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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The 5 Best Compact Cars of 2017

2017 was a very competitive year for compact vehicles. With so many options to choose from, a new car shopper could easily become overwhelmed. The experts at Rocky’s Auto Credit can help eliminate the stress and help you find your next car. Here is our list of the 5 Best Compact Cars of 2017

1. 2017 Kia Soul

The Kia Soul ranked among the best in a very competitive class. Offering outstanding seating and ample amounts of cargo space, the Soul also earns a high reliability rating and great crash test scores. The sleek design of the Soul, as well as an average gas mileage of 28 miles per gallon, makes the Soul a great option for anyone looking for a compact car.

The interior of the Soul is upscale, comfortable, and perfect for a daily commute. With 130 horsepower, the standard, four-cylinder engine can be upgraded to either a 161 horsepower four-cylinder engine or a 201 horsepower, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine. 

2. 2017 Honda Civic 

The design of the Civic makes it look sportier than anything else in its class. With this vehicle, Honda has succeeded in providing an excellent option for potential shoppers. The Honda Civic boasts exceptional safety scores, a spacious cabin, ample cargo room, and exciting driving dynamics. 

The standard, 158 horsepower, four-cylinder engine can be upgraded to a turbocharged, 178 horsepower engine for a little extra kick. For those looking for even more power, a turbocharged 2.0 liter engine offering as much as 306 horsepower is also available.

3. 2017 Toyota Prius 

The Toyota Prius is well known for its outstanding fuel economy, excellent cargo room, comfortable interior, and high reliability rating. The interior of the Prius is fitted with cloth upholstery, but a leatherette seating option is also available which features heated seats. The interior is comfortable and offers plenty of legroom. The cabin features a plethora of soft-touch surfaces that are easy to clean. 

The standard engine of the Prius is a four-cylinder combined with two electric motors, all amounting to a combined 121 horsepower. Prioritizing fuel efficiency over power, drivers will enjoy an average of 54 miles per gallon with this vehicle. 

4. 2017 Buick Verano 

The Buick Verano is the safest option on this list, receiving exceptionally high safety and reliability scores. It also includes a vast array of extra safety features including a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, forward collision warning, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert. 

The interior is as exceptional as the safety scores with generously padded seats providing all-day comfort. While driving, the interior remains quiet with almost no engine noise. The standard four-cylinder engine provides 180 horsepower and averages 25 miles per gallon. 

5. 2017 Chevrolet Cruze

Available as a sedan or a hatchback, the 2017 Chevy Cruze is an ideal compact vehicle. One of 2017’s most versatile cars for teen drivers, it includes an outstanding infotainment system that drivers of any age will appreciate. Its available turbo diesel engine also features best-in-segment fuel economy with 50 highway miles per gallon. 

Whether you are looking for a reliable second vehicle or the first car for a new teen driver, any one of these compact vehicles will meet your needs. Stop into Rocky’s Auto Credit today and let us help you find the right car for you. 


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


Check Out These Two Unforgettable Mesa Area Museums

Unforgetable Mesa Museums | Rocky's Auto CreditMesa, Arizona, and the surrounding area are home to some very unforgettable museums. Whether you imagine soaring through the skies or digging deep below the Earth’s surface, fun and educational opportunities abound.

Arizona Museum of Natural History

The goal of the Arizona Museum of Natural History is to inspire wonder, understanding, and respect for the Southwest’s cultural and natural history. The museum features 60,000 objects on display and 10,000 historic photographs. Permanent exhibits include Dinosaur Hall, Ancient Cultures of Mexico, Native Peoples of the Past, the Paleo Dig, and more. Rotating exhibits are also featured throughout the year. Children will get a kick of the Exploration Station, where they can take part in interactive exhibits. Continue reading


Why You Should Buy a 2015 Honda Accord

2015 Honda Accord - Used Cars in Mesa, AZThe Honda Accord has earned a reputation for its durability and reliability. The Accord is often at the top of the most affordable car lists, making it a great choice for a used car. Check out a few of the reasons that make the 2015 Honda Accord the perfect used car purchase.

Stylish Exterior Design

The 2015 Honda Accord is a stylish choice with a sleek body style and cues that will remind you of the Accord’s prominent history. The swiping sidelines lead into the rear end where its design might remind you of more expensive luxury cars. Continue reading


4 Inexpensive Things to Do in Phoenix

Things to do in Phoenix | Rocky's Auto CreditYou don’t have to break the bank to have a good time in Phoenix. Check out a few of the best, and most affordable activities to enjoy in the Phoenix, Arizona, area.

Visit the Arizona State Library

The Arizona State Library is made up of a large collection of digital and print books that contain Arizona state information. If you are looking to learn more about the beautiful state of Arizona or you just want to browse the archives, you are sure to enjoy the free admission to the state library. Continue reading


4 Reasons to Buy a Used Car at Rocky’s

Why Buy A Used Car at Rocky's | Rocky's Auto CreditDeciding whether to buy new or used is one of the first questions to ask when it comes time to replace your car. There are many advantages to buying a used car versus a new one. If you are getting ready to buy a car, make sure you consider these benefits to choosing a used car.

Used Cars Hold Value Better

The minute you drive a new car off the lot, it is no longer a new car. This immediately drops its value and can put you underwater when it comes time to sell. A used car, on the other hand, tends to hold its value much better. In fact, it is even possible for you to buy it, drive it for a while, and then sell it without losing any money. When you buy a used car, you can take advantage of someone else’s depreciation and still enjoy a car that is just a few years old.

Used Cars Have a Lower Price Tag

Used cars come at a cheaper price than new cars. In addition to a cheaper sticker price, you may also enjoy other cost-savings benefits like lower insurance rates and registration fees. You can often negotiate more when it comes to a used car too, whereas negotiating on a new car is unlikely. It might be tempting to go with a new car that has all the upgraded technologies but you can often get similar features on a used car, at a lower cost.

Used Cars are Reliable

One of the biggest downsides to buying a used car has always been their lack of reliability. Today, used cars are more reliable than ever. Of course, new cars are also reliable but today, cars are lasting longer than ever. Many dealerships also offer certified used cars which means you can purchase a used car with the same warranties as a new one.

Used cars that are certified may come with vehicle warranties that cover some of the most common used car problems. You can also look up the history of a used car with a vehicle history report. These reports will show you the number of owners, the miles on the vehicle, the current registration status, and even if the vehicle has been in any accidents.

Used Cars Let You Stretch Your Budget

Because you save so much money on the initial cost and licensing fees when you buy a used car, you can often afford something nicer. Choosing a used car allows you to stretch your budget even further. You can opt for a car with all the added features or you can even choose a luxury brand. Go with the leather seats or opt for a keyless entry system.

A lower price tag and decreased depreciation are just a few of the reasons to consider buying a used car. Come by Rocky’s Auto Credit today to check out our full inventory of reliable, stylish, and affordable used cars.

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Explore Phoenix’s Desert Botanical Gardens

Phoenix Botanical Gardens | Rocky's Auto CreditThe Desert Botanical Gardens highlight the beauty and nature of the desert landscape of Phoenix. You can easily get lost simply wandering among the beauty of the unique plants, trees, flowers, and cacti located throughout the gardens. There are a lot of activities, events, and learning opportunities to check out, as well.

What is the Desert Botanical Garden?

The Desert Botanical Gardens consists of 140-acres of desert land with a large variety of plant species to enjoy. The plants can be observed in outdoor exhibits and there are 4,379 species of plants in the Living Collection and 379 rare and endangered plants that are being maintained in the gardens. The gardens are a great place to visit for the day, volunteer, attend an event, research, or experience a guided tour with the family or out on a field trip.

Exciting Activities and Events

There is a lot to see and do at the Desert Botanical Garden. The selection of nature trails makes it a popular walking destination. Some of the trails include the Sonoran Desert Nature Loop Trail, the Center for Desert Living Trail, the Desert Discovery Loop Trail, the Harriet K. Maxwell Desert Wildflower Loop Trail, and the Plants and People of the Sonoran Desert Loop Trail.

Attending an event at the Desert Botanical Garden can be an exciting activity. Dueling Pianos, Dinner on the Desert, and Sunday Concerts in the Garden are just a few examples of events they hold. You can visit the Desert Botanical Gardens website or call them directly for additional information about upcoming events.

Ever-changing Exhibits

If you have visited the gardens before, you may learn and experience something entirely new as the exhibits are ever-changing. You can also sign up for a guided tour. Daily tours are available and include garden tours, behind-the-scenes tour, and birds in the garden tour. You can also register for a private group tour.

Award-winning Meals

You can also grab a bite to eat among the gardens. Grab a delicious meal at Gertrude’s for brunch, lunch, or dinner. The restaurant is a Diner’s Choice Award winner. For a faster meal, you can stop by the Patio Cafe for drinks, salads, sandwiches, and a full kid’s menu. Make sure you also check out the gift shop for a souvenir to commemorate your visit to the Desert Botanical Gardens.

Important Research of the Botanical Gardens

Part of the mission of the Desert Botanical Gardens is to learn more about the plants and how to preserve them, especially those species that are endangered. There are 23 scientists and conservationists that are committed to gaining knowledge about these organisms working in the Hazel Hare Center for Plant Science.

If you are interested in learning more about the desert plants, you will want to check out the library, where the librarian can assist you with finding resources if you have a certain topic in mind to research.

There are lots of different ways to experience the gardens. Whether you are just visiting for the day, want to help by volunteering, or you are a member returning to see a new exhibit, the Desert Botanical Garden has something for you.

Attribution Some rights reserved by Ariane Middel