4 Simple Tips to Make Your Car Last Longer

4 Simple Tips to Make Your Car Last Longer

So you just picked up your perfect quality used car from The Auto Connection. What can you do to keep it in its best condition? Here are 4 simple tips to make your car last longer.

  1. Wash and Wax

Keeping the exterior of your car clean isn’t just for looks—you’re clearing away foreign bodies that can eat through the clearcoat and eventually cause rust.

  1. Check Your Tire Pressure

This one may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many drivers neglect this important step. Proper tire pressure helps your tires do their job: hugging the road, deflecting water, as well as many other tasks that keep you safe. The tires themselves will also last longer if you rotate them regularly.

  1. Don’t Abuse Your Engine

Every engine has its own limits. Some are primed for the racetrack, while others are more sensitive. Listen to your engine, let it warm up, and treat it well. That’s a surefire recipe for a long-lasting engine.

  1. Schedule Regular Maintenance

Making sure you take your car in for check-ups helps correct any issues you may have now as well as prevent future issues. Check your car’s recommended maintenance schedule and stick to it.

When you buy a quality used car from The Auto Connection, you can rest easy knowing you’ve got the Best Friend Guarantee, which includes:

  • 2-year warranty
  • 48-hour no hassle return policy
  • Oil changes for 3 years
  • State inspections for 3 years
  • Free Carfax report on all vehicles

Stop by The Auto Connection today and find your perfect car. Our Virginia locations include Danville, Norfolk, Newport News and Richmond. Get the approval process started from home with our easy online application.

Watch an Airbag Inflator (Without the Bag) Go Off in Slow Motion

Watch an Airbag Inflator (Without the Bag) Go Off in Slow Motion

Safety is of the utmost importance in today’s cars. The airbag is the cornerstone of vehicle safety, but what exactly happens inside an airbag? Today we dip into the amazing science behind airbags with an article originally published by AutoBlog.

“Airbags are among a variety of devices that you hope never to experience firsthand, but also still want to see go off. And there are many videos on YouTube that show this happening. There aren’t as many that show what happens behind the bag, and the video above rectifies that.

It starts off with your typical slow-motion video of just a normal airbag inflating and busting through the steering-wheel plastic. But after that, the videographer disassembles an airbag down to the explosive core to show how that works. The result is just a split-second burst of sound and gas, but in slow motion, you get a pretty spectacular show of ultra-hot gas and even some sparks radiating from all the little holes around the cartridge.

The video wraps up with a makeshift cannon with the cartridge at the bottom and a cylindrical wooden projectile to get an idea of the force generated by the airbag. The results are remarkable, with the projectile ripping a clean hole in the cover facing the cannon and smashing into a heavy tool case. And that’s as good a time as any to remind readers to not try this at home, just enjoy the video.”

No matter what safety features you’re looking for, you’re bound to find them in one of  The Auto Connection’s 300 quality used cars for you to choose from.

We’ve been putting people just like you in the driver’s seat for over 20 years. We didn’t get the title of Car Buyer’s Best Friend for nothing—we earned it by putting people just like you behind the wheel, regardless of credit history. At The Auto Connection, for just $1 down, you can ride today!*

Stop by The Auto Connection today and find your perfect car. Our Virginia locations include Danville, Norfolk, Newport News and Richmond. Get the approval process started from home with our easy online application.

*$1 down subject to approved credit. Excludes titles, taxes and license fees due 21 days from purchase.

Auto Connection Success Story: Jesse

Auto Connection Success Story: Jesse

Jesse came to The Auto Connection during a difficult period in his life. His car had died and he was in the process of rebuilding his credit after a divorce. Jesse was happy with his decision to visit The Auto Connection the moment he walked in the doors.

“They were very up front with me and were very friendly to work with,” Jesse said. “They didn’t judge me like other dealerships.”

We believe everyone deserves a quality used car, regardless of their credit history. Think you’re the only one with bad credit? We’ve got 35,000 customers who disagree. We’ve been putting people in the driver’s seat for over 20 years. No judgement. No hassle. No kidding.

When it came time for Jesse to pick out a car, he selected from a variety of quality used cars and trucks. In fact, we have over 300 quality used vehicles for you to choose from.

“I was able to find a sedan that fit me and my family’s needs,” Jesse said.

Getting you on the road is one thing. Keeping you there is everything. That’s why we offer the Best Friend Guarantee, which includes:

  • 2-year warranty
  • 48-hour no hassle return policy
  • Oil changes for 3 years
  • State inspections for 3 years
  • Free Carfax report on all vehicles

Stop by The Auto Connection today and find your perfect car. Our Virginia locations include Danville, Norfolk, Newport News and Richmond. Get the approval process started from home with our easy online application.

Third-Time Buyer Anita Shares Her Auto Connection Experience

Third-Time Buyer Anita Shares Her Auto Connection Experience

When Anita was ready for a quality used car, she knew The Auto Connection was the perfect place to go. After all, this was her third time purchasing an SUV from The Auto Connection. The friendly staff made the whole process smooth, quick and easy.

Anita’s credit may be an issue at most dealerships, but not at the Auto Connection. As Anita says, she was greeted with, “What can we put in in today?” That’s because no matter your credit, we’ll find a way to get you in the driver’s seat. We’ve been doing it for over 20 years for over 35,000 drivers. And at The Auto Connection, for just $1 down, you can ride today!* 

Anita had peace of mind knowing that every car we sell comes with our Best Friend Guarantee, which includes:

  • 2-year warranty
  • 48-hour no hassle return policy
  • Oil changes for 3 years
  • State inspections for 3 years
  • Free Carfax report on all vehicles

Learn more about Anita’s experience with The Auto Connection by watching the video above.

Stop by The Auto Connection today and find your perfect car. Our Virginia locations include Danville, Norfolk, Newport News and Richmond. Get the approval process started from home with our easy online application.

*$1 down subject to approved credit. Excludes titles, taxes and license fees due 21 days from purchase.

Safety Tech Features: What do they do, and do you need them?

Safety Tech Features: What do they do, and do you need them?

safety features in quality used cars

Cars these days are packed with safety tech features. But what exactly do they do? And more importantly, do you even need them? For the answers, we turn to this great article originally published by AutoBlog.

If you’re in the market for a quality used car, you’ve probably been exposed to a wealth of new high-tech safety features that probably aren’t on your current car. Virtually every automaker offers at least some of them, and a few even include them as standard equipment. But do you really need them? And what do they actually do?

In short, they really can save your bacon, especially for new and older drivers, but it’s important to know a few things off the bat. First, not all of these systems are created equal. One company’s forward collision warning system, for instance, might perform better than another’s. Second, one system may be more advanced than another, say, operating at higher speeds or being able to steer for you. And finally, companies will often refer to the same generic feature with their own marketing-friendly term: Toyota’s Pre-Collision System and Honda’s Collision Mitigation Braking System are basically the same feature as GM’s more generically named Low Speed Forward Automatic Braking.

Let’s take a look at some of these advanced safety features and driver aides, to see which might be most beneficial.

Forward collision warning

This system scans the road ahead for stopped vehicles and alerts the driver using warning lights and noises. More advanced systems can detect pedestrians (this is usually called out by manufacturers), cyclists or animals. It’s also common for multiple versions of forward collision warning to be available: Some operate only at low city speeds; some operate at all speeds; and others, with either speed parameter, pair with automatic emergency braking (see below). As forward collision warning almost always utilizes the same radar-like sensor used for adaptive cruise control, the two have traditionally been packaged together, but recently, forward collision warning has been made available by itself.

Automatic emergency braking

With this, should the driver not heed the audio and visual forward collision warnings, the car can apply the brakes automatically. Again, the speeds at which the system operates can depend on the car or version opted for, but in any event, they have been proven to prevent or lessen the severity of crashes.

Brake assist

This detects when a driver has initiating a panic stop and supplements their efforts by providing full anti-lock brake stopping power. Research has shown that most drivers don’t apply as much braking force as is possible in emergency braking situations, leaving something on the table that might prevent or reduce the severity of a crash. Brake assist is often standard.

Blind-spot warning

Monitors your blind spots and alerts you to the presence of other cars, usually through lights in the A pillars or the side mirrors themselves (photo below). Should you try to make a lane change anyway, those lights will often flash or the car will provide an audible warning. Some systems can also steer you back into your lane as a last resort, though that is often tied to a lane-keeping system (described below). While forward collision warning and automatic braking have increasingly been added to standard features lists, blind-spot warning is almost always optional. This is perhaps because, although it’s certainly a helpful system, properly set mirrors often render them a bit redundant (as do integrated blind-spot mirrors like those offered by Ford).

Rear cross-traffic alert

Almost always bundled with blind-spot warning, this alerts you to cars and other oncoming things or people approaching you from the side and rear. Basically, it lends a hand when you’re backing out of a parking spot.

Lane-departure warning

Senses when you’re drifting out of your lane and alerts you in some way — through audible alerts, visual warnings in the gauge cluster or by vibrating the wheel or even your seat. Some systems can also detect when you’re about to leave the road entirely, warning you or taking some sort of action (see below).

Lane-keeping assist

This takes lane-departure warning to the next level. In addition to just warning you (and sometimes it skips the warning altogether), it will subtly steer you back into the middle of the lane. Occasionally, these systems will use subtle braking to achieve the same effect, but steering has become far more common. This is also one of those systems where the performance and quality depends on the car company — some are quite adept at naturally keeping you in your lane, while others can ping-pong you between the lane lines or be overly aggressive in providing assistance.

Driver inattention monitor

This monitors you in a variety of different ways to detect whether you are being overtly distracted or falling asleep. The car can warn you and often encourages you to take a break.

Automatic crash notification

Most car companies now offer some sort of “emergency telematics” system, be it by connecting through your smartphone or a separate connection such as through GM’s OnStar or Hyundai’s BlueLink. The key element of these emergency communications systems is automatic crash notification, which automatically calls 911 should the car’s airbags deploy. This can be a literal lifesaver. These systems also provide some sort of emergency call button and can remotely lock/unlock your car or help locate it should it be stolen.


Automatic high beams

When the car senses it’s dark enough and there are no oncoming cars, it automatically activates the high beams to provide the brightest view forward. When a car is detected ahead, the car automatically switches the high beams off. This feature is quite often bundled with forward collision warning and all-encompassing safety tech packages.

Airbags

OK, so you know what these are, but how many should there be? Those up front in the steering wheel and dash are government mandated, as are front “side airbags” that cover occupants’ upper bodies. These can be located in the door or more likely seat. Virtually assured in non-convertibles are side curtain airbags that drop down from the ceiling to cover the windows and protect occupants’ heads. Usually, these cover all seating rows, but there can be exceptions. From there, it largely depends on the manufacturer. There are rear side airbags that operate like those up front, knee airbags for the driver or front passenger, small side hip airbags (Mercedes-Benz), middle side airbags that prevent occupants from clonking against each other (General Motors, see photo above), seatbelt airbags (Ford) and front passenger under-seat airbags that prevent you from “submarining” under your seatbelt (Toyota). While it’s hard to argue against such extra protection, it’s important to ultimately compare the crash test data of rival vehicles rather than simply tally up the number of airbags.

No matter what safety features you’re looking for, you’re bound to find them in one of  The Auto Connection’s 300 quality used cars for you to choose from.

We’ve been putting people just like you in the driver’s seat for over 20 years. We didn’t get the title of Car Buyer’s Best Friend for nothing—we earned it by putting people just like you behind the wheel, regardless of credit history. At The Auto Connection, for just $1 down, you can ride today!*

Stop by The Auto Connection today and find your perfect car. Our Virginia locations include Danville, Norfolk, Newport News and Richmond. Get the approval process started from home with our easy online application.

*$1 down subject to approved credit. Excludes titles, taxes and license fees due 21 days from purchase.

How important is regular vehicle maintenance?

How important is regular vehicle maintenance?

mechanic for quality used cars

Cars have changed the way we live. We can quickly travel from place to place with little effort, making them one of the greatest assets of modern day life. But all that driving around can take a toll on your car, which is why regular vehicle maintenance is so important.

Some regular maintenance items include:

  • Tire rotation
  • Oil changes
  • 30,000-mile service
  • 90,000-mile service
  • Maintaining proper fluid levels and tire pressure
  • Brake alignment
  • Replacing parts as necessary

Knowing the best way to keep your car on the road is through regular maintenance will keep you ready for anything life throws at you. Plus, if you want to sell your car in the future, there’s nothing that helps keep a car’s value better than regular maintenance.

You can have additional peace of mind knowing that every car we sell comes with our Best Friend Guarantee, which includes:

  • 2-year warranty
  • 48-hour no hassle return policy
  • Oil changes for 3 years
  • State inspections for 3 years
  • Free Carfax report on all vehicles

Think you’re the only one with bad credit? We’ve got 35,000 customers who disagree. We’ve been putting people in the driver’s seat for over 20 years. No judgement. No hassle. No kidding.

Stop by The Auto Connection today and find your perfect car. Our Virginia locations include Danville, Norfolk, Newport News and Richmond. Get the approval process started from home with our easy online application.

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