried underground. In the morning the ground is colder. As the ground temperature rises, the gasoline expands, making it less dense. If you fill your fuel tank a couple times a week, you could save between $5-$10 each month by refueling first thing in the morning!

Replace your air filter – If the engine air filter is clogged with dust and debris, your engine has to work harder than it should to get enough air to mix with the fuel, causing an increase in fuel consumption. Replacing the air filter can instantly improve your gas mileage up to 15%!

Don’t put the pedal to the metal – Revving the engine or accelerating quickly burns more gas. Accelerating more slowly will not only improve your gas mileage but could also extend the life of your engine.

Watch the weight – Keeping the weight in your vehicle to a minimum when possible can make a big difference in the gas mileage. If you’ve literally got junk in your trunk, time for a clean-out!

Inflate your tires – Keeping your tires inflated to the proper level reduces their rolling resistance, so your vehicle doesn’t have to work so hard. Many newer cars come with tire pressure monitoring systems – if that dash light goes on, don’t ignore it.

Avoid prolonged idling – At idle, you are literally getting zero miles per gallon. If you’re going to be sitting longer than 10 seconds, turn off the engine. Contrary to popular belief, starting doesn’t use more fuel than idling in modern cars.

Use cruise control – If your car is equipped with cruise control, it helps to maintain a consistent speed and can reduce the need to accelerate or brake helping to improve efficiency. If your car has it, adaptive cruise control is even better for this.

Use the Air Conditioning Wisely – Here in the southeast, you need your AC, but whenever possible roll the windows down or reduce the setting on the air conditioning. It makes a big difference on fuel costs over time.

It might be interesting to fill your gas tank and make no immediate changes and calculate the mpg. Then make as many of the above changes as possible and calculate the mpg again and hopefully you will notice a difference!

Top-Rated All-Season Tires of 2019

We all know tires are important to how our vehicle handles. With so many options out there, it can be overwhelming trying to select the right one. They are often an unplanned expense, making it easy to fall into the trap of going with the cheapest option. What many don’t realize is not only are tires an important factor in vehicle handling, but they also play a part in fuel economy and noise levels. Here are a few of the top-rated all-season tires of 2019 to help you make a more informed decision the next time you find yourself in the market.

Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3

These tires are great for sports cars and most sedans. They handle extremely well at high speeds and provide ultimate traction on asphalt and concrete. These tires are great for both highway and city driving. The biggest con to this tire is that it comes with a complicated warranty.

Weight: 29lbs

Starting around $150 per tire

Goodyear Assurance Tripletred

These tires are ideal for minivans, sedans and small pickups due to their 6,000lb maximum load capacity. They handle extremely well and are a smooth ride on asphalt and concrete, but do not handle well in dirt. They come with a great warranty.

Weight: 23lbs

Starting around $150 per tire

Michelin Defender LTX

These tires are ideal for vans, full-size pickups and SUVs. They handle great on highways and city roads and come with a 70,000-mile warranty. They are great in wet conditions, but do not handle well off road. These tires can also increase your fuel economy if properly cared for.

Weight: 39lbs

Starting around $210 per tire

Pirelli Zero Nero

These tires are a high quality, inexpensive option for most cars. These tires are known for their noise reduction qualities. They handle great off road, too.

Weight: 29lbs

Starting around $180 per tire

Yokohama Avid Descend Radial Tire

These are an outstanding tire for most cars with a low sticker price and can improve your fuel economy. The downside of these tires is that you will need to monitor the tire pressure more frequently.

Weight: 19.5lbs

Starting around $100

Michelin Primacy

These tires handle well in rain and light snow with great road traction. They handle well at high speed and can improve your fuel economy. These tires are suitable for most sedans, minivans and crossover vehicles.

Weight: 20lbs

Starting around $115

No matter what tire you choose, maintaining proper tire pressure, rotating the tires at the recommended mileage, and making sure the wheels are properly aligned are critical to getting the best handling and mileage out of your tires

Holiday Gift Ideas For Your Car Enthusiast

Believe it or not, the holidays are just around the corner. It’s time to start thinking about that perfect gift for the car enthusiast or person who travels often for work on your list. Don’t be caught off guard with this list of the top car gadgets of 2019!

HaloVa Car Glasses Holder – While many vehicles come with a compartment to hold sunglasses, this visor sunglass holder can not only hold glasses but is perfect for clipping pens, business cards or important papers. Starting at $10.

Zone Tech Car Swivel Tray and Storage Bin – Perfect for that person on your list who travels frequently for work, this round swivel tray connects to the cup holder. It’s perfect for lunch while working from the car or just holding those necessary items. Starting at $14.

Alexa-Enabled Roav Viva Car Charger – This phone charger not only charges your phone, it is also enabled with Alexa allowing you access to voice controlled navigation, hands free calling and music streaming. It will even allow you to control smart devices in your home. Starting at $20.

Armor All Car Vacuum Cleaner – This 12V Car Vac is compact, light, and easy to use. It can pick up wet and dry debris. It also has a built-in crevice tool and LED light for nighttime use. Starting at $25.

iOttie Easy One Touch Fast Charging Dash and Windshield Mount – A phone mount and charger all in one, it adjusts to fit any size phone. The telescopic arm allows for adjustable positioning. Make sure your gift recipients device is Qi-enabled, first, or it won’t charge. Starting at $25.

Palmoo Car Back Seat Organizer – Another great item for the person who works on the road, this leather organizer has 9 pockets perfectly sized for a tablet, phone, chargers, beverages, etc. Starting at $27.

WheelMate Extreme Vehicle Desk – Turn your vehicle into a mobile workspace. The desk is designed to attach to the steering wheel while parked and is large enough to hold a laptop comfortably. Starting at $37 for basic model and $90 with tablet or computer mount.

Nonda ZUS Smart Tire Safety Monitor – This device lets you track your vehicle’s tire pressure on your mobile phone, allowing you to track a slow leak before it is too late. It is also equipped with a USB port to charge other devices and comes with an anti-theft locking system. Starting at $100.

Handpresso Auto Hybrid Coffee Maker – Yes, this is exactly what you think it is – an automatic coffee maker that plugs into your car cigarette lighter and fits into most cup holders! In two minutes you have a freshly brewed cup of coffee! It works with pods and ground coffee. Starting at $160.

6 Factors to Keep in Mind When Buying For Your New Driver

Your young driver’s dream car probably isn’t the most practical or safest choice. Using the car buying experience to research the best options is a great way to help your child make informed adult decisions. Here are some important factors to keep in mind when purchasing a vehicle for the young person in your life.

Sticker Price

The bottom line is most likely the deciding factor when purchasing that perfect vehicle for your child. Keep in mind when looking at the sticker price that makes and models that hold their value better than others are usually more reliable and last longer. Make it easy on yourself by shopping a no-haggle dealership like US Auto Sales.

Reliability

The last thing a parent needs to worry about is whether their child is going to end up stranded on the side of the road. Some cars are more reliable than others. Doing your homework first will make it easier to steer clear of some of those vehicles your child may gravitate towards. Also, a vehicle history report from Carfax is a must. US Auto Sales provides a Carfax report with every used vehicle and a limited warranty to add to your peace of mind.

Safety

Most cars now come with safety features like anti-lock brakes and airbags standard, but take the time to look at which vehicles ranked highest in safety. Again, look at the car’s history and whether or not it might have suffered any structural damage due to an accident.

Fuel Efficiency

It is easy to get wrapped up in the other factors of used car buying and forget some of the long-term factors of car ownership. Fuel efficiency is critical as this is an everyday expense. Helping your new driver calculate the cost of fuel for different vehicles they might be considering might help them make a more practical decision.

Features and Add-ons

Although most features and add-ons increase the sticker value, some might help sway you’re a young driver to go with something more practical. For example, a used car that has an upgraded stereo system might be enough to convince your new driver to go with the more fuel efficient, safer vehicle. Also, it might be worth the additional cost for some added safety features such as a back-up camera or GPS.

Insurance Costs

The cost of insuring a young driver can be prohibitive. Take the time to call your insurance company. It could save you a huge chunk of change. Sometimes choosing the same model in a different model year can make a big difference in the insurance cost. Use this as a learning experience to instill good car purchase decision-making in the future.

Taking the time to do your homework before heading over to US Auto Sales will make the car buying experience with your new driver much more enjoyable and increase the likelihood that both of you will be happy with the outcome.

Eco-friendly Car Cleaning Products of 2019

There are three main reasons to avoid harsh chemicals when cleaning your vehicle. Over time, harsh chemicals can damage the interior and can cause paint to lose its luster. Harsh chemicals are also bad for the environment. Using harsh cleaning agents, especially inside your vehicle, can be detrimental to your health. Fortunately, there are several companies that make natural products that work as well or better than the chemical-heavy products. Eco Touch, Chemical Guys, President’s Choice and Simple Green are the most popular companies with the largest variety of products. Here are some of their top-rated cleaning products of 2019 as well as a couple other great ideas to keep your car clean while also being health- and environmentally-conscious.

Eco Touch Car Wash Shampoo – This car wash shampoo is plant-based, biodegradable, non-toxic and phosphate-free. It gently removes dirt and grime without removing wax or polish.

Eco Touch Waterless Car Wash – a spray and wipe product that requires no water. Use this between washes to maintain the shine. Both environmentally friendly and labor saving!

Chemical Guys Ecosmart Ready to Use Car Wash and Wax – Another product that requires no water. It not only cleans the vehicle but provides a layer of protection and added shine.

Chemical Guys CWS 301 Citrus Wash and Gloss Concentrate – This highly concentrated product uses only a capful of concentrate for every 5 gallons of water. It foams up well to pull dirt and grime away from the surface for scratch free rinsing. Added bonus: because the cleaning agent is citrus-based, it smells really good!

Simple Green All-Wheel Cleaner – can be used to remove dirt and brake dust as well shine tires. The non-corrosive formula will not harm your tires even if overused.

Steam Cleaner – a steam cleaner works beautifully on cloth seats and carpet without chemicals. You might even be able to rent one!

Pro-tip: A detailing company secret – use a small paintbrush to clean vents and crevices. Cotton swabs work pretty well, too, particularly for dusting vents!

Keep your US Auto Sales car clean while protecting both your health and the environment!

Five Ways U.S. Auto Goes the Extra Mile for You

Buying a used car can come with some challenges and stress. It is difficult to know exactly what you are buying and how it’s been maintained. Buying a used car can also be frustrating, taking too much time out of your schedule. Choosing the right dealership that stands behind what they sell is extremely important. US Auto does just that. Here are 5 ways US Auto goes the extra mile so you can feel confident in your purchase.

30 Day/1000 Mile Limited Warranty – We believe in the vehicles we sell. That’s why we include a 30 day/1000 miles limited powertrain warranty with every vehicle. We also provide the CarFax so that you can examine the car’s history before you buy it.

Five Day/300 Mile Exchange –Sometimes you buy a vehicle thinking it is exactly what you want, but then after a couple days of driving it, it just doesn’t feel right. Maybe it’s a little tight, or you can’t see out of the mirrors the way you want, no matter how much you adjust them. With other dealerships, once you drive it off the lot there is no turning back. That’s not the case with us. You’ve got 5 days or 300 miles to decide if the car is truly right. If not, you can exchange it for another vehicle that is a better fit. This brings another level of comfort to the used car buying experience.

Free Transfers for Qualified Buyers – Is your dream car at one of the other 25 US Auto locations? Provided that you qualify and have the necessary down payment to purchase the vehicle, we’ll bring the vehicle to the location most convenient to you. This can be a game changer when you have limited time in your schedule.

Your Ride to Drive – Purchasing a vehicle not because you want to but because you have to? Does your car no longer pass inspection or no longer turns over? If that is the case, We’ll pick you up and bring you to your choice of one of our 25 locations within a 30 mile radius once you have completed the online prequalification application. This is another way they go the extra mile to help reduce the stress of buying a new vehicle.

90 minutes or $300 Discount – Have you ever been approved for a vehicle and then spent the rest of the day sitting around the dealership while the paperwork is put together? Or, even worse, been told to come back the next day? At US Auto, we value your time. We guarantee that once you are approved for your selected vehicle, we’ll have the paperwork ready to sign within 90 minutes or we’ll take $300 off the purchase price.

We’ve tried to think of all the stresses that come with buying a used car and done everything we can to reduce that stress and make your car buying experience a positive one.

It’s leaf-peeping season!

While it’s sad to have to say goodbye to summer, with the changing of the season comes the changing colors of the leaves!  There’s very little more pleasant than packing up a picnic on a cool fall day and heading out into the woods to see the colors of the changing leaves.

As this is being written, here in the southeast foliage season is just beginning, with minimal changes in the far northern parts of Georgia, western North Carolina, and east Tennessee. What do all these areas have in common? They’re at higher elevations. Two keys to seeing more leaves this time of year – the further north and the higher up you go, the more color change you’re going to see.

Peak fall foliage season in north Georgia begins about the 2nd week in November, but if you’re in a hurry, it’s nearly at its peak the first week. By mid-November, the foliage peak is in the Atlanta metro area, directly east and west, and the coastal Carolinas south of the Neuse River. If you’re a procrastinator, or you live south of the Atlanta metro, the 3rd week of November finds the foliage peak in the southern part of the state, south of Macon. If you decide to head that way for longer than a day trip, I’d also recommend a visit to the Americus area – it’s very rural, so you’ll see lots of foliage, but there are a number of quaint small towns in the area as well.

Once you get to the end of November, you’ll have to head to Florida or Mobile, Alabama to see any color, as most of the leaves will have fallen off the trees in Georgia, Alabama, and the Carolinas.

Now that you know when, here are a few great drives in the southeast for foliage viewing:

  • Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Tennessee – the great diversity of trees and terrain in the Smokies make for a gorgeous fall palette. Want to see how it looks? Check out their web-cam.
  • Mount Cheaha, Alabama – The Creek Indians didn’t name this mountain “high place” for nothing. At over 2,400 above sea level, it’s the highest point in Alabama. They’ve also got a foliage cam.
  • Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, Georgia – drive your US Auto Sales car to the historic depot in downtown Blue Ridge and wind your way along the Toccoa River in a historic railcar. Make a reservation a few weeks in advance, as these trips are popular in fall.
  • Brasstown Bald, Georgia – This is the state’s highest peak, nestled among some of the most beautiful mountains in the state. You can see quite a lot from the parking area, or take a short hike to the observation deck at the very top.
  • Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina – wending its way through national parks and the beautiful arts community of Asheville, you will not be disappointed by time spend in the North Carolina mountains. If you want to go the distance, you can take it all the way to Charlottesville, Virginia, and the beginnings of Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah Valley.

Top Bike Racks of 2019

Fall is a great time for biking with the cooler weather and less traffic. Having the right bike rack can make exploring new areas easier and more enjoyable. Here are some of the best rated options ranging in price and styles.

Roof Racks

Yamika ForkLift Rooftop Bike Rack fits almost any vehicle with flat, round or square crossbars. It requires no tools for installation. It installs in minutes and locks using a skewer with an adjustment knob for quick single-handed release.

Cost: Starting at $180.00

Cycling Deal Bike Car Roof Rack is a great budget-friendly option. It’s a frame mount model that clips on to the bike frame so you do not need to take the wheel off. It fits various crossbars in square and aero shapes. It uses a locking knob to secure the bike safely to the rack.

Cost: Starting at $95.00

Swagman Standard Roof Rack carries a single bike regardless of its size, type, or purpose. It is a fraction of the cost of similar models, but the quality gives it good bang for the buck. It is a fork mount model so you need to remove the wheel. You also need to assemble the wheel tray.

Cost: Starting at $45

Hitch Bike Racks

Thule T2 Pro XT 2 Bike Rack was highly rated due to its high quality and easy installation, but it is on the high end when it comes to cost. It is a platform style and can carry 2 bikes up 60 pounds in weight. It also includes a hitch and bike locks.

Cost: Starting at $430.00

Yamika FullTilt 4 Bike Rack is a hanging support style hitch mount that holds up to 4 bikes with a 40lb weight max per bike. There a lot of pieces to this mount, but once you have installed it a couple times it isn’t as daunting as it might appear initially. This ranked highest when it came to security due to its anti-theft measures. The hitch and bikes are locked using the same key.

Cost: Starting at $385.00

Kuat Transfer Universal 2 Bike Hitch Mount is a platform style hitch mount that is extremely easy to install with just a single bolt attaching it to your receiver. This also tilts outward to be able to access the trunk. This mount can hold 2 bikes up to 40 pounds each.

Cost: Starting at $300.00

Trunk Racks

Thule Raceway 2 Trunk Mount Bike Rack offers an excellent range of features and the quality that comes with the Thule name. It has a simple easy to use design, but the downfall is that it doesn’t fit all cars so make sure it is compatible with your vehicle. This mount holds 2 bikes with a 35 pound max for each bike. It also includes hitch and bike locks.

Cost: Starting at $350.00

Hollywood Racks Baja Trunk Mounted Bike Rack is a high-quality, versatile rack that fits an impressive number of vehicles and is quite reasonable with a price tag of just over $100. This rack will hold up to 2 bikes but doesn’t state the weight limit.

Cost: Starting around $100.00

Saris Bones 2-Bike Trunk Rack is strong yet lightweight and can hold 2 bikes up to 35lbs each. Saris offers expert installation, but the directions are easy to follow and leaves a comfortable amount of space between the trunk and bikes. This mount attaches to most vehicles including hatchbacks, sedans, minivans and more.

Cost: Starting around $160.00

Now you should find it easy to carry a couple bikes on your US Auto Sales car!