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Do We Really Need Car Touch Screens

What started out as a way to view your car’s rear view camera soon started displaying everything from your radio, temperature controls and everything in between. They’re in almost every new car on the market, and their prominence is only going to increase in the coming years. But do we really need car touch screens?

The answer, it turns out, is a resounding yes… and no.


On the one hand, car touch screens make it easier than ever to control your car’s various systems. You can change the music, turn on the AC, and even adjust your seats without ever taking your hands off the wheel.


On the other hand, car touch screens can be dangerously distracting. Especially if you are not that familiar with where  all the controls are. It can take your eyes off the road for vital seconds that could mean the difference between life and death.

While touchscreen displays can be distracting, many car manufacturers are trying to design them in a way that minimizes driver distraction. Some features that are being implemented include:


- touch screens that can disappear into the dashboard

- voice controls

- heads-up displays that project images onto the windshield

- gesture controls


Ultimately, it is up to the driver to decide if a car touch screen is right for them. If you can use it without taking your eyes off the road, then it can be a valuable asset. But if you find yourself constantly fumbling with the controls, it might be best to stick with good old-fashioned buttons and knobs.


How To Keep Your Car On The Road Longer

One of the best ways to keep your car on the road longer is to perform regular maintenance. This includes things like oil changes, tire rotations, and engine tune-ups. By keeping up with these simple tasks, you can avoid more serious and expensive problems down the road.

Spark Plugs And Wires

In addition to regular maintenance, changing your spark plugs and wires proactively help extend the life of your car. Over time, these parts can wear out and cause problems with your engine.

Cabin Filter and Air Filter

Change your cabin air filter and engine air filter. One affects the airflow in your car and the other affects the airflow to your engine. Both are important for keeping your car running smoothly.

Fuel Injectors & EGR Valves

Check your fuel injectors.  Although not part of a standard service maintenance schedule, they start to deteriorate. You'll have a check engine light come on. Another major component that a lot of people fail to talk about when they just tune ups is the EGR valve or the exhaust gas recirculation valve. These should be checked and replaced according to your manufacturer's recommendations.

A faulty EGR valve can cause  all sorts of engine performance problems, including a loss of power and fuel economy.

Tires

Most people recognize the importance of having good tires on your car for  traction, safety, and gas mileage. But did you know that the condition of your tires can also have an impact on your electrical components. It's possible to have vibrations from your tires that will loosen battery terminals and other electrical connections. So, not only do you want to have good tread on your tires for safety, but you also want to keep an eye on any loose wires  or terminals.


By following these simple tips, you can keep your car running smoothly for years to come.


Buying Your First Car

7 Steps to Buying Your First Car

  1. Figure out what you can afford

  2. Shop around for the best deal

  3. Test drive different cars

  4. Get a car history report and mechanical inspection

  5. Finalize the purchase and register the car

  6. Insure your car

  7. Enjoy your new ride!

 

Stick To Your Budget

First time car buyers often make the mistake of rushing into a purchase without doing their research first. This can lead to overpaying for a car that doesn’t fit their needs or budget.

By setting a budget first, you can avoid this common pitfall. Figure out how much you can comfortably afford to spend on a car payment each month. Then, research the Fair Market Range prices for the type of car you’re interested in. This will give you a good starting point

Start Your Research

With an established budget in hand, it’s time to start shopping around for the best deal. There are so many sites online to do research where you can check out safety ratings, available options, interior features and more.

Test Drive Several Cars

After you’ve narrowed down your choices, it’s time to take them for a spin. This will help you get a feel for how the car drives and handles. It’s also a good time to see if there are any additional features that you may want or need.

Get A Car History Report And Mechanical Inspection

Once you’ve found the perfect car, it’s time to do a little digging into its history. A car history report will tell you if the car has been in any accidents or had any major repair work done.

Finalize The Purchase and Register The Car

After you’ve negotiated the price of the car, it’s time to finalize the purchase. This usually involves signing a sales contract and putting down a deposit. The great news is that the dealership will typically handle all the paperwork involved in registering the car.

Insure Your Car

Now that you’re the proud owner of a new car, it’s time to get it insured. The type and amount of coverage you need will vary depending on your state’s laws and your personal driving habits.

Enjoy your new ride!

Buying your first car is a big decision, but we’re here to help make it as easy as possible. We want you to be happy with your purchase and our team will be with you every step of the way.

Contact us today to get started.

 

 

Is Your Car Pulling You In The Wrong Direction

Wheel Alignment - Avoiding The Danger Signs Ahead

If you're experiencing problems with your car pulling to one side, it may be due to a misaligned wheel. A wheel alignment can correct this problem and ensure that your car drives in a straight line. Avoid the danger of driving with a misaligned wheel by getting it corrected at a reputable automotive shop.

Most people don't think about their vehicle's alignment until they experience unusual tire wear or handling concerns. However, just like any other component of your car, regular upkeep is critical to maintaining it in good working order. Here are four reasons why routine wheel alignments are essential.

Wheel Alignments Prevent Uneven Tire Wear

The number one reason to keep up with your wheel alignments is to prevent uneven tire wear. When your wheels are out of alignment, they put unnecessary stress on your tires. This can cause them to wear down faster on one side than the other. It also reduces the life of your tires and makes them more likely to fail unexpectedly.

Wheel Alignments Improve Handling

Another important reason to get regular wheel alignments is to improve the handling of your vehicle. When your wheels are out of alignment, it can make your car feel unstable on the road. This can be dangerous, especially when driving at high speeds or in adverse weather conditions.

Wheel Alignments Improve Fuel Efficiency

When your wheels are out of alignment, your car has to work harder to move forward. This extra effort means that your car will burn through fuel more quickly. In addition, drag from misaligned wheels can also cause your car to lose speed, which wastes even more fuel.

Wheel Alignments Extend the Life of Your Suspension

When your wheels are out of alignment, they place extra stress on your suspension components. Over time, this extra stress can cause these parts to wear out prematurely, resulting in a need for costly repairs or even replacement.

Regular wheel alignments are an important part of keeping your car running safely and efficiently. If you've noticed any unusual tire wear or handling problems, be sure to schedule an appointment with a qualified mechanic right away.

 

Don't Get Burned - Beat The Summer Heat

5 Tips To Keep Your Parked Car Cooler

Summertime is approaching fast, and with it, soaring temperatures. The last thing you want to do is climb into a scorching car and wait for it to cool down.

Did you know "When temperatures outside climb range from 80 degrees to 100 degrees, the internal temperature of your car can reach a scorching 130 to 172" (actionnews)

What Can You Do To Lower The Temperature In Your Car?

• Tip 1: Park in the Shade

If you have the option to park in the shade, take it! In many parking lots they will have trees or other natural shade options, Also try to park so that the sun is not shining on the driver's side. Even a few minutes in the shade can make a big difference.

• Tip 2: Use Your Visor And A Sunshade

You can find a sunshade for your windshield at most auto stores. Sunshades are especially useful if you have to park in the direct sun. They will help keep your car cooler and make it more comfortable to get in. Your windshield visor can also help keep the sun from entering your car

You could also fit a visor to your rear window as well as invest in window vent visors to keep individual passenger windows shaded.

Tip 3: Let Your Car Cool Before Getting In

Does your car have a remote starter? You turn on the air conditioning to full blast, shut all the doors and give your car a few minutes to cool down before driving. The other option is Leave the doors open for a minute to let most of the hot air out before getting in.

Tip 3: Cover Up Steering Wheel

No one wants to try to dive with a hot steering wheel. Consider placing a light-colored terry cloth towel over the steering wheel before you leave the car. This may reduce how much heat it absorbs

Tip 4: Cover Your Seats

This will protect your seats from the sun's rays and reduce how much heat they absorb. If you have leather seats, this is especially important as they can get uncomfortably hot in direct sunlight. You can buy special seat covers designed to reflect the sun's rays, or just use a light-colored towel or blanket

Tip 5: Tint You Windows

One of the best ways to keep your car cool is to tint your windows. This will reduce the amount of heat that comes into the car, making it more comfortable when you get in.

While you may or may not be able to do all of these things, any combination will help make your car more comfortable in the summer heat. Enjoy your summer and stay cool!

What's That Noise - Your Safety Depends On It

Your Brakes Are Telling You Something!

Brakes are an essential part of every car, helping you to slow down and stop when needed. Generally, if your brakes are making a high-pitched squealing noise when you first step on them, it's an indication that the brake pads need to be replaced.

What causes that noise when you brake?

This can be due to a number of different factors - worn or dirty brake pads, issues with the rotors or calipers, or even something as simple as dirt or debris caught in the brakes.

If you're noticing a strange noise coming from your brakes, it's always best to have them checked out by a professional mechanic to ensure there isn't a bigger issue at play.

What are the different types of brakes, and how do they work?

There are many different types of brakes, each designed to perform a specific function and work in a particular way. Some common brake types include disc brakes, drum brakes, and vacuum brakes.

Disc brakes use a system of pads that press against a spinning metal disc to slow or stop the vehicle. Drum brakes consist of two brake shoes that press against the inside of a stationary metal drum. Vacuum brakes use suction to slow or stop a vehicle, drawing air from the atmosphere into chambers

How can you tell if your brakes need to be serviced or replaced?

If your car is making a noise when you brake, there's a good chance that something is wrong with your brakes. There are several things you can do to check your brakes and see if they need to be serviced or replaced.

Another way to tell if your brakes are in need of service is to look at your brake fluid levels. If the fluid is low or dark, it could be a sign that your brakes need to be flushed and refilled.

What does turning the Rotors mean?

If you've ever had your car's brakes serviced, you may have heard the term "turning the rotors." But what does that actually mean?

Rotors are the metal discs that your brake pads press against to slow or stop your car. When they become worn or dirty, they can cause a number of problems with braking performance. Turning the rotors means machining them down so that they are smooth and clean again, allowing for better braking. If they get worn down below a certain point, they will need to be replaced entirely by a mechanic.

 

As a driver, it's important to be aware of any issues with your car's brakes, as this can have serious implications for your safety on the road. Some common symptoms of worn or faulty brakes include a high-pitched squealing noise when braking, low or dark brake fluid levels, vibrations or shuddering when applying the brakes, and poor response time. If you notice any of these issues, be sure to have your brakes checked by a professional mechanic as soon as possible.

Can Your Car Wax Help Keep The Value Of Your Car

To Wax Or Not To Wax?

It's no secret that keeping your car looking good can help to maintain its value. But what many people don't know is that there are a lot of things you can do to keep your car looking great - and some of them are easy and inexpensive! One example is car waxing.

1. The benefits of car waxing

Waxing your car is one of the best ways to protect its finish and keep it looking new. It creates a barrier between your car’s paint and the elements, which can cause fading, scratching, and other damage. Waxing also makes it easier to clean your car, since the wax forms a protective layer that dirt and dust can

2. The costs of car waxing

The costs of car waxing vary depending on the type of wax and the amount you need. However, it is generally a very affordable way to protect your car’s finish.

3. How to wax your car properly

If you're looking to get the most out of your car wax, follow these steps:

  • Make sure your car is clean. The wax will adhere better to a clean surface, and it will be easier to remove any residual wax when you're finished.

  • Apply the wax in a thin layer. Too much wax can actually end up doing more harm than good, since it can obscure your car's paint job and make it difficult to polish later on.

  • Work in small sections. It's best to apply the wax using a circular motion, and don't forget the edges!

  • Buff off the wax with a soft cloth. Be sure to remove

4. What are the types of waxes available?

There are a few different types of car waxes on the market, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks:

  • Spray-On Waxes: These waxes are easy to apply and usually don’t require any buffing. However, they don’t offer as much protection as other types of waxes and can be prone to fading.

  • Paste Waxes: More durable than spray-on waxes, and they usually provide better protection against scratches and fading. However, they can be difficult to apply and require a lot of elbow grease.

  • Liquid Waxes: Liquid waxes are the most popular type of car wax. They’re easy to apply, and most come with a buffing cloth.

  • Carnauba Wax: Carnauba wax is the most durable type of car wax and offers the best protection against scratches and fading. It’s also the most expensive type of wax.

  • Ceramic Wax: A newer type of car wax that’s said to offer even better protection than Carnauba wax. However, it’s also more expensive.

4. How to care for your car's finish without using any products at all

  • If you're not interested in using car wax, there are a few other things you can do to protect your car's finish and keep it looking new:

  • Park in the shade. The sun can cause your car's paint to fade over time.

  • Wash your car regularly. Dirt and dust can scratch your car's paintjob

If you're still unsure about whether or not car waxing is worth the investment, it might be helpful to consult a professional. They can help determine if waxing your car will be an effective way to keep its value and maintain its shine over time.

 

 

Front Wheel Drive VS. AWD What is the Difference

What is the difference between front wheel drive and all wheel drive?

When you are looking for a new car, one of the decisions you have to make is whether to get a front wheel drive (FWD) or all wheel drive (AWD) vehicle. Both options have their pros and cons, so which one should you choose? Here is a look at the pros and cons of each option:

How Do Front Wheel Drives Cars Work

Front wheel drive cars are powered by the front wheels, while the back wheels simply rotate and provide traction. This is different from rear wheel drive cars, which are powered by the back wheels. Front wheel drive cars are more stable and easier to control than rear wheel drive cars, making them a popular choice for many drivers.

Another way to explain it would be to say that a front wheel drive vehicle transfers power from the engine to the front wheels, while a rear wheel drive vehicle transfers power from the engine to the back wheels.

What are the pros of front wheel drive vehicles

  • Front wheel drive vehicles are better for fuel economy because only the front wheels are used to power the car. This means that less power is needed, and you will save on gas money.

  • Rear wheel drive vehicles are better for getting through tough terrain and handling curves. The weight of the engine is at the back of the car, which gives it more stability when driving on winding roads or in slippery conditions.

What are the cons of front wheel drive vehicles

Front wheel drive vehicles can sometimes be less stable than all wheel drive vehicles, especially when cornering or braking. This is because the weight of the engine is pushing down on the front wheels, which can cause them to lose traction. Additionally, front wheel drive vehicles can be more difficult to control in icy or snowy conditions.

How does all wheel drive work?

All wheel drive is a system that sends power to all four wheels of a vehicle. This can help improve traction and handling in slippery or challenging conditions. AWD systems vary in complexity, with some relying on sensors to detect when the car needs more traction and distributing power accordingly. Others use a center differential to split the power between the front and rear wheels.

Regardless of the system in use, all wheel drive can provide a safer and more sure-footed driving experience. If you're looking for a car that can handle any condition, consider an all wheel drive model.

What are the pros of all wheel drive vehicles

All wheel drive vehicles are better in slippery conditions because all four wheels are used to power the car. This gives you more traction and prevents you from slipping and sliding. If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow, an AWD car is a better option. They also provide more stability and control than FWD cars when driving on slick surfaces.

What are the con's of an all wheel drive car?

All wheel drive cars can be more expensive than front wheel drive cars. They also require more maintenance, as all of the components need to be working properly in order to distribute power evenly. AWD cars can also be less fuel-efficient than FWD cars, and they take up more space on the road.

So Which Type Of Car Car Should I Get?

That’s a question that can only be answered by you. Consider the pros and cons of both front wheel drive and all wheel drive vehicles to see which option would be best for your needs. If you live in an area with lots of icy or snowy conditions, an all wheel drive vehicle might be a better option. But if you live in a warmer climate and don’t need the extra traction, a front wheel drive vehicle could be a better choice. Ultimately, the decision is up to you!

Buying Used Pickup Trucks - What To Look For

Buying Used Pickup Trucks: What Should You Look For?

Buying a used pickup truck is a lot harder than buying a used car. Used pickup trucks have often lived a harder workhorse-style life, which means there’s more to consider when you’re buying a truck than when you’re buying a normal family sedan or minivan. So just what should you look for? We have some answers that can help you when you’re checking out a used truck.

Towing and Hauling

One thing you’ll have to consider when buying a used truck is just how much towing and hauling the previous owner has done. Obviously, this isn’t something you’ll need to think about if you’re buying a hatchback or a convertible, but trucks are different. If a truck has spent 50,000 miles hooked up to a trailer, it may have caused more than normal wear on the truck’s mechanical components.

Of course, one way to find out just how much towing and hauling a truck has done is to simply ask the owner. But since you can’t always count on the truth from someone selling a used car — and since you can’t always count on a dealer to know the whole story — we recommend taking the truck for a mechanical inspection before you buy it. We especially recommend this if you see evidence of a lot of towing, such as a well-worn tow hitch, a severely bent rear license plate or a cable for wiring a trailer’s brake lights.

Off-Road Use

Another thing you’ll need to consider when buying a truck is exactly how it’s been used. Many used pickup trucks lead pampered in-town lives, but some are used in fields, on farms or on ranches — exactly as they were intended to be. The problem with this sort of use, however, is that it can cause a lot of wear to a truck’s suspension, chassis and other components. To check for off-road use, get under the truck and take a look around. If you see a lot of scratches, scrapes and bent parts on the truck’s underside, it may have had a rough life off-road. While this isn’t necessarily a reason to avoid a truck, it’s certainly a red flag that may warrant a mechanical inspection by a professional.

Commercial Use?

Many trucks are bought by businesses and used as workhorses in a wide variety of applications, including shuttling around the foreman and hauling serious debris and heavy goods. Because so many trucks are used by businesses, we wouldn’t tell you to avoid a truck that’s had commercial use, but we do suggest paying a mechanic to check it over before you buy it. Businesses aren’t always as careful with maintenance as private owners, and you’ll want to be sure that no important services were skipped. Buying a used pickup truck is hard, since used trucks have often had a rough life. But if you follow our suggestions and thoroughly check out any truck before you buy it, you’ll probably end up with a used pickup that serves you well for years to come.

This article by Doug Demuro was originally published on AutoTrader.com

Thompson Auto Sales - Best Full-Size Pickup Truck

Please Read Thompson Auto Sales - Best Full-Size Pickup Truck

Content provided by CarAndDriver.com

Turn any friendly neighborhood barbecue into a backyard wrestling match with this simple trick: declare your pickup king. Well guess what, brother? Being the best isn’t about who has the biggest Calvin and Hobbes sticker on the rear window. Full-size pickup trucks are America’s best-selling vehicles, and the fight among them is closer than ever.

Trucks today are capable of accelerating quicker than sports cars like the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 and can tow up to seven tons using conventional towing. That’s a lot of folding chairs and steel cages. The truck is the backbone of America. In 2019, pickups represented over 3.1 million vehicle sales in the U.S., or more than the entire population of Iowa. Each of these trucks can handle classic pickup needs with ease, and if you haven’t already sorted yourself into the Toyota, Nissan, Ram, Chevy, or Ford camps, we’ve ranked the segment's players from worst to best to help you in your search.

  1. Ram 1500 - The Ram 1500 is king of the mountain, having bested its biggest rivals from Detroit in our latest three-truck comparison test and won another 10Best Full-size Pickup award for 2021. We’d let those accolades do the heavy lifting for us in explaining why we dig the Ram, but here are a few more reasons: The available EcoDiesel V-6 engine has the most power and torque among all light-duty diesel pickups and is fuel efficient; the interior is a step or three above the competition; and it just plain drives well. Fans of the all-black Dodge Ram can carry the dark baton with a new for 2020 Night Edition, which offers all-black exterior trim along with your choice of paint. We’d suggest, um, black.

  2. Ram 1500 TRX - The nearly 3.5-ton Ram 1500 TRX is a lot of truck, but it knows how to use it. The 702-horsepower Hellcat engine is a screamer, and despite its heft, the TRX gets to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds, making it the quickest truck we've ever tested. Bilstein dampers underneath provide more than a foot of suspension travel, allowing its 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler AT's to droop. It's beefy too, measuring 5.9 inches wider and 3.3 inches taller than the regular Ram 1500, but inside it's just as luxurious. A 12-inch touchscreen infotainment system is standard, and a head-up display, heated and ventilated front seats, and carbon-fiber accents are available options. Many aspects of the TRX make it the greatest truck as nothing else can cruise to, climb up, and fly over whatever's ahead of it quite like this.

  3. Ford F-150 Raptor - Packed with a powerful 450-hp twin-turbo V-6 and an off-road-ready suspension with adaptive shocks to soak up potholes and landings off of sweet jumps, the Ford F-150 Raptor is just plain rad. But this is no one-trick brute—it’s nearly everything you might never need in a truck and useful. The SuperCrew is rated to tow up to 8000 pounds, so the Raptor can haul more than just ass. Its wide fenders and large off-road tires can make navigating parking lots and narrow streets a challenge; we prefer to think of them as reminders as to where the Raptor truly belongs.

  4. Ford F-150 - The Ford F-150 has been a full-size favorite for decades, and nearly 1 million F-150 pickups were sold last year. So it’s little wonder why the Ford has become ubiquitous and familiar. The fourteenth-generation Ford debuted for 2021 with a new 430-hp hybrid powertrain with 570 lb-ft of torque. That's a 30 horsepower and 70 lb-ft improvement verses the nonhybrid twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 for those keeping track. The hybrid powered pickup gets an EPA-estimated 24 mpg for both city and highway travel, putting it fourth overall in fuel efficiency for the segment behind diesel-powered Chevy Silverado and Ram 1500. The interior is also improved in terms of materials and ease of use. An optional Work Surface allows you to transform the front row into a work table. New variable-assist steering, standard on the higher trim King Ranch model and above, is tight and direct, and even on lower trims the ride is quiet and composed.

  5. GMC Sierra 1500 - If you can swing the new GMC Sierra 1500’s price premium over its mechanically identical, Chevrolet-badged sibling (the Silverado), do so. The GMC is simply more attractive than the Chevy. We’ve ranked the Sierra above it because the extra money seems worth it when staring both trucks right in the eyes. Like the Silverado, the Sierra has five different engines, three different transmissions, and is available in either rear- or all-wheel drive. Although there's no high-flying off-roader option like the Ram TRX or Ford F-150 Raptor, a Sierra AT4 model is available with 2.0-inches of suspension lift and other off-road equipment. Unfortunately, the pricier GMC suffers from the same unimpressive interior styling and firm ride quality as the Silverado, but the extra chrome does wonders for GM's half-ton pickup design.

  6. Chevrolet Silverado 1500 - After a full redesign, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 doesn't feel quite as new as you'd expect. Its new body bears only a face a mother could love, the interior is mediocre, and the suspension isn’t terribly refined. Those whiffs are offset by its new 6.2-liter V-8 that can deactivate up to six cylinders for fuel savings, as well as the available turbocharged 2.7-liter four-cylinder that can tow up to 9300 pounds. The brakes offer stellar stopping power, and the four-door crew cab has superior rear-seat headroom. Chevy's also added the Multi-Flex tailgate as an option for 2021 models, making the bed of the Silverado more useable than ever. Silverados with the 277-hp turbodiesel engine in 2WD are the most fuel efficient in the segment with an EPA-estimated 33 mpg highway rating.

  7. Nissan Titan - The Nissan Titan, like the Toyota Tundra, exists slightly outside of the mainstream in this segment. It lacks engine choices—there is but one 400-hp V-8 option—which severely limits configurability relative to its competitors, and the Titan’s overall execution seems lacking. Its ride quality is poor and the steering lacks sharpness; look to the Pro-4X trim for off-road capability, but look everywhere else in terms of towing capacity as the Titan has the lowest in the light-duty class. Every model now has a 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which is something fleet versions of its domestic competitors don’t have.

  8. Toyota Tundra - The Toyota Tundra has been around in pretty much the same form since 2007—that’s pre-Instagram if you need a cultural reference point. So, it’s old. But the Tundra offers a spacious cabin and a decent roster of standard features, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto phone integration functionality for most models. A 5.7-liter V-8 is the only engine option, an oddity among full-size pickups, which generally offer a plethora of engine choices. The Toyota’s V-8 engine delivers mediocre fuel economy and towing performance, but the truck itself at least shines in off-road capability even in base form. The Tundra TRD Pro model adds to that dexterity with new Fox 2.5-inch internal-bypass shocks and lighter-weight 18-inch BBS wheels.

Original Source: caranddriver.com (Austin Irwin - Dec 5, 2020)

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