This post is in response to a question we hear frequently in the auto business: “How important is it to regularly wash and detail my car?” Some vehicle owners break out the sponge and bucket every week, while for others its the last thing on their mind. We thought we’d share our professional opinion on the importance of keeping your vehicle clean with at least some consistency!
Many of us have had that feeling. You know, the one you get when you’ve driven a new (or ‘new to you’) car off the lot. It’s shiny, the gleam off its hood as radiant as freshly fallen snow. The interior is pristine; every fingerprint and lone dust mote stands out.
As you pull onto the road you tell yourself, “I’m going to take care of this car. It’s not going to get dirty and dusty. I’m not going to let the backseats get filled with old takeout wrappers. This time, I’m doing things right!”
Fast-forward a year later. If you’re like the majority of us distractible humans, your good car intentions may have packed up and hit the road. Your backseat isn’t necessarily a trash heap, and the exterior paint is probably still visible. But there’s a dusty film covering the exterior and some mud on the wheels. Inside, pockets of crumbs line every floor crevice and there’s a faint food odour you can’t quite put your finger on….Oh, you just put your finger on it, and it came away sticky! It’s a far cry from where things started when you held your head high, willing passers-by to look at your shiny new ride.
“What’s the big deal?” you may think. After all, the way your car looks has nothing to do with how it performs on the road – right? Well, yes and no. Washing and detailing your car can easily drop to the bottom of your to-do list. But this aspect of auto-care offers some real benefits to the long-term value and health of your vehicle.
Here are a few good reasons to have your car professionally washed and detailed, at least with the changing seasons:
You’ll avoid rust
It doesn’t matter if your car is driven down country roads or just to work and back. Dirt and dust are going to find their way onto your vehicle’s finish. When parked, your car is prone to poo attacks by passing birds. On the highway, bugs splatter with abandon. That grimy film that slowly builds up on your car is a combination of settled dirt and moisture in the air that mixes with it.
To the naked eye, all that tiny particulate matter sitting on your car’s exterior isn’t doing much besides looking bad. But as you speed down the highway, or as your kids run their fingers along the exterior, those particles move around. What’s the effect? Tiny abrasions to the clear coat, which over time allows dirt and moisture to work their evil magic on the paint. And what happens once the paint is gone? You bet – rust. Bird droppings, tree sap and insects are even worse than regular dirt; their corrosive elements eat away at your clear coat fairly quickly.
Long story short, regularly washing the exterior of your vehicle will avoid having your clear coat and paint damaged over time. You might spend a bit more time or money short-term, but you’re almost sure to save down the road. As anyone who’s owned a vehicle for more than a few years knows – a little rust can go a long way.
You’ll improve resale value
You may think, “I’ll obviously give my car a good cleaning once I decide to sell it.” But often if you wait that long, the clear coat has already undergone some damage, not to mention interior stains or odours that have been left to fester.
From a private buyer’s perspective, a well-cared for car implies a well-maintained car. Sure it’s subjective, but don’t you want to make the best possible impression in order to get the best possible return?
Similarly, if you decide to trade in at a dealership, your vehicle will bring a higher value if the paint job looks new. A salesperson may even assume that if you couldn’t be bothered with keeping your car clean – inside and out – then you likely didn’t care too much about regular maintenance like oil and filter changes.
Do your future self a favour and make regular auto detailing part of your vehicle’s maintenance schedule.
You’ll be a safer driver
A rearview window you can barely see out of or a set of tires caked in mud do not a 100% safe ride make. Part of vehicle safety is making sure each component works the same way it did when you first bought the vehicle; this includes being able to see clearly and having all vehicle components free of obstructive grime.
Another component in having your car regularly cleaned has to do with germs. A lot of cross-contamination can happen inside a car, what with loose change, food items and probably a used Kleenex or two floating around. Think about how many people may have touched the steering wheel, glove box, safety belt buttons and so forth with less-than-clean hands.
Professional detailers can remove all the oils and dirt built up inside your car using the proper tools and techniques (a.k.a. not the old washcloth and Windex you’ve been using). No matter how many kids you cart to soccer practice, you can rest assured you’re not exposing anyone to unneeded germs when you keep your car clean and tidy.
You’ll feel better about yourself
Well, no promises here of course! But in our busy age we don’t need any extra stressors in our lives. Arguably, climbing into a vehicle that’s filled to the brim with old coffee cups, or muddy to the point of embarrassment could be considered stressful.
Type A and B personalities alike can appreciate the feeling of driving in a car that doesn’t pose the risk of soiling your office clothes or your hands when you climb in or open the trunk. There will also be no reason to cringe when your colleague asks lat-minute if she can catch a ride with you to those after-work drinks.
There you have it – four good reasons to don your rubber gloves, or schedule your car in for detailing. If you happen to be in the Charlottetown area, Fair Isle Ford Lincoln now offers full auto detailing. The Fair Isle Car Spa offers both basic and full-service interior and exterior cleaning of your car, truck or SUV – book today and receive 50% off!
That seasonal chill is undeniably in the air, which can mean only one thing…winter is coming.
Ok, so it’s not a favourite time of year for many Islanders, but we always manage. And part of what gets us through is preparing our vehicles for the coming weather.
From now until the end of November, Fair Isle Ford Lincoln is offering customers our Winter Performance Package (WPP) free of charge with the purchase of most 2018 Ford models, including the F-150, Escape, EcoSport and Explorer. Valued between $1,408 and $2,831, this package gives you peace-of-mind as you cruise through winter.
So what’s included in WPP? Here’s a quick rundown of its three components:
From ice to slush, a good set of winter tires handle it all during the colder months. They are an integral part of your winter driving safety and should be installed by the time the snow starts falling.
Our dealership carries an impressive range of tires including top brands like Michelin, Bridgestone and Firestone. We’ll find the right winter tires for your SUV, truck or sedan and install them right here in our Service bay.
Along with your tires, it’s advisable to have a set of winter wheels. This is partly because it takes less time for a technician to install tires when they’re already on rims, thus costing less time and money.
It’s also hard on tires to be put on and taken off of the same set of rims each season. This is avoided by having a different set of wheels for each set of tires, both winter and summer.
Tire Pressure Sensors
Since 2007, most light-weight vehicles have come equipped with tire pressure monitoring systems. These sensors are what let you know when you’re driving on under-inflated tires, which can pose a safety risk.
As part of WPP, we will install sensors in your winter tires so you don’t have to worry about taking your vehicle back in after purchase.
In short, our Winter Performance Package provides everything your vehicle needs for safe winter driving. When winter comes, you’ll be ready for it.
Choosing a family vehicle is no small feat, even for the car-savvy shopper. For one thing there are enough safety and tech features on the market to make you dizzy. Not to mention the seemingly endless array of financing, features and colours.
“Should I buy an SUV or a minivan?” “Do I need a crossover, mid-sized or three-row?” It may seem like these and other questions have become a constant part of your dinner table (or internal) dialogue!
Luckily, the team at Fair Isle Ford Lincoln has driven and sold a LOT of sedans, SUVs and trucks over the years. So we know all about the excitement, and the head-scratching, that comes about when choosing the perfect family vehicle. Based on our expertise we’ve come up with a complete 18-item checklist to help you choose the right car, van or SUV for you and yours.
1. Should I finance or lease?
There’s no ‘right’ answer when it comes to financing versus leasing a vehicle. “Your car of choice will be the same price whether you lease or purchase. However, there are benefits involved with both options and you should consider your lifestyle, level of commitment and other factors before deciding,” says Fair Isle Ford Lincoln Sales Manager, Matt Martin.
Benefits of leasing
The beauty of leasing, especially if you prefer a new car, is that it allows you to drive your ideal vehicle without ownership.
With financing, you’re paying for the entire value of the vehicle over a set amount of time. Leasing differs in that you only pay for the portion of the vehicle’s value that you will use during the lease term. You will enter into a contract with a dealership for a set amount of time (at Fair Isle we offer between 24 and 60 months), on a set payment schedule.
At the end of a lease term there is no risk of owing more than the vehicle is worth. This is because you have the right, but not the obligation, to pay out the residual. For example, if you get in an accident this automatically lowers a vehicle’s value when it comes times to sell. If you’ve financed the vehicle you’re still responsible to pay the full remaining account balance, even though the vehicle is now worth less. If you’ve leased the same vehicle you’re not as negatively impacted financially because you’re only responsible for paying your lease term.
Conversely, if a leased vehicle maintains good market value, you have the option to purchase it outright at any time, allowing you to access its equity without ever owning the vehicle. With leasing you can potentially build equity in something you haven’t even purchased yet.
Another plus to leasing is that you could be responsible for less tax. With financing, you have the price of the vehicle, add tax, and this is what you finance and pay interest on. With leasing, taxes are calculated based on the monthly payments, not the total value of the vehicle.
One misconception about leasing is that you can’t go over a certain amount of mileage without paying heavy fees. In reality, at least with Ford, you can purchase extra kilometres up front, and if you don’t use them, Ford will pay you back.
Another misconception is that any and all damage to a leased vehicle will cost you at end of lease agreement. Ford provides a detailed guide when you lease, explaining normal vs. excessive wear and tear. For example, you’ll know how many dents or scratches are allowed per panel without charge. There’s no trickery involved as some would have you believe!
Benefits of Financing
Of course, financing a vehicle has its perks as well. Once the payments are finished you now own your vehicle; you can choose to keep it and forgo monthly payment for awhile, or trade it in and start fresh.
For families who drive a lot more than 20,000 – 25,000 km each year, financing may make more sense as they won’t have to pre-pay for mileage or keep an eye on the odometer.
Then there’s interest. A lengthy finance term at a low interest rate will save you on interest paid in the long run. There’s also no penalty to pre-pay with financing. So if your situation changes and you can afford to, paying off your vehicle in one go is obviously a great option financially.
Another benefit to financing is it gives you the option to finance accessories as part of the deal. This way you can pay for an attractive package as part of your monthly payments, and at the same interest rate.
At Fair Isle Ford Lincoln we offer flexible leasing and financing options to meet the needs of any driver, whether you’re a student looking for your first vehicle or a parent wanting to upgrade to something roomier for the family.
2. Should I buy new or used?
So maybe you’ve decided to purchase instead of lease. The next question is, do you buy new or used? As with financing versus leasing, there are attractive reasons to buying either a new or used vehicle. First, let’s discuss purchasing new.
A brand new car means you have your choice of trim, colours and options. The standard manufacturer’s warranty will be new (like the vehicle), so you’ll automatically be covered for longer than with pre-owned.
The tech features that come with most new vehicles nowadays make driving comfortable, convenient and just plain fun. And because car safety features tend to change pretty quickly, buying new can provide added peace-of-mind for your family. If you want the most up-to-date tech and safety standards, new is probably the way to go.
What about cost? While overall your investment will be higher for a new vehicle, financing options can be better. Many dealerships offer very low interest rates on the current year’s models.
You will also know a new car’s full history. That is, it has none! The only time you’ll have to take your new ride to the dealership is for regular maintenance appointments, which cost far less than major repairs.
Now let’s talk pre-owned. When the wheels hits the road, your upfront costs will be less overall for something that’s been driven off the lot. New cars lose a substantial chunk of their initial value within the first two years of ownership; so with pre-owned you can take advantage financially of the depreciation that’s already taken place.
Your budget for a pre-owned vehicle may also go further, getting you more options for your money. For example, a pre-owned pickup truck with five add-ons may cost you the same as a new model with no extras.
Dealerships often offer extended warranty packages on pre-owned. For instance, FordProtect Extended Service Plans cover scheduled maintenance for your vehicle, various ‘wear items’ plus multi-point inspections.
It’s worth asking your dealership of choice whether they have a CPO (Certified Pre-Owned) program. These used vehicles are put through rigorous inspection by trained technicians. Ford’s CPO program includes a comprehensive limited warranty and free 24/7 Roadside Assistance.
Sometimes the decision to buy new or used depends on the specific vehicle you’re looking at and what your local dealerships are offering in terms of financing and options. Whether you choose to buy new or used, the price needs to fit your family’s budget, which takes us to our next point.
3. How much car can I afford?
How much you can afford for a new or used vehicle is something you should work out before doing any serious shopping at a dealership.
Apart from the obvious step of working out a personal budget and seeing how a car fits into things, you should do the math on the not-so-obvious aspects of vehicle ownership. Maintenance, insurance and fuel are a few examples.
Before buying new, make sure to do the math on applicable fees and taxes, a well as any add-ons or trim upgrades you might opt into. If purchasing used, think about potential repairs or replacements that may be needed in future. Any car, new or pre-owned, will require annual inspection and registration.
Remember, it’s up to you to decide how much of your monthly income you’re willing to spend on a vehicle. The more research you do before purchase, the better decision you’re likely to make.
4. Where/how will I be driving the most?
Experienced moms innately understand that a family vehicle isn’t just a box for getting from A to B. It’s also a play area, an entertainment room and, occasionally, a dining room table! Choosing a family vehicle involves some seriously outside-the-box thinking.
First, consider your car’s primary use, whether commuting to work or daycare drop-offs and pickups. Now think about the second most common thing you do behind the wheel. This might be grocery shopping or weekend family outings. The third most common use of your car might be weekend stay-cations or longer shopping trips out of town.
Each of the above situations demands different uses of the vehicle and a different driving experience. During daily commutes you’ve likely got back seats in their forward positions with each holding a child. Shopping trips likely require ample cargo space as well as enough room for the kids. Keep these requirements in mind when deciding if a car, minivan or SUV is the right choice for your family.
Apart from cargo space, other aspects to think about are comfort on long drives, entertainment features for the kids and whether you’ll be city driving or going off-road. Take a good long test drive to make sure everything fits, and feels comfortable no matter where you’re headed.
5. Will this vehicle grow with my family?
Along with meeting your brood’s needs right now, the vehicle you choose should be able to grow with your family. In other words, will you still be able to drive comfortably and safely when you have another child? What about once your kids are bigger?
Especially when purchasing a new vehicle, you’ll want to think about how long your family will be driving it for. Versatility is key – look for a vehicle with seats that easily fold down, for instance. Sliding doors and multiple car seat attachments can also be super helpful for the busy parent.
It should go without saying that you’ll want a car with enough legroom to give each family member a comfortable ride. A minivan or SUV obviously has greater longevity than a sedan purely in terms of room-to-grow. But even within the same class (compact SUVs *cough*) all models are not created equal.
Bring your teenage son with you to make sure his long legs will fit in the back. Make sure both you and your partner feel comfortable sitting in the passenger seat. Your future self will thank you on those long family drives!
6. How much warranty do I need?
It’s pretty much a given that a new vehicle purchase will come with a warranty. Used vehicles, especially Certified Pre-Owned (CPO), are also often eligible for some coverage.
Each automaker and dealership offers a different range of options, so choosing a warranty package might seem a little daunting. Spending some time learning about your options can certainly pay off. “Most dealerships, including Fair Isle, have dedicated staff who can explain everything and help you find a plan that works for you and your family,” explains Finance Manager Cindy Gallant.
Comprehensive or ‘standard’ warranties typically come directly from the manufacturer and cover almost all vehicle components against defects. At Fair Isle, both new and CPO vehicles come with a limited warranty that offers comprehensive coverage.
The length of most warranties is based on either kilometres driven or a pre-set length of time. Fair Isle’s Certified Pre-Owned vehicles, for example, are eligible for plans starting at five years/100,000 km and up to eight years/200,000 km.
Many dealerships offer comprehensive plans in addition the the basic coverage included with purchase. Ford Protect plans, for instance, offer long-term warranty on many vehicle components like brakes, steering and electrical components, along with Roadside Assistance. These types of plans typically start when your basic coverage expires, and will protect you from unexpected repair bills down the road.
The best advice we can give is to take the time to discuss all warranty options with your dealer. Read the fine print and compare so you’ll understand both what you need and what’s on offer.
7. How much is my trade-in worth?
We’ll go out on a limb and assume that because you’re in the market for a family vehicle, you’ve probably already got something with wheels and an engine on the road.
If your current car, truck or SUV is in decent shape (and sometimes even if it’s not), you can likely squeeze some value out of it as part of the buying process. Our trade-in calculator can help you determine what your current vehicle is worth, which can help with budgeting. It also helps to have an idea of your car’s value before you visit a dealership.
Keep in mind that any online car appraisal tool you choose to use is an estimate, as various factors can influence your vehicle’s value, some of which may only be noted once you bring it in for closer inspection. That being said, having something to sell before you buy can certainly take the edge off your upcoming purchase price.
8.Will I have reliable service?
It’s the last thing on your mind when buying a car, especially a new one. “It will be years before anything will need to be done,” you may think confidently. But life happens, and it’s important to have a reliable service centre that’s close to home.
“It helps to purchase from an experienced dealership with a skilled service team. Even if it’s just for routine maintenance, you’ll want to feel confident that your vehicle is being treated skillfully and within a manageable timeline,” says Fair Isle’s Service Manager, Rick Thorne.
Little things, like your dealership offering comfortable seating and snacks for you and your kids, or a pick-up and drop-off service, can make the difference between a relaxed experience and a stressful one.
Do some research before choosing to do business with a dealership. Read reviews on Google and Facebook and see what others have to say. The ability to get your family back on the road with minimal headaches will be a major priority.
9. Do I need winter tires?
It’s a question that’s plagued every Canadian east of the prairies for decades: “Do I really need winter tires?”
The answer, in our opinion, is a resounding ‘yes’. Those four pieces of rubber can save your family from major and minor road mishaps. The reality is that all-season tires perform relatively poorly during the colder months. Switching between two sets is truly the best option if you live in an area that gets snowfall and ice on the roads.
Consider having a set of winter wheels as well. Not only will this save you some money when you get tires switched out twice a year (less work for the mechanic), but it’s a strain on tires to have them mounted and demounted so often. Keeping each set of tires on its own rims helps to prolong the life of both sets.
In case you were wondering, size does matter. Smaller tires can save you money, so a sedan will cost you less than an SUV in this respect. If you’re planning to purchase a new vehicle that’s similar in size to the one you’re currently driving, your current winter tires may fit.
If you do need to buy a set of winter tires, check out Fair Isle’s extensive stock. You may also be able to sell your current winter tires for a few hundred dollars, depending on how long you’ve been using them.
10. How much cargo space do I need?
This can be a confusing question. The way cargo space is calculated can differ depending on the class of vehicle. Cargo space in open spaces, like in an SUV or hatchback, is measured differently than an enclosed area like a sedan’s trunk. Here’s a detailed article that breaks it all down.
A rule of thumb when navigating the confusing cargo landscape is to avoid comparing numbers between different classes of vehicle (sedan vs. hatchback vs. minivan). Once you start looking at vehicles, bring your own measuring tape and do the math yourself. Another trick is to bring a piece of luggage, set it inside each vehicle and take a photo to compare space based on your family’s needs.
Keep in mind too that SUVs of similar size don’t always provide similar cargo room. Consumer reviews on websites like Edmunds will allow you to search specific models and read real customer reviews. These can be helpful in determining how amply, or insufficiently, a specific model meets the cargo needs of families like yours.
11. Is it car seat compatible?
Many families require more than one car seat at a time, which can pose a challenge. Even if you’re driving with just one infant or toddler, not all seats fit all vehicles. The anchor placement, the angle of rear seats and width of a car seat’s base can all influence this. We know – it’s a pain! But car seat compatibility is part of ensuring your child’s road safety.
If possible, bring your child seat(s) to the dealership and make sure everything fits as it’s meant to. And don’t arrive expecting the dealership staff to know how to properly install a car seat; many won’t attempt an installation for liability reasons. Best to bring someone along who knows what they’re doing.
Cars.com offer a Car Seat Check tool that allows you to search the compatibility of specific vehicles with different types of car seats. Avoid a frustrating situation and make sure your new ride and your child seat are destined to be friends.
12. How important is fuel economy?
This should be a consideration for any family that does its fair share of driving. In other words, most families across the country. Canadians spend an average of $1,510 per person per year on fuel, so it should factor into your car-buying equation.
Apart from hybrid models, the most fuel efficient SUVs offer fuel economy in the mid-20s. Larger models tend to return poor gas mileage in the mid-teens. Obviously, if you’re planning to tow a trailer, a boat or other heavy loads, your mileage will be affected.
13. What’s the best drivetrain choice?
If the title of this section already has you baffled, you’re not alone. The majority of car shoppers look for things like snazzy features and a comfy ride. Words like ‘powertrain’ and ‘driveshaft’ barely make it in to the equation. But the drivetrain can have a big impact on your driving experience.
Here’s a simplified explanation of how it works: The engine creates power, which it sends to the transmission. The transmission then converts this power into torque and transmits it to the drivetrain. The drivetrain sends power through the axles to the wheels and voila! The car moves.
There are four drivetrain options, each with its own advantages:
- Four-Wheel Drive (FWD) means each wheel has power, or traction. This drivetrain has the versatility and power to handle any terrain or weather conditions. It’s also a great choice for off-roading or hauling a camper or boat. However, FWD offers less traction than an AWD overall because it operates in Rear-wheel drive most of the time;
- All-Wheel Drive (AWD) is similar to FWD, bit instead of being able to turn the back wheels’ power on or off, all four wheels are always pulling at all times. This is a good option for traction and safety during daily driving;
- Not as common among vans and sedans is Rear-Wheel Drive, which is suited to pulling heavy loads as it gets more traction and puts less strain on the actual vehicle. These vehicles can create a better weight balance, so are more exciting to drive. RWD vehicles don’t perform particularly well on wet or snowy roads, though;
- Finally, Front-Wheel Drive is common in cars and SUVs and provides decent control in bad weather, as the traction is in the front of the vehicle. Front-wheel drive generally offers better fuel economy than AWD. Performance enthusiasts may find then less fun to drive.
14. Which tech features do I really want?
If the confusing acronyms don’t get ya, the pure amount of choice surely will. Today it seems car makers roll out a steady stream of convenience and infotainment features, faster than most consumers can digest them.
Here’s a brief breakdown of the most popular – and useful – tech features available with most major manufacturers:
- Cooled seats: You’ve heard of heated seats, which can be super handy during colder months. But what about when it’s sweltering hot and you’re stuck in traffic? Enter cooled seats, which keep you nice and breezy even on the warmest drives;
- Power liftgate: This one’s becoming fairly common among SUVs and crossovers, and makes it oh-so-simple to open your trunk while holding grocery bags, a child, or anything else. Just swipe or tap your foot under the back bumper and voila! – open for business;
- Heated steering wheel: Ever get that aching feeling in your hands on a crisp winter’s morning, or after doing yard work in chilly weather? Well, this feature is all about avoiding the pain and making your ride comfortable from the moment you step inside your vehicle;
- Adaptive Cruise Control: We also included this in our section on safety features, but that’s because it’s so kick-ass it deserves two mentions! ACC allows you to use the beloved cruise control feature, but with the assurance that your car will maintain a pre-set distance from the one in front of you. This feature will apply the brakes when getting too close, and then accelerate once traffic ahead moves or clears;
- Voice-activated controls: This can apply to both a car’s infotainment system and the use of other commands like navigation. Because we all know how little we need extra distractions when our littles are in the car with us;
- Bluetooth connectivity: In addition to facilitating hands-free calling, this feature allows you to stream and play Internet-sourced audio (music, podcasts) wirelessly wherever you are;
- Dual-zone automatic climate control: With this feature, the driver and front passenger can preset temperature settings, keeping everyone front and back comfortable without constant adjustments;
- Keyless entry and push-button start: These two often go hand-in-hand and can make getting into and starting the vehicle easier and faster; often a sensor is available on the car door’s handle that’s activated when swiped;
- WiFi: Especially useful for demanding Internet demands like streaming video while on-the-go, in-car WiFi is becoming more common among the family vehicle classes
15. Which safety features matter most?
One of the most important factors when choosing a family vehicle is how safe it will keep you and yours. And not unlike fun tech features, the realm of car safety has gotten bigger and more fine-tuned in recent years.
Here are some of the latest and greatest safety features to consider when choosing a family vehicle:
- Automatic emergency/pre-collision braking (AEB): Fast-becoming standard in all new vehicles, AEB autonomously applies a vehicle’s brakes when the car’s computer has determined a collision is likely. The system first provides warnings to the driver; if nothing is done, the car takes over and brakes;
- Blind-Spot Detection/Monitoring: With SUV and truck sales on the rise, blind sports are getting bigger and more dangerous. As a result, Blind Spot Detection systems are getting more common, providing another set of eyes to drivers concentrating on the road and providing warnings should you try to change lanes while another vehicle is in your area;
- Lane-Departure Warning (LDW): Using a windshield camera that watches the lane markings on the road ahead, LDW alerts a driver when he or she is about to veer out of lane. Keep in mind that this feature may not work in areas where lane markings are unclear;
- Lane Keeping Assist: Going beyond the mere warning of LDW, this feature actually steers you back into your lane (gently) if you fail to heed its warning. The driver is usually able to disable LDW when active by slightly pulling the wheel;
- Adaptive/Intelligent Cruise Control: This feature maintains a safe distance between your car and the one in front of it while cruise control is activated. It’s often bundled with lane keeping and blind spot monitoring. Radar-based and laser-based systems are both common here;
- Forward Collision Warning (FCW): Sensors at the front of the car warn drivers of a potential collision with a slow-moving (or still) vehicle in front of them. This happens via sound, visual or tactile alerts; the driver must brake or quickly steer independently;
- Rear cross-traffic warning/alert: This feature detects other vehicles that are crossing a driver’s path while backing up, normally with an auditory tone and flashing lights on the mirrors or dashboard;
- Rain-sensing wipers: Using infrared light projected into the windshield, these smart wipers turn on when the amount of reflected light decreases to a preset amount (more water means less light reflected). The speed of the wipers depends on how quickly water builds up between wipes
16. Is it easy (enough) to maneuver and park?
Beyond your car telling you when you’re about to hit another object or gently steering you into a parking spot, you need to feel secure in your ability to drive it all on your own, too.
Size is obviously a factor here, as today’s SUVs and trucks may intimidate inexperienced drivers with their sheer hulk. But then we’re an adaptive bunch, and even the most timid driver can learn to master a larger vehicle.
If you’ll primarily be cruising city or suburban streets, you may want to opt for something nimble that can handle potholes and easily zip around parked cars or snarled traffic. Then again, if one of your vehicle’s primary tasks will be hauling or towing, many of today’s pickups can accommodate both your family and your driving style.
The point is to give yourself time to take some relaxed test drives, manuevering in the areas you frequent day-to-day. And don’t forget to practice your parking!
17. Have I done enough research?
If you’ve read this far, chances are you take your car-buying journey pretty seriously. But there are also several things you can do on the research front to prepare before you hit the showrooms.
First, check out popular review sites to read up on some vehicles you have in mind. Ask friends and family for recommendations. What do they love about their new SUV? Which features can’t they live without? Once you’ve narrowed down your search, it’s time to test-drive a few choice vehicles.
Open communication with the seller, whether a respected dealership or private sale, is very important. You need to feel as though your questions are being answered and that all the relevant information about your potential new vehicle is being disclosed honestly. If you’re getting a bad feeling about a particular seller, trust your gut and either probe a little further or walk away.
All this being said, your journey is yours, and these things shouldn’t be rushed. Take your time and try to have fun during the process – take the kids long for the ride if you can.
18. Do I really enjoy driving this vehicle?
You might be thinking, “Would someone really buy a car they don’t really like?” Sadly the answer is sometimes “yes”. Especially when purchasing a vehicle for family use, the fun factor can easily take a backseat to things like its ability to fit four kids easily, or good gas mileage.
Make sure you have enough time to properly test drive the car, truck or SUV you’ve had your eye one. It’s surprising how different it can feel behind the wheel once you add a full backseat and several places you have to get to.
Book an hour, come to the dealership prepared with questions and feel free to request a solo test drive (perhaps after one with a salesperson) so you can get a real sense of whether you’ll enjoy the ride for years to come.
Fair Isle Ford Lincoln’s Sales team is always here to answer your car-buying questions. Get in touch today!
It’s that time of year again…winter tire season! OK, so it’s not the most exciting Fall event. But it’s one of the most important when it comes to your safety and your vehicle’s seasonal maintenance.
As John mentions in the video below, Fair Isle Ford Lincoln will not be undersold on tires. We have a wide selection available and are ready to book your appointment.
The team here at Fair Isle Ford always gets excited when a new Ford F-150 lineup hits the lot, and the 2018 is certainly no exception. There’s a reason (or many reasons) why the new F-150 out-hauls, out-tows and out-performs all other half-ton pickups out there.
In this informative video from Ford.ca, Master Rigger Sean Riley takes you through every detail of the new Ford F-150 Lariat Sport SuperCrew.
In short, the 2018 Ford F-150 is one pickup you’ll want to keep on your list! If you don’t have time to watch the video, here’s a quick rundown of the features of the F-150 featured in the video:
- Headlamps, bumper and grill are redesigned for a wider, more planted stance and strong, muscular look;
- All F-150 grilles have been redesigned this year;
- Tailgate has an F-150 graphic stamped right into the metal;
- Body is made from military-grade aluminum alloy (lighter than steel but just as strong);
- Chassis has been strengthened, making it best-in-class for both payload and towing;
- Most advanced Powertrain lineup ever; Lariat has a 3.5L EcoBoost engine and 10-speed automatic transmission;
- Boxlink System supports bungees, s-hooks and ratchet straps;
- The rear seats flip up, creating a completely flat storage area in the back row;
- Heated seats in both the front and second rows;
- Heated steering wheel for those chilly days outdoors;
- Sync Connect with WiFi connectivity allows you to connect up to 10 devices;
- B&O Play sound system;
- Two power outlets, front and back;
- Trailer tow mirrors allows you to control the view of your trailer and detect when a vehicle is in your trailer’s blind spot (up to 33 feet);
- Class-Exclusive Pro Trailer Backup Assist lets you back your trailer up using a knob, while the truck steers itself;
- 360-degree camera with split screen display provides a birds-eye view of the area around your truck;
- Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection warns you when a pedestrian is in your truck’s forward-moving path, applying the brakes when necessary;
- Class-exclusive Auto Start/Stop shuts down engine when you come to a complete stop, using less fuel in heavy traffic