3 DIY Car Maintenance Tasks

Whether you’ve just bought a new car, or you’ve owned your vehicle for some time, it’s important to keep up with maintenance. Keeping your vehicle properly maintained will ensure that it looks good and runs well. If you’re worried about the cost of car maintenance, there are several tasks you can perform yourself. Let’s discuss some of those DIY tasks.

1. Oil Changes

Changing your car’s oil is one of the most essential and easiest maintenance tasks. Your car’s engine needs clean oil to run. Dirty oil can cause costly damage, so it’s crucial to stay on schedule with your oil changes. First, consult your owner’s manual to see what type of oil you should use and how often it should be changed. Once you’ve purchased the proper oil and a new oil filter, you’ll want to change your clothes and have plenty of towels on hand. Oil changes can get very messy, very quickly. 

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5 Reasons the 2017 Taurus Should Be on Your Radar

Anyone looking to buy a used vehicle should consider the 2017 Taurus. Competing with other well-known titles, the Taurus has continued to be a front runner for those purchasing sedans. Here are five reasons the 2017 Taurus should be on your radar when looking for your next used vehicle. 

1. Sleek Design

This sedan’s design is a front runner when it comes to looks. Combining luxury with just enough sporty features, this car is a larger vehicle that still manages to look sleek, perfect for those who want to have the look of a luxury car without paying the price for one. The car also comes complete with a chrome finish and 18-inch aluminum wheels.  

2. Comfortable Seating 

The Taurus boasts having some of the most comfortable seating available in the industry. With spacious seating for up to five, the leather upholstery comes with heated, cooled, and massaging front seats. Not forgetting the passengers, the rear seats are also heated and cooled. The mixture of comfortable seating, spacious room, and an ample trunk space make the Taurus an excellent purchase for families or those who will be going on road trips. 

3. Plenty of Power 

A 3.5-liter V-6 engine producing 288 horsepower and 254 pound-feet of torque paired with a six-speed automatic transmission come standard with the 2017 Ford Taurus. 

Get slightly less power but quicker acceleration with the  2.0-liter, I-4 TurboCharged engine, generating  240 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. This engine is an available option exclusively for front-wheel-drive models earning an EPA rating of 23 combined mpg. 

Finally, the high-performance SHO trim features a 3.5-liter, V-6 TurboCharged engine pumping out 365 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque with a combined EPA fuel economy rating of 19 mpg. 

4. Lots of Features 

The Taurus comes with a plethora of features including a power moonroof, Sync 3 multimedia system, USB connection, audio and cruise control features on the steering wheel, one-touch power windows, push-button start, and a heated steering wheel. 

Stand-alone features available for both SEL and Limited trims include a navigation system, leather upholstery, a sunroof, 20-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, and heated front seats. The Driver Assist option package is available for Limited models and includes an automated parallel parking system, lane departure warning and intervention, adaptive cruise control, and a forward collision warning system. 

5. Keeps you Safe 

Safety has always been an essential aspect of the Ford Taurus, with the 2017 model sitting at the front of its class. The 2017 Taurus received a five out of five from the National Highway Safety Administration as well as five stars on both the frontal and side crash tests. Finally, it received four out of five stars on the rollover test. 

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Taurus the highest score of “Good” after having it go through four crash tests.  

Whether looking for a reliable second vehicle for a daily commute, or the first car for a new teen driver, the 2017 Taurus is one to consider. Stop into Rocky’s Auto Credit today to learn more about this impressive vehicle. 


5 Tips for Financing a Used Car

Finance Tips - Rocky's Auto Credit

You’re in the market for a new-to-you vehicle, and you’re considering all your options. You’ll probably discover that financing a used car is different than getting a loan on a new one. Before you head to the dealership, check out these five tips for financing a used car.

1. Know your Credit Score

Banks and other lending institutions use your credit score to determine your interest rate, among other things. The good news is buying a car doesn’t require perfect credit. However, those attractive ads for low-interest financing are geared toward borrowers with excellent credit, which generally means a minimum FICO credit score of 700. If you have little, no, or poor credit, you’re likely to pay more interest over the life of your loan.

2. Get a Few Quotes

Often the best choice for financing is through your dealership. It’s staffed with loan experts armed with long-standing partnerships with banks and might even offer incentives from the lending companies it works with regularly. It never hurts to have a comparison quote, though.

In today’s high-tech world, it’s easy to apply for a used car loan online. Shopping around for financing is just as important as test-driving more than one car. Compare not only the monthly payment but the term of the loan as well as the interest rate before you sign on the dotted line.

3. Keep the Term Short

The longer your loan, the more you’re going to pay in interest. This idea is an easy concept to grasp, but when you’re looking at those attractive monthly payments on a seven-year payment plan, it’s hard to resist. Be realistic, and opt for saving money over convenience. When you pay off your loan faster, you end up owning your car sooner — and it’s worth the price you paid for it.

4. Put Down a Large Payment

Another way to save money on financing is to put as much money down as you can reasonably afford. Some experts recommend a 20% down payment when purchasing a vehicle to compensate for depreciation.

The key thing to remember is the more money you put down, the better. Your loan will be smaller and so will your monthly obligations. A significant down payment might also give your lender a reason to lower your interest rate. Take time to save up, especially if your credit is less than stellar.

5. Pay Fees in Cash

When you buy a used car, you usually have to pay a variety of other costs, as well. From dealership fees to sales tax, these added expenses are often rolled into the loan. If possible, consider paying these fees in cash instead of financing them. Why pay interest on sales tax? It simply doesn’t make sense from a fiscally responsible standpoint.

Use these five tips for financing a used car next time you head to the lot. Armed with this knowledge, your car-buying experience will be fun and rewarding.

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How to Get Your Used Car Ready for a Summer Roadtrip

How to get your car summer road-trip readyNothing says summer like a road trip. As the weather warms, Americans start making plans for their next cross-country excursions. It’s a great way to see the sights and create lasting memories with loved ones. Hitting the highway, however, can be a grand adventure or an epic headache. Get your used car ready for a summer road trip, and ensure safe, comfortable travels when you follow these tips.

Check the Tires

To say that everything’s riding on your tires is a fact. Correctly inflated tires matter, especially in the summer. An underinflated tire will run hotter and reduce your overall fuel efficiency. Combine that with sunbaked roads and a heavily loaded car, and you could be at risk of a dangerous blowout as you’re cruising down the highway. Continue reading


The 2016 Challenger Can Still Complete With New Muscle

2016 Dodge Challenger | Rocky's Auto CreditLong known as a serious muscle car, the Dodge Challenger is a performance car enthusiast’s dream. While the 2019 models feature improved form and power, the 2016 models can still win at the races. Regardless of which model year you choose, the Dodge Challenger is packed with power that will get your adrenaline pumping.

Design

The Dodge Challenger design shares the architecture of the Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 sedans. Because of this large-car architecture, both the 2016 and 2019 models have more space in the back seat for passengers. The interior is luxurious and sporty, making for a comfortable ride on the road or the racetrack. Continue reading


2014 Nissan - Rocky's Auto Credit

4 Reasons to Buy a 2014 Nissan

2014 Nissan - Rocky's Auto CreditWith an upscale look, high-quality materials, NASA-inspired technology, and numerous safety features, the 2014 Nissan Altima is still a good buy even today. The exterior is sleek and classy and the interior features luxurious amenities and smart technology. Whether you need a daily commuter or something to take you across the country, the 2014 Altima is a comfortable midsize sedan that is still a good bet.

It Performs Well

The 2014 Nissan Altima is available with one of two engines, depending on the model you choose. The 2.5-liter DOHC 16-valve four-cylinder engine gets 182 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. In the city, you’ll get an EPA-estimated 27 miles per gallon and 37 miles per gallon on the highway. A 3.5-liter DOHC 24-valve V-6 engine is also available and cranks out 270 horsepower. A continuously variable transmission is found in both engines and helps with the car’s gas mileage. Continue reading


Chevy Silverado: The Best Model Years to Buy Used

Chevy Silverado at Rocky's Auto Credit

If you’ve ever owned a Chevy truck, you probably still own a Chevy truck. This brand inspires loyalty and there’s a reason for it: durability. These trucks are workhorses that just don’t quit. If you’re in the market for a used Chevy Silverado, make sure you’re looking at the best years. Here are some details about the best Silverado models available.

2015 Chevy Silverado 1500 Extended Cab

While the Silverado 1500 is offered in four trim levels, the LT is well equipped and works well for all intended purposes. The 143.5-inch wheelbase complements the 230 inches of length. With over 19 feet of truck and 61 cubic feet of bed volume, the 2015 Chevy Silverado can handle a 1,850-pound payload and has a towing capacity of 9,200 pounds. The strength of this model can accommodate any of your pet projects.

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How to Make Your Tires Last Longer

front tire; red wheel boltsTires are essential to driving because they help keep your vehicle moving. But they’re also an expensive investment. While changing your tires is inevitable, there are things you can do to make them last longer. Here are several tips to do just that.

Alignment Matters

 

Tires are usually fitted in the shop using laser beams to make sure the fit is precise. But how those tires are aligned also impact the wear on them. The toe or stance of the tires is one way to check for wear. If the toe of the tire is facing out, you may see wear called feathering.

Check the camber, or the tilt of the tire toward or away from the car’s frame by standing in front or behind the car. If the tops of your tires are closer than the bottoms, the treads on the inside wear away quicker. If they tip out, the outside wears away quicker. Getting your tires aligned, if you see wear, is another way to help them last longer. Continue reading


Car Travel with Pets: How to Keep Them Safe

small dog in passenger seat of vehiclePet owners would do anything to keep their furry friends safe and healthy. While our own safety in the car is top of mind, doing the same for our furry traveling companions takes a bit more thought and consideration. Here are some tips to keep your pet safe while on the road.

Buckle Up

Buckling the seatbelt is often the first thing we do when we get in the car. Unfortunately, seat belts for a standard car don’t fit or secure a dog the same way. That’s why the first safety tip is to get a dog seat belt. Just like humans, dogs will move forward during a sudden stop. Falling off the seat can result in an injury. If your dog is well-behaved in the car, consider using a regular dog harness and simply slide the belt through the harness and buckle it in.

Smaller dogs or dogs who are more active may need something else. You may prefer having a dog guard that’s bolted to the floor and the roof so the dog can be free in the back while still being safe. Or your dog might prefer a hammock-style seat cover. No matter which option you choose, make sure you have something to keep your dog from getting hurt in an accident or during a sudden stop. Continue reading


Used Cars That Can Beat the Rain

Rainy Road on the hills

When deciding on a used car, there are a couple of important factors to take into consideration. First on the list has to be reliability. After all, what good is having a car if it breaks down constantly or has persistent issues that drain both your time and your bank account?

Another important issue is how the car will handle in adverse weather conditions. It’s one thing for a car to be able to handle tight turns and hard stops in perfect conditions, but if its performance falters during a rainstorm, that can put you and others in a dangerous situation. With this in mind, here are some used cars that handle well when the roads are slick from rain. Continue reading