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.

How to Get into a Quality Used Car for Only $1 Down

How to Get into a Quality Used Car for Only $1 Down

Young Woman Driving A quality used Car

If $1 down to get into a quality used car sounds too good to be true, we totally understand. But at The Auto Connection, we don’t see you as a number like other dealers might. We see you as a friend, which is why we put people just like you in the driver’s seat, regardless of your credit history. At The Auto Connection, for just $1 down, you can ride today!*

Have peace of mind knowing that every car we sell comes with our Best Friend Guarantee. What exactly is that, you ask? The Best Friend Guarantee 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. We didn’t get the title of Car Buyer’s Best Friend for nothing. 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.

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

First-Time Buyer Vivianna Shares Her Auto Connection Experience

First-Time Buyer Vivianna Shares Her Auto Connection Experience

When Vivianna looked to purchase her first quality used car, she went to The Auto Connection. She was pleasantly surprised to find friendly, helpful staff who walked her through every step of the process. But it was the Best Friend Guarantee that really took her by surprise.

Best Friend Guarantee

The Auto Connection’s Best Friend Guarantee includes a 2-year warranty, 48-hour no hassle return policy, oil changes for 3 years, state inspections for 3 years, and a free Carfax report on all vehicles.

Getting Approved

Vivianna was nervous about getting approved for a quality used car. At The Auto Connection, no matter your financial situation, we’ll find a way to get you in the driver’s seat. In fact, we’ve been putting people 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!*

Quality Used Car Choices

Vivianna’s vehicle options were vast—we have over 300 quality used cars for you to choose from—with so many options, the hardest part is narrowing down your choices. She narrowed things down to the perfect quality used car for her.

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.

Elon Musk Shows Off the Tesla Roadster He’s Prepping for Space

Elon Musk Shows Off the Tesla Roadster He’s Prepping for Space

elon musk space car

Cars in space? Yep, you read that right: Elon Musk is planning on sending a Tesla Roadster to space. Check out the article below, compliments of AutoBlog.

“When Elon Musk revealed his plans for SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket, he also promised the delivery of his own cherry-red Tesla Roadster to space, all while David Bowie’s Space Oddity plays. Not the most subtle of promotions, for sure. Now Musk is teasing us with an even more overblown set of seven photos that show said Roadster prepping to head into orbit near Mars.

The photoset on Musk’s Instagram account reminds everyone that test flights usually contain mass in the form of concrete or steel blocks to test load capacity. Instead, Musk decided to launch his own Roadster into an elliptical orbit around the sun, which he says should last a billion years. Which, obviously, may be a bit of hyperbole. Even still, this is some unforgettable imagery, which will likely burn itself into our collective minds as we think of Tesla, Musk or Space X. Which is probably the point.”

A space vehicle not your thing? At The Auto Connection we have over 300 quality used cars for you to choose from—with so many options, the hardest part is narrowing down your choices.

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.

New Year’s Resolution: Get the Perfect Used Car

New Year’s Resolution: Get the Perfect Used Car

man driving through mountains in quality used car

A new year offers an ideal opportunity for a fresh start. If you’re like many Americans, you’re looking for a reliable, quality used car. We’re happy to say, you’ve come to the right place.

At The Auto Connection, we’re been putting people in the driver’s seat for over 20 years. That’s over 35,000 customers who got a quality used car regardless of their credit history. You can get in a quality used car today.

When you buy a quality used vehicle from The Auto Connection, you’re getting our Best Friend Guarantee. This includes a 2-year limited warranty, 48-hour no-hassle return policy, oil changes for 3 years, and more. Because getting you on the road is one thing. Keeping you there is everything.

Listen to what our happy customer have to say about their experience buying a quality used car at The Auto Connection.

Need a reliable used car? The Auto Connection has you covered! Our buy here, pay here program can allow you to get in a car, regardless of your credit history.

Our Virginia locations include Danville, Norfolk, Newport News and Richmond. Get the approval process started from home with our easy online application.

Page 1 of 1012345...10...Last »