Category Archives: My Dealership

Cars parked in a dealership lot

Does U.S. Auto Sales Offer a Limited Warranty on Sold Vehicles?

Benefits of Purchasing a Used Car from U.S. Auto Sales

After buying a used vehicle, the last thing you want is to have that car break down shortly after purchase. How can you stay protected? How can you ensure that the vehicle you bought is of high quality? Here at U.S. Auto Sales, we offer various benefits for our customers to enjoy, including a limited powertrain warranty on every sold vehicle bought from us.

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Worker cleaning the seats inside of a car

What U.S. Auto Sales is Doing to Protect Your Health

Sanitizing and Social Distancing Measures at U.S. Auto Sales

Concerned about the safety of visiting one of our many locations? We understand the severity of the situation and are taking necessary and strict sanitation and distancing measures to help reduce the spread of Coronavirus. Watch this short video to see what we are doing to protect you and all of our employees during this unprecedented health crisis.

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What Oil is Best for Your Vehicle?

You stop for gas. You check the oil in your car. You need to add a quart. You go inside the convenience store. You find several options. You leave because you don’t know which one is right for your vehicle.

You go to your local oil change place. You’re asked if you want synthetic oil. You hear the difference in price, and say no immediately. You’re uncertain if you did the right thing.

If you’ve ever been in one of these situations, this blog post is for you.

Every type of oil has a different purpose related to the type of engine, the age of your vehicle, and the climate in which you drive. You might be surprised to know that over the course of time, it might be less expensive and more beneficial to switch to synthetic oil. Here is what you need to know about the different types of motor oils that might help you determine which type is best for your vehicle.

Decoding the label

Look at the label on the oil. There’s usually a number, followed by a W, followed by another number, like 5W-20 or 10W-40. The first number refers to the viscosity rating of the oil, which refers to its ability to flow in colder temperatures. The second number is the weight of the oil in warmer temperatures.

What does this mean to you? Unless you live in an area where temperatures reach extremes, then all you need to do is match the numbers on the bottle with the numbers on your oil filler cap. If your oil filler cap doesn’t have numbers on it, refer to your owner’s manual. This would be unusual, but if your filler cap was replaced, it’s possible.

Your owner’s manual may have a chart with oil recommendations based on temperature ranges, similar to the chart below. If it does, use the oil recommended for the temperatures you drive in most frequently according to the chart in your manual.

Synthetic versus Conventional Motor Oil

Your owner’s manual may have a recommendation here as well. Many modern cars require synthetic oil, and if so, you should follow that requirement in your owner’s manual. If there is no requirement for synthetic oil, you still may want to consider it.

Although synthetic oil is more expensive than conventional oil, it offers better protection for your car’s engine, potentially prolonging engine life. Synthetic oil:

  • Provides better protection from extreme temperatures.
  • Prevents deposits and sludge build-up better than conventional oil.
  • Reduces break down when towing or hauling heavy loads.
  • Requires less frequent changes.
  • Can extend the life of your older vehicle.

If you tend to take shorter trips or do a lot of in town driving, synthetic oil is the better choice. Conventional motor oil may not get warm enough to burn off moisture and impurities.

Switching from conventional to synthetic motor oil will not harm your vehicle, but it is important to stay with the same viscosity and weight. Regardless of which route you choose to go, it is important to get your oil changed as recommended and periodically check your oil level to ensure that your engine is lubricated properly.

Top Rated GPS Apps and Standalone Devices for Your Vehicle

You have your US Auto Sales car, and the road beckons. But how do you get where you’re going? Those roadmaps from the local convenience store aren’t going to cut it anymore. Here are the best mapping apps for your phone, and a few standalone devices that don’t require internet access.

Google Maps – Google Maps is an outstanding GPS navigation system compatible with both Android and iPhone. Not only does it give you accurate information on directions, but it will also automatically reroute you based on live traffic, construction, and accidents. The app also gives many local suggestions for food, activities, events, etc. Bonus – if your vehicle supports Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, you can use it right from the touch screen in your vehicle.

Waze – This app is a favorite among the younger generation. It not only navigates, but warns you about police sightings, hazards, and will reroute you based on traffic, construction, and accidents. It also has a feature that will allow you to record your voice or anyone else’s to use as your navigation, and you can even play music through it.

Sygic GPS Navigation – Heading a little farther off the beaten path? Sygic offers reliable off-line maps as well as real time traffic information. Maps are updated multiple times a year at no additional cost. It keeps track of your speed, warns you when you go over the limit, and has many other safety features as well.

MAPS ME – Another off-line navigation app, MAPS ME keeps up to date with any changes to road conditions. You can use this navigation system anytime and it will also bookmark your favorite locations. Another good option for spotty or non-existent internet.

Standalone GPS Devices

Garmin DriveSmart 55 and Traffic – An excellent entry-level device from a well-known GPS navigation company, the DriveSmart55 has a responsive touchscreen and easily mounts to the windshield. Unfortunately, it only covers 49 states. Maps for other regions must be purchased separately. Starting at $149.99.

Atoto A6 Double Din Android Car Navigation Stereo – This GPS device stands out from the crowd because it is not only a GPS navigation system but also includes popular music apps and radio features and Bluetooth. It’s a little buggy, though, with reviewers reporting occasional screen freezes and audio loss. Starting at $159.99.

Tom Tom GO 620 6-inch GPS Navigation Device – Tom Tom is known for accuracy and fast signal, but some feel that it not as easy to use as other systems. It has 3-D imaging, voice control and hands-free calling. The downside is that it must be linked to a smart phone to access live traffic data. Starting at $209.99.

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!

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!

How to Avoid the Temptation of Distracted Driving

Distracted driving has become an epidemic in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 9 people are killed every day in distracted driving related accidents – 3,285 people a year.

Even with 48 states having laws against texting and driving, people still take unnecessary chances. Checking a text message at 55 miles per hour is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field blindfolded. Thirteen states have made use of any handheld devices while driving illegal.

Although hands-free devices allow both hands to remain on the wheel, it is still distracting to interact with someone who is not aware of driving conditions. Many people argue that calling someone using a hands-free device is no different than talking to a passenger, but research shows passengers will instinctively stop talking to adjust to changing driving conditions.

What can be done to help those tempted to pick up their phone or teenagers to avoid checking that incoming text? Here are some suggestions that might help.

  1. Turn the phone off – This sounds simple, but many find it hard to completely disconnect. If missing an important text or phone call is a concern, plan times to pull over and check the phone in a safe location.
  2. Put your phone out of reach – If you can’t completely disconnect, putting your phone out of reach will require pulling over to answer a text or return a phone call.
  3. Phone Apps– There are several apps available that disable texting. Here are a few highly-rated options:
  1. Autobeacon Teen Drive – This app not only disables texting, but parents can set it to notify them of the number of passengers in the vehicle, if their teen is going above the posted speed limit, if the music is excessively loud or if seatbelts are not being used. It can also be set to track location.
  2. Down for the Count – This app rewards you with credits towards gift cards for hours of phone free driving. To activate, simply open the app and press start. It does the rest. If a text is answered, no credits are earned for that trip.
  3. Motovate Safe Driving – This app also rewards safe driving with incentives. It can also help break other bad driving habits such as speeding and braking too hard.
  4. One Tap – This app not only disables texting but will send a message back to the person attempting to make contact.

Do your part! Not only can you reduce the number of preventable road accidents, you can help protect the integrity of your US Auto Sales car!

5 Important Defensive Driving Reminders

Do you remember sitting in Driver’s Ed, overwhelmed by the number of rules and the amount of safety information you were expected to learn? How about during your driving instruction, being scared of driving off the road or not braking fast enough and hitting the car in front of you. Don’t you wish someone would have told you a few key points to remember so you could relax? Well, here they are. Share them with that new driver in your life.

  • Stay focused. We live in a fast-paced world. People pride themselves in being able to multitask. Unfortunately, too many people attempt to do that while driving. It is not uncommon to see people eating, listening to music with headphones, texting, applying makeup or even reading. This makes it that much more important for new drivers to focus on driving and only driving. Many states have rules around new drivers not having passengers in their car. The main reason for this is to avoid distraction.
  • Check your six. Ever jump into a rental car, take off, and realize you haven’t adjusted the mirrors? This is an easy thing to forget, but mirrors are like another set of eyes in the back of our head. The more we can see the better. However, no matter how well we adjust the mirrors, there will always be a blind spot, so make sure to still look over your shoulder to make sure you didn’t miss that approaching car on the highway.
  • Keep your distance. Don’t tailgate. We have all been guilty of this at one point or another. The day we are running late is the day we get behind the person driving 5 miles under the speed limit. The reality is whether we are riding their bumper or 10 yards back, they will still be going 5 miles under the speed limit. It will be even more frustrating for them to stop quick and you slam into the back of their car? Give yourself the space to be able to stop safely. Allow more distance at increased speeds and in inclement weather.
  • Slow down at all intersections. A yellow light does not mean speed up! Slowing down when approaching will allow you to stop safely if the light changes or the person in front of you stops quickly. 4-way stops can be tricky because cars often approach at the same time. When in doubt, let the other person go first.
  • Pay attention to road signs. This may seem obvious, but how many times have you been driving along thinking about something else and suddenly realize your lane is closed ahead for construction? Signs are not only there to keep you safe, but paying attention to them can save you a lot of money. In many states speeding fines are doubled in construction and school zones.

Stay safe out there!

Don’t Drive Drowsy: 5 Important Tips to Stay Alert at the Wheel

We all know the dangers of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but many people forget that driving while tired can be just as dangerous. When people are tired, their focus is impaired, and their response time is negatively impacted. Some people nod off and appear as if they are driving drunk. Here’s how to avoid finding yourself too tired to drive.

  • Hydrate – Although people gravitate to coffee and energy drinks when trying to stay awake and alert, these are only a quick, temporary fix. Just like sugar, caffeine will work temporarily, but when it wears off, it can leave you feeling even more exhausted. Staying hydrated is more effective for a longer time. Studies show that drinking 16-32 ounces of water immediately after waking up helps you become more alert faster and stay feeling alert longer. Instead of stopping for that extra cup of java, try drinking a couple glasses of water before that next trip and give yourself a little more time for an extra bathroom pit stop.
  • Eat Right – Many people reach for sugary treats for that quick pick me up when they start to get tired. Although it does work initially, the “sugar high” wears off quickly, leaving you more tired than before – the “crash and burn”. To avoid literally crashing, choose healthy, small snacks low in processed sugar and high in protein. They are more apt to keep you alert and give you more consistent energy. Nuts, fruit, or granola paired with that bottle of water are much better choices for extended car rides.
  • Cat Nap – Taking cat naps have been proven to give us a “second wind.” If you are unable to take a short siesta before that next car ride and find yourself nodding off, accept defeat. Pull off at the next safe spot, lean that seat back and doze for 15 to 20 minutes. Any longer and you might go into a deep sleep causing you to wake up groggy and more tired than before.
  • Know Your Danger Zone – We all have times of day when we are more tired. If 3-5pm is your danger zone, try to avoid driving during this time if you can. If you must drive at that time, drink extra water and eat a healthy snack before you hit the road.
  • Share Driving – When possible, it is always a good idea to share driving with someone else. Even if you prefer to be the driver, allowing someone to drive for even an hour will give you that necessary break to recharge.

Driving drowsy is not something to take lightly. Just like planning ahead and having that designated driver or Uber ready to go after indulging in a couple cocktails, planning ahead and having a solid game plan to avoid falling asleep at the wheel is another important responsibility to keep our roadways safe.