Wiper blade maintenance often gets overlooked

While they may be one of the most frequently used parts of a car, wiper blades often get overlooked when it comes to maintenance. Many cars on the road are driving around with blades that are cracked, split, torn or all around ineffective and if you're one of them you are doing yourself and other drivers a great disservice.

It may not seem like much but if your wiper blades are not in great condition it could be considerably obstructing your vision, and all it takes is a bout of heavy rain or snow for you to wish you'd paid better attention to them.

Despite how important windshield wipers are, many people may not know how often they should replace their wiper blades. According to Yahoo! Autos, most experts suggest getting new blades every six to 12 months and there are a few good ways you can check to see if they are losing their effectiveness. Perhaps the easier way is to simply use your windshield washing system – and if the wipers leave behind some residue it may be time to take your car in for a replacement.

In addition to recognizing when your wiper blades need to be replace, it will also behoove you to follow some practices that might preserver their effectiveness a little bit longer. All it takes is following a few small habits including cleaning your windshield every time you get gas and avoiding using the wipers to remove ice or any other hard objects.

Whether you're looking to have a professional replace your wiper blades or perform more substantial maintenance, New Jersey State Auto Auction offers customers with a total car care center at its Jersey City location.

Survey finds fuel-efficiency becoming more important to consumers

With gas prices staying at steadily-high prices, consumers are beginning to shift their preferences as a result. A recent study commissioned by Ford found that a growing number of drivers rank fuel efficiency as the primary deciding factor when it comes to buying a new or used car.

The nationwide research found that the criteria has experienced a significant jump in the last decade. Specifically, for people buying smaller cars like the Ford Fiesta, a vehicle's gas mileage came in as the top consideration for 2011 – a marked jump from the fourth place it occupied in 2001. Fuel efficiency is even one of the most important considerations for people buying SUVs, currently ranking in fifth, up from 16th.

The findings are indicative of the growing number of manufactures who are making a point to focus on offering especially fuel-efficient cars. Ford in particular has been active, even creating an all-electric version of its popular Ford Focus, and the company feels as though the study is validation of its more eco-friendly push over the last few years.

"Drivers want fuel economy choices – not a one-size-fits-all solution – and Ford is leading the way," said Mark Fields, Ford's president of The Americas. "Customers are telling us clean and green vehicles matter because they are good for people's wallets and good for our planet."

Whether you're looking for a fuel-efficient small car or a truck with excellent gas mileage, New Jersey State Auto Auction has you covered. All the company's cars are CARFAX certified, meaning you know you're getting a reliable used car with many of them being below Kelley Blue Book value.

Weekly round-up: The gas pump may be dirtier than you think

The week in auto news is certainly music to the ears of anybody who drives Range Rovers as well as those who's an active breast cancer research advocate. However, if you're afraid of germs you may not be so happy.

• Being recognized by Motor Trend magazine is often seen as a significant milestone for most manufacturers, which is good news for Land Rover. The 2012 Range Rover Evoque earned the distinction of being named the 2012 SUV of the Year this week by the publication.

If you look at the specifics of the new car, its not hard to see why it was chosen. The Evoque is the smallest, lightest and most fuel-efficient Range Rover ever produced by the company while still maintaining the luxury and class the popular SUVs have become known for.

"It is a significant achievement for the Range Rover Evoque to be deemed the best new SUV on the market by Motor Trend, one of the pre-eminent brands in automotive publishing," said Andy Goss, president of Jaguar Land Rover North America.

Motor Trend reaches its rankings through rigorous performance testing under certain conditions to simulate the real-world driving experience.

• In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, numerous communities across the country have been holding events and fundraisers, and that includes the automotive community. Symbolic Motors in San Diego, California, recently unveiled a Bentley Continental GT Coupe – painted entirely in pink. A portion of the proceeds from the $250,000 sale will go to support Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

"While this car is stunning, it is going to save lives with the money that is raised and there is nothing more beautiful than that," said Laura Farmer Sherman, a breast cancer survivor and executive director of the organization.

• Next time you fill up your car you might want to make extra sure you wash your hands as soon as possible. Results of a new study show that the gas pump handle is the dirtiest thing that Americans encounter on their way to and from the office, Retuers reports.

The research was conducted by Kimberly-Clark Professional, which discovered that other top offenders were public mailbox handles, parking meters and ATM buttons. But it was gas pumps that took the cake.

"It comes down to the fact that nobody cleans the things that you're going to touch on a daily basis," program leader Dr. Kelly Arehart told the news agency. 

Used cars no longer seen as a risky decision

For years, used cars had unfairly been given a bad reputation. The prevailing wisdom was that if you were purchasing a previously owned vehicle you were taking a risk that the car would break down more easily and you'd be left with no way to get around. However, times have changed and now used cars are not only an increasingly popular option, they are reliable as well, CBS affiliate WRAL reports.

Perhaps the biggest reason for the burgeoning confidence in used cars is the ample number of resources that consumers have available to them. Before stopping by dealers such as New Jersey State Auto Auction, prospective buyers can do extensive research into which car they're thinking about purchasing and end up saving a considerable amount of money on a ride that can last them a long time.

"It can cost as much as 45 percent less than the same car was when new, yet still have most or all the features you're looking for and still have years of life left in it," Consumer Reports' Jon Linkov told the news channel.

Still, while there may be many resources available to consumers, if they are not used correctly it can all be for naught. A car's history can be a significant indicator of how it will perform in the future so would-be buyers should check out if it's had any repairs or water damage in its past.

Luckily, New Jersey State Auto makes it easy for buyers to be confident they are buying a car that has a clean record. All cars sold by the company have been checked by CARFAX to ensure they are reliable.

Motorists keeping cars longer in uncertain economy

The economic downturn has forced a lot of people to adopt more frugal practices in most areas of their life and that includes how they treat their cars. In previous years, motorists may have opted to purchase a new vehicle if their current ride was past its prime. But now they are more apt to hang on to their cars longer and get regular maintenance to save money in the long run, and according to The Capital, it's paying off.

There is a stark contrast between how long drivers are keeping their cars now compared to before the recession hit in 2008. The research firm Polk says that consumers are holding on to their cars an average of 7.2 months longer than they did before '08, and in 2010 the average car on the road was 11 years old. With the economy still in flux, analysts say that the best bet is to usually to keep up with maintenance for the time being.

"They don't know what's going to happen with the economy, or with their jobs," industry insider Jack Bell told the publication. "They already know what they've got, so they fix what they've got."

Additionally, statistics show that even if consumers want to get behind the wheel of something different, most of them are used cars. The Capital reports that 70 percent of all purchases in 2010 were used cars.

Whether you're looking for a way to keep your current vehicle on the road longer or purchase a used car, New Jersey State Auto Auction offers you with both. In fact, New Jersey Auto offers a full auto service center located in Jersey City, and also provides drivers with discounted repair and maintenance. 

Best bets for older used cars

There's a common misconception that used cars are not built to last, and while that may have been true decades ago, today cars are lasting longer than ever. If you know where to look you can get behind the wheel of an affordable, reliable car from one of the world's top manufacturers, and Popular Mechanics recently shared its list of best choices for used cars.

The BMW 3 Series is one of the more popular cars on the road and though a brand new model might set you back a good amount, a pre-owned version from the 1990s can offer the style, class and performance at a much more affordable price. Even dating as far back as the late '80s, the publication says that the 3 Series is one of the most reliable cars around and can go for as low as $2,000.

Much like the 3 Series, a used Mercedes Benz E-Class offers drivers an excellent opportunity to own a classic luxury car at a fraction of the cost. In particular, Popular Mechanics highlights the years between 1986 and 1995 as the best options, and adds that models made during these years can go as low as $1,500 or as high as $10,000.

Consumers should not be afraid to purchase older used cars since the ones that are already on the road are lasting longer than ever before. In a recent interview with Bloomberg Radio, Rebecca Lindland, the director of strategic review at IHS Automotive, said that the average mileage of a car on the road today is 130,000 miles, with each driving around 13,400 miles a year.

Whether you're looking to get behind the wheel of a luxury used car or simply a sedan, the New Jersey State Auto Auction offers a wide variety of makes and models at affordable prices.

Man hits 1 million mile mark on ’90 Honda

It's not unheard of for drivers to attempt to get the most of their vehicles. In fact, it's no longer rare for cars to easily surpass the 100,000 mile mark thanks to drivers placing an increased emphasis on maintenance. However, a man from Maine recently set an impressive record when the odometer on his 1990 Honda Accord hit 1 million, The Portland Press Herald reports.

Joe LoCicero, who is a native of the Pine Tree State was honored for the impressive achievement with a parade down the streets of Saco, Maine, as well as a 2012 Accord. According to Honda, he is the first documented person to drive one of their cars for 1 million miles.

If someone was going to get their car to reach the milestone, it's not surprising that it was LoCicero. He is known throughout New England as an expert auto techinican and has often traveled throughout the region inspecting vehicles for warranty claims and lease terms.

According to the Press Herald, LoCicero first bought the car in 1996 when it had just 74,000 miles on it. He drove about 48,000 miles a year to rack up its current total.

LoCicero is just one of many people aiming to drive their car as long as possible, and though most drivers will never get to the 1 million mile mark, there are certainly ways you can get your ride past the 100,000 or 200,000 mile mark.

The New Jersey State Auto Auction has a Full Auto Service Center located in Jersey City. The company provides discounted auto repair and auto maintenance for their customers. Call Brian at 201-200-1100 for our current Service Specials and ask for our Current Coupons.

Amber Heard cruises in ’68 Mustang

Most people are aware of the love that Jay Leno has for his classic cars, and George Clooney also has a famous collection, but there is one actress out there who has an affinity for automobiles that might surprise some people. Amber Heard, best known for her roles in Pineapple Express and the short-lived NBC series The Playboy Club, recently told USA Today that one of her most prized possessions is her 1968 Ford Mustang.

"Some people have pictures of their dog," she told the publication about her ride. "But here's my baby."

In the upcoming film The Rum Diary, Heard gets to ride alongside star Johnny Depp in a classic Corvette (which was eventually gifted to Depp after filming ended), and it would not go too far surmise that it is one of her favorite scenes.

Though her current favorite car is the '68 Mustang, she is no stranger to driving classic vehicles. In fact, she used to drive a Checker Cab for a spell, and was also behind the wheel of a 1962 Mercedes – and she doesn't plan on change her attitude toward cars anytime soon.

"It has to be vintage," she told the publication's Drive On blog. "There's a grace to things that come from that period."

The week in auto news offers a mixed bag

While there were no major upheavals in the industry this week, the last few days in car news runs the gamut from offbeat to important safety info. Additionally, it points to a good future for electric car manufacturers – even if they are not flying off the lots.

• Sales of electric vehicles such as the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf have been modest at best, but that doesn't mean that their manufacturers aren't seeing returns. Many consumers are coming into showrooms simply to check out the innovative new rides and often end up driving away in a different car, the Los Angeles Times reports.

"There is such a halo effect," Oliver Hazimeh, an automotive industry consultant at PwC's PRTM Management Consulting, told the Times. "These cars appeal to the cool tech-savvy consumer segment."

In the first nine months of 2011 about 3,895 Volts and 7,199 Leafs have been sold. But statistics reveal even more good news for the manufactures. The Times reports 78 percent of Volt drivers had never bought a Chevy while 90 percent of Leaf drivers never drove a Nissan.

• Tailgaters are likely to see cars of all shapes and sizes when they pack in parking lots before football games, but one ride in particular caught the attention of police in Detroit. A mobile strip club dubbed The Booty Lounge was shut down just minutes before a recent Monday Night Football game, The Detroit News reports.

"If they're in there and they have semi-dressed girls, or they're in there dancing nude or whatever, that's a violation," Detroit Police Sgt. Charles Spruce told the newspaper.

Joe Parsons was the operator of the bus and says that he might be shut down for good – in Detroit at least.

• The Fiat 500 has made headlines lately for its aggressive ad campaign featuring Jennifer Lopez, and although the seductive songstress certainly gives the model a famous face, the small car recently garnered attention for more than its spokesperson. The car was named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), Cars.com reports.

The Fiat 500 earned the distinction after receiving a rating of "good" in front, side, rear and rollover crash tests. The only other mini-car to be a Top Safety Pick from the IIHS is the Ford Fiesta. 

Kelley Blue Book, AutoTrader.com make trading in cars a breeze

Trading in your car is a great way to save money when you're looking to get behind the wheel of a used car, and a new online services has just made the process even easier. The popular automobile valuation company Kelley Blue Book has partnered with AutoTrader.com to provide a service that lets consumers shop their car to dealers all in one spot.

The newly-launched service allows those interested in selling their car to fill in all of the ride's information including its make, year and condition, making everything open to dealers interested in making a purchase of their own. If your car gets a hit, you can drive it down to the dealer and they'll likely buy it from you on the spot.

"In addition to Kelley Blue Book's top-notch values, this new option provides consumers further peace of mind that they can get an actual offer online to trade in or sell their current cars quickly and easily," said Justin Yaros, the executive vice president of Kelley Blue Books' kbb.com. "And best of all, that offer is backed 100 percent by AutoTrader.com."

Trading in your used car is also an option at New Jersey State Auto Auction, which is an authorized AutoTrader.com trade-in marketplace dealer. The partnership gives consumers the opportunity to get a free appraisal of their car within seconds.

"As an authorized Autotrader Trade In Marketplace Dealership, we are equipped to provide an instant quote to Trade or Purchase a customer's used car, with payment right on the spot," said Lazlo Ember,the internet marketing director at New Jersey State Auto Auction.