All posts by Tiffany Schreiber

Before making any deals, ask the seller these questions.

8 questions to ask the dealer before buying a car

Buying your first used car can be intimidating, especially if you have no idea what you're doing. But don't worry, here's a compiled a list of questions to ask the dealer while you're car shopping. By expressing your concern, you can ensure you'll get the best deal and that the car you decide on is the safest and most efficient choice for you.

Don't be shy – the car seller should be willing to share every detail with you if he's planning on making the sale. Here are a few things you should know before saying yes to that car deal:

1. How many miles are on this car?
If the car's mileage is through the roof, it might be worth passing on. If the previous driver drove between 20,000 and 50,000 miles per year, Consumer Reports suggested asking why. The answer could be that they had a long morning commute, or it could be that they used the car for travel. Regardless of the reason, you deserve the honest answer before deciding if you want to buy a car that already on it's last stretch.

2. What are the key features?
The advertisement might've briefly described what the car's equipped with, but it's in your best interest to ask the dealer in person. If the ad said the vehicle had working air conditioning, anti-lock brakes, power windows and cruise control, you can ask for proof. If the dealer reveals that one of those key features is missing, ask for a reduced price.

All of your questions need to be answered before making the deal.All of your questions need to be answered before making the deal.

3. Are all the fluids topped off?
Leaving the dealership in your new ride becomes a lot less exciting when the oil change sensor immediately pops up on the dashboard. Your new car should be completely ready to for you, which means the oil should be changed and the windshield washer fluid should be topped off before your purchase. You also deserve a full tank of gas as you leave the lot, so make sure to ask the dealer about that.

4. Has it driven through extreme weather?
Finding out if the car has driven through extreme weather is very important. If it has lived through harsh winter storms or exponential hot summers, Digital Trends said it's lifespan will significantly decrease. This could be a complete game changer if you're looking for a car that's going to last a few years.  

5. Are there any issues I should know about?
This is an important question because it gives the dealer a chance to make an great first impression. If he's honest and shares an issue the car has experienced in the past, you can appreciate his professionalism and think twice about making the purchase on that vehicle. Who knows, maybe he'll lower the price or throw in a deal so you can get the problem taking care of after you've made the purchase. Or, he could point you in the direction of a different car if you're still willing to work with him.

6. Can I take it for a test drive?
For some, this question might end up being the deal breaker. For starters, if the dealer denies your request, you need to leave immediately. If he does let you test drive the car, he's confident that the trip will go smoothly. If you take the vehicle for a ride and something doesn't seem right, just explain to the seller what's going on. A great care salesman will offer a solution. Maybe he'll cut you a deal, or simply help you find a different car on the lot.

Take the car for a test drive to determine how well it's running.Take the car for a test drive to determine how well it's running.

7. Has it ever been in an accident?
Even if the test drive is perfect, you need to know about the vehicle's accident history. When a car has been through an accident or two, it's more likely to have issues down the road, regardless of how it's running now. If the dealer shares the car history and it reveals a collision, it's probably in your best interest to continue searching.

8. Can you show me history reports?
This is a great follow-up question for the previous. If your dealer told you the car has never been in an accident, you deserve to see proof. A detailed report can show you the vehicle's complete history which can help you decide if the deal is truly worth it. Luckily, you can rest assured when you visit New Jersey Auto Auction in search of your first ride. Our lot is loaded with so many quality Carfax-certified vehicles to choose from. Come down today, we'd be happy to help you find a sweet ride and take it for a test drive!

There are a number of indicators that could signify an issue with your vehicle.

Your Car Needs Service – 10 Telltale Signs

Your Car Needs Service – 10 Telltale Signs

Finding out there’s something wrong with your car can be equally stressful and frustrating. But if you identify the problem early on, you can tackle it before it turns into an irreversible issue. Be on the lookout for these 10 signs, as they will signify that your vehicle needs immediate attention.

1. The check engine light is on
One of the key signs that something’s wrong with your ride is a glowing check engine light. It signifies there’s something wrong with one of the hundreds of systems in your car’s computer. It’s not necessarily a cause for panic, according to Angie’s List, but it’s a definite indicator that you should take your car in for an inspection.

2. There’s smoke coming from under the hood
If you’re driving and notice smoke coming from under the hood, it could be a sign that the engine is over-heated. This could destroy your car if you continue to drive and refuse to service it. Pay attention to the temperature gauge – if it seems too high, schedule an appointment for a maintenance check.

Pull over and open the hood to see if there's an obvious issue.Pull over and open the hood to see if there’s an obvious issue.

3. The transmission seems off kilter
When it seems like your car is having trouble speeding up, it feels shaky or it’s making strange noises, there could be an issue with the transmission. The transmission is essentially your car’s power system, so it needs proper maintenance. If you don’t take care it, you’ll find yourself stranded on the side of the road waiting for a tow-truck to haul your car away.

4. There are major fluid leaks
Are there any major fluid puddles on the ground underneath your car when it’s parked? If so, it probably needs a tune-up. The leak could be coolant, transmission oil, engine oil or brake fluid, or it could also just be cold water dripping from the air conditioner. While the latter is normal, other fluid leaks could keep your car from running smoothly. Be sure to take it in to the mechanic as soon as you can.

5. There’s a strange noise while driving
If you hear strange noises while you’re driving, take your car to the shop. A dragging noise could be coming from your wheels, which could signify the wheel or differential bearing is failing. A grinding noise usually occurs when your brakes have gone bad, so you need to get them checked and replaced immediately.

“Failing to take care of the vibration could smoke the engine.”

6. The car is constantly shaking while in motion
A car that shakes while driving over poor road conditions is normal. But if you notice it’s vibrating on a smooth street with no obstructions, you need to take it in. DriverSide reported that it could indicate a number of issues, such as an unbalanced tire or a bad universal joint. Failing to take care of the vibration could smoke the engine or transmission, ultimately leaving you without a running car.

7. You’re stalling at intersections
Stalling at an intersection is dangerous. If your car is sluggish and not performing the way it was built to, it could be a sign that the spark plugs need replaced, the fuel filter is clogged, or something more severe in regard to the transmission. Schedule an appointment with the mechanic to take care of this problem before it turns into something serious.

8. It’s difficult to start it up
If it takes more than one turn of the key to get your car started every day, something’s wrong. It could just be a bad battery, but it might also be a defective starter that needs to be replaced. Regardless of the issue, it needs to be taken care of or you’ll be using public transportation to get around.

If your car isn't starting, it needs attention from a mechanic.If your car isn’t starting, it needs attention from a mechanic.

9. Your fuel mileage is bad
If you’ve noticed you’re filling your gas tank more often than normal – and you’re not using your car any more than usual – there’s an issue with your ride that needs to be taken care of. A sticking brake pad or improper tire pressure could be to blame, so take it to the shop for a check-up.

10. Shifting gears is rough
Driving an automatic car provides a smooth, reliable shift in gears. But if it seems less efficient than usual, causing your vehicle to hesitate or jolt between shifts, your transmission needs attention. Schedule an appointment  to change the transmission fuel, filters and screens.

If your car shows any of these signs, just bring it in to New Jersey Auto Auction. Our maintenance workers will help fine-tune your ride and take care of any issues. If you feel as though the damage is done and you need a new car, just head on over to our lot! We’ve got hundreds of quality used Carfax-certified vehicles to choose from.

If your car breaks down, you might need a few of these things.

15 items to have in your car at all times

Unfortunately, your car can break down at any given minute. You might not be able to predict when it's going to happen, but you can prepare for the worst with emergency roadside equipment.  Here are 15 items we recommend keeping in your vehicle at all times:

1. A charged cellphone
This item will most likely already be on you, but it's crucial to make sure it's always fully charged. Bankrate said it's the difference between getting help fast or waiting around for a car to drive by.

2. Reflective warning triangles
Having reflective warning triangles in your car is essential in the event of a breakdown. They will notify oncoming cars that your vehicle is parked, which can reduce the chance of an accident occurring. Edmunds also suggested you consider LED flares.

Reflective triangles will notify drivers to slow down.Reflective triangles will notify drivers to slow down.

3. First-aid kit
You can't predict medical emergencies. Keep a first-aid kit with bandages, gauze pads, adhesive tape, aspirin, antiseptic wipes and ointments in your car at all times in case someone gets hurt.

4. Fire extinguisher
Keeping a fire extinguisher in your car can tame a spark caused by an electrical problem.

5. Jumper cables
Accidently leaving your lights on is common. So is a battery dying on its own. Leave jumper cables in your car so a nearby vehicle can get your ride running again.

Prepare for a dead battery with jumper cables.Prepare for a dead battery with jumper cables.

6. Flashlight
Breaking down in the middle of nowhere at night isn't fun. Keep a flashlight in your glove compartment, along with extra batteries in case they die.

7. A multipurpose knife
A standard multipurpose knife will come with a bottle opener, a flathead screw driver, a wire cutter, rescue blade and glass breaker, which can all be helpful if any issue arises. 

8. A poncho
Your car breaks down, you're checking under the hood for an issue, and it suddenly starts pouring. What do you do? Reach in your emergency kit for your rain poncho.

"Keep protein bars in your car."

9. Nonperishable snacks
It might be hours before a tow truck gets to you. Prepare your stomach for the wait with high-protein nonperishable snacks like mixed nuts and protein bars.

10. Water
Along with snacks, keeping bottled water in your car in case of an emergency is crucial.

11. Cat litter
Cat littler? You read that correctly. You can use it as a replacement for sand – it weighs less – to create traction beneath the tires if you get stuck.

12. An emergency radio
The Department of Homeland Security suggested leaving a battery-powered or hand crank radio in the car to listen for weather warnings if you vehicle's radio or cell phone stops working.

13. Walking shoes
If your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, you have no cellphone reception and you haven't seen a passing car in hours, you'll have to start walking to find help. Keep comfortable walking shoes in your car in case this happens.

If you haven't seen a car in hours, you'll need to start walking to find help.If you haven't seen a car in hours, you'll need to start walking to find help.

14. A tool kit
A tool kit with a Phillips head screwdriver, a flathead screwdriver, vise grips, an adjustable wrench and a pair of pliers will come in handy if you break down and can fix things on your own.

15. A fleece blanket
A fleece blanket will keep you warm in the event that your car breaks down during a snow storm.

Once you've packed up your homemade roadside safety kit, consider bringing your car down to New Jersey Auto Auction. Our maintenance technicians can make sure your car is working properly so you're less likely to break down.

Prepare your car for the winter weather with these tips.

How to winterize your car

Fall’s officially in full swing, which means the winter weather will be here before you know it. Instead of waiting until the last minute to prepare your car, you may want to winterize it in advance. You can avoid breaking down on the side of the road and kicking yourself for not getting it ready while the temperatures are still decent.

Here are 12 maintenance tasks you must take care of before the cold rolls in:

1. Get the oil changed
You know that getting your oil changed every three months is important. But during the winter, The San Diego Department of Motor Vehicles said you need to consider switching to a thinner oil. This is especially important if you live somewhere that reaches temperatures below freezing.

2. Check the engine coolant
Engine coolant keeps your car from overheating, but it and also protects your engine against corrosion during the winter. Most cars follow a 60 percent coolant to 40 percent water ratio when the temperatures drop, so consult your technician about making the adjustment.

Your technician can top off your engine coolant before winter.Your technician can top off your engine coolant before winter.

3. Evaluate your battery
Did you know that extreme temperatures can reduce your car’s battery power by 50 percent? Edmunds suggested taking your car in and having the battery tested if it’s over three years old. A technician may recommend investing in a new one.

4. Top off your windshield washer fluid
The weather conditions will work against your windshield in the winter. Between the snow, sleet and salt build up, you’ll want to make sure you can always see clearly during your commute. Keeping your windshield washer fluid topped off will ensure clear vision. It’s also suggested to mix the solution with de-icer to avoid the moisture freezing up while you drive.

5. Invest in new windshield wipers
Topping off your windshield washer fluid is very important, but so is investing in new wipers. If the rubber on your blades is cracked, dried or ripped, it’s time to grab a new pair. Winter wipers are a great option – they provide more strength to tough it through inclement weather.

A pair of winter windshield wipers can help you cut through the built-up snow.A pair of winter windshield wipers can help you cut through the built-up snow.

6. Consider snow tires
If you’re worried that your car won’t drive well on slippery roads, it might be time to purchase new tires. According to Consumer Reports, replacing all-season tires with winter ones is a worthy investment because they’re designed with rubber compounds and tread patterns to drive successfully on slick roads.

Just remember: It’s very important to switch back to your all-season tires once the season is over. Winter tires are not designed to withstand warm temperatures.

7. Get your brakes checked
This may seem like an obvious task, but it’s worth the mention. Having your breaks checked before the winter is one of the most important safety precautions you can take to avoid sliding and colliding into other cars.

“Take your car in for a professional wash and fresh coat of wax.”

8. Protect the car’s paint
Unfortunately, the dirt and salt can accumulate on your car and damage the paint’s finish. To protect it, take your vehicle in for a professional wash and fresh coat of wax.

9. Prevent a freeze-up
With rain, sleet and snow coming your way, your car is going to retain a lot of moisture. Ultimately, it can get into the door locks and freeze up, locking you out of the car. This is not the ideal situation, but don’t panic. You can prepare in advance by lubricating your locks with silicone spray designed for cars.

10. Review your manual all-wheel drive
It’s likely that you haven’t used your all-wheel or four-wheel drive since last winter. That means you have no idea if it’s running smoothly. Instead of waiting to find out during your drive through the first snow of the season, take your car in and have the function reviewed.

11. Check your heating system
Just like your all-wheel drive, you probably haven’t used the heating system in a while. What if it broke down over the summer? Just turn it on and make sure it’s ready to keep you warm all winter. If you notice an issue, take it in to the shop.

Make sure your heating system works so you can drive comfortably in the winter.Make sure your heating system works so you can drive comfortably in the winter.

12. Pack an emergency kit
Even after performing all of these maintenance services, there’s still a chance you could break down on the side of the road. To prepare for an emergency, be sure to keep a roadside kit in your vehicle at all times. You can find a pre-assembled kit at most auto shops and some supermarkets, but you can make you own with the follow items:

  • A flashlight.
  • First aid-kit.
  • Jumper cables.
  • Flares.
  • A blanket, hats and gloves.
  • Extra windshield washer fluid.
  • Non-perishable food and extra water.

You’ll thank yourself later for packing this kit in your car before the snow rolls in.

Take your car in for a tune-up
Don’t worry about taking care of these maintenance services yourself. Just bring your car down to New Jersey Auto Auction! Our technicians will make sure all of these tasks are completed so you can drive safely all winter long.

Teach your teen these tricks and tips to prepare for the road.

3 things your teen needs to know before driving solo

Learning how to drive is one of the most exciting stepping stones in a teen’s life. Passing the test, getting a license and driving the car around without a guardian is even better. But before you let your teenager get on the road, there are few scenarios you need to review. Anything could happen, and preparing him or her for the worst will turn a potentially overwhelming situation into something simple.

Here are three things your teenager should know before driving solo:

1. How to deal with a flat tire
A tire can blow out at any moment, so it’s important your teen knows what to do. Edmunds suggested always advising him or her to pull off the road to a well-lit area, even if that means ruining the tire. From there, give a lesson on how to change the bad tire for the spare, or at least provide a number for road-side assistance.


2. How to react when the check engine sensor lights up
What’s one of the most important lessons you can teach your teen? To never ignore the check engine sensor on the dashboard. The light generally signifies an issue with the car and that it should be taken in to the mechanic as soon as possible.

The check engine light signifies that something could be wrong. Your teen should take the car in to a mechanic.The check engine light signifies that something could be wrong. Your teen should know what the symbol means.

3.  How to jump-start the car
Leaving the lights on in the car is a common accident, especially for new drivers. If this happens and the battery dies, your teen should know how to jump-start the car. Car and Driver suggested handing over a pair of jumper cables to teen drivers and giving them a tutorial to prepare if they’re stuck in a parking lot.

Getting your teen ready for the road is crucial, but so is teaching him or her the importance of maintaining a vehicle. Come on down to New Jersey Auto Auction and we’ll make sure the car is prepared for the road ahead.

Keep your car safe on Halloween with these helpful tips.

How to protect your car on Halloween

For most, fall's arrival is exciting for quite a few reasons: cozy, sweater weather, delicious pumpkin-flavored treats and colorful, fallen leaves. But it also means Halloween is right around the corner. 

Oct. 31 can be a fun day for the whole family, whether you're heading out to trick-or-treat or venturing to your best friend's annual costume party. Regardless of your plans, you'll likely need a car to get there, and pranksters have tricks of their own prepared for your sweet ride. According to the Highway Loss Data Institute, vehicles are twice as likely to be vandalized on Halloween than any other day of the year.

Don't let the idea of using your car on Oct.31 scare you – that's the ghost's job. Instead, keep it safe with these preparation tips:

1. Keep it in the garage
Keeping your car off the streets and tucked away is one of the easiest ways to avoid vandalism, according to State Farm. When you're at home, keep your vehicle parked in the garage. If you don't have one of your own, consider taking your ride to a public garage for the night.

If you're visiting a friend or plan to be out and about on Halloween night, just make certain you're parking in a well-lit, populated lot.

If you don't have your own garage, consider keeping your car in a public one for the night.If you don't have your own garage, consider keeping your car in a public one for the night.

2. Remove visible temptations
If you don't have a garage or you plan on parking your car in a public lot, be sure to remove all visible valuables from the inside. Items such as window-suction GPS systems, expensive stereo faceplates and cellphone chargers should be stored securely in the center console. 

The inside of your car shouldn't be your only concern – bumper stickers, license plate frames and windshield decorations could attract pranksters. Expressing your personality might push the wrong buttons and tempt someone to ruin your ride. 

3. Start using an alarm system
By adding a motion-sensor alarm system to your vehicle, you can ensure the vandals won't get close enough to cause damage. Even adding a simple security system decal to your windshield will make them think twice about touching your car at all. 

"Make an appointment with a detailer for a wax job."

4. Apply a protective wax
Finding a safe spot for your vehicle and removing visible temptations may reduce your chance of getting vandalized, but it's not guaranteed. That's why Consumer Reports advises you to prepare in advance by applying a protective coat of wax. Make an appointment with a detailer for a wax job about one week before Halloween.

5. Prepare for the worst
Nobody wants to worry about walking back to their car to find it's been vandalized, but unfortunately, anything can happen. Instead of driving your vehicle back with solid eggshell residue that could end up damaging the paint, prepare a small spray bottle of water and car-washing soap in advance. That way, if you find your car has fallen victim to a prank, you can spray the solution and wipe away the mess before it causes any harm. Even if everything doesn't wipe right away, soaking it in the solution can prevent you from needing a new paint job.

If your older vehicle was damaged by a prankster on Halloween night and it seems impossible to repair, don't worry. The maintenance technicians here at New Jersey Auto Auction can take care of it! Or, we can set you up with a high-quality, Carfax certified used vehicle. Stop in today!

Here are a few tips for finding the best car for city driving, and how to master your route to avoid frustration.

Tips for driving in the city

Living in the country offers more relaxation than most communities – between the secluded houses, long dirt roads and lack of skyscrapers, you're sure to drive around in little to no traffic. Likewise, a suburban setting is mostly residential, so the most congestion you'll find will stem from the kids playing an intense game of street hockey. However, driving in the city can be an absolute disaster if you don't come up with a good strategy. Because let's face it – who really wants to sit in traffic for an hour when your office is only three miles away?

Don't worry – here are a few tips for finding the best car for city driving and mastering your route to avoid frustration:

Buy the right vehicle
Before you head to the big city, you need to consider your current ride. When you live in a suburban or rural setting, driving around a large SUV or pickup truck is fine – not exactly the case in the city. Before you tackle the congested one-way streets, AutoTrader strongly suggested picking a car that fits your needs, not necessarily your wants. Think about it this way: In the city, space is limited. So when it comes time to parallel park that fancy large vehicle you bought with the intention of showing it off, just forget it. If you don't really need that oversized ride, get rid of it. Consider a small compact car or sedan as your replacement for getting from point A to point B.

"Avoid leasing a car in the city."

Another quick tip: Avoid leasing a car. You don't want to risk your vehicle getting damaged due to all of the commotion going on in the city. If you lease a car and notice scratches and scrapes before you return it, you could be subject to a paying for the repairs. Instead, just buy one of the quality used cars from our lot! If your car gets damaged in any way, just bring it back for our maintenance guys to take care of it.

How to drive
Once you've invested in a quality compact car, you're ready to venture out into the frenzy of the city streets. You can't expect the drive to be as easy as it is in the suburbs, so keep these tips in mind for driving safely through traffic:

1. Be conscious about mileage
City streets are a mess of stop-and-go traffic – and that can really affect your car if you're not driving properly. According to Edmunds, your gas mileage takes a beating too, so make sure you're not speeding up just to slow right back down. Accelerate lightly and coast whenever possible. And if you find yourself in a dead stop, switch gears into neutral. This will do your gas tank some serious good. Lastly, don't forget to keep your tank at least half full. After all, how many gas stations have you seen in the city? They're hard to come by, so you won't have many options – if any – for filling back up if you're on E. 

2. Stop switching lanes
Sure, there's a cars-length of room to squeeze into the next lane. But are you really going to get there any faster if you decide to move over? Keep the lane changing to a minimum while traveling in heavy traffic – this can reduce your chance of experiencing a fender bender at the worst time possible. Who really wants to be the reason traffic is backed up even worse?

Choose a lane and stay in it.Choose a lane and stay in it.

3. Avoid rush hour
This might be impossible for some, but if you can manage, try to stay off the city roads during rush hour. Generally, from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., are the time frames when the city streets get most congested because everyone is trying to get to work or head back home – and they're all doing it at the same time. If you can avoid rush hour traffic, you'll save yourself the frustration that often results in road rage, which could ultimately lead to a collision occurring.

4. Always think big picture
Driving through the city offers an opportunity to view plenty of beautiful sights because there's so much going on. But, unfortunately, that's also a hazard that could lead you slamming into someone's rear end. When navigating through city streets, just remember to use all of your mirrors, side windows and entire windshield to view the big picture while you travel. Neglecting to keep an eye on every direction could lead to a collision, so just be careful.

5. Give yourself ample time
Navigating through a big city can be overwhelming and intimidating, especially if you're a first timer. That's why Big City Driver recommends giving yourself ample time to travel from your home to your office in the city every morning, This can ensure that you'll drive safely which will lessen your chance of speeding to get to work on time. Who knows – maybe you'll even avoid the city traffic completely!

Need a new ride to fit your city-living lifestyle? Come on over to NJ Auto Auction, where we have a lot full of Carfax-certified vehicles to choose from.

Consider these tips before you start packing.

Consider these tips before you start packing.

The time has come. Summer is almost over, and fall semester is right around the corner. You've been holding it down in your childhood bedroom for months, but soon you'll be heading back to your dorm room until Christmas break. Unfortunately, that means figuring out how you can consolidate a room's worth of clothing, accessories and furniture to fit into your tiny compact car.

But don't worry – packing up your vehicle for college doesn't have to be a nightmare.  Here are a few tips to consider before you start the process:

Get a tuneup
Before you begin packing, make sure you take your car in for a tune up. This can save you the hassle of potentially breaking down on the side of the road en route to your college dorm. According to Car Care, you should get the following checked during your maintenance appointment:

  • Engine oil level.
  • Windshield washer fluid.
  • Tire condition.
  • Dashboard indicator lights.

Once the technician has performed those tasks, you should be good to go for your trip. Just remember to schedule another appointment in three months for another tuneup. 

Choose efficient storage containers
Sure, large transparent bins might be handy and efficient for the unpacking process, but are they the best choice for the allotted space? Those containers are going to take up a lot of room in your car, which means they'll probably add clutter to your dorm too. Instead of creating unnecessary chaos, choose the space-saving storage option. All You magazine suggested packing your items in medium-sized containers they can stay in, such as plastic carts and storage drawers. Otherwise, use small boxes or bags that don't take up too much of the cabin.

Don't overpack
Once you've determined what you'll use for storage, think long and hard about what you're going to take. Packing light is your best option, as it'll allow more space in the car during the move. Besides, you're heading to a new room, and you shouldn't be trying to mirror your old one. Professional organizer Andrew Mellen told All You that you should be willing to make some changes in college, and bringing everything you own can keep you from accomplishing that.

"Always pack light."

"Be available for the adventure of college, rather than try to recreate a childhood bedroom experience in your new life," he said.

Only bring items you couldn't imagine living without. Those old high school yearbooks and stuffed animals from the fifth grade? They can stay at home.

Buy essentials later
If your mother is an extreme couponer and loves to shop in bulk, there's a chance she's going to want to give you enough toiletries to last the entire semester. While that's extremely generous of her, those items are only going to take up space in your car that you could use for something else. You can thankfully decline to save some space, or simply ask her to take you for a shopping trip after you've unpacked the car at school. Then, you'll have tons of space to transfer those bulk items back to your dorm.

To save some space in the car, only invite one person to help you unpack.To save some space in the car, only invite one person to help you unpack.

Don't invite the entire family
If you want to make the most of the room in your car, minimize the amount of people you invite for the trip. Consider leaving the front seat open for one passenger, but dedicate the rest of your cabin to your belongings. If more people want to assist with the move-in process, simple ask them to bring a second car. Maybe they'll even offer up the extra space in their trunk for those items you just couldn't part with.

Need a new ride for college? Head to NJ Auto Auction, where you'll find a lot full of quality, Carfax-certified vehicles to choose from. Or, if your car just needs a good tuneup, head to the shop and let the technicians get it ready for the road. 

Don't panic when your car breaks down - just follow these tips.

What to do if your car breaks down

Nothing puts a damper on your day quite like your car breaking down while you're stuck in traffic. It's not only an inconvenient situation. It can also be extremely intimidating if it's never happened to you before. Whatever you do, stay calm. Panicking in the middle of the road will only make matters more stressful.

There aren't many ways to prevent a breakdown, but there are certainly steps you can take to ease the situation. Consider the following tips:

1. Prepare for the worst
You never know when something could go wrong with your ride. Keeping up with your car's routine maintenance services is helpful, but that's not always a safe bet. That's why you should always take precautionary measures before you hit the road. AARP suggested packing an emergency roadside kit to prepare for an unexpected breakdown. Include the following in the box:

  • Emergency signaling devices.
  • A pocket knife.
  • A flashlight.
  • A first-aid kit.
  • Water.
  • Non-perishable food items.

Before winter's arrival, add a warm blanket, hat, scarf and pair of gloves to the kit.

2. Turn on your hazard lights
Once you've realized there's something wrong with your car, turn on your hazards. This notifies the other drivers that something is wrong, and that they need to continue driving around you.

3. Move to a safe spot
After turning on your hazards, The Travelers Indemnity Company said you need to move your car over to a safe spot, whether it's on the side of the highway or a side street. This can keep the traffic flowing and prevent an accident from occurring. If your vehicle won't start back up at all, just remain inside and call for immediate assistance.

Move your car to a safe spot on the highway.Move your car to a safe spot on the highway.

4. Set up the emergency equipment
If you've moved to a safe place and have the ability to leave the car, Esurance suggested setting up your flares and triangles right away if you have them. Both flares should be behind your vehicle – about 10 feet from each other – and the triangle should be closer to you and your vehicle. This helps passers-by see you despite darkness, rain or fog. It also gives the emergency assistance an easy ticket to find your location.

If you don't have the triangles or flares, simply pop your hood. It's the universal sign of a breakdown.

5. Use good judgment with strangers
It's a nice gesture when strangers pull over to help you out, but you want to be careful. Consumer Reports suggested exercising caution when someone unfamiliar approaches. If a suspicious person stops to help, let the stranger know you're OK and that a tow truck is on the way.

6. Always stay with your car
Moving away from your vehicle during a breakdown is never a good idea. Walking around aimlessly on the highway is unsafe. And if you've left your vehicle on the side street to go grab a burger while you wait, you could miss the tow truck. Staying with your car is a safe and practical move during this emergency situation.

Make sure you don't leave you car while it's broken down.Make sure you don't leave you car while it's broken down.

7. Clean up your mess
If the reason you're broken down is because your fender or another car part fell off, make sure to pick it up before you leave. It's not only wasteful to leave such things behind, but it's also not good for the environment. Do your part and clean up the mess you've made before you flee the scene – just be sure to wait for traffic to die down if it's out in the middle of the road.

You can't predict when you'll break down, but you can do your best to make sure your car is always in its best shape. For routine maintenance services, head to New Jersey Auto Auction. Our technicians can fix up your ride and ensure you'll be safe on the road.

If they do find that your car is no longer suitable for the road, just check out our lot! We have hundreds of quality Carfax-certified vehicles that sell for a great price – perfect for an emergency situation.

Searching for ways to save some cash? Look no further.

How to save money as a car owner

Owning a car makes life more convenient, but it comes with a price. Between paying for gas and insurance, as well as making sure your vehicle is always up to date with maintenance services, you have to hand over a pretty penny. But while being a car owner can be expensive, there are loopholes you can take to save some money.

Here are 10 of the easiest ways to save cash as the owner of a vehicle:

1. Reconsider your current car
If the car you're driving is a gas hog or requires service more often than you can afford, it's time to trade it in. Search for an inexpensive vehicle with little to no damage and is great on gas. Making an entirely new investment might seem like a huge expense at first, but it'll save you more money in the long run.

2. Shop frugally for a new ride
When you decide to buy a new car, don't let the dealer talk you into getting fancy accessories. Those extra add-ons are only going to add to the monthly bill. If you're looking to save a lot of money, just find yourself a vehicle that's going to get you from point A to point B safely. After all, do you really need the sound system and heated seats?

If you need to save money, your car doesn't need to have all the bells and whistles. If you need to save money, your car doesn't need to have all the bells and whistles.

3. Search for the most affordable insurance
If your car insurance seems to be burning a hole in your pocket, it's time to search for a more affordable plan. Switching insurance can save you money, just take some advice from Defensive and don't immediately take the first quote you get. Instead, shop around until you find the best deal that caters to your budget. Some companies will even set you up on a plan that lets you pay biannually instead of monthly, which can also save you a lot of cash in the long run.

4. Keep up with routine services
Showing your car some TLC throughout the year might seem like an unnecessary added expense to you, but it'll actually save you money, according to what Leona Dalavai Scott, editor of AutoInc. told Bankrate.

"If you maintain your car, you're avoiding expensive repairs down the road," she said.

"Showing your car some TLC will save you money."

Think of the mechanic as your car's doctor. By taking your ride in for routine services with him, he'll make sure everything is running smoothly to avoid a potential breakdown – something that could cost a huge chunk of money in repairs. That means changing the tires, oil and filters whenever necessary.

5. Learn how to maintain your car on your own
Maintaining your car is key, but that doesn't necessarily mean you have to take it to the mechanic. If possible, learn how to do these services on your own. A good portion of the price you pay at the auto shop goes to labor fees, and you can avoid these expenses by taking care of things on your own. Changing your tires and oil are easier tasks than you think, just take a look at these guides.

6. Wash your car on your own
Taking your car to the automatic carwash might be convenient, but it's not the least expensive option. Simply take care of the task on your own! Invest in a bucket, some sponges, car washing liquid and wax that'll last you the entire summer. Buying these tools to wash your car at home is just another investment that'll save you money down the road.

7. Search for cheap gas
Don't just buy gas at the station that's right up the road. Drive around and search for the lowest priced fuel. Make matters easier on yourself and download an app that does the job for you, such as GasBuddy. Simply pull it up, set your location and it'll find the best gas prices near you.

8. Be mindful of your gas usage
Owning a car might make getting around more convenient, but it's not an excuse to be lazy. If you can avoid driving somewhere to save gas, just walk. It's not only a money saving option – it's good for the environment and it's great exercise.

If your destination is in walking distance, leave your car at home. If your destination is in walking distance, leave your car at home.

9. Drive cautiously
When you speed, accelerate senselessly and brake hard, you're wasting gas – which also means you're blowing money. In fact, research by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory found that aggressive driving can lower highway gas mileage by 33 percent. Drive cautiously and be mindful about your gas and you'll likely see a difference in your gas mileage.

10. Carpool with your buddies
When you choose to carpool with friends or family members, you're saving money in so many ways, according to what Christine Maley-Grubl, project manager at the Metropolitan Transportation Commission in San Francisco told Bankrate.

"When you're carpooling, you're saving money on gas, on tolls and on maintenance," she said. "You can use the high-occupancy vehicle lanes, so you get to work faster."

Talk to your colleagues and see if they'd consider carpooling – it could save all of you time and money!

If you've decided to shop for a new car but aren't sure where to get started, stop by New Jersey Auto Auction. Our salesman will introduce you to a lot full of inexpensive Carfax-certified vehicles to choose from.