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Maintenance

Thrifty Car Sale’s Top Tips for Winter Driving

Winter is coming! That means it’s time to start preparing your vehicle for the cold temperatures and harsh weather to come. With harsh weather and cold temperatures comes car problems that could leave you out in the cold. Ensure you and your vehicle make it through the winter without any hiccups by following these wonderful tips on winterizing your vehicle. 

Not ready to winterize your vehicle on your own? Thrifty Car Sales can help, as our service and parts professionals have the knowledge and product to help you keep your vehicle in tip-top shape during the winter months. 

Batteries Need Attention, Too

One of the best ways to ensure you and your vehicle survive the winter is to check and maintain your battery. The battery in your vehicle is one of the most important parts of your car, as it not only helps the vehicle start-up, but it keeps all of the accessories running, including that precious heat system. As the temperatures drop outside, so does the cranking power and charge of your battery, so make sure to constantly check your battery to ensure it’s operating effectively. 

Checking the charge level on your battery is simple, just bring it to the service center here at Thrifty Car Sales and one of our technicians can perform a voltage check on your battery. This voltage check can alert you to upcoming issues with your battery, as well as tell you if it needs to be serviced or replaced entirely. If you need to replace your battery, the technicians here at Thrifty Car Sales can have a new one installed in your vehicle swiftly, and at a great price too!

Avoid breaking out the jumper cables by having your battery checked before the winter comes, it could be the difference between a smooth winter ride and being stranded in a cold vehicle. Stop by Thrifty Car Sales Service Center today to have your battery tested, serviced, or replaced. 

Check Those Tires

A good set of tires goes a long way during the cold season, as it helps keep your vehicle on the road and under control during heavy braking. Before you embark on a winter journey, make sure to check out your tires, the cold months can cause cracking in the rubber, and low tread levels can be disastrous in icy conditions. Opting for a solid set of winter tires is also a fantastic way to stay safe while driving during the cold months, as they perform better in cold weather and icy conditions. 

Have your tires inspected, serviced or replaced in our service center, here at Thrifty Car Sales located in Coopersburg, PA today!

Wiper Blades 

Are you having a hard time seeing through the ice and the snow? Maybe it’s time to change out your wiper blades, so they can perform better for you this winter. There is nothing worse than trying to navigate a winter storm with streaky windshield wipers that miss large parts of your windshield. Most folks tend to overlook their windshield wipers when it comes to basic maintenance, only to scramble to replace them once winter hits and they can’t see through the blizzard. 

Routinely checking your windshield wiper blades for wear and tear is a great way to catch problems before they arise. Another good way to ensure long life out of your windshield wiper blades is to lift them off the car before a winter storm comes, this will prevent the rubber from getting frozen to the windshield while the vehicle sits. Avoid using your wiper blades as a means of clearing ice from your windshield, as this can cause premature wear and tear on your wiper blades. 

Keep your windshield clean and free of debris with a set of fresh wiper blades, installed by the professionals here at Thrifty Car Sales. 

Top Off Your Fluids

Keeping up with your fluid levels is always important when you own a vehicle, doubly so for those that live in places with harsh winter months. A car that lacks the proper levels of fluids will struggle to perform at its peak, making daily driving a hassle and potentially even dangerous. Some fluids to keep an eye on are:

  • Coolant (Anti-Freeze): This fluid not only keeps your engine running at optimal temperatures, but it also helps keep fluids in the vehicle from freezing during the winter as well. Coolant goes in your coolant reservoir and runs throughout the engine to provide cooling, but it also can be added to your washer fluid to prevent those lines from freezing as well. Coolant is one of the most important fluids to monitor in your vehicle.
  • Engine Oil: It may seem obvious, but having the proper level of oil in your vehicle is extremely important in keeping your engine and car running. Engine oil lubricates the necessary parts of the engine so it can run smoothly, as metal on metal doesn’t bode well for the life of your engine. Engine oil behaves differently in extremely cold temperatures, therefore you may need to use a special blend during the winter months. If you need help determining which engine oil is right for your vehicle, speak with one of our service technicians here at Thrifty Car Sales today!
  • Washer Fluid: Although washer fluid may not be the first fluid on your mind when it comes to maintaining your vehicle, it is an important one to remember during the winter. With most cities that get snow using a salt or brine mixture to keep roads clear, your windshield gets dirty quite quickly during the winter, and that’s why it’s important to keep your washer fluid full. One good snowstorm can see you running your washer fluid tank dry, so always keep an extra bottle on hand during the winter months to avoid disaster. 

Ensure you have a safe and easy winter, make an appointment today to get your winter car servicing performed here at Thrifty Car Sales.

Test Your Climate Control

Testing your climate control systems before the winter hits is an absolute must if you want to survive the winter comfortably. Before you start driving this winter, make sure to check the defroster and heating functions of your climate control system, as you most likely haven’t used them since last winter. Check your climate control in just a few seconds, simply run your defroster and heat at each fan speed and temperature available. This simple action will tell you if you have any climate control issues so you can have them fixed just in time for winter. 

If your climate control system needs servicing, our service professionals here at Thrifty Car Sales can help! Located in Coopersburg, PA, Thrifty Car Sales’ Service Center is the best place to have your pre-winter vehicle inspection performed.

Be Prepared

It sounds cliche, but being prepared for the worst-case scenario is actually the best thing you can do. When it comes to being prepared for winter driving, the above tips are always great to follow but its also important to go a step further and have an emergency scenario bag packed and available in your vehicle. 

Keep a bag full of spare clothes, including winter clothes in your vehicle. Inside of this bag should not only be clothing, but a blanket, a first aid kit, a flashlight, jumper cables, a cellphone charger, and some snacks. You can feel free to add more to this bag, but this is the bare minimum we recommend keeping in each one of your vehicles.

Imagine traveling down a back-country road in the winter, when suddenly you lose traction and skid off the road. Luckily nobody is hurt, but your car is disabled and needs to be towed out of the ditch on the side of the road. Waiting for that tow truck in below-freezing temperatures in a car with no heat is not ideal, however, it’s much easier when you have a winter emergency bag in your vehicle. 

Winter Servicing

From a fluid top-off to new tires, and everything in-between, Thrifty Car Sales is the place to have your annual winter vehicle servicing performed. Here at Thrifty Car Sales, our highly trained service professionals are dedicated to making sure your vehicle is safe and ready to tackle any adventure you throw at it. Ensure you have safety and peace of mind each time you hit the road this winter, have your vehicle winterized by the service professionals here at Thrifty Car Sales today!

Categories
Great Used Cars

Best Used Cars for Teens.

Is your teen gearing up to get behind the wheel for the first time? It’s no secret that every parent worries when their teenager gets behind the wheel, especially for the first time. In a day and age in which distractions are everywhere you look, safety, especially while driving is of utmost importance. Whether it’s packed with high-tech safety features, or simply built safely, picking n affordable, yet safe vehicle for your teen is a must. Below is a list of our favorite used vehicles for teenagers, give it a read before you shop at Thrifty Car Sales located in Coopersburg, PA.

Safety First

When picking out a used vehicle for your teen driver, safety should always come first. Being that we’re in the golden age of technology, most cars will come with high-tech safety features designed to make drivers of all ages feel safer. There are some fantastic safety features out now, budget depending, these are some great safety features you should look out for on the vehicle your teen will be driving. Here are some of the features we recommend:

  • Anti-Lock Brakes: An absolute must-have safety feature on any vehicle. Also known as an anti-lock brake system (ABS), this safety feature “pumps” the brakes to maximize stopping power in an emergency braking situation. This feature will feel as if the car is “shuddering”, do not be alarmed however, that is ABS at work that you’re feeling and is normal. ABS will provide maximum braking power while allowing you to safely steer around obstacles.
  • Traction Control: Another great safety feature, Traction Control (TCS) uses the ABS feature to control acceleration, slowing down the vehicle in a controlled manner by slowing a spinning drive wheel.
  • Stability Control: Yet another safety feature tied to ABS, this feature utilizes ABS to apply braking to the corresponding wheel or wheels, correcting a vehicle slide. A great feature to have for those windy backroads and rainy evenings.
  • Forward-collision Warning: This system uses sensors to detect objects in front of your vehicle, when it detects an object an audible warning signal is triggered to bring the driver’s attention to the object in front of them. If the system detects an impending collision, it will automatically apply the vehicle’s brakes if there is no immediate driver input to avoid the collision. This is a great feature for distracted teen drivers.
  • Blind-spot Detection: A life-saving invention, blind-spot detection uses sensors or cameras to detect cars in your vehicle’s blind-spot, undetectable to most drivers. A visual warning is typically given, in the form of lights on the mirrors or A-pillar of the car. Some vehicles even include an audible warning as well. This safety feature is great for new teen drivers that are still wrapping their minds around blind spots.

With safety being the number one concern for parents with their children behind the wheel, it’s important to consider this list of great safety features. Keep this shortlist in mind on your search for your teen’s first vehicle and your teen will be plenty safe behind the wheel.

Looking for your teenager’s first vehicle? Come to Thrifty Car Sales and check out our wide selection of used vehicles, packed with safety features designed to keep your teen driver safe behind the wheel. 

Best Vehicles for Teenage Drivers

Picking the right vehicle for a teenager can seem like an impossible task, especially if you’re trying to stick to a budget, that’s why we made this great list of used vehicles to consider. With a sea full of options when it comes to used vehicles, it’s a great help to have somewhere to start your search, and this list is exactly that. Read up on this list of the best, used vehicles for teenagers, then stop in here at Thrifty Car Sales to find the right vehicle for your teenager!

2017 Toyota Rav4

The Toyota Rav4 has consistently been a top pick amongst parents buying for their teens, due in part to its winning of the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ in 2017. The Rav4 is a stylish sport-utility vehicle with a plethora of great safety features and great gas mileage. We recommend looking for an SE trim model, which has the most safety features amongst the Rav4 lineup. Fitted with LED headlights, dual-zone automatic climate control, fog lights, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and even automatic high beams, this 2017 Toyota Rav4 is a great choice for keeping your teen driver safe and stylish.

2017 Honda CR-V

Redesigned completely for the 2017 year, the Honda CR-V is a teen driver-friendly vehicle known for its comfort and safety features. The EX model comes with a bunch of driver assists such as blind-spot monitoring and lane-keep assist, as well as convenient fog lights and dual climate control features. Always reliable and dependable, the Honda CR-V is a great choice for new teen drivers, loved by parents all over America. 

2019 Mazda Mazda3

One of the best in its segment, the 2019 Mazda3 is a great compact sedan for teen drivers. A recipient of top crash safety test scores from IIHS and NHTSA, the 2019 Mazda3 is a top choice vehicle for teen drivers. Look for the Select model, it comes equipped with LED headlights, integrated mirror turn signals, adaptive cruise control, eight airbags, and a slew of driver-assist features, all to keep your teenager safe behind the wheel.

2018 Mazda CX-5

Another great showing from Mazda is their 2018 CX-5, a mid-size SUV that’s quite comparable to the Honda CR-V and Toyota Rav4. The Touring trim of the CX-5 is our favorite, loaded with driver-assists and advanced safety features. Equipped with LED headlights, dual-zone climate control, and adaptive cruise control, the CX-5 is as comfortable as it is convenient. Comfortable and convenient, the CX-5 was also an IIHS top safety pick back in 2018 as well.

2019 Subaru Crosstrek

An IIHS top safety pick in 2019, the Subaru Crosstrek is a sporty, yet safe choice for your teenager. Designed to go anywhere, the Crosstrek is a crossover SUV that gets great gas mileage and even has all-wheel drive. Not only is the Crosstrek safe, but it also comes packed with features if you choose the Premium trim, including things like adaptive cruise control, fog lights, and automatic climate control.

2014 Ford Taurus

A model that’s seen production since the mid-80s, the Ford Taurus is a top pick amongst parents who are looking to buy their teenager a safe, comfortable vehicle. The reason we suggest looking for a 2014 or newer Taurus is the IIHS lists all post 2013 Ford Taurus’ as having longer side-curtain airbags and improved protection during crash events. Relied on by government fleets, most notably police departments, the Ford Taurus is an ultra-reliable vehicle with incredible safety ratings.

Picking the Right Vehicle

In this day and age, with all the distractions on the road, it’s paramount that you keep your teenage driver safe behind the wheel. We know that nothing short of driving your teen everywhere will bring complete peace of mind, but putting them behind the wheel of an IIHS top safety pick can definitely ease those worries. 

No matter which vehicle you choose, you can be assured that this list was curated with your teenager’s safety in mind, with all vehicles listed being the top IIHS safety picks. Protect your precious cargo by putting them behind the wheel of a used vehicle packed with great safety features. Here at Thrifty Car Sales, we have a wide selection of used vehicles that have been awarded the IIHS top safety pick, so stop by and find your teenager’s first vehicle!