Check Lights and Wipers Before Turning Clocks Back on November 4

On the first Sunday in November, Daylight Savings Time requires most individuals to dial their clocks back one hour at 2 a.m. While this means many people will be privileged with an extra hour of sleep, it also means the days will grow darker sooner. As such, there are also some things for car owners to consider on November 4.

"Turning back the clocks means fewer hours of daylight, so it's even more important that your vehicle's lights and wipers are working properly so you can be seen by others and your visibility is not compromised," said Rich White, executive director of the Car Care Council. "From the driver's seat, you may not notice a light isn't working, so inspect all of your car's lights and replace those that are out. Also, inspect and replace wiper blades so you can see clearly when weather hits."

Having proper lighting and visibility is important to keep all drivers safe on the road. When one car has a headlight out, not only is that driver unable to see as well as they should, but other motorists may be thrown off by the missing light, putting them at risk as well. In addition to checking for burnt out bulbs, drivers should examine the headlight covers. Dingy, clouded and yellowed covers can block light and decrease visibility, but this can be fixed.

While they're at it, drivers may want to take their vehicles to the experts at New Jersey Auto Auction's Total Car Care Center for routine maintenance before fall turns to winter. This can reduce the risk of encountering problems like dead batteries and broken heaters. The mechanics will also be able to spot any potential problems that need to be repaired.

Dealing with flooded vehicles following Hurricane Sandy

The brunt of Hurricane Sandy may have passed, by New Jersey and New York residents are only just beginning to assess the damages of this massive storm. Footage from across the affected areas has repeatedly shown abandoned cars caught in deep floods, and if you happen to have a vehicle that got caught in the raging waters brought on by Sandy there are steps you should take to protect your vehicle from further damage.

Once the flood waters recede and you can safely access your vehicle, the first thing you should do is pop the hood and disconnect the battery for safety reasons. Do not attempt to start your car, as there is certainly plenty of water still left inside the vehicle, much of which will contain dirt, sand and other debris that could cause a great deal of damage. Chances are that those who live in coastal towns will not be able to salvage their vehicles, as salt water causes irreparable problems.

If the flood waters were not too filled with debris, there is a chance your vehicle, or at least parts of it, could be saved. You will need to wait a few days at least for the many electrical and other components to dry out entirely, but in the meantime you can assess the fluids. Check the dipsticks for signs of water, which will not mix with oil or transmission fluid. If you notice water in the mix, you'll need to have the fluids drained and replaced.

In most cases of extreme flooding, vehicles that get left in the water are considered totaled. In this case, car owners will need to contact their insurance companies, and then have an insurance adjuster visit the vehicle and assess the damages. Those in need of a replacement vehicle in the wake of Hurricane Sandy might want to stop by New Jersey State Auto Auction, located in Jersey City to find their next ride.

Rolls Royce that Once Carried Princess Diana to Be Auctioned Off

The Rolls-Royce that bore Prince Charles the late Princess Diana on their first visit to the United States in 1985 will be going up for auction to the highest bidder in early November. The car, a Silver Wraith II, is an official vehicle of the United Kingdom's U.S. embassy, and as such is heavily armored.

"One of Jay's customers called and told Jay about the car," Volvo Auto Museum Director Brian Grams explained how his brother, Jay, first found out about the historic vehicle. "An associate of the Berman Museum of History, which valued the car at $2 million, had purchased it from Berman. We just thought it was an armor-plated Rolls Royce that had been embassy-owned. But after digging through the documents and doing some research, we found out what the car really was."

Documents show that more than $200,000 has been spent to ensure the safety of its passengers. This includes an inches-thick windshield, bulletproof side windows and seals to protect against toxic gases. The royal vehicle is beautiful as well as functional, with the original red leather interior and a brand new silver paint job.

While the car has been valued at around $2 million, the Volvo Auto Museum will be auctioning the Rolls off with no reserve. A portion of the proceeds from this sale will be donated to CHILDREN with CANCER UK, a nonprofit organization started by Princess Di that funds research of childhood cancer and helps to protect youngsters affected by disease.

While only one lucky car collector will be able to take home this royal ride, drivers who want to find a special vehicle of their own can head over to New Jersey State Auto Auction. The dealer carries a wide selection of makes and models, and every car of the lot is CARFAX certified. This may not be as hefty of a protection as bulletproof glass, but it will ensure car shoppers will stay safe when they buy a car from NJ Auto Auction.

J.D. Power and Associates Reveals Consumers Happier with Auto Insurance Companies

Automotive insurance is an important part of vehicle ownership, and a recent survey conducted by J.D. Power and Associates found overall satisfaction with insurance services is on the rise. The 2012 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study surveyed drivers who have different auto insurance companies and found the overall satisfaction when dealing with physical damage claims has increased six points since 2011.

The average score was found to be 852 points on a 1,000-point scale, indicating more drivers are pleased with insurance services when it comes to appraisals, repairs, settlements and other aspects of filing claims. Drivers are growing more satisfied with their insurance claim results, due mostly to the fact that they are seeing larger monetary returns in the wake of damages to their vehicles. In fact, the survey found the average settlement amount increased approximately $690 in the past year.

"As used vehicle sale prices increase, the value of loss settlement also increases," said Jeremy Bowler, senior director of the insurance practice at J.D. Power and Associates. "According to our Power Information Network, a database of vehicle sales transactions, used vehicle sales prices peaked in May and June of this year, averaging nearly $18,500, compared with approximately $17,700 in January of this year."

Drivers in the New York/New Jersey area seeking repairs on their vehicles following accidents, natural disasters like the recent Hurricane Sandy or other incidents can head over to New Jersey State Auto Auction. The dealer's Total Car Care Center is open to the public and can handle any repairs. Those who are in need of replacement vehicles will find a wide selection of makes and models for affordable prices at the dealership.

Hurricane Sandy Creates Risks for Drivers

Hurricane Sandy is fast approaching New Jersey, and many coastal towns have already been evacuated. Governor Chris Christie declared a state of emergency on Sunday, and the effects of the storm are already being felt across the state with power outages, flooding and high winds, even though the hurricane has not yet made landfall. Businesses and residential homes along the shore have been boarded up in anticipation of this extreme storm, and automotive insurers are making preparations as well.

While most people have evacuated the high risk areas along the ocean, some have chosen to stay put, which means their vehicles are at risk of damage. Flooding can destroy a car, as high water levels associated with floods typically contain dirt and debris that can get into the engine and cause damage. Those who live along the coast also need to be wary of salt water, which leads to rusting and other problems even if the water levels do not get very high.

Car insurance companies are already gearing up to handle the claims that will likely follow in the wake of the hurricane in New Jersey and across the Eastern seaboard.

"We plan for weather events such as this, so we feel well prepared with resources strategically positioned to quickly assist customers who may be impacted," Matthew Bordonaro, a spokesman for Travelers insurance company, told NBC News.

Following big storms, drivers who are shopping for vehicles should be wary of purchasing cars, as they may wind up buying lemons that have been irreparably damaged by flooding. It is always a good idea for car shoppers to have independent mechanics inspect cars before making a purchase. New Jersey State Auto Auction guarantees the quality of its vehicles, because every model on the lot is CARFAX certified, so drivers know they'll be getting behind the wheel of a reliable ride.

Ford Partners with Liu Bolin to Create Unique Fusion Ad

Ford recently shook things up with a new ad for its 2013 Fusion that really helps the midsize sedan stand out from the crowd. The company hired Chinese artist Liu Bolin to paint a series of competitor models. Bolin's artistic fame comes from his ability to paint himself into the background, earning him the nickname "the invisible man." So, Ford asked Bolin to paint a Volkswagen Passat, Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and even an Audi A4 so they would blend seamlessly with the background. The unique marketing ploy is a literal
representation of Ford's goal of creating an eye-catching sedan that makes similar models appear "invisible."

"We wanted to make a provocative statement with the all-new Ford Fusion, to shake up a segment that isn't exactly known for stylish cars," said Jim Farley, group vice president for Ford's Global Marketing, Sales and Service. "Now, midsize sedan customers can get the best of both worlds – Fusion can satisfy both their rational side while indulging in a compelling design aesthetic that says you've arrived."

Ford introduced the Fusion back in 2006, and ever since it debuted, the midsize sedan has been lauded by automotive insiders and consumers alike for its bold, modern design. The first generation model, produced between 2006 and 2009, came standard with front-wheel drive and a 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine that cranked out a modest 160 horsepower, according to Edmunds. Ford offered a V6 upgrade for the two upper level trims, the SE and SEL. Drivers in the New York/New Jersey area who are in the market for a reliable used sedan may want to head over to NJ State Auto Auction. The dealer carries a variety of makes and models, and motorists may be able to find a used Fusion with a powerful engine.

Mobile Phones Make Excellent Tools for Car Shoppers

Research is a crucial component of buying a car, and these days drivers are digging up information about cars right from their mobile devices. A recent J.D. Power and Associates study found that the amount of people using their phones and tablets to look up car data is on the rise. Specifically, 31 percent of in-market vehicle shoppers used their phones for this task in 2012, which is nearly twice the amount last year (17 percent).

These individuals are accessing manufacturer sites as well as third-party automotive information sites like Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book. The study found that approximately half (53 percent) of mobile researchers have used their phones to conduct research while they are visiting dealerships. The top five categories of information being searched for are to compare vehicles, seek reviews and ratings, view photo galleries, look up model information and determine pricing.

"As shoppers increasingly use their mobile devices to gather information during the shopping process and even at the point of purchase, the importance and value of mobile websites to both manufacturers and shoppers alike grow exponentially," said Arianne Walker, senior director of media and marketing solutions for J.D. Power and Associates.

Using a mobile device can be a great way to gather information about cars when buyers are at the lot. This allows them to find out details about models, such as mileage, average cost and driver reviews so they can make informed choices. Using online research is a good way to narrow down the selection, and then armed with knowledge, drivers can head to dealers like New Jersey State Auto Auction to find the cars they want.

Cost of Used Cars Steadily Declines

Used car prices are finally beginning to ebb after years of high demand and reduced inventories. According to USA Today, the average price of used cars is down in October from September, and reduced compared to the same time period last year. New car dealerships saw a month-over-month decline of 4.2 percent for used car prices, and 3.6 percent reductions from last year. Independent dealers have seen price drops among used models as well – 6 percent drop from September and a 7.4 percent difference from the same time one year ago.

As the economy continues to recover from the recession, more drivers are trading in their current vehicles for newer models. This is helping to grow the overall used car inventory, giving buyers more options to find used vehicles. Some models are presenting more of a value than others, and midsize sedans are at the top of the chain.The wholesale price of used midsize sedans has dropped a whopping 9.4 percent in the past 12 weeks, CBS News reports.

"This trend is going to produce some values for retail shoppers in the used car market," Black Book senior analyst Ricky Beggs told CBS.

As the cost of used models drops, those who may have been putting off getting their next vehicle might want to start shopping around for the perfect ride. New Jersey State Auto Auction has a wide selection of makes and models that changes regularly, making it an ideal place to begin the search. The dealer guarantees credit approval as well, thanks to partnerships with a number of lenders, so even individuals with less than perfect credit can get behind the wheel of a reliable and affordable car.

Researchers Find GDL Decal Laws Improve Teen Driving Safety

Teen drivers are not as experienced on the roads as older motorists, which puts them at higher risk of being involved in crashes. Most states have put laws in place to restrict certain elements of driving, such as curfews and passenger limits. New Jersey has one of the strictest graduated driver licensing (GDL) policies for teenage drivers. In 2010, lawmakers added another policy to the list, requiring all GDL drivers to have a red decal placed on their license plate.

New Jersey is the first state to adopt this practice, which is common in other countries, and researchers from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) recently investigated the effect the new rule was having. The research team compared crash reports and driver citations from the two years preceding and the year following the decal law implementation, and they found the decals prevented an estimated 1,600 accidents involving probationary drivers.

"The fact that we saw significant crash reductions in New Jersey, a state that already has a strong GDL law and one of the lowest teen crash fatality rates, suggests that implementation of a decal law in states with higher teen crash fatality rates may lead to even more marked reductions," said Dr. Allison E. Curry, director of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at CHOP. "We hope that our study can help other states looking to reduce teen crash rates."

Staying safe on the roads involves more than laws to restrict younger drivers, and it is important for teen drivers to know the dangers as well as good practices. They should also be driving safe, reliable vehicles, which means getting regular maintenance to ensure their cars are running well to prevent mechanical issues from occurring while teens are behind the wheel. The experts at NJ Auto Auction's Total Car Care Center can help young NJ drivers take care of their rides.

NHTSA Discusses Safety Needs Surrounding Driverless Cars

Self-driving cars have been on the roadways for some time now – in the testing stages. Google, Nissan and other companies are working hard to perfect the technology that allows cars to drive themselves.The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently held a conference to discuss the ins and outs of introducing autonomous vehicles to the consumer market with Google and automakers, according to The Associated Press.

"Automated vehicles offer an important and challenging method for reducing crash risk that we believe holds great promise," David Strickland, head of the NHTSA, told the AP. "We have the chance of … saving thousands and thousands of lives as the vehicle fleet (cars in use today) turns over."

Strickland pointed out that, of the 33,000 traffic deaths in 2010, human error was responsible for roughly 90 percent of the collisions. Cars that can drive themselves may be able to greatly reduce this risk, as Google has only had one reported accident, which occurred when one of the cars was being driven by a human.

As of right now, Google is at the forefront of the driverless car race, and vehicles equipped with the company's technology are being tested on the streets of California, Nevada and Florida. Many automakers are also making efforts to create driverless technology, and the NHTSA will need to develop new methods of testing these automobiles for safety, Bloomberg Businessweek reports. This could take a significant amount of time, which means drivers should not expect to see autonomous vehicles for sale any time soon.

In the meantime, motorists who want to get behind the wheel of safe vehicles can head over to New Jersey State Auto Auction. The dealer carries a wide selection of makes and models, and every car on the lot is CARFAX certified, so buyers will know they're driving away in a reliable ride.